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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

AOL Evil?

I recently installed AOL9 to see Google Video with its US settings (that is, with video playback enabled). The set-up was quite bundled, I can say after installation. Not only did I get a desktop icon – this is quite normal, though normally one will be asked beforehand – but also, I now had:

In other words, AOL installed a whole lot of stuff I didn’t want it to install. Was there an option in the installation which would have enabled me to disable these “features"? Well, possibly, but the problem is these are the default settings, and they were introduced without any serious “warning” dialogs (like, for example, Google does it when they ask you to disable/ enable the PageRank feature for the Google Toolbar).

Bundleware, just like Spyware, is considered evil because it does things the user doesn’t know of and didn’t ask for. Now I didn’t trust AOL in the first place, as I had bad experiences with the program in the past, but that was even more than I expected. Luckily, my friend has a (10 mb) “AOL Removal Tool” waiting for me – I guess the program’s there for a reason.


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