They've had offered us to bundle their 'nice' toolbar inside the VLC installer so that every install of VLC would have install this thing...
And they proposed a very high value for each install...
Only if you aren't watching files with, say, ordered chapters, or comments inside the SSA files.
Granted, that's most of the population, but there's a very particular dislike of VLC in the animu community, although some of the commonly-stated criticisms have since been fixed.
And while, the SSA situation was catastrophic, this is now fixed, I believe (even comments).
The ordered and linked chapter in MKV is still not resolved... Patches are welcome.
I suspect the mystery of the changed homepage and new toolbar is, to many users, alongside the mystery of why the printer sometimes doesn't work or my cell phone drops out when I'm still in the living room. 'It's technology. It happens. Nothing I can do about it.'
Which I guess means Zugo [Edit - actually, Make-my-baby.com] is manipulating the uneducated (in a tech sense). Borderline business behaviour, though a well thought out and executed strategy.
Seems apt for non-working technology, as well.
Who's to say that whatever people were doing with that time before was doing something significant "for the collective human experience"?
The worst part of these games is that they can act as a surrogate for success: your life may not be progressing in any way whatsoever, you may have goals and aspirations that you are not pursuing, but you are getting rewards and constantly progressing in a game - I'm not sure how good our brain is at distinguishing between real and virtual rewards (especially when the virtual rewards are guaranteed, but the real rewards are... well... hard).
All this is to say: other potential time wasters (TV is probably the most common) may be less likely to cause addictive and/or harmful behavior (I can't believe I'm arguing that TV may be less harmful than video games, but there it is). Sure, the majority of people can play causal games strictly in their downtime, but for some it spills over into what may otherwise be productive time, and for a relative few it can take over (where do you think Zynga's revenue is really coming from?)
Most "normal" people waste the majority of their leisure hours, depending on your definition of waste. The audience here, however, is not typical.
I'm 'wasting' time right now skimming this article, reading this thread, posting a response about how i'm wasting time right now.
The difference is that I think it is interesting to read about failing software startups with billions of dollars invested in them. So it is atypical with regard to subject matter. I have no interest in american idol or tom cruise or Oprah or glen beck.
I also find that I am most productive at programming when I approach it as a fun game that I am 'wasting time' at.
(apologies for going meta).
It happens. If it gets you laid, it sure is making the world a better place.
Also, it's sometimes hard to distinguish something new and valuable from an idle waste of time. As my dad says, you never know which cloud is going to give you rain.
I didn't log back in that day, and decided to stop doing so.
Just yesterday I got one from SpecialTeas.com which said something like "We miss you at SpecialTeas, please come back."
The point is that it's not cool to be showing someone a YouTube video and then all of a sudden not only are there ads showing up based on my search history, but the ads are actually incorporating my search strings and purchase history directly into their text. Especially when these have to do with personal issues, medical problems, etc.
Is there anyone here who wouldn't be uncomfortable if they were in a movie theater with their family and friends and all then without any warning they suddenly started projecting your Google history and credit card purchase history from the last 5+ years? (Both of the examples listed were drawing on searches I had done 3 to 7 years previously.)
They are noting in the comments that 1.75 million ad impressions would probably only cost the advertiser a few hundred dollars, which would make it difficult for that to be the third largest advertiser considering advertising brought in a $1.86billion. I don't know anything about the cost of advertising, but do those numbers seem right?
That means $875 could buy 1.75 million impressions.
Facebook might be more expensive, but even if it's $1 per thousand impressions, that's only $1,750.
I think the 1.75 million number in the article is incorrect.
Ultimately, it comes down to this: people aren't on Facebook to spend money. They're on there to see what they're friends are doing and communicate. If a friend posts a cool link in their feed, sure you'll get a few visitors following that link. But if the link is in an ad to the right, people just aren't interested.
This differs from certain aspects of the Google Display Network. For example, if you're on a Transformers fansite, you're probably there to geek out about anything Transformers. In that scenario, if you see a banner ad with a really cool Transformer's T-Shirt displayed on it, the ad almost becomes part of the content at that point. You're much more likely to click on it and actually be interested to see where it leads. (As opposed to accidental clicks, which makes up a huge percentage of cost).
You realize that the amount of cash printed is insufficient to even pay back the US Debt. The economy for the most part is a ponzi scheme. It will only stop working when the birth rate slips below the death rate, and at that point humanity is on a timeline. As Keynes said, 'in the long run we're all dead'.
The primary question with Facebook is how much more revenue they can suck up. Thats what's driving the crazy valuations and so far they haven't stopped booking revenue.
The people at that bulge in the middle are now in their late 50s. When they start to die and sell their assets all at once, we're going to see a major devaluation in the stock market, and real estate.
And, on top of all that, following the hump is another (albeit smaller) one filled with their kids.
I don't think it's quite as bad or blatant though.
Yes, I completely agree. I have several non-technical friends on Facebook who have been tricked into installing browser helpers (BHO) and it's disgusting. Every so often they post some kind of ridiculous advertisement in their status bar -- only it's not them, it's their browser doing it. It's like some hi-tech version of Tourrette's Syndrome.
But, playing devil's advocate -- and I love devil's advocate because when it's done well it makes you think -- there's nothing wrong with trading a cute interactive session of making a baby with setting the user's home page, or changing their browser, or selling them stocks, or taking all their money from their bank account, as long as the user knows the trade-offs they are making. People do all sorts of stupid things for ten minutes of entertainment. It's the trickery part that makes it a scam.
So the next obvious question for me has to be: what do these guys need to do in order not to be a scam? Make the text bigger? Bold? Have a flashing sign? Since a BHO can do all sorts of nastiness -- including things they are not currently designed to do -- how do you adequately inform the user of what kind of trade they are making?
Chrome has a nice way of doing this where you approve of the types of information you are allowing the helper to have. Still, even then there have been many times when installing something in Chrome that I've thought "Do I really want this particular widget having this kind of access? How do I know that the developers won't change what it does with my information on some future version?"
I am concerned that many of these articles sound like "See the witch! Burn the witch!" -- mindless mob thinking. I know it's much easier to sell salacious articles by pumping yourself up and being the superhero speaking out for truth and justice and all, but from a logical standpoint I'm much more interested in what specifically is wrong with a particular practice and what steps need to be taken to make it better. Demonizing these guys -- even if they are total assholes and are out to trick and cheat and steal everybody they find -- doesn't do much as far as advancing the discussion along for the rest of us. A little bit more analysis and information, a little bit less emotion, please.
It would be interesting to know whether their ad targeting algorithm has me as in the unlikely to be interested in baby pictures demographic or in the people that have previously reported scammy ads demographic...
To be fair, hijacking ad click revenue seems a lot less underhand than some of the "Scamville" advertisers...
There is precious little in the story save what is already provided by Matt Cutts and there is this little gem towards the end:
"Is no one minding the store? Or are they just minding the cash register and turning away from what the customers are up to?"
That entire sentence could very well turn out to be true, but for the time being it is just opinion, which, after enough people repeat it, becomes a fact.
I've certainly seen Google's toolbar bundled with pretty much anything not related to searching the web. Yes, it's easier to remove, but it's damn annoying after clicking Next Next Next, that Google Toolbar is installed.
Also, you'd never find a shitty site like baby-face-maker or whatever advertising on Google.
I wonder if he would have said anything if it was the switching default search provider to Google.
apedley, in 2002 (2003?) or so, I spent a large fraction of my Christmas holidays with my in-laws in Omaha trying to uninstall all the scumware that had gotten on their machine. I was horrified to find out that Google had a business deal with one of the companies I found on my mother-in-law's computer. A bunch of us came back from that break determined not to spend next Christmas uninstalling scumware. We quickly kicked that scuzzy company out and put in place the guidelines linked above to keep Google from monetizing scumware/malware/etc.
Google may bundle its toolbar with some applications, but to the best of my knowledge we always insist on clear disclosure that the toolbar will be installed (we don't want users to be tricked) and easy removal. If you're aware of any counter-examples, please let me know and I'll ask someone to investigate it.
By the way, the best method to prevent scumware that I found back in those days: installing Firefox. No new scumware after the Firefox install plus some basic education.
I guess he was finished finding all the spam on Google so he decided to help FB and Bing out. What nice guys over at Google.
"Interestingly, Google itself was the fifth-biggest advertiser for the same period, as it was looking to market its Chrome web browser."
Perhaps when he's done with that he can let his bosses know that unless you're careful when you install Chrome it sets itself as your default browser.