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by: bemymonkey March 29, 2012 8:44 AM PDT

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Blekko and other fun things

by bemymonkey - 3/29/12 8:44 AM

Dear CNET team,

A few days ago, I downloaded an installer for a freeware application from your download site, and now I'm seeing that my default search engine in Chrome was changed to "Blekko | Spam Free Search". This is completely unacceptable.

Since you seem to be oblivious to the usual rules of conduct in offering installers for freeware, shareware and the like, I would like to offer some suggestions - you may, if you so prefer, pretend that they're worded as much more constructive criticism.

In the following text, I will refer to the end users of your executables as "me" or "I".

-Install crap on my computer without my consent
-Change my browser homepage without my consent
-Change my search engines without my consent

I don't care what the fine print says, on your site, in the installer (where was the fine print in that, by the way? Aren't you required to have a very noticeable disclaimer in there? At least the other adware-laden installers out there give the user fair warning)... You don't install random programs and change settings without the user's consent.

There are so many better ways to monetize - ways that won't annoy your customers/users so much that they stop using your site (and anything affiliated with CNET) altogether. Hell, I'd rather be forced to watch a 30 second video-ad before installation or have the installer itself plastered in blinking animated banners... Even if the installer made me click through 50 full page ads before letting me continue to the actual installation, I'd find it more acceptable than what you're doing now.

Oh, and forcing someone to sign up for your newsletter in order to post on a forum? Guess where those e-mails are going to end up?

I think it's fairly obvious that I won't be using your site any more - or recommending it to anyone.

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