I switched on my pc this morning to see that I had a message from Sun to update my Java. They update quite frequently so I didn’t think anything of it. When I was skipping through the steps of the installation I noticed that they had an option to install Yahoo’s toolbar on my pc and it was already clicked. I tried to unclick it but I had stupidly already clicked the next button and the hourglass was there telling me I was too late.
This is a technique which software companies have used for years however I have noticed recently that many huge mainstream multinational companies are trying to get an extra buck by bundling crap with their scripts. I admit that in this instance I should have went through the installation procedure more carefully however it doesn’t change the fact that they are bundling it with Java in the first place and it doesn’t excuse them checking the box by default.
Of course, this is a very common method on the internet. Shopping sites nearly always sign you up to newsletters unless you specify otherwise and scripts from smaller companies sometimes don’t even tell you the crap they are installing on your computer.
The modern internet has been around for about 15 years however it remains a place which is rarely regulated and questionable methods of making money are still being used by billion dollar companies.