Saturday, September 30, 2006

Zango? Questionable Practices? You Decide!

UPDATE! - Some people coming by only want to see the video, Daniel and the Bus, and could care less about Zango. They know it is bad stuff. - So! here is a link to go see the video free for nothing! Without mucking up your computer. -

Some of the other stuff on this webpage is tawdry at best. Surf there at your own risk. Especially since Zango owns the site!

- http://"target="_blank"> -

For those wishing to know more about Zango continue reading...

I was planning on posting a bit on the Military Commissions Act - The U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives have passed this new legislation proposed by President Bush on the treatment and trials of terror suspects in U.S. custody. It is expected the President will sign it into law soon (If he hasn't already).

But as I was surfing for more information I came across a Guardian Unlimited (UK) webpage that had a short Macromedia Flash shot. "YOU WON'T BELIEVE YOUR EYES" it says. Then it shows a kid running in front of a bus and laying down in front of it. Looks lke his plan is to be lying between the bus wheels as it passes over him. "SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT! NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH." in the middle of the advert is a forward arrow (>) for you to see what happens next.

Not being squeamish I clicked on it and a new window opened for whose slogan is, "With Zango – You’re Good to Go(TM)" - They also give this blurb - Zango offers a vast network of free ad-supported games, videos and downloads powered by proprietary and revolutionary time-shifted advertising technology. Zango allows users, publishers, content providers and advertisers to connect within one unique online community. - Also on the page was a lot of screenshots of various videos you can watch.

Hey, there is the not too smart kid labeled, "Daniel and the bus". OK click on it and...

Another page pops up.

Big button says WATCH - OK. Click on that and...

Another window pops up for me to download some software called "Setup.exe".

It must be safe right? I mean the Guardian Unlimited (UK) would not send me to a website that would download bad software on my computer would they? - But! Maybe I should be digging a little deeper before I click on this one. (Didja notice how I got my slogan in that last sentence? Pretty spiffy huh?)

Ok, The quick version. On the page where the word WATCH is most prominent is a lot of info in smaller type. At this point Zango is looking to download, free for nothing, a TOOLBAR and SEARCH ASSISTANT.

- quotes -
Zango Toolbar, accessible whenever you browse the Internet, may display ads within the Toolbar itself based upon keywords from your Internet browsing. Buttons in the Toolbar let you access relevant offers.

- Zango Search Assistant (Zango SA) provides free access to Daniel and the Bus and all Zango-supported content across the Internet and, in exchange, may display to you several ads per day based upon keywords from your Internet browsing. These ads will pop up on your computer screen in a separate browser window.
- end quotes -

On this page is a box PRECHECKED to say "By clicking watch, I represent that I (1) am at least 18, (2) agree to the terms of the EULA above and (3) consent to access Daniel and the Bus."

Digging a little deeper (Hey! My slogan fit in this post again! This time with a cap!) I found one complaint of difficulty in removing the installed program (Could have looked harder and expect I would have found more) and I've found that a lot of Myspace users have been putting some cool little video clips on their websites. Pasting the code for the moviefile into the Myspace profile and having it autoplay when someone visits the page, is enough to have the licence prompt appear.
has a piece on this outfit that questions the prechecked box.
- Quote - Myspace is (or was) all about the kids, right? Minimum age is now 14, their "safety tips" page links to a bunch of sites called Safeteens, Webwisekids and Netsmartz. Browse around randomly and it's confirmed. Kids, kids, kids.

Which just makes the pre-ticked checkbox for the Zango installer (18 or over) even more ironic and useless than it already is when applied to a landscape like this. Of course, videofiles that launch Adware aren't a new thing - though creating a distribution method like this is pretty inventive. - End Quote -

I guess this posting is just a reminder to be careful out there. If you don't mind Adware and search redirects then go for it. I'm not putting any links to Zango on this posting. - You will have to go digging a little deeper to find it yourself...

Hey! Three times on one posting!


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