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Yahoo Gives Adware a Second Chance

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#1 Sharklady



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Posted 02 June 2004 - 02:10 AM

In its spyware-fighting tool released in beta last week, Yahoo Inc. left out for automatic detection a category of often-unwanted software for which its paid search division has a financial stake.

Yahoo's Anti-Spy beta for its browser toolbar doesn't include adware by default when it scans users' systems for unwanted programs. Instead, to include adware, users must check a box each time they conduct a scan.

Among the programs the Sunnyvale, Calif., company classifies as adware are controversial ones from Claria Corp. (formerly The Gator Corp.) and WhenU.com Inc., two common targets of spyware critics who say the companies trick users into accepting unwanted downloads and flood machines with pop-up ads.

With Claria, best known for its Gator eWallet application, Yahoo is also a business partner. Claria, based in Redwood City, Calif., delivers pop-up and other forms of advertising from its GAIN ad network through software downloaded onto users' machines.

Yahoo's Overture division, a leading provider of paid search listings, contributed 31 percent of Claria's 2003 revenues through a partnership in which it supplies paid listings to Claria's SearchScout service, according to Claria's April S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SearchScout is triggered when a user visits a Web search engine and displays a pop-under window with an alternative set of paid search results. Overture reached an agreement with Claria in March 2003 before it was acquired by Yahoo, the filing states. It pays Claria a percentage of the ad revenue generated when users click on the paid listings.

Dave Methvin, chief technology officer at PC Pitstop LLC, said he is concerned with Yahoo's contradiction in offering a spyware-fighting tool while also aligning with one of the biggest purveyors of adware programs.

For insights on security coverage around the Web, check out eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer's Weblog.

PC Pitstop, a Dakota Dunes, S.D., company that runs a Web site for PC diagnostics, last year settled a libel lawsuit filed by Claria over its public criticism of Claria and its distribution methods.

"It's great that they're giving away a free anti-spyware toolbar," Methvin said of Yahoo. "I just wish that they wouldn't turn around and, with the other hand, hand Gator one-third of its revenue."

For their part, Yahoo officials said Tuesday that the distinction between the qualities of spyware and adware is determined by the third-party vendor providing the technology, PestPatrol Inc.

[ Continued... ]
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#2 linc



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Posted 02 June 2004 - 12:58 PM

"They do need to pick a side," Edelman said of Yahoo. "It's not clear if Yahoo is on the side of the user or the advertisers."

At the moment it is clear on whose side they are on,a clue it's not the publics.

Someone has some explaning to do, if Pest Patrol does class claria once known as Gator, then Yahoo has tinkered with it.

I Look forward to hearing Pest Patrol's answer.

I have no objection to static ads on a page, as I realise that someone has to pay. I've never used Yahoo and now never will.

I hope Pest Patrol understand that by allowing this, there own business is going to be contaminated by the very people they are supposed to be fighting. they'll suffer.

Trouble is these large AD companies think the net is there just for them to continually fling their adverts at us.

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