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Stay Out of My Effing PC
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I spent nearly two hours last night trying to get some insidious goddamn thing off my computer that had installed itself without my permission or knowledge. It created an extra frame on the left side of my browser any time I used a search engine, and populated it with extra search returns, while generating popunder ads.

It's been on my computer for well over a week, and last night it drove me so utterly batshit that I swore I wouldn't leave my computer until I'd eradicated it.

And in the end, I won. But damn if it didn't piss me off something mighty.

I found that the culprit was something called a Browser Helper Object, or BHO. Apparently a BHO is a DLL that allows you to customize and control Internet Explorer, but some annoying numbfucks are using it to infiltrate browsers for marketing purposes. You can manually go in and check these things out in your IE settings, but I used a wonderful, simple little tool I found last night called BHO Demon. Worked like a damn charm. Last night I wanted to kiss whoever made it, even though most likely it's a very large, hairy programmer dude.

Basically, for the hour before I found a page describing BHOs and linking to the program above, I tried Ad-Aware. It identified over 40 suspicious registry files and other horseshit that had been slipped onto my PC without my permission.

Now, this pisses me off, and I'm sure I'm not alone on this one.

I feel like I'm doing about the same amount of surfing as I've done in the past few years, but it seems like in the last four or five months, the amount of adware and spyware slipping onto my computer has ballooned.

The first time I came across an executable that installed without my permission was Comet Cursor. The creators may protest that this annoying little piece of crap doesn't install without warning, but they lie...oh yes they do. About six months ago, Comet Cursor installed itself on my machine upon visiting a Xanga blog. No warning, no dialog box prompting me to accept installation. It just installed it.

To me this is like walking around a mall, then coming home to find that some annoying-as-hell product (let's say one of those mounted fish, singing the Macarena) has been attached to me, as it springs out of my back pocket and sticks to my wall. Not effing cool.

But like I said, it's snowballing. In the past month alone I've had ClockSync and WeatherCast install themselves on my machine, without my permission, several times apiece. In case you haven't had the pleasure, these are programs that add popups to your daily browsing as they run in the background. I've had ClockSync prompt me before installing a couple of times, but I've also had it just go ahead and install itself.

And this should be illegal. The people who make and distribute this vile shit should be dunked in corn meal batter, deep fried, and fed to wolverines. Let's hope with Republicans in control of the government they can pull together to pass such legislation (though it's really a bipartisan issue, isn't it?).

Anyway, sorry this particular blog didn't shed illuminating insight into my life or writing or address important political issues affecting the world today, but sometimes you just gotta use your blog to bitch.

There, I feel better now. A little.

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