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Array
(
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    AIM: sugar-coating ad-ware  echo $newRAM;
    added Mon May 09 2005 at 8:22 PM
    0 comments
    As a matter of principle, and because it's made by AOL, I hate AIM. However, AIM talks with iChat, and my brother and mother both use iChat. So, because my mom's more likely to be on AIM than MSN (which has its own problems, don't get me wrong, but it's *much* better than AIM for anything but file transfers), I always leave AIM running.

    Because I've been reinstalling Windows, I just started installing AIM. On their installation options, they want you to install three different pieces of ad-ware:AIM Games Support (powered by WildTangent), AIM WeatherBug (powered by WeatherBug), and AIM Pop Up Blocker. The first two everybody knows is advertising, what gets me is the description of the third one:
    Pop-up blocker and browser bar with one-click AIM features. Also improves access to search by resetting IE browser error and search pages.

    Translation: error page forwarding to who-knows what site that happens to be paying the most at the time. This is supposed to be a feature? This is the exact behavior that makes me run Ad-aware and WinPatrol. Somehow, they're trying to make it sound like a good thing.

    while(AIM == evil){install(minimum_components);}//bug identified: infinite loop.

    AIM is evil: Viewpoint installation  echo $newRAM;
    added Mon May 09 2005 at 9:18 PM
    2 comments
    It looks like I understated how horrible AIM is. No sooner had I finished up the installation and fired up the executable when I got an alert saying that Viewpoint couldn't install while AIM was running. I was a bit puzzled why Viewpoint was installing, and why it needed AIM to be shut down. A quick google showed me this article on AIM and Viewpoint. I knew I'd run into Viewpoint before. They always claim that they are a harmless video software much like Flash, but somehow they always seem to find their way onto your computer even if you don't want them to.

    In this case, I accidentally had ran AIM too early and prevented it from installing properly. However, if I hadn't been lucky and quick, it would've installed itself. I don't care how innocent they are (which they aren't, since they *do* take up bandwidth and processing power to serve up multimedia advertisements and send advertising data to their database). I didn't ask them to install, and I'm being very careful right now to get my computer running at its peak performance. This means *no* software that I don't explicitly want or need. So far, I've only installed software that I am comfortable with and I trust (except, of course, for AIM).

    So why do I even bother with AIM? Well, iChat is hands-down the best instant messenging program available for Macs. iChat, for whatever crazy reason, made an agreement with AIM that the two communicate with each other. My brother is hardcore against Microsoft, so the chances of him using MSN and him getting my mother to use MSN (he's her head support tech) are very slim. However, this will probably be the last time I ever install AIM on my machine. MSN might not be the best software on Macs, it might not even be very stable. At least they don't actively install 5 other pieces of software recognized as malware.

    MSN seems to be focusing on getting more users by constantly improving their product. It never seems to disappoint me with each new release. I\'m not saying I\'ve never had problems with it, but at least the problems are a result of neglect or mistake rather than malisciously installing third-party malware. AIM, on the other hand, relies on various users that have no choice but to use them (namely AOL customers and Mac users) to make it so that all their friends have to install AIM to talk to them.