Professor DeLong is very unhappy with how software suppliers for Windows do business:
I then thought that I should perhaps upgrade the McAfee virus-protection program on the machine. That turned out to be a nasty and nearly impossible process: McAfee kept throwing pop-up windows up on the screen trying to "improve" my order from $35 to $95 or $125, warning me of all the horrible things that would happen to me if I did not "upgrade" my order. Only by clever parsing of sentences and clicking the correct buttons was I able to repulse this social engineering attack. Then I noticed that the black-inkjet cartridge in the Epson printer attached to the machine was low. I replaced it--and my printer driver promptly threw a warning box up on the screen: I had installed a non-Epson print cartridge, Epson "could not guarantee print quality," and would I like to order genuine Epson print cartridges off of the Epson website? No.
I don't like it when strange movies take over my computer and use it to display adware. I don't like it when Epson lies to me about the quality of Epson-compatible inkjet cartridges. I don't like it when McAfee makes it hard to avoid spending more on virus protection than I need to.
It's a jungle out there in the Windows world. Have Microsoft and Epson and McAfee considered the long-run consequences of the reputations that they are so eagerly creating?
Ghastly stuff, but one of his commenters can top this ghastliness:
On my Windows XP computer, every use of the letters "bed" - as in the word "succumbed" in the first paragraph of Brad DeLong's posting above - is underlined as a link, to find a bed seller, I guess. Maybe the next time the word "succumbed" appears in text, I'll finally decide to buy a bed online. Likewise, the letters "mba," as in "embarass," are always an underlined link. Maybe someday soon that helpful link will lead me to enroll online for a graduate degreee in business. Oh yes, every use of the word, "business" is an underlined link too. I tried anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-adware programs, but this still lingers.
Then there's the ad that intrudes on the left margin of my screen most of the time when I open a new web page. In a year, I have never used the links featured in that margin, presumably directed to a few sites. But it just keeps happening. Recently, instead of a list of sites it has started showing flickering and moving graphics. What a waste.
At least, through much effort, I recovered my desktop image. For months, it was a gruesome black screen with a blood-red eyeball on it, and an ad for software to delete it.
I've had to learn to live with some pop-ups, because when I had the pop-up protection fully engaged, I could not send work messages from my home computer in my office Outlook system - the window in which I would write a new Outlook message was blocked as a pop-up.
Using the internet in Windows is wading through all that junk.
Emphasis mine. The eyeball thing goes beyond the ghastly and into the realm of eldritch and unspeakable.
Did I mention that I want a Mac? I'm likely to do more coloring for money this year, and I would like to do that on a new studio machine with a decent monitor, and I might as well go for graphical-industry standard stuff, especially if it also means I'm going to avoid crap like this.
Only problem is I'm not exactly made of money. Maybe this would be a good time to point people to the Paypal button on my homepage, and I guarantee you that clicking that link won't spawn a popup or do anything ghastly...