Warning -- your website has been hacked.
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
Yes, that carefully crafted combination of prose, graphics and HTML
no longer looks exactly the way you designed it to. What's worse,
there are ads for your competitors sitting there right in the middle
of your sales pitch -- and most of the items in your online catalogue
are now linked to a competitors shopping trolley!
What's that? You can't see anything wrong?
Clearly your browser isn't infected with "scumware" -- but millions
of others are.
You've never heard of scumware?
Well it's something that has many in the industry up in arms -- and you can
expect legal shots to be fired very soon.
Scumware is a new type of software which effectively does exactly what Microsoft's
SmartTags was going to do -- before the software giant reacted to public outrage
by pulling this feature from its upcoming XP launch.
In effect, scumware is a browser component which is often installed covertly
as part of some other software you've downloaded. When you load a webpage,
the scumware will scan that page, looking for keywords for which it has advertisers
willing to pay.
Let's assume are in the software business and have created a website designed
to sell a cashbook program. When a user (whose PC has scumware installed) visits
your site, the scumware program might well spy the words "cash book" and
create a hypertext link from your pages to those of a competitor who has
paid for such a link. In effect, your competitors are able to advertise
right there on YOUR webpage.
Unfair -- you bet!
Illegal? We don't know for sure -- nobody's brought the first precedent-setting
So, how could this scumware find its way onto your computer?
Easy, there are a growing number of software vendors who are being lured into
adding a scumware component to their software by the offer of big dollars.
Everyone loves free software -- but in reality, as we all know, there's no
such thing as a free lunch.
What some software writers are preferring to do these days is to sell-out
to scumware vendors such as
rather than mess around with shareware agreements.
So how widespread is scumware, and what are the chances that one of your
competitors is advertising on your website right now?
Well, one of the leading scumware vectors is a program called Kazaa Media
Desktop. This piece of freeware has already been downloaded
some 8,461,150 times!
So -- what are your thoughts on this?
Is this just a really smart online marketing technique that you wish you'd
thought of -- or is it the work of the devil?
Save The Aardvark Fund
Yes, I have had several donations to the Aardvark fund and I thank those
who put their money where their mouse is :-)
If guilt is gnawing away inside you then there's still time to donate.
Just drop by and
hand over your loot.
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