Revenge of the
Dirty Marketing SOBs
Surf smarter, not harder...
We thought we had seen the last of the Dirty Marketing S.O.B.s...
If you're a longtime visitor of the site, you may remember the original Dirty Marketing SOBs (DMS) dossier that was published here a while back. The DMS are the assholes responsible for annoying, intrusive, bandwidth-hogging, deceptive, misleading, dirty, lyin-cheatin-stealin' underhanded methods of advertising and generally profiteering off the Web at the expense of us surfers. We thought they'd thrown their worst at us. We were wrong.
The saga continues as I, your loving Guinea pig (Bill Webb) scour the Web to ferret out, uncover and lay bare the dirtiest of slimy advertising and moneygrubbing on the Internet. In order to create a definitive resource on what evils lurk in Web ads, I've been out and about...I'd say the majority of bad ads are on porn sites and the like; I've been traversing even the raunchiest of the seedy back-alleys of cyberspace (for research purposes, of course.)
The types of dirty advertising can probably be placed into three main categories-- Sneaky banners, sneaky scripting (mostly Javascript tricks and stuff), and deceptive advertising. I'll also devote a small section to demographic/psychographic tracking of your personal habits, and another to miscellaneous methods of pushing unwanted advertising and promotions on the unsuspecting public that are not covered under the Big Three (sneaky banners, etc.).
Sneaky banners
You've seen them. I know you have. They're banners that try to pass themselves off as something else--the reasoning goes, "everybody is pretty pissed off about having all these ad banners all over the place, and due to the number of DMS out there fighting for eyeballs in any dirty way they can, few if any banners actually lead to a worthwhile product (or even the product advertised, for that matter), so nobody's going to click on the ad if they know it's an ad. So we'll try to disguise the ad so it doesn't look like an ad, and people will click on it because they don't know it's an ad!"
GUI Mimics
The most common (I'm sure you have seen a couple) are banners that try to disguise themselves as Windows GUI elements. (Mac users, take heart: The DMS can auto-detect what OS you're using, and serve you a banner that mimics the Mac GUI, etc.) They look a little something like this:


These of course come in all shapes and sizes; often you will see what looks like an open document window with some enticing text scrolled half-way offscreen. It includes of course a (phony) scrollbar and arrows to scroll this 'document window' and see what the text says. You will eventually find out it wasn't a program window at all; it was a banner and you've been duped! (At about the time when's Buy My Products page pops up in your face complete with flashing banners guaranteed to give you a migraine headache (or a seizure!) )...
Probably the worst type of GUI mimic banner is the one that's disguised as a search box. It may even have a blinking cursor in it, inviting you to type a search query. But no sooner do you click in the search box to activate it, *whisk!* You're at some slimy marketer's products page! You probably didn't expect to end up there, and probably didn't want to. But once they get you in the door, hey, they can try and sell you whatever they want.
Fake Text
Here's another sneaky little tactic to watch out for. Some banners try to disguise themselves as page text, and even (you may see this on porn sites, which are pretty much all run by Dirty Marketing SOBs) the entrance to the page.

The idea here is similar to that of 'GUI Mimics' above. Wary 'netizens don't like clicking on banners for a number of reasons, including that there are too many ads out here already and they don't want to encourage them, and the fact that the webmaster displaying the ad gets extra money (called a referral fee) if you click on the banner. Maybe you don't like the webmaster's attempts to profit off of you (those 50 or so banners and promotions on their page have probably made him several dollars just from your visit alone) and don't feel like making this asshole more cash at your expense. Sooo.... you won't click on a banner, but you might click on a text link, especially if it looks like part of the page. In the latter case it looks like the author of the page has personally selected and endorsed this're much more likely to visit a site if the webmaster tells you it's a site worth visiting than if some marketer is being paid to say so (see the section on advertorials below).

Gosh-darned flashing annoyer banners
They flash really loudly to get your attention no matter where your eyes are on the page.

These banners exploit the primitive underwiring of the human brain to make you drop whatever you're doing and look at their ad. Back in prehistoric times, Homo Sapiens relied on his peripheral vision to spot lions and tigers, etc. that were a clear and imminent threat to his continued enjoyment of his lifestyle. Ancient man would see something move out of the corner of his eye and it was very important that he find out what it was--fast--so as not to end up a tasty meal for a grizzly bear. Now the threat of sabre-toothed tigers is largely behind us, but the old survival code remains. I bet you've looked at that banner up there no less than three times while reading all that lions and tigers crap. Yep. Have you noticed your having to steel yourself from looking when that thing flashes? It takes effort, doesn't it.
[Sneaky Banners: In-the-wild]
Beyond the Banner: Sneaky scripting

Javascript is one of the Web's most annoying little offspring. Well, it's not supposed to be that way...Javascript was originally intended as a useful and powerful tool to make the Web more dynamic and useful. Unfortunately, the DMS have discovered it is also a useful tool for pushing excessive quantities of intrusive and unwanted advertising on an ungrateful public. That, combined with the millions of clueless newbies who don't know how to use it properly (you know, the ones who see a scrolling message on another clueless newbie's page and just have to copy it for their own site...or those Alert boxes that are just so coool!) have turned it into another Web annoyance like the "under construction" logo and the endless-looping MIDI embedded in the page. Javascript (and other scripting languages like Jscript and VBscript, for that matter) presents an impressive number of ways for a Dirty Marketing SOB to scam and spam you at your own expense.
Popup Ads / Console Popping
Once relegated to the seediest porn- and warez-laden backalleys of cyberspace, the shameful Web cash-cow commonly known as the popup ad is rearing its ugly application errors all over the once-free locales of the Web. The popup ad is a separate browser window loaded by exploiting Javascript's function that contains ugly, hideous advertising that interrupts your surfing and generally serves to piss you off. Popup ads are unstable and can cause your browser software to crash. Additionally, popup ads suck up GDI resources under Windows 95 (with or without the kernel upgrade), in the spawning of new application windows, that are not fully recovered even when the ad window is closed--this can lead to crashes, scrambled screens or other weird errors. The people (can we call 'em that?) that serve these types of ads from their servers don't give a rats patootie that they made your surfing unpleasurable or that they crashed your computer, so long as their getting their money from slimymarketer advertising in the popup window.
Serving popup ads is sometimes referred to as "console popping", particularly on porn sites (the first to use popups); each surfer's computer that connects to their website is referred to as a "console", and ad payments are given based on how many "consoles" are spammed with an ad.
Popup Ad example - What to look for
Click Farming / Spawning
Click farming is the involuntary loading of a slimy marketer's page when you visit another, completely unrelated page. This is also a Javascript exploit using Usually the idea here is to trick the advertiser into thinking that you clicked on their ad, hence a larger kickback or referral money to the slimeball who simulated your click. To the advertiser looking at his server logs, it appears that 90% of the surfers who see the ad are clicking on it! In a world where a 5% click-through rate is considered solid gold, 90% is truly amazing. In this case the slimeball who is forging your clicks is making out like a bandit (he gets lots of referral cash), the advertiser whose page is magically appearing out of nowhere is doing good too (pretty much everybody winds up at his products page for the hard sell; little money is blown on ads a user never responds to), it's just the surfer who gets screwed over.
While this involuntary browser vacation is usually a single slimeball page, if the webmaster is particularly rude you can find yourself on a rollercoaster of five or even 10+ sequentially auto-loading pages that you get sucked into one after another as you attempt to leave or close each--think of it as an all-expenses paid (not to you) DMS joyride. Click farming and spawning are very similar in nature; in each case a foreign webpage is loaded without the surfer's consent. In plain old spawning though, instead of being duped by the jerkoff webmaster, the advertiser is in on it too--advertiser and webmaster work hand-in-hand to assault the user with unwanted crapmedia; think of it as a fullscreen billboard instead of a relatively small (468x60 pixel) banner.
Trapping is an extremely underhanded (though thankfully seldom-used) method of assaulting surfers with down-and-dirty in-your-face advertisements. A trapping page exploits JavaScript in such a way that it reloads itself everytime you close it down--in other words, you can't close the damn thing. This pretty much means that once you are served this page, the only way to get rid of it is to disable your browser's JavaScript (a difficult undertaking for those unfamiliar with some browsers' cryptically-organized menus) or reset your computer. In the meanwhile, this uncloseable window will focus itself (pop itself up on top of all other open windows and make itself the topmost, active window) every ten seconds or so and continue to display a neverending stream of ads until you reset your computer (or disable JS) and get rid of it.
This example of a trap ad will give you a taste of the real, unpleasurable experience (Do Not visit this link unless you know what you're doing!). To get rid of it you can disable JavaScript or rapidly close the window as it reloads...kill it fast enough and it won't come back.
"AdFarce" and other JavaScript Includes
The "AdFarce" include gets its name from a buggy implementation of IMGIS' AdForce software (nice name, huh?) found on some unfortunate sites. JS Includes are where JavaScript-based ad-delivery scripts are embedded or included into a page with a SCRIPT SRC tag. When the actual page loads up to this tag, the browser has to stop to load and then execute the included JavaScript ad-code in its entirety before the page can continue loading. This means you always have to wait for the ad, which gets maximun priority over the rest of the page. See below about the page-timeout for more on this. One of the worst things about JS includes, besides waiting for the ad, is bugs in the JavaScript. Depending on where you surf, you can have the privilege of being assaulted by not only popup ads but JavaScript error boxes too!
Page timeout
Have you ever gone to a site and noticed that everytime you request a page, you get just an ad first and the page itself comes in later? This is a page timeout. The idea is to show you the ad first, wait awhile, then give you the page, in the hope that you won't be distracted away from the ad by that nuisance actual page content that you were actually looking for. This can be accomplished in several ways, including the JavaScript include (mentioned above), putting the ads and content in separate tables (tables can't usually be displayed until the entire tableset has loaded), or the server actually timing out during page transfer, refusing to send the majority of the requested page until a banner ad on it has loaded in its entirety and often gone through 5-7 seconds of animated annoyance. Yuck.
 Lying, fibbing and deception have always been a staple of advertisers. While some ads may not strike you as blatantly deceptive, very few ads are as objective or as honest as they really oughtta be. Subtly inaccurate or misleading ad copy is everywhere, from the large-print FREE! followed by the almost invisible "*" and fine print...or that Big Mac you buy that never seems to look as big or as tasty as the one they show on TV. The Internet is much less regulated than other media such as TV and radio; advertisers can often be misleading and dishonest without as much worry about getting busted for it.
You see an ad. The ad may have nothing to do with the product/service being sold...e.g. you may see a banner "Click here for nekkid pictures of Monica Lewinsky giving Bill Clinton head!" that takes you to some used-car dealership or even worse.
Bait-and-switch is a common move on Web ads. You see an ad, click it (damn you) and find something either more expensive than what was advertised or completely unrelated. I've seen the bait-and-switch at places such as Submit-It, which offer in an ad to submit your site to 400 search indexes or something absolutely FREE...when you click through, however, they inform you that the 'free' deal was discontinued months ago but they'd be happy to submit your site for the low, low price of only $24.95....Same will go for other services, Web hosting, etc...
Of course in the case of "free" webspace you are often charged for your account in the form of ugly banners or pop-up exploits (mentioned above) that advertise on top of your content. You get a couple megs to put up your website, pictures of your best friend's dog, etc., and they get a free billboard, free content,  free license to use, abuse, modify, pimp and exploit this content in any way they please, exclusive commercial rights (e.g. if your site attracts millions of visitors to their site and makes them a billion dollars, their only compensation to you is a thank-you letter, if even that), free promotion (somebody has to advertise and promote all that free content you gave them so people will visit it and make them money, and guess what, that somebody is YOU)...Not such a great deal? It's an extremely great deal. For them.
Something to watch for on seedy sites, everybody wants their name in lights and will do just about anything to get on some of those coveted "Top 50"-type lists. Watch for disguised "vote for me" links that profess to be something else:
Enter Site
Run your mouse over the above link and see what it leads to...that doesn't look like a site entrance to me! By clicking on a link like that you are actually voting for the site as a top 50 site! See the "Tracking" section below for more on CGI-based nasties...
On the "free" domain name.
Recently some companies have begun to offer free domain names. In this day and age everybody could use their own domain. (I'm still waiting to snag for myself...) Free Domain Name, they croon, Free Domain Name. Once they fool you into clicking through with that Free Domain Name crap, that's when you find out that their definition of "free" means they don't charge you extra money above and beyond what InterNIC charges you for the domain name. In other words, if you buy their product (kicker #2, they invariably make you buy something in exchange for their reselling you a full-price domain name) they won't bill you an extra service charge to send the request to InterNIC on your behalf.
That counts as free, you say?
No it's not free. That's like saying if you buy a $12,000 car, and you don't have to pay extra for title and registration, you're getting a free car. If you have to pay for something, it's not free. Especially if you're still paying  full price!

Other nasties
(Keep reading, folks, we ain't done yet!)
A sneaky technique being used by some websites, notably free Web hosts, involves putting all member sites in a frameset with the site in one frame, and an advertisement in another directly above it. If the damn thing would just load and stay put like a good little ad banner, I wouldn't have such a problem with it. But the adframe uses a special HTTP directive called refresh that automatically loads more and more new advertisements while you read. Peek at the source code in an ad frame and you'll see a tag like:

This tells the browser to request a new ad from the server every fifteen seconds. This can be bad because every minute you spend reading the bottom frame, the top one is making some greedy asshole even more money! Maybe it's just the feeling of being treated like cattle, herded this way and that by unscrupulous marketers and having your udders drained for every last drop of ad money, that pisses some folks off about the future of the Web. And it's not like TV where you're getting the content for free and "paying" for this service by sitting through commercials; you're paying an ISP an average $20 a month for the same treatment. Imagine if you went to the movie theatre and the flick had commercials in the middle of it!
Back on the subject... AdFrames on free webpage providers are insidious in that they are embedded in not the page but the browser window itself, latching on like little parasites and coming along for the ride for as long as that browser window remains open. Even if you surf off the ad-laden site in search of greener pastures, SURPRISE! The constantly-reloading adframe tags along and forces ads onto any other sites you surf in that window, above and beyond all the ads that already litter the new page. For a good example of frame-based advertising gone bad, see the GeoCities parody site Don't get me wrong, as far as the actual content goes it's a great site...but I sincerely hope they find another Web host soon.
Advertorial content
Wander through various Web 'zines, news sites, or anywhere else where the clashing colors of sponsorship and journalistic objectivity come together and you will see an ongoing struggle to avoid the intermingling of editorial content and advertising. This unwholesome mix--called an advertorial--is slimeball and dishonest, and generally makes a complete and total mockery of any site that falls victim to it. The fear is that, as cybermarketing and advertising becomes even more pervasive and greedy/desperate advertisers get still more competitive over the dwindling eyeball/advertisement ratio, these lines will begin to blur and promotional material may compromise what are supposed to be objective forums. This has already started with companies like Intel offering kickbacks to site designers who make the claim that their pages load faster with a Pentium II processor. A side-effect of the kickback program, which I really don't know all the details of (so don't ask me for anything more specific) is that this paid advertisement often passes for an objective, editorial statement from the webmaster. The problems of objectivity vs. sponsorship are thorny and hard to tackle. Suppose you work for a news agency that is heavily sponsored by McDonald's. Now suppose the top story of today is a massive E.coli infestation of McDonald's hamburgers...Could the fact that McDonald's is one of your primary sources of funding cause your news agency to sugar-coat, gloss-over, or even censor the news story outright? Could McDonalds threaten to pull their sponsorship if you choose to print the story? Could printing this story cause you to end up in the unemployment line? It's not an easy situation and, especially when it seems like the media are eating out of the palms of the sponsors' hands and trying very hard not to piss them off, it always brings that spectre of doubt and mistrust to stories and editorials that concern those sponsors.
I've just kind of hand-waved the banners and stuff as being there, but haven't really explored what goes on behind the banner, or how banner and spammer are connected.
Many times, if you run your cursor over a banner the link will look something like this:
It's those nasty CGI click-trackers that gives mister all sorts of useful dirt on you. The link calls the CGI/Perl tracking script, and the stuff attached to the script (after the "?") is a unique identifier that tells the script what page you're being referred from, your IP Address (it's like an online Social Security number), what ad is being served, what type of content it was being shown on when you clicked on it, what browser and operating system you're using....
They wouldn't go to the trouble of collecting this info if it wasn't important and useful to them, now would they? This info is used to figure out what your interests and preferences are, so they can determine what types of advertising will be most effective on you personally. Here's where teams of psychologists, behaviorists and statisticians go to work determining how to make you buy a product. Beneficial service or a subtle form of mind control? You be the judge. Click on a banner for Cabela's featuring a hunting knife, another selling a rifle, another for, a couple porno sites, an ad for a new top-of-the-line polygraphite fishin' pole, etc... every click is tracked and entered into a personal database on you. A few statistical overlays and the advertiser knows you're a 25-30 year old white male with a strong attraction to the outdoors, possibly alcoholic, who may be having family problems. No, that's not spooky...
The DMS have more tricks up their sleeves--Cookies. A "cookie" is a little nugget of encoded information that an asshole marketer stores himself on your hard drive! If some sleazoid hacker on the 'Net was using your hard drive to store his kiddie porn, you probably wouldn't be happy about it. But here's a similar enough practice that's fully legitimized by your Web browser! These cookies are stored in a cookie file whose location varies depending on what type of computer and browser you're using. Version 4.x browsers have an option to block all cookies, which I strongly recommend doing. Cookies are a highly effective method of tagging you like a cattle so that, even if you don't visit a site for months at a time, the marketers know exactly who you are when you return. I could go on and on about tracking, personal profiles and psychographic databases, but I think this quote from sums it up nicely.
"As a technologically advanced consumer you can look forward to High-tech Junk Communications that give direct marketers unprecedented speed, specificity, frequency and emotional impact. The messages will be individually targeted to be most effective on you, chosen by teams of psychologists and statisticians with ever greater accuracy thanks to the greatly increasing amount of demographic, psychographic and behavioral information collected about you and efficiently traded among direct marketing organizations. Even the information you published years ago on Usenet or the Web will be used to target and persuade you....If the average consumer of the near future lives in a wired junk-bunker, constantly surrounded by precisely the most persuasive messages for him individually, with no control over who sends them and how, what chance does he have of choosing a life other than the one that marketers think they can most easily sell him?"
Email Spam
Old-fashioned spam has been covered in so much detail by so many thousands and thousands of sites out there, I'm not even getting into it here. For an in-depth and detailed (not to mention hilarious) dossier on spam, Paul Hsieh's ANTISPAM Page is the best I've found; not to mention complete (in covering related areas from header forging to fun ways to deal with a spammer). If you're short on time, you can go to my own spam page for a quickie.
Instant Messager/ICQ/Netbus spam
The usefulness for the Internet for communication has created a wide niche for software to help friends keep in touch. Instant-messaging programs such as ICQ and AIM are a convenient way to connect with individual friends and entire buddylists, but they are also a convenient way for spammers to propagate promotional messages and advertise their URLs. It's usually a more crafty form of moneymaking than a standard spam or script project. I've received a number of these, you may have too and not even realized it. One example that comes to mind is the old "Internet rose", "Angel kiss" or "Internet snowball" URL that gets passed along to you by someone on your buddylist:
You've just been hit with an internet snowball!
 [Internet Snowball]
Pass this on to everybody in your contact list to hit them with the snowball too!
[ADS] [ADS] [ADS] 
[ADS] [ADS] [ADS] [ADS] 
[ADS] [ADS] [ADS] [ADS] ...
The idea works a bit like a pyramid scheme, to start out by sending the URL and message to a few initial people, each of whom sends it to 10 others, who each in turn send it to 10 more... In this case the advertising has to be tied to enough worthwhile and relevant content to be passed along and propagate among the user base. Otherwise it runs the risk of being just dumped and not sent on (unfortunately, many ICQ users just pass URLs along without even looking at them...). Just something to watch for next time someone forwards you an unrecognised link.
NetBus message window popupNetBus, Back Orifice and similar programs present a new form of admongering entirely. For the unfamiliar, these are programs that could be best described as "hacker tools" that allow some devious person connect to and remotely seize control of your computer. The program is usually distributed in the form of a trojan horse; you'll get a gag program in the email ("Bastard Santa", the urinal test, the sheep that runs around on your desktop, the nude dancer, etc., etc.) that, when run, invisibly installs a backdoor in your computer that can be exploited by hackers or idiot spammers. With this backdoor installed, they can spam you with messages to their heart's content or send you to anyone's website against your will. They could even be used to install a type of "ad software" that would install itself in your StartUp folder and pop up ad windows throughout the day as you work....or read your email or format your hard drive, for that matter. Always practice safe cybersex when downloading programs or opening email attachments.
A NetBus infection is hard to spot unless you are actually greeted with a message like this from a stranger; you may be infected and not even know it. Any connections to your computer on port 12345 (default NetBus port...use Netstat.exe in your Windows directory to see anyone that's connecting to you), or any foreign application windows appearing, are good reasons to have your system thoroughly checked over by the neighbourhood techie (or, failing that,   as I know a little about the NetBus software).
Back Orifice and other programs I am less familiar with, and wouldn't be able to tell you what to do about them. Some net-mischief countermeasures such as WinNuke, Portfuck and Divine Intervention (not that I advocate the use of them, by any means :) may assist you in removing a recalcitrant parasite from your system when all else fails.
Desktop spam
Desktop spamming is when the installation of a program causes your desktop to be deluged with miscellaneous icons for software demos, xyz-brand Internet service, interactive multimedia ads, links to some company's homepage, etc. It's bad enough when a program you install sticks its own icon on your desktop without asking, let alone shortcuts to some bozo's products page.
Recently we gave a popular educational software title as a Christmas gift to our young cousin. No sooner did they install it, an ad for NetMarket something-or-other appears on the desktop. Clicking it brings up this window with a multimedia advertisement. "Welcome to NetMarket," it says (yes, the ad window has a voice) as appears in big letters with various superlatives swirling around it. The crooning continues.. "NetMarket is the world's leading blah blah blah We hope you will take a minute to..." At this point an ALT-F4 gets pressed and the link gets unceremoniously dumped into the Recycle bin for its one-way journey to the great bit bucket in the sky. I have no idea how many megs this interactive ad gobbles up on their hard drive (I didn't feel like digging for the application the shortcut launches and trying to detangle it from Windows) or how much of the CD-ROM we paid good money for was put toward presenting this unwanted advertising.
Closely related to desktop and Netbus spam. AdWare consists of software that is intended primarily as an ad-delivery vehicle. AdTools' Message Mate programs are a seething example. These are gag programs that are passed along via email because they're funny. When run, they display a cute little presentation (the nude dancer, Bill Clinton press conference, Saddam Hussein Anal Probe) for a minute or so, then download and fill your screen full of ad banners. Not docile ones, either--we're talking grand-mal flashing, flickering, loud animated clunkers. At least someone hasn't come up with a computer virus whose job is to spread from PC to PC and display ad banners all day long while you work. Yet.

Startup/Registry spam
Another new form of spam. A program you install will install itself (or some other, sponsored program) into your StartUp/Autorun folder or, even worse, into your Win95 Registry as a Windows Service which is automatically run every time your computer boots. Some notable examples are "Upgrade to QuickTime Pro!" and the AOL Instant Messager promotionware that magically appears when you install some versions of Netscape. These programs are usually in the form of a messagebox advertising a particular product or service--a messagebox that pops up in your face and demands an answer every time you start your computer! AOL Instant Messager, for example, just keeps hounding and hounding you with its advert windows until you cave in and install the damn thing (or tamper with your Registry to delete its entry). QuickTime give you a real choice when it starts hounding you about it's overpriced software. "Upgrade to Quicktime Pro..." Your choices (in the form of clickable buttons) are "Now" or "Later". Less malignant forms of Startup spam include programs that just display their icon in your system tray for no good reason (RealPlayer), and those that run themselves at start-up without asking.
Getting rid of StartUp spam (for Windows users) is easy. Click Start > Settings > Taskbar... click the tab marked Start Menu Programs. Click "Remove" and find the folder named StartUp. Go into it and delete any shortcut from this folder that is giving you grief. (Note: Doing this doesn't actually delete the program, just a shortcut to it.)
Voiding yourself of promotionware that has infected your Registry is a little bit more advanced. Click Start > Run, and type "regedit" in the Run box. With any luck Registry Editor will open. Dig your way down to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ and you will find folders called Run and RunServices. Inspect both of these for the app that's spamming you at startup, and carefully delete its entry. Caution: The Registry is an important part of your Windows system. Be careful when modifying it not to edit or delete other things while you're in there.

Installer spam
Installer spam is advertising that assaults you as you wait for a program installation. The mindless "You will be more productive, computing will be more fun, you will have more friends" etc. propoganda you are fed during the Windows install process is a decent example. (Or, actually more of a "Hey you idiots, why are you advertising to me something you know I already have?!")  Installer spam can either confront you while waiting for the install to complete (for particularly lengthy/large installations) or before/after, as part of the installer program but wasting your valuable time that could be spent on actually doing the install or running the new app. Again, QuickTime presents its "Upgrade (Now/Later)" spam before the install program will terminate--quite a few installers will go out of their way to try and make you buy an enhanced version of the software or another product by the same developer. Some installers will even, when installing one program, bring another program along for the ride. I install a new screensaver off a CDROM and guess what? It installs Quicktime too! I get to deal with the Now/Later garbage once again, what fun....


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