|
|
Examiner
  • Annie Dear: Batting away the Internet's unwanted hangers-on

  • Cast your minds back to the time you were small enough to be dandled on a doting grandfather’s knee and thence to the periods of your childhood where woe most definitely betided you if you did not mind your manners or answer truthfully when questioned by an adult.

    • email print
  • Cast your minds back to the time you were small enough to be dandled on a doting grandfather’s knee and thence to the periods of your childhood where woe most definitely betided you if you did not mind your manners or answer truthfully when questioned by an adult.
    I would very much like Web page designers to keep this in mind, as I have a particular wooden spoon I would like to brandish against your no doubt designer clad bottoms.
    I am talking about the propensity of Web pages not listening to your answer, freely and openly given, while the designers exhort you to take on far more than the contract has so far stated.
    Take, for instance, the “as seen on TV’” products.  Shrinking hoses, bottom cushions, better mousetraps – you name it, it’s all out there for your consumption.  Now I will admit, the shrinking hose has me intrigued, lugging as I do an increasingly cumbersome and heavy hose around the garden with me.  I am sorely tempted to get one.  However.  And this is a big however, I do not want to be offered Rhode Island as well.
    Having ordered your latest gadget, you are offered a most mindless array of stuff you don’t want.  Would you like a subscription to 412 magazines for the low low price of $1.42 for the first month?  No, I wouldn’t.  OK then, how about we quadruple your hose order just for additional postage and handling?  No thanks, I only have two faucets, four hoses would be overkill.  And so it goes on – and on – ad infinitum – until you’re ready to cancel the original hose order.
    This, however, does not give me near the irrits as does downloading things to one’s computer.
    Let’s take a specific example.  The Weather Channel has a neat little app which sits on your system tray displaying the current temperature, and if you click on it, up pops a very informative little page which gives you all sorts of useful maps and daily forecasts.  Quite a handy dandy little thing right there.
    But when you go to download the app, it asks you if you would like an Ask Toolbar.   I am a devout Google girl myself, and so, no, I don’t want the Ask Toolbar, so like the obedient person I am, I uncheck that box.  And guess what downloads?  Yes, give the prize to the lady eating her toast – the Ask Toolbar.
    Now why ask me, if you’re not going to listen?
    My virus protection program – paid for by the sweat of this very brow – just blithely went ahead and installed its own toolbar, without being asked, and deleted the Google toolbar.  Now how sassy is that?  And despite my telling Norton I don’t want to be notified each time it does something horribly clever, it notifies me anyway, so I get irritating little pop-ups at the bottom of my screen every two seconds as it bats away that bit of spyware or this bit of malware.
    Page 2 of 2 - Listen to me people. I know what I want, stop telling me what you want.
    Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at anniedearkc @hotmail.com.
      • calendar