Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Thanks to Dear Myrtle

In response to my recent post about the dangers of MyHeritage, Dear Myrtle wrote:

The items you are objecting to are discussed in my blog entry located at:

You accepted the DEFAULT to have as your home page. Also quite a number of software programs take you to their website to complete an "exit" interview.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

I certainly appreciate the comment. So after reading her post, I went back to the program since I could not remember choosing the option to "Make MyHeritage my home page (recommended)" In my now third installation of the program, the option window shown by Dear Myrtle was defaulted to "Standard Installation (recommended)" and the option shown below the "Custom installation" was grayed out and unavailable to me. However, there was nothing in the standard installation that told me that the program would change my browser's homepage to MyHeritage's home page. In the screen shot shown by Dear Myrtle on her blog, the option for Custom Installation is checked, which is not the default and in fact, there was no way to un-check the option to "Make MyHeritage my home page (recommended)" without going to the Custom Installation.

In my opinion I do not find that changing the preferences in another program, in this case FireFox, is a usual result of installing a program. Especially in this case where the option to un-check the choice was grayed out and unavailable unless I selected "Custom Installation."

Thanks for the clarification.

Now, for the issue of "free" programs. I understand that it relatively common for companies to have a "free" version of their program for promotional purposes with the expectation that the user will purchase a full featured version of the program in the future. Even companies like offer free databases for a limited time. The fact that the introductory version of the program is free does not change my opinion of the program one way or the other.

I will apologize for using the term "virus." Although "virus" is often used as a generic term, what this program does is closer to "adware" defined as any software package which automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertisements to a computer after the software is installed on it or while the application is being used. Wikipedia. To quote from the Wikipedia site on adware:
Advertising functions are integrated into or bundled with the software, which is often designed to note what Internet sites the user visits and to present advertising pertinent to the types of goods or services featured there. Adware is usually seen by the developer as a way to recover development costs, and in some cases it may allow the software to be provided to the user free of charge or at a reduced price. The income derived from presenting advertisements to the user may allow or motivate the developer to continue to develop, maintain and upgrade the software product. Conversely, the advertisements may be seen by the user as interruptions or annoyances, or as distractions from the task at hand.
Dear Myrtle is right. It could be worse.

1 comment:

  1. Dear James,

    Dearmyrtle attacked you as if you were dumb and wrong, but you are right!
    You are absolute right to complain about what this program does.

    They change your browser without warning. It is not a virus, but it IS malware.
    If dear myrth does not understand the problem she needs to be educated on it.
    You picked the default and it messed with the settings of another program!
    You don't expect a geneology program to change your search home page.

    MyHeritage shot itself in the foot with this one. They lost my trust.
    I will not give my data to their site and never install their software again.
    I'll rather go with Ancestry and Family Tree Maker.

    - Suzie