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So, ImgBurn finally went "dirtyware"...



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#1 Falcon

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 10:37 PM

Well, with the latest inclusion of Ask.com malware in the installer, ImgBurn seems to have finally entered the wide array of programs that were "once good" and got too big for their own good and got "greedy". But it's not just the ask.com malware - it's the links all over ImgBurn's website to "scan your computer" and, again, infect the PC with malware. Two instances of malware, now packaged with what was once a beautiful, clean piece of "always recommended" software!

This makes me very, very, very sad. I really don't understand what prompted this. From the guy that brings us a smile to our face every time we open the program with witty status bar one-liners? Now promoting malware to make a few bucks? I don't get it. I really don't...

"It's not a big deal, just uncheck it."
That's not the point. The average user, who geeks recommend to install ImgBurn to burn an ISO, clicks blindly through installers out of fear and/or ignorance. They should be able to do that for a "clean" piece of software. Now the recommendation of ImgBurn comes with a "...but watch out for the..." phrase. This is not cool! This little bundling puts ImgBurn into the same category as RealPlayer and Limewire, that intrusively install things and set defaults if you're not careful. As long as this Ask crap keeps getting default-installed with the package, it's going to be "yuckware". What else is yuckware? uTorrent (ask), Foxit Reader (ask), Java (varies), and a few others. How about clean software? Foobar2000, LogMeIn Hamachi, 7-Zip, CCCP, Handbrake, Firefox, Thunderbird, and CCleaner/Recuva as far as I know too...

"Just ignore the ads"
That's not the point. Those ads are placed specifically, purposefully on the page. They're not just banners. They say "Download this now, speed up your computer!" - a DIRECT misleading statement designed specifically to trick novice users into installing some ridiculous piece of registry-hosing scamware. For what, a quick buck?

"If someone is stupid enough to actually fall for it, that's their fault!"
That's exactly why ImgBurn is now just scumware, yuckware, greedware... whatever else indicates "software tied to dishonest advertising tactics". I shouldn't have to tell someone to avoid clicking a link on a website of something I'm recommending for them. It's always made me wonder how people get their computers infected with all manner of registry cleaner, error fixer, driver updater, and fake antivirus. Well, now it seems more clear...

LUK, I know you're out there, and I don't mean the person currently posting as LIGHTNING UK!... I mean the person that wrote the original DVDD, that wrote the single cleanest and most reliable burning program on the internet, and that did it because it needed to be done. If the costs of the hosting are getting to be a problem, just ask. There are hundreds of thousands... even millions... of users that are more than eager to help out. Maybe some financial issues came up that you could use help with. Again, millions of users that would be more than eager to donate. Just ask. I, for one, would be more than happy to donate hosting/mirror space, and money whereever my budget permits. I know thousands more would say the same.

Bundling this malware with the program and the website is just like a big "F**k-you" to the geek users that use ImgBurn. I'd really like to see ImgBurn continue to be a "clean program", something we can freely recommend without needing to warn users of the malware that lies ahead of our recommendation...

At any rate, however it goes, I just want to give a much-deserved THANKS for all the hard work, past and present, on ImgBurn and related technologies - and a THANKS for the continuing development of ImgBurn as well. :)
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#2 Night_Raven

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 01:11 PM

For the record ASK Toolbar isn't that much a piece of malware, as it is more of a piece of crapware. It doesn't actually do damage. Still it's crap. And CCleaner has both a version with ASK Toolbar and a version without. The latter is called "slim".
As far as the rest of the post goes, I reluctantly agree. So few programs are left that haven't given in. The author of WinPatrol, Bill Pytlovany, had been offered twice to include ASK Toolbar in his installer, and both times he had rejected it. Tall Emu, authors of Online Armor, had also rejected an offer.
I myself was quite happy that there was a program that was not just effective (uncompromising product that is straight to the point, like a professional silent assassin or something) but also clean of all kind of crapware. It basically stood as an example to other products. An emblem, a hero if you will. In this ocean of software that is either bundled with crapware, or just badly written,... or both, there was ImgBurn - one of the few products that served as a beacon of light, if I can put it like that. Now the waves of this ocean have managed to bring down this beacon and extinguish its light.
Yeah, it sounds kind of corny, I know, but it expresses my feelings well. I'm not trying to change anyone's mind on the matter (LUK's in particular) as it's already done and the decision has been made. I was simply trying to get this off my chest, as it really saddens me. I'm still using, and most likely continue to use, ImgBurn as it's still the best. I'm just disappointed it had to come to this.
I guess donations weren't enough. I myself have donated (even though indirectly) but there seems no need for donations now, even if the button does remain there. ASK Toolbar can supply all the money LUK/ImgBurn could ever need.

Edited by Night_Raven, 18 April 2010 - 09:53 AM.

Proud ImgBurn user and creator of the bulgarian translation.

#3 Altercuno

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 02:48 PM

Personally I couldn't disagree more - especially with the first post which seems way OTT to me. This is LUK you're talking about, fgs, not some sniveling little tosser out to make a quick buck. The whole community owes him big time, in my view, for all the years of work and effort he's put in, and he certainly deserves better than what I've read here.

I don't know his reasons for the Ask toolbar, but whever they are, I trust the bloke to do the right thing in the situation he's in.
The 7 dwarfs are all in bed feeling happy...then happy got out and they all felt grumpy.

#4 eSkRo

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 05:38 PM

if you want the ASK bar removed, DONATE to ImgBurn.....
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#5 Night_Raven

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 10:54 PM

Personally I couldn't disagree more - especially with the first post which seems way OTT to me. This is LUK you're talking about, fgs, not some sniveling little tosser out to make a quick buck. The whole community owes him big time, in my view, for all the years of work and effort he's put in, and he certainly deserves better than what I've read here.

I don't know his reasons for the Ask toolbar, but whever they are, I trust the bloke to do the right thing in the situation he's in.

I'm well aware who we are talking about and realize what he has done for the community. And that's exactly why it hurts more than usual. If it were some "sniveling little tosser out to make a quick buck" than it would be expected. But coming from LUK it's like out of the blue. One of the last things to have ever crossed my mind would be an ASK Toolbar in ImgBurn.
Including a toolbar is a rather sneaky trick. It's based on expoloitation of the click-happy mentality of the average user who just clicks Next until the installation is done. As I said, it's something I would've expected from other lame excuses for software developers but not from LUK. If someone had told me about the ASK Toolbar in the installer, without me actually seeing it with my own eyes, I would've said "Yeah, riiight, an ASK Toolbar in ImgBurn...".

if you want the ASK bar removed, DONATE to ImgBurn.....

As a matter of fact I have, although indirectly. I'm asked from time to time by a friend which program I would like so he can buy it for me, as a present for some favors/work I do for him. One of those times I gave it a rather long thought and decided that I don't want him to buy me a license for a paid product, and instead to donate the same amount to ImgBurn, which he did. It was $30 or $40. With the risk of sounding impudent I consider this to be a fairly nice donation. Well, it's only safe to say I wouldn't consider any more donations. Why? Because this whole ASK Toolbar-thing has shaken my trust a bit and has disappointed me. Also with the ASK Toolbar in place there is no need for donations, as the toolbar will be a much better source of income than donations.
Why would I want to donate to someone who already has enough money AND he gets it via a not-so-ethical-and-nice means? Also why would people want to donate to a program whose author doesn't care very much what the users want? The latter isn't here to say he must or should implement every request he gets. LUK has every right to refuse to change his software because it is exactly that: HIS software. But doing things this way also means fewer donations. It comes with the territory. Either one goes the more commercial way to please users/customers so they'd be more willing to donate or one does only what he/she wants to do and accept the consequences of fewer pleased users and thus fewer donations.
Also... what guarantees are there that if donations increase the toolbar will be indeed removed?

Edit: removed a redundant word and fixed some spelling mistakes.

Edited by Night_Raven, 18 April 2010 - 09:57 AM.

Proud ImgBurn user and creator of the bulgarian translation.

#6 Falcon

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 01:01 AM

I think Night_Raven put it best in the first post. ImgBurn was once a shining beacon of pure code - a VERY functional and EXTREMELY well written program, given away for free, and setting the standard for all sorts of other burning software. In the wake of ImgBurn's success, even Nero took a cue from it and now offers a (crippled) free version. So it stood out as a beacon of clean software in an ocean of absolute crap - either good software tainted with a toolbar (uTorrent went that way when BitTorrent bought it), or just crap software from the start (just browse around SourceForge for a particular function of software you need to find).

But now with the toolbar, it's like all hope for donations are lost. You can't have both... and you can't expect to benchmark the amount of donations as a "will the toolbar go away" thing. With the toolbar already there, donations WILL completely STOP. Nobody is going to donate to a project that comes bundled with a money-grabbing toolbar. Now, if people want to "donate", they have to sacrifice their computer's integrity with this Ask crap (and believe me, from experience, Ask is VERY intrusive - it digs deep into Firefox, adding redirects and hooks that uninstalling doesn't remove - hence, MALWARE). That's a heck of a lot bigger price to pay than dropping a $20, and it probably only nets LUK about $0.50. And that's not even counting people that fall for that "Clean up your registry now!" scamware... oh my god, I feel sorry for those people! While Ask is malware, that makes that godforsaken registry "cleaner" out to be death and destruction! It practically is! I cannot fathom the reasoning behind intentionally placing RegistryBooster advertising on the ImgBurn website! RegistryBooster is #1 alright - the #1 reason for computers ending up in the shop with unrepairable issues that require an OS reinstall. Even viruses - fake antivirus apps that hijack .exe file loading with the "secfile" type - are easier to repair than damage done by RegistryBooster. And the ImgBurn site is promoting it!

I know LUK, our fearless leader and lighthouse operator, wouldn't've done this if he really knew what it meant to the users. So that's why I'm hoping we can show what Ask Toolbar and RegistryBooster really mean to us, and the lengths we'd go to in order to keep it from being "necessary"!
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