Linked by Anonymous Coward on Tue 6th Dec 2011 22:36 UTC
Bugs & Viruses In a recent site update, CNET Download.com listings have begun redirecting product download links for popular freeware and opensource applications to their own "downloader and installer" utility which bundles a number of adware components alongside the requested application and changes the users' homepage and default search engine to Microsoft Bing. Freeware authors are sending CNet cease and desist orders demanding virgin download links, something affected open source developers may or may not be able to do due to FOSS license terms.
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RE: Tell me it ain't so, CNET!
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 7th Dec 2011 07:30 UTC in reply to "Tell me it ain't so, CNET!"
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

This really bums me out. I've used CNET as a trusted site for years to download software. The changes they're making make me feel I'd better search again for a reliable, single-stop location for Windows downloads. Really sorry to see CNET change their procedures.

Just go to Download.com if that's what you're used to, find a program, and click the link the the developer's home page. Alternatively use one of the dozens of download services that people are likely to mention. Either that, or just look it up on Google and get to the author's page that way.

I haven't regularly used Download.com for probably a decade or more, and I ditched Windows back in 2006, but even then... on my last days of using them I just went to Download.com to search for new programs and went to the official website from there. I figured, it could be a good "search engine" to find programs of the type I want, and hell... if it's on Download.com, it must be safe to run and install and malware-free.

Now... it looks like that line of thinking will get Download.com users a browser hijacker and some adware. Disgusting... a huge company using their reputation-built powers and user base to shove shit down their own users' throat. If I did still use Windows... I would never use or recommend the site again. Said, because back in the late 90s it was pretty damn useful (and trustworthy).

Edited 2011-12-07 07:31 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

Barnabyh Member since:
2006-02-06

Yeah, it was really good in the late 90's and early 2000's, they actually went to great length to reassure us that their downloads are ad- and malware-free. Oh, how times have changed. Anything for a bigger buck, even betraying that carefully over more than 10 years built up trust.

Well, I suppose it's still good for reading (and leaving) reviews. Some of their downloads are quite out of date these days anyway, much better of going to the original site.

Reply Parent Score: 2

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Yep. Way back then, I used to actually trust all of the software they hosted to be tested for malware of any kind and safe for installation; otherwise it would never make it on the site. They were strict, and that's how it should be. They really cared about their service and users. No more. These days, giant dollar signs cloud their view.

I've personally never gained anything from the reviews at the site though, so I can't agree with using it to look up opinions of software. IMO, trying it out yourself is the best way... and back when Download.com was trustworthy and did their job (make sure everything was malware-free and safe for their users), the site really was good. These days... you're better off getting information about a program (at least many free and open source ones) directly from its official site; sure, they're not reviews (IMO those tend to suck anyway), but many good programs give a good overview including a description, feature list and screenshots.

I would have to agree with whoever it was that said to try MajorGeeks.com... it is a good site, and has been for quite a while.

Edited 2011-12-08 06:33 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2