Open your damn eyes

Read your EULA!

A few people wrote to ask why I didn't mention the references to all the new PowerBooks being HD-capable in the post yesterday about cell chips ("If you cell what the Rock is cooking", Thursday, 9:00 pm). Why? Because I figure that anyone who takes to time to come to this page will also take the time to read the articles on the other end of the links, and would see it for themselves.

Which brings me to (in a not-very-elegant but not-completely-forced segue) to tonight's rant: Reading, not reading, the average mope, and End User License Agreements. There was a lot of guff and kerfuffle this week when the weasels at "Gain" activated their spyware / adware / annoyingware. People had been happily installing it for months, and certifying that they read and understood and agreed to the terms of the EULA, but when the stuff was actually activated those same people all had a conniption and the wailing and gnashing was heard across the width and breadth of the 'net. Better yet (from an amused bystander's point of view) the thing is basically impossible for Joe Average to remove.

Don't get me wrong - I think that Gain and all of their ilk are the lowest form of predatory scum. But - they play by the rules, and they aren't doing anything illegal. They tell the victim ... er, user exactly what they are going to do, and they only do it after the user agrees and certifies that they understand what they are agreeing to. If there is any fault to be laid, it can only land squarely on the shoulders of the people who are whining and bitching the most - the people who agreed to have their computers taken hostage and abused in the name of targeted advertising.

So - are you an informed and careful internet consumer? Or are you a hapless mope? Do you actually read your EULA? If you have MSN Messenger installed, the I bet the answer is "no" even if you like to tell yourself it is "yes". You might not get some instant cash money like this guy. But you will get some peace of mind. And some control over your digital life. Get reading.

Posted: Fri - February 25, 2005 at 11:57 PM