Like most headlines, there’s some leaping between facts going on, but we’ll connect the dots in short order, don’t you fret.
We want our Google results, not some Mystery Machine!?
Have you noticed how much/often Oracle has been updating Java on your machine lately?
You’d think, with all those security patches they are fixing, if you turned on a PC that has been dormant for 6 months it would be instantly hacked by it’s outdated Java upon loading nearly any web page?
Well that’s not exactly true, so what is true?
Here’s a list:
- Oracle gets page traffic with each update
- Ask.com pays for each install of the Ask Toolbar
- By default the Ask.com toolbar is installed
- Each update is a risk you won’t opt-out and click next
- The Ask.com install waits 10 mins to install
- Delayed invisible installs are a malware tactic
- The Ask.com toolbar intercepts and modifies searches
- Removing Ask’s toolbar won’t restore your search settings
Those are facts, and it doesn’t take a silver-tongued writer to get the reader to acknowledge how they all connect.
It’s so bad that IE, FireFox, and Chrome are all delivering UI changes to make these installs a LOT more clear to the end user..
.. and Ask.com has already started adding ‘helpers’ to make the new UI’s less likely to halt an installation where the user is just clicking along.
So it’s a back and forth struggle to keep your web browser free from unwanted clutter that pretends to be of value but actually alters your search results and steers you towards paid sites/links vs. organic search results.
How can you opt out of the war for your clicks?
If you don’t need Java, just don’t install it to begin with. If you hit something that needs Java then go ahead and use it; But don’t just install Java because you think it’s crucial.
Use a clean installer without the added Ask.com payload. Since Oracle isn’t publishing any recent versions of the Java installer without the Ask.com toolbar components, this requires you to trust an outside 3rd party’s assistance, or use a risky/outdated version of Java.
What can I say about Ninite.com? In my nerdy travels online I’ve yet to discover an easier method of installing apps without the added payloads.
Not only that, but Ninite allows you to bundle up a ton of installs into one package with zero ‘next’ clicking as the packages install. Heck, you can even save the package URL for later, or share it with friends to help them install a specific set of apps!
Since Ninite grabs the source from the actual websites, you will get trusted/current code, without the bother of carefully installing each app and side-skirting all the additional packaged software/malware.
Plus as a one-stop reference to the most popular free installations, Ninite is also great for folks that want to stick with mainstream applications and avoid trying out some ‘less popular’ choices.
I hope this helps our readers avoid some hassles, get honest search results from the search engine you’ve selected, and perhaps even gives folks the motivation to try uninstalling Java completely to see just what the heck is using it anyways.