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#1 shelly0312

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 07:36 PM

As I'm cruising Cnet.com tonite, I get a flashing message in the upper right corner where there is usually advertizing for concertinas:   Wakker, Button Box etcetcetc.    Tonight there is a "message"  saying "you have 2 private messages".  When I click I'm taken to download something called "BestMail"  :   read all your private messages instantly.  ......with free all-in-one Inbox Ace toolbar.    I almost downloaded and then got sort of suspicious.  First we've been gone for a long weekend, so I have not post anything for anyone to message me about.  Then, what private messages from c.net that I have gotten in the past I've read just fine.   Is this a necessary download or something I don't want to tangle with??    Shelly



#2 Don Taylor

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 08:40 PM

It is still just advertising for a pretty suspicious looking browser toolbar that once installed will be the devil to get rid of.  It is nothing to with Cnet except that Paul gets some money from making some space available for ad insertions.  I have noticed more and more 'creepy' looking ads showing up lately - I hope he is getting a good dollar from these ads because I know that I don't like seeing them here.

 

I think that these toolbars (like the Ask toolbar) want you to install them so that they can claim the referral money when you buy something on-line at Amazon.  They might be worse than this in that they could be logging keystrokes and web visits.

 

Maybe it is the NSA looking for Edward Snowden ...

 

Anyway, do not install it, or anything else, offered in a random ad like this.



#3 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 01:11 AM

It will at least be quite annoying (and difficult to get rid of)!  :(



#4 JimLucas

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 02:59 PM

As I'm cruising Cnet.com tonite, I get a flashing message in the upper right corner where there is usually advertizing for concertinas:   Wakker, Button Box etcetcetc.    Tonight there is a "message"  saying "you have 2 private messages".  When I click I'm taken to download something called "BestMail"  :   read all your private messages instantly.  ......with free all-in-one Inbox Ace toolbar.    I almost downloaded and then got sort of suspicious.  First we've been gone for a long weekend, so I have not post anything for anyone to message me about.  Then, what private messages from c.net that I have gotten in the past I've read just fine.   Is this a necessary download or something I don't want to tangle with??

 

As others have advised, I would avoid it.  Though a quick Google search indicates that bestmail.com apparently does host emails, a further search suggests that the "Ace toolbar" has nothing to do with "bestmail.com", since the combination got no hits at all.  Anyway, I would never click on a link in an ad.  If I found an ad interesting enough, I would do a separate search to locate the relevant web site and go there independently.  That's a basic security precaution.

 

As for the problem of the ad(s) not being concertina-related, I hope (actually, I'm quite sure) that Paul and Ken are reading this thread and are now aware of this issue.  I'm pretty sure they're using Google for the ads, and Google is supposed to be able to filter the ads for a certain degree of (concertina) relevance.  Seems to me that these ads are outside the acceptable relevance for this site, and Google (or whoever the ad provider is) should correct that.  Funny thing is that it's an ad for what appears to be a service intended to compete with services offered by Google itself.

 

I'm sure the advertiser has no idea that their ad is appearing on concertina.net, or even that our particular forum exists.  They just want to get their ad out to as many folks as possible, and they've worded it to look like it's connected to whatever site it appears on.  The "2 private messages" is almost certainly an advertising lie, simply a number they made up.  They would have no way of knowing how many messages you have on this or any other site or service if you haven't already installed their software.



#5 Ken_Coles

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 06:20 PM

Actually, it is not all up to C.net, I'm told.  12 months ago I got some racy ads in that top bar and sent a screen grab to Paul.  I should let him fill in here (all matters related to ads, money, server space etc. are entirely his bailiwick), but I recall him telling me something about Google having preferences associated with me, rather than C.net and that I had to signal Google myself about that.  OK, I found it; here is what he wrote me:

 

 

I never see these because they're personalized... somehow it thinks
you're interested... you should delete all your tracking cookies!

 

Another approach is to share the computer; after a family member clicked on a bunch of shoe ads somewhere on the web they picked up on that and everything got more tame.

 

Everyone is watching you on the web, it seems.

 

If enough money came in other ways I'm sure Paul would be happy to drop Google ads, but this community does love server space (posting images, etc.) and that does cost.  C.net is not much of a money-making venture, in case you wondered...

 

Ken



#6 JimLucas

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 12:34 AM

I never see these because they're personalized... somehow it thinks
you're interested... you should delete all your tracking cookies!

 

Unfortunately, the algorithms used by Google and others ("newspaper" sites, e.g.) seem more intended to bombard me with ads (and news stories) that the ad (or news) sources want me to be interested in than to support my own personal interests.  Maybe their algorithms reach too far for correlation?  (Somebody, somewhere, who showed an interest  in concertinas also showed an interest in horror movies, therefore I must also be fascinated by horror movies?)  Regarding those "suggestions", clearing cookies doesn't seem to help; they quickly reappear... even (especially?) links I have hundreds of times steadfastly refused to click on.



#7 RAc

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 01:49 AM

.


Edited by RAc, 04 March 2016 - 04:29 PM.


#8 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 03:36 AM

Another approach is to share the computer; after a family member clicked on a bunch of shoe ads somewhere on the web they picked up on that and everything got more tame.


That's just what I am experiencing - not from sharing the computer but sharing the IP address with family members, and of course not limited to shoes...  :D 



#9 RAc

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 04:39 AM

.


Edited by RAc, 04 March 2016 - 04:28 PM.


#10 spindizzy

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 04:43 AM

Ad Block Plus browser plugin helps.

 

(But I often configure it to let through stuff on CNet  in case not blocking the ads helps with funding for CNet .. and there are of course concertina ads now and again).


Edited by spindizzy, 06 August 2013 - 04:45 AM.


#11 Ransom

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 10:15 PM

You may be able to adjust relevant settings at https://www.google.c...ettings/u/0/ads or someplace like it. (Not an easy page to find!)

#12 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 12:16 AM

You may be able to adjust relevant settings at https://www.google.c...ettings/u/0/ads or someplace like it. (Not an easy page to find!)

 

O.k., hence I'm female, 18-24 as yet...  :unsure:



#13 JimLucas

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 05:11 AM

You may be able to adjust relevant settings at https://www.google.c...ettings/u/0/ads or someplace like it. (Not an easy page to find!)

 

Thanks for that link.  Interestingly enough, my settings in the first column are all "N/A", and in the second column, my first three are "Unknown".

 

But in the second column, my "Interests" are given as "Bicycles & Accessories, and 14 more."  Well, nowhere on the internet have I ever opened any site or article having to do with bicycles, unless they're counting the very few times I've looked at an article about a bicyclist who has been involved in a traffic accident.  Then when I open up the full 15-item list, it tells me they all come from my activity on YouTube, and the list includes, among other things, both "Hair Care" and "Make-Up & Cosmetics", two other subjects I've never looked at on the internet, much less on YouTube.

 

"My" list also includes "Pop Music".  I'm sure that a few times I've looked at pop music videos on YouTube, but for each of those times I've viewed more than a hundred each of both "folk music" and "concertina", yet neither of those appears in Google's list of "my" interests.  This reinforces my long-held suspicion that their profiling procedures/algorithms lie somewhere between dangerously flawed and totally fraudulent.  Is it any wonder that I want to supply them with as little data about myself as possible?



#14 Ransom

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 08:36 AM

This reinforces my long-held suspicion that their profiling procedures/algorithms lie somewhere between dangerously flawed and totally fraudulent.  Is it any wonder that I want to supply them with as little data about myself as possible?


You sound like you don't want to miss the "opt out of interest-based advertising" links at the bottom.

#15 JimLucas

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:00 AM

This reinforces my long-held suspicion that their profiling procedures/algorithms lie somewhere between dangerously flawed and totally fraudulent.  Is it any wonder that I want to supply them with as little data about myself as possible?


You sound like you don't want to miss the "opt out of interest-based advertising" links at the bottom.

 

I've already done that by other means, which may be one reason for all the "N/A"s and "Unknown"s.  But since the list of my "Interests" is obviously pure invention, I sort of wonder why they haven't also invented "my" other attributes.  (From blue eyed sailor's last post, it would seem that they've done exactly that for him.  B))



#16 RAc

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:15 AM

.


Edited by RAc, 04 March 2016 - 04:30 PM.


#17 JimLucas

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:46 AM

But seriously, I did the same check as you, and the list of my "interest" disappeared after I deleted my cookies. It is possible that a relative of yours (who happens to be interesetd in the things your aren't) used your computer under your account as well and left the data in your cookies?...

 

Only a couple of times has anyone else used my computer, that only for checking their online email, and not within the past year.  Maybe, though, web sites I've visited have managed to put cookies on my computer while trying to sell me things with ads that I've ignored?  (Not all advertising is properly labeled or easily identifiable as such.)

 

I have noticed recently that in its lists of "related" videos, YouTube has begun including things not even remotely related, including what are apparently (I have not tried watching them) blatant advertisements for things in which I have no interest whatsoever.  If Google is -- as it says for my "Interests" -- getting its data from YouTube, might it be (stupidly) mining those lists, rather than noting the videos I actually watch?  I wouldn't be surprised by either a "yes" or "no" answer.  (Actually, I would be surprised to get any definite answer at all. :unsure:)

 

Yeah, I should take time to examine and manage (mostly delete) my current cookies.  Among other things, I suppose I might find some correlation with my Google profile.  :unsure:



#18 Guest_mglamb_*

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 11:05 AM

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Edited by mglamb, 10 August 2013 - 01:02 PM.





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