Dwight Silverman, tech journalist for the Houston Chronicle, has a great column on the latest practices of the Cnet website Apparently they are now offering up a custom downloader that takes the place of the program that you were looking to download. The custom downloader will then offer you change your search engine in your browser, change your homepage and install a toolbar. It will also presumably download the program that you wanted, but the damage will have been done.

To make a few extra bucks Cnet has sold out its users to the highest bidder. In the case that I’m seeing on the linked article, Microsoft properties Bing and MSN are the winners. You, on the other hand, are the loser particularly if you download this adware from Cnet.

Cnet used to be a reputable source for information. When I look for reviews on a tech product that I am thinking about purchasing or recommending to someone, Cnet has been a place that I could trust. Likewise, was a place that I cold send a client or family member to download a freeware or shareware program with great confidence. That’s not the case anymore and I’ll have to evaluate Cnet reviews through a finer filter.

Look for an article soon on safe places to download software that won’t sell you out. offers crapware with that program you wanted | TechBlog | a blog.

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