Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Most Recent Trialware Information Page

Virtual Grub Street's most recent trialware information page -- for Trlokom's SpyWall -- has just been posted at its Eye Online blog (RSS):

Friday, February 16, 2007

Most Recent Mirar Toolbar Article

Virtual Grub Street's most recent Mirar Toolbar article -- Mirar Toolbar's New Uninstall Pages -- has just been posted at its Eye Online blog (RSS):

Mirar Toolbar's New Uninstall Pages (February 16, 2007). "NetNucleus has clearly tried to upgrade the public face of its Mirar Toolbar uninstallation process while retaining the advertising advantages it has built into the process. The extent of legitimate improvement remains to be seen."

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sunbelt Tangles with NetNucleus

Sunbelt Software has received a letter from Rinaldo Cartaya, the Mirar Brand Manager at NetNucleus (the maker of the Mirar Toolbar), dated 14 December 2006, which they have posted in a PDF file here. The letter claims that Sunbelt has "misrepresented" the Mirar Toolbar by referring to it as "Adware". According to Mr. Cartaya, toolbar is a "bona fide search tool". Legal action is threatened if immediate action is not taken to remove the said "misrepresentation" from Sunbelt's site and software.

Happily, Sunbelt took the time to craft a detailed response to Cartaya's representation of his product. That response (also a PDF file posted at the Sunbelt blog), forwarded to Cartaya via Sunbelt's corporate counsel, Frederick Cooper, III, provides an excellent overview of how the Mirar Toolbar is generally installed and (only partially) uninstalled. Among the numerous examples of how the BHO can be installed, the following:


For a substantial part of 2006, the Mirar toolbar was distributed with screensavers and other freebie applications from TeamTaylorMade at web sites such as screensavers.com, ezthemes.com, teamtaylormade.com, and large download sites such as winsite.com. These bundleware packages included the Mirar toolbar until some time in late November or early December of 2006.

Still further, TeamTaylorMade's software packages were themselves distributed by MediaMotor through its own web sites such as joysticksavers.com. Additionally, TeamTaylorMade screensavers were offered for download at a variety of other third-party web sites.

Whether installing TeamTaylorMade's freebie software or the larger bundle of adware applications from MediaMotor, users were typically given little or no notice that the Mirar toolbar would be installed on their computers. As a result, TeamTaylorMade and MediaMotor have been the subject of a number of complaints, including a critical report by StopBadware.org1 as well as a complaint by the Federal Trade Commission2, which successfully secured court injunctions against both MediaMotor and TeamTaylorMade that prohibit the defendants from installing adware and spyware on users' PCs or using deceptive installation practices.

Sunbelt's is a particularly informative letter and well worth the read.

The following contact information is gleaned from the above letters:

Mr. Rinaldo Cartaya
Mirar Brand Manager
NetNucleus Corp.
80 Bloor Street
15th Floor
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 2V1
Telephone: (416) 238-5405 Ext. 215
Email: rcartaya@netnucleus.com

Perhaps VGS readers will want to contact Mr. Cartaya with their comments about his product.



Also See: