Goodbye, Digsby!

I installed Digsby a few weeks ago after Pidgin had crashed a few times, and I was trying to find something more stable. A friend of mine had used it and seemed to like it, so I decided to give it a shot. After trying first and being presented with a malware installer offer, I canceled and deleted it. I was then told to grab the version hidden away on their page which DOESN’T try to install malware, and I thought all was great.

Until yesterday…

Lifehacker wrote an article, and then Slashdot boosted it to fame infamy. It explained all of a sudden why my PC has been so slow. Apparently, dotSyntax (makers of Digsby) hid away a provision in the EULA that states that they will use your spare CPU cycles and bandwidth to harvest the web, run various algorithms, and generally abuse good will. Adding insult to injury, it’s an opt-out program… not opt-in… which combined with the hidden-ness of it, means most people would have never found it. I admit… I wouldn’t have. While it claims it turns off whenever you move the mouse or hit a key on the keyboard, it didn’t seem to work for me, since I only access that PC by RDP.

So dotSyntax went into damage control mode and tried to explain their bastardry lack of transparency. But it’s too little, too late. In this day and age, it takes a long time to build good will, and a VERY short period to burn it all away. People still don’t trust Real because of their former bastardry. CuteFTP used to be the most popular FTP client out there, until the story broke about them bundling Aureate, at which point they were flooded with internet rage and faded away to relative obscurity. And thus dotSyntax is doomed to the same fate. I think it’s VERY likely that nobody is ever going to trust their company again.

And for the ultimate irony in the whole situation….
A) Lifehacker was the company that helped really raise Digsby to the level it was…. and now will be the company that almost singlehandedly destroys them.
B) Digsby’s installer claims it’s Malware/Adware/Spyware free. Ballsy fuckers, aren’t they?

digsby

Saturday, August 15th, 2009 Uncategorized

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By Erik Rasmussen