Does Adobe Shockwave fit your definition of malware?
I train my kids not to click on random boxes that pop up, and I don’t want any boxes popping up on computers my kids use. So I was very annoyed the other day when I first saw this box — intrusive auto-update window that shows only two options, without a “Cancel” button or a “Close dialog box” button.
I’ve blogged before about the lengths I went to avoid using Adobe’s Acrobat PDF reader.
My nerves are a little raw from several late nights at work, but even
on a good day, the arrogance of this dialog box would disgust me.
Even more insulting, this window stays in the front of the screen, and there’s no way to move it, minimize it, or even kill it from the Windows Task Manager “Applications” screen. Unless I yield to the “choice” Adobe presents here, when I want to search my hard drive for a Shockwave setup program, or search the internet for tips on how to disable the intrusive auto-update, or even use the Windows file removal utility to install the stupid program, I have to do with this digital cataract, this abomination of an eclipse, in my field of view.
After peeking aroud the edges of the box, searching the internet for advice on how to remove this unwanted “feature,” I found a page on the Adobe website that purports to include a feature to disable the autoupdate feature, but 1) it’s damn anoying that this box doesn’t include a link to that page and 2) I don’t expect to have go to someone else’s website in order to control what happens on my computer. I also found some advice on how to adjust the Windows registry, but that was far too complex to do with an obstructed screen.
And the final insult — when finally managed to use the program manager to remove Shockwave, the stupid popup was blocking the confirmation button.
It ticked me off to no end that I had to click “Remind me later” just to make this box stop blocking the button that I had to click in order to remove Shockwave from my system.
I suppose I could have tried killing the process in the Windows Task
Manager, but by that time I just wanted the stupid box to go away.
So… do the deliberate interface choices implemented by Shockwave’s desingers meet your definition of malware? Are the needs of users in any way served when Adobe deliberately makes it impossible to say “No”?