Sep 302009

Pity poor Ed Bott.  Aside from being one of the most transparent Microsoft shills beating the tech pavement, he is also a sometime user of Apple’s products, which must be hell for a M$ apologist.  One of the prerequisites for being a really effective Micronaut is that you have to feign respect for Apple – sort of how your closeted racist cousin claims to “have a number of black friends”.  You see, this front allows him to seem like a fair critic‚ while also letting him play the outraged user and bash Apple at every turn.

Ed’s latest shaken fist is over Apple’s bundling of the iPhone Configuration Utility with his update of iTunes.  Being the vigilant watchman he is, he was immediately wise to Apple’s game.

update copy

THEY LEFT THE CHECKBOX CHECKED!  Such incursion; such violation!

This isn’t the first time Apple has tried to bundle other software with updates for iTunes, which gives birth to Ed’s clever click-bait title: “Apple up to its old tricks, pushing unwanted software onto PCs”.

I’ll let you soak in the irony of the title for a moment.  Funny huh?

It gets better.  Because I like to point out irony to Windows enthusiasts (who by their very definition have no sense of irony), I’ll bang out a sentence or two in the comments section of webskid like Ed’s article.  Most of the time, doing so requires that you register at the site.  Undaunted by the time and effort required to create a user name and password at ZDNet (and stifling the urge to shower immediately afterward), I was treated to the following:


Note the three checked boxes to the right.  HOW DARE THEY CHECK MY BOXES FOR ME?!

So, I chuckle at the bonus irony and uncheck the boxes.  No thanks, boys.  Then I get the confirmation email:


I wish to WHAT?  Not only do I have to UNCLICK MY OWN CHECKBOXES on the site where Ed cries his self-righteous tears of injustice, I’m being spammed by them anyway?  Are you for real?  Well, obviously, I want to change my newsletter preferences from “no, don’t send me shit” to “really I fucking meant “don’t send me shit” when I unclicked those checkboxes”.  So I click the link to change my preferences and:


Wow. You want more information about me in exchange for the privilege of unsubscribing from spam that I should have never been on a list for to begin with?

To recap:

1. Ed Bott bitches about Apple’s software update foisting things on his PC he doesn’t need – that is, if he doesn’t understand that a checkmark in a box means he will in fact be downloading these things.

2. To register to leave comments on Ed Bott’s site, ZDNet‚ you have to uncheck 3 boxes to prevent you from being spammed by them.

3. Unclicking a checkbox on ZDNet apparently doesn’t mean what Apple thinks it means.  ZDNet still spams you.

4. You have to provide ZDNet with more information about yourself in order to really, really unregister for the shit you shouldn’t have been getting in the first place.

I mean, as a Mac guy who likes to laugh at Wintards, I’m all about the low-hanging fruit, but this even makes me a little embarrassed.

  2 Responses to “Ed Bott, ZDNet: I’ve got a box for you to uncheck!”

  1. Do not try to use the Socratic method on these guys: it will only end in tears

  2. It does make that hemlock look mighty tasty.

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