<img id='freestuffcrazy' src="images/blank.png" height="80" width="140" onClick="widget.openURL('http://www.freestuffcrazy.com');">
<img id='ebay' src="images/blank.png" height="80" width="140" onClick="widget.openURL('http://www.jdoqocy.com/3e81vpyvpxCEJMHHGDCIMDFDJM');">
The URL redirects to eBay, but only after passing your info through a third-party site, apparently operated by Commission Junction. After discovering this on my own, I found that there was a bit of a fuss about it on Dashboard Widgets. The developer (FreeStuffCrazy), defends the pass through justly:
Is it so wrong to benefit from my work? I spent a long time getting this thing to work well, and also the global user search tracking uses bandwidth off my server. I figured it'd be better just getting ebay to pay me instead of asking for donations. Sorry if you find this "dishonest" but the money has to keep things like this going have to come from somewhere. Are ads on websites wrong dishonest? There is no interference to the user and really don't see why it should be a problem.FreeStuffCrazy goes on to claim that it contains "NO spyware of ANY sort." Oh. It's "Referalware," eh? Thanks. But I'd rather have known what you're doing with my data up front. ALTHOUGH I DO find that when you USE ALLCAPS FOR EMPHASIS, it does have a profoundly re-assuring affect on me.
Sure, perhaps I should know better than to put my trust in a company called, er, FreeStuffCrazy, but I think that as a Mac user, I've become very complacent about security. And that's the problem. As more and more people come to the platform, we're going to start seeing more and more exploits. And the Dashboard widgets in Tiger represent such an easy backdoor that any idiot can easily cook up some spyware for the Mac. Even if they aren't doing anything truly evil, there are going to be all sorts of varying degrees of nastiness coming our way. We have to start thinking with the same suspicious mindset that Windows users have, and we have to be careful with our widgets.
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