That Was Quick

January 08, 2008

This morning while reading an article about someones set up, I stumbled across a Safari plug-in called “Inquisitor.” It purports to be an enhancement to the built-in search field in the Safari window. I was intrigued enough that I downloaded and installed the plug-in within minutes.

My joy at new software was short-lived, however. In my lunchtime browse of my feeds I discovered a couple threads talking about some suspicious behaviour when searching through the Inquisitor plug-in. The first results are artificially boosted to that place, and when an Amazon result is possible as the result, the program’s author masks the fact that his affiliate ID is embedded in the URL. Using affiliate links is nothing new, and I have no issue with that.

But doing it without my knowledge, and further, sending some kind of packet to your server without my direct knowledge, adds up to a queasy feeling. I will be following these instructions to remove the plug-in from my machine immediately. And, unfortunately, I’ll be just a tad more jaded when it comes to new software.

Inquisitor Removal Instructions: Move these files to the trash:

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.