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December 26th, 2000

Worst Program Ever: My Comet Cursor

I don’t visit a lot of sites that use the Comet Cursor plugin, but I wish that even those sites would stop. It is, far and away, the most annoying program I’ve seen, and as a bonus, is completely useless.

Here’s what’s good about it: nothing.

Here’s what’s bad about it: First, it gives the web page control over how your cursor looks and functions. So, if we really wanted to, we could have a little Ping logo attached to your arrow, and it could animate, and maybe even speak. Alternately, we could get rid of the arrow altogether and make it look like, say, Ryan’s head. Which might be entertaining for a while… but bear with me on this.

Changing the way a cursor looks is, to me, a big no-no. Lots of people customize their PCs to work and look the way they want to, and this includes the cursors. And, more importantly, what about sight-impaired users who need to have large cursors? What happens when they visit a site and find their arrow is knocked down to a third of its size?

Second, it installs itself automatically on IE. I’m getting awfully tired of IE’s hopscotch security measures (ie, JavaScript can be on or off but I can’t select what the JavaScript can/can’t do.) Opera lets you at least kill new window spawning. Once this program is installed, it gives itself a taskbar icon, too! For me, that’s another no-no… I like keeping the system tray rather clean.

Want to get rid of it? Sure, you can, but you have to go into Add/Remove Programs and expunge it there. Then, it even has the audacity to require a reboot to complete removal. All of this just because I wanted to look at a web page, guys. Tell me, is it that important that the cursor matches your aesthetic design?

In addition, Comet collects information about where you’re using custom cursors on the web. While there are consistent claims that these aren’t linked directly to you (they’re linked to an ID, instead), I can’t be sure I trust these folks. Not after their software simply plops itself on my hard drive without my asking.

Here’s an alternative to Comet Cursor: don’t change the cursor at all. -pm

Posted in Technology

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Monday December 25, 2000 -- 10:33:41PM
Hm... a cursor that looks like my head... NOW you're talking.



FROM: Paul
DATE: Monday December 25, 2000 -- 10:48:47PM
Ryan, Ryan, Ryan. I just truly envisioned your head floating around the page, and then realized mine should be too... we could have Ping Pong!

I am not on drugs, by the way.



FROM: Matt
DATE: Monday December 25, 2000 -- 11:29:50PM
You guys have too much time on your hands when it comes to all this electronic and computer bs.Go work at a soup kitchen or something



FROM: Robert
DATE: Tuesday December 26, 2000 -- 10:31:18AM
My dream computer has a picture of Ryan'd head floating around saying "Yo, what up? This is Laze." And the mouth moves like in all those Monty Python cartoons.



FROM: Cat
DATE: Tuesday December 26, 2000 -- 4:54:29PM
Oh thanks. I'm gonna have nightmares for a week.



FROM: Jan Wikström
DATE: Friday February 16, 2001 -- 3:27:30PM
Thanks for the good oil. I'm glad I use Watchdog; my only concern was to find out what MCC is about. Now I know and will expunge...
-- Jan



FROM: Hugo Fitch
DATE: Saturday April 7, 2001 -- 12:15:28AM
I like having a bag of doughnuts as my cursor.



FROM: Jon Grubbs
DATE: Wednesday April 18, 2001 -- 8:37:43AM
I think that the Comet Cursor is the worst program as well.

You can keep it from installing itself on your system at http://download.cometsystems.com/no_nag/nonag.asp

this will set a cookie on your browser so that sites that use Comet Cursor won't install on you unless you remove the cookie



FROM: Dottie
DATE: Sunday December 9, 2001 -- 11:40:20AM
Well, I happen to like it! My cursor is a purple arrow which suits me just fine.



FROM: dagelo@cfl.crr.com
DATE: Wednesday December 26, 2001 -- 10:42:31PM
please delete



FROM: Kirsty
DATE: Friday January 11, 2002 -- 7:52:29 am
Im designing a webpage at the momment and I was planning on having a comet cursor.
I have reconsidered after looking at this site. Thanks



FROM:
DATE: Wednesday January 16, 2002 -- 5:16:42 pm
Comet also installs a program called Downloadware and a few others when it installs itself.. Today I'd had ENOUGH! I went looking to stop Comet from ever touching my system again. I found a place, http://northville.lib.mi.us/tech/blockcc.htm that tells you how to block the comet cursor from being able to instal. (The same site also tells you how to avoid iWon Co-Pilot http://tln.lib.mi.us/~amutch/pro/browser/blockiwonie.html Another nasty that I've thankfully yet to encounter.) Once you've blocked it, you can go to Cnet and get something like Ad-aware or another free program that looks for spyware/ad ware. http://download.cnet.com/downloads/0-10106-108-63806.html?bt.37419.10014..dl-63806 (Ad-Aware's home page is http://www.lsfileserv.com/index.html, but sends you to Cnet to download.)
I was also surprised to find out that Gator was spyware, "tracking and recording user activity (websites s/he surfs to, etc.) and downloads another helper-application, called "Offer Companion" which pops up advertising banners and targeted ads based on surfing behavior." I found a site to get rid of it (and webhancer) http://jluster.baysec.org/sec/index.html#ToC3

In my searches I found a way to get rid of those trash apps that insist on loading and bugging you at startup, even after you delete them from the startup folder. http://www.cexx.org/startup.htm And info on Adware, Spyware and other unwanted "malware" including how to remove them http://www.cexx.org/adware.htm

Hope this helps some of you poor afflicted. (Man do I HATE Comet!)



FROM: suzi [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday July 12, 2002 -- 2:00:03 am
I hate comet cursor too!!! Along with its buddies like gator, lop, etc.

I hate it so much I did a website on it and posted my email correspondences with Jamie Rosen, where he sidesteps most of my questions.

I have his email address posted there too, so everyone who hates comet cursor can let him know about it!!



FROM: suzi [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday July 12, 2002 -- 2:03:30 am
just be sure your browser settings are secure - I have it set up to demonstrate how it tries to sneak in your computer.



FROM: heniretta north
DATE: Sunday May 18, 2003 -- 11:13:35 am
i hate this comet cursor it will not let me open my yahoo. mail.it says you can block comet cursor but i do not know how to do that .im new at this .so if anyone has any pointers .please email me .thnak you all very much



FROM: horse_diva [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday February 8, 2004 -- 4:47:49 pm
I HATE COMET CURSOR. It is WAY to hard for me. I wish you could just pick a picture online and click it and it would change your cursor!!!!!



FROM:
DATE: Saturday January 1, 2005 -- 3:03:08 pm



FROM:
DATE: Saturday January 1, 2005 -- 3:03:16 pm



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