What’s Up? (3/9/14)

My phone’s MicroSD card was corrupted on Friday. I wanted to believe that it was just my phone acting up, but then my computer couldn’t recognize the card either. I tried what I could to recover the data on the card, which meant downloading a lot of shady data-recovery programs. The hassle of dealing with all of those program installers and the add-ons and user agreements I had to agree to, was worse than the problem I was originally trying to solve. Hundreds, maybe a thousand pictures were lost, and that really sucks, but in trying to  recover those pictures I ended up accidentally installing a program that forced Bing to be my search engine, and that’s way worse.

Initially I had no idea why I couldn’t just change my homepage and default search engine; I use Google Chrome, so I thought it’d be very easy to make Google my homepage and default search engine. I even reset my browser, which meant clearing cookies, and that really sucks because I had to retrieve a lot of passwords that were remembered by cookies. It turns out one of the things I agreed to install, in trying to recover my corrupted data, was Conduit’s “Search Protect.” It’s a program that claims to protect you from other programs that would try to change your browsers’ homepage, but in actuality all it did was lock me into Microsoft’s Bing.

My first reaction is hostility, because I think this program is maliciously forcing me to use Bing. In that hostility, I uninstall it with great satisfaction as it tries to convince me not to. After some thought though, I realized the program wasn’t so much malicious as it was desperate. Think about it, Microsoft has to try so hard to make Bing a thing, that it’s paying nagware companies to include it in their programs? That’s desperation. They can’t even get me to use Internet Explorer, so they’ll settle for forcing me to use Bing on Google Chrome.

I feel sorry for you Microsoft, I mean, I prefer your OS to Apple’s, but how for how long will either of you reign as the dominate options? Valve is embracing Linux, Google has Android, and I accept those two as our internet overlords, because they’ve earned my trust, whereas you and Apple have screwed me over time and time again. So try your best, keep working on Internet Explorer, keep trying to make Bing and “Scroogled” a thing, keep pushing the Xbox One, keep acting like Microsoft Word is the only word-processor out there, because in times past, I have been on your side, and I had faith in your products, and I wouldn’t mind if I could call Microsoft a company I trusted again one day. And Apple, keep releasing the most pretentious advertisements you can think of, keep slightly changing your products, keep regulating your platforms like the Orwellian nation you once promised you weren’t, because the longer I can stay out of an Apple Store and deal with one of your geniuses, the better.

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