Zango Wins Lawsuit, Dismisses Users Who Can't Uninstall Its App As 'Background Noise'

from the such-concern-for-their-users dept

Adware firm Zango, which recently changed its name from 180solutions is doing a bit of gloating today after a court dismissed the class action lawsuit that was filed against the company a year ago. Note that this comes just days after security firm Sunbelt Software declared Zango’s search assistant one of the most insidious spyware apps around for the month of August. Not to mention, of course, the recent revelations of how Zango was caught trying to trick people into putting videos on their MySpace pages that installed Zango. After denying that they did so, others revealed emails from the company telling others how to target MySpace users. Meanwhile, the sheer number of folks who constantly complain that their machines are infested with Zango software that they never agreed to install, combined with story after story that shows that the company has not stopped rogue distributors, would suggest that Zango may be a bit premature in brushing aside critics.

It’s not clear from Zango’s announcement (yes, they announced it) why this case was thrown out — but it’s pretty clear that there’s something in their software that pisses off an awful lot of people who have it and have no idea how they got it. It’s hard to see how that’s something to cheer about. In the press release, the CEO of the company calls such complaints “occasional distractions” and “background noise of a small group of fixated critics” while another company exec claims that this dismissal confirms “that our innovative business model is entirely legitimate.” Both claims seem to be stretching the truth. The dismissal of a single lawsuit (and the details are missing as to why it was dismissed) doesn’t necessarily justify the business model — and the fact that the company views some pretty serious, and very detailed, complaints from an awful lot of people as “background noise” should hopefully alert advertisers that this is not a company to work with.

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Comments on “Zango Wins Lawsuit, Dismisses Users Who Can't Uninstall Its App As 'Background Noise'”

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m0use says:

Re: fine by me...

Here’s something to think about. In Aus. the Govt. is putting something called ethanol in our petrol. this makes the ethanol producers rich, but ethanol ends up screwing the car’s engine. imagine if your car was screwed by something like this, you’d be pretty pissed, right? you’d be even more pissed if you went to get your car fixed and the mechanic started sprouting some bullshit ’bout how great ethanol is and how stupid you are ’cause you don’t know how to fix your now fucked up engine. Please get down off that toadstool your standing on.

Hey! says:

Linux has it's downsides too

Linux has it’s own downsides too, for example, let’s look at user friendliness, I’ve YET to find a linux distro that installs as quickly and easily as winblows.

Granted anybody that NEEDS to use windows doesn’t belong in front of a computer in the first place, and most of these people are just “users” it is possible to build a reletivly secure win box though through use of Spybot S&D’s TeaTimer. Spybot is fully freeware, and teatimer is a built in program that monitors for changes in the system registry.

I’ve personally evaded the 180searchassistant through the use of Teatimer.

So, yeah, as the old adage goes, Don’t blame the manufacturer, because chances are, it’s USER error.

Trey says:

Re: Linux has it's downsides too

“Granted anybody that NEEDS to use windows doesn’t belong in front of a computer in the first place…”

Now, now, let’s not get trolling. This is an uninformed comment – there are many applications/professions which require proprietary software solutions (for example, CADD?). At least, for now they do. Someone can go ahead and create a professional drafting suite if they’d like to get these people to switch…

Aj says:

User Error

I know the adage, but not every user is going to be a power user, the average person knows just enough to be dangerous. I’m just talking about creating a system that protects itself from these things. Linux has its own issues, so thats not the right answer, and what I’m asking may be out of reach for our current technology. A system that “right out of the packaging” will protect itself from all forms of spy, virus, ad, crapware .. whatever is out there from installing and or modifying the non-power users/average joe’s computer.Simply turn on the computer and go/ self updating, self cleaning, and self protecting. I think m$ is trying to do that with the addition of the firewall and such, but i think they have a ways to go. So when i set up a computer for dear ole mom, that has a basic knowledge of computers, i dont have to worry.

charlie potatoes (profile) says:

lawsuit my ass

lets take up a collection and knee cap the sorry mother fucker…
if there’s any left over we knee cap the ‘not so broke student’ who thinks it’s fucking funny.. low life is the kindest thing i can think of to say about him.
i got the shit on mine and i fail to see how it was an error on my part other than using my computer as it was meant to be used.

Annoyed_Person (user link) says:

Happened to me

This happened to me once. I installed a program off the internet. Then, every time I loged-in to a account a pop-up appered. And when I closed it another appered in its place. This got SO FRUSTERATING. It pushed me to the point of completly formating my computer.

I hope these people burn in the firey depths of hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TheoreticalMathematician says:

lawsuit my ass

i never said it was funny. just more money in my pocket. sorry if you can’t figure out how to remove your own spyware mr. potatoes. as you said, you “got the shit” on your computer doing nothing but what the computer was meant to be used for (porn). so do most of the people’s whose computers i fix, they just don’t know how to remove it. every time i help someone with a spyware problem i inform them on firewalls, adware/spyware removal tools and general safe internet usage. i keep it as dumb as possible (although i can’t figure out a way to explain firewalls and using them without the person getting that blank look on their face [anyone whose tried to explain computers to savvy people knows the look]), give them a link on their desktop and say “here, run this every week… yadda yadda”. most people successfully understand the basics and i don’t have to revisit them. there are those dumb people though who call me back repeatedly. do NOT install shit from porn sites. goddamn people.

AndyMc says:

Re: lawsuit my ass

The Judge must have been drunk or just an idiot.
All the PC’s I fix for slowness and internet probs with popups are Zango and every person who got it didnt download it and not one could uninstall it with out needing me to go through a process.
Interupting Games by popping them back to windows, interupting videos yet again with the lying popups that tell you to click them or you will be infected then in fact you are and will be more infected if you click them.
Processes that run 3 instances to prevent there closure.

So I conclude there software is nothing more than a flashy looking worm.
The CEO of Zango should be inprisioned for 8 years minimum, thats Time Served.

ZANGO = no more than a terrorist attack on people’s pc’s.

AndyMc says:

Re: lawsuit my ass

What I also forgot to mention was I am currently trying to remove it from a machine by simply uninstalling it, it has no namw in add/remove programs, has installed other software and when you click uninstall it has the tool bar and application ticked and greyed out. You click next and it says you have not selected any item to remove. Yet it wont allow you too and the wording is even a piss take on the uninstall up.

Garrett says:


Windows will never get there. The day Windows is a fully self-contained, self-sufficient system will never come. Then it would no longer be Windows.

The firewall and spyware utilities Microsoft released recently aren’t even really noteworthy. ZoneAlarm has been around how long? And SpyBot? Microsoft’s programs are mainly just so they can look at least a little responsible. I mean, they created the problems in the first place.

What they’re doing is tantamount to creating a ship with holes throughout the hull, then *offering* her captain a kit to fix them six years later.

As for Linux.

Saying Linux isn’t user friendly is somewhat incorrect. Linux in its purest form is really just a kernel. I’m sure the NT kernel would be much more convoluted. The problem isn’t with Linux, it’s with the distributors. Up until recently, GUIs in Linux have been really, REALLY counter-intuitive and almost pointless to use, save for the applications requiring them.

What needs to happen for Linux is for a big company (like Novell) to take Linux and build a really great distribution around it. Though this may not really be the “Year of the Linux Desktop” as Novell was promising, change is still in the air. Look at Ubuntu. Now THERE’s a step in the right direction.

All in all, Linux is really the answer, as DittoBox so eloquently said earlier. But the answer to what? A better operating system? Yes. Definitely.

But as for a better end user product… give it a little longer. It’s behind the game, only because the focus never really was on being popular. That’s not the point of Linux. That’s all the endeavouring of the distributors like RedHat and all those folks who actually can make money off of this stuff.

All power to them, I say. But before Linux has a place on the desktop (and that will be a great day, indeed), it’s going to need some way of making it known to the public, as well as acknowledgement from proprietary vendors like Adobe, and hardware manufacturers.

Open source is great, but no professional is going to use GIMP over Photoshop. The day a graphic designer can have an easy, free, stable system that can run Photoshop natively (not as in wine natively, I mean as in built-for-Linux natively) will be the day.

That’s all we need. Linux just needs more widespread adoption by the software companies, and some good interface designers. Pre load PCs with it at a discounted price, and the gravy train gets rolling.

Someone says:

Re: Windows

Once Linux gets a decent GUI engine that might happen, but I don’t expect to see it any time soon. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried writing software for both OSes but development for Windows is much easier (Thanks in a large part to MSDN, and much faster if you use some GUI framework like MFC).

Don’t get me wrong, I love Linux, and currently run Fedora, but that is no reason to deny the truth.

Also people seem to forget software like Microsoft Office, which has been a standard for years, do you expect companies to pay for their employees to learn some new software so they can save some money on the OS.

charlie potatoes (profile) says:

you presumptuous mother fucker, i don’t down load porn, and i do have a firewall and i do know how to get it spyware off. but it’s the same as if i went to his home and spray painted my name on his god damned door in case you can’t see that for the dollar signs.
and you did gloat. so kiss my ass, you arrogant underachieving son of bitch

TheoreticalMathematician says:


Don’t forget knoppix. I love the gui. It also works great on computers being used at home for internet only purposes. spyware? viruses? impossible because there’s no need for a harddrive, thus nowhere to store spyware or viruses. I haven’t heard of any viruses being able to infect a computer being executed solely from the ram (knoppix viruses would be possible i guess i’ve just never heard of any, anyone familiar with the subject?).

To the person who said real users don’t NEED windows: not all, but if you enjoy video games you do. I would never play a graphics intensive game on an operating system it wasn’t written for. considering i’m seeing more and more directx only games, i don’t think this will change in a long time. also, it comes down to adobe software as well, as someone else mentioned. that’s software that can be very resource intensive so i would go the same route as with video games. considering all i have to choose from there is a mac and a pc… well, there’s another reason i won’t be dropping windows for a while.

Garrett says:

Penguins N' Porno

The whole business is nuts.

Microsoft Office dominates (sigh… once again) because Microsoft got there first, and gained trust through propaganda and other marketing strategy.

This means that the best way to get Linux out there is to create a psychological barrier between office computing and home computing in the mind of consumers. Then get vendors to pre-install Linux at the reduction of $price_of_windows from the system. Of course- it has to be an easy to use distro…

Good incentive, huh?

scott says:

boot in safe mode and do your scans. and hope something hasn’t infected your security suite :D. or completely reinstal windows.

perhaps there should be a few new forms of write protections in windows, and developers that use them. modifiyable only by so and so executeable, and this setting can’t be changed except by that executeable. modifiable only with password thats given(ie it needs to be passed somehow before you can change it). also windows should already have some sort of registry permissions type of thing(UI similare to a firewall but with differnt programs)

the case got dismissed cause the judge was TOOOO annoyed. would be my guess.

Hey! says:

In Response to...

#5 Go here and download Spybot, during the install it will ask you if you want to use TeaTimer. Click Yes.

#6 Again, I told you how to solve the problem, have you been watching your registry with teatimer? Have you taken Adequate steps to secure your machine? No computer is ever 100% safe except when Disconnected from the web. But we can practice safety.

#8 If your installing shit off the ‘net then you deserve everything you got. I have no sympathy on you if you’ve not (As I’ve said before) Secured machine.

#15 Please note that I said I have windows box as well. I am a gamer.

#17 There is a wonderful Free-ware suite called It’s very similar to MS Office. (Not quite the same, Although don’t take that as an expert opinion as I’ve only used it very briefly, I perfer the basic notepad programs)


A chicken passeth by says:

^ And, once installed, winDOS installation is inefficient – your hardware config’s hardcoded, any drastic changes and at best you’ll find it *deactivates itself*, and at worst it’ll force a complete reformat. All flavours of Linux don’t seem to mind if I switch hardware…

And don’t get me started on the USB drive letter assignment bug – y’know, the one that insists on automatically mapping external disks to specified locations, and forgetting to check if the drive letter for the location is already assigned. But I guess to WinDOS users, I shouldn’t be assigning network drives any drive letters in the first place, eh.

Haywood says:

It is called DirectX

Windows has it others don’t. I like to play games, and I want to play mainstream ones. I don’t care that there are some games that play in Linux, Grand Theft Auto doesn’t. When I went to college, if I brought my homework on a disk or disc and it wasn’t in M.S. Office format, I could neither turn it in or print it. For better or worse it is a Windows world. I’ve installed Linux (RED Hat), it wasn’t that hard, it was merely pointless. It was time consuming chasing down drivers for the peripherals, but it pretty much installed itself.

Garrett says:


I don’t really like OpenOffice. It’s like GNOME: well featured, but kinda slow.

I prefer AbiWord for word processing, and if I ever wanted to do spreadsheets, I’d use Gnumeric Spreadsheet.


Maybe things should stay the way they are. The idiots who choose to use Windows can just stay in their mud hole. And the people who are forced to use it can just hang in there- I feel sorry for them.

And then there’s us. I’ve been working on setting up my Linux system recently. I’m really kind of a n00b at it, but at least I know how to compile and install software, and I know my way around the command line, so I’ve got a pretty well-working setup here. The only -ONLY- thing I miss about Windows is the ability to run Photoshop.

I may get a Mac someday, after Photoshop CS3 comes out. If I have money. Oh, well…

Anonymous Coward says:

“I hope one day someone creates a all fixing… …program that takes up very little resources that can completely make your computer where it can’t even get this junk.”

Lookup Deep Freeze for anyone who is interested..
Got a problem? Reset computer and !hooray! everything’s back exactly as you had it the last time you turned on your computer! Problem solved

Backroads says:

Linux - you're joking, right?

I’m a CIO for a small orginization with over 300 workstations. All of the partners we work with use MS Office for documents and use a lot of the little features that never translate well into other apps like OpenOffice. All of the specialized software that the industry (Health Care) uses is written for Windows. Even the Citrix Client for Linux isn’t as fully featured as the Windows Client. When most people want a computer for home they want to use the same software they use at work so they don’t have to learn things twice – most of them can’t learn it once. I hate Windows as much as anyone and their licensing model more than most, but if I tried a Linux roll out I’d be out of a job within a week and hell – I’d fire myself. I’ve used Linux in a couple of flavors but I don’t see it breaking through any barriers for a long, long time unless Microsoft screws up so bad Bill ends up in jail.

11B3VW8 says:

RE: Linux - you're joking, right?

Backwoods, my thoughts exactly. I manage the technology for an Investment firm, and am sick of dealing with Windows. Linux would serve us well in recouping machine cost but thats about it. Dealing with patch management, security and so forth, not to mention the frustration of dealing with MS and their cryptic licensing schemes, is maddening to say the least, but we’re stuck in a Windows world. Suites such as Open Office would not scale well with us because of the features that users need in the MS suite. But even if I could get past that, trying to get them trained or up to speed on a new product would be like the proverbial ‘herding cats’. Just not going to happen. Additionally, our application vendors drive what we use, not the other way around. If our portfolio apps require XP Pro and W23K servers, thats what we deploy. Trying to port those apps or run in a Wine environment or similar is just not cost effective at this point. I don’t see things changing anytime soon.

Lay Person says:

Linux / Windows

People, I use both Linux and Windows.

Both are useful in their own way, both have their good points and bad points. Each approaches hardware and software in different ways.

I’m sick and tired of the Windows bashing. In fact, as crappy as Windows was/is they are making improvements. Linux too is crappy, for all you genius Linux users who think linux is the shit, I remember when you couldn’t buy ANY hardware for Linux. Shit I had to write my own drivers! Talk about a pain in the ass.

I swear Linux users think it’s all that but no it’s not. Each OS changes, adds features, removes features. It’s nothing more than growing pains.

Windows has its niche and Linux has theirs. Neither can fully replace the other hence I run both at home and at the network which I administer.

I swear some computer users are total retards!

Fed Up says:

Give up Your Computers!

I use the computer at work, the library, the internet cafe, but at home…. no way! I got rid of my home computers a year ago, and I’ll never look back. If I need to write something I have my trusty pen and paper.

Besides what did my computer ever do for me besides suck my time, and money. I feel like playing counter-strike, guess I’ll jump on my bike (get excercise) and head down to the internet cafe, they have a room full of Counterstrike computers.

A chicken passeth by says:

“How hard is it to put a winxp cd in a machine and let it install.”

It’s the same for the Debian Linux actually – insert CD, install. OR, run live CD, select Install To Hard Disk. In other words, exactly the same.

Only for WinDOS, you have to have your handy-dandy Microsoft Sticker with 25-digit product key avaliable. And that’s just for pre-Activation versions – with the Activation versions, if you’re REAL unlucky, you have to spend some pennies with your local Telco and wait till Microsoft gives you another 25 digit key.

Sure, there’s the “unattended install” – but here’s the catch. You need to remaster your own WinDOS install disc, or create a sysprep image, or disc image. That’s one BIG extra step that isn’t for non-newbs, mind you.

But I suppose this is worth it for simply having more usable apps, eh…

On hindsight tho, it isn’t as bad as OSX… gad, that one needs proprietary/specific hardware to even get an install. AMD and VIA processors are UNSUPPORTED… and if there’s anyone who successfully installed OSX on a custom-built PC, I would like to know.

Anonymous Coward says:

120 Win installs last quarter

My company sets up PCs for SMB use regionally. I checked the records and we did 121 Windows installs last quarter. We use 4-5 different HW setups, and additional local modifications. We can do a Windows unattended install in about 2 hours. That’s pretty painless.

As others have pointed out, Linux won’t take hold until the ‘flavors’ become more interchangeable and the GUI gets dumbed-down slightly. Sure, power-users might love it, but the real estate agent down the street or the restaurant owner downtown each have about 100 other things to worry about and don’t want to learn the ins-and-outs of a completely new OS. They know that when they click the big “e” that the internet opens, etc.

That’s probably one of the biggest obstacles to open-source distribution. And it’s apparent in this thread as well as most others on this site. Tech-savvy ‘nerds’ have tunnel-vision and don’t understand that people don’t care about how a computer or it’s OS works…they just want it to do whatever it is they bought it for. There is such a huge anti-enduser mentality among techies, that good implementation will not occur, since they believe all end-users are idiots.

We are currently putting together an implementation plan for an upcoming customer who has agreed to put their business on a ‘mostly’ open-source software platform. If successful, and if we can get the users past the “this doesn’t look like my computer at home” mentality, I think it could be the start. But it will take patience and a thoroughly planned-out training plan. Have any of you sat through a “How to use MS Word” class? Probably not…it’s a little beneath most of the people on this site. But if you do, you will see how easy Joe Sixpack finds it. Alternate OSs might be that easy, but the training for implementation needs to be that easy as well. The local library runs 5 classes each week for people to learn to use various SW packages. How many classes are there for learning Linux? 0.

I think it’s just about maturity. The Windows OS has enjoyed a couple of decades of dominance to work out the GUI issues. If Linux can settle on a specific flavor, to which developers can see some fiscally sensible development returns, then things will change, and then stick with that for 5-10 years, it will start to see the expansion it deserves.

back to work

steph says:

ruined msn

this program completly ruined msn!!!every time i try talking 2 sum1,or even put the page up[,this zango thing says that stupid advertisment 2 my contacts,over and over again until i get so annoyed i just log off msn…considering my computer is brand new,and it has annoyed me so much i go on my old computer instead now…im furious.does ne 1 know how to get rid of this,if there even is a way

Aaron (user link) says:


I’ve successfully uninstalled once I found out what Zango is/was/whatever… but now it seems they won’t even let me download things off of Rapidshare and MegaUpload – two out of many hubs I go to look for stuff or download stuff my friends post in forums. Is this apart of the spyware they do, or is it legit?

Next time what I think I’ll do is install the program just to shut them up – get my file, then uninstall it.

And to think, all I’m downloading is a Misfits album.


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