Never mind click fraud, sometimes even live clicks aren't worth having

25 August 2006

Incredible but true, someone has come up with an online ad more annoying than the punch-the-monkey idea - an ad so successful that I still have no idea what the vendor was trying to push, but the ad itself is now permanently burned into my memory. It seems somebody thought this was such a winning idea that they dusted down the idea and gave it a sonic makeover. Actually, make that a sonic attack - because you will think only of yourself when you encounter this one. It makes "download or we'll hijack your browser" fake spyware-detection software look benign.

It's a mosquito that you have to hit to "get a free laptop". Luckily, I had the audio switched to headphones when I stumbled across this one, and they were lying on the floor. A synthetic mosquito noise isn't pleasant even at that range. The only way to stop the buzzing is to hit the mosquito, triggering the popup. Hitting the mosquito isn't tough, as you'd expect, because the chances of the operating responsible sending me a free laptop just for clicking a mouse are practically zero. I didn't wait to find out, however. With the other hand I was ready with the Apple-W keys to zap the new window as quickly as it appeared. So, I have absolutely no idea what this scam offer is all about.

But I do hope they are paying for each click on this ad.