How to remove Microsoft .NET Assistant from Firefox

Mozilla Firefox

Image via Wikipedia

Not exactly breaking news but better late than never. Prevent your favourite browser from becoming Internet Fire Explorer Fox.

2nd link has lots of screen shots and may be easier to follow.

This update adds to Firefox one of the most dangerous vulnerabilities present in all versions of Internet Explorer: the ability for websites to easily and quietly install software on your PC. Since this design flaw is one of the reasons you may’ve originally chosen to abandon IE in favor of a safer browser like Firefox, you may wish to remove this extension with all due haste.

I like Microsoft products overall, but I cannot and will never condone blatant misuse of corporate power to distribute useless, unasked-for software to masses who do not have the skills to tell part good from bad or how to handle issues like the above.

The Assistant, if at all, should be an optional package, with clear user consent granted before any installation. Furthermore, the installation should be fully 100% revocable, so that anyone using the computer can do it, via the standard Add/Remove panel.

This is a very serious breach of user trust. Not only is this package delivered without explicit approval, it’s also made difficult to remove. Moreover, its use is not clear. Lastly, the change affects third-party software, not one of Microsoft products, so the question is, what the hell did Microsoft want to achieve with this nebulous, spyware-like update? Animosity from a few trusted users? Force people not to install updates or use older versions of their products?

The Internet can not be Self-Regulated (yet)

Anonymous at Scientology in Los Angeles

The government often chides the online community for its action or lack thereof whenever some “irresponsible” comments are made about sensitive issues. Statements would then be issued advocating the practice of self-regulation in the blogosphere (a stupid buzzword but feels suitable here). This makes me wonder how many of our policy makers are actually netizens as what they are hoping for expecting is a highly idealistic utopian scenerio as it heavily relies on the concept of shared responsibility. We know how well shared responsibility worked out for those who were raped / murdered in the public with eye witnesses who just can’t be bothered. Now, imagine we throw in a new layer of anonymity which the Internet provides. While it might be Unreal Tournament 2004 which inspired Gabe’s Greater Internet Fuckward Theory, I feel it applies to most cyber-activities in general.


While I’m not saying it’s impossible to reach such a state of online maturity, I believe we still have a long way to go; after all, we still have a pile of real offline social graciousness issues to work through. Another thing policy makers don’t realise is that you do not feed the trolls on the Internet because what these people crave for, when they left the inflammatory comments, is simply attention and that’s exactly what they receive when you single them out to be condemned; they simply watch the hit counts increase and their ad money roll in.

IE is bad for you, it’s true.

[Internet Explorer: Security Experts Advising You Stay Off Internet Explorer For Now.]

I don’t like using Internet Explorer for so many reasons. For a big corporation like Microsoft, they’re not particularly bothered with making their browser compliant with web-standards or even secure. So yea, if you’re still using IE, now is good time to jump on to another browser. I like Firefox. ;)