In-tex ad hyperlinks
December 15, 2013 6:15 PM   Subscribe

I recently purchased an Asus All-in-One computer as a replacement for my Dell XP system. The two computers are used in tandem, with the Asus used as the main monitor for the Dell. The XP unit will be used off line starting in March of 2014 and will remain in tandem so that certain XP only software can still be used. The systems are a Windows 8.1, Asus ET2411INKIB011K and a Windows XP SP3 Dell T3400

Both systems use Firefox 26.0

Something odd is occurring when the New York Times is opened. With W8.1, advertising links are present as in-text hyperlinks. They are not present when the same page is opened in XP.
This is a sample from the NYT Disunion series.

Pook Turtles, Armorclads and the Civil War on the Rivers
December 7, 2013

If you go to the 6th paragraph in W8.1, the word “boilers” will be a hyperlink. If you view the same sentence in XP, “boilers” is not a hyperlink. I have not looked to see if these ad links exist on other sites. It is startling to be slammed with an ad telling me why I should have my boiler serviced by Sears while immersed in a good article on Naval warfare on the Mississippi during the Civil War.

Why are these links present on W8.1 and not XP? Is this a feature that only functions on 8.1? Is this an Asus thing? Is this some of the crap that manufacturers load on civilian computers that would not be present if this Asus was a business model? Is it a NYT thing, and if so, would they at least not use it in their OP Ed articles?

How do I make it go away?
posted by Raybun to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
[Deleted the link - we'd rather not drive traffic to potentially-sketchy sites. If that specific link is necessary, you can put it in your user profile. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 6:25 PM on December 15, 2013

In-line ads are a pretty common malware/virus thing. I'm guessing that you have something unsavory on the Asus.
posted by catalytics at 6:54 PM on December 15, 2013

You have a malware infection . This has nothing to do with the NYT web site, which is not an "unsavory" site.
posted by dfriedman at 7:53 PM on December 15, 2013

My daughter had this on her computer. I ran through the full Deezil treatment and the problem went away.
posted by vespabelle at 8:08 PM on December 15, 2013

Before going the full Deezil, just search Programs and Features for anything labelled "Conduit" or "Toolbar" and uninstall them all. Then go to Firefox's Add-Ons page and uninstall any extensions you don't remember installing yourself for some specific reason of your own. Then do likewise with its Manage Search Engines page. Then make sure your home page is set to Betcha that fixes it.

Most of the advertising overlay stuff I've been seeing for the last few years doesn't bother burying itself enormously deep, basically because it doesn't need to. It turns up when you use installer wrappers from once-were-reliable sites like CNet and aren't meticulous about declining every not-obviously-optional extra they bundle. Most people are now so accustomed to doing software installation by clicking Next Next Next Next without reading anything that foistware like this can just hide in plain sight, and the makers are getting better at staying just on the not-quite-irritating-enough-to-register-as-malware side of the annoyance line.
posted by flabdablet at 10:46 PM on December 15, 2013

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