Here’s the latest insanity from my internet provider, Optimum OnLine by Cable Vision: DNS Redirect.
I used to just punch in “WSJ” into Safari’s URL, hit enter, and off I
went. Any URL worked that way. Since last week, that now sends me to an ad-based Optimum page
(powered by Google). On the Windows machine in the office, I use “Control Enter” for the same effect.
Incensed, I called the help line and found out this was a system-wide change since 9/22/08. The woman also tells me I was the first person to complain, no one else has had a problem with it.
Apparently, the folks at Cablevision decided that they wanted to capture some of that sweet, sweet Google ad revenue. So on their own, they involuntarily switched all of their internet subscribers over. Not opt in mind you, but forced over. Any URL entered that does not immediately conform to the usual “HTTP” format sends you to an Optimum Online/Google page.
Note that this defeats a nice function that has been on Safari and Firefox for a while.
The company line is that this is a form of search assistance — gee, I guess I don’t want to go to the page I go to all the time, I want to first SEARCH for that page. Yes, Cablevision, that is a whole lot more helpful.
It shows you what even a a slight bit of monopoly power is so easily abused.
You can opt out via the “About this page” (see below)