BonziBuddy - The Internet Spyware That Plagued Windows (Demonstration)
BonziBuddy (or "Bonzi Buddy") was a piece of internet spyware masquerading as a virtual assistant. It was created by Bonzi Software, a company that was once one of the most visited sites on the web but, through subsequent events, ended up meeting its massive downfall.Depending on your age, your earliest memories of using a computer probably vary. Some of you might remember using the Apple IIc or watching Flash Animations, but I am sure that, for some of you watching this, your earliest memories are of this little guy (SHOW). It was in 1999 when the internet became home to this new computer program: BonziBuddy. Innocent looking enough, but what you probably didn’t know was that this cute virtual assistant was, at one point, responsible for more than $1 billion in punitive damages, but how?Just like many pieces of malware and internet spyware, the software attracted many people with its seemingly useful features, with all its malevolent doings hidden within. It was designed to assist users during a time where mass-use and understanding of the internet was quite new, but in reality, the program was collecting user data for advertising purposes as well as contaminating Windows with irritating features and misleading system information. BonziBuddy was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, or…purple gorilla clothing. But how was such a strange program able to do all of this? What is the story that gave BonziBuddy the legacy that it has today?The events of this tale date all the way back to the mid 1990s, particularly during the prominence of Windows 95. Microsoft had gained tremendous success with its new operating system, marketing the product in a way that could appeal to the masses. Computers were no longer part of some niche community or only for businesses. Now, your grandmother could use a computer. When it came to design methodology, Microsoft made the bold move of making their target audience everyone. But now, it was time for them to make using the computer even easier, and they needed to figure out how. The answer was within their ambitious release of Office 97. Their approach with this program was strongly influenced by a research project from Stanford University conducted by Clifford Nass and Byron Reeves, theorizing that people subconsciously treat computers like human beings. Microsoft had to figure out a way to capitalize off this, and that is exactly what they did, with Introducing Office Assistant. Clippy was the answer to all your problems. Whether you have heard about it in retrospect or experienced it yourself, obviously this didn’t work. It seems that Microsoft took this research publication a little too literally. Clippy was universally hated and deemed way too distracting. It took a while for Microsoft to get the hint, and Clippy was ultimately removed from future Office versions in 2003, being mostly ignored during that stretch of time. Microsoft had been working on assistant technology for quite some time before Office 97, with Microsoft Bob for Windows 3.1, and its Microsoft Agent characters such as Peedy the parrot and Genie, sort of prototypes of Clippy.What does this all have to do with BonziBuddy? Microsoft may have failed with Office Assistant, but other companies thought the idea still had potential and that they could do better. A couple years prior to Windows 95 was the formation of Bonzi software, created by brothers Joe and Jay Bonzi. Bonzi Software’s existence was the perfect concoction of timing and pretty brilliant marketing. They had popped up during a time where people didn’t really understand the internet, or know what direction it was going in. Bonzi Software didn’t really need a whole lot of ingenuity to become somewhat successful. What helped them take off was their voice-email application. Rather than sending text over email, you could send a voice recording of yourself! This might not seem very practical considering that you could just call somebody on the phone using the exact same phone line you use to get online, but it worked! This allowed them to create some other programs that would enhance your internet speed as well as protect your PC from potential security breaches. In reality, they really didn't do anything other than basic system changes. By the time Clippy was popular, Bonzi Software had released the program all of you have been waiting for: BonziBuddy. Website: http://www.nationsquid.com/Forums: http://www.nationsquid.freeforums.netPatreon: https://www.patreon.com/nationsquidMerchandise: https://teespring.com/stores/squids-secretGoogle +: just kidding.Discord: https://discord.gg/CY9VWjfEG3Beauty Flow by Kevin MacLeodLink: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/5025-beauty-flowLicense: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/A special thanks to these patrons:- Swingadee- Ciara Atkinson- Winolotonolo- Tommy Sharp- Sl0rg- Hannah MarshENJOY THE PROGRAM.