Ask.com appears to have dropped to a lower level of desperation; while installing another piece of software (BitTorrent, if you must know), I was prompted with an the option to install the ask.com toolbar. I mistakenly hit next and then tried to go back, but it was too late- their craptastic software was installed.
1st issue I see here is that the default action for on this useless program (as well as on many similar products from Yahoo, Google, MSN, etc.) is to 'opt in' for the install instead of a default of 'opt out'- so a person mindlessly clicking the 'Next' button during routine installs will end up with several redundant search bars installed.
2nd issue is that when I uninstalled the ask.com toolbar via add/remove programs, it left the default search for the URL keyword field directing to Ask.com. I tried the obligatory uninstall of Firefox and the purging of all 'ask.com' registry entries to no avail.
Eventually I was able to find a resolution to this over at paperstreet:
- Open a new tab or window.
- Type “about:config” and hit enter, this brings up the all powerful settings of Firefox.
- Agree to the warning that you could mess things up
- Find keyword.url, you probably should not change anything else
- Double click and change keyword.url string to something else like: http://www.google.com/search?q=
So now I must thank 'ask.com' for their annoying browser hack by adding their root URL to my AdBlock filter list...