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Re: Spyware Sponsors Windows Licences

__/ [ Jim ] on Thursday 04 May 2006 16:29 \__

> nessuno@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
>> This is really incredible.  I have bought many Dells over the years,
>> and back in the old days they gave me very good service.
>> No one in this thread has actually said who pays Dell to install My
>> Way.  Is it Microsoft, or am I missing something?  And does that mean
>> that it's Microsoft who is gathering the info?  Don't the trolls keep
>> saying, "Aw, you're paranoid, MS would never do that!"  Whoever is
>> paying Dell to do it, $49/machine is a *LOT* of money!  (It adds up.)
>> If Dell is being paid to do it, for sure the other manufacturers have
>> been pressured, too.
>> This just confirms the worst of what everyone says about Windows.

What bothers me most about this is that such data can be used for a larger
variety of competitive advantages (not just targetted ads), all at the
expense of users' privacy. Here are just two examples:

Yoono - Search Engine 2.0?

,----[ Snippet ]
| French search engine bases search engine results on user
| contributions.
| Web 2.0 is the topic of the day. It is hard to say exactly what it
| is. However, one point seems to be to make use of the knowledge of
| Internet users.
| Yoono is a new French search engine that calls itself a "social
| search engine" and describes itself as ?the new search 2.0.

Source: http://www.pandia.com/sew/209-yoono-search-engine-20.html

This is just a timely (1-2 days old) exemplar. It shows how search engines
can be optimised by tracking users. Google already do this, but what about
Microsoft? They have control over people's machines, which phone home. Now
they have MyWay as well...

Alexa have similar junk and perhaps Netcraft (their toolbar) too...

Secondly, lo' and behold! Microsoft unveil their advertisement program
earlier this morning/last night:

Microsoft Opens adCenter for Business

,----[ Quote ]
| "For small business owners and consumers who are users of Google's
| AdWords, this could be a competitive option," said Andrew Frank, an
| analyst at Gartner, a technology research firm. "It gives small
| advertisers a strategic choice -- Microsoft's allegedly superior
| targeting mechanisms versus Google AdWords' reach."

Source: http://www.sci-tech-today.com/story.xhtml?story_id=010001470KSU

Gee, brother! Can the aforementioned form of spying help makers of Windows
deliver more taregetted ads and gain an advantage over competitors? Notably
Overture/Yahoo and AdSense/Google?

The list could go on, but it remains short in the interests of brevity. The
key point remains: information is power. Getting it in unethical ways often
gives the most valuable data.

Mind you, Microsoft already have the adware-maker Claria (say hello to Bonzi
Buddy!!). Not only that, but have a look at this damaging article:

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft has denied its AntiSpyware application has given adware-maker
| Claria special treatment. The denial has been issued amid reports MS is
| looking to buy Claria, and is in response to security researchers' reports
| stating AntiSpyware had downgraded the threat level posed by Claria's
|adware products.

Source: http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/07/11/0644245

If you want to go further, among others in the series:


        Microsoft Anti-Spyware Removes Norton Anti-Virus


        Microsoft AntiSpyware thinks Firefox is Spyware

Among others...

> http://dell.myway.com/
> Standard "We are not scum" disclaimer. Large pinch of salt there.
>  From the Dell help pages:
> The Dell My Way Home Page is an Internet portal provided free of charge
> by Dell and MyWay.com. Through this portal, customers are given access
> to Internet search engines, web-based e-mail, instant messaging chat,
> news, sports, stocks, weather and many more feature-rich areas. Dell My
> Way allows customers to have their own highly customizable home page
> without the inconvenience of pop-up and banner ads normally associated
> with other Internet portals available.
> For more information about using and configuring the Dell My Way home
> page, visit MyWay.com's Product Overview.
> For information about the Dell My Way terms and conditions as well as
> privacy policy information, visit MyWay.com's Terms of Service.
> Which does beg the question, why do they make it so hard to remove the
> client?

I think it's rhetorical. It's like asking "why are installation always made
as simple and intervention-free as possible?".

> My theory is, they simply haven't thought that far ahead, because the
> systems this thing's designed for are aimed at the Granma Jones and
> Tweeniesurfers markets. They don't want to look too hard for anything,
> and may find something that blasts v14g4r4 ads at them every three
> seconds a Godsend. Yanno? The serious gamers and tweakers will already
> have their boot CDs revved and ready and the default installs will
> likely disappear anyway (if they decide that Dell hardware is worth it,
> that is. I've seen some very decent Dell hardware, and I've seen a lot
> of absolutely shite Dell hardware).

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz      | "Black holes are where God is divided by zero"
http://Schestowitz.com  |  Open Prospects   ¦     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
  4:40pm  up 6 days 23:37,  13 users,  load average: 0.10, 0.24, 0.37
      http://iuron.com - knowledge engine, not a search engine

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