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Ground Control To Peeping Tom
May 6th 2000, 22:04 CEST by andy

Beta testers for Sierra's real-time strategy game Ground Control may be interested to know that, according to this message on the WON.net forum, the current version secretly installs the Aureate demographic software.



Aureate works in partnership with software developers who earn money by installing the so-called "spyware" at the same time as their own products. This is generally done without the user's consent or knowledge. Once the software has been installed on a user's system it can communicate with Aureate and supply information useful for targeted advertising.

When it first came to light a few months ago, concerns about the software were due in part to the covert nature in which it is installed, but the major worry was that nobody knew exactly what data was being sent to Aureate. Assuming the worst, some people believed the software to be transmitting information such as e-mail addresses, passwords and hard drive contents.

Those initial fears have now been calmed by the work of Steve Gibson, a researcher in the fields of data recovery and security. Having written software specifically to monitor Aureate's capabilities, he now concludes: "I have found NO EVIDENCE to suggest that the Aureate technology has the ability to - in any fashion - inventory the contents of the user's system. Nor that it's able to transmit personal or private data out of the system."

However, he continues: "This is not to say that I think the Aureate system is either benign or desirable. I continue to feel that it is neither - but this is just my opinion. It does NOT appear that they have been secretly inventorying any contents of their client's machines."

Even with security concerns now greatly reduced, the ongoing objections people have to the Aureate software is that it is installed without the user's knowledge, communicates secretly with Aureate, continues to run after the application it was installed with has stopped or even been deleted, and is not able to be uninstalled without the user manually deleting a number of DLL files.

If you have installed the Ground Control beta and object to your unwitting entry into a demographic database, you can grab a copy of Steve Gibson's free OptOut utility which will detect and remove the Aureate software from your system.

The OptOut utility may also be of interest to anyone who uses other Aureate-affiliated software such as GetRight, Go!Zilla, CuteFTP, or any of the hundreds of other applications listed on this page. (Ironically, one of the programs listed is the "Aureate SpamKiller".)

For lots of information and history about Aureate, visit Steve Gibson's OptOut page. To see how much software developers can profit by betraying your trust, have a look at the Aureate affiliate FAQ. To see the other side of the argument, read Aureate's privacy statement.

For your information, I've never installed the Ground Control beta, but when I run the OptOut software on my system it reports: "Aureate Parasite 'Spyware' CONTAMINATION WAS FOUND in the System Registry!" The message then explains what this means, tells me what I can do about it and advises a "deep scan" of my hard drive. The only software listed on the Aureate site that I have knowingly installed is GetRight.

C O M M E N T S
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#1 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-05-06 22:10:29
:)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#2 by "Sgt Hulka"
2000-05-06 22:18:39
sgt_hulka@yahoo.com http://www.hulka.com
:(
#3 by "Jafd"
2000-05-06 22:20:50
hooray Sierra.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#4 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-05-06 22:26:46
sdk@rosenet.net http://www.unrealuniverse.com
tHank god for sCary!
He's done so many wonderful things!

;)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#5 by "Valeyard"
2000-05-06 22:33:16
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
Thanks for the info Andy.  Optout found no spyware on my system, thankfully.

My only thoughts on the issue are that companies should be required to fully disclose if <b>anything</b> like this is going to be installed on your machine with their product.  The disclosure should include a detailed listing of all information they are going to collect and the ability to completely turn it off.

If it's not "invasion of privacy" to do it without notification, then it's damned close.

I'm wondering if the EULA for the beta contained this notification and no one bothered to read it?

-Valeyard<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#6 by "Dethstryk"
2000-05-06 22:36:38
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
Just for everyone's information, I'm using the confidential press beta from Sierra, which must be different from the beta you are reffering to, Andy.

I received my beta of the game last night, installed it, and have been blown away since. I ran the scan and it didn't detect it.


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#7 by "None-1a"
2000-05-06 22:37:52
none1a@home.com
It's a beta for crying out loud, infomation on what went wrong needs to be gatherd (you can't all ways count on public testers to know just why a crash happened), Netscape does the same thing with there TalkBack agent (all though it does ask if you want to send or not).

Also since this is a beta having an option to turn it off would make the whole thing a waist of time (people would simply turn it off and the developers would never get any crash reports). Maybe they should just clearly state before the beta testers begin what's being done, and if they don't like it they can wait for a finished product.
#8 by "PiRaMidA"
2000-05-06 22:38:43
piramida@usa.net http://www.agsm.net
I think ther was quite a buzz over Aureal some time ago. Ain't they out of business yet? They seriously violated privacy by collecting all sorts of data from many shareware programs that used it, the least that was confirmed is that they were monitoring all the ad banner clicks, generating customer profile to presumably deliver more suitable ads...<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#9 by "lechifre"
2000-05-06 22:41:22
user@casinoroyale.softnet.co.uk
Fuck me! 25 spyware programs found on my PC.
Thanks Aureate.

Surely if I tried to place my own programs on Aureate's servers without their permission I would be guilty of Hacking their site with the express purpose of changing/modifying the data on their servers. This is illegal.
How come they're allowed to do it to me just because they're a company, and I'm an individual?
Don't they have to comply with the data protection act since they are gathering information about me and storing it electronically? Thet are also acting in an illegal manner given the way they operate.
Under the terms of the data protection act I am entitled to access to any facts they store about me electronically.
#10 by "PiRaMidA"
2000-05-06 22:42:39
piramida@usa.net http://www.agsm.net
That of course should be Aureate, not Aureal in #8... Damn games...<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#11 by "Andy"
2000-05-06 22:53:48
andy@planetcrap.com
Bad_CRC / Sgt Hulka - thanks for the biggest laugh of the day! :)

Post #7 - why do I even bother researching this stuff if people aren't going to read the summary?!
#12 by "Andy"
2000-05-06 22:55:09
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#11</b>, Andy:
<QUOTE>
Bad_CRC / Sgt Hulka - thanks for the biggest laugh of the day! :)
</QUOTE>
That wasn't sarcastic, btw.
#13 by "BarneyQue"
2000-05-06 23:01:26
barneyQue@hotmail.com
Seth Krieg:
tHank god for sCary!
He's done so many wonderful things!
--

While sCary has in fact done some wonderful things, like keep all the leet hacker dood kiddy's to busy to find this site, he is not the one responsible for OptOut.  Same name, different guy.
#14 by "MoNo"
2000-05-07 00:59:33
monoton@online.no
<b>/lurk mode off</b>

where i come from this actually is punishable by jail. Any company in Norway that wants to gather any type of user informasion would have to get permission from datatilsyn(department of informasion). The goverment take privacy serious here and this company would by norwegian law actualy get permission from the highest autority there is(the King:)), and i doubt they would get it actually since even monitoring your employees mail is ilegal here.

i found 1 spyware on my computer. thanks for the warning.

<b>/lurk mode on</b><I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#15 by "Jon Lauridsen"
2000-05-07 01:46:34
gaggle@traceroute.dk
Holy crap! I'm...I'm baffled, that's what I am.
How the heck can this program even be legal? Someone please tell me their side of the story...if there is one.
Hell, in my book just that it installs secretly is enough to trigger half a dozen alarms! I'm really interested in hearing what Aureate's story is tho...they obvisouly don't see it as a violation of rights, but have they dealt with that issue or just avoided it? And how can it in any way be legal to install a program on a computer without letting the user know?! I'm just so baffled by the entire concept...it sounds like the type of thing I should have heard about years ago, on the frontpage of newspapers, and people everywhere screaming out about violation of rights.
#16 by "None-1a"
2000-05-07 02:08:38
none1a@home.com
You'd think that Jon, but I don't see any one bitching when netscape installs talkback (or when 4.5 changed the IE start page to netcenter for that matter), or any other program installs dll files to there windows folder. The fact is Aureate isn't a program it's just a set of dlls that support the ads you see on a lot of software (thus it's uses on the free versions of getright and Go!zilla). Also since the facts at this point show that it's not sending any info out of your system (it's only a ad network that runs from with in software) I don't see getting irate about it. Although I can't fathom a reason for beta software to be using it (sorry all my brain wasn't working earlyer I confued it for crash reporting software).

Look this is an insecure world, every store you go to keeps a record of what you buy and buys more stuff like it, every time your use your credit card they track what you buy and send you offers for more stuff like it (they say they use this to protect you from odd buys). Every time you click an ad on a web site that click is tracked, and more ads like it are sent to that site (or that program in this case). If you don't like it don't use ad supported software, or just don't click the ads (after all they can't track a click that never happens).

I don't really support all of this infomation getting and wish I where told, but I can't see making installing some dlls that are needed for the ad support for that program to work right being ilegal.
#17 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-05-07 03:03:55
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#5</b> "Valeyard" wrote...
<QUOTE>Thanks for the info Andy. Optout found no spyware on my system, thankfully.

My only thoughts on the issue are that companies should be required to fully disclose if anything like this is going to be installed on your machine with their product. The disclosure should include a detailed listing of all information they are going to collect and the ability to completely turn it off.

If it's not "invasion of privacy" to do it without notification, then it's damned close.

I'm wondering if the EULA for the beta contained this notification and no one bothered to read it?

-Valeyard</QUOTE>

Sounds like something thats not easy to use. Weren't you advocating removing all these "difficulties" from the user in the other thread...

/me ducks and weaves<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#18 by "David Long"
2000-05-07 03:09:05
ogv@gamestats.com http://ogv.gamestats.com
Aureate is disclosed in GetRight at the very least.  When I installed it, I got a disclaimer for using the "advertising supported" version.

I also noticed that HyperSnap DX offers an advertising supported version with Aureate included too.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#19 by "Valeyard"
2000-05-07 03:26:15
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
<b>#17</b> "RahvinTaka" wrote...
<QUOTE>Sounds like something thats not easy to use. Weren't you advocating removing all these "difficulties" from the user in the other thread...</QUOTE>

You lost me.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#20 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-05-07 03:35:35
sdk@rosenet.net http://www.unrealuniverse.com
<b>#13</b> "BarneyQue" wrote...
<QUOTE>Seth Krieg:
While sCary has in fact done some wonderful things, like keep all the leet hacker dood kiddy's to busy to find this site, he is not the one responsible for OptOut. Same name, different guy. </QUOTE>

Somebody can't smell the sardonism. :)

Yes, I know they are different Steve Gibsons. :)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#21 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-05-07 03:39:41
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#19</b> "Valeyard" wrote...
You lost me.</QUOTE>

ahh okay. I thought you were advocating that enabling software to automatically do things users want is a good thing ? Then why would you want them to walk through 5 screens talking in legalese. Personally I think that doing that is a bad thing. (ie I don't like your philosophy of Punish the stupid/ignorant) ..... but I was just poking fun at you :/<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#22 by "BarneyQue"
2000-05-07 03:41:05
barneyQue@hotmail.com
Heh, mabey, but I can't pass up an opportunity to take a stab at Gibson's followers.  That would be such a waste. I think it was worth it.
:)
#23 by "Valeyard"
2000-05-07 03:46:32
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
<b>#21</b> "RahvinTaka" wrote...
<QUOTE>I thought you were advocating that enabling software to automatically do things users want is a good thing ? Then why would you want them to walk through 5 screens talking in legalese. Personally I think that doing that is a bad thing. (ie I don't like your philosophy of Punish the stupid/ignorant) ..... but I was just poking fun at you :/</QUOTE>

I'm not opposed to software doing things automatically...you have to have that to accomodate most users who don't know or want to know anything about how their machine works.

That's considerably different from the invasion of privacy issue we're looking at here.  In the case I'm talking about, a corporation is remotely administering THEIR computers that employees simply USE.  This topic is about someone secretly installing "spy" software on my personal machine.  Big difference.

For the record, I'm not just trying to punish the stupid/ignorant, I just don't think they have anything to complain about.  If you don't have enough interest in keeping your machine running properly and virus free, if you don't care about how it works, if you don't understand the potential risks in your actions...I'm sure not going to have sympathy for you when you fuck it up. (And "you" is generic)

-Valeyard<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#24 by "None-1a"
2000-05-07 03:55:04
none1a@home.com
I think your all missing the point of what it dos in the first place, Aureate isn't really 'spy ware' the infomation it collets is what adds you click (for both demographic reasons and to calculate payment), and ad banner can do this (hell any link can do this) and I remember in another topic some one asking andy what he used to get stats for the site (or acctauly recommending a program for it) this stats tacker isn't much different from what Aureate is doing, the fact is andy more than likly knows what link you clicked to get here, what keywords you used if it was a search engine, what OS your using, what your browser is, what screen res your running, how fast your connection is, and we can all see that it knows where we are located (or at lest the server your dialed into). And I don't see a privacy policy around here anywhere. Acreate isn't getting anymore info then this.
#25 by "VeeSPIKE"
2000-05-07 04:50:45
appliedavoidanc@triton.net
<b>#14</b> "MoNo" wrote...
<QUOTE>where i come from this actually is punishable by jail. Any company in Norway that wants to gather any type of user informasion would have to get permission from datatilsyn(department of informasion). The goverment take privacy serious here and this company would by norwegian law actualy get permission from the highest autority there is(the King:)), and i doubt they would get it actually since even monitoring your employees mail is ilegal here. </QUOTE>

It is illegal here as well, at least in some states


Didn't Blizzard do something just like this about 2 years ago, and get raked over the coals for it in the rpess. As I recall, they were even charged with a criminal act in the State of California.

<b>#16</b> "None-1a" wrote...
<QUOTE>I don't really support all of this infomation getting and wish I where told, but I can't see making installing some dlls that are needed for the ad support for that program to work right being ilegal. </QUOTE>

It would be fine if all the dll's did was support their ads. Well, maybe not fine but I could deal with it. What is wrong here is that their dll's report back to their masters from inside your system, without your knowledge. And it doesn't go away when you quit using the software that installed it. As if M$ code bloat wasn't enough, now I have to worry about files I never knew were going to be there.

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#26 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-05-07 05:45:14
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#23</b> "Valeyard" wrote...
<QUOTE>For the record, I'm not just trying to punish the stupid/ignorant, I just don't think they have anything to complain about. If you don't have enough interest in keeping your machine running properly and virus free, if you don't care about how it works, if you don't understand the potential risks in your actions...I'm sure not going to have sympathy for you when you fuck it up. (And "you" is generic)
-Valeyard</QUOTE>

*sigh* ... SO if people don't have 5 hours a day to keep with X and then they fuck up because it was never made clear to them about the implications of X it is their fault ?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#27 by "Desiato"
2000-05-07 07:00:53
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com
#26 "SO if people don't have 5 hours a day to keep up with X"

Umm...I'm not going to go totally overboard here, but here's the big suprise... IF YOU DON'T CARE ENOUGH TO LEARN ABOUT SOMETHING, then perhaps you DO deserve to suffer because of your ignorance.

That is the precise reason I don't try to do things unless I'm well versed in what I'm trying to attempt. If I went skydiving without lessons, or just didn't bother to learn all about that "complicated" altimiter, then I think I DESERVE to smack into the ground with a wet thud.

It DOESN'T take 5 hours a day -- the point is that if you USE something as SOPHISTICATED as a COMPUTER, then perhaps you ahould have more of an idea OF HOW IT WORKS.

Why do we have to be a nation of point-and-click-zombies that would rather watch sports and get drunk than try to actually LEARN something?

It's beyond me.....but hey, as this ILOVEYOU worm has amply proven, it takes two to make something sweep the globe in 6 hours...IGNORANCE and a malicious programmer.

Blah.

Desiato..
#28 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-05-07 07:22:26
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#27</b> "Desiato" wrote...
<QUOTE>#26 "SO if people don't have 5 hours a day to keep up with X"

Umm...I'm not going to go totally overboard here, but here's the big suprise... IF YOU DON'T CARE ENOUGH TO LEARN ABOUT SOMETHING, then perhaps you DO deserve to suffer because of your ignorance.
</QUOTE>

I really hate this attitude. I have to deal with elitists like you on a daily basis. How much do you have to know before you don't deserve to to suffer ?

Everyone has to start somewhere and your philosophy would make it a-ok to make the stupid or ignorant suffer even while they are learning. It would of course end up in them not using the computer which leave it up to you and your "l33t" friends to "r00l da w3rdl". pfft ... hope you never have children. Can just imagine you making them suffer because they have not yet learnt enough.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#29 by "Valeyard"
2000-05-07 07:58:44
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
There's a happy middle ground, I'm sure.  I'm not looking for everyone to know and understand everything about their computer...it's just not going to happen.  There are, however, some simple, basic concepts you really need to understand before you can reasonably expect your complaints to receive notice.

I expect people who get PAID to work on a computer everyday to have at LEAST the minimum understanding.  Corporations are the ones hit hardest by these virii and trojans, and it should be simple to REQUIRE your employees to understand these basics.  That's not happening.

Simple things like understanding the file system, the basics of the OS you're using, what dangers exist in the various programs you use, etc.  By now, almost everyone who works with computers in the corporate world should know about e-mail attachments and trojans.  It doesn't take much common sense to identify most of the messages.

At our company, even AFTER the IT department sent out multiple warnings, people were STILL running the attachment.  It makes me SICK to know that we have employees who are so utterly incompetent.  Many of these people only know how to open their email and start up Word.  "Um, can you tell me where I saved that file?"  Sad...pathetic.

Now, that's probably elitist...but these people are paid to do a job.  I don't think it's too much to ask that they properly understand the machine they work with every day.

If it were up to me, spreading spam messages and corrupting the corporate network with these trojans would be recorded and would be directly reflected in their performance appraisals.  Don't show any improvement?  Spam the corporate network a few times?  You're fired.

After all, wouldn't we rather have the MOST qualified person for the job??

-Valeyard<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#30 by "SiliconVortex"
2000-05-07 08:06:28
siliconvortex@mailandnews.com
<b>#27</b> "Desiato" wrote...
<QUOTE>IF YOU DON'T CARE ENOUGH TO LEARN ABOUT SOMETHING, then perhaps you DO deserve to suffer because of your ignorance.</QUOTE>

Lets try cars for a bit.  More people use cars than use computers.  But what do they really know about safty and maintainence.  Put gas here.  Put oil here.  If you hear odd noises, take it too the mechanic, but only after the noises have been going for a while and have gotten pretty loud.  Don't hit other things with your car.  That's about it.

Lots of people have trouble with that much, and thus they get stranded when they run out of gas, and have to rent cars when their transmission falls through to the ground.  Most people (like me) could know more, could do better if they took the time.  Sure, I could work on my car one or two saturday afternoons a month, but I'd rather be doing work on my computer.  It just doesn't interest me.  I don't want to have to know anymore than I need to make it move forward.

People are forced to work with computers even though their job is not to know computers inside out.  It's a tool, people who don't need to know more shouldn't have to know more just to use it.  Many people enjoy working with and knowing stuff about computers, but most people don't.

Basic ignorance can be treated, but it won't ever be a cure.  There will be stupid people who will turn around 20 seconds after telling them not to run attachment, who will still run attachments.  Unfortunately most of them aren't stupid enough to fail at reproducing.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#31 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-05-07 08:08:43
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#29</b> "Valeyard" wrote...
<QUOTE>There's a happy middle ground, I'm sure. I'm not looking for everyone to know and understand everything about their computer...it's just not going to happen. There are, however, some simple, basic concepts you really need to understand before you can reasonably expect your complaints to receive notice.

I expect people who get PAID to work on a computer everyday to have at LEAST the minimum understanding. Corporations are the ones hit hardest by these virii and trojans, and it should be simple to REQUIRE your employees to understand these basics. That's not happening.
</QUOTE>

true. What I would like is some kind of certification system and a lot more employer training. That way each week you could test your employees knowledge and if they failed too many times - they have to be retrained or if they have already attempted that boot em.

<QUOTE>
At our company, even AFTER the IT department sent out multiple warnings, people were STILL running the attachment. It makes me SICK to know that we have employees who are so utterly incompetent. Many of these people only know how to open their email and start up Word. "Um, can you tell me where I saved that file?" Sad...pathetic.
</QUOTE>

true. But how long has your company spent educating these people ? Most people can't read email and grok whats going and yet very few people are willing to explain it. Do you try to explain to them ?

<QUOTE>
If it were up to me, spreading spam messages and corrupting the corporate network with these trojans would be recorded and would be directly reflected in their performance appraisals. Don't show any improvement? Spam the corporate network a few times? You're fired.
</QUOTE>

I like the way you think :P<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#32 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-05-07 09:20:20
sdk@rosenet.net http://www.unrealuniverse.com
<b>#29</b> "Valeyard" wrote...
<QUOTE>There's a happy middle ground, I'm sure. I'm not looking for everyone to know and understand everything about their computer...it's just not going to happen. There are, however, some simple, basic concepts you really need to understand before you can reasonably expect your complaints to receive notice.

I expect people who get PAID to work on a computer everyday to have at LEAST the minimum understanding. Corporations are the ones hit hardest by these virii and trojans, and it should be simple to REQUIRE your employees to understand these basics. That's not happening.

Simple things like understanding the file system, the basics of the OS you're using, what dangers exist in the various programs you use, etc. By now, almost everyone who works with computers in the corporate world should know about e-mail attachments and trojans. It doesn't take much common sense to identify most of the messages.

At our company, even AFTER the IT department sent out multiple warnings, people were STILL running the attachment. It makes me SICK to know that we have employees who are so utterly incompetent. Many of these people only know how to open their email and start up Word. "Um, can you tell me where I saved that file?" Sad...pathetic.

Now, that's probably elitist...but these people are paid to do a job. I don't think it's too much to ask that they properly understand the machine they work with every day.

If it were up to me, spreading spam messages and corrupting the corporate network with these trojans would be recorded and would be directly reflected in their performance appraisals. Don't show any improvement? Spam the corporate network a few times? You're fired.

After all, wouldn't we rather have the MOST qualified person for the job??
</QUOTE>
Oh come on, that's just propaganda.

People screw up. We; by nature, screw up every single god damned day of our life. If I hadn't heard about the virus before hand, and got an email from a relative with an iloveyou.jpg file attached to it - the only thing that (probably) would've kept me from opening it was if the icon displayed was the default win icon. I spend at least 3 hours a day on my computer, for the past 4 years that's roughly 1,100 hours a year. 1,100 hours a year and I <b>still</b> might fall for it.
It better have been the smartest man in the world who got into my computer so easily. Not some hack from the Philippines out to make a name.
You're an elitist Vale - I find it an odd paradox that the average elitest think so little of "common" people's intelligence yet they think absolutely no responsibility be placed on the backbone of the system for compensatory meausres. The world is run by balance, you remove the balance - existance will cease.

Of course there's a happy median - but where in the hell was that middleground last f'n year? Where is it today? Win2kSE?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#33 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-05-07 09:23:52
sdk@rosenet.net http://www.unrealuniverse.com
Oh my god,

apologies Vale, I thought you had gone insane and made this post this topic in the other forum - god, what a fuck up. :)

I was switching back and forth between forums and didn't make the proper connection.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#34 by "Valeyard"
2000-05-07 09:43:34
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
<b>#31</b> "RahvinTaka" wrote...
<QUOTE>true. But how long has your company spent educating these people ? Most people can't read email and grok whats going and yet very few people are willing to explain it. Do you try to explain to them ?</QUOTE>

We're definitely making progress, and it's still a great place to work.  There are really two problems.

1. We've grown pretty fast, so some people are a little behind the curve.
2. There are tons of admin types that don't quite "get it".  They're ok at the rest of their job, they just don't want to learn about the PC.  That would be fine, if their ignorance didn't hurt the rest of the company.

-Valeyard<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#35 by "Peter"
2000-05-07 09:53:14
I think we can calm down. Check the company's FAQ at http://www.radiate.com/privacy/falserumors.html

It says that the software is only used to get and display the ad banner in GetRight, in my case. It does not get any info from your drive or web surfing.
#36 by "Valeyard"
2000-05-07 09:55:06
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
<b>#33</b> "Seth Krieg" wrote...
<QUOTE>Oh my god,

apologies Vale, I thought you had gone insane and made this post this topic in the other forum - god, what a fuck up. :)</QUOTE>

Actually it's not that big of a fuck up.  My thoughts still apply, and the other conversation had some bearing on this post.

Yes, it's elitist...I've never claimed otherwise.  I'm not proud of it, I don't have an intense hatred of ignorant...I just don't have much patience with them.  Dealing with customers (and some managers) will do that to you.

I just feel that you should expect a minimum level of competency if you're paying someone to do a job.  It's clear that the corporate environment is lacking in that aspect if so MANY people who work with PCs are still making the same basic mistakes.  Especially on a computer they don't own.  They have a false sense of security in that office and they aren't concerned if the PC gets toasted...IS/IT will come and fix it.

I don't have a problem with people who are ignorant through no fault of their own...whether from lack of exposure or lack of interest.  What I DO have a problem with is people who SHOULD know better and simply don't bother to learn or pay attention to warnings because they're lazy.  If I'm talking to someone and they have no clue what I'm talking to them about, that's fine.  I'm always willing to try and explain.  It's the people you have to explain it to over and over and over that bother me.  They're either too lazy or too stupid to grasp it, and it's a waste of my time.  Ignorance I can understand, forgive and deal with.  Stupidity grates on my very last nerve.

I'd better stop, I'm tire, I'm rambling and I've almost forgotten what this was all about.  Wasn't this the thread about "spying" software? :)

-Valeyard<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#37 by "Jafd"
2000-05-07 10:19:40
<b>#36</b> "Valeyard" wrote...
<QUOTE>What I DO have a problem with is people who SHOULD know better and simply don't bother to learn or pay attention to warnings because they're lazy. </QUOTE>

Hmmm... like MS' security department?

;)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#38 by "PiRaMidA"
2000-05-07 10:25:13
piramida@usa.net http://www.agsm.net
<b>#35</b> "Peter" wrote...
<QUOTE>It says that the software is only used to get and display the ad banner in GetRight, in my case. It does not get any info from your drive or web surfing. </QUOTE>


And noone said that it does; though it does crash browsers sometimes, it might be simply because they have a poorly written code that inteferes with browser's code somehow... I would be surprised if they would write "Yes our program is monitoring your browsing, the sites you've been on, we get your dialup passwords, and we also occasionally upload kid pr0n to your hd".


What this program really does - and for me it is enough to dislike it - it installs itself without you knowing it and sends click stats to the company which creates <b>your individual customer profile</b> from that statistics - and I don't want anyone to know I've been clicking Viagra banners. Even if I don't click a single banner I still want a company to ask my permission first before they would know this much about me.

It may or may not do other things, and the company's page is the last place I would look for a confirmation of illegal activity.

To make things worse, it has no uninstall capability. That is, uninstall the program it came with, and it will still be there. What's up with that? I understand that they want to become an ultimate customer stats gathering program.. Maybe it would even be installed with windows? And make that statistics open to anyone? Say, Mr.X have visited these sites: ... for so many minutes... clicked those banners... downloaded these files...

Even if it is a good thing and it helps them show me better ads, fuck it. I would let the company know if and when I want to tell them something that would help them show me better ads, not the other way around.

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#39 by "Jafd"
2000-05-07 10:36:58
<b>#38</b> "PiRaMidA" wrote...
<QUOTE>helps them show me better ads</QUOTE>

Ahem. I would like them to show me the worst ads possible. My laughter heals me.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#40 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-05-07 10:53:42
sdk@rosenet.net http://www.unrealuniverse.com
vale: heh, just chalk another one up for me. :)
The different values being stressed being stressed by our different opinions are an offshoot your being a realist and me being an idealist. Lord knows the world needs both (or maybe just this forum).

"Life, which you so nobly serve, comes from destruction, disorder, and chaos. Take this glass. Empty, serene - boring. But if it is destroyed..."
Jean-Baptiste Emmanuale Zorg, The 5th Element
#41 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-05-07 10:55:07
sdk@rosenet.net http://www.unrealuniverse.com
*sigh* "being stressed being stressed".

And again. It's late. G'night.

/me just disconnects.
#42 by "Flamethrower"
2000-05-07 11:54:15
flamey@alreadythere.freeserve.co.uk http://flamethrower.evilavatar.com
Everyone once in a while Andy does something to confound his critics and justify his existance.

Right, so I was "infected" thanks to GOZILLA. I'm now without a resumable download program. Anyone know of any OK freeware ones? HELP!
#43 by "Andy"
2000-05-07 12:09:14
andy@planetcrap.com
Oh... my... God...

I just went to Evil Avatar to read his Daikatata demo review that people were talking about in the other thread, and in the discussion after it I noticed the 'troll' tag under Charlie's name. Dave - when you said he'd been labelled as a troll (or whatever phrase you used) I didn't think you meant it <b>literally</b>! What did he do to deserve this honour?

As for the review itself ... *grits teeth* ... it wasn't as bad as I've been hearing. I think there's a whole load of prejudice in there, and a bit of flame-baiting too, but it was okay.

Someone mentioned recently about EA not having touched a drop of booze in over a year - was he an alcoholic? Is that why his site is "powered by PubPoint"?


<b>#25</b>, VeeSPIKE:
<QUOTE>
Didn't Blizzard do something just like this about 2 years ago, and get raked over the coals for it in the rpess. As I recall, they were even charged with a criminal act in the State of California.
</QUOTE>

Sort of. A consumer watchdog group called Intervention went after them because Starcraft was sending information from the user's registry, including e-mail addresses. There was also talk of a class action suit but I don't know if that ever happened, and I don't know what the outcome of the Intervention case was. (And a quick web search didn't turn up anything.)
#44 by "PiRaMidA"
2000-05-07 12:09:55
piramida@usa.net http://www.agsm.net
<b>#42</b> "Flamethrower" wrote...
<QUOTE>
Right, so I was "infected" thanks to GOZILLA. I'm now without a resumable download program. Anyone know of any OK freeware ones? HELP! </QUOTE>

Try <a href="http://www.netvampire.com/">NetVampire</a>, the perfect downloader, the best I've found so far. No Aureate either :)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#45 by "Flamethrower"
2000-05-07 12:19:37
flamey@alreadythere.freeserve.co.uk http://flamethrower.evilavatar.com
Dude, NetVampire is freakin' LISTED on the Aureate Members Network (link in the story).

Oh Jesus.... :(
#46 by "Jafd"
2000-05-07 12:24:32
I think highly of GetRight. If you register it, you get no ads, and no Aureate stuff. :)

Haven't used NetVampire... anyone compared it and GetRight?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#47 by "Andy"
2000-05-07 12:32:56
andy@planetcrap.com
Sometime around the middle of last year, Netscape started crashing whenever I used it for more than a few minutes. Every time, the message was the same - ADVERT.DLL had caused an error.

Eventually I gave up with Netscape and switched to IE, which generally works fine, but it does crash every couple of days with the same message about ADVERT.DLL.

I decided to remove the Aureate software today using OptOut. Guess what one of the Aureate files is - yep, ADVERT.DLL. Thanks Aureate - the only major problem I've had with my system in the last year was caused by a piece of software that existed to make money from me without my knowledge or consent.

FYI, OptOut warns that if you remove the Aureate software, any Aureate-affiliate programs will probably stop working. I've now removed everything - files and registry entries - and GetRight still works fine.
#48 by "Jafd"
2000-05-07 12:35:24
When the revolution comes, those pricks at Aureate will be amongst the first against the wall.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#49 by "Flamethrower"
2000-05-07 12:37:04
flamey_at_evil@hotmail.com http://flamethrower.evilavatar.com
I have NO idea if it's related to this AMC's arseware, but after installing SOMETHING reasonably recently, possibly Gozilla, my browser tries to "jump" to the advert window. Example, I load a page up, fine. Except sometimes instead of loading the page, sometimes it comes up with weird error messages that relate to the banner content. Always going BACK in the browser and re-trying fixes it. I'm desperate to find out if this weirdness is suddenly going to go away. :)
#50 by "Tom (cyberfart)"
2000-05-07 12:38:00
tom187@dingoblue.net.au http://www.rtsplayers.org
Out of all the downloading proggies ive used, i still prefer getright. Im using version 3.3.3 i think, and i have any of that Aureate stuff isntalled....


Totally off topic, but has anyone played the Shogun demo? Its pretty damn amazing if you ask me.
I might whip up a quick preview at <a href="http://www.rtsplayers.org">www.rtsplayers.org</a> if i have time. (doh, shameless plug alert)
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
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