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UnBox Calls Home, A Lot 252

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-lonely dept.
SachiCALaw writes "It turns out that to use UnBox, the user has to download software from Amazon that contains a Windows service (ADVWindowsClientService.exe). Tom Merritt over at C|Net reports that the service tries to connect to the internet quite frequently. Even tweaking msconfig could not prevent it." From the article: "So, in summary, to be allowed the privilege of purchasing a video that I can't burn to DVD and can't watch on my iPod, I have to allow a program to hijack my start-up and force me to login to uninstall it? No way. Sorry, Amazon. I love a lot of what you do, but I will absolutely not recommend this service. Try again."
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UnBox Calls Home, A Lot

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  • What is the point? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by linzeal (197905) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @03:13PM (#16072445) Homepage Journal
    Half of the Unvideo searches I ran were more expensive than the DVDs.

    Check out Unbox's 12 monkeys [amazon.com] and the special edition DVD [amazon.com] with over 2 hours more video.

    • by 11223 (201561) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @03:26PM (#16072487)
      This raises an interesting question: now that Amazon is in the business of competing with physical DVD purchases, will Amazon prices for DVDs rise until it's cheaper to buy via UnBox?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by bigdavesmith (928732)
        will Amazon prices for DVDs rise until it's cheaper to buy via UnBox?
        I'm don't think that they could do this and remain competitive.
        Personally, I usually shop at Amazon.com for their prices. If it's lower, I buy, if not, I get in my car and drive out to BestBuy, MicroCenter, or if I'm desperate, WalMart. If Amazon raises their prices, I don't buy from them. Simple as that. More likely they'll find that they have to drop prices on their UnBox downloads.
      • by MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) <dylanNO@SPAMdylanbrams.com> on Saturday September 09, 2006 @05:20PM (#16072881) Homepage Journal
        See, that's not the way it works. There's no competition here; UnBox is for buying everything you want to watch on your Computer Machine. You're going to have to buy yourself the DVD to watch it on the TV machine. And to watch it on the iPod Gadget, you're going to have to buy it again. And circumventing any of these purchases is a crime.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hackstraw (262471) *
      Half of the Unvideo searches I ran were more expensive than the DVDs.

      Same goes for Music video DVDs vs audio CDs.

      Video DVDs have multiple audio tracks (aka, more production work to make them). Video (again, more work). And frequently, if not almost always, have more minutes of material than audio CDs, yet audio CDs often cost more than the video counterpart. And not just a couple of cents like the 12 monkeys example.

      • by Arivia (783328)
        Here's a hint: There's more replayability (and as such, more time entertained) with music than with movies.
    • by niceone (992278) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @04:02PM (#16072598) Journal
      Aw come on - it's only 11c more - that's a mere 1c per monkey and ONE MONKEY FREE!
    • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @04:36PM (#16072730)
      It's the reason Amazon has so many studios on board, while Apple will (reportedly) only have Disney next Tuesday. Steve Jobs wants to sell for only $9.99 or $12.99, while the studios wanted higher prices (yeah, I want to pay as much as a DVD for an online video version...right). Jobs wouldn't budge, so they went to Amazon. I'm sure the disaster of Amazon's service compared to the inevitable success of Apple's will put the ball in Jobs' court, and the other studios will come around.
  • Has anyone tried to use Amazon player using wine?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Jared Lundell (874807)
      Unbox is implemented with .Net 2.0. Mono is your best bet if you want to run it on linux.
    • I did, once, and the wench drank me under the table...

      *rimshot*
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 09, 2006 @03:21PM (#16072472)
    3. Unbox Video Player

    In order to download and view Digital Content using the Service, you will need to install the Unbox Video Player (the "Software") on an Authorized Device and agree to the Microsoft Software Supplemental License Terms set forth as an Addendum below these Terms of Use (the "Software License"). The Software may operate on your Authorized Device continuously for a variety of reasons, including the management of your Digital Content. The Software also will access the Internet in order to perform a number of functions including as described below:

    a. Software Upgrades. The Software automatically checks for upgrades, but the Software will not automatically upgrade without your consent, except as provided herein. If you do not consent to an upgrade that we make subject to your consent, the Digital Content may no longer be viewed on your Authorized Device. You must keep the Software on your Authorized Device current in order to continue to use the Service. We may automatically upgrade the Software when we believe such upgrade is appropriate to comply with law, enforce this Agreement, or protect the rights, safety or property of Amazon, our content providers, users, or others.

    b. Information Provided. Amazon respects your privacy, and the Software will not access computer files or other information on your computer that are not used by or otherwise related to the Service. Among other things, the Software will provide Amazon with information related to the Digital Content on your Authorized Device and your use of it and information regarding your Authorized Device and its interaction with the Service. This information will enable Amazon to manage rights associated with the Digital Content, allow Amazon to help you use the Service more effectively and otherwise help Amazon to enhance and improve the Service. For example, the Software may provide Amazon with information about the Digital Content from the Service on your Authorized Device, whether it has been deleted and whether it has been viewed. The Software may also provide Amazon with information about your Authorized Device's operating system, software, amount of available disk space and Internet connectivity, such as whether your computer or other device is available online. This information will, among other things, help us deliver Digital Content to you more efficiently and effectively. The Software may also provide Amazon with information about the transfer of Digital Content to portable devices to help us ensure compliance with our rules concerning portable devices.

    c. Removal of Software. If you uninstall or otherwise remove the Software, your ability to view all Digital Content you have downloaded to the Authorized Device will immediately and automatically terminate and we reserve the right to delete all Digital Content from that Authorized Device without notice to you.
    • by Petronius (515525)
      Translation: we will scan your hard drive, your iPod's hard drive, your local network drives.

      This service will die within 3 months.
  • by christoofar (451967) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @03:22PM (#16072475)
    I am tired of seeing companies, whether it is open source or not, offering services that bury unforseen privacy violations within them. There are responsible programs like (on Windows) Winamp and Windows Media Player and even (on *IX) pine, which inform you that it is going to be sending usage information back to home base, with an option to decline such activity.

    Some of the software is so sneaky as to masquerade as a legitimate SSL requirest, so even a network administrator has no clue whether or not the information coming out of their network does or does not contain proprietary information about the network's users--and you are left to the "trust us" language in the EULAs with no proof that the data being sent is benign info.

    Where is the EFF on this???
    • by fotbr (855184)
      Maybe this is a wake up call that the EFF is not the be-all-and-end-all. Stand up for YOURSELF, don't rely on others to do it for you.

      Oh, wait. Personal responsibility is dead. Continue whining about how you hate something but Special-Interest-Group-X won't do anything about it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Lemmy Caution (8378)
        There's something that's neither strictly "personal" responsibility (the call for "personal responsibility" is often a form of blaming the victim) and simple whining: it's collective action. Despite its utopian, hippie-esque ring, it can mean a class action lawsuit, a public information campaign leading to a boycott or increased awareness of alternatives, advocating a change in public policy, or other activities. Standing up for "oneself" in this situation means just not buying it. Outside of anything else,
        • by fotbr (855184)
          In this instance, personal responsibility = if you don't like it vote with your pocketbooks and use something else. There's no need for lawsuits that benefit no one but the lawyers.

          It comes down to this: Whining to the EFF about entertainment companies is stupid. There is no "right" to entertainment. Nothing forces you to buy, steal, or listen to/watch music or movies. If you don't like the way the companies are run, don't buy their products. You don't have to go whining demanding congressional action
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Mistshadow2k4 (748958)

            If you don't like the way the companies are run, don't buy their products.

            That's a statement I am so fucking sick of reading on this site. It would be applicable if the entertainment companies weren't pretty much the only game in town. But 99% of everything to do with media entertainment available is from them, so you have no damn choice but to deal with them. This "well you don't have to buy their products" line is bullshit, and over-used, dead tired bullshit at that.

            • by flooey (695860) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @05:53PM (#16072990)
              That's a statement I am so fucking sick of reading on this site. It would be applicable if the entertainment companies weren't pretty much the only game in town. But 99% of everything to do with media entertainment available is from them, so you have no damn choice but to deal with them. This "well you don't have to buy their products" line is bullshit, and over-used, dead tired bullshit at that.

              You absolutely have a choice, you have the option of not consuming mainstream media. It may not be a choice that you like, but it's a choice nonetheless. Just because you don't want to do something doesn't mean the option isn't available to you.

              It's obviously not a simple choice, to be sure. It's a tradeoff between two different interests, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Most people do decide to purchase mainstream media, they value access to that content over whatever money or rights they have to give up to get it, and they have the option to do so. Don't make the mistake of thinking that the fact that lots of people make a particular choice means it's the only choice anyone could possibly make, though.
              • by ForumTroll (900233) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @06:13PM (#16073072)
                You and fotbr are exactly right. Unfortunately, most people aren't willing to make any sacrifices whatsoever and instead prefer to whine about it incessantly. I'm so sick of hearing people say that they don't have a choice. I stopped watching TV and mainstream movies completely just over a year ago and there are plenty of alternative forms of entertainment to keep me amused.

                I have no problems with people who choose to partake in these forms of entertainment, however, I do have a problem with people who whine constantly about having no choice in the matter. Especially those who advocate that the government or groups like the EFF should step in and force the media companies to deliver the content in a manner that they personally prefer.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            There is no "right" to entertainment.

            That statement really is not the issue. IF people/companies/whomever decides to provide entertainment, they do so under some very specific conditions, namely, the ones laid out in copyright law.

            Copyright law was created NOT to benefit content creators (artists, musicians, etc.) but to benefit society as a whole - copyright is merely a ploy to encourage creation by allowing the creators to benefit from their work for a limited time and only applies to the right to repr

      • by rolfwind (528248)
        My experience is that people who support EFF tend to run a free OS/software where this is much less a problem. As such, they are standing up for themselves in other ways.

        If only more people supported the EFF. United We Stand, Divide We Fall (as applicable to political movements as to revolutions).
        • by fotbr (855184)
          If only fewer people decided they needed special interest groups to file class-action lawsuits that only benefit the lawyers. And yes, the EFF falls into that category. Even when they win class-action lawsuits, they don't have a real impact on companies, and the indiviual consumer doesn't benefit (oh, a voucher for another crappy cd, thank goodness the EFF stood up for me) and the ONLY people who gain anything are the lawyers.

          If you don't like the way some software works, fine, don't use it. NOTHING forc
      • by jZnat (793348) *
        Most people aren't lawyers, so they can't start up the necessary arguments in courts to get things like this changed. Most people would hire a lawyer (if affordable); even lawyers would hire other lawyers to work for a personal case (e.g. they're the defendant; lawyers don't represent themselves in a court of law due to human nature).
    • by Sloppy (14984)

      You don't need Congress to persuade you to not choose to run spyware. A little self-discipline will be quite enough.

      Say all you want about the inevitability of DRM and the media companies' requirements for it, but one thing is for sure: DRM-compliant software is always (there has never been an exception) intended to serve someone other than the user. You can candycoat this ugly fact all you want, but if you choose to run a proprietary player because you want to watch some DRM content, you accept that you

      • by jimicus (737525)
        JUST SAY NO is just as viable an option for spyware, as it is for cocaine.

        And if the "spyware" is DRM for media distribution, likely to be about half as effective in the real world.
    • These companies typically lose money because the consumer realizes that their products aren't worth the price. Also, any bill related to this would have to be far too technical for congress to wrap its head around, resulting in something either ineffective or harmful.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by bangzilla (534214)
      Oh give me a break. If you don't like what it's doing -- then don't use it. It's not doing anything better or worse than 99.9% of all apps worldwide. Amazon is not out to "get you". I'm getting pregressively sicker of the whining "big brother is watching me" rehetoric. Don't like it - then don't play. But the benefits outweigh the cons. The material I've donwloaded from Unbox are full screen, crisp, great sound and with me in 5 mins or so. *I* for one like that and really don't care if anyone knows that I'
      • *I* for one like that and really don't care if anyone knows that I'm watching re-runs of Star Trek in my skivvies at 3:08am

        You'll care when they decide for no discernible reason that you've violated the license and delete everything you've fairly purchased.

        Like, say, uninstalling the player. You paid for the damn movies, why should you not be able to watch them once you delete the player?

        That's like saying that if you return your DVD player you should burn all your DVDs.

  • by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Saturday September 09, 2006 @03:30PM (#16072496) Journal
    Lots of spyware requires a net connection to uninstall. This is just more spyware. It won't be long before Windows itself requires a net connection to run. WGA is mighty close to that. Claria(or whatever they call themselves now) is alive and well. People who buy new machines won't notice and won't care. It's all good news for the phisherman...who will be hanging out at your local landfill where your machine will end up when you get tired of waiting ten minutes for it to finish booting up. For now the best way to protect your system is to use a live CD.
    • " It won't be long before Windows itself requires a net connection to run. WGA is mighty close to that. "

      Is this a clue how MS intends to compete with Google Office?
  • by gnu-sucks (561404) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @03:36PM (#16072519) Journal
    Amazon is clearly catering to a single party -- motion picture copyright holders.

    I've outlined my opinions here [lfnet.net] (warning: web site plug).

    But it's pretty simple. Costs too much, doesn't provide value, intentionally confuses customers, and doesn't support the right hardware.

    If this software has blatant spyware in it, I wouldn't be surprised a bit.
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Let this be the official thread where we post our opinions [kibbee.ca] that we've written in our blogs. But summing it up, my opinions are pretty much the same as yours, plus terms of service that allow them to delete the movies and discontinue the services at anytime.
    • Amazon is clearly catering to a single party -- motion picture copyright holders.

      It's intersting that someone with the nick name, "gnu-sucks" would complain about non free software problems. Yes, the "single party" in this case is the MPA. In other cases it's M$ or the highest bidder. That's the way non most non free software works. It's non free because the author wants you to do as they say in one way or another. As lots of companies, such as IBM, have been making lots of money selling and servici

      • by gnu-sucks (561404)
        Ohh, you took the bait.

        My slashdot username is simply to point out that there are other OSS licenses. I dig gnu, but it has its share of shortcomings.

        Also, IBM doesn't make money selling free software. They make money installing it, and coming up with creative solutions. Not to mention support. By proxy, free software has made them some money for sure. But not the sale directly.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gnu-sucks (561404)
        re-reading your comment, twitter, I have to reply again...

        That's the way non most non free software works. It's non free because the author wants you to do as they say in one way or another

        If you consider gnu gpl software to be 'free software', by your reasoning, than you're seriously mistaken. GPL licensed works have very specific license requirements. If I'm to distribute my GPL'd app, you better believe it absolutely has to include the source code. And, if anyone wants to use it for their own purposes, t
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by twitter (104583)

          If I'm to distribute my GPL'd app, you better believe it absolutely has to include the source code. And, if anyone wants to use it for their own purposes, their works have to be covered by the same license. And I have to include an obvious copy of the GPL license.

          Yes, if you distribute someone else's software you have to pass on the same rights you received. That has nothing to do with your own software, for which you can use whatever license you please. If you want to distribute modified GPL'd softwar

          • by gnu-sucks (561404)
            That's the way non most non free software works. It's non free because the author wants you to do as they say in one way or another

            An hour later:

            I'd hate for some dork like Bill Gates to use my software to make money and prop up his little Windoze empire.

            So, you, the author, want people with your code to do as you say in one way or another?
        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          GPL is specifically worded such that the software is free, and remains free. With the BSD license, someone else can take your source code, make a few changes, and rerelease it as their own in a closed format, making the code essentially non-free. I do see your point about the fact that restrictions exist meaning that you are not free to do with the code as you please. However I don't think that's what free software is about. I believe that free software is about having the source code open, and keeping it
          • With the BSD license, someone else can take your source code, make a few changes, and rerelease it as their own in a closed format, making the code essentially non-free.

            No it doesn't. It makes their implementation of that code non-free. The code is as free as it ever was.

    • by jimicus (737525)
      Costs too much, doesn't provide value, intentionally confuses customers

      Less space than a Nomad. Lame.
      </sarcasm>

      Seriously, there is no way any movie studio in the current climate would even consider licensing material for Amazon to run a service like this without some fairly draconian restrictions like "must do everything in its power to prevent piracy; if that means phoning home every 20 minutes so be it".
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ben there... (946946)
      I can't believe you'd be anti-Amazon while still pro-Apple. Here's my take:
      • Amazon videos are about the same price as iTMS
      • Amazon videos are roughly 3 times the filesize/bitrate, at 3 times the quality (subjectively)
      • Amazon gives you 2 copies: one for your computer, one for your portable
      • Amazon's videos look at least as good as DVD, while Apple's look more like pirated quality
      • Did I mention iTMS videos are 320x240?
      • Amazon's DRM has been cracked, iTMS's hasn't
      • Amazon lets you redownload your entire collection, iTM
  • However, my firewall warned me that a Windows service (ADVWindowsClientService.exe) was trying to connect to the Net.

    Hmm...

    Either he didn't untick the appropriate box in the "Services" tab of msconfig (not recommended as a solution) or he didn't go into the control panel (or run services.msc) and change the 'Startup Type' from "Automatic" to "Manual"

    My guess is he unticked a box in the "Startup" tab of msconfig and expected that to solve the problem. Unless of course, the Amazon program didn't really instal

    • Or when you run their program, it starts the service if it's not currently running (and you're an administrator... probably required to use the software).

      He didn't really elaborate, so it's hard to say.
    • by twitter (104583) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @04:17PM (#16072644) Homepage Journal

      From the Fine Article:

      I noticed that the Amazon player had launched itself. Annoying. I looked in the program for a preference to stop it from launching itself, and there was none. Typical. So I went to msconfig and unchecked Amazon Unbox so that it would definitely not launch itself at start-up. When I rebooted, it was no longer there. However, my firewall warned me that a Windows service (ADVWindowsClientService.exe) was trying to connect to the Net. I clicked More Info in the firewall alert and found it was Amazon Unbox.

      As a Debian user, all of the above is so much meaningless mumbo jumbo to me, but the details are unimportant. It did not do what he wanted it to do despite great effort. He finally figured out that it would pretend to uninstall itself if he allowed the still loaded client unrestricted access to the internet. Without a system audit from an independent operating system, there's no telling if it finally did what he wanted but ultimately the service failed him: this is not a good way to watch movies.

      It's crap like that that keeps me away from non free software and non free media. I'm not going to give up control of the machine that gives me my mail and news just to hear a song or watch a movie. It's bad enough that the greed heads force me to watch adverts on rented movies when I play them through a set top box, bad enough for me to one day build a mythTV box [slashdot.org]. But install spyware on my normal computer or gateway? You have to be kidding.

      • by jZnat (793348) *
        I think a good analogy would be that UnBox added itself to runlevel 2's /etc/rc2.d, and it added itself to your Autostart directory (wherever that may be depending on your desktop environment). He removed it from Autostart, but the daemon was still running.
      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        As a Debian user, all of the above is so much meaningless mumbo jumbo to me, but the details are unimportant. It did not do what he wanted it to do despite great effort.

        As a windows user, I find much of the commentary on /. about *nix to be meaningless mumbo jumbo... but that doesn't change the fact that my (or your) imitations have no relevance at all to the discussion at hand.

        My point was that the author of TFA knew enough to try and use msconfig, but not enough to see if there was an Amazon service runni

  • by matthewd (59896) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @03:45PM (#16072553)
    Well at least the author of the story managed to get the video to play. I downloaded "The Enterprise Incident" and have not successfully been able to playback the episode in its entirety. At the 4:12 mark, the window goes black and the progress bar goes to the beginning. Amazon "support" has not been helpful at all. A Motley fool poster seems to have a simlilar problem [fool.com]. The Progress Bar doesn't work to jump to any point in the video.

    The Unbox player may not be necessary to play back videos purchased through Amazon. It might just be a "wrapper" around WMP. I was able to play back the episode directly through Windows Media Player, and it stops at the 4:12 mark as well, but with an error message: "Windows Media Player cannot play the file. The Player might not support the file type or might not support the codec that was used to compress the file." Which is kind of an odd error to get in the middle of playback.

    At least I didn't pay for it.
  • by Pizaz (594643)
    Spyware, adware, DRM tools, exploits, viruses, worms, trojans, rootkits, etc.... I LOVE THEM. Why? Because malware continues to keep the masses informed about the dangers of software and that nobody... not even big companies (e.g. Sony, Microsoft) should be trusted to release "good" software let alone "bug free" software. The more people get burned by malware, the more likely they are too research a piece of software before they install it. Keep the malware coming!
  • by rjdegraaf (712353)
    From Terms of use [amazon.com]:

    Removal of Software. If you uninstall or otherwise remove the Software, your ability to view all Digital Content you have downloaded to the Authorized Device will immediately and automatically terminate and we reserve the right to delete all Digital Content from that Authorized Device without notice to you.

    Never buy digital restricted media, ever!

  • I tried to uninstall the damn thing repeatedly and it always hung "checking for a valid installation" or somesuch. I eventually had to manually kill all the services, manually delete all the files and manually delete all the Amazon references in the registry.

    Though a broken uninstall is a pretty typical 1.0 bug. But not allowing it to be removed from the startup list (the reason I was trying to uninstall in the first place) is unforgivable.
  • This article got me thinking - how does iTunes work with regards to authorizing a computer to play purchased music?

    Let's say I hook a computer up to my network, copy some music to it, authorize it, and then remove it from the network so it no longer has access to the Internet. I assume at some point iTunes will want to phone home to double-check that the computer in question is still authorized to play those tracks, or that you haven't reached any burning limits?

    My sister had her iMac about a month earli
    • I'm no expert but I don't see why iTunes has to phone to check authorisation.

      you can authorise 5 computers simultaneously. you want to addd a 6th then you need to deauthorise one of them online (I don't think it has to be done from the computer itself but it's easier that way).

      so once it's authorised for an account, a computer is valid for all music bought with that account until you say otherwise. so why bother checking?

      burn limits is the only possibilty but I would assume that is done locally in the softw
      • by mh101 (620659)

        you can authorise 5 computers simultaneously. you want to add a 6th then you need to deauthorise one of them online (I don't think it has to be done from the computer itself but it's easier that way).

        Yeah, that's the part I was wondering about. Let's say I go into iTunes and tell it to deauthorize all computers. There has to be some sort of communication between iTunes on the other computers and the iTMS for it to be told that it's been deauthorized. Otherwise, someone could theoretically authorize five

      • (I don't think it has to be done from the computer itself but it's easier that way).

        You answered yourself - it does have to phone home. Or else you could just deactivate computer x from computer y, ad infinitum, and have your music collection available on hundreds of PCs, because iTunes wouldn't phone home to confirm activation status.

        Ergo, it phones home.

  • If it's sending performamnce stats or checking / updating license status, that's one thing.
    If it's sending keylogger logs, credit card numbers and health records it's another.
    I'm pretty sure it's not doing any of those things, but is this an argument about substance or principle?
    iTunes phones home when I authorize / deauthorize a machine. I don't have reason to suspect Evildoing whrn it does.
    • "If it's sending performance stats...'
      NO. It is never OK for the software to connect to the internet without informed consent of the OWNER of the computer. That's where security problems start - an app that isn't talking over the internet is very unlikely to get hijacked. An app that is using internet access without the computer owner's knowledge or consent is far,far more likely to be attacked.
      Again, NO. It is never OK for someone to use MY computer to analyze the performance of THEIR software, unles
      • by jpellino (202698)
        So let's get past the CAPS and absolutes.

        "an app that isn't talking over the internet is very unlikely to get hijacked."

        Vulnerabilities aren't generally found by owners / end users as a result of knowing what apps are using their network connection. They're found by security wonks analyzing behavior and traffic. Are there instances where a legit app was found by an end user to house a vulnerability that did actual damage before being discovered and patched? Certainly not this one - reports have it as a n
  • I haven't shopped at Amazon since they "unilaterally changed" ("violated") their privacy policy to divulge my personal info they required I store with them. Of course I changed it all before I notified them it was unacceptable, and of course they ignored me (and doubtless thousands of others). Now this bullshit, from the people who patented one-click shopping.

    Where's the online aggregation of independent booksellers, getting Amazon's economies of scale but retaining their individual connection to the intere
  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @07:58PM (#16073570) Homepage
    This should be reported to StopBadware.org [stopbadware.org]. It appears to violate Guideline G ("An application must permit end users to uninstall it (in the customary place the applicable operating system has designated for adding or removing programs, e.g., the Add/Remove Programs control panel in Windows) in a straightforward manner, without undue effort or a high degree of technical skill.") and Guideline E ("Software Which Transmits Data To Unknown Parties").

    That should earn it the Badware Logo. [stopbadware.org]

    The great thing about StopBadware is that their guidelines define some actions as making software "badware" despite any disclaimers or EULA terms. "Hard to uninstall" software is always "badware", no matter what the EULA says.

  • We are evil, and we charge you a lot!
  • Sadly, most people (I'll bet upward of 80-90%) won't know, wouldn't understand, or wouldn't care. And so if the service is okay and the price is okay and it's convenient enough, most people will be dumb enough to use it.

    Look at spam. There are so damn many idiots out there that you can make money simply spamming people.

    Pathetic.

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