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Slashback: Cookies, Germans, Art 75

More on privacy as seen by legislators; a hopefully luckfilled update on graphics software you may be waiting for; and a denial from Germany on the "getting rid of Microsoft software" claims touted not long ago. All below in tonight's episode of Slashback.

Buried in the fine print is where you will find Jimmy Hoffa and mitigation. Sarcasmo writes "I'm hoping you'll post this story, since it's partly a correction/update of a previous story on Slashdot. While Senator Edwards' bill, S. 197, does come down on spyware in a very good way, it doesn't as the previous article suggested, "require commercial web sites to ask permission from the user before a cookie can be set or personal information collected." To quote the bill itself:

"(B) The term does not include a text file, or cookie, placed on a person's computer system by an Internet service provider, interactive computer service, or commercial Internet website to return information to the Internet service provider, interactive computer service, commercial Internet website, or third party if the person subsequently uses the Internet service provider or interactive computer service, or accesses the commercial Internet website."
Though I did come across this bill introduced to the house by Representative Green of Texas -- and it seems to come down just as hard on cookie use specifically."

Oh, baby, I love your photo-realism -- it's so ... real-seeming. After wryly noting that the last few times it's been featured in this forum it's been while he was on a plane, or in the middle of bug-fixing, or while being boiled alive by cannibals, etc, Paul Nolan says of his Photogenics graphics software:

"Well, it was a long hard slog, but it's finally out, the press release is here.

There's a pretty good chance there will be a local power outage today, on the off chance that would increase my chances ;)"

Nicht wahr, nicht wahr. sconeu writes "According to Wired, a German Defense Ministry official has denied the original report in Der Speigel about the Microsoft ban ... Oh well..."

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Slashback: Cookies

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    While paranoia is fun, remember that the reason for the NSA key could well have been for the NSA to be able to use internal, classified ciphers in conjunction with the Windows crypto APIs, which require all cryptographic modules to be signed. The signing is ironically at the request of the BXA, influenced by NSA policy: the NSA effectively shot their own plans with this, since the NSA key if I remember correctly could be more easily replaced than the Windows key.

    Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised at all if there's an obscure but deliberate backdoor elsewhere in Windows, either for the US govt's use or Microsoft's.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    More commercial software packages for Linux is a Good Thing...
    The majority of linux-users at this point refuse to buy commercial software out of ethics, laziness, unwillingness to spend money;
    Of course, I wish this new graphics suite luck.
    I don't wish it luck. If users free themselves from the chains of proprietary software on the OS level, only to enslave themselves again on the application level, they're still doing something unethical, fucking themselves over.

    Sure, commercial software is a Good Thing--if it's also capital-F Free. You're saying it's good because it will "open up the market"? I don't care if Free Software doesn't get even one more user, if they're just going to besmirch it with proprietary crap. They've released a Linux version to look hip and to spare lusers the effort of a petition to get it on their obscure little platform, and not because they give even one half of a shit about the community. I refuse to buy commercial software "out of ethics." They only want $99 for it, which I'd be happy to pay if I could share it and modify it. It might be "profitable" to them because there are plenty of people using Windows and Amiga who aren't uppity like my idealized GNU/Linux user, but fuck 'em and keep them off of my hard drive.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I agree. The worst thing is there's no Mac version. Image processing professionals can't use the software without buying a new machine! But college students can. Should be a wild success.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    When all you have to do is hit "cancel" on the login screen?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    (Mind you, the full hack never made it out the door (there was a hacked compiler required to do the job), but parts of it did, and rumor has it that it may actually have been used once or twice...)

    Yeah, actually before I left I set it up on the production machine at Microsoft headquarters. Don't worry, though: They just compiled a new version of their compiler and replaced the old one, so no problem. No problem, right? riiight?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Idiot. I would like to direct your stupid ass to an extract from Bruce Schneier's article following the discovery of the "NSAKEY"

    Suddenly there's a flurry of press activity because someone notices that the second key in Microsoft's Crypto API in Windows NT Service Pack 5 is called "NSAKEY" in the code. Ah ha! The NSA can sign crypto suites. They can use this ability to drop a Trojaned crypto suite into your computers. Or so the conspiracy theory goes.


    I see two possibilities. One, that the backup key is just as Microsoft says, a backup key. It's called "NSAKEY" for some dumb reason, and that's that.

    Two, that it is actually an NSA key. If the NSA is going to use Microsoft products for classified traffic, they're going to install their own cryptography. They're not going to want to show it to anyone, not even Microsoft. They are going to want to sign their own modules. So the backup key could also be an NSA internal key, so that they could install strong cryptography on Microsoft products for their own internal use.

    So there you have it. A single string called NSAKEY, which Microsoft denies has anything to do with the NSA governmental agency, which just happens to be in a cryptography API. One person sees NSAKEY, it gets reported as "The NSA Key," and then your miniscule powers of comprehension turns that into "The NSA has put a key into every copy of Windows!" (Not so, only in Win NT service pack 5)

    Who knows what would happen if someone found the string JEW mixed in amongst the code in some DLL. I guess that would be proof that Gates answers to the Elders of Zion.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 22, 2001 @05:21PM (#345907)
    From virtually all of the images on the photogenics estore webpage: "Created with The GIMP", so either he uses the gimp for most of his images, or his software has stolen it's file-save code from the gimp.. Neither sounds good...
  • It's easy to do with netscape and mozilla, too. Just make your cookie file 0400 during normal use, and set the write bit whenever you want to accept a cookie.

    Mozilla also has cookie management in the GUI, as I recall. Of course, since it's so slow, I find it easier just to edit the cookie file by hand.

  • by Kostya ( 1146 )
    ... he used gimp to make the screenshots, since it has that nice screenshot grabber built in.

    Wow. What a simple explaination. Who would have guessed that panic and allegations were not needed in this case?

  • In the past 6 months I have purchased the following Linux software... Visual Slickedit V6.0 Borland Kylix Server V1.0 Redhat server edition V7.0 Every Loki game I will also be buying the following software in the next 30-45 days... PerlMX Redhat server edition V7.1 Neverwinter Nights Tribes 2 So I am not a member of your "majority". If there where any Free software packages as good as the above I would use them.
  • You're so silly. Famous Americans are never convicted of anything. Haven't you learned that by now?
  • Or the estore isn't run by the software's author? The fact that it's on a different domain, with an "e.Stores by" logo on it, might be a clue that that's the case.

  • Not ALL open source OS users are cheap bastards, you know...
  • <I>...It will accept all cookies, but when you exit it tosses them. </I>

    Gives a whole new meaning to "tossing your cookies", doesn't it?
  • See this hilarious article at the onion [] for guidance on why the world has no need for photogenics.

  • by magic ( 19621 ) on Thursday March 22, 2001 @06:15PM (#345916) Homepage
    Not to knock--Paul Nolan's got a nice application there. If you're interested in how to achieve these kinds of effects, I've open sourced a platform-independent Java library that can produce similar effects [].

    My project attempts to evolve these effects using genetic algorithms, but you could use the code without the genetic algorithm. Project page at x.html [].


  • by harmonica ( 29841 ) on Thursday March 22, 2001 @04:15PM (#345917)
    The name of the magazine is Der Spiegel [] (not Speigel). It would have been nice if the official's statement would have gotten a bit more space in the Wired article. A name would have been nice, as well. BTW, it was also doubted in the article that the statements reflect the real position of the government towards MS products.

    I still don't understand why any closed-source products are used in sensitive areas, be it in Germany or elsewhere. To create a somewhat secure environment, good admins are required anyway. They don't need any funky GUIs, so why not pick one of the free Unices?
  • Well, the important bit of the free speech for me is having the source code when you need to work through a problem. I have in the past had several vendor relationships where we got the source to proprietary, commercial software, and it proved highly useful to both parties.
  • Oh and a member of what was once a notorious cracker outfit should be automatically believed when he makes such statements? According to the Article Mueller Maghun is also an occasional adviser to government figures, the CCC [] is nowadays quite frank about it's motivations and what he said is, while carefully expressed, quite reasonable. It also fits with what the Ministry Defense Official said. His wording is also quite careful: "I can confirm that the Ministry signed a general licensing contract with Microsoft [...] and we intend to continue to use such systems." quite a lot of words to say very little. Also he didn't deny that serious concerns remained. Then he explicitly states that "[...] additional security measures are independent of Microsoft software.". Also Mueller-Maguhn never said anything like it MUST BE TRUE and his arguing isn't along the line they can't prove it to be false, but more along the line of "they choose their wording carefully so as not to hurt international relationships, so you'll have to read between the lines for the true meaning".

    Had you read the first article you'd also know that Linux was not considered the alternative, but some OS from a german corporation. Also i don't find it weird that a military organisation can have a consistent policy wich OS to use. They have rules for everything there, to the point at which depth of water you have to start swimming.
  • by sparty ( 63226 ) on Thursday March 22, 2001 @04:19PM (#345920) Homepage

    Okay, read the article first. It includes comments from Andy Mueller-Maguhn, a leader of Berlin's Chaos Computer Club and also Europe's representative on the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), about the political sensitivities that might be offended by a German move away from Microsoft for all security-sensitive stuff (in other words, the US Government might be offended by "US Software is Insecure" being bandied about by the German government). The article suggests that the original report may, indeed, be accurate.

    Beyond that, why announce to the world that your sensitive systems are or are not running any given OS or group of OSen? I mean, "Our sensitive systems will no longer run NT" (if an accurate statement) lets crackers know that (a) NT-only exploits won't work and (b) if they do, the box is uninteresting. Of course, that is assuming the statement is accurate ("Hey, Hans, how about if we disuguise the DoD C&C codes as marketing data and put zem on one of zose NT servers?" "Ah, excellent, Frans. Zee stupid Americans vill never realize.")

  • No, I don't work for opera. BTW, the new version is free sponsorware. Still commercial, but better than the expiring shareware that it was before.

  • That's funny, I thought the topic talked specifically about cookies and spyware. Doesn't sound "utterly off-topic" to me.

    So, for the record, my post generated:
    - One useful suggestion for Netscape
    - One useful suggestion for junkbuster
    - One useful suggestion for Konqueror
    - Two flames accusing me work working/pimping for Opera
    - One joke

    I was hoping for a bit more, maybe:
    - One "all your base" joke
    - A classing "hot grits" troll
    - A script to block cookies better using PERL
    - A flamewar over whether PERL or Python was the right tool for the job.

    But I'll take it as is. Always fun!

    - Twid
  • by Twid ( 67847 ) on Thursday March 22, 2001 @05:17PM (#345923) Homepage
    After playing all day yesterday with browsers, I've come up with a way to handle cookies that I'm happy with.

    Opera 5.02 has a great feature called "throw away new cookies on exit". It will accept all cookies, but when you exit it tosses them. So, you set up cookies for all the sites you want them for (like slashdot), exit opera (it only saves cookies on exit), check them using Opera File Explorer (see below), then start it back up and check off the "throw away new cookies on exit" option under File|Preferences|Security.

    Now, doubleclick and everyone else can throw all the cookies at you they want, and they will be erased when you exit Opera. But, you also still have your stored cookies for the sites you want. Works great! No other browser can do this as gracefully. Opera 5 seems very cool (although I've only played with it for a couple days...).


    Opera: []

    Opera File Explorer (you will need this to view your cookies and decide which to keep): []

    - Twid

  • I've always thought that it had pretty decent printing. Maybe it's just that my old workhorse printer isn't good enough to show print quality problems (HP deskjet 500, 10 years old, never jams, works pretty fast and still prints as well as the day it was made, which was pretty darn good in those days). The only beef I've had with KDE programs and printing is that they don't like to remember that I'm in the US and can't even remember the last time that I saw a piece of A4 paper. Why does my computer keep thinking tha I want that as a default?
  • Does Junkbuster have an easy interface that allows you to add a site to your allow cookie list briefly? Most sites with a shopping cart won't work if they can't set a cookie.
  • by EarTrumpet ( 85772 ) on Thursday March 22, 2001 @05:01PM (#345926)
    > To create a somewhat secure environment, good admins are required anyway. They don't need any funky GUIs, so why not pick one of the free Unices?

    Good admins working for the US government more often than not quit civil service for higher paying jobs in the private sector. This leaves the not-so-good admins outnumbering the good ones. Combine that with a management that lacks technical knowledge and you have a recipe for disaster.

    The agency I work for plans to go all Microsoft NT in fours years. Web servers, mail hubs, clients, everything.

    I'm scared.

  • I know a lot of linux fans hate the idea of a government running Windows on thier machines. However, if for some reason the software was to fail and seriously screw something up, you guys would be able to sit back and laugh as Bill Gates is being prosecuted for international war crimes.
  • Hmm... what if the sites started making money by selling the info they gather? Then maybe they wouldn't have to have those annoying ads everywhere! Interesting...

  • yes yes... that's what I meant! :)

  • Whoah... who might you be? You must be someone who hasn't talked to me in over a year. Please e-mail me... I'm curious. :)

  • Ban the them, and 'if you like cookie files, turn them on, damnit.'

    If you did that, sites would stop using cookies, even for good uses. Why? Because many people don't know how to turn on cookies, and won't bother if told. If the majority of people have cookies disabled, web sites won't use them. So, essentially, having cookies default to off would pretty much eliminate their use for any purpose. I don't like that idea.

    You appear to have ignored my suggestion of simply disallowing cookies from any site other than the one you are visiting. It seems to me that that would prevent anyone from developing any sort of useful profile on you. They would have to actually install tracking software on every site you visit, which is not likely to happen.

    And how can you call it paranoia when you know what they're used for?

    The question is, do I care? Personally, I don't care if some companies know where I go on the net. Ads tailored for me specifically? Hey, all the better! But then, that's just me, and I am not going to try to convince you to agree with that one.

    The law in question looks reasonable, but I would worry about it being interpreted too broadly, and thus causing some innocent sites to be sued by crazed zealots. Next, other innocent sites would downgrade themselves by not using cookies, and soon the feture is gone.


  • by Temporal ( 96070 ) on Thursday March 22, 2001 @05:52PM (#345932) Journal

    Cookies are used for both good and evil. They are just a tool. When used for good, they can be extremely convenient, like here on Slashdot. However, if users had to give permission for them to be used, I would expect that many internet sites would stop using them altogether rather than go through the hassle. Meanwhile, the evil people would find some other way to track you, like by IP -- lots of people are going static these days.

    Personally, I think browsers should either:

    • Not accept cookies attached to images.
    • Not accept cookies from any site other than the one hosting the page the user is looking at.

    That would eliminate the ads.

    If you don't like cookies, turn them off, damnit. Don't make the rest of us suffer for your paranoia. Personally, I like it when I go to Amazon and it immediately gives me a list of new, highly-rated graphics programming books.


  • The agency I work for plans to go all Microsoft NT in fours years.

    Mine (private sector) plans to go Win2K all the way; the global email informing us of the decision was apparently a cut-&-paste job of MS's press release: "This strategic initiative is aimed at improving the reliability, stability and usability of the computing environment while reducing the desktop 'total cost of ownership.'"

    Yep, I can hardly wait. Get that TCO down.

    -Legion (waiting for those "Win2K classes" flyers to be distributed for all 100,000 or so employees)

  • If it would only print nicely. I still switch to Netscape when I want to print something.
  • Maybe it's just my setup. I always lose a line or two of text between pages. The actual formatting is okay; it just can't seem to anticipate page boundaries very well.
  • Inside your junkbuster.ini file make sure this is uncommented:
    cookiefile scookie.ini

    Then in your scookie.ini file enter in web sites that you will accept cookies from like so:

    And you are all hooked up. Those sites can access the cookies, but others never touch your system. Hotmail bitches at you a little because it cant set a doubleclick cookie but it works fine.
  • Funny how the German minister's quoted comments were towards a contract in place with MS, not about, for example, their satisfaction in using MS products.

    Almost as if someone called over to Germany to "remind" them of their "contractual obligations".
  • by Fencepost ( 107992 ) on Thursday March 22, 2001 @04:27PM (#345938) Journal
    He was almost certainly working to make it as cross-platform as possible. Somehow I suspect that he'll sell more Linux copies than Amiga ones no matter how nice a platform the Amiga was for graphics. No matter how many of either he sells, the Windows version is likely to be the biggest money maker unless it has some capabilities that far exceed what the GIMP can do.

    Think of it like this - if you're developing a package that does a lot of internal data manipulation then displays the result, wouldn't you make an effort to separate the internals from the display? If after doing that you determined that the internal code that made up the bulk of your package was pretty much platform-independent would you consider building frontends for multiple platforms? Finally, when deciding on platforms what would you choose? The dominant desktop OS and the up-and-comer seem like reasonable choices to me.

    -- fencepost

  • More commercial software packages for Linux is a Good Thing, but why do these people spend the time/money/etc developing these?

    The majority of linux-users at this point refuse to buy commercial software out of ethics, laziness, unwillingness to spend money; until the market opens up to include more of those who would actually purchase commercial software instead of using the excellent free(Free) alternatives available, I don't see this being profitable. Of course, I wish this new graphics suite luck. :p

  • "The key is a Microsoft key -- it is not shared with any party, including the NSA," Windows NT security product manager Scott Culp said. "We don't leave backdoors in any products."

    Notice that he didn't say "We don't put backdoors in any products". He just said that we don't leave them there.
  • by vex24 ( 126288 ) on Thursday March 22, 2001 @04:11PM (#345941) Homepage
    From the original article on Wired:

    "If you're using Windows NT in a nuclear missile command-and-control center, yes, you should be concerned." - Andrew Fernandes

    Giving the term "Blue Screen of Death" a whole new meaning, eh?

  • It was an interesting idea while it lasted, and a very good one for most governments, even if it was a bit overzealous requiring German-only software.

    Open Source in the service of national security... *that's* what should be on the line here. Saves development effort, yet ensures that in time of war or other crisis you don't become dependent on someone in another country. I was hoping they were thinking SuSE Linux myself, but oh well...

  • Hey, Ken Thompson did it with Unix, and Unix was Open Source (mostly) in those days.

    (Mind you, the full hack never made it out the door (there was a hacked compiler required to do the job), but parts of it did, and rumor has it that it may actually have been used once or twice...)

  • Nothing overzealous about what you're talking about -- that's precisely what I meant.

  • Those effects look great, I wonder how long it will be before they appear in a Microsoft ad.
  • I once went to a Sun Technology Day where the following was uttered:

    "And of course, Solaris is stable enough to be run in hospitals and operating theatres - where 'Blue Screen of Death' takes on a whole new meaning."

    It took a solid minute for the room (about 500 PHBs & techos) to stop gut-laughing.

  • Anyway it is spelled "Der Spiegel" which means "The Mirror".
  • Beyond that, why announce to the world that your sensitive systems are or are not running any given OS or group of OSen?

    Perhaps to reassure the public if there is public concern. Perhaps to convince the public that you are taking computer security seriously. Perhaps to send a message to Microsoft that Microsoft's private decision not to fulfill certain requests made by Germany was not a wise one. Who knows?

  • So whaddaya do when the supporter disappears or decides to support it no longer? Right, you're stuck. Worse, what do you do if you have important data locked up in the supplier's proprietary file format(s)? Get out your checkbook and waste a lot of time, one way or another.

    How many ways do I not love thee [propietary closed source software, protocols, file formats etc.], let me count the ways ... This has happened over and over and over and ...

    Those who do not know history are condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past [supply your own favorite quotable source]. Many (or most) of the people behind the Open Source movement do remember.
  • by Fervent ( 178271 )
    "According to Wired, a German Defense Ministry official has denied the original report in Der Speigel about the Microsoft ban ... Oh well..."

    Yup. Darn. Pass my anti-FUD stick that I planned to beat people with when this was over.

  • I like the intent that these couple of bills are trying to address. I hope it works.

    I would also like to see something related to unauthorized installs / ambigous authorization install of applications (e.g. gohip, mycomet, etc). Those apps suck and even if they were cool, I would want to authorize install on my PC.
  • I don't know why, but I can tell you that I don't like it and refuse to comply.
    I think that one of the causes it that many many multinational companies have their origin in the United States and that of course the board of directors are Americans and have American views on "how things should be". You know a buzzword of some years ago was "globalization", I think Europe is victim of "globalized marketing".

    As a small example: Halloween... Now, as a kid I didn't know it at all. Pumkins? That's good to make soup. Last autumn however (and slightly less the year before that) the shops displayed pumpkins, skeletons, witches and the like. Halloween parties were all over the place. Luckly we don't have the trick 'n treaters yet. (Actually in my country they do something alike on the 2nd february.)

    To me this halloween crap sound exactly like the commercial pushing of Chrismas and Valentine's Day....nothing more nothing less.

    I tell you, the day they introduce Thanksgiving around here, I'll be glad to volonteer as the turkey....
    Moderators, this has become (Offtopic,-1) moderate as such.

  • Tough I love my father and mother, we don't celebrate Mothers or Fathers day.
    Actually I don't even know what day of the year it is. Even worse, as far as I can recall the exact day is different according to the country. I'm a Belgian living in Luxembourg and I can assure you that fathers day is not on the same day in those two countries. I think in Belgium it is on St. Joseph and in Luxembourg it is not (or inversely).

    Oh, and if you didn't know, consider Labour Day. It is different according to the country you it is 1st May, while in the US it is not. (Forgot the actual date).

    Really, you need some better argumentation to convince me....but then you're an AC, so why do I care (...yes, I'm bored right now, that's probably the cause)

  • Minor correction: what you are proposing would not eliminate the ads (which is good, since some sites would not survieve without them). Instead it would make it harder to plant so called "web bugs", including those that masquerade as ads.
  • IIRC, Photogenics was originally a piece of commercial software for the Amiga. And rather good it was too. So good in fact, I started writing a free alternative. And therein lies our problem...
  • Graphics companies. Animation companies, effects houses, etc. etc.

    More of them are unix-based than you might think (irix!), and they're almost all migrating to Linux. (Which has saved their collective arses from having to migrate to NT, shell scripts and all.)

    A well-done commercial 2D paint program for Linux makes more sense at this stage of the game than, say, Office-like software.


  • I'm sorry, shouldn't this utterly off-topic article be marked "Paid Advertisement" rather than "Score:4"?


    Moderators, crack. Crack, moderators. Shake hands, please.

  • One user goes to, while the next goes to

    That's an insult to some of my friends. Gay = KiddiePorn??? Come on.

  • chmod -w $HOME/.netscape/cookies

  • Oh and a member of what was once a notorious cracker outfit should be automatically believed when he makes such statements?

    If Germany was moving away from US software it would not escape the NSA so why pretend?

    The idea that any beuracracy would have a consistent and coherent policy on the point is a little weird. Any organization monolithic enough to enforce a choice of a single operating system is not going to choose Linux. I mean lets get real here.

    They are going to choose a big monolithic operating system that looks like their organization. Most likely something real stinky like VM/MVS or if it was UNIX it would be one of the real obnoxious military hardened efforts.

    What the comments from Andy M-M come down to is 'although the report is denied they can't prove it to be false therefore it MUST BE TRUE.'

  • (2) INTERNET PROFILING PROHIBITED- No operator of a Web site or online service may allow any third party to attach a persistent cookie
    as a means of developing a personal profile of an individual unless the operator-- (A) clearly discloses such practices to the individual in the notice required under subsection (b)(1)(A)(i); and (B) provides the individual the opportunity to opt-in to allowing the third party to attach the persistent cookie.
    And how can you call it paranoia when you know what they're used for? What about sites that force these cookies by not allowing access to certain areas when cookies are disabled? (yahoo). What about the fact that most people don't even know what they are? And if they do, most don't understand how they're abused. Cookie files are also stored by default, so by the time most people figure it out there's already a database out there with more information than they'd ever be willing to give away. Hell, I know people who's cookie files use their full name. I don't see how you can justify your arguement. Ban the them, and 'if you like cookie files, turn them on, damnit.'
  • Well when the issue is a right to privacy I don't think you not caring is a valid way to address it. And turning them on seems irrelevant -- since they default to on, and will continue to since browsers aren't going to update just to change it, it would be a simple matter of "yes or no" to cookies when you visit a site.

    I ignored the suggestion because, while the bill has it's flaws, that suggestion has more. What's to keep that site from abusing it's use anyway? If you're dealing with a network of sites, they could all access that cookie, and people would continue to be profiled without their permission. In the same way advertisers like doubleclick can track users to any site where they serve ads, that site could track you to any other site on it's network. Once it profiles you, it can sell the information to anyone, and then you have the same situation we're dealing with now. I agree that there are some negative possibilities, but in the end there's a lot of laws that exist despite the fact that it'd be more convenient for some if they didn't. It doesn't change the facts of what's happening.
  • Rep. Green's bill sounds pretty reasonable. Contrary to what Timothy implied, it doesn't affect ordinary persistent cookies, like the one that seems to be storing my /. login overnight, or Amazon's user-profiling "one-click" cookie. It's OK for a web site to collect a user profile for their own use, but a web-site can't pass you a third-party user-profiling cookie unless you opt-in. No hidden Double-Click cookies.

    Furthermore, it forbids the web site from selling the user profiles they have gathered unless the the users give permission. It specifically says the rules don't change in a bankruptcy. (You know, the site with a good strong privacy policy that went bankrupt and wanted to auction their customer list.) And, IANAL, but I think the way it's worded, you would have to specifically give them permission (opt-in). Just putting it in the privacy policy link at the side won't do. Good enough?
  • So whaddaya do when the supporter disappears or decides to support it no longer? Right, you're stuck.

    I agree completely. AC was saying that for this reason (it's closed/proprietary) he will not buy Photogenics, but rather will wait until they go out of business and then he'll pick it up as "abandonware." My point was that if he didn't like closed/proprietary commercial software why would he want closed/proprietary abandonware? Either way it's still closed/proprietary.

  • I cannot...see into the OpenSource(tm) of it for free... Nobody should buy it. Then in a couple of weeks people can start posting it for download as "abandonware" because that's perfectly fine.

    You self-contradict. Why is abandonware "perfectly fine" if it doesn't come with source code? Abandonware that doesn't come with source code is pretty worthless; at least with commercial closed-source software you have some hope of support.

  • This is so stupid. Read this comment in the Wired article []:

    "The existence of the network has become a hot issue in Europe, where it has helped engender anti-American sentiment".

    Bullshit. No matter how much American media like to sell that impression, the vast majority of Europeans does not have anything against the US at all. And why the hell should they. I'm sorry America. We don't hate you.
  • even microsoft is inavative 1/03-21OpticalTechPR.asp
  • by Spy Hunter ( 317220 ) on Thursday March 22, 2001 @07:23PM (#345968) Journal
    Konqueror does Opera one better - it allows you to select specifically, site-by-site, how you want your cookies managed. Ban all but a few chosen sites, or have Konqueror ask you whenever it recieves a cookie from a new site. It works great - I have had it set on "Ask" for a while now. Whenever I go to a new site it asks me if I want to ban or accept this cookie, or all future cookies from this site if I want. Now I have a fairly large database of sites that I won't accept cookies from ( and sites that I will accept cookies from ( and it hardly ever asks me anymore.

    Also, as if that wasn't good enough, Konqueror has a great GUI cookie manager built-in, allowing you to set the acceptance policy for any site, view all the policies you have, and it even allows you to view every single cookie on your computer - indexed by site and showing the cookie's content and expiration date. You can delete any individual cookie, and see just exactly what site XYZ wants to store in it's cookie.

    This, combined with Konqueror's other great features (Full netscape plugin support, standards compatibility, javascript, amazing file manager, address bar searching, SMB browsing, CD ripping, icon image and text previews, terminal emulator, kitchen sink, etc etc) make Konqueror my browser and filemanager of choice.

  • If the author of an application believes that he or she has written a good product, and wishes to be rewarded for his or her efforts, then the _free_ thing to do it to permit them to ask for money for the product. If for example is an image editing app, and it handles common file formats, and doesn't use a proprietory format, then it _in no way_ takes anything away from anyone.

    If noone wants to pay money for it, then in true market-forces style the product won't get used, and the author won't make any money.

    The more applications which are available at equal or lower price on Linux than on Windows, the better the platform becomes. However, as the Linux market has become accustomed to so much high quality software (vast range of development tools, gimp, several window managers etc.) for free, it probably frightens off commercial companies from trying to enter the market, as they know it will be hard to get rich quick in such an environment.

    I am always prepared to pay what I think software is worth. Most stuff on my Linux boxes at home is worth a fair bit to me, I consider it good fortune that noone actually wants money for it!

    It's a dynamic system, 'evolution' will show us where the balance is.

  • Well I guess junior high just let out and the AOL users are home and posting to /.! Anonymously of course, but thank goodness someone is concerned about Karma I was getting worried...
  • > Meanwhile, the evil people would find some > other way to track you, like by IP -- lots of > people are going static these days. Static proxy servers, maybe, but I've yet come across a static IP for just one person, excepting web-hosting (they're just too damned few and expensive... where's IPv6 when you need it?) If you've got two or more people accessing stuff through the same IP, that would seriously screw up their tracking stuff. One user goes to, while the next goes to What's that gonna say about your profile?
  • Hey, if you're gonna spend all that money on making plutonium and hydrogen isotopes, as well as launch and telemetry systems, and then you use Windows NT, you deserve what you get. At the very least you should write your own damned operating system, something that will run on a PlayStation 2... er... forget I said that.
  • Wait until you see the latest EULA: Title 862, Chapter 78, Section 8480, Paragragh 37: The liscencee agrees not to hold Microsoft Corporation accountable for violating international war crimes, or to report any suspected crimes against humanity to any international human rights organization.
  • then why is Europe turning more and more into a second America?? (not that I like that...)
  • by jculpon ( 411124 ) on Thursday March 22, 2001 @06:49PM (#345975)
    From what I've seen of Photogenics, I'd love have it. But, I'd like to be able to actually understand what's making the program tick and maybe even mess around with the code a bit. The real problem is that despite all the great minds working on free software (or open source, if you prefer) there isn't a free software distribution model that allows the author to charge for the beer and the user get the free speech.

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.