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CEO of Brilliant Defends Sneaky Installation Practices 289

Em Emalb and other readers sent in follow-ups to our earlier story about yet more bundled crapware with Kazaa. Kazaa says they didn't do anything wrong; and so does Brilliant's CEO. I don't understand why anyone is still installing Kazaa, given their track record. Brilliant's brilliant plan is to use your computer to distribute their advertising, and give out Altnet resource dollars in exchange.
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CEO of Brilliant Defends Sneaky Installation Practices

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  • here's why (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 04, 2002 @03:48PM (#3286229)
    " don't understand why anyone is still installing Kazaa, given their track record."

    Because 99.9% of Kazaa users don't know about slashdot, don't know about spyware, and don't even care when I tell them.

    All they want is to add to their 100GB collection of mp3's.

    Anyone living in the dorms right now can attest to this I'm sure. It also makes me realize where the RIAA is coming from, when kids literally skip classes to download more music and movies.
    • Re:here's why (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Verloc ( 119412 ) on Thursday April 04, 2002 @03:54PM (#3286281)
      I was coming in here to post just this comment.

      I told my brother, my girlfriend and my sister about the spyware and the distributed client, and you know what? They don't give two shits.

      Kazaa is the best way to get what they're looking for, and they don't care about anything else. Period. I have a friend who, instead of downloading music is now downloading music videos with Kazaa.

      Sure it strikes me as odd that nobody cares, but that's why they're still installing Kazaa.
      • Re:here's why (Score:3, Insightful)

        by H310iSe ( 249662 )
        Exactly - this is more the point, not that people don't know about spyware because they're ignorant, but rather because they don't care. My boss has Gator installed on his PC, he loves it and wouldn't let me remove it no matter what it sends back.

        We can't save people from themselves, can't make the horse drink, and can't represent our moral-technical views as the views of others because, well, they just don't care.

        Keep this in mind when you choose your battles, you battle for geeks, not for john q. public.
        • Re:here's why (Score:5, Insightful)

          by GreyPoopon ( 411036 ) <gpoopon@@@gmail...com> on Thursday April 04, 2002 @04:48PM (#3286732)
          We can't save people from themselves, can't make the horse drink, and can't represent our moral-technical views as the views of others because, well, they just don't care.

          And I'm not sure that we should try. The important thing is that we make sure it is a requirement that people are adequately informed by the companies that distribute such software. Just because I don't like to use software that contains spyware and other such junk, doesn't mean that my neighbor should feel the same way. As long as (s)he understands what is happening and chooses to accept the risks, that's ok. The hard part is in making sure that users understand.

          This whole thing isn't really much different than smoking cigarettes. I don't smoke. I would rather that nobody smoke. But I can't (and won't) force others to feel the same way. Today, cigarette packages (at least in the USA) must be marked with warnings. Smokers are free to ignore those warnings. Willful installation of software that has other "side-effects" is just fine with me, as long as those performing the installation are adequately warned. And also, you don't have to worry about "sidestream" effects of what your neighbor does. Hmmm. Or maybe you do -- cable modem anyone?

        • I guess you explained to him that this is a huge gaping security hole? Have you taken it over his head to his boss? Have you spoken to corporate IT?
    • "All they want is to add to their 100GB collection of mp3's"

      Yea, in an mp3 format limited to 128 bits and sounding like they were encoded underwater. The sound quality of mp3's from Kazaa is roughly that of FM radio.

      These people would save us all a lot of bandwidth if they just recorded the songs from the radio.
    • Re:here's why (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bughunter ( 10093 )
      All they want is to add to their 100GB collection of mp3's.

      Hmm... looks to me like while the RIAA spent all that time whining and crying and complaining about "piracy," they missed out on a promising business model.

      "Here, you can download all of our music you can stomach, as long as you let us load software on your personal computer that lets us use your unused bandwidth and CPU cycles."

      Sounds fscking brilliant to me... too bad the record company execs would rather whine than innovate.

    • by ShaunC ( 203807 ) on Thursday April 04, 2002 @07:57PM (#3287867)
      I've managed to convince a few otherwise stubborn people that spyware, malware, and god-knows-what-it's-installing-ware are bad things. After trying several approaches, I found there's one argument that always seems to work: tell them that these sort of junk addons could delete their MP3 collection. The average KaZaA user, as you pointed out, doesn't care much (if all) about the privacy and security implications of clicking through the EULA. What they do care about is their MP3s, and you can use that thought to get them concerned about spyware. Think of it as reverse-psychology FUD; applying facts to a topic that's bound to scare them into paying attention.

      To a lot of people, music trading is a compulsion, much like some people "collect" porn or warez. (The comment about kids skipping class to download more is a fairly sad indication of this.) It's not so much about using the stuff, as it is about having the stuff; the bigger the collection the better, etc. Compare someone who's really into MP3 swapping with someone who's really into warez. Chances are, you'll find that they have a large collection, the majority of which they never use personally, and some of which they probably don't even like but have saved to enlarge the packrat's nest. You'll probably also find that they're outright frightened by the thought of losing any of it, even the stuff they don't use. It's a hoarding mentality, regardless of whether it's warez, porn, music, or whatever.

      With that knowledge you can make a pretty convincing argument, even to the most computer-ignorant people, about the possible repercussions of disregarding EULAs and letting the installer do whatever it wants. Toss around the idea that the spyware du jour might be a program written by record companies to delete all MP3s on the hard drive. Suggest that hidden background apps might be making lists of MP3 files and sending them to a record company's lawyer. These things are technically possible - and if this Altnet turdlet has been lying dormant and undiscovered in Kazaa for a few months, who knows what else is waiting? Maybe some innocently named function call in an installer-dropped DLL isn't doing what its name would suggest.

      Don't get too technical (most people get lost if you say "RIAA" instead of "record company," for instance) but be sure to plant the idea that recklessly installing software could wipe out their music collection, or their porn collection, or [insert whatever data is most valuable to them]. You'll get their attention pretty quickly.

      Shaun
      • by Reziac ( 43301 )
        I wish I had mod points today, I'd give yours an "insightful" on the spot. But since I don't, I'll put in my two cents instead..

        I think you nailed it square on the head. It's largely just hoarding. And these are the same people who would NOT buy music (software, whatever) if they couldn't get it for free. They're not buyers no matter what. And they don't really care HOW they enlarge their collexion or what risks it entails, but they're terrified of LOSING any of it.

  • Wow! (Score:3, Funny)

    by PopeAlien ( 164869 ) on Thursday April 04, 2002 @03:48PM (#3286230) Homepage Journal
    When I went to that news.com link the Gigantic quarter page size ad in that article has big bold letters that says "dont accept the lies"

    heh.
  • by Cpt_Kirks ( 37296 ) on Thursday April 04, 2002 @03:50PM (#3286239)
    Here's [com.com] how to remove the "Brilliant" code.

    • Personally, I'd rather let their software run, just so I can sit there with a packet sniffer and see what they're doing.

      I can't imagine any company paying these guys for the cycles of their customers. The people that need that much power are research scientists that already have that much power. If anything I'd say it's going to be used to gather user information and sent back to advertisers.
    • You're kidding me, right? They just figured this out?!? I don't want to sound like a prick, but I removed this right away (along with clicktilluwin) back in the day when I used to actually run KazAA. Key is to MAKE SURE YOU ARE RUNNING A SOFTWARE FIREWALL. I recommend Tiny Personal Firewall [tinysoftware.com]. Cause it's free, small, fast, runs as a service, and highly configurable, and it's just plain ol' Windows forms, not that ooey-gooey-let's-dress-this-up-with-pretty-picture s type of software firewall. Only problem is that it can't compute the MD5 for network programs that you are running off a samba share, but that is not a big problem. Anyway, during the Kazaa install, it's amazing to see how many programs actually try to access the net. You basically have to sandbox the installer, it's pathetic. ClickTillUWin used to launch from a RAR SFX package hidden well within your %temp% directory, and there was always the BDE program in question, to which I never agreed to install. But it's there anyway, and you need to remove it. If I remember correctly, it installs something else after you uninstall it, or that may be clicktilluwin, so don't quote me on that. But those propagating "un"-installers are downright sneaky.
      • Key is to MAKE SURE YOU ARE RUNNING A SOFTWARE FIREWALL

        *sighs wistfully* Anyone else remember the good ol' days when you'd run a firewall to keep the bad guy outside from coming in?
        Nowadays it's all about preventing the bad stuff which is already inside from getting out.

        Ah well, that's progress I guess...
    • I'll summarise the instructions.

      First, wander around the building until you feel the ground beneath your feet vibrate.

      Then, reach over to your keyboard (a wireless is best, use a stick if necesarry, but don't move from that spot!) and do the following in exactly this order. You will need to have already downloaded any files mentioned below-

      1) copy seven different .cnd files into Windows\Candelabra.

      2) Go to your sounds control panel and change your error message to "Opening." Cause the error message to be played.

      3) You now have five seconds to execute Windows\Candelabra\Light.bat, read Windows\Bookdead.txt and click "Accept."

      4) A new button, marked with a double quote (") will appear on your explorer toolbar; this is a shortcut to \Windows\Yendor.exe. Open each and every folder on your hard drive, and click this button. While you're doing this, Brilliant Digital CEO Kevin Bermeister, whom you thought you killed when you got Bookdead.txt, will periodically teleport into your room, and try and seize your keyboard in order to hide the button, delete or rename \Windows\Yendor.exe. You're going to have to kill him several times during this process, so keep a firearm handy.

      5) Restart your computer.

      6) Dedicate your desk as an altar to Anhur (or some other god, but Anhur is easiest.) Take your desk to the astral plane. Pile your computer on your desk and make of it an offering unto him.

      Congratulations, you have now uninstalled brilliant digital's software.

      As an extra challenge, try uninstalling the software without depending on divine intervention or commiting genocide.
    • Nah, I'll leave it running. I'd venture to say that it'll take me about a day or two to find a buffer overflow in either the client or server code. I'll submit it to Bugtraq, let a malicious hax0r write the worm, then head to the john and urinate on their stock.
  • by Xafloc ( 48004 ) on Thursday April 04, 2002 @03:50PM (#3286246) Homepage
    The reason people still use it, is because despite it's annoyances, it is /very/ easy to get a hold of software. I have a friend who swears by it, and related this bit of fact.

    He just started classes and needed VB6 for the homework assignments. He went home logged on to kazaa, and withing 3-4 hours he had it downloaded and installed. Yes it is illegal, yes it probably shouldn't happen. But if he can save a couple hundred dollars while going to school, I know he'll do it.

    Find him something else as good, without the annoyances, and I guarantee he will use it. Until then, he'll live with the pop-ups.
  • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by clarkgoble ( 241742 ) <clark@lextek.com> on Thursday April 04, 2002 @03:51PM (#3286255) Homepage
    The reason why people still use Kazaa over alternatives is that the Gnutella network tends to have poor selection, is slower, etc. etc. Personally I think AudioGalaxy is better than both, but then I prefer to less mainstream music it caters to.

    As with all annoying advertisements the consumer has to balance the cost versus the benefit. Personally while I'd hate to have more ads, are they really using up that much more bandwidth than sharing my songs? Probably not. So long as there aren't pop-ups that my popup killer can't handle I don't really care. Besides which when I'm not looking for music I don't have Kazaa (or Morpheus or AudioGalaxy) running on my system.

  • I think that this sort of crap sucks but may be useful.

    Maybe we will have a software disclosure requirement. All software should have a clear and complete explanation of what it does. If the function is not properly disclosed the supplier should be liable for any actions that may result.

    Of course they should be what a reasonable person would expect, and accidents do happen.
    Added benefit, open source software does fully disclose what the software does.

    • Open Source software may full disclose what the software does, but not to the 'average user'. The same 'average user' who will probably install said software without reading the explanation of what it does when it is right in front of their face.

      I suppose if it were open source, then someone who took the time to look through said source could see what it did and then inform everyone else. But the thing still is, unless it's on the local news at 6, or in the Sunday Paper, who is going to really know about it?
      • Re:Informed consent (Score:3, Informative)

        by nuggz ( 69912 )
        So, just because they don't read it, doesn't mean it isn't there.

        When you sign a legal contract with lots of fine print you don't understand doesn't mean you aren't bound by it.

  • Just get KazaaLite (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 04, 2002 @03:51PM (#3286260)
    www.kazaalite.tk

    Extra Features compared to original KaZaA
    - No Adware
    - No Spyware
    - No banners
    - No bitratelimit for mp3 files
    - No irritating websites loaded into KaZaA
    - No crappy BDE Viewer
    - No f*cking Bonzi Buddy
    - Set up multiple users with the included PseudoTrack tool
    • No f*cking Bonzi Buddy

      I think a better name would be Bonzai Buddy a little tiny kamikaze program, that takes xp down faster than a swarm of scourge bringing down a protoss carrier.
  • by viper21 ( 16860 ) <scottNO@SPAMiqfoundry.com> on Thursday April 04, 2002 @03:51PM (#3286261) Homepage
    From what I have heard/read lately, it seems that this trojan program is silently installed on to a users hard drive.

    If a user decides to remove their install of Kazaa, then Kazaa should remove ALL traces of what it put on a users computer.

    By hiding it, and making it virtually impossible for a casual user to remove, this should definately be classified as a trojan. Also, I have heard that Kazaa claims that this program is only active when the client is runnng/connected. If this is the case, then why wouldn't it automagically uninstall if you chose to remove Kazaa from your computer?

    I'm just hoping that, for once, the RIAA strings these people up. Ask for permission to use my cycles, I will probably let you. Hide it in your 1,000,000 page EULA, go to hell. This is almost as bad as when WebHancer was bundled with AudioGalaxy.

    -S
    • According the CEO from the c|net article, it's going to be 'opt-in'. Which means they will be asking for your permission to use your cycles. My concern as a support provider for a few hundred people is that, like anything else, they probably won't read a damn thing and install it without realizing they're doing it, or what it does. Then I've got computers running slow for no apparent reason, and bandwidth being sucked out my nose. No thank you.
  • Get Kazaa Lite (Score:5, Informative)

    by spav ( 36318 ) <spavlos AT cluemail DOT com> on Thursday April 04, 2002 @03:53PM (#3286271) Homepage
    Um....Get Kazaa Lite [kazaalite.tk]...no more crapware, same old Kazaa.
    • So the benefits to businesses that are making use of Altnet is being passed on to end users, through a program based around "Altnet resource dollars." Those resource dollars are essentially a reward mechanism for end users who have opted in to the program, to gain a continuous benefit from making their resources available. That benefit will manifest in
      inventory provided by Altnet marketing partners who are gaining bandwidth reduction costs and cost savings through the use of Altnet.

      Use KaAzalite and you'll miss out on all that free herbal viagara, low-rate home mortgages, and personalized merchant accounts you'll rack up just for spending a few hours downloading tunes.

  • by k98sven ( 324383 ) on Thursday April 04, 2002 @03:58PM (#3286305) Journal

    Open source software keeps looking better and better all the time,
    as commercial software just gets dirtier and sneakier...
    I wonder where the EULA mania will stop?

    TERMS AND CONDITIONS
    blablabla..
    3197 D) All your base belong to us for fifteen minutes..

  • Why I use Kazaa. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Julius X ( 14690 ) on Thursday April 04, 2002 @03:59PM (#3286312) Homepage
    The reason I still use Kazaa is simple. You can disable the spyware, and when it's done, Kazaa is quite simply the best P2P that I've found. I can always download anything I'm looking for and never have to worry about not being able to find something, because its always there.

    As for the spyware, do a quick search on usenet or using Google and you'll find how to disable it. I've had all of Kazaa's Spyware components disabled for a few months now.
  • by ZaneMcAuley ( 266747 ) on Thursday April 04, 2002 @04:00PM (#3286317) Homepage Journal
    Users DONT READ the EULA's, Users ARE NOT COMPANIES. THEY DONT CARE ABOUT EULA's. When was the last time you read it before clicking "I AGREE".

    Im of the fortunate people who knows how declaw kazaa and all its crap that comes with it.
  • Check out these links: www.brilliantdigital.com/content.asp?ID=781 and [brilliantdigital.com] www.brilliantdigital.com/content.asp?ID=779 [brilliantdigital.com].

    These links were posted today in Kazaa.com, but shortly after they were deleted. They were in a page where you could read:

    "We are proud to announce our partnership with Altnet. As our relationship evolves you will see an evolution in p2p software, taking KaZaA to a completely new dimension without sacrificing any of the things you enjoy in the software."

    Yada, Yada

    "With Altnet, consumers will be able to opt in to making certain parts of their computing power available to businesses. This may include disk space, processing power or bandwidth. You will know exactly how a business would like to use your resources at the time of use. You choose what jobs can use your machine and which ones cannot. You earn redeemable points for sharing your resource."

    Kazaa.com was so "proud" of this partnership that the page was removed from their server in the same day!

  • [snip] The news has also thrown the program's owner into the defensive. Hemming defended Brilliant Digital's plan as a way for all Kazaa users to have a "richer P2P experience," including faster downloads, new kinds of content, and the ability to be compensated for use of their extra computing power. [snip] emphasis mine.

    First off, I don't use kazaa, and don't ever intend to use it. I hate spyware and all of the bundled crap that they distribute. Putting that all alside, who is there right mind would want to give a company that has placed software designed to take over your computer and use it for commercial gain without proper concent/disclosure their bank/ccard information.

    Not I for one. Give me a break, next thing you know they will be distrubuting the richer p2p experiance of loosing your credit card info to 3 million teenagers who use it to buy the new celion dion albumn that crashes your computer [slashdot.org].

    -ryan
  • by FortKnox ( 169099 ) on Thursday April 04, 2002 @04:02PM (#3286343) Homepage Journal
    I don't understand why anyone is still installing Kazaa, given their track record.

    You get free sharing across a network, at the price of some advertising.


    Lemmie put it into terms slashdotters will understand, at the cost of my karma (cause michael will slap this down in a matter of seconds):
    I logged into slashdot today to find that there are LARGE ads in the middle of their articles! I don't understand why people use this site, after their trackrecord of ignoring their users [slashdot.org], abusing their power [slashdot.org], and insulting the users [slashdot.org]!

    Is that example a troll? A flamebait?
    Then so is the article explanation by michael!
  • I support several computer labs at a community college and kids constantly install these unathorized programs in the labs. The computers have some much crap on them that they have to be reimaged routinely. These media arts computers are so overloaded with Photoshop, QuarkXpress, Freehand, etc. that they are touchy anyway. Now add yahoo! messenger, msn messenger, song spy, audio galaxy, etc plus all the spyware crap to every machine. I did convince the powers that be that general labs should be linux or dual boot.
  • by tartanboy ( 262669 ) on Thursday April 04, 2002 @04:03PM (#3286352)
    1.In the Windows Control Panel, select an option called "Add/Remove Programs." One of the options will be "b3d Projector." Highlight this and click the "Change/Remove" button.


    You may get a message that the uninstall has been successful.

    Search your computer for a "BDE" folder, which most likely will be found in the "WinNT" or "Windows" directory. In this folder will be a file called "bdeclean.exe". Run this to finish the first part of the process.

    Delete the BDE folder.

    Caution: An unrelated piece of software called Borland Database Engine also creates a BDE directory. If you think you may have this software installed, or if there is any confusion whatsoever, do not delete this directory.

    2.In the "Temp" directory (this will normally be found inside the "Windows" or "WinNT" directory) is a folder called "Brilliant." This contains many files. Delete the entire folder.

    3.After performing steps 1 and 2, you will need to locate and remove some additional Brilliant Digital files that have been placed in critical system-level computer directories. CAUTION: Deleting the wrong files could interfere with the normal functioning of your computer. These files will most likely be in the "Windows\System" or "WinNT\System32" folder(in windows XP I found them in Windows\System32\):

    bdedownloader.dll
    bdedata2.dll
    bdefdi.dll
    bdeinsta2.dll
    bdeinstall.exe
    bdesecureinstall.cab
    bdesecureinstall.exe
    bdeverify.exe
    bdeverify.dll

    Delete these files.

  • by seldolivaw ( 179178 ) <me@nospaM.seldo.com> on Thursday April 04, 2002 @04:03PM (#3286353) Homepage
    1. Morpheus is dead, and Gnutella clients are improving, but are not nearly good enough yet.
    2. I find what I'm looking for. The user base is huge, 1,000,000+ users online at any time, so I'm very seldom disappointed. Using LimeWire and Bearshare (which I tested out when Morpheus first died) successful results take longer and downloads are more likely to abort unsuccessfully.
    3. It's slick. Morpheus 2.0, BearShare and LimeWire were all huge resource hogs, and took hours to even find some servers to connect to, far less find me any media. And -- a minor but significant point -- their interfaces suck big time. LimeWire's was the best GUI, but the worst results, sadly.
    4. Only moron users can't tell that KaZaA is loaded with spyware. If you're moderately experienced, it's piss-easy to choose the "custom install" option when installing KaZaA. All the spyware programs are clearly listed in that install, and avoiding them is as easy as unchecking the boxes (though the install program is cute, and asks you not to "in order to support our software").

    The ALTNET / b3d client does seem to install itself without asking you, but it sits quietly in the "installed programs" list, and can be uninstalled in 3 clicks (which I performed yesterday after reading Brilliant's plans for ALTNET).

    Summary: I use KaZaA because it works, and only morons can't uninstall the spyware.

    • Check your Windows folder out. Do a Find Files for Brilliant Digital and BDE (Caution: I believe you may find some files from a Borland app that have BDE in them too). Look in your registry too; there's a whole thwack of Brilliant Digital entries in there too.

      Use Grokster. Cydoor can be disabled with tool available on the web and still allow Cydoor infected apps to run. I would look it up but I'm sure someone with your considerable computer prwowess can find it.

      So...ahh...if you didn't get all of these files, does this make you a moron too?

      • Since every karma whore and his brother has just posted uninstall instructions that are a lot more detailed than mine, yeah, I guess I'm a moron :-) But main point still holds: you can get rid of Brilliant if you're moderately competent and/or read ZDnet occasionally.
    • The ALTNET / b3d client does seem to install itself without asking you, but it sits quietly in the "installed programs" list, and can be uninstalled in 3 clicks

      Do that. Then search for bde* in your Windows system(32) directory, and then explain to us just how effective your "3 click uninstall" was.

    • Only moron users can't tell that KaZaA is loaded with spyware. If you're moderately experienced, it's piss-easy to choose the "custom install" option when installing KaZaA. All the spyware programs are clearly listed in that install,

      Not all of them are...IIRC, Cydoor isn't listed. What's more, Kazaa won't work without Cydoor. (Fortunately, there is a dummy cd_clnt.dll out there that will allow Kazaa to run...it's even bundled with Kazaa Lite [kazaalite.tk].)

    • I guess you haven't used Kazaa since you uinstalled b3d. It'll refuse to run if Brilliant ins't installed.

      (Didn't MSFT have this problem... bundling? :P)
    • by jimmu ( 227057 )
      The ALTNET / b3d client does seem to install itself without asking you, but it sits quietly in the "installed programs" list, and can be uninstalled in 3 clicks (which I performed yesterday after reading Brilliant's plans for ALTNET).

      Umm . . . . not exactly.
      There are more then a few entries that sit in your registry even after an uninstall. Not to mention all the .dll and so on that sit in the b3d directory that do not get removed during an uninstall.

      The b3d projector is actually set to reinstall itself if you visit their website using kazaa. So a simple uninstall doesn't do dick.

      In order to really, truly get rid of b3d and all its assorted crap, you have to remove all of this:
      c:\Windows\BDE (the whole folder)

      c:\Windows\Temp\Brilliant (another folder which may or may not be there)

      c:\Windows\SYSTEM\bdedata2.dll

      c:\Windows\SYSTEM\bdedownloader.dll

      c:\Windows\SYSTEM\bdefdi.dll

      c:\Windows\SYSTEM\bdeinsta2.dll

      c:\Windows\SYSTEM\bdeinstall.exe

      c:\Windows\SYSTEM\bdesecureinstall.cab

      c:\Windows\SYSTEM\bdesecureinstall.exe

      c:\Windows\SYSTEM\bdeverify.dll

      c:\Windows\SYSTEM\bdeverify.exe

      you also need to pull this out of the registry:

      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.b3ds

      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\b3ds_auto_file

      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\BDESmartInstaller.BDESmartInst al ler

      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\BDESmartInstaller.BDESmartInst al ler.1

      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{67925165-C4B6-11D2-B9C6 -0 000E84F59A6}

      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{82FC7881-AACC-11D2-B9 C6 -0000E842E40A}

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Brilliant Digital Entertainment

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Zupdate

      you also need to remove the b3dupdate value in

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Cu rr entVersion\Run

      This damn thing has its tentacles all over the place. To get more info on removing b3d and other kaaza realted crap, go here [geocities.com]

    • by Tom7 ( 102298 ) on Thursday April 04, 2002 @05:27PM (#3286984) Homepage Journal
      This is an excellent troll. So much so that I can't even resist responding!

      KaZaa asks you about a *few* of the many spyware apps they want to install on your computer. But MANY of them are installed regardless of what you choose. Try running Ad-Aware on your machine, or check out the uninstallation instructions for their newest thing (they one that this article is about).
    • There's more to it than meets the eye. I used to think I was fine when I unchecked all the options too. But alas, Cydoor still installs, along with B3d. Thank god there is a free utility for removing the stupid Cydoor shit with a clone so Kazaa will still run.. or Grokster.. whichever you prefer..

    • its on the kazaa network it has no crapware.

      At least it has less crapware.
    • 99% of people are computer morons.
  • Evertime an article about how bad Kazaa, morpheus or music city are it should just include a link to Gnucleus [sourceforge.net] as the solution.
  • Companies like these don't have a good track record for security. How long before the Kazaa/Brilliant virus sweeps the P2P sub-culture?
  • Let's see if we can sum this up...

    KaZaa gets a lot of bandwidth from people who are downloading and trading music/video/software on a peer to peer basis. Many of these people do not own what they are distributing/trading. They are thieves.

    KaZaa sells spare bandwidth on that network to Brilliant. Kazaa makes money off of the thieves.

    Brilliant sells it for advertising, etc... they make money.

    I know there are plenty of arguments about the true cost of music, so perhaps even the record companies are thieves. I think this is a case of everyone stealing from everyone. Except the artists, who are forever in the lurch.
    • ROTFL...your post sums up the situation most accurately! Users are stealing music, videos, and software, and then they're complaining about the maker of KaZaa. Hey everyone, what goes around comes around! Enjoy it!
  • Irony! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jvmatthe ( 116058 ) on Thursday April 04, 2002 @04:08PM (#3286395) Homepage
    I find it ironic that a wildly popular peer-to-peer tools that scares the bejesus out of the media conglomerates is being positioned as the secure delivery vehicle to cater to those same media conglomerates. Were I truly paranoid, I could dream up a scenario in which the RIAA were far more clever than we ever imagined and (a) pursued P2P tools via legal attacks while (b) preparing to use their popularity to distribute their own "secure" network tools for which they hold the keys. Then again, perhaps these Brilliant people are really just clever enough to figure out how to sell P2P to the media giants in a form they can stomach. A fancy trick, that, if they they pull it off.

    Tangent:
    It's weird, but as I've become a more experienced computer and software user, I've learned that less software is better for me and for my system. This is just one more example of that, as I see it. But unfortunately most computer users (by which, I suppose I mean Windows users) end up downloading dozens of programs they don't want or need. When I check out a family member's or friend's Windows computer they always have these huge Programs menus with entries they don't even recognize anymore. I suspect a lot of people will be surprised if this method of software delivery is copycatted (and I see no reason why it won't catch on very quickly) and months after they've downloaded, installed, and forgotten that VisualBasic gadget du jour that they got from C|Net's download center wakes up the trojan that came along for the ride and starts offering to sell them printer ink or viagra or green cards.
    • Not ironic at all. What's ironic is that the RIAA didn't think of it first!

      Napster was an attractive acquisition once they proved widely popular. If Brilliant and Kazaa can establish a huge user base that can actually pay for the content they're downloading, they'll be even more attractive than Napster was. There's a reasonable chance that the record labels will wise up and buy/operate the Altnet and finally quit whining about lost profits. Not only does this kind of network generate revenue via the shared resource angle, but it will also generate more CD sales by promoting new artists and releases that aren't on ClearChannel's top 40 playlists.

      Of course, it's not surprising the record execs couldn't innovate this kind of solution to their failing business model: they're middlemen, not creators.

  • by -eddy ( 20859 )
    From the article:
    When does the Altnet system become active, and what should people expect from it?
    We're anticipating that in the next four to six weeks, the working components of the Altnet system will be activated or become active...So we expect between the next 60 to 90 days Altnet will begin making contact with the end users.
    .
    .
    And then it will start to learn.
    5 days later it will be fully conscious...

    Hmm, This seems vaguely familiar.

    -eddy
  • by TheRealFixer ( 552803 ) on Thursday April 04, 2002 @04:10PM (#3286415)
    ...and give out Altnet resource dollars in exchange

    Excellent! I can't wait to get ahold of some of those Altnet dollars. I wonder what the exchange rate is on Altnet to TreeLoot dollars? I've punched the monkey too many times to want to change to a different currency.
  • Day in and day out people bitch about spyware this and trojan that..

    Did you pay for the software? No You didnt.

    Is there any harm in a company trying to profit off software they provide? Give me a break. This is nothing but Seti with a P2P attached.

    Did you fully read the TOS that came with the software? If you didn't you have no right to complain..

    Your all suck as much log as the people who complain about the president.. But never vote..

    And sometimes I think some of you would complain if a person gave you a wrinkled $100 bill...
    "No its wrinkled I want a new one damn it or I will refuse to take it at all!!"
  • by stu42j ( 304634 )
    I was looking for a Linux version of Kazaa and I found giFT [sourceforge.net]. Has anyone used this? It sounds good in theory but is it very usefull in practice?
    • I tried it once, but most of the time either the GUI crashed or it displayed un-readable results (i.e., some weird non-ascii characters). The java/web client was slightly better at that point, but still with problems.

      Anyway, that was months ago, they might have evolved since then...
  • As I understand things, this software, activated and operating as a content server on my PC, would put me in violation of AT&T Broadband's acceptable use policy for cable modem service (don't bitch at me about how dumb the policy is, I don't like it any better than anyone else and I work for Broadband). The "penalty" for such violations can include having my cable modem service terminated. In such a case, where Brilliant has not taken steps to notify me of the software functions or to check about such term violations, shouldn't they be held responsible for my loss of service?

  • I dont know about you but now im looking at seriously dumping kazaa. Kazaa "was" good. Not anymore. The only reason they got the users they have now is from the Morpheus fiasco.

    Some excerpts from interviews and the kazaa site.

    "stand by for something special!" - what do they mean by that. I DO NOT LIKE SUPPRISES. Dont they think they have "supprised" enough people already?

    --
    http://www.kazaa.com/en/kmd160.htm
    ---
    Coo l New Interface
    Our first major interface overhaul in a year! Give your KMD that 'XP Look'! And this is not all we are doing in the interface department... stand by for something special!

    ---
    http://news.com.com/2008-1082-875620.html
    ---
    There is the potential of compensation for users.
    That's the whole purpose of Altnet. The benefit of distributed computing technologies in a global peer-to-peer network is such that many organizations that are using centralized servers models can begin deploying their technologies out to the ultimate edge. The ultimate edge is represented by users of this network.

    So the benefits to businesses that are making use of Altnet is being passed on to end users, through a program based around "Altnet resource dollars." Those resource dollars are essentially a reward mechanism for end users who have opted in to the program, to gain a continuous benefit from making their resources available.

    That benefit will manifest in inventory provided by Altnet marketing partners who are gaining bandwidth reduction costs and cost savings through the use of Altnet
    ---

  • Posted from CNet -

    John Borland CNET News.com

    Brilliant Digital Entertainment quietly installs its own software with every copy of the Kazaa file-swapping software. The Brilliant Digital software, which is being progressively distributed over the next few weeks, can later be remotely "turned on" to become part of a new network.

    Executives from Brilliant Digital and Kazaa's parent company say people can uninstall the Brilliant Digital or Altnet software from their computers without interfering with the Kazaa program itself. This is true, but it's not an easy process.

    These three steps will remove most traces of the Brilliant Digital software from most machines. CNET News.com did it using a computer running Windows 2000 (news - web sites), but the same process should work for other Windows operating systems. Please be aware, however, that these instructions represent just one uninstall method and may not be suitable for all machines and software configurations.

    CNET Networks assumes no liability in publishing these instructions, which people may choose to follow at their own risk. As always, it's a good idea to make a backup of any critical files before proceeding.

    1. In the Windows Control Panel, select an option called "Add/Remove Programs." One of the options will be "b3d Projector." Highlight this and click the "Change/Remove" button.

    You may get a message that the uninstall has been successful. Search your computer for a "BDE" folder, which most likely will be found in the "WinNT" or "Windows" directory. In this folder will be a file called "bdeclean.exe". Run this to finish the first part of the process. Delete the BDE folder.

    Caution: An unrelated piece of software called Borland Database Engine also creates a BDE directory. If you think you may have this software installed, or if there is any confusion whatsoever, do not delete this directory.

    2. In the "Temp" directory (this will normally be found inside the "Windows" or "WinNT" directory) is a folder called "Brilliant." This contains many files. Delete the entire folder.

    3. After performing steps 1 and 2, you will need to locate and remove some additional Brilliant Digital files that have been placed in critical system-level computer directories. CAUTION: Deleting the wrong files could interfere with the normal functioning of your computer. These files will most likely be in the "Windows\System" or "WinNT\System32" folder:

    bdedownloader.dll
    bdedata2.dll
    bdefdi.dll
    bdeinsta2.dll
    bdeinstall.exe
    bdesecureinstall.cab
    bdesecureinstall.exe
    bdeverify.exe
    bdeverify.dll

    Delete these files.
  • Direct Connect (Score:2, Informative)

    by gr8fulnded ( 254977 )
    I prefer using DC from neo-modus.com myself. Everything broken into hubs. I download lots of Grateful Dead/jamband music, and only in shorten format, so off to the SHN hub I go. You want Anime? Go the any of the *numerous* anime hubs. Star Trek, MP3's, Ogg, you name it there's a hub for it. Did I mention *NO* spyware?

    This lesson was brought to you by the letter "Q" an the number 4.

    --Dave
  • try limewire (Score:3, Informative)

    by asv108 ( 141455 ) <alex@@@phataudio...org> on Thursday April 04, 2002 @04:31PM (#3286597) Homepage Journal
    I know people have experienced problems with Gnutella clients in the past but Limewire [limewire.com] has improved dramatically over the past few months. If your willing to spend $8.50 you can get the pro version [limewire.com] which has no bundled software and has a few additional features. You can always use the free version and run Ad Aware [lavasoftusa.com] to get rid of the additional apps. Limewire is open source too [limewire.org] so you can compile it yourself and remove the additional apps plus it works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. The 2.3 version has a bunch of new features including the ability to search by media type: audio, video, programs, etc.
  • The irony is that with all this underhanded maneuvering, combative bullshit, pushing the limits of business ethics, and general bad karma, these bottom feeders are still not making a penny! Nor is there any evidence they ever will. I'm glad I'm not a shareholder...
  • There are hordes of people who would download and use Kazaa even if they were aware (assumes alot) of a EULA that said "By agreeing to use our software, you support our policy of rectal electrocution torture of cute furry bunnies for no reason at all except our disagreeable sense of humor. In fact, each IP of each user on Kazaa has it's own bunny that receives a shock for each packet you receive on our network. Have a nice day."

    ;-P

    Jokes aside, you are looking at the future of P2P my friends.

    People are entirely willing to make the trade of bandwidth and processing power for services, if they don't have to suffer for it themselves, no matter how slimy the service. If the clock cycles and packet load is small enough, who can blame them?

    You want mp3s? Serve ads for me. What the heck is wrong with that, really, from the users point of view?

    Slimy? Yes.

    Sneaky? Yes.

    Underhanded and contributing to the corporatization and monotonization and overall disagreeable nature of the Internet? Undoubtedly.

    But: A smart business move? Absolutely.

    A win-win for vendor and end-user of a piece of P2P software? Completely.

    Do you want me to suggest something UTTERLY EVIL? Howabout an end-user agreeing saying every night at midnight, 100 pieces of Spam will be sent out via their email client. If they write the software that anoymizes the Spam, i see hordes of people agreeing to this! And how far away is this really? And how hard would Spam be to fight then? Kazaa already has a prominent menu item which sends "use Kazaa" Spam to anyone the user wants to, all preformatted and ready to go.

    Mark my words: this little "Brilliant" scheme is no blatant out-of-the way one-time dastardly move. It is the future.
  • Bandwidth Sharing?! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Wavicle ( 181176 ) on Thursday April 04, 2002 @05:35PM (#3287037)
    Unless you are truly a power user, you do not have bandwidth to share. Your ISP probably sells you service, not bandwidth. That's why you can't call up your provider and say "Hey, when I download pr0n at 8PM my download is really slow, where's all that bandwidth I bought?". That's also why service providers are not happy about people setting up neighborhood 802.11 networks with only one person paying them for service (hey, you're just sharing your bandwidth, right?). No internet service ever gives you a gaurantee of throughput. In fact, every service provider over sells their bandwidth because most of your online time is spent reading not receiving (or sending).

    You don't own the bandwidth, your provider does. If Brilliant is using that bandwidth, and is not providing the user with anything and is detrimental to the service of other people using that service provider, what you have is misappropriated bandwidth. With any luck AT&T will show up at Brilliant's office asking them to pay for it.

    What Brilliant is doing is trying to make money by carving it out of the margins of the providers who would normally charge advertisers for hosting. The same amount of load is on the network, but the people carrying the load will get less income for it (and none of those companies have fat margins anymore).
  • Welp, I've liked KaZaA alot. Their interface is less bloat than Morpheus' and d/ls are fast. But these fucks just don't understand what the P2P revolution is all about. HINT: sneaking in extra unwanted software is not part of the revolution.

    Time to switch over to Grokster, which doesn't -- yet -- have any of this bullshit.

    On another vein, LimeWire is, as always, good. People complain about the slow speed of LimeWire...well, yes it downloads individual songs slowly. Did it ever occur to anyone to download many songs at once, thus to push your bandwidth to the max?

    Also, though people complain about the ads and periphery bloatware software in LimeWire, you can remove any periphery software. Furthermore, you can always pay 8.50 and get just pure LimeWire. And if you don't want to do that, LimeWire IS Open-Sourced. Get the code and work with it to eliminate the shit you don't like.

    If you really don't like the ads in Limewire, don't bitch about it. Get the source and change it.
  • by gilroy ( 155262 ) on Thursday April 04, 2002 @08:44PM (#3288083) Homepage Journal
    Blockquoth the CEO:

    Unless there are some centralized controls, content owners cannot really put their best content forward and at least maintain some semblance of control over the end-user experience. [emphasis added]

    Why on Earth should content owners -- notice how they're not even "content providers" anymore -- have any "control over the end-user experience"? Why on Earth would I be interested in using a network that gave them such?


    Funny, when I buy a book, I can read it. Or read it aloud. Or throw it in the garbage. Or donate it to a library. Or lend it to a friend. Or tear it up and make origami out of it. (OK, not that last -- it'd be cool if I knew how to make origami). Last I checked, neither the author, the publisher, or the distributor can say diddly about my final use, except in the narrow sense that I cannot illegitimately copy it. Why should digital content be given any special treatment?


    At least and at last, copyright holders are showing their true colors, with watermarks and generation controls and "authorization devices". It's not about stopping infringement. It's not about selling more stuff. It's about control -- about securing total control to allow eventual maximization of access and profit. And to hell with the end user if they don't like it.



    Ah, Cosmo (of Sneakers [imdb.com] , you said it best:


    There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think... it's all about the information!


  • I searched the topics down to 1 and can't find a definitive answer.
    • Ugh. From the website:

      ---
      Ok, so practically what does it do?

      Cydoor transmits advertising metrics (ad displays, clicks, etc.) and uses cookies just as advertising.com, doubleclick.com and all online ad agencies do. And if you delete it, then Grokster will cease to function properly.
      ---

      Does this mean that if you delete Cydoor it will fail to open ads or Grokster will not let you get files?

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