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|View Poll Results: Do you mind ads in commercial software?|
|Ads don't bother me.||1||2.22%|
|Ads bother me, but I'd still use the software.||10||22.22%|
|Ads bother me a lot, and I'd use the software less, or buy an alternative.||34||75.56%|
|I like ads. They provide valuable information.||0||0%|
|Voters: 45. You may not vote on this poll|
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And in commercial software, that's just low.
ah, the joys of advertising and advertisers...
sometimes i'd rather have a virus than all the ad garbage going on. planting ads in commercial paid for software tells me instantly what type of company/person i'm dealing with.... covert. thus, their software is INSTANTLY suspect. i've tossed several over the years, including a couple of isps.
there are ways to combat this barrage. in email, you can do like gary does and have at least one 'junk mail' address. i have one and it is ALWAYS full. it's always full because i never open it. so, the mail sent to it gets returned or lost or just plain dies somewhere. and like gary i use this for general registrations on sites that require it. it's a valid address, but when they put me on their lists they simply get no response. the address i use for friends and family never gets listed except on trusted sites or with trusted people and i NEVER put it in a 'profile' of any kind.
you can also learn email filtering. a good place to start for that is www.blackviper.com . that guy is an expert on filtering junk mail.
for junk phone calls i have another piece of software. since i have a dsl line and a 56k modem line, this software answers the phone for me. it announces who is calling and their phone number. it will also block any number i want it to and the line simply gets hung up. i also have a digital answering machine that i leave on 'screen'. and, i have caller id. between the three of these i can screen all calls and only pick up the ones i want. the phone software even displays the name and number in big letters on my monitor for me. oh, the name of this is 'phonetray free' and can be found at www.phonetray.com . great little piece of software!
popups and ads in software can be a bit more tricky. sadly, Norton even took to this not too long ago. and some may not even recognize this as 'advertising'. but if you get popups telling you it's time to re-register or update your software, that IS advertising. norton has this annoying little thing that pops up when the year is over that you cant remove and it just keeps popping up every 14 or 15 days. you cant answer 'i dont want to register....ever!'. you have the option of being reminded in 1 day or 14 and then it comes up again at the end of whatever you clicked on. now, i dont mind this too much in anti-virus software, but i am annoyed that i cant remove it.
for spyware, scumware, malware, or whatever you wish to call it, there are 3 that i would recommend; adaware, spybot search and destroy, and microsoft's new beta one. i dont have the latter, but the reports say it's pretty good.
for hijacks, get 'hijackthis'.
and for removing software once you've installed it and it's got 'features' you dont like, try 'norton clean sweep' and 'total uninstall'. these monitor and record EVERYTHING that gets installed on a new piece of software and where it gets installed. this is important. uninstallers that come with the software are notorious for leaving things behind that dont get uninstalled. after a while you've got a clogged registry and abandoned files all over. clean sweep or total uninstall remove EVERYTHING that that program installed anywhere, including the stuff in the registry that it put there.
MAKE AND USE RESTORE POINTS! windows xp has a thing called restore points. it's basically sort of a snapshot of what's on your computer at the time you make a restore point. if your machine gets all messed up you can go back to this restore point and restore your machine to those settings and no more messed up computer!
and last on my list is scotty the wonder dog! yeah, it's a watchdog. this one has saved me many hassles! Winpatrol. winpatrol is a nice, quiet little app that sits in your systray and watches for oddball things. it tracks cookies that folks try to put on your machine, most of which are harmless, but sometimes annoying. but it's real power is in catching 'riders' and other instant, covert installs. riders, or piggybacks, are programs that are part of a download or install that you want. only, you get more than you actually think you're getting. another program is appended or 'piggybacked' onto the one you want and it gets installed along with the other, usually unbeknownst to you. WinPatrol catches these and gives you a popup asking if you really want it installed. so this one also always stays on my active list.
so, stay on your toes and fight back!
Just a quick warning on a current undesirable trend.
Sony have started installing a Rootkit on your computer if you use any of their copyright protected CDs.
A Rootkit is a device used by Hackers to hide files by corrupting processes at the deepest levels of your computer. They cannot be detected by Anti-Virus or Anti-Spyware programmes, as they have infected your computer in such a way as to cause your computer to "lie" to all requests for information that might identify the hidden processes.
The Rootkit that Sony have propogated although not "Malicious" in itself, does pose a risk to your computer. Firstly it uses up your processor cyles, therefore slowing your machine. Secondly it has been known to cause conflicts (it regularly crashes Microsofts proposed new OS Vista), lastly it leaves a vulnerability whereby Malicious interlopers can hide files on your system merely by adding $sys$ in front of any file they want to hide.
Sony have produced a patch which will reveal these hidden processes, but you have to apply to them to get the proceses removed. If you try to remove them yourself it will screw your CD drive.
Once removed, you will no longer be able to play Copyright Protected CDs on your Computer. Needless to say, Sony will not re-imburse you for your now useless CD purchase.
Please note, there is no EULA (End User Licence Agreement) to notify you of this install, merely by playing a Sony Copyright Protected CD will you infect your system.
My advice is to boycott all CDs from Sony with this "Protection", until they see reason and remove it from their product.
oh my lord. they've just gone nuts, havent they. heh, no more sony cd's. no more blank sony cd's or dvd's.
this also follows in the wake of a new law the u.s. congress is either proposing or has already enacted. sorry, i'm not sure which here. i heard this on the Attack of the Show recently and since i was only half listening at the time you shld check their show notes to make sure you get it right. the thing was that 'Hollywood' was being given, or going to be given, control over all electronic devices such as dvr's, vcr's and i'm not sure what all, in that they would have the control over internal copy protection mechanisms within that device and could basically do anything they wanted within that device to help them prevent pirating.
like i said, i only was half listening at the time, so i probably have some of this wrong, but it sounded pretty weird to me; another of those Big Brother things we all know and love.
From what I've heard (and this was second hand, so can't verify its integrity), they want to be able to charge to grant you priviledges (which you already have for free), so you'd have to pay extra to watch a 2nd TV in another room, or to record programmes for your own consumption using a VCR or DVD recorder. There's a whole lot more to it, and this is just the tip of the iceberg if they're allowed to get away with it.
Christ these guys already make billions, but greed just breeds more greed. Or as the old saying goes "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely".
All we can do is to show our resistance, by fighting the passing of any such laws, and boycotting the products of companies that try imposing this privacy invading BS on us.
Just thought I'd add a couple of Links to Sony Rootkit articles. (a Google Search will find many more).
Follow up article on Sony's Uninstaller.
Note: Both these articles are highly technical, but are written in a clear and lucid fashion.
Reaction by consumers at Amazon.
Last edited by Gary Richardson; 11-05-2005 at 08:47 AM.
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