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News Built-in Vista probing tools exposed

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Tim S, 3 Jul 2007.

  1. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Correction: they are not interesting until the authorities think they might be doing something the authorities think they shouldn't. There's the rub.

    [USRF]Obiwan has a point, though. Vista has about 67 features collecting information. There are going to be literally hundreds of millions of people using Vista over the next decade. How much information does Microsoft have to wade through? Chances are, your precious private data is never even going to be seen by human eyes, but just automatically amalgamated with millions of other bits of data into some anonymous statistics by computer software.

    And then, why would authorities care about whether you use DVDdecrypter or that slightly dodgy Student Edition of MSOffice past its Terms of Use? What interesting data could Vista actually collect that the government could not, by the usual means? The really interesting information about you is already out there: what searches you do on Google, your political opinions as expressed in which forums you visit, your internet-associated Credit Card activity, your blogs, your chat room activities and associates... And that is not even considering the usual channels: your bank account activities, credit rating, census data, car registration (and associated CCTV records), CRB checks, employment records, mobile and landline phone tapping, e-mail snooping... Trust me, the authorities don't need Vista. They can already find out all they want about you.
     
  2. devdevil85

    devdevil85 What's a Dremel?

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    [sarcasm]Well who gives a s**t then.....I mean c'mon they've been doing this for years now anyways.....[/sarcasm] All I can say is that all of this hidden spyware better not be eating resources that should otherwise be used for their original purpose (like running the OS! maybe?) M$ better come out of the closet here and explain why they didn't insert the other 47 methods of data farming in the EULA.
     
  3. Amon

    Amon inch-perfect

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    I don't think freeing system resources is the real concern here as much as the user's digital anonymity. This is one great reason why Vista isn't taking off in the corporate environment where security and privacy are the highest of priorities. I work in the same department as a bank's entire corporate security system experts and I understand quite vividly the importance of an operating system's 'cleanliness' before being implemented into the enterprise. If Vista is this 'dirty', then it'll just remain stuck to casual users and OEM outfitters at best.
     
  4. Luukas

    Luukas What's a Dremel?

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    This is a bit off-topic but...apparently yes.
     
  5. Faulk_Wulf

    Faulk_Wulf Internet Addict

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    Long Version:
    So either you're paranoid, or the real state of the web-based world is a scary place with the right (or wrong) people running it. I think maybe I'll make a tin foil hat now. My mental idea of being secured just completely changed, and unless I want to live in the mountains away from all technology, there really isn't sh*t I can do about it.

    I can't speculate on corporations, or educational environments, but I do find it kinda BS that to play the latest games they'll force you to upgrade to Vista. I don't remember the switch from 98-XP being so harsh. The 8x00 from nVidia supports DX10, which is only available on Vista. Since Apple and Linux don't support Direct X (Indeed, isn't it a Windows only thing?) game developers pretty much have to develop for Windows if they want to target the PC market. Since the only other solution would be for developers to make there own "Direct X" for another OS, and we all know that that would be too cost prohibitive to be remotely logical, it essentially gives Microsoft a monopoly on the gaming industry. (Which I wouldn't think would be legal, but I'll wait for the replies that will explain my errors in these thoughts. ;) )

    The bigger point is this: Who is this targeting? While I'm sure any more criminals have computers, laptops, hell maybe even full networks-- I'm equally sure that they probably use command line, or proprietary operating systems for alot of major illegal activity. This might pick up on some white collared business crime, but more then likely, it would pick up anything massively illegal. (Well maybe child pornography?)

    Really this will target a primary demographic of 13 - 35 home PC users with a typical computing knowledge range of decent to horrendous. I see that most people on this forum with "decent" to excellent knowledge pretty much always use Linux and Mac when the option is available to them. I'd also pay money on a bet that another 25% would use Linux instantly if they could play proprietary games on it. So what are the main activities of this demographic? File sharing and video gaming, and social networking. RIAA/MPAA, Video game industry, and governments could benifit from the kind of information picked up by the kinds of programs installed on your computer, whether they're legal or not, and your browsing habits. Along with sharing music movies etc, and burinng your own. Yeah, its one giant conspiracy theory. And maybe I've read 1984 too much, and read too much into Nexxo's post. I'm not saying Vista is evil, and I'm not saying that the American government is to the point of monitoring every teeny bopper, but they might be getting close. (F#cking Patriot Act, et all) After all, what better time to start profiling a populous then before they know they have rights that are already being violated.

    Short Version:
    :wallbash:
     
    Last edited: 3 Jul 2007
  6. zero0ne

    zero0ne Minimodder

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    My guess of why its "contradicting" is because it works like this:

    when it stores the data it collects, it attaches it with say the CD key of the system...

    So if the authorities had a reason to attack someone for having pics of naked 5 yr old kids, they would see its attached to CD key X, and that CD Key X is registered to John Doe.

    the first statement probably means when they use the data collected for their purposes, or sell it, no one on that end has access to who each specific data point is referring to, but they have the ability to link it if needed by the federal government.
     
  7. Bluephoenix

    Bluephoenix Spoon? What spoon?

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    I read the EULA, and even then I don't care all that much, because if they do use it, I can have anything they use thrown out because of a reasonable expectation of privacy (which was recently upheld by the supreme court in the case of datalogging by IPs :clap: )
     
  8. jfreak

    jfreak What's a Dremel?

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    ok, here is what I see as the big problem with MS invasion of your PC..

    They collect data on your pc about you. Then they work a business plan muscle out products and services that compete with them. This has the potential to give MS an unfair advantage in the business world.

    Second, lets say MS can't take down google and can't buy them out. Well, now they have enough information to cripple/alter operation/shut down applications/service/web addresses they deem to be threatening (to their business) that you use too often.

    Yeah yeah, you say that will never happen... well then, why do they need the information in the first place. A service patch does not require 6 billion peoples information in order to be released or worked on.

    What justifiable reason does a company like MS need to collect all that information on you or I?

    Linux is looking better and better all the time. I just wish they would get gaming and other multimedia up to equal or better footing to windows. It's getting closer.
     
  9. TTmodder

    TTmodder Hammertime

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    Only one thing to say. Linux & Cedega
     
  10. jezmck

    jezmck Minimodder

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    Fair point, but they can then look at the data and see that you're innocent, right?
     
  11. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Again, depends on what they think of as "innocence". Or should I say: "harmlessness"? ;)
     
  12. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    MS has the rather unique problem that their product needs to work on an infinite number of differently configured PCs, with sometimes unique installations of hardware, drivers and software produced by third parties over which they have little control. It has to be flexible, easy to set up and use by even the most computer-illiterate moron and stand up to a fair bit of user abuse, obscure hardware glitches and data corruption.

    No, don't wave Linux around. You need to be a geek to install Linux, and it is very unforgiving of badly configured hardware. Not something I see the average home PC user get to grips with. Get Root requires Get Geek.

    So, it is useful for MS to get as much information as possible from as wide a range of different PCs as possible, under as real-life-use conditions as possible. After all, there's many different PCs out there, and computer-illiterate people do things that from a computer geek's perspective can seem rather strange and illogical.

    Of course, MS being MS, they will study usage patterns to tailor their software and services accordingly. But we benefit from that in the end. MS is very unlikely to try and shut out popular services/applications/web addresses not provided by them, simply because no user is going to shell out up to $300,-- on Windows Vista Next Edition if they cannot use Google or eBay on it. The average consumer or company has no loyalties towards any particular OS like Apple or Linux users may have --if, say, Apple allows them to do the things they want and Windows doesn't, they switch. What is more likely is that MS will try and develop competitive services. But although it may rub those in our faces, unless they are really better than the competition, people will simply not use them. My default search engine and home page is still Google, no matter how much MSN Search and MSN Homepage was installed per default.

    Neither is MS going to sabotage such services. Google has programmers too, and the slightest whiff of any cyber-warfare coming from Redmond will result in lawsuits that would cripple MS and put key members of its board in prison (not to mention some counter-measures in retribution).
     
  13. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    We can call use Vista... there is no problem (just don't connect to the net :p)
     
  14. mrlanrat

    mrlanrat What's a Dremel?

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    True, this is one of the 100's or reasons I use Linux. (Is I type in a windows vista laptop. ;) )
     
  15. mrlanrat

    mrlanrat What's a Dremel?

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    I'm sure Microsoft thought of this, maybe they have a way for the computer to send very small electrical pulses out of the powersuply to the power lines over to Microsoft so they can harvest your data! :eeek:
     
  16. yuusou

    yuusou Multimodder

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    I love my privacy...
     
  17. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    The problem withg that of course is that without web activation Vista shoots itself in the foot after 30 days. I wonder if it also quits working if you activate it and then disconnect it from the web.

    There is one reason, above all the many others, I switched to linux, and it's called Vista.
     
  18. TreeheadWoodfist

    TreeheadWoodfist What's a Dremel?

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    My guess is that they'll just have to find another way to identify you, like when you register your version of vista online or even via your ISP... just a thought :/
     
  19. Liete87

    Liete87 What's a Dremel?

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    That's why I installed Vista on a seperate partition and only use it for DX10 games.

    Anything else I do is done on XP
     
  20. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    Last edited: 21 Jul 2007
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