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What is the problem I have with what MS is doing?

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by ffreeloader, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    This question was asked on another thread. Rather than extend that thread even longer than it already is I shall give links here to all that are interested.

    If any of you don't know what MS is up to, and are willing to do some reading and thinking you will see where they are going, and how they are going about it. A person must study the issues at hand, or they will blindly agree to smooth sounding words, and there are a lot of smooth sounding, but very deceptive words, making the rounds in our societies today.

    The articles at following links are not short blurbs. Many of them will take a half hour or an hour to read and digest. Some will take longer, but if you will thoughtfully read the following information you will come to understand what is coming in the world of computing, and how it will directly affect your every day life. These are not will 'o the wisp issues. They are real, and they are happening today.

    You are not so much affected by these things running XP, but if you install Vista, look out. George Orwell's 1984 will no longer be complete fiction in your life.

    Read Trusted Computing Frequently Asked Questions by Ross Anderson and take a look at his credentials. This was written in 2003. Take a look at what has already happened that this guy has predicted would happen. I will leave the reader to Google the information on what has been implemented on the new Intel and AMD chips. You won't find much from the manufacturers as they are very closed mouth about what they are putting in there, but there are some articles on the net that will give you some idea of what they have embedded there that will work with Vista and other drm enabled applications.

    Read this article on a law Microsoft wrote for the State of Oklahoma found in the Oklahoma Gazette.

    Read this thread from the dslreports.com security forum called "Microsoft Piracy check comes calling". It's 345 posts long so set aside some time for reading. You will see both pro and con opinions expressed here.

    Read Big Microsoft Brother on EWeek written by Stephen J. Vaughn-Nichols.

    Here is another article from the Electronic Frontier Foundation called Trusted Computing: Promise and Risk. For those of you who are not familiar with the EFF it is an organisation dedicated to defending personal freedoms in the world of computing.

    Finally, read the article that I posted an excerpt from here on CF.

    So, those of you who think MS is a decent, but misunderstood company, I'd like to hear your reaction to these things. Will you accept the explanations of a company that most of you already acknowledge as corrupt? If so why? Why will you choose to believe a corrupt corporation whom you know will do and say anything to make more money?
     
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  2. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Wow Freddy, lots of good reading material in those links.

    I think you have made good points again today and hopefully helped to open peoples eyes and minds to what M$oft have in store for the future of computing. Personally I have enjoyed the freedom of computers since I first fired up my Windows 3.11 386SX. It seems as the years go by, that freedom is slowly but surely being stifled. I can imagine a time in the not so distant future, where there will be no freedom and where your computer will be watching your every move and ready to take action if *it* deems it necessary.

    I also see how TC will go on to affect Mac and Linux operating systems, well all future OSs, as there would appear to be no escape from big brother.

    The links do take some time to read, I haven't read all the stuff linked here, I went word blind after two hours :eek:

    Thanks!

    Pete
     
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  3. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Macs moved to intel for that very reason Blue, the move was not just about 'performance benefits' remember Macs have used intels before ;)

    Apple is very much into the whole trusted computing league mainly to keep thier OS secured to thier hardware platform, ofcourse we are already starting to see work arounds croping up

    An interesting direction for the industry, but definatly not one fueled by the MS Behemoth itself..
     
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  4. fortch

    fortch Kilobyte Poster

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    While I'm no M$ fanboy, this is perhaps an unfair assessment. Microsoft is certainly a leader in TC, but the ideology doesn't solely lie with them. Toss in a majority of the biggest tech, audio and video companies, along with bloated entities such as the RIAA, and the vastness of DRM hardly lies solely on MS. Why not boycott Intel and AMD? Because we'd be left with PowerPC, that's why :twisted: (as if Apple is innocent of these charges)

    The linked articles are certainly penned by qualified individuals, but they always seem to reflect the ChickenLittle mentality. Most of what's being implemented is for the betterment of the industry *and* its userbase, but these counterpoints often cite the exception or the overlooked nook and cranny. Is that wrong? Nope, and in fact, it's necessary. There always needs to be people looking into the obscure and obtuse, particularly when pointing out possibilities that could be turned into exploits (if they aren't already). Like I said, I'm thankful for their vision, but it's always based on the assumption that all major companies are piloted by the Emperor.

    This, however, is simply not true, nor will it be effective. Do you really believe that all the hype will come to pass? Not me, and it's based on one fact -- money. The companies can get as creative as they want with EULAs, but the greatest weapon that consumers have is voting with their wallet. Counterpoint to this, in fact, is the consensus is that the general public will just accept and adapt to anything, then those of us with the ability to discern will search for the alternatives. Still, the business is driven by the customer, and not the other way around. Believe it or not, John Q Public is becoming more knowledgeable in technology, unlike the previous generation, and will be more apt to make a stand if things turn the wrong way.

    The largest problem I see has to do with ethics of the consumer --- most of the outrage generated by pirated software and P2P filesharers, as if it's their right to own such illegalities. That's a case built on sand, if you ask me, and often erradicates any solid foundation for debate.
     
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  5. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Fortch,

    It's an unfair assessement? You can see the ideas behind the law MS itself wrote. That gives them, and any other software manufacturer, the "right" to do warrantless searches on your property. Not even the police have that kind of power. They need some kind of evidence that you are comitting a crime before they can do a search and seizure. Not so with the MS written law. All you need have is a computer and propietary software and you are so criminally suspect that can have your property searched at any time. :x

    As to your John Q. Public statement... Well, take a look around here. This is a grouping of people far more knowledgeable than the general public about computing issues. What do we see here? It's the vast majority of people ignoring the drm issues and making light of them claiming it's chicken little thinking because they just don't believe it can happen. Problem with that mentality is that drm is happening. Laws are being written that will enforce drm behavior for the large corrupt corporations.

    The drm faq said it was coming. The newspaper article shows the legal side of it is here, and people are still saying, I don't believe it will happen.

    The big flap over the wgatray.exe thing, and the ongoing delays in Vista, imo are because MS is testing the capability of their drm reporting mechanisms built into Vista. Thats the ability to search your hard drive, and delete anything some corporation doesn't want there, at will. The Oklahoma law is another trial balloon.

    While I don't agree with the software and music pirates, and I don't pirate either media, warrantless search, seizure, and destruction of personal property is not the way the to deal with this. That is illegal under the US constitution and the Bill of Rights. Put the time and effort into legal means of stopping the people pirating and distributing the illegal property. Prosecute the people publishing the software cracks.

    The public and the press would be screaming bloody murder if what is being legislated by MS and it's cohorts in DRM was being used in the war on terror. Why? Because it is a huge invasion of personal privacy and it's illegal under the US constitution. These companies are making an end run around our only defense against totalitarianism here in the US. They will be legally making warrantless searches and turning any evidence they find of any illegal activity over to police, which the police can then make legal use of based on one piece of evidence: that you own a computer. Since when did owning a computer become evidence of possible criminal behavior? You do know that makes you a criminal suspect liable to having your property searched without your consent don't you? And you don't have a problem with that? I have to say I'm really amazed. It's the demise of the only concept that stands between you and a police state, and you could care less.....

    You would scream bloody murder if the cops came into your house and searched it without a warrant and without your knowledge, but you'll give a wink and a nod to software companies doing it and then turning over what they find to the cops?
     
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  6. UCHEEKYMONKEY
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    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    Think for yourself, lot's people drift along not thinking for themselves just picking up a bit of knowledge here and there, an idea from that person, an opinion from another.

    We seem to live in a word that wants us to conform and obey!

    In an world where information is coming in from so many angles, it is often much easier and less tiring not to question what lies behind that information. Having your own mind means you and you alone decide whether what you are being told by newspapers, TV and websites is the truth or their truth.

    You should be strong and free enough to decide that artice by the Gazette is true or someones own opinion on what the future may hold!

    Freddy think before you believe.

    This is old news about MS gaining acces to your computer. I found this out when XP home edition was launched and if you read the conditions of installing the software (and let's face it many of us don't) you can see why they want to scan our computer. However, it doesn't give them the right to extract personal information or data that is non-related to MS. Infact this was also brought up in a court case and MS article 2 years ago.

    Like I said old news

    Monkey 8)
     
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  7. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    First, what makes you think all efforts by MS and and the "Trusted Computing" alliance along these lines have stopped?

    Second, taken from the law written by MS in the state of Oklahoma:
    That's a current house bill in the state of Oklahoma. That is not old news, that is current events.

    Third, warrantless searches of your property that result in evidence that can be used against you in a court of law are just fine with you?

    Lastly, just because people have been talking about this for a while doesn't mean it's not relevant in the present.
     
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  8. fortch

    fortch Kilobyte Poster

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    Illegal search and seizure? Do you remember the EULA box that you checked? Cheeky reminded us of that, and we, as installers, need to decide then. If it's such an issue, don't install the software, period. If it's as great an atrocity as some believe, the whistleblowers and chickenlittles (again, the names are *not* disparaging -- we need these people) will shed light on it. Now, what about the OEM box that the owner doesn't have that option, or knowledge? Hmm.....

    Microsoft should be the least of your worries -- how about the hardware manufacturers (like Dell, Sony, et all) that are including DRM in their new products. Your brand new Dell 30" doesn't work with your version of linux? Don't blame M$. DRM is a direct attack on piracy, among the other raison d'etre, like TC and a more stable platform (yeah right). Can you really blame them? Piracy is simply the easiest and filthiest scam in the world. Unfortunately, anonimity (of the net) fits right in to the 'whatever feels good' mentality of today's society, and if there's little accountability, then nothing is wrong :rolleyes: These companies are simply attempting to protect their assetts, but it seems that they are allowed to do whatever they deem necessary. However, we have a choice, if we choose to exercise it.

    Myself, I'd rather know the information garnered, and this is the problem. Whenever something is found (read: Sony rootkit) that is not readily visible, the automatic reaction is anger and suspicion. By that time, all facts of the original intent are lost. Why do that? Is the gain worth the resultant loss? Never. Give me the option of sending marketing information, so you can target ad revenue to my interests. I'm being bombarded by ads anyways, so at least make it good for me. This is mostly the intent for these type of practices.

    Now, wiping crap off of my hardrive because it's illegal? I'm a bit hesitant to this, but it shouldn't affect me, because everything is legal. Now, who's determining what is legal and what is not? My mp3's are from years of CD collecting -- not off of P2P. Regardless, I'm not ignorant of these issues, and being a somewhat informed consumer, I'll be my own watchdog. I'm rather skeptical about most things, too.

    It's amazing that the DMCA has accumulated so much antipathy -- its main component, by far, is protecting copyrights. Infringement is so rampant that some steps need to be taken. Rather than argue the exceptions and flame the whole thing, the opponents should work to provide an alternate way of battling this growing issue. Some might wonder the intent of such defiance :rolleyes:
     
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  9. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Really? And on what evidence do you base such a conclusion as it is implied by your statement that MS is not a, if not the, leader of this movement. They are the face of it, that much is hard to deny.

    As far as Apple moving to Intel architecture, this move was made after MS became a major stockholder in Apple. Coincidence? Maybe, but I have my doubts.
     
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  10. fortch

    fortch Kilobyte Poster

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    Anti-DRM campaign expands, faces challenges

     
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  11. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    So, you consider signing a EULA the equivalent of signing away your rights to privacy? I'm just curious.

    And no, I did not sign any such EULA when I purchased my OS. It was changed afterwards, and access to security patches denied unless I signed a modified EULA. I am currently not updating the only MS OS I have installed just because of that. If you find such behavior ethical on the part of MS, well, what can I say? If you don't, then why defend something that is not even close to ethical?

    They have already checked at least twice to see if my copy of Windows is legit. Why do they need to check it every day, even if the system isn't rebooted? It is not possible to change hardware or the validity of my OS without rebooting, but they still do it if you install their spyware.

    The problem with this is that everyone is considered guilty until proven innocent. That is completely at odds with the stated legal system of our country, and you are suspect just because you own a computer. Since when is that reasonable evidence that a crime has been committed?
     
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  12. UCHEEKYMONKEY
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    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    When you install the software and click on the button to accept their agreement. I think that's what Fotch meant.

    Not sure about that mate, but MS believe that you should have one license for one computer. Too many ilegal copies out there and too many people sharing the same cd copy. If you created a piece of software that took you ages and you spent loads on it would you be happy to find it's being ripped by everyone and sold for nothing.

    If you change your hardware on the pc that has a reg. of xp then you have to inform MS because in their minds they see your PC has a different PC than the one you originally registed with.

    Monkey
     
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  13. Sparky
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    An interesting read I must admit but I do question how some of this is going to work. One of the links mentions that if you are running a dodgy copy of Excel then that can be removed....

    ....does it get deleted?
    ....does it uninstall itself?
    ....does it just ‘stop working’ by say a Windows patch preventing it from working?

    Also how does this scan work? Is it like when your running defrag and your computer is reduced to a crawl? Also some of the drives on my PC are encrypted, does this mean I have to decrypt the files so they can be scanned?

    Putting the technicalities to one side I hope all of this reduces the amount of pirated software that is available just now, that must be one of the positives surely?
     
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  14. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    The new validation tool calls home at every boot, or every 24 hours if the computer is not shut down. As I said, you can't possibly change from a validated copy of XP to a pirated copy without a reboot, nor can you change the hardware your computer runs on without a reboot. If you think you can I'd like to see you change your system drive, your mobo, your video card, or your cpu, which are the major components that MS tracks, without rebooting.

    This is about testing their ability to read what is on your computer on an ongoing basis. This is the precursor to Vista and all the drm that will be built into it. MS has already lost the vast percentage of money on pirated XP versions that they are going to lose so this isn't about pirated copies of XP. It's about testing drm for Vista.
     
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  15. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Maybe, and maybe not. It's going to be interesting to see how far the pirates are able to work around the drm. However, I don't think the risks to personal freedoms are worth the returns to the users.

    Nobody is going to see a reduction in MS's prices if they stop piracy. If anyone thinks so they are only kidding themselves. The only beneficiaries of these things are going to be the corporations instituting DRM.

    MS is going to be able to lock companies into their products so tightly that they will never be able to get away from MS products. DRM is so opposed to a competitive marketplace it isn't funny. It will be mandated monopoly.
     
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  16. Sparky
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    Depends what MS products you are referring to, desktop users in a corporate environment generally use the standard Windows\Office build and to change that would be a bold step regardless of what Microsoft does.

    Server infrastructure is a different ball game though. Changing to a different OS is an option but finding qualified staff to support it is a different story! :biggrin
     
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  17. fortch

    fortch Kilobyte Poster

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    Whoa.

    Freddy, you think it's outside of M$ rights *not* to check the validity of their software when you come knocking on their door for the latest and greatest? Regardless if it's a patch or an update, they reserve the right to check. What's the difference between the first check and subsequent checks? I see nothing wrong with validation in this respect.

    As for signing my rights away for privacy .... that's a bit of an overstatement, maybe? This is much less intrusive then TiVo phoning home (another privacy debate), or credit card companies informing marketing agencies of spending habits, or cable companies monitoring every program that gets dialed in. What??!?! Someone, who doesn't know me from Adam, has found out that I watched the Golden Girls at 2am (not really!)? We're constantly being monitored, and technology is only making it easier. Can we really expect to utilize technology and remain totally anonymous? As for the other examples, does the cable company let you know they do this? Nope. Just wait until targeted ads and realtime program selection .... I wonder how many will balk at that. Besides, I always have the *choice* NOT to utilize their services. If I really don't like it, then I guess I could move to the woods and make ice cream :blink

    I'm just as suspicious as the next guy, but I can't live my life worrying about shoulda's and coulda's. If M$ is sending an image of my hdd back home, then we've got issues. But, if they're validating their product (it's still their product, I just have a license to use it), pouring over error reports that I OK'd, and updating their OS because I allowed them control, then so be it. I don't maintain the silly thought that they are the evil empire, and everything they do is for complete domination. They are, in actuality, a multitude of very talented people being managed by some sketchy folks being led by a decent software programmer and saavy, yet philanthropic, owner. I would estimate a vast majority are very proud and consider their work to be beneficial to their userbase. Seriously, unlike the linux movement, they are a corporation that is entitled to a profit, and because they are the best, the naysayers will always be watching. Linux might evolve to this too ... have ya seen RHEL?

    By the way, I thought the WGA was extended to every 2 weeks?
     
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  18. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    MS has said they are considering that. I've heard nothing about this being implemented.

    It looks as if you haven't really read all the links I've posted by your defense of MS.

    They are not just checking the validity of your install. They are writing laws that will allow them, and other companies and organizations in the drm grouping, to completely peruse what is on your hard drive, and if there is anything there thateven hints of illegal activity they will be turning it over to the police. The illegal activity that the software manufacturers can report on is not restricted to software piracy. It is any illegal activity. That is the equivalent of a warrantless search by police of your possessions without any reasonable suspicion of guilt, and the police will be able to use the information in court and to further investigate you.

    Read the FAQ's link and the link to the Oklahoma Gazette. This is not nearly as benign as you want to think. All you have to base you replies on are MS's word, and I have to say the last time I heard MS be frank about things was, well, I can't remember a time that they have been.

    I don't know about you, but I quit trusting someone who is not honest with me, especially when that dishonesty and evasion can be traced over a long period of time. For me to believe what that kind of person says takes a lot as I will be taking nothing they say by faith. Everything they say must be proven by transparent action. That is the only proof I will accept from someone, or some organization, that has proven themselves capable of being consistently unethical, and that describes MS to a tee.
     
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  19. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    I believe that it is possibly going to be changed in the near future to every two weeks. As far as I can tell, this is because of the backlash from savvy folks stating that they do not appreciate this service continually hogging resources and bandwidth on their PCs especially as it was promoted as a critical update and that you cannot un-install it through add/remove even though MS say you can.

    The thing that irks me most, is that M$oft have deliberately tried to hoodwink their customers into installing spyware onto their computers. Most people are under the impression that the check is a one off thing whereas in reality they (MS) can tweak the thing at will to do whatever they chose.

    And yes, I agree with Freddy, this has little or nothing to do with XP, it has everything to do with Vista. XP is just a testbed and you can rest assured that this monitoring behaviour will progressively get more and more intrusive. This is not how things used to be and I personally do not feel at all comfortable with the way things are heading.

    I do not believe that I have any illegal MP3s or whatever on my PCs but to be honest I am not 100% sure. Other people have used my computers and god only knows what stuff they might have downloaded.

    I consider any file, document, film, music CD under my roof to be my private property. I certainly would not allow some rep from a software company to walk in and validate my stuff, so why should I be comfortable with them doing it stealthily via an Internet connection?
     
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  20. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    This is oh, so true. MS never would have even admitted what its spyware was up to if it hadn't been proven so thoroughly that they had no choice but to acknowledge the truth. They also would not be floating the trial balloon of a decrease in frequency had there not been a huge public outrcy by the technically savvy users. Any admission under the pressure of the truth being already known is no evidence whatsoever of ethical behavior or wanting the real truth to be know. In fact, all an admission of that type does is create suspicion that any further statements will be only partial disclosures of the truth too.

    The only thing I would disagree with Bluerinse on is why people are upset. I've done a lot of reading on this, and it's not because the spyware is hogging bandwidth or resources. Oh, some people have mentioned this too, but it's not the real cause of the outcry. It's because it is invading the privacy of a user's computer and no one should trust any software that calls home and encrypts all the traffic. Especially not to a corporation with the collective ethics MS has shown for the last 20 years.
     
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