Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Lawsuit Claims WGA Is Spyware

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the advantage-microsoft dept.

Microsoft 360

twitter writes "Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA), Microsoft's euphemistically named digital restrictions scheme, is the target of another spyware and false advertising lawsuit. 'Microsoft this week was sued in a Washington district court for allegedly violating privacy laws through Windows XP's Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) copy protection scheme. Similar to cases filed in 2006, the new class action case accuses Microsoft of falsely representing what information WGA would send to verify the authenticity of Windows and that it would send back information [daily IP address and other details that could be used to trace information back to a home or user]. The complaint further argued that Microsoft portrayed WGA as a necessary security update rather than acknowledge its copy protection nature in the update. WGA's implementation also prevented users from purging the protection from their PCs without completely reformatting a computer's system drive.' There were at least two other lawsuits launched in 2006 over WGA. According to the Wikipedia article, none of them have been resolved. The system is built into Vista and Windows 7."

cancel ×

360 comments

frost piss (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344685)

eat mah frosty pith!

Nothing will happen (4, Informative)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344695)

Except that MS has to hand out vouchers for more MS products, giving them an even bigger market share.

[see Sony Rootkit settlement for details]

Re:Nothing will happen (5, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344845)

Except that MS has to hand out vouchers for more MS products, giving them an even bigger market share.

[see Sony Rootkit settlement for details]

Yeah, and that's what's broken about the way the law handles corporations.

Corporations should face jailtime for any crime or activity that would result in a person being incarcerated. Jail for a person means the loss of most freedoms and it also means they are separated from the rest of society. "Jail" for a corporation should mean that all assets are frozen and all business activities are forced to halt for the same number of days that a real person would have been incarcerated. If the lost sales result in bankruptcy, that's too bad, just like if a person with a few years to live commits a violent crime and gets locked up for a long time and dies in prison, that's also too bad.

This to me would be the proper treatment of "corporations have the same rights as real individuals." A good alternative might be to keep the limited liability nature of a corporation for any failures or accidents, but to remove it and allow for personally prosecuting and imprisoning any and all members of upper management who knowingly support an illegal action wherever intent can be proven.

Re:Nothing will happen (3, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344963)

> Corporations should face jailtime for any crime or activity that would result
> in a person being incarcerated.

This is a civil lawsuit. Individuals who lose civil lawsuits are not incarcerated. They are ordered to pay compensation just as corporations are.

> This to me would be the proper treatment of "corporations have the same
> rights as real individuals."

Corporations do not have the same rights as natural persons in the USA.

> A good alternative might be to keep the limited liability nature of a
> corporation for any failures or accidents, but to remove it and allow for
> personally prosecuting and imprisoning any and all members of upper
> management who knowingly support an illegal action wherever intent can be
> proven.

That is already the law in the USA.

Re:Nothing will happen (5, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345291)

Corporations do not have the same rights as natural persons in the USA.

That is a deliberately misleading statement. Shame on you for using it.

Corporations have rights as persons. The distinction of "natural persons" is silly. It should be that persons are human beings. Period. Calling corporations "persons" (but not "natural persons") leads to a class system were some "persons" (corporations) have rights/indemnities that actual human persons do not.

That is [management going to jail for crimes the company commits] already the law in the USA.

Not really. There are situations where that happens, but tell me, how many Ford executives went to prison for the Pinto? Or that guy that owns the peanut factory that was responsible for killing people a year or so ago? Or Gates and Ballmer over MS's anti-trust conviction?

Sure, an executive might go to jail, but unless their crime involves financial misconduct, the odds of them going to jail is infinitesimal. And even in the case of financial misconduct, if their misconduct only ruins the lives of their human customers it's no big deal, only if they defrauded either the "market", the company itself, or rich people, do actual humans go to jail for the crimes of their company.

The fact is, corporations get to have their cake and eat it too. They get rights as persons, but they don't have the responsibilities and liabilities of persons. The notion that people are "natural persons" and corporations are just "persons" is absurd.

Re:Nothing will happen (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345421)

I hate to tell you this, but there are many more things other than corporations and natural persons that are considered persons under the law. In addition, there are many different types of corporations and they are not all giant multinational mega-conglomerates like IBM or Microsoft. Finally, there are responsibilities and liabilities that corporations have that people do not have and that most common penalty for corporations is the "death penalty" or disillusion and revoking of their articles of incorporation.

Re:Nothing will happen (2, Insightful)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344971)

And lets execute the corporation when it kills people. Just line up the employees and shoot them. After a proper trial.

Re:Nothing will happen (3, Interesting)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344981)

"Jail" for a corporation should mean that all assets are frozen and all business activities are forced to halt for the same number of days that a real person would have been incarcerated.

The problem is that you'd be punishing a lot more people than those at Microsoft. Microsoft doesn't just sell operating systems for home computers; they sell and support a large number of business applications to a HUGE number of businesses. If Microsoft "went offline" for even just a few months, there'd be huge ripples throughout all sectors of the economy. Imagine if a critical security flaw were found in Windows, or IIS, or SQL Server and Microsoft couldn't patch it because they were "in jail". Just because you might not use MS products doesn't mean you don't do business with someone who does. It would be a disaster.

Re:Nothing will happen (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345121)

That's what happens when you rely upon a monopoly.

But in other cases like say, exploding Ford Pintos, it wouldn't matter if Ford was "put in jail" for a few months due to the deaths it caused. Other companies could pick-up the slack of providing cars or parts to customers.

Re:Nothing will happen (-1, Flamebait)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345489)

That's what happens when you rely upon a monopoly.

Oh, give me a break. Microsoft has had monopolistic practices, but they are not (by definition) a monopoly. Everybody uses them for a variety of reasons (a lot which is based on history, and a lot based on the fact that "everybody else does"), but not because they are the only option (which they aren't).

BitterOak is absolutely correct. If Microsoft was in "jail," it would affect many parts of the economy - some which we can't even foresee without it actually happening. The same is true for many other companies for many other areas of industry.

Re:Nothing will happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345577)

Does your neck hurt, you know, talking out of both sides of your mouth like that?

Re:Nothing will happen (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345189)

yes indeed... to big to fail....

So? (3, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345257)

So if my accountant holds up a liquor store, can I keep him out of jail because I can't do my taxes without him?

If Microsoft is too big to fail, the answer is to cut it up until the pieces are small enough.

Re:Nothing will happen (3, Informative)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345009)

This to me would be the proper treatment of "corporations have the same rights as real individuals." A good alternative might be to keep the limited liability nature of a corporation for any failures or accidents, but to remove it and allow for personally prosecuting and imprisoning any and all members of upper management who knowingly support an illegal action wherever intent can be proven.

This is ALREADY the nature of the law, no need to change it. What needs to be done is to actually enforce the law this way, with one exception. It shouldn't be limmited to upper management, it should be for ANYONE in the company.

Re:Nothing will happen (1)

metziel (1085841) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345469)

I don't understand this. You would have a corporation stop all its business due to a ruling about, say, WGA? That is one of the most crackpot things I have ever heard.

Let's say that an individual person would get 11 years for installing spyware on my computer (that's what the "spam king" got for spamming my inbox). Do you honestly believe that Microsoft should have to stop business, with all its assets frozen, for 11 years? You do realize that means that Microsoft would not be able to live up to its support contracts, would not be able to sell new copies of Windows, and would not be able to pay its 90,000 employees during this 11 year time. It is NOT the same thing as locking someone up!

When you take action against a corporation, you aren't incarcerating one person who is proven to be a menace to society; you are ruining tens of thousands of innocent people's lives, breaking literally millions of contracts, stopping R&D in a major way (Microsoft Labs is actually a major research force in the industry - say what you will about their patent restrictions), and probably completely destabilizing the world's computer infrastructure - after all, Microsoft can't patch Windows if they aren't in business. How you think this is a good idea simply baffles me. I'm not a Microsoft defender by any means; I use Linux and Mac because I frankly don't like the company, but really, you have to realize how many millions of people the company touches, how many hospitals and schools and other completely innocent organizations rely on their work. Freezing assets is not a first-line defense against corporate wrongdoing, and frankly, it's not even a last-line defense in my book. It's a totally disproportional response to pretty much any case at all, Bernie Madoff excluded. It's signing the death warrant of the entire company, and probably signing the death warrants of many of its innocent employees.

As other posters have said, the "corporate umbrella" does not apply to intentional fraud on the part of the managers or directors of a company.

Re:Nothing will happen (1)

pwizard2 (920421) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345595)

"Jail" for a corporation should mean that all assets are frozen and all business activities are forced to halt for the same number of days that a real person would have been incarcerated.

The problem with that is that means that employees (most of whom have little to do with what the company does as far as business is concerned) don't get paid since all assets are frozen and might even get cut as the corp tries to stave off bankruptcy during the punishment period. Essentially, the corporation gets shut down, but the innocent employees are the ones who get punished.

You can't unfreeze assets just to pay workers in this scenario because little would stop some execs from looting the company and skipping town in such a situation.

Re:Nothing will happen (1)

AmigaMMC (1103025) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345219)

I wonder if that applies to Adobe's verification scheme, too.

Pirates Yes they rob I Sold I 2 the merchant ships (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345397)

"Minutes after they took I, to the bottomless pit... but my hands were made strong - by the hand of the almighty: We forward in this generation... triumphantly" - Bob Marley & the Wailers

Ms seems to be taking Windows to that "bottomless pit", but they're NOT fooling us "geek/tech types", & guess what folks? We're who folks listen to nowadays, a lot more than "marketing 1/2 truth hypes" that hide some of the uglies underneath the painted whore's makeup, basically.

Microsoft's been steadily "letting me down", & I am (or was) one of their BIGGEST FANS/PROPONENTS... That is slowly no longer the case, & becoming moreso, daily the more I read. This is how I feel.

See - MS has this FANTASTIC product, probably one of the greatest & largest programming artifacts in existence... a testament to human ingenuity really!

(One that comes with a great development toolset & API, that has allowed nearly anyone to become a developer + be creative... & yet are trying to "corrupt it" into nothing more than a RIAA tool... &, it really doesn't take a brain to figure out why: Look whose @ the helm of that company (says it all for me)).

No excuses: MS has a man leading them, who's NOT a tech - there is SOMETHING VERY WRONG WITH THAT, & clearly, it's showing...

(That kind of person? Hey, they probably could care less about ruining something beautiful, really - as long as it brings in the bucks, "who cares"... I wouldn't be surprised honestly if he has that as his "motto" on his wall, for 'words to live by')

I just don't understand folks like that, I truly don't.

Microsoft's GOT those BILLIONS - why the hell are they trying to "pull the wool over folks' eyes" & say "We've done this & that to Windows 7 to make it better" & some things they really HAVE done better (ASRL being one example thereof, & others being FINALLY 'stripping down' the tremendous amount of excessive background services as well as doing some GOOD WORK in the GUI to improve its performance as well (it needed it, alongside the memory mgt. debacle we ALL saw & it forced MS' hand to change it once more to a better working model (copying multimedia files ring a bell to anyone, or copying files around disks period?))) but, the things they've done wrong show thru in a much larger capacity (I list a few things I do not like below as examples thereof).

However - that's NO LONGER WORKING! All I have to do is cite VISTA's sales flop, as well as technical blunders, & then say "argue with the numbers"... pretty simple.

People today, because of the internet are TOO WELL INFORMED by those "in the know" to buy into some marketing b.s., & that IS that. They're not learning by their mistakes it seems, & still trying that crap.

Dear Microsoft: YOU CANNOT SELL SOMETHING TO PEOPLE THEY DO NOT WANT... get over it, it's HOW IT REALLY IS. You're making the same damned mistake the U.S. Auto Makers did in the 1970's & it's showing... examples thereof? Ok:

----

1.) Removing native OpenGL (forcing users to go grab drivers with an ICD in it that works? DUMB! That's crippling the OS & REMOVING GOOD FEATURES + a graphical std. that has 'stood the test of time' that works & is multiplatform)

2.) Trying new memmgt models that failed MISERABLY (from what I understand though, service packs to VISTA corrected this, but only SOME, not fully)

3.) Screwups on file copies (from what I understand though, service packs to VISTA corrected this, but only SOME, not fully)

4.) Digital Rights Management (DRM) - this is pure b.s.: People are going to duplicate & copy software, movies, music & more (been doing it for the course of my lifetime in fact, from casette tapes onwards -pull that ability? You pull the desires of one of your biggest markets really, the common user, who likes that stuff)

5.) HOSTS files not being able to use the more efficient 0 (vs. the less efficient & larger 0.0.0.0 or worst case 127.0.0.1) as a blocking address for bad domains &/or adbanners servers

6.) Switching to a single part WFP/NDIS6 security model (over the former zone defense/greek phalanx model you used to have that worked great, & now even the "hacker/cracker" types over @ ROOTKIT.COM are aware that it IS WEAKER)).

7.) WGA (the topic of this article in fact)

----

& the list goes on... too bad, it really is. I am SURE I am not even BEGINNING TO SCRATCH THE SURFACE HERE, as to what folks yell & scream in protest about to MS, but they do nothing about it, & wonder WHY Vista was a sales flop? Guys... you can't sell something to a well informed populace & piss down their necks + tell them "it's raining"... the world's TOO WELL INFORMED for that to work anymore.

E.G.-> I know a guy who won't even READ "corporate product reviews" anymore (& he is in marketing + sales for decades now), because he knows the "ugly truths" of it - that we're being told a LOT of "1/2 truths" by marketers... in the name of "the Holy Dollar".

People @ MS: Whoever's making you do this? Wake them up please - because, I refuse to believe my fellow software developers would WANT TO ACTUALLY BUILD SOMETHING LIKE THE PRESENT VERSIONS OF WINDOWS, Vista onwards, have become...

Per the tune I put up above (great one)? The crowd's informed, we "broke the chains of mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds" (per Bob Marley in that tune)... once the pirates @ MS are out, MS will "right itself" I am sure (Those pirates? Has to be their upper mgt. & marketing, has to be, because I know that MS has some GREAT TALENT technically @ their place... but, techs are no longer apparently leading the charge there & HOW SAD, but... this IS, what you get because of that).

Those pirates (MBA types)?

They should quit steering their ship into the rocks!

Once they're "outed" (stockholders can see to that, or King Billy himself (who blows my mind he allowed this lunacy)? We'll have a GOOD Windows again, not just a corrupt slut of an OS, to be VERY blunt & forthright about it.

Put it this way - They lost a customer in me on VISTA, & probably again this round. Clean that stuff up above? You have me back, probably many others also. MS has done me right in many a way for 16++ yrs. now, providing me a means to make a living... only thing is? Like the Roman Empire, I think they're corroding slowly unless someone takes over there & kicks out the leadership trying to foist this b.s. on us.

APK

P.S.=> Yes, can you tell I HATE SEEING GREAT THINGS, go bad? IF Microsoft would just "shape up" & cut this crap out, & LISTEN TO THEIR POTENTIAL BUYING PUBLIC, they wouldn't have to fear Linux (& trust me, they do) displacing them @ the "top of the heap", but nothing good can stay I suppose... however, that doesn't mean we have to sit still & take it - as end users, we DO have 1 tremendous power: Boycott... it breaks the BIGGEST GIANTS in 1/2, so "power to the people".

When MS clears up that list of b.s. I see above? Sure, I'd buy into Windows 7 (or its descendants actually, because I do NOT think MS learned a lesson by VISTA actually)... this round OUGHT to do it though, so spread the word on this stuff to others you know... the "tail CAN wag the dog", even nowadays, by hitting them where they hurt most (their corporate wallet)... apk

Re:Nothing will happen (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345433)

Minnesota settlement was "computer hardware or software". Microsoft bought me some surplus Linux Store keyboards with a "penguin key" instead of Windows key and a refurb scanner, linux compatible of course.

Re:Nothing will happen (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345615)

easy way to fix this

Require with force of law that each payout be tendered as CASH (or cash equivalent instrument) with the option of getting an actual
mailed card or an E-Card.

Amusing name (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344697)

The naming scheme of this add-on somehow reminds me of how certain countries like to add attributes such as "people's" and "democratic" to their official state designations...

Re:Amusing name (4, Insightful)

jimshatt (1002452) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344739)

..or "Open" to their file formats.
Usually less amusing to those countries' citizens, though...

Re:Amusing name (3, Insightful)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344791)

When I was in the military, the most prominent college available on base (stationed overseas) was called "The University of Maryland University College"

It's as much of a university as, say, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is democratic.

Re:Amusing name (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344943)

UMUC is an official part of the University of Maryland system, it is accredited, and it grants degrees. It's not a university on it's own, and I know nothing about the quality of a UMUC education, but it is part of the university system.

Re:Amusing name (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345033)

When I was in the military, the most prominent college available on base (stationed overseas) was called "The University of Maryland University College"

It's as much of a university as, say, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is democratic.

Just curious, why did you join the military?

I am in the USA and could never knowingly join ranks with our military. If I thought I was really defending this nation's soil from a foreign aggressor, I'd have no problem with it. However, right now, I think that in the military today *I* would be the aggressor, and all because a few politicians need an excuse to remove civil liberties and a few corporations like Blackwater have little demand for their services during times of peace. I cannot in good conscience invade a soverign foreign nation for no reason other than advancing the economic empire of the USA. The official stories just don't add up. This is the same nation and the same military that routinely overthrows soverign nations to instill dictators more favorable to our interests, and then goes after those dictators when they don't want to play ball anymore (and then thinks that radical foreigners hate us "for our freedoms", what a joke). You saw that with Iran during the 50s and the current eagerness to invade Iran now that our meddling has resulted in a strong anti-american sentiment in a nation that is beginning to acquire nuclear technology.

What part of this appealed to you and made you want to join up? The college scholarships?

Re:Amusing name (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345151)

???. Maryland does have a State University, and that was a branch of the overall system. I don't see the problem. It's no different than attending the Penn State University near tiny Uniontown PA. The branch is only 2 years long, but it's still divided into multiple colleges that are run from the central campus, and students join that main campus to finish years 3 and 4.

Re:Amusing name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345557)

Whoosh

Re:Amusing name (3, Funny)

VValdo (10446) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344893)

The naming scheme of this add-on somehow reminds me of how certain countries like to add attributes such as "people's" and "democratic" to their official state designations...

I've always looked at it as a slur against the Writer's Guild of America [wga.org] .

W

What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344737)

It's not Spyware. You agreed to install it. "This agreement may be modified at any time without notice to you and you agree to be bound by its terms. Suck it. Sincerely, Your EULA." As to it phoning home every day, well duh. But what did you expect?

This is Microsoft's official position, afterall -- You're all a bunch of filthy criminals. You can't be trusted. That's why we hide everything in hidden dialog boxes and pop up a dozen warnings in order to delete Internet Explorer from the desktop. You're too stupid to even understand what "delete" means, so we're going to go out on a limb and guess you're pretty trusting of anything that says WARNING! CAUTION! ARE YOU SURE? REALLY? HONESTLY? We're not convinced. Action cancelled. Don't you want to buy an upgrade every year? We want to move to a licensing model that sends us cash yearly. Don't you want to support American business? I mean, what if the Iranians develop an operating system! When you don't install WGA, you're supporting terrorism.

To sign away your rights, click next.

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (-1, Offtopic)

rcolbert (1631881) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344795)

That's funny. The last time I bought an OS that wanted me to pay more money every year it turned out to be from Red Hat. Ok, technically I bought the 'support', but at 12-months-plus-one-second all of a sudden my Red Hat updates stopped working. Give MS a break. At least you can buy the OS, instead of leasing it.

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (5, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344851)

And if you want Red Hat without the paid support, just get Cent OS. (http://www.centos.org/) about the only way I know to get Windows for free is with less than legal methods (http://thepiratebay.org/). So if you don't need the support, there are other options.

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344913)

There are a variety of ways to get Windows for 'free' from MS. Most people can't take advantage of them, but there are some copies of Windows that MS gives away for free.

Namely various giveaways... uh, students/teachers at some schools may get the OS through MSDNAA, for educational purposes, subject to some restrictions.

Windows is also bundled with most new computer systems.. the cost is built-in... Even if you want Linux, BSD, or FreeDOS, you pay the windows tax.

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344997)

Windows is also bundled with most new computer systems.. the cost is built-in... Even if you want Linux, BSD, or FreeDOS, you pay the windows tax.

There are many computer retailers who discount the price so you don't pay the windows tax if you get a Linux or other system (Dell does this, and other OEMs do too).

And to be perfectly honest saying you can get it for free with giveaways and such is like saying that PS3s are free because you can win them in a contest.

Most people can't take advantage of them

which still doesn't mean that its really any more free.

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (2, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345395)

There are many computer retailers who discount the price so you don't pay the windows tax if you get a Linux or other system (Dell does this, and other OEMs do too).

And (unless you are buying a Netbook/non-PC that utilizes special hardware) their products are usually more expensive than equivalent ones from other retailers that have Windows preinstalled.

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345645)

However, a Dell Linux system is about $50 cheaper than a non-Linux system (see http://www.techspot.com/news/25432-linux-discount-on-dell-machines-about-50.html [techspot.com] ). While you could argue that there are more low-end and therefore cheaper Windows systems out there, (hard to beat a $300 Toshiba 15 inch laptop, new, even with Vista installed), but aside from third-parties taking systems from OEMs, rebranding them and installing Linux (undoubtedly more expensive due to the middleman) OEMs offering Linux are generally cheaper than the same systems with Windows.

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345095)

There are a variety of ways... Most people can take advantage of them

(90x3) x W (# flavors) = free for long time.

There, fixed that for ya.

Most people can't take advantage of them... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345169)

Most people can't take advantage of them

Nuff said.

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345463)

Go to the launch events all over the country for MS products, they give out everything there...

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (4, Insightful)

gavron (1300111) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344881)

You got what you paid for. Red Hat gave you what they promised to give you.

Good luck getting that from microsoft.

Then you wanted support AFTER your contract expired. You got none. That's expected.

This is not the "whine about Red Hat when you don't want to pay for their service" topic.
It's "Microsoft WGA is spyware."

Hijack another topic please. Not on slashdot.

E

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (-1, Offtopic)

rcolbert (1631881) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345089)

I got what I paid for from both. However, after the support period expires Windows is still eligible for updates. The only 'support' I no longer have access to is actual 'support.' Guess what? I don't recall ever contacting MS or Red Hat for support.

Why does MS always become an emotional issue? I was merely pointing out that MS does not in fact want people to pay money for the OS every year, whereas at least some other vendors do. Why is paying for an OS an issue anyway? I spent at least an order of magnitude more on hardware and software, so why would I concern myself with whatever the cost of the OS might be? Because there's a passionate community on a mission to tell me I'm an idiot for paying for an OS when there are better, free alternatives? I don't care. It's just one of dozens of technologies that I employ to get a certain job done.

How is this hijacking a topic, and who are you exactly to admonish me for it? This was a direct response to an inaccurate assertion. Can't I be neutral here, or is it a prerequisite to be an OpenSource fanboy and MS hater to post an opinion?

I don't know how your post is considered insightful. Honestly. I couldn't care less about any OS or cost structure so long as the job I want gets done.

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345235)

I don't know how your post is considered insightful. Honestly. I couldn't care less about any OS or cost structure so long as the job I want gets done.

Apparently, you are the only one who doesn't know why your post is insightless and off topic. And if you couldn't care less about the cost structure, quit your whining.

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345085)

uhm....i'm quite sure if you read the MS EULA you will find that you ALSO DO NOT own the software but are purchasing a license to use said software. stop perpetuating the FUD.

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345165)

Red Hat does give away all their updates for free though. They're in source packages and aren't integrated with their update manager once your support expires, but if you use CentOS, you can get it all for free, legally.

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (4, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344853)

The problem is that, if I'm remembering correctly, is that they don't really give you a choice in the matter. Basically use our WGA or don't get our patches. If I'm remembering correctly, refusing to use the WGA would make it impossible to use the Microsoft update to properly keep things up to date. I can't recall specifically whether that included security patches or not.

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (2, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344937)

You can pass WGA validation without installing the WGA notification service update.

You can also avoid installing or validating using WGA ever, as long as you only use automatic updates to pull critical updates.

You won't be able to go to the windowsupdate site manually, or download WGA-protected downloads without doing a WGA validation, however

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344987)

You can also avoid installing or validating using WGA ever, as long as you only use automatic updates to pull critical updates.

How can you avoid installing WGA by using automatic updated to pull critical updates... when Microsoft push WGA on you as a 'critical update'?

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (2, Informative)

eqisow (877574) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345035)

Select "Notify Only" or "Download but don't install" and then manually select which updates to install.

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (4, Funny)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345475)

if I'm remembering correctly,

If I'm remembering correctly,

I can't recall specifically

Why don't you look up the answer and get back to us, Mr. Memory?

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (4, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344995)

It's not Spyware. You agreed to install it.

And if you agree to install AntiVirus Pro 2009 it doesn't count as spyware either?

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (4, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345113)

Just because you agreed doesn't negate it being spyware.

And from what i gather the issue is that its doing things that are NOT in the eula.

Re:What did you think it was, a fluffy bunny? (1)

Mistakill (965922) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345363)

Bad luck for MS, a EULA isnt binding where i am

I've tried to tell people about this sort of thing (4, Interesting)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344743)

I'll admit that I don't use Windows anymore. These days I use an iMac and a MacBook Pro for most of my desktop computing, and I almost exclusively deploy Debian on servers. That said, I've been along for the ride with respect to Microsoft products for a very long time, both as a user and an I.T. professional deploying systems on customer networks and writing I.T. policies.

Honestly, most consumers get that "deer in the headlights" look when you try to explain what WGA and similar systems actually do. In many cases, people simply don't care what's being sent to Microsoft, as there's a sense of implicit trust in large corporations. I have no idea where this trust comes from, but it's definitely real. I assume it's largely because the majority of users are largely ignorant of how their systems function, choosing to focus only on what's immediately presented by the OS (applications). There's no psychology degree on my wall, so I'm not qualified to guess further on the topic.

This continuous erosion of privacy gets noticed in the I.T. world, but the general public remains almost completely in the dark. Major media outlets don't carry headline stories about these issues, possibly because their "tech journalists" are barely more educated than their readership on these topics. I have no idea how this can be fixed, but I'd love to hear some suggestions.

Re:I've tried to tell people about this sort of th (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344773)

Kill everyone and start again?

Re:I've tried to tell people about this sort of th (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344837)

Tell them that terrorists and pedophiles are using the information gathered, or that your browsing habits will affect this season's X Factor outcome..
 
Those topics usually get some attention.

Re:I've tried to tell people about this sort of th (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344841)

These days I use an iMac and a MacBook Pro for most of my desktop computing

Is that the new "I don't have a tv?"

We don't care, seriously.

Re:I've tried to tell people about this sort of th (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344905)

The risk posed by WGA is actually close to nil for most people. A risk is breaking a leg, loosing you mobile phone, you hair turning green. Having some data sent of to whoever isn't really an issue in most peoples lives. The issue is abstract and political, unless you care it't not there.

Re:I've tried to tell people about this sort of th (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345281)

Bingo. And let's ad to that the fact that in the vast majority of cases it does what it's supposed to do. If you don't have a volume licensed copy of Windows that doesn't belong to you, you're unlikely to notice. If you got Windows from a less-than-reputable source or flat-out pirated it, then you deserve that black desktop.

I'm sure there are false positives, but I've never personally seen one. I'm sure the percentage is small, and if someone does become a false positive, it's (a) more of an annoyance than anything and (b) one that can be dealt with.

Which is not to say that I've never pirated Windows, but I'm not about to invent a new system of morality in order to deal with the cognitive dissonance. If you get caught, you get caught. Download another one.

I guess the real question is, why are people raising pitchforks over this at all when there's things like large-scale health care reform that needs to be worried about?

Re:I've tried to tell people about this sort of th (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345301)

I don't have a degree either. But, I can relay such information as it has been told to me by such people: If it's there, there must be a good reason for it. If it was wrong, someone would have done something about it.

And, it's not limited to corporations. It applies to just about any large social group, including government, unions, and social clubs.

Remove WGA (4, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344757)

I was successfully able to remove WinXP's WGA from my system.... I installed Linux.

No more sales for Microsoft, and no more nagging from software thinking I've got a pirate copy of something just because I upgraded some hardware.

Re:Remove WGA (5, Funny)

NervousNerd (1190935) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344813)

These days you'll have to deal with the Linux Genuine Advantage [linuxgenui...antage.org] .

Re:Remove WGA (2, Funny)

hannson (1369413) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345307)

Yes, but there is a crack for it on TPB [thepiratebay.org] .

Great, but there's a few unfortunate details. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344991)

Namely, even if you never used Windows on your machine, it likely still shipped with Windows, meaning you still paid the Microsoft tax, and you're still feeding into their massively abusive power complex. Just installing Linux is not an answer. Hell, they've used "Linux" as a justification to do this, as they have expertly turned "Linux Users" into "Pirates" in the minds of lawyers and judges with endless spin and false advertisement.

They need to be stopped from pulling this shit, permanently. With a legal solution. With a significant cash penalty. With actual consequences, and not aww-shucks US Justice Department antics.

Re:Great, but there's a few unfortunate details. (2, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345047)

There are -many- systems that don't ship with Windows. Most netbooks offer Linux as an option and due to no Windows tax they are usually either cheaper or make up with it with better hardware than their Windows counterparts. While its still difficult to find a good Linux computer in a big-box retailer, they aren't exactly uncommon if you shop online.

can't speak for others...[microsoft tax] (4, Informative)

Anne Honime (828246) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345049)

... but when I bought my computer, I asked for vista to be removed and the price refunded. Hoped from shop to shop until I found one that agreed (in fact I was ready for a trek, but the 3rd shop in the street was the good one). He got the deal, and I bought the refund worth of RAM to top of the computer capacity. I was pleased, and so was the seller.

My laptop is an Asus eeepc 900A linux 'edition'. Again, I carefully reviewed the options before buying.

Speak with your wallet.

Microsoft is an abuse company... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344763)

...that also makes software.

Posted as AC to prevent karma whore allegations

Another entry in the Drinking Game! (5, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344811)

The Windows 7 drinking game [today.com] so far includes:

* One shot for every "ethnic" face in an install graphic.
* An extra shot if it's pasted over the head of a white person.
* One shot for every white face pasted over the head of a non-white person.
* One shot for every program with the Office 2007 "ribbon" toolbar stuck on it completely inappropriately.
* One shot for every exciting "new" feature that's been in Mac OS and Linux for the past five years.
* An extra shot if the exciting "new" feature's been in Mac OS and Linux for the past ten years.
* One shot every time you reboot during the install.
* One shot every time the system asks to reboot just because it feels like it.
* Two shots every time it reboots even though you said "no."
* Drain the bottle if there's an actual feature that makes Windows 7 so much better than sticking with XP that you'll spend actual money to get it.
* Spitting your mouthful and cursing when Windows Genuine Advantage decides your full-price copy is actually a bootleg.
* A bitter mouthful every time the system blue-screens.

On draining the bottle (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345429)

Drain the bottle if there's an actual feature that makes Windows 7 so much better than sticking with XP that you'll spend actual money to get it.

In that circumstance, I'd prefer the drink to be of such a concentration that the recommended dose is lethal :(

Re:Another entry in the Drinking Game! (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345631)

greeeattt gam i plyd it just now wheeee!!

wga has yet to be cracked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344821)

MS may have its issues, but to date no WGA crack has any persistance past a few weeks, much less past a service pack.

Looks like the pirates are losing this battle, and MS knows it. Office 2010 will have the same activation and no VLKs.

Re:wga has yet to be cracked (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344891)

So? That doesn't stop it from being all over TPB. Just because WGA isn't cracked yet doesn't mean that you can't still pirate Windows.

Re:wga has yet to be cracked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344945)

Uh... you just unregister LegitCheckControl.dll (regsvr32 /u) and replace your winlogin.exe with a patched version.

I feel like I stepped backwards in time a few years posting this comment.

Re:wga has yet to be cracked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345057)

Several WGA cracks *do* work. I haven't been nagged since I cracked mine, and I've been updating fine ever since.

Re:wga has yet to be cracked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345067)

Actually the Vista Loader 3.0.0.1 activation crack (BIOS emulation & crack) works and is persistent, and WGA always finds that the system is genuine despite it being unlicensed. This is on a system from a major OEM using a burned copy of one of the same OEM's Vista install DVDs (I think original Vista, pre SP1) and no authorized license key. The system is fully up to date with SP2 and subsequent patches, all via Windows Update, with additional MS software installed by the same process after WGA checks were passed. It's a system which has been installed for many months and which gets its updates every patch tuesday, followed by a run of the latest Windows Defender which accompanies them.

WGA is most definitely cracked.

My experience with WGA (0, Redundant)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344831)

For a few years, I manually did updates of my XP system and I actually checked what packages were to be installed. I flagged the WGA to not install. No problem. Then with the rash of assholes writing malware for XP, I turned on automatic updates. One day, I decide to do some maintenance because even with 2GB of memory, I occasionally got the Windows is low in virtual memory warnings even though I was just running Thunderbird, Firefox, and maybe one other program.When I logged into the admin account, a message box shows up saying that I don't have WGA installed and that I should click "Here" to install it or I will keep getting these messages. I didn't. I never got the messages in my user account but only when I logged into my admin account. Interesting - huh? So, one day I relented, and installed WGA to see if in fact it would flag me - I got my XP Pro license through one of those college online programs and I was curious. I came out fine.

I haven't run wireshark to see what evil may lie in the heart of my XP machine - yet.

Dude.. (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345087)

Just out of curiosity, was there a point to that story?

Re:Dude.. (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345295)

Just out of curiosity, was there a point to that story?

The penultimate sentence, I would imagine.

Re:Dude.. (1)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345665)

Sure....nothing bad happened to my machine.

Now, let me tell you about the time I drove my Studabaker with my best girl. I wore an onion on my belt because that was the style back then, and Benny Goodman was all the rage, we'd go down and get ice cream on Coney Island, war was breaking out and...what were we talking about again?

Uninstalling by hand, anyone? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344867)

FTFS: "WGA's implementation also prevented users from purging the protection from their PCs without completely reformatting a computer's system drive."

Really? Have none of these people heard of removing a program by hand? It may not be comprehensive and may leave traces behind, but you can sure rip the operating guts out. Delete the executable, unregister the DLL and delete them. Bye-bye nagging.

At the same time, I don't know what changes are made once WGA flags a system as "non-genuine". That is not a simple fix. Though, if you find yourself in that situation, you should be able to handle the problem or deal with the consequences. Otherwise, use legit purchased software or use Linux (by far the better alternative).

So, the whole privacy thing to me is kinda mute (1, Insightful)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344901)

Look in your pocket... I'm betting you have a cell phone. That means if someone wants to know where you are, they can do so within around 200 meters. Your phone connects to a tower to "talk" - they know which numbers are connected to what towers at any time of the day. I would say microsoft is the least of your worries if you are a privacy advocate.

Re:So, the whole privacy thing to me is kinda mute (4, Insightful)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345139)

Following that logic, every issue that's not the most important issue is a non-issue. This way of thinking lets corporations chip away at our privacy "because those other guys are doing something worse", until there's nothing left to chip away.

Re:So, the whole privacy thing to me is kinda mute (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345209)

Look in your pocket... I'm betting you have a cell phone.

Nope, I just checked all my pockets, no phone there. You lose.

Your phone connects to a tower to "talk" - they know which numbers are connected to what towers at any time of the day.

A connection to a cell tower is required for a cell-phone to work. Sending random data back to Microsoft is not required for Windows to work. See the difference?

Re:So, the whole privacy thing to me is kinda mute (2, Funny)

Ren Hoak (1217024) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345283)

I suspect you mean http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/moot [reference.com] and not http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/mute [reference.com] .

But I could be wrong, I am on a regular basis.

Re:So, the whole privacy thing to me is kinda mute (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345335)

The point is mute when it falls on deaf ears.

Go free market! (3, Interesting)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344909)

Unfortunately Microsoft will probably win this because there's a difference between spyware and an abusive contract. To the best of my knowledge, abusive contracts are perfectly legal, which is why MS got over on IBM so bad. These license agreements which you click before using software have been legally upheld in court, so Microsoft may be doing something immoral, but it's still legal. The only thing that makes spyware illegal is that they bypass a contract and install without the user's permission.

I love to blame Microsoft as much as anyone here but I think this is a case where the lack of legislation is, in a legal sense, to blame. Companies have no legal obligation to behave ethically. I would love to see a law which prohibits these ridiculous lawyer-speak click-contracts. There has to be a better way to protect both the company and consumer.

It does sound as if their main case is that the WGA contract is misleading and dishonest, and if that's true, they may have a case. I wouldn't know because I've never read it and don't intend to. I don't use Windows.

Re:Go free market! (2, Insightful)

multriha (206019) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345069)

Abusive contracts are perfectly legal, just not always binding.

Obligatory car analogy (4, Insightful)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345109)

I don't mind that my car has a license plate. I don't even mind having to register with the authorities or prove that the car is indeed my own. What really pisses me off is the cameras and systems that track where I'm going by using the information on that license plate, and tying it to my behaviour patterns.

I'm not a law breaker and I'm not paranoid*, I just don't want my behaviour modified by stealthy incursions into my privacy that could result in profiling and ultimately curtailing my choices in where I go, what I see and what I do. WGA is, I believe, just part of a trend that increasingly encourages powerful public institutions to think of people as objects, as statistics, and the effect of treating people as objects is the source of pretty much all I consider crime in the world.

(*I walked by a construction site the other day and the roofer told me that I wasn't paranoid - in morse code. Clever, aren't they?)

WGASS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345051)

EVEN if you say "No" when it asks if you want it, in addition to saying "Never ask me about it again.", those fucking cocks will keep pushing it out every so often...their only saving grace is that you still have to allow it to be installed.

What do they say about rape again? Did you want it now? How about now? ...now?

Reasons to hate WGA (3, Funny)

rwwyatt (963545) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345097)

WGA is like a body cavity search, but without the rubber glove

Re:Reasons to hate WGA (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345261)

WGA is like a body cavity search, but without the rubber glove

... and what they're sticking in there isn't their hand.

I don't get why this is a problem (2, Insightful)

rennerik (1256370) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345203)

With the high rate of Windows piracy, especially in markets such as China (where piracy rates are as high as 80% [chinatechnews.com] ), Microsoft having WGA as a core part of their operating system makes sense. Legit users, of course, don't have to worry because Windows will never stop working for them (there are some exceptions [msdn.com] , but those are typically solved quickly).

The issue may be privacy. According to the WGA FAQ [microsoft.com] and an analysis by Groklaw [groklaw.net] (2006), the following information is sent to Microsoft every time WGA "phones home":
  • Windows product key
  • PC manufacturer
  • Operating System version
  • PID/SID
  • BIOS information (make, version, date)
  • BIOS MD5 Checksum
  • User locale (language setting for displaying Windows)
  • System locale (language version of the operating system)
  • Office product key (if validating Office)
  • Hard drive serial number

It may be a tad bit disturbing to have all that information being broadcast, but some of it makes sense. Windows Activation is tied to a computer and its hardware, and what WGA is supposed to do is verify that the activation is legit, they'd (presumably) need to broadcast the same information to the WGA servers to verify that activation (since we all know activation can be faked/bypassed).

Microsoft also needs to create a disincentive for people who pirate their software. WGA, besides nagging the user that they have an illegal copy, also prevents optional and recommended updates from being installed, prevents Office users from downloading templates, and prevents the download of certain products/services that would be free to paying customers.

So why is "phoning home" okay? Why not do it once and be done with it? Every day crackers find ways to get around Windows' copy protection. As a developer, Microsoft needs to stay ahead of that and tailor their systems to counter-act innovation on the crackers' part. The opposite is also true: falsely-flagged copies need to be unflagged, or customers will suffer due to them being marked as a false positive. Either way, Microsoft has not kept this a secret, and even promised to reduce checking to once every two weeks [zdnet.com] (and that was way back in 2006).

I know a lot (probably most) of you guys on here will disagree with me, but I see this as a necessary evil that Microsoft has to perform, and if I were in their shoes, I'd go about it similarly (perhaps be a bit less intrusive). The fact of the matter is, WGA only negatively affects people who either pirated software, or were the victims of software piracy. The privacy argument, in my opinion, is a strawman. If you buy a PC from Dell, it's most likely they already have all that information (save for BIOS MD5 checksum, probably) linked to your customer account. If you buy a PC from Best Buy with a credit card, that purchase information is already linked with the product serial number, which is probably linked with all the serial numbers of the hardware that went into the thing. I don't see how this can be any different than that, other than the fact that Microsoft has it instead of Dell or Best Buy.

Re:I don't get why this is a problem (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345271)

Legit users, of course, don't have to worry because Windows will never stop working for them (there are some exceptions [msdn.com] , but those are typically solved quickly)

I bet you also believe that 'if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear', right?

I don't give a flying monkey crap about Microsoft's profits; I care about my software randomly not working because some crappy 'validation' software decides that I'm a criminal. More than that, I care about the whole concept of being treated as a criminal until proven innocent by a company that I've paid money to for the product I'm using.

You may be happy to bend over for big corporate profits, but I'm increasingly fed up with this crap -- not just from Microsoft but from other companies who decide to prevent software I've purchased from running until I beg them to fix their god-damn piece of crap 'validation'/'activation'/DRM bullshit -- to the extent that I'm now doing my best to completely eliminate Windows and commercial software which contains this kind of shit from my home.

Re:I don't get why this is a problem (2, Insightful)

rennerik (1256370) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345309)

I bet you also believe that 'if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear', right?

No, I do not believe in that 100%. If Microsoft required me to provide my driver's license, SSN, and other such information to activate my copy of Windows, I'd be pissed off to no end.

This is different. They have your hardware serial numbers and your IP. They can't track you down without a court order anyway. In which case, *anyone* can track you down, given even just one of those: your IP.

You may be happy to bend over for big corporate profits, but I'm increasingly fed up with this crap -- not just from Microsoft but from other companies who decide to prevent software I've purchased from running until I beg them to fix their god-damn piece of crap 'validation'/'activation'/DRM bullshit

Fewer than 12,000 copies stopped working for less than 12 hours. And if you called for support, your problem was fixed.

More people are affected when EVE's servers go down because of an unforeseen problem. You're a paying customer there, too.

Shit happens. Stuff goes down. You know that, being in the computer industry.

One word: Oracle (5, Insightful)

El_Oscuro (1022477) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345593)

I know of great place to get the latest version of Oracle Enterprise addition for any platform, no license keys, no activation required, no trial periods, no protection at all. Just download it for your favorite platform and install it.

technet.oracle.com [oracle.com]

Last time I checked, Oracle is pretty profitable, even though they have no copy protection of any kind. Apparently, the ACTUALLY trust their customers somewhat which puts them in a pretty rare class these days.

Microsoft is only shooting themselves in the foot:

  1. Copy protection doesn't work. It didn't work in the 1980's and it won't work now.
  2. WGA might not really create a disincentive for pirates, as most people who download a cracked copy off pirates bay do not always obtain the latest security patches from Microsoft.
  3. These pirated copies are actually free advertising for Microsoft. It gives them the net effect which is still very important in these markets.
  4. WGA definitely creates a disincentive for legitimate customers like me:
    1. I have a legal copy of MS-Office which I no longer have installed. After having to go through the activation drill twice after reinstalling Windows, it just seems too much of a hassle to do it again. Thus, I have become much more proficient in Open Office, and can pass those skills unto others.
    2. My Ubuntu Dell laptop also came with a Vista CD. I briefly considered installing it somewhere, as I figured becoming familiar with the latest version of Windows would be useful, maybe running in a VM or something. WGA nixed that idea, and whatever neat features Vista has, I have never seen them.
  5. Privacy is not a straw man. It is in fact a very big deal to me. Once someone else has control over your computer, whether it is Microsoft or some Haxt0r, it is pwnd. I have moved anything important to Linux a long time ago, and no longer trust any Windows computer connected to the Internet with any important information.

Re:One word: Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345647)

Copy protection doesn't work. It didn't work in the 1980's and it won't work now.

Au contraire, I was very affected by the "Don't copy that floppy" campaign. So I stopped installing software on my computer because it had to copy on my hard drive.

Representation (2, Interesting)

no-body (127863) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345233)

of the purpose of WGA is fraudulent - not doubt; German XP versions, not sure if all (?) are forced to install WGA or no further system patches can be installed: Coercion: install WGA or run the risk of a compromised system.

But - let's be clear: There are plenty of other installed programs calling home and why is the Windows firewall so lousy to fail identifying, showing and logging any program trying to get out from the machine? Self-protection, Corporate cover up or plain stupidity of developers?

On other ends: Patents should only be valid as long as the original inventor (no corp legal entities!) is alive and then become public property.

Another idiotic lawsuit.... (1, Interesting)

Targon (17348) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345495)

Everyone should know by now that the WGA really was always about Microsoft cracking down on pirated versions of their products. Now, with that in mind, if the WGA does some checking and phones home, but does not send up anything that would identify the owner of the computer, what is the big deal? An IP address might get logged by Microsoft and attached to your registration key?

What is new at this point? If your version of Windows has been cut off due to being pirated(or being flagged as a pirated version), that means it IS a security issue for people. Some may complain that Microsoft stopped service packs from being installed on pirated versions of Windows, but, if you pirate a product, you really have sacrificed any rights you have to complain about the behavior of said product. If your copy is flagged as pirated when it is not, then you have the right to contact Microsoft to address the issue. Again, if you fail to do this, then it is your own fault because it TELLS you it thinks it is a pirated copy, and even what to do about it.

That final line about how MacOS doesn't have copy protection.....ummm, you can ONLY put it on an Apple branded computer, and there is a price premium built into Apple branded computers already, so the copy protection is there, just not in the normal form. If Apple were to open up MacOS to run on non-Apple computers, can you REALLY claim that copy protection of some sort would not be put in at that point?

Apple had a fit when Palm made the Pre work with iTunes, so can you REALLY say that Apple is innocent or doesn't have a lock-down mindset?

Re:Another idiotic lawsuit.... (3, Insightful)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345659)

Palm hacked USB vendor code which is against the rules you agree to when you use USB. Apple patched it. It is insane that Apple is painted as the bad guy on this one. They deserve plenty of hate for their BS AppStore rules, and overpriced HW, but fixing an exploit that hacks the USB protocol is not one of them.

Sick of WGA running monthly (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345539)

I can't stand WGA. I have a single WinXP system that I have set up for family to use when they come over because I use Linux and they aren't familiar with the OS. It seems like that every single time that I turn the system on WGA is downloading once again either on its own or with other Windows Updates. It is WGA because any time that I let it install it pops up with the window to let it install, and the rest of the updates won't continue until you hit that finish button.

Can't tell you how many times I accidentally left the "Tell me how WGA enhances my system" button checked, and I love the answer. To paraphrase, "WGA reports back to MS to make sure that your copy isn't pirated." How many times does WGA need to report back, seriously? Like I said, it seriously runs about once a month on this system, not that it is run that often anyway. Shouldn't there be something resident that once WGA checks and confirms authenticity it will remember it.

This is one of the main reasons that I switched to Linux, I haven't had to put of with this garbage in years. No viruses, no spyware, no WGA, no DRM, no hardware lock-in, none of that stuff that is a pain with Windows and Macs.

RE: Obama's DOJ -- Der Supremum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345559)

According to the Department of Justice, they claim the rights of:

1. killing any US Citizen or non-citizen at their choosing -- personnel of the DoJ and Executive, who have been vested, such as the President, have immunity, for a time being decided by the DoJ at their choosing.

2. killing of any human being outside the US is granted.

3. The DoJ is the prosecutor and executioner at their choosing.

4. The DoJ is not bound by the Constitution of the United States of America, any States Constitutions, or any principles other than those which the DoJ chooses to abide by at any given time on any given day of any given year.

I cannot wait until ReactOS goes 1.0 (3, Informative)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345581)

ReactOS [reactos.org] is still being developed. Some day (maybe in five years) it will reach the golden 1.0 standard. It should replace Windows XP and then we can forget about those WGA updates.

WGA has too many false positives and can ruin wallpaper settings (turning the screen to black) and do other annoying things. Plus I keep seeing it installed even if updates are turned off. Currently my system is genuine but if a Firewall software blocks Internet access it thinks it is not genuine. Until I allow the firewall and then hit validate, then everything is OK.

I doubt a majority of Windows users will migrate towards Vista or Windows 7 because of legacy software issues and legacy hardware that cannot run Vista or 7. ReactOS will fill that hole quite nicely when it is done with Windows XP compatibility and no WGA gotchas.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...