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Windows ID

justin++ posted more than 15 years ago | from the p3-times-ten dept.

Microsoft 338

Igor wrote in with a link to a San Jose Mercury article about the discovery of the "Windows ID", and claims it "has been quietly used to create a vast database of personal information about computer users." It seems Windows 98 and other programs, like Office, embed a unique ID based on a MAC address into every document created (Office), or even submit an ID unique to a user during Windows Update (where it specifically says Microsoft will not send any information like that). The Intel thing never bothered me too much, but I'm not so sure about this...

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Scary! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991852)

This is the scariest thing I have heard so far
just because M$ Office is so widely used.

And by the way - am I really the first? ;-)

WAIT WAIT WAIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991853)

Transmitting to MS HQ is bad.

But creating the ID is just part of the normal Windows OLE/ActiveX/Registry process.

figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991854)

leave it up to good ol' microsoft to do something like this. I keep thinking that they should have just stuck to BASIC.

Anobody notice.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991855)

That OpenSource was used as reference for the start of this technique? I wonder if this is another Micro$oft FUD agenda scheme. Perhaps that is the whole point.

MS has every right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991856)

There's nothing wrong with MS finding out who creates what. They made the program. If you want to use it, then buy it and use it. If you don't want them to see who you are, and don't like what they do, then don't buy it. AND DON'T USE IT! It's that simple, warez d00dz

MS closed this hole - link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991857)

http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,33413,00.html

I agree with the sentiments expressed above, though. I believe the "mistake" was deliberate and Microsoft is only closing the hole because it can't afford any more bad publicity right now.

anyone ever 'strings' a word file? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991858)

Lots of interesting stuff in there..

My paranoid worry about ID-attached SW. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991859)

I started to DL RealAudio's plug-in and notices they now require a Full Name and e-mail address.
I started wondering if they would encode that info into the plug-in before it's downloaded and then monitor your usage of the plug-in; for market research only, of course. I wonder who will be the first to try that sort of thing.

One could of course enter phony info, but I suspect it is considered fraud to provide false information in return for a commercial product. In some sense, they are selling you the product for the price of info on you.

Scary! Abandon Ship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991860)

After reading how Micros~1's top executives are
willing to lie in the courts, steal technology
from other companies, etc. This is most likely
just the tip of the iceburg. Remember, what you
don't know, can't hurt you!

Calling all Micros~1 operating system,
developers, and application users:
ABANDON SHIP

Locutus

Can this information be used against in court? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991861)

I wonder if Microsoft can gather enough information from a computer and use it against the onwer in court? Is it legal to get information this way?

AK.
*getting my encryption software to encrypt all sensitive data.

WAIT WAIT WAIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991862)

Ignorant?
Wasn't this done for the benefit of the customer?
NOT!

These guys know exactly what they are doing and
they have no problem hiding the truth. They've
done it in from of a judge many times in the
recent DOJ vs Micros~1 case.

The truth is out there but you have to be better
than a Fox Mulner to find it in Redmond.

Locutus

Three simple words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991863)

As the guy on Ally McSkinny would say:
"Say it with me...
Class. Action. Suit."

mispelled (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991864)

That's Mulder! Sheesh!

MS has every right. This is MS after all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991865)

They should tell users when they do things like
this but we are talking about Micros~1. They
show falsified video in court and insist it is
correct. They have stolen $$ from users for over
10 years by not telling them the truth so you
think they would start now?

Abandon Ship to a Micros~1 free zone and
you'll be richer, safer, and happier.

Locutus

MS has every right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991866)

"If you don't want them to see who you are, and don't like what they do, then don't buy it. AND
DON'T USE IT! It's that simple,"

I dont...I dont...I dont..I dont...

The point is: What About the ppl do not know any better? Just because they "own" the software on your machine does not give them the right to invade your privacy and gather personal information about you. I know, I know Sun does this everyday with countless peices of software. But the entities using SPARCS are just that: organizations and large companies who do not enjoy the same rights to privacy as an individual.

BTW: Yes I do undestand that privacy in this day and age is an illusion. All the more reason we must fight tooth and nail to keep every shread of it we have left.

"warez d00dz"

Ill just forget I even heard that.

figures -BASIC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991867)

Yeah, maybe - but remember, they weren't too hot on BASIC either -
all the MS Basic dialects they produced, whether for the PC, C64 or anything else, were piss poor.
AmigaBASIC was their only amiga product ( and it sucked - even though it is scarily similar to a proto-VB, since to support the Amiga OS, it had to be pseudo-OOP before the term was even in common use)

Popularity-Contest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991868)

Not really related, but Debian has a package called Popularity-Contest .. You must install it specifically, then it tells you what it does and asks if you agree. Here's the description:


When you install this package, it sets up a cron job that will anonymously
e-mail the Debian developers periodically with statistics about your most
used Debian packages.


This information helps us make decisions such as which packages should go
on the first Debian CD. Also, we can improve future versions of Debian so
that the most popular packages are the ones which are installed
automatically for new users.


I think it would be a cool idea to have distros ask the user if he or she would like to be counted.

You seriously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991869)

think that it could be considered fraud to provide
false information to one of those 'rape me' forms?

I use email like "Idont@thinkso.com" all the time.
They aren't entitled to my email address. Anyway,
what's to stop me from submitting a real email
that points back to a *@email.com address and
then cancel it or give it a valid address that just
isn't mine?

I can see now why they'd want to tag us with
unique idenifiers ;)

uselinux@email.com

Are you even surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991870)

Come on, don't tell me you never had any hunches about this. Didn't they have code in Windows 3.1 or something that made DR DOS crash if you used it instead of MS-DOS?

Popularity-Contest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991871)

great idea but I still think the user information
should be eliminated from the responses. A
customer support call may enable that for a one
time configuration diagnosis but that is it.

I would worry that Micros~1 might get this info
and be able to count the number of users for
marketing purposes. They are able to count every
copy of OS/2 sold because of license issues and
therefore knew how much PR for Windoz 95 was
required to keep market share. We don't want this
to happen to Linux or any other OS.

Locutus

Who on Slashdot is Stupid enough.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991872)

OK, my question is who on Slashdot is stupid enough to have a PC running a Microsoft PC set up at home (at least) so it can access the Internet? I've felt for years this would be a very bad thing to do. Microsoft has shown for Years that they can not be trusted in this respect.

Let's consider this, this is at least the second thing such as this that they've been caught at in the last several years. How many other things do you think they have feeding their databases? Look at it this way, their idea of fixing this is probably to hid it better!

On the other hand I'm paranoid enough to wonder if Microsoft has Windows set up so it can find the Gateway even if you don't tell it where it is. I think it's safe to assume it doesn't need to know where your DNS servers are.

Of course it would be amusing to let MS know what runs on my Win95 box. Three Warhammer games, one Star Wars Game, and as soon as I find time to install it software for the DEX Drive for my Playstation. That is the only software I've gotten for Win95 since it came out! Yes, it's safe to assume from this that the reason I bought Windows 95 was to play a Warhammer game.

MS closed this hole - link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991873)

plans to fix!

They plan to!

Kent

Something Even More Scary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991874)

Do you include your credit card number when sending email to a lover, or reporting fraud to the government?

Fucking idiot. It's a completely different issue.

then explain this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991875)

WHY is the GUID included in documents????

There is no purpose! EXCEPT to track people.

What a bunch of BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991876)

``The software was not supposed to send this information unless the computer user checked a specific option.''

''The software was not supposed to get detected, and now that it has we're implementing our CYA policies.''

MS has every right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991877)

Uh, let me start off by saying: WRONG! Just because I decide to plunk down $100 or whatever for a copy of MS Office doesn't mean Microsoft has a right to know who I am, what I do, etc. Perhaps they can present you with the option of filling out a brief form, in return for limited tech support, along with several optional fields about your personal interests, but they definitely do NOT have the right to know who you are. I personally never register with MS because I really don't anticipate on having major problems with Outlook or Office, and because I doubt MS would be of any significant help anyway.

There's this little right we Americans have called "the right to privacy" -- perhaps you've heard of it? This applies to MS, as well...duh.


-=The Saiyan Vejita=-

Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991878)

Why is anyone suprised here? So they've found the first of the 50 little ways M$ is databasing your activities when you use their software. Will you be suprised again when they find the next one?

Well.... see subject line. :P

Reminds me a song (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991879)


Developpement tools for the hacker kings under the sky
Servers for the sysadmin-lords in their halls of stone
An Office suite for the end users, doomed to whine
One OS for the Dark Lord on his Dark Throne
In the land of Redmond where the shadows lie
One OS to sell them all, one OS to bundle them
One OS to run them all and in the blueness crash them
In the land of Redmond, where the shadows lie

This is really old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991880)

when the first beta of IE4.0 came out I noticed that. My system is permanentally connected to the net, so it's easy to notice that a packet is sent upon boot up. those with dial up would never have noticed it. I just had my linux box capture the packet and I simulate a random nunber sequence every 6 seconds to the jerks. as for the word ID, this is interesting... I knew it embedded the software key into them but I didnt know it was a MAC address. Now we need someone to write a program to scramble that id to say BITE-ME-BILL. that would be really cool.

bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991881)

Windows eats a dick

Read this quote... from a programmers perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991882)

"Bennett promised that Microsoft also will wipe any of those numbers from its internal databases that the company can determine may have been inadvertently collected."

How the hell do you inadvertently collect data. Is their Microsoft VC++ compile so crappy that printf("Hello World\n"); accidently generated a MS SQL database application that accepted registration requests and logged globally unique ids to their database? Computers are completely stupid things that do exactly what their programmers tell them! You don't have something like this accidently happen. It was completely intentional on their part and I hope the gov't uses this when the trial resumes again to put the final nail in the coffin.

not closed yet + new loopholes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991883)

The company said it will alter the way the registration process works in the next maintenance release of Windows 98
What about '95, NT, and existing '98 customers?
the company will create a software tool to let customers clear the ID number from the... Registry
So it's an opt-out. Chances they'll publicize this "tool"?
"If it is, it's just a bug," Bennett said. "If it is indeed happening, and we have testers working this weekend, we'll absolutely fix that."
It's a "bug" that information is included in the documents?
Bennett promised that Microsoft also will wipe any of those numbers from its internal databases that the company can determine may have been inadvertently collected.
"can determine"? "inadvertently"? This is probably sufficient qualification to avoid doing anything. What they could have said: that they would remove all GUID's from all their databases, period.

Surprise, they didn't. Lots of hand-waving and a promise of an eventual opt-out tool, but only for new Win 98 customers.

Blizzard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991884)

What did Blizzard do?

structured storage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991885)

You use technical squarmish to justify for what Microsoft PR may call "a bug" or a "new feature."

Explain why the information is sent to Microsoft?

I noticed Microsoft is suing a lot of companies these days for pirating their software ... how do they know?

In OSS you can recompile your kernel to get rid of anything that you don't like!

Kent

Tracking devices on cars... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991886)

That's an AWESOME idea. Doesn't Caddilac already implement something like this? I would personally love to have a tracking device that uses GPS built into every single car built in the US. Then when you get into an accident or need roadside assistance and you have no idea what city you're in or where you even are, just hit the button, send the info to your car maker's central help center and they can dispatch a tow truck or whatever to come out and help. Personally I couldn't care less if Dodge knows everywhere I drive my car. I would gladly give up that privacy issue in exchange for the safety and convenience. When my car was disabled a few weeks ago I sat on the side of the road on the phone with their roadside assistance people trying to explain where the hell I was so they could send a tow truck. NOT fun if I wasn't near a major exit on the freeway.

Show me the bits! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991887)

It's one thing to claim office documents and Windows Updates transmissions are logged with a user ID. Now, I respectfully ask those who're doing the claims to do one small thing: prove it.

What byte offset in a word document produced by Office'97 is this id? What bytes in the packets sent to Windows Update can this id be found? Cmon folks, get out the packet sniffers and hex editors to *prove* such things. And then write a small program to pull these bits out of a word file for the brain-damaged media to see.

To be very short, put up or shut up about ids.

mispelled (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991888)

I should have known that since I've watched the
show from day one. (The Night Stalker fan)

Thanks for the correction.
Locutus

Privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991889)

What do you care about privacy? What's the point in privacy unless you're doing something embarassing or illegal that you wouldn't want people you know to find out about? I suppose you're paranoid and pay for everything with cash too huh? Well don't you know they trace all that money by fingerprints!? They keep a huge database of everyone touching that money and they KNOW! As for using software, perhaps they do because they HAVE TO? I get word documents all the time at work and need to use Word to read them and write new ones. It is a company standard and I MUST use it.

Microsoft ID yes they can :-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991890)

you never read the OOLAH (EULA)did you... anything generated by their program is theirs... your manuscript? it was generated into a pripetory file format that is owned by Microsloth. they can do with it whatever they want... in fact they can claim ownership of your manuscript. You write in visual basic? the program really is a microsoft product with your script telling it what to do. use visual C++? your program contains microsoft copyrighted code, they just interpeted your commands.. if they wanted to they can snag ownership of whatever they wanted.. It dont say anywhere in the EULA that what you create is your own sole property and microsoft will not try to own it.

What happens.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991891)

What happens when Bill Gates takes VIAGRA?



-- He gets taller.

Seriously, though, how does this bug play into Mac versions of MSOffice, etc. Doesn't the Mac version have some sort of file which fakes a system registry (where this number is supposedly stored)?

And any fool who would actually put his real name into one of those M$ reg forms deserves whatever he gets...

Something Even More Scary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991892)

Your credit card number is on your system: it's called Microsoft Wallet or cookie form (One-click shopping).

Now if Microsoft have all the credit card # of over 250 mil users. $5,000 for average users credit card. Let's do some multiplication: 250,000,000 * $5,000 = $1,250,000,000,000.

I want a hold of that database!

Cince 1995 it's been a hoot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991893)

everyone I know has been testing this idea. we all use the same software key. yes we all purchaesed our software, but we decided to share the same key for everything that Msloth sold. I know of 20 machines that have every piece of software on it with the exact same key.. but if someone bitched we have the actual certs to back it up :-)) I'm sure it pisses off someone, even if it doesnt I'm pretty happy. anyways.. this is a joke, I've had software to generate any type of MS key I wanted.. catch the warez duds... that's a joke.

then why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991894)

... is GUID embedded in every word/excel document?

Against the European privacy laws? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991895)


What about the recently enacted Euro privacy laws that supposedly prevents sending any private information?

if you're right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991896)

If you're right, Micros~1 is criminally negligent in allowing this privacy bug to slip out the door. What's this you say? One hundred MILLION dollars in revenues PER PRODUCT and a 50% profit margin doesn't leave them enough money to do basic quality assurance? Bullshit!

An explanation of the type you gave is expected, coming from an arrogant computer geek. Coming from an insanely wealthy company like Micros~1 that is supposed to be "focused on the customer" and constantly "innovating", there is just no excuse.

re: mispelled (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991897)

Of course! =)

"Full Disclosure" was kind of lame, though --
where's it going to go now that they've killed most of
the syndicate and stuff? Hmm...

uselinux@email.com

support free software! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991898)

This article makes an excellent point as to why *FREEDOM* in software is important (not price).

Read this quote... from a programmers perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991899)

actually, in Microsoft realm, programmers are just stupid things that do what their computer tells them

Check out the IBM GN dialer's arlog.txt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991900)

If you use the IBM GN dialer for NT (v.4.16 and 4.20 at least) check out arlog.txt, found in the IBM GN directory.

For those of you not crazy enough to trust IBM, it sends: your MAC address(es?), your current IP address, the names of your network nodes and shares, drive capacity, user status (e.g. admin/user/poweruser), and some other trivia to two IP addresses in the IBM GN assigned block.

Those of us not running Linux eventually wake up and find out that lack of control over the outgoing bitstream is a Bad Thing. I'll start using Linux when X stops making me scream in frustration....

Privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991901)

Wow, I really hope most people don't agree with your
position...

Or when things really do get bad thanks to your 'who gives
a damn' attitude, it'll be too late.

Hehe glad I never trusted them in the first place (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991902)

Ever since '95 I've always used bogus information whenever I registered software. A pack of lies goes into every web form. Why? You just never know how the information is going to be used. Furthermore, it may help decrease the value of the databases used to track you. Collecting demographic info is fine, that can be useful to a business. The line gets crossed when you single people out. When a company thinks that it is OK to take this info without permission, and imbed it in every document you create, they need to be punished. If the government trying to do this, you couldnt throw a stick in Washington without hitting an ACLU lawyer.

Where do you want to go today?
We already know where you were yesterday...

re: Popularity-Contest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991903)

Wow -- now that's nifty!

I'm going to install it right now...

apt-get install popularity-contest

Gotta love Debian ;)

uselinux@email.com

Not OpenSource (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991904)

They actually referenced the Open Software Foundation. This is the company behind Motif(tm) and should in no way be confused with either the Free Software Foundation or OpenSource. I found a web page that seems to relate to what MS is talking about here at http://www.jxml.com/papers/wwc/index.html [jxml.com] .

Clue-guid's go with EXECUTABLES(SAME 4 ALL USERS) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991905)

Now. did you get a clue ?

X and screaming... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991906)

I used to scream about X too. Mostly because the default RH setup looked enough like Win95 to confuse me.

Then I decided to run CLI only for a while. That got me used to finding files and so forth. Then when I moved back to X I was OK.

If what you are screaming about is X configuration...well, I agree.

Only WhiteHouse Sex Needs Privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991907)

MS has every right? Bah, you are an idiot.

Next you will say that my cell phone has every right to broadcast my location everytime I make/receive a phone call. What privacy rights should citizens be entitled? Perhaps privacy applies only to cases of illicite oral sex received while one in President of the United States... or when intercepting cell calls originated by the Speaker of the House.

It seems that no single organization can be trusted with privacy issues. Until Microsoft makes the source code available for review by people I trust (mainly me), I must rely on FreeBSD, Linux, and their open source cousins.

Hmm... I wonder how long it will be before some idiot tries to make the case the private face to face conversation is conspiracy (after all, reasonable people would use cell phones, they are so much more convenient).

Fucking Microsoft nazis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991908)

I'm actually not one bit supprised. Bill Gates is anal retentive like that. Is this MS ID supposed to reduce software piracy? Man that pisses me off so bad =)

re: Three simple words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991909)

You said it! ;)

But, Micros~1 will just say "by gones...!"

Can this information be used against in court? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991910)

Illigally acquired evident is inadmissible in the court of law.

it doesnt affect me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991911)

The last time I had windows on my PC was in 1996. The year when I went all Linux all the way.


No, he wants to be Hitler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991912)

He wants to exterminate all competing software.

Open Software Foundation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991913)

I just want to make sure that everyone is very clear that the Open Software Foundation is a company that has nothing to do with either the Free Software Foundation or OpenSource(TM). They're the company behind Motif(TM) among other things. There's a web page that seems to relate a little to what MS is talking about at http://www.jxml.com/papers/wwc/index.html [jxml.com] .
Not that I don't think MS is just trying to pass the buck, of course. It's kind of like saying: "other people have cheated on their taxes and gotten away with it, so why shouldn't I be able to get away with it?"

re: Get over it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991914)

yes yes! =)

Yes, OSS invented UUID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991915)

I think the artical is right about invention of UUID, but it is never intended to be used in this way -- associating user information with UUID or MAC. The scenario is like accussing peoples who invented fusion murderrers. Both inventions are intend for good purpose, only greedy abuse them.

Scary! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991916)

Is there anyone stupid ot naive enough to
believe that they did it for tech support
purposes? How about a real mainstream boycott
of M$ products, by which I mean an effort by
Windows users to assert their rights?

BTW, M$ promised to expunge collected records
from their databases. But the key here is that
they did not name an independent audit company
to oversee the proceedings. Thus I conclude it
is only a trick and a lie. Anyone disagree?

What happens.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1991917)

And any fool who would actually put his real name into one of those M$ reg forms deserves whatever he gets...

I've been "Program User" working for "Company Name" for at least 10 years now.

Boy, I wish Company Name had a better retirement plan. And the medical benefits suck, too!

Scary, but... (1)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992049)


You know, it'd be interesting to have the setup
programs for the different distros have an option
to "phone home" -- give us some idea of a census
of the Linux comminuty. I wouldn't dream of it
being this sneaky and underhanded, but I can't
imagine why I *wouldn't* want to be counted in
such a way.

At the end of the install process, just say
something like "We are trying to get a reasonable
count of how many people use Linux. To be counted,
say "Yes" here. We won't keep any other info than
which IP you're at and what distro you're using."

I don't see anything wrong with that, so long as
the terms weren't violated.

----

And Ford can put tracking devices on cars... (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992055)

...for their own use, telling folks they aren't there. If people buy 'em, it's their responsability. Right?

Making software that sends information without permission is every bit as morally wrong.

binary file formats suck (1)

berrs (1127) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992073)

Anything that can't be edited with a texteditor
should be banned! :-)

This is NOT a grand conspiracy (1)

Stu Charlton (1311) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992074)

COM/DCOM is based open the OSF's DCE RPC when calling remote objects. Objects are identified using a Globally Unique Identifier (GUID), which usually is a fudging of your MAC address + a timestamp + some randomness.

CORBA does this too, though in a slightly different way, (plus it usually hides its unique identifiers from the end-programmer through a persistent name that's called through a COSNaming service, which is why its a lot less clunky to use than COM).

MS did not do this intentionally to 'track' people, it's a way of insuring uniqueness in a theoretical "universal distributed object" namespace.

For a bunch of technical people, I'm surprised you guys don't see the logic of this. Did you even read the whole article? It was pure FUD - the quotes in the article were totally uninformed about the real use of these GUIDs.

Sure, it's kind of annoying, and I'm in favor of a better uniqueness algorithm that DOESN'T use my MAC addy, but this isn't something to get totally worked up over - MS will fix it (they have to, or it'll be a PR nightmare. Try explaining a GUID to a cluebie.)

structured storage (1)

Stu Charlton (1311) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992075)

Office documents use the COM structured storage API to save info, from my inderstanding, so essentially, a doc is a serialized com object.

Of course, if this is wrong (which I doubt), you have a point.

Scary, but... (1)

dangermouse (2242) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992088)

whoa. careful there, you might start a panic. (Or throw another stick on the ignorance fire.)

Slackware sends an email from Patrick Volkerding to root when installed, and asks very nicely for the newly-rooted to visit the Linux Counter and register.

It does not "phone home" all by itself.

Something Even More Scary... (1)

pridkett (2666) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992089)

Here is something even more scary...
There are these wonderful things that you can use to purchase things without money, I believe they're called credit cards. Anyway, you can buy stuff over the internet, or from the local store, or even of TV Informercials. But then they keep track of where you bought stuff! Good GOD! And for about 7 cents a piece companies can buy 4000 pieces of information about from places like Experian. You have no privacy. Deal with it, okay?

Yes they did. (1)

slothbait (2922) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992091)

and Caldera hit them with a big lawsuit over it.

Scary nuttin, this is illegal. (1)

Squeeze Truck (2971) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992092)

Blizzard got in big trouble for doing this.
Class-action suit anyone?

Just wiped out my last Windows box :-)


--
As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.

That is immaterial. (1)

Squeeze Truck (2971) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992093)

Aside from the legal issues, how many people do you know that really like their movements tracked?
How many folks would stop using MS stuff RIGHT NOW if they knew? 30% More?


--
As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.

Get over it... (1)

Squeeze Truck (2971) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992094)

Yes. Let's all take some soma, and get over it.

Leave the thinking to the Alphas, they are so frightfully clever!
I am glad I am an Epsilon-minus semi-moron. Operating elevators is where true joy lies!


--
As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.

Hmm... (1)

dattaway (3088) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992098)

I bet they look for Warez d00ds with it.

It would be nice if they hunted them down and prosecuted them; however, I think it is much worse. Does the typical company use Microsoft software? Is it all properly licensed? Shareware registered? They can build a database and calculate the top violators for the so called Microsoft/SPA raids. Ever wonder why so many companies so easily fall for a Total Microsoft Solution after a raid?

Do not use improperly licensed software. It gets expensive if you are caught and coerced into a "settlement."

They have yet to get on my case (1)

dattaway (3088) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992099)

However, will say that I have been used many illegal copies of Windows for some time.

I have every right to report your unauthorized software to the SPA and Microsoft. They have every right to prosecute violations to the maximum extent of the law. If you cannot pay the price, you will be doing the time.

Gates wants to be Napoleon, not Hitler (1)

Po (3303) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992104)

I seem to recall that he is a huge fan of Napoleon.

Which just begs the question: which disaster will be his Waterloo?

Gates is a very neurotic person (1)

YogSothoth (3357) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992105)

Consider the behavior of an anorexic, that person is driven by a thought "I need to be thin" that overrides everything - they may look in the mirror and see a bag of bones but "I need to be thin" continues to be their driving goal, they may step on the scale and see 70 pounds but "I need to be thin" pushes them onward. I think for bill gates that thought is "I need to demonstrate that I am a success". Think about it, the guy became exceedingly rich and powerful *years* ago but is still fixated on the thought that somehow, someway someone might come along and take him down a peg. I suppose he feels like without his accomplishments he'd be left with just himself and that is apparently a terrifying thought. You know, MS might well have been able to beat out Netscape by just making a better product but because of Gates' paranoia they had to stack the deck - coerce all the AOL users into using IE, bundle IE with the OS - Gates couldn't leave any possibility that he might not come out the victor. You know, thinking about it there are some scary parallels with Hitler's behavior. Initially he did a great deal for Germany but in the end it was ultimately his neurotic nature that caused his country's downfall. I suppose it goes without saying that history has an annoying tendency to repeat itself.

Blizzard? (1)

Shrubbman (3807) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992110)

A friend of mine told me that when you run a copy of any of their games in Windows and then use any internet gaming features, the game copies information from your registry and sends it to Blizzard. This is just what I was told second hand so it might not be totally accurate.

This really frightens me... (1)

Stargazer (4144) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992113)

I used to be one of the few around here (it seems) that didn't think using Microsoft software was one of the worst things a human being could do. I've changed my mind since reading that article.
This database -- which seems to already exist -- could have plenty of information about anybody out there who has ever used a recent Windows product. Me being one of those people, unfortunately, this news shocks me to no end. I will not tolerate these "bugs" any more.
I also find it interesting that they try to point the finger at the Open Software Foundation, saying that it was some sort of standard at the time. That is nothing but bull and a pathetic attempt to save face.
This could become a very clear argument in favor for using free software. GNU&Linux forever!

MS has every right (1)

gid (5195) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992117)

You don't get the whole point behind privacy, don't you? Try educating youself on the subject, it will make come accross as a far more intelligent person when posting on subjects such as these.

Surprise, surprise, surprise!!! (1)

Rick Crelia (5412) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992118)


There's another little dollop of code over in Cambridge that can help with this matter:

ftp://net-dist.mit.edu/pub/PGP/ [mit.edu]

I spose the bright side to all this is...um, well...I guess there isn't one after all.

They have yet to get on my case (1)

Nagash (6945) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992123)

Frankly, I don't care. They can track me all they want. I also think that, assuming that the article is true, what Microsoft is doing is very underhanded, nasty and reprehensible. It's akin to spying. They should be brought up on this.

However, will say that I have been used many illegal copies of Windows for some time. Also, their number of users has got rather inflated as I ususally use a different name every time I have to install it - which is _very_ often.

Maybe it's just to inflate their egos - "The more installs we have, the better our OS is!"

Patch? (1)

deusx (8442) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992133)

So many things I could say, but I just have to shake my head at this. Just hope WordPerfect for Linux doesn't preserve this ID.

Any enterprising h4xx0r want to make a patch to corrupt/obscure/wipe this ID?

And, seeing the number of scans & attacks hammering my machines on this cable modem network makes me wonder if there's a possible bit of nastiness that could be done by submitting a flood of bogus ID's to MS Windows Update?

All academic ponderings, I assure you...

Hmm... (1)

Ex Machina (10710) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992144)

I bet they look for Warez d00ds with it.

xm@GeekMafia.dynip.com [http://GeekMafia.dynip.com/]

Hmm... Warez? (1)

Ex Machina (10710) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992145)

I bet they look for Warez d00ds with it. 1st POST!

xm@GeekMafia.dynip.com [http://GeekMafia.dynip.com/]

This is not new news. The change of attitude is. (1)

Chrome Void (12097) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992152)

Ralph Nader wrote President Clinton about this
very subject not long ago.

http://lists.essential.org/1995/info-policy-note s/msg00151.html

Microsoft is only changing their mind to the idea because they cannot stand the bad PR hits that they will take if they don't immediately recant.

Score another hit for why OSS is ultimately going to win this war.

This is not new news. The change of attitude is. (1)

Chrome Void (12097) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992153)

Ralph Nader wrote President Clinton about this very subject not long ago. http://lists.essential.org/1995/info-policy-notes/ msg00151.html Microsoft is only changing their mind to the idea because they cannot stand the bad PR hits that they will take if they don't immediately recant. Score another hit for why OSS is ultimately going to win this war.

WAIT WAIT WAIT (1)

Wag the Dog (12835) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992158)

No, No, No. Yes, transmitting the GUID to MS is bad, but the storage of the number in documents is just as troubling, as is the use in creating cookies as implied in the article. It's just the bad design of OLE if this is "required." I can see a session based UUID, but one that is stored in the documents themselves is just ignorant.

MS has every right (1)

Wag the Dog (12835) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992159)

Did you read the freekin article? What's your response to the possibility of a company finding out who a whistleblower is because thier "ID" is stored in a document they create and send to authorities?

Why are you an AC if you don't mind everyone knowing every single document that you authored and being able to tie them back to you?

SUE! (1)

MJL (14766) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992167)

I believe, if it is within our right, we can sue! MS over this.

Is there a site yet dedicated to this fact?
-Michael J. Lu

"You have no privacy anyway, get over it." (1)

stx23 (14942) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992168)

Isn't that what Scott McNealy said?
Get the feeling they know something you don't?

YOU HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT (1)

webslacker (15723) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992171)

According to the article, the ID can only be generated when your name and a few other serial numbers are combined together. For M$ to have your name, you have to have registered, and although there's a zillion poor slobs out there who registered Office and Windows in order to get M$ tech support (which you and i both know is an oxymoron)... US SMART PEOPLE NEVER REGISTERED THEIR M$ PRODUCTS!!!

Scary, but... (1)

RedGuard (16401) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992172)


Slakware 3.4 (at least) already does this

MS has every right (1)

LanMan (16456) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992173)

Yes, they do have a right to do whatever they want with the software they develop. *But* if they are collecting and sending this type of information out over the net, they have a responsibility to tell everyone about it *before* they make it available for purchase. How long has thing kind of crap been going on with MS products?

Who on Slashdot is Stupid enough.... (1)

MikeTurk (18201) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992178)

OK, my question is who on Slashdot is stupid enough to have a PC running a Microsoft PC set up at home (at least) so it can access the Internet? I've felt for years this would be a very bad thing to do. Microsoft has shown for Years that they can not be trusted in this respect.

Not all of us are the sole users of every computer in the house. My mom has no interest in Linux, and I wouldn't want to teach her anyway (she's so irritating!). We have dual-boot on 2 of 3 computers, and win98 only on the third. Linux is ready for primetime in the server market, but it can't run Photoshop, Word (for my mom), or any of my games. So back off.

Mike
--

Microsoft ID (1)

jaqbot (20264) | more than 15 years ago | (#1992186)

Micro$haft Doesn't Deserve Sympathy This time. Not even about warez or any other thing, no one has any right to say they HAVE the right to see what you are doing. The EULA, does in no way say you will be monitored or subject to. As well it says in no way that any personal information or property will be tagged, tracked, etc. Micosoft has no right to do that, whether you want to buy their software or not.
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