Author Topic: SoftPedia -> Adware in CIS ?! [merged threads]  (Read 225903 times)

Offline Softpedia

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Re: SoftPedia -> Adware in CIS ?!
« Reply #75 on: April 16, 2009, 06:21:59 PM »
which 3 problems exactly pls?

thanks
Melih
(1) Attempts to change the homepage for web browsers installed on the system
(2) Attempts to change the default search engine for web browsers installed on the system
(3) Offers to download or install software or components (such as browser toolbars) that the program does not require to fully function: SafeSurf

Offline HeffeD

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Re: SoftPedia -> Adware in CIS ?!
« Reply #76 on: April 16, 2009, 06:28:08 PM »
Even though SiteAdvisor is doing it, is that a reason for SafeSurf to? 

I don't think so...

which 3 problems exactly pls?

The other two being that the CIS installer wants to also change the users start page and default search page.

Also note from the first post from Softpedia, if these options were simply made opt-in, they would be able to list CIS as freeware.

From what I have seen on your website, a lot of Comodo users agree with us that these options should be removed or at least made "opt-in." In either case the program would be marked as Freeware and in the second one the options don't even have to be removed.


Doesn't sound like a difficult fix to me...

Offline Melih

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Re: SoftPedia -> Adware in CIS ?!
« Reply #77 on: April 16, 2009, 06:31:15 PM »
(1) Attempts to change the homepage for web browsers installed on the system
(2) Attempts to change the default search engine for web browsers installed on the system
(3) Offers to download or install software or components (such as browser toolbars) that the program does not require to fully function: SafeSurf

Thank you..

Can you pls clarify the word "attempt". As far as I know we do NOT "attempt". Only if the user continues with the selected section will it get installed. So I would appreciate further clarification on your wording "attempt" pls.

thanks
Melih

Offline LaserWraith

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Re: SoftPedia -> Adware in CIS ?!
« Reply #78 on: April 16, 2009, 06:54:17 PM »
Thank you..

Can you pls clarify the word "attempt". As far as I know we do NOT "attempt". Only if the user continues with the selected section will it get installed. So I would appreciate further clarification on your wording "attempt" pls.

thanks
Melih



It is clear that you want them to get the homepage and search engine changed by automatically selecting those options. 

WordWeb describes the verb "attempt": To enter upon an activity or enterprise

Your "enterprise" is to get the defaults changed so that you will make money.  As I recall, Ask.com pays people who do activities like what Comodo is doing.


See, "sponsored results" (same thing as "ads") (there are more on the bottom of the search results page):


Offline Melih

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Re: SoftPedia -> Adware in CIS ?!
« Reply #79 on: April 16, 2009, 08:46:07 PM »


It is clear that you want them to get the homepage and search engine changed by automatically selecting those options. 

WordWeb describes the verb "attempt": To enter upon an activity or enterprise

Your "enterprise" is to get the defaults changed so that you will make money.  As I recall, Ask.com pays people who do activities like what Comodo is doing.


See, "sponsored results" (same thing as "ads") (there are more on the bottom of the search results page):



as per your description, safesurf does NOT enter upon an activity or enterprise. Only user can enable that.

Again, I would like to hear Softpedia's meaning of attempt is as safesurf does NOT attempt.

Melih

Offline HeffeD

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Re: SoftPedia -> Adware in CIS ?!
« Reply #80 on: April 16, 2009, 09:07:37 PM »
Attempt - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

Quote
Main Entry:
    attempt
Pronunciation:
    \ə-ˈtem(p)t\
Function:
    transitive verb
Etymology:
    Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French attempter, from Latin attemptare, from ad- + temptare to touch, try -- more at tempt
Date:
    14th century

1: to make an effort to do, accomplish, solve, or effect <attempted to swim the swollen river>
2 archaic : tempt
3 archaic : to try to subdue or take by force : attack

synonyms attempt, try, endeavor, essay, strive mean to make an effort to accomplish an end. attempt stresses the initiation or beginning of an effort <will attempt to photograph the rare bird>. try is often close to attempt but may stress effort or experiment made in the hope of testing or proving something <tried to determine which was the better procedure>. endeavor heightens the implications of exertion and difficulty <endeavored to find crash survivors in the mountains>. essay implies difficulty but also suggests tentative trying or experimenting <will essay a dramatic role for the first time>. strive implies great exertion against great difficulty and specifically suggests persistent effort <continues to strive for peace>.

Number one would be the definition that applies here...

The current CIS installer is definitely making an effort to get these processes accomplished. In other words, the installer is attempting to make these system changes unless the user intervenes and tells it not to do so.

Edit: Added the link to the definition as it's easier to read the synonyms section on the actual web page.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 09:11:05 PM by HeffeD »

Offline Melih

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Re: SoftPedia -> Adware in CIS ?!
« Reply #81 on: April 16, 2009, 09:15:51 PM »
interesting definition...

So if the user doesn't press the button, how is safesurf attempting it? Is there an automatic process launching to "attempt" to do all the stuff you are saying? As far as I can see, unless there is a user consent and user action there is no attempt!

Can someone show me how without a user action and user consent safesurf is doing anything?

thanks

Melih


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Re: SoftPedia -> Adware in CIS ?!
« Reply #82 on: April 16, 2009, 09:35:51 PM »
interesting definition...

So if the user doesn't press the button, how is safesurf attempting it? Is there an automatic process launching to "attempt" to do all the stuff you are saying? As far as I can see, unless there is a user consent and user action there is no attempt!

Can someone show me how without a user action and user consent safesurf is doing anything?

thanks

Melih



Melih, with all due respect, you either don't understand what we're saying, or you don't want to.
It's more than obvious that if the user chooses not to install SafeSurf, Ask.com toolbar also won't be installed.
But, as I mentioned in one of my posts, by default the installation of SafeSurf comes preselected. Then, there is no clear information what will protect users from, as in buffer overflow/shell code injection; it only says it will protect users while they browse. That's a very generic information, and misleading people to believe that they will be safer with SafeSurf than without it. This is not truth, as the same protection is provided by Defense+. So, people will be installing, considering that, supposedly, they will be more protected, while they won't.
All for the sake of an agreement with IAC, for more revenue.

Resuming, neither SafeSurf and Ask.com are needed to protect your users. SafeSurf, because, that same protection is provided by Defense+. Ask.com toolbar, because, even if SafeSurf was needed, the toolbar wouldn't provide any additional security, nor would be needed for the product to function.

This is more than clear, I believe.

Offline HeffeD

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Re: SoftPedia -> Adware in CIS ?!
« Reply #83 on: April 16, 2009, 09:55:35 PM »
interesting definition...

Well yes, Merriam-Webster is one of the leading English dictionaries.

So if the user doesn't press the button, how is safesurf attempting it? Is there an automatic process launching to "attempt" to do all the stuff you are saying? As far as I can see, unless there is a user consent and user action there is no attempt!

Can someone show me how without a user action and user consent safesurf is doing anything?

Seriously?? No offense intended here, but I'm trying to figure out if there is just a language situation here or if you are being purposefully obtuse. 

Yes, there is an automatic process. By default, the installer checks all of these options for you. If you do not uncheck these, you will get the Ask toolbar, your homepage changed, and your default search engine changed. The installer attempts to install these by default.

I mean come on, by selecting these as the default action of the installer people can only assume that:
  • A- You hope the user isn't paying attention and will simply click 'Next'.
  • B- You hope the user doesn't realize what these options actually do, so they leave them alone.
  • C- You assume the user actually wants these services installed.

I'm going to guess that "C" isn't the big draw here...

Honestly, why do you even have these options in the installer? Surely there has to be some motive for them being there. SafeSurf is now redundant as the functionality is now part of D+, so why is it still in the installer? And as for changing the homepage and search engine, what does this actually accomplish? Is it just brand recognition? Because I promise you, anyone using CIS will be totally clear on your brand so this seems like an unnecessary 'feature'. What is the actual purpose behind them?

And yes, to actually have the installer install these, the user does give 'consent' by pressing the 'Next' button. However, it's a well known phenomenon that many users simply click 'Next' or 'OK' as quickly as possible without even reading what they are agreeing to in the installer, or they simply don't understand what the installer is trying to do, so they just let it do whatever it wants. Many questionable software developers are aware of this and end up causing these users to install more than they had bargained for and can say afterwards that the user had the option to opt-out so the are completely without blame. This is a very malware like practice and it looks hypocritical for a security application to try this sort of behavior.

I'm definitely not saying this is what you are doing so please don't get that idea, but by enabling these choices by default instead of the more responsible opt-in approach, surely you can see how this could make people question your motives?

Offline Melih

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Re: SoftPedia -> Adware in CIS ?!
« Reply #84 on: April 16, 2009, 10:05:22 PM »
Guys I understand what you are saying, but I would like to focus on the criteria that Softpedia has. I really want to understand what "attempt" is.

its not about our motives etc.. I am merely trying to understand the criteria and what it means. Maybe its the english language thats throwing me off balance here but "attempt" is something that the product would be initiating. The product itself does not initiate.

Yes we do make money from the toolbar...
Yes we have many grateful supporters who are more than happy to install it so that we can make money from it so that we can spend it back into making great products and offer it to you guys for free.

But thats not the point.. I simply want to understand the language they have for their classification. Your help in this particular matter is greatly welcome, but pls help me understand the language!

How can a piece of code that can't do anything until user gives its content assumed to be "attempting"? I mean if the code was trying to write to disk or modify something without the user's consent the I would agree with the word "attempting" but if there is no user consent then how can that be "attempting"?

Thanks
Melih

Offline panic

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Re: SoftPedia -> Adware in CIS ?!
« Reply #85 on: April 16, 2009, 10:47:07 PM »
Thank you..

Can you pls clarify the word "attempt". As far as I know we do NOT "attempt". Only if the user continues with the selected section will it get installed. So I would appreciate further clarification on your wording "attempt" pls.

thanks
Melih

They simply mean that the user has to make a conscious action during the installation to prevent potentially unintended or unwanted actions taking place.

If an average user downloaded the software, started the install and just clicked NEXT, NEXT, NEXT (as most average users do), they would have had their home page and their default search changed. These changes would have been made despite the users sole intention being to install a piece of software. These changes occur solely because they are pre-selected.

If they were not pre-selected, the average users could click to their hearts content and only install the software the intended to install and not introduce any incidental system changes.

Opt-in, not opt-out please.

Cheers,
Ewen :-)
As your mums would say, "If you can't play nice with all the other kiddies, go home".
All users are asked to please read and abide by the  Comodo Forum Policy.
If you can't conform, don't use the forum.

Offline Melih

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Re: SoftPedia -> Adware in CIS ?!
« Reply #86 on: April 16, 2009, 10:55:43 PM »
Thanks for the effort Ewen :)

I appreciate it..

But here is what I really want to find out...

Attempt in this scenerio mean something automatic without user's consent or not?

I do get that some users prefer opt in rather than opt out...

But again my question that I am still unclear about (and I think only softpedia can answer cos they are the ones that have written the definition themselves) is what is meant with "attempt"? Is this an automatic attempt without user consent or not? Attempt requires an action (afaik) in English language, and because the code does not take any action unless consented by the user I am trying to understand if they are trying to differentiate between adware that automatically modifies settings without user consent or not.

As you very well know the term adware is used traditionally for many software that modifies the user settings without user consent (automatically). Hence I am trying to understand the difference.

Thanks :)

Melih

Offline panic

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Re: SoftPedia -> Adware in CIS ?!
« Reply #87 on: April 16, 2009, 11:56:39 PM »
Rather than looking at it from a software authors perspective, look at it from Mr. and Mrs. Average's point of view.

What was Joe Average's intent when he downloaded the installer for application X?

He wants to install application X. He wants to start the installer and go CLICK - CLICK - CLICK and end up with application X installed and go on with his work. He may or may not know about the bundled installer for application Y that is included in the installer for application X.

If the bundled installer was an opt-in installer, then Joe can continue his CLICK - CLICK - CLICK approach.

Joe is happy.

If the bundled installer is an opt-out installer, when Joe does his CLICK - CLICK - CLICK routine, he ends up with applications X and Y installed, possibly a changed home page and possibly a changed search default.

Joe is not happy and blames the authors of application X (the one he actually wanted to install) for the introduction of application Y.

Joe doesn't care (nor IMHO should he) that he had the option to not install application Y. Joe only had the intent to install X and ended up with Y as well. Joe is not likely to blame himself, is he?

Now we just need to work out who is more right.  ;)

Cheers,
Ewen :-)
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All users are asked to please read and abide by the  Comodo Forum Policy.
If you can't conform, don't use the forum.

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Re: SoftPedia -> Adware in CIS ?!
« Reply #88 on: April 16, 2009, 11:58:30 PM »
Opt-in, not opt-out please.

+1 - Do this for HopSurf Melih. :-)

Cheers,
Josh

Offline Melih

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Re: SoftPedia -> Adware in CIS ?!
« Reply #89 on: April 17, 2009, 12:30:37 AM »
Rather than looking at it from a software authors perspective, look at it from Mr. and Mrs. Average's point of view.

What was Joe Average's intent when he downloaded the installer for application X?

He wants to install application X. He wants to start the installer and go CLICK - CLICK - CLICK and end up with application X installed and go on with his work. He may or may not know about the bundled installer for application Y that is included in the installer for application X.

If the bundled installer was an opt-in installer, then Joe can continue his CLICK - CLICK - CLICK approach.

Joe is happy.

If the bundled installer is an opt-out installer, when Joe does his CLICK - CLICK - CLICK routine, he ends up with applications X and Y installed, possibly a changed home page and possibly a changed search default.

Joe is not happy and blames the authors of application X (the one he actually wanted to install) for the introduction of application Y.

Joe doesn't care (nor IMHO should he) that he had the option to not install application Y. Joe only had the intent to install X and ended up with Y as well. Joe is not likely to blame himself, is he?

Now we just need to work out who is more right.  ;)

Cheers,
Ewen :-)


I do honestly appreciate that Ewen, however its not the Joe Average who have come up with those criterias. Its softpedia :). We are talking about an Organisation "Softpedia" and their "Classification Criteria". And what they mean in specific terminology when they refer to the word "Attempt".

I really do get the point that has been made over and over opt in vs opt out.. actually I got it at the first time when it was made :), to be honest I got that point many years ago when the word "user consent" was something new :)

However, my question, which I repeatedly asked is yet to be answered.

So again, I still look forward to Softpedia answering my question about definition of "Attempt".

thanks
Melih


 

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