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  1. #51
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hierophant
    The test of whether a series of APIs is part of the Operating System is whether or not it can be used with other applications without further changes.......{snipped for brevity}
    Excellent post. I couldn't agree with it more. It also covered part of the points I was trying to make. Microsoft's introduction of spyware detection software was a good stop gap solution to a problem created by compromises Microsoft had made in the past between functionality and security. I don't look at discussing the security laps of Microsoft compared to other solutions and why Microsoft software has more problems as "Microsoft bashing" I look at it as acknowledging the problem so that one can find solutions to it. These solutions include things Microsoft can do (e.g. providing a firewall and spyware detection software) and what users can do. Having a myopic belief that Microsoft products are only vulnerable because they are so ubiquitous fails to look at the real problem.

    They say, hind sight is 20/20 and I'm sure if Microsoft looked back on the way things have been done over the years, there are many things they would have done differently (e.g. the way ActiveX functions). As, however, they don't have the luxury of rewriting history. They must address security issues given the realities that exist today. This means, they are limited as to how they can disable ActiveX due to the ramifications it would have among many of their partners. As such providing free software for users like this spyware program is a good move. The thing is, non-Microsoft developers also need to acknowledge shortcomings in MSIE only web technologies like ActiveX and VBScript and rethink their use of these technologies in web based applications.
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  2. #52
    SitePoint Member Sting_2004's Avatar
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    My dad downloaded this yesterday. He said it worked well. GJ Microsoft :-D

  3. #53

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    I ask you again, please name a single spyware (read, no worm no virus) which came through an actual security leak in Microsoft's applications.

    Quote Originally Posted by KLB
    Please define the following:
    • Current implementation of ActiveX - current as of when? What patch or version? The following is a registry entry I found inserted on one of my computers by an ActiveX control after I watched the individual access the related website. This happened in Febuary of 2004.
    • Define proper security configuration for ActiveX. I asked this before, but you have chosen to ignore that request.
    Current as always. The ActiveX technology simply cant run "secure". And apparently you once again decided not to read my postings, because this configuration can be found in http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...4&postcount=35

    Quote Originally Posted by KLB
    Also:
    • Give examples of how Apache makes use of core OS functionality just like IIS. For instance Windows file permissions and ACLs
    If Apache doesnt utilise core OS functionality, I am seriously wondering how it can open files, spawn threads, start processes ..... how it can actually run at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by KLB
    You have stated that MSIE is not part of the OS, it most certainly is. Yes you can disable access to it, but you can not fully remove MSIE from Windows the way you can remove Firefox. Even fingers of Outlook Express and Microsoft Messenger always exist on a Windows system after they has been "uninstalled."
    Once again you decided to ignore my posts. As I said, there is no official way to remove these applications. But it is definitely possible. You really want to say Microsoft cant develop an operating system that does not depend on a browser functionality? Good joke!
    Last edited by drzoid; Jan 11, 2005 at 00:19.

  4. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Viflux
    We went through a project about 18 months ago where our mission was to remove IE from our user's desktops.

    After many discussions with IBM and their Microsoft Engineers, it was determined that in order for ANY Windows Update functionality, the core components of Internet Explorer are necessary.

    It may or may not be correct, but I wouldn't wager on the IBM guys playing that card unless it was true.
    You repeat yourself.

    You already said that the IE is required for windowsupdate.microsoft.com. So whats the deal? A website requires a certain browser! And? How does this make it an integral part of the operating system?

  5. #55
    l º 0 º l silver trophybronze trophy lo0ol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drzoid
    You already said that the IE is required for windowsupdate.microsoft.com. So whats the deal? A website requires a certain browser! And? How does this make it an integral part of the operating system?
    Nowadays you can't get much done without visiting that site. If you don't visit it you're either stupid, ignorant (which isn't a bad thing; some people just don't know yet), or never connected to the internet. The first two is bad enough; the third is just repulsive.
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  6. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by KLB
    I agree with you that not being able to access windows update if IE is "uninstalled" is not appropriate proof that IE is tied to the OS.
    You agree with me? I am impressed

    Quote Originally Posted by KLB
    However, try to uninstall IE. Tell us how this is done. Besides web browsing, what other functionality do you lose?
    As I numerously times stated there is no official way to remove it, but this doesnt mean it cant be done.

    Quote Originally Posted by KLB
    Also tell us what happens if you go to windows explorer and type in the domain name of your favorite website. Better yet do this when your default browser is set to something other than MSIE. MSIE is part of the windows operating system and Microsoft made sure that they are all but inseparable. Yes this was done for legal reasons; however the fact remains Windows and IE have become inseparable. Yes you can hide the browser interface from users, but the core code still exists and functions.
    Its true, certain applications may rely on the browser library, but again this doesnt make it part of the operating system. How often do I need to repeat this now over and over again?

  7. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by lo0ol
    Nowadays you can't get much done without visiting that site. If you don't visit it you're either stupid, ignorant (which isn't a bad thing; some people just don't know yet), or never connected to the internet. The first two is bad enough; the third is just repulsive.
    So I am stupid and ignorant. Thanks for your nice words

  8. #58

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    I have to say I am actually a bit disappointed. So far I always thought at Sitepoint people meet who are competent and experienced. A posting like the one below shows this is unfortunately not true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hierophant
    The test of whether a series of APIs is part of the Operating System is whether or not it can be used with other applications without further changes.

    The following applications use and rely on the IEHTML API distributed with Windows in order to operate: Windows Media Player, Microsoft Office, Intuit's Quicken, Most WYISYWG HTML Editors, Outlook Express, Norton Anti-virus, Active Desktop, Windows Help, Topstyle 3 and many more.
    So! Some applications require a user space library to be installed in order to provide certain functionality. And you are saying this simply makes this library an actual part of the operating system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hierophant
    I actually think this is a good thing and belief that the rendering of HTML objects should be done at the operating system level.


    "operating system level" what?????

    You are saying the IE is running in kernel space in ring 0???? That made my day :biggrin:

    The IE uses (like other applications) just a user space library which happens to render HTML.

    So am I right when I assume you are basically saying NT 4 and XP are inherently incompatible systems, because NT 4 never came with an "integrated" IE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hierophant
    No other operating system outside of the Macintosh OS has acheived the simplicity of setup, use and connectivity that Windows has brought to the computer world. With ease of use you sacrifice security and visa versa. This really has nothing to do with the code or what is part of the OS or isn't. Most exploits (worms, trojans, viruses, spyware, et al.) are not created because of holes or flaws in the code but through published APIs. Every Microsoft API is thoroughly documented and available to anyone with an Internet Connection. No amount of built-in security is going to overcome human action. Even the most secure networks with User-Based permissions installed and "zero maintanence policies" are brought down because of people downloading some game off the Internet and playing it on their work computer. Doesn't matter what you do to lock out the fools because a better fool always comes along.
    I agree

  9. #59
    l º 0 º l silver trophybronze trophy lo0ol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drzoid
    So I am stupid and ignorant. Thanks for your nice words
    Umm... you've completely taken that the wrong way. I meant it as a light-hearted way of saying patch your freaking boxes to whomever is reading this, as it's the unpatched boxes that are causing all of the viruses, worms, etc chaos that is going on nowadays.
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    Zach Holman
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  10. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by lo0ol
    Umm... you've completely taken that the wrong way. I meant it as a light-hearted way of saying patch your freaking boxes to whomever is reading this, as it's the unpatched boxes that are causing all of the viruses, worms, etc chaos that is going on nowadays.
    You can install patches also via regular hot-fixes, service packs, etc. You dont need to ever visit windowsupdate.microsoft.com. I couldnt even do that, because I have ActiveX disabled and this site happened to require it - for some reason

  11. #61
    l º 0 º l silver trophybronze trophy lo0ol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drzoid
    You can install patches also via regular hot-fixes, service packs, etc. You dont need to ever visit windowsupdate.microsoft.com. I couldnt even do that, because I have ActiveX disabled and this site happened to require it - for some reason
    Yes, but windowsupdate.microsoft.com is by far the easiest way. Especially for the end-user who doesn't want to deal with all of that.
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  12. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by lo0ol
    Yes, but windowsupdate.microsoft.com is by far the easiest way. Especially for the end-user who doesn't want to deal with all of that.
    That may be true, yet you do not HAVE to go there, as you stated.
    Quote Originally Posted by lo0ol
    Nowadays you can't get much done without visiting that site.

  13. #63
    l º 0 º l silver trophybronze trophy lo0ol's Avatar
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    I don't HAVE to breathe air, yet I choose to. It's the easiest way to keep me alive.

    This is the last time I get in one of these stupid discussions.
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    Zach Holman
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  14. #64

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    This thread became completely off topic.

    The basic point was and still is that Microsoft is not responsible for Spyware in the first place (as KLB stated initially). Spyware might get installed due to improper ActiveX settings, but beside that there isnt much of a chance for it to get installed without user interaction. And even when it came through ActiveX, it usually only comes from "typical" dubious sites, where users should either not go at all or better be careful.

  15. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by lo0ol
    I don't HAVE to breathe air, yet I choose to. It's the easiest way to keep me alive.

    This is the last time I get in one of these stupid discussions.
    You HAVE, because you have no other option.

  16. #66
    l º 0 º l silver trophybronze trophy lo0ol's Avatar
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    Fine, I don't have to go to the grocery store to purchase all of my food, but I choose to instead of going out and hunting and gathering myself.

    Off Topic:


    Sad... I wondered offhandedly if we had [ontopic] tags here.


    I tried out their spyware offering earlier tonight and it was good. It didn't pick up all too much though, mostly due to the fact that I'm an avid Firefox user. It did pick up some extra fringe things, but it was pretty stupid meaningless things that I wouldn't call spyware. I also don't really want it running in the background all the time and that was a bit troublesome to take off, but now it's going well. I'll give it some more trial time.
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  17. #67
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    I think one of the big problems drzoid's argument is getting hung up on defining the term spyware. I think most people Microsoft included would define the purpose of a "spyware" removal program to be wider than just keystroke loggers and software that reported on Internet behavior. Yes for simplicity sake Microsoft called their program a spyware removal tool, but lets face it, it also deals with malware such as stuff that turns machines into zombies. Which managed to get onto a Windows based operating system by way of know exploits such as buffer overflows, unsecured ports, etc. I personally don't see why there should be separate programs to do virus checking and spyware detection. There should be a single malware detection and removal program that takes care of all such threats.

    Yes from an absolutely purist standpoint one would consider the OS to be just the kernel. We all know, however, in practice this is not true. Windows is a large collection of files beyond the kernel that make Windows well, Windows. For all practical purposes, MSIE is not removable from the OS. Sure some intrepid software engineer may be able to document a method to extract MSIE from Windows, however, it will cripple functionality in Windows well beyond simple web browsing and the skills required to do this are well beyond 90% of Windows users. As such to claim MSIE is not part of the Windows OS is patently false.

    Also another point that has been conveniently ignored is the fact that the ability to understand and configure security zones in a "safe" manner is simply beyond the average user. They are goal oriented. If some vendor (like the bank in my example) says to use our site you need to set your security settings on X, most users will go okay these people know what they are talking about and follow those instructions blindly. It isn't their fault, they simply don't have the technical skills to understand.

    Microsoft has promoted how easy their products are to use, and they have targeted the consumer market. As such Microsoft has to expect that they will need to do hand holding for large segments of their customer base and will need to design software that is as safe as possible without requiring lots of technical decisions. Popups and warnings about this or that are pointless because users won't understand most of them and thus will simply get in the habit of clicking "okay" to everything.

    So the "spyware" or more correctly malware problem is partially Microsoft's responsibility as they made their products easy for non-technical consumers to use but failed to make it easy enough for them to stay safe and secure. By releasing this "malware" detection and removal tool they are recognizing their responsibilities to their customers and trying to help alleviate a specific pain that consumers feel. This is just plain good business.
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  18. #68
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hierophant
    Read his posts in other threads. He is here for no other reason to stir up trouble. If the word Windows is mentioned in a thread he starts his trolling.
    Point noted, I shall try to resist his bait.

    I really would like to see how this software is working for others. As I want to know if it is going to be worth recommending. I'm all for anyone who tries to find a solution to the woes users face, without fleecing those users. I look at anti-virus software as paid "protection." If Microsoft wants to protect their users for "free" i'm all for it.
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  19. #69
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    I have been running this software on my machine since it was released and I like it. Hasn't found anything on my machine but it sits in the tray and works behind the scenes. Haven't noticed any excess resource usage or computer slowdowns and it does a complete scan every night while I am asleep.
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  20. #70
    l º 0 º l silver trophybronze trophy lo0ol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLB
    I really would like to see how this software is working for others. As I want to know if it is going to be worth recommending. I'm all for anyone who tries to find a solution to the woes users face, without fleecing those users. I look at anti-virus software as paid "protection." If Microsoft wants to protect their users for "free" i'm all for it.
    Hmmm... I don't want it to run in the background constantly and I thought I had that fixed but it still seems that it wants to start up on restart every time unfortunately. Grr....
    .
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  21. #71
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Ok, guys. This has reached the point where the green guys are gonna lock this thread unless it gets civilized again. This topic is of interest to many people so let's try to stay on topic please and avoid the personal attacks. If anyone wants to discuss Microsoft security any further, please start your own thread.

  22. #72
    SitePoint Zealot willoworks's Avatar
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    I started having problems with my Spam Inspector software by giant company today. Machine drags to a crawl everytime mail is checked. I went to thier website and lo and behold - that is what Microsoft bought - the whole shebang. Spyware, spam inspector, etc. That may be why my machine has gotten slow - typical MS Bloat!
    They say they will still support Giant Software products - I'll see if they answer my support request.

  23. #73
    l º 0 º l silver trophybronze trophy lo0ol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willoworks
    I started having problems with my Spam Inspector software by giant company today. Machine drags to a crawl everytime mail is checked. I went to thier website and lo and behold - that is what Microsoft bought - the whole shebang. Spyware, spam inspector, etc. That may be why my machine has gotten slow - typical MS Bloat!
    They say they will still support Giant Software products - I'll see if they answer my support request.
    Ignoring your Microsoft gripes, I don't think that because Microsoft bought the rights to your product means it magically stops working all of a sudden, unless you recently upgraded or the like. I doubt that Microsoft really did all that much work on the product themselves anyway.
    .
    Zach Holman
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  24. #74
    SitePoint Zealot willoworks's Avatar
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    I only thought that because the software checks and downloads updates and database definitions everyday, and suddenly after today's update I started having problems. They may have added "features" or dramtically increased definitions.

  25. #75
    l º 0 º l silver trophybronze trophy lo0ol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willoworks
    dramtically increased definitions.
    That wouldn't be so bad, would it?
    .
    Zach Holman
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