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How do you feel about Windows Genuine Advantage?

by Marc Bennett CNET staff/forum admin / August 24, 2006 6:08 AM PDT

How do you feel about Windows Genuine Advantage?

Microsoft has a right to prevent piracy
It's too intrusive (How so?)
I don't use Windows
What's Windows Geniune Advantage?
I don't care

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The 2nd one.
by udayan71 / August 24, 2006 6:23 AM PDT

The reason I say that is because WGA didn't specifically say what it does, it didn't tell you that it phones home. Perhaps if it had things would have been different.


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WGA goes to far
by Diane Watkins / August 25, 2006 5:20 PM PDT
In reply to: The 2nd one.

Why should windows be able to dictate what you do or don't use? The finger it sticks into the pie by having a finger in -YOUR- system is too intrusive. Its like GM having a tracking device in your car and being able to chart your every move. I wish they would leave things as is and maybe people'd lose interest in hacking and stealing peoples lives

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GM and your car
by rhomp2002 / August 26, 2006 12:10 AM PDT
In reply to: WGA goes to far

That subject is already under discussion. There is legislation already under discussion in Congress that would require all manufacturers to install a black box in your car much like the black boxes that are on airplanes. This could check your use of seat belts, your speed, your direction of travel, your mileage, etc.

That is a subject for another discussion and should be brought up soon.

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by lightwavepro / August 26, 2006 6:03 AM PDT
In reply to: GM and your car

This technology has already been installed in many cars for several years now. If your car is a newer model, search for it attached under the passenger seat or behind the rear of the glove compartment under the dashboard. Don't mess with it because it might disable your car. A new thread should be started on how to bypass and remove it. Anything that ''spys'' on human individual behavior is used for social engineering, against natural selection, evolution and creationism. Simply put, it's good for them, it's bad for you.

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Are you serious?...
by BlazeEagle / September 3, 2006 3:22 PM PDT
In reply to: GM and your car

That is WAY too far & isn't needed. This is America NOT a communist nation!

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Yes, very serious!
by rhomp2002 / September 3, 2006 11:51 PM PDT
In reply to: Are you serious?...

I know there has also been talk which I have not followed about putting a device from Europe on the axles of trucks and using that to check on how long the drivers have been driving and where they have been driving. These devices would be used to ensure that the drivers do not go too long without a rest stop and do not drive more than x hours per day. They would be linked with a GPS system to check where the drivers went also and would graph it all out. The claim is that it would be for the security of the rest of the country from drivers doing 16 hours a day and using bennies, etc. This first came up about 10 years ago or so but I am not sure how far the discussion has gone and whether it ever went into actual use. The technology is already there.

Initially it was to be used in case of accidents. Then it was bandied about that the state police or the officials at weighing stations could check the devices and get readouts to check on the drivers. My guess was that the idea was to start with the truck drivers and then try to connect it with automatic mechanisms on cars to keep distance from other cars on the road as a defense mechanism against other drivers. I might be paranoid but I did not like the sounds of it then and like them even less now.

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Whew! Your not paranoid...
by BlazeEagle / September 9, 2006 1:33 PM PDT
In reply to: Yes, very serious!

This freaks me out too, so I share your fears!

Seems like America is slowly turning into a country with
restricted freedoms & many seem to let our great country slowly sink into a country with restricted freedoms.

Wake up people! & use your brains! You ought to be ashamed of yourselves!

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Paranoid! You bet! And not ashamed!
by gbear1970 / September 10, 2006 7:24 AM PDT

I am trying to figure out why America should be ashamed. Many years ago I said something to my son, who is a lawyer, about losing a right. I wasn't overly concerned at the time. This was long, long before terrorism was in the news daily and computers were regularly being hacked. His reply, "Mom, America has already lost so many of the civil rights the constitution gave them." And, no, he is NOT an ACLU lawyer. As a matter of fact, he often represents companies in lawsuits - all the way to the Supreme Court. Since that time, I became a history teacher and studied the writing of the Constitution and the reason for the Bill of Rights. I have watched our government strip one after another from us. And our courts have consistently ruled in favor of Microsoft in cases that clearly violated monopoly laws, etc. My husband worked as an aeronautic engineer and those companies are certainly "in bed" with the government. Our government now uses drugs, war, a need to know, and ad nausum as reasons for invading our rights. I have no doubt Microsoft and the government are ?in bed? together.

I never believed in the so-called "slippery-slope" philosophy until now. I have nothing to hide but we I think we are on a danger path and I think Bill Gates is part of it. So call me paranoid. Ashamed? NOT ONE DOGGONE BIT! It is called being aware!

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Being aware...
by BlazeEagle / September 21, 2006 3:21 PM PDT

If one isn't careful, being aware can turn into paranoia.

We should protect our constitution given rights WITHOUT losing our minds.

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Tracking devices
by lightwavepro / August 26, 2006 5:48 AM PDT
In reply to: WGA goes to far

Diane, it seems most people don't know auto companies do put tracking technology in your car. It's a black box about the size of your modem. It usually is attached under the passenger seat. It records things such as auto speed, braking speed and a host of other detail. Insurance companies use this information when determining conditions and fault for post accident investigations. And it's exactly this technology, just like Windows validation and all of Windows secret little hidden "index.dat" files that frightens me and angers me at the same time. For some reason, they prefer you don't know about it, or understand little about it, and usually make it so you can't delete or disable it. Every day we become more like the "Borg" and are forced to assimulate with resistance being futile.

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WGA would be all right if MS created a decent system
by gbear1970 / September 12, 2006 5:23 AM PDT
In reply to: The 2nd one.

How long has XP been out? And I am STILL getting weekly security flaws. Ridiculous!

Plus, I have my computer set to notify me about updates and then I check the ones I want or need. I just did that. They showed 4 security updates. When I clicked on the link to their Knowledge Base I was informed that 2 did not exist. NO INFO at all on what these updates were to do. So I unchecked them and checked to download the other two updates. Guess what?! It downloaded all 4 and then signaled it was ready to install.

Apparently they thought I was too stupid to check what had been downloaded. I only installed the two that I could find info about. Now I have an annoying flashing icon that I have more updating to do. Well, until MS chooses to let me know what it is that they want to put on my computer; it is not going to happen.

And, yes, they are supposedly MS updates - not another companies!

And why would anyone wonder why I don't trust them?

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making a little algebra, MS owes you:
by balonga / September 12, 2006 11:35 PM PDT

I am happy for you that you have so many free time to take such care with MS updates. But the most of the people just can not take such time, when they turn on they PC they are not looking forward to do a technical analysis of their sistems , they just want to work, browse, play ... by no way are people interested in working freely for MS. For the same reasons EULAs -so beloved by certain "antipiracy knights"- are severely questioned by unquestionable people.
Lets do some figures with me please
How long did it take to you the work you discribe in your message ? As you seem an skilled person I estimate it in 30 minutes or so but not less than 15 minutes.
How much is your work hour payed ? Lets say 20 dollars (circa 48,000 a year) Lets take this conservative number that is far bellow the mean value in MS although this last figure should be better since it is part of Windows costs.
Then each time that a user receives such updates mainly originated in MS errors -this user following the very reasonable method you pointed out- gives MS nearly 10 US dollars.
If this happens not weekly but just once a month you lose a hundred dollars a year. Finally if you bought your copy of XP (valued 300 dollars?) more than 3 years ago MS owes you money even if the copy is ilegal.
The fact is that MS sees the straw in others eyes and not the blindness in its own.

Bests regards
Pablo Balonga, PhD

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How much does Ford owe me?
by John.Wilkinson / September 13, 2006 3:11 PM PDT

* Oil changes.
* Flat tires.
* Busted fan belts.
* Dead batteries.

Do you know how many hours I've spent waiting for AAA? (That's an auto service that provides roadside service such as tows and jumpstarts.)

I for one am glad that companies don't have to pay us for performing routine maintenance...if they did, and at $20/hour, then they'd either all be out of business or charging us $1,000+ for Windows and $100,000+ for a Honda.

The fact is that businesses don't work like that.


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Obviously you are angry, your Ford example do not apply
by balonga / September 13, 2006 10:30 PM PDT

It is pretty obvious that you are angry because I put you in evidence for unfair conduct as moderator. Can't you see that you posted as many messages as all other people within the last 24 hours , and they were not objective technichal data, they were your opinions. I repeat, if you want to argue -even if you want to be a MS soldier at all cost, truth included- ok, but be a bit honest just resign as moderator.
Your angerness makes you reply without any foundation.
As in other car examples previously used in the forum, your example do not apply. Things became worn under previewed circumstances or are logically damaged as tyres that gets flat, that makes your time waiting for AAA. If AAA does not arrive soon you can complain to them and even lawsuit them.
There are many cases in which car companies have replaced defective parts. Not too much ago there was a general replacement for 4x4 tyres that had caused accidents. Something similar is going on with some laptop batteries, isnt it. Damaged people were given an indemnitazion others were payed or received a compensation for the troubles involved. Sony went back with they ill conceived CD plans, so must MS with WGA.

Pablo Balonga, PhD

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#1: Microsoft has a right to prevent piracy...
by John.Wilkinson / August 24, 2006 9:19 AM PDT

I know this will incite quite a lot of rebuttal (please remember the 'no flaming' rule), but I honestly believe that Microsoft has not gone far enough with their anti-piracy campaign. I feel they are far too lenient, letting users running cracked versions and/or using stolen product keys to continue using Windows with just various updates, downloads, and 'special features' cutoff, along with 'reminders' about going legit.

It is my firm belief that if they detect someone using a pirated version:
1.) Alert/reminder messages should be displayed immediately, prominently, and continually from that point on with no way to remove the message.
2.) The user should be given no more than three weeks to contact the manufacturer, seller, and/or Microsoft and prove the legitimacy of the license. That is, in my opinion, more than enough time, even around the holidays.
3.) If the copy is not verified within the time limit it should be locked down immediately, rendering the copy of Windows completely unusable.
4.) From then on, booting Windows should result in the screen to enter a valid product key and verification code...once entered Windows would be restored to full functionality.

I see far too many people running illegitimate copies of Windows and not caring the least bit about the "limited functionality" that Microsoft imposes. Why? They just got a $300 operating system for free...who cares if there are a few limitations? Microsoft needs to make them care! Microsoft simply has not done enough to protect their software...if they ever want to reduce piracy of their software they need to quit taking baby steps and law down the law, literally, enforce the law!

Despite the hard line approach when it comes to piracy, though, I believe that Microsoft must adopt a strict policy of informing the user that such checks will be carried out, before the user ever purchases the OS (or computer running it). Waiting until you begin installing Windows, Office, etc is not sufficient because by that point you no longer have the ability to take the software back...the store will not accept open software except for exchange of damaged goods. And the recent fiasco with not notifying the end user is completely unacceptable...the end user has a right to know if, and what, information is going to be reported to others ahead of time so that they can make an informed decision as to whether or not they wish to purchase the software and agree to the license or not.

That's my two cents.

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Right to prevent piracy
by ServaGBR / August 24, 2006 8:02 PM PDT

I agree wholeheartedly with Microsoft's right to prevent piracy. The alternative to this protection simply means a lack of developement of software. I do feel however, that MS's software is overpriced on the shelves. Perhaps it would pay to reduce retail prices and thus reduce the feelings that many people have that MS is stultifying the growth of alternative systems.

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I fully agree! What have you got to hide, after all?
by fun2program8 / August 24, 2006 10:55 PM PDT

...besides private business stuff, or whatever. I can see that. But it's not like M$ is going to steal that.

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Too far
by Batman / August 25, 2006 1:55 AM PDT

I totally agree that M/S has every right to protect itself from pirates.
What I dont agree with is the method in which they are going about it.
First, WGA is bogus. No to be political, but, the analogy seems the same. MS is acting like Gore did, when he lost the election. Kept doing everything possible to find a way to get the numbers turned to show he won. He went as far as to try to say that if there was a dimple, it shows intent.
It's very similar here, in that it only takes once to authenticate a version of windows. It does not need to be repeated every 3-4 weeks. The only purpose this could serve that I can see is, to find a way to illigimize a legitimate version of windows. As MS sits around their think tank, they can imagine new ways to make people's CD's illigimate.
Ok, I dont really think this is true. But, thanks to MS ideas, ie, activation, many companies are following suit. While I would think MS would not be doing this; can we be sure that Symantec wouldn't; or McAfee; what about Quicken; what about gaming companies; other software companies.
MS is treading on very unsafe waters, and theyre taking us with them.

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It's a slippery slope...
by BlazeEagle / September 22, 2006 3:47 PM PDT
In reply to: Too far

It opens the flood gate to other companies following the path that MS started.

By accepting WGA without question, Other companies may go further than MS has.

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What do I have to hide?
by gbear1970 / August 27, 2006 5:03 AM PDT

Nothing to the right authority. I don't believe this includes any and all techs working at MS. As someone else said, why do I have to be validated every 4 weeks? And never mind the nightmare of taking someone's recommendation to buy an HP and having 3 harddrive failures in 9 months. I should then buy XP again and again because I had to put in a new harddrive? And if you think MS doesn't already have a backdoor into your system, you are truly a babe in the woods. Those same tech that leave those cutesy little "Easter eggs" can be getting my SS number, my bank account and just about anything else they want. And, yes, I run a firewall, antivirus, anti-spam ware, and several spyware programs. I don't open emails unless I know the person and even then I sometimes don't open the attachments. I browse the web responsibly. Despite having every possible program checked that NOTHING was to be downloaded or updated without my permission, I find that MS from time to time has found a way to add some little item to my computer. I check the system regularly and keep a printout so I can compare them. There is a difference between preventing piracy and invading privacy!

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I agree...
by John.Wilkinson / August 25, 2006 2:47 AM PDT

I prefer Windows XP and Vista to all other operating systems available, but I agree that the cost of the software is pretty steep when compared to some of the alternatives. To be honest, if I didn't receive free licenses through my employer I would not upgrade Windows on the machines I bought and would be running various Linux distros on the ones I built. Unfortunately it looks like the cost is going to increase, or at best remain constant, for some time to come.


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If it were so easy....
by BobLap / August 24, 2006 9:42 PM PDT

If Microsoft truly had the ability to discover ONLY pirated or illegal copies of Windows it would be a different story. But as many people are saying, WGA is flagging a ton of legit copies.

Remember, this is the company that can't seem to make a secure operating system after years of concentrating on that alone.

Also, the way Microsoft went about deploying WGA should be considered illegal. It's spyware by anybody's definition of the term. THey claim it's a "Critical Update" then procede to load a spyware program on people's computers. Does WGA really have to phone home hourly to make sure a copy of Windows is legit?? Shouldn't a one time check be enough??

WGA is just like all of Microsoft's products, incomplete and prone to bugs.

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I Agree
by Startracker / August 24, 2006 9:53 PM PDT
In reply to: If it were so easy....

Amen to all of that! It is spyware and it is very hard to remove from your PC. Microsoft does not have the right to place anything on a privately-owned PC that the owner cannot remove or have any control over.

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Amen To That!
by cgarofalo1 / August 25, 2006 1:06 AM PDT
In reply to: I Agree

That's exactly what I told MS. They have NO RIGHT to put something on my PC that I cannot remove! Now I'm going to search through these posts; seems someone has info on how to get rid of it. I just have to hope I don't mess up my system. <sigh>

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I also agree...
by BlazeEagle / September 14, 2006 1:06 PM PDT
In reply to: I Agree

Some will say don't use Windows and other Microsoft products, but that just sends a message to other companies that the consumers are a just bunch of push overs.

Consumers have rights too.

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I disagree
by rhomp2002 / September 14, 2006 2:51 PM PDT
In reply to: I also agree...

It sends the message that customers have found other ways to do the job without Microsoft. Microsoft can just whistle for the money in that case. It weakens Microsoft, not the other companies. It is like the Dixie Chicks having to cancel all those concerts because of their big mouths. Hit them where it hurts.

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give it a rest.
by schindks / August 25, 2006 1:03 AM PDT
In reply to: If it were so easy....

What?s Bills problem doesn't he have enough money? Microsoft should just make sure all future versions of windows are unable to be copied moving forward. Microsoft is just creating a lot of bad will and that will cost them more than the ability to track copies of windows. This move by Microsoft should be excellent for apple computers. It?s upsetting a lot of people. There are a lot of people out there who purchased their systems from computer geeks and fully trusted them, now all of a sudden they have something to start worrying about through no fault of their own, most people are not computer freaks who know all the terminology and technicalities of the computer world so to make them out to be professional hackers who planned this whole scheme of copying windows is ridiculous and upsetting. Most people want to cruise the net send and receive e-mail and us a couple of key programs. Give it a rest.

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You make excellent points but...
by BlazeEagle / September 21, 2006 5:10 PM PDT
In reply to: give it a rest.

The average user who isn't a computer geek needs to be more aware of the machine they're using then they'ed like.

The world is no longer a backwards, "hill billy" world. The world is advancing, while many people are not.

People with limited computer knowledge are often taken advantage of by evil doing tech "experts". I'm NOT suggesting everyone become tech "geeks", I'm just saying people need to be more knowledgeable about computers.

Don't misunderstand me though, There ARE helpful and trustworthy computer experts out there.

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Give me a BREAK!
by lassean1 / August 24, 2006 11:04 PM PDT


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I wish...
by John.Wilkinson / August 25, 2006 4:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Give me a BREAK!

Actually I was going to be called Bill Gates when I was born, but my parents thought that it sounded like the name of a poor man so they named me John Wilkinson instead. Grin

Seriously though, you can click here to read my reply to another member who seems to have a similar opinion as you do. Feel free to comment.


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