Microsoft patents the end-all-be-all of spyware; open source community gears up in response.

A couple of days ago it came to light that Microsoft, everyone's favorite software powerhouse took out a patent on what very well could be the spyware to end all spyware - a system which scans information stored on a workstation and sends it Someplace Else for analysis... to generate advertising specifically geared for the person logged into the box. The patent describes a system integrated not only into the operating system and user interface, but all of the applications linked against this functionality that would look at every document on the machine, every e-mail sent or recieved, multimedia files' metadata …

Read more...

WGA phones home, even when you don't install it.

WGA - Windows Genuine Advantage. A software agent that runs on installs of Windows to make sure that you're not using a pirated copy. Unless you let it install itself, you'll have a hell of a time updating your system because a running WGA agent is required to run Windows Update. Of course, you can go to the Knowledge Base and download the updates one by one, but when you take into account how many updates there are, you may as well install it yourself.

Interestingly, if you refuse to let the WGA hotfix/update/agent/spyware install itself it phones …

Read more...