Spyware Is The Stuff From Star Wars?

from the yes,-let-me-get-my-light-saber... dept

It would appears that there’s still something of an uphill battle in getting computer and internet users to understand the risks posed by online security threats like viruses and spyware. Only 8% were concerned about spyware — even if 16% used spyware checkers on their personal computers (30% when you add in corporate users). However, at the other end of the spectrum, apparently 11% of people surveyed believed adware was a “gadget from Star Wars.” I’m really hoping that 11% of the people taking this survey (sponsored by a security company, of course, so take any results with the required large grain of salt) were simply trying to muck up the results with silly answers. Also, that 8% figure seems odd, when double that number used spyware checkers. If anything, it certainly sounds like this study could have used confusing and/or misleading survey questions designed to elicit a specific response.

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Comments on “Spyware Is The Stuff From Star Wars?”

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dorpus says:

Is Mozilla Spyware?

My girlfriend just bought a laptop, and it won’t let her install firefox. Won’t let her remove the “Sign up Free for AOL Now!” software that came with it either — and her account has administrator privileges. I tried rebooting in safe mode, logging in as “administrator”, same story. Tried to wipe the operating system, wouldn’t let me do that either. There seems to be some new secure version of windows that won’t let administrators do anything?

John says:

Re: Re: Is Mozilla Spyware?

I see two possibilities, given that you are already trying to format & reinstall the OS:
1. Download a low-level format utility from the manufacturer of the laptop’s hard drive. While I have not had a laptop before, the utilities I have downloaded for my desktop have worked very well in some circumstances where a normal format (ie – clearing the disk partitions) has not worked. You may then reinstall the OS and applications that you see fit.
2. Return the laptop as “defective”. Clearly explain why you consider it to be defective. I am not going to make any assumptions that the laptop’s behavior was intentional on the companies part, but even if it was then losing sales as a result could make the company change it’s behavior.
I hope you can get things sorted out.

Brice says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Is Mozilla Spyware?

Will the laptop let you boot to floppy or cd-rom? Can you change the device it boots to in BIOS (press F2 or Ctrl-Alt-S before Windows starts booting)? If so, you can download a bootable cd-rom/floppy image (e.g. from bootdisk.com) and use that to wipe your drive clean and then buy a copy of Windows and install it (don’t use the disk that came with the laptop–that will probably just put the system back into the original state).
If BIOS won’t let you boot to a floppy/CD-Rom, then take it to a place that specializes in laptop repair and tell them what you want to do. Chances are, they know how to work around it. If you’re tech savvy, they might even tell you how to do it for no charge.

dorpus says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Is Mozilla Spyware?

I tried to re-install with original XP disks, but it gives me a message about how the OS on the laptop is newer, therefore it will not rebuild. I tried following complicated instructions for performing a “local” build by copying CD contents onto the hard drive, as well as downloading the SP2 patch and “integrating” it, but I still got the same error.

Otherwise, I would just have to rebuild with the laptop OS disk, which has all the extra “free AOL!” crap on it, and doesn’t accomplish anything.

zaphar (user link) says:

Re: Is Mozilla Spyware?

I’m guessing there is some kind of hard drive sherrif on the laptop. Especially since it won’t let you wipe the operating system. In that Case a lowlevel format is your only option. You might have to delete the partitions and rebuild the MBR make sure there aren’t any hidden partitions that an image might be sitting on. You can do this using a dos boot disk or win98 bootable cd. Then reinstall the OS from CD. It’s best to use a full install CD not one that came from the laptop manufacturer.

ME says:

Re: Is Mozilla Spyware?

Welcome to the world of Windows Palladium (longhorn). The legal OS to hijack your system, and tell you what you software can be installed, how long you can to listen to various mp3s, and search and delete pirated software, mp3s, etc. from your computer.
Bill’s first goal, lock out open source. Bill’s second goal, lock in customers.
Check these sites out. Or search for Palladium, Longhorn, or TCP (trustworthy computing platform)

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