heads up for happy XP users

Little security article linked from http://www.groklaw.net
Here’s the article:

If you go to Groklaw, scroll down to the bottom of the OT section. It really is interesting to me.

That’s a very interesting article oxman. I can’t say I’m surprised when I hear about compromised security when M$ is involved though. It also doesn’t surprise me when companies still recommend Windows over other systems despite the flaws. Could you imagine how much the personal information of 80%+ of the computing world is worth to the marketing world? Maybe that’s how M$ make so much money.

They’re maybe just spying on people to see what people really want and then designing the products. Like that Simpsons episode where the toy manufacturers make a spy toy to find out what kind of toy kids really want. First Barney, then XBox, then what…?

hmm. interesting. thank god i have windows 98 and firefox as my browser so im not that affected as the poor xp users. but it makes you thinking about using linux.

its a pitty that i couldnt install linux at an older computer.

Go Mifune! Me too, and I’m using Thunderbird for my email. And I’ve got about 32 gb of my nice new hard drive partitioned off just waiting for me to get around to installing some build of Linux…

:o. Thanks oxman. I knew there was some reason I switched to linux :P.



I would love to switch to linux. Unfortunatly, I dont have hours to learn how to do simple things like install software.

Naturally I am making a jab at Linux without trying more than 1 distro. 8)

I havent had time to download Debian or Gentoo and I didnt like have a dual boot all that much before. (no I will not give up windows. Its easy to use and does all the things that I could do manually but dont feel like it automatically.)

Windows behaves almost perfectly for me so I never know what the crap some of you windows bashers are talking about.

dante: If you’re interested in an easy to use Linux distro, try Mandrake.

[edit]Also if you read the article you’ll see this has nothing to do with windows bashing and everything to do with fact (it’s the interpretation that changes things ;)).


Hmmmm interesting

about 1/4 of it i agreed with.

things such as MSN intergration to hotmail.
messenger trying to interface with outlook (disabled on my machine for a LONG time now)
programs going to the internet without need
deleted files remaining with entrys all over the place
microsoft is stupid, and they SHOULD have bug free software with the money they have now.
Dr watson and microsofts coding of feature in to STOP US from seeing spyware.

a quater i don’t know if he is telling the truth or not, but it sounds like it is possible and likely

registry files being bad
purposfull coding of slow-downs and memory useage to sell more hardware (i have used more than Windows on this computer and compared between similar Mac hardware to only find the SAME RESULTS on all computers)

a 1/4 of it i feel he was exagerating a bit about. based on the feature benifit argument (perspective)

storing of thumbnails on the system. the thumb.db file is not a malicious file nor is it hard to remove, and it does speed up things considerably.
automatic updates (well i use manual updates which is virtually the same)

and the last 1/4 of i know that he is talking out his arse

recycling bin. NO IT DOESN’T DUPLICATE YOUR FILE TO TWO LOCATIONS ON THE DRIVE. hes a retard for saying that and it lost me a lot of respect.

placing anything in the recycling bin mearly puts a pointer to the dead file/hiudden file untill you press delete for good at which time it will mark the disk location to be able to write over that disk location, his claim that disabling the recycling bin does nothing and that it infact duplicates the dead file fo forensic retreval is rediculous. why does a 2 Gb file not thrash your HDD when deleting if his claim is correct?

Windows time. come on, creating a dateable forensic tracking system.

system restore. (stores mainly mainly old driver details for sacving your system, as well as Windows hotfixes, the files it keeps are even marked so that the user can feel comfortable deleting them.) his claim that they are hording user info is rediculous, i think it rather clearly states the purpose of them and your options when you instell windows, i turned mine off to save diskspace.

and lucky last, the 5th 1/4 i put in the category of “not only microsoft do it”

Search function
time updating
no configuration wireless
protected storage (all can be cracked)
IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service (i happen to know that Mac does it the same)
temporary internet files
music tasks (Apple took it to the same level as windows, but did it better)
virtual desktop

(if you think that the 1/4s don’t add up then you are a victim of microsofts evil plan)

basicly a number of the thigns he wrote make me question other things he is saying. i know his perspective is that of a “assume the worst” and in many cases i do assume the worst.

hence i don’t run any microsoft software apart from MSN and WindowsXP.

messenger has been diabled
auto updates is manual
their firewall is turned off
the SP2 notifications for everythin are disabled.
windows media player is disabled
internet exploerer exists, but has no icons, nor any other entry point except Explorer.

but many of the things he wrote there exist in other computer systems, infact a lot of them were copied from or by Apple so are far from microsoft only deals.

his blatent advocation of Linux as 100% perfect is funny. and his lack of argument towards comparing anything puts me off his opinion.

i would like to see a list of Mac and Linux issues.

then cross off the similaritys and you would be left witha pretty realistic and reliable piece of info. even that much would be pretty damning to microsoft.

i don’t trust microsoft as far as i can throw one of there CD’s but i don’t trust the guy who wrote the article about the same amount.


blcokcube: I realize that the thread has nothing to do with windows bashing. I was making a reference to the various Windows bashing threads present on these forums.

I laugh at all the people who spend hours keeping their Linux boxes working smoothly. Windows works fine for me, and like an OS should, it keeps to itself and doesn’t need me to do mundane, easily automated tasks. I used to be a Linux geek. I have since freed myself. You too can do it, it only takes a few simple steps… Oh wait, uninstalling Linux takes dozens of overly complicated steps. Nevermind, just burn your PC.

The focus of the security article wasn’t if Linux or Windows runs smoothly. It was the subliminal processes intrusive to privacy that come wrapped in the package “by design” in XP. Some individuals are so reactionary that they ingnore the simplicity of the message. If those processes can be reached by the user and turned off, “more power to you”, I say! Which brings us to another point that can not be easily discussed on this board without the typical “na na na nah na nahhhh”.

and I sit here laughing about the idea of all the people, buying new computers, desperate to “get connected” only to find out that they will have to learn to disconnect to get what they really want.

and think of all the wonderful analogies that can be pulled from that example :smiley:

it’s a beautiful world.

it was a simple message portrayde by this guy.

[this guys message]
“i prefer linux, to windows due to security”
“you should not use windows because your info is being stored by global corperations”
“child porn adicts like me should not use windows because the feds can findout”
[/this guys message]

oxman i don’t know if you hav read my reply, but many of the things the guy wrote are either untrue, exagerated, or available on ALL systems.

only a percentage of those listed were any real concern.

some of us have made the “choice” to use microsoft already knowing what we are getting into (i understand the upfalls and downfalls of the system) i have even attempted to use linux, but as the wise valarking mentioned its a bloody hassle to get things to work LOL.

configuring your graphic card in linux is harder than working out windows driver problems.

not bashing linux as an OS, each to therir own choice, but some of us have made the choice of windows. that doesn’t make us wrong, nor bad.


Alltaken: Mr.Nightmare consolidated my thoughts quite well. Sure, it’s a matter of choice and I really don’t care what anyone chooses. The article was directed toward those persons who may have perhaps been oblivious of the reality of wide open root privileges on the windows XP system. Yourself and VK are the ones who repsonded defensively as is your reactionary custom. You’ve made your choice and I’m glad for you. You searched it out and are willing to pay the price of intrusion. I 'd rather cope with the linux learning curve. Each has it’s own + or - .
Scams bother me personally. I never wanted to imply that linux was perfect. Only a better tool to deal with the brutal abuses of privacy by big corporations, governments and black hats in cyberspace. There are plenty of honest requests for my information at sites I visit and I often grant the privilege in gratitude for services. Just don’t scam me. I take offense at it when I become conscious of it. It makes me mistrust the intent of the persons involved and I think rightly so.
I’ve got nothing to hide on my computer. Probably the most offensive thing to anyone is the copious amounts of information focused on Mashiach Yeshua. What does bother me is the arrogant violation of my personal space for mercenary commercial demographics and statistical analysis at best and who knows what at the worse. Why should I pay to equip someone to better manipulate the masses for sordid gain against my will?

I really have to throw in my two cents here…

The article is written from a biased point of view admittedly. Ignoring the overblown conclusions that the author makes, we actually see some worrying trends and, as Microsoft might put it, “features” of Windows XP.

Someone in this forum said something about it being rubbish that Windows takes a shadow copy of every file you delete. This isn’t quite the whole truth. Sending items to the Recycle bin in effect changes their directory. Emptying the recycle bin DOESN’T necessarily delete the files, for two reasons, one of which everybody knows.

  1. It only removes the File allocations from the directory database, not the file itself. (Forgive the non-official nomonclature)
  2. BUT for some files it DOES make a second copy of and tucks it into a hidden file before it does 1).

The criteria for a file to be ‘honoured’ in this way is a complete mystery to me, but I’ll let you into how I discovered this:

Using a reputable data-recovery utility, after a nasty BSOD and the loss of a massively important directory of files which I was trying to burn to disc (first freelance webdesign job) on a 1 year old machine w/ copy of WinXP, I started seaching for recoverable files.

I started by seeing if they had migrated to ‘somewhere’ on the drive, (not checking the free space yet) and tried looking for certain filenames.

All sorts of stuff I thought I had deleted started popping up in the search results. They seemed to be located not in free space on the drive but in strange ‘hidden’ files (as in WinXp system files) They had mainly numeric filenames and they were dotted around the system. SH*T, I thought, I’ve been haXored. Ran everything under the sun, but the machine came up completely clean.

Saw sites on the web (1 1/2 ago, can’t remember) speculating on this very issue, that M$ keeps hold of files it feels is ‘a little suspect’. One rumour was that if you used the word Micro$oft 3 times in a word document, this was a sure fire way to get it flagged for non-deletion!

IMHO the way that Windows XP bloats with use (~50M+ per month up to 1.3-4Gb) is attributed to this file-retention and essentially market-research data for M$. Have you even noticed that doing a fresh install, followed by reinstalling ALL your old apps leaves the Windows directory a lot smaller than it was?

Having read the article, I can’t disagree with any of the points, but they really are not all malicious features. Some of the Features™ however are very difficult to take as innocent.


They use a lot of space though. I’ve seen many db files that are approx 5MB in size. If you have 200 folders or so of stuff, that could easily be wasting hundreds/thousands of megs of valuable space.

Not sure about that one. Putting something in trash on Mac/Linux does the pointer thing but Windows has a reserve of space used for the waste where deleted items are stored and this space is in use all the time.

I found that on my uncle’s win XP box, the recycle bin properties was set to use 1GB of space by default and I reduced it to 300MB and it gave me back the space - try it and see. Once the space is exceeded, the files are deleted automatically. So technically, you can’t put a 2GB file in the trash and get it back:


I agree it would be silly if when you delete an item, files are copied to this area of disk space rather than moved but I’ve seen some trash procedures take a very long time. Whether it copies stuff or not, it’s still a daft design to have a size limit.

Hahaha, it’s funny how M$ users admit M$ copied features from Mac when it suits them.

List begins{
thinks a bit more
} List ends

As for you refuting that what he is saying is true by asserting that other systems have the same features like search etc. it’s about what those features do when they run. Most of the times he is saying that the features check if you’re online and try to contact M$, which Mac or Linux never do, though some Adobe products do.

I don’t want to go through the list one-by-one but very few of the things are similar on other systems. The implementation on Windows is unique. Now I know this seems like another Windows bashing thread but it’s just highlighting problems with the system that people might not be aware of.

If anyone feels they can link to similar articles about Mac or Linux spying techniques performed by Apple or the Free Software Foundation or inherent flaws in either system’s design then feel free to post them.

How many times is that now this week that you have more than perfectly summed up my thoughts in a halarious manner?!


Boot from the XP cd and just delete the partitions. Then make new ones and install Windows.

How did you do it? (BTW, I still use linux, just not as often as I used to, because wireless cards are a pain to set up in it. Although, that’s more of a hardware manufacturer fault.)

Boot from the XP cd and just delete the partitions. Then make new ones and install Windows.

How did you do it? (BTW, I still use linux, just not as often as I used to, because wireless cards are a pain to set up in it. Although, that’s more of a hardware manufacturer fault.)[/quote]

Well, I had an exorcism on my PC done. I booted it up and linux was nowhere to be found.

I don’t know! I must be on a roll this week. Noone’s cursed me out. Yet.

Hahaha, it’s funny how M$ users admit M$ copied features from Mac when it suits them…[/quote]

LOL well actually i have never denied that computer software writers steal ideas from each other.

it happens back and forth all the time. even note Blenders use of things like Cat-mull clark subdivision, and other such industry standard tools.

first ever microsoft product, someone elses.

first ever GUI interface Mac

but these things go both ways more than anyone gives credit for.

do note that i said “copied from or by Apple” meaning some of the features offered in Microsoft are used by mac now.

also note that MacOSX is a unix based software package, this is not borrowing from someone??

i am all for using others ideas to make better products. as long as its not illegal.

i actually think Windows should start again like Mac did and build from Unix upwards, but make half of it proprietry and closed source, this way Microsft could possibly get their fingers into linux, and other Unix OS’s with their software, like MSN, WMP… and infultrate their grubby little fingers into spyware for unix.

would be interesting.