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InvisibleLe_Canard
Danger Man

Registered: 05/17/03
Posts: 93,269
Loc: Earthfarm 1 Flag
AIM....Nothing but Spyware...
    #2392222 - 03/01/04 08:32 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

(From Computing.Net)

"Both AOL's internet software and the AOL Instant Messenger program (AIM) are force installing unwanted software called Viewpoint Media Player on people's computers.

There is no option to not install Viewpoint. In fact, if you remove Viewpoint, it will be reinstalled the next time you load AOL! I could hardly believe it when the first person reported this at the message board. Then a dozen more people showed up to report the same thing.

Viewpoint Media Player displays certain multimedia content over the internet. I discovered this software on my own machine last April and I DID NOT AT ALL like finding it there. The reason for that can be found in their privacy policy:
The software creates a unique tracking number ("Customer Unique Identifier" is their term). This number and other information is transmitted, without asking, to Viewpoint servers. The software downloads updates and installs them on the computer, also without asking.

The privacy policy states that "The Viewpoint Media Player will soon be capable of tracking information about the content it displays and how the user interacts with it. When the Viewpoint Media Player displays Viewpoint content, it tracks the URL it is served from, as well as Viewpoint file data tagged by the author in XML. This data can include, but is not limited to: the names of objects and textures displayed, and the names of animations invoked."

Combine all that with the fact that it is installed without permission or proper disclosure. I'm sorry, but you do not install software on my computer that transmits data across the internet without my permission. For that matter, you don't install any software on my computer without my permission, period."
Read more Here!

I must say, I was always a bit suspicious of AIM, being from AOL and all. This is why I've never installed it. This just confirms my suspicions!  :mad2:


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InvisibleTinMan
Stranger

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 2,956
Loc: Russia
Re: AIM....Nothing but Spyware... [Re: Le_Canard]
    #2392414 - 03/01/04 09:45 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

You could use an alternative like gaim but 3rd party AIM clients don't have the amount of support that an application like AIM does, along with having more bugs and quirks. Some people will sacrifice freedom from ads for the features that AIM does, but I'm sure there are ways around viewpoint. Version 4.8 of AIM didn't include viewpoint, but lacks the features/compatability of newer versions.

Another look at viewpoint and the lack of any viable function leads me to conclude that it may account for some of the ear-piercing audio ads on AIM, though it represents itself as a plugin for IE.


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InvisibleLe_Canard
Danger Man

Registered: 05/17/03
Posts: 93,269
Loc: Earthfarm 1 Flag
Re: AIM....Nothing but Spyware... [Re: TinMan]
    #2393022 - 03/02/04 12:54 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I never knew there were 3rd party AIM clients. That would be infinitely more desirable than regular AIM. As far as their crapware 'Viewpoint', I feel as 'IronMan' does...NOBODY puts programs on my computer without my permission! I think that's just under-handed. :mad2:


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Offlineskunkjar
स्वामी
Male User Gallery

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 114
Last seen: 1 year, 7 months
Re: AIM....Nothing but Spyware... [Re: Le_Canard]
    #2393140 - 03/02/04 01:27 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I use trillian, a prog avail at:
http://www.ceruleanstudios.com/downloads/

it does AIM, Yahoo, and IRC all in one. Not too buggy either. If you can, get Trill pro, though, no ads.


--------------------
The New World Order is here.
Visit www.infowars.com and free yourself!


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InvisibleXochitl
synchronicitycircuit
Registered: 07/15/03
Posts: 1,241
Loc: the brainforest
Re: AIM....Nothing but Spyware... [Re: skunkjar]
    #2393224 - 03/02/04 01:57 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

trillian pro rules. I tried gaim http://gaim.sourceforge.net/ but its a bit too buggy at the latest stage for me (AIM direct connection/sending pictures wasnt working well for me) - gaim gets points for being open source, however. I've heard good things about http://www.miranda-im.org - havent tried it yet.

the actual AIM chat application sucks - and so do the other stand-alone applications - yahoo, msn..cross-platform IM like trillian, gaim, miranda, etc. is where its at.


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Offlinefirstrays
Title? We don'need nosteeenkingtitle!
Male

Registered: 04/29/02
Posts: 147
Loc: TX
Last seen: 10 years, 8 months
Re: AIM....Nothing but Spyware... [Re: Le_Canard]
    #2396908 - 03/03/04 03:04 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

The really funny thing is, I bet there IS information on this Viewpoint Media Player in the AOL User Agreement... but no one ever reads all that junk, they immediately click "agree" and move on with the installation.


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InvisibleLe_Canard
Danger Man

Registered: 05/17/03
Posts: 93,269
Loc: Earthfarm 1
Re: AIM....Nothing but Spyware... [Re: firstrays]
    #2396981 - 03/03/04 03:21 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Yep...and that's what they're counting on! A lot of other spyware depend on this too.


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Offlineaje
Why not?
Male User Gallery

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 10/11/03
Posts: 16,390
Loc: in some small dive
Last seen: 4 months, 10 days
Re: AIM....Nothing but Spyware... [Re: Le_Canard]
    #2406346 - 03/07/04 07:56 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Well, I certainly don't like that viewpoint media player. So i tried trillian but didn't like it very much, so I'm trying gaim right now.


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InvisibleEffedS
 User Gallery

Registered: 05/15/02
Posts: 7,364
Loc: Daylight Slavings
Re: AIM....Nothing but Spyware... [Re: Le_Canard]
    #2406411 - 03/07/04 09:45 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Solution: Dont install the latest version.  :smile:


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InvisibleLe_Canard
Danger Man

Registered: 05/17/03
Posts: 93,269
Loc: Earthfarm 1
Re: AIM....Nothing but Spyware... [Re: Effed]
    #2407700 - 03/08/04 05:32 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Meh, good advice, I'm sure. But I try to avoid anything connected with AOL like the plague, just on principal.


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