• Quote of the Day
    "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."
    Nelson Mandela, posted by Daniel

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Another good reason to select Custom Installation, rather than a software manufacturer's Default or Recommended Installation:

In the Java update detected by my system, had I not selected Custom Update I would have had an unwanted Google Toolbar installed along with the Java updates.

The Custom installation revealed the Google Toolbar was set to be installed as a default (checkmark).

I don't know if it is still the case, but when the Google Toolbar was first released, I believe there was some tracking software attached to it.

IAC I like to make my own selections when software is installed on my system.
 

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David Baxter

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Actually, I ALWAYS select custom install. Most often, I make no changes to the defaults. But, as Steve notes, sometimes it's the only way to preview what ELSE is going to be installed without your permission.

I despise the practice but sadly it's quite common.

That said, I like the Google toolbar. :)
 

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Does this surprise you?

Google's toolbar is spyware:
With the advanced features enabled, Google's free toolbar for Explorer phones home with every page you surf, and yes, it reads your cookie too. Their privacy policy confesses this, but that's only because Alexa lost a class-action lawsuit when their toolbar did the same thing, and their privacy policy failed to explain this. Worse yet, Google's toolbar updates to new versions quietly, and without asking. This means that if you have the toolbar installed, Google essentially has complete access to your hard disk every time you connect to Google (which is many times a day). Most software vendors, and even Microsoft, ask if you'd like an updated version. But not Google. Any software that updates automatically presents a massive security risk.

Source: To Read More About Google Practices
 
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David Baxter

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With the advanced features enabled, Google's free toolbar for Explorer phones home with every page you surf, and yes, it reads your cookie too. Their privacy policy confesses this, but that's only because Alexa lost a class-action lawsuit when their toolbar did the same thing, and their privacy policy failed to explain this.

For certain features only. Google warns you clearly which features these are and if it worries you these are easily turned off. You customize the toolbar to do only what you want it to do.

Worse yet, Google's toolbar updates to new versions quietly, and without asking.

This feature can also be turned off - your choice.

This means that if you have the toolbar installed, Google essentially has complete access to your hard disk every time you connect to Google (which is many times a day).

Not really. That may be true for Google Desktop, since it is indexing your hard drive - I've never installed Google Desktop and never will but that's a separate product. Google Toolbar only has access to your internet activity via your browser.

Most software vendors, and even Microsoft, ask if you'd like an updated version. But not Google. Any software that updates automatically presents a massive security risk.

If you don't know what it's updating, yes. But with the Toolbar all that's being updated is the toolbar. Not really even a small security risk in my eyes.

Source: To Read More About Google Practices[/QUOTE]

See http://www.google-watch-watch.org for the background on Daniel Brrandt, aka Mr. Conspiracy Theorist. The man is a known kook with a not-so-hidden agenda.
 

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The man is a known kook with a not-so-hidden agenda

I was not aware of this; thanks for the clarification on the settings that can be configured for personal preferences that were not alluded to in the article I quoted.
 

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You're welcome, Steve. I've had some debates with Mr. Brandt on a few webmaster forums. He's something else.

I wanted to comment on this part especially:

yes, it reads your cookie too

This is one of the things Daniel Brandt singles out as something especially evil, evidently because Google has an expiry date for cookies of something like 2024 or so. What exactly he believes is evil about it is a bit of a mystery to me. Almost all websites, including this one, use cookies to track a visitor while on the site. However, this is not a matter of extracting secret information or anything like it. All the Psychlinks cookie does is update which forums you've read, what pages you've visited, etc. The cookie resides on your hard drive and ONLY on your hard drive. There are no secrets being revealed with the use of a cookie. There has never been a documented case of any transmitted personal information being lost via a cookie. All that a website can place in a cookie is information you have already given to that website, and the only information that can be extracted is the information that the site writes to that specific cookie (and no other). It's like a bookmark. There is no risk and never has been any risk accruing from the use of cookies.

Since many people routinely delete cookies, it would be foolish for any website to store critical information in that format in any case. I'm sure that Google's cookies are no different from any others in that respect.

There simply is no danger whatsoever.

By the way, when you log out from Psychlinks (or any other forum using vBulletin, including the TSFC forum), all cookies for the forum are automatically deleted.
 

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There are no secrets being revealed with the use of a cookie.

As you know some spyware detection programs, detect and provide for deleting what they call "tracking cookies"; AdAware one that comes to mind.

Norton Protection Center reports on so called "tracking cookies" following each scan and provides for their deletion, albeit referring to them as low threat.

Are these cookies different from the ones that simply remember what web page you viewed last?
 

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No. That's simply marketing. They know that people (or some people at least) worry about cookies, so they push the fact that their software can delete them.
 

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