View Full Version : Dell computers to come with Spyware??
3rd December 2003, 05:10 AM
Dell To Techs: Don't Help Customers Remove Spyware (http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/03/12/03/0257238.shtml?tid=126&tid=172&tid=187&tid=98&tid=99)
Dell sent an internal memo to its tech support minions which says in part: 'NOTICE: Use of spyware removal software may conflict with user license agreements of other applications installed on your system. Please consult your user license agreements for further information. Dell does not endorse the use of spyware removal software and cannot provide support on these products.'
3rd December 2003, 05:27 AM
Good to see the usual amount of /. idiocy displayed in that thread.
This does not mean that Dell puts out machines preloaded with spyware.
Most users manage to do that quite nicely by themselves.
What most of them don't realize, is that removing spyware components of certain software they have come to depend on, will render that software useless.
In order to not have this (non-operational software) reflect back on Dell support, their techies have been told to not walk people through running Spybot or Ad-Aware.
This is a completely understandable move, if you don't want to have your support crowded by people clicking away the warnings Spybot gives you without reading them.
3rd December 2003, 12:21 PM
I once bought an HP machine pre-loaded with PeoplePC stuff via an employee purchase plan. While I won't swear it had actual spyware on it, the thing was so bogged down with other garbage-ware running in the background it ran about half as fast as it should have (not to mention instability, it was a Win 98 box). I wouldn't be surprised if Dells come with all sorts of "helpful" junk running in the background, mostly worthless for the average user.
3rd December 2003, 10:15 PM
Dell sells machines with Microsoft Windows XP and Internet Explorer.
How much more spyware-friendly can you get?
As for Dell's reasons, the spyware killers probably dink with software designed to let Dell's tech support people fix things remotely. If you close those ports (undoubtedly nasty security holes), their helpers can't get into your computer and make software changes "for you".
Having just had to "fix" two different computers that were "all broken" because of people using bent ISPs and asking the ISP's techical support for their "help", I have to tell you that what a user can usually tell even a competant technical person (me) is pure drivel. Now combine that with your run of the mill INCOMPETANT minimum wage technical support morons reading a script, and you have a recipe for horrors.
My neighbor just spent eight hours today talking with various "technical support" weenies at her college's ISP to get to the point where she was in tears and these retards insisted her computer was broken. THEY told her that her computer was broken *because she couldn't get her email.* Guess what? I got it working in less than five minutes by simply reconfiguring it to dial into her old ISP's server. Bad settings or bad server? Doesn't matter. The ISP she's connecting to now (again) is much faster and more reliable, and probably worth the extra $9.00 a month for the server-side SPAM and VIRUS scanner.
Last weekend, the exact same drama played out with my Dad's ISP. They charged him $1.95 a minute for a lot of "technical support" because the retarded bastards (JUNO.COM) kept screwing them around instead of admitting their servers were having problems. The computer barely worked when I got there. I ended up restoring a drive image to make it work right again. They said they wanted AOL instead. I installed 9.0. I set up AOL and it wouldn't even dial the MODEM (even though windows would dial the same MODEM through other dial-up networking connections). AOL's technical support idiot tells me it's my computer's fault AOL won't dial the MODEM, even though other dial-up networking connections work perfectly. He's "never heard of" this situation, and hanged up on me when I told him I'd like to submit a bug report for the condition. No wonder he's never heard of the situation. Nobody logs it when problems outside of the script occur. I hooked my dad up with another ISP, instead. Works fine. For now.
The lessons learned?
$10.00 a month ISPs are not necessarily a very good deal for people who can't tell the difference between a mail server being down a lot and local problems on their own computer. Especially when that ISP has "special" connection software (probably also spyware) with ugly hooks into everything and invisible settings, and they begin charging dollars a minute when problems begin, no matter where they come from. They can always claim it's "your hardware" when the user doesn't know what that means.
In the case of Dell, it's "your software".
6th December 2003, 07:17 AM
I concur, Evil Dave
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