BLOG WATCH FROM PAGE 45 on a bunch of bad loans? That’s the business they’re
trade gaps (looming and otherwise) and the imbal- in. If they don’t want it to happen again, they should
ance of rents to mortgages—and sometimes we listen buy some risk assessment software.
too closely for our own good. After all, technology is In the meantime, we should focus on what we can
still making us productive, and we’re still creating actually accomplish and not get carried away by mar-wealth. kets we can’t control or caught up in trying to outrun
But they’re talking, and we’re listening. They economic trends shaped by supranational financial
started talking up that mortgage crisis business—but institutions.
why should we care if a posse of banks takes a bath Posted Jan. 23, 2008 9: 31 AM EST
Ryan Naraine: and to provide notification for things such as security
Security Watch updates.
“The advertising software bundled with Real-
REALPLAYER SLAPPED Player is misleadingly called a ‘message center,’
WITH ‘BADWARE’ LABEL and is described incompletely and inconspicuously
The google-backed stopbad- in the EULA [end-user license agreement] as soft-ware.org project has slapped ware designed to provide useful software updates,”
a “badware” label on the widely the report said. “When RealPlayer 10. 5 is installed,
deployed RealNetworks RealPlayer the advertising features of this ‘message center’ are
media player for problems associated enabled by default for users who choose not to register
with disclosure and uninstallation. their personal information with RealNetworks after
For the most part, the nonprofit the software is installed.”
group has reserved the badware StopBadware.org—funded by Google, Sun Microsys-label for sketchy spyware-related products, but, in tems and Lenovo and managed by Harvard Law School’s
a new report, StopBadware.org singled out Real- Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Oxford
Networks for failing to disclose that RealPlayer 10. 5’s University’s Oxford Internet Institute—also found
Message Center will display pop-up advertising and badware-related problems with the newest RealPlayer,
for a problem with files that remain after RealPlayer Version 11.
11 is uninstalled. “RealPlayer 11 does not disclose that it installs Rhap-
“We find that RealPlayer 10. 5 is badware because sody Player Engine, and does not remove this software
it fails to accurately and completely disclose the fact when RealPlayer is uninstalled,” the report said. “Users
that it installs advertising software on the user’s are not informed by the installer or uninstaller of the
computer,” the report said. “We additionally find connection between RealNetworks and Rhapsody Player
that RealPlayer 11 is badware because it does not Engine.”
disclose the fact that it installs Rhapsody Player I had a chat with RealNetworks spokesperson Ryan
Engine software and fails to remove this software Luckin Jan. 31 about the StopBadware.org report, and,
when RealPlayer is uninstalled. while the company disagrees with some of the conclu-
“We currently recommend that users do not install sions, Luckin said changes will be made to future ver-the versions of RealPlayer software that we tested, unless sions of the software.
the user is comfortable with the software behaviors RealNetworks no longer distributes RealPlayer 10. 5
we identify or until the application is updated to be (although it is still supported) and has already changed
consistent with the recommendations contained in this the installation default check boxes that previously
report,” the report continued. installed the Message Center by default.
RealPlayer 11 is currently promoted by RealNetworks In RealPlayer 11, an ActiveX control is used to install
at www.real.com. RealPlayer 10. 5 is distributed through the Rhapsody Player Engine; Luckin acknowledged
channels such as Mozilla Firefox’s Missing Plug-in feature weaknesses in the uninstallation process. “That was a
and the BBC Radio Web site. misstep on our part and something we’ll change in a
The specific problem with RealPlayer 10. 5 centers future update,” he said.
on the software’s Message Center feature, used by Posted Jan. 31, 2008 4: 37 PM EST
RealNetworks to advertise the media player’s offerings [CON TINUED ON PAGE 48]