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26  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ImgBurn - full of OpenCandy and other crap on: April 25, 2014, 08:21:05 PM
As I understand OpenCandy (which isn't very well to be honest) any offer from OpenCandy should give you the option to opt out BEFORE the installer is run - if not what is the point of allowing an opt out.

Having said that ImgBurn are obviously bundling other crap in with their own installer on top of OpenCandy because I have found the Ask Toolbar included directly in ImgBurn installer direct from their own server. As far as I am concerned Ask toolbar is also crap ware. It hijacks your browser and as far as I am concerned that makes it an infection.

I have no idea and no way of knowing if Conduit came in ImgBurn's installer or was dumped on my system by OpenCandy - either way ImgBurn is ultimately to blame. Nowhere on their webpage does it say "we will lump into the installer some random crap to get us money and annoy the hell out of you".

If they need money to be viable charge for the product - currently it is described as freeware - but software that can screw up your system isn't free.

I don't know how much they get from OpenCandy and the other crap vendors but if they charged $2 a copy they would probably get more income and we would have a good product. Personally I would have happily payed $10 for this useful app.
27  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ImgBurn - full of OpenCandy and other crap on: April 25, 2014, 06:42:01 AM
Not sure about OpenCandy but 7-zip will unpack the installer - and on three downloads in two days of the same version I have found three different things bundled inside the installer package plus OpenCandy. The one I downloaded today included the ASK Toolbar which is at best a pest and at worst malware.

I suppose it isn't impossible that OpenCandy itself is providing random crap on the system during install - but I thought it was supposed to always allow you to deselect things you don't want - so where did Conduit come from?
28  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ImgBurn - full of OpenCandy and other crap on: April 25, 2014, 03:24:14 AM
That would be very odd because the page and hashes must be generated according to where they are sending the download from. I definitely clicked the direct ImgBurn server link.

Just downloaded another copy this morning.

The download link was: http://download.imgburn.c.../SetupImgBurn_2.5.8.0.exe

The file hashes matched those publish but it was a different file to the two files I downloaded yesterday. They must have a script that updates the page periodically and provides a range of different downloads. Yesterday morning I was unlucky and go SearchProtect bundled which is pretty scummy!
29  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ImgBurn - full of OpenCandy and other crap on: April 24, 2014, 07:37:30 PM
No the MD5 sums match the one I downloaded just now on the same computer (the original download was deleted).

Wonder if the installer was infected and they replaced it - I didn't have search protect appearing before I ran the original setup file and as soon as I double clicked it Malwarebytes went mad - it was definitely the installed direct from the ImgBurn server (I never use mirrors if I can avoid them)?

I unpacked it and can only see opencandy?

Just installed it again as an update and Malwarebytes blocked opencandy before installation and then it installed normally?

Strange.

Actually maybe they have random installers with different packages - I just looked at an old copy of 2.5.6.0 and that has the Ask Toolbar in the installer ???
30  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ImgBurn - full of OpenCandy and other crap on: April 24, 2014, 10:02:49 AM
Its a bugger - really cross about this.

When I was installing I was careful to choose all non-standard settings available but even so Malwarebytes went crazy during and after installation and I then found Conduit Search Protect in my system tray with no way to close it and the uninstaller is nothing like a full uninstall (it failed anyway - probably because of MBAM, but who knows).

I understand ImgBurn want to make some cash so why not charge $10 and make more profit and not piss off long term users!
31  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / ImgBurn - full of OpenCandy and other crap on: April 24, 2014, 08:18:26 AM
Really sad to say I won't be recommending ImgBurn any more - my go to app for disk burning.

Just downloaded the latest version and it is full of crap - and even if you take the long install route and deselect everything except ImgBurn it STILL install multiple crapware apps (including the very annoying Conduit SearchProtect).

Very sad development!

(PS that was the download direct from the ImgBurn server so no one else had added the crap)
32  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: HashTab - Great little tool ... on: April 24, 2014, 08:15:00 AM
Thanks - forgotten about this - new version seems OK
33  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Skype and Webcam: HD or not? on: April 18, 2014, 12:47:21 PM
Just bought one of these - seems very good (picture and sound). I like it. Infinitely better than the laptop built in camera.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B009NOX1MS

Personally I think the biggest issue is Skype itself!

Anyone know a genuine duplex service? Hate having to wait until someone has stopped talking to be able to comment (with some people I know they barely draw breath!!!)
34  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft dropping support for Windows 8.1 on: April 15, 2014, 12:24:02 PM
Not clear to me - I presume you can still update to the prerequisite level after that date? If you can it is no different to pulling support for Windows XP SP1 after SP2 had been released a while. Just a mandatory free update to get future support which is business as usual for MS.

If you can't even get updates to take you to the prerequisite level to allow future updates then that is mad - there are plenty of Windows 8.1 machines on the shelves in shops that won't be at that level? And is the free upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1 going to include the latest updates?
35  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Are your websites secure? The heartbleed bug on: April 10, 2014, 05:57:28 AM
Bit worrying that PayPal.com comes back as a fail: https://www.ssllabs.com/s...yze.html?d=www.paypal.com

Inconsistent server configuration!

And Amazon.co.uk and .com come back as B

Even more worrying HSBC bank comes back as B and one of Barclays servers comes back as F !!!!

https://www.ssllabs.com/s....co.uk&hideResults=on
36  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: WinXP is officially dead! on: April 09, 2014, 07:00:40 PM
PS: CT4Updater seems to be working getting XP updates .... nice that it creates ISO files with automatic installers!!! Grab them now if you want them for an archive. I might find them hand for client computers or VM machines if they need refreshing in the future.
37  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: WinXP is officially dead! on: April 09, 2014, 06:18:55 PM
Turn off Automatic updates - there won't be any now since MS turned off the updates except for the malware/scareware nag screen.

The nag/notification was a part of Windows Update. It was separate from other updates. I think you should be able to just manually deselect it and hide it so that it never shows up in the list again, meanwhile other updates (such as MSE definition updates, etc.) will continue to download.

I have come to the conclusion that MSE is not ideal even with definition updates - the software will not be updated (you can't even download it for XP) just the definition files - given that the primary reason AV software is updated is to counter possible hijacking I can't see MSE as being fit for purpose on XP for very long - unless MS relent and update the code too.

I am going to recommend customers on XP buy a strong security suite such as Avira or Outpost, supplement with with MBAM and never use IE again.
38  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: WinXP is officially dead! on: April 09, 2014, 05:56:57 AM
I haven't turned on my XP netbook for a couple of weeks, and now I'm wondering what the best thing to do is. Should I disable the automatic update the next time I turn it on or should I keep installing whatever updates have been or may still be released in the near future?

Quick guess (and prob part wrong!) is there are no "mainline" updates, so get whatever you can right up until today

Thanks, TaoPhoenix, but I heard someone mention a nag screen. Wasn't that included in yesterday's update? I'd prefer to avoid that one, if I can.


Turn off Automatic updates - there won't be any now since MS turned off the updates except for the malware/scareware nag screen.

If you use MSE you should be able to use the built in update regularly to keep it up to date (but don't expect software updates). Better option is to dump it and download something else - for once I would argue a full suite would be in order including a good firewall and learn how to use it.
39  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: WinXP is officially dead! on: April 08, 2014, 04:52:00 PM
Microsoft has basically adopted the ransomware model widely used by criminal hacking groups and increasingly popular with some allegedly legitimate cloud storage firms.

Microsoft will continue to provide support for governments and large institutions willing to pay huge sums to keep large numbers of XP systems safe for the next few years.  

So Microsoft will continue to write the necessary patches and provide them to those who can afford to pay their extortion, but it will not provide them to the rest of us, even though it would cost them next to nothing to make them available for download by everyone.

That doing so endangers everyone on the Internet matters not one whit to them.

 Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup

I have had a number of phones calls today from worried customers when they got the "scareware" = "extortion" pop up on their screen.

MS have effectively infected their XP systems with malware deliberately!!

Does anyone know if there is an easy way to turn it off? I found two scheduled processes to keep the popup going but deleting those processes doesn't stop the popup - I suspect the dregs of Windows Update (from now on I'll call it Windows Infect on XP systems). Does turning off Windows update stop them?

Personally I think many people may be better off without MS updates - they often caused more grief than they cured!

My approach to customers is make sure you have a good AV running and buy a copy of Malwarebytes Antimalware and install it to run in the background all the time. Download Google Chrome or Firefox and never use IE.

This was all good advice in the past anyway so nothing has really changed.

The question that doesn't have a clear answer is will MS be bribing vendors to remove driver support and software support (esp. AV) for XP ? Or are security suites in to make a killing?
40  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: WinXP is officially dead! on: April 08, 2014, 03:41:52 AM
XP is fine for anyone with any sense - trouble is 90% of people using it don't have any sense at all!
41  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Malwarebytes is moving away from lifetime licenses on: March 16, 2014, 03:52:33 PM
Back on-topic, I bought a MBAM license a few years back, not because I wanted/needed the real-time protection, but because I wanted to support them because they have helped me get *metric tons* of crap off of the computers that people have dragged in front of me begging me to fix over the years.

 Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup

Ditto
42  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: XP to Windows 7 advice on: March 04, 2014, 05:40:16 AM
You only have to do it once to activate the product after that it works fine.
43  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: XP to Windows 7 advice on: March 04, 2014, 05:11:47 AM
FWIW Windows Live Mail is easier to deal with if you ever want to change to a different mail client.

Really annoys me that developers write programs that lock you in with no way to export data.

WLM isn't perfect by any means but it has better export functions than most of the others I have tried.

Re. Office I would suggest picking up a copy of MS Office 2003, 2007 or 2010 ASAP. I have Office 2013 on my laptop and it seems to add nothing to 2010 (which I use all the time) except annoyances and product entrapment - most notably their cloud offering (whatever it is called today!!!)

Having said that there is no guarantee that your VBA script will work unmodified in any other version of Office, you may even find that your VBScript in Office 2002 doesn't work properly without modification (assuming you can even get O2002 to run properly on Windows 8 in the first place - which is debatable). Most likely to work with O2003 which does work on Windows 8 - really be surprised if it works with 2007, 2010, 2013 unmodified given that there are major changes in Office products after 2003.

If you do go for a copy of Office 2003 from somewhere note when you activate you need to run at Administrator level (ie. avoid UAC) otherwise the activation gets requested everytime you run the program. Simplest way is post install at the start screen type WINWORD and then right click and run as administrator on the icon.
44  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: XP to Windows 7 advice on: March 03, 2014, 03:53:16 AM
Windows Live Mail is an easy upgrade from Outlook Express (copy the whole Outlook storage folder and import it) - don't forget the export your address book from OE to a WAB file.

Re. Office apps - the official line is that Office 2003 is the oldest supported version from Windows 7 onwards.

I have seen a couple of Windows 7 systems in a right mess with Office 2000 and Office 97 installed and I would really recommend following MS advice on this. Even Office 2003 has a few minor issues in Windows 7.

If you can't afford an upgrade why not go with free LibreOffice ?
45  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster on: February 20, 2014, 06:30:41 AM
Sorry it was unclear - my previous post before I was talking about my customers' reactions and I just used "the ones" to continue my train of thought!

Oh the joys of posting in threads ;-)
46  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster on: February 18, 2014, 05:07:16 AM
That's not exactly fair.  You're speaking to the feelings of people on a scale that we can't even know.

Not sure I understand - its not a question of being fair it is what my customers tell me on a daily basis. How are the feelings of the average user in a business "on a scale that we can't even know"?
47  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster on: February 17, 2014, 04:06:51 PM
[...] since Windows 8 was released I have met precisely 1 customer who says they actually like the new interface - everyone else the first thing they say to me is 'how can I get rid of this'.

in fairness, [I presume] you're dealing with people who are looking for help, i.e. you're [probably] not dealing with people who are coping well with the change (they are out there - look at Josh/Allen/Innuendo/Josh's wife/wraith's son/etc./etc.).

Mind you - even after saying that - I reckon I'd fit well into your customer base embarassed

To be fair even the ones coping quite well with using it want rid because it just annoys them all the time. If your main use of a computer is Word, Excel and Outlook what exactly is the point of the not-Metro interface.

And lets face it the ONLY reason for the new interface is to push the app store (which like Apple and Google stores is full of crap and scumware) - it doesn't really add much else to Windows of use. The apps are pretty lacking in most people's opinion. Haven't looked recently but is there a Facebook RT app yet - there wasn't for a hell of a long time!!

Have to say I use Android a lot and I am becoming increasingly disillusioned with that too - I hate all the functionally crippled apps - eg. the GMail is pretty annoying compared to the web interface allowing virtually no convenient ways to actually manage your email (yes you can read and write emails but everything else is clunky) - Android Mail app by comparison is in the stone age.

Facebook apps on Android and the Apple eco-system are all pretty terrible compared to the full browser based version - there is just so much you can't do!! Hell you have to have a separate app to manage pages (which is even more limited in functionality than the main app) and if you manage a FB group most of the settings are missing in the mobile apps.

For all these companies this is all just about money ... none of them give a toss about what customers/users actually want or need.
48  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster on: February 17, 2014, 03:58:03 PM
Sort of but since we have never actually met  undecided
49  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster on: February 17, 2014, 12:34:56 PM
Windows 8.1 and Start8 on my laptop ... guess what it looks and works almost exactly like Windows 7 and I am happy with that.

The not-Metro interface is a turn off for me (though I can use it on customer computers if I really have to). More importantly since Windows 8 was released I have met precisely 1 customer who says they actually like the new interface - everyone else the first thing they say to me is 'how can I get rid of this'.

The biggest annoyance I have to deal with is the plethora of really crappy apps that people download for the not-Metro interface - not least email apps that are very VERY limited and have no way to export data to something better. People who don't know better drift round the MS app store looking for anything that is free to solve a problem and end up in a horrendous mess.

I have been a Microsoft Partner for the last 5 years with a MAPs subscription ... this year I won't be renewing as I really dislike almost all of their current product range and wouldn't actively recommend them apart from Windows 8 (provided Start 8 is included) but even then I wouldn't recommend people upgrade even from Vista!!

For the average non-techy customer out there Windows 8 has caused massive confusion and stress. Even when people get Windows RT phones they think they have something else and are surprised they are Windows devices (sharp selling from a lot of mobile companies to shift these devices into the market, and prey on people's bewilderment to do it).

I have never actually met anyone with a Windows 8 or RT tablet!
50  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Malwarebytes is moving away from lifetime licenses on: February 11, 2014, 04:20:39 AM
Yes I got a similar explanation - sorry meant to post is and forgot.

Have to say it isn't clear how the new licensing system will work with old licenses - I hope they don't have to go through the hassle with lifetime licenses of contacting them for new licenses when new versions are released.
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