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Author Topic: What the hell is OpenCandy?  (Read 121231 times)
EĆ³in
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« Reply #225 on: March 10, 2011, 05:40:44 AM »

If your browser rejects 3rd party tracking cookies by default and you change the setting to accept them, do you have anyone to blame but yourself when you end up with 3rd party tracking cookies?

Well I use both SRWare Iron and FireFox and both stored the cookies without me changing any default setting, so not sure what you mean there.

I can see why a software developer might be tempted to use OC. I have battled with the thought myself but ultimately I can't bring myself to do it because I don't trust OC at all.

That's fine, I respect that completely, I have similar reservations about other companies myself. I also fully respect your desire to know whose visiting your site, and to make revenue from it. I don't find the tracking or ads on your site in anyway, shape or form offensive. But I do think they are every bit as 'evil' as OC, I just don't consider that to be really evil at all.

Your own distrust of OC shouldn't mean you complain about their legitimate actions.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 05:43:13 AM by EĆ³in » Logged

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Renegade
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« Reply #226 on: March 10, 2011, 06:04:54 AM »

But I do think they are every bit as 'evil' as OC, I just don't consider that to be really evil at all.

+1

A long time ago, in an Internet domain far, far away, I was doing black hat SEO for clients before it was "black hat SEO". Then the game changed and I stopped. (I never did arbitrage or any of that slimy crap.)

I'm no stranger to what happens in the black hat world. I visit there on occasion to have a "look-see". It's interesting. It's like the zoo. Lots of fun to look at, but you don't want to be in the cage. smiley

OpenCandy is nowhere near that place. (I've looked, and I can't see anything "evil". If anyone can correct me with evidence, then PLEASE DO!!!)

Sigh...

1 thought for people to consider:



I would install software on my computer that had OpenCandy supported offers in it without a second thought. I know what's happening under the hood enough to trust it.



That, I believe, is testament enough to my convictions.
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cmpm
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« Reply #227 on: March 10, 2011, 08:10:36 AM »

For the record OC does not 'scare' me.

I am careful though. Or try to be.
The main problem is not telling me about it, if they don't.
There should be an uninstaller for OC as well, imho.

And I'd rather have more info on the offered program it suggests.
Since I've already checked out the main program I'm installing at the time.
Like a link to the offerings home page or a review.
Just a check box to some program I don't know about will not sell me on it.

Not trying to extend this discussion or to make war.
In fact, I thought I was the thread killer around here. smiley
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #228 on: March 10, 2011, 11:57:07 AM »

Okay. This thread is stretched a lot and we're moving away from test data. Why not just open another thread with OC tests on performance, Adware false positive signals( if any), revenue potential etc etc. ?
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Renegade
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« Reply #229 on: March 11, 2011, 03:44:18 PM »

Checking from a reboot, the folder:

C:\Users\Renegade\AppData\Local

Is still there, but the DLL is deleted.

So, there is a trace of a folder, but no executable files.
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wraith808
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« Reply #230 on: March 11, 2011, 10:02:11 PM »

Checking from a reboot, the folder:

C:\Users\Renegade\AppData\Local

Is still there, but the DLL is deleted.

So, there is a trace of a folder, but no executable files.

That folder is a system-specific folder, so it's ok that it is still there.

Ref: http://technet.microsoft..../cc766489%28WS.10%29.aspx
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Renegade
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« Reply #231 on: March 12, 2011, 01:02:47 AM »

That folder is a system-specific folder, so it's ok that it is still there.

Ref: http://technet.microsoft..../cc766489%28WS.10%29.aspx

Sorry. I was continuing from a prior post, but truncated that there. I meant that inside THAT folder there is an "OpenCandy" folder, which is empty.

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wraith808
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« Reply #232 on: March 12, 2011, 09:10:55 AM »

That folder is a system-specific folder, so it's ok that it is still there.

Ref: http://technet.microsoft..../cc766489%28WS.10%29.aspx

Sorry. I was continuing from a prior post, but truncated that there. I meant that inside THAT folder there is an "OpenCandy" folder, which is empty.



Ah!  Makes more sense now.  smiley
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Renegade
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« Reply #233 on: March 16, 2011, 07:49:49 PM »

I need to correct some things.

From what I saw in the SDK demo, it appeared that offers forced a user action. I was not able to find any further information in the SDK about that though.

That information is actually in the control panel at the OpenCandy partner site, which I have yet to get access to as the installer must be verified.

(I emailed OC about it, and they let me know that it's in the control panel.)

I'll post back about it once I know first hand.

At the moment, my current understanding is that the offers have a default of either opt-in or opt-out, and that it is up to the individual developer to select offers that are displayed in their installers, but that the developer can also override the opt-in/out behaviour.

But like I said, I do not have first hand knowledge of that yet. I will confirm things once I know for certain.

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« Reply #234 on: March 18, 2011, 07:12:54 PM »

Ok - Here's the followup. OpenCandy was blistering fast and they've got my software tested, reviewed, and verified, so I now have access to the web-based OpenCandy control panel for software authors.

As such, this is all first-hand information. No speculation. No conjecture. No "a friend told me".

I'll walk through a bit about the installation process, then I'll go on to the control panel as everyone is already familiar with what installers do.

I should note beforehand that my OpenCandy control panel options are set to the default.

This is first running the installer:



Note that it is code signed in order to add a level of trust and accountability.

This is an offer made through the installer near the end of the installation:



Those are the default settings. Note that both radio buttons are unchecked. In order to proceed with the installation the user must select one of the two options: accept or decline.

I find that is an excellent balance there. I'm sure some others have a different opinion though.

Now, on to the control panel...

This section of the control panel lets you toggle automatic and manual modes. In manual mode you can change which programs can be offered through the installer, and you can also switch some, but not all, of the offers from opt-in to opt-out (more on that below):



In automatic mode, this is what the offers look like in the control panel:



Note that "Enable" is greyed out.

In manual mode, where you can disable some offers and switch some offers from opt-in to opt-out, this is what the same thing above looks like:



Note that for the IE9 offer you CANNOT set it to opt-out. To install IE9, users MUST specifically click the "yes" radio button. The offer below that can be set to opt-out though.

Now, to make sure that's clear, read the "Definition of 'Screen Type'":

Quote
Definition of 'Screen Type'

Some recommendations allow you to choose between opt-in and opt-out (others only support opt-in) by changing the 'Screen Type'.

Opt-in means the recommendation is not selected to be installed by default.

Opt-out means the recommendation is selected to be installed by default.

But that's all there really is to it. It's very simple with clear options.

Hopefully that sheds some light on that portion of the process and about what is going on.
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Tuxman
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« Reply #235 on: March 19, 2011, 10:38:49 AM »

Now that I've been using an application which has THREE (!) OpenCandy ads in its installer, I begin to think that OpenCandy is NOT less annoying than anything else.
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« Reply #236 on: March 19, 2011, 10:55:46 AM »

Now that I've been using an application which has THREE (!) OpenCandy ads in its installer, I begin to think that OpenCandy is NOT less annoying than anything else.

Can you say what one it is?

I've only seen 1 so far.

I'm curious.
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Tuxman
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« Reply #237 on: March 19, 2011, 11:02:08 AM »

Not sure, might have been a previous version of SUMo?
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« Reply #238 on: March 19, 2011, 11:26:49 AM »

Are you sure that they were all OpenCandy?  Nothing (unfortunately) stops people from more than one advertising stream in the same installer AFAIK.
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« Reply #239 on: March 19, 2011, 11:31:27 AM »

They looked all equal, so probably yes.
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« Reply #240 on: March 19, 2011, 11:41:59 AM »

Not sure, might have been a previous version of SUMo?

So, you make a claim to see an application installer which has 3 "OpenCandy" ads in it, then fail to produce a name for the application and then fail to verify that the three ads were indeed OC ads. I am all for being against advertisements, adware, and the like, but if you cannot back it up or have definitive facts why make the claim?

They looked all equal, so probably yes.

This does not mean they were OC.
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« Reply #241 on: March 19, 2011, 11:52:06 AM »

I would have to dig through my latest 3 freeware installations. Gonna do that later, just wanted to mention that some authors misunderstood the concept.
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« Reply #242 on: March 24, 2011, 02:25:24 PM »

Tuxman,

We only allow two third-party offers per installer and consider an OpenCandy-powered recommendation to be a third-party offer. (We restrict the offering of search toolbars to *one* per installer.)

If anyone is interested, scope out our (always evolving as the software landscape does) Software Network Policies which are what prospective and current partners must adhere to (and their products are tested against) are available here: http://opencandy.com/software-network-policies.

Hope everyone is doing well! smiley
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Tuxman
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« Reply #243 on: March 24, 2011, 05:08:31 PM »

Does OpenCandy somehow check if the rules are obeyed?
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« Reply #244 on: March 29, 2011, 06:17:36 AM »

If anyone is interested, scope out our (always evolving as the software landscape does) Software Network Policies which are what prospective and current partners must adhere to

I take it you consider a constantly changing "evolving" set of policies a plus? Where does a customer (as opposed to a developer) find assurance in that? Isn't that the same as saying: "subject to change at our whim discretion without notice?"

I would think you'd want your policies in place at product launch rather than have them be "always evolving"  as you go along. I'm quite surprised your VC partners went along with that.
 smiley

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wraith808
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« Reply #245 on: March 29, 2011, 06:40:07 AM »

On the contrary, I'd think with the changing landscape, it would have to evolve.  There will always be attempts to game the system, let alone defects and situations that aren't caught in development, so you'd have to be able to be agile for these situations.  All companies do it; some are less honest than others about the practice...
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« Reply #246 on: March 29, 2011, 07:20:23 AM »

@wraith808 - I agree with you as far as maintaining enough agility to deal with people who may be attempting an end-run around your business policies. We all exercise some degree of flex if we're running a business. But good businesses don't deal with clients or vendors who play games. In most cases such people given a single warning before being summarily cut off.. And good clients and vendors usually don't prefer dealing with a constantly changing set of rules and guidelines. It's enough trouble to run a business without needing to be regularly  checking to see if there's been a policy change that might affect what you're doing or planning to do. The IRS drives us crazy enough with their own 'shifting rules' games that we don't need a business partner doing it too.

However, it's more that constantly "evolving" aspect I'm questioning.

It seems like OC cuts separate deals with each software publisher. And they also leave a great deal of the implementation 'details' to the software publishers as well. Which doesn't give me warm fuzzies if one or more of them are in the habit of 'pushing the envelope' so to speak.

Maybe if they simply offered a single deal (or two) there wouldn't be a need to be making up policy as you go along?

 smiley

« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 07:27:47 AM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #247 on: March 29, 2011, 10:23:11 AM »

I don't know about multiple deals or whatever, but I will report my own experience:

Disappointed in NOD32

I've been submitting to Softpedia since they opened up, and this is the FIRST time that I've been rejected.

To be clear, this is a NOD32 issue, and not a wider issue. It's a false positive. NOD32 isn't quite up-to-date with things it seems.
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Renegade
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« Reply #248 on: March 29, 2011, 06:49:58 PM »

And they also leave a great deal of the implementation 'details' to the software publishers as well. Which doesn't give me warm fuzzies if one or more of them are in the habit of 'pushing the envelope' so to speak.

There's not much to the implementation, and you can't really skirt around anything in it.

Basically, you put the DLL in your installer, and add a few lines to the install code. There's not much for you to customize.

The bigger worry is the software itself and not OpenCandy. Once you let someone run code on your computer, they can do ANYTHING they want. You don't need to use OpenCandy to do bad things.
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« Reply #249 on: March 29, 2011, 07:21:08 PM »

For what it's worth, Nod32 blocked 2 internet connections to OpenCandy when installing the latest Photo Resizer with OC.
Stopping the install of OCSetupHlp.dll and any other programs being offered.

Photo Resizer did install even with nod blocking the connection to OC.

Just for your info...

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