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Author Topic: What the hell is OpenCandy?  (Read 125171 times)
Renegade
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« Reply #350 on: April 03, 2011, 09:25:47 AM »

Thank you for stepping in wraith808.

I'm really drunk at the moment, so I'll post again later when I'm sober. cheesy :p hahahahhahahah~! cheesy
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« Reply #351 on: April 03, 2011, 10:20:56 AM »

Just curious, app103, did you install the latest Photo Resizer from Renegade?
I have all his other releases as well.

Personally I have probably 50 programs that can resize, all with their own uniqueness.
But I'm I download junkie.

I'm not asking to be controversial or make a point.
Just wondering if the current OC process would stop you from a download you want.

Peace!
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« Reply #352 on: April 03, 2011, 12:13:10 PM »

@Renegade

Do you have Sweet IM installed on your machine?
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Renegade
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« Reply #353 on: April 03, 2011, 12:27:00 PM »

@Renegade

Do you have Sweet IM installed on your machine?

I'm still pretty drunk... But no. I hate IM period. I just hate being interrupted all the time.

I have Skype and that's all I run. I should probably look into Sweet IM though as it might be useful. Dunno.

Have you tried it?

I generally try not to install software at all unless I have a specific need.

A lot of software does a lot to your system, which is one of the reasons that I always write my software to have zero or minimal impact on people's systems.

Photo Resizer is actually some of the most "system intrusive" software I've ever released. It lets you create a system registry entry to create a Windows Explorer context menu entry when right-clicking on an image file. And that's it. I consider that to be pretty invasive. It only does that in the installer though, and not in the software itself.

And now, I'm going to get back to my Vodka~! cheesy
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PhilB66
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« Reply #354 on: April 03, 2011, 12:47:42 PM »

@Renegade

No, I did not try Sweet IM (and have no intention/need to do that). I was just wondering how you can recommend Sweet IM to others without having tried it yourself first?
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wraith808
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« Reply #355 on: April 03, 2011, 02:38:44 PM »

@Renegade

No, I did not try Sweet IM (and have no intention/need to do that). I was just wondering how you can recommend Sweet IM to others without having tried it yourself first?

Where did he recommend it?
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« Reply #356 on: April 03, 2011, 05:02:37 PM »

I would guess that Phil is referring to the OC screen in the installer, as in this shot from earlier



where it definitely is implied that the author implicitly recommends the advertised product. Nonetheless it seems rather trivial and nitpicking, we don't get our knickers in a knot when a Google ad might not have been personally tested by every maintainer whose site which displays the ad.

This comes back around again to the double standards some people have. What the OC dll does and reports back on is trivial and benign and also seems perfectly legitimate. An advertising company needs info on how their ads are perceived, and stats like how long a user navigates through the installer do just that. Sure you could call that spying, really the application is its just reporting how it was used.

I return to the example of apps website, as she is one of the more vocal against OC, though in truth, almost any website online could used. The tracking and spying done on apps sites is much more intrusive and much broader than OC. And yet we all get on with our lives and accept that tracking, suddenly however when OC does similar, indeed much more benign, stat reporting we have people freaking out because "I just don't trust those guys". That's not a rational argument, it's hysteria.

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« Reply #357 on: April 03, 2011, 05:06:07 PM »

@Renegade

No, I did not try Sweet IM (and have no intention/need to do that). I was just wondering how you can recommend Sweet IM to others without having tried it yourself first?

Where did he recommend it?

Scuds me, but isn't that what OC insists on referring to their advertisements as - recommendations rather than ads? huh

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wraith808
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« Reply #358 on: April 03, 2011, 05:18:50 PM »

^ I was just asking where he recommended it.  I didn't know where he was referring to.
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app103
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« Reply #359 on: April 03, 2011, 05:27:22 PM »

Just curious, app103, did you install the latest Photo Resizer from Renegade?
I have all his other releases as well.

Personally I have probably 50 programs that can resize, all with their own uniqueness.
But I'm I download junkie.

I'm not asking to be controversial or make a point.
Just wondering if the current OC process would stop you from a download you want.

Peace!

No, I haven't tried it. Don't have a need for it. I am pretty well over covered for image resizing.

However, I do have CDBurner XP on one of my other machines and really should update it, except that the latest version has OC, so I will probably uninstall it and replace it with something else.

And I had recently considered trying SUPER, but once I found out that has OC I changed my mind.
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« Reply #360 on: April 03, 2011, 08:53:25 PM »

Nitpicking? No, absolutely not. The obsession with spyware terminology, however, is a deviation from the real issue here. Fact is that OC is an Ad serving platform that also tracks your usage of software, monitors your actions and report this information back home. Arguing that others (Google, Adobe, Java, ....) do similar stuff does not (and should not) approve OC. Targeting the 'happy click next' ignorant crowd is not okay. What it actually does is setting a precedence for the rest of us who do think before clicking yes, read the EULA, etc. Next thing you hear, but everyone is using google, everyone is on FB... every installer is powered by OC (well, they wish).... got it?

The comment about Sweet IM illustrates another issue I have with OC, developers have no control about what OC promotes and they do not care about the end user and would recommend anything that pays well. User satisfaction my arxx ... Angry

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wraith808
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« Reply #361 on: April 03, 2011, 09:34:42 PM »

^ Actually, from what Renegade said in his post, developers *do* have some control.  At least, that's the impression that I got from his post.  And from what I've seen of the statistics available, it doesn't track your software usage.
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« Reply #362 on: April 03, 2011, 10:23:05 PM »

Nitpicking? No, absolutely not. The obsession with spyware terminology, however, is a deviation from the real issue here. Fact is that OC is an Ad serving platform that also tracks your usage of software, monitors your actions and report this information back home.

HTTP is stateless. As such you need an ID for transactions. Without that, it would be like a restaurant taking orders, but then randomly delivering orders to people. Hey, I ordered the chicken, not a beer!

I've outlined exactly what information is tracked, and app103 posted more above.

You make that sound like the end of the world. Of course information needs to be tracked. app103's nitpicking about time spent on a screen is over the top. It's a usability metric to ensure a decent user experience.

But none of the information is anything outside of the installer itself, and none of the information is personally identifying.

You are effectively complaining about the fact that HTTP is stateless and that you don't like usability metrics.

And yes, what other companies do is relevant. They're doing a LOT more than what OC does, but somehow some people here have no problem with that.


Targeting the 'happy click next' ignorant crowd is not okay.


Ahem... Look at the installer screenshot that you uploaded. You cannot just click next. You MUST explicitly accept or decline the offer. Again, a baseless accusation with clear evidence to the contrary.

I'm quite frankly disappointed at being accused of something that I am not doing, especially when the evidence is posted by someone else and proves that I'm not doing what I'm being accused of.


The comment about Sweet IM illustrates another issue I have with OC, developers have no control about what OC promotes

You can enable or disable offers in the OC control panel. So, yes, developers DO have control.



You are making wild accusations that are flat out false. You're just making up "facts" as you go without any knowledge of what is actually happening.


they (developers) do not care about the end user and would recommend anything that pays well. User satisfaction my arxx ... Angry

I looked at the available offers, and I don't see anything that I don't think wouldn't be useful to some people.

Do I recommend software that I don't use (outside of OpenCandy)? Yes. Because some people have different needs. I wouldn't recommend Photoshop to someone that barely knows how to turn on a computer, but I use Photoshop.

People have different needs and different software works better or worse in the hands of different people.

So I have no problems with the recommendation in OpenCandy.

Does OpenCandy perfectly recommend the software that each person is going to want/need? Hell no! That would require a massive amount of personal information about the person, which they don't have.

So your getting a recommendation for SweetIM and complaining about it only means that you don't like SweetIM. That's fine. Other people do.

I had someone ask me about getting an HTC Android phone or an iPhone. I gave the pros and cons for both and explained my bias. iPhones are great for some people. But it depends on what you are looking for. I'm not looking to get locked into a dictatorially controlled ecosystem, so I don't have an iPhone.



I wish that people would stop making wild, false accusations that there is clear evidence against. It's disingenuous and insulting.




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« Reply #363 on: April 03, 2011, 11:03:07 PM »

This about enough about Renegade's program and choices.

I thought it was about OC, now it's getting personal.
And could get worse.

Renegade offered info that he did not have to share.
And looked deeper into it because of these other posts.
There is no need to pick out his program and choices to take on OC.

WTF, he is a DC'er and been around a while.
Get off it. Lock this damn thread. Please.

----

About OC, perhaps not seeing what a developer picked to offer,
it has alternatives. I don't know, ask OC, that's just a guess.
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« Reply #364 on: April 04, 2011, 01:44:31 AM »

Ahem... Look at the installer screenshot that you uploaded. You cannot just click next. You MUST explicitly accept or decline the offer. Again, a baseless accusation with clear evidence to the contrary.
This is a nice thing about OpenCandy, and I do hope they won't change away from that practice. But before you get to that screen, OpenCandy has run - and it's contacted the mothership, right? So you're not getting a chance to avoid that, except for... clicking through... the EULA smiley
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app103
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« Reply #365 on: April 04, 2011, 02:02:24 AM »

Ahem... Look at the installer screenshot that you uploaded. You cannot just click next. You MUST explicitly accept or decline the offer. Again, a baseless accusation with clear evidence to the contrary.
This is a nice thing about OpenCandy, and I do hope they won't change away from that practice. But before you get to that screen, OpenCandy has run - and it's contacted the mothership, right? So you're not getting a chance to avoid that, except for... clicking through... the EULA smiley

A little misleading...they did change their practice back in September 2010 and blamed it in part on greedy developers wanting more money and demanding an opt-out option.

It is up to the individual developer to set whether it is opt-in or opt-out, depending in part on the software they choose to recommend (some won't allow opt-out). I believe Renegade hasn't made a choice and that is why one has to click one choice or the other and no default is selected for the apps he is recommending through OC. Other developers using OC may not be as nice, choosing only those apps that allow the opt-out option, so accidental unwanted installs are still possible with OC.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #366 on: April 04, 2011, 02:20:43 AM »

I'm curious if anyone thinks my suggestion back a few pages actually has any merit:
Quote
Let's keep some perspective here though. This does not need to be stated in scary terms in order to avoid being seen in a bad light. I believe OC could require better communication of its activities through its partners and their installers while not necessarily reducing opt-in significantly. Here's an example:
"This installer is powered by OpenCandy! As part of a free service, OpenCandy will check your system for potential software upgrades to improve performance and capabilities. This check will collect basic non-personal information about your system and store it securely on our servers. If you'd like to decline this service, simply uncheck the box below." That's 30 seconds of thought put into the wording; a good marketer could do a lot better, keeping the important information will making it more appealing. That's what marketers do, and that's ok.

They could even make it a bit more controllable and potentially get more customers by doing something like this: "...This check will collect basic non-personal information about your system and store it securely on our servers. If you'd prefer not to have your information sent to our servers, we can still perform a local check and offer some recommendations if you select the "local check" radio button below. You can also choose to decline this service by selecting the "do not check my system" radio button." In a situation like that I might still opt-in to the local check.

Adding a sentence of info about OC's service helping to support developers might also be a good thing, depending.

In the end I think the problem 40hz has, and which I share, is that OC is not very open about what it's doing, and in some/many cases even seems to be completely unmentioned in the equation (e.g. the offer appears to be coming from Microsoft for installing IE9, with no mention of the fact that OC brokered the deal). Disclosure is a big deal to many people.

Also want to mention I like the way WinSCP handles this! http://winscp.net/eng/docs/opencandy

- Oshyan
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Renegade
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« Reply #367 on: April 04, 2011, 02:31:07 AM »

Ahem... Look at the installer screenshot that you uploaded. You cannot just click next. You MUST explicitly accept or decline the offer. Again, a baseless accusation with clear evidence to the contrary.
This is a nice thing about OpenCandy, and I do hope they won't change away from that practice. But before you get to that screen, OpenCandy has run - and it's contacted the mothership, right? So you're not getting a chance to avoid that, except for... clicking through... the EULA smiley

A little misleading...they did change their practice back in September 2010 and blamed it in part on greedy developers wanting more money and demanding an opt-out option.

It is up to the individual developer to set whether it is opt-in or opt-out, depending in part on the software they choose to recommend (some won't allow opt-out). I believe Renegade hasn't made a choice and that is why one has to click one choice or the other and no default is selected for the apps he is recommending through OC. Other developers using OC may not be as nice, choosing only those apps that allow the opt-out option, so accidental unwanted installs are still possible with OC.


Out of 39 offers, 17 *can* be switched to opt-out. Only 1, the Yandex toolbar (this is new and is for the Russian market only), is opt-out by default. (I just saw this now as it is new.)

i.e. Out of 38 opt-in offers, 21 CANNOT be switched to opt-out. So, that's 55%. About half. Just say 50-50 to make it simple. smiley

Actually, I did make a choice. I chose to leave the defaults as they are. i.e. Opt-in.

Having checked and just seen that Yandex, I've been contemplating making it opt-in, but it just doesn't seem that important. It's Russian market only, and Yandex is the dominant search there (as far as I know). If anything, it's a desirable thing. Still mulling it over though...

I like the default that forces the user to choose yes or no.

At the moment, I see that 31% of people choose to accept an offer. (So far earning me a bit more than half of the cost of a cup of coffee at StarBucks. Don't think for a moment that my position on the matter is financially motivated...)




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Renegade
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« Reply #368 on: April 04, 2011, 03:17:03 AM »

I'm curious if anyone thinks my suggestion back a few pages actually has any merit:
Quote
Let's keep some perspective here though. This does not need to be stated in scary terms in order to avoid being seen in a bad light. I believe OC could require better communication of its activities through its partners and their installers while not necessarily reducing opt-in significantly. Here's an example:
"This installer is powered by OpenCandy! As part of a free service, OpenCandy will check your system for potential software upgrades to improve performance and capabilities. This check will collect basic non-personal information about your system and store it securely on our servers. If you'd like to decline this service, simply uncheck the box below." That's 30 seconds of thought put into the wording; a good marketer could do a lot better, keeping the important information will making it more appealing. That's what marketers do, and that's ok.

They could even make it a bit more controllable and potentially get more customers by doing something like this: "...This check will collect basic non-personal information about your system and store it securely on our servers. If you'd prefer not to have your information sent to our servers, we can still perform a local check and offer some recommendations if you select the "local check" radio button below. You can also choose to decline this service by selecting the "do not check my system" radio button." In a situation like that I might still opt-in to the local check.

Adding a sentence of info about OC's service helping to support developers might also be a good thing, depending.

In the end I think the problem 40hz has, and which I share, is that OC is not very open about what it's doing, and in some/many cases even seems to be completely unmentioned in the equation (e.g. the offer appears to be coming from Microsoft for installing IE9, with no mention of the fact that OC brokered the deal). Disclosure is a big deal to many people.

Also want to mention I like the way WinSCP handles this! http://winscp.net/eng/docs/opencandy

- Oshyan

Yes and no. Your facts are not quite right there, but the basic idea, maybe... Depends.

e.g.
This check will collect basic non-personal information about your system and store it securely on our servers

It doesn't do that. System information isn't transmitted back. Information about the installer is transmitted (and the OS). I detailed it all here.

But 6-of-1. Close enough for the purpose at hand.

But there's still a problem. Less is more. The more you throw in front of users, the more likely you are to lose them. A 30 second message is simply too much. People don't have that kind of attention span.

If something can be added to the installer that's not a distraction, the sure. I think a small graphic that has the OpenCandy logo and "Powered by" or "Installer powered by" or something similar, and a link, "Find out more...", to a web page with information about it is more than enough. Minimal text is key. It can't be a distraction. Maybe something like:

[*graphic*]
Supporting developers...
[LOGO text]
powered installer
[/*graphic*]
[*link*]
Find out more...
[/*link*]

Maybe a link to a privacy policy would be good as well. But how much is that going to clutter things up? Probably a "Find out more..." link is enough.

If it's out to be a major Broadway musical, forget it.




+1 for WinSCP. It's quite well done there.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 03:18:38 AM by Renegade » Logged

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JavaJones
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« Reply #369 on: April 04, 2011, 03:45:51 AM »

Sure, even if it's just a "powered by" with a link for more info, that will give types like me, App (I think) and others with these kinds of concerns the chance to find out more before we go too much further with things. In this case, knowing what I know now, I'd probably go through with the install of an app using OC in its installer, assuming I was fairly interested in the app of course.

- Oshyan
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« Reply #370 on: April 04, 2011, 07:02:41 AM »

Speaking of consent and whatnot, while it is somewhat off-topic... ok... it's massively off-topic, but it's funny!



cheesy

Hey, they got the warning in there at least~! tongue

From Starship Troopers 3.
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« Reply #371 on: April 04, 2011, 10:02:33 AM »

If a once off usability metric is all 'spyware' ever did we would probably never have had Ad aware or Spybot Search and Destroy. No one would have considered that type of reporting malicious.
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« Reply #372 on: April 04, 2011, 02:13:14 PM »

If a once off usability metric is all 'spyware' ever did we would probably never have had Ad aware or Spybot Search and Destroy. No one would have considered that type of reporting malicious.

And therein lies a good part of the problem: Mission creep.

Much like cable TV stations...

First it was all free of commercials. That's why you were supposedly paying for cable - to avoid ads.

Then came ads in between the shows  - and it was now called "without commercial interruption" instead of "commercial free." But only after the FCC wouldn't go along with some channel's assertions that ads between shows shouldn't really count as ads (in the traditional sense of television advertising) because they didn't interrupt the main show.  

The FCC didn't buy it.

And with that part of the "redefine the meaning of a word" battle lost, the situation called for new thinking.

So began an industry move to reeducate the public about what should be considered an acceptable intrusion into their viewing experience...

But first, it was necessary to prime the pump and check customer reactions.

The initial test came in the form of a discreet semi-transparent channel ID "bug" in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.

Officially, this was done to discourage 'illegal' recording of cable TV shows. Which was odd, because home recording for personal use had already been ruled well within the legal provisions of "fair use" after several high profile court cases.

The bug did, however, get the viewing public used to seeing something not related to what they were watching displayed on screen during a show.

Next came little text "advisories" ("not ads - we're still ad free") at the bottom of the screen announcing the next show. Then they got bigger...and were no longer transparent...and stayed on screen longer...and soon incorporated logos and graphics.

Next came quarter-height characters from other shows walking out on the bottom of our screen waving banners and performing antics in the middle of what we were trying to watch. But now they weren't just announcing what was coming up next. They were also hyping things that wouldn't be on for two or three more days.

And lately, we've been treated to mini overlay-type commercials from various companies on some cable shows. But these "can't really" be considered ads because they're tied into - (wait for it!) a bloody contest!!!

Lovely...

I'm waiting for the day they stop kidding themselves (and us) and just permanently split the screen to have ads continuously running in one of the panels during a show.

Except they're not going to be called "ads."

Because it's still supposed to be "ad free."

So these will now officially be called 'recommendations' or 'advisories.' Or just about anything else it makes sense to call them - other than 'ads.'  

And perhaps those who are responsible for running them will hint at (or directly threaten) possible legal consequences for any who publicly call them anything different...

But only after they assure us that they're actually a bunch of extremely nice people who are deeply hurt by all the criticism they're "unfairly" receiving - and how they'd all quit the business tomorrow if they thought they were doing anything wrong.

So it's really nothing to worry about...

Really!

OC is gonna be totally different.

Really.

They have given us their word.

Forget they have serious venture funding - and are actively trying to get as many developers as possible into the fold without drawing too much attention to it.

And forget about some of its developer's past track records.

We all make mistakes.

Like getting caught.  tongue

So let's just let bygones be bygones - and "put it behind us" as the saying goes.

That's the perfect place to stick it anyway.

Besides, like Renegade pointed out, end users are clueless and stupid. So why bother trying to explain all the magical and complex logic behind how OC discovered an ad is no longer an ad? And how there's no way anybody could possibly consider OC as some form of adware. Some of OC's proponents have even cited an authority as absolute and unassailable as Wikipedia to back them up with a definition of 'adware' that works well for them.

So end of discussion and no worries, right?

Those of us who are bothered by things like OC just need to grow up, get with the times, and stop being so darn nitpicking.

 smiley

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« Reply #373 on: April 04, 2011, 02:50:53 PM »

Well yes, give an inch and they'll take mile, so of course everyone should be vigilant. But dissing OC and the developers who use it today because they might turn evil tomorrow is not vigilance, it's paranoia.
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« Reply #374 on: April 04, 2011, 03:48:29 PM »

I'm waiting for the day they stop kidding themselves (and us) and just permanently split the screen to have ads continuously running in one of the panels during a show.

Ah, you haven't been watching any of the 'music channels' on TV lately then. It's 80% ads for SMS services with the cost displayed in a font so small that even HD-TV won't show it readable, and the rest for other teenage crap stuff, and though it's not yet half of the screen, the in-song/in-clip advertising is enough to fill that gap. thumb down
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