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2002 May 02 15:10

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Re: [vox] Printouts for WEF
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Re: [vox] Printouts for WEF



On Thu, 2 May 2002, nbs wrote:

> On Thu, May 02, 2002 at 02:18:09PM -0700, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> > bill,
> > 
> > excellent job!!!  one question, though
> > 
> > begin nbs <nbs@sonic.net> 
> > > 
> > > 2. Microsoft - Not Just Buggy Software, Privacy Invasion, too!
> > > 
> > >     * Microsoft is Watching You
> > >       + WinXP Search Assistant silently downloads files
> > 
> > are you sure this correct?
> > 
> > a few weeks ago i remember reading that when you searched your local
> > hard drive the search assistant silently uploaded personal information
> > to microsoft.com.   i didn't hear anything about silently downloading
> > files to your local hard drive (although i'm sure that happens anyway.
> > the personal info thing was the bit that made the news though).
> 
> Erm... Yeah.  I think here it's a matter of vocabulary.
> Lots of people aren't as smart as you and I, and call /everything/
> a "download."
> 
> "I downloaded a bunch of files to my MP3 player."
> 
> Using a strict definition of 'download', you can't "download TO" something.
> You "UPLOAD to" it.  You "download FROM" it.

Perhaps using _a_ "strict" definition.  However, from the "Jargon file":

  download vt. To transfer data or (esp.) code from a larger `host' system
  (esp. a mainframe) over a digital comm link to a smaller `client'
  system, esp. a microcomputer or specialized peripheral. Oppose upload. 

  However, note that ground-to-space communications has its own usage rule
  for this term. Space-to-earth transmission is always `down' and the
  reverse `up' regardless of the relative size of the computers
  involved. So far the in-space machines have invariably been
  smaller; thus the upload/download distinction has been reversed from its
  usual sense. 

In the first definition's sense, I would call "lots of people"s usage
correct.  This is a very old definition, but not necessarily the most
correct one in all cases.

When I develop for an embedded system, I "download to" the target.  When
using the internet, "usually" the computer "you" are transferring files to
your computer from is a file server powerful enough to handle lots of
connections, so it is typically "larger" than your computer and you are
"downloading".  However, it could be an internet-enabled coffeemaker, and
you could be "uploading" the coffeemaker status.

> I simply cut-n-pasted the title of the document.  I suppose I could've
> done some Editorial, and renamed it to:
> 
>   "WinXP Search Assistant silently [uploads] files"
> 
> But I'm not sure that it's even FILES it's uploading.  It's data.
> 
> But... whatever... Sounds intrusive. ;)

It is sending your queries to MS.  If you are searching for pr0n, MS will
know.  They may or may not have enough information in the collected data
to identify you personally, but combined with other information it could
be damning if you were searching for explosives howtos shortly before
someone bombed the Capitol. ;)

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Jeff Newmiller                        The     .....       .....  Go Live...
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Research Engineer (Solar/Batteries            O.O#.       #.O#.  with
/Software/Embedded Controllers)               .OO#.       .OO#.  rocks...2k
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