What in the hell is it going to take?
June 15, 2000 2:55 PM   Subscribe

What in the hell is it going to take? Broderbund/Mattel puts spyware in kids reading programs... [/.]
posted by baylink (6 comments total)
Not exactly. I do agree that Mattel is borderline evil, but if you read the article, you'll find it's not spyware and the products being shipped have it disabled.

You might not trust Mattel to being telling the truth, but if you are going to be that paranoid then you can't trust ANY exe.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:04 PM on June 15, 2000

I *don't*, but that's another story.

The concerns are still valid, even if my phrasing was slightly overstated; even Garfinkel thinks that.

And it's not an accident that all my machines are behind a masquerade box that can identify the targets of outbound connections...
posted by baylink at 3:45 PM on June 15, 2000

It has become evident in recent months that a good firewall registers and filters all traffic which goes both ways.

That is one of the reasons I like the package "Norton Internet Security 2000", because if a program attempts an outgoing connection and I haven't made a rule permitting it, I'll get a popup. In the case of this particular program, it would take me being in a plane over the Atlantic; the first time the program tried to make its connection I'd have been told. I have, in fact, already closed off several equivalent capabilities by creating firewall rules which make it impossible for certain programs to contact certain web addresses. (You should see how many rules I have for REAL software; that stuff is trying constantly to get out.)
posted by Steven Den Beste at 5:00 PM on June 15, 2000

"There oughtta be a site to exchange this information..."
posted by baylink at 5:30 PM on June 15, 2000

Y'see. the problem is that none of you see how important Mattel is. After all, if we don't socialize our kids to become mindless consumers as fast as possible, we may well allow them time to consider the mindless vapidness of the aggressive acquisition of objects, and that simply isn't in our best interest. Mattel is simply trying to make sure that it knows enough about your children so that it can best tailor its marketing to them. It's really in their interest.

Wow, I feel all Jonathan Swift all of a sudden. Does anyone know if other companies are doing this? (I assume they are, but I have no facts.)
posted by Ezrael at 5:32 PM on June 15, 2000

Indeed, the Online Child Protection Act seems to have put the fear of God into them. Sort of.
posted by dhartung at 12:29 AM on June 16, 2000

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