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What's wrong with "Spyware"?

Discussion in 'Gaming Floor' started by mary, Sep 3, 2002.

  1. mary

    mary Dormant account

    I'm assuming this refers to software that evaluates player skill and betting behavior?

    I've always assumed that online casinos use it. It's one of the big advantages they have over land casinos. The precedent is well established in the land industry.
     
  2. truegambler

    truegambler Guest

    RTG has a server side processing that determines a players skill level. Also tracks play mistakes made by players and determines their expected and actual value to the casinos. The software would work to profile players who are of high skill. It would also be very useful to detect if someone was cheating, as they would have a high number of errors with a positive effect to the player, rather then the expected negative. Very slick software design. I have not seen any evidence of other software vendors using such tools.
     
  3. shootyoudown

    shootyoudown Dormant account

    Depends what particular kind of 'spyware' you're talking about. In general Internet parlance, it means a piece of software that sits on your computer and watches where you surf, either collecting information about your habits or popping up adverts when you visit certain web-sites (or just at random intervals). It's often installed together with another piece of software that has been downloaded (like Kazaa or Comet Cursor) and users commonly don't realise they are installing this 'spyware' thing as well.

    If you are concerned about what's on your computer that you don't know about, download something called 'Ad Aware' from lavasoft (free), which will detect what spyware is on your pc and ask you whether you want to delete it or not. I'm not sure what it would do if it ran into any casino software designed to send playing information back to the casino site...?

    You must register/login in order to see the link.
     
  4. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Useful information, shootyoudown for which thanks. Stealth spyware doesn't sound ethical to me - surely the consumer/player is entitled to know that someone if going to be able to access information from his PC no matter how innocuous?

    Shootyoudown are you a techie?
     
  5. shootyoudown

    shootyoudown Dormant account

    Yeah, kind of a techie - well, work in the tech sector at least. And no, stealth spyware isn't too ethical, which is why programs like ad-aware are available. 'Stealthy' is a good description of how these things get installed - during the installation process, the information about the spyware will be contained either in the T&C or agreement (and who reads those?) or just as an already ticked option in the list of things to install. On one level, it's the only way that a lot of these free programs will survive - on the other, and more seriously, it is not usually at all obvious what is being installed on your pc, and when that program can send back information about what you're up to, it can be a cause of great concern. The worst offenders are Gator, Comet Cursor, Kazaa, and Bonsai Buddy - all install little programs that will pop-up browser windows with adverts in them. So if you visit expedia.com, you'll get an advert pop-up for cheap flights. Search on google for casinos, and you'll be greeted with pop-ups for them. It's not expedia or google that are producing those, it's that little program on your pc.

    I'm not up on exactly what information gets passed back and forth between downloaded casino games and their servers, and whether there are any known downloads that install add-ons at the same time - I'd guess not (certainly not for big casinos) as they make their money elsewhere. There's no need for them to get the extra advertising dollars that a few pop-up windows will bring them.
     
  6. mary

    mary Dormant account

    I installed adware, and yeppers, there was Comet.
    Highly recommended, thank you.
     
  7. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Same here - very grateful for your advice, there shootyoudown.
     
  8. Casinomeister

    Casinomeister Forum Cheermeister Staff Member

    You can find adaware here:

    You must register/login in order to see the link.
     
  9. mary

    mary Dormant account

    Webmasters and advertisers in all industries are concerned about "scumware" aka "thiefware" that alters banner ads, link formatting, and or affiliate codes on users' computers.

    From the player's perspective, "adware" aka "spyware" is the current hazard of the 'net. Spyware and thiefware are often linked, and may be gotten from the same despicable sources of infection. After all, the scumware has to have some information about the user in order to substitute "appropriately" targeted advertising.

    The best article I have seen to date covering all these monstrosities of marketing can be found at:

    You must register/login in order to see the link.

    It describes how to find and remove many different infections. Ad-Aware, by Lavasoft, remains the best infection protection for spyware that actively reports my computer use to some evil villains base.

    I am also using Guard-IE, which pings me everytime a cookie is put on my drive or when a popup window has been thwarted. This lets me know which sites have no respect for me as a computer user. *ahem* It's better than the previous popup blocker I was using, because sometimes I do want to see a popup.

    Popup, popunder, popafter, and "user response required marketing" (I have to find a close button) is extremely common in the online gambling industry as casino sites and banner farms augment their income by selling their "exit traffic" on the theory that since you came to a casino site in the first place, you are more likely to be a gambler and thus worthy of targeting.

    Webmasters relying on these forms of advertising are also not going to recommend software that blocks poppies.

    Using both products gives me a sense of power and surfing vindication. Every "ping" is an unhappy barbarian turned away from my gate.
     

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