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4 Top Software Downloading Facts

Jun 27, 2008
Software downloading facts from around the world.

1. A star farce

Starforce, who make software copy protection, have been criticised for problems arising from their product being difficult to uninstall, opening up security holes in people's systems, and causing instabilities and conflicts.

In an attempt to show that their software was safe, Starforce set a challenge which gave contestants six weeks to visit their Moscow headquarters at their own expense with a PC that was still under warranty, install the protection software on the premises and then prove that the CD/DVD drive no longer worked (one of the many symptoms reported). If the drive worked, the company would then name and shame the person on their website.

After six weeks, when no one had taken them up on their offer, Starforce announced that their software had been proven to be safe.

2. Open-source is the way

It is believed that in five to ten years, most of the software that we use will be free. This is a result of the ever more prevalent open-source strategies being employed that allow talent from all over the world to collaborate on a product for the benefit of everyone.

The idea of packaged products is disappearing, and because there are always more people involved in an open-source community, it is inevitable that a free software project will eventually be regarded as functionally better than any commercial, closed-source effort.

This may not be all that far off, as the increasingly popular OpenOffice office suite is believed to be a contender to replace Microsoft Office in the future. It is thought that making money through open-source software downloads will involve selling services that assist with things like installation, configuration, maintenance, and customisation.

There will always be a market for commercial solutions however, and these are expected to dominate more specialised technical and niche areas.

3. FTC cracks down

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has sued two spyware operations that stealthily installed corruptive software downloads. Smartbot-Net (run by Sanford Wallace) and Odysseus Marketing (run by Walter Rines) were both accused of exploiting security vulnerabilities in various applications including MS Internet Explorer.

Smartbot-Net reportedly hijacked their customers' computers, secretly changed their settings, caused computers to malfunction, and captured important data which was transmitted to various servers and complied into a database. As a result, they have been fined over four million Dollars.

Odysseus Marketing's software, posing as an anonymous Peer-to-Peer file sharing program, altered the customer's search engine results, placing Walter Rines' clients first. The spyware also collected personal information, website browsing history, and details regarding online transactions. They have been fined nearly 2 million Dollars.

4. BS Association

The AIC (Australian Institute of Criminology) has judged that piracy statistic reported by the BSA (Business Software Association) have been gravely over exaggerated. Figures regarding their losses and the use of them to help sue alleged copyright infringers are particularly under scrutiny, as the copyright owners have failed to explain how they have arrived at their conclusions.

The BSA has claimed to have lost more than 361 million Dollars in software sales due to piracy, which the report describes as unverified, unreliable and absurd. The data has also been referred to as "self-serving hyperbole that fails to explain clearly how it is based on anything real".

The AIC suggested that these statistics should either be withdrawn, or those responsible for supplying the data must provide clear proof of its validity.
About the Author
Jon Mills has created the TotalDownloader website which provides information on downloading techniques, increasing your speeds, maintaining anonymity, and much more. So get started now with your free 6 part course at TotalDownloader.com
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