homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.166.113.249
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google Desktop Tools and Google Labs Projects
Forum Library, Charter, Moderator: open

Google Desktop Tools and Google Labs Projects Forum

This 122 message thread spans 5 pages: < < 122 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 > >     
hey Google - don't auto-update my toolbar!
auto-patching software is a big no-no
amznVibe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 1:43 am on Aug 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

I was quite thrown when my Google toolbar suddenly sprouted new buttons and options!

Seems with the new toolbar going from beta to final they decided to push it onto all desktops.

Don't do this Google! Huge no-no! Can't you see all the flak Microsoft is taking for their automatic system update proposal? Don't touch my system without a warning and the ability to opt-out!

I was so surprised a company like Google would do an action like that. Very un-Google like.

I liked the old toolbar and I don't need any features in the new one. The old toolbar had a more compact layout since the search web button was integrated.

Now I have to rip out the v2 and reinstall the old one while blocking the auto-update.

 

MonkeeSage

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 3:45 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Googleguy:

I don't have a particular stance in this discussion since I don't use the toolbar (not that I find anything wrong with it, don't get me wrong, but I have all of the features I would have used on it already in JavaScript + XUL...and it's always more fun to use your own creations).

But I think the main complaint was that auto-update should be an opt in and the user should be aware of it.

Of course, in a sense it is, since the FAQ and EULA specify the feature. But I think that it is more of an RFE being discussed here.

It would probably be a good idea to have a plce to present feature requests. I Google'd up this [toolbar.google.com] page, but it is not clear that feedback can include RFEs and it seems more geared towards "problems" only.

Jordan

dougb

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 3:45 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

There are lots of good reasons to auto-update the toolbar. For example, about two years ago, a security company found a potential security issue with the toolbar. The toolbar team went into a non-stop quest to find and fix any security issues. With auto-update, we were able to deploy the fix to toolbar users before anyone but the security company knew about it in the first place. So we want users to be informed that the toolbar auto-updates, but I think that in general it can be a very useful feature to auto-update.

I don't think I follow your reasoning. Are you saying that because your software has had security issues in the past, users should not be allowed to decide whether to install new versons of it? Even Microsoft doesn't do this, and new security holes in Windows are announced on a minutely basis.

netguy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 4:34 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Damage Control:
I was wondering when GoogleGuy would surface. If it were explained that there was a security issue, I'm sure most all of us would have happily clicked on an 'Update' button - if it were made available.

But some of us like to have a choice before magically seeing new things appear on machines we use to make a living.

GoogleGuy, if you took a poll at the GooglePlex, I'm sure that very few programmers would take kindly to seeing anything new pop up on their computer without their specific consent - with or without buried terms of use.

For the average Joe, it probably doesn't matter.

In my case, I have not had to touch my machines in a couple years [knock on wood], but I know others that have to repair their registry or reload their operating systems several times a year, due to allowing auto downloads from everything from software updates - to the latest Tomb Raider game.

For those that don't understand, be glad you haven't encountered any problems - Yet. For the rest of us, I hope Google goes back to its roots of being the "People's search engine," and not get so everwhelmed with themselves, or new "opportunities," that they forget the basics.

claus

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 5:03 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've found one pretty consistent thing with the new version, it seems to slow page load and IE load times also (including new windows, IE6/W98). I know it's kind of OT, but this seems to be the "v.2" thread and that's the only bad thing i've found sofar.

Regarding the AU, i think i have stated why it's in G's best interest and might even be in the best interest of the user. Although i personally like to control such stuff (i'm strictly an "opt-outer" normally) i have accepted this feature in this case, but this means that i have to keep a somewhat closer eye to the app and that takes my time which is bugging me as apps should really not have a life of their own... anyway i'll not uninstall unless it also slows my system... hmm...

If the AU was an opt-in i would perhaps even have opted in although i prefer to get a notification and then decide for myself if i wish to upgrade. Perhaps an auto-update-opt-out in stead?

/claus

Morgan

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 5:06 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google doesn't "need" to do anything. If you don't like the toolbar in its entirety, don't use it. And don't complain because you haven't read what's available about it.

What if they change the way they interface with the toolbar, like when PR was in XML instead of a normal text file? They should keep supporting legacy toolbars?

It's free software, don't use it if you don't like it.

SlyOldDog

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 6:23 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

So where can I download my hacked copy of the toolbar?

I'm surprised no-one has done that yet ;)

At least there should be a downgrade option if it causes problems with your system.

Net_Wizard



 
Msg#: 457 posted 6:37 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

With auto-update, we were able to deploy the fix to toolbar users before anyone but the security company knew about it in the first place. So we want users to be informed that the toolbar auto-updates, but I think that in general it can be a very useful feature to auto-update.

So....Have Google heard of such thing as 'courtesy' to the pc owner?

Of course not! As usual...Google ass'u'me what is best for my system or was it best for Google and damn the pc owner. So what if his system crashes?

Net_Wizard



 
Msg#: 457 posted 6:45 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Morgan,

Would you be happy if suddenly M$ upgraded your win95 or win98 to win XP 'without notice'?

I still use win98 although I own a copy of win XP and have no intent to upgrade my system considering all the other 3rd party softwares that I have installed that are dependent on win98 system.

Not until hell freezez over would I upgrade to win XP.

BUT at least microsoft have the decency to 'informed' you of any upgrade.

Can you say the same thing with Google?

Morgan

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 7:27 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I can say the same thing about Google. "The Google Toolbar automatically updates itself when a new version is available." Wow, that was tough to find. The only assumption being made is that you should just install software without reading anything about it, and then call it scumware? Genius.

piniyinipompom

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 7:48 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

By Net_Wizard :
Google ass'u'me

You joker :-)

I had the google toolbar installed, the new version after the beta one and I found it too intrusive, with all the blogger and auto form filling options. Basically I was looking for a reason to uninstall it, I didnt as I enjoyned looking at the page rank of the sites I visited.

Then I came across the site Google Watch [google-watch.org] and I immediately uninstalled it. There was info about the auto installation and other stuff which I didnt like, so off it went.

As for the page rank, I hear that isnt working at the moment, correct?

Piniyini

GoogleGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 8:39 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Net_Wizard, I thought we did a pretty good job of letting users know about the auto-update by putting it in the FAQ. I'll pass on the feedback that you think it should be more visible. In general, we only want users to install the toolbar if we have their fully informed consent. I'll mention that someone here thought that discussing it in the Frequently Asked Questions wasn't clear enough.

piniyinipompom, if using the toolbar makes you uncomfortable in any way, I'd read through all the documentation--we do our best to make the toolbar useful, and to disclose exactly what it does and doesn't do. If you enjoyed reading Google Watch, I think the same author has written a really interesting article about mind control too. If you do a search for "mind control and the secret state" it should show up. I'd never heard of technologies like radio hypnotic intra-cerebral control and hypnotic dissolution of memory; it's a good read--I enjoyed it a lot.

[edited by: GoogleGuy at 8:43 pm (utc) on Aug. 23, 2003]

mfishy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 8:43 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Although I do not find what Google is doing to be that intrusive, whether or not something is in the TOS or not doesn't mean jack.

All reasonably sized spyware/scumare companies have a tos

Gator has a TOS. Wonder how many people realized they were agreeing to pop ups every few seconds....

Net_Wizard



 
Msg#: 457 posted 8:46 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Morgan,

You are absolutely right! :)

Pardon my ignorance of the FAQ page, I guess I'm just the type that don't read FAQ thoroughly unless I have a problem or don't read Terms that much.

I guess I'm just the type that gives some trust to web sites that I deemed thrust worthy that they would do the most sensible thing of continuing that level of thrust and would not do such things to break that thrust.

So, Kudos to you for bringing it to my attention. I hand it to you for reading 'everything' in the FAQ page and I suppose you read also the toolbar privacy and the full Google privacy statements and terms of service thoroughly before you have downloaded and installed the Google Toolbar.

I further applaud you of your dedication to read every terms of service, license agreement, etc., etc...thoroughly...that you have encountered whenever you install something in your system.

If I'm just like you, I wouldn't have this problem of having the Google Toolbar slowing my browser on the first place.

Thank you

p.s. since it was my fault, I have uninstalled the Google Toolbar and now I have to spend a few moment hunting down those components that were not totally removed from my system. Wish me luck.

GaryK

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 8:51 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

GG and others, we are drifting off-track again.

From recent experience I can tell you that most visitors do not read the TOS and only occasionally read the FAQ. So, GG, that argument is moot to me.

I think the essence of this thread was that Google should warn us about the toolbar being updated.

At that point we can refuse the update or accept it.

If we refuse the update we might lose use of the toolbar or some functionality.

But ultimately the decision is ours. Google should not be forcing new software on us even if we did legally agree to it.

It's just potentially bad public relations, especially if something goes wrong with a toolbar update and makes a machine unusable, times how many machines are using the toolbar.

[edited for spelling]

[edited by: GaryK at 8:57 pm (utc) on Aug. 23, 2003]

Namaste

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 8:52 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

GG, put it in BOLD at the time of install: "IMPORTANT: The toolbar will auto-update to ensure that any security holes are plugged. But you will have control over installation of new features and enabling dormant ones. We assure you that none will be installed without your consent"

that will make it fair.

futureX

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 9:26 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

All reasonably sized spyware/scumare companies have a tos
Spyware with TOC isnt really spyware.

And if people agree blindly to TOC when downloading programs then why complain when it does something which is in the TOC that you agreed to.

markus007

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 9:37 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Other then the view complainers on this forum, the general public likes having things autoupdated. If 1 million people have the toolbar installed, over 900,000 probably never think of going back to the google toolbar download page and checking to see if there is a new version.

GoogleGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 9:38 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'll certainly go to the toolbar team and ask if we're making it clear enough that the toolbar auto-updates. Talking about it in the FAQ is good, but I'll ask if we can do anything else.

Net_Wizard



 
Msg#: 457 posted 10:22 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Other then the view complainers on this forum, the general public likes having things autoupdated. If 1 million people have the toolbar installed, over 900,000 probably never think of going back to the google toolbar download page and checking to see if there is a new version.

So does hundreds of thousands if not millions of users who downloaded Gator...

Yet, only few webmasters discusses that issue of Scumware. Does it make the rest of the users consenting to Gator action?

So, what's next? Auto update the toolbar with Adwords to 'enhance your surfing experience'? Hey, I suppose that would be really cool.

Let's go further...I suggest auto update of Google toolbar that would parse all web sites that we surf and replace all adverts found to either adwords or links to destinations that 'Google think' would enhance your surfing experience.

Why resist Google? Resistance is futile...all web sites and pc's would be auto assimilated by Google in the future...all in the name of...enhancing users experience...I'll be the first to change my signature to Google_Drone, promise :D

<added>Forget to add - all pc's system should upgrade to Google-googleow(similar to window OS) to prevent conflict. If not, who cares if your system crashes. What's in your pc is not important to Google anyway</added>

loanuniverse

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 11:05 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

That Google Watch site is a hoot! and with a nice PR too.

People are funny and not everyone can be pleased at the same time.

I think that the portion of people that really care about this issue enough to rank it as important enough to take action {remove the toolbar, block the update url} or even consider it is very small. Of course the number is skewed because of the audience of this board. For argument sake, let's say the toolbar asked you for permission to update. I will guess a good number of users will click "No" and leave themselves exposed to a security flaw.

Someone here said something like: "I don't follow the logic of forcing an update because of a flaw in the software" Well, I am no programmer, but there are bugs in almost every piece of software. I think you would like to force the update for that very reason. I don't think the Google has ever claimed to be the producers of 100% bug-free software. The request for permission might or might not make it into the next release, which will be delivered by auto-update, but if a bug is found and is exploited by malicious individuals, you will see people complaining about how Google left their systems open to attack. Even if the toolbar had asked for permision before.

Like I said, people are funny

PhraSEOlogy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 11:22 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I woud have liked to have seen a little note/window/prompt with:

Update google toolbar now:yes/no

or

Important security update to google toolbar - install:yes/no

or just something to let me know it was done. I can see everyones point of view but communication is important!

MonkeeSage

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 11:26 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I interpret the bottom line of this thread as, for better or for worse, people do not want to come into their house, turn on their computer that they bought with their money, and find that someone changed it (in any way) without their knowledge or (explicit) consent.

Mabye silly, inefficient or otherwise unpragmatic, but vox populorum regere--the voice of the people rules. ;)

Jordan

grifter

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 12:57 am on Aug 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

The only thing I wonder is if Google can transparently restore the older version if there's a problem with the new.

If so, I could give a rat's kiester whether or not the thing auto-updates.

1milehgh80210

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 1:06 am on Aug 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

The only thing I wonder is if Google can transparently restore the older version if there's a problem with the new."<<

My toolbar has never worked correctly since downloading version 2.0. So I do without..

ThatAdamGuy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 1:17 am on Aug 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Several thoughts...

1) COURTESY AND RESPECT
I hope it isn't inappropriate to note here, but I find it offensive when people exhibit such wild mood swings and hurl epithets at any company. Putting "scumware" and Google in the same sentence, IMHO, is disrespectful, especially on the front page of WW.

2) RESPONSIBILITY
For the most part, Google has done a decent job replacing dense legalese with more comprehensible English info. I think it's a bit unfair for folks to holler at Google when they fail to read plain-English FAQs.

3) CATERING TO POWER USERS AND NON-GEEKS
I agree with the sentiments expressed by some in this thread that it would be both smart and polite for Google to improve its communications on this topic. Choices would be great, too. In particular, I think it'd be cool if Google added an option as follows to its toolbar preference screen:
Toolbar updates
- ALWAYS UPDATE: Always update my toolbar automatically to the latest version (default).
- ASK BEFORE UPDATING: Notify me when updates are available.*
* NOTE -- If critical updates are made available, you will be given the options to upgrade or uninstall your Google Toolbar

Additionally, it'd be nice if Google sent an e-mail upon browser update-availability.

4) Security before choice
As others have noted in this thread, the Internet has become infested with those who are too busy, too ignorant, or too callous to patch their systems which suffer from security vulnerabilities, and this negatively impacts everyone. It's akin, IMHO, to seatbelt laws; sure, it cuts into "liberties," but if I have a choice between the libertarian approach and ensuring that people maintain better control over their vehicles in accidents (saving lives... possibly MY life), I'll choose the latter.

---

Could Google have communicated this issue better initially? Yes. But I believe the larger fault lies with those who scream and hurl epithets whenever they feel technically slighted.

Net_Wizard



 
Msg#: 457 posted 3:07 am on Aug 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think it's a bit unfair for folks to holler at Google when they fail to read plain-English FAQs.

So, I suppose it's okay for my friends to walk in to my house without knocking first, any time they want, although I told them that they are welcome in my house?

Anyway...

I reinstalled the Toolbar and here are the steps that I went through.

1. I click on the link to 'toolbar.google.com'

2. In the above page, I saw the link to 'Terms of use', I click on it...to read it this time and guess what, no mention of automatic update/upgrade of the toolbar.

3. So, I click on the button 'GET THE GOOLGE TOOLBAR'...a pop-up with the title 'Choose Your Google Toolbar Configuration - Web Page Dialog'

In it, says...
PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY
IT'S NOT THE USUAL YADA YADA

So, I read it carefully this time. I couldn't find anything in regards to automatic update/upgrade of the toolbar.

However, the closest it say about automatic update is this...
By using the Advance Features version of the Google Toolbar, you may be sending information about the sites you visit to Google. This is needed to make services like PageRank(TM), and other features that update automatically, available to you.
Bold mine

Maybe, I'm just naive but my understanding of the 'other features' automatic updates is just like PageRank where the updates takes place at Google side, server side as oppose to client side. But nowhere it says that it would automatically update the toolbar in my computer(client side) for every new version that would come up. Nowhere!

4. So, I followed through, click on the button chosing 'install with advance feature'.

5. Installed through ActiveX

6. Redirects to page [toolbar.google.com...] which say Congratulation....[my insert ->(victim #######)]

7. Looking good, looks like Google Toolbar was successfully installed in my computer

8. At this point...what are the chances that I would go back and look for the FAQ about the toolbar? I don't see anything wrong(aside from my previous knowledge that it slows down my browser significantly), I could start playing with it.

-------------------------
So, where at this steps that I was informed that Google would update/upgrade the Toolbar automatically(without my consent)? Maybe, I miss something?
-------------------------

Ahh...the FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are synonymous to 'help files' but just like any help files....it's always after the fact.

In this case, suddenly the toolbar upgraded itself automatically. Now, Im surprised, search this forum and behold...it's in Google Toolbar FAQ...thanks for pointing that out...a little too late for that...[my insert ->(my system crash and along goes all my important files with it)]

Weird though...because all my other softwares, including my fire wall, anti-virus, and all other very expensive softwares always asked or remind me if there is any new version or security update.

Hmmm...should I let Google mess around with my system...I don't think so!

The security and health of my computer is my responsibility and mine alone.

GaryK

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 3:30 am on Aug 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Toolbar updates
- ALWAYS UPDATE: Always update my toolbar automatically to the latest version (default).
- ASK BEFORE UPDATING: Notify me when updates are available.*
* NOTE -- If critical updates are made available, you will be given the options to upgrade or uninstall your Google Toolbar

ThatAdamGuy: IMO you did a much better job of explaining the point I was trying to make in #51. Thank you.

mayor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 3:31 am on Aug 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Will Google make financial restitution for anyone whose computer(s) crash and lose data as a result of the auto-update?

Maybe they have the legal right to auto-update, thanks to the fine print in their TOS, but they have no right to inflict damage through the negligence of their programmers.

[edited by: mayor at 3:34 am (utc) on Aug. 24, 2003]

amznVibe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 3:32 am on Aug 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy (and others) in my head it comes down to this simple summary:

MOST IMPORTANTLY: SILENT, STEALTH, AUTO-UPDATES are a big NO-NO
Any product that updates itself needs to give a PRIOR WARNING with an OPT-OUT and a notice afterwards that it has updated itself. It's not just polite behavior, it's a must to cover yourself with your large power/admin userbase. Putting this in the product's control panel (settings) is a big plus.

It was absolutely bad thinking for Google to choose a stealth mode for updating.

Does Google have the right to auto-update their toolbar? Of course.

Are auto-upates a good feature for the bulk of novices? Of course.

Does Google tell us SOMEWHERE that it will happen? Yes, but not careful enough.

Is it told to us somewhere where we don't have to carefully search for it, despite the warning about the non-typical yada yada?
A BIG NO. Google is much more worried about us understanding the privacy issues with the pagerank, and I understand that, it IS a more serious issue. However the auto-updates should be the next big warning in that text. It's not.

rfgdxm1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 4:33 am on Aug 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Putting "scumware" and Google in the same sentence, IMHO, is disrespectful, especially on the front page of WW.

So you mean that it is inappropriate that people here tell the truth about the fact that the Google toolbar is scumware/spyware? I can think of no more appropriate terms given the lack of an opt-out.

amznVibe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 457 posted 5:34 am on Aug 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Oh wow, I didn't even see this making the front page and the use of the word "scumware" until just now.

I think it's far too strong and nasty of word to use towards this Google toolbar issue.

I would reserve that word for programs that do nasty things for the purposes of greed. Google isn't making a dime off their toolbar (though its the only way to fetch their pagerank). This is more of a over-eagar mistake on Google's part.

I hope everyone realizes I never used that word and I didn't create that front page entry!

Can't the mods (Brett?) find a slightly less offensive word? :(

It's hard to find a common definition for "scumware" but I would only use it for programs that "hijack" or modify other programs to route information or revenue to themselves (like modifying links on your web pages to go to their own services, etc)

This 122 message thread spans 5 pages: < < 122 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 > >
Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google Desktop Tools and Google Labs Projects
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved