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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

 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.



 2:12 am on Aug 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

If anyone else wants to block this update, apparently the toolbar makes this url call:


(depending on your version/browser, the dll= part obviously will different)

and it sends back this:


 2:58 am on Aug 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Microsoft will now be forcing upgrades for IM & they're discussing it for Windows. etc. after MSBlast. If only Netscape would do the same for their legacy browsers.


 3:03 am on Aug 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

You talk about that like its a good thing? Auto-updates without the option to opt-out are not just annoying, they are a nightmare for system administrators.

No matter how "annoying" a netscape 4 user is, I would never FORCE them to update. Making them aware of the issue and giving a suggested link is an entirely different matter.


 3:24 am on Aug 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

You talk about that like its a good thing? Auto-updates without the option to opt-out are not just annoying, they are a nightmare for system administrators.

I use to feel the same way, but the very fact that thousands of Internet users refuse to update operating system software and virus definitions, it's getting to the point that maybe some critical updates should be automatic. Shame on me, I thought most people had anti-virus software on their computers these days, but either people don't or they are not updating their definitions which is causing a giant pain in the butt for everyone that makes their income from the Internet. I admit that I am tired of dealing with run away viruses because people refuse to be responsible.

When I was young, if you wanted to go to school you had to get vaccinations. Maybe the Internet should be the same way. If you want to enjoy the wonderful things the Internet has to offer, you have to be responsible or you have to leave.


 3:28 am on Aug 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well I was just saying it can be a good thing, even for a sys admin; I get way more inquiries about, "What is this opt-out, err do I hit OK or CANCEL, HELP, OMG!?" than I do, "What's this new button thingy?".

Don't touch my system without a warning and the ability to opt-out!

Don't forget that big 'ol "I AGREE TO EVERYTHING..." button:

"You acknowledge that Google or third parties own all right, title and interest in and to the Google Toolbar, portions thereof, or software provided through or in conjunction with the Google Toolbar, including without limitation all Intellectual Property Rights."



 3:59 am on Aug 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

No agreement such as Google's says they can come into your computer and change the software. This is a very old argument, older than browser wars and os wars. They have no idea what conflicts the new version might cause, if it might cause a critical system to suddenly stop working as intended. Huge liability problem too.

If they insist on doing that, at least give a checkbox in the options that says something like "I actually know what I am doing, don't make choices for me and don't update my software without my knowledge".

Say what you want about Microsoft (and I say plenty, LoL) at least in their control panel you can turn off "auto-updates" entirely.

Meanwhile, I have told my firewall to block "/version" from "toolbar.google.com" and this has solved the auto-update issues without any conflicts.


 5:07 am on Aug 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

What the *$x%! I thought I was going crazy seeing my toolbar buttons completely change before my eyes. Couldn't figure out what was up. One browser window had version 1.x and another window had v2.0. Now all windows are displaying the version 2.0 toolbar.

This toolbar auto update by Google is a load of you know what. I agree that they should at least give people the option to checkoff or uncheck whether the darn thing updates on its own. Grant...I would have updated at some point but they should not just PUSH it out to all people automatically. I like to wait a bit to see if people have conflicts with software etc. before grabbing certain updates. Gggrrrrr!

I am a longtime lurker (unfortunately) but I had to post my frustrations on this matter. Man...that really irks me.



 7:10 pm on Aug 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google's new 2.0 toolbar just auto updated when I rebooted, and I'm not happy about this AT ALL!

I, like most everyone else in the world has known where to go to update to 2.0 - if we had the desire to do so.

... I'm now starting to question how invasive Google actually is in a variety of departments.


 7:34 pm on Aug 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Even if you don't agree to the fact that once you click the big "I AGREE" button, you've opted-in to the software's terms of use, this was BETA software.

I'm sure the fine print that you "agreed" to prior to downloading this free softwareto gives them power to uninstall or update buggy beta software as they see fit, and rightly so.


 8:35 pm on Aug 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

What a crazy thread. You opt-in to auto-updating when you install the toolbar. Sheesh.

I know this may sound crazy, but most of the times, most of us simply click yes for downloading tools/softwares without reading in depth. But it certainly is more helpful if the auto-update process takes place after a small confirmation before downloading the new version.

Of course, since we opted-in, Google has every right to auto-download, but as I mentioned a little "There is a new upgrade available, do you want to download and install it" certainly goes a long way.

I was shocked when I noticed the new one. In fact, I prefer the version before this one, because it has a bigger area assigned for using the "backward links", "cached snapshot", etc [The blue i (exclamation)]


 9:26 pm on Aug 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>What a crazy thread.... Sheesh.

steveb, I'm not sure where you are coming from on this. It is a common courtesy, if nothing else, to let a person know they are slamming something new on your system.

I have different computers for different tasks. If Microsoft slammed the latest browser on me every time they had a new revision, I wouldn't have different versions to test my sites on. [What Microsoft DOES do, is give me periodic messages saying that this or that is available, and its my option to download it].

As toddski07 said, its good to wait to hear from the others to see if there are any problems or conflicts first. [My experience has been, "pioneers are the ones with the arrows in their backs," and lord knows I still have the holes to prove it].

While many users won't be concerned, the rest of us like to maintain a certain amount of control over the machines that make us our living, regardless of whether it is opt-in or not.

<added> Hence my point:


 12:42 am on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Where in the terms does it say that Google will update it automatically at their descresion?
I mean those are some very specific terms, and I cannot find such a statement.

Happy to say after 24+ hours my block is working fine on several machines and the 1.1.70 version is still purring away.

Fortunately the terms also don't say I cannot run an old version. Since I didn't tamper with the program itself directly, I cannot be violating the agreement.


 2:19 am on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

1.1.70 version is still purring away

If you are using the toolbar for 6 months or more, you most likely never installed version 1.1.70 (until yesterday) but an older version that was later automatically updated to the 1.1.70 version.

March 5: 1.1.70 [webmasterworld.com]

Feb. 28: 1.1.69 [webmasterworld.com]

Feb. 6: 1.1.68 [webmasterworld.com]

This automatic update isn't something new for the Google toolbar:

It would be nice if they informed the user of the dynamic updates somewhere.
Toolbar updated? [webmasterworld.com] Apr 5, 2001

It's scary because I was never asked if I wanted this upgrade or not.
Google toolbar self updated to 1.1.57-deleon [webmasterworld.com] June 22, 2002

It updates itself without asking me!
Google Fixes Security Flaws in Search Toolbar [webmasterworld.com] Aug 9, 2002

Blocking a Toolbar Update [webmasterworld.com]

Toolbar automatic upgrade? I am still at 1.1.63 [webmasterworld.com].


 4:08 am on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes, the previous v1.x updates snuck past me as I had already allowed the toolbar to go through my firewall, thinking it was completely well behaved.

Fortunately I had saved the full executable version of 1.1.70 back in March, so ripping out the v2 version and going back to v1 was fairly easy.

Problem solved. Didn't know there was a previous discussion on self-updates, not something I normally look for (and it didn't turn up in a casual search here). Again, just a very surprising behavior compared to typical Google thinking.


 11:19 am on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

This morning my Outlook Express takes 15 seconds to launch, instead of usual 2 sec, I did not install any software nor changed system settings. Only Google toolbar auto-update took place. Uninstalling toolbar did not help, but how do I know they did nothing to my system. VERY bad move Google :(


 11:53 am on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

My Google toolbar doesn't display PR. Google should do something to fix these bugs. I've reinstalled it a dozen times already.


 12:12 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Before I downloaded the Toolbar, I clicked "I AGREE TO THE TERMS OF USE - INSTALL THE GOOGLE TOOLBAR". I honestly can't remember whether I read them or not.

Anyway, the next step has big red text; "PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY IT'S NOT THE USUAL YADA YADA". At that point, it seems reasonable to consider the consequences of sending URLs to Google, and of "other features that update automatically".

It would be nice if the Toolbar had an auto-updating option for for people who install without 'advanced features', but for those of us who do use the PageRank graph I can why Google mightn't want us to have the option of querying their servers with old Toolbar versions.

Interent Yogi

 12:37 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

What google taking tips from realplayer network. They will be trying to get in the start up soon :(


 12:55 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, you can do all kinds of interesting things with toolbars and other BHOs. Autoupdate is, afaik, "the usual yada yada" hidden in terms of most such downloads, and for exact these reasons. You don't want your users to get concerned every time you wish to install something new on their system or do whatever you do, seeing update-popups and install warnings. In stead you just want to (be able to) go ahead and do it.

I'm pretty sure G does not want to take over my machine or purge the content of my disk, i'm also pretty sure they won't be lauching popups on the fly or replacing ads on non-AS sites with adsense ads. Not completely sure, but pretty sure. So they're probably not the black sheep of the family, that is. But they do have the same reason for it - it's in their interest to be in control, and it's also good in the case where bugs are just corrected without alarming or even notifying users - good for PR that is; users never will (need to) find out about bugs.

Still, it's an issue of "who controls my machine?" - i'd personally like it to be me.



 12:59 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Actually this event has helped me find another problem. I hunted down a copy of BHOCOP (not easy to find since Ziff Davis has seemed to pulled it from all their sites) which shows you all the items plugging into IE toolbar. I wanted to see how Google was attaching itself to IE. But I discovered some leftover items from other supposedly uninstalled programs that were still there and still active. Unhooked them and now new IE windows popup a little faster.

rytis - I highly doubt its Google slowing down your Outlook - not to scare you but there are a few very nasty viruses going around - I'd do a virus signature update and a full scan just to be on the safe side

vik_c if you are using the new v2 toolbar (and unless you have blocked it from updating, of course you are) - did you try using the experimental option it has to work through proxies? This may be your problem. There are other causes for that however, do some good searches for answers. (And if it needs to be said, remember the pagerank feature is NOT turned on by default)


 1:20 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

When peopel start to realize that google is JUST ANOTHER COMPANY TRYING TO MAKE A BUCK things liek that won't be much of a surprise.
you wouldn't be too much surprised if it was MS right? or AOL? now it's time to wake up and face reality..


 1:52 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm really inclined to level Google Toolbar as a Scumware...just like the rest of you, it upgraded my toolbar without any warning yesterday and I thought one of those email viruses got into my system that's when I noticed the toolbar have changed :(

As a result of this upgrade, my browser is very slow to load especially when you hit the back button or viewing the history folder.

Starting not to like Google at all.


 1:57 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Follow the money".

One of the 10 commandments of human interaction, a fundamental law of human thermodynamics.

Interpret everything, going forward, in the simplest of terms. It will be illuminating. I'm not saying right. Interpretation is seldom favored by such bright lines. How many would ever say "it's about money", but, how many would be left standing if not for money or its equivalent in exchange?

"Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate". William of Ockham (C. 1285-1349). The simplest explanation is often ....

Eliminating choice means fewer options to manage, cleaner data, greater control/consistency/predictability, reduced support requests due to fewer issues, etc.

Another way to think about it: This is the information age. It's all about the information. More informatin gathering is better if the information can be processed. He who gathers the most wins.

He who gathers the most wins.

Get it?

He who gathers the most wins.

Let that percolate. What's the driving force of the information age?

She who gathers the most wins.

Total awareness.


 2:34 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Wonder if someone who has had their toolbar auto update could tell me if it auto blocks popups without a notice asking if you want that part installed?


 2:57 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I was wondering how my google toolbar updates all by itself. It would have been nice if we had some indication that the upgrade had been made. Instead we just get a "suprise!".


 3:18 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I wonder what ymakes people even use toolbars? WHat feature do you get from th etoolbar that you dont' have somewhere else? THe only thing I can think of wrt/google is that you get the PR of the site you're at shown -- but since they keep lowering everyone's PR pretty oon you can just assume they will all be zero unless it's google.

THe interesting thing here is that with google starting to pull out as many stops as they can, they limit their upsider potential: all the low hanging fruits have been eaten -- now it's time to work on the bigger things, whatever those are. In other words, they've done much of their growth and are probably looking for further ways to continue that growth path. I bet they buy gator next. :)


 3:26 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

And they took the labor to come up vers 2.0 BEFORE creating a Mac version.

I know you PC guys are going to say "who cares" but I am really tired of having to ask people around just to get my pages PR!

Is there any reason not to launch a Mac version?

<edit> finished a phrase</edit>


 3:35 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey amznVibe, the fact that the toolbar auto-updates is listed in the first 10 questions of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages:

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.

bateman_ap, I think that the toolbar team took care not to enable any extra options (e.g. pop-up blocking) if the toolbar upgrades--let me know if you find otherwise, and I'll pass the feedback on. The upgrade does have a lot of useful features that I think people would like (it took me about 10 minutes to really want the new version instead of the old version), and I'm not aware of any features that went away, so I hope people will explore the new version for a little while before assuming that the upgrade is for the worse somehow.


 3:40 pm on Aug 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ah. That statement is buried under the privacy document - an entirely seperate page from the terms link I show above. I think they need to repeat that statement under the terms page, I would have blocked it immediately.

That's not enough. They need to make it an option, and they need to make it opt-in rather than opt-out. This can be said of a bunch of bad decisions Google has made this year. It's frustrating to watch.

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