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Yeah, I hear you. End user agreements I don't really like in general. At some point someone got the bright idea to put a giant legal disclaimer on their software (a programming lawyer perhaps?), and ever since software has apparently needed to come with such a statement. I've never heard of a lawsuit that has been prevented by a EULA, but every software company (including open source) seems the need to tack on a gigantic legalese statement. I can't even remember the last time I read through one, and that's the problem. Since they come with absolutely everything, no one reads them, it's just like a click-through splash page in the installer. I used to laugh at my roommate because his version of installing software consisted of a routine like this:00:00 - double-click the installer00:01 - *next* *next* *next* *next* *next* *next* *next* 00:02 - *finish*00:10 - "...how do I run this? why doesn't this work?"I would like to see a simple, 1-page, human readable description of anything out of the ordinary that a normal user would be reasonably expected to be told about the software. Such as the fact that it comes bundled with spyware, or reports information back to a central server, or it stores personally identifiable information. That's really all you need to know about the software, but these giant EULAs with their cryptic language make understanding either your rights or the operation of the software almost impossible. It's like you need a lawyer to install software now. Yes, it is definately a lawyer conspiracy. Don't even get me started on lawyers..

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that's the whoel point, IMO, they purposly make it that way knowing hardly anyone will read it yet they are covered and can say it was in the terms of agreement you agreed to.

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the best part is the end of the statement that almost always reads, "these terms subject to change without notification" - Microsoft did that with Hotmail a few years back when they added a check box (pre-populated) to your profile that said (and I paraphrase) "check this box if we can sell your email address.

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the best part is the end of the statement that almost always reads, "these terms subject to change without notification" - Microsoft did that with Hotmail a few years back when they added a check box (pre-populated) to your profile that said (and I paraphrase) "check this box if we can sell your email address.
lol, they know that nobody reads that stuff they just check what they need to so they can press next LOL
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lol, they know that nobody reads that stuff they just check what they need to so they can press next LOL
haha, so true.but I want to(maybe dare to) touch on something NotJustBrowsing said:
If Internet Explorer's all requests go through Microsoft's Servers or Firefox's requests go through Mozilla's servers or NotJustBrowsing's requests go through my servers, nobody will use these browsers. I wonder why people are not opposing the use of such tool by Google?
Google is not a browser, it is a service. I think what is important to point out here is that in your parallel analogy the entire request is going through the software vendor's (be it Microsoft, Mozilla, Apple) servers. With Google Analytics, its not the entire request, it fact its not even the initial request. This doesn't really have an impact on the discussion, per se, but it does illustrate the fact that if the vendor network were to become unavailable, surfing the net would literally come to a stand still for those using that software. This is not the case with GA - you would simply just not get stats for that request. Unfortunately, your analogy is merely comparing apples to oranges.
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that's the whoel point, IMO, they purposly make it that way knowing hardly anyone will read it yet they are covered and can say it was in the terms of agreement you agreed to.
For that reason I don't think a EULA would stand up in court. I think a good lawyer would be able to argue that a user is not reasonably expected to read through such a document, and the fact that the judge most likely doesn't read them either would give the argument some weight.In any case, either party to a contract can modify that contract before they sign it, right? So from now on I'm going to print out all the EULAs I see, cross out everything I don't agree to and initial the changes, and then agree to that. If the EULA says that I'm not allowed to modify it, well, that's the first thing I'll cross out.Also, I should have responded to jesh's point earlier:
This data collection is occurring throughout all of western civilization - not just on the Internet. Think about transactions that are made with credit cards. Any retailer that has you swipe your card into a computerized point of purchase system has the ability to associate your credit card number, and, therefore, your identity, with the products that you purchased.
Not only that, people are giving out all kinds of information they don't even think about. Every time someone goes to a grocery store and uses their VIP card or whatever, the Safeway Club card, or the Fry's VIP card, or whatever it is in your area, the specific purpose of those cards is to provide marketing information to the store and its partners. No, the purpose is not to save you money. The purpose is to provide a record that a person with a certain name at a certain address has a history going back several years of everything they have bought at that store. And then you get the spam in your mail in the form of ads for that store and whoever they choose to sell your information to. It sounds pretty innocent or harmless, but then (in an extreme case of course) you find yourself sitting in a court trying to answer questions about your friend who disappeared and the prosecutor pulls out that information and shows the court that you bought alcohol or medication or whatever just days before it happened. It might not be very solid evidence for anything, but the fact is that the information can be used against you, the same way anything you post on a MySpace page or whatever can be used against you.
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haha, so true.but I want to(maybe dare to) touch on something NotJustBrowsing said:Google is not a browser, it is a service. I think what is important to point out here is that in your parallel analogy the entire request is going through the software vendor's (be it Microsoft, Mozilla, Apple) servers. With Google Analytics, its not the entire request, it fact its not even the initial request. This doesn't really have an impact on the discussion, per se, but it does illustrate the fact that if the vendor network were to become unavailable, surfing the net would literally come to a stand still for those using that software. This is not the case with GA - you would simply just not get stats for that request. Unfortunately, your analogy is merely comparing apples to oranges.
On top of Google's knowledge about the contents of every page, knowing the source and destination of information is more than sufficient for a variety of purposes. There are endless possibilities to utilize this information.If Internet Explorer's all requests go through Microsoft's Servers or Firefox's requests go through Mozilla's servers or NotJustBrowsing's requests go through my servers, nobody will use these browsers. I wonder why people are not opposing the use of such tool by Google?
It is due to my mistake of expressing one subject in two paragraphs. It should have been one paragraph. In above mentioned case of browsers and analytics tool, I was trying to point out commonality of knowing source & destination from given information. What other tools or software are there that can provide this information?For me, if I have the wealth of half of the world I will exchange it with the information that google is getting through analytics (i.e., source & destination). Who knows what, is the key to the domination in this century.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Chief Executive Eric Schmidt (of Google) says

"In the past, we would buy businesses in lieu of (hiring) engineers," Schmidt said. These days, Google buys a start-up once every few days, or around one a week, he estimated.Two examples of this approach -- Keyhole (Google Earth) and Urchin (Analytics) -- had strong technical teams, a technology head start, and were bought relatively inexpensively in the hopes of later generating billion dollar revenue streams, he said.
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