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georgeo76
04-29-2006, 08:33 PM
Arthur C Clark said:

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"

Computers are complicated beasts, and today more than ever, there are people operating them that have no idea exactly how they work or what they are capable of.

Being suspicious by nature, and bombarded in the media about how many ways people can get riped-off or otherwise come to harm through their computers, it's no wonder that people are willing to believe fantastical things about the capability of suspicious software.

I don't defend BoontyBox, and I'm not happy that it was imposed on my computer, but I just wanted to say a couple of words in response to the wild rumors circulating about the program.

What it dose: I'm not 100% sure. I know it seeks to be a game manager like gamespy or steam, but it also seems to have some manner of DRM too. It's primary function is to gather information about it's users to sell to marketers. The information it collects is this:

what games you play
how long you play them
how often you play them
what kind of system you have

It cannot collect or report any of this information if you uninstall it! Thats a simple uninstall, not the complicated registry and file tweaks that have been discussed.

There has been lots of talk about the other information that would be shared by BoontyBox per their EULA. Information like:

Your Name
Your Address
Your Gender
Your credit card information
Your educational back ground

The only way BoontyBox could get this info is if you gave it to them! The rumors that this information is harvested from your HDD is speculative and ridiculous. To scan for this information would take a long time (like a virus scan) much longer than the scan performed when you launch the software. To harvest data from you in this manner would be unprecedented for legitimate software vendor. I'm not saying that's it's impossible to do so, but I am saying it's not reasonable to just assume it's happening because you afraid it might, without any evidence.

As to the viral nature of the program. This is what makes me think that BoontyBox is DRM, because we have seen these kind of tactics used before to foil hacks from the computer savvy. I don't' defend the practice (I think it's very dishonest), but I also don't think that a few registry entries and a service are enough evidence to begin to believe that this program is spyware. There is just not enough evidence to support this.


As for the boonty.exe and BoontyGames.0001 processes that run w/ the game. I can not say exactly what these processes do, But I can tell some things.

1.boonty.exe is a program, BoontyGames.0001 is some kind of log file.

2. Neither of these processes 'phone home' or attempt to access the network **I've used firewall programs to test**

3. Neither of these processes seem to do much of anything, taking up no CPU cycles as far as I can tell. (If it was harvesting your data, it would slow down the game, think of running a virus scan while playing IL2)

4. It is very possible that these processes are part of some DRM scheme (would explain why they are so hard to get rid of), or that they are some part of the overall BoontyBox program that are left inert when it's uninstalled. (all things being equal, sloppy is far more likely than malicious)


Once again, I don't defend BoontyBox. I don't like the way it was imposed on my system. But the fantastical rumors about how this program is spyware or a virus is speculative nonsense. And just to assume the worst is at best paranoid, at worst superstitious.

danjama
04-29-2006, 08:40 PM
I consider paranoia a much worse characteristic in a person than supersticion.

Your correct in what your saying though.

Lodovik
04-30-2006, 03:54 AM
Originally posted by georgeo76:
"The information it collects is this:

what games you play
how long you play them
how often you play them
what kind of system you have

Although I didn't like the idea of BB and got rid of it right after installing PE-2, I just realized that it might have a positive effect, too.
I mean, if Mr. 'Box is telling the marketing at UBI what games their customers play, in this case it would show a lot of people playing certain flight sim. And playing it a lot.
And using good money on their systems to play it with.

That could actually finally drive it through that sims are a genre worth supporting...
Who knows, I might actually go and re-install the BoontyBox http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif