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WeatherBug is a system tray icon that offers weather information and includes built-in ads. WeatherBug is controlled by AWS Convergence Technologies (weatherbugmedia.com).
There is some controversy over whether WeatherBug should be targeted by anti-parasite software. AWS strongly deny their software is ‘spyware’, and by the definition used here, it is not, as it does not leak information back to its controlling servers.
However, WeatherBug has in the past been silently installed by the FavoriteMan parasite and Freeze.com screensavers, and more recently has been bundled by software such as AIM and Blubster. This makes it ‘unsolicited’, and since it is installed to raise money for its creators through the built-in ads it is certainly ‘commercial’. So it does meet the definition for ‘parasite’: unsolicited commercial software. It is nonetheless listed as a borderline case because it is not overtly harmful and many people do install it deliberately.
WeatherBug bundles the MySearch parasite in its standalone distribution and has in the past, installed Gator and SVAPlayer.
Viewpoint components are installed as a side effect of installing other software, most notably AOL and AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). Viewpoint Manager is responsible for managing and updating Viewpoint Media Player’s components. You can disable this using the Viewpoint Manager Control Panel found in the Windows Control Panel menu. By selecting "Disable auto-updating for the Viewpoint Manager" -- the player will no longer attempt to check for updates. Anything that is installed without your consent is suspect. Read what Viewpoint says and make your own decision.
To provide a satisfying consumer experience and to operate effectively, the Viewpoint Media Player periodically sends information to servers at Viewpoint. Each installation of the Viewpoint Media Player is identifiable to Viewpoint via a Customer Unique Identifier (CUID), an alphanumeric identifier embedded in the Viewpoint Media Player. The Viewpoint Media Player randomly generates the CUID during installation and uses it to indicate a unique installation of the product. A CUID is never connected to a user's name, email address, or other personal contact information. CUIDs are used for the sole purpose of filtering redundant information. Each of these information exchanges occurs anonymously.
Posted 16 April 2006 - 06:58 AM
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