Epic games releases...spyware?

Discussions about UT99

Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby TheDane » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:52 pm

well, since millions are playing this game worldwide, then with all the publicity this have had, I seriously doubt that Epic behaves different from what is to be expected and on the right side of the law(s). I believe that anyone capable of understanding what is going on, and are able to debug the dataflow, has had their view on it - and so far no law suits?

Could be just simple envy from competing online games that caused them to plant these false accusations? I say false as in yet not proven.
Retired.
User avatar
TheDane
Masterful
 
Posts: 614
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:47 pm
Personal rank: Anti EPIC Games fan

Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby Carbon » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:38 pm

Yes, I'm afraid we've all been trolled. In the era of fake news and the public's inability to separate fact from fiction, someone - or a group of people - angry at Epic Stores' exclusivity (and perhaps at the fact that it even exists as yet another fracturing of the digital game market) began a crusade. In this case, with Tencent's involvement as shareholders at Epic, it was quite easy to bring in the modern era's fear of China to get this underway.

China is the modern day Russia, with the old label 'commie' used as an ad hominem to discredit anyone with even the most remote connection to anything Russian for anything. And now we have the same thing in China and we've all turned into the new McCarthyites.

Sad times. It's good to be critical of pretty much everything, but outright cynicism and fear mongering aren't part of being a critical thinker....quite the opposite in fact.

Do yourselves a favor: if you're going on a news starvation diet, then great, but don't think that human landfills like Reddit or YouTube are offering salvation. These platforms have been taken over as well and not only by those who want to change your mind, but by even more insidious types: those who just want to make some easy money with clickbait videos. Both of the videos linked in this thread are of this nature: some nobody regurgitating the original crap in a new format and talking as if they know something more, which they never do. If you think about it, it's much easier to propagate false information on social platforms as one simply needs a few accounts to get the ball rolling, with no serious accountability necessary or research to be done. The trick is to believe nothing until it's had time to gestate and either ferment into the wine of truth or become just rot, the latter of which we now have in this 'news' about Epic.

A proper news starvation diet requires understanding of all of the biases which these types prey on and sadly, most people suffer primarily from the Dunning-Kruger effect and believe themselves to be much more competent than they are at discriminating the truth from the lies. If you want to get informed, start with yourself.
User avatar
Carbon
Inhuman
 
Posts: 835
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:52 pm
Personal rank: Hoarder.

Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby OjitroC » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:32 pm

Carbon wrote:Both of the videos linked in this thread are of this nature: some nobody regurgitating the original crap in a new format and talking as if they know something more, which they never do.

Actually the second video is a reasonable discussion of the whole thing which includes a lengthy reference to the detailed post (on Reddit, I think) that indicates clearly and precisely that the original 'blurry graphic' of running processes is merely evidence of the normal operation of that type of app (and of the operation of the tool used to enumerate those processes) and not of anything out of the ordinary or malicious. What the graphic is evidence of, of course, is the lack of knowledge of the person producing it. The whole thing is so unsophisticated and obviously lacking in any rigorous methodology (and so easily debunked) as to suggest not an orchestrated crusade but simply an uninformed person who thought they had stumbled across something sinister.
User avatar
OjitroC
Godlike
 
Posts: 1060
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:46 pm

Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby papercoffee » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:51 pm

OjitroC wrote:that indicates clearly and precisely that the original 'blurry graphic' of running processes is merely evidence of the normal operation of that type of app (and of the operation of the tool used to enumerate those processes) and not of anything out of the ordinary or malicious.

papercoffee wrote:Going through the registry ...is what programs always do.
Implementing scripts in the background ...is what programs always do.


And I'm not even a professional computer expert... :ironic:
User avatar
papercoffee
Site Staff
 
Posts: 9151
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:36 am
Location: Cologne, the city with the big cathedral.
Personal rank: coffee addicted !!!

Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby Carbon » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:26 am

OjitroC wrote:
Carbon wrote:Both of the videos linked in this thread are of this nature: some nobody regurgitating the original crap in a new format and talking as if they know something more, which they never do.


Actually the second video is a reasonable discussion of the whole thing which includes a lengthy reference to the detailed post (on Reddit, I think) that indicates clearly and precisely that the original 'blurry graphic' of running processes is merely evidence of the normal operation of that type of app (and of the operation of the tool used to enumerate those processes) and not of anything out of the ordinary or malicious. What the graphic is evidence of, of course, is the lack of knowledge of the person producing it. The whole thing is so unsophisticated and obviously lacking in any rigorous methodology (and so easily debunked) as to suggest not an orchestrated crusade but simply an uninformed person who thought they had stumbled across something sinister.



The second video links to all of the baseless posts that came before it and then interpreted by an uninformed person, exactly the type of nonsense of which I was speaking and far from reasonable. It relies upon a multitude of sources to appear valid, yet none of those sources are valid themselves again, playing into our bias that multiple sources saying the same thing can't be wrong.

So, the only 'actually' is that it is indeed all misinformation and baseless claims with the second video actually being more nefarious and damaging than the first. Clickbait clown.
User avatar
Carbon
Inhuman
 
Posts: 835
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:52 pm
Personal rank: Hoarder.

Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby OjitroC » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:22 pm

Carbon wrote: The second video links to all of the baseless posts that came before it and then interpreted by an uninformed person, exactly the type of nonsense of which I was speaking and far from reasonable. It relies upon a multitude of sources to appear valid, yet none of those sources are valid themselves again, playing into our bias that multiple sources saying the same thing can't be wrong.

So, the only 'actually' is that it is indeed all misinformation and baseless claims with the second video actually being more nefarious and damaging than the first. Clickbait clown.
I'm at a loss here because everything you say about the video is totally at odds with what I have seen from watching it twice now - are we talking about the same video? The one posted by UnrealGecko?

I'm not going to go through it in detail but the commenator's overall conclusion is that whilst there are valid concerns about Epic's GameStore (poor privacy policy potentially not complying with EU law, lack of features as admitted by Tim Swinney, the exclusivity deals, etc, etc - many of the points echoed on this forum by, inter alia, shrimp), there is no evidence to support the accusations of the launcher being spyware or of collusion with the Chinese government (he refers in passing to the point made by Jim Sterling that Tencent have a stake in a number of other US game companies without drawing the same ire). All this seems to me to be a reasonable and balanced conclusion - the video is far from "being more nefarious and damaging than the first" video. You seem to overlook the fact (referred to in my previous post) that the commentator deals at length with the authoritative rebuttal by matt (on Facepunch, not Reddit) of the original 'spyware' scare - this alone is surely enough to distinguish this video from the one made by the two uninformed guys based on the 'blurry graphic'.
User avatar
OjitroC
Godlike
 
Posts: 1060
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:46 pm

Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby Carbon » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:15 am

OjitroC wrote: I'm at a loss here because everything you say about the video is totally at odds with what I have seen from watching it twice now - are we talking about the same video? The one posted by UnrealGecko?

I'm not going to go through it in detail but the commenator's overall conclusion is that whilst there are valid concerns about Epic's GameStore (poor privacy policy potentially not complying with EU law, lack of features as admitted by Tim Swinney, the exclusivity deals, etc, etc - many of the points echoed on this forum by, inter alia, shrimp), there is no evidence to support the accusations of the launcher being spyware or of collusion with the Chinese government (he refers in passing to the point made by Jim Sterling that Tencent have a stake in a number of other US game companies without drawing the same ire). All this seems to me to be a reasonable and balanced conclusion - the video is far from "being more nefarious and damaging than the first" video. You seem to overlook the fact (referred to in my previous post) that the commentator deals at length with the authoritative rebuttal by matt (on Facepunch, not Reddit) of the original 'spyware' scare - this alone is surely enough to distinguish this video from the one made by the two uninformed guys based on the 'blurry graphic'.


Yes, we're watching the same video but I think you're missing my larger point. You think that "You seem to overlook the fact (referred to in my previous post) that the commentator deals at length with the authoritative rebuttal by matt" but that is my point exactly.

The conclusion he ends up with is indeed supportive of the truth as discovered by others, but again, it's how he got there that is the problem for me. He did no research of his own; he simply aggregated available information from other sites and monetized it for his own gain. You say that he references Jim Sterling (the guy who dresses up like a clown/vampire on YouTube) and ".matt" at the Facepunch forum (just a forum poster) and that proves my point: what we call "journalism" now takes us in a circle with YouTubers referencing YouTube and user forums. Even major news organizations have exhibited to this laziness in recent history, falling victim to their own faith in the face validity of false news and they paid with their credibility. The hungry snake eats its' own tail.

In what way is Jim Sterling a reliable source'? Jim Sterling is trying to make money, first and foremost, hence all of the gimmicks and distracting nonsense. I've seen his videos before and even where I agree with him, I'm not fooled into thinking he has any more credibility than you might. There are a few things going on here that give us the impression that Jim is an authority: he's popular, he's got a media platform and he makes witty, though often unfounded commentary in a manner that seems to imply understanding. Googling Jim shows us that he has no journalistic credential aside from being a game critic at The Escapist (which only shows that he has wit and can write).

How is .matt's post "authoritative"? Because it's long and complex? Because other posters praise him and the work? Because it's on "Facepunch"? I will admit that he seems far more reliable than Jim and appears to know what he's doing more than the original redditor (though "_xor_", the first respondent on the reddit thread was essentially correct the day after the initial post too, and he was just speaking anecdotally) but how can one completely overlook the fact that he is essentially an anonymous forum user?

So, back to the video in question: we see that all of his 'references' are questionable and again, like Jim, while he draws a conclusion that we agree with, he's still unreliable. Where was this guy when the story broke a month ago? Where is his self-produced research? He sat around until he felt that he had a conclusion that was 'right' and then dove in.

My point was and is that these places we go for 'news' now are suspect and while they may have face validity, they are in reality just regular people with suspect motivations. Yes, I have very high standards of research and yes, I am on a very strict self-imposed media diet and have a very healthy dose of cynicism regarding information media these days, but all of this is well-founded and while extreme, not irrational or unreasonable in light of the current status of information validity, truth and sourcing. I can substantiate my claims and attitudes easily, while on the other end of the argument, one has little to fall back on. More importantly, I question my own thoughts, am careful about what I choose to experience and am critical of my own conclusions. It's not going through life blind or self-doubting, but quite the opposite: what I end up believing I can have complete faith in it being sound.

These days, we call opinion 'news' and call other's opinions about that opinion 'research' and then wonder why we are all misinformed and dumb in the modern era. We have 'reaction' videos now: we watch other people watching things (I would argue they are essentially telling people how to feel about particular things, 'influencers', without any credibility, which illustrates the state of my attitude towards people's lack of critical thought and how susceptible people are, but I'm getting ahead of myself) and this is no different. We don't think about sources nor motivations carefully enough and are influenced and biased very easily. While we all may see Leo as an extremist in many of his views, they are in fact grounded in truth and well-evidenced at this point in time. And that's what it takes: time. Time is the great sieve through which all will pass and that alone dictates what is real and what is not and I depend on it for truth, which has a habit of sticking around while lies, deception and misinformation simply fall away in the end. I tend not to 'believe' much anymore. I listen and think and allow my intuitions to rise, but I wait before 'believing' anything. Remember the Bloomberg story about Super Micro having spy chips on their boards? Gone. It's clear I'm not alone in this time dependence either: the second video creator does this also but the difference is that I don't try to make money from it nor claim the conclusion as my own in any way.

I will never turn to Jim Sterling or .matt for reliable truth; they potentially provide input - which I value - but it's only healthy to not consider them to be authoritative nor reliable.

To conclude this: Tim Sweeney addressed this issue directly 3 months ago but nobody cared: they chose to believe that a major company CEO would come out and lie in writing about something that could and would be easily looked into very carefully. So, they dismiss Tim but buy into a random redditor: what does this tell us? On one side, people can see Tim as a defensive, lying CEO and that 'the common man' is by definition more trustworthy or on the other side, an individual with great stakes in the outcome of this accusation and is thus highly motivated to tell the truth vs. a random person with nothing to lose except the public trust of his anonymous pseudonym on reddit. This is the state of critical thinking. While I too didn't take Tim at his word, I did see the difference between what he was saying and why against what some internet guy was saying and why. People are sheep, being led to and fro by anyone who appears to have answers that fit their own thoughts yet paradoxically also hold that they are fully informed free-thinkers making rational decisions. For anyone who wants to take the first step toward waking up to themselves, read this paper.(.pdf) and this paper(.pdf)
User avatar
Carbon
Inhuman
 
Posts: 835
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:52 pm
Personal rank: Hoarder.

Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby JackGriffin » Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:36 am

Carbon, I love you buddy. You know that. I also know you don't mean it that way but it comes across as a little condescending and judge-y when you tell people that they (in essence) just don't know how dumb they really are. You should consider editing your post because it's a bit insensitive and I know for a fact you aren't like that.

I wish I hadn't bought this whole issue up in the first place. It was a dumb move and I should have known better. Whatever the truth is will find it's way out and all this conjecture isn't helping anyone. I was just a bit pissed off that I have to watch fucking anime characters flossing and doing the Carlton when I *SHOULD* be playing updated UT, but all the people who could make it happen are following the money and it's never going to happen. UT is done, we have what we have and that's it.
Image

I'm sorry for this thread. It's my fault.
"You damn kids, back in my time we made the items, maps and games ourselves with an unwieldy engine using counter-intuitive crash-prone tools and we liked it so much we built communities around this which nowadays look like cults because they're quasi-parallel societies based on the same old games." -Hellkeeper
User avatar
JackGriffin
Godlike
 
Posts: 3758
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:53 pm
Personal rank: Hack coder

Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby Carbon » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:28 am

Well, I won't edit it simply because you're right and it should stand that I do have a tendency to come across that way. Leo actually called me on that once and I haven't forgotten it.

I will apologize here and now, as that really isn't the way I meant it. It's not easy to talk of these kinds of things in a diplomatic way for me, as my convictions are strong and I include myself in my critique; I am a work in progress, just as we all are. As for the thread, I think it's a good discussion and certainly relevant to us, so I don't feel it was a bad thing at all.

So, sorry to anyone whom my post offends, especially to @OjitroC. Thanks @JackGriffin for the reminder that I can be a jerk. :oops:

Peace guys.
User avatar
Carbon
Inhuman
 
Posts: 835
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:52 pm
Personal rank: Hoarder.

Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby OjitroC » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:55 am

Carbon wrote: So, sorry to anyone whom my post offends, especially to @OjitroC. .
No, I'm not at all offended by it - I agree with much of what you say, though I do think you are a little too bound up with the 'identity' of a source rather than with the substance of what is being said and hence I still don't agree that the second video can be said to be "more nefarious and damaging than the first". But, of course, that's just my opinion based on a critical assessment of the two.

"As for the thread, I think it's a good discussion and certainly relevant to us, so I don't feel it was a bad thing at all." - Totally and wholeheartedly agree with that - - it's always interesting and worthwhile to read other people's views on this kind of thing. I think the whole 'spyware' thing is an interesting case study in how, in the internet age, a single source of misinformation can engender the growth and spread of wider and wilder baseless speculation.
User avatar
OjitroC
Godlike
 
Posts: 1060
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:46 pm

Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby Carbon » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:48 am

Thanks OjitroC....a gentleman for sure. :)

I will also admit that my accountability settings are at 'Ultra'; too many years in academia, I suppose. :loool:
User avatar
Carbon
Inhuman
 
Posts: 835
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:52 pm
Personal rank: Hoarder.

Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby JackGriffin » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:11 pm

My wife is a teacher, though at a high school level not a professorship. I get to see how debates and arguments happen in real time among them and the gloves come off really fast. It's often structured, direct, annotated but really harsh debate. I see the exact same thing in your reply and that's why I know you don't mean it the way it comes across to we plebes. You are just used to that being the way it's done. If you don't carry yourself in that world like that you'll get eaten alive. Academics is very often King-of-the-Hill played for real.
"You damn kids, back in my time we made the items, maps and games ourselves with an unwieldy engine using counter-intuitive crash-prone tools and we liked it so much we built communities around this which nowadays look like cults because they're quasi-parallel societies based on the same old games." -Hellkeeper
User avatar
JackGriffin
Godlike
 
Posts: 3758
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:53 pm
Personal rank: Hack coder

Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby memsys » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:38 am

*reads most of the thread while leaning back in a comfy chair*

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's razor

I think it's more likely that it's a fuckup then EPIC being evil. Why? Because in this day and age shoddy software is accepted while spying might kill the company.
EPIC might not always take the best actions but I don't think they are dumb enough to think they could pull this off and get away with it.

Does that mean I approve their shitty launcher poking around in my system? No. But quite frankly if you are worried about your privacy that much you would not be using windows or google or facebook but I'm willing to bet most of us do use one of multiple of them.

Privacy is not either 100% OR 0% , that does make it hard to define what is okay and what is not. Who here has a smartphone? I assume most of you do, and it is by far nastier when it comes to spying on you then the EPIC store could ever be.
When it comes to privacy the only way to have almost 100% privacy is to go live in the middle of nowhere but I highly doubt people are quite that attached to their precious privacy.
Before Snowden when I talked about how easy it is to spy on people using tech I was branded a conspiracy nut. When Snowden let the world know what the techsavvy at the least already suspected there was an outcry of upset people a bit of a show but not much changed.

Everyone is a hypocrite, EVERYONE (yes, that includes myself). Does that mean you should just shut up and do whatever the man tells you to do? HELL NO! But instead of crying wolf take a step back and look at what you can do and what you are WILLING to do.

In my case I've swapped to duckduckgo over google as a search engine. I'm not on Facebook or Twitter and accounts I have in other places are all under some sort of handle. Sure, if you put in the effort you could find a good amount of information by searching the nick I use here. Thing is, I doubt some random person on the internet will bother and unless I go 100% paranoid I can't truly beat the NSA or your national equivalent. Ironically trying to do that might make you stand out enough that they will take a closer look and track you more.
Yes, I DO use whatsapp, telegram and discord. I resisted using them for years because of privacy concerns, I tried to convince others to use safer alternatives but no one cared. In the end I installed them because as much as I dislike them it's the only way I can keep in touch with a bunch of good friends.
I still have a gmail account but I'm slowly transferring everything over to a paid service. Lots of work, little time, and the "they already have everything" fallacy.
Firefox is my go to browser and is loaded up with adblock and no script.
I'm still running windows 7 I am NOT going to use win10, privacy is just part of the reason. I'm planning to switch over to linux fulltime and with valve working hard on making more and more games playable on linux the last reason to keep using windows is gone for me (heh, when I get around to playing games that is)

Is my solution perfect? No, but for me it's the best trade-off between protecting my privacy and not becoming a hermit who lives in the middle of nowhere.

As for the epic store, I was waiting to see more info about the spying stuff but with the exclusive games bullshit going on around the same time the epic launcher has officially been put on my black list.

Heh, this turned out to be quite the wall of text. Hopefully I should have more time (and energy) in the near future to be a little more active then once every decade or so.
User avatar
memsys
Adept
 
Posts: 391
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:21 pm
Personal rank: Silicon Lifeform

Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby Leo(T.C.K.) » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:57 am

I was like you, but then i even went steps further and I never used whatsapp and other stuff. No way.
If you are afraid of lsing your friends by not using whatsapp, they aren't friends, otherwise they would adjust or at least try using older methods and not keep bothering you. So don't say everyone's a hypocrite. Count me out on that.
Leo(T.C.K.)
Adept
 
Posts: 389
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:26 pm

Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby memsys » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:35 am

Leo(T.C.K.) wrote:I was like you, but then i even went steps further and I never used whatsapp and other stuff. No way.
If you are afraid of lsing your friends by not using whatsapp, they aren't friends, otherwise they would adjust or at least try using older methods and not keep bothering you. So don't say everyone's a hypocrite. Count me out on that.


Everyone is a hypocrite but most are unwilling to admit that. I mean that in general, not just specifically when it comes to privacy.

As for the "they aren't friends" I call bullshit on that. When all your friends live in the same city and one moved several hours away you're not going to see that friend as often because it's just too much of a hassle. Likewise when someone has all their friends on whatsapp they are not going to get arround to talking to you if you are not on there as well and the only way to make them switch to a more secure option is to convince most of their friends who are unwilling because of their friends, a catch 22 indeed.
Believe me, I've tried to convince my friends oh boy I tried but between them just not caring or no longer caring about their privacy, not getting the point or just not want to have even MORE places to check to get up-to-date on everything.
And yes, they are actual friends, the ones that come and help you out when shit hits the fan.

Most people here have a VERY strong all-or-nothing attitude, honestly that is just not helpful to this discussion as people will keep bashing heads and not listen to what others have to say. I'm not saying you are wrong, all I'm saying that if you take a step back and take a deep breath while listening to the other you might find you agree more then you think you do.

EDIT: Don't confuse my begrudging tolerance with acceptance or apathy of the corporate and government spying apparatus
User avatar
memsys
Adept
 
Posts: 391
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:21 pm
Personal rank: Silicon Lifeform

PreviousNext

Return to General Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests