Topic: Create + Promote Blogs
Thanks to a suggestion from my wonderful blog-commenter Larry and David Berlind, I'm going to tackle the topic of Microsoft and WGA today.
First off, what exactly is WGA? WGA stands for Windows Genuine Advantage, and is Microsoft's "answer" to anti-piracy. WGA, upon voluntary user download, verifies whether your copy of Windows XP is legal or not.
Microsoft finally admitted that WGA contacts Microsoft, even after it has verified that your version of XP is legit. Several privacy activists are up in arms about this, and with good cause.
With that in mind, here is how to disable WGA, according to Adware Report:
1. Type ctrl-alt-delete and end the process wgtray.exe from the "Processes" tab on the Task Manager Manager.
2. Reboot and hit F8 while it's restarting. (This will start XP in Safe Mode.
3. Delete the following files by going to Start-->My Computer:
4. Hit Start-->Run-->regedit. Delete the following entry:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WinlogonNotify\WGALOGON
At this point, your private data will no longer be sent to Microsoft every time you start your PC.
David Berlind, who is not himself a lawyer, suggests that the lawsuit against Microsoft is pretty much baseless, because when you accept the End User License Agreement you basically give Microsoft the right to send itself information about your computer. Furthermore, many websites frequently collect the IP address of visitors without privacy violations, as Microsoft is being accused of.
Personally, I think the lawsuits may just be a reaction against Microsoft trying to cash in on some of Bill Gate's fortunes. Recently, when fellow billionaire Warren Buffet announced that he was giving much of his inheritance to the Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation, local talk-show host MJ in the Morning decided to have a little fun with it. He announced that if listeners wanted to cash in on Buffet's Billions, just call a number he gave over the air. He allegedly announced it was a "Radio Bit" at some point, and the next day mentioned that the number was actually to his voice mail. Unfortunately, many people were not paying attention, called the voice-mail-posing-as-Buffet's-Billions, and, on learning it was a joke, left irate messages. Similarly, the folks who want to see Microsoft as "The Great Satan" and are trying to get some money by filing a pointless lawsuit.
However, if you don't appreciate the nature of WGA, go ahead and remove it using the above instructions.
CIAO for now,