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********** has been blocked again, why????

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Kiki D, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    No - that only stops you from seeing it on the screen.
    You need to click on Start > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs > then find the toolbar and remove it.

  2. cariad2

    cariad2 New commenter

    Thanks for the replies - I've now uninstalled it properly.
  3. Thanks - me too :)
  4. Me too. I can't believe I was daft enough to install it in the first place!
  5. Brenden

    Brenden New commenter

    Just to be clear on this, the toolbar was posing no security issue. I investigated it very carefully using various security programs and internet traffic monitors; the toolbar did only as advertised. But if you do not wish to make Daniel Kinge any more money, best to remove it.
  6. That's a relief Brenden. I was starting to think of all sorts of horrible things!

    I didn't mind making him money when I thought he was just plain old Sam King, but now it's obviously different.

    Thank you for checking it out.
  7. Thanks for pointing that out Brenden, I have a toolbar from the same people on my site, mostly it's used just so people can get the free weekly set. Conduit (the people who make the toolbar) say its safe but it's nice to hear that you have checked it out properly and that it doesn't pose any risk since I was thinking about getting rid of it with all the concerns.
    I think a lot of the money made by ********** came from the google ads, think that was when he made everything free - when he put the adds up in force.

  8. JumpingStarfish

    JumpingStarfish New commenter

    Having just been on the website, the blog has been deleted and no new downloads have been put up in weeks. I don't rely on ********** heavily, and tend to recreate stuff in my own way, but its always been good for ideas and inspiration.
    Does anyone know if the allegations being made are definite? Just remember something in the blog saying it was lies, although there was no mention of what the allegations were.
    Who knows, maybe I'll give up teaching and develop my own resources for a living. :)
  9. Brenden

    Brenden New commenter

  10. Brenden

    Brenden New commenter

    I have managed to dig up a cached copy of the blog post before it went offline:

    Our say on the matter

    Recently, a number of Local Authorities have taken the ridiculous decision to
    filter the ********** websites in their schools. This action is somewhat surprising
    since ********** is used so heavily by teachers in the UK and around the world.
    Several Authorities have sent out emails to teachers, some of which have have
    been published publicly online. Many of these statements contain information
    which is inaccurate and untrue and this has resulted in false rumours spreading.

    We are currently investigating the legal implications of such lies being put
    into the public domain and will therefore not be naming the Authorities in question
    at present, but we would like to counter some of the most damaging claims to
    reassure our visitors.

    FALSE: ********** is acting illegally by not registering with the Data Protection

    We have taken legal advice concerning this accusation and can categorically
    deny that we are acting illegally in any way. We do not collect, use or store
    any personal data except that which is required for staffing and accounts, and
    are therefore not required to register with the Data Protection Registrar. We
    do not collect personal information from visitors by any means and we fully
    comply with all UK Data Protection laws.

    FALSE: ********** has a chat room

    ********** does not have, and never has had, a chat room feature. Therefore,
    it is inaccurate to make accusations that this is the case.

    FALSE: The ********** Toolbar is unsafe to use

    Our toolbar is certified safe to download and use by TRUSTe under Conduit Ltd's
    infrastructure. It does not collect any personal data or contain spyware or
    viruses of any kind. Users are free to make their own choice as to whether they
    download this software or not- the vast majority of our products can be accessed
    without it.

    FALSE: 'Other' rumours

    There are other reports that are so outrageous and disgusting that we are not
    going to state them here. It is shocking that 'powers that be' are able to release
    such unfounded accusations and we totally and unequivocally deny them.

    So, what next?

    We have done all we can. We have yet to see anything that we would call a 'valid
    reason' for blocking our websites. None of the Authorities in question have
    entered into any dialogue with us and we will not make any further changes to
    our sites.

    We have always been open, honest and acted honourably. This will never change
    and therefore we do not see any need to comment further. We trust that our loyal
    visitors will support us in this.

    Many thanks,

    The ********** Team
  11. Could you please give me an outline of what you used to do this?
    Also did how long did you monitor the software?
    Let me be clear, there is NO WAY to guarantee it wont be nasty in the future. For example you may have monitored it for say 60 mins and watched all the traffic going in and out but thats not to say it wont do nasty things once a month for example.... This is all before we get to the fact that it can EASILY update itself without your knowledge...

    I would love to know how you can certify its safe. Please understand all that if you dont need it and your not sure, dont run/install it especially with the potential havoc browser toolbars can cause. There has been 15 years of nasty software that offer *free* things for a toolbar on your pc that logs everything.
  12. Brenden

    Brenden New commenter


    "The specific applications listed in this whitelist have been reviewed and tested against our program requirements, and continue to be subjected to TRUSTe monitoring for ongoing compliance"


    "These online companies have earned TRUSTe certification and the TRUSTe web privacy seal because they uphold TRUSTe's high standards for best privacy practices."

    If you're going to that paranoid, your best option would be to disconnect from the internet entirely.
  13. LOL, so what software did you run again?!?! or did you just go by TRUSTe and didnt actually check it yourself (other then AV which is laughable)
    That list of software is all pretty dodgy that they support.
    I think its pretty radiculus for you to say "its safe, I checked it" when it appears you didnt unless you have the source code.... I just dont want people installing this crud because you say its safe... sorry for challenging you and questioning your methods but I thought it was useful to see what you actually did do to test the wares as it would only partially relieve concerns if you had a full test sequence.
  14. I have to say IT WORKS i have to agree with you & all your comments
    In fact no one should trust anyone to say "ITS SAFE" everyone should take measures themselves to safety.
  15. Brenden

    Brenden New commenter

    I don't want people to install the toolbar for any reason, mainly because to do so would be to make Daniel Kinge money. Repeat: <font size="4">Do not install the toolbar.</font> It does cause a lot of network traffic by checking for updates and logging - if you have it enabled - actions that you make on the toolbar itself (logging in to conduit, using the search feature). It does not track your internet history or your passwords or your credit card information and that is what I meant by safe. Here are the main programs I use:
    Although, you're right of course: There is no guaranteed way of ensuring that the thing doesn't update itself one day and start tracking the thousands of computers who use it. What I can promise you is that even if they did, a) there would be rioting in the streets, when everyone finds out the next day, and b) it wouldn't mean that ********** suddenly had access to your computers.

    Also, the source code IS available and I have looked through it. FireFox extensions are .rar files renamed to .xpi and are full of perfectly readable javascript .js files. All of the main functions are in lib/xpcom.js if you'd like to go through it and find the dangerous bits I missed.
  16. thats very thorough of you Brendon but I still maintain that everyone should take be responsiblity with regards to safety around this issue. I still dont know what I think of the whole scenario because our LA has mentioned nothing and ********** is not banned from our LA.
  17. For anyone wondering the program ********** use for making their resources is Serif Pageplus. I use the PAge Plus 11 version and it's really easy to get colourful displays and certificates etc in next to no time after you've given yourself a few days to get used to the software. Plus you can get resources made exactly as you want them. I admire the business model of ********** but teachers can easily make similar more relevant resources themselves, it just boils down to having the time to make them (same as any part of a practitioners large workload)
  18. One of the best and most useful courses I saw a lot of teachers sent on when I was an NQT was one on how to make resources using Publisher - talked them through making so many different things during the course of the day (I was way ahead of the course content unfortunately so it was a bit pointless for me). I've never used ********** that much to be honest (have the odd set of bingo cards from there which I've paid for the printing and laminating for and will continue to use till they fall apart through old age - I'm a supply, resources come out of my own pocket so I can't afford to indiscriminately chuck things) because I actually enjoy making my own stuff faffing about on the computer a bit too much.
    The one big thing the SB resources did have over home-made stuff was better illustrations - finding decent clip art for making your own stuff can be a right royal pain in the rear sometimes (discoveryschool clipart gallery is pretty awesome for generic classroomy pictures for signs though).
    It's a shame the TES resourcebank isn't a bit more userfriendly to be honest - there's a lot of good stuff on there - it's just hard to find and there is some mis-spelt dross in there as well. (Speaking of which - must go compose that snotty email to Tesco about their errant apostrophe in one of their sale posters that I was meaning to write last night)
  19. Brenden

    Brenden New commenter

    Did ********** use clipart? His images are so similar in their style across everything that I assumed he drew the pictures himself.
  20. I'm guessing SB pictures look like they're made by using a PC drawing tablet to "trace" over pictures found and then given the ********** "look" using the Serif software mentioned in my post above which creates the semi-realistic cartoon style.I know I'm bigging up the software, but like the poster above says it feels much better making your own resources (a sense of pride) and it only cost me something like a fiver for a secondhand copy off fleabay![​IMG]


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