Real Life Internet Evil: Brilliant Digital Entertainment

Written by Richard Lowe

Our purpose with this series is to use real life examples of deception, fraud and other evil to show how you can better protect yourself. The examples cited in these articles are intended to demonstrate best practices and recommendations.

What would you think about allowing someone to have unlimited access to your computer system without your knowledge or permission? Now, how do you feel about letting that person rent out your CPU, spare disk space and extra memory? Do you likerepparttar idea of these strangers downloading programs, data and lord knows what else to your machine and using your bandwidth?

A company called Brilliant Digital Entertainment has been quietly preparing to do just this. They have been distributing their "free" 3D advertising technology since last fall, and along with that software they have quietly been installing file-swapping software called Kazaa.

Brilliant Digital Entertainment has stated as a part of their SEC filing that they will soon be turning on a vast, multi-million machine P2P (point-to-point) network. This network consists ofrepparttar 132049 machines belonging to those people who have downloaded and installed their software. The network is known as Altnet.

What does Brilliant want to do with this vast network? They have some very grand plans, but one major task is using these personally owned computers to store and serve ads (banners and other things). Their logic is described in an excerpt from their SEC filing:

"An example of Network Services is ad serving. When a user opens a new Web page, andrepparttar 132050 banner ad which appears on that page is delivered by a third party ad serving company, such as DoubleClick,repparttar 132051 third party ad serving company incurs infrastructure, management, bandwidth and processing costs for every single banner ad which gets served. Often times,repparttar 132052 same ad gets "served" millions of times each month. Using Altnet's proposed solutions, all of those ads could be delivered torepparttar 132053 users viarepparttar 132054 Altnet network, thereby saving costs for third party ad serving companies."

Brilliant does have some vague plans in place to compensaterepparttar 132055 people involved inrepparttar 132056 network, at least some of them. Here's what their SEC filing says about that:

"To maximizerepparttar 132057 efficiency ofrepparttar 132058 Altnet network, selected users with higher than average processing power, significant free space on their hard drives and broadband connectivity to repparttar 132059 Internet, will first be engaged by Altnet to become main hubs onrepparttar 132060 network. We refer to each of these hubs as a qualified PC, or QPC. We intend to enter into an end user agreement withrepparttar 132061 owner of each QPC pursuant to which we will compensaterepparttar 132062 owner for access to and use of their computers while logged ontorepparttar 132063 Internet. We have yet to finalizerepparttar 132064 terms of compensation, however we anticipate it will be a combination of non-cash components, which may include gift certificates, products and/or access to video content, and we expect to initiate this process some time in Q2 2002."

I've Been Infected!

Written by Dennis Eppestine

The last few days, I've been so proud of myself. I've been working on my ebook, getting organized, really getting things done, and then...

My computer started acting funny. Things started freezing up, my browser would change websites for no apparent reason, my email didn't seemrepparttar same, everything was running slow.

Oh no! I've been infected!

OK, this was my own fault. I have Norton System Works, which I love, byrepparttar 132047 way. Butrepparttar 132048 other day while playing a game (hey, I can't work ALLrepparttar 132049 time!), I shut down my automatic virus protection.

BIG mistake! I ran Scan Disk, and Defrag, and System Information, and finally realized what I had done. So I immediately ran a full check of my computer - over 8,000 files infected!

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