Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Advertising Microsoft Your Rights Online

Microsoft Research Paper Considers Serving Web-ads From Localhost 231

An anonymous reader writes: A paper from Microsoft researchers (PDF) posits the possibility of 'pushing' web ads to a user's own computer and serving them into pre-arranged containers on web pages, with the EFF or ACLU serving as privacy mediators between the user and the advertisers who want to engage them. However the framework — dubbed 'Privad' — would need to get installed on the user's system by the same familiar means which the likes of Superfish use. The report admits that Privad would probably need to be disseminated "through adware-style software bundling, shopping discounts, toolbars or other incentives."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Research Paper Considers Serving Web-ads From Localhost

Comments Filter:
  • by Kincaidia ( 927521 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @01:00PM (#49892395)
    Localhost is my home. You DO NOT touch my home.
  • by gr33ngiant112 ( 4144239 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @01:02PM (#49892415)
    No. No. No. No. No. Definitely No. Nope. Don't Even. No. Lets not, and say we did.
    In the event of nope, just no. Absolutely not. So, as you can see, NO.
    Sincerely,
    No@nope.com
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Nrrqshrr ( 1879148 )
      I just want more video game developpers to embrace Linux so that I can fully move away from M$.
      I keep having to boot my Microshit partition to play the games I like and, ironically, am the only person in my entourage (other than my parents of course) who keeps using windows. I installed Linux on all my friends' laptops and they love it, though I think the whole being-geek-is-cool vibe is, in part, responsible for that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No. No. No. No. No. Definitely No. Nope. Don't Even. No. Lets not, and say we did.

      In the event of nope, just no. Absolutely not. So, as you can see, NO.

      Sincerely,

      No@nope.com

      Free. Free. Free. Free. Absolutely Free. If you're gonna charge me, don't. Don't even. Don't even fucking think I'll open my wallet for 99 cents.

      I'm a cheap ass, just like everyone else demands services for Free. As you can see, Free is the price tag that is acceptable.

      Sincerely,

      NoPrivacy@HowWeFuckingGotHere.com

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 11, 2015 @02:01PM (#49892961)

      Microsoft PR: So that's a maybe.

    • by Krojack ( 575051 )

      I think Dr. Cox [youtu.be] says it best..

  • Dis gon' be gud (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gTsiros ( 205624 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @01:04PM (#49892431)

    This idea will be received with open arms, here on /., I'm sure.

    I'm somewhat worried (absolutely petrified, I should say) about the effort spent on advertisements. I guess considering human nature it is a necessary evil, but still...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The GOATSE is coming from INSIDE YOUR HOUSE!!
      {#`%${%&`+'${`%&NO CARRIER

    • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

      If they put even half as much money into the actual products instead of advertising, they wouldn't have to rely so much on advertising to trick people into buying them.

      • Re:Dis gon' be gud (Score:4, Insightful)

        by gTsiros ( 205624 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @01:28PM (#49892625)

        see, that's the problem. consumers don't care for a better product, or rather, they do not select a product based on objective criteria, their sense of value is distorted by marketing tricks. That's why i mentioned human nature. Companies know this and they use it to their best interest.

    • I'm somewhat worried (absolutely petrified, I should say) about the effort spent on advertisements. I guess considering human nature it is a necessary evil, but still...

      By my estimate, a single ad serving on a web page can hit as many as twelve different servers before showing you an ad (not counting routers, etc). It's kind of insane how complex it is.

    • If the ads were good, they wouldn't have to stoop to such evil practices like tracking and targeting.
      • by tepples ( 727027 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {selppet}> on Thursday June 11, 2015 @02:51PM (#49893437) Homepage Journal

        A good advertisement is one served to the correct audience. For example, if you are a single man, an ad for feminine hygiene products is unlikely to be good. Therefore some measure of targeting is required.

        • Well, I have zero willingness to let some marketing assholes know more about me so they can try to sell me targeted ads.

          That's not my damned problem.

          So, you want to make some guesses about who is watching the TV programs I watch and advertise to that? Go ahead. But I'll still fast forward through your ads.

          If you expect me to allow your crap to run on my machine and allow you to track me across the internets for your marketing purposes? No, I'll block that shit all day long.

          I'm not interested in your damn

          • Microsoft could offer a means for you to buy back the ad space on these pages by acting as an advertiser on your own machine. It would be Microsoft's counterpart to Google Contributor, which is in private beta. Would you be willing to pay more for a copy of Windows that includes this?

  • Good Luck... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by edit28 ( 2883543 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @01:05PM (#49892437)
    We'll see how long it takes us before we remove/block this "feature"
    • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

      Ooo, sorry, that software is part of TPM and SecureBoot. You can remove it, but your computer won't work afterwards. But why would you want to remove it? Our consumer surveys all show that the test groups loved it!

      • by TWX ( 665546 )
        I buy second-hand servers for my workstations. More powerful than most workstations even used, and don't have any of that crap because they have to be able to run whatever virtualization OS natively.
    • We can just script replacement of all ad images with amusing pictures of kittens, or porn, whichever is more soothing to the viewer.

    • by zlives ( 2009072 )

      even simpler answer would be to ignore win10 onweard

      • Re:Good Luck... (Score:5, Informative)

        by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @01:44PM (#49892793) Homepage

        That might prove to be difficult.

        Last week on my Windows 8.1 machine I had to spend time tracking down an update Microsoft pushed out which did nothing more than start nagging you to upgrade to Windows 10 and wants to do it for you.

        Fuck that, it's a new computer, and I will upgrade it when I choose, not when some asshole at Microsoft decides I should.

        I sure as hell don't trust them to do it competently and let me be a fucking beta tester for it. Not even a little bit.

        (If anybody runs into it, KB3035583 needs to be removed)

        • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

          I don't get the hate on that one. They're offering it as a free upgrade for one year going as far back as Win 7. If they didn't have the notification on those systems, the year would go by and then everyone would whine about not knowing about the free upgrade. They've also made a point of telling people what won't be available in Win10, such as Media Center. There's no evil involved, they're doing a good thing.

          • Because I assume they're grossly incompetent, and want to use me as a beta program tester. And I'm not doing that.

            They're not doing a good thing. They're doing their best to force people into taking an upgrade they may or may not want, and saddled with that upgrade was some extra crap to find out how badly it went.

            Sorry, but I didn't sign up for their beta program, and it's my fucking computer, and not theirs.

            Since they can't 100% guarantee me it won't break, and they sure as hell won't help me if it does

            • Re:Good Luck... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by OhPlz ( 168413 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @02:36PM (#49893291)

              You're a beta tester on every product now, that's not specific to MS. It's the never ending rush to market followed by the inevitable need to "rebuild our image". They're not forcing you to upgrade either. If they wanted to do that, they'd shove Win 10 down the update mechanism, not a notification applet.

              As for the update not stating what it does, that's a valid criticism of most of MS's updates. There used to be a time when each update had a good description of what it did. They haven't done that in a long time now. There are a lot of updates with very sparse information. Again, I think that's part of the rush to market. If anything breaks or too many people complain, we'll do something then.

              Something that should be concerning is the Home edition of Win 10. It looks like they'll be forcing updates on them. You need the premium or whatever the branding is to be able to control the updates. That's some bad news, but probably understandable considering those users aren't the techie types that will make an effort to keep their stuff up to date and secure.

              • You're a beta tester on every product now

                Not if I don't take every stupid update just because it exists. And never on day one for anything.

                They're not forcing you to upgrade either. If they wanted to do that, they'd shove Win 10 down the update mechanism, not a notification applet.

                Except what they did is to modify Windows update itself, pushed it out as an "important" update, and then acted like everything was OK.

                Which means there is a very good chance they'll eventually push it as a critical update and no

                • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

                  There is absolutely nothing to suggest that they'll do a forced update. What you're describing as "beta testing" is called a staggered roll-out. This is what Android does with their OS updates, because you're right, if it starts failing, they don't want everyone's device to fail at the same time. It's a good strategy to prevent a potential catastrophe, it doesn't mean you're not in control.

                  • by zlives ( 2009072 )

                    where is my do not notify/nag again button? why must I search and remove an update. Your experience with MS may lead you to believe that they are your benevolent provider but my experience speaks otherwise.

                    also a turd by any other name...

                    PC's cannot be compared to tablets or phones, if an update goes bad you wipe the device.. and loose all your data.

          • I don't get the hate on that one. They're offering it as a free upgrade for one year going as far back as Win 7. If they didn't have the notification on those systems, the year would go by and then everyone would whine about not knowing about the free upgrade.

            It isn't a notification it is a nag screen. Nags are intentionally engineered to be unnecessarily difficult to remove. Notifications are designed to be easily dismissed once the user has had a chance to see it.

            • It isn't a notification it is a nag screen. Nags are intentionally engineered to be unnecessarily difficult to remove.

              Not to mention being exceedingly easy to do by accident.

              Because in this case the "WTF is this thing in my status bar" lead to a popup window which basically said "Scheduled my update now".

              There is no cancel or piss off and go away. It's basically presented as "OK, we're gonna do it, do you want it now or later?". It sure as hell isn't pitched as a "would you like this?"

              It also came in as s

            • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

              Devil's advocate.. A lot of people close unexpected notifications as a reflex. How would they get back to it if they did that?

              • by zlives ( 2009072 )

                with all the marketing money MS spends... would it be that difficult for them to give the said information in a non intrusive way?

                This "feature" speaks more of we fucked up with win8 so badly that maybe if we force people to accidentally or unintentionally upgrade to 10 all will be well. what happens when a typical user, not familiar with MS products that is currently using win7 updates to 10 and doesn't like or can't get an application to work? can they go back to 7.... or hell everything works and they ju

        • Thanks man, you saved me some legwork.

  • by Frobnicator ( 565869 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @01:06PM (#49892455) Journal

    Wow. Thanks /.'s Timothy for your editing work.

    After all the years we're used to your frequent grammar issues.

    But incorrect markup with raw URLs like that, that's an impressive low.

  • by thedonger ( 1317951 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @01:11PM (#49892493)
    More like, "From the Microsoft Marketing Department." Unless I'm missing something, this is just bundling "safe" adware as part of Windows. Hmm, maybe Ubuntu will have new life breathed into it.
    • by RabidReindeer ( 2625839 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @01:20PM (#49892553)

      More like, "From the Microsoft Marketing Department." Unless I'm missing something, this is just bundling "safe" adware as part of Windows. Hmm, maybe Ubuntu will have new life breathed into it.

      Nah, it'll be an integral part of the next systemd release along with emacs, ntp, and the web browser.

    • by macs4all ( 973270 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @01:35PM (#49892699)

      More like, "From the Microsoft Marketing Department." Unless I'm missing something, this is just bundling "safe" adware as part of Windows. Hmm, maybe Ubuntu will have new life breathed into it.

      No, this is just Microsoft's idea of a way to monetize the "free" Windows 10 Upgrade.

      See, the problem is, when Microsoft gives away Windows 10 in a wan attempt to keep up with Apple doing the same for the past 2 (or is it 3?) Versions of OS X, they are directly hacking away at a primary revenue source. Apple, OTOH, has the cost of OS X factored-in to their overall sales of related hardware, and so it really isn't "felt" on the overall Balance Sheet.

      So now, Microsoft is in the unenviable position of trying to figure out where to "make up" that revenue, especially since their sales are down in almost every sector overall, and so they are forced to resort to sleazy tactics like essentially turning Windows 10 into adware.

      My prediction: Either they will be shamed into abandoning this despicable idea; or they will create a PAID "ransomware" tier for those who will pay $99 (or, knowing MS's burning desire for SaaS, more like $49/year) to "disable" the ads. Mark my words; you heard it here, first...

      • by vux984 ( 928602 )

        My prediction: Either they will be shamed into abandoning this despicable idea; or they will create a PAID "ransomware" tier for those who will pay $99 (or, knowing MS's burning desire for SaaS, more like $49/year) to "disable" the ads. Mark my words; you heard it here, first...

        The sad and pathetic thing is that no advertiser is going to pay $49/year to show me ads so why should it cost me $49/year to 'outbid' them for the space.

        I'd do this for other sites too. What are they paying? Fractional cents per click or something? I almost never click ads... so advertisers are paying, maybe $5 year for my attention. Why can't I simply pay $6 per year split between google and other major ad networks to outbid them for my own eyeballs. Google makes more of me than they would showing me ads

  • Origin of 'Privad' (Score:4, Informative)

    by avandesande ( 143899 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @01:13PM (#49892505) Journal

    Privy(outhouse) + ad (derived from)

  • Privad would probably need to be disseminated "through adware-style software bundling, shopping discounts, toolbars or other incentives."

    Given what MS just did with the Ask toolbar, it looks like the Ad Wars are starting.

    • I have been fighting the ad wars for a decade plus now. Ever since ads became larger than the websites they serve.

      This is just a new battlefront. Fortunately I still have a few tricks up mysleeve. I will modify host file to block local host. (/sarcasm). Though I am getting ready for MAD. That's where I say f it all and cut the ISp right out.

  • Nostaliga (Score:5, Funny)

    by GrumpySteen ( 1250194 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @01:18PM (#49892537)

    There's the evil empire I grew up with! I was wondering where they'd gotten off to.

  • Is it compatible with AdBlock?

  • by RevWaldo ( 1186281 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @01:21PM (#49892563)
    It's the competition.

    .
  • Not to start a Platform War; but this is something you will NEVER see Apple do. Not because they don't like making money; but because that simply isn't their business model (iAds notwithstanding). And besides, Apple is trying to distinguish themselves from virtually everyone else by making it very clear that they don't play the "Selling Personal Information By the Pound" (with apologies to Genesis) game.
    • by mlts ( 1038732 )

      The funny thing is that Apple doesn't play that much (it does a little with iAds) in the ad game... but among the big tech companies, they are by far the most profitable.

      If the ad wars get too hot and heavy, with every new desktop computer winding up like a Bonzi-Buddy Windows ME box, there may just be a mass exodus to Macs. People in the past paid big bucks for an entry level desktop computer, and if driven to, they might do the same now, leaving the only people on the ad platforms the people who don't ha

      • The funny thing is that Apple doesn't play that much (it does a little with iAds) in the ad game... but among the big tech companies, they are by far the most profitable.

        If the ad wars get too hot and heavy, with every new desktop computer winding up like a Bonzi-Buddy Windows ME box, there may just be a mass exodus to Macs. People in the past paid big bucks for an entry level desktop computer, and if driven to, they might do the same now, leaving the only people on the ad platforms the people who don't have the cash to buy stuff.

        What "big bucks?" You're just feeding into the "Apple Tax" myth.

        Assuming you have a reasonable monitor and USB keyboard/mouse kicking around, you can get an entry-level Mac mini for $500. The slashdotters will whine about 5400 RPM drive this, and "only" Dual-Core that; but as an Entry-Level computer, it is plenty powerful enough.

        And even if you have to purchase a monitor, keyboard and mouse, you only have to add about $125 to get both of those from third-party vendors. So, for $625, you have a nice li

  • Are they paying for the bandwidth of mine that I pay for and they are wasting?

  • One of Microsoft's licensing tiers for Windows 8 was free, but OEMs were forced to set the default homepage and search engine to Bing. This sounds like the adware equivalent. I'm not sure how they'll implement it, since Windows 10 licenses are going to be free for upgraders.

    Here's something interesting to think about though. Unlike the rabid-anti advertising folks, I don't really do much on my own systems to avoid ads. I really don't like them, but I'm content with ignoring them simply because I don't want

  • Class action.

    I hope it's in the billions.

    • Class action.

      I hope it's in the billions.

      Why? The only ones who ever see the awards are the defense attorneys.

  • Old paper is old (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 11, 2015 @01:34PM (#49892695)

    Why are we discussing this paper from 2009 (http://conferences.sigcomm.org/hotnets/2009/program.html) as if it is new?

  • So basically this is your bullshit way of monetizing our desktops directly and preventing us from using ad blockers?

    Fuck you, it's our desktop, we own it. It's not there for you assholes to monetize it and fill it up with advertising shit.

    God but the people who sell ads are self entitled assholes.

    Placing the ads on our machines directly is a bullshit move. How about we protect our fucking privacy by not having this shit on our machines in the first place.

    Assholes.

    • Placing the ads on our machines directly is a bullshit move. How about we protect our fucking privacy by not having this shit on our machines in the first place.

      I agree! Here's how [apple.com] to start [linuxmint.com].

      • Why Mint in particular, compared to the other distros?

        • Why Mint in particular, compared to the other distros?

          Quite frankly, I wanted to deflect the drubbing I would get if I just linked to Apple's site; and so, since I hear a lot of people on Slashdot speak highly of Mint, especially for users that are coming to Linux for the first time, I figured it would be a kind of "neutral" distro to pick.

          But, since Linux fanbois can't seem to pick which of the 100+ distros they want to get behind (one of the biggest reasons why Linux on the Desktop is a complete non-starter, IMHO), I guess I would have to point to someplac

          • I'm a Mac user and I was picking Ubuntu when someone asked me for a Linux distro until recently (hearing bad things about it on Slashdot), so I was wondering "why Mint" since I also keep hearing about it as a "starter Linux" too.

            Someone should mod you informative for that link to distrowatch.

            • I'm a Mac user and I was picking Ubuntu when someone asked me for a Linux distro until recently (hearing bad things about it on Slashdot), so I was wondering "why Mint" since I also keep hearing about it as a "starter Linux" too.

              Someone should mod you informative for that link to distrowatch.

              Thanks!

              And if you look over at the right side of the DistroWatch homepage, you will see that "Mint" is #1 in "popularity". I didn't look there until after I decided to use them; but it just reinforces that it was a decent choice ;-).

              But seriously, unless someone just has NO money, I would still recommend OS X over Linux, for all the reasons you already know if you're a Mac user...

              But as I said, I didn't want to start a Platform War.

              • Even if I use a Mac, I do know that they're way more expensive than alternatives, especially outside of the U.S.A. Even in Canada, Apple doesn't rectify its prices often enough compared to the exchange rate.

    • "So it is with some interest that I came across today some research by Saikat Guha, a Senior Scientist at Raytheon BBN Technologies and a partner at Microsoft Research, which investigates the feasibility of running web ads from localhost – from the user’s own computer."

      This isn't an MS-sponsored paper. It's Saikat Guha, Alexey Reznichenko, Kevin Tang, Hamed Haddadi, and Paul Francis looking to make a few bucks.

  • HTTPS should be truly end to end with no MITM. Any software vendor putting stuff on my computer that bypasses this will not be supported by me financially in the future.

    To be perfectly honest, I'm so strongly in favor of encrypting everything that I say, if there's a non-HTTPS site out there that only serves traffic over HTTP, and they want to bundle malware on my system that *only* injects content into regular HTTP (not HTTPS) connections, I'm all for it. Go ahead and punish users and sites that run withou

    • And with things like StartSSL and soon that Mozilla-funded free CA, there's really no excuse not to have a trusted cert (not a self-signed or snakeoil cert).

      Even if the StartSSL certificate is available without charge, it doesn't renew automatically. So there's still the manual task of remembering to renew it every year [slashdot.org], which in some cases involves opening a trouble ticket with your web host to get the certificate installed. There's also usually an extra charge for a dedicated IP if you still have viewers who use SNI-ignorant browsers such as Internet Explorer on Windows XP or Android Browser on Gingerbread.

  • by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @01:51PM (#49892865)
    Ads stuffed into my machine, but also prevetted by the ACLU and EFF? How high do you think we are?

    Not only do you want to suck up my bandwidth, you want to suck up my drive space. And only those ads deemed 'acceptable'?
    Didn't we go through that whole push thing about 1998 or so. Hell, you even got free dialup if you accepted their pushed ads. Of course, it rendered the machine unusable, because it was trying to keep up with the ads stream...
  • APK (Score:5, Funny)

    by samwichse ( 1056268 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @01:56PM (#49892899)

    Oh man, APK's head is going to asplode!

  • Given local storage extensions supported by most browsers these days advertisers don't need to install anything to pull this off. They have all the tools to do it right now.

  • ... Sort of. I have a giant ad-blocking /etc/hosts file, [mvps.org] and since I actually run httpd on all of my Macs, I often see my own 404 page in an iframe on sites I visit. So, yeah, works for me. :D

  • Saikat Guha, Alexey Reznichenko, Kevin Tang, Hamed Haddadi, Paul Francis
    Max Planck Institute for Software Systems and Cornell University

    sguha@mpi-sws.org
    areznich@mpi-sws.org
    hamed@mpi-sws.org
    francis@mpi-sws.org
    kt258@cornell.edu

  • Wouldn't that be a "Trespass to Chattels", due to their storing their stuff on your property, thus depriving you of use of said property? (That is, permanently, not in a browser cache.)

    IANAL.

  • ...A paper from Microsoft researchers posits the possibility of 'pushing' web ads to a user's own computer and serving them into pre-arranged containers on web pages...

    So this is what Microsoft meant when they said Windows would become a service. Microsoft just neglected to mention who would be of benefit from this service --- the advertisers.

  • I do'na know what they call this where's ya from but here We call this kind of thing trespassing! It's bad enough that you insist on running all this Java Script stuff, but now you want to store stuff locally so you can better control what popup boxes I see and be a light'n the load on ya end yonder? No sir, I'm done being nice and putt'n up with ya. You can take ya North West sourced, high wheeling fancy software and the low down good for nothn snake oil sellin' business off my property afor' I be callin

  • ... I can still turn my Telescreen off.

  • by Zalbik ( 308903 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @04:44PM (#49894263)

    Won't work for me! I redirect localhost to 127.0.0.1!

    BTW...why are we discussing a paper from 2009? Is this really news?

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. -- Niels Bohr

Working...