YUQwest: Veliki brat Billy nas gleda

Milan Potkonjak (milan@canada.com)
Thu, 18 Mar 1999 22:05:27 -0800

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JAMES DERK, Evansville Courier & Press

Just when you think Microsoft could not be any more stupid, it is
discovered the company has hidden a code in Windows 98 and in Office

The company, of course, has expressed surprise that the number, called a
"Globally Unique Identifier," was included in registration information
sent to Microsoft and that it is included in every Microsoft Office
document you've created.

Privacy advocates have gone ballistic since the discovery, saying
Microsoft (and others) now have a way of electronically tracking where
files originated, sort of a digital fingerprint. And if the number is
included in Web "cookie" files, it could be possible to track where users
have gone on the Web.

This "bug" affects everyone with a network card installed in their machine
for sure; it may also affect users who have installed an Internet
connection using Microsoft's Dial-Up Networking or users of America Online.

Microsoft says it will post on its Web site a tool to remove the code from
the Windows 98 registry and from Office documents. In this summer's
"Service Release" for Windows 98, the company promises to re-engineer the
software to no longer report the number during registration.

If you want to see how the company did the deed - or if your number is
being embedded, here's how to check.

In Windows 98, hit START, the hit RUN, then type "winipcfg" without the
quote marks. That runs your network identification program. That shows the
various GUID numbers of your network cards. Write them down, especially
the one for any Ethernet cards you may have.

Then open Notepad (under PROGRAM FILES then ACCESSORIES). Now open any
Microsoft Word and Excel file using Notepad. You will get a lot of garble.

Hit SEARCH on the top row and find the term "guid" without the quotes.
There you will find your computer's ID embedded in the file.

Maybe I've been listening to President Clinton's deposition too much, but
it's hard to believe Microsoft's position that no one in the company knew
this number was being transmitted into their databases and embedded into
Office documents. Say what you will about Microsoft, but these are smart

But the bottom line is, let's hope Microsoft has learned something from
this. Arrogance, especially when it comes to personal privacy, is not

K O Ho A K
Inflacija, hunta, gorile i vile,
Koja, bre, Srbija, ovo je Chile!!!