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Old 07-28-2008, 10:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Would you like some adware on your BlackBerry?

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I noticed on the Verizon homepage on my device yesterday there is a link for something called SIDEBAR. I did a litte investigating and found some info.

digital SIDEBAR white space is content space with mobile advertising platform | => Mobile Mage (mobilemage.com) | Mobile reviews and news

Quote:
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) June 18, 2008 — digital SIDEBAR, a leading provider in the mobile advertising and content discovery sector, today announced the launch of the SIDEBAR platform. SIDEBAR allows for the delivery of targeted content to white space on the screens of users’ mobile phones before and after calls and with incoming and outgoing SMS notifications.

SIDEBAR, which will soon be launched in a national consumer pilot with a major U.S. carrier, connects wireless operators, advertisers and content developers with mobile consumers. Content includes promotions which link to interactive and multimedia entertainment. SIDEBAR enables targeting of content to users by age, gender, interests, use patterns, day and time; and SIDEBAR’s “share” feature allows users to forward content to other mobile consumers, one-to-one and one-to-many.
More in the article. I found the app's website.

Digital Sidebar Home

Note it says:
Quote:
digital SIDEBAR is at the forefront of innovation offering an end-to-end solution for mobile advertising, promotion and content discovery. The company's patent-pending solution, SIDEBAR™, connects wireless operators, advertisers and content developers with mobile consumers. Targeted content is displayed to users before and after calls, with incoming and outgoing SMS notifications, and application launch. Users can interact with content at the time it is displayed or later, during leisure time. SIDEBAR is a highly personalized interactive channel for promotions, content, coupons and special offers. Consumers receive SIDEBAR content at exactly the right time - prime time - while they are engaged.
(emphasis mine)

Also:
Advertisers

Quote:
This highly sophisticated system enables targeting by demographic, psychographic, users' expressed preferences, historical use patterns, day, time and geography
So, what does that mean, besides it's going to put ads on your device?

The info on the Verizon SIDEBAR page says:

"Content, including your wireless phone number, may be intercepted by third parties with or without your or our (referring to Verizon) knowledge or permission."

What is the definition of adware?

Adware - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
Adware or advertising-supported software is any software package which automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertisements to a computer after the software is installed on it or while the application is being used. Some types of adware are also spyware and can be classified as privacy-invasive software.
SIDEBAR sure sounds like adware to me. It would be interesting to know exactly what else it intercepts besides your wireless phone number. Targeted advertising is generally based on browser patterns, but I have to wonder what else SIDEBAR is using to determine the targeted content.

Someone at Crackberry downloaded it and posted

Quote:
It replaces your call screen with some ad crap when you are in a call etc. I promptly uninstalled it and restarted my phone.
How freakin' annoying would that be!

Now, this sure sounds like adware to me, and you might even call it trackware, but it is not the same as a virus or trojan, so don't go around thinking that. It has to be installed willingly -- it doesn't sneak on to your device without your knowledge or permission.

What is the benefit of installing SIDEBAR? The Vzw page says you will be entered to win a Voyager phone and a one hundred dollar ($100) Verizon Wireless Gift Card. I don't know this, but I'm speculating that Verizon may be the "major US carrier" in the pilot program referred to in the first article above.

At any rate, I wouldn't be caught dead using SIDEBAR given that it intercepts your mobile phone number and heaven-knows-what-else happening on your device. I don't know if BES admins can block this app or not, but I could see it might be considered a security threat, and I'd block it if possible.
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted

Good catch. I'm avoiding this like the plague!
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Great information Daphne. Thanks for sharing it with everyone.
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks Daphne!
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It sure isn't worth a Voyager and a $100 gift card to be enrolled in adware that will give out my #
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Man, that's insane. Good eye, daphne.
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted

Great find!!! If I wanted that "stuff" I would stay on computer... God knows there is plenty of sneaky stuff there! As that old tv show goes... Danger will robinson Danger.
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (8310 Curve)

Screw that and I hope ATT don't decide to pull that crap.
Imagine how slow things will become while trying to use the net.
They are going to have to pay me to look at that crap. Sure you need to install NOW, but sooner or later crap like this is going to be mandatory.
That's if people do not start and *****
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry 9000 4.6.0.67)

Only way to make it mandatory is service books and those can be deleted. Any other OS related install and I am sure someone will identify the offending file and remove it from the BBs at least. Other devices may not be so lucky.
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I think I read it's going to be available for Windows Mobile and other platforms, but I can't find the link now, so I'm not sure. This company got $5 million in VC funding and it sounds like they are hoping to make it big. If I had a virtual BlackBerry, like my VMware virtual machines, I'd install it to see what it does. I thought about testing it, but I don't want them getting my mobile number.

I did not find any privacy policy on the site, but maye there is something like a privacy policy when you install it.

I forgot to say... the VZW page says its a data intensive application.
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Last edited by daphne : 07-29-2008 at 01:22 AM. Reason: add
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Oh, the reason I think it works on other platforms is on the vzw page, there are download links for BlackBerry, Smartphone, and PocketPC.

I also found this:

Official Rules

HOW TO ENTER:

Quote:
SIDEBAR download: If you are a Verizon Wireless subscriber, with the following devices, Blackberry 8130, Blackberry 8703, Blackberry 8830, Blackberry 8330, Moto Q/Q9M, SCH-i760, Fusion, Treo 700w/wx and XV6800 you may download the application at digital SIDEBAR. Verizon Wireless service is not available in all areas. SIDEBAR is a data intensive application. If you do not subscribe to a plan or feature that provides for unlimited data sent and received, you will, depending on your plan, incur charges of $1.99 per megabyte or airtime for downloading and using the application. It is recommended that you upgrade to a plan that provides for unlimited data sent and received if you wish to avoid such charges.
And this:
digital SIDEBAR


But still no privacy policy anywhere.
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:31 AM   #12 (permalink)
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If I'm paying for the equipment and service, there is absolutely no way that piece of **** is going on my phone!
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:50 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (8310 Curve)

So there you have it data intensive. You will be trying to get info you need. Instead this thing will be eating up the time trying to get that info.
On top of that your paying for it. With or with out a unlimited data plan. This knowing every move is getting crazy.
My friend has Progressive Insurance. They want him to try a module that will tell them how many miles he drives, how fast, how many times he applies his brakes.
They say it will save money on his Insurance. In reality he will get screwed if he does not drive the way they want him too.

To much intrusion in our lives and we need to stop this crap
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Old 07-29-2008, 06:46 AM   #14 (permalink)
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And, yet, people happily use Viigo, which is adware... and getting even more so in Tango. :p

Other than the chance to get something, I wonder if there's an idea of this having any benefit to the end-user. I have to be honest, if there was a reason to use this program, I'd consider it. I wouldn't mind ads if, for example, it meant that I got a substantial discount on my plan.
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Old 07-29-2008, 06:59 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeypants View Post
But Viigo is free and the advertisements within it are easily ignored. It's not like the ads are popping-up each time you try and read a feed.
Just you wait.
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:32 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (off to see the wizard)

Wow will we ever be able to escape ads!

Never gonna add something like this.
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:54 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I've seen that on the home screen, but didn't think that much about it other than my initial reaction was that it was probably something I didn't want. Verizon claims to block access to the built-in GPS functionality for my own protection, yet they'll allow/encourage me to put THIS on my phone, knowing that it can gather personal data without their or my knowledge?! What a crock!
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:03 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm glad to see this technology has practically no user benefit, to the point where the company can't even be bothered to pitch it that way. That's good news, because it will almost certainly mean widespread user dissatisfaction, which should prevent this from becoming the norm.
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:32 AM   #19 (permalink)
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No thanks to any asware on my BB. I get enough of that on my daily visits to the BB forums.
Thanks for the info.
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:41 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Excellent catch, Daphne!
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