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End of the Cakewalk Road for me?

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My refrigerator is connected to the internet.  Just sayin'.....

It's the age we are living in.

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11 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

I have been using the WWW and email for 25 years and I have never expected more privacy from it than I would from sending a postcard.

People use Chrome and Firefox and GMail for banking, medical information, personal communication, storing passwords, personal correspondence, online purchases with credit cards, everything. They have mailboxes in front of their houses where all their bills (and maybe even still, some personal correspondence) are delivered and sit unprotected for hours.

And some of them are worried that a music loving businessman from a wealthy family in Singapore wants to rig an easily detectable trojan in the audio production software his company distributes to increase goodwill and awareness of his brand. One that pops up and lets you know it's connecting. Once detected (by readily available network traffic analyzers), this trojan would make industry pariahs (if not convicted criminals) of everyone involved in creating the software. What, really, is the likelihood of that scenario happening?

Perhaps more realistically, they have a problem with his company knowing how much or little or how often they use the software. I will say myself that just as I don't care that Google or Firefox know how much and how often I use their software (and best believe, that is tracked not only by them but every website we visit makes a note of what browser we use), I don't care that once every few months, the company that makes my 100% free DAW software wants to check to see whether I'm using the latest version.

Do people believe that paying for software magically grants them immunity from information gathering? Most of the payware programs I use phone home way more often than Cakewalk. The people that rely on making money from their users are quite interested in how they might get more money by selling them other products, or making their current products more desirable.

For anyone who thinks that just because it's not telling you that it's phoning home, it isn't, it's quite easy to check on what a program is doing when it starts up. Run Task Manager, click on the Performance tab, then down at the bottom click on Resource Monitor. In Resource Monitor, click on Network. Start your program and observe the connections it makes. I just tried it with Reason Lite and it has a constant connection nailed up. You can even tick the box next to the name of the executable and it will filter only traffic to and from that program. Reason phoned home when I closed it, too. I wonder what else we can learn.

Oh, fun, I just tried it with REAPER and guess what? Not one but two network connections appeared. Naughty naughty REAPER, you have them convinced that you don't do that sort of thing! WavesLocalServer is a chatty baby, too. Oh, Melodyne, you little tattletale, what are you saying to the servers back home? ACID Music Studio, I'm gonna have to drop you (ha ha) if you keep talking to the MAGIX server. 4 connections! iZotope RX7 Editor, say it ain't so. Now iZotope know that I was probably altering human speech with their program (which I got for free, so, figures). Vegas Movie Studio, you're showing me a pop-up ad for your next version.

I guess it's time to dust off the ol' Portastudio....

That's exactly why I prefer an offline DAW! My biggest concern is NOT that these music programs violate my privacy, even if you never know where your statistic data goes to and how securely it is stored! But on one hand all this network traffic may disrupt your targeted work (e.g. music) and takes a lot of resources (Just look in task manager, it's scary!). Last but not least all this network traffic may have potential security issues and this is probably the worst thing!

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Posted (edited)

It's not about the evils of Cakewalk (for which I think there are none) but the increasing public concern over their privacy. For many people when they find out their software is phoning home (or whatever connection) it gives them another concern about privacy. As shown in the media, 95% of iPhone users are turning off Facebook tracking via the new iOS update. And it's good.  I have analytics turned on for Cakewalk and some other programs to try and help improve them. Cakewalk is harmless and I see no reason for them to make it harmful.

But when someone comments about a piece of software making connections and not liking it, it unfair to dismiss them as being old and out of touch. I started long before ARPNET (used it copiously and COMSYS) and watched this train roll along. I've seen it all build up to what we have today. Experience does count for something.

And I think this is a conversation for a different forum. But maybe Noel IS Mr. Big. I'm just sayin'. ;)

Edited by Terry Kelley

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49 minutes ago, John Nelson said:

My refrigerator is connected to the internet.  Just sayin'.....

It's the age we are living in.

Mine isn't. nor my TV. And I don't own and have never owned a cell phone. A Luddite? Absolutely.  Regardless of the age I live in, I still have choices. I also have the right to voice my opinion, despite being ridiculed for it. It's the age we're lining in.

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14 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

Oh, fun, I just tried it with REAPER and guess what? Not one but two network connections appeared. Naughty naughty REAPER, you have them convinced that you don't do that sort of thing!

My REAPER does not. Have you disabled daily check for new version? Try to start it second time then. BTW Cockos has no "user login". And you can run it on any computer, even if you have never run it there before nor currently has valid license. But better put it with license, accomplished with free or USB based authorization plug-ins on any USB stick, and you know you have working on any computer DAW. Yes, the choice of plug-ins will be limited, but at least you will be able to do basic tasks.

My Cakewalk talks to github, cloudfront and ms azure. On every startup.

I still remember I had Z3TA2 and for some reasons decided to put on backup stick "new" version. Unlike the rest on the stick (including Sonar X3), I could no longer install it. And there was no Internet... I was extremely emotional... Almost at the same level as later, when Pace servers was down whole day long and I had cloud license I wanted to use... Platinum reverted to demo during tutorial recording... etc.

Well, I see no problem when something call home without glitches and in case I understand why (better with an option to turn that off, at least for a while). But if I can avoid that, without inconvenience for myself, I do.

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4 hours ago, John Nelson said:

My refrigerator is connected to the internet.  Just sayin'.....

It's the age we are living in.

Does it need internet to accept cookies?

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1 hour ago, azslow3 said:

BTW Cockos has no "user login"

That's exactly what I prefer! I also like those licences that "trust" the user so that you are able to install the software on all of your systems without hassle. Like that you don't have to be afraid (or minimum less) that suddenly you cannot use the software anymore (because of hardware change, ...).

To me it makes a big difference if a software is calling home for

  1. installation/autorisation
  2. when it is being started (if the internet is available) to check the license
  3. or if I need a permanent login to use the software. For the same reason I refuse software with a cloud connection.

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3 hours ago, mdiemer said:

And I don't own and have never owned a cell phone.

Wow!   I'm impressed :D    With two teenager daughters  I'm glad each of us in the family has one. 

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3 hours ago, mdiemer said:

Mine isn't. (...)

Lucky you! At least you don't need to sign in to your Whirlpool account just to get the door open.

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1 hour ago, InstrEd said:

Wow!   I'm impressed :D    With two teenager daughters  I'm glad each of us in the family has one. 

 We didn't have any kids, just cats, and while talkative, they did not require cell phones.  They didn't need them as they could read our minds anyway.

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40 minutes ago, MisterX said:

Lucky you! At least you don't need to sign in to your Whirlpool account just to get the door open.

A really smart Fridge would refuse to open once you hit 20 lbs. overweight.

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4 minutes ago, mdiemer said:

 We didn't have any kids, just cats, and while talkative, they did not require cell phones.  They didn't need them as they could read our minds anyway.

Our one cat would love to have a phone just to tell us hey I'm hungry come home and feed me 😆

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1 minute ago, mdiemer said:

A really smart Fridge would refuse to open once you hit 20 lbs. overweight.

Or in my case since the chips are stored on top of the Fridge, the Fridge would swallow them up and not let me have any for nighttime snack. My wife is ice-cream and I'm a salty snackaholic .

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5 hours ago, Terry Kelley said:

when someone comments about a piece of software making connections and not liking it, it unfair to dismiss them as being old and out of touch

I didn't mean to imply this with my comments. I just turned 60, so I'd be the Sphinx calling the pyramids "old." Rather that people's concerns are often misdirected. DAW software phoning home is an odd target given that the browser software we are all using right now to post or read on this forum is harvesting data like crazy, tracking our every movement on the web. A program pinging their home server to check for updates is nothing. The operating system we use to run our DAW's is talking up a storm to its home company.

My bemusement is about people getting all wound up about Cakewalk having rolled the authorization into the main program, threatening to stop using it, whatever. Especially after the years of fussing and fuming about needing BandLab Assistant to refresh authorization. And implying that something nefarious might be behind it, or someday be behind it.

If someone is really concerned about this stuff, IMO they should study up and learn how to better protect themselves. I've given basic security advice before, like not using the same email address you use for banking to register with smaller companies who can't afford the same level of security hardening. Anyone savvy enough to use a DAW can learn how to block individual apps' network activity either in their computer's firewall or their Internet router. All the tools they need are right there in Windows 10.

I decline to use audio production software that requires a network connection in my mixes. Too much of a pain in the anatomy, and I sometimes like to take my laptop to places where I don't have Internet access.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, mdiemer said:

A really smart Fridge would refuse to open once you hit 20 lbs. overweight.

Mine will lock itself up if there's no internet available. And then there's this voice message from Fridge Assistant:

"Access denied,  Error code #007: Face recognition system unable to verify user authorization on remote server. Please check the connection and reboot your kitchen. When in doubt feel free to contact our AI chat bot via landline. It probably won't understand you anyway, but hey, it's the age we live in!"

Edited by MisterX
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What I find absolutely amazing is the fact that so many people can keep a thread going on for so long over one guy's paranoia.

😏John B

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Posted (edited)

Guys, John B is absolutely right. This whole security paranoia has to end, eventually!
if you're concerned about your privacy and online safety of your audio workstations there's a couple of tricks and rules to follow. So, all you have to do is:

1. Install 900 microsoft security patches to your system and keep updating 150 times a year, at least untill 2025
2. Set firewall rules for hundreds of various programs and plugins (+ check their efficiency everytime you set them).
3. Tweak your OS settings to prevent dozens of potential privacy leaks
4. Get a strong antivirus protection aqainst millions of security threats
5. Keep checking regularly if all those settings, tweaks and rules didn't change due to system updates, as well as to software or human errors
6. Make sure your network drivers are up to date
7. Backup your system daily, just in case:
 
a) some of your software or drivers don't work as expected after next Microsoft update
b) your system gets compromised despite strong protectiom measures

8. Make sure you don't login to Widows with your refrigerator password


Sure, for some lazy growlers out there even these few simple steps won't be worth the hassle, since they stubbornly claim that offline way is the easier and safer one, but hey - modern approach to cybersecurity is to accept the challenges, not to avoid them! So don't be a cowardly computer redneck, don't go offline, It's so 90's...

Edited by MisterX
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On 5/21/2021 at 10:53 AM, John Nelson said:

My refrigerator is connected to the internet.  Just sayin'.....

It's the age we are living in.

 

You're out of beer.

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