Saturday, July 25, 2009

Evil Google

I've installed Google Earth 5 on my Mac and I found out that it has a wonderful piece of invisible software tht does automatic updates in the background. This is great except for two things


  1. It's a security risk - if an update is compromised, there is nothing I can do to stop it

  2. I would not be impressed with Google trying to download a new Google Earth while I am connected to the Internet via a 28Kbit GPRS phone


Anyway, I've disabled the update deamon, but during my researches I found this hilarious piece of crap from Google about their browser which I thought I'd share.


When we started exploring various options for our installer, we came up with some explicit goals:

  • With new browser exploits showing up on regular basis, keep users free from the burden of checking for security updates.

  • Allow users who are not administrators to install Google Chrome.

  • Allow updates to happen automatically in the background even when Google Chrome is in use. The next time you open Google Chrome, it can simply start using the latest version.

  • Just like the minimal user interface (UI) of Google Chrome, limit or eliminate installer UI as much as possible.

  • Updates should be as small as possible. A security fix should be a small, fast download and should not need a full installer.

  • Uninstall should be clean and remove changes done by Google Chrome as much as possible.




Let's look at a couple of those points in more detail.

With new browser exploits showing up on regular basis, keep users free from the burden of checking for security updates.

Translation: Google Chrome will be exploited on a regular basis. I'm not filled with confidence by that.

Allow users who are not administrators to install Google Chrome.
Translation: We need to circumvent the operating system's security so that anybody can install our software on anybody else's PC.

What were they thinking? Do they not realise that there is a good reason why it's hard for non administrators (should be impossible) to install software? In fact it gets worse. They implemented this stupid objective by putting all of the software in the user's profile. If more than one user of a PC wants to use Google Chrome they all have to install their own copy and don't even think about it if you use roaming profiles.

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