Steam Or Not Steam?

ZerogreatZerogreat Join Date: 2002-12-11 Member: 10537Posts: 471Members
A poll
After readïng through all the discussions i put up a poll, so please go here http://zerogreat.wz.cz/vote.htm and vote. (these forums dont let me to create poll confused.gif ).
Find me a law that states that raising the dead is not prohibited, but simply annoying. -- Kodiak
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Comments

  • FrickenMoronFrickenMoron Join Date: 2002-11-21 Member: 9498Posts: 173Members
    total votes 2, yay
    gotta hate steam, damn spyware.

    user posted image
  • JimBowenJimBowen Join Date: 2003-05-30 Member: 16873Posts: 264Members, Constellation
    every time i load a game on the steam beta e.g cs or tfc , it crashes :s . So ive voted no
    Jim Bowen

    user posted image
  • nthingnthing Join Date: 2002-11-01 Member: 3091Posts: 350Members
    QUOTE (FrickenMoron @ Sep 10 2003, 04:17 PM)
    total votes 2, yay
    gotta hate steam, damn spyware.

    Ummm. It's not spyware.
    The l33test time of the day:

    user posted image
  • ZerogreatZerogreat Join Date: 2002-12-11 Member: 10537Posts: 471Members
    QUOTE (FrickenMoron @ Sep 10 2003, 04:17 PM)
    total votes 2, yay

    What you expect, I started it five minutes back.
    Find me a law that states that raising the dead is not prohibited, but simply annoying. -- Kodiak
  • fo_sheezy_my_neezyfo_sheezy_my_neezy Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10768Posts: 693Members, Constellation
    edited September 2003
    naw, it's not spyware, but it DOES suck. In fact, on a brand new format, add hl, add cs 1.5, add dod 1.0, add ns 2.0, install steam, let it update everything, and POOF, I'm instantly a cheater. I was summarily kicked from every cs server I tried to join with steam (only wanted to see what 1.6 was gonna be like). It's those kind of bugs that mess up a program (and they said they didn't fix the net code).
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • elimelim Join Date: 2002-11-17 Member: 9006Posts: 473Members, Constellation
    Burn steam, BURN
    image
  • XCanXCan Join Date: 2002-11-03 Member: 5904Posts: 1,055Members, Constellation
    Actually pretty many abnomalities has been brought up about STEAM. It's widely known at least by the large cheating sites who pardon me whatever they do have very skilled coders.
    To make a long story short, it seems like STEAM collect every image, video, exe file on your computer and stores it in a file gcache.gcf. Now you might say what the heck this doesn't matter much.
    But!, valve responded the letters with why this was happening with that it had to do with createfile() on NTFS showing old data that has been deleted before. However any of you who knows a bit about this subject should fairly quickly figure out that this shouldn't under any circumstances happen.
    Those of you who don't believe me, check the file gcache.gcf with a hex editor.
    Edit? Edit what? Signature? What signature?
  • wlibaerswlibaers Join Date: 2002-11-15 Member: 8685Posts: 552Members
    Why a poll? That makes it seem as if there's an option not to use it. Valve seems determined to go through with this. Apart from the spyware aspect, there's also inconvenience. For example, probably no LAN games if the LAN doesn't have an internet connection, maybe even no single player without connection, lots of download (annoying for those who have an ISP that limits download volumes, or just provides a slow connection).

    They probably know it's going to make some customers stop buying their stuff, but probably think the extra profits from direct distribution will be bigger than what they lose due to Steam.
  • BirdyBirdy Join Date: 2003-05-29 Member: 16825Posts: 1,051Members, Constellation
    QUOTE
    naw, it's not spyware, but it DOES suck. In fact, on a brand new format, add hl, add cs 1.5, add dod 1.0, add ns 2.0, install steam, let it update everything, and POOF, I'm instantly a cheater. I was summarily kicked from every cs server I tried to join with steam (only wanted to see what 1.6 was gonna be like). It's those kind of bugs that mess up a program (and they said they didn't fix the net code).


    Not spyware? tounge.gif


    QUOTE

    It seems the communities surrounding Steam are steering in a tough debate over the question: What is gcache.gcf?

    Recently many communities (including steampowered.com and halflife2.net) have attempted to contact Valve about the issue of massive amounts of information being gathered by Steam and storing the date in a file called gcache.gcf. I've browsed all the communities and heard many different theories from both Valve, and users that can verify data being stored and I've come to the conclusion that neither parties are exactly sure what gcache is used for.

    As you can see below two different employees from Valve has responded on the issue and both give contradicting replies.

    Quote:
    Gabe Newell (GabeN@valvesoftware.com) writes

    We're scratching our heads over this. The gcf files are caches of Steam and game files. When we allocate the caches, we don't clear them; there shouldn't be any directory references in the gcf files. When we check our own gcf files we don't see this (external directory references), so we're still trying to figure out how they could be showing up. Would this happen on a drive with a screwed up file system? Is there an OS version isn't scrubbing the sectors? Is the report coming from someone who is reading past the end of the gcf file somehow?


    So, Gabe reports he doesn't know what the file is used for, odd eh? Only a few short hours later Gabe replies with a well documented e-mail.

    Quote:
    Gabe Newell (GabeN@valvesoftware.com) writes

    The cache file gets created on the client using the Windows CreateFile() command. This command will create the file but not initialize it. Due to the large size of the file, we don't bother initializing the empty data blocks in it as this can take an appreciable amount of time. On NTFS machines, files created with this method happen to have the property of appearing empty (initialized to zero) but for FAT32 machines, it shows up as whatever old data was sitting on drive in the sectors that just got allocated for the cache. The people that are reporting this behavior are actually seeing old data from their hard drives.


    Eric seems to understand (or appear that he does), but yet again this response only came from his reply as other vavle employees (each one) has given a different reply. An employee by the user name of Blisk posted a reply about the gcf file being used in the future to allow a user to play external MP3s, but the GUI has not yet been incorporated.

    This debate from Vavle's side continues with excessive replies and each one varies from the last. I think someone up in the Vavle office needs to call a team meeting before you driver yourself into the mud.

    Now for the other team, the folks that hold heartily believe that Steam is gathering information and does have massive amounts of proof to back up this theory (unlike Valve's defense holds)

    Quote:
    Coax writes

    Here is a long series of screenshots, too ALL sorts of #### on my drives. Trust me fellas, this is no memory bug thing, some of these files I haven't opened in ages. It is almost a complete listing of both my hds.

    http://home.no/coax/steam/

    Please look at all the screenshots to see the variety but yet consistency against cheats, piracy, and even porn.. it seems to go after mpeg files, zip files, cpp files, kazaa/mp3 etc. In other words, it found all my mp3 dirs, all my movie dirs, and all my zips, with complete paths to every one of them. As you can see it's a whole lot, and if this was a bug of some sort, don't you think it would contain some sort of unimportant directories and files like the path to windows calculator?


    It's a strong debate from many different parties and it sums up to the fact valve stats "The people that are reporting this behavior are actually seeing old data from their hard drives" but is this the reply you will believe? Facts are facts and by simply reading the agreement license before you install Steam you will read:

    Quote:
    By using Valve's online sites and products, users agree that Valve may share with other parties aggregate information and individual information but not personally identifiable information gathered by Valve in the course of the continuing use of Valve online sites and products. "Aggregate information" is information that describes the habits, usage patterns, and demographics of users as a group but does not describe or reveal the identity of any particular user. "Individual information" is information about a user that is presented in a form distinguishable from information relating to other users but not in a form that personally identifies any user or enables the recipient to communicate directly with any user unless agreed to by the user in advance of such communication. This information may be used to improve Valve's products and online sites, for internal marketing studies, or simply to collect demographic information about Valve's users.

    [...]

    With Steam, developers are given integrated tools for direct-content publishing, flexible billing, ensured-version control, anti-cheating, anti-piracy, and more.


    The questions have been asked, and answers have been made, but do you question everything? The theory of Steam collecting, storing, and selling personal information from your personal computer might be far stretched for some users but the images have been shown and the replies have been posted.
  • Nil_IQNil_IQ Join Date: 2003-04-15 Member: 15520Posts: 3,316Members
    QUOTE (XCan @ Sep 10 2003, 11:46 AM)
    To make a long story short, it seems like STEAM collect every image, video, exe file on your computer and stores it in a file gcache.gcf

    Ohnos! Valve will know about my pr0n stash! smile.gif

    Seriously though, does this mean the people at valve will be able to see all the programs on your computer? Buh?
    QUOTE (Gwahir @ Jun 2 2008, 06:30 PM) »
    QUOTE (Abra @ Jun 2 2008, 06:19 PM) »
    The day the word "danger" makes it into my dictionary, is the day the workplace related deaths exceeds the "workplace related death-to-oh my, magma is being pumped, awesome!"-ratio.

    I am disturbed by your obsession with pumping hot fluids.
  • JummehJummeh Join Date: 2003-04-07 Member: 15276Posts: 177Members
    oh btw if you ask this in steampowered.com you get threatened by a ban from steam... /me wonders why
    Jim - For every winner there are dozens of losers, odds are your one of them. ;p
    revisit 1.04 @ Old School - 195.140.143.46:27015 (WON-fra)
  • BirdyBirdy Join Date: 2003-05-29 Member: 16825Posts: 1,051Members, Constellation
    Because everyone found them out biggrin.gif

    Death to steam!
  • ZerogreatZerogreat Join Date: 2002-12-11 Member: 10537Posts: 471Members
    edited September 2003
    From the results to this time its 'not like':'like' 4:1 , keep em coming.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    Find me a law that states that raising the dead is not prohibited, but simply annoying. -- Kodiak
  • Paranoia2MBParanoia2MB Join Date: 2002-11-09 Member: 7832Posts: 2,191Members
    Steam and HL2 are Piracy Countermeasures.
    That is what it sounds like. I don't want people to see what I have on my harddrive. ****, why don't I just tell a hacker my IP and drop my firewall right now? Since that is pretty much what Steam/Valve are doing. Now i'm very drawn away from buying HL2. Hopefully somebody will make a server finder for HL2 that wont need steam or anything. I'm pretty sure in a matter of time, people will have downloads to by-pass steam and play online. If so, I'll be using it 'cause Steam/Valve f-'ed up. asrifle.gif
    Cpl.Davis: lol in that one pic of you sideways, you ALmost look like Kai Tracid imo.:)
    imageimage
    Nissan 240sx with Skyline GT-R 33 Racing engine = My dream
    QUOTE (TychoCelchuuu @ Nov 23 2009, 08:33 PM) »
    Players in the new Call of Duty game are already handling the Air Force's A-130 Spectre gunships in Iraq without knowing it.
  • NurEinMenschNurEinMensch Join Date: 2003-02-26 Member: 14056Posts: 1,352Members, Constellation
    Can you say paranoia?
    Please look at the facts. Create a new file as large as the gcache.gcf using the CreateFile() command and open it with a hex editor. I bet you'll be surprised by what you are going to see.
    Your HD probably doesnt have much space where it has never before stored any data. And if there was data even if it was deleted it's still there. So whenever you view it with a hex editor you'll find that data still there.
    I don't have steam so I can't view that file myself but I bet if you look at the data structure it's a complete mess.
    And be reasonable, what use has a several hundred MB large file on your disk have for them, concerning spy-ware? Are you really believing they will let your computer send a file as large as this over your 56k modem??
    And if they don't do that but use it as some kind of hash, wouldn't it be easier to scan your HD on the fly, instead of hashing each and every .zip .mp3 or whatever file just in case they might need that info?
    I don't like steam one bit, except for the fact that it makes cheater's life harder, but that paranoia just goes too far.
    This is the kind of thing that goes on behind close doors on normal game releases, where they are optimizing it right up until the end. You guys are just getting to play with a version of the game that normally only the developers see.

    --Cory
  • BirdyBirdy Join Date: 2003-05-29 Member: 16825Posts: 1,051Members, Constellation
    Why the hell would they need info about my folder structures for anything but selling.

    Can you say RIAA?
    VALVe is owned by cold hard facts.

    I don't want anything to do with steam untill they remove that ****.
  • AaronAaron vroom vroom der party startah Join Date: 2002-11-05 Member: 7020Posts: 631Members
    QUOTE (Birdy @ Sep 10 2003, 03:02 PM)
    Why the hell would they need info about my folder structures for anything but selling.

    Can you say RIAA?
    VALVe is owned by cold hard facts.

    I don't want anything to do with steam untill they remove that ****.

    0h n0! V4lv3 st0l3 mi m3gahurtz!!

    Before you hyperventilate, right click on your hard drive and select properties. Look at the "filesystem" label. What does it say? If it says FAT32, you can untie your panties and put down your conspiracy theories. Why would Valve, so far a trustworthy company, blatently scan your hard drive and store gigs of info about basically irrelevant stuff, and assume no one would catch on? It's beyond ludicrous. It's just uninitialized file data. Here's a test, someone use the CreateFile() call and create a big file, but don't write to it. Then go look at it on disk. OMG LORK AT THAT! GH0sts have st0l3 my d4t4!!!
  • devicenulldevicenull Join Date: 2003-04-30 Member: 15967Posts: 1,538Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue
    Yea, I think its kinda funny..
    they dont care what spyware they download from the internet,
    but give them one little thing from steam and they freak out
    I've looked at this file.. both of em.. I searched for mp3 and found 1 mention.. a mp3 dll used by HL or steam..
    I am on XP, with NTFS

    I dont like steam, but I am not gonna accuse them of creating spyware
    Rent NS2 Dedicated Servers at www.gameservers.com
  • robkerobke Join Date: 2003-05-06 Member: 16102Posts: 40Members
    so why does that user agreement contain this:
    "By using Valve's online sites and products, users agree that Valve may share with other parties aggregate information and individual information but not personally identifiable information gathered by Valve in the course of the continuing use of Valve online sites and products."?
  • BirdyBirdy Join Date: 2003-05-29 Member: 16825Posts: 1,051Members, Constellation
    QUOTE (devicenull @ Sep 10 2003, 09:28 PM)
    Yea, I think its kinda funny..
    they dont care what spyware they download from the internet,
    but give them one little thing from steam and they freak out
    I've looked at this file.. both of em.. I searched for mp3 and found 1 mention.. a mp3 dll used by HL or steam..
    I am on XP, with NTFS

    I dont like steam, but I am not gonna accuse them of creating spyware

    I'm pretty strict to what i download or not :/
    That's why i won't get this untill it's sorted.

    I don't give a pudgy.gif about what you think, just giving a warning of something that might be dangerous to some people.
  • MrMojoMrMojo Join Date: 2002-11-25 Member: 9882Posts: 3,950Members, Constellation
    The dl links don't work for me on steam's site. Is the offical version out yet?
  • MrMojoMrMojo Join Date: 2002-11-25 Member: 9882Posts: 3,950Members, Constellation
    Errr..nvm, just noticed steam client tommorow.
  • wlibaerswlibaers Join Date: 2002-11-15 Member: 8685Posts: 552Members
    QUOTE

    The cache file gets created on the client using the Windows CreateFile() command. This command will create the file but not initialize it. Due to the large size of the file, we don't bother initializing the empty data blocks in it as this can take an appreciable amount of time. On NTFS machines, files created with this method happen to have the property of appearing empty (initialized to zero) but for FAT32 machines, it shows up as whatever old data was sitting on drive in the sectors that just got allocated for the cache. The people that are reporting this behavior are actually seeing old data from their hard drives.


    If there is no evil intent, then it must be gross incompetence. What the hell are they thinking? It's a huge file that, apparently, sits on the harddrive unused long enough so that people can easily see old garbage data in it. I'm beginning to see where those hardware requirements come from, at least from the harddisk req's.

    If they're doing such stuff, it wouldn't amaze me if someone found code like this randomly spread in the executable to explain the CPU requirements:
    CODE

    mov eax, 0ffffffh
    label:
    dec eax
    jnz label


    Maybe they're sending random data to their servers too? There you have the broadband requirement...

    Basically, we have two (not mutually exclusive) options: they may be evil or stupid. Do you want to install their software?

    Also, notice the contents of the license. Steam has convenient update capabilities. Even if no spyware is in now, it could get in quickly, as soon as they feel like adding it. And probably also automatically removed after it did its data-gathering. Even if people detect what's happening, well, the license gives them permission to do it. Nice.
  • Racer1Racer1 Join Date: 2002-11-22 Member: 9615Posts: 1,050Members
    1. Steam purposely reads and checks various files throughout the half-life directory
    2. Steam checks running programs for cheats.
    3. Steam has the ability to play mp3s during games. This is why some people's music directories show up in steam configuration files.

    Possible:
    4. Steam does not allow steam-downloaded games to run without authentication. This may mean that single player and even LAN parties will have to be connected in order to play these games.
    5. Anti-cheating measures in Steam may make it check all available drives on the computer for cheat programs. This is possibly why some people have been reported as cheaters since networked drives could be being scanned and cheats on other machines are showing up.
    6. Mods for Half-Life will have to be changed once the WON servers go down in order for them to work properly with steam.
  • AaronAaron vroom vroom der party startah Join Date: 2002-11-05 Member: 7020Posts: 631Members
    QUOTE (wlibaers @ Sep 10 2003, 04:05 PM)
    If there is no evil intent, then it must be gross incompetence. What the hell are they thinking? It's a huge file that, apparently, sits on the harddrive unused long enough so that people can easily see old garbage data in it. I'm beginning to see where those hardware requirements come from, at least from the harddisk req's.

    Uh no. The theory is that the CreateFile call does not clear the contents of a file upon creation. There are perfectly legitimate reasons to do this. If they cleared the file you'd be sitting around complaining that "omg steam is so crap it's taking forever to initialize". Have you ever used bittorrent? It does the same exact thing, except you can see it actually initializing the space, and it does take a long time for big files. The data that you think is "unused long enough", is really already there. Or did you think that when you delete something it is really gone? Anyway that is the speculation, but without someone writing a small program to test this call it cannot be proven. I have a small Java program which I have tried against a FAT floppy disk but 1) I don't even know if the JVM uses the CreateFile call 2) this is running on Windows 2000, so perhaps it has been fixed on that OS. It should be rather simple for somebody to whip up an similar test in Visual Basic or your language of choice, I just don't have anything else around at the moment. I might do it in C if I really get bothered to.
  • wlibaerswlibaers Join Date: 2002-11-15 Member: 8685Posts: 552Members
    QUOTE (Aaron @ Sep 10 2003, 03:21 PM)
    QUOTE (wlibaers @ Sep 10 2003, 04:05 PM)
    If there is no evil intent, then it must be gross incompetence. What the hell are they thinking? It's a huge file that, apparently, sits on the harddrive unused long enough so that people can easily see old garbage data in it. I'm beginning to see where those hardware requirements come from, at least from the harddisk req's.

    Uh no. The theory is that the CreateFile call does not clear the contents of a file upon creation. There are perfectly legitimate reasons to do this. If they cleared the file you'd be sitting around complaining that "omg steam is so crap it's taking forever to initialize". Have you ever used bittorrent? It does the same exact thing, except you can see it actually initializing the space, and it does take a long time for big files. The data that you think is "unused long enough", is really already there. Or did you think that when you delete something it is really gone? Anyway that is the speculation, but without someone writing a small program to test this call it cannot be proven. I have a small Java program which I have tried against a FAT floppy disk but 1) I don't even know if the JVM uses the CreateFile call 2) this is running on Windows 2000, so perhaps it has been fixed on that OS. It should be rather simple for somebody to whip up an similar test in Visual Basic or your language of choice, I just don't have anything else around at the moment. I might do it in C if I really get bothered to.

    Well, I know there is no real need to initialize the cache file, and indeed, clearing a big file does take some time (the reason why it's not done). But if that data remains in there for a long time, that means they're not using that file (or at least not much of it). If they did use it to cache things, the old stuff would be overwritten. So, basically, they're taking a big chunk of hard disk space, using it to store... garbage data. Does that make sense? Looks like they really don't care about system requirements if they're just hogging disk space without needing it.

    Mmmm... another conspiracy theory tounge.gif
    Lots of people with old hardware are playing HL, which they've bought a long time ago. They no longer give money to Valve, but do cost it money (WON server bandwidth). So, kill off the WON system, and chase the old users away by increased system requirements, so that the community is reduced to those who have the hardware to buy their newer games.
  • minskminsk Join Date: 2003-01-09 Member: 12077Posts: 148Members
    edited September 2003
    [edit] Since XCan was smoking something, nevermind [/edit]

    Have confirmed, as expected by anyone with a clue about filesystems, NTFS (and any other filesystem that supports sparse files or security) quick-creates files all-zeros, FAT32 (and other children's records) preserve the previous contents of the disk.

    My curiosity is still what temp file or what data in people's Windows swaps was a huge list of cheat-related filenames...
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • DiskordDiskord Join Date: 2003-05-18 Member: 16464Posts: 186Members
    QUOTE (Aaron @ Sep 10 2003, 02:17 PM)
    QUOTE (Birdy @ Sep 10 2003, 03:02 PM)
    Why the hell would they need info about my folder structures for anything but selling.

    Can you say RIAA?
    VALVe is owned by cold hard facts.

    I don't want anything to do with steam untill they remove that ****.

    0h n0! V4lv3 st0l3 mi m3gahurtz!!

    Before you hyperventilate, right click on your hard drive and select properties. Look at the "filesystem" label. What does it say? If it says FAT32, you can untie your panties and put down your conspiracy theories. Why would Valve, so far a trustworthy company, blatently scan your hard drive and store gigs of info about basically irrelevant stuff, and assume no one would catch on? It's beyond ludicrous. It's just uninitialized file data. Here's a test, someone use the CreateFile() call and create a big file, but don't write to it. Then go look at it on disk. OMG LORK AT THAT! GH0sts have st0l3 my d4t4!!!

    OWNED biggrin.gif !

    Aaron, you are my new favorite person on the forums.
  • Grandma_DeathGrandma_Death Join Date: 2003-01-07 Member: 11968Posts: 3Members
    Some people are just born with tragedy in their blood
  • snozzlesnozzle Join Date: 2003-04-23 Member: 15788Posts: 511Members
    oh please even on that petition is a mistake. you can buy the game half-life .. so how is it discriminating - 56k is outdated compared to the # of people using broadband and higher =\
    ...
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