Security and Privacy Concern about Logos4 Phonning Home

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This post has 284 Replies | 8 Followers

Posts 1367
JimTowler | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 4 2010 1:31 PM

Matthew C Jones:
A persuasive legal argument can be made that your "warning" to unsavy users who may follow your directions and suffer harm is not adequate and Logos is "negligent" for allowing the instructions to remain on the website. Are you trying to set Logos up for lawsuits or challenge them to protect forum readers from irresponsible advice? 

OK - I give up.

Don't do anything I say, the risk is too high.

And be careful following the advice of any other poster on any forum too.

(Will Logos provide all laywers and costs for the 12 MVP's that post advice here all the time? Must it come to that?)

Say BYE to help and suggestions.

Posts 5615
Todd Phillips | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 4 2010 2:44 PM

JimT:

Matthew C Jones:
A persuasive legal argument can be made that your "warning" to unsavy users who may follow your directions and suffer harm is not adequate and Logos is "negligent" for allowing the instructions to remain on the website. Are you trying to set Logos up for lawsuits or challenge them to protect forum readers from irresponsible advice? 

OK - I give up.

Don't do anything I say, the risk is too high.

 

It's not irresponsible advice. The officially recommended way of going offline is to set  "Use Internet" to "No".  That will stop data synchronization and update downloads and whatever else.  It will stop data backup from occurring.

The unsupported way talked about here is to use a firewall to block a subset of the communications that "Use Internet = No" will block (The hostname to block is sync.logos.com). This too will block data synchronization and data backup.  So for those items it is no different that setting "Use Internet" to "No".  But it will allow Logos4 to connect to other backend services such as resource updates, program updates and metadata updates. Another benefit to using firewall blocking is the constant visual reminder that your data isn't being sync'd or backed up: the sync arrows turn into a yellow caution sign when the sync fails:

 

Note that setting  "Use Internet" to "No" lacks this visual feedback that syncing has stopped. It's happened several times on the forum where someone has forgotten they set it to "No". The sync arrows are gone when "Use Internet" is "No", but there is no caution sign telling you that data isn't being backed up:

 

So, all in all, I think that firewall blocking is a better solution than turning off all internet for those who are concerned about their data (not me, of course, I like the backup Yes), plus it has no practical downfalls.

Wiki Links: Enabling Logging / Detailed Search Help - MacBook Pro (2014), ThinkPad E570

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 5 2010 6:45 AM

Thanks for posting this... I'm trying to figure out how to use Onenote effectively (the main problems are the two hop link, which is a pain, and the lack of seeing your notes when you hover), but I'll still recommend to those who are concerned about their privacy to use their firewalls to block this traffic.

Russ

Posts 11190
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2010 8:03 AM

Not to bring a 'dead horse' back to life, but after all the discussion back in April/May concerning privacy concerns, I'd concluded that the setting 'Use Internet' = NO and 'Automatically Download Updates' = NO and 'Send Feedback' = NONE would mean no internet traffic back to Logos (absent a manual update). But recently I've noticed L4 happpily autoomatically connecting to Logos with these settings. I know Bob's famous quote 'If you care enough that you want to know which algorithms, etc. then you're probably wiser to just disconnect your computer from the Internet physically. ' is pretty  much the bottom line for Logos & Co. But I'd been comfortable with these settings until now. Luckily I can also set my virus protector to block Logos (which I've done), but it just seems like courtesy would dictate otherwise. I have 4.0d SR2. Do the settings actually work?

 

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 13399
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2010 8:09 AM

Denise Barnhart:
Do the settings actually work?

They should do, unless you hold CTRL when you load Logos (in which case you're able to override them).

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2010 8:52 AM

So far my solution is to simply remove my data from Logos, and put it into a piece of software that allows me both to encrypt the data I sync onto a cloud server and to specifically choose which data to sync. That cripples the functionality of Logos, so I'm not getting all the value I can from my roughly $5k or more investment, but, well, Logos has decided that they either can't code this functionality, or can't support it.

I, personally, would gladly rebuy all the resources I have in another piece of software if I could actually use the software as designed and still keep my privacy.I understand a lot of folk here are willing to sell their privacy for money, counting privacy to be of little value, but you should hear the gasps when I start showing the high school kids in my networking class what someone can figure out about you with what you put online every day.

For anyone who's said, on this board, that privacy just isn't important, I hear they have a perfect new piece of software that will tweet your location from the GPS embedded on your phone every minute or so. How convenient would that be? Your spouse and kids can just follow your tweets to figure out where you are at any given time! If you are ever injured, or attacked, think about how fast someone could find out where you are, and come to your aid! What a wonderful idea, right?

As Logos is the only game in town resource wise, I just have to live with crippled software because I value my privacy. But don't let me stand in the way of "progress."

Russ

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2010 9:53 AM

Denise Barnhart:
Do the settings actually work?

This is how I have L4 setup, and the only time I have noticed that it called home was when I told it to check for updates.

FYI... With the exception of notes, I too have stopped storing my data in L4.  If you ask me, It is sad that we must use a crippled L4 because Logos does not value our privacy.

Posts 232
AndyTheGreek | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2010 12:15 PM

I guess everyone's mileage varies, but, for me, the disabling of Logos's Internet features doesn't 'cripple' it. It restricts it, sure, but my main purpose for using it - Bible study, remains relatively unaffected. Logos4 in that scenario, for me, is at about the same level of effectiveness as Logos3. But with a much nicer interface.

Actually, my current strategy is to:

 

  • Let Logos have Internet access
  • Not allow it to auto-update - it lets me know when they are available but I choose when it updates
  • I do not use Notes or Prayer lists or allow Logos to send report of how I use it. I only highlight things that would never embarrass me if other people knew what I had highlighed

 

These 'restrictions' are offset by the fact that I use Logos (3 & 4) 99% of the time for Greek studies, comparing translations etc, so it's more 'academic' than 'personal'. Also, now that the COM API is getting more usable (in the current Beta at least) I am able to write a pretty decent Notes system of my own that uses Logos but is not tied into Logos. And yes, that involves writing my own Word Processor. But I'm a programmer and actually enjoy doing these thingsCool

That doesn't mean that I think Logos's current strategy is 'right', 'best' or even 'good'. Far from it. But I have found a way, for me, that ignores the bits I don't like and still allows me to use the bits that I do like. But I have the advantage of literally being able to 'code around' the deficiencies this strategy causes.

When my program is 'finished' (as if programs are ever really finished) it is my intention to make it freely available... But my secular work is busy at the moment, so I can't say when that might be...

Andy

Posts 8967
RIP
Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2010 1:49 PM

Denise Barnhart:
Not to bring a 'dead horse' back to life, but

You raised the dead without even trying! Devil

I'll take a general pass on all the repetitive posts that will necessarily follow your post. But I just have to ask, if all the privacy advocates have so diligently and craftily been able to "fix" the Logos phone home issue, why must everyone keep calling the software "crippled?"  My automobile will not fly like Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, but I won't call it "crippled." 

    I'm glad to be FLYING HIGH with Logos4 but sad others are grounded.Sad

 

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 11190
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2010 4:47 PM

Ok, put the dead horse back in the ground. I figured out the problem. Logos responds to turning ON the internet session without leaving. But turning it OFF seems to require exiting the program. Since L4 is not exactly the young whippersnapper of software, I rarely exit the program. I'm no privacy addict, but I did spend many years in high-end data mining and was a speaker at various conferences. And so just as good manners, I sort of expect software to not demand intrusiveness, no matter 'the world is changing'.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 5388
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2010 5:27 PM

Andy Bell:
Also, now that the COM API is getting more usable (in the current Beta at least) I am able to write a pretty decent Notes system of my own that uses Logos but is not tied into Logos. And yes, that involves writing my own Word Processor. But I'm a programmer and actually enjoy doing these thingsCool

Andy Bell:
When my program is 'finished' (as if programs are ever really finished) it is my intention to make it freely available... But my secular work is busy at the moment, so I can't say when that might be...

I am sure there will be some interest in this when you get it 'done' (ie. to the point where you feel comfortable sharing it)...  but take your time appreciate it is a labour of love.

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2010 5:57 PM

I'll take a general pass on all the repetitive posts that will necessarily follow your post. But I just have to ask, if all the privacy advocates have so diligently and craftily been able to "fix" the Logos phone home issue, why must everyone keep calling the software "crippled?"  My automobile will not fly like Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, but I won't call it "crippled."

It seems simple to me.

1. Logos sells a piece of software that does X, Y, and Z. These features are integrated in a way that makes them easy to use together, and, in fact, are designed to work work together.

2. Logos refuses to provide any sort of privacy for function Z.

3. When you ask why Logos won't provide any privacy for function Z, they simply say, "don't keep your data in the software." This effectively disables function Z, forcing you to do this function outside Logos itself.

4. Since function Z was designed as part of the original software, and is tightly integrated into the software --in fact, this is one of the selling points for the software itself-- the software doesn't work as advertised without this function.

5. Hence, the software is crippled.

Let me put it another way --suppose MS Word were designed to be able to save off addresses in an address book so you don't have the type the addresses you use into documents all the time. You discover that MS Word, in fact, places any addresses you put into the software onto a common server that's not encrypted or in protected in any other way. You're a bit concerned about this, so you ask --can I please have a local address book? MS' answer is, "No, just don't keep your address book in our software." So, because you consider your address book private, you must keep your address book in another piece of software, and copy/paste into Word whenever you want to use it. Because of this you lose the ability to use address shortcuts, styling of addresses, and a slew of other features --in fact, features you originally shelled out money for.

Now, is the software "crippled?"

Yes.

Logos is crippled in the same way. The company sells their software with the ability to store notes and prayer lists. These features are tightly integrated into the software itself, allowing you to do things you can't do if you store your notes and prayer lists outside the software itself. Some people consider these things private, so they are concerned about placing this information onto a common server with absolutely no security. When users asks Logos to solve this problem, their answer is, "No, we will not allow you to selectively synchronize YOUR data, and we WILL NOT allow you to encrypt YOUR data, so you only have two choices --live without those features, which you paid money for, or put up with YOUR data, which you're creating, and which you consider private, being placed on our servers, even though we REFUSE to take ANY responsibility for maintaining the privacy of YOUR data."

I'll say right now that answering, "well, it's not really private data," is a copout, pure and simple. It's not up to YOU, or to Logos, or to anyone else on this board, to determine what I consider private. If I want to keep the color of my dog a secret, that's my choice, not yours, or Logos'.

So, Logos IS crippled in its current state. OneNote, Evernote, and many other products allow you to both selectively choose what to synchronize, and also to encrypt your data when it's on the cloud service.The other alternate would be for Logos to realize they're making users upset with this nonsense --selling one thing, and actually providing another-- and that it's actually unethical to treat user's data in this way, and provide stronger links into an outside note taking package that WILL provide the features users actually want.

I strongly suspect Logos won't do this because while they don't want to be responsible for your data, they also want to lock you in to their software in as many ways as possible. If all your research notes from the last x number of years is in Logos, you're not about to switch software vendors even if another, possibly better, package comes out. I understand the attempt at lock-in --all software companies do this-- but then give us the features we need to protect our data, even if it's in your format.

It all seems pretty cut and dry to me.

1. Logos promises specific features.
2. I cannot use those features even though I paid for them because of Logos' policies.
3. Logos refuses to respect the level of protection for my data that I consider appropriate.
4. Logos refuses to provide another option for me to use.

Russ

Posts 5388
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2010 6:12 PM

Matthew C Jones:
I'll take a general pass on all the repetitive posts that will necessarily follow your post

Sometimes it would be better if MVP's did this more often. The majority of times they have a lot of good to say ... but sometimes...the should just Zip it!, particularly if they can't respond to a customer's concerns without trying to make the customer feel wrong for even sharing their feedback , or commenting in a way that makes their feedback seem irrelevant - remember MVP's: All  customers of Logos pay to license this software and should be able to express their feedback They should be able to do this on the forums without having  an MVP tell them their view is wrong and or  irrelevant, and always keep in mind point 3 of the guidelines, particularly if you have to explain how their understanding of how the software actually works is incorrect. But don't mix that up with your personal philosophy on how it should work.

Matthew C Jones:
why must everyone keep calling the software "crippled?"

Why, because its a case of all to be sync or none to be sync.   Speaking hypothetically if I wanted to have my layouts  sync'd  with Logos server but not my notes, then well I can't.  So if that was how  I wished to manage MY user created content in Logos 4, well  I just couldn't and so in terms of the software functionally I would called it 'crippled'.

Your response is indicating to me you are positioning yourself as the 'stronger brother in this case'.  Whether an MVP' or ordinary forum member, if we find ourselves thinking like i.e. our view of how the software should work is just so right and the other person is just so wrong, cause they don't line up with my personal view... then we need to reflect upon what the apostle Paul shared about this sort of situation before putting finger to keyboard.

 

 

 

Posts 25862
Forum MVP
Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2010 7:01 PM

Andrew McKenzie:
.the should just Zip it!

Can we all now do likewise!

Dave
===

Windows 10 & Android 8

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2010 8:07 PM

Dave Hooton:

Andrew McKenzie:
.they should just Zip it!

Can we all now do likewise!

When Logos fixes this issue, and stops telling me what I should consider "private data," and what I shouldn't, I'll "zip it." When Logos stops telling me their technical support costs are more important than my decision about what's private or not, then I'll "zip it." When Logos stops telling me their technical support costs are more important than my ability to actually use the software as advertised, then I'll "zip it."

In the mean time, I don't think I will "zip it," thank you very much.

Russ

Posts 1367
JimTowler | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2010 8:25 PM

Russ White:

When Logos fixes this issue, and stops telling me what I should consider "private data," and what I shouldn't, I'll "zip it." When Logos stops telling me their technical support costs are more important than my decision about what's private or not, then I'll "zip it." When Logos stops telling me their technical support costs are more important than my ability to actually use the software as advertised, then I'll "zip it."

In the mean time, I don't think I will "zip it," thank you very much.

Russ

SAME HERE!!!

In these regards, the current Logos4 application is BROKEN, in my view!!!

I continue to wish and hope that Bob will change his mind, and let us decide what we can Sync to the Cloud or not.

Until then, a number of its features are not fully useful to me, and there are better applications for Notes and other things.

Posts 8967
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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2010 8:32 PM

Andrew McKenzie:
Sometimes it would be bette

.............Aww, ....pass.

Confused

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 5388
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2010 8:54 PM

Dave Hooton:

Andrew McKenzie:
.they should just Zip it!

Can we all now do likewise!


Andrew McKenzie:
The majority of times they have a lot of good to say ... but sometimes...they should just Zip it!,

Dave  I had no idea what you were trying to say or who you were really directing it at... but it's had the opposite effect.... kind of like Test: Disregard or Stay of the Grass.  By taking my quote out of its full context its left the door open for this issue to continue with great angst and upset ... and that's what has happened.

I

Russ White:

Dave Hooton:

Andrew McKenzie:
.they should just Zip it!

Can we all now do likewise!

In the mean time, I don't think I will "zip it," thank you very much.


Dave, despite my confusion at your post, I left it alone because I had said all I wanted to say on the issue of MVP's responding to customers.  I was saddened that I even had to  contemplate responding the way I did, even as I think about it now, but I've seen this sort of thing happen enough that I could no longer let it pass without comment and so some of my responses to MVP's over the last couple of days.

Russ I am sorry you are getting this attitude from some on these forums. 99.9999999% of the time  MVP's are very helpful, thoughtful and committed to they way in which they respond to Logos customers.  Like all of us they have their own  priorities, ranking of importance and relevance of issues. And like them we all make the mistake at some time in our live of trying to impose what's important to us upon others.

 

Posts 8967
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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2010 9:39 PM

Andrew McKenzie:
MVP's responding to customers.

I chose to ignore the repetition of this issue because it has been addressed (nicely) by MVPs, Logos employees, Bob Pritchett (owner, CEO & creator of the software) and many helpful non-MVPs. If you go back and read the 200+ posts of this thread and the redundant posts in other carbon-copy threads, you will see the privacy advocates have been answered, just not with the answer they wanted.

It is not as though they haven't been heard.                                             They have been.
             It is not as though they haven't been understood.                                They have been.
                          It is not as though they have not been answered.                            They have been.

The Logos4 software is not "broken". The creator of the program has spoken. I don't question creators when they tell me it does what they designed it to do. Logos is the closest thing to perfection in the history of Bible study software and it gets better with age.

My only comment to the zombie horse I see walking around is, "Logos is not crippled or broken."  Confused

clarification: "zombie horse"  =  the resurrected proverbial dead horse issue, not a person or persons posting. Kinda like a Gilligan's Island re-run.

 

 

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 25862
Forum MVP
Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2010 9:56 PM

Andrew McKenzie:

they should just Zip it!

Dave Hooton:
Can we all now do likewise!

Dave, despite my confusion at your post, I left it alone because I had said all I wanted to say on the issue of MVP's responding to customers.  I was saddened that I even had to  contemplate responding the way I did, even as I think about it now

Your call to "zip it" was not offensive to me as an MVP but my remark was addressed to "all". The comments in this thread are a matter of record; they cannot be undone nor will they go unnoticed! I felt that further comments were likely to become personal and detract from the opinions already expressed, irrespective of whether I agree or disagree with them.

Dave
===

Windows 10 & Android 8

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