Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Remote Control Ready For Take Off: License Missing

Though I have been long a supporter and evangelist of GoToMyPC technology, through it I have discovered something that has hit me stronger than most things do.

The fact is that online collaboration technologies, and in particular the ability to snoop, monitor, track or even hijack your computer have become truly excellent and can be installed with seamless effort on anyone visitor to your site, curious enough to click a simple link.

But let me rewind to the beginning.

GoToMyPC is a great, uniquely reliable and effective technology which allows remote control of your PC from anywhere as well as the ability to literally co-edit and work collaboratively with someone else at a distance.

I must also admit that I personally use GoToMyPC since over two years with near-maximum satsifaction (once they make the File Transfer function like it should I will give it my best grades).




Since just a few days the home page of GoToMyPC had changed its long familiar aspect and in addition to the new photographs I had noticed on the home page I wanted to follow some of the new links and understand more about the multi-user version. Clicking on Multi-User took me to a new page, where, while there was no explicit info about the nature of the "multi-user" version and what it exactly allowed above the standard one, it had a little nifty paragraph saying:

"Remote Support.
Invite someone to your PC to fix it remotely. For a comprehensive remote-support solution, go to DesktopStreaming™."

You can imagine how long it took for me to get there and explore what, this new to me technology, had to offer.

Landed on Desktopstreaming home page I clicked on a Quick Tour demo which gave me an idea of what was offered:

A full Web based screen sharing solution where I could not only show you what I wanted but where I could actually remote-control and annotate your screen with maximum ease!

Quite impressive, I would say.

If I had to describe it in other words, it would be a best mix of the technology offered by Glance (seamless application sharing) with the extra power of a swift remote control solution(see Netviewer -

But the best had yet to come.

I click now on How it works.

and I read:

Step 1
Your customer submits a question in a SmartBox™ placed on your Web site. The question appears in a pop-up box in real time on your support rep's computer screen.

Step 2
Your support rep clicks on the pop-up message in the HelpAlert™ InBox and DesktopStreaming downloads to your customer's computer in seconds. [does the poor guy know?]
Step 3
Your support rep and customer connect and communicate in real time via the ChatLink™ chat window. While continuing to chat, the rep may escalate the session by remotely viewing the customer's screen and controlling the customer's mouse and keyboard. The rep can also push Web pages and send files to the customer via the ChatLink window.

No need for me to list Step 4.

What's my point?

Given the technology and even the suggestive way in which it is described it is not difficult to picture a future where someone on some Web site, will be able not only to enter anyone visitor PC so foolish to click that button (who knows what they will write on it!), but who could also take full control of your machine while sending any file he may want to it.

How would you like that for breakfast?

So, what's the news?

None. I was just musing myself as I am firstly reading an ad, from DesktopStreaming describing exactly just how this is going to happen. It is only a matter of time. The technology is here.

So as we like to be more curious about other new remote control tools, how can we simultaneously protect our privacy and security interests online?

Is Microsoft NGSBC strategy the only way to guarantee us some peaceful, quiet enjoyment?

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posted by Robin Good on Wednesday, October 15 2003, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.




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