John Nack weighs in with Adobe’s definitive word on the upsetting business with Adobe CS3 apps contacting “192.168.112.2o7.net”, a domain name clearly chosen to look like it’s a local network address (although it’s not):
Q.: Why does Adobe use a server whose name is so suspicious-looking?
A.: I’m afraid the answer is that we don’t really know. The fact is that this SWF tracking code already existed on the Macromedia side at the time the companies merged, and it was adopted without change by a number of products for CS3. The people who wrote the code originally did not document why they used that server name, and we can’t find anyone who remembers. I’m sorry we aren’t able to provide a more solid, definitive explanation.
I would just like to point out that, now that they’ve had plenty of time to work this all out without the problems of having people on vacation over the holidays, Adobe has managed to come up with a definitive answer, and the answer is “Gee, we really don’t know.”
Boy, howdy, Adobe. You guys are really doing just exactly the right thing to maximally erode my trust and confidence. This is the best answer you can produce? I don’t know about anyone else in the world, but when you give me an answer like this, my conclusion is that you know the real answer, and you don’t want to give it, so you came up with a bullshit story like this.
Let’s just refresh our memories, with John Nack’s words from his original post on this subject:
As I say, now is the perfect time for people to throw around whatever wild assertions they’d like, given that so many people are out of the office and can’t respond.
Hey, John. It turns out it didn’t make much difference. Apparently an Adobe software development team at work doesn’t get answers any better than an Adobe software development team off on vacation and unreachable does. I think you’ll find it works better if you keep the whining about those annoying customers to a minimum. That’s probably a good thing for a senior product manager to know. And I offer it up, here, completely free of charge. Consider it a goodwill gift.
If you would prefer that the software not make these calls, simply disable the Welcome Screen in your Adobe software by selecting the Don’t Show This Again option in the lower left corner of the Welcome Screen.
This would seem to imply that turning off those welcome screens would mean that I could stop worrying about all this. But then I read, on the same web page:
…some Creative Suite 3 software contains embedded web browsers, any user action which requests Adobe.com content from such an embedded browser will cause the host software to make the tracking calls.
For example, clicking Bridge Home in Adobe Bridge CS3 will cause its embedded browser to visit an Adobe.com page and initiate this tracking. If you would like to prevent this from happening, turn off Bridge Home by opening Adobe Bridge CS3, choosing Edit > Preferences (Windows) or Bridge CS3 > Preferences (Mac OS), and deselecting Bridge Home under Favorite Items.
Uh huh. So turning off those Welcome screens means no more calls to Omniture’s servers. Except, of course, for all those OTHER calls to Omniture servers, like those that happen when I hit ‘Bridge Home’. One is left wondering, really, not just whether it’s possible to turn off all this crap, but whether Adobe actually has any employees who can muster the fairly minimal competence required to give us a definitive list of all the things we might do that will trigger this behavior.
I think that’s unspeakably scummy.