JxProject 18.104.22.168 – Advertising/Sponsor Updating
June 19, 2012
The jxProject application is supported by advertisers. Advertising supported software is often referred to as “Ad Ware”. In general the quality of Ad Ware is significantly better than free ware, although it does have its controversies. Anyone who purchases advertising, regardless of the medium, wants to know the size of the audience, and how many times the ad has been seen. Therefore, it is necessary to pass information from the application, to the server about which ads were displayed, and for how long they were displayed. The controversy around this involves issues of privacy. A natural question is, what data is being collected? Many Ad Ware companies have been very evasive about what information is being uploaded, only to find out later that the software was collecting a significant amount of information beyond the scope of what was needed. They installed completely separate applications that were running every time you started your computer and tracked every keystroke or website you visited. Thus came the term “spy ware”. These applications often slowed the performance of your machine, sometimes would cause it to become unstable, were a complete invasion of privacy, and if you un-installed the original software, the spy ware would remain on your computer! I had some spy ware on one of my computers years ago that came courtesy of the RealPlayer software from RealNetworks.com. To this day, and forever more, I won't touch anything that comes from that company. They compromised my trust, let em' rot. So now you know my personal feelings on the spy ware issue. ;-)
If you have had an experience like mine, you are very, very selective about what software you install on you computer. I want jxProject to be an application that you trust. In order to build that trust, I am going to tell you exactly how the advertising process works and what information is being exchanged. I wrote every line of this software, I know exactly what it does and does not do.
Below is a copy of the exact data that the jxProject uploads from my machine to the server when the updating of advertisements takes place. There is no information here that I am nervous about publicizing. I figure if you are going to trust me with your data, I can trust you with mine:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<Setup ads="113895293" home="-1305343180" install="1056863705234" />
<Environment user.country="US" user.language="en" user.timezone="America/Los_Angeles" os.name="Windows XP" os.version="5.1" java.version="1.4.1_03" />
<SponsorControl productVersion="22.214.171.124" version="1" loadStatus="2" install="1056864259609">
<SponsorInfo slot="10" displayTime="10000" fileName="jxpPlanYourSuccess.gif" HTTPAddress="www.jxproject.com" toolTip="Plan it" displayCount="22" problemCount="0" gotoURLCount="0" animate="false" enabled="true" />
<SponsorInfo slot="20" displayTime="10000" fileName="jxpAckJava.gif" HTTPAddress="www.java.com" displayCount="22" problemCount="0" gotoURLCount="0" animate="false" enabled="true" />
<SponsorInfo slot="30" displayTime="10000" fileName="jxpPlatformsXML.gif" HTTPAddress="www.jxproject.com" displayCount="21" problemCount="0" gotoURLCount="0" animate="false" enabled="true" />
<SponsorInfo slot="40" displayTime="10000" fileName="jxpAckJDOM.gif" HTTPAddress="www.jdom.org" toolTip="Java XML tool" displayCount="21" problemCount="0" gotoURLCount="0" animate="false" enabled="true" />
<SponsorInfo slot="50" displayTime="10000" fileName="jxpPriceQuestion.gif" HTTPAddress="www.jxproject.com/products.shtml" displayCount="21" problemCount="0" gotoURLCount="0" animate="false" enabled="true" />
<SponsorInfo slot="60" displayTime="10000" fileName="jxpAckNetBeans.gif" HTTPAddress="www.netbeans.org" toolTip="Sun Java IDE" displayCount="21" problemCount="0" gotoURLCount="0" animate="false" enabled="true" />
<SponsorInfo slot="70" displayTime="10000" fileName="jxpStandard468x60.gif" HTTPAddress="www.jxproject.com/services.shtml" displayCount="21" problemCount="0" gotoURLCount="0" animate="false" enabled="true" />
<SponsorInfo slot="80" displayTime="10000" fileName="jxpStandard392x72.gif" HTTPAddress="www.jxproject.com/services.shtml" displayCount="21" problemCount="0" gotoURLCount="1" animate="false" enabled="true" />
<SponsorInfo slot="90" displayTime="10000" fileName="jxpCustom468x80.gif" HTTPAddress="www.jxproject.com/services.shtml" displayCount="21" problemCount="0" gotoURLCount="0" animate="false" enabled="true" />
<SponsorInfo slot="92" displayTime="10000" fileName="jxpYourAdHere.gif" HTTPAddress="www.jxproject.com/services.shtml" displayCount="21" problemCount="0" gotoURLCount="1" animate="false" enabled="true" />
<SponsorInfo slot="94" displayTime="10000" fileName="Donkey.gif" HTTPAddress="www.jxproject.com" toolTip="bogus broken image" displayCount="0" problemCount="0" gotoURLCount="0" animate="false" enabled="false" />
I don't want to go over every piece of data in detail, but this is XML and the tags make it fairly self explanatory. The Setup Element has validation information about the installation of jxProject. The Environment Element has country, timezone and the language setting of the computer, the operating system version and the lava version. The SponsorControl Element has information about how the advertisements were loaded, and below that are the SponsorInfo Elements which contain information about each advertising image. SponsorInfo gives the position/slot, how long the ad is seen each time it is displayed, how many times it was displayed and how many problems there were showing the image. If an image has problems, it will be disabled so it doesn't display any more.
If you look at the last SponsorInfo that has the fileName=”Donkey.gif”, that file has zero display counts. That's because this is a test condition where the ad was not on the server, so it couldn't be loaded, so it is disabled before an attempted was made to display it. Hey, it works!
Think about this, you know that the data above is from my computer because I just told you. And although you probably don't know me personally, you know I am the person that wrote jxProject. When your advertising data is uploaded to the server, I don't have any idea who you are. All I can tell is that you are some user of jxProject on the Internet that has some data. On a related note, jxProject does not have any tracking identifiers or “cookie” type of capabilities.
How the process works:
The first time you run jxProject it will run a set of default advertisements that come with the application. However, every 15 minutes it will ask you if you want to update the advertisements. If you say no, it will ask you again 15 minutes later and it will keep doing this every 15 minutes until you say “yes”. (You can just keep saying “no” forever if you want, that's fine) Once you say “yes”, the upload progress dialog will be loaded into the sponsor window so you can monitor the update process. However, you can continue working with your project plan, you don't have to stop while the update is taking place. It will first upload your advertising data, and then it will download any new advertisements that it doesn't already have. If everything is reasonably successful, the dialog will turn green when the update is complete, or red if the update failed. NOTE: If you must use a proxy to access the Internet, you can access the proxy options under the Tools -> Network Settings. See the Gantt user documentation for details on the Network Settings dialog.
Once the advertisements are updated, you will not be prompted to update them again for another 14 days.
If you want to update your advertisements more often then every 14 days you can do this by selecting Tools–>Update Advertisements. This will bring up a dialog asking you to confirm that you want to update, if you say “yes” the update begins as described above. However, you cannot update your advertisements more than once every two days. You will get a dialog telling you the ads are already up to date or something like that.
You might ask yourself, why would I want to update more often than required? Here's the situation I envision. Lets say you have a laptop that you use for jxProject and you are going on a trip where you won't have reliable Internet access. You would want to update your ads just before you go so you don't get stuck having to answer “no” every 15 minutes because you don't have Internet access at the time the 14 day update period expires.
How the data will be used:
Anybody who advertises with jxProject will get access to this data. I still need to write some software to summarize the data into digestible reports. I doubt anyone will want the raw data from each upload, because it isn't that interesting. For example, from my data you can see that I live on the west coast of the US, speak English and I saw each ad 21 times. WhoopDeDo! However, what will be interesting to see however what percentage of users are on the West coast versus the East coast. Or, what percentage of the users speak French or Italian. The aggregate data is what is interesting, not the individual data.
On a side note: I don't know if an advertiser would be interested in the operating system that is being used, I put that in there for myself so I know what systems I need to support. Many of the people I get email from are on Mac OS-X, which I don't officially support, but if I find that I have a lot of users there, maybe I'll need to reconsider. Apparently jxProject works well on the Mac at this time and I hope that continues, I just don't have any way of testing on that platform so I don't want to tell people it will run on a Mac when I'm not sure that it will.
How do I find out more about the Advertising?
Buy some advertising space! You'll get to see the whole operation from the inside and you'll see how it works. See the “Advertising” section of www.jxProject.com.
Can I turn off the Advertising in jxProject?
You can purchase a serial number which will allow you to remove the advertising. See the purchase/buy section of the jxProject website.
Note: There will certainly be those individuals that will be tempted to dis-assemble jxProject in order to disable the advertising requirement. I know that often this is done without malicious intent, more of a challenge really. If you are an individual with the skills to do this, I ask, developer to developer, that you please don't. Disassembly of jxProject is illegal, but mostly, it's wrong. If you are a user of jxProject, I ask that you purchase a commercial serial number and not use an illegally modified version if one is made available to you. Using an illegally modified version of jxProject would also be illegal and wrong and probably loaded with viruses. ;-) Thanks – Pete.
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