Showtime Uses Online Viewers' CPUs To Mine Cryptocurrency

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RomeoReject

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Ouch.

If you're a free service (YouTube, generic TV site, etc), I can understand this. You need to make money somehow, and maybe using a bit of CPU when people are on the site is less intrusive than annoying ads.

But a paid service? Now you're just being d-bags about it.
 

rhuwyn

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Honestly, what probably happened is some douchbag IT guy or developer added it in there thinking it would never get caught and he would be able to use Showtimes entire audience to fund his retirement.
 

USAFRet

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No, not even for a free service.

OK....only if there is a specific, large, popup that tells you it is doing this, and the possible implications.
Not buried on screen 42 of a 128 page ToS.
 

epobirs

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That was my immediate assumption. I remember when Folding@Home competition started, I heard of a number of IT guys getting in trouble for putting it on large numbers of machines under their administration. They thought it would go unnoticed if set to only run during idle moment but inevitably somebody would catch on and complain.
 


A large popup would be "annoying and intrusive" though. The idea here is to not bother the site's users, while still profiting from their visit. I would probably rather encounter something like that than a big, autoplaying video ad that pops up on every page, using system resource for something annoying that gets in the way. So long as the script were light on resource use, it might not be bad. I would want to see at least a small logo on the page indicating that such software was being used though. Maybe there could be a play/pause button at the top of the page to allow a user to pause the mining script if desired.

The alternative is to use ads to pay for free site services, but if the majority of a site's target audience is using ad-blocking software, then they need to look for some other means to stay in business.
 

USAFRet

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Going to a website and using a service does not give them free license to use your PC for "whatever", without notification.
Behind the scenes mining, a torrent node, free WiFi for the neighborhood...

If you tell me about it and I agree, maybe.
But just doing it behind the scenes? No.

And for a service I am already paying for? Not a chance.
 

sykozis

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This could actually come back to bite Showtime. They have no legal right, implied or otherwise, to utilize the hardware of website viewers. By doing so, without notification, they could face legal consequences if enough affected website visitors were to decide they deserve a piece of that mining money....
 
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