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Old 29th January 2015, 05:48 AM   #1
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Default Do I Really NEED Java?

OK, so when I started my Personal Confuser this evening I get a message about an update to Java. OK, whatever you say - I think Microsoft has had over 100 updates so far this year, and another half dozen or so for Adobe Flash.

But then Java says it also wants to install the ASK toolbar make it the browser startup page. (See atch) Wait a minute!! That ASK stuff is 100% Genuine, Certified, Verified, malware, spyware and general bad news. Ten pounds of crap in a five pound bag. I have spent entire days working at getting it off my machines.

An old aphorism says, "You can tell a man by the company he keeps.". If Java says it wants to install ASK, then I'm not sure I want to invite Java onto my machine. Yeah, it CLAIMS that if I unselect some boxes then it won't install ASK. I don't know if I believe that. It's a bit like the thug who says "There's no pressure - my boys will wait outside here while I have a peaceful chat with you.".

So what happens if I DO NOT install this update? Or, Do I even need Java at all?

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Old 29th January 2015, 05:51 AM   #2
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Probably not unless you want to look up certain make-your-own charts and tables like at U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you don't need something like that, you might not need Java at all. Give it a try.
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Old 29th January 2015, 07:48 AM   #3
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Depends on what software you are runnig on your machine. Most well written software does not require java or other platform like Framework to run.
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Old 29th January 2015, 07:57 AM   #4
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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I haven't got Java installed on my two PC's (W8.1 and Vista) and its perhaps one site every two or three months that says Java is needed.

Haven't missed it at all... and in fact its a real pain to keep on top of and a real security risk if you don't (apparently )).
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Old 29th January 2015, 09:50 PM   #5
davym is offline davym  Europe
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I've been wondering about java too. Think i'll bin it. ASK toolbar is a nightmare to get rid of, i had to search the registry (reg-edit)and delete all mention of it to get rid, uninstall fails every time, it is persistent spy ware.

I still dont know why iespell has no knowlege of common words like uninstall...
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Old 29th January 2015, 10:56 PM   #6
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Do not install Ask toolbar, or any other toolbars installers ask you to as it will only encourage them.

If you dont need Java dont bother with it either. If you work in IT you will be familar with having to use it to admin some bits of hardware, and the joys of constantly having to uninstall and reinstall older versions because one piece of hardware only works with Java 6, another wants 8, another only works with 7. Bain of my life...
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Old 29th January 2015, 11:11 PM   #7
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Java is a useful tool in your software arsenal. Always update it via the official Oracle website. Best Practice is to type the url directly rather than trusting a link.

The true Java site is secure (https rather than http) at https www oracle slash java

I can practically guarantee that the Java updater seen on the screenshot you posted did not come via the Oracle website. Never click on a link in a website that says some software "is required" ... type in the relevant url yourself. Adobe Flash is a much bigger security risk than Java, but like Java the malware is often installed by a link on a non-Adobe web site.

Java is a desktop framework that allows useful, cross-platform apps to run "on the desktop"; i.e. without a web connection. It also can allow web-based apps to run within the browser. Just like an operating system, it's is powerful and therefore attractive to "bad guys", but it is not Java itself but rather software that can run via Java which is the main issue.

There are security issues with Java in the browser; my recommendation is to disable the browser plugin. You can always temporarily enable it to run known safe web Java apps, and then disable it again once you are finished.

Although many users do not "need" Java, there are none the less many useful apps that require it (eg: ClickRepair, an app to clean up phono record transcripts).

It is important not to confuse Java and Javascript. They are completely different, and Javascript is required for many functions on the web.

Java was developed by Sun and Sun was purchased by Oracle. Microsoft used to include a non-compatible version of Java with the OS but after losing a lawsuit with Sun which required MS to instead install the official Sun Java instead, stopped including either with the OS, while Apple more recently stopped including it due to security issues with the browser plugin. That is why it's now a separate and optional installation.
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Last edited by Johnny2Bad; 29th January 2015 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 30th January 2015, 12:32 AM   #8
fas42 is offline fas42  Australia
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Being in the software game back then, I loathed and despised Java at the time, every time I tried to play with it a bit it was a disaster - biggest piece of junk I had come across in all my years of playing with software. Slowly, slowly, slowly over the years it gradually improved, so real applications, that actually did something useful, emerged.

But my early exposure completely alienated me from the environment - I'm happy to never touch anything with the word Java attached to it ... .
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Old 30th January 2015, 01:52 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Johnny2Bad View Post
I can practically guarantee that the Java updater seen on the screenshot you posted did not come via the Oracle website. Never click on a link in a website that says some software "is required" ... type in the relevant url yourself. Adobe Flash is a much bigger security risk than Java, but like Java the malware is often installed by a link on a non-Adobe web site.
Guess what - Oracle does indeed bundle Ask with the Java installer:

Oracle will continue to bundle 'crapware' with Java | Computerworld

AFAICT, unchecking the box allows Java to update without installing the toolbar.

You can tell Java not to present you with the "offer" to install Ask:

Avoid Java’s Ask Toolbar Installations With This One Weird Registry Hack

Insert witty signature line here.
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Old 30th January 2015, 02:24 AM   #10
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Just uncheck the add-ons. If you don't think you need Java, then you probably don't. I do need it for some software, including the very good REW for audio.

Otherwise, uninstall it.
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