An inside look at Apple’s sneaky iTunes 8 upgrade

I’m reading lots of complaints about the new iTunes 8 update causing horrific problems on Windows machines, including widespread reports of STOP errors, aka the Blue Screen of Death. My colleague Adrian Kingsley-Hughes has asked readers for reports and Gizmodo has a sketchy post as well. How can this be happening? Assuming that the underlying hardware is working correctly, STOP errors can only be caused by kernel-level drivers or system services. A poorly written program can crash itself but not the entire system. So how can a supposedly simple software update cause a fatal crash?

Maybe because this isn’t a simple software update. Once again, Apple is using its automatic update process to deliver massive amounts of new software to users, including a device driver that has a long and checkered history of causing the Blue Screen Of Death to appear. And it’s delivering this massive payload without even a pretense of proper disclosure and without asking consent from its users.

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