Any Autodesk/Akamai people care to explain this?

Akamai is an Internet/Cloud infrastructure company, used extensively by Autodesk. To be polite, my experiences using its services over several years have been somewhat negative. Back in March, when trying to download the AutoCAD 2012 trial, I went through the usual Akamai download manager struggles before being informed of the wonderful Opera workaround (thanks again, Helper). I thought I’d seen the last of Akamai for a while, but today, while left unattended, Windows threw up this warning:

Huh? What is Akamai software trying to do here? I hadn’t asked it to do anything. I’m not downloading Autodesk software or even visiting an Autodesk site. There’s no reason for it to be running at all. Whatever it is, I don’t like it. Time to uninstall anything and everything Akamai, I think; something I should have done back in March. But wait! When I go to uninstall, what do I see? This:

Note that the dates are in DD/MM/YYYY format. There’s an application installed back in March, for which I granted permission (unwisely, apparently). OK, but there’s another one installed today! No permission was sought or granted. Right, that’s it. Akamai is now on my brown list, which is not a place anyone wants to be. Nothing in any way related to Akamai will ever be installed any my computer or any computer over which I have influence or control. If Autodesk continues to use Akamai’s services, Autodesk can expect to see continued strong criticism in this area. Unless, of course, somebody from Autodesk and/or Akamai can provide a reasonable explanation of what’s gone on here. Over to you.

11 comments to Any Autodesk/Akamai people care to explain this?

  • ralphg

    There is a disturbing trend by software companies to perform automatic updates. I suspect Akamai did this to your computer yesterday.

    Microsoft has been doing this for a while in Windows — unless you know where to turn it off. The newest version of Android Market has automatic updates turned on by default.

    The trend is disturbing, because it takes control away from us, another step in removing the “personal” from Personal Computer.

  • Dave Ault

    Don’t worry be happy. This is one of the wonderfull labor saving devices the cloud will bring as you can fire your IT staff and let the auto updates ease you into pain free daily cad bliss. No muss no fuss and it all JUST WORKS.

    Being a bit snarky here but want to say something besides the preceding snide cloud comment. You bringing up this cloud stuff is precisely what cad users need to see. Epic failure and proof of this is the only thing that can help head this off. Just like with the upcoming SW cloud where they will lose enough of their customer base that they will have to back off. Autodesk has to be brought to task for their effort to force users to the cloud to. Only serious financial punishment seems to matter at all to these corporate types and you are materialy helping to sound the alarm. All you Autodesk users better be up in arms about this and looking for the exit if this road map does not change. Any company forcing users to the cloud is hoping that users decide they can’t afford to switch for whatever reason. Considering the regard this evinces for the companies who have elected to purchase the software the real question should be how can you afford to stay with a company that wants to plunder you and force you to just sit there and take it? The cloud is all about you lose they win and it’s the customers money in jeapordy.

    Keep up the good work.

  • I allow my anti-virus software to auto-update its definitions. I allow Firefox to auto-update. I allow Windows to inform me of updates and I select the ones that will be allowed through, which is almost all of them. Anything else had better ask for explicit permission before installing anything.

  • This is exactly the reason why I run Autodesk products on win xp in a virtual machine with no internet access. This started with Microsoft WGA. I despise products that phone home using my hardware and bandwidth that I pay for…

  • Chris

    This Akamai system will not divulge downloaded content locations at all, it is horrible. Any attempts redirect me to a German web site? http://home.arcor.de/supermessage/
    Talk about a cheesy pos download manager

  • Chris

    Update, I found the file…
    I had to use the Akamai Control Panel utility to locate the thing.
    C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Akamai\ControlPanel.exe
    Then go to the ‘Support’ tab and click the ‘File Status’ button.

  • Tony

    How did you get past the http://home.arcor.de/supermessage/ site? I keep getting an error to install SE_ERR_ACCESSDENIED?

  • Groovealicious Baby

    I don’t use Autodesk stuff at all, but after a JAVA update just decided to connect to multiple, UNRESOLVED IPs, that whois’d to being Akamai German servers, I’m in the same boat as you. This pisses me off! I like to security audit my machine, especially regarding stuff with a bad reputation, like Java. But yes, I allow certain trusted stuff to auto-update, run a firewall and everything else better damn well ask. Or at the very bloody least, connect to a ‘cloud’/network infrstructure that performs the common courtesy of DNS entries for their hosts. I’m sick of having to manually audit this poor design decision with various software. Everything seems to be using ‘the cloud’ or third-party hosting sites now. That’s fine, but why not be clever and make them transparent and appearing to come from the expected domain? Too much like hard work and good design for these 4r5eh0le companies. They lose my business (that’s if I was paying them in the first place…) and definitely my respect.

  • Doug

    Found your post while searching for info about Akamai NetSession, as they’ve buried permission to use your computer for p2p in the Autodesk license for the 123D stuff. Barf.

    13. Autodesk download technology may use the Akamai NetSession Interface, which may utilize a limited amount of your upload bandwidth and PC resources to connect you to a peered network and improve speed and reliability of Web content. The Akamai NetSession Interface is secure client-side networking technology that harnesses the power of your computer to deliver software and media available on the Akamai network. Your Akamai NetSession Interface works collectively with other Akamai NetSession Interfaces, along with thousands of Akamai edge servers, and runs as a networking service utilizing a limited amount of your computer’s available resources. More information about the Akamai NetSession Interface is available here: http://www.akamai.com/client. By clicking “Accept” and using the Autodesk download technology, you accept the Akamai License Agreement (http://www.akamai.com/eula) in addition to the Autodesk License and Service Agreement

    • R. Paul Waddington

      Doug, which ever way you look at what is being done here it amounts to a form of theft. Theft orchestrated by a vendor who should know better.
      The CEO (Bass) and Autodesk’s board are directly responsible and should be held to account on both moral and legal grounds.
      That any business believes it has a right to surreptitiously use (steal) the use of customers’ business assets for it own business purposes is incredible in itself. That a so-called reputable CAD vendor (Autodesk) should attach itself to and become one with the same leach is almost unbelievable.
      It shows just how far – morally – those individuals, who lead and make up Autodesk’s management, have moved away from the basic decency a civilized society has at it core and reasonably expects.

  • selfdestruct

    Akamai is a flippin gov gathering engine as well as makes money from its database; as sanitized from the media as Bill Gates holdings.
    Why is it in autocad?
    In name of interceding terrorism so no one designs something bad. Its a back door stepping stone.
    You will not post this. But at least you will see it. I know it and they know me. And they know you too since every clik on the web reports to akamai one way or another.
    I really liked AutoCad until….

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