Windows Media Player disables Screen Saver timeout by default when active

From: Steward, Jeff (JSteward_at_PLCMED.COM)
Date: 03/02/05

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    Date:         Wed, 2 Mar 2005 17:28:07 -0500

    In the process of locking down our Windows environment, my clever users
    quickly learned that having Windows Media Player play an audio or video
    stream counts as 'activity' and will never invoke the screen saver,
    rendering a password protected screen saver useless. Upon further
    investigation, I discovered the default behavior of Windows Media Player
    is to disable screen savers.
    Setting the following Group Policy Object to 'enabled' allows the screen
    saver to invoke as normal when Windows Media Player is active:
        User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Media
    Player\Playback\Allow Screen Saver
    While this may not be a true bug, it is yet another example of poorly
    chosen default behavior in an application. I'm posting this here since
    I had to do a small amount of digging to find the solution, and wouldn't
    have known I had an issue except for a user bragging they had already
    figured out a workaround to the screensaver lock.
    I've tested the above GPO setting on XP SP2 with Media Player 10. The
    GPO setting claims to also work on Media Player 9.
    Jeff Steward
    IT Director
    PLC Medical Systems, Inc
    The information in this e-mail and any attachment(s) is confidential and may be legally privileged. This e-mail is intended solely for the addressee. If you are not the addressee, dissemination, copying or other use of this e-mail or any of its content is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. This communication represents the originator's personal views and opinions, which do not necessarily reflect those of PLC Medical Systems. If you are not the intended recipient please inform the sender immediately and destroy the e-mail and any copies.

    NTBugtraq Editor's Note:
    Most viruses these days use spoofed email addresses. As such, using an Anti-Virus product which automatically notifies the perceived sender of a message it believes is infected may well cause more harm than good. Someone who did not actually send you a virus may receive the notification and scramble their support staff to find an infection which never existed in the first place. Suggest such notifications be disabled by whomever is responsible for your AV, or at least that the idea is considered.

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