09 Jan. 2007
SETI League
PriUPS Project

Sympathy for the Devil

Perhaps you've read about this recent controversy.  It seems that Microsoft, for the purpose of making their new Windows Vista operating system harder to suborn, had denied access to certain internal operations to all.  Of course for the evildoers out there in computer land, this is simply a challenge.  Hopefully a difficult one, but who knows?  As a user, I have the option of being pleased, displeased, or indifferent.  As one who tries to practice safe hex, I was sort of pleased to hear it.  But guess who wasn't?  Norton!  and McAfee!

Norton and McAfee are two of the major companies that exist in symbiosis with the virus writers and, increasingly, the thieves of the netways.  They made their opinions known quite forcefully:  If Microsoft makes this change, we won't be able to protect your computer from the hacking that leaving the internals exposed for us will open it to.  (I don't think they phrased it exactly like that, of course.  And I'm being unfair, as I'm entitled to do; I'm sure there's some merit to their argument.)

But maybe not enough.  I am sorely vexed at both anti-virus companies right now because they are pestering me with reminders that won't go away.  Remember my diatribe about the Dell computer's interminable offers?   The other Dell (two monitors, remember) asks me four times a day to check for McAfee updates, despite the fact that this computer has no need for the updates.  Yo, McAfee!  How much effort would it be to have added a "leave me alone" button?
And Norton!  Since, as you've probably guessed, 2002, I have seen this delightful panel every 15 days.  I have the option to "Renew Now" or "Renew Later," but there is no way to turn off the stupid reminder, or to type my own number in the window.  Every 15 days is better than four times a day, but why don't I get to make the choice!  I could experiment with using it as a major holiday reminder, or just put in two point five zillion and be done with it.

Damn pests.

Rail (as you have every right to) against Microsoft, I find these examples of Anti-Virus company hubris almost as vexing as some of the bugs in WindowsXP, and they leave me with little sympathy for their position vis--vis Microsoft's.  But don't get me started on the dreaded focus problem or we'll be here until the next Norton reminder.

Follow-up 10 January 2007

Look what just popped up!  Looks like my use of Internet Explorer is interfering with Toolbar updating.  Guess I'll just have to stop actually using the computer so that eBay can update the tool bar.  Not to pick on eBayAdobe and HP and a host of others do this.

You WILL close all...

NP:  "Lines on My Face" - Peter Frampton

Richard Factor

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