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
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.
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-à-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 eBay—Adobe
and HP and a host of others do this.
NP: "Lines on My Face" - Peter