And just below this, in 'More from the Register...'
"Dodgy BitDefender update bricks systems
BullGuard also bitten by borked box balls-up"
If you’re one of the 33 per cent of folks who don’t use antivirus protection, we’ve got an offer for you. In fact, even if you’re one of the other two thirds, you’re still going to want to sit up and pay attention. What are we talking about? The chance to ring-up a free subscription to Bitdefender’s Internet Security 2015, …
Last November we tested Bitdefender for our environment. The user interface was very non-intuitive. Also, if you look at the Bitdefender forums you'll see that once you buy a year's subscription to antivirus your credit card is automatically charged every year - you are automatically opted-in. In 3 out of 4 times, when you opt-out of autobilling you stay opted-in. Scary company.
I've been a PC user since I was a teenager back in the DOS days. The only virus I've ever personally caught was one on demo of a game from a cover CD from a well-respected PC magazine (which shows you how long ago that was!). I manually cleared it myself seconds after I noticed it arrive on my PC and killed it off.
I upload things to VirusTotal if I'm at all concerned about them, and I just don't have anything that auto-executes anyway.
I have got a full antivirus suite (I bought the full version of Comodo Internet Security when ZoneAlarm no longer fulfilled my software firewall needs) and whenever I do bother to update it, I run a scan just in case. It usually finds a handful of dodgy JS files in the browser cache (that have never affected the browser anyway and are usually there but totally ignored by the browser), it throws a wobbly at some of the tools I deliberately have installed (Sysinternals PSKill, etc.), it picks up a handful of things in my archaic mailboxes (that go back to 1997) that I know about and can't be bothered to "clean" properly (usually attachments with JS that will never be executed anyway, and which were designed to infect IE on Windows 98...), and that's about it.
There's obviously plenty of these things around - in work, the Sophos goes mad on a regular basis stripping attachments out of people's inboxes - but if you have anywhere near a brain, they don't affect you or your users. I've taken complete messes of PC's and - because I'm around someone's house - even without all the proper tools it doesn't take much to clean them up to the point where you can slap on a free antivirus and purge whatever remains, no matter how bad they get. But I'm still not complacent with even my home machines.
I honestly get more false positives from things classed as "hacking tools" (like PSKill) etc. than anything else.
Plenty of nasties about for Macs... My other half continually collects browser hijack and unwanted plugins on her Mac.
But you're okay... aren't you...
I've not used AV software on my home machines for, ooh, well, ever really.
I've also never had a virus.
What works for me is "being careful" - this covers opening email attachments, visiting websites etc.
Naturally (pardon the pun) being behind a locked down NAT firewall in my router helps a lot.
I realise this isn't a viable option for all people - not every one in a household is aware (read: savvy, experienced etc.) enough - but it has worked for me.
To my mind what a windows machine - any, but mine in particular - doesn't need is yet another set of processes that "have your best interests at heart and try to be extra helpful" by doing stuff to your machine that you are unaware of either the reason for or the detail of.
You want me to use a "real" OS? Fine. Find me one with a Screen Reader that Just Works. Because the last time I checked Orca wasn't there yet, the Vinux Project had gotten better but still had a long way to go, and I can't afford to buy anything with an Apple logo.
For someone Disabled & needing a Screen Reader to use the computer, our options are severely limited, and we're pretty much stuck with Windows.
It's difficult enough fixing issues on a Windows machine when you've had a few decades of experience doing it as a Sighted Person, suddenly finding yourself Blind, & reliant on a product like Jaws from FreedomScientific.com.
Trying to fix issues on an OS we're not even *remotely* familiar with, through a confusing interface, and praying that we don't screw things up even worse because we can't see what the hell we're doing... Well, that's a bit of a hurdle that tends to slam us in the face when we can't see it coming.
So Please, if you have a "real" OS with a Screen Reader that Just Works, let me know what it is, where I can get it, & when you'll be over to install it, configure it, & teach me how to use it. Otherwise I'll be forced to use the Real World OS that *already* does what I need it to do, even if I loathe Microsoft with an incandescent hatred bordering on homicidal urges & psychotic cackling fits...
"I would bet dollars to doughnuts that it would be easier for a partially sighted person to use UNIX with a braille terminal than any Windows OS."
Uh, think again:
Quote: "Fewer than 1% of the two million visually impaired people in the UK are users of Braille."
Quote:"Fewer than 10 percent of the 1.3 million legally blind people in the United States read Braille"
Simply put, Braille is hard to learn, hard to teach, very slow to use compared to normal reading, so few bother.
Plus, Braille books and equipment (like keyboards and readers) are freakin' expensive, when you can get them.
Upload random stuff to VirusTotal. Of the things that I know are definitely viruses, even plucked from a 20 year old inbox, about 25%-50% of AV just doesn't detect anything malicious at all.
The new stuff, you're lucky if one or two of the major AV vendors flags it.
Generally speaking, AV sucks in this regard. And its entire premise is sold on this kind of thing not being possible (with all their "heuristics" etc.). Sorry, but it's baloney, and a quick jaunt through VirusTotal (which tested against something like 50 AV products) tells you that.
In fact, VirusTotal *IS* my virus detector. It's not an "anti-virus" because that's called "proper security", but VT does a damn job good of telling me whether a file is a known virus or not even if only 1/50 detection engines find anything malicious. I only use it when I have a suspicious file that I *must* open, as the first safeguard of many.
I am Totally Blind & do not read Braille.
A Command Line is fine if you know what's going on, know what to expect, & don't have a need to constantly re-read the presented data in order to do what you want to do. For example, writing an email might be done easily enough if you know the syntax required to do so. But if you do NOT know what's coming, what to expect, or have to constantly re-read the presented data, than a CLI is a very painful way to interact with the computer. Do you know the keystrokes required to make it re-read the screen? No? Then how about the keystrokes needed to bring up a help file that gives those commands? If the answer to that last one is ALSO no, then we're done. Because I can't simply RTFM to find said data until & unless the computer is *already* configured to read the screen.
I would love to go back to using *Nix, I used Ubuntu & Debian at various points & found them very nice to use, but until & unless they get a Screen Reader that Just Works, and one that comes preconfigured to start talking the moment I slip that DVD into the drive to install it, I'm stuck using Windows.
Because if the Bootstrap doesn't have a Talking Environment as well, I can't see the screen to know when to press the Function Keys to activate the Boot Menu, can't see to select the appropriate menu item to boot from the DVD, can't see to know when/if the DVD wants my input, and can't see to do *anything* with/to it until/unless it starts that Screen Reader Environment.
Now do you see my problem?
If I want a *Nix system, I either have to buy it preconfigured to talk the moment I turn it on, or find a local Sighted Geek willing to do it for me, because I can't see to do it myself. I need the Screen Reader working in order to install the OS that's required to run the Screen Reader in the first place.
I use a standard keyboard & no mouse, a Screen Reader (the aforementioned Jaws), and either a set of external speakers or a set of headphones. I have a monitor for those times I need a Sighted Person to tell me WTF my computer is doing that it refuses to tell me about, otherwise the monitor isn't even *plugged in* the other 99.9999% of the time. (It makes me laugh when the ComCast Tech has a shit fit when they can't use my computer because they can't see the screen. Makes me want to chortle "Sucks to be Sighted, eh?" but I refrain. *Cough*)
But the Screen Reader is a requirement. No Braille, just the Screen Reader.
*Thwock* Ball's back in your court. =-)
Not being funny but does Windows do any of that either?
I've never seen options in the Windows install process for screen-reading drivers or for even text-to-speech. Maybe if you bought it pre-set up, with JAWS, but otherwise how do you go about installing Windows like that? That's hardly a fair comparison.
And last I checked, Slackware had a particular install kernel and build just for screen-readers/text-to-speech and is (not entirely, but primarily) a CLI-based system. It appears that in 14.1 Speakup is part of the mainline kernel so it's not even a different kernel any more. If Slackware has it, I'm damn sure some of the more friendly distros must have options too.
But quite how often is a blind person going to be installing the OS from scratch on a computer they can't see? I wouldn't even like to try to get through initial Windows setup after a sysprepped install to a desktop they can start to install JAWS from, to be honest.
I'm sorry, but it's a very niche usage case and as such sees very niche usage and expensive equipment or not a lot of deployment and testing. How many blind people open up a DAB radio and can just get started, no problems? How many blind people can set up online banking for themselves without problems (with the key-code generators etc. nowadays)? I'm sure there are ways and means of doing those things that almost entirely consist of "let's avoid this and do it another way" or "let's get someone sighted in to do this".
Much as I might champion your independence, some things are just not built with you in mind and move too fast to always include and consider a niche usage.
I bought and installed BitDefender on my Dell XPS 13 (which, as an aside, is a nice piece of kit). It worked OK initially but within a day or two had [presumably downloaded an update which] borked the machine, preventing it from booting and requiring a system restore to fix. I gave it the benefit of the doubt and tried installing it a couple more times but the same thing happened on each occasion.
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