08 July 2005

Spies of a different kind

Study author Susannah Fox says:

“People are scaling back on some Internet activities,” [...] “People are feeling less adventurous, less free to do whatever they want to do online.”
The important point that she misses but the reporter doesn’t is:
While some computer users knowingly install spyware and adware, they often hitch rides with games, screensavers and other freebies, or exploit security flaws in Microsoft Windows operating systems and Internet Explorer browsers.

Read my lips: Linux does not support spyware. All of the widely deployed (and in fact deployable) spyware is unique to MS-Windows. So to borrow and mutilate a bumper sticker:

Know Linux, no fear
No Linux? Know fear

“About 28 million American adults ended up spending money to get their computer working again, typically in the range of $100” (from the study: USD$129.15) — er, was this included in all of those TCO studies?

I advise people who have too much vested in non-portable applications (typically games) to readily permit switching from MS-Windows to use Firefox and Thunderbird instead. Of those who do, their infection rate drops dramatically (to maybe <waggles hand> a tenth of the previous rate).

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