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[P]
Mom brought Google to its knees

By mcgrew in Technology
Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 06:46:38 AM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)
Internet

This past Monday, July 26, Google was Unavailable to many if not most internet users.

The cause was a virus named mydoom, which causes infected PCs to send spam, and in the case of this variant, went to Google and other search engines looking for email addresses to spam. Even the mighty Google couldn't handle the load.

Mom called me a week ago. "I want you to take this firewall off of my computer."


Mom's been retired for twenty years, and that's how long it's been since she used a computer. When she retired, the fastest Intel CPU was a 286. Windows had not come out yet, there were very, very few office networks and no internet. The only program she knew was Lotus 1-2-3. Twenty megabyte hard drives were a big deal. So Mom's like Rip Van Winkle when it comes to computers.

In short, she's a typical newbie, who knows nothing about computers and knows she knows nothing about computers. That doesn't stop her from forming opinions.

I went to her house a few weeks ago to try and secure her new e-machine. It was running Windows XP Home, of course. I wish I could have afforded to just build her a decent computer with Linux on it. The best time to learn Linux is when you're 100% ignorant about Windows, as there's nothing to unlearn then.

But "the computer" has XP, so I imagine she'll be in a Microsoft world from now on. Just like your mom. And that guy over there's mom.

I installed Mozilla, and Zone Alarm, and got quite a fight from her over it, too.

"But why should I care if somebody breaks into my computer? I don't shop online, there are no private or confidential documents or anything, and I've got these few Excel spreadsheets backed up on a floppy."

I explained how bad guys wanted to use her computer to send spam. I even tried to scare her and told her a hacker could store his child porn collection on her computer and she'd never know it. I explained that if it got full of viruses it might stop working altogether.

She didn't buy the spam thing, she was slightly worried about the porn thing but figured the odds were in her favor. If her computer broke, she knows where to (ahem) get it fixed for free. "I have Norton, and your sister told me Windows had a firewall."

I told her about patching and her eyes glazed over. Whatever she says about it, I'm confident that her computer will never have a single security patch applied, or a single update to Norton put in. And I'm confident that six months from now, or a year, or maybe two if I'm lucky, she'll call me and ask me to come fix her computer, and it will have seventy two viruses all spewing spam.

Fortunately for the internet, my mom's on dialup. But unfortunately for the internet, your mom has cable. And your mom is just as obstinately ignorant as my mom. You might as well try to convince them to change their own oil as to keep their computers maintained.

I talked her through getting on the internet, and how to make it quit bugging her, so I won that battle. The war's a lot more iffy.

There is a bit of good news, though- Mom also took down Doubleclick, the ad company responsible for all those popups, popunders, and blinkey shiney banners and ads. Good work, Mom.

I think I'll call Mom and tell her what she did Tuesday.

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Login

Poll
How geeky is your mom?
o Mom doesn't have a computer 8%
o Mom has an old 486 that hasn't been turned on in ten years 0%
o Mom's computer is broke 1%
o Mom's computer is full of spyware and acts like it's broke 7%
o Mom is on dialup 22%
o Mom's on DSL and clueless 14%
o Mom's on cable and clueless 17%
o Mom's a programmer for Microsoft 1%
o Mom's a programmer for Id 4%
o Don't you talk about my momma you son of a bitch!!! 21%

Votes: 183
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Google
o Google [2]
o Unavailabl e
o mydoom,
o took down Doubleclick,
o Also by mcgrew


Display: Sort:
Mom brought Google to its knees | 199 comments (145 topical, 54 editorial, 0 hidden)
Linux Zealot (1.55 / 9) (#2)
by GenerationY on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 06:33:07 PM EST

I feel this comic strip adequately (ROR) sums up my feelings on this article: Linux Zealot

Wrong strip (none / 1) (#10)
by mcgrew on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 07:56:09 PM EST

Have one that deals with security. Also note that I destroy no MBRs unless the MBR owner is a mafia guy that wants to make a deal with me to get rid of da fat...

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

In all seriousness (3.00 / 5) (#13)
by GenerationY on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 08:15:53 PM EST

Why not just switch on automatic updates?

[ Parent ]
Because that's socialism! (none / 3) (#29)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 03:54:15 AM EST

God damn fascists! Controlling my computer! This kind of thing would never happen under capitalism.

[ Parent ]
I did (none / 1) (#66)
by mcgrew on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:34:12 PM EST

But I exopect they will somehow hose her machine.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

You are so teh Loonix Zealot. (nt) (none / 2) (#54)
by Fon2d2 on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 02:53:08 PM EST



[ Parent ]
sad... but true (none / 1) (#170)
by eudas on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 01:50:51 AM EST

when i saw 'MBR' i thought 'Meteor [Class] Blockade Runner' from VGA Planets 3.x.

eudas
"We're placing this wood in your ass for the good of the world" -- mrgoat
[ Parent ]

omg! (none / 2) (#40)
by neopostmodernist media whore on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:42:55 AM EST

teh adequacy is banned at my work! oh the humanity socialism!

--
bask in my angst.
[ Parent ]

oh man (none / 1) (#46)
by GenerationY on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:05:58 PM EST

you are f***ed!


[ Parent ]
i no :( (none / 1) (#52)
by neopostmodernist media whore on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 02:32:18 PM EST

it is true.!

--
bask in my angst.
[ Parent ]

uhm (1.81 / 11) (#4)
by thekubrix on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 07:24:00 PM EST

wait

what was the point of this post?

I think you were going to say (none / 1) (#9)
by mcgrew on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 07:53:58 PM EST

"Now everybody, go secure your mom's computer and save the billionaires at Google a ton more money."

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

huh (2.25 / 4) (#14)
by thekubrix on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 08:19:27 PM EST

no, I meant what was the point of the "article" you wrote,....theres no premise

also, what does google have to do with anything? I think it might have been an attempt at humor, but....i dunno man


[ Parent ]

MyDoom (none / 2) (#24)
by taste on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:43:12 AM EST

I suspect it has something to do with the mydoom breakout affecting google and he's trying to write something about it. (shouldn't the article be in fiction). Anyway some links or explanation at the bottom would be very helpful. I had no clue what the article was about and all I see is the author patronizing the people who actually asked what it's about.

[ Parent ]
Be careful, (1.00 / 2) (#119)
by killmepleez on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 06:04:00 PM EST

If you're not in on the, har har, in-joke of being up-to-date with all web related news, you will get pissed on by users and editors alike in comments and mods. If you don't make a point of "googling" something several times a day, then please, har har, stop posting comments or voting on articles, because you "have nothing" valid to contribute!

There is no blog but K5, and mcgrew is its Prophet.

__
"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
[ Parent ]
Dude, (none / 1) (#194)
by mcgrew on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 08:11:54 PM EST

I posted links. No "in joke" thing, it was on the evening news. Google isn't something only for nerds any more.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

You should have posted as editorial (none / 0) (#195)
by mcgrew on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 08:13:05 PM EST

I changed what you bitched about. Now you look stupid :p

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Erm, actually... (3.00 / 8) (#5)
by gordonjcp on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 07:24:32 PM EST

My Mum runs Linux on her PC at home. And she knows, in theory at least, how to change the oil in her van. She's changed it once before actually, but couldn't get at the filter from above and didn't want to crawl about underneath to get at it. Another job for when I go north again.

In the time it took to type this, she's just phoned up asking how to make it produce PDFs instead of printing, and how to adjust the free-play in the van's clutch. She's not as non-techy as she likes to think...

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


Dude... (none / 2) (#110)
by CodeWright on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 12:50:20 PM EST

...you're adjusting the free-play in your mom's clutch?

I thought that kind of thing was illegal (not to mention immoral).

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Obligatory Mac Comment (none / 0) (#145)
by miah on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 10:36:58 AM EST

Why don't you switch your mom to an iClutch. Apple makes them in all kinds of wild colors, she'll love it. And, best of all, it'll never need to be adjusted again. They are a bit pricey though...

Religion is not the opiate of the masses. It is the biker grade crystal meth of the masses.
SLAVEWAGE
[ Parent ]
Allow me to catch you up... (none / 0) (#148)
by SPYvSPY on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 11:01:52 AM EST

...Macs come in silver and white. Perhaps you consider these "wild colors" but I don't.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Huh? (none / 0) (#190)
by miah on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 03:05:09 PM EST

That's funny, I typed this comment on a purple one...

Religion is not the opiate of the masses. It is the biker grade crystal meth of the masses.
SLAVEWAGE
[ Parent ]
You said... (none / 0) (#191)
by SPYvSPY on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 06:45:48 PM EST

...Apple makes them in wild colors. All new Macs are white or silver. In fact, any purple Macs are practically obsolete.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Um... (none / 1) (#196)
by miah on Tue Aug 03, 2004 at 10:26:51 AM EST

You sir, are a dick.

Religion is not the opiate of the masses. It is the biker grade crystal meth of the masses.
SLAVEWAGE
[ Parent ]
Manual Minivan? (none / 0) (#166)
by Mike Green Challenge on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 04:22:30 PM EST

What kind of van can you get with a manual transmisson? The only ones I can think of are fairly old, like the early 90s VW Eurovan and the old Vanagon, base model Aerostar, and 80s Dodge/Chrysler vans. Still, a manual van is a pretty rare sight. You should get her one of these

--
Aspies for Ron Paul
[ Parent ]
I've never seen a van with an automatic gearbox. (none / 0) (#175)
by gordonjcp on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 05:28:54 PM EST

Plenty cars, but never a van. Wouldn't it be a little bit terrifying to drive?

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
My mom (none / 3) (#12)
by Xeriar on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 08:08:01 PM EST

Uses a hardware firewall and knows it's a good thing. Yes, she uses Windows, but so what? Getting her set up on Linux isn't worth the effort since XP came with her machines.

Yes, I have to fix things on occasion, but she's never recieved a virus or trojan.

As for the oil in my mom's car, the auto shop is within walking distance and charges a grand total of $8 in labor for it. As opposed to a $12 ring in her dryer that a repairman wanted to charge $75 to install, and she figured it out herself.

Sometimes an ideal just isn't worth the effort. It's better to spend such efforts on ideals that will pay off - if only in a small way.

----
When I'm feeling blue, I start breathing again.
Your mom should kick your ass. (2.25 / 4) (#17)
by Empedocles on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 10:49:37 PM EST

ZoneAlarm? C'mon, man.

---
And I think it's gonna be a long long time
'Till touch down brings me 'round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home

agreed, tiny personal fw is the way to go. (2.75 / 4) (#19)
by the77x42 on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 11:21:23 PM EST




"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]
A good son (2.33 / 9) (#18)
by b1t r0t on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 11:01:07 PM EST

...would have made sure his mother got an iMac. What viruses? What worms?

-- Indymedia: the fanfiction.net of journalism.
A good son... (none / 1) (#64)
by mcgrew on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:31:11 PM EST

Would have a big enough salary to afford one. Dude, I'm as poor as Rusty. My car is sixteen years old. If I could afford an apple I'd have one on my own desk.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Who says you have to buy new? (none / 3) (#90)
by b1t r0t on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:03:12 AM EST

I got my second Blue & White G3 a couple of weeks ago for a little over a hundred bucks. Those things run the latest OS X just fine. They've got 100 MHz bus, can be upgraded to 1 gig of RAM (using 16-chip PC100 256meg DIMMs) and (currently) a 1.1 GHz processor. Not bad for a computer that's five years old.

-- Indymedia: the fanfiction.net of journalism.
[ Parent ]
listen (1.13 / 15) (#25)
by MC Double Def DP on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 02:31:42 AM EST

so you got a mom whose hot on the  scene
tell her don't copy that floppy just throw down the green
think of it this way, okay
when she buys a disc, she's paying to the team
she's saying she respects what their doing and what their working for
she's shelling out the money so they can make some more

Don't copy that floppy
damn son (none / 2) (#26)
by bankind on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 02:50:42 AM EST

that shit is tired and weak. take it back to the lab.

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

poor (none / 0) (#42)
by nebbish on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:45:23 AM EST

Although your sig would have made a great anti-piracy campaign circa 1993.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Would have? (none / 1) (#57)
by Psychopath on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 04:41:56 PM EST

Actually it did!
--
The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain. -- Karl Marx
[ Parent ]
Ultimate proof... (1.44 / 9) (#27)
by Ayn Rand the Objectivist on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 03:50:58 AM EST

that society is better off with socialism.

"But I know what best for me! Not the majority, or the experts!"

-1, Out of character (n/t) (none / 2) (#84)
by Qwaniton on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:45:42 PM EST



[ Parent ]
I blame the nitrous I was inhaling (nt) (none / 2) (#92)
by Ayn Rand the Objectivist on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:36:17 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Convert her to Apple (2.87 / 8) (#30)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 04:08:10 AM EST

Tell her that Microsoft is suing their customers for copyright infringment of the DMCA because of SCO spreading virus GLP code.

It's not quite right. But the buzzwords in there may be recognised.

Or you could tell her that the CIA may hold her in jail under the new Home Security laws. Terrorists...blah, blah...

Gitmo! (none / 1) (#80)
by mcgrew on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:54:47 PM EST

Everybody's afraid of gitmo!

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Re: Gitmo! (none / 1) (#106)
by DLWormwood on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 11:21:33 AM EST

Everybody's afraid of gitmo!

Not me. I once lived at Guantanamo Bay as a kid while my father was a Machinist's Mate at a Fuel Farm down there.

It's mostly desert and dull. The only entertainment I remember was cutting the tails off lizards just to see them flop around.

I still want to go back and visit one day just out of nostaligia, though...
--
Those who complain about affect & effect on k5 should be disemvoweled
[ Parent ]

Cut the tails? (none / 0) (#149)
by SPYvSPY on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 11:03:27 AM EST

Don't they just pop off when you corner the little buggers?
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Of Lizard Tails... (none / 0) (#161)
by DLWormwood on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 02:43:42 PM EST

Don't they just pop off when you corner the little buggers?

I honestly don't remember, I may have just pulled them off... I was only in Kindergarten at the time. I just remember that the tails grew back, so I didn't feel lasting guilt about dismembering small helpless animals.
--
Those who complain about affect & effect on k5 should be disemvoweled
[ Parent ]

It's fun... (none / 1) (#162)
by SPYvSPY on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 02:50:54 PM EST

...to watch the little tail squirm like it's still alive but dying a slow death. I wonder if the tail has a separate consciousness. Maybe it spends it's whole life being resentful of the damn lizard it's attached to, and the fifteen minutes of squirming are it's best moments in life.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

won't make any page (2.33 / 6) (#36)
by Dreamaster on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 09:18:28 AM EST

This is just my two cents - but XP has settings where your mom would be forced to update when new patches were enabled. Same with a properly set up virus suite. So other than the article being a anti-microsoft /. post - I don't get the point. Right now - the article as written would earn a -1 dump it from me.
____________________
Mostly Harmless
Not anti-microsoft (none / 1) (#61)
by mcgrew on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:25:57 PM EST

It's anti-ignorance and anti-apathy. If Microsoft cleans up their act I'll praise them. If you work for Microsoft, please affect chenge from the inside, thx

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

what's this windows XP thing? (none / 3) (#38)
by speek on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 09:28:47 AM EST

My mom runs windows 3.1

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees

What about when (none / 2) (#41)
by minerboy on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:42:58 AM EST

Your mom gets wireless ??



Shhh!! Don't tell her about it! nt (none / 1) (#60)
by mcgrew on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:24:12 PM EST


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

His mom getting wireless (none / 0) (#135)
by wurp on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 09:29:14 AM EST

is why at least the geeks, and probably almost everyone, will have free internet access in the future :)

Well, that and wireless mesh networking.
---
Buy my stuff
[ Parent ]

huh.. (2.50 / 4) (#43)
by Work on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:01:44 AM EST

Both XP and norton can be set to download / install updates automatically. I think its norton's default behavior, if not XP's as well. And put a real hardware firewall in that won't mess up things. Zonealarm is buggy.

actually, no (1.13 / 15) (#44)
by reklaw on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:25:03 AM EST

But unfortunately for the internet, your mom has cable. And your mom is just as obstinately ignorant as my mom.

My "mom" does have cable, but thankfully she doesn't live in America, the land of willful ignorance. Hence, she keeps Windows XP updated (I told her how to set it to auto-install them, and we never had to worry again).

I don't force her to use ZoneAlarm, though, because it's a piece of shit. So-called "personal firewalls" are for idiots like you who think they're hot shit with computers but actually know very little. If you did, you'd know how stupid putting all your ports in "stealth mode" (to protect yourself from hackers YOUR COMPUTER IS BROADCASTING AN IP ADDRESS OMG) or whatever actually is.
-

Er... (none / 3) (#62)
by trhurler on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:26:37 PM EST

All marketing bullshit aside, why WOULDN'T your average home user want a setup where their machine was as close to "invisible" as possible? Acknowledging and then rejecting connections on ports you aren't using may be the historical norm, but that doesn't mean it makes sense for your average user(or your average anyone, really, but that's another matter.) ZoneAlarm strikes me as kind of crappy, but it has this advantage that you seem to be missing: it works, and idiots who don't understand what's going on don't have to understand it for it to work FOR THEM.

Considering that the problems on the Internet are mostly due to idiots who aren't properly protected, I'd think you would cheer products like ZoneAlarm, garbage though they may be:)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
but the thing is... (none / 3) (#69)
by reklaw on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 07:32:08 PM EST

... that ZoneAlarm doesn't help anything at all, for two reasons:
  1. The kind of person who gets infected with spyware/viruses will just mindlessly click yes to all of ZA's "do you want to let this connect?" prompts, just like they click yes to IE's "do you want to install crap?" prompts.
  2. It is (or at least was, the last time I looked at it) utterly trivial to circumvent. In order to use the web, the user has to trust their web browser to connect -- and once they've done that any random program can just phone home through the browser. It's also trivial for anything malicious to deactivate and uninstall ZA.
I would completely encourage people who don't know what they're doing to install a decent automatically-updating antivirus program, if they're going to insist on running random email attachments or Internet Explorer. ZoneAlarm, though, is worse than useless: it basically shuts the door after the horse has bolted (and doesn't even do a very good job of that). Its only real purpose is to flash pretty little "warnings" about harmless port connection attempts (like people who just closed Kazaa saying "omg someone is hacking my port 1214") to get them to upgrade to the paid ZA Pro.

Sorry to go on, but I really hate ZoneAlarm.
-
[ Parent ]

I use zonealarm, and I am 1337. (none / 3) (#74)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:23:01 PM EST

I am a happy user of zonealarm. I'm not mcgrew's mom. Check out my resume to understand my qualifications, which include time spent as a Senior Software Engineer at Apple.

I purchased ZoneAlarm on the recommendation of another former Apple SSWE. The reason was that I noticed activity on my modem even when I wasn't doing anything online, and when I was doing net stuff, throughput was very slow.

This happened when I connected my Windoze box directly to the net while staying in a motel just after I moved to Canada. Before, I used a Linux IP masquerading gateway and never had trouble with worms and the like.

Anyway, it turned out I had been infected with some worm that downloaded security patches from the Windows update service, and then scanned the net looking for more vulnerable hosts - a "white hat" worm, welchia I think. Zonealarm caught it trying to transmit, and I looked it up on zonealarm's website, then looked up the worm on google to find disinfection instructions.

Since then, I've left zonealarm installed, and have had no further trouble. I don't expect that my linux firewall will keep every virus at bay.

I think zonealarm is a good product, if it's used the way it's meant to be.


-- Could you use my embedded systems development services?


[ Parent ]

Your last sentence tells the story. (none / 3) (#98)
by pwhysall on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 05:07:07 AM EST

Thing is, it hardly ever is used the way it's meant to be used.

The "ooh, I think I really WOULD like an instant weather/stockticker/$THING, so I'll click "YES" on this here dialogue box" folks outnumber the people who go "Er, I dunno what this is and I didn't ask for it, so I'll pass" quite handily, I think.
--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown
[ Parent ]

but uh (none / 1) (#107)
by reklaw on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 11:22:06 AM EST

you could have just used the task manager and/or netstat and figured that out yourself very easily.
-
[ Parent ]
Sure, sure (none / 2) (#93)
by trhurler on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 03:20:09 AM EST

But face facts: a firewall that doesn't ask you if something should be allowed is worse than ZoneAlarm for the clueless, because they're just going to turn it off when it gets in their way. Nothing is perfect in the face of a clueless operator, but what about the semi-clued operator? For instance, my dad. He doesn't really know as much as would be ideal about this topic, but he's worked on computers for most of his life, and he's hardly inept. ZoneAlarm works well for him. Yes, his web browser is enabled, but he has a virus program, and he has some scanner or another that he runs every now and again, and really, that's about as good as it gets if you actually want a Windows machine to be USEFUL for anything.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Assuming that... (none / 2) (#95)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 03:30:04 AM EST

  • The computer is clean while ZA is installed and configered
  • That there is no mindless clicking "yes"
  • The browser that is being use is relativly secure
Then, is there really anything wrong with it?

[ Parent ]
well (none / 3) (#108)
by reklaw on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 11:28:26 AM EST

That's a pretty rare set of circumstances. I'd also say that most people clueful enough not to run IE and to read things before they click "yes" wouldn't get any worms or anything -- or if they did (due to an unpatched Windows flaw, perhaps), they'd notice it themselves.

What's wrong with ZA even under those circumstances, though, is the number of alerts it pops up to scare users. Basically, any time anything tries to connect to a port that isn't open, it logs a "warning" -- "x tried to connect to port y, but your computer was in stealth mode so you're safe!" Anyone with a decent understanding of TCP/IP knows this is BS, but I've seen less knowledgable people get scared by these alerts (scared enough to buy ZA Pro, which is, I believe, the intention).

I imagine ISP abuse departments are as fucking sick of ZA as I am -- if anyone here's ever worked in one, I bet they can confirm that they get quite a few emails and phone calls from idiots reporting harmless connection attempts that their "personal firewall" keeps warning them about.
-
[ Parent ]

Hilarious (none / 0) (#164)
by xL on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 03:28:42 PM EST

The best are when they send it as a BMP screenshot. Usually about DNS reply packets, or RA streams or some other idiocy. See also here.

[ Parent ]
I use ZA (none / 2) (#94)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 03:25:06 AM EST

And have installed it on my parents computers. I have allowed access to all the programs that need it and told them to never click yes without asking me. They are capable of doing this.

For myself, I first installed some other firewall, but not knowing every detail of networking, I didn't think it was worth me trying to figure it out for myself, because having it not quite set right has much more servare consquences than say, not having your e-mail client configured properly. I'm a web designer, not a network admin, I didn't have to time to train myself up.

ZA works. I haven't had any problems with it. It may not be the best, but it's certinaly some protection.

Perhaps their is a better way. But I have not seen any easy way to control port settings on Win2000 or WinXP.

[ Parent ]

-1: Mentions child pornography (nt) (1.00 / 20) (#45)
by edo on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:55:28 AM EST


-- 
Sentimentality is merely the Bank Holiday of cynicism.
 - Oscar Wilde
+1 - mentions child porn nt (1.12 / 8) (#47)
by Imma Troll on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:16:59 PM EST


Will somebody light my sig?
[ Parent ]
+1FP, just downloaded a Doors song [nt] (1.06 / 16) (#58)
by ELP Fucking Rules on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 04:43:39 PM EST



I may disagree with what you have to say but I'll kill you for my right to say that.
-1 (1.00 / 30) (#67)
by QuantumFoam on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 06:00:58 PM EST

I brought your mom to her knees.

- Barack Obama: Because it will work this time. Honest!

My mom's the opposite. (2.71 / 7) (#68)
by Farq Q. Fenderson on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 07:21:48 PM EST

No, she's not a elite hax0r or anything, she's still as ignorant as anyone else. But her ignorance is the opposite. She somehow thought that have a computer with a modem connected to the phone line (this is before she even knew of the internet) while OFF, would somehow foster viruses.

Back in those days, I liked to use BBSs and what not. Her fantasies made it difficult to say the least. A decade later, she was sending me warnings about email viruses (at that time there might have been one workable email virus, they were mostly hoaxes.) Finally, two years later, by which time email viruses were a thing to worry about, I had to explain to her that a windows virus wouldn't affect my email client.

Incidentially, I discovered that there was a buffer overrun in KMail, the client I was using, at the time. To my knowledge, it never amounted to anything beyond some dipshit posting proof-of-concept to bugtraq, to which I subscribed, non-encapsulated. KMail crashed when I got the message. That's the last I heard of it.

farq will not be coming back

My mom uses a Mac (3.00 / 8) (#73)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:13:58 PM EST

So far the most secure personal operating system has been Mac OS. The old, "classic" Mac OS. I bought my mom a Performa 6130 back in '95 or so. Despite that it was slow as molasses, and couldn't run any current software these last few years, Mom (and Dad before he passed away) used it happily up until a couple weeks ago, when its video went out.

Mom figured this was a good time to buy a new computer, and on my advice (and after I discussed it with the Apple store salesman over the phone) she bought an iMac. She's had no trouble with Mac OS X. She probably just figures the different appearance is all cosmetic, and is completely unaware it's a completely different operating system.

The store transferred all her files and configured everything for a modest fee.

Aunt Peggy, Mom's twin sister, uses an iBook. She'd used Windows for years before she retired, but had no problem picking up OS X either.


-- Could you use my embedded systems development services?


Your mom's lucky nt (none / 1) (#75)
by mcgrew on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:46:23 PM EST


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Not the video (none / 3) (#91)
by b1t r0t on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:06:56 AM EST

Mom (and Dad before he passed away) used it happily up until a couple weeks ago, when its video went out.

That wasn't the video, that was the battery. When the battery goes out on that model, depending on the monitor, it will come up without video unless you command-option-P-R to reset the PRAM memory. Then it will work fine until it's unplugged.

-- Indymedia: the fanfiction.net of journalism.
[ Parent ]

hey thanks! (none / 1) (#115)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 03:56:17 PM EST

I'll try to get it working the next time I visit.


-- Could you use my embedded systems development services?


[ Parent ]

Give me some time. (none / 1) (#100)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 08:24:12 AM EST

I haven't finished rewriting Mac Orifice for OSX yet. However, Dos Orifice is right on schedule... with luck, I'll get to use it before they retire the last network connected DOS machine in the world.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
Your mom... (none / 2) (#112)
by sllort on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:08:45 PM EST

Proof that security by obscurity works! She's singlehandedly defeated Bruce Schneier.

Pray that this Mac thing doesn't catch on.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

Funny, but ... (none / 0) (#139)
by rpresser on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 09:47:55 AM EST

Mr. Schneier's point is that you can't defend against the most capable and knowledgeable attackers on your own -- peer review builds better security devices. His mom is evidence that you can protect the least capable and knowledgeable users by keeping them in the dark. Two totally different points, both of which I agree with.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]
Hardly (none / 2) (#155)
by sllort on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 12:52:39 PM EST

His mother is safe because this secure "Mac" system isn't used by enough people to become the target of skilled attackers. Security by obscurity.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
I've been begging my parents to switch for years (none / 1) (#113)
by calimehtar on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 03:42:25 PM EST

My mom's excuse is that she knows wordperfect now and doesn't want to have to learn a new word processor. She's one of those people who gets confused when the okay button moves from the left to the right of the dialogue so I can't argue much with that.

My dad's is that he has a tech support friend who gives him 'free software' and free support and deletes the spyware from his machine once a week. If he were paying for all this he'd definitely be better off with a mac, but since he's not... what can I say.

+++

The whole point of the Doomsday Machine is lost if you keep it a secret.


[ Parent ]
WordPerfect! (none / 1) (#116)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 03:58:37 PM EST

My wife won't use a Mac because she wants WordPerfect.

Our old WordPerfect 6 won't work right on her new Windows XP laptop, so we are going to have to buy the latest version sometime soon.

I tried really hard to get her to use Open Office or AbiWord, but she won't hear of it. She wants wordperfect, or nothing.

I'm afraid she's also reluctant to try anything open source because she had a bad experience with Mozilla a few versions ago.


-- Could you use my embedded systems development services?


[ Parent ]

Ironic, that (none / 0) (#176)
by ZorbaTHut on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 08:37:10 PM EST

I used to be a diehard fan of WordPerfect. Then I got the latest WordPerfect Suite.

It crashed, it didn't format properly, it crashed, it had blatant bugs, it crashed, and it crashed. I checked their website for patches, and, yep, they had an upgrade patch to make it work better . . . and they were charging $15 for it.

Never touching WordPerfect again. It's even worse than Word.

[ Parent ]

Modest proposal: (2.12 / 8) (#77)
by regeya on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:50:22 PM EST

$150,000 fine/15 years minimum for not taking measures to secure your computer if it's used in a DDoS.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

Can we have the same law (2.80 / 5) (#86)
by richarj on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 12:09:48 AM EST

If your car is stolen and used in a crime? Just because you didn't install an expensive security system for it?

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
I think the clue was "modest proposal" (none / 2) (#99)
by CwazyWabbit on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 05:08:22 AM EST

enntee
--
"But here's the thing: if people hand me ammunition, what kind of misanthrope would I be if I didn't use it?" - Sarah-Katherine
[ Parent ]
*ding ding ding* we have a winner (none / 1) (#109)
by regeya on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 12:08:45 PM EST


[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

We should also fine people for having car wrecks. (none / 2) (#104)
by skyknight on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 10:37:22 AM EST

They unleash massive denial of service attacks on The Automobile Super Highways. While this isn't as aggravating as traffic problems on The Information Super Highway, it is still a problem worth fixing by punishing stupidity.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
RE: We should also fine people for having car... (none / 0) (#124)
by tannhaus on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 11:05:12 PM EST

Actually, here in New Orleans, they do.  If you have a wreck, when the police officer shows up, at least one person gets a ticket.  The standard is something like "Failure to exercise due caution while driving" or something to that effect.  But, you can get a wreckless driving charge, ticket for running a stop sign...whatever he deems caused the wreck.

[ Parent ]
Wreckless? (none / 0) (#132)
by UCF BullitNutz on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 07:56:36 AM EST

Yes, I'm sure you can get a ticket for causing a wreck, when, by definition, you are driving without causing a wreck.

Please for the love of everything holy, use the "Preview" button. It saves me the "Oh my fucking GOD I cannot possibly BELIEVE someone is that ignorant!"

Wait... This is K5...who are you voting for in November?
----------
" It ain't a successful troll until the admin shuts off new user registration for half a year." - godix
[ Parent ]

RE: Wreckless (none / 0) (#160)
by tannhaus on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 02:38:38 PM EST

Well, the original comment said that we should ticket people for having car wrecks because they unleash massive DOS attacks on the automobile superhighway.  Then I replied that they actually do in some places.  They don't use the same terminology, but don't you think it includes some of the same reasoning?  You cause a wreck and not only do you damage the other person's vehicle and possibly the occupants, but you cause a slowdown in the flow of traffic that impedes legitimate use.

Every city does not ticket drivers for causing wrecks.  I know Birmingham does not unless the officer witnesses the behaviour personally. So, my comment was valid.

[ Parent ]

Missing the point (none / 0) (#163)
by glor on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 03:15:16 PM EST

The complaint is that you've substituted a homonym for "reckless."

--
Disclaimer: I am not the most intelligent kuron.
[ Parent ]

re: Missing the point (none / 0) (#167)
by tannhaus on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 09:56:42 PM EST

Oh god...and I read my comment 3 or 4 times and STILL didn't catch it until you pointed it out.

Well, just goes to show you...when I decide to be dense, I excel at it.

This was pretty funny though.

[ Parent ]

So... (none / 0) (#181)
by mcgrew on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 01:53:33 PM EST

Are you ready for a $150,000 fine for your brain fart?

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

RE: So... (none / 0) (#183)
by tannhaus on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 04:58:25 PM EST

Of course..feel free to garnish my wages.  I'm a cab driver ;)


[ Parent ]
which reinforces my point /nt (none / 0) (#193)
by mcgrew on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 08:08:51 PM EST


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

I am truly enjoying your malapropism. :-) /nt (none / 0) (#138)
by skyknight on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 09:45:49 AM EST



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Q: (none / 0) (#169)
by eudas on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 01:49:26 AM EST

it wouldn't have anything to do with lousiana police being a) psychotic and b) the state funding system is completely shitholed, so they need funds any way they can get them?

eudas
"We're placing this wood in your ass for the good of the world" -- mrgoat
[ Parent ]

RE: Q: (none / 1) (#171)
by tannhaus on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 04:33:47 AM EST

Well, personally I think that has a lot to do with it.  This state probably has more corruption and idiocy in government than any state I've seen.

I had my two way radio antenna stolen off my cab today.  I called the police.  He responded, heard my story and then said "Well, what do you want me to do about it?"  The sad part is, he wasn't asking that in an egotistical way.  He really wasn't sure what his role in things should be.


[ Parent ]

this reminds me (2.80 / 5) (#96)
by ljj on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 03:30:39 AM EST

Back in the eighties, when we still had an XT (!!) machine with an amber monitor, I nagged my father to have a hard drive installed. The neighbour's kid had a 10MB drive and I was tres jealous.

So one day we went off to the computer shop and the salesman convinced my father to purchase a 20MB drive. My father, extremely ignorant of these matters innocently asked whether 20MB was "enough".

The salesman put a fatherly hand on his shoulder and said in that I-know-better-than-you tone: "Sir, in your lifetime, you will never fill 20MB worth of hard disk space."

Well, my father never did fill all that space. I mean he never used the thing. And then of course he died and all that.

But I wonder if that salesman also ever thinks about that statement he made. Because I do, everytime I reorganise my Powerbook's 80GB drive to fit in more uncompressed DV files and Photoshop layers.


--
ljj

There was a chemistry class. (2.60 / 5) (#97)
by dstillz on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 05:06:47 AM EST

There was a chemistry class when I was in 10th grade, which was simplistic and boring. I should have done better in it.

I used a laptop to take notes, even then. At the time, it was an IBM ThinkPad 755CD (already ancient). It had a 75MHz Pentium processor, 16MB of RAM, a 1.2GB HDD, and a 4x CD-ROM. I used the sucker to play Super Metroid (in ZSNES) on the school bus. The thing was my primary computer, and I'd worked fairly hard for it.

There was a guy in my chemistry class named Philip, and he talked to me about buying a 10GB hard disk, so that he could download MP3s and a whole MAME ROM set. He had cable Internet, and a faster home computer than mine (which was Pentium-class but very low-end). I was tres jealous. It was 2000.

As I sit here, I'm an adult. I have a 5Mbit Internet connection, a computer that is an order of magnitude better than my old ThinkPad, and 0.5TB of fast storage space. I think of Philip every time I use my complete MAME set or reorganize my ~50GB iTunes library.

I remember when I was a little kid and we had a Tandy 1000 with dual 5.25" floppies, a CGA monitor, and no hard disk. The 386 was a big leap from there, as was the Macintosh Plus. It seems bizarre that I ever downloaded walkthroughs for the Space Quest games over a 2400bps connection to Prodigy, using an external Cardinal modem that was sensitive to vibration (!) and as big as my head.

I can't believe how long it's been since I first saw Doom, since I first pirated Doom for the guy down the street and played direct dialup games with him, since I first sanitized my Space Quest 1 (VGA remake--a whole 256 color palette--wow!) install disks after having contracted the Michaelangelo virus.



[ Parent ]
As long as it wasn't Da Vinci... (none / 0) (#133)
by UCF BullitNutz on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 07:59:21 AM EST

I'm glad they didn't haxor your gibson, as you only had Michelangelo and not Da Vinci.
----------
" It ain't a successful troll until the admin shuts off new user registration for half a year." - godix
[ Parent ]
Hack the Planet. (none / 0) (#141)
by dstillz on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 10:09:57 AM EST

Hack the Planet!



[ Parent ]
No "piracy" was necessary (none / 0) (#180)
by mcgrew on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 01:43:26 PM EST

Doom was shareware. Ot was perfectly ok and even encouraged to make copies for people. Enough people then sent money to Id to make all its employees rich.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Not the 2nd and 3rd episodes. (none / 0) (#182)
by dstillz on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 03:30:31 PM EST

The 2nd and 3rd episodes were 100% nonfree. And thus very large, by the standards of the day.

"Knee-Deep in the Dead" was free, but "The Shores of Hell" and "Inferno" were commercial.

I pirated the full game (it fit on 4 floppies, as a multipart zip), so that cooperative and deathmatch games could be played on something other than the episode 1 maps.

And I know for a fact that nobody to whom I gave a copy of the game bought Doom, because these were the kids who got PlayStations soon after Doom's heydey and moved away from PC. These were people I grew up with/around.



[ Parent ]
I said the same thing (none / 0) (#198)
by rho on Thu Aug 05, 2004 at 09:53:24 AM EST

When our 286 with a 20MB HDD arrived.

"Wow, I'll never fill this up!"

And, to be fair, as I was using the computer, I wasn't ever going to fill it up. WordStar documents and Lotus 123 files don't take up a lot of space, and I wasn't going to make a lot of artwork on a CGA monitor.

Then we got the 1200 baud modem.
"The thought of two thousand people munching celery at the same time [horrifies] me." --G.B. Shaw
[ Parent ]

Your title alone (3.00 / 8) (#101)
by SanSeveroPrince on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 09:20:35 AM EST

Got a +1 from me. Had the article itself been more coherent, it'd have been +1FP.

Besides, whatever possessed you to explain anything to a non techie? I just installed and configured windows on three machines at my neighbour's small accounting office. All running Mozilla, with outlook express and ie completely removed. NOD32 on automatic update, automatic clean/delete, deep heuristic setting. Ad-Aware. Only one admin account per machine, whose passwords are typed in an envelope they are under orders NEVER TO OPEN.

I harbor no delusions that these measures are going to save me THE CALL. But at least I have done my best to delay it.

There is no patch for human stupidity. You do get pens, though.

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


Build a better idiot-proof box... (3.00 / 4) (#102)
by LilDebbie on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 09:50:34 AM EST

...and they'll build a better idiot.

Sorry, just seemed rather appropriate.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Respect! {n/t} (none / 0) (#128)
by SanSeveroPrince on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 05:48:51 AM EST



----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


[ Parent ]
Coherency (none / 1) (#192)
by mcgrew on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 08:07:22 PM EST

Well, I stopped taking those drugs. Sorry.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Maybe we could require people... (none / 3) (#105)
by skyknight on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 10:40:16 AM EST

to take their computers into the shop every so often for a tune-up. If they failed inspection, then they would have their Internet connection unplugged, or be forced to wipe their computer and start over again. I'm sure the disaffected teenager working the register at Radio Shack is more qualified to assess computer security issues than my mom is.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
And how much would this tune-up cost? (none / 1) (#140)
by Metasquares on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 10:07:18 AM EST

1. Require people to have routine inspections at "qualified shops".
2. Charge standard outrageous fees (Anywhere from $100 to $800, if they charge what the manufacturer does) per inspection.
3. Profit.

This punishes all of us who do know how to maintain a computer, while encouraging shops to rip people off.

[ Parent ]

Yes... (none / 1) (#143)
by skyknight on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 10:10:39 AM EST

That's precisely the horrible scenario I was envisioning. The only way it would be tolerable would be if I owned a significant number of those shops.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Problems/Solutions (2.50 / 8) (#111)
by bugmaster on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 01:35:02 PM EST

Yeah, it came as a shock to me too, when I figured it out: most people are completely uninterested in how their appliances (cars, TVs, computers, etc.) work. To your mom (and my mom) it doesn't matter that her car has an iternal combustion engine lubricated by oil; all that matters is that it goes to the store. She has the oil checked every N miles not because she understands how the engine works, and not even because she believes that it's good for the car -- but only because she might void her warranty otherwise. Checking the oil is just another bureaucratic ritual passed down from on high; it's senseless, useless, wastes time and money, and is to be avoided if at all possible.

It is impossible to get ordinary people to perform maintenance tasks on their own computers, no matter how easy this process becomes. Even if there was a big red button that said, "fix everything" (and a button like that is impossible too, for obvious reasons), they would not press it. This is an aspect of the human psychology that is very difficult to change. The only way to secure the network would be to isolate such people in some way -- maybe by preventing Windows computers from sending out any nontrivial packets, I don't know. There isn't really a good solution for this.

Inicidentally, teaching Linux to your mom is impossible for the same reason: it requires too much maintenance.
>|<*:=

Re: Problems/Solutions (none / 0) (#137)
by rpresser on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 09:40:03 AM EST

isolate such people in some way -- maybe by preventing Windows computers from sending out any nontrivial packets, I don't know

Hmm... I think this idea has been thought of before.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]

Unfortunately not (none / 3) (#151)
by bugmaster on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 12:24:09 PM EST

ZoneAlarm will occasionally ask, "Are you sure you want msword.exe to act as a server ?" Answering this question is, once again, maintenance -- which means people will treat it as a malfunction that needs to be corrected (by getting someone to remove ZoneAlarm permanently). Trust me, I know this personally :-(
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
Actually, there is such a button... (none / 0) (#168)
by failrate on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 01:36:19 AM EST

I can't remember the name, but a Chinese computer manufacturer actually makes a PC called something like "Happiness Computer" that has a big green button on the front.

If you screw up anything or break your computer, you push the big green button and the whole thing is reformatted and reinstalled with defaults.

Perfect for mom and grandmom, except you'd have to then teach them about archiving.

>Sigh<  There's no perfect solution.
Voodoo Girl is da bomb!
[ Parent ]

this is silly (none / 0) (#184)
by wobblie on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 07:12:34 PM EST

everyone does realize such a thing with any other operating system would be absurd, right?

Not to mention this doesn't even work with windows, because you'll lose all your application settings

[ Parent ]

Taking Down Doubleclick VERY bad. (1.16 / 6) (#122)
by thelizman on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 09:38:07 PM EST

Yeah, so they serve ad content. If you don't like it, stary paying for everything you see on the Internet. Otherwise, STFU. In other news, the increase in latency for ads served on doubleclick has nearly doubled the display time of pages across the internet for browers who require image size metadata to layout the web pages.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
...Next time, engage brain before opening mouth. (3.00 / 9) (#129)
by Kasreyn on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 05:50:32 AM EST

You're smarter than this, thelizman. We don't hate doubleclick because they sell ads. We hate them because they do it in a dirty, invasive, disrespectful, and annoying manner, and frankly, they all deserve to be anally violated with rakes.

If I heard about some advertiser waylaying someone on the way to his mailbox, screaming at the top of his lungs at him about penis enlargement pills right there on his lawn, and physically preventing him from escaping back into his house; and if that homeowner fucking DECKED that ad man, I would cheer. You, apparently, would feel sorry for the ad man?

k5 itself shows a much more acceptable alternative. When's the last time anyone here bitched about the sponsored textads? Hmm? [listens to the sound of crickets chirping]


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Sweet! Rakes! (none / 2) (#131)
by UCF BullitNutz on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 07:51:48 AM EST

Wait.... Which end of the rakes?
----------
" It ain't a successful troll until the admin shuts off new user registration for half a year." - godix
[ Parent ]
How the FSCK!?!? (none / 2) (#130)
by UCF BullitNutz on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 07:50:11 AM EST

Dude... my mom just got DSL like 3 days ago. And she's got a Celeron 600 running Win 98 (NOT SE) with _no norton_ _no firewall_ and _no worries._

Am I glad I'm 120 miles away at college?...

Answer: Yes.
----------
" It ain't a successful troll until the admin shuts off new user registration for half a year." - godix

I don't know... (none / 0) (#177)
by Elendur on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 08:53:49 PM EST

Doing support over the phone really sucks.

[ Parent ]
Both my parents use linux! :) (none / 2) (#134)
by arcade on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 08:27:35 AM EST

Just had to say it in the subject. They're both using SuSE Linux, versions 8.2 and 9.0 , on their respective computers. Neither are computer wizards, although my father knows his way arouund.

My mom is too scared to run windows, due to all the viruses and various shit which accompanies the daily life of using windows.

And, both of them thinks of it as an added bonus that I can just ssh to their computer and fix various problems when they occur. Except, of course, filesystem crashes. God, I hate reiserfs. I truly hate it. It's the single worst file system I've ever used -- and I was stupid enough to experiment with it when I installed my moms computer.

Why the fsck does SuSE default to using such a shitty file system? I've got no clue - but I felt compelled to try it out since it was the default.

--
arcade

what's wrong with reiserfs? (none / 0) (#136)
by QID on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 09:30:25 AM EST

I'm admining three different servers at the moment, all using reiserfs for virtually everything, and it's never given me a single problem. Perhaps your hard drives are shot instead?

----------
Grampa must be saved. Grampa must go down the stairs.
[ Parent ]

Reiser has improved (I think) (none / 0) (#146)
by joib on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 10:38:15 AM EST

My understanding is that for kernels < 2.4.18, reiserfs was quite full of bugs which caused all sorts of corruption for people.

Another thing is that reiserfs apparently doesn't handle hash collisions at all (for performance reasons), it just happily overwrites. Extremely unlikely with a good hash function, but still, I think a good design should take collisions into account, even at the expense of some performance.

[ Parent ]

Reiserfs is not stable. (none / 0) (#188)
by arcade on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 02:12:33 AM EST

Oh, three servers. Yeah.

My first problem with reiserfs was three years ago. On my laptop. The /home partition(!) got shot. Lost lots upon lots of data.

Then my workstation at work stopped booting. Reiserfs had shot /usr. Great.

Then my mom's computer started complaining.

Oh, and last week SuSE 9.1 trashed at three different computers at work. Luckily I've only experimented with ReiserFS on /tmp, but the damn machines wouldn't boot anymore, before I ran reiserfsck --rebuild-tree on /tmp.

It's the most unstable, crappy filesystem I've ever come accross. I've never had this amount of trouble with ANY other file system. It destroys data, prevents machines from booting, and in general is a pain in the ass.

Oh, and Good For You that you've not had trouble with those three servers of you. I hope, for your sake, that you continue with your good luck. Personally I wouldn't entrust reiserfs to hold ANY information I value.

--
arcade
[ Parent ]

Oh! The humanity of it all! (3.00 / 4) (#142)
by actmodern on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 10:09:57 AM EST

I have the same situation with a younger sibling. When I visit him, and check out his computer in his basement, it's essentially a spyware ridden, hive of viruses. I tried to explain that what he's doing is harmful to everyone.

He laughed.

He's a teenager though.

There's nothing you can do to make people act responsibly on a voltuntary basis. Most people can't be bothered. This is why in some parts of the world you can get fined for not recycling.


--
LilDebbie challenge: produce the water sports scene from bable or stfu. It does not exist.

Don't worry... (none / 1) (#144)
by skyknight on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 10:13:40 AM EST

just as soon as he witnesses or experiences some atrocity he will sober right up. People don't take the world seriously until it comes crashing down around them once or twice.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Re: Don't worry... (none / 1) (#173)
by Mojo JoJo on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 11:18:30 AM EST

Of course you could "accidently" put a small batch file containing "fdisk c: /y" in his startup. to speed the process along a little bit.


____

SkyNet told me to tell you that Google is watching you. - CheeseburgerBrown


[ Parent ]
Other options (3.00 / 2) (#147)
by nsayer on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 10:55:00 AM EST

Fortunately for the Internet, my mom has a Mac behind a hardware NAT/firewall.

Fortunately for her, she has a cable modem.

Fortunately for me, I installed VNC on her Mac. I may be forced to do tech support, but VNC over SSH means I can show rather than tell.



My mom rocks (none / 1) (#152)
by X-Nc on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 12:25:49 PM EST

She's running Axentra (formerly OEone) HomeBase Linux on her computer with a Cable connection to the 'Net that's behind a firewall. See this article for some background.

--
Aaahhhh!!!! My K5 subscription expired. Now I can't spell anymore.
Write -in: My mom uses a 1998 iMac (2.66 / 3) (#153)
by nlscb on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 12:30:56 PM EST

Yes, it's not as cool, sophisticated, useful, powerful, open source, or whatever as Linux, but it is a hell of a lot friendlier to the computer clueless and less breakable than a Wintel.

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange

"Wintel" har har. (none / 1) (#174)
by kitten on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 02:52:28 PM EST

Give me a break.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Huh? (none / 0) (#185)
by nlscb on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 07:34:54 PM EST

You never heard the term before? I wasn't using it as a joke.

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange
[ Parent ]

Of course I've heard it before. (none / 1) (#186)
by kitten on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 07:38:43 PM EST

It was stupid the first time and it's stupid now. Urban Dictionary sucks and the first definition provided proves how ridiculous the term "Wintel" is, especially considering how many Windows machines use processors that aren't Intel. My Athlon, for example. Just say "Windows".

"Wintel" is like "virii" or "boxen". Inane.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Alright, in your humble opinion (none / 0) (#187)
by nlscb on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 08:18:36 PM EST

WTF should I use as shorthand for a personal computer using x86 based processor running an GUI operating system designed and sold by the Micorosoft corporation?

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange
[ Parent ]

"Windows box" (none / 1) (#189)
by kitten on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 01:18:32 PM EST

Or "Windows machine" or something. Unless there's a reason to think otherwise it's assumed you're talking about your standard issue x86 machine running Windows. It can be infered from context.

Would you say "Motorapple" or "Macarola" to indicate a machine running Motorola chips and a GUI system produced by Apple? No?

How about "Lintel" for any standard desktop PC that happens to be running Linux? Sounds stupid, doesn't it?

I think I've made my poiot.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
yo, yo, yo, 1 - 2, 1 and a 2, check *ahem* (none / 1) (#197)
by Nigga on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 11:16:20 PM EST

That's my heeb kitten makin his bet clear
Makin a WAP like his name was Netgear
Just not as in Wireless Access
But Wintel's Atrocious, now confess
That you've been had by this radical magical
Debate that'll have you on a sabatical
To try to understand why you're such a damn fool
Using jargon not cause it's useful but to sound cool

word is born, this is Nigga, and I'm out...

peace

--------
The fuck happened to Nigga?
[ Parent ]

ISP responsibility. (none / 2) (#154)
by paxman on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 12:44:15 PM EST

Since a large volume of spam originates from client machines whose DSL/cable connection is plugged directly into the machine with no firewall or understanding thereof, the ISP must bear some degree of responsibility. To that end, many of the larger US providers have taken steps to address this problem by instituting limits for out bound traffic on port 25. For this they should be applauded. However, as this article points out, they may want to take greater steps to educate "mom". For example tell mom to turn her computer off when not in use. Tell mom not to let her children with P2P propensities use her machine. Tell mom to get a router. Tell mom about spam and spyware. Tell mom about virus software. Perhaps they may want to go so far as to mandate the existance of a firewall. Furthermore, the manufacturers of the firewall devices ought to the implement the recently proposed reverse firewall to filter / block port 25 over certain levels of traffic. Lastly, there ought to be a far greater effort to punish the perveyors of spam/viruses instead of always balming the victim. Find and eliminate the companies for whom the spam advertises.

Nope (none / 0) (#156)
by pfactor on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 01:26:20 PM EST

That's like blaming the phone company for telemarketers.

[ Parent ]
Pay-for-use? (none / 0) (#159)
by Entropius on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 02:06:41 PM EST

I know it's an unpopular opinion, but I wish American ISP's had some sort of charge-by-the-gig policy. It'd bring down prices for those of us who don't inhale porn off Kazaa (let the guy sucking down 40GB a month pay for it!), and would provide some impetus for people to stop their machines from spewing spam/viruses. How will they do that, if they don't know how? The market will find a way (hardware firewalls, people selling advice to Mom on security, Linux use, whatever) if there's an economic hit for people who spew.

[ Parent ]
except... (none / 0) (#165)
by paxman on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 03:46:44 PM EST

There would be steps taken immediately if the wares hocked by telemarketers were fraudulent, as is the case with the vast majority of spam. In accordance with the CAN-SPAM act of last year, falisfying origins is illegal, which is the case with the majority of spam, therefore there is grounds to take steps to halt it. The ISPs have the means to severely curtail spam, therefore, as good netizens, they ought to, and in fact many of them are. Its the matter of coding a simple loop and counter for volume of traffic over a TCP port. ASTA, an alliance between some of the major ISP, AOL, Comcast, et al, have released a proposal to do just that. I say it is about time.

[ Parent ]
My mom uses VMS. (2.66 / 3) (#157)
by awgsilyari on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 01:48:14 PM EST

No, not kidding.

I'd say her knowledge of Windows is about on-par with mine (i.e., not very much) but it's still enough to accomplish useful stuff, like setting Windows Update to run automatically, and walking my brother through virus removal over the phone.

I refuse to help with Windows problems within the family, and they know this. I actually wouldn't mind helping if I knew what the fuck I was doing. It's giving some message about a missing DLL? Fuck if I know, man. But give me a hosed Linux system and I'll get that fucker running pronto.

My mom yearns for the old days running jobs on the VMS mainframes. "Computing was more obscure but simpler" she says.

I think it's time to switch her to Linux soon. I've been assessing what she actually does with the laptop and it's nothing Linux couldn't give her.

--------
Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com

My mom... (none / 2) (#158)
by Entropius on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 01:59:42 PM EST

...uses Mandrake 10. She'd been on Win98SE, but got sick of random bullshit and came to me: "I'm sick of this. Put Linux on my machine."

So I did, and she's been pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to do things.

My Mom uses Debian (none / 1) (#172)
by Lynoure on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 10:08:42 AM EST

My Mom uses Debian. She has still many things to learn (though she is not clueless), so her geeky daughter does all of the updating and configuring of Mom's cute little Linux computer.

My mom is using FreeBSD (none / 1) (#178)
by tld on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 10:22:20 AM EST

She bought a used computer, and I offered my help in getting it up and running.

I figured I could go two ways.  I could put windows on it, and have her deal easier with new things, like software her friends recommend etc, or

I could put FreeBSD on it, and manage it for her.

I figured in the end, me setting it up as a managed machine for her, with FreeBSD, would save us both a lot of grief in the future.

So I set up a nice installation with the following:

 * FreeBSD 5-CURRENT (to save me the hassle of a 4->5 upgrade in the future)
 * KDE
 * Firefox
 * Evolution
 * OpenOffice

Most of the software behaved as she would expect from windows, and the few support requests I've had so far are with questions she'd have had if running a similar windows setup.

In addition, this setup will allow me to remotely log in, so I can set up a webproxy and similar software should I find the time.


The Issue Is Well Known Yet MS Continues To Ignore (none / 1) (#179)
by EXTomar on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 11:57:30 AM EST

The problem is two fold: clunky permissions and a clunky framework that depends on them.

Trying to explain permissions to your mom is another "watch her eyes glaze over" event. ACLs and systems and file systems that all integrate together to form a tight secure system are great for the entireprise but lowsy for mom. Even with perfectly set permissions on files and resources, Mom can't understand how to continue to do this because remember the security credo: security is a process. She'll either not care or not understand why a file in one place must have permissions set one way and another in another place. Unless she was a computer security expert to begin with.

This brings me to the second point which is that the framework is clunky and is tied to the permission system. Mom can't understand how to set things correctly and when they are you can't get anything useful done from a user standpoint without heavy "sideways" interaction. Its the main reason why Mom must be administrator even though she frankly isn't savy or willing enough to take on the responsibility. The only thing she cares about is it is such a pain to install and use that 3D House Designer program she picked up for $9.99 at the tech store. And its constantly flashing scary dialogs about not having "sufficient pervilages" when she clicks those banner ads promising the fastest eBay searchs.

MS has built and billed Windows as easy to use as a VCR or other household appliances. The problem is that a computer is very much more complex than a VCR could ever be. Windows XP is designed to be a general computing platform not a toaster. As long as MS continues to treat the home computer as a toaster this disaster will continue to happen.

Ironically, people say Linux and BSD aren't ready for home/desktop use to which I point out to these people neither is Windows XP and events like this. Although they are savy and run a tight ship at home their mothers are treating the thing like a microwave and causing problems. How is Windows XP ready for the home/desktop again?



Internet access a privilege? (none / 0) (#199)
by Pkchukiss on Sat Sep 04, 2004 at 01:57:34 AM EST

Here in Singapore, we consider driving to be a privilege, and not a right. This means that if you violate any laws, or cause inconvenience to others, you will lose your right to drive.

Perhaps we could apply the same restrictions towards internet access, to mandate more responsible computer usage. Of course, such a direction certainly requires international cooperation to pull off, not to mention the amount of policing the ISP would have to do.

________________
Ignorant no more
My blog

Mom brought Google to its knees | 199 comments (145 topical, 54 editorial, 0 hidden)
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