Wednesday, November 4, 2009

When your antivirus nags you worse than your mother: the power of bloatware

If you're looking to rub salt into that wound we call life, few things can top the mighty blue screen of death followed by the severe ticking off that comes from allowing thy computer to be shut down in an improper fashion.

But if there's one thing that comes close, it's got to be Antivirus software. Few other inventions succeed in reducing a squillion-gigahertz processor to the power of a ZX Spectrum. And on the scale of severe tickings off, little can beat the scolding that I received today from the antivirus I had trustily installed not four score and ten days ago.

- "For the last 90 days thou hast willingly deterred from scanning thy device for evil malware," quoth ye antivirus.
- "Evil what?", quoth I.
- "You know-- bad stuff like cookies and worms and shit.".
- "But isn't that your job?"

Alas, my assumptions regarding the autonomy of the antivirus software had proven false. Despite years of research into artificial intelligence and the inordinate number of clock cycles that said software consumed, it would transpire that scanning for evil malware was a task upon which it preferred not to take the initiative.

Thanks be to pointless bloatware.

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