Sunday, September 23, 2007

Security Software reviews

I run a list on Yahoo, and occasionally I will get a question on the very subject of all of these websites online that recommend Security software or not.  They ask time, and again on how do you know if their review on the software is a good one?
There are no clear cut rules on whom can place these reviews online.  You only need a computer, and a small bit of love or hate for the software.
OH Wait!
Um this means anyone can place their reviews for a product online.  Including the ones selling the product, or advertising it.  Even a rival! So regardless if you have a motive or not, you can pretty much say what you want about the product because in doing so may get you nice rewards, like a check every month. 
So check out the website first before taking their word for it.  See if they are offering the product, or advertising the product.  They may advertise on that page, or they may advertise on a page  not even related to the software.  Be sure they have their customers in good mind, and not their wallets.   
You need to watch other websites too that are only online to bash products.  These website tend to all have one thing in common, and that is, none of their reviews are good ones.  They may bash in order to get you to purchase a rival product.  Or they may just have a hatred for the product.
A well rounded review website shows no biased reports.  They don't limit their reviews in any way.  So say you did post a bad review, no one working on the website would remove your review just because it was a bad review.  The same goes, if you had of given it a good review.  Some don't want good reviews, they just want as much dirt as they can find on the software, they could care less if you like the product.  However you could get your post removed regardless if the review is good or not simply because of the language you used.
The same goes for a website that has a team of people that do nothing but review software.  They will have good reviews, and bad reviews. 
But, the BBB will tell me if the product is a good one or not?
The BBB will only give you reports for the business.  The larger the company, the less chance of you even finding a report on the company.  The smaller the company the better chance they are not even listed on the BBB.  The BBB does not have advice on the product itself.  Yes they may (or might) have info on the transactions for the product.  So it is still a good idea to visit them, and see if they have a listing for that website.
Your security software is one of the most precious of softwares you have on your computer.  Be sure you check around at several places first.  It is also best to do a trial run of the software, before purchasing it.  Not all of your security software will run flawlessly on your computer. 
Last but not least...  If someone is advertising this type software as if you have spyware, adware, virus, or worm on your computer, then just use the esc key to leave that website (located in the upper left hand corner of your keyboard)  and use your own search methods to find out if you do have a problem with your computer.  Don't let these websites use scare tactics to get you to download their software. Most have bad motives for using these scare tactics1 to get you to download their software.  The biggest motive is spyware, and viruses. The second biggest motive is to get you to purchase so they can make money off of you.  You never want to be scared into buying a product.  Never!
1 You need to use the esc key because some of these websites have their windows set up in a way that it doesn't matter what option you click the download still happens. Thus, you end up with the download regardless of what you click.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

(Slashdot and Digg links) Retailer Refuses Hardware Repair Due To Linux installed

manufacturing fault: the hinge to the display has started to crack the plastic casing. Repair was refused, because he has Gentoo Linux on the laptop, replacing the Windows Vista that was pre-installed. PC World said that installing Linux had voided the warranty and there is nothing they will do. The manager said that he has been told to refuse any repairs if the operating system has been changed.  Poster to /. (slashdot) will review comments for your advice.
This guy did nothing wrong, he only installed what most computer stores refuse too offer their customers.  PC World is one of the largest manufacturers of computers in the UK.  If they win this which I doubt, it will open the door up for other manufacturers, like in the USA to try the same stunt.  Many so far have offered advice on slashdot that range from postings like this tidbit posted by  h4rm0ny:
PC World might have a legitimate case in refusing software support for software they didn't supply, it is not legitimate for them to use this to support a different area of failure. Whilst car analogies are not useful for arguing on /., they can be useful in explaining things to a lawyer - it's like changing the car radio and then getting a problem with the exhaust. PC World have taken a look at that radio and said - "we don't support that radio, we can't fix your exhaust."
Now if you look at this and take it word by word it means is that any software you install on the OS could be reason for the manufacturer not to cover the warranty.  They just simply have to hate the software, etc.  They don't like Firefox... Too bad we wont fix your computer because you have Firefox on your computer. 
Yes it's a stupid reason, but I just wanted to point this out because it is well worth mentioning. 
As  Aenoxi pointed out on slashdot:
Section 14(2) of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 imposes a statutory implied warranty that goods sold in the course of a business are of 'satisfactory quality'. This expressly includes issues of durability. Section 6 of the Unfair Contract Terms Act states that when dealing with a consumer, liability arising from a breach of the s. 14 implied warranty cannot be excluded or restricted by reference to any contract term.
So to me this means that the contract that Tikka agreed to is void because the contract itself is unfair due to a warranty contract term.  It's unfair because the durability of the laptop was compromised due to a defect, and the warranty is refused due to a none hardware issue.  So Tikka should be able to get the warranty to cover the cost of fixing the laptop.  Using the OS as a excuse for not fixing the laptop is ludicrous. 
Go to Slashdot if you have good sound advice, or even if you happen to be a Attorney in the UK.  The poster needs help, and or advice.
This same story is on Digg also located here: