Weasel Words…

The conservatives seem to have exited, stage…well, I don’t know where they went but they’re gone for now. Truthfully? It has been peaceful but rather boring. I guess Zuckerberg was on to something in promoting “debate” between fact and fiction.

I think they’ll be back though, frothing, amped up on alternative facts, and ready to fight. I’m ready, too. In the meantime, though, I’m enjoying the respite…

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The Loser’s lawyers keep walking into courts and saying the election was rigged. The “evidence” they present? ‘We don’t like the results.’ The remedy they seek? ‘Let’s just not count votes for Biden!’ Sure, it’s clever. Wily, even. Unfortunately (for them), it’s not democracy. We’re going to go ahead and count the votes.

One guy gave 2.5 MILLION dollars to help fight democracy. Too late, he realized he’s been duped and wants his money back. I’m guessing he’s not going to get it. I hope he doesn’t, a fool and his money being as they are. The fine print of these campaigns made clear that they were going to redirect money from the legal effort for various reasons.

It’s an expensive lesson but I guess he just got 2.5 million reasons to learn to pay more attention to actual facts and less attention to “alternative facts” (aka, “bullshit…”)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The internet seems like it’s been infecting our lives forever, now, but that isn’t really true. I’m older than the internet and I remember the early, wild-and-woolly days when the world wide web went public. One of the most prominent features of the day? Easy, albeit slow, access to porn. No, that’s a different column. The prominent feature I’m interested in here is computer viruses. (Ah, porn and viruses. They just go together, don’t they?) Viruses were EVERYWHERE. Rampant, even.

It isn’t that people weren’t trying. Many people knew they should have virus protection. Most didn’t realize anti-virus software has to be maintained. Some would try freeware. Some would buy something but not maintain it. Many just took their chances. The result? A pandemic of computer viruses. At some point, viruses were SO ubiquitous, people started to become wary about hooking up the old modem. Internet service providers (ISP’s) came to the conclusion that they had to take charge in the anti-virus department or the web might just become too dangerous a place to risk for most people and it might never take off…

Every decent ISP began including anti-virus software as part of their service. Even at that, viruses kept coming – although the new practice managed to “flatten the curve,” as the saying goes. It became clear that ISP’s were going to be on the hook for this if they wanted to reduce computer viruses. I believe every decent ISP will continue to include antivirus software as part of their service for their own good, let alone the good of their customers.

But are you a Comcast internet customer? Have you been using the anti-virus software they provide – I’m sorry, “once provided” – from Norton as part of their service? Well, then you need to know, Comcast is going to eliminate that portion of their service on January 1, 2021. And no, there will NOT be a commensurate drop in cost just because there’s a measurable drop in service quality.

Let us assume that both Symantec (Norton’s parent company) and Comcast are just greedy corporations trying to squeeze out as much as possible while doing as little as possible. (EVERY corporation wishes it could have the ‘give-us-your-money-for-nothing’ model but religion sewed that up generations ago. Now, everyone else has to do something…)

Now, Symantec’s lifeblood is virus protection. If they don’t do a good job, they’re gone. Comcast? Not so much. Symantec is financially motivated to protect against viruses. Comcast? Why would they care? Between the two, who do you think will do the best job of virus protection, the company whose job it is or the company that just cut off your virus protection?

In fairness, Comcast is claiming they have some protections built into their system but then, they claim they offer Gigabyte speeds that never get anywhere NEAR a Gigabyte. You should expect their “protection” to be just as weaselly. Even their own description of their system protection makes clear how vulnerable the entire network is going to be.

IF you use their gateway ($15.00/mo, thank you very much) and IF you never connect your device to any non-Comcast system, you might be safe. (You won’t be.) Comcast is shedding responsibility in order to cut costs, yes? Do you think they’re going to take on the cost of maintaining virus definitions or staying current against malware? How are they going to protect your end-user equipment if their already inadequate protection stops at their gateway?

No, if you’re a Comcast victim…er…customer, you now have to buy and maintain your own antivirus software. Since past behavior is a solid predictor of future behavior, I’m guessing people won’t – for a wide variety of reasons.

The best answer is to find a different ISP, one that still provides anti-virus protection. Just dropping Comcast altogether would register appropriate disapproval. But Comcast is, effectively, a monopoly. They know not everybody can do that. For example, I have limited options where I live so I’ll have to stay with Comcast internet. But now Comcast has hit me with an unexpected cost. MY plan is to get the money to pay for robust virus protection from Comcast – by dropping everything else.

I’ve been in the process of cutting the cord for sometime now, anyway. As it happens, Comcast television is little more than a convenience. I can watch pretty much whatever I want to watch outside of the Comcast system. It just not quite as neatly organized. As it happens, I don’t WANT to pay nearly $300.00 a month for a bit of organization. So I’ve been cutting back. Now, I’ll cut back the rest – except for internet service.

The change will minimize what comes out of my pocket in response to Comcast’s choice. More importantly, it will minimize what goes INTO Comcast’s pocket – and reducing their revenues is really the only language they’ll understand…

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