Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Bane of my Computer Life Existence

What’s with viruses? Is there really a virtue to their existence in the world? My flash drive got infected with a virus again (those OLA computers are really as diseased as seasoned prostitutes)! Nothing grave has come out of it in this instance but it’s still such an inconvenience. So take this blog as a rant by an ignorant layman rather than a well-researched discourse by someone knowledgeable on the subject. And, from this layman’s point of view, viruses are nothing but evil means to achieve evil ends devised by evil people.

Even if I really think about it, there seems to be no honorable reason for their existence. As far as I can tell, they are not helpful in any way. Their effect of slowing the computer down or, worse, ultimately leading to its crash do not seem to have any useful functions. So why do they thrive and why do people exert the effort to develop these viruses?

I guess, the root of this evil, as with all others, is money. When I looked at it on its face, the development of viruses didn’t seem to be lucrative. I mean, I couldn’t piece how the mere development of viruses could be translated into a business model, considering that it seemed to have no purposeful uses. But, on a deeper analysis, I realized that viruses may be used to weaken competitors of software manufacturers. Thus, these manufacturers could commission the development of viruses which specifically target its competitor’s software. Another way to make money out of it is for anti-virus software manufacturers to develop new viruses in order to force users to upgrade their systems and avail of the new protection offered by these anti-virus software. So anti-virus software manufacturers would pay to for new viruses in order to perpetuate the vicious cycle (this has all the hallmarks of a conspiracy theory, I know, but, hey, it’s possible). Also, I understand that these viruses may be used to obtain information from the computer users. Said information is, more often than not, valuable and this could also be another source of income for virus developers.

Another reason which I think would drive people to develop viruses is the self-satisfaction of having figured a way to infiltrate a system and the fame or, rather, infamy that comes with it. Just take that ILOVEYOU virus, for example. Instead of castigating the invasion caused by said virus, Filipinos could only be so proud that a fellow countryman developed a virus which was sophisticated enough to even infiltrate the systems of the Pentagon.

A last reason I’ve thought of is that these virus developers really just want to annoy people. Just like Vote For The Worst exists for the sole function of destabilizing American Idol for no apparent reason, these virus developers do so just because it’s fun to annoy others.

The above discussion just tries to explain why I feel that there is no good reason for having viruses around. If anyone understands it better, please help me do so. Does it have a pedagogical value? Does it offer an independent use I’m just not aware of? In any case, they’re here whether we like it or not. And, just like the common cold or the flu, one should just have the computer of equivalent of having lots of Vitamin C and drinking lots of fluids in order to deal with them. Let’s just hope it never get as bad as that Ebola Virus on "Outbreak".

Aldous Benjamin Camiso, Blog Entry #5.

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