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Interview: Ask John McAfee What You Will

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the straight-from-the-source dept.

News 194

John McAfee was best known as a software designer and founder of the computer anti-virus company McAfee Associates until his saga in Belize began. McAfee's works on producing natural antibiotics commercially in Belize was quickly overshadowed by police raids, murder allegations, and a month of evading Belizean authorities while maintaining his innocence. He was eventually captured and deported back to the United States in December 2012 without being charged with any crime. "Boston George" Jung (a man who has lived quite an unusual life himself) has been tapped to write McAfee's biography titled, No Domain. Now that things have mostly settled down, John has agreed to answer your questions. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one per post.

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194 comments

why run (5, Interesting)

fazey (2806709) | about a year ago | (#43611375)

Why did you run if you had nothing to hide?

Re:why run (4, Interesting)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#43612001)

Where is Sam? I understand that she risked a lot, and can be credited largely with saving your life. What happened to her when you surrendered to authorities, and what are the current efforts being made to secure her safety? What are the prospects for allowing her legal immigration status to the United States? When is she in her own reality series on cable?

Re:why run (0)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43612305)

Why did you run if you had nothing to hide?

Aaww, he must think that governments never go on witch hunts!

Such naïveté would be funny, if it weren't so dangerous.

What Happened with Vice.com? (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year ago | (#43611385)

While you were moving around, Vice.com got to spend time with you [vice.com] . If memory serves me, it was later revealed that the image they uploaded with you had GPS data that you then claimed to be spoofed. Coincidentally the news styled documentary they were going to do with you never seemed to surface ... now that things have died down can you give more context to that whole situation?

anti-vir tactics (-1, Troll)

fazey (2806709) | about a year ago | (#43611391)

Does McAfee practice writing/releasing malicious code to be the first to detect it with their own Anti-Virus like Symantec does(regardless of whether they deny it or not, we know it happens)?

Re:anti-vir tactics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611789)

cite plz.

How can you even move with your giant balls? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611417)

Reading about your exploits, it is clear that you have giant, swinging balls.

How were you able to evade the police while dragging around those giant, bean-bag sized balls?

McAfee Antivirus (5, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43611421)

Doesn't it bother you that your name is being used to peddle one of the worst anti-virus products on the market? Often it comes pre-installed on computers as a 30 day trial (crapware), with dire warnings flashed up in the event that the user fails to pay (scareware). The performance hit it brings is huge. Would you advise anyone else to name their product/company after themselves in this way?

Re:McAfee Antivirus (2)

captbob2002 (411323) | about a year ago | (#43611785)

it may be a resource hog and really slow a machine down, but at least it misses most viruses and malware.

Was so thrilled when our campus IT folks finally dumped McAfee.

Re:McAfee Antivirus (1, Interesting)

Twinbee (767046) | about a year ago | (#43611995)

Personally, I'd rather have a real virus than install McAfee, but download.com and softpedia.com's users rate their stuff at 3 or 4 out of 5. Beats me, but could be the placebo effect, or maybe it's better than many of us think (not that that's saying much) ?

Re:McAfee Antivirus (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about a year ago | (#43612075)

I really don't have anything to add, but I would love to see the answer to this question.
Although next time don't sugar coat your description of that piece of unmitigated shit.

Re:McAfee Antivirus (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#43612119)

Also the infection vector is just a little bit less bad than common malware. You have to be extra hawkeyed to spot all the checkboxes it might lurk beneath. It ranks just there with browser toolbars and monkey punchers.

What would you do differently? (4, Interesting)

oic0 (1864384) | about a year ago | (#43611427)

If you had to relive the whole debacle, what would you do differently the second time around.

Re:What would you do differently? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611619)

Probably more bath salts up the ass.

Natural Antibotics (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611437)

How far along were the natural antibotics? were they still in animal testing or had they reached human testing?

The GSU Raid and the Unnamed Politician (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year ago | (#43611449)

Almost exactly one year ago your dog was killed (my sympathies), your passport was confiscated and your house searched by a Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) while you lived in Belize [channel5belize.com] . Why not publicly name names and provide as much detailed evidence as possible to reveal this horrible corruption and abuse of something that is supposed to stop crime? Who was it that tried to extort political money from you? Is there anyway to verify?

Re:The GSU Raid and the Unnamed Politician (0)

jimbolauski (882977) | about a year ago | (#43612673)

You should never talk to the police or comment on an ongoing case, there is no benefit for doing so. Even when you are completely innocent you can still risk incriminating your self. Here is a link to a 40 minute video on why is it never in you benifit to talk to police.
Don't Talk to the police [youtube.com] .

Greatest threat average consumers face today (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611451)

What do you think is the greatest problem facing home computer users today? what (if anything) can they do about it?

Re:Greatest threat average consumers face today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612507)

Having to unclick the Ask Toolbar and Macafee anti-virus install box on every Java update.

God I hate removing those off of other people's computers. It seems impossible to teach users to unclick those boxes. :(

What better to do? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611461)

Isn't there something better you could have done with your life?

choice of stims (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611463)

What is your favourite stimulant research chemical and why?

Re:choice of stims (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611769)

what are your three favorite "stimulant research chemicals" and why?

What was the problem? (4, Interesting)

lazylion (101229) | about a year ago | (#43611473)

If I understand correctly, this whole episode began because a local politician visited you in your home and he had the expectation (for whatever reason) that you would pay him USD $30,000 as some kind of protection money for his campaign and your expectation was that politicians are supposed to work for people and not the other way around. Is this a reasonable characterization? If so, how do you think such a large missmatch in expectations came about? Do you think you were overly naive? Or is the political environment in Belize changing? I can easily believe that this might be the normal expected way that people do business down there based on other things I've heard, but I really have no idea. Now that you've had time to reflect, what would you say was responsible for the conflict in the first place?

I love the bacon section of your online store (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611489)

I love the bacon section of your online store

http://mcphee.com/shop/bacon.html

How can I avoid getting McAfee AV with Java? (0)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about a year ago | (#43611491)

Dear Mr. McAfee,

    How can I avoid getting that annoying McAfee AntiVirus trial in all my Java installs?

    (I kid. I kid.)

Sex with under aiged girls (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611501)

So are you a pedofile from american standards.

Re:Sex with under aiged girls (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612689)

Is a pedofile a tool for scraping the callouses off one's feet?

what's your favorite current drug? (5, Funny)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#43611503)

You've been quoted [duncantrussell.com] as partial to freebase MDPV:

I'm a huge fan of MDPV. Not the white hydrochloride - it's inconceivable that anyone on the planet would willingly put that into their bodies -- I'm talking the freebase form. I think many of you that don't bother to freebase it yourself have at least tasted the freebase version when it was widely available as "tan mdpv". I think it's the finest drug evere conceived, not just for the indescribable hypersexuality, but also for the smooth euphoria and mild comedown.

Do you still stick to this opinion? Are you sure it's the finest drug ever conceived? If you're unwavering in that view, what would you rank as the second or third drugs in the chemical hall of fame?

A/V part of the problem? (1, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43611515)

There are a lot of other ways to protect a system from malware than signature scanning. In fact, I would go as far as to say this technology is outmodded. With the considerable resources available to your company, why aren't you guys developing whitelists to validate executable code on a workstation and building a trusted computing platform so only executable code which has been verified can be executed?

Vendors such as Microsoft, Adobe, etc., do release many versions of their software, but these versions can all be verified, byte by byte, on the day of release. Malware, of course, has to be found first, and then a signature developed. As your target market is primarily corporate users, for which software doesn't get updated as often and is already audited and catalogued, why does your company continue to avoid embracing such technology?

Re:A/V part of the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611687)

Its not his company any more Einstein.

Re:A/V part of the problem? (1, Troll)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43612709)

Its not his company any more Einstein.

Tripwire was created in the 80s, when it was. And the company still has his name on the door... he's involved, even if he isn't the owner anymore, Einstein. But apparently, Slashdot wants to ask him potentially incriminating questions about his personal life instead of talking about the technology.

You guys should be ashamed to call yourselves nerds. This is crap for People magazine, not a tech news site.

Did you kill the guy? (3, Interesting)

fredrated (639554) | about a year ago | (#43611517)

Did you?

You really think the answer will not be "NO"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612591)

In what scenario would he answer "yes"?

Captcha: obvious

Why did you murder that guy? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611527)

Just curious.

It must be nice to be rich enough to pull that kind of shit with impunity. God bless the USA!

Bath Salts (4, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43611531)

Do you still believe in the wonders of the drugs known as "bath salts" which you wrote so many glowing reviews about?

Um, no (5, Insightful)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year ago | (#43611541)

I am not interested the least in what John McAfee has to say about anything, nor reading what will ultimately be spun into a John McAfee publicity puff piece by the Dice Masters.

Why George Jung? (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year ago | (#43611565)

"Boston George" Jung (a man who has lived quite an unusual life himself) has been tapped to write McAfee's biography titled, No Domain.

I don't get it. Jung is a convicted drug smuggler. You have had no such charges ever filed against you (to my knowledge) by the United States so, if nothing more than a publicity stunt, why did you pick him to write your biography? If you feel you are wrongly accused, I can understand why you would pick someone wrongly accused to write your biography -- they can relate. But George Jung was certainly a key part of Pablo Escobar's deadly and pervasive criminal organization. You are (again, to my knowledge) far from that so why bait the readers with that author as a link? I have had very little associations with you and illegal drug activity but now I think you view yourself as a modern George Jung, am I wrong in making this assumption?

Re:Why George Jung? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611947)

Jung is a convicted drug smuggler.

So? Why should that disqualify him? Prohibitionists are just as criminal, if not more so.

Did you learn your lesson? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611569)

Did you learn your lesson, that playing Breaking Bad's "Heisenberg" in real life doesn't work out so well?

Or, are you going to continue making drugs and playing with drug lords?

How about (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611633)

Asking him the latest slashtod poll, "How often do friends/family call you for tech support?"

Computer Security (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611643)

What are your thoughts on using a HOSTS file to help minimize your exposure to computer malware and protect your system? This seems to be a topic of HUGE debate here at SlashDot. Here's hoping an expert can chime in for once!

Thanks, and, Bob Bless

Re:Computer Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611921)

That's funny right there.

Re:Computer Security (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612387)

Will you shut up please before that annoying bastard shows up again?

Trololololol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611649)

Lolcow spotted, engage lulz extractors!

Madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611655)

Why you so crazy, dawg?

Can you help score me some LSD? (-1, Offtopic)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#43611661)

You seem to know something about drugs and I was wondering if you could hook me up with some LSD. I'm down to drop some with ya, because you sound like a very interesting person. I will not, however, take it rectally with you. I have to cross a line somewhere.

Re:Can you help score me some LSD? (1)

gravious (19912) | about a year ago | (#43611775)

Uh, don't you mean draw a line? Crossing that line is a whole other ball game if you'll allow me to wantonly mix metaphors. Other than that, you have my blessing, and I'll keep you in my prayers.

Are You Nerval's Lobster? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611693)

Nerval's Lobster is a master of disguise, craves constant attention and somehow manages to get lots of publicity through provocative madness. The only other comparable figure in the tech universe is John McAfee... so tell us... have you been moonlighting as Nerval's Lobster?

On Hezbollah, Zetas and MDPV (3, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year ago | (#43611709)

Ars Technica ran an inditing article [arstechnica.com] on your sanity in which you made statements on the virtues of MDPV (bath salts), having three informants in the Zeta Cartel and also informants in Nicaragua that had made contact with Hezbollah's camp. To put my question succinctly: what the hell, man? Where have your James "Psychonaut" Bond travels taken you to recently?

As a microbiologist... (5, Interesting)

acidfast7 (551610) | about a year ago | (#43611711)

I'm very interested in hearing about the natural antibiotics. Can you please describe some general background about how you became interested in the project and what happened to the project?

Re:As a microbiologist... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611959)

Aren't almost all antibiotics natural? Some are synthetically mass produced, but isn't the origin of almost all antibiotics natural?

Re:As a microbiologist... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612699)

I think "natural antibiotics" really means "recreational drugs". Language must be interpreted contextually.

CISPA and SOPA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611737)

What is your opinion regarding CISPA and SOPA.
Do you have any concerns regarding this legislation that you wish our lawmakers should know?

The whole Cat and Mouse Routine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611821)

Was that whole Cat and Mouse routine with authorities for cheap publicity? You came across as just a rich jackass.

what are the chances (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43611845)

I hate to be this direct to someone who was kind enough to answer the Slashdot questions, but this question is surely what everyone is thinking:

What are the chances the drugs and mushrooms have messed up your mind so much that now you can't distinguish reality from fantasy?

Re:what are the chances (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612275)

I hate to be this direct to someone who was kind enough to answer the Slashdot questions, but this question is surely what everyone is thinking:

What are the chances the drugs and mushrooms have messed up your mind so much that now you can't distinguish reality from fantasy?

I hate to direct this to someone who is ignorant enough to not see it, but what are the chances of you getting a straight fucking answer if this has already happened long ago...

McAfeeFS (5, Funny)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about a year ago | (#43611861)

Have you ever considered writing your own filesystem? If so what features would it have?

Re:McAfeeFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611903)

Trips Balls, Buries Itself in the Sand, Support for Girlfriends under 18 Years of Age, Expanded Hilarity Index.

That's a ReiserAble Comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612639)

What you did there. I saw it.

the best place in the world? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611911)

What's the best place to live, for a guy like you that wants to get high and fuck underage girls?

Re:the best place in the world? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612031)

Most of Europe.

What about tech? Another startup in Santa Clara? (1)

MrRayliu (997821) | about a year ago | (#43611935)

Macafee is such a powerful brand. Just marketing alone should worth millions if not billion. Do you visit the valley? Ray Liu King Star

IF you did it how will you of done it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611963)

IF you did it how will you of done it?

Would you do an AMA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612029)

On reddit.

What is your favorite Antivirus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612065)

Well .. if its McAfee then what is your next favorite anti-virus?

Don't you feel you should stand trial for murder? (1)

aarghj (783869) | about a year ago | (#43612073)

After shooting a neighbor with whom you had repeated documented disagreements, don't you think you should stand trial and be judged?

Will you seek treatment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612115)

Do you plan to seek treatment for your Histrionic Personality Disorder?

McAfee? Phthth, Not Interested (1)

Toad-san (64810) | about a year ago | (#43612197)

Back in The Day the name McAfee was significant and even important: the first (maybe, haven't looked it up) and certainly the most effective anti-virus product (and free!) when those sorts of problems first began.

Since then, he's just another rich guy who now has managed to get into serious trouble. Not interested, got problems of my own. Which don't involve being suspected of shooting my neighbor or evading local police, thanka verra much.

Your Opinions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612255)

Why should anyone care what they are?

Can anyone trust you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612317)

You have bragged about installing key loggers and other spyware to snoop on people. Why should anyone buy your product that is designed to prevent such security breaches?

Question for John McAffee (4, Interesting)

JustNiz (692889) | about a year ago | (#43612437)

How widespread is it for companies to actually be the creators of the virusses just to create fear/demand for their antivirus products? ( By creating a virus, I mean everything from naming of non-existent virusses right through to actually developing real virusses).

Oh good lord (1)

goodmanj (234846) | about a year ago | (#43612483)

Slashdot interviewing MacAfee? Somebody call the U.S. Strategic Paranoia Reserve, we're going to have to tap into it.

Sorry this happened to you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612487)

Wow, there are some mean posts in here.
First, I use McAfee virus protection products at home and at work and they are just fine ( and WAY better than Norton.)
Sorry about your troubles, where do you think it all began to go wrong? Maybe, too much success too fast?

I may be an AC but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612703)

I think I speak for all of us when I say WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK, SLASHDOT?

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