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Got Spyware? Throw out the Computer!

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the nonsensical dept.

Security 591

geeber writes "The New York Times (reg. required) has an article about a new response to spyware - throw out the computer and buy a new one. The notion is new computers can be had for $400 so it's a cost effective and 'rational response.'" From the article: "While no figures are available on the ranks of those jettisoning their PC's, the scourge of unwanted software is widely felt. This month the Pew group published a study in which 43 percent of the 2,001 adult Internet users polled said they had been confronted with spyware or adware, collectively known as malware. Forty-eight percent said they had stopped visiting Web sites that might deposit unwanted programs on their PC's. Moreover, 68 percent said they had had computer trouble in the last year consistent with the problems caused by spyware or adware, though 60 percent of those were unsure of the problems' origins. Twenty percent of those who tried to fix the problem said it had not been solved; among those who spent money seeking a remedy, the average outlay was $129."

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Bit of a waste, surely? (4, Informative)

RichardX (457979) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082364)

Surely you could at least just reformat the harddrive?
Throwing out the whole PC seems a bit excessive..

Re:Bit of a waste, surely? (4, Funny)

ScytheBlade1 (772156) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082377)

No no, I'm okay with this.

Just as long as they give me their "old" computer.

:)

Re:Bit of a waste, surely? (2, Insightful)

HTL2001 (836298) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082396)

some people who don't know what the problem is, wont try this because they
1. don't know how
2. don't think it will fix it

either way, they pretty much know a new computer wont have those problems (at least to start)

Re:Bit of a waste, surely? (1, Insightful)

Freexe (717562) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082459)

The problem is that after you format and reinstall with your windows xp cd, by the time you have connected to windows update and downloaded the updates you'll have gotten re-infected.

The only way I can format these days is because I know how to disable the vulnerabilities before i connect online

Re:Bit of a waste, surely? (1)

VirexEye (572399) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082398)

Because mom and pop know how to reformat a hard drive, reinstall windows/drivers/software, and recover their data/settings because...?

Re:Bit of a waste, surely? (2, Insightful)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082525)

Because mom and pop know how to reformat a hard drive, reinstall windows/drivers/software, and recover their data/settings because...?

Isn't windows supposed to be real easy though? Isn't that why it's marketshare is so much higher than that of Linux?

Of course, as a previous poster said, I'm not going to argue with throwing them out. I'll even recycle the old machines for them because I'm such a nice guy.

Re:Bit of a waste, surely? (2, Funny)

Intelopment (554080) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082407)

But try to explain to my mom or sister how to reformat the hard drive. They are likely going to end up with an unbootable PC in the end. Hey wait a minute: Maybe we're on to something here....

Sssshhhh! (5, Funny)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082419)

Don't tell anybody! I'm counting on this new idea to cause a glut in the market of used PC's. I can pick them up real cheap for extra Linux boxen.

Re:Sssshhhh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13082466)

... I can pick them up real cheap for extra Linux boxen.

it's boxes

Re:Sssshhhh! (2, Funny)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082498)

Actually, even better, free used PCs sitting by the side of the road. Just cruise through rich neighborhoods on trash day :D

Re:Sssshhhh! (1)

nih (411096) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082516)

i was with you until you used the word 'boxen'
for this i will hunt you down, let this be a warning to all heretics using the word 'boxen'

fs you made me say it!

Re:Bit of a waste, surely? (1)

RMuffin (897130) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082424)

A waste, but. $150ish for XP now right? 400 -150 ------ $250 $250 for a new, stripped down computer, allthough, an hour with a screwdriver, you come out with a faster processor and all the CD drives and other stuff you take from the old computer.

Re:Bit of a waste, surely? (1)

jusdisgi (617863) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082489)

...allthough, an hour with a screwdriver, you come out with a faster processor and all the CD drives and other stuff you take from the old computer.

An hour? Damn, man...you must have a slow screwdriver...or a lot of CD drives.

What does that make the Windows TCO? (1)

team99parody (880782) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082436)

I'd love to see this recommendation factored into Microsoft's get-the-facts pricing for the TCO of windows.
  • Average lifespan of a windows computer - 4 minutes [usatoday.com]
  • Average lifespan of a BSD computer 10 years.

Which do you think has a better TCO.

At $400/minute, I think even BillG would consider windows expensive.

Re:What does that make the Windows TCO? (5, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082483)

Average lifespan of a windows computer - 4 minutes
Average lifespan of a BSD computer 10 years.


So the choice is between a computer that turns into a zombie in 4 minutes, or a one that keeps on dying for 10 years is it? :-)

Re:What does that make the Windows TCO? (1)

chucks86 (799149) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082494)

$400/4min = $100/min

Re:Bit of a waste, surely? (1)

op51n (544058) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082444)

I'm amazed how many people seem incapable of reformatting and reinstalling Windows. People are bringing computers to me at work all the time asking for virii or, more often, spyware to be sorted out. Takes me about an hour while doing other things and I tend to get paid for it.

Re:Bit of a waste, surely? (2, Insightful)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082451)

Surely you could at least just reformat the harddrive? Throwing out the whole PC seems a bit excessive.

In fact, for Average Joe it can be quite a good solution - provided that the replacement computer is a Mac instead of just another Wintel. Seriously, if you use Windows and you are just a person with no technical understanding of computers, spyware will inevitably return.

Tell that to the granny (1)

mnmn (145599) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082457)

The whole reason why they would throw out the computer is because the 'cost' of 'fixing' it is higher than the cost of a new one. Some computer repair places work like car mechanic joints. A basic diagnostic takes $25, plus whatever else they might do in addition to the $50 or so hourly labour rate. Depending on what they think the problem is and how much time it takes them to reinstall all the software, and fix the drivers, it might as well exceed the cost of a basic celeron ECS computer with 256MB ram and 40gig harddisk.

Of course a 'factory restore' CD will be far simpler if it didnt ask too many questions, and simply reimaged the partition.

Makes me think if a company can sell 'fix your computer' windows install CDs which will simply format and reinstall windows and come with the largest driver collection to avoid issues.

Also if a knoppix CD would just install itself onto the harddisk and boot the disk without questions ( to run much faster), that would solve the problem.

Re:Bit of a waste, surely? (1)

Cruithne (658153) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082490)

Definitely a waste, however this is hardly a new response.

It seems than anyone who does not know or have a resident computer-person to take care of these things for them just assumes their computer is getting on in years and needs to be replaced.

Re:Bit of a waste, surely? (2, Informative)

Cromac (610264) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082531)

It does sound excessive, but for people who can't fix it on their own it may make economic sense to. According to the summary "among those who spent money seeking a remedy, the average outlay was $129.". Frys was selling PC's without a monitor for $150 so for people who can't format the drive and reinstall themselves it is very nearly as cheap to buy a new PC as it is to pay someone else to fix it.

Reformat? (1, Redundant)

pmazer (813537) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082366)

Why don't they reformat rather than buy a new PC? It does the same thing and costs much, much less..

Re:Reformat? (1)

FusionDragon2099 (799857) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082391)

Because people don't want to lose all the data they've collected and most of them are too lazy to make backups, so they'll stick with what they have.

Re:Reformat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13082417)

have you ever tried to explain to a novice how to format and then how to re-install windows ? I have, it's a nightmare that I'd probably pay $400 to avoid.

Or perhaps I just help irritating people.
(yes, perhaps i'm also very dumb :) .. )

Re:Reformat? (3, Insightful)

Nogami_Saeko (466595) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082538)

Built a new windows box for my mom a couple weeks back (no linux griping, she needs applications that run under windows), and after everything was fully set-up and configured, I used a popular disk imaging program to create my own "emergency restore partition" on the drive.

So if it really tanks after a year or two, it's just a matter of rebooting and pressing a few keys before windows begins to load in order to completely recover the system. Of course if the HD crashes, we're back to square-one, but otherwise I figure it was a smart move...

N.

Re:Reformat? (2, Interesting)

October_30th (531777) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082439)

You want to explain the process of formatting the correct partition and re-installing windows+all drivers to an average user who thinks that the blue E-icon on the desktop is the internet?

Anyway, do brand computers like Dell even come with Windows installation CDs?

Re:Reformat? (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082461)

Most big-brand computers come with system restoration CDs, which reformat the drive and reimage it with Windows and all the OEM-installed software. They're usually fairly idiot-proof, so I don't know why someone would have to buy a new machine.

Re:Reformat? (1)

nkh (750837) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082537)

My first (and last) Microsoft/Dell computer I bought had a full version of Windows 98 on CD. I've seen Compaq computers without the CD but with a hidden partition full of Windows packages (maybe a Windows with some drivers...) and some testing/repair tools. These tools suck and are too generic to be usable. Of course if you erase this partition you're SOL.

kind of makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13082367)

If you are not very tech savvy, and if you have an older box, and you have to lug it to a pc repair type place, or hire someone to clean it up, it is probably cheaper to buy a new one. ( just give it to me) /fp?

it would make sense, but... (1)

kollivier (449524) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082505)

... in most cases the PCs we're talking about are not that old. Yeah, if you're running some old Win98 PC, this does make sense. But if you're running an XP machine that's reasonably fast, and just not updating it or not protecting yourself, replacing the machine is nothing but a temporary fix. I've seen people wipe their PCs clean only to find, 6 months later, their computers were in the very same position.

Replacing your computer might make Michael Dell happy, but it often isn't a solution; it just makes you feel better for a little bit. The reality is that in today's world, users need to either get with the program in terms of securing their computer, or buy a computer/OS that offers better security out of the box. (Mac or Linux)

But that's a bitter medicine to take, so people are trying to find ways around taking the medicine. Good luck to them. What I'd be interested in seeing is the follow up to this 1-2 years from now to see if this approach "worked" in the long term for them. I bet within two years they'll ditch their PCs or move to something else out of pure frustration.

Stupid recommendation (4, Insightful)

jleq (766550) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082375)

Yeah... then your $400 new computer is going to get infected, are you going to throw it out and buy yet another? Average Joes don't want to run Linux, because their programs won't run on it (if they even know about Linux in the first place, chances are, they don't). Mac Minis don't count, because they're over $400. Hence, whoever wrote TFA could use an extra helping of logic.

Re:Stupid recommendation (2, Insightful)

jleq (766550) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082418)

I'd also like to point out: shouldn't a PhD be able to keep spyware off of his computer in the first place? I don't have a problem on mine, thanks to the use of Mozilla Firefox. Hell, I don't have a problem at work either with the combination of IE + Microsoft AntiSpyware.

Re:Stupid recommendation (1)

erlenic (95003) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082495)

Only if their PhD is in keeping spyware off their computer in the first place. Every PhD I've met was absolutely retarded when doing ANYTHING outside of their field.

Re:Stupid recommendation (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082549)

his field is computer science.

Re:Stupid recommendation (5, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082443)

Yeah... then your $400 new computer is going to get infected, are you going to throw it out and buy yet another?

It does get your 20 minutes [theregister.co.uk] per PC though.

My suggestion is: buy 24 $400 computers and switch every 20 minutes. That way, you can get a solid 8 hour day of work. When you're done, return them to the place you got them from and ask replacements, so you're good to go for another day :-)

NYT delusional again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13082493)

$400 for a new PC just to get rid of spyware?!?

And I thought the NYT just lived in a parallel world when it came to Republicans and the war in Iraq.

New York Times: All the News that is Fit ZFor Democrats

Re:Stupid recommendation (1)

deft (253558) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082502)

"Average Joes don't want to run Linux, because their programs won't run on it"

While you're pretty damn right, you know you can get hung around here talking like that?

You need to badmouth SCO or something.... balance man, balance.

Brilliant!!!! (1)

instantkarma1 (234104) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082380)

Of course! Genius! Throw out the computer!

Rinse, lather and repeat as soon as the new computer is infected.

Intel/Dell/etc must love this advice.

Re:Brilliant!!!! (1)

DarthVeda (569302) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082431)

Or just pay $50 to the neighborhood kid to install the appropirate antispyware programs and sit down with you to show you how to use them.

Re:Brilliant!!!! (1)

erlenic (95003) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082524)

Then pay the same kid more money to remove spyware a month later when you forget how to use the anti-spyware program.

I knew it (4, Funny)

VikingDBA (446387) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082383)

I knew the hardware companies were installing windows for a reason, repeat sales.

And remember... (5, Informative)

pwnage (856708) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082384)

...that once you throw out that old PC, remember to replace it with a Macintosh. Problem solved.

No way (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13082447)

I did it - and what I got? Where's my Minesweeper?!

Rational? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13082385)

How's replacing the computer more rational than reinstalling the OS? Sure, it'll take a bit of time, but so will buying a new PC. A lot cheaper than $400, too...

Ford goes on. (1, Funny)

jZnat (793348) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082389)

While you're at it, if you ever have car problems, just chuck the damn thing and buy a new one! Cars are so cheap nowadays, it's more cost-efficient to buy a new car than to fix your current one, what with car virii and over-priced, shitty mechanics and whatnot.

Bill and Intel need more cash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13082394)

Please buy another computer, or else I can't meet my self-imposed deadline to buy a couple of countries by 2007.

Love,

Bill

Tiger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13082397)

$129 == the retail price for Tiger...

Re:Tiger (1)

Mantus (65568) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082533)

$129 is the upgrade price for Tiger. Don't believe me? Try installing it on a computer that didn't come with some version of MacOS to begin with. Whereas for that same $129 you can buy an full install (OEM) of Windows XP Pro (~80-90 for Home edition).

Re:Tiger (1)

erlenic (95003) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082542)

Thanks a lot. I went out and bought it, but it doesn't want to install on my Dell. I can't even get the stupid cd to boot. Now I'm out 130 bucks because the store won't take a return.

Bill says "thanks" (5, Insightful)

mistersooreams (811324) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082400)

Of course, when you throw out the PC, you then have to purchase a new copy of the operating system. In 99% of cases this is Windows. So you reduce the incentive for Microsoft to fix the spyware problem; in fact, you reward them for not fixing it! Quite brilliant! In fairness to Microsoft, Windows now does have a pretty good resistance to spyware, IF you run as user. The problem is that most people don't know what this means, how to do it, or anything of the sort. Education is the only solution. Note that I declined to make a "??? PROFIT!" joke in this post.

Re:Bill says "thanks" (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082523)

In fairness to Microsoft, Windows now does have a pretty good resistance to spyware, IF you run as user. The problem is that most people don't know what this means, how to do it, or anything of the sort.

Those that know, don't need to, and those that do, shouldn't even if they wanted to. I run as admin all the time, because it is simply much much easier. Running as a normal user is annoying at best due to all the stupid Windows software. A typical example (Win2k):

User:
1. Log out, log in as admin
2. Install as admin
3. Log back in as user
4. ???
5. Manually create shortcuts, menu folders, menu items, quicklaunch item and such for user.

Admin:
1. Install as admin

It's amazing how many programs that still haven't clued in that installing account is not always identical to user account. That is not counting every other stupid problem, like some programs requiring admin rights to run or other stupidity.

Kjella

Re:Bill says "thanks" (2, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082550)

No, the problem is that Windows is still so braindead that it defaults to administrator instead, and lots of Windows software is so braindead that it requires an administrator to install and run.

If it were the user's problem, then Mac OS would suffer it also -- but it doesn't.

real cost (0, Redundant)

wannasleep (668379) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082401)

what about the time spent reinstalling everything, saving your stuff and then restoring it, etc?

$400 for hardware... (1)

jxyama (821091) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082402)

...add a bit more for adware/anti-virus software, or you will be "needing to" buy another (if you threw out a computer every time it got infected)?

Geez... (1)

Mister Yoan (880832) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082403)

format C:
or they can give me their old PCs and indeed buy a new one-- I need some server boxes anyway.

Obviously rolling in cash (1)

Xerxus (899945) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082404)

They can afford 400 dollars every time they get a spyware? That's like 1200 dollars a day!

Perfect (4, Insightful)

platypus (18156) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082405)

Lazy/stupid people driving the IT economy ...

Re:Perfect (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082450)

As long as it keeps me employed...

Re:Perfect (1)

LewsTherinKinslayer (817418) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082497)

Lazy/stupid people driving the IT economy ...

Consumers and Managers find common ground.

Flawed conclusion based on ignorance (0)

gunpowda (825571) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082406)

Add personal computers to the list of throwaways in the disposable society.

That's an excessively wasteful attitude to take. There are several far cheaper, even free [mozilla.org] , methods of ensuring spyware doesn't end up your machine. It's mostly safe browsing and common sense in how you manage files sent to you by e-mail and instant messenger. Beyond safe browing and caution, all you need is a good anti-virus program and a firewall - and all of these measures are far cheaper to implement than spending "$400 on a new machine."

To serve this worthy cause (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13082408)

I am opening up a dumpster in every city exclusively for people who want to discard spyware infected computers. Whats more the service is free!

Credits (1)

Infinityis (807294) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082409)

This article has been provided to you courtesty of Dell, Apple, and HP

People are morons (2, Insightful)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082411)

Still crawling to use a computer. Computers will soon look like fucking game consoles or TVs... people juste aren't into customization and advanced features. Sad but true. Technology has advanced to a point where average human intelligence begins to fail to keep up. -- moded -1 for despise ?

First hand experience (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13082412)

Cousin did the exact same thing.
Dumped an old computer and bought a $1800 one with a LCD screen. Blamed it on the 'oldness' I guess. Couple weeks later, still have to return it to the manufacturer to get it fixed.

One solution (2, Informative)

M3rk1n_Muffl3y (833866) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082414)

Stop using IE and switch to Firefox.

... and buy a Mac (1)

lazarus (2879) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082416)

If you're going to throw it out, why not make the switch. You've got two problems on your hands the minute you bring that new PC home from BestBuy. Windows, and Internet Explorer. Get rid of them both and use OS X and either Safari or Firefox.

And have a compromised new computer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13082422)

Then, before you can download the service packs for the new machine, it will be compromised (12 minutes on the net now?)

So, I believe the correct solution is to buy a new machine every 12 minutes. Genius I tell you!

article is a troll in itself!? RESTORE DISC ! duh! (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13082429)

Oh come on, do you write press releases too?

Who throws out a $400 newish computer?
Every decent computer these days has a "restore disc" which essentially reformat the PC.

So why would someone "throw it out"?!

Throw out $400 PC vs Keep $500 MacMini (4, Insightful)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082430)

So, you can throw out a crappy PC and buy a new one for $400 every year, OR you can buy a MacMini for $500, and use it for at least three years.

And frankly, if you're spending $400 on a PC, the GPU is not going to be able to run many cutting-edge games anyway. So it's hard to see what a MacMini couldn't do for the average home user that a $400 POS Wintel box could...

Re:Throw out $400 PC vs Keep $500 MacMini (1)

sn0wflake (592745) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082535)

Well, you couldn't run cutting edge games on a Mac.

Does that include... (1)

Daedalus-Ubergeek (600951) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082432)

the spyware that might already be included on the new computer? After all, Dell tech support isn't allowed to tell you how to remove it, right? Are there any other companies following this rule too?

$400 is not small change. (1)

the_demiurge (26115) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082434)

Mr. Tucker, an Internet industry executive who holds a Ph.D. in computer science, decided that rather than take the time to remove the offending software, he would spend $400 on a new machine. (emphasis added)

It seems to me like this guy probably got his PHD some time ago and is trying to reinstall with VMS and failing or he's really busy. If you're an executive, sure, you can afford a new computer every month when yours gets screwed up. But for normal folks, wouldn't it be easier to pay the kid down the block $50 to reinstall windows for you?

I think so. Of course, I was that kid.

Antibitrot (1, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082440)

I keep all my Windows installers archived in a respository, and repartition/reinstall periodically as an "end run" against viruses. I restore my data from backups. I wish config data, which can be infected (like the Registry) could be easily separated from "content data" - and I wish all my data were in a SQL database, so I could easily restore only the less-vulnerable content data, or at least review config data separately before restoring.

Linux could have an even better system than this. I'd like a list of my installed apps, with their data directories and configs. If possible, all in a SQL database, or at least all the pointers in such a database. So I could periodically repartition/reinstall/restore my apps and data, automatically, like in an overnight cronjob. Then my install could be that much safer from bitrot.

power (1)

kipsate (314423) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082452)

It is illegal to produce software that is targeted to spread illegal content. How come it is not illegal for companies to make software that damages my computer?

Of those that "didn't fix it" (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082455)

...how many continued their stupid practices, so they were instantly reinfected? I've seen people reinstall the exact same crapware after a clean-up, because that was stuff they "wanted". With that kind of model, your new machine will be infected instantly.

Besides, hardware is only a tiny fraction of it. Transferring all data, installing all programs and configuring everything to the way you are used to, that is what takes time. Even with a pre-installed Windows, people want all their various gadgets (one driver CD each, which they can't find), e-mail, bookmarks etc.

The only upside of that is that your old computer can serve as your back-up until you transfer it to the new one. Helluva expensive way to buy back-up on, though.

Kjella

Rich and stupid? (2, Insightful)

agi (17926) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082460)

If you don't know how to clean your computer and it's cheaper to throw it away, please find some charity or way to make your computer available to those that can't even afford one.
Probably their new owner will be willing to do the cleaning job or won't have internet connection to make spyware such a 'big' problem.

WTF (3, Insightful)

hector_uk (882132) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082463)

throw out the pc and buy a mac maybe but throw out the pc and buy annother cheap POS pc thats just stupidity. if you go out and buy a car and acid rain eats all the paint off and your car falls apart do you go and buy the exact same one? hell no you go buy an acid rain proof car.

Next week's article... (1)

MagicDude (727944) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082467)

Gas prices too expensive? Turns out that when your car runs of gas, it's more cost effective to simply trash your current car and buy a new one. Dealers will commonly give you the car with a full tank of gas.

Works for me... (4, Insightful)

Craig Ringer (302899) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082471)

Don't throw them out. Donate them to any of the number of PC refurbishment and training charities that you'll find. They can always use good gear.

Hahahahaha (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082473)

Well, now I know where I'm going to get my next PC... the curb!

I'm going to pick up every junked-by-idiots PC I find and reformat them, and implement some basic protections, and then sell them back to the idiots' neighbors.

I have a better idea (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082475)

If you're too incompetant to fix a PC, at least give it to a charity (or to me) where some use might be made of it.

Just use adult content control (1)

Debiant (254216) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082476)

Not sure which pages the person in the article has surfed. But somehow I suspect average page isn't The Economist, New York Times or Slashdot.

I don't doubt that getting spyware, viruses and malware wouldn't be easy, still to get computer full of them, suggests that person in question either was a Warez King or had a special needs that made the left hand mouse essential.....

Malware? (1)

KingBahamut (615285) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082477)

Get a Linux system at the local Walmart, and never worry about it again.

The best solution is to... (3, Interesting)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082484)

...has an article about a new response to spyware - throw out the computer and buy a new one.

The best solution I have ever seen is a tech walks into your office with a CD, Ctrl-Alt-Delete - boot to CD-ROM, enters your user ID and walks away saying keep the CD for next time you infect your machine. It boots from the CD re-installing the entire system.

Users hate it as they store stuff on the local drive but soon learn corporate no-tolerance policy for keeping critical data on the local drive and loading unapproved often unlicensed software. The raw fact still remains, 90% of the corporate spyware issues can be tracked back to the users (mis)behavior.

Tossing out the computer prematurely has several disadvantages, the logistics of disposal, acquisition and software licensing. It is unlikely replacing the system with the same Windows operating system is going to change much. Mind you if the replacement was a locked down system where the user could not load software.... That would have some obvious benefits.

Best recipe to remove spyware viruses & trojan (1)

Ted Holmes (827243) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082496)

... or try Adam Wenner's "Free (and 99.9% foolproof) way of ridding your computer of spyware, adware, malware in general, and viruses". http://killspyware.shorturl.com/ [shorturl.com] It works.

Not everybody has $400 to throw out! (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082500)

Throw out the computer?

What do they think will happen to the next computer? Be magically immune?

Go to distrowatch and for a couple of bucks, order a linux cd of some flavor^_^ Cheaper and it will get rid of all your spyware and malware. Even the MS branded stuff! Something that ad-aware and spybot refuse to detect and correct for some reason^^

Or go with Knoppix and have a decent boot-up cd so you can start up your computer and see what's wrong with it.

Seriously, as if anyone were to buy a computer just because of spyware. You might as well just save your files and do a clean install if you wanted to keep running Windows. And then just run the free AVG virus scanner on those old files.

Can I have your old one please? (1)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082503)

I need to upgrade my linux firewall - a quick reformat and Novell linux install will solve that problem for good. Heck, the PC they are tossing out is probably more powerful than my server.

Stupid retarded idea! (1)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082509)

Just pay $50 to somebody that can fix the computer (f.e. a geek). I think $50 will do it if you are too dumb to install AV ans AS scaners.

$400 every 12 minutes? (1)

johnny_sas (785125) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082514)

So, if it takes 12 minutes for a system to get infected, how much money do you spend at the end of the week in new systems?

YES!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13082517)

Thow out your Windows PC, buy a Mac Mini for 499 (or go get your applicable discount)... make my stock go up. Support Steve Jobs!!

Things I'd punch someone in the face for (1)

deft (253558) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082519)

There's not alot... maybe some shit talking,e tc.... and writing spyware/malware.

It's the most craptastically lowbrow malicious deceitful business model that really F's alot of people. I have so many friends that are just destroyed by this crap. Serious financial damage.

So yeah, I'd deck a punk for it.

Analogous to: (0, Redundant)

op12 (830015) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082526)

Leaky faucet? Throw out your house!


Really,...it's worth it!

You'd think a guy with a Ph.D. in CS... (0, Redundant)

stonedonkey (416096) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082527)

...would be quite comfortable with reformatting.

Oh, and he appears to be an exec at Sun [sun.com] . Maybe he's one of those academics who just doesn't know his way around a computer, no matter what his education is.

My mom did this! (4, Interesting)

jafac (1449) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082528)

Yeah, when her winxp computer got sogged up with spyware, after weeks of attempts to clean it up, she got rid of it and bought another computer;

A Mac.

The ink cartridge problem revisited (1)

friek (247138) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082532)

Although a ridiculous idea, this reminds me of what a lot of people I know do with printers. Buy one, when the ink runs out trash it and buy another. Cheaper than the ink cartridges. Everyone knows this is by design from the printer manufacturers but it makes me wonder - have they thought about the environmental consequences?

I build up truckloads of computer parts and take them in to be properly recycled once a year. Somehow I doubt most people do this.

This is great! (3, Insightful)

fsck! (98098) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082534)

This means more people buying Mac Minis, and more free year-old computers for the Linux community to develop, test, and play on. Bring on the competition for the two best alternatives to Microsoft's hegemony.

Just face it... (1)

no_pets (881013) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082536)

Just face it, the average user is going to keep using Windows, IE, and keep getting spyware.

The cost of getting spyware removed is one thing at around $129 but the real "cost" is having to leave the PC to be repaired and going without. Perhaps a great business model would be to just let lusers "trade in" their infected PC for another PC at, say, $129 or even more if you can get them to upgrade to better LCD monitor or other accessories.

Then the infected PC can get cleaned and resold to someone else with an infected machine. Maybe even the original owner.

Irrational (1)

LeavenOfMalice (900303) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082541)

How can you say it is rational when according to the prices you provided it costs one third to clean up the PC as opposed to getting a new one? Sounds plenty irrational to me. Anyway, $129 sounds like a lot, if I was to charge that much maybe my friends and family would finally start listening to my advice on using Firefox, getting news windows updates and stop browsing for pr0n.

flat tyre? set the car on fire! (1, Redundant)

tasinet (747465) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082544)

Flat tyre? Set the car on fire!
Wallpaper coming off at pieces? Time to move!
Your kid started smoking? Give it up for adoption!

...and many more cost-effective solutions to everyday problems. Here at Goatse(R), We're happy to help.

ok, um... (1)

binary blizzard (829016) | more than 9 years ago | (#13082545)

why would you throw out your computer just because it has spyware? Just reformat it, Or just switch to Firefox... Problem solved, but if you do go buy a new one, I'd happily take your old one :-)
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