PC antivirus software question

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wrote:

John,
Consumers Union uses classical methods and practices to gather and analyze reliability data, and indeed many other organizations do the same, most notably the U.S. government whose military standards and MTBF/MTTR methods shaped a large portion of this country's engineering development approach. Detroit and other manufacturing centers for appliances and electronics have done so for many. decades as well. Indeed CU uses traditional and well accepted methods. Fundamentally they gather, record, and statistically analyze a wide range of detailed failure modes for automobiles in particular but also for other products, deriving failure probabilities which they then portray in a simplified format for the average consumer to digest. They typically use a 5 point scale with such headings as (Much Better than Average, Better than Average, Average, Worse than Average, Much Worse than Average), a bar chart, or some other graphically compact notation. Most notable is their very large and statistically meaningful sample sizes, and their surveying methods which have been refined over (at least) the 38 years I have been a subscriber and survey participant.
If your point is that JD Powers is another legitimate database for some consumer data related to reliability, I agree, but I strongly contend that their scope and their sample sizes are smaller, vastly smaller in the case of automobiles for example, despite their concentration in such products, and vastly smaller in many areas where CU traditionally does its research and they do not.
It is also no small coincidence that CU aggressively prevents advertising and other patently obvious exploitation of their published results by manufacturers to lure buyers. You will NEVER see a car or other product ad which claims: "Selected as the best/most reliable/etc. by Consumers Report" since CU has made it entirely clear that they will litigate and prevail if such attempts are made.
JD Powers, on the other hand, is about as much "in bed" with Detroit and other sources as one could imagine. They actively encourage their endorsements to be used as selling tools. It doesn't take a genius to figure out how this influence peddling cycle works.....
Smarty
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Smarty wrote:

I am curious. What exactly is your relationship with Consumer Reports?
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I have Trend Micro for years but the reviews haven't been so good lately. I also heard that Kaspersky is excellent. I downloaded their trial version but had a terrible time configuring it. They just came out with there new version and I tried to download the trial version of that. I kept getting errors and finally said f- it. Their cusomer service is paultry. I heard Bit-Defender is good but haven't looked into it yet.
While I still search for one, I'm using Avira's Antivir free.
I am also using Online Armour as a firewall which is free and very highly rated.
hope that helps, rose
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John,
I received a 1 year subscription to Consumers Reports as a wedding gift in the late 1960s when I got married. Ever since then, I have renewed the subscription, and used their reviews to assist me in making shopping decisions. I have purchased many major items over nearly 40 years with their input, and in many if not most cases, found their comparisons and data to be accurate and generally valid. In cases where I have been disappointed, I can often find a good reason which really explains why their choice and my experience differ, typically my false assumption that they will compare products using much the same discriminants which I would.
When I retrospectively look back upon items I have purchased for which they collect and report reliability, my experiences are very much correlated with their data. Obvious examples would be extreme satisfaction with my current car's repair history, which matches their data to an uncanny extent, as well as dissatisfaction with the repair history of a few home appliances which they now report in the lower ranking repair data.
My only other connection was a single opportunity to perform certain testing which fell under a non-disclosure agreement whose duration I cannot accurately recall as a hired consulting engineering company employee in the early 1990s. They impressed me tremendously with their very thorough, very well informed, and very meticulous approach to the specific testing which required lab facilities which they lacked and my employer possessed.
You asked a full disclosure and this is about all I can offer. There are, and have been, specialized test facilities and labs whose opinions and evaluations I would value as superior to CU. For many years as an avid (rabid?) audiophile, I would not especially trust my selection of audio gear to CU when better evaluations were being offered in the audiophile magazines and from some distinguished engineers whose opinions I valued. To this day, I would put more stock and value in reading lens evaluations and camera evaluations from others on the Internet and elsewhere rather than depend on CU. I do sincerely believe, however, that they act with integrity, very good technical judgment, impartiality, and mostly correct metrics.
Incidentally, I have been briefly involved with the CPSC, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in a consulting role. I won't elaborate except to say that they are an extremely poor excuse for a testing organization.
Smarty
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Smarty wrote:

I figured you'd been on their payroll at some point. Glad to know I was right.
<plonk>
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On 8/13/2008 6:08 PM J. Clarke spake thus:

>

This idjit obviously can't distinguish between Consumer's Union and the CPSC. I wouldn't sweat being "plonk"ed by him.
--
"Wikipedia ... it reminds me ... of dogs barking idiotically through
endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it.
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Thanks David. It's clear to me that John needed a way to exit this dialog while still saving face. Since the argument he raised was no longer defendable, and he (thankfully) chose not to get into a name-calling escape like Salty Dog, he chose the next obvious tactic, to attempt some "guilt by association" strategy.
It entirely backfired, since the point he made is, as you state, idiotic and specious.
Thanks for your support David. I have absolutely no hidden agenda here except that I wanted to offer the original poster a source of very recent (September 08) reviews of antivirus software, and I find Consumer Reports and Consumers Union to be great resources, and originally recommended them for that reason. Why somebody else needs to attack my suggestion in the first place can only be explained by the myriad of weird people who show up on the Internet with a need to criticize.
Smarty
Smarty
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On 8/13/2008 11:39 PM Smarty spake thus:

>

You're welcome.
Couple meta-things:
1) Why did you feel compelled to change my spelling in what you quoted? When I wrote "idjit", I meant it.
2) You oughta learn how (or set up your mail/news program (Microsoft Windows Mail 6.0 from the looks of things) to trim signatures from your replies (the two hyphens in a row are the standard delimiter, and it seems every other mail/news client in the world *except* Microsoft's adhere to this time-honored tradition).
--
"Wikipedia ... it reminds me ... of dogs barking idiotically through
endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it.
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My apologies for correcting the apparent mis-spelled word. I spell check withot regard to who made the (apparent) error so it was not obvious where it originated as I clicked through the spell checker.
Indeed my Windows Mail program does not offer any option to trim signatures automatically, and my custom is to not particularly trim the thread exchange heavily if at all. I agree that it is more easily read, transmitted, and stored in an edited form. Mea culpa... ;-)
Smarty
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wrote:

You two should get a room.
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Excellent point and articulately stated.......
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wrote:

If you could articulate just a little better, you could get a room with yourself.
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If you could type a little slower, maybe I could understand what you are trying to say.......
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wrote:

So, in absense of a good and valid source for this information from somewhere else, you choose to rely on an extremely faulty one, containing erroneous conclusions, based on faulty methodology, just because it's the only one you can find? Brilliant!
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wrote:

Salty Dog,
I entirely andf totally disagree with your premise that their reliability data is inherently "extremely faulty" since it is merely a statistical compilation of 100s of thousands of readers experience. How would a "brilliant" person gather and report on reliability data differently, if I might ask?
You have a true blind spot, and no basis to make such an unsupportable claim. Your "scientific approach" is clearly the one lacking any basis, not theirs.
Smarty
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wrote:

Let me guess... Folks call you "Smarty" for the same reason they call a fat guy, "Tiny"
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wrote:

Salty Dog,
Now I know my point has been made properly. You no longer have an intelligent or logical argument so yo decide to attack my name.
As a grandparent, I know very well how children behave when they have nothing meaningful to say to defend themselves. Since you are apparently also a retired person based on your earlier comment, what is your logical argument? Or are we stuck at childish name-calling?
Smarty
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wrote:

You are just plain stuck.
...and wrong on too many counts to itemize them.
HAND
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wrote:

Salty Dog,
Well, I'm delighted we have returned from the little name-calling hissy-fit. How about just itemizing one or two points where I am wrong so we can intelligently discuss / debate them?
Smarty
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Smarty wrote:
(snip)

man, learn to trim! :^/
By 'self selected': 1. They only survey subscribers, who are by definition not regular consumers, but rather people who consider themselves smart shoppers. 2. What reply rate do they get on their surveys? I'd be real surprised if it is over 20-30 percent. Again, self selected. 3. I'm no expert, but I have written or evaluated a few customer surveys over the years. I found 2 clusters of typical replies- people who are pissed, and people who are still trying to justify their purchase (to themselves, spouse, whatever. I dunno.) People who bought something to do a job, and find that it works, are seldom motivated to report on their experience, IMHO. What do you do with the pop-up surveys on vendor web sites? You made your purchase already, or sent in your trouble ticket, or whatever. What is the motivation to fill out the survey, unless you still want to vent?
In this age of disposable products and essentially meaningless warranties, I don't think there ARE any valid indicators of quality and reliability for consumer goods, other than the shadow indicator of overall/ongoing sales figures and repeat business. It isn't like industrial or commercial equipment, where every service call and warranty claim are logged by vendor and customer, and problem brands and vendors do not get the repeat business. When I buy 20-30 K worth of hardware from a vendor, he REALLY wants me to be happy, so I'll come back. Something doesn't work, I get a swapout shipped overnight, or they send a tech out. When I buy a 20 dollar item at Wally World, neither the manufacturer or reseller really care- they already have my money. Any further contact with me is just an expense to them.
How do I judge quality of consumer items? School of hard knocks, mainly. I look real hard at the demo unit in the store, run my hands over it, see if it feels like flimsy junk, look at the fit, finish, machining and plating quality, so on and so forth. Once you have been buying things a few years, junk usually announces itself pretty well, as does quality. (Best example is hand tools- if it feels wrong in your hand, it is probably crap.) If I an buying remotely, like on line, I'll go by what brands have served me well in the past, as well as the informed opinions (however anecdotal) of people I know and trust who have purchased from that manufacturer before.
-- aem sends, rant depleted....
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