On Being Ripped Off 96

Been rather busy in Ghana and Sierra Leone, hence not posting. Still much removed from the world of thought, but wanted to get one frustration off my chest. This laptop came with the really horrible Windows 8. I upgraded to the slightly better Windows 10.

I have now picked up a computer virus, as I am afraid happens very frequently when I visit West Africa, must be through the local servers or hotel wifi connections. I had not previously noticed that in upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 10, my Kaspersky Pure Crystal anti-virus programme had disappeared.

I therefore went to the Kaspersky website and found a helpful page indicating this was normal, and giving decent instructions on how to update Windows 10, remove all vestiges of the Kaspersky Pure Crystal Product, and replace it with Kaspersky Total Protection 2015. Only when all was completed did I notice that the replacement Kaspersky product is a one month free trial of a limited version, after which I have to pay for the thing.

Given I had paid a lot of money for the Kaspersky Crystal Pure protection quite recently (and I think it was on an automatic renewal) I feel pretty ripped off. Am I being reasonable, or is it my fault for changing the operating system?

96 thoughts on “On Being Ripped Off

1 2 3 4
  • Hieroglyph

    Under TTIP, Craig will get sued for this post – and forced to upgrade yearly. You heard it here first.

    Never early-adopt Windows upgrades. Let someone else Beta test.

  • From the Wild Wood

    Craig, as one technophobe to another, I shared your dismay when I upgraded to Windows 10 (foolishly, I think) and appeared to have lost my antivirus – in that the little icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen was no longer there. However, after much experimentation and investigation of areas I had never ventured into before, I eventually discovered that it was still hovering in the background and operational. Panic over. The only problem is, I am now trying to remember how I retrieved it – more by accident, I fear, than by forensic aptitude!

    Anyway, I suspect that your original Kaspersky is probably lurking somewhere ready to be reignited, so I’m sure that you should hold fire on purchasing the new, expensive version.

    Anyway, lots of useful comments here today to mull over. Good luck!

  • Tony M

    Labour not so bravely abstain.


    “In other words, rather than the cuts having been stopped and the Tories being forced into an incredibly controversial and difficult gerrymandering of the second chamber:

    – Anyone who becomes eligible for tax credits from now on will suffer the cuts immediately, without the three-year “protection”.

    – Anyone already on tax credits will still suffer the cuts, but they’ll pay them through reductions in Universal Credit rather than tax credits.

    – The total final amount of cuts will actually be HIGHER than those planned by the Conservatives.

    We fully expect that spontaneous demonstrations and rallies from low-paid workers cheering Labour’s heroic intervention are breaking out in the streets even as we type this, as the grateful poor celebrate losing more money in a slightly different way to the one originally proposed. […]”

  • Clark

    Glenn, I’m sorry about JR. But you know, us humans seem unlikely to solve our problems in time and if we don’t, would he really be missing much?

  • Techno

    Having to pay a bit for software is not being “ripped off”, software developers have families to feed as well.

    However, I agree with DRE above, if you don’t want to pay for anti-virus products again use Microsoft Security Essentials.

  • Chris

    Craig, don’t trust all your documents to the cloud – make multiple copies – and save a local version.

    Buy a chromebook – cheap and reasonably user friendly and not prone to virus.

    If you are going to stay with windoze, use firefox or chrome – not IE, use thunderbird for emails, not outlook.

  • nevermind

    My heartfelt best wishes to you Glenn, one of my neighbours, a prof.dr. did exactly the same, using the finest rum, after his marriage broke down. Shows that not just the cheapest alcohol kills.

  • Mary

    Craig’s computer system, as it exists, has presumably come through unscathed when there must have been many attempts made to shut it down during the period 2004 to date.

  • Bert

    I cannot agree with some of the above commentators that your computer problems are your own fault.

    I suspect they may be geeky Linux nuts who – quite understandable – hate Windows and all things MicroSoft with a loathing that is usually reserved for the tories.

    I consider the way in which the computer industry persistently makes each other’s components redundant while claiming that it is nothing to do with them, is nothing less than a conspiracy to defraud the public.

    When Tory Bliar came to power in 1997 I wanted him to create an IT department as a fully-fledged Cabinet department with oversight of all Government record keeping; the systems analysis, ordering and commissioning of systems for government use; and the development of a government supported LinuxUK that would be available free of charge as a download together with software packages for home; education and small business.

    This should have destroyed MicroSofts dominance in this country and improved Government procurement which has nothing less than a catastrophic history.


  • Clark

    Free Software means

    FREE as in FREEDOM

    as opposed to “free” as in “free beer”.

    Developers of Free Software, who call themselves hackers, get paid too. Linus Torvalds states that freeing his replacement UNIX kernel (called Linux) under the GNU General Public License (GPL) was the best decision he ever made.

    Free Software holds an essential position in the economic system. Small manufacturers of hardware like domestic routers, flat screen televisions, set-top boxes and PVRs, would be unable to compete with their older, larger and more dominant competitors without Free GPL software. Websites like this one would be UNABLE TO EXIST without it and the freedom it conveys. When you browse the web, the great majority of sites you visit are hosted on Free Software systems.

    There are commercial reasons that Microsoft Windows is the least secure system available. Microsoft sells the right to install software – from sites visited onto users machines without the users’ explicit consent – to Microsoft’s “respectable” business partners. But companies go bust or get bought out, employees get disgruntled, and the back door accesses that Microsoft deliberately sold percolate downwards into the criminal underworld. Not all malware comes into being by this route, but plenty does. Mac systems are more secure because Apple have been less promiscuous in selling such rights – but this is also partly why Macs are so much more expensive.

    Much Free Software is written by the academic and student communities. Free Software is essential to IT education because, under license terms, it is the only software that can be studied publicly. It is essential to academia because full disclosure of data processing is essential to the scientific process.

    Please, please inform yourselves of the issues. Stop referring to security breaking as “hacking”, which is now used as a propaganda term by the copyright industry of which the corporate media is a part. Please call Ubuntu, Mint and other such systems by their proper name, GNU/Linux (Linux is just the kernel) because GNU started CopyLEFT without which projects like Wikipedia couldn’t exist. And please, please, read this, INCLUDING the notes that follow it:


    Free Software isn’t about “hating Windows and Mac” and it isn’t about avoiding payment – it’s about valuing and protecting our freedom.

  • glenn

    Clark and Nevermind: Thank you both. I know this isn’t this place to write mini-obituaries, but the “In praise of alcohol” comments section was closed.

  • John Goss

    “Emails are more difficult. I have never managed to preserve historic emails from one laptop to another (I download them on to Outlook or its successors)”

    You could always ask the NSA for a copy. 🙂

  • Canexpat

    Although I suspect this comment is way too far down the thread to be read by Craig, my recommendation would be to use Linux Mint for everything except browsing the interwebs. I have found TAILS (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) to be invaluable. I boot from a live USB which means that ny hard drive and important files are inaccessible to any viruses that I may encounter in my web wanderings. The only downside is that many web-based email programmes won’t work as it uses Tor to connect to them. Every boot is a fresh page. I am no techie, and yet I have found it easy to use. It even updates automatically these days.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    But be advised –

    On 3 July 2014, German public television channel Das Erste reported that the NSA’s XKeyscore surveillance system contains definitions that match persons who search for Tails using a search engine or visit the Tails website. A comment in XKeyscore’s source code calls Tails “a comsec mechanism advocated by extremists on extremist forums”. (Wiki)

    So as of just now I am now on an XKeyscore file….thanks.

  • Alcyone

    ” Glenn, I’m sorry about JR. But you know, us humans seem unlikely to solve our problems in time and if we don’t, would he really be missing much? ”

    Welcome back Clark, even though I know you don’t want my welcome, I shall speak from Freedom, or as Fedup calls it: “Freedumb’ (LOL!)

    There is such a thing as creative living. And such a thing as joy, as distinct from fleeting ‘happiness’.

    Then, there is also the beauty of the Earth.

    If the river is murky, as human consciousness is, can one step out of the river, psychologically speaking? If so, does it necessarily mean isolating one’s self? Can one not just observe? The answers are in the questions.

    Actually if we all just observed, all mischief would wither away.

    What was that quote that Jeremy Corbyn used in his conference speech, something about not allowing things we can’t control to reduce us? Can anyone help with the souce of that, please?

  • Alcyone

    Can anyone help please?

    I have been using a Macbook for over four years, trouble free.

    Recently, it would appear my machine came under some type security issue. While functioning it slowed down substantially and the internet would keep going offline. My ISP confirmed that my signal was flowing through fine and I believe they are right.

    I since upgraded my operating systen which I hadn’t for ages, preferring the maxim ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Noyt particularly wise.

    Situation now is that the speed is more or less fine. However, my internet still seems to every now and again go off-line. The diagnostics reflect that the ‘DNS’ settings are being involuntarily changed. Using the diagnostics tool, I reset it and all is then back to normal. But this problem keeps recurring, sometimes several times a day. So it is annoying and may indicate that there is some kind of’malware?’ resident. Does anybody have a sense of quite what is going on? And what does one need to do to stop the intermittent annoyance?

    Thanks in advance!

  • Alcyone

    ” I have been using a Macbook for over four years ”

    I am reminded of an old joke I heard from Ronnie Scott:

    This guy writes in a complaint to Tampax and says ‘I’ve been using your product for years and I still can’t swim, ride a horse or a bicycle.’

  • Canexpat

    @Ba’al Zevul

    My apologies – although to be fair, having read some of your comments I am sure that you were already in their XKeyscore file anyway.

    Actually, by any reasonable definition, I am no extremist, but as we are in what Orwell described as a time of universal deceit, I believe that I could be defined as a revolutionary. I certainly fit Camerloon’s description of a non-violent extremist – (not that I accept such a definition for a nanosecond). I use TAILS primarily not to escape the scrutiny of the Five Eyes, as I suspect that is futile, but to prevent padding out my own profile with Google and all the other corporations that collect my personal data on the web.

  • YouKnowMyName

    alcyone: https://support.apple.com/kb/ph14204?locale=en_US (restart in safe mode, adjust your DNS settings in System Preferences, then lock the settings), consider setting your DNS away from your Telco to DNS1 and DNS2 [Google DNS service]

    also try a reboot/restart/repair in Single User mode

    just downloading TAILS is a person of interest action, so I ensure that when I download a copy that I then give away a few hundred physical CD copies, it is one of the only ways to do safe online home-banking!

  • Alcyone

    YKMN, you certainly do know!

    Many thanks for that–I shall do it when i restart my laptop in the morning. Very helpful of you indeed and will let you know what happens.

    Meantime, if you have a minute, how do you think the problem arose? Do you reckon that there is some kind of bug resident in my system as it is? Does it have another purpose than to just irritate?

    Finally what the heck does DNS mean?

    I read this in wiki:

    The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical distributed naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the Internet or a private network. It associates various information with domain names assigned to each of the participating entities. Most prominently, it translates domain names, which can be easily memorized by humans, to the numerical IP addresses needed for the purpose of computer services and devices worldwide. The Domain Name System is an essential component of the functionality of most Internet services because it is the Internet’s primary directory service.”

    And I am none the wiser!

    Thank you kindly for your time.

  • Clark

    DNS is like the great automated Internet telephone directory. It is the process and infrastructure that converts, say, craigmurray.org.uk to the relevant IP address, which is currently

    This enables, say, Craig’s blog to run on any physical hardware anywhere in the world, where it would have some other IP address. The DNS record would simply be changed so that the URL craigmurray.org.uk would point to the new IP address. This has in fact happened several times and hardly any users noticed.

  • Clark

    “the NSA’s XKeyscore surveillance system contains definitions that match persons who search for Tails using a search engine or visit the Tails website”

    So let’s all download Tails and fill their list with meaningless chaff. I’ve done it; now it’s your turn.

    Alcyone, we can’t just observe. Even the smallest observations affect the observed system, but we all affect things in vastly greater ways than that. We’re all part of what is happening and we can’t escape being so.

  • Mary

    Felicity Arbuthnot on Blair and Heywood.

    Tony Blair: Is the Legal Net Tightening?
    October 27th, 2015

    Just five days after it was revealed that former British Prime Minster Tony Blair and then President George W. Bush had made a pact to attack Iraq and overthrow the country’s sovereign government a full year before the invasion took place – as Blair continued to mislead government and populace stating that diplomacy was being pursued and no decisions made – another snake has slithered from under the hay (as the Arab saying goes) in the form of Sir Jeremy Heywood.

    Sir Jeremy, who has been unkindly dubbed “Sir Cover Up” by sections of the media, is Prime Minister David Cameron’s Cabinet Secretary, thus the UK’s top Civil Servant.


    In their debate their Lordships devoted no time to the grief of the relatives of the over one million Iraqi dead, the 800,000 Iraqi children who have lost one or both parents, the million widows, the maimed, the limbless, those who lost their minds, homes, all, in the horror, who also are “badly let down”, their need for answers paramount.


  • Canexpat

    For anyone wishing to follow Clark’s suggestion and add chaff to the records of our benign overlords in signals intelligence, the website of TAILS is:


    I recommend it for all Cameron-defined “non-violent extremists” who value integrity and facts rather than rapacious neo-liberal spin.

  • Alcyone

    Glenn and Clarke, that is now clear. Thank you very much. You should be writing the wiki entries for this stuff. Instead the nerds who do, like my example above, seem to manage to make it unintelligible, rather effortlessly.

    Stay well and thanks again!

  • Alcyone

    ” Alcyone, we can’t just observe. Even the smallest observations affect the observed system, but we all affect things in vastly greater ways than that. We’re all part of what is happening and we can’t escape being so. ”
    I agree with what you say. And escaping is not good. That is why the “what is” is sacred.

    On a lighter, yet profound note, you might find this video presented by Dr Rupert Sheldrake interesting. Strongly recommended to all observers! 😉

    Take care and sleep in Peace.

  • Alcyone

    26 Oct, 2015 – 12:56 pm
    “Sam, Rich,

    Thanks. I am worried about the huge amount of historic material I have of all kinds in numerous formats all saved on a windows system. How does that work if switched over?”
    Did you mean “historic” or “historical”? I suspect some of the stuff is historic, though all of it historical, and some by definition would be both? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

1 2 3 4

Comments are closed.