World of India!: EtcEtc : Top three revolutionary computer business ideas for Microsoft, Google,Symantec e

World of India!

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EtcEtc : Top three revolutionary computer business ideas for Microsoft, Google,Symantec

Yesterday was Disaster day. My PC crashed out on me. It was quite healthy till, without warning, it had a near fatal stroke. With the help of some old 'Restore' CD's , I have been able to revitalize it. But I still have a sinking feeling- now that IE is still giving me an error report and shutting down involuntarily. I have downloaded Firefox as a back up, which I used anyway, earlier on.

My blog ensures that I have to download some files off and on from the Net. Although I take care to do it only from reliable sites, I am sure the problem arose because of my PC catching an infection from the outside environment. Most annoying!

This incident led me to think as to how some smart techies could help Technology illiterate people like us.
Here are some suggestions for some smart blokes out there, who would do well to start a business out of it (and give me some credit later, hopefully):

1) Diagnose PC issues remotely. Software which can help remote diagnosis can be made available via Net and downloaded by users who subscribe. This software would ensure it automatically sends an error report to the Central server before it suffers the heart attack and enables the company to diagnose the problem. If the problem is such, that it can be cured by administering medicines remotely, that is what should be done. If not, the center should email the problem report to the local preferred vendor, so that he is at my home within the 'Golden hour'.
Many Indian outsourcing shops already do Hardware and Network remote monitoring and maintenance work, for many Fortune 500 companies. Why can't they (or anyone for that matter) pursue this opportunity on a 'retail' basis?

2) A central supervisory body should monitor the 'health' of all data that’s uploaded on the net (at least by random sampling). If this data does not confirm to standards, it should be auto deleted.
If a consumer reports problems which have occurred due to download of data from 'X' site, site owner should be punished, with the aid of local prosecution agencies (Preferably torture the fellow before you hang him, pl).
Money reqd. to run this type of operation should be collected from Governments, who in turn should tax Netizens a small fee.

3) If the above cannot be done, surely some company can come up with a product which can scan a file to be 'downloaded' and produce a report to the sucker about to download the file, BEFORE he commits the act? I only know of products which do this AFTER download or am I just ignorant? Readers, pl let me know.

There you are. The top 3 world beating, world changing, revolutionary business ideas, from a tech illiterate. Any bets on who is smart enough to execute the above projects with speed and in an effective way, so that the consumer benefits? Microsoft, Google or Symantec ?

My money's on Google.

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August 04, 2006 6:22 PM

Nice ideas however there are some problems.

1) All consumer PCs should be using a firewall, a program that stops all traffic coming from the internet except where an outgoing request to the same computer has been made first. In order for this idea to work there would have to be ways around the firewall to let people fix the problems. Crackers will then attack these holes, basically leaving a status quo. The reason this works within Fortune 500 companies is that the computers that can directly access the net are all run by the IT department and well protected. Many problems are due to conflicts between software, who is responsible? What about free software?

2) How do you determine what counts as "upload data"? How will this work for small/personal sites? Some people (like me for example) occasionally run web/ftp servers on their own boxes for various reasons. Also there will be massive problems with international law, and how do you determine who sent the data? What happens when a "trusted site" get compromised (as have happened with Amazon). The solution used so far is bring the data into a quarantine (ie download it) of a trusted place (ie your computer) and check it there. The internet would not be where it is today if this sort of control was in place.

3) I cannot see how this will work without actually having the program running on the computers distributing the files, see comments above about breaking into a trusted environment.

One of the whole points about the internet is there is no central control. Central control has a major history of failure in many fields. Furthermore all solutions would have to be fully cross platform (and im not just talking windows/mac/linux/unix/solaris).

The real solution to the problems is not technical but social. People need education, both in ways to protect themselves and in education them not to attack in the first place. This is just the same as real life, the internet is not really that different.    

August 04, 2006 6:55 PM

Let me again show you my badge of tech illiteracy, should you sock me again with comments for which i have no answer, so that the audience sympathizes with me : ).

* yes, companies hoping to implement this should install (downloadable) firewalls which are secure and then monitor consumer pc's while 'operating' on the computer, just like I.T Depts., look after corporate pc's.Not sure about feasibility...maybe i am raving and ranting here...but just an idea from a dumb PC user.

*How can you say that the data would be downloaded into 'quarantine' n your PC, when you have already downloaded it? Woudnt it start harming your PC immediately? The other thing is that anti viruses on a particular PC are seldom effective no all viruses. I know, for ex. that Microsofts beta anti virus solution is not effective on Trojan virus at all. So the solution has to be scanning before downloading. But quite how i dont know. Hopefully, some techies can tell me how?

Thanks for taking time out to write though and keep dropping by...    

August 07, 2006 7:02 PM

I note you say nothing about the last paragraph of my first post, which I think contains no technical information whatsoever. I would be interested in what you have to say about that.

I work full time in an office. Before I started I signed a contract that places responsibility on both me and my employer. I trust my employer for things far more important to me than my computer. When I’m at home who can I trust to be in control of my computer without other far more significant interactions going on? I don’t spend 25+ hours a week in front of my home PC, but I do my work one.

Downloading something from the internet can never do that. Download and reading are two completely separate steps. Sometimes one happens immediately after another. When I view this website, my browser downloads an image and then displays it as a background for the page, I want that to happen in this case. However when I receive an email with a program as an attachment, I NEVER want my email program to go and run the program. A Trojan (named after the mythical horse) requires some action on behalf of the attacked for everything to work.

When you download and run something from the internet you have to in some part trust the following things: Your computer hardware, your operating system (presumably windows), the viewing program where applicable (eg web browser, email client), the content provider, the content and additional content. There has been a recent story about people being infected with spyware by visiting myspace, a reputable website, the spyware was in a banner add. The only things you have any control over are your operating system (eg making sure it is updated), and the viewing programs (eg I don’t use internet explorer or outlook except where I must partly because of well published security problems). Content will always be tricky, all you can do is make judgements based on the website you found it at or who sent the content to you.    

August 08, 2006 9:20 PM

Thanks STU for your extensive comments.

I agree with you that people should be educated to view responsibly and also , of course, to act responsibly and not harm other users. Having said that, don;t you think we will always have people who would like to harm others, regardless of all the education in the world?

You point about a virus prog not being unleashed until a program is run is a valid one.

Hey, pl also check out my post script article on the same issue.    

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