Thursday, October 06, 2005

Who are the real hackers?

Viruses in Playstation Story   reading this story gave me the first clue that I’m getting increasingly paranoid.  My first thought was that the virus that destroys playstations masquerading as a hacker’s code to allow you to beat the games wasn’t the product of other malicious hackers, but more likely to be the brainchild of someone at Sony.  I think that’s because I had a horrible experience with my Sony Vaio laptop, the connector to the AC adapter went bad and no one was allowed to fix the electrical part except Sony.  I sent it to Florida for an estimate and they wanted 550 dollars.  “How can the ac connector in the case cost 550 dollars,” I asked after going through five levels of technical support and waiting on the phone for three hours.

“Well there were other things to fix?”  

They sent me an itemized bill and wanted to change an IC on the videoboard even though there were no problems with the video.  The bill for the IC was 250 dollars.  The laptop was about fifteen hundred dollars new at the time.  When I asked the skilled tech support professional how a single IC that wasn’t a cpu could cost 250 dollars, he responded by asking “What’s an IC?”.  

“An Integrated Circuit, you know what those are?”

No, I don’t know what an Ingegrated Circuit is.”

“What are you doing working in technical support for a computer company?”

“I’m a third level technical support person.”

Meaning there are two levels of people who know less than you?”

“That’s correct?”

“Do you have to follow a script?”


“Have you ever actually fixed a computer yourself?”

“I don’t do that as part of my job here. No.”

After three more phone calls, a supervisor called me and gave me a small discount on the repair job, but the bottom line was that the socket where I plugged in the AC adapter needed to be resoldered. He explained that the simple answer was that Sony gouges its own customers on Sony specific parts.  I’ve never trusted Sony since, though I still admire their products.

I do understand the economics of repairing electronics, but I think it’s sad that we’re losing any sense of how to fix things or that anything manufactured can and should be repaired locally.  In the meantime, I’d be absolutely convinced that someone in Sony technical support wrote the Trojan to keep people from hacking their Playstations, if only I hadn’t learned what I learned about Sony Technical Support.  Anyway, I’m supposed to believe in computer terrorists who have nothing better to do than play mean tricks on fellow hackers.  In the meantime, there’s one clear beneficiary in this story and it’s not a 14 year old who sits in his bedroom with a lot of time, great codewriting skills, and no other motive than a desire to wreak havoc in living rooms across the world.  Maybe I shouldn’t have seen that movie “The Village”.  

But it makes me wonder why the number of Right Wing terror incidents in the US is far higher than the number of Islamic terror incidents in this country and exactly why no one ever comments on it.  
I don't even want to think about all the security holes that Microsoft bundled into Explorer.


At 10/08/2005 04:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

your sony story is horrifying. It certainly doesn't make one feel that sony is a lovemark.

I have never done computer games (I'd be an addict I'm sure -- I bet they are totally muy yum), so I don't know the hacking issue, but clearly the noosphere or the world internet brain has all the good & ill that any of our previously-single brains has.


Post a Comment

<< Home