Ranting on Symantec

Today I went to the Symantec site to renew my subscription to Norton’s Anti-Virus. After I paid my money, they gave me an 11 digit Subscripton Key to enter into my software to keep my subscription going for another year. The only problem is, the field where Norton’s requests that you enter your Subscription Key only allows 8 digits.

Well, okay, there is a reference to a web page that will tell you how to enter your Subscription Key in your particular version of the software. Just so you know, when I renewed the subscription I told them the particular version of the software as prompted to do, but nevertheless I got back an unusable Subscription Key. I went to the referenced web page, clicked on the link that is supposed to provide directions for my particular version of the software. I got a page that says, Oops, our knowledge base has an error. Check back later. Well, it’s been over 12 hours and the knowledge base still is in error state.

In the meantime, I look through all the Help files, Support files, and Contact files on the Symantec web site. There is no way to communicate with these people! If you call them on the phone and talk to a human, they charge you $10. If you send in an email question they charge you $30.

I’m just going to have to wait for the illusive Knowledge Base to start working (my Subscription Key is only good for a week) and hope there is some magic there that will tell me how to squeeze 11 digits in a field that only allows 8 digits. Frankly, I think I’ve just been robbed by Symantec.

Computer Buying

If you read this blog much, you know I have a tendency to lean toward Apple Computers. Have you seen the way-cool new iMac? Take a look at Apple – iMac G5

But, of course, we all know that Windows runs the world, and I was in Best Buy this week shopping for a Windows machine. The salesman informed me that an inexpensive machine with a 32 bit processor was a waste of money, because in a few months Microsoft is going to come out with Longhorn, which will only run with 64 bit processing. He urged the purchase of a 64 bit processer power box that was several hundred dollars more. When checking on this claim later, I discovered that Longhorn runs on either a 32 bit or a 64 bit machine. Be warned.

New York and a web site accessibility law

Spitzer Agreement to Make Web Sites Accessible to the Blind and Visually Impaired The NY Attorney General opined that the Americans With Disabilities Act requires that private web sites be accessible to blind and visually impaired Internet users. The ADA generally dictates that all “places of public accommodation” and all “goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations” of places of public accommodation, must be made accessible to disabled citizens, absent undue hardship.

This is a change from the attitude in the past, which was that only government sponsored web sites had to comply with ADA requirements. While it only applies to New York, it may spread to other states as well as time passes.

Flash Mobs, Social Networks and other phenomena

Now there’s an outfit called dodgeball.com :: location-based social software for mobile devices that takes the concept of social networking (think Friendster) and ties it to mobile devices and location technology to create a way to connect you with people who are friends-of-friends and within 10 blocks of you.

One of the things that has fascinated me about the Internet from the beginning is that it is democratic: anyone can have their say. What social networking is capable of doing is extending that freedom of expression to like-minded groups who can gather themselves to action almost instantly. Where that is going is hard to predict, but it will definitely go.

Oh, the times, they are a-changin’.