Computers & Mobile
ConsumerReports – Macs have viri and spyware?

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Macs may eventually get lots of Viri and Spyware, but can this be right? Consumerreports says – Macs are safer than Windows PCs for some online hazards. Only 20 percent of Mac owners surveyed reported detecting a virus in the past two years, compared with 66 percent of Windows PC owners. Just 8 percent of Mac users reported a spyware infection in the last six months vs. 54 percent of Windows PC users. [via] Link.

6 thoughts on “ConsumerReports – Macs have viri and spyware?

  1. I saw that when I got the dead tree edition.

    What it doesn’t mention: 99% of Mac users who find a virus or spyware actually just find them in their email inboxes or downloaded from a malicious site in the form of .exe-s that won’t do anything to Macs.

    Most Mac anti-virus apps just clean things so no Windows pals get them accidentally.

  2. The reporting is probably right, but the people responding to the survey are mistaken. There are still no reported viruses for OS X, nor spyware. However, if a windows virus is emailed to a mac user, it might linger in a mailbox where it can be detected by anti-virus software. Hence “detecting” a virus, not getting infected. As for spyware, probably just paranoia providing an explanation for other problems.

  3. yah, i “detect” viruses on my mac all the time (ones meant for windows) but i think they should have made it clear that there aren’t any mac os x viri at this time. as far as spyware goes, nothing there either. i wonder why they just couldn’t say “macs, no viri or spyware at this time”…

  4. Dear lame. I’m sorry, but you have been misinformed. Both “viri” and “virii” are actual words. Despite Tom Christiansen’s excellent article claiming the these are not english words, poor Mr. Christiansen actually helps prove that they are english words.

    In order for words to be added to the corpus of an existing language all that needs to happen is for some people to use the words, with a nominal agreement on what the word means. This has clearly already happened for both viri and virii, where the meaning is a reference to malicious software aka “malware” consisting of computer viruses, ( or virii :-) ), trojans, worms, exploits and what have you.

    There is absolutely NO requirement that a word conform to the rules of Latin plural formation in order to be a real word, depsite Mr. Chrisiansen’s well informed article about Latin he is apparently is wither lacking or ignoring knowledge of how actual living languages evolve and how word formation occurs in living languages.

    In fact the most informative part of Mr. Christiansen’s article is the part where he analyzes and attempts to support theories which claim the words “viri” and “virii” were created by people making erroneous plural formations, or just indulging in wordplay.

    Guess what? Every basic linguistics text and introductory Linguistics course will tell you that those are exactly some of the ways new words actually get added to languages. (And totally in line with the spirit of Make magazine and Makers everywhere. :-) )

    Refusing to recognize those words is a silly exercise in intellectual snobbery. Mr. Christiansen clearly and expert in Perl, and knows the rules for Latin quite well, but he is wrong here and has gotten it completely backwards.

    Please remember that grammar is just a set of rules created to describe how a languages syntax “mostly” works. Grammar may have nothing to do with how a new word form gets created. Further, I doubt there is a single rule of english grammar that has no exceptions. Of the mainstream languages English is very likely the least pure, and one of the most inconsistent languages on the planet. Directly becuase it has been spread so far and wide and is in use in so many places. How else can we explain words like “bootylicious” being added to Oxford English Dictionary in 2004? :-) The root word there, “booty”, is clearly another word created by miscegenation and/or wordplay. And Mr. Christiansen claims that words formed by those methods cannot be real words. Sorry Tom, those are actually some of the ways new words are created. They may even be the MOST common ways.

    This being “Make Magazine” you should be more accepting of new words being “maked”. :-) (Note the deliberate and “prescriptivist” application of the arbitrary rule “add ed” for making past tense verbs. Oh My! See what happens when you over apply grammer rules? :-D )

    Postscript:
    I really want to encourage people to understand that prescriptivism has absolutely no authority or standing in the creation of new word forms in any living language. If all our languages were static and all new words had to conform to existing rules for Latin, we would be in a sorry state indeed.

  5. note – There are a few typos in the posting above. My apologies for not taking more time to find them.
    Notably withwer should be either, and at least one instance of languages needs to be languages’ . You all can find the rest on your own :-)

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