Never trust a tech company with your important data

    Corporations will always put their self interest ahead of the consumer’s, even when they publicly claim the complete opposite to gain consumer confidence.  

    Microsoft might have recently ‘kicked Apple’s butt’ with regard to its latest technological debut in 2015, but it is still up to its old tricks of attempting to force consumers into a lifelong dependency. (Come to think of it, they kind of sound like drug dealers.)

    Recently, Microsoft developed a ‘security patch’ to ‘fix’ a ‘vulnerability’ of ‘.rtf’ files, alleging that the format could be used to hack into a computer.  I had recently installed the program after a reboot, but in my hurry, I had forgotten to close all communications between the program and the outside world, as I usually do.  Word installed the ‘patch’ without requesting my permission or providing any clue as to the impact on the entire computer ecosystem, and all my .rtf files became unusable. 

    Even worse, even when the system was reinstalled,the ‘patch’ was persistent over repeated system installs—which only means that there was a deep system change somewhere in the firmware and/or kernel.  The cure turned out to be worse than the disease.

    Anyone who knows about computers can quickly tell that Microsoft’ alleged ‘security tactic’ is complete ‘hogwash’ (fill in with expletive).  The reason for this is that .rtf files are universal readable files, which are cross platform; using ‘doc’ or ‘.docx’ files means that you are usually turned to Microsoft Word.  Microsoft obviously didn’t kill ‘.doc’ or ‘.docx’ files because it was not in its financial interest; and one might even question whether the ‘.rtf’ vulnerability bug was even introduced by them in order to kill off the competition. The move was a typical Microsoft move from the 1990s’.  By definition, the 'patch' is actually a  'rootkit'-the worst type of 'virus' that exists, in that it actually modifies important components of the operating system.  

    There is another observation we can make.  Typically when it has been discovered that a file can be used to breach a computer, the company affected issues a software patch for the program.  For example, if an Adobe '.flv' file might corrupt a system, Adobe issues a patch for its software (Flash), so as to prevent the '.flv' file from harming the computer.  In our particular case, it cannot go unobserved that, by attacking the file type (.rtf) rather than fixing the vulnerability in the program itself (Microsoft Word), Microsoft is allowing itself more priviledges than are warranted with the computer's operating system.  In other words, instead of 'closing the security hole', Microsoft is in fact leaving the gap wide open, clearly retaining the power that the '.rtf' file had hijacked from its program.  This tactic provides a false sense of security, while allowing Microsoft to tamper directly with  the user's computer unhindered.  Again, same old tricks, under a different guise.

    In spite of the 'recent' change of CEO, Microsoft still remains the king of evil corporations; it is still up to its old deceitful tricks.

    But, sadly enough, Apple is not an exception to the rule, even if of a lesser degree as its rival.

    The notion of ‘technical progress’ and advancement has often been used by the company to actually remove functionality from programs which were working quite well, in order to broaden new business opportunities, either directly for itself or indirectly for ‘associates’.

    The program Quicktime used to be a very functional program, simple and easy to use, which allowed the user to quickly manipulate video files, for whatever purpose. You could quickly trim, edit, and export a file into various format, making it a defacto mini video editor in the platform that had even more functionality than is being described in this brief piece.  As a person who runs a video-conference website, it was a quick and easy tool that allowed me to get things done without a hassle.

    With the release of the new version, circa OSX 10.7 "Lion" and on, Quicktime lost much of its functional capacity. This must have surprised many consumers, and some of its core abilities  (trimming videos) were eventually brought back to the program, possibly due to consumer complaint.  However, many of its more sophisticated features were removed, presumably so that consumers would purchase the more advanced and costly iMovie or any other third party applications.

    If Quicktime were the only case where ‘advancement’ and ‘progress’ actually meant a reduction of functionality and abilities, this would be a moot point. However, this pattern has actually been persistent over a long line of core programs, many of which gradually faded from view or were so drastically transformed that the full functionality of their original variants were soon forgotten. A few years ago, you could use iTunes to convert any audio file into an mp3 file. This capability was lost during the same generational change as that of Quicktime.  It has not been the only one to have been degraded over time.

    Key programs that were embedded into every Mac computer have suddenly lost much of their functionality from one day to the next. While this change did not hinder the user from accessing prior files, as the recent Microsoft Word update nefariously did, it did reduce the overall value of a consumers computer purchase by reducing the functionality of its key components.

    Don’t trust tech companies with your important data, as you never know when they will kill your information for their own corporate financial interest.

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