It's time once again to dive into the reader mailbag and see how long I can hold my breath. Today's burning topics: unscrupulous tech support, augmented reality, and the military ambitions of our northern neighbors.
Amazingly I'm still getting emails from readers who read my posts about iYogi's unsavory "support" tactics ("Tech support or extortion? You be the judge" and "The downward (dog) spiral: iYogi exposed") and say yes, it happened to them too.
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E. C., who describes herself as a "loyal Avast user," dialed the number she was given for the antivirus software company's tech support, only to fall into "the unscrupulous clutches of a company called iYogi." She writes:
This experience was gruesome. I was definitely intimidated. I consulted via email my two sons (one is a computer engineer and the other a computer technician). I also inquired about this company at work where my computer support technician has my complete confidence. All three advised me to avoid this company.
I even heard from a PR rep for security firm Webroot:
Over the years, Webroot and our customers have found iYogi's practices to be very frustrating, and we appreciate you bringing them to light publicly. Webroot is not associated or affiliated in any way with iYogi; yet, much to our chagrin, iYogi continues to confuse the marketplace and our customers. We sincerely hope that your reporting will help change that dynamic.
In "Seeing the world through Google-colored glasses," I asked my readers if they'd be willing to wear don those groovy/scary augmented reality specs Google unveiled recently. Reader J. D. responds with a very practical concern I had overlooked:
Nope. Would not wear them, Cringely. ...Can you imagine some 20-something or teenage person watching a video on their glasses while driving to work/party/bar/significant other location? Lawyers would make a ton of money before they were totally outlawed. Even Google might wither under the legal onslaught of liability claims.