Thursday, March 24, 2011

HuffPo Is In A Heap O' Trouble

If it wasn't bad enough that Huffington Post has not been paying some of its writers, as Pharyngula informed us, in many ways it's worse that they featured radical conservative, racist, and frequently caught liar Andrew Breitbart on their front page, as ColorOfChange reports.

About a year ago, I ended up with a virus on both my Windows machines, despite the presence of fully updated eSet NOD32 antivirus on both machines. That's the incident that led me to change to Linux. I cannot swear to it, but I believe the virus came from my accidentally clicking an ad on HuffPo. No, I wasn't chasing pr0n, though with some of their "articles," it's rather hard to tell the difference; I simply delivered a stray click, not uncommon given my neuropathy, and bad luck was with me that day. The virus was very effective; it soon traveled over my network to a laptop, and both my Windows boxes were practically useless. A site that is not careful about its advertisers is in and of itself a problem, and I did not visit there again for about six or eight months, until I was running Firefox on Ubuntu Linux, where I presume the risk of viruses is slightly lower.

Today's reports of nonpayment of writers (Arianna, f'crissake, surely has the money to pay them) and the placement of a racist wingnut on the front page combined in my mind with the incident described above to crystallize my decision: HuffPo is off my blogroll, at least for the moment. If anyone objects, I'll hear you out, but don't expect me to change my mind: enough is enough.


  1. A's sellout to corporate AOL says it all. And you are so right about the worms and virus's embedded in pop-up ads (Salon sometimes) or attached to sites such as Chris Floyd's, which get regularly attacked by right wing geeks. We finally had to get Malware. At some point the internet will start looking like post Katrina. Worst are the Russian infections masquerading as pop-up anti-virus programs.

  2. mandt, the Russians have a real reputation... Kaspersky in particular... for writing effective a/v s/w. The problem is, the kinds of viruses you describe trade on that very reputation, suckering people into infecting their own machines. Social engineering works every time.

    I was not suckered into this one. An accidental stray click on an ad pretty evidently was the source, and it messed up the eSet NOD32 a/v on my machine pretty badly; I couldn't repair it. For a while at least, I'll take my chances with Ubuntu Linux; by all reports, the security is better in the OS itself, and it's a smaller target for would-be virus writers because not as many people use it. It's still a gamble; everything is these days.



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