The Most Mal Of Wares

2 Upcoming Appearances!!!
March 6 @ The Monarch Event Center in Austin, TX

Emerald City Comic-Con
March 13-14 @ The Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, WA

What’s wrong with telling the suspicious link clicking, password giving, attachment downloading, bad-computing masses that a website can fix their slow computer? Well, correct me if I’m wrong, but one would assume the only way an external site could scan your files and your registry would be to give that site root access to your machine. So are they are offering malicious spyware to remove spyware?

What’s funny, is the problem these ads illustrate is a very real one. Anyone who has taken a tech support call from Mom or Dad knows that a parental computer typically starts our pristine but by day two has already begun collecting multiple viri, adware, malware, hoseware, cockware and certain types of rare Amazon River urethra parasites. The idea that computers “just slow down over time” is well accepted and corroborated by your parents’ friends, coworkers and all of your other relatives. The only engine really driving the home PC industry is that most machines are completely unusable after 2-3 years due to “Mom, you are NEVER supposed to click on that!” types of issues.

There is actually a much simpler solution that giving root access to a strange website (who really hates it when you start asking questions about their service). You can just unplug your parents from the internet. A disconnected machine is a safe machine (that can still play solitaire). And your mom doesn’t need to be reading your Facebook updates anyway.

Just FYI: I know these ads are old (2008 or so), but my sleep schedule has been 9 kinds of wacky pants for a couple of months so I am partaking in WAY more late night commercials/infomercials [as evidenced by the last 20 minutes of the most recent LoFijiNKS Podcast].

Many of you know about the hell I and my family went through in 2009 with various illnesses and medical bills. Well, the bill from our last trip to the ER for our daughter came and it is over $2700 (that’s WITH insurance) and the best they will offer me is a monthly payment that is more than my car payment. This is in addition to the $1800 bill I am still paying down monthly for having the damage caused by my spinal tap repaired.

If you enjoy the comic and would like to help out, please consider making a small DONATION. Put “ER Bill” in the comments and I will make sure it goes straight to the Hospital/Collection Agency. I am very happy to report that the Fancy Bastards have already donated over $400 towards my medical expenses.

Thank you all so very much.

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  1. What weirds me out about this commerical (other than the annoying faux Gen Y gamer stereotype boychild), is that fact that it plays repeatedly on Logo (the GBLTQQIXYZ cable channel), where you know all them gays and lesbians can't get online, and then give up and go out to "da club" to "get fast" *wink wink*

    The online parodies are much more amusing than the real ad; we need to get Joel a job making commercials like these. *snerk*

  2. I've made a sport of the tales i tell my aunt, explaining why her computer hits tar-like consistency every year or so. So far she's seen through temperate hard drive boring termites, and disturbances in the force, so i'm trying for silicon impurities in the chips this time.

    • My boyfriend used to work at CompUSA (a.k.a. CompUseless) before it went under, and he spent an inordinate amount of his time on the phone feeding made-up explanations to very confused computer users:

      He: "So you should see a glowing blue light in the center of your hard drive."
      They: "…Um… No, I don't see any blue light… Is that bad?"
      He: "Well, if there's no light, that means your particle dispersion unit is broken."
      They: "…Uh…okay… So what does that mean for my computer?"
      He: "Well, without a particle dispersion unit, logically the particles don't get dispersed. That's why your computer's so slow."
      They: "Oh, okay. I guess that makes sense."

      He would then instruct them to call Dell and order a new PDU.

  3. I blame the Black Hat Guy from XKCD. He's graduated from sending bobcats in the mail to magicking people's computers into cougars. God help us all. (And Firefox's spellchecker doesn't choke on the word "magicking", mysteriously.)

    The best part is that's clearly a Mac.

    • Ironically yes, although it might not be the Black Hat Guy, it will be the Black Hats he represents. He is the ultimate sociopath, the patron saint of all satan worshipping coprophilic spammers and hackers throughout the world… Even the nigerian division

    • Firefox doesn't choke on it because that's a correct spelling. Magic is a strange word; various twits try to claim that it's "magick", but the 'k' in the word comes in specific circumstances – 'magicked' 'magical' 'magicking' (note that when the vowel after the 'c' would be an 'i' or 'e', the K comes in to keep the hard 'c' sound)

  4. WAIT A MINUTE. THAT'S why it turned into a cougar — he just upgraded to the next version of OS X, "Cougar". (You can see the discs right there.) Apple couldn't think of any new ideas for features, so they just designed it to transmogrify the computer.

  5. Oh man, these and "cash for gold" ads are my most hated ads I think. So frustrating watching ignorant people being preyed upon.

    Also Windows 7 is much better about keeping the performance from degrading over time.
    Just use FireFox with Adblock, and an antivirus program and your golden.

    • "Also Windows 7 is much better about keeping the performance from degrading over time.
      Just use FireFox with Adblock, and an antivirus program and your golden. "

      And my golden what? Dammit man I NEED to know!!!

  6. @Hieropotamus

    I wonder if your friend knew that Dell does sell PDUs (Power Distribution Units). If so… what kind of sick mind would take the joke that far? …I like it.

  7. Strange. The computer you show in your strip is an iMac. Those "fix your PC" sites are for Windoze – they won't do a thing for (or against) a Mac.

  8. Digging the Metalocalypse reference in the blog…please tell me that's what you were referring to with Amazon river parasites.

    My grandparents and now my wife's entire family think this way. "Why is my laptop so slow and why did it delete all my programs? All I did was click on a link in Facebook for free prescription drugs." (true story)

  9. Yeah, I just got that "antivirus" trojan. It pops up a fake Windows Security Center, to try to get you to buy an antivirus that doesn't exist. I'm having a rough time removing it.

      • Been there. If you can get it to boot up in safe mode, you can then run msconfig and turn off any unfamiliar start-up processes. Once you've done that, you can restart the computer and get your anti-malware software/ anti-virus protection to get rid of it. AVG and SpyDoctor both caught it once I managed to keep it from starting up, but you need to be able to run the scans normal mode.

    • I know, I know. This is from four months ago.

      However, my father works as a computer consultant, and one of his old-time clients actually bought it, and pays them for "antivirus service." He happened to call when I was spending time with him and my step family for the holidays.

      I can only imagine the forlorn "so I can't get a refund after all?" that prompted one of his responses. Or several, if I'm any judge of character.

  10. Here's how my husband dealt with his parents killing their computers multiple times: He's the administrator and they're just guests on their own computers. If they wanted to install something they have to call him to come do it. Since they have to wait a few days for him to come by they generally don't ask for much. Their computers have run quite nicely now for a few years.

    His 88 year old grandmother gives him significantly less problems. He bought her a laptop a few years ago and she's amazing on it. I want to be like her when I get old.

    • My dad is the sysadmin for my house, so I guess we're all a bit spoiled in that he can help with any issues we have. (Then again, we're a Mac household, so the problems are few and far between.)

      Good for your husband's grandmother. My grandmother lives on the other end of the country, and she sometimes calls my dad for help with computer stuff. She's pretty savvy, though. I, too, want to be like her when I get old.

  11. My personal solution: Ditch Win-doze and just use Linux. I haven’t looked back for two years. Free can be safer. Use the FOSS!

    BTW I’m a former Mac user and Mac doesn’t have much to offer me over Linux other than marketing and commercial apps. If you look under the slick Apple GUI what you find is very similar to what you find in Linux, heck the two even share code.

  12. Unfortunately my mom installs Webshots and various other bloatware on every computer she can get her hands on (including mine, once – that'll teach me to stay logged in when I go to the bathroom) so Adblock isn't much good. The "guest account" idea is brilliant. Brilliant! If only she wasn't an MCSE – granted she probably doesn't know how to get around it, but she'd still know something wasn't quite right.

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