Crying 'Wolf' on Viruses; Chapin at NJPAC
Someone, intending to be helpful, sent me an email alarm about a "BIG VIRUS COMING". The thrust is that your computer can be rendered entirely unusable if you click on a link to a postcard ostensibly sent by a friend or family member:
This is the worst virus announced by CNN. It has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever. This virus was discovered by McAfee yesterday, and there is no repair yet for this kind of virus. This virus simply destroys the Zero Sector of the Hard Disc, where the vital information is kept.The forwarded email warning claims the sender checked out Snopes.com and found this to be a real threat. I didn't believe it, so went to Snopes myself — something I won't soon again do, because Snopes insists on inflicting popups on visitors, which freezes my machine for as long as two minutes as my popup blocker and Snopes's fastclick popups fite and the popups finally triumph. I then skimmed the entire text of that Snopes page, which spoke of variations on the same theme, and arrived at the key info toward the very end:
Although the Postcard virus is real, it isn't a "BIG VIRUS COMING" (it's already been around in multiple forms for a long time now), it will not "burn the whole hard disc" of your computer, CNN didn't classify it as the "worst virus" ever, and it doesn't arrive in messages bearing a subject line of 'Invitation.'You should of course be extremely wary of clicking on anything from someone you don't know, and even if it comes from someone you do know but looks fishy, you might want to check with the sender, because some viruses send out emails without the computer's owner knowing. This particular virus, however, has been known for a long time and people whose operating system and antivirus software are both up-to-date should not have a problem.
Please, people, if you get an alarmist warning about a virus, don't pass it along unless you have checked it out yourself thru a reputable organization, such as a Microsoft, McAfee, or Norton antivirus website.
Today's foto is of a poster on Center Street opposite NJPAC, showing Tom Chapin, who is scheduled to perform Saturday at 2pm — yet another thing to do in Newark May 31st. (There's a second show on Sunday.) Tom Chapin is the brother of Harry Chapin, the late singer-songwriter best known for his heartbreaking, cautionary tale of parental neglect, "Cat's In The Cradle".