On Monday I published an article I wrote a week earlier titled: "The 'Google' and 'Microsoft' Idiots" in which I wrote "Can I talk to anyone at Google or Microsoft about this sign-in problem? Not on your life! They value their privacy. Like all 'Big Brothers' they like to hide in the shadows while demanding that you stand in the light."
Over that weekend I also began having trouble with Norton Antivirus but do you think I could get any help? After wasting 90 minutes trying to get help from that company, I sent an email to ASTRILL VPN and told them the problem I was having with norton. "Why did I do that?" you ask.
At the end of last week I updated my ASTRILL VPN and immediately started having problems with my Norton which - and I am being absolutely literal here - every three to five seconds kept popping up a sign informing that it was processing a security risk, the details of which pointed to ASTRILL VPN.
Well, Astrill sent me back a reply real quick - Gee! Real customer service! - and told me to uninstall both programs then reinstall Astrill first then Norton and when reinstalling Norton to place ASTRILL on the ignore list. I followed the procedure but I didn't get the chance to put Astrill onto any list.
Did the problem go away? No it didn't! Now I am not just talking here about an annoyance. "Oh God that pop-up annoys me!" NO! It wasn't that. It was that every time the pop-up popped-up it booted my cursor and blocked out my typing. I literally cannot have Norton security operating on my computer while writing, and I do a hell of a lot of writing.
On Monday I did a search for a direct email contact with Norton and found these details in Australia:
- Symantec (Australia) Pty Ltd, Level 14, 207 Kent Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia. Tel: +61 2 8220 7000
So I called them and naturally was transferred to someone and while waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting for someone to answer, I got the automated advices on how to fix problems. OBVIOUSLY the Norton product has lots and lots of problems - although I had never encountered any in the past.
One of the advices was to download their free clean and purge program gizzmo to get rid of constant pop-ups! Ahah! Who knew that was the thing to do eh? I had already done that before the uninstalls. It didn't work.
Well after hanging on the phone for some time and being charged money for the privilege, I hung up and decided to call the company operator again. But I simply couldn't get through. I changed to my sister's house phone and that kept connecting and then getting disconnected.
Question: "How do you tell how big a company is?" Answer: Can you contact them directly? If not, then the company is huge.
There is a facility on the Norton website to do a chat but guess what - that didn't work either. Apparently being in Australia means that I have to get up at 3am to talk to someone in America. I could of course have gone into the forums - once I set up another account with yet another password. Don't you just get absolutely sick of how many accounts you have to have for so many different things - and of course the passwords to go with them.
Eventually I discovered and called the 'free call' number for Norton and ended up talking to someone in a Norton Technical Section in India. Yes the nice man told me where he was! He also told me that for $90 I could upgrade to be entitled to 'special technical support' and that that support team WOULD SOLVE the problem. I not so politely informed him that it would be cheaper to change companies.
The interesting thing is that Norton apparently don't know what a 'pop-up blocker' is and nor did they ever consider it necessary to install a button which says 'Click here if you don't want to keep seeing this message.' They do say that there is no fix for this problem but when you do delve deeper you learn that there is a $90 fix for the problem.
For 12 years people have complained to me about Norton Antivirus and each time I could honestly say, 'As far as I am concerned Norton's Antivirus is the best product in the world!" But now, after 12 years of using their product I have problems that are directly caused by their product and I can't get the problem fixed without paying for it.
Oh but you say I shouldn't expect them to fix the problem for free - right? Wrong! They maintain that my computer must have a virus and it is that which is causing the pop-ups. Say what? A Virus in my computer? Isn't that what I have already paid you to prevent? I don't care that Norton is doing its job and preventing whatever it is from causing harm to my computer. I only care that the only way I can work on the internet is to disable Norton's Antivirus.
So what do I do about this problem? Well let's see. In two weeks I will be back in China where I need both VPN and antivirus security. Astill VPN isn't causing me any problems - so I guess it will be the Norton product that will have to go.
Well - as we say in Australia when we get fed up with someone's B.S...'Far Queue.' Good-bye Norton.
July 20th POST SCRIPT:
I arrived home today after being away for 2 days in which I didn't use my computer. When I opened my computer and went to Magic City to set up the articles that I had received while away and to publish the articles already set up prior to going away, I suddenly realized that the pop-ups are gone. Since I hadn't used my computer for two days the Norton advice popped-up to tell me that I must fix several problems including a scan since it hadn't been done for so long. I pressed all the right buttons and they did their job and I still didn't get those annoying pop-ups.
I don't know how or why the problem has been fixed but I am guessing it might have been something to do with requesting the technician to advise the company that I intended to write about this problem. If this is what happened then I am ever so grateful for their assistance but this should not have been necessary. Big business has lost its 'public service' attitude. It must return.
Norton's Antivirus has always served me well - particularly since I live in China and I had never had a problem with it and if it slowed down my computer a little - then so what. I knew I was secure. The thought of going back to China and not being able to use Norton's Antivirus was a frightening thought.
So thank you to the company for doing something about this problem and now can you include a 'click' button to prevent us from viewing such troublesome pop-ups in the future?
Death to American Freedom of Association, Thought and Speech
by R.P. BenDedek
Apr 2, 2014
McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. It also means "the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism. Our Western societies are full of 'ideologues' using every means at their disposal to force their ideological principles onto people who ought to have the right to reject those ideas and ideals. But with each new day leading us into our future, we are being lead deeper and deeper into an ideology of 'submission to the powers that be.
Islamophobia: Irrational Phobia or Rational Fear?
by R.P. BenDedek
February 13, 2014
I called that xxxxx a dirty rotten liar because he is a dirty rotten liar, not because I hate Islam or Muslims. By some people's definition of Islamophobia, saying anything nasty about a Muslim should be a crime - even if it is true. You think I made that up didn't you? The fact of the matter is that it has twice already been declared in a court of law the 'truth' is no defense in a 'hate speech' trial. My fear is that my own country has become so weak, gutless and godless that one day it will become an Islamic Republic. My fear is quite rational. Do I blame Muslims for this? No!
The Hidden Agenda: Israel, Palestine and Egypt.
by R.P. BenDedek
February 7, 2014
It seems that Israel has conspired to keep the truth from us. Watch the video and see how Israel treats Muslims, Druze and Arabs of all persuasions. But what is Egypt today? First and foremost it is an Islamic Country, one that has been struggling to catch up with Western economic success. But it is not exactly a success story
R.P.BenDedek (pseudonym) is the Author of 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran' (www.kingscalendar.com ), and is a guest columnist and stand-in Editor at Magic City Morning Star News. He is also the Editor of the 'Writers Journal' at Kingscalendar.com. An Australian, he has been teaching Conversational English in China since 2003.
Writers Journal Kingscalendar
"The King's Calendar" is a chronological study of the historical books of the Bible (Kings and Chronicles), Josephus, Seder Olam Rabbah, and the (Essene) Damascus Document of The Dead Sea Scrolls