Those are Features
You may remember those commercials of yesteryear where they shampooed (is
that how you spell that word?) someone's head, but used two different
shampoos (one on each side). The person then responds that he/she likes the
side that is "tingly" that way, "I know it is working."
Talk about an effective ad campaign to cover up a product's defect.
I mean, I expect my topical ointments to be nearly as inert as water, and
I'm sure after the products development, they were testing it on people who
complained about a "burning sensation" on their head. I can just see the
CEO standing in front of his marketing department saying, "I can't believe
we will be loosing all that money in research and development." Then a
little pimply-faced intern exclaims, "Why don't we have an ad campaign to
promote our product as tingly instead of burning."
"That's marvelous," booms the CEO, "You're now V.P. of Marketing." And so
another product defect become a feature.
Yes, Corporate America thinks we are all a bunch of mindless gits who will
fall for such advertising. It works for shampoos, and it works for computer
software as well…
"Yes, Mr. Customer, what you've encountered is a software feature. In our
extensive research and testing, we found that most people appreciate
multiple ways to quit the application. Granted, some of the buttons respond
with a "Are you sure?" dialog, and others respond with a "General
Protection Fault" dialog. The effect is always the same. Thank you for
I find that a lot of security vulnerabilities are considered "access
features" … they don't want to make it too difficult for their customers
to access their own information, right? Well, yes and no. I think that most
people, if they are going to have a computer plugged into the internet
fully expect that it should be more difficult to access that data, and will
prefer that over the possibility of exploitation from a fourteen-year old
This seems to be the response from Microsoft after a worm infected
Microsoft's SQLServer. The worm exploited a
vulnerability that was published in June 2002. This worm brought the
Internet to its knees. Well, that "feature" is now considered a "bug" now
that there is a fix available. Lovely.
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