Feeds

Some points missed in Return of the ‘free’ PC

The CDs! The hackers!

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Business security measures using SSL

Letter The Return of the free PC

From Richard Lloyd, Liverpool

  • Did you calculate how many CDs Metronomy would have to send out to users if all 200,000 PCs were snapped up and kept for the full three years? Yep, 7.2 MILLION CDs - one wonders why at least broadband users couldn't download the ads off the Net rather than from CD.

  • Talking of Net access, it's not clear to me if you have to sign up with *only* the ISPs on their recommended list. Metronomy's Terms and Conditions rather stupidly state "you must maintain an ISP dial-up account throughout the term of the agreement." (doesn't say it has to be a particular ISP though) whereas elsewhere, I've read that you can use either dial-up or broadband.

  • Why not run a virtual desktop on XP and have the ads in desktop 1 whilst you do your work in desktop 2 ?

  • Also, how long is going to take before someone reverse engineers the "phone home" protocol and fakes it to make it look like the user's seen a bunch of ads and has been logged on for 30 hours (that's quite a lot of time for newbie users to spend online) during the month?

My personal opinion is that the PC sells at 411 quid on IBM's site (plus the cost of a monitor, let's round it up to 500 quid...somewhat short of the 800 quid the press releases have been saying) and if a user can't afford a 500 quid setup, then they're not going to be buying anything remotely expensive that's advertised to them.

Conclusion: Metronomy's scheme is doomed and is very unlikely to last the full three years. PCs are just too cheap now (I got my last white box one - minus monitor - for 219 quid) for this scheme to ever work again - not that it did the first time around. ®

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Aye, shipmate, it be just like that Minority Report
WRISTJOB LOVE BONANZA: justWatch sex app promises blind date hookups
Mankind shuffles into the future, five fingers at a time
Apple's Mr Havisham: Tim Cook says dead Steve Jobs' office has remained untouched
'I literally think about him every day' says biz baron's old friend
Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen
Angry Microsoftie hauls auctioneers to court over stalled Pzkw. IV 'deal'
Oz carrier Tiger Air takes terror alerts to new heights
Don't doodle, it might cost you your flight
Cops apologise for leaving EXPLOSIVES in suitcase at airport
'Canine training exercise' SNAFU sees woman take home booming baggage
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.