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Saturday, May 25, 2013

The bozos are getting PR people

Adobe earns its membership in the hall of bozos in many ways. Obviously, Flash is the program which kicked it off in the first place, but they don't stop there. Just think about Acrobat Reader... you know, the whole PDF thing?

If you have a Windows machine, you probably get a red update square with the PDF logo on it every couple of weeks. This is a reliable sign that they have screwed something up yet again, and your system needs an update. To add insult to injury, every time this update runs, it drops a shortcut turd on your desktop. If you delete it this time, never fear! It will return the next time you need another update.

Up until recently, I only encountered it on my Windows box which doesn't get much use. It never showed up on my Mac, since it has its own tools for handling PDFs. Then, a few weeks ago, I started a new project and had to purchase an APCO P25 standards document online. These documents use some kind of proprietary encoding which can't be read by generic PDF viewers. I had to install Acrobat Reader on my poor little Mac.

A couple of days later, I was rewarded with the updater on my Mac! Yep, I had exposed it to the bozos, and now they were going to take me for a ride. I decided to look at the update info page and saw this.

Why so many updates?

Partial transcription: "Why so many updates? Because PDFs are used so universally, they can be a target for hackers. Adobe provides regular updates to safeguard your computer from attacks."

Yes, that's right, they are now trying to use their bozo club membership as a feature, not a bug. They are safeguarding you from attacks! It's all the fault of those damn hackers! Never mind it's their own incompetence and inability to create a safe product which opened you to those attacks in the first place.

What's worse than a programming clown? That's easy. It's a programming clown with a good PR person.