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Mailbag: Conficker Scare, More

It's been two days since Conficker's (supposed) big day, and the world seems to have emerged largely unscathed:

Conficker was an April Fools joke on us. Went to all the trouble to update MS patches and virus scan over the weekend. Nothing there and nothing on April 1. At least it caused many to think proactively.

I live in New Jersey and I have had no problems with my home system consisting of four Windows-based computers that I use in a business and personal nature.

I think the media scare may have been worth the pain, just as N.J. uses motor vehicle inspection as a once-a-year opportunity to make folks check their lights and wipers. Perhaps the annual scare of the almighty worm may provide the same results, forcing those who do not perform due diligence to take stock in what they have and how they behave in their online activities.

On the home front, I battened down the hatches: AV updated, firewall updated, M$ Web site blocked (joking) and a shiny new version of Firefox. Despite the many variations I heard on the name ("Cornflicker," etc.), the reporting on Conficker and its possible threats certainly created a level of paranoia rarely seen outside of the military. I had inquiries from a few people asking if their home e-mail not working properly is a result of the virus. I almost thought the same thing when I started getting CRC errors when attempting to copy files from a dodgy (corrupt, that is) DVD. Mind you, it's hard to get a virus on a standalone computer with no access to the Internet and weekly manual AV updates!

Whether the dire predictions for Conficker will come true today or next week, who knows?

But besides killer computer worms, April 1 is a day for the pranksters. Take this reader:

This is best April Fools joke I ever did, and maybe the only one. I told my boss that I had spilled a can of Coke on this very expensive laptop that I was setting up. Louder and louder he kept saying, "You're kidding me! You're kidding me! You've got to be kidding me!" Before he had a heart attack, I took pity on him and told him, "April Fools!"

Recently, a reader took Doug to task for referring to himself as an "old sow" because sows are female. Apparently, the debate doesn't stop there:

As for "You do know that only female cows have udders?" I wonder if the person who wrote this knows that "female cows" is redundant because only cows are females. Males are not bull cows.

Just further clarifying and educating on farm and ranch terminology.

If you had used the correct term "boar" rather than "sow," you probably would have gotten corrected to say that it should have been 'bore' -- so you would have taken your lumps no matter what.

Tell us what you think! Comment below or send an e-mail to

Posted by Doug Barney on 04/03/2009 at 1:16 PM


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