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I was recently sent an email by a friend about stupid computer users. One of these people had broken his CD-ROM drive trying to use it as a cup holder. One of them had tried to use the mouse -- the plastic device that you use to move the pointer around the screen -- as a foot pedal.
My friend seemed to find this funny. I found it disturbing. We have people spending several thousand dollars on a piece of sophisticated equipment that these idiots have no idea how to use. What's more, the sheer volume of unmitigated dross on the Internet is screaming for someone to regulate it, if only to make it possible to find something useful, without having to plow through all the porn, racism, and Communism sites on the way.
I think the only solution is for people to take a driving test before being allowed on the open Internet.
This may seem like a strange suggestion, but this is simply because you aren't used to the idea. When the driving licence was first proposed for cars, people were horrified at the prospect. Now, if you even consider suggesting the abolision of the driving test, people with react with equal or greater horror.
A computer is every bit as dangerous as a car. Used incorrectly, it can be used to attack commercial and government websites that are essential to the running of the free nations of the world. Even people who have no illegal intentions may unwillingly allow malicious criminals like the famous Kevin Mitnick and Alan Cox to hack into their machines, and the evil hackers could use them as a springboard to get into other computers, making the owner of the computer an unwitting accomplice to a criminal or terrorist act.
It is illegal to export powerful computers to over 100 countries, including Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland and North Korea, yet these same countries do currently have low power computers, either imported illegally, or low quality clones of US machines. These can be used to hack into more powerful computers, and then these can be used to hack into the extremely powerful computers that run the democratic world. People need to be taught to prevent this sort of attack from happening. We should not allow people to put these at risk simply because they're too stupid to know how to use their computers.
It is also important that the government should introduce restrictions of the types of computers that should be used on the Internet. While many people here believe that Microsoft Windows should be the only operating system that people shuld use, I feel that as long as they could ensure basic security was implemented, other operating systems should also be considered. Obviosuly we should make sure that these are rigorously tested, and at a cost to the manufacturers. We do insist on basic crash tests for cars after all, so why not crash tests for computers? Once again, I'm simply suggesting that we apply the same rigourous standards to computers as we do to cars.
Surely people should not be entitled to modify their computers in dangerous ways. Some people have removed the Windows operating system that came with their PC, and replaced it with a free operating system in order to avoid having to pay for their software! I'm surprised that this is still allowed. Nobody allows us to put spikes on the front of our cars, or replace the wheels with sawblades. Why should we be allowed to do the same to our computers?
Old operating systems such as the MS-DOS found on the early pre-Pentium machines would be decertified after they reach a certain age. This will keep the slower machines off the net, speeding up the Internet for the rest of us.
At the very least, this will reduce the cost of our computers. Part of the cost is the cost of technical support. If they didn't have to train qualified people to answer so many questions, the cost of Windows would plummet.