The Cornucopia of Crap
Most file sharers are at least one of the following: Haplessly ignorant, idiots, con-artists, trolls, kids, liars, careless, uneducated, and yes, criminals. I really couldn’t care less about any of this, except that it really does directly relate to the quality of their output.
Now as I type this, I can almost feel the indignation of countless file-sharers out there who successfully download many acceptable pirate copies of all and sundry. If that’s you, I would suggest that PC run-time is not a factor for you and you’re not very discerning over quality and consistency. You also either really know what you’re doing, or you’re just plain lucky. Let me make it clear here: unless you absolutely know what it is you’re downloading, there is no virus protection or malware prevention tool in existence which will guarantee protection when you open the file.
I worked in a shitty little PC shop for three years, and although most of the machines which passed through the doors were owned by muggles with no concept of anti-virus, some of them were up to date with Norton or McAfee. I even saw Kaspersky once (at the time, the last word in AV), yet they all got fucked-up with malicious code from file sharing networks.
If you are a Mac owner and you don’t have Anti-Virus, you now have a hole in your security. Mac viruses are real, and as rare as they are at the moment, they will only get more prominent. Bare this in mind, Mac Muggles. (I like a McMuggles with a large fries 😉 )
As a somewhat hardened Windows user, I’d like to think that I actually am one of the fortunate few who does know what they’re doing, so I should be able to safely use peer to peer networks. In truth, I don’t really consider security a problem with file-sharing on my own machines, but that’s not why I don’t touch it. The time, effort and inconsistency of the whole process is, at least for me, more trouble than it’s worth.
I suppose it’s all about what you want from the whole experience. I liken it to watching your favorite movie from the back of the cinema over other people’s heads, to having it on DVD at home. It all depends on whether you are trying to get a basic-quality immediate copy of whatever you want to see, or if you are trying to build a high-quality, consistently-formatted media library.
So does it work? – Yes. Is it worth it? – In my opinion, a number of ISPs are cottoning-on to what’s happening to all their bandwidth, and believe me, the UK is not the country of choice if you want to steal things on the Internet.
My word count is well over the 500 mark, and that means that it’s time to wrap this chapter up, but watch this space for Part Three, to find out the real reason why file sharing really is a no-no, and as I hold back the vomit, I still think Apple deserves a very honourable mention in all this. I may end up with an Apple TV yet…
The Average Windows Nerd