Breaking the User Experience: Avira, McAfee, Twitter and IE8
Article by George Norman
On 06 Jul 2009
The goal one tries to reach with any product is providing the best user experience possible – software applications should work properly, web pages should load quickly, security solutions should protect you from malware and security threats without breaking your operating system, and your micro-blogging client should let you share your opinion with the world. But then something comes along that breaks the norm, that makes things go wrong, much to the dismay of the end user.

Avira Erroneously Flags News Sites as Dangerous
And we start our breaking the user experience article with Avira, the German company that specializes in providing security software solutions for Windows and Mac OS X-powered machines. It seems that on Thursday, the company rolled out an Avira WebGuard update that got a little too excited about protecting users from malicious web pages.


“The update provided to customers during the evening of the 2nd July wrongly identified some news websites within the WebGuard module that protects against malicious web content in Avira’s AntiVir products which include this module. The error was quickly corrected and a further update was provided at 11.01 p.m. on the 2nd July. The update is automatically downloaded by our products so no action is necessary,” says the official press release on the matter.

McAfee Update Leads to Blue Screen of Death
The Santa Clara-based security software developer was hit by an update issue of its own last week, when a McAfee VirusScan update was pushed out – mainly DAT 5664 for older VirusScan engines. The direct result was that VirusScan identified files required by the computer to run as malware (PWS! Trojan); upon quarantining these files, numerous PCs and servers running McAfee's security solution were brought down (some displayed the dreaded blue screen of death).

Twitter Accidentally Suspends User Accounts
And the cake goes to the popular micro-blogging site Twitter who over the weekend suspended numerous user accounts for no apparent reason. It seems that this annoyance was caused by human error and Twitter is working on remedying the problem.

“We regret the human error that led to these mistaken suspensions and we are working to restore the affected accounts—we expect this to be completed in the next several hours. One additional note: some the accounts suspended were using the third-party site Tweetlater. However, Tweetlater is not to blame for these suspensions nor is it in violation of our Terms,” explained Twitter.

Internet Explorer 8 Adds Starring Dean Cain
Microsoft has been running a series of 4 ads staring actor Dean Cain in which the company showcases some of the features in Internet Explorer 8 (IE8). While personally I find the ads to be amusing (at least a bit funny), it seems that something (possibly user feedback?) has determined the Redmond-based software giant to pull one of the ads.

The ads, and YouTube link to watch them, below:
F.O.M.S – Fear Of Missing Something
S.H.Y.N.E.S.S – Sharing Heavily And Yet Not Enough Sharing Still
G.R.I.P.E.S. – Gritting Rage Internet Pathetically Extra Slow
O.M.G.I.G.P. – Oh My God I Think I’m Gonna Puke

This last one is the ad that was pulled. Try to see if you can spot why (the “puke” in the title is a hint).

UPDATE: If somehow the ads convince you to download IE8, do it from the Browser for the Better web page and help feed starving children.

Tags: Avira, McAfee, Twitter, Internet Explorer 8, IE8, Microsoft, Dean Cain
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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