Despite my best efforts, the Conficker.c worm is set to do something tomorrow. No one really knows what, for sure, but since such a large number of computers are rumored to be infected already (between five and ten million, if CNN is to be believed), the mass media such as CNN, Fox News and MSNBC have taken notice.
With such a large portion of the computing population threatened, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to hear my local radio station, WTAM, interviewing an expert on the subject on this morning’s Wills and Snyder show. I was surprised, however, to hear who the “expert” worked for:
I haven’t really mentioned Geek Squad in this blog yet, but those of you who talk to me in person probably know my feelings on this organization.
To put it bluntly, portraying Geek Squad as an expert on anything computer-related would be just about as believable as Michael Scott being called to CTU to replace Jack Bauer (since Jack is indisposed, currently).
The fact that Geek Squad exists isn’t really avoidable – it’s a market that really had no competition (at least on that level – you might have your neighborhood computer guy, or you might have your nationwide tech support company for hardware issues or Windows or other software, but nothing that’s all-encompassing) when Best Buy entered it, so it made a lot of business sense for Best Buy to do so. Why WTAM had them on the air, though, is beyond me. Surely they could have found someone from Microsoft’s local headquarters to talk about it for a few minutes. Surely they could have gotten a professor from CSU or a professor from Case to talk about it. Surely they could have gone down to their own IT department and brought that guy up to talk about it.
Instead, someone from Geek Squad showed up. Now to be fair, the guy wasn’t completely incompetent. He recommended patching your computer, using anti-virus software and using a firewall. Let me assure you: this is the best Geek Squad has to offer, and even if you see one person like this at your local Best Buy, the rest of the team is not like that.
I implore you: don’t go to Geek Squad for anything. They’ll cause more harm than good.