POSTSCRIPT / January 23, 2000 / Sunday


Philippine STAR Columnist

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Erap dashes political  dreams of stars, kin?

IT can’t be that everything is wrong with the Estrada presidency now going into its second year, we told ourselves after the kapihan yesterday at Sulo hotel in Quezon City.

Sifting through the events of the past several weeks, including l’affaire Yasay and the precipitous drop of the approval rating of President Estrada, we strained to see something positive in the latest presidential fumblings.

Something positive? Well, we should thank Erap for singlehandedly stemming the impending avalanche of relatives and showbiz personalities running and winning in the next elections on the sole basis of their, huh, popularity and paternity.

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WITHOUT even trying, Erap was able to demonstrate the fallacy that (1) good intentions alone pave the path to a good presidency, and (2) a good script is a sure-fire guarantee of a great movie or presidency.

With Erap sinking in the polls, the showbiz personalities lusting after elective public office will have to contend with the backlash of public disaffection (that bad word again!) with the actor sitting in Malacañang.

Even the fans may now entertain second thoughts about voting for, say, actor and presidential son Jinggoy Estrada as senator. He may be okay as San Juan mayor, but for senator? Teka muna….

Another presidential son, JV, of the Guia Gomez branch of the family trees, may now have a hard time even if he lowers his sights at the San Juan mayorship to be vacated by Jinggoy.

Other children and relations from other branches, and twigs, may have to rethink their political plans in light of the drubbing that Erap has been getting in the polls and in media.

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IN the case of JV, who among all the presidential sons appeared as more responsible and better prepared for some high office, he may have ruined beyond repair his election chances with his recent pronouncements on his girl friend model Patty Betita.

Months after announcing in a press conference with his girl friend beside him that Patty was pregnant with his child (she’s due in March) and that they would soon get married, he flip-flopped days ago and decided not to marry the poor girl.

That sordid episode may have doomed whatever candidacy he was reportedly planning. The seeming abandonment of the mother of his child will not sit well with the women, who comprise half of the voters, as well as with some of the men.

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WITH Erap’s dismal performance, the fans reeling from false promises and misgovernment may hesitate, this time, to go all out for their movie idols running for some government office.

The disenchantment may spread so wide that even the king of Philippine movies himself, Fernando Poe Jr., may have to stop threatening to run as the replacement of Erap if his kumpare falters.

Comedian Dolphy, it now seems, has the perspicacity denied the other ambitious stars. He said in response to questions about his possibly running that his greatest fear was that he might just win!

With that glint of wisdom, Dolphy is already a winner to us without having to run.

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OVER at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, an underling of SBMA Chairman Felicito Payumo that he himself brought to Subic appears to have overgrown his supporting role. The grapevine says he wants to replace the boss.

One ploy he reportedly tried was pushing Payumo as replacement of Public Works Secretary Gregorio Vigilar. In this bid, he used his connection to a Palace faction opposed to Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora.

The speculation is that he began to entertain grand ideas after successfully building a P50-million house in one of Manila’s posh villages.

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SOME alarmed readers emailed us about unusual files with .rb* extensions (the asterisk being a single-digit number) in their directories. They noticed the infection after we mentioned the files in Postscript and speculated that they may be variants of the Chernobyl (CIH) virus.

We had advised readers to delete the filed with .rb* extensions and to pursue them to the Recycle Bin to be erased forever.

Appealing to the experts to share what they knew, we received email from Graham Sargent, VP for Engineering of DLR Communications Inc., the local distributor of Sophos, an anti-virus software.

Graham said: “My assumption that they were generated by Norton Anti-Virus was incorrect. They came from your PC-cillin ‘98 software. They are generated because you have a function enabled which backs-up infected files before PC-cillin disinfects them.”

“These files are thus copies of the original infected files with an .rb* extension. These backed-up files are still in their infected state — but with an extension that cannot do any damage.”

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PC-CILLIN is among the popular anti-virus software being bundled OEM with computers sold locally. One version is called Trend PC-cillin98. Its virus pattern can be updated via downloads from the Internet.

But Graham advises that PC-cillin OEM versions do not support program and scan engine updates. Only virus pattern update is supported, he says. Note the distinction.

He added that as the engine and/or program cannot be updated, the user will not be able to “see” viruses in, for instance, Powerpoint files, files with no extension, Screensaver (scr) files, and MS Project.

Files with the following extensions will not be scanned for viruses during real-time scanning, he adds: lnk, .ini, .dll, .drv, .inf, .fon, .ttf, .dat, .pif, .log, .wav, .dic. Files with the these extensions will not be scanned for viruses during manual or scheduled scanning: .lnk, .dll.

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GRAHAM cited some misconceptions of PC users, both home and corporate. Many of them, he said, believe that anti-virus software is essentially free and that protection can be ensured simply by downloading virus pattern/def/dat files from the Internet.

He said: “This is a dangerous misconception. An anti-virus software that comes pre-installed or as a ‘freebie’ when the PC is purchased is normally a ‘cut-down’ version of the full product, cannot be ‘networked’ and the scanning engine will not be the latest version.”

“To ensure protection from the (approx. 400-500) new viruses that appear every month, the scanning ENGINE must also be kept regularly updated. Engine updates are not available free of charge from the Internet from either McAfee, Norton, Trend, Sophos or any of the others.”

“Engine updates are only available to current software license holders and this normally means that the software must be registered within 30 days of purchase.”

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“BE extremely careful when purchasing anti virus software from the local malls,” he said. “Many of the products that I have seen have been imported directly from the USA by the store itself and many of the products are clearly marked “Not for Resale Outside of Canada/USA. ‘”

These products cannot be registered using a Philippines address, he warned, adding: “Pre-installed anti-virus software also cannot be registered and there is no guarantee that the scanning ENGINE will be able to deal with modern viruses even though the downloaded pattern/def/dat files might include the new virus ‘signatures.'”

We have also noticed that some genuine Windows 98 OEM operating systems being sold locally for just P3,000 are marked with similar restrictions as to location. If these Win98 copies intended for Philippine use are to be taken to the US, they are out of bounds.

* * *

AS for Sophos that Graham tells us in his email, he said that it is the oldest anti virus company and is also the largest AV software developer in Europe.

Sophos does not have a retail product as the software was developed from the ground up as a corporate anti virus solution. It is not a product specifically designed for home use although, he said, it is just as effective on a home PC.

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(First published in the Philippine STAR of January 23, 2000)

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