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Interview: Ask John McAfee What You Will 172

samzenpus (5) writes "Founder of the computer anti-virus company McAfee Associates, John McAfee gained world-wide attention eluding Belizean authorities in the jungle. Since we last sat down with John, he's been working on a device that blocks the government's ability to spy on PCs and mobile devices, been asked by the GOP to fix Obamacare, and has seen his last name removed from his old company. The rebranding garnered this response from McAfee: 'I am now everlastingly grateful to Intel for freeing me from this terrible association with the worst software on the planet. These are not my words, but the words of millions of irate users. ... My elation at Intel's decision is beyond words." John has agreed to answer your questions. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one per post."
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Interview: Ask John McAfee What You Will

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  • Belize (Score:3, Insightful)

    by christurkel ( 520220 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @12:43PM (#46593769) Homepage Journal
    Do you ever intend to return to Belize to face the charges leveled against you? Or do you enjoy being a fugitive from justice?
    • "Justice" is not a trait commonly associated with the judicial system of Belize.
    • Do you ever intend to return to Belize to face the charges leveled against you? Or do you enjoy being a fugitive from justice?

      John has not accepted the current lawsuit pending from the daughter of Greg Faull. http://dockets.justia.com/dock... [justia.com] He ran off and started hiding in Colorado before it could be served. Before he could be served in Colorado he went on the run again. I don't think he has the balls to return to Belize.

  • Why? (Score:1, Troll)

    Why would anyone want to ask this dipshit anything? He's not even funny anymore.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Any mind altering recipes worth sharing?

  • Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Everywhere this psychopath goes, something bad happens- someone always ends up dying, whether he's messing with ultralights in the Southwest US or antibiotics in Costa Rico- but it's never his fault, things just "happen".

    Most of his ideas are bullshit and vapor that, for some reasons (always "legitimate", of course) never make it into production.

    Why is Slashdot giving this guy a forum?

    This topic belongs on TMZ or the National Enquirer. What Tripe.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This topic belongs on TMZ or the National Enquirer. What Tripe.

      Controversy brings more activity / page views. The more controversial, the better, no? It wouldn't surprise me to see a post about feeding dead puppies to orphans next week on Slashdice.

    • Everywhere this psychopath goes, ...

      Why is Slashdot giving this guy a forum?

      Because they can?

      (For those not familiar with psychopathy, that's a psychopath joke. It's funny, laugh.)

    • "Why is Slashdot giving this guy a forum?"

      He's /.s Joe Biden

    • Why is he eternally relevant?

      I remember back in the 80s making my first FTP connection, on an Apple ][ at school. You could login with some silly username like "customer" (it was something different but I forget what, where are my meds?) and the password was 12345 or something. You could then download the whole (commercial) software package for free. In a time before most open source, when most of my software was "Cracked by The Nibbler," McAfee ("or however you spell it") would just give it away to anybody

  • In a cage match between you and Charlie Sheen, who would get the ring card girl?
    Joking aside, how do you feel about the comparisons, or are you just glad that it is a better association than with Intel AV?
    • Charlie Sheen would end up dead in the jungle, the ring girl would get a major magazine cover shot, and John McAfee would be found on the beach a week later muttering, "Those ring girls are powerful"

  • by schneidafunk ( 795759 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @12:50PM (#46593845)

    Your coke snorting with hookers video was pretty awesome, any new ones coming out soon?

  • "Buy Belize" ads. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @12:51PM (#46593853) Journal

    An observation more than a question, but feel free to comment (especially if you have information on the subject).

    Starting shortly after your Belizian adventure I've noticed a rash of radio advertising, touting Belize as a tax haven and secure retirement site for those ith substantial assets, and trying to sell land to them. These adds always strike me as funny.

    Since their authorities went after you, has Belize suffered a sudden drop in interest as a "safe haven" for the retiring well-off, or perhaps an exodus of others already there?

    • by tekrat ( 242117 )

      What I'd rather know about that ad, is that him walking along the beach with the girl in the blue bikini with the really nice ass?

      • What I'd rather know about that ad, is that him walking along the beach with the girl in the blue bikini with the really nice ass?

        The girl doesn't come across well on the radio.

        On what station(s) have you seen the TV version? B-)

  • by sandytaru ( 1158959 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @12:55PM (#46593897) Journal
    Seems like if you didn't want to be associated with the software, you could have asked them to remove the name years ago.
  • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @12:55PM (#46593901) Homepage Journal

    I promise I'm not a cop. You can't say that on the internet if it's not true.

  • by dmomo ( 256005 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @12:59PM (#46593937)

    I think McAfee anti-virus has a bug. I just installed it scanned my hard drive with it.
    It did not detect that "McAfee" was installed. Are you sure that it's the best malware detector out there?

  • Have you considered selling the rights to a movie about your life? Your life story is too amazing not to become a feature film.
  • Does he have good prices?
  • by pariah99 ( 1899388 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @01:10PM (#46594065)
    Hey John, I ended up spending a week sailing with friends in Belize last year over summer vacation - lovely place! We actually ended up sailing with a skipper who used to work with you, and he told me you had some wild times together! We didn't spend a lot of time together, but he left a huge impression on me and my sailing buddies. Unfortunately, he very recently passed away, as I'm sure you've heard. Okay, that's a bit besides the point, so on to my question: I was seriously wondering on what kind of technology your device incorporates. Does it use existing technologies like Tor, or is it based on a new protocol. If it's a new thing, is the technology dependent on a number of exit nodes a la Tor, or does it depend on the number of peers using the software in order to obfuscate identifying information. In either case, will you consider releasing the software side of things under an open license?
  • Would you say that your level of awesomeness is around that of a honey badger with surgically implanted, razor-sharp metal talons or closer to that of, say, Lemmy?

  • You clearly have a knack for doing outrageous, dangerous, or even illegal things and getting away with them, while others would get pinched.

    What do you attribute that to? Why do you think you've managed to violate so many laws, customs, and mores and get away with it, compared to your average resident of San Quentin?

  • Why are you such a media whore?
  • ... with another 68-year-old guy I know who lives well-off in Palo Alto. Instead of indulging himself like this circus freak, he volunteers at children's FIRST robotics competitions and such. I don't know how he made his successful living before he retired; he could have been a drug lord for all I know, but if so he's certainly atoning for it now. This useless meat sack by comparison is still taking while giving nothing back.

    • So... you want to see John Mcaffee volunteering at childrens events?

      • by macraig ( 621737 )

        Yes. If he steps outta line there, the parents in attendance will dismember and eat him alive. That's if the kids don't sic their robots on him first (pun intended).

  • by globaljustin ( 574257 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @01:19PM (#46594149) Journal

    Mr. McAfee, thanks for taking questions!

    My question: Do you consider Google in its current incarnation to be a "good company"? I ask in the context of revelations about the level of Gmail snooping, Google bus controversy, Google Glass failure, "only criminals want privacy", Larry Page refusing to donate to charity, Google Maps interface changes, etc. You used to be in security, so applying that experience & your recent public issues, do you "trust" Google?

  • by NoImNotNineVolt ( 832851 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @01:22PM (#46594167) Homepage
    You have a documented interest in psychoactive drugs. Which is your favorite, and why?
  • Only reason I can think to work in security is because it's hot, been hot since 9/11. $. But interesting? It can be, if you can stay away from the idiots. Useful? Maybe, if politics can be kept out of it. But that's the point-- the people with the purse strings are political and stupid. Look how Microsoft has handled security. Norton/Symantec once said that they would go out of business if MS ever fixed Windows. If I were to work in security, the very last place I would choose is anti-malware soft

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A drug-addled once significant technician. There are mountains of them out there who are worlds more interesting that John (Cliff Stoll comes screaming to mind). But /. of course tracks down the most successful attention whore of them all and trots him out in Jerry-Springer'st fashion. What a friggin waste of "ask what you will".

  • Your are bound by US laws, the Patriot act that either you collaborate with the NSA or you go to jail.

    How do you plan to get around this?

  • by Huntr ( 951770 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @01:39PM (#46594333)
    What the fuck, dude?
  • Hi. I don't know how much programming you used to do back when you were more closely related to the software field, but I'm going to assume that you used to have at least some experience with it. Do you still do any form of programming any more? Are there any specific programming languages, frameworks/libraries and tools that you prefer?

  • I have to admit that I loved your video How To Uninstall McAfee Antivirus [youtube.com]. Which raised the question, when mixing Jack and Coke, what is the perfect ratio?
  • What are the drugs like when you're wealthy?

    • by Krigl ( 1025293 )
      I'd guess as enjoyable as when you're poor, but with more quality control in production.
  • How do you propose to create a regional , nation leased, geek republic? somewhere where people can be free of doing and experiment anything they want (with the no-3rd-party-harm clause). Is Belize available? Thank you
  • by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @02:41PM (#46594863)

    What advice would you give to Pete to get his name off the second worst software on the planet?

    • Answer: get an impossible reputation for a testimonial, like having a foreign country looking to imprison you, so that they will have to drop the name without even needing a letter from you, duh.

  • What does it feel like to kill a man?

    Hypothetically speaking of course...

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      "You know, if you stab a man in the dead of winter, steam will rise up from the wounds. Indians believed it was his soul escaping from his body." Mikita's Manager, Glen

  • Many countries, namely Colombia and Ecuador have significantly less intolerance than Central and North America. The dollar is strong, food is fresh and cheap and the current political situation there is stable and welcoming. Why Belize over Colombia or Ecuador?

  • Why are you such an unbearable douchebag?
    And as a followup question, fuck you. Oh I mean "fuck you?"
  • One at a time /., we are still waiting for Theo de Raadt's Interview as well as RMS and Jonathan Coulton.

    The only interviewee to respond in a timely manner was Eric S. Raymond.

  • Given McAfee's penchant for making up wildly outlandish responses to questions he's bored with or finds uninteresting, do we have any reason to believe we'll actually get responses which are anything other than works of fiction?

  • Do you realize that you're a stark raving lunatic or do you really not get how disconnected from reality you are.

    You seem to have this 'the rules don't apply to me' mentality followed by an 'everyone is out to get me!'; with that in mind, do you recognize that you're a laughing stock in tech circles?

    Are you aware, even a little bit, that you have absolutely no credibility on anything, anywhere, every again?

    Sorry to be an asshole with my questions, but I really want to know what kind of fucked up goes throug

  • Hi John,

    How might I find my way to a posh life on tropical islands, with young women at my beck and call? I'll deal with the locals.

    Warm regards,

  • Didn't you write a long time ago that it was wrong to try to use an infected machine to remove viruses because it couldn't be trusted -- and then go on to found a company that did just that? Care to comment?

  • Hi John!
    Since your life has taken same rather big and strange turns over time (heck, Peter Norton, the other PC software pioneer, is now collecting contemporary modern art, you are collecting young women, guns and designer drugs!), I would like to ask you: If you could do your life over again, what things would you change? Or, maybe put in a different way, if you could give your younger self some advice, what would it be?

  • Since you seem to have a history of funding and helping fledgling new technologies, can you say which ones you are supporting now? Also, would you support mine? (Yeah I know it's a long shot, but hey, I have to try.)

  • ... back pre-Larson when McAfee was on Bowers or before, did you guys really keep score on who hit it in the conference room? was there a point system? how did you score?
  • We have seen huge efforts by contractors to sell malware with key logging or tracking to different govs using deep insights into consumer OS over many years.
    With quality AV efforts from around the world and more realtime networked behaviour analysis who is winning the dissident watching game?
    Thanks very much.
  • So, John,
              What could be on the horizon? You seem to have done most everything else. Ever thought about starting a religion? There is definitely money in it and a place for the pioneer who can figure out how to digitize it in an executable and give it to the masses in high def 3d. I mean, the efficiency of delivery has got to beat the current paradigm. I think you could be the man!

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