Sunday, November 6, 2005

Sony’s on the list

Over the years, I have maintained a list of companies that I am conducting personally boycotts against. This list started back in the early 1990s, when Avis owed me $1200 for damages to my car caused by an unlicensed driver they rented to. (This is called vicarious liability – I informed Avis of the incident, but they said that when the driver came back in to return the car, he didn’t report any damage so they couldn’t catch him.) They knew the law was on my side, but they tried to wear me out by making me go to court in Hicksville twice, facing one of those shitty, low-rent lawyers whose only skill is abrasiveness. He also had a bushy moustache, as if you could hate him any more. I held firm, and after the second visit they cut me a check immediately.

So fast-forward to this week. Sony has released an audio CD (or CDs) that will actually trash your PC. Without asking permission, it installs something called a rootkit. This is a piece of software that you can’t get off your machine, which doesn’t show up when you look at Task Manager, and which is basically what malicious hackers use to control machines undetected. This rootkit has been found to transmit information back from your machine to Sony servers. Doing this is illegal in many states, and I’m personally not going to purchase any Sony products in protest.

In case you’re keeping track, I’ve compiled a list of Cynicor Boycotts. Please do not patronize these companies, for the reasons listed.


Secretly installs malicious software from audio CDs


Tried to screw me over in small-claims court

Delta Airlines

Charged me $1200 for a crippling center seat on a flight to Atlanta


Offloads health care costs onto Medicaid. Destroys small business, busts unions. Also, the kind of place where Britney Spears would shop.

Hefty Bags

Their tall trash bags with cinch strips are often defective; the straps pull right out, and then you have to take the other one and tie it around the top.


Screws around sports programming if it competes with teams they own. Cable providers should not be allowed to own programming as well. Also, their signal goes out when it rains, just like a dish.

American Airlines

No longer lets me upgrade my coach tickets, so I have all these miles I’ll never be able to use. Getting service from them involves vigorously jiggling a handle.


In college, I bought an Aiwa CD player and it didn’t work right. Its head was misaligned, and it would scratch all my CDs. I sent it back twice, and they wouldn’t fix it. I recorded a brand new CD being put in and scratched and sent it to them. They sent back a note: “We think problem is caused by big scratch on CD.”

Circuit City

Tried to force DivX format on people – self-destructing DVDs. Also doesn’t have as good a selection as Best Buy.

The Wiz

Chased me down in their parking lot because their security system was malfunctioning. Its alarm went off each time someone walked through the doors. I took the stuff I’d paid for and kept walking, and they ran me down and grabbed my receipt out of my hand.Note: people have no obligation to present their own belongings to a dumb-ass store employee just because they have a defective security system. Their problem, not mine. The Wiz is out of business now, ha ha.

New York Times

On my last nerve right now, for allowing Judith Miller to help send our country to war against Iraq.

Omni Hotels

The room I had at the Boston Parker House in 1992 was substandard.


I still don’t know what I bit into in that McNugget. Wasn’t chicken.

Reese’s PB cups

Ate a bag right before I got a stomach virus once. I now boycott them.

NBC on Mondays

I will not watch the morning news on WNBC on Mondays, because they run Fear Factor ads at 6 AM. Who needs that crap?


For destroying an entire season out of greed. And also, the Islanders kinda blow this year.


Jon said...

Circuit City made the list for Divx? Righteous. I went into the store in Spokane and taunted the sales staff when the death of Divx was announced.

They kicked me out.

Laura said...

You forgot Friendly's. (Also Poland.)

Jessica Trupin said...

Oh my god, you sued a rental car company too?????