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HP sneers at Lenovo's Superfish problems

Technically Incorrect: HP decides that the best reaction to Lenovo's security woes is to mock them on Twitter.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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A little funny? Or a little fishy? HP/Twitter screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

When I think of HP, I think of a once famous name that's waiting for its Matthew McConaughey image rebirth.

Oh, that's a lie. I barely think of HP at all, save when my printer runs out of ink. Again.

Perhaps, then, the company aspires to a little extra saliency in order to recapture minds. That might have been the motivation for a Twitter post on Friday, in which HP took one look at Lenovo's security problems and decided to tweet a scoff.

Should you have been temporarily incarcerated for smiling at a police officer over the last 24 hours, you may not know that Lenovo admitted to inserting adware into its laptops, leaving the owners denuded of protection from spammers.

HP took one look at this difficult situation and didn't think: "There but for the grace of a tipsy evening of decision-making go we."

Instead, it posted this message to Twitter: "The only thing you should have to think of when someone says Superfish." This was accompanied by an image of a piece of sushi.

Clearly, salmon at HP thought this funny. Very funny, even.

The tweet even linked to an HP blog post, where the company explained: "HP, like virtually every other major manufacturer on [sic] consumer laptops, does preinstall software to enhance customer experience, but there is a key difference between most preinstalled software and Superfish. Superfish exposes customers to security vulnerabilities, is not easily removable, and hides its code from everyday users."

Perhaps HP believes that its security systems are insuperable. Yet if there's one thing that seems to unite almost every gadget that people use on a daily basis, it's that none of them is entirely (or even at all) secure.

Whether it's Samsung's Smart TVs listening into your sofa talk (and the recordings allegedly not being so encrypted) or famous actors having their private iPhone photos exposed for all to see, none of us can have complete confidence that what we type or search isn't being monitored by someone out there.

So any brand can chuckle and claim to own a blissfully safe environment.

Suddenly, though, where once it came over facetious with fish, its own face might be covered with egg.