“Power Viruses” – the next snake oil

I saw something in one of my newsfeeds this morning that was highly disturbing. Some guy, in an attempt to make himself sound more authoritative, coined the term “Power Virus” when referring to normally occurring voltage spikes and noise.

I’ve been herding electrons around for more than 30 years, and this is the first I’ve heard of this … this … hogwash.

What do you bet that some bonehead on the Internet is going to pick this up and try to make something of it? You heard it here first, this is baloney: enough of it to make sandwiches for an entire preschool.

Voltage spikes, missed cycles, and noise are part of mains power. Always have been, always will be. It’s part of the Universe. Call it what you want, things made by man, part of the broken world. But they’re always, always there. You design (or reverse-engineer, then redesign, in my case) to allow for it, and you get over it. Build the supply to handle the norm, with provisions for the exceptions.

Even if you could engineer something programmed like a ‘power virus,’ it’s never going to encounter something intelligent that it can attack. Power supplies are composed of (literally) dumb semiconductor bricks, capacitors, and carbon resistors. They have to be, for what they have to handle. There’s nothing in them that you can hack, because the term ‘virus’ assumes a hackable object. I’ll say it again in plainer language:
Power supplies are too stupid to be hacked.

But my real point is that the author’s going on and on about so-called “power viruses” is like whining because every day isn’t sunny and 70 degrees.

For integrity, I’ll quote the article here as a source, but I’m not going to reprint the author’s name, because I believe in a few short weeks, PowerVar will realize their mistake and be rid of him and his nonsense.


Don’t be fooled. There are no such things as “power viruses”. You heard it here, first.

If the link above doesn’t work, well then good. That just means that there is intelligent life over at PowerVar.


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