Antivirus software entrepreneur John McAfee surprised audiences at a computer hackers' conference and delivered a new website where users will have the opportunity to express their anger. Known for his outspoken and public nature, the conference appearance appears to be a PR move to spark interest in the new endeavor.
The free site will allow people to voice their complaints about anything from a bad restaurant to a bad product or even attack government policy and action. It's a site for the angry. And it may have come out of McAfee's own anger after he fled Belize in 2012 following police wanting to question him in the murder of a neighbor.
The website is called BrownList and has as its tagline, "It's payback time."
"This taps into anger in a positive way," he said before taking the stage at Def Con, the world's largest conference of computer hackers. "Instead of getting angry and shooting at somebody on the highway, or yelling at your wife, you can log onto the site."
But the site won't end at just allowing people to vent. Instead, BrownList will allow other users to enter the conversation and offer solutions to the problems affecting others. Then, users can vote on what solutions and responses were the best. In an FAQ on the site, it says "BrownList's mission is to give people a voice and help them find solutions. We aim to make the world more proactive and transparent."
"Instead of just lashing out, give us your positive solutions," he told an audience of hundreds of hackers taking part in a three-day conference.
The funding of the project is unclear, as McAfee is not disclosing the person behind the $450,000 he used to get the site up and running. While at first glance, BrownList would not appear to be a profitable idea, the software pioneer plans to sell subscription services to businesses. He is also looking for more investors to support the project.
It may come at the right time for McAfee to branch out. Brian Dye, Symantec's senior vice president for information security, has claimed the antivirus sector has no money going forward, Tech Times reports. While Kaspersky refuted that claim, it has shown the volatility in the sector and the need for companies to potentially branch out.
"We don't think of antivirus as a moneymaker in any way," Dye told the Wall Street Journal in his latest interview. "Antivirus is dead."
And maybe McAfee is in agreement as he looks for new projects and new ideas to continue to push the envelope. BrownList, he hopes, will be the place where anger can be openly discussed and people can find assistance in one another.