Three Buddhist monks contemplated a Crown of Thorns starfish stranded in a rock pool. "What would the Lord Buddha wish me to do with this starfish ?" asked the oldest of the three. The youngest monk replied, "Master, this type of starfish eats live coral. If it is destined to die today and you return it to the sea then you will have interfered with its life cycle and the life cycle of the coral." The second monk, older and wiser, replied, "Master, if the starfish's destiny is not to die today and you return it to the sea then you will have become one with its life cycle and the life cycle of the coral." The oldest and wisest monk said, "The Lord Buddha has made me arbiter of the fates of the starfish and the coral. Whatever action I take decides their destiny." He then picked up the starfish and crushed it to death. ===== Not too long ago Andreas and Michael were worshipped in the security forums as The New Messiahs. Now some of their former worshippers regard them as Spawns of Satan. How the mighty have fallen! Over the past fifteen years, a few "one man band" programmers wrote antivirus programs which became household names ... TBAV, F-Prot, KAV, and NOD32, for example. Many other promising "one man band" antivirus programs faded into obscurity ... their programmers' hopes and dreams shattered by the harsh reality of the business world ... their best intentions overwhelmed by the need to survive and to feed and house and clothe themselves and their families. Most of those programmers sold their skills to an established antivirus vendor. Some of you made donations to support Andreas' and Michael's projects. Your donations helped keep them alive for a while, but obviously there were not enough donations to keep them alive forever. Now you think they've "abandoned" you, and you feel they owe you an explanation. Perhaps they do ... but slagging them off won't encourage them to give you one. Try wearing their shoes. Would you want to face an angry crowd of former friends who seem determined to stone you to death ? Unlike the stranded starfish, a man is substantially the arbiter of his own fate ... a fate decided by the choices he makes during his lifetime. Andreas and Michael would have found it ego-shattering to give up their dreams and go to work for someone else, but life is filled with difficult choices. I'm sure they both think they chose the right path, and I wish them both success.