Re: What notebook did you buy?

Subject: Re: What notebook did you buy?
From: Lou Quillio <public -at- quillio -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 00:58:15 -0400


David,

Active X,
for instance, is a security disaster waiting to happen. I would not
call that "perfectly safe"

I wasn't clear. ActiveX is certainly included in my (and everyone's) criticism. The trouble began when Microsoft widely distributed network client apps wedded to the OS. ActiveX is exactly that. Everything ActiveX does can be done with platform-agnostic Java. Microsoft chooses not to.

Think about what ActiveX-related user confirmations are really asking (I'm sure you have). "I know you're just trying to view a web page, but may I take some control of your filesystem and other stuff to make it cooler and more convenient for you (as Microsoft defines convenience)?"

There it is. The default option is Yes.

...and, without a firewall *and* antivirus
software, Windows users are asking for trouble.

Well ... things have changed. An updated Windows system closes most ports and has good security out of the box these days. Still, Pandora's already loose. Compromised Windows systems everywhere spew robotic traffic and will for a long time to come.

Microsoft's shown such selfish bad will that it's difficult to ever trust it won't divine some new, undisclosed notion of "convenience".

But, hey, it's a consumer operating system. Asking Windows to shield you from the commercial (or acommercial) wilds is like asking the phone company to block telemarketing or the post office not to deliver junk mail. Can't happen. To these institutions, both we and our antagonists are customers.

For those of you seeking free resources for your personal Windows
machine, I suggest Sygate Personal Firewall and Avast! Antivirus.

Yes, use these, but be angry that your resources are depleted in the effort. Better to use NAT, stay behind a real firewall, stop forwarding crap you don't understand and stop clicking Yes. There's civic responsibility here.

The primary reason that there are fewer attempts on Linux and Mac
machines is that many fewer people try to crack them;

True statement.

however, both
are inherently more secure by design.

True statement.

These days, more Linux
distributions are starting to ship with default settings at higher
security settings than was the case just a year or so ago;

Don't wimp-out now. They're inherently safer. Client software on proper operating systems doesn't welcome the knife. Simple matter of permissions. The door to destruction is closed until it's opened. Windows opened it. Consciously. Many folks within Microsoft knew better. Business ambitions won.

LQ

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References:
RE: What notebook did you buy?: From: Spitzer, Judd L
Re: What notebook did you buy?: From: Lou Quillio
Re: What notebook did you buy?: From: David Neeley

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