Author Topic: Here's an interesting thought...  (Read 7528 times)

precisonline

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Here's an interesting thought...
« on: August 03, 2008, 10:32:48 pm »
Should Microsoft be held culpable for the construction and support of an environment that enables and encourages the creation and propagation of destructive computer viruses?

My family, for whatever reason, seems to be a magnet for viruses.  Things will be chugging along swimmingly, and then all of a sudden my wife will get a bootloader or some other heinous little annoyance, usually - as best I can tell - delivered via Microsoft's proprietary RPC and ActiveX technology.  Don't get me wrong, I think to a degree Microsoft has done some fine work in the area of making stuff talk together, though notably their efforts have been more directed towards the fiscal value of a feature than its security (or lack thereof).

While the virus writers of years gone by could do a lot of damage given the resources available then, today's virus writer has a virtual unlimited number of options at their disposal with Microsoft Windows.  And of course, they use those tools to wreak untold damage upon the world.  But you might be wondering, how can Microsoft possibly be culpable for the actions of these idiots?

Could it be that Microsoft not only provides the technology and opportunity for virus writers to inflict substantial damage, could it also be true that they encourage that activity?  Look at it from a dollars and cents point of view; What's the solution when your computer gets so horked up with viruses that it's completely unusable?  Well, for most people it's an upgrade.  And who benefits from the upgrade?   Yeah.. MICROSOFT.

If that wasn't bad enough, Microsoft programming actively discourages the removal of viruses.  Install a legitimate extension into Internet Explorer, and if you don't like it or don't need it you can disable or remove it.  However, if you somehow get a virus installed in IE and you might as throw in the towel as there aren't many options for resolution other than a complete reinstallation of Windows (or of course an upgrade)!

Why else would Microsoft build Vista with such an aweful feature like "User Access Control" that prevents you from basically USING your machine for much at all?  To me, it looks an awful lot like a smoke screen, designed NOT to protect users but to give them a false sense of security that Microsoft is doing something to combat the problem that in all honesty they themselves continue to propagate.  No, a security feature that quietly does its job would make me feel a lot better than a program that is shouting at the top of its lungs
"LOOK AT ME, I'M PROTECTING YOU", especially when its form of protection is to basically put child locks on all the programs and then ask a thousand times if I REALLY want to do that.

In the end, virus writers bring in a LOT of money to Microsoft.  With that in mind, wouldn't you think that someone inside that organization would be actively pursuing a means to subsidize that cash cow?

Like I said, an interesting thought...
-Kevin
Accidents "happen"; success, however, is planned and executed.

jokule

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Re: Here's an interesting thought...
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2008, 03:11:18 pm »
You are so right, but what is new about that!
I know I could really use a new machine, but I don't want Vista. 2 gig of memory required to just sit there and look pretty. Another 2 gig would be needed to just keep running in place.
If I apply one more service pack that forever disables my hardware or software I have no reason to stay with Windows.  Macs have a great Unix OS now. PCs run faster than Windows with Ubuntu or Linux OS.
I think business has prospered with everyone having computers, and I thank MS for making PCs cheap enough and ubiquitous enough that most Americans can get and use them.
But, about that security, MS please stop adding cuteness at the expense of solidity. Now that we live with computers, this rush to market with holey code just doesnít fly.  It canít be the money, can it?

precisonline

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Re: Here's an interesting thought...
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2008, 03:23:00 pm »
Hey Jo, your message brought up an interesting thought.  There are virtually no viruses in the wild on Linux or Mac OS.  Yet the viruses in Windows continue to grow in size, severity, and depravity.  If viruses were all about technology anarchy - as some well meaning writers have asserted - then wouldn't we see equal if not more attention being paid to destroying Linux or Mac in the same manner as Windows?

I think this is one more evidence that the mindset of a virus writer is more likely into the thoughts of money than anarchy, which begs the next question: Who's paying their bills?
-Kevin
Accidents "happen"; success, however, is planned and executed.

Alex Copeland

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Re: Here's an interesting thought...
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2010, 03:25:19 pm »
I realize that this is an old post, but the situation with viruses and such remains largely the same.  I can highly recommend Ubuntu's distribution of Linux as easy to use, feature-rich and free from the virus headaches of Windows.  I've been using Ubuntu at work and home almost exclusively (I keep a Windows VM for times that I have to use Windows).  I haven't looked back.  Oh yeah, it's free and comes without the licensing headaches of Windows, too.


precisonline

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Re: Here's an interesting thought...
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2010, 03:26:30 pm »
I'm interested to know if this was the desktop version and specifically which revision you prefer?
-Kevin
Accidents "happen"; success, however, is planned and executed.

Alex Copeland

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Re: Here's an interesting thought...
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2010, 03:41:59 pm »
I have used almost all of the versions of Ubuntu since 5.10.  I am typing this on my desktop that I had originally installed Ubuntu 8.10 64-bit desktop version on, then upgraded to 9.10.  I installed the kubuntu-desktop packages and am running KDE as my desktop environment.  It really doesn't matter what version you install -- server or desktop, you can apt-get the packages you want to make the install do what you want it to.

If you want to try something, I'd recommend the Kubuntu9.10 desktop.  Download the 64bit/32bit as appropriate.  32bit should always work, though.

As an aside, I have an Ubuntu 7.04 machine that runs as our fileserver that reports:

copeland@evv-fileserver-01:~$ uptime
 16:35:17 up 945 days, 17:04,  3 users,  load average: 0.00, 0.01, 0.00

This runs samba (among lots of other stuff) and authenticates to our AD server to serve files (thus fileserver) to our users.  I told Chris that we'd reboot it after we hit three years of uptime.


precisonline

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Re: Here's an interesting thought...
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2010, 03:44:43 pm »
That's awesome.  I had put up an Ubuntu server a while back but could never get a good desktop manager working on it.  I know, a server shouldn't need a desktop manager, but I've been spoiled with openSuSE.

I actually had Xubuntu running on a netbook a while back; that was a fun little exercise.  I'll have to try Kubuntu; I'm sure I have a spare machine around here somewhere, now to find some spare time! :)
-Kevin
Accidents "happen"; success, however, is planned and executed.