Monday, December 05, 2005

Microsoft: Just Say No

Hackers have discovered that Google's new Desktop interface exposes a user's pc to vulnerability when Microsoft's Internet Explorer is the chosen browser.

Maton Gillan at hacker demonstrates how to employ MS's notoriously flawed browser to gain access to user information on a pc. This is, of course, just the latest in the continuous stream of new ways to hack Microcsoft's crap-ass OS and other software, like Office and IE, that seemlessly allows easy access to a pc through any number of vulnerabilities. You might have thought people would have taken a little more notice when the Department of Homeland Security issued an alert about Internet Explorer, which essentially said, punt it. As a reminder, this is what US-CERT said back in June:
There are a number of significant vulnerabilities in technologies relating to the IE domain/zone security model, the DHTML object model, MIME-type determination, and ActiveX. It is possible to reduce exposure to these vulnerabilities by using a different Web browser, especially when browsing untrusted sites.
I can't begin to imagine why anyone uses MS junk anymore. I really can't. Microsoft's history of draconian marketing practices and anti-trust violations combined with their insecure and buggy OS should be enough to move the business community -- the biggest users of MS products -- away from MS. But resistance to such a move seems to be driven, not be any good reason, but simply by inertia and, as Kunstler has called it, the psychology of previous investment: the notion that humans will resist recognising that a large investment made sometime ago may have been just plain bad.

4 Comments:

Blogger vacuumspeak said...

I agree with you on the drawbacks of microsoft, but it is one of those "everyone else does it so I must, too" situations. Only in this case, due to getting along with others, we can't seem to shake this manipulative dinosaur. I wish I didn't have to use it, but I do, to be compatibe with every other microhead at my job.

3:36 PM  
Blogger theBhc said...

It's funny you mention this because this is, as far as I have ever heard from pc users I know, this is the only reason they ever come up with for using Windoze. In fact, the general feeling I see is that they would very much like to not uses Windoze, they need to have a pc "for work." I have seen people literally mope at the prospect of buying a computer for home and say they'd like to get a Mac or linux box but they can't because they use Windows at work. And Microsoft has worked very hard for a long time to put people into this position.

MS has led a constant assault against any and all protocol standards. They screwed with Java, they made IE the most incompatible browser around, all in an effort to force people to continue to rely on MS software. If you use Microsoft Office on a Mac, documents produced will be close to compatible, but not quite.

I don't know if you have heard of their latest efforts in Mass., where they are lobbying to defeat a state proposal that all state government documents move to Open Document standards, but this is yet another example of MS resistance to transparency and compatibility that the Free Software Foundation and many others are working toward.

11:01 AM  
Blogger vacuumspeak said...

I hadn't heard of the efforts in Mass. and not being a software wizard, I have found .rtf as an option for the transfer. But I don't see why apple (or micro.) or someone has not developed a basic document program that makes the transfer for any text documents easy, compatible for any software. Keeps Microsoft #1 it seems.

11:03 PM  
Blogger theBhc said...

At my workplace, we are all on Linux boxes. Open source is the de facto standard there. Open Office is the office-like package that offers open source versions of power point, word, excel, etc. This package also offers any number of formats in which the user may export a document, including MS Word format. It works quite well.

As far as the Mass story goes, check out this story at Blue Man group. things are evolving rather quickly in the arena. Also, see this blurb from three months ago when Mass. first announced the intended move to OpenDoc.

1:05 AM  

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