[LINK] Open source just as insecure as Windows
hartr at interweft.com.au
Tue Nov 12 09:22:21 EST 2002
> Wow, u guys are just like a bunch of Apple fanatics. No one ever allowed to
> diss Linux? Good luck.
I don't think people were worried so much about Linux being 'dissed'
(although there are Linux fanatics, sometimes even on Link). I rather
think that the storm your article kicked up on Link was more a concerned
with what people saw as inaccurate or sloppy reporting.
What was handed out was no less critical than is handed out on Link
following sloppy reporting on any subject. Link has a very large number
of technically savvy people amongst its subscribers - as well as a
number of very bright non-technical people as well, who frequently
analyse and disect articles on the list.
> For the record, the story today was supposed to appear with one I wrote last
> week about ISS's new virtual patching technology. Chris Klaus couldnt give a
> s*** whether he sells stuff to patch Linux or Windows, it's immaterial. But
> it's well worth pointing out that Linux does have flaws, and there are
> questions of legal liability etc that real companies worry about. The
> suggestion that these should be discussed copped a caning here last week.
Linux (and other open source software) most certainly has bugs, there
was no dispute on this issue in the Link discussion. The issue to which
the respondents took exception however was wether the main theme of your
article (expressed in its title "Open source just as insecure as
Windows") was justified. In their opinion (and on the weight of
significant evidence easily available around the 'net - try a google
search, look at bugtraq for example), this assertion is incorrect.
No-one is suggesting for a moment that your source on this is not what
you and his bio claim him to be. Being seriously bright unfortunately is
no protection against being wrong - whilst still being very persuasive
(as an example, remember Einstein's "God does not play dice" dimissal of
There are many people well versed in open source in Australia to whom
you could have talked (as already mentioned, Andrew Tridgell is one you
well worth speaking to), as a test of the accuracy of Dr Klaus' claims,
before you published this article (to say nothing of talking to
Microsoft). This could well have lead to a much better article - even if
you still felt that, after considering all the evidence, Dr Klaus was
correct in his assertion.
> Also, I might point out that in general I am a reporter, the
> old-fashioned sort, that is I talk to people and report what they say.
No one has any trouble with that. However, it was my understanding that
reporters had ethical duties towards the truth. I realise that this
presents difficulties when you are not expert in the area on which you
are reporting, but where that is the case, cross checking seems to be
the very least that is required.
If you did cross check - well and good, but that is not evident from the
Robert Hart firstname.lastname@example.org
Strategic IT & open source consulting +61 (0)438 385 533
Brisbane, Australia http://www.interweft.com.au
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