[LINK] Perspective on security! [was: Security efforts hindered by untrained users]

Craig Sanders cas at taz.net.au
Fri Feb 1 06:58:30 EST 2008

On Thu, Jan 31, 2008 at 10:24:11PM +1100, Stephen Wilson wrote:
>> ummm, hate to break it to you but you're describing computing in the the
>> 1970s and early 1980s. that was about 25+ years ago.  the field has come
>> a very long way since then.
> Really?  Bugger all has changed fundamentally.  The recent Link thread 

we'll have to agree to disagree on that.

> Moving along, I'm fascinated that on the one hand Craig Sanders said:
>> Treacherous Computing[1] has been rejected by the mass market ... 
> But on the other hand:
>> the bulk of the problem is that the software that most people use (MS
>> Windows) is complete and utter crap.
> Spot the inconsistencies?  You cannot bemoan the market's infatuation with 
> Microsoft but then give it credit for 'rejecting' Trusted Computing [which 
> was itself rejected by big bad Microsoft for quite a while]. Surely it's 
> way too early to rush to judge Trusted Computing.

what inconsistencies?

notice the failure of Vista in the market? that's partly because the
knowledge that it includes DRM anti-features (which will interfere with
- prevent or make difficult - their ability to play music & videos) has
been spread far and wide.

that's not the only or the biggest reason for the failure of
Vista, but it is a part of the reason.

> In any case, blaming Microsoft is really blaming users, to follow the
> logic of many on the List who seem to think that if only users knew
> better, they would surely choose Unix.

no, it isn't.  Mac users are no more sophisticated on average than
Windows users, but they're not subject to viruses and malware like
Windows users are.  Mostly because the operating system is far
more secure (writing malware for it is FAR more difficult than the
shooting-fish-in-a-barrel ease of writing it for Windows) and because
there is a huge level of consistency in Mac OS & Apps - Mac users are
not used to their computer doing unusual or odd things, so if and when
it happens it surprises them, they take stop and take notice.  Windows
users are used to it, they just ignore it and click OK.

users don't and won't choose unix, any more than they choose Windows.
they use what comes with their computer, bundled with it.  Even Mac
users don't choose unix, they choose a Mac and it happens to come with

not 100% of users, of course, but most of them.

they don't care about the OS. for the most part, they just want email &
web & basic office apps.  

BTW, for those who only need those things (and don't need the latest 3D
games), they're actually better off with one of the modern Linux distros
like Ubuntu - it will do everything they need without fuss or hassle.


craig sanders <cas at taz.net.au>

BOFH excuse #413:

Cow-tippers tipped a cow onto the server.

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