[LINK] The White House IT -- a joke!

Danny Yee danny at anatomy.usyd.edu.au
Fri Jan 23 11:28:38 AEDT 2009

Stilgherrian wrote:
> And all kinds of Windows since (from memory) Server 2003 and XP SP2  
> also automatically install their security patches. Both can fail to do  
> so, of course, and both can leave the system vulnerable if a competent  
> systems administrator doesn't notice that the patches have stopped  
> happening. The difference is...?
One big difference is that, for most systems, Linux distribution
updates will update _all_ the software on the system, while the
Windows updater will only update the operating system.

This is a huge issue.  Take a look at a typical Windows desktop
and you'll find a bucketload of applications that _are not getting
security updates_.

If I install a (rare) application that's not part of my core (Fedora)
system, and which doesn't have any kind of autoupdate mechanism,
I put myself on the appropriate mailing list to get security alerts
about it.  This is hardly feasible for most Windows users, however,
and impractical with large numbers of applications.

This is actually a fundamental difference between free software and
proprietary software -- a free software distributor can package and
maintain an entire system, where even Microsoft and Apple can only
maintain the OS and some key applications.

  http://dannyreviews.com/ - one thousand book reviews
  http://wanderingdanny.com/ - travelogues + photos
  http://danny.oz.au/ - information activism, blog

More information about the Link mailing list