[thelist] New Critical Security Patch for Windows....

Jeff Howden jeff at jeffhowden.com
Fri Feb 13 19:03:38 CST 2004


> From: Shawn K. Quinn
> > it seems everything these days has some sort of
> > network capability built into it.  it also seems that
> > the majority of net-connected folk are running some
> > flavor of windows.  most are not computer experts, let
> > alone security experts.
> I'm not expecting the average user to be a security
> expert. What I do think is reasonable to expect is that
> the average user knows basic safe computing practices
> and common sense, namely that Microsoft will not e-mail
> the patch to its users. Microsoft could have chosen to
> be part of the solution by including this information
> with new copies of Windows; it's obvious that some
> people need to get it from somewhere.

you know as well as i do that people never read the stuff that comes in the
manuals for their computers.  rather, they plug all the stuff in and hit the
power button.  sure, it'd be nice if they all had some common sense (which
apparently is more uncommon than common really) and an understanding of
basic safe computing.  truthfully, this knowledge (and instinct) will come
with time.  the computer was a complex enough thing without networking
capabilities.  add in an often always-on connection and the complexity,
consequences, and amount of work to perform a correction goes up
exponentially.  many people are born too trusting and are simply incapable
of discerning good from evil in those circumstances.

> > therefore, the likelihood that one individual makes an
> > ill-advised decision regarding an attachment in their
> > email and suddenly their computer is infected and it
> > attempts to do the same to every other computer it can
> > find, most of which are running windows.
> Which is itself part of the problem, IMO.

if it's the scenario above and not the fact that i used "windows" in it.  it
really has nothing to do with it being microsoft products.  it has to do
with it being widespread in the marketplace and often administered by people
that haven't the first clue about a smart practice - keeping your software
up to date.

> > i'm not interested in your personal trust issues.
> It's a shame, because you probably could learn something
> if you knew the reasons why I quit trusting Microsoft.

learn something perhaps.  however, it'd be fairly useless knowledge as i'm
happy using microsoft products.  they do the job very well for me and i
can't afford the time investment necessary or have the desire to switch to
something else.

> > imo, your good vs evil attitude that's resonated in
> > the statements above does nothing to sway my opinion.
> > of course a large corporation is going to downplay
> > things.
> Not necessarily. I haven't really seen Ford, Chrysler,
> or GM try to downplay safety defects in their
> automobiles, for example; they are a lot more honest
> than Microsoft ever has been.

actually, if you knew *anything* about the car industry, you wouldn't be
saying that.  at least with computers/software the worst that can happen is
you lose some valuable data.  in the automotive world, blunders and issues
of poor quality often cause the loss of life more than once before it
becomes a large enough concern to the manufacturer (but only from a pr
standpoint) to issue a recall.  do some research.  it'll make you sick to
your stomach.

> > of course they're going to try to keep the details of
> > the entire issue under wraps.  sure, it makes some
> > people uneasy.  you still see a patch or update
> > available though don't you?
> Maybe, though usually not in a timely fashion.

asked and answered numerous times.  what is timely for you may be impossible
for them due to all the things involved in getting a patch built, tested,
and released.

> You seem to imply there's something really scary about
> GNU/Linux and other Unix-like operating systems; [...]

yes, the "unknown".  familiarity is crucial for efficiency and ease of mind.

> could you elaborate? Have you used them before?

i have and hated it every single time.  i've always found every other os gui
to be extremely kludgy, inaccessible, sloppy, and generally unusable.  in
fact, it seems the "prettier" they are, the more difficult they are to
use -- mac os x being a perfect example.


Jeff Howden - Web Application Specialist
Résumé - http://jeffhowden.com/about/resume/
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