Wednesday, September 28, 2005

AGHHHHHHHHH!!!

October will see the release of the Gold edition of SuSE 10.0, the Nokia 770, and the Serinity movie. Sadly I am too much of a geek to function properly while waiting for all my new toys. So I will end this short post with a heartfelt plea for this last week of September to end early so I might find something else too geek over.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Internet Security

I have been reading a lot of web-news articles about how microsoft is taking security seriously with it's new Windows Vista operating system. You will pardon me if I chuckle. The principle reason that windows is not secure is because it started life as a DOS entity. DOS was, at the later stages of it's development, entirely centered around simplifying the user experience. As Windows came to be built on DOS it had the same goal. That wasn't a problem in the early days, as security was not as great a concern. Even when Windows left DOS with the 2000 and XP editions, it was forced to maintain that focus even as security issues mounted.
The reason Windows was made so vulnerable to virus and spyware infection is because every account is an administrative account. Only with a serious amount of work can this be undone, and then the undoing will make most of your programs lose function or not function at all. For the non-geeks, it is bad to have an administative install default because that means every virus and spybot then has administrative authority. MacOS, Linux, and other UNIX based operating systems do not share this, and are much more secure because of that lack of a constant administrative account.
Why would Microsoft maintain such a flawed system? Simple economics, changing it will make installing all existing software impossible. And Microsoft is not prepared to "start over" and launch an OS with minimal third party software available for it. The best it will try to do is to make use of an emulator that will mimic the more secure environments of the UNIX based systems. No amount of pretend security will ever make Windows a secure operating system. Windows is flawed by it's own core structure, until that is changed Windows will be very vulnerable to every virus or bit of spyware that can find a hole to get in. Thats why I had to laugh. Windows Vista's security being taken seriously is a lot like taking the gun away from a man about to shoot himself and handing him a different gun. He will still get shot.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Let me geek out for a moment.

Readers of my blog, those who know me, and anybody who has read some of my Tshirts will know I have little love for Microsoft. But I have always held a real respect for the DirectX division within the company. The DirectX department is responable for the runtime environment within the Windows operating system that allows game graphics to be processed, and they oversee the Xbox and Xbox360 game consoles. In a world of ineptitude they seem to keep creating decent products. I feel more strongly now than ever, that when Microsoft avoided being broken into seperate companys by the U.S. goverment (they paid a fine instead) that they ultimately destoyed themselves. Now they won't die overnight, they simply have too much money and too many standing contracts. But ten years from now they may be forced to break apart to save the profitable divisions within the company. Just think what that division could have done for the DirectX department had it happened before it's profits went into the Microsoft Legal department's warchest. DirectX could have been the runtime environment on every Linux, Apple, Microsoft, and Homebrewed operating system out there. You could just buy a game and it would work, no more OS compatability issues. Royalties from use would be steady income, predictable and reliable income to feed R&D on the main focus, the Xbox consoles. Sadly DirectX is still just a cog within the greater Microsoft rusty machine. I just hope the drive toward mediocrity at Microsoft avoids the employees at DirectX untill legal action or industry reality free it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Making myself at home

Must say that I like my new home. Raw HTML......all my reading was good for something after all. I killed the old blog today. It wasn't like a lot of people read the thing anyway. What handfull of you are out there will find this place from the link on my homepage. And there were a few, surprisingly. I think most just followed the link from my homepage. My homepage is just a free Geocities site. I'm not certain how many visitors I get per day, because my ticker was stuck. It had been reading 270 for a few weeks even though I was getting reports of the addresses that were visiting my site. I didn't count but it seemed to be about five a day, different IPs I mean it wont show how many times each has visited. No point paying for a personal domain with so little traffic. Anyway, I made the ticker invisible (so only I see it) and it lept to about 330. So it worked, but the graphic didn't??? Maby my HTML skills arent as good as I thought. Till later...

Monday, September 12, 2005

The birth of a new blog

I was happy. Blogging my fingers off at blog.com. Being a little security minded, I thought it was time to change my password. I could not find the tab to change passwords anywhere on the home site so, a little annoyed, I contacted customer service. I was told point blank that they "do not support password changes at this time, but maby in the future that feature will be added." After reading that little gem of an email, I replied "That means I (or anyone) could use a brute force password cracker to gain controll of anybody's account and you have disabled their ability to protect themselves. Are you guys irresponsible or just stupid?" I was told that they "have a feature to password protect each individual post." That was the last email from them I bothered to open. And for the record, I checked the individual post password feature, it can be disabled in the main account. You know, the one you can't change the password on. Not that I endorse this sort of thing, but Xavier_modern works just fine at busting the password on my old account.