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Re: Steven Vaughan-Nichols: Open-source Vista

__/ [ Rex Ballard ] on Friday 28 April 2006 06:07 \__

> It's a bit like Military secrets.
> Many materials are classified, not because they want to protect
> information from the enemy, but because they don't want the general
> public to know how much they are spending and how little real security
> they are getting for that money.
> Microsoft is probably far more concerned at the possibility of losing
> access to key strategic information than they are about whether someone
> might see that their implementation of sockets is almost identical to
> Linux or BSD Unix.
> Keep in mind that in the name of "customer service", Microsoft knows
> exactly what software you have on your machine, which sites you visit
> (if you use MSN or Verizon as your ISP), even where you spend your
> money.
> Futhermore, even though the cookies are "anonymous", proper data
> warehousing techniques make it possible to link the cookies back to
> specific registered users.

Microsoft do some cross-site cookie swapping, which is unethical.


,----[ Quote ]
| ...Now, if you go to another Microsoft web site, say, www.investor.com,
| the same thing will happen: you'll get redirected to Passport and then
| back to Investor. Because Passport is "telling on you", even though your
| web browser is supposed to be protecting your security by following the
| golden rule of cookies, it's really Passport that is signing you in.
| Bottom line: Hotmail knows that you're the same person that just went to
| Investor...
| ...One day, Expedia could start offering higher fares to customers who have
| more than a million dollars in their Investor stock portfolio. There's not
| really anything technically impossible about this, and it?s probably legal,
| too...
| ...The scary thing is that if you use Internet Explorer, Microsoft controls
| your web browser....

So, they never truly cared for privacy.

> Microsoft like having control of the world's information.  It gives
> them critical information, where to invest, what companies would be
> good takeover targets, and when an emerging market could justify
> relevant investment.

Therefore they are very interested in toppling Google. It's a crucial
strategic choice to them.

> Imagine if AT&T were to wiretap your telephone and feed transcripts to
> all law enforcement agencies - like an American equivalent to the
> Gestapo.  Imagine if IBM were to take every financial transaction
> conducted involving any form of IBM equipment, and report that spending
> traffic directly to law enforcement agencies like DYFSS, IRS, DEA, and
> TSA.  Imagine if anyone could initiate such an automated investigation,
> without the need of a court order?

Then comes the issue of E-mail and third-party, unencrypted E-mail services.
A government warrant could always expose your data. Now everyone is talking
about GDrive, Google Desktop 3 (retaining data on the server) and the
Microsoft Live equivalents.

> Bill Gates and Steve Jobs understood the importance of INFORMATION vs
> merely having simple gadgets.  They sought to control that information,
> and Microsoft won the battle.  Richard Stallman also understood the
> importance of information, and the potential threat to personal
> liberty.  He sought to break the control of INFORMATION MONOPOLIES.
> The GNU manifesto seemed like the rantings of a madman back in 1984
> (and still do to those who support information monopolists), but in
> fact it was more like prophecy and great wisdom.

He also wisely predicted lockins that are associated with vendor-specific
formats, which once they become prevalent, are further pushing a monopoly.
If only more people read it at the time... before choosing packages over
standards. Packages and Windows 3 were the hype de jour.

> If people knew how much information could be collected, how easily it
> could be collected, and how damaging that information could be when
> sent to the wrong people, they would probably format their hard drives
> and switch to Linux immediately.

Privacy, which is indirectly related to security (a logical subset perhaps),
is not among the 'big sellers'. People seek convenience. Average Joe does
not mind being spied on. He will typically have nothing but music, IE (for
E-mail), and some pr0n on his hard-drive. As long as it doesn't get
convicted, he won't make a switch. Viruses and the hassle they cause are a
more compelling reason for an upgrade to GNU/Linux.

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz      |    /earth: file system full
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux    ¦     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
  9:10am  up  16:15,  12 users,  load average: 0.27, 0.32, 0.32
      http://iuron.com - next generation of search paradigms

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