"...calling a scientist with whose results you disagree a "hockey puck" is hardly helpful"
Damn funny, though.
40 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Nov 2007
Actually, I am uncertain as to when, exactly, Microsoft decided to change their focus to the "Metro"-style interface for their dominant "desktop client" (Its been several years). What I was pointing out was that Ubuntu has really, apparently, blundered (almost beyond belief) on this one. I, personally, just found the timing of announcements, and releases, of this new (and almost universally despised, unwanted, and potentially-destructive) "tablet" interface "paradigm" (for the desktop) to be really strange. Microsoft intends to use "Metro" to cement "Cloud" based, client-computing, and a "uniform" (Microsoft) "ecosystem" across multiple devices... in many areas that Linux is a serious-player. So, this decision by "Ubuntu" (Ubuntu, basically, shooting itself in the foot... AND... seemingly, lending validation to Microsoft's design/market decisions regarding changing the most fundamental characteristics of the desktop-UI) just seemed a little too -convenient- (for nearly all of Microsoft's goals... ubiquitous market-dominance, un-assailable consumer lock-in, eviscerating competition, etc.).
And, of course... we'll probably never know, who "aped" whom... but, I have been following Microsoft's latest, disingenuous, involvement in various "Open-Source" (and "Intellectual Property") endeavors closely, and the results (of Microsoft's involvement) are simply far too beneficial to Microsoft (and, effectively, very destructive the choice and competition that "open-source" represents). The long-term detrimental effects (to open-source, and consumers) of these Microsoft-actions, just keep surfacing. And, many (who are in the know) -do- seem to think that they [Microsoft] are very-clearly up to their standard... very well established... EMBRACE, EXTEND, EXTINGUISH... tactics, on numerous fronts.
And, while I do understand that there are alternatives to Ubuntu (and Unity)... Ubuntu was considered by many (including Microsoft) to be the greatest long-term "threat" to MS-Windows dominance. However, now that the "standard" Ubuntu installation is going to be such an unwanted debacle (for most consumers, and Ubuntu users)... and, provide little... I can't help but wonder... again... who would most want Ubuntu so, utterly, devastated... by such incredibly-poor, and self-destructive, decisions..?
Did Microsoft infiltrate Canonical, specifically to obliterate desktop Linux? Or, was it merely a coincidence that, in the middle of Microsoft's current three-fold attack on Linux (IP legal-assaults, Linux-organization infiltration and corruption, and bogus hardware/security competition lock-out)... that Ubuntu (the number one desktop Linux distro) just happened to adopt a wildly unpopular, disaster, of a desktop-UI ("Unity")... which just happens to ape (badly) Microsoft's newly-announced "Windows-8" tablet-interface paradigm.
And also, on a personal note, why did Canonical decide to abandon "Evolution" as the default e-mail client in Ubuntu (switching to "Thunderbird")? My, personal experience is that "Evolution" (aside from not mimicking "Outlook"... which I don't mind at all)... has proven itself to be vastly superior (to "Thunderbird") for all my needs.
Patent-infringement does not require "damage"... only unauthorized use of a valid-patent. And, soon... "prior art" will be utterly irrelevant in the U.S. as the new "First to File - Patent-system reform" (being pushed by numerous big corporations, and the Obama-administration) is specifically designed to completely-eliminate that defense against legal-allegations of "Patent-infringement".
The, self-righteous, moralistic brigades in America HAVE already begun bemoaning, and DEMANDING that, SOMETHING be done to FORCE "smut" into these, easily identifiable, and BLOCK-ABLE, ".XXX"-domains.
Boy... it [the blatant call for, arbitrary, raw-censorship] came even faster than most of us feared.
I think many people here are arguing poorly-understood semantics and terms.
Patent: A government-granted monopoly established to protect the "non-obvious" (and, previously-defined in the United States, as non-previously-used) design of a new "device" (where, in the United States, a "device" can be a "method", or approach). This must be registered, and approved by the government.
Copyright: A government protection of "creative" (or, otherwise artistic or "intellectual") works. Legally, this does not require registration, nor "originality" in constituent-parts, or general structure (for example; all the words, or concepts and structures, used in a novel have probably previously-existed and been used by others. Only the specific assembly of the, specific, "creative work", or "intellectual-property" can be copyrighted).
Trademark: A government protection of any symbol (image or phrase), used to establish a "brand" (I.E. a particular company's product(s)). This can be "registered with the government (but does not, necessarily, have to be registered to be defended in court). A protected "trademark" must be a first-use, for the purposes of "branding" (a particular type of product), but does not need to be an entirely "unique" symbol, phrase, or collection of symbols. Furthermore, "trademark violation" generally needs to demonstrate a propensity to "confuse" a "consumer" as to the "brand", or "company".
Examples of legally-protected "Trademarks" lacking any uniqueness other than use as a "trademark" include: "Jack in the Box" (the burger place), "Apple" (both the record company, and the computer company - until Apple Computer started selling music), "Big Blue" (IBM)... or, McDonald's big, yellow "M"... and, apparently, Apple Computer's "i-WHATSIT" branding.
"Trademarks" are the broadest, sometimes obvious (though often difficult to define), and often most creative (irrationally applied) type of IP that is protected by law. However, I think BOTH sides of this situation are loopy (Microsoft's arguments are weak on the basis of their own previous actions and claimed "trademarks", and Apple would have had a much better "trademark" case if they had used "Apple App Store", "iAPP Store", ...or even "THE App Store").
The simple fact is, no one outside of a couple of small groups (mostly politicians, prudes, a small number of people who will make a ton of money off of this... and the severely-ignorant) have ever really supported the ".XXX" domain. However, another fact is that identifying and corralling certain types of speech are absolutely essential to its elimination, persecution, and other forms of manipulation, exploitation, and (YES...) censorship.
The next step is legislative, REQUIRING such "adult content" to be isolated within such an easily controlled, and blocked, "domain" (even though, EVERYONE has a different idea as to what "adult content" actually is... and, what is (or, is not) "acceptable"... creating a horrific can-of-worms). I can see years (if not decades) of squabbling and abuses (locally, nationally, and internationally). And, all the while, the ".XXX" domain (and its associated legislation) will be used as a CLUB, to trample free-expression, and access (...by the same self-righteous, self-obsessed, groups and individuals that always scream about "safety", and "protecting the children"... for their-own agendas).
So, soon... disseminating any information about "sex" in any context on the Internet (or "ISPs" merely allowing "access" to such content) becomes such an onerous minefield, that restrictions, dangers, and costs will abound, and more of our freedoms (personal, social, and monetary) will vanish
At the absolute best, this is just an asinine waste of time, or just another scheme to, artificially, and forcibly, extract revenue. At worst, this is a concerted effort to attack basic human-rights.
Either way... it's B-A-D.
You know... I don't like "fanbois"... And, I don't actually use "Macs", but once again, this... event... is not a "virus". It is a "Trojan" (a bogus program, that is fully authorized, and specifically installed, by an authorized administrator/user). And, no "OS" is (or, can be) immune from that type of "exploit". And, the fact is that, "Windows" actually has even more vectors for, even, that type of malware-attack.
However, frankly, the "Mac-OS" (along with other OSes based upon "UNIX") -are- inherently, far, more secure than any network-aware version of "MS-Windows", ever produced (including; "Vista/Windows-7"). That is simply a well-proven (and scientifically-demonstrated) technological-fact. So, I'd say that, the constant (and clearly desperate) attempts to drag the "security" qualities of non-MS OSes down to the utterly disastrous, true, level of "Windows security/insecurity"... is sad at best... ignorant, or just downright deceptive, at worst.
The fact is that the FCC is merely using "Net-Neutrality" as a smoke-screen... I.E. "the carrot"... offered to lure the uninformed into accepting sweeping -new- "regulatory" powers being given to the FCC.
Specifically, the FCC is (and has been) desperate to assume the power to regulate "the Internet" (including; "content", "use", and "applications). In fact, the, alleged, "Net-Neutrality regulations" that the FCC has actually already been touting would, very specifically (and by design), actually allow exactly the very discriminatory, anti-consumer, overbearing, traffic-throttling, content-monitoring, and connection-terminations, that Comcast committed (and were repeatedly caught lying about)... as long as an "ISP" deceptively called it "...network-management" (...exactly as Comcast did).
...So much for protecting "consumers".
No... what the FCC is currently doing only has one real goal, and that is, empowering the FCC's (arbitrary, and legislatively-unchecked) -regulatory- authority over the Internet. The simple fact is that, If... "Net-Neutrality" (and, not, blanket, "regulatory" authority over the Internet) was the real goal, the U.S. Congress does, already, have the legal-authority to pass a comprehensive, and binding, statute to that effect.
...So, "Net-Neutrality" (...which I, whole-heartedly, support) is, simply, not the real issue, here.
-"the one good thing that came out of it was the ISP instigated a new policy directive which ensured their users kept their web servers patches and protection updated under penalty of cessation."
First, I believe you meant -INSTITUTED- (meaning to implement) not, "instigated" (meaning to prompt a process, or event).
And, second... this is NOT a "...good thing".
Both politicians, and private business-interests (I.E. Microsoft, the RIAA, the MPAA, etc.) are ABSOLUTELY-DESPERATE for ISPs to be able to control exactly what OSes, applications, "patches" and "updates", etc. ALL Internet-users MUST use and install (in fact, THAT is actually the primary original purpose of "Trusted Computing Initiative", now called the "NGSCB" by Microsoft). And, this scheme ISN'T about increasing "security"... its about CONTROL (plain and simple). This is especially bad since that actually means that external-interests will be able to FORCE us (as consumers, and Internet-users) to use, ONLY, -APPROVED- "Microsoft" (or, "Apple"... whose CONTROL-FREAK-ism has become so painfully-evident ) products (...since, most of the few remaining, MONOPOLY-CONTROLLED/OWNED ISPs in our area are very actively hostile to any other software, such as "Linux", and other "open-source" software). Furthermore, aside from being forced to use the most INSECURE software on the planet (I.E. MS-Windows... which we have personally experienced being repeatedly "hacked" despite being fully-patched, AND running the latest "antivirus" software, AND residing behind multiple "firewalls"... while, our "Linux" boxes have remained absolutely unscathed)... But, Microsoft (and those who have made agreements with them) will have the continual-ability to alter, spy-upon, and eliminate ANY features or control, that we use or may depend upon. ALL at the WHIM of INTERESTS with a proven history of animosity, and even, criminal-intent, towards the consumer/user. Not to mention the dangers of allowing Microsoft to "automatically" install "patches/updates", and alterations to our machines, without our testing and consent.
NO... NOT a... "good thing".
First, what she did was reprehensible, AND "criminal". She COULD have been prosecuted a dozen different ways (and, in my opinion, she still SHOULD be).
HOWEVER, this entire case was a SHAM, PERIOD. It was being USED to promote an unbelievably dangerous and fundamental, DIRECT, INTENTIONAL-ATTACK on the very CONCEPT of "the rule of law", and "due process" (namely; by advancing the agenda of making "corporate" WHIMS ("TOSes", "EULAs", etc) the same thing as "LAW". Basically, if this was allowed to stand... ANYONE, could effectively be "CRIMINALLY prosecuted", merely, for (in any way imaginable) "violating" any businesses, ARBITRARY, "end user agreement". Think of the, nearly, absolute POWER this would give corporations (and, politicians)... so much for "checks and balances".
THAT, is why this prosecution was so... BAD, and why overturning it was so... IMPORTANT.
If you want to vent your anger, then vent it upon those that were actually responsible... and, especially, those that attempted to USE this case as an attempt to end-around the fundamental-concepts of legal-governance (...as opposed to entirely-arbitrary, state-sanctioned, and abetted, "legal prosecution" by "private", and political, interests).
Microsoft Claimed: "Vistas" new features make it a great, new, must-have, product. In fact, a consumer would be a FOOL, not to have it, for what it offers.
...of course, there are around nine, arbitrarily, different versions (and pricing-schemes) of "Vista".
...But, they are all "Vista"... sort-of.
...However, not all the "versions" actually have many of the features that were being heavily-advertised, to consumers (by Microsoft), as... "Vista".
...And, being "Vista Capable" didnt actually mean that any of the core-elements/capabilities that were being advertised, to the public, AS "Vista" (or, represented the only REAL value of a "Vista" upgrade)... were actually present.
...And, MANY of the "features" MOST consumers expected (based upon Microsofts-own marketing, and public-information, campaigns) were actually disabled, or permanently-unavailable, based upon the "necessary requirements" not being present (or, even, an option) on the systems that were certified (by Microsoft) as: "Vista Capable".
...And, even though Microsoft, CLEARLY, knew that this would confuse, and confound MANY consumers...
...And, even though Microsofts-own "partners" expressed grave reservations about Microsofts, apparently deceptive, marketing campaign...
...And, even though Microsoft had to intentionally "fiddle" with their own requirements (over the expressed-concerns, and protests, of their own departments)...
...Microsoft, "clearly-stated" (A-HEM) the various, often arbitrary, technically-complicated, and still bemoaned (by IT-PROFESSIONALS) "requirements", and "specifics", of all the various "Vista" flavors, "elements", AND "requirements"...
...So, Microsoft clearly shouldnt be held responsible... for their-own, intentional, clearly-deceptive, actions... right..?
You know... It really doesnt matter how much BS, and double-talk, Microsoft SHOVELS over their actions. The facts, are the facts. And, Id say Microsoft has simply been caught, acting like... well... Microsoft, once again.
I was wondering, exactly how "the Government" was going to FORCIBLY-SHOVE Microsofts (and the Governments) LONG-PLANNED... ANTI-RIGHTS... CONTROL-FREAK-INSPIRED... CORPORATE-DREAM... "Trusted Computing"... down everyones throats... whether we wanted it, or not.
Well... I guess, now, we all know.
The difference is that... IF... you own, and run, your own servers, or systems/software... AND, a "common vulnerability" exists, and is exploited... You MAY be vulnerable... you MAY have a security issue... you MAY be targeted... you MAY not have adequately protected your system... you MAY be hit by the problem... you MAY have issues, and losses... possibly.
If, however, you are dependent upon any, EXTERNAL, single point-of-attack/vulnerable-point... then you WILL be hit... you WILL be affected... you WILL have losses... and you WILL be totally-dependent upon EXTERNAL-interests in "fixing", and recovering... based upon THEIR competence, and on THEIR time-table... and, to suit THEIR perception of THEIR interests.
In other words, ALL YOUR EGGS in [SOMEONE ELSES] basket.
YouTube has clearly had its day. Frankly, they have bowed to so many special-interests (corporate, political, social-extremists, etc), that they arent really worth using anymore.
But, more importantly, many of those, alleged, "...terrorist" videos, frequently were, actually, the best source of unvarnished information about what was actually going on in... say... Iraq, for example. They showed the reality of unending attacks, the Iraqis that have been killed and injured, and the real story of American military-casualties... that the -mainstream news- simply ignored, in their unending attempts to ladle-out the U.S. governments, officially-approved, seemingly-bottomless, spew of creamy American-goodness and, bogus, unbridled-success. I think that is the REAL PROBLEM that Senators (such as "Joseph Lieberman") are actually trying to "protect" us from.
In short... the government (et al) is simply scared SHITLESS, by actual free-speech and freely-available, un-censored, information (a common symptom of every totalitarian police-state that has ever existed). Luckily, "YouTube" is clearly more than willing to comply with the, milquetoast, all-controlling, CENSORSHIP-desires of a powerful few.
...the more Microsoft seems Hell-bent on continuing to play the same-old dirty-pool... while pretending (poorly) to be an "innovator", and Saint.
The simple fact is that "Silverlight" IS MS-proprietary, intentionally-limited, and specifically designed to lock people into Microsoft-controlled products. It does not, and (if Microsoft has anything to say about it) will not, exist on anything other than Microsoft approved (obviously, non-competing) platforms. And, it doesnt actually provide anything that isnt, basically, already available.
Currently, we have "Flash" running on several different versions of Windows, AND Linux, AND within many different browsers, without any problems (and, "Flash" obviously exists throughout the "Mac" ecosystem). This is because, even though "Flash" is also "proprietary", Adobe isnt tied to PUSHING any specific platform upon consumers (unlike, Microsoft)... nor does any company have as much documented-history (as Microsoft does), of doing exactly this.
Frankly, "Silverlight" IS directly-tied to Microsoft-specific technologies and methodologies (as it was designed to be). In fact, this reminds me of when Microsoft attempted to get motherboard BIOS companies to fundamentally alter basic BIOS-operation, itself, to directly reflect MS-Windows-specific APIs, or, when Microsoft began proposing new "internet protocols" that were, also, actually tied directly to Microsofts APIs.
And, I think all of this is, clearly, part of Microsofts latest push for their, so-called, "Cloud Computing"... which will basically eliminate the Windows-OS in favor of a (strictly Microsoft-controlled), perpetual-payment, "thin-client", "computing-environment"... which will actually turn computers into nothing more than Microsoft-services delivery-devices (Microsofts perennial dream).
So... this is just the same-old... business as usual, for Microsoft.
...(and amazingly reminiscent) as the FALSE "evidence" presented to the world (and the American People) to prove that Iraq had "WMDs", and direct links to "Al Qaeda" and "9/11" (thus, seemingly, justifying the otherwise clearly-illegal, and wildly-unpopular, utterly-disastrous, invasion of that country).
Or... is it truly possible that this long-standing, and incredibly-embarrassing, unsolved Federal-case... which simply HAD to be wrapped-up before the coming elections (for numerous political-reasons)... really was the act of a sole "deranged" perpetrator, who is now, (so conveniently) dead?
I guess that, the fact that there is NO REAL evidence, and that many of the "facts", and alleged "witnesses", have already been called into serious question (by even the most casual observers)... is probably also irrelevant.
At least, now, the FBI can claim to have solved the case, AND proceed to completely wash its hands of the, entire, matter. And besides, anybody that even questions this (highly-dubious assertion)... will undoubtedly simply be labeled a "conspiracy nut".... and, as equally, ignored as those that have (for years) been pointing-out (and, even, proving) the, seemingly unending series of LIES, DECEPTIONS, BLATANT-CORRUPTION, and PUBLIC-MANIPULATIONS, that have been coming out of the U.S. Government.
...to think this is actually about "Child-Porn"..?
I suppose nobody remembers that the RIAA (ET AL...) actually, specifically, declared "war" on the Usenet several months ago (because of "rampant", "unauthorized file-trading").
And, I guess that nobody remembers that when, the very-same RIAA was publicly-attacking "P2P", the exact-same "Child-Porn" excuse was used (by the RIAA) as the reason Congress should ban ALL "P2P".
And, surely, no corporation would dare to use "Child-Porn" as a smokescreen for expanding their ability to curtail, various, -undesired- consumer-actions.
And, Im positive, no politician would use "Child-Porn" as a rationalization for greater "Voluntary cooperation" (I.E. behind-the-scenes government-control of the Internet) ...from the big telecoms.
...Nor, would any politician, actually, merely USE "Child-Porn" for political-coverage/gain.
NO... NO... Of course NOT... So... Lets all just keep talking about the red-herring... ERRR... I mean "Stopping Child-Porn", and "protecting children"..!
Besides... its not like (the newly-converted) Comcast, was basically in the middle of being let-off, with a slap-on-the-wrist, by the U.S. Government... for any anti-consumer actions... is it..? And, AT&T certainly isnt being allowed to reassemble its illegal-monopoly... after various illegal (but, now, immunized) cooperative-operations with the current administration... is it..?
So... these actions (by the telecoms, and various politicians) MUST ALL simply be a matter of "social" concern, and responsibility. Right..?
We clearly DO need "Net-Neutrality" codified into Law.
Comcast proved this... (especially, in light of Comcasts flat-out lying about the, alleged, existence, purpose, and and actual traffic-BLOCKING methodologies which were clearly-demonstrated to have actually been used).
The "BSA" is nothing more than a, narrow, special-interest, lobbying-group, ...created by, and for, a very specific purpose.
It [The BSA] ONLY exists to promote a predetermined set of goals (which solely benefit its, entirely-self-interested, creators/members)... and which in no way represents any type of common-sense, fair-market ideals, or any effective market-choice, what-so-ever.
Put bluntly... this group actually exists, solely, to serve illegal (and, even, convicted) monopolists, IP-abusers, and intentional market-manipulators.
Frankly, this is, fundamentally, no-different from listening to the Neo-European-Nazi-Party... on issues of basic international Human-Rights assurances.
Microsoft now calls it "End-point to End-point Security". It is part of Vista, and was retro-fitted to XP (via SP3). It is also, already, integrated into the switching-hardware used by most ISPs.
Basically, this allows external entities (such as Microsoft, and your ISP) to determine what software/OSes/applications users are "allowed" to run... what components MUST be installed ("updates", "versions", DRM, etc)... what settings MUST be used... And, effectively, what is, thereby, DIS-ALLOWED.
Needless to say, this is highly-opposed by most of the people who actually understand, what this really means. So... I guess, TIME-BOMBED software is simply another way to forcibly-impose this CORPORATE WET-DREAM on consumers.
Oh yes... I want private companies to be able to tell me, exactly, what products (and applications) I am allowed to run, and when I HAVE to accept new products... externally-mandated changes to my equipment... and any new LIMITATIONS (that some corporate-interest decides are "important").
Furthermore, I am sure they would NEVER abuse such power.
Lets see... First we have PERPETUAL security-problems... creating untold headaches to all consumers and, indeed, the entire computer-industry.
Then, we have PERPETUAL activation and authentication... treating everyone like crooks, but mostly, robbing consumers of their most basic property ownership-rights.
And, now we have PERPETUAL payment... to Microsoft (which, BTW, will also allow Microsoft to impose "updates", and changes, on consumers without mercy).
And, soon... I suspect... Microsoft will also, finally, try to implement their "per user" licensing-scheme (its already in the works).
And, all of this is for the consumers benefit..?
Lets get one thing straight. Microsoft has been ripping people-off for decades. And, none of this is what consumers want. Nor, does it, in any way, benefit anyone other than Microsoft.
I think Microsoft is desperate, and, they are, clearly, trying to stave-off their own, well-deserved, obsolescence.
Poor Microsoft... profits that are five-times higher than any other manufacturing-industry (profits that actually exceed those of illegal-drugs)... just, werent enough.
So, Microsoft needs even more, forcibly-extracted, revenue, and even greater control over customers (and their computer-use/choices)..?
First, I cannot believe the pedantic HA-HAs being expressed here. I suppose that such people also laugh when an elderly-person trips on a curb, and falls down in the street.
Second, a "Trojan" is NOT a "vulnerability" within a piece of software. You cannot say that BRAND-X is inherently vulnerable, if the "exploit" effectively consists of, say... directing a user to strike the display-screen squarely with a hammer. No computer-system could, nor should, be faulted for that... not the Mac, not Windows, not Linux (unless the OS implicitly allows the malicious-site/code to hide its actual purpose/origin... such as say... Windows/IE has repeatedly been demonstrated to allow).
Which leaves the inane argument that, a vulnerability (or, even, a handful of vulnerabilities... if they ever show-up) in an alternative-system... actually makes it as "vulnerable" as the, demonstrably, most insecure and compromised, OS on the planet. Frankly, in my opinion, to even make that claim clearly demonstrates, either, extreme ignorance, a general lack of intelligence, and/or utter childishness.
And, finally, to assert (completely disproven bits of FUD, such as) that -popularity- has anything to do with a systems inherent-security (or the numbers of officially-identified vulnerabilities)... or, to misrepresent the very meaning of the expression, "security through obscurity"... as meaning that a lack of popularity creates inherent security... is beyond ignorance. It borders on being intentionally-deceptive (that particular expression refers to keeping code, closed, and trying to suppress information about vulnerabilities. You know... like Microsoft does).
So, simply put, ALL of the actual facts still put the Macintosh so far ahead of Windows... it isnt even funny. And, BTW, I AM a PC design/support technician (I dont even use Macs).
If I am not mistaken, Prime Minister Gordon Brown just spent an entire day, vehemently, pledging (to President George Bush) that the wishes of the British-people would, in no way, be allowed to interfere with British-government support for the Iraq War..?
Hhhmmm... Who does Brown work for again..?
The article repeatedly echoed statements claiming that this is being done to address rather-specific child-pornography instances. However, the reality is that the actual (backdoor, strong-arm) "solution" is, in reality, the institutionalized blocking (and permanent shutting-down) of virtually ALL "Usenet" access... indiscriminately. Thats more than a hundred-thousand interest-groups... being blocked (over a couple of dozen, alleged, instances of CP).
And, it must also be observed (almost amazingly) that this is happening right after the RIAA began shrieking that ISPs must... repeat MUST... end any "Usenet access", that could facilitate any form of "copyright infringement"... Oh, and this will (almost amazingly) also include "P2P"... "IM"... or, virtually any other unmonitored, uncontrolled, communications, or file-transfers.
There is simply no rational, moral, or legal, justification for this, totally-obvious, ploy. In short... this sham is a complete travesty. And, everyone knows it!
- DDIS (Digital Dictatorship Imposition System)
Why is anyone surprised? This is simply a continuation of Microsofts long-standing, general, attempt to forcibly impose, and maintain, complete control, and insinuate itself [Microsoft], as ultimate gate-keeper (and, thereby, toll-collector) of everything digital. This has always been Microsofts plainly-stated goal. In fact, it goes all the way back to Microsoft trying to get Intel, and IBM, to individually identify each, and every, PC (way back in the early 1980s, check the history of the IBM-PC).
The plain truth is that Microsoft has never wavered, one-bit, in this goal. And, year after year, Microsoft has successfully imposed step, after step, after step, in achieving this obscenity... Look at "Product registration/activation", "Trusted Computing", "DRM", "WGA", etc. Every one of these elements was opposed by the vast majority of customers, yet, Microsoft has simply continued pushing-forward (and eventually gotten) everything that they ever wanted. And, when you realize what a WHORE Microsoft is... hopping in bed, so readily, with any powerful interest that will pay them (or, let them off the hook for repeated criminal-violations)... then, youd have to be an idiot to think that the final goal isnt complete, and total, control of every single "user".
And, for those that think that, mere, "consumers" could stop this... You really are ignorant. Microsoft has ALWAYS simply used the tried, and tested, method of integrating, or retrofitting, each new step of this long-term plan, irremovably, into every MS-product... whether customers approved, or not (just look at 2/3rds of the actual function of XP-SP3 for very a recent example). And, then, Microsoft inevitably manages to work several back-room deals with "hardware manufacturers" (to irremovably install compliance with Microsofts, self-serving standards, directly into the devices itself). And finally, various political, and commercial, interests then effectively make acceptance virtually mandatory (through Laws, regulation, guidelines, and policies).
So, do you really think that Microsoft is going to stop now..? The only bright-spot, is that Microsoft is so incompetent at actually producing products... that they usually dont work worth a damn.
Frankly, this ("online-ID") is not only coming (no matter what the people think about it)... it has, clearly, actually been officially-planned for some time. In fact, in the U.S. the legislation and various technological and business, mechanisms, effectively mandating such compulsory online-ID, have been progressing for quite some time. Furthermore, it has actually been picking-up considerable speed recently.
And, dont forget that Microsoft has already created most of the technology (and actually integrated the Windows "security" -"Trusted Computing"- APIs, necessary to eventually require such "identity-verification") This includes; BIOMETRIC-IDs linked with "Uniform, machine-readable" identity-cards, for each -individual- user (???citizen???).
The final application of this technology is obviously the stated goal of being able to actually require BIOMETRIC user-identification (for each individual-user) before people are allowed to use their computer, or access the Internet, at all (look-up the specifics of Microsofts "Trusted Computing", "NGSCB" and "Endpoint-to-endpoint security").
This, "Trusted Computing" environment, will result in primarily two ends:
-One, those that control the over-all system (the Government, big-business interests, etc.) will be able to identify, track, and control, absolutely everything (and every place) that people use on the Internet.
-And two, Microsoft (and their various "media-partners") would finally be able to achieve the perennial-dream of perpetually controlling, and billing, each individual "user" for absolutely everything that they use a computer to accomplish.
This absolutely-amazing, and painfully-apparent, convergence of goals, kinda makes you wonder if there was a connection between the U.S. Government virtually letting Microsoft completely-off... after the company was found, undeniably, absolutely-guilty of committing numerous, egregious, Anti-competitive actions, and violating the Law... and the unbelievably-convenient timing of Microsofts initial large-scale push for their, so-called, "Secure Computing" initiatives... doesnt it..?
And, my sad observation is that, England and the United States seem to be happily skipping hand-in-hand, down the exact-same, destructive, totalitarian-control, path.
This is exactly what Microsofts "Trusted Computing" is actually, specifically, designed to accomplish. Additionally, "Vista" already has most of the technology (APIs, secure media-paths, software-signing, etc.) already built into it. So does the "Mac", though Apple is apparently leaning more towards a hardware-approach ("TPMs", etc.).
Furthermore, the ability to refuse Internet-connections to any "Non-Trusted Computer" is already built into most of the routers, already in use, by most ISPs. So, if you arent running this control/monitoring-hardware/software, then you simply will not be allowed to access the Internet, at all.
And, any thought that the U.S. Government would, in any way, try to impede this plan... is utter nonsense. The simple fact is that the U.S. Government is not only, not opposing this eventuality... It is actually one of the biggest proponents of this entire monitoring/tracking/control scenario. In fact, laws imposing this very type of scheme (on ISPs, colleges, etc., for example), are already being created, and passed.
Another interesting couple of points is that, Microsoft actually started working on this very, all-controlling, all-seeing, "Trusted Computing platform" plan... just about the same time that the White-House apparently ordered the DOJ to drop the Anti-trust prosecution against the company (...after Microsoft was, in fact, found "GUILTY", and right after every one of Microsofts appeals were rejected by every court, up to and including the U.S Supreme Court). And "AT&T" (the largest single internet-access provider in the U.S., which has just announced its intentions to intercept, and monitor, all Internet-traffic for various "legal" and "copyright"-related, reasons) is set to be given full-immunity (by the Federal Government) for its various illegal-activities (with regards to AT&Ts, illegal, warrantless-spying on customers)... But, these are probably all just amazing coincidences... Right..?
Actually... I was referring to inherent system-security (an underlying security-model, and implementation, that effectively decreases the dangers of any existing system-holes and security-flaws). In other words... a system, in which, without extensive user-interaction, such "malware" is effectively unable to cause damage, spread, or even, to function at all.
This type of "security" is something that "Windows-PCs" have been proven to lack.
And, by the way, many of those "social engineering" tactics (when applied to "Windows-PCs") often, actually, merely trick a PC-user into simply visiting a malicious-site... to allow the exploitation of existing, in-built, security-flaws (...holes, by the way, that have been repeatedly shown to be rife throughout the "Windows" environment).
In short, "Windows-PCs", simply by visiting a malignant Internet-site (or even, just by being allowed to be accessible via the Internet, at all) can be (and have been) fully-compromised... whereas, almost all of the "Mac" exploits that I have read about, require far more user interaction in order to defeat the inherent-security of the systems. And therefore, such attempts are not nearly as dangerous, or likely to succeed. Furthermore, lacking any un-assisted method of operation, this type of "Mac malware" cannot effectively propagate, "...in the wild" (...jumping, unassisted, from machine to machine) ...unlike many, actual, "Windows exploits".
Thats the -difference- I was pointing-out.
I am a PC-user (I dont actually use "Macs"). But, there seems to be a rather clear difference between the relative "security" of "Macs" vs "Windows PCs".
A "Windows PC" can be (and sometimes is) -infected- simply by its being on, and having an active Internet connection. Or, more commonly, a "Windows PC" can be compromised simply by using it normally (surfing the Web, checking e-mail, etc). Whereas, a "Mac" user seems to have to actually be tricked into loading, and allowing, any such "malware".
Thats a HUGE difference.
All we have to do is change all of our "standards-based" web-pages to comply with Microsofts non-compliant, "standards-compliance"..?
No problem. Of course, Microsoft "IE" simply, actually, being "standards compliant" (like almost every other web-browser in existance) would have been nice.
Dont ya, just, love... MicroTHINK..?
Make "National Bio-metric ID-cards" mandatory...
Redesign computers to be able to read the "National Bio-Metric ID-cards"...
Redesign computers to then be able to use "thumb-print scanners", and thereby, be able to compare the ID-card to the actual "user"....
And finally, (for true "safety")... redesign computers to verify, and thereby "Trust", all software and hardware... so, that "users" cannot alter any of the mandatory "security features".
...Oh wait, "Microsoft Vista" already has all that, built-in. What a fortunate coincidence.
...that has decided that the French-people have simply got to accept a drastically reduced personal-standard of living (to line the pockets of a wealthy few), ...who has just decided that he supports the American-war in Iraq, ...and, who looks to American Government, and American big-business, practices/methodologies as the -ideal- to be emulated (imposed)...
...leading to widespread riots, protests, strikes, and a general, complete, dissatisfaction amongst the people of France..?
And, now, he supports the exact same "Intellectual-Property" (COPYRIGHT-protectionist CRAP) that the U.S. Government is, so desperately, trying to shove down U.S. citizens throats.
But, more to the point... As I see it, the only way to actually accomplish this would be for ISPs to monitor the -contents- of all Internet traffic, and outright ban any encrypted traffic. Or, am I wrong?
Actually, the simple fact is that there are no (known) mathematical, nor physical, constraints that eliminate the possibility using a "Space Warp" as a means of getting from point-A to point-B faster than the speed of light would, seem to, allow. This is actually fairly-well established.
The real-problems come from a few more, down-to-Earth, elements:
1. Gravity (and the associated warping of space) are only now beginning to actually be understood, at the underlying-mechanisms-level (though, I believe that "M-Theory" has begun to show some real promise in this area, possibly explaining the fundamental mechanisms, and behavior, of gravity).
2. Most, theoretical, ideas regarding this phenomena still require almost unbelievable energy-levels (energy-levels that are simply beyond any current ability to generate, measure, or utilize).
3. The hard-science that would be necessary to begin to actually delve into such possibilities ("Warp-Drive" propelled spaceships), has been, and is being, seriously hampered by continually bone-headed "policy", and funding, issues within governments (with regards to, long-term, "big-science" goals).
4. Actually engineering, and funding, this sort of endeavor... would seem to be a near impossibility at this point.
However, this would be the ultimate long-term science-endeavor. And, I have little doubt that the water-shed of knowledge (to Physics, Cosmology, and technology) that pursuing such a long-term goal would achieve, certainly has enormous potential-value, and merit.
Besides, "Warp-Driven Space-Ships" would be really, really, cool...
Oh... And, as to a few Physics-misnomers...
Einstein proved (mathematically) that Light-speed (C) was a constant in normal-space, and that, to accelerate any mass (M) to the speed of light, would effectively require infinite energy (E). This means that no mass can travel at the speed of light (or faster), in normal-space. And, "Relativity" means that no object can appear to be traveling faster than the speed of light, to any observer. If two objects are, in fact, traveling faster than the speed of light (relative to each other) the actual observed phenomena is a frequency (or, Energy-Level) shift... not, an observation of faster-than-light travel. But, none of this dissuades the possibilities of "warping space" (which Einstein, also absolutely-proved to be a, very-real, phenomena).
My broadband provider is Charter. And, I have had no end of troubles with this "service". Here are a few of the problems this creates:
First, it is automatic, not opt-in. What this actually means is that you must allow a "cookie" to be set to turn this AD-page off. And, every time your caches, and cookies, are flushed (for security, and routine maintenance, reasons), it is re-enabled.
Second, some browsers, apparently, send out the first thing typed into the address-bar (I.E. "some_company-name")... and then the browser waits for a DNS-error, or DNS-hit... before trying to append the "HTTP://WWW.", and ".COM", to the requested address. Since, the idiot search-page is considered to be a valid DNS-response, these browsers consider the search-page, itself, to be the destination, and therefore, will never get to the actual destination web-page... without re-entering the full -URL-. This is really annoying and undoes a very basic feature, of convenience, within several browsers.
Third, you cannot actually turn the "service" off, at all. All a Charter-subscriber can actually do, is tell the service to display Charter's "search error-page" (rather than receive a true DNS-error). This means, once again, that any browsing functionality that depends upon the correct DNS-system responses... is simply hosed.
And, finally, Charter simply refuses to acknowledge any of these problems as being their fault, or to change any aspect of this, intentional, "Browser HI-JACKING"... no matter how many of their customers complain about it. Frankly, this is because they get paid (ad-revenue) for this "service", and they are, effectively, a government-facilitated monopoly, in our area, so basically we (the customers) are simply screwed.