Wednesday, 22 February 2006

Macs not 100% secure shocker

After much news about the mac vulnerabilities exposed over the last couple of weeks, it's nice to finally find an article (Wired) with a sensible perspective.

Let's face it, these things happen to Windows at least a couple of times a week, and that's not big news. Nor are these issues 'exploits' - merely vulnerabilities, with published remedies. I still don't have to fear malicious VB script files in my email, like Windows users. Nor do I have to worry about dubious pop-ups in my browser, like Windows users. Even if I did manage to foolishly download a dodgy file, the chances are it would be a .exe file, which OSX can't run.

So, Mac vulnerabilities a big deal? In themselves, no. In the fact that macs are vulnerable? No - of course they are. In the fact that security people deem them worthy of examination? Yes, it finally means that people are taking them seriously.

Friday, 17 February 2006

Security is a culture thing, not a technology thing

The best security in the world, beaten by human curiosity and the promise of something for nothing.
Need to crack a company's network? Just hand out free CDs to every employee and, chances are, you will strike gold and someone will load your code.
And to think that most corporates invest huge amounts of time and money trying to implement computer security...

Friday, 3 February 2006

The rise & stumble of Google

This is an interesting article: Gunning for Google (; it has a pretty well-balanced view, which you'd expect from, although the reserach from a similar Economist article was more thorough. For instance, The Economist noted that Google's foray into China was a sensible capitulation (what would have happened to their share price if they hadn't?) and that their non-censored chinese site, outside China, would still run. So they weren't taking anything away from their chinese audience, they were simply adding a restricted version. Better than nothing at all. Also, those accusing Google of selling their soul chose to overlook Google's resistance to the DoJ demanding their data.
One revealing quote from the article (Forbes, not Economist):
"Google was headed for a fall, if only because, damn it, we’re all so jealous. It went public at $85 in August 2004. At over $400 lately, it has created four billionaires, and according to the company, one in five of its employees are now multimillionaires. (The investor relations chief, who has got to be younger than I am, is said to have recently retired.) Sergey Brin and Larry Page, each now barely into their 30s, founded Google in 1999 after landing a $100,000 check at lunch from Sun Microsystems (nasdaq: SUNW - news - people ) co-founder Andrew Bechtolsheim. Now Brin and Page are worth $16 billion apiece. Isn’t that reason enough to hate them? "

Altruism or Capitalism?

The sub-$100 laptop is coming, but are the implementors doing it out of a sense of altruism or for some other less-laudible reason? Also, note who the potential implementors are -- not faceless corporates, but businessmen in the top of their markets.
I think this article shows the right sense of skepticism and hope and I especially like the reference to free mesh networks - information freedom at very little cost just by taking up the slack that the telcos don't worry about.
The key to all of this is to find the method that will cause the least pain for the greatest gain; something that the sub-$100 laptop is trying to publicly prove can be accomplished.