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Microsoft: Trust and Antitrust

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the ironic-t-shirt-slogan dept.

Microsoft 539

Microsoft is in the news for two reasons today: the continuing saga of the antitrust cases, and Microsoft's public relations push for "trustworthy computing". A selection of links: Microsoft claims two months of code reviews and half-day seminars surpasses everything ever done by the open source community; Salon talks about the problems with a monoculture; SBC, an abusive telecom monopoly, complains about Microsoft's behavior, an abusive OS monopoly; and Microsoft responds, claiming that SBC is merely being self-serving.

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539 comments

Does it run linux? (-1)

First_In_Hell (549585) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310545)

Bill Gates can eat a dick. Linux is the only thing that matters. I love balls

THAT IS GOING WITHOUT SAYING!!! (-1)

L.Torvalds (548450) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310774)

ALL Linux users love balls!!!

Hellz yeah! (1)

SkyLeach (188871) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310560)

Let the two keep it up and they might just sue each other into financial ruin and kill two birds withone stone. :-)

Re:Hellz yeah! (0, Offtopic)

SkyLeach (188871) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310674)

That was just plain mean moderator (-1). :P

The important thing is to have our own solutions. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310762)

It's a complete waste of time listening to these liars. That is all they are. Liars, deceivers, and power-hungry control freaks that wish to see any sense of community destroyed in order to protect their monopoly and cash flow.

It would be a much wiser thing for us to do instead to focus on implementing our own open, Free, and standardized technologies that present solutions in the best interest of the community. This is the issue, and, whether we realize it or not, this is the war. We either leave these things to them and be controlled by them, or implement these solutions ourselves and protect our liberties.

Simple as that.

Life after Microsoft (3, Funny)

fruey (563914) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310565)

For those Francophones / Germanophones amongst us, tonight on ARTE (TV channel available on terrestrial and digital satellite) has a problem "Life after Microsoft" which should make interesting viewing. around 20:45 CET I believe.

Re:Life after Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310792)

1. Kewl! We watch Arte sometimes. I'll certainly watch this tonight.

2. What DOS-addled moderator modded the parent as "offtopic"?

Crying to mommy (0, Offtopic)

mckeowbc (513776) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310568)

SBC: Mommy Microsoft is being bad
MS: No I'm not he is
Mommy (U.S. Government): You're both being bad, now go to your rooms.

Re:Crying to mommy (1)

WildBeast (189336) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310601)

"Mommy (U.S. Government): You're both being bad, now go to your rooms."

As she proceeds to have wild fun with her secret lover, without her husband knowledge :)

Re:Crying to mommy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310767)

Mommy (U.S. Government): You're both being bad, now go to your rooms.
unzip;strip;touch;finger;mount;fsck;more;y es;umoun t;sleep


That was a hoot. The Government as promoting incest and child porn. Yes, I know you probably didn't mean it that way, but your sig was so close to the last line and it flowed so naturally I nearly plotzed.

Two months? Get real. (2, Insightful)

Dead Penis Bird (524912) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310570)

Maybe they've seen all the security flaws and bugfixes required, but I hardly think even with all of Microsoft's power, they could not outstrip the entire OSS community in just two months.

There's still a lot more manpower in OSS. It's just more fractious.

Re:Two months? Get real. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310620)

I'm sure it didn't take them two weeks to steal the BSD networking stack.

Now its going to take them two decades to figure out the mess they made.

Nope. Wrong again (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310739)

MS obtained the BSD networking stack legally & ethically. Unlike some other company/OS *ahem* *Red Hat* *ahem* *Linux* [slashdot.org]

Re:Two months? Get real. (2, Funny)

gewalker (57809) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310626)

Apparentlly you are wrong, Steve wouldn't lie.

Steven B. Lipner, Microsoft's director of security assurance, responded, saying: "I'd be astonished if the open-source community has in total done as many man-years of computer security code reviews as we have done in the last two months."

Mythical Man Month (5, Insightful)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310707)

"I'd be astonished if the open-source community has in total done as many man-years of computer security code reviews as we have done in the last two months'

I look at all the man months that have gone into the development of Windows, etc. and I look at the results. The sheer amount of time put in is no assurance of the quality of the results.

In fact, if I recall right, the sauthor of the book "the Mythical Man-Month" came to the conclusion that the more people you throw at a software project, the slower the project goes.

So the question is how of the work at MS falls into that category

Re:Two months? Get real. (-1, Troll)

Frothy Walrus (534163) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310640)

There's still a lot more manpower in OSS. It's just more fractious.

If by "fractious" you mean "reeking of cum, sweat and ass, fueled by mental perversion and self-loathing, rough, brutal, disease-ridden, and useless in the field of software engineering", then sure.

Re:Two months? Get real. (3, Interesting)

Derkec (463377) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310758)

True, but in a very real way, Microsoft has a point. The Open Source community has never really taken time to say, "ok let's stop development and everyone will go check code extremely carefully." Now, why that hasn't been done or if it isn't needed because of how well the open community works, is a wholly differant question. But MS can fairly say it has just done some the open community hasn't matched.


Personally, I think both sides have code review procedures which are legitimate. MS is bragging because the open source community can't match what it did within its own procedure. It would be like waterfall method people bragging that they got a product out the door in fewer milestones than an extreme team did. An answer to this is, "Ok, good for you but saying you are better than me is a non-sequitor."

Re:Two months? Get real. (3, Insightful)

ichimunki (194887) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310801)

Huh. That's exactly what they did at OpenBSD-- they stopped and reviewed all the code (am I wrong? isn't that what they did?). MS can stuff themselves with this self-serving deception. My favorite is the line where they pretend that "easy to use means easy to hack". What a load! That's the same sort of dishonesty they perpetrate with their "just reboot/reinstall to solve bug X, Y, or Z" approach. Ease of use and security are entirely orthogonal. Microsoft will say *anything* to get you to ignore problems they've helped create.

SBC an Abusive Monopoly? (1)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310578)

SBC, an abusive telecom monopoly, complains about Microsoft's behavior, an abusive OS monopoly
SBC has a monopoly in the telcom world? I could have sworn there was a lot of competition in this industry. Sounds a bit sensationalistic to me.

Re:SBC an Abusive Monopoly? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310623)

sensationalism? on slashdot? the hell you say.

Re:SBC an Abusive Monopoly? (1)

efuseekay (138418) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310625)

Obviously you are not from Illinois....

SBC Ameritech is EVIL!

Re:SBC an Abusive Monopoly? (1)

sulli (195030) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310627)

You're not in the SBC territory, are you?

Re:SBC an Abusive Monopoly? (0)

Hello Titty (571422) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310728)

Why, yes, I am in fact. And I can chose between getting screwed by either SBC/Pacific Bell, Verizon or AT&T for my local service.

Re:SBC an Abusive Monopoly? (2, Funny)

dthable (163749) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310634)

SBC has a monopoly in the telcom world?

But that can't be. When we deregulated them, they promised to play nice.

Re:SBC an Abusive Monopoly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310702)

True, there are a lot of different phone companies, but each one is a geographic monopoly. There are few places where you can actually choose who provides you phone service, and even then, its usually the ILEC (the monopoly) that owns the wires the company you choose has to use to provide you your service.

Re:SBC an Abusive Monopoly? (2)

sharkey (16670) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310706)

Oh, yes, SBC has a lot of competition in INDY. Too bad SBC owns all the copper, fibre, conduit, etc., or enough of it to make no difference.

Brainwashed geeks? (3, Interesting)

Maskirovka (255712) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310583)

"Geeks like learning new things, and when they pop out at the end of the process they're entirely brainwashed," he said.

No comment needed.

Re:Brainwashed geeks? (5, Insightful)

MinusOne (4145) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310682)

> "Geeks like learning new things, and when they pop out at the end of the process they're entirely brainwashed," he said.

I was surprised by this quote too. The implication that developers at MS are some sort of automatons taht are easily brainwashed is amazing. I'm no fan of MS, its products or its tactics but the developers who work there are robots. I have found the MS people I have met to be pretty party-line company guys but they did have brains and were capable of independent thought.
The other problem with training like this is that without reinforcement from management it is not terrible useful. Sure some of the developers will "get religion" and will be absolutely scrupulous about writing secure code, but others will get lazy, forget the training or go back to old bad habits. Without code review and standards enforced by management in some way training is ineffective.

Re:Brainwashed geeks? (3, Interesting)

Zapman (2662) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310808)

This quote struck me as odd as well, but I got to thinking about it, and I think I see at least where he was going.

We geeks tend to be facinated by "the newest thing", and rush to try it, and then preach it's merits to anyone who will listen. I know I'm generalizing, and there are people still happily running 2.0 kernels, but look at the general trend. We don't mind using version 0.0.7b6 of products that are cool without thinking twice about it.

Once we learn something new, we tend to make great use of it. And we seem to think of little else. That's probably what he was aiming for in that quote.

And remember, he's knocking his own geeks too.

This says it all in the NYT article... (0, Flamebait)

Dharzhak (124289) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310591)

"Geeks like learning new things, and when they pop out at the end of the process they're entirely brainwashed," he said.

So...rather than teach them how to properly develop, test and peer review software loads, thy're just going to brainwash them into good little Micro$oft monkies. Bleh.

security (1)

bilbobuggins (535860) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310596)

if these are the same coders who made the mistakes the first time... why should i believe they all suddenly became security experts in under 3 months?
'no, i _knew_ about buffer overflows i just was too lazy to type the extra lines'. come on...

Re:security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310769)

Right, and EVERY open source programmer is a security expert?

Anti-trustworthy computing (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310597)

It's a good thing MS is starting to do trustworthy computing, since what they've been doing up to this point has clearly been anti-trustworthy computing

Scientology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310599)

Does anyone else see analogy between church fo scientology and microsoft? Both invent their own imaginary worlds, and live in them. Funny.

Windows XP SP1 (2, Interesting)

cscx (541332) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310602)

Windows XP SP1 will include some changes [com.com] that will allow component removal for things such as Windows Messenger, IE, and Windows Media Player. Now, why someone would want to remove IE and Windows Media Player is beyond me. Also, don't forget all those programs that rely on the Web control and need IE to function.

Re:Windows XP SP1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310810)

not sure about IE but the other programs are useless to most and just waste space why not let you uninstall them!

Quote from the article: (2, Flamebait)

jspey (183976) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310604)

Steven B. Lipner, Microsoft's director of security assurance, responded, saying: "I'd be astonished if the open-source community has in total done as many man-years of computer security code reviews as we have done in the last two months."

Hah hah hah!! What an idiot.

Mr. Spey

Re:Quote from the article: (1)

nicklott (533496) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310619)

I think that's called propaganda..

Re:Quote from the article: (5, Insightful)

nakhla (68363) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310650)

Not necessarily. Many times in the OS community, new code is added to a project. How often does the ENTIRETY of the code get reviewed? Yes, I believe that open source software does seem to result in fewer vulnerabilities. But it doesn't mean that there are NO vulnerabilities in open source software. Windows 2000 has approximately 50 million lines of code. If they've even gone through 1/4 of that it's astonishing. When was the last time someone actively poured through every line of the Linux kernel looking for possible bugs? Very often, code is reviewed in small chunks rather than from start to finish. This will solve small bugs and vulnerabilities related to specific functions, but BIG bugs require reviewing a LOT of code. That's probably what Mr. Lipner is talking about.

Re:Quote from the article: (1)

hellsop (230981) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310782)

I may be totally misreading what they're doing, but isn't the total review of code exactly the point of the OpenBSD project?

I would agree with the statement (2)

Havokmon (89874) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310656)

Steven B. Lipner, Microsoft's director of security assurance, responded, saying: "I'd be astonished if the open-source community has in total done as many man-years of computer security code reviews as we have done in the last two months."

How often has the community found it necessary to do a complete security review of any package, years after the fact?

Easily astonished (1)

dark-nl (568618) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310658)

So... the security assurance process is directed by someone who is very easily astonished? This does not raise my trust in Microsoft's security :-)

Re:Quote from the article: (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310664)

maybe there ought to be an "Obvious" option for mods....

of course he's an idiot. The question is, is he lying or merely uninformed

Re:Quote from the article: (1)

HMC CS Major (540987) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310673)

With one notable [apache.org] exception [openbsd.org] , he might be correct.

When was the last time someone did a code review on the linux kernel? What's that? It's never happened?

Face it, with a few exceptions, the Open Source community is focused on creating a product, not on creating a secure product. It is this mentality that produces a lot of the products you use today, unfortunately, its the same mentality that causes a few dozen security holes to be discovered weekly.

Its not necessarily a bad thing, but the open source community, as a whole, doesnt do much in the way of code audits.

Re:Quote from the article: (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310789)

The funny thing is, a lot of folks within the open-source community have spend many man-years "reviewing" the security (or lack thereof) in Windows software. And they haven't done that just in the last two months, but for as long as Microsoft has published Windows. Sure, it's not a code review per se, Microsoft tends to be something of a code-Nazi.

Makes you wonder what sort of spaghetti they're hiding, though. . . I have the sneaking suspicion that if I ever saw their code, I'd never again use a MS product.

Key to user security... (5, Insightful)

nakhla (68363) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310607)

The key to user security is to enable it by default. Most people running Win2K at home don't bother modifying their file permissions, closing off unnecessary services, etc. They leave settings at the default and go on their way. If Microsoft made the default installations more secure it would drastically improve the security of its OS. How many times has Security Focus [securityfocus.com] reported on vulnerabilities related to Windows file-sharing? The answer to the problem is to turn it off and let the user decide if they want to turn it on. Outlook scripting, ActiveX, file sharing, Windows messaging, etc. Removing or disabling these services are necessary to secure a Windows box, and to reducing the bad PR that Microsoft receives every time a new vulnerability is discovered.

Key to user security... (2, Insightful)

ltsmash (569641) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310756)

Keep in mind that Red Hat Linux has released several versions where the default installation settings had practically everything turned on. This is not a windows-only problem.

don't call me little bastard (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310610)

call me snake.

Why MS can't be a monoculture... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310611)

Or shouldn't be. It's like plants, see. If your crop has all the same genes, it'll be sensitive to one disease and fail. If you have diversity, some genes make it through.

A bit different http://www.wehadthewayout.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310613)

http://www.wehadthewayout.com/ [wehadthewayout.com]

Microsoft... (5, Funny)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310622)

Man, does this quote send shivers down anyone else's spine???:

"Geeks like learning new things, and when they pop out at the end of the process they're entirely brainwashed," he said.
If my employer ever publicly said anything like that, I'd run for the exits.

Wonder if the chants are part of the brainwashing process.

Developers, developers, developers, developers.
Developers, developers, developers, developers.
Developers, developers, developers, developers.

Re:Microsoft... (0, Troll)

Liora (565268) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310719)

I shiver to think of the "geeks" that work at Microsoft as really being true "geeks." The pseudo-geeks must be brain-washed, to put up with abuse like that.

Re:Microsoft... (2)

rnturn (11092) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310807)

``If my employer ever publicly said anything like that, I'd run for the exits.''

Couldn't happen to a more deserving company (IMHO).

I was an (contract) admin at a company that felt the need to post those ``motivational'' posters around the workplace. I found them pretty insulting. Especially the one that they had plastered on the wall where the developers worked that read: ``It's dumb to be too smart.'' (It always amazes me when managers wonder why, after treating their workers like shit, they find themselves thought of as assholes.)

After I left, I heard quite a few headhunters comment that they had a difficult time getting anyone to accept positions at that company. Some of the headhunters claimed that they were being asked to filter candidates according to age (which they refused to do), that candidates were routinely lied to during interviews, and that recruiting fees weren't paid without a huge hassle. Wonder how long it'll be before Microsoft begins being viewed the same way by recruiters.

Whoa... enough of this topic drift!

Obligatory Simpsons reference (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310815)

Dadada dada
the Leader,leader, Leader.
I Love the leader.

Fucking put a fucking sock in it (-1)

Profane Motherfucker (564659) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310631)

Microsoft claims two months of code reviews and half-day seminars surpasses everything ever done by the open source community; Salon talks about the problems with a monoculture; SBC, an abusive telecom monopoly, complains about Microsoft's behavior, an abusive OS monopoly; and Microsoft responds, claiming that SBC is merely being self-serving.

And Slashdot, a whiny fucking website devoted to whining about fucking Linux, complains about every fucking thing that every motherfucking company does that creates a non-Unix OS.

Quote from the first article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310637)

>>Steven B. Lipner, Microsoft's director of security assurance, responded, saying: "I'd be astonished if the open-source community has in total done as many man-years of computer security code reviews as we have done in the last two months."

Maybe the OSS community hasn't done so much work in code review because they don't have to? Maybe they thought that a few less features would pay off in code structured for stability and security from the get-go.

And just because you've done a whopping two months of code review doesn't mean you caught everything.

haha (0)

CmdrStkFjta (565570) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310638)

"fears of crackers and e-commerce fraud" -- That's pretty funny!

and

"Don't panic -- upgrade!" -- To what?

Partial quote (1)

mactari (220786) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310646)

Steven B. Lipner, Microsoft's director of security assurance, responded, saying: "I'd be astonished if the open-source community has in total done as many man-years of computer security code reviews as we have done in the last two months."

"... or even needed to."

Better than the OSS community? (2)

los furtive (232491) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310652)

two months of code reviews and half-day seminars surpasses everything ever done by the open source community

Yeah, and what was the final bill? Imagine how much work the OSS community might have gotten done for that price.

Self-Serving? (2, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310653)

Microsoft responds, claiming that SBC is merely being self-serving.

So what if they're being self-serving? If everyone is being self-serving by dissing microsoft, it's obvious that microsoft is not adequately serving anyone.

Read the Article... it is very creepy (2, Insightful)

phoenix_orb (469019) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310661)

Quoting Michael Howard, the security expert who designed the course for Microsoft:

"Geeks like learning new things, and when they pop out at the end of the process they're entirely brainwashed."

I was astonished that he can make such bold claims. I have always thought that geeks have a mindset all of our own, and not one to be brainwashed easily. But then I found this quote:

"Microsoft has always had a crisis-driven mentality," said Mr. Howard, the security expert. "You have my word: we will lead the industry in delivering secure software."

And I couldn't help but laugh my ass off.....

Re:Read the Article... it is very creepy (-1)

Profane Motherfucker (564659) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310703)



I was astonished that he can make such bold claims. I have always thought that geeks have a mindset all of our own, and not one to be brainwashed easily. But then I found this quote:

Yeah, and the fervent pro Linux or pro BSD comments show such a high fucking degree of individual decision and freedom.

It's like those silly fags who think that having thick black framed glasses a la that tubby Drew Carey fuckwit, who smoke a little fucking happy sock, and listen to Phish are being totally fucking orignal -- that's never been done before by about 1.5 million pissfrothed fucking college freshman.

Re:Read the Article... it is very creepy (1)

hellsop (230981) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310820)

"Microsoft has always had a crisis-driven mentality," said Mr. Howard, the security expert.

Like "Crisis-driven" is a good thing to be. I'd be much happier with a "proactivly crisis-avoident" company.

The telling statement (4, Interesting)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310662)

In a memo in January, Bill Gates, the chairman and co-founder, instructed Microsoft to shift its top priority from adding new features to ensuring that software is secure. Executives said that the memo was the most significant strategy paper from Mr. Gates since one in December 1995, "Internet Tidal Wave."
In 1995, Microsoft couldn't care less about the Internet. Gates had said, publicly and repeatedly, that he didn't think it was going anywhere. Then he realized he was wrong. Within a year, the entire product line had Internet features. Now, 7 years later, people publicly lament that Microsoft has virtually taken the Internet over. Microsoft's greatest strengths have always been the ability to see which way the ship is headed, and when it turns out they're going in the wrong direction, to turn on a dime. Obviously, I'll nod politely at their words, and watch their actions. But the last time they made this big a deal about something, they delivered.

Re:The telling statement (1)

thelexx (237096) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310755)

Big difference between adding an IP stack and a browser component and debugging/stabilizing/refactoring/etc your entire product line.

LEXX

Re:The telling statement (2, Flamebait)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310775)


> Microsoft's greatest strengths have always been the ability to see which way the ship is headed, and when it turns out they're going in the wrong direction, to turn on a dime.

Rather, Micorsoft's biggest problem is that they don't see what everyone else is doing until several years later, and then they turn on a dime and follow along cluelessly, wreaking havoc in their wake.

Re:The telling statement (1)

56ker (566853) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310795)

Gates had said, publicly and repeatedly, that he didn't think it was going anywhere.

Then he realized he was wrong.

Come on own up - who was the one who told him? :o)

Two months (1)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310665)

"I'd be astonished if the open-source community has in total done as many man-years of computer security code reviews as we have done in the last two months."

Giggle. Snort. Tee-hee. ha. Ha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA^999

Sorry about that. They actually think they've made up for years of ignorance in two months? They must have had at least 500,000 programmers doing security code reviews.

The flip side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310812)

Nobody notices that there are two ways to be
"not as many" ;)

hey michael (0, Offtopic)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310667)

We don't care. You're so hypocrytical. You want to maintain a monopoly on being able to bitch-slap everyday users who are posting a lot and contributing articles to your "news-links" website like we're playing some MUDD game. You guys have this policy of "oh we're so open source and FREE!" and yet you have a job solely because of the work of others. All you do is collate and staple together (sometimes quite poorly too) the work and reading done by others.

Yes, I have karma to burn because like your FAQ says, it's useless. And yes, I just finished moderating up a bunch of posts containing off-topic Katz bashes to his ultra-redundant and buzzword filled rant today. Haha!

Re:hey michael (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310805)

Don't get me wrong. I am definitely NOT defending Sims (an A-1 lowlife if there ever was one). But how is he being hypocritical here?

"oh we're so open source and FREE!" and yet you have a job solely because of the work of others.

That sounds like a good description of an open sores hax0r wannabe to me.

Exile (-1)

Walmart Security (570281) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310670)

It was late, nearly seven in the morning. The sun was rising; it crept through my window, seemingly in defiance of the darkness that was beginning to elude it. Its effluence of light had proven itself to be more beautiful every day. A mere twenty years of age, I'd not yet experienced a job in which people trusted you, especially with their well-being. Searching futily for the cable that connected the remote control to the new Zenith television that I'd purchased from my parents, I realized that my appointment was only an hour away. I hadn't any time to leisurely brew coffee and catch up on the country's events. As I stepped out of bed, I cringed slightly. The tile floor always seemed gelid to my bare feet during the winter, especially after one of those egregiously arctic nights when it seemed as though the season would never enter the transition to spring.

According to popular rumor, William Robinson, the man who would later interview me, was facilely impressed by somebody who wore fashionable clothing. I had purchased a pink polo shirt and dress pants a week prior from the Sears catalog. Today I would exhibit them as I attempted to become a security assistant. I stepped into the five year old maroon, 1947 Plymouth that I'd inherited from my grandfather. It operated immaculately. The bleak, uneventful drive to Robinson's office seemed like an eternity; I was quite eager to commence my interview.

"So you're Peter Geralds," a stocky man greeted me. He pointed at a chair. "Come, sit. May I offer you something to drink? Water? Coffee?"

"No, thank you." I replied with all of the calmness that I could muster.

He chuckled. "A martini?"

I had anticipated that William would be a businesslike, humorless man. What a pleasant surprise it was to meet somebody in an executive position that was so laid-back. "So, you want to be a security..." He flipped through my application. "... assistant, do you?"

"Why yes sir, I do." I hadn't been in a mood as pleasant as this for months, perhaps even years.

Then his smile turned to a rather maniacal glare. "You won't live long enough to be one." He hastily produced a Smith and Wesson revolver from his desk drawer and fired twice. I screamed as the bullets penetrated my chest. The man then walked over to my chair and pushed me to the floor. After a moment, I was drowning in my own warm blood, unable to think of anything but the searing pain...

... "Yeah, yeah. No, patient two-four-seven isn't conscious. Yeah, I want a cheeseburger. With mayo. Go get them, Rhonda. Now!" A man said commandingly.

"Fine, you anal-retentive... Ugh." The second voice was that of a woman; she seemed to be unwilling to comply.

I opened my eyes attenuately. Unbearable pain indicated that I hadn't utilized them for days. My unfocused eyes created a vision of a white blur overhead. Perhaps I'd entered the afterlife. "Are you an angel?" I queried.

Whoever was standing over me began laughing feverishly. "I'm Thomas, your doctor. You certainly have a good sense of humor for somebody who has been unconscious for two days." His voice increased in intensity. "Hey Rhonda, before you leave, mark two-four-seven as conscious!"

"Where am I? Where's Robert? What happened?!" I was fretting. After all, he was my direct responsibility. If he had died, I promised myself that I would leave the security business permanently both in mourning and to prevent another tragedy occuring on my watch.

"You're at Christus Jasper Memorial. I'm afraid to say that Robert Arishima..." I interrupted the doctor in mid-sentence. "No!" I screamed, on the edge of tears. "He can't be dead! Not Robert! Why not me?"

Thomas placed his hand on my shoulder, comforting me. "I'm afraid to say that Mr. Arishima was released without injury two days ago, so you can't see him presently. Would you like me to call him?"

I felt as though I was a simpleton. How humiliating. Hopefully the doctor would practice a lot of discretion with both his peers and other patients, as well as Robert. "Yes, if it isn't bothersome."

"No, not at all," he replied. "Also, I have your incident report here, would you like to read it?"

Predictably, I responded with one word: "yes." Maybe it would shed light on the accident that Robert and I were involved in. My eyes, fortunately, were now focused. I grasped the paper as Thomas handed it to me and began reading the hastily constructed, rather inaccurate report:

"Incident report submitted by Harris on 3 April at 4 AM.

Two security attendants at Jasper Walmart Supercenter (Robert Arishima, Peter Geralds; blue EZSECURE golf cart, 1992) involved in vehicular collision with Paul Cryer (silver Mercedes-Benz SUV, 2001). Cryer reports that an unprovoked altercation (Arishima and Geralds being the aggressors) between the three preceded the accident..."

"Hey, Peter?" It was Robert! I ceased reading as he entered the room. "I've got bad news. You've um, been suspended as a security guard until EZSECURE investigates what happened. I'm sorry... Are you okay?"

For as long as the account lasts... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310677)

You too can be an Afgani field laborer:

Username: slashdolt0
Password: slashdolt0

editorial bitching (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310679)

Hi.

[SBC] complains about Microsoft's behavior, an abusive OS monopoly;
So are you saying that Microsoft's behavior is an abusive monopoly? That doesn't seem to make any sense. It would be better if you said that SBC "complains about the behavior of Microsoft, which is an abusive monopoly".

Thanks for your attention. If you're looking to hire an editor, let me know and I'll get in touch.

Hypocritical bastards (-1)

First_In_Hell (549585) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310688)

Give me a break. SBC is being the biggest hypocrite of all. Everyone bitches and moans about M$ doing stuff that they have been doing for years.

Let's face it M$ made a product that was accepted by the masses, bad business or not, they did it. They have the OS and that will give them an advantage over any competitor that tries to realese software for it. You can stuff penalities up Bill Gates' ass, but in the end it will not make a difference.

So they have an advantage, but get over it. M$ tried to do the same shit the SBC is whining about with MSN, but what good did it do them? AOL still took over, because MSN is ass. It IS possible to make a competing product. Just make it appeal to people. Wordperfect is not a defunct program having to peddle its crappy self to Linux diehards in retail bundles of the OS because M$ shut them out . . . the program sucks anus, Corel even knows this.

Everyone needs to get off this M$ crap. I am sick of hearing about it. Crybabies!

SBC is evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310689)

Of all of the groups in the US, I can think of few that are more evil than the Southern Baptist Convention. Boycotting Disney because they refuse to ban gay people from their theme parks is just odious. And somehow these people have never figured out that that whole slavery thing from the 1800s was wrong. People do not own other people, regardless of their skin color.

Lipner is astonished! (5, Funny)

Dharzhak (124289) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310699)

Steven B. Lipner, Microsoft's director of security assurance, responded, saying: "I'd be astonished if the open-source community has in total done as many man-years of computer security code reviews as we have done in the last two months.

Lipner also reacted with astonishment when he was told that professional wrestling matches are fixed.

Re:Lipner is astonished! (1)

CamelTrader (311519) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310751)

wheres my mod points when I need em?

Re:Lipner is astonished! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310785)

Lipner also reacted with astonishment when he was told that professional wrestling matches are fixed.

He then had a coronary when he was informed that fire was hot, and that Santa Clause doesn't really exist.

Wait a second (4, Funny)

quantaman (517394) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310700)

several of its key program managers warned that underestimating Microsoft's ability to meet the computer security challenge might be as foolhardy as was misjudging its ability to turn itself into a dominant Internet player.

I thought they were the default security player. Don't the vast majority of hackers break into MS boxes already?

hey now! (2, Funny)

KingPrad (518495) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310710)

what happened to honor among thieves?

KingPrad

students view (5, Insightful)

bpb213 (561569) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310715)

Ok, im a student at a good university.

looking at this -
dozen half-day training sessions for its programmers, about 1,000 at a time.

And i fail to see how you can teach. Its hard as hell to learn in a lecture hall of 300, but 1000? thats insane.

Not only that, but for a half day? Cmon, americans have an attention span of what? 15 sec? if that? (dont anyone take insult...:))

How do they expect coders to pay attention to a small figure in front for a full 6 hours....1.5 hours is hard as it is for a normal college lecture.

Re:students view (2, Insightful)

danheskett (178529) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310818)

Because professionals are not college students, and vice versa.

When the guy who writes my pay check speaks, I listen, even if its stupid, dumb, and tiresome.

Re:students view (1)

Nintendork (411169) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310819)

Sounds like another stupid management decision. Someone was so anxious to impress the boss that they didn't bother asking the trainers for advice.

"Let's just make this as cheap as possible but at the same time sound effective to the everyday ignorant customer. Maybe then I'll get a promotion!"

The computer industry is crooked and MS leads the pack. Someday, like the auto industry there will be stiff regulations and committees with the power to discipline.

Brainwashed indeed... (1)

FurryFeet (562847) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310720)

From the article:

"Geeks like learning new things, and when they pop out at the end of the process they're entirely brainwashed,".
Michael Howard, the Microsoft security expert who prepared the training material for the company's security retraining and led the security classes."

At least they acknowledge what their training tactics are.
Just remember this if you ever consider working for Microsoft.

Microsoft.com Running on Linux(DNS at Akamai) (2, Interesting)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310725)

Microsoft.com Running on Linux [linuxjournal.com]

Wired News reported today that Microsoft has outsourced their DNS to Akamai, and microsoft.com is now being served by name servers with a "networking implementation very similar to that of Linux". Akamai Technologies is a well-known Linux shop, but let's see.

Where are the product delays? (1)

Leknor (224175) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310734)

[Microsoft] ordered [programmers] to stop creating new programs until they had painstakingly re-examined the millions of lines of Windows operating system software for potential vulnerabilities.

If MS is stopping developement work then why hasn't there been any anoucements informing the world that new versions will be delayed?

DIRECTLY FROM THE ARTICLE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310736)



""Geeks like learning new things, and when they pop out at the end of the process they're entirely brainwashed," he said.

Oh yeah, baby.

Fuck you.

Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310742)

It's called a business strategy. If their product worked flawlessly and was bug free, less people would upgrade. Many of us were relieved to upgrade to 2000 from NT4. It was more stable, robust, and didn't require a lot of registry hacks. It didn't offer a slew of new features, just re-enforced old features. The idea that they don't know where every single bug is, is ridiculous.

What code reviews? (4, Insightful)

Nintendork (411169) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310753)

Since Gates sent out the letter pushing security, there have been a few patches. Only one of them (From what I can remember) wasn't credited to some security firm. Other companies are finding their code weaknesses and telling them. This is their plan???

OFFTOPIC: NYTimes - SHEESH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310760)

Criminy. I'm getting sick and tired of having to make up bogus marketing information every stinkin' time /. links an article.

Does anyone have a bogoname/bogopass that works and doesn't get autopurged by the yodleheads at NYT marketing?

Bad Idea for Microsoft (5, Insightful)

jacobb (93907) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310765)

Microsoft is rich because people upgrade if not every year, then every other year.
It could not possibly survive by selling bug-free software - it's just not in their interest. The vast majority of users DON'T blame MS for the crashes, rather they either blame a 3rd party program or themselves even though the fault lies almost entirely on Microsoft.

They DON'T get bad press from outlook viruses - the evil hacker delinquent kids do. MS is seen, of course, as the victim.

Windows2000 was released with, what, 20,000 known bugs in it. It seems to me that my Windows partition works worse and worse with each new version I put on it. So I buy another.
Don't you realize, this is the best business model of all? But of course, now that the nerds, geeks and generally intelligent people are widely blaming microsoft they want to quickly sidestep widespread scrutiny by (you guessed it) telling us security is their highest priority.

Microsoft sells software that is so bloated that if they actually did a decent code audit (which, of course, would be far too expensive) and tightened things up, you wouldn't need that couple gigs just devoted to the OS. In short: MS NEEDS you to upgrade. Why on earth would they really mend their ways? Especially if it would cost more and get less overall business?

Yeah, so? (1)

ShmuelP (5675) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310770)

"The Microsoft Corporation suggested in court today that SBC Communications was seeking tough antitrust restrictions against it to cripple its ability to compete in the telecommunications market."

Isn't the point of this whole trial that Microsoft used its monopoly power to act in illegal ways? Such as forcing itself into new markets by threatening/bullying competitors?

"Mr. Webb asserted that SBC did not portray Microsoft as a competitive threat until after it broke off talks with Microsoft in July for a partnership to develop seven products, including Internet voice mail."

And if your company had just broken of talks with a proven monopoly, convicted of using its position illegally, wouldn't you start calling it a "competitive threat"?

Don't the state AG's understand this? Microsoft was convicted of playing dirty. People are now testifying that they're scared of MS, given the federal settlement. And MS is responding, "that's only because you didn't partner with us"?

Hello?!?

Re:Yeah, so? (3, Insightful)

danheskett (178529) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310798)

No, no.

MS is 100% correct about SBC.

See, these companies in some cases (Novell and SBC primarily) are using the monopoly case and their testimony as bargaining chips in ongoing negotations!

That is very bad. Believe what you will about MS and its case and its actions - believe whatever you want. I have my own beleifs. But it is very clear that both Novell and SBC are doing really extremely bad things here with their testimony.

SBC is basically trying to blackmail MS into delaying their own services and then parterning with SBC when SBC is ready to go to market.

from the article: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310771)


"A significant number of our customers got hit," he said. Microsoft, in a post-mortem of the attacks, discovered that highly protected corporate data centers had generally not been infected. Many corporations, however, had added "rogue servers," machines that were informally installed by corporate departments. Inexperienced computer users frequently misconfigured those machines."

"The default had been to make it easy to use," he said. "Now we realize the right thing is to make it secure right out of the box."


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

This would be fun. (2, Funny)

otomo_1001 (22925) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310794)

Stick the guy who was quoted in the article in a room with Theo De Raadt(sp?? sorry Theo) of OpenBSD fame.

Then tape the hilarity that ensues, we could have a new weakest link on our hands. :D

I know I'll get modded down for this, but you only live once.

Bare Computing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3310803)

This Salon article [salon.com] asks if people would trust Microsoft enough to allow their programming to fly planes or spaceships. Of course, a plane running on windows 3.1 or win98 would be scary indeed... but even a bloated NT/XP or *nix installation would make anybody nervous.

... but what about a DOS box?

... what about a stripped down *nix box?

It seems to me (a windows user) that the power of the *nix systems is the ability to strip it down to the bare essentials... to remove variables that could cause problems. DOS also kinda had the feel to me.

I wonder if we all would trust microsoft stuff more if we as users could completely remove the nonessential parts... and slowly build as we needed. Everybody knows it's impossible to debug in multiple dimensions...

Until that time... nobody would fly in one of those planes... due to the constant worrying if the movie that they are watching will suddenly change into the "blue screen of death."


Anyway... be gentle... my karma is so fragile...

Davak

If it's that easy, it'll never be secure (1)

f00zbll (526151) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310806)

If article is correct and they really were successful in brainwashing that many engineers, their task just got that much harder. Clear thinking engineers who think for themselves would not be brainwashed so easily, nor would they be happy smily about it. Responsible, hardworking, thorough engineers don't just roll over with a few lectures. Security is a way of living, not something you just implement in 2 months. If anything, their PR firm just screwed up. No one in the security business is going to buy the idea a "lecture" is any measure. Further, if the execs are using lectures as a measure of success in implementing security, than I would argue it's already doomed to fail.

Of course, what the PR people say is rarely what's really happening, so I'll chalk it up to lamer marketing guy writing out of his butt.

NY Times username/password (5, Informative)

AmigaAvenger (210519) | more than 12 years ago | (#3310817)

Username: dotslash2002 Password: dotslash2002 (had to, no one posted on yet, had to go through the trouble of getting another account registered...)
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