March 14th, 2003


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jimbojones
02:13 pm - Hypocrisoft
Item: in May of 2002, Jim Allchin, Microsoft's Group VP for Platforms, told Department of Justice officials under oath that sharing Windows source code with other American competitors "could damage national security and even threaten the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan."

Item: Last month, Microsoft signed an agreement with China to reveal the full Windows source code to the Chinese government.

So basically, either American competition is supposedly more of a threat to national security than China, or Microsoft is headed up by a pack of utterly amoral liars. Unless somebody can point out a third option that I missed somewhere?

 
Current Mood: angry
Current Music: Buck 65 - Blowing Smoke In Peoples' Faces

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Comments:



 
[User Picture] From: herbaliser
Date: March 14th, 2003 - 11:31 am
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it's all for real!

American competition IS more of a threat to national security than China.

Oh wait, I mean "American competition IS likely to kink MS profits."


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 14th, 2003 - 11:55 am
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Re: it's all for real!

If they are even vaguely familiar with how well the Linux ABI works under FreeBSD, they've got to be fairly terrified of the idea of letting the same crew get hold of Windows source.

(For those not familiar, FreeBSD has a Linux Application Binary Interface module that allows it to run applications compiled for Linux under FreeBSD - and it's so effective that some Linux-compiled applications actually run FASTER under FreeBSD than Linux, and even some device drivers compiled for Linux work fine under it. I've personally used Linux-compiled video card drivers running under ABI on FreeBSD machines with no problems.)


 
From: xillah
Date: March 15th, 2003 - 03:18 am
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[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 15th, 2003 - 10:02 am
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Re: it's all for real!

Erm... FreeBSD's been pretty damn rock solid as a server OS for ten years or so, dude.


 
[User Picture] From: discogravy
Date: March 15th, 2003 - 07:21 pm
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....says the guy who was MS-only until like last year.

FreeBSD has been the strongest of the BSDs for ages, because Open's focus on security slows them down (not to mention they got started AFTER Free, what with the splitting etc) and Net's focus on "this code must run on every fucking machine on the planet, even if there is no actual use for it". Linux is the one thing that has MS terrified, but what should have them pissing themselves is if/when Apple realises that if they made their systems cheaper they'd have people buying them. Apple, imo, has done what was for the longest time the holy grail amongst *nix geeks: a visually appealing Unix. OS X looks amazing, works fast, is compatible with pretty much everything you might actually need in an office environment (except Exchange; there's no native OSX client, but you can run Outlook 2001 in OS 9 emulation, which is built-in to OS X. Even so, MS is making Entourage (the OS X version of Outlook,) an Exchange client RSN.

Seriously, there's even fink, which is a command-line apt-get-alike (or ports-alike, if you prefer) if you spend all your time in CLI-mode. If their hardware didn't COST a fucking MINT they'd be doing business like gangbusters. (and there's rumors of "morlock" (may have the name wrong) the OS X code built for Intel-processors. my personal conspiracy theory on this is that they're keeping it on hand in case MS ever tried to fuck them over seriously (see the SCO/IBM lawsuit going on now); they'll release it or open source it just to fuck over MS.)


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 15th, 2003 - 07:36 pm
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....says the guy who was MS-only until like last year.
Only for small to medium business and non-intarweb purposes. I've *always* loathed IIS, and as far as the rest goes, I never bashed any of the *nix'es for lack of reliability; I bashed them for a lack of usability at the "power user" level - which bash still stands - and I bashed most of the diehard *nix fans for making bogus claims about reliability as compared to MS, which also still stand - I can make an NT4 file/print server without a single service pack on it run without complaint for years.

It's also worth noting that MS is a lot more evil than it was a few years ago. They hadn't even come close to the levels of perversion with NT4 or Win2K Pro that they did with the Active Directory domain structure or with, god help us, all things XP.

And finally, one of MS'es biggest real problems in server space wasn't as much of a problem then - that being uptime including commanded reboots. In the days of NT4, the typical server could easily be operated for six months to a year without needing a commanded reboot due to patch installation - the patches just didn't come out all that often. Nowadays, if your server provides any public services, you have GOT to apply the patches and service packs and updates as soon as they come out, and they come out weekly-or-more-often-than-that. The "reboot, reboot, reboot" behavior that used to be a minor annoyance is now practically crippling, when nearly every computer on a network of any size is exposed to some degree to the internet on a constant basis.

I still think it's incredibly important that people be fair about the ways they bash MS, regardless of the fact that MS is, in fact, requiring more and more perfectly valid bashing. If everybody is running around talking a bunch of shit that ISN'T true about MS products, the people who need the most to hear the things that ARE true aren't likely to pay any attention to them either, because they're so used to all the crap getting spouted that isn't.

Case in point: War On Drugs. It's a fact, yeah, you CAN fucking burn yourself out pretty badly abusing drugs. It's a fact, yeah, a lot of people that burn themselves out on coke or ecstacy - or, for that matter, just turning into total loser potheads - started out with light marijuana use. But a lot of the blame for THAT goes into the constant neverending fucking rain of misinformation rained down on people's heads about how instantly horribly awful marijuana is - so of course when somebody daringly TRIES it and finds out directly that it's far safer and less damaging than either of the LEGAL recreational drugs, well, it's easy for them to go hog fucking wild on the rest and do some real damage to themselves.

The anti-MS crowd - of which I am now a member - has a nasty tendency to do the same, far too often. We have GOT to be more careful about it, lest we have similar success rates.


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 15th, 2003 - 07:44 pm
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Expanding on the "the bash against usability at the power-user level still stands" comment of the last post:

I still use Windows2K workstations to open up SSH sessions to my FreeBSD machines. I'm not likely to change anytime soon. That's partly because there are a lot of Win32 apps that I really need, but it's also partly because, quite frankly, XFree86 and its various manager add-ins have a ways to go before they're as usable as the Windows GUI is. And for a lot of types of work, yes, GUIs are a fuck-ton more efficient... in particular, ironically enough, just for being able to have lots of terminals open at once.

Right now, my big focus in MS-destruction is trying to get them the FUCK out of the server market. I would dearly, dearly love to see somebody put together a viable answer to Windows on the workstation level, but I have to be honest and say that nobody has, as of yet. I *could* do without Windows on the workstation level right now... but it would be hampering. And I sure as fuck can't expect customers to tolerate something that *I* find hampering - my job is making their experience as transparent as possible. Right now, that largely means Windows on the workstation and FreeBSD / Samba on the back end.

And even then, there often has to be a Windows server - because Microsoft has done their damndest to push Exchange Server, which requires a Windows 2000 server, a Windows 2000 Active Directory domain, Windows 2000 DNS services, and, for the love of GOD, even Windows 2000 NNTP services. Worse yet, a lot of small "niche application" vendors are starting to cobble together applications too small too really need a SQL Server, MS or otherwise, around some bastardized sort of "Lite" version of SQL Server that runs on workstations.

Microsoft is evil... but it is FAR from stupid. That's what scares me.


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 15th, 2003 - 07:51 pm
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Expanding a little more, for those of you who don't see why Exchange Server is evil:

What is Exchange's job in life? To be a mailserver. Okay. So, just in order for something to deliver your mail, you have to commit to:

1. Buying the specific server operating system sold by the mailserver's vendor
2. Setting up your entire LOCAL network architecture according to the proprietary model laid out by the mailserver's vendor
3. Running the webserver sold by the mailserver's vendor
4. Running Network News Transport Protocol services sold by the mailserver's vendor
5. Using the mailserver's vendor's proprietary and deeply flawed Domain Name System services, which expose the network architecture in 2. above to the internet at large

By comparison, with any other mailserver application, all you have to buy is... the mailserver application. Use any DNS, any webserver, any server OS, any NNTP services, any LAN structure (which properly speaking should have NO FUCKING CONNECTION TO PUBLIC SERVICES ANYWAY) that you like.

Exchange. Is. EVIL.


 
From: xillah
Date: March 15th, 2003 - 08:12 pm
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[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 15th, 2003 - 08:21 pm
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Re: it's all for real!

Statements like this confuse me. In what way does FreeBSD "blow total dick" as a client that the Linux distro of your choice doesn't? You've got the same choice of shells to run for command line and the same choice of window managers to run under the same XFree86 for the GUI, so...?


 
[User Picture] From: pinballsorceror
Date: March 14th, 2003 - 12:00 pm
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I have this suspicion that if windows source were revealed domestically, somebody could possibly see a GPL violation in it. I mean this wouldn't be devestating or a revelation, that litigation would just be buttressed by the sheer mass of the microsoft juggernaut. I respect them in so much as they have a lot of smart people behind their keyboards, but their leadership really is seriously predatory. And it's doubly scary how sanctioned their shitty behavior is.


 
From: xillah
Date: March 15th, 2003 - 03:22 am
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[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 15th, 2003 - 02:09 pm
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That's really a bunch of shit. For one thing, anything security-rated Classified and above can't be accessed from or stored on a PC anyway - Classified systems are still minicomputers and mainframes with dumb terminal based local networks, and ZERO internet access.

For that matter, while it is true that Microsoft network services are total fucking swiss cheese, they shouldn't be accessible remotely anyway - any windows boxes should be hiding behind hardened firewalls (and are, in .gov installations). As far as the ability to break in if you can get physical access to the network, well, shit... you don't need access to the source code for THAT. Give me five minutes with a Windows NT, 2000, or XP machine that has a CD-ROM or floppy drive installed, and I can make a copy of the SAM and reboot it again just as it was before - then take my copy of the SAM elsewhere and brute-force the passwords on all the accounts.

Believe me, if exposing Windows source code was any real security risk, Unk Sam wouldn't have allowed Microsoft to give it to fucking CHINA.


 
From: xillah
Date: March 16th, 2003 - 01:29 pm
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[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 16th, 2003 - 02:02 pm
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It's widely known that all government installations (especially the AF) use Windows Clients and Servers (2000, currently) for most of their "camps" as well as on base.
Not for Classified material, they don't. Repeat: information with a security classification of CONFIDENTIAL and up is only stored on secured minicomputers or mainframes with no external (ie off-facility) network connections whatsoever. Unless something's changed in the last few years, secured minicomputer systems don't even use a routable network protocol to connect to the dumb terminals.


 
[User Picture] From: discogravy
Date: March 15th, 2003 - 07:25 pm
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they did in fact use the BSD TCP/IP stack, without crediting it (which violated the BSD license) for windows NT -- they were caught when people noticed that the same bugs that the BSD version had came up in the windows NT version. of course, the GPL and the BSD license are very different, so it's a whole 'nother can of worms.


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 15th, 2003 - 08:09 pm
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lelevant rinks:

http://www.betanews.com/print.php3?sid=992921150

From the release notes for Windows XP:

"This product includes software developed by the University of California, Berkeley and its contributors.

Portions of this product are based in part on the work of the Regents of the University of California, Berkeley and its contributors. Because Microsoft has included the Regents of the University of California, Berkeley, software in this product, Microsoft is required to include the following text that accompanied such software..."

The release notes can be viewed in full at: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;en-us;q306819


 
[User Picture] From: handofme
Date: March 14th, 2003 - 12:25 pm
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I wonder, is there a bottem or dose your opinon of micrsoft just cuntinu droping and droping and droping and....


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 14th, 2003 - 01:31 pm
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I don't know - will they ever stop stooping lower and lower and lower?


 
From: cpf
Date: March 14th, 2003 - 12:38 pm
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"Unless somebody can point out a third option that I missed somewhere?"

You have stumbled into the Twilight Zone.

Doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo...


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