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January 4, 2006

How safe is your OS?

Something you should always keep in mind: No journalist ever got anywhere in their career reporting on how unpopular people were not as cool as popular people. 

Entertainment journalists advance their careers by telling you the dirt on popular people.  The same is true for sports, business, and technology journalists. Consumers love the dirt more than the adoration - it's how we are, or how we've been socialized, or manipulated by the same media - doesn't matter, it's how we are.

So it's no surprise that for the most part, Windows is the dog of the tech media, while LI/UNIX is the golden child. Security of your computer's operating system has been is one of the key issues the press ever since AOL let the unwashed and uneducated masses out to soil the USNET and Internet.  The press has seen you get all frothy about OS security, so they look for opportunities to bring you more dirt to be worried about. You pay attention, so they look extra hard and report more often. Again, for thinking people this is no surprise, we filter.

What is a surprise is when the occasional news article exposes how poorly the LI/U products protect customers.  These products are still uber-geekware, and have little that they haven't lifted from Windows to protect or educate their users in keeping themselves safe.  When a publication chooses to share bad news about LI/U, even if it's just quoting a government investigative source, that's... well, that's news.

Lifted directly from BetaNews:

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team released its year-end summary of computer vulnerabilities. While Windows is regarded as the most insecure operating system, the US-CERT found four times as many vulnerabilities specifically related to Unix and Linux. Of 5,198 reported flaws, 812 were for the Windows, 2,328 for Unix and Linux, and 2,058 more affected more than one operating system.

Four times as many vulnerabilities in LI/U OS than windows. And that's for the few people who can actually use the arcane OS.

Of course you won't see this on the nightly news. For one thing, they'd have to explain too long about what Linux and Unix are - it would ruin the rhythm of the story, that screws with the sound bite mentality of journalism today.

Damn, thought we'd have something funny to say at the end of this.

  Hey, how about this?  Tom DeLay is going to jail.  Not that anything has been officially said, but you can add taking bribes to his criminal charges of election campaign violations. They're gonna put "The Hammer" down.

Hmmm... still not funny.

OK, did you hear the one about the British millionaress who married a dolphin?

OMFG, we're so lame this morning...


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