Vista and 7 More Secure than OSX? Someone Thinks So.

Who is Charlie Miller?  Charlie Miller is a hacker.  He is a good one too.  In the summer of 2007, he released an exploit for the iPhone.  In 2008, in under 2 minutes, he found a flaw in the MacBook Air, and walked away with 10k to boot.  Oh, he also use to work fir the NSA.  He is listed as one of The Internet’s Top 10 Most Controversial Figures of 2008.

While I get a laugh out of someone poking Apple, especially if the poking involves exploiting how vulnerable Mac’s really are.  An article I saw this morning made me rather giddy.  Two quotes below:

It is of the opinion of Charlie Miller, a well known Mac security guru, that even Snow Leopard, the latest version of Mac OS X, isn’t as safe as Windows.

"Snow Leopard’s more secure than Leopard, but it’s not as secure as Vista or Windows 7," he said. "When Apple has both [in place], that’s when I’ll stop complaining about Apple’s security."

I have used Vista for a couple of years and love it.  It has been the best OS I have ever used.  The only complaint I had was that Vista was a bit resource hungry.  That being said, I did run Vista Ultimate with 512gb RAM, and had no problems.  I finally doubled the RAM after about 6 months, but only because I wanted to.  I really didn’t need to.

But I digress.  When a hacker, and a good one at that, says that Windows is more secure than the latest 2 versions of OSX, it is a good day.

iThis and iThat, Because, It’s All About Me

My apologies to the Mac users that read my blog.  As most of my friends and family know, I do not have any use for a Mac.  I use Microsoft Windows.  I have been told that Mac file systems operate more like the human brain, and that they are much easier to use, but I have not personally found that to be the case.  Every time I try a Mac, or a Mac product, I walk away frustrated, and go back to Windows.  Microsoft is my happy place:)  I am only doing this because I received an e-mail about the iPhone.  I think that I was being goaded, and if I am wrong, I will publicly apologize.  No need to spend $500 on this for me, spend half, get me a Zune, and I will be most pleased.

Apple Computers, wait, sorry, Steve Jobs has apparently renamed the company Apple, Inc.  I am sure there is a good reason for it, there must be. 

In the 1970’s when GM was struggling with their public image, among other things, Iacoca changed the companies legal name from General Motors, to The New General Motors.  The media was constantly saying “The failing General Motors…” or “The troubled General Motors…”.  With the name change saying “The failing The New General Motors…” just didn’t roll off the tip of the tongue.  In changing the name, and taking control of how the media mentioned GM, Iacoca took control of the GM image from the press.  The name change made sense.

The point is that changing from Apple Computers to Apple Inc does not seem to make any difference, unless it is to save a couple of tenths of a penny on the ink when the company letterhead is printed.

 So, starting over, Apple Inc unveiled their iPhone, not to be confused with Cisco Systems iPhone.  Honestly, I didn’t know that Cisco had an iPhone, but more on that later.

The Apple iPhone is suppose to be the latest, hottest, cell phone when it hits the market, later this summer.  Combining the features of the IPod Video, a cell phone, and a PDA with Wireless and Bluetooth technologies, Steve Jobs promises that it will be the envy of every cell phone owners eye (or is it I).  It certainly sports a sleek look, and on the surface, seems to be pretty cool.  The iPhone has the ability to send and receive e-mail (but will it interface with Outlook?), surf the web using the Apple internet browser, Safari, it integrates with Google Maps, and you can even use the Widgets that are part of OS X.  And it can all be yours for the low, low price of $499.  Oh, and you have to change your cell phone provider to Cingular.

I saw clips from the announcement that Steve Jobs made about the new Apple toy.  He was pretty excited about his new phone.  Chatting about all the features, he got to the biggest problem the iPhone has, and with his usual arrogant, bravado, he claimed it was a feature. 

One of the most important parts of any PDA, and the most overlooked, is the stylus.  It allows me to write and select without getting the screen dirty.  I have used PDA’s for about 3 years, and every time I try to use my finger, no matter how clean, there are always smudges that are near impossible to get rid of.  Steve Jobs apparently expects that iPhone users will have fingers that will not smudge the screen.  It would be interesting to know weather Apple has taken into account that there a few of us around that have larger than average fingers, and the iPhone does not look to be user friendly to those of us with larger fingers.

Maybe Apple people are different than PC people.

Also, the cost.  At $499.00, Apple seems pretty proud of their new gizmo, and for all it claims to do, maybe if they figure out how to keep the screen clean, and open it up to other wireless providers, it might be worth it, but to those of us who have been overcharged by Cingular one too many times (or had a 2 year contract, only to find out that they hit your minutes on the calls after 7pm, when you signed up to get the free incoming calls after 7, and they insist that you pay for their mistake) I don’t think that it is going to give many people reason to switch.

There is also the marketing aspect to consider, as well.  Far more important than weather this is a good product and service, and way more important than weather this thing sells or not, since 2001, Apple has used the concept of “I” to sell their new hand held devices.  iPod, iPod Nano, iPod Mini, iPod Video, and my personal favorite, the iPod Flea.  Please note that you will need the following accessories to get the most out of your iPod Flea: the Flea Collar, Flea Market, Flea Infestation kit, iPod Tic, Bluetooth wireless remote Flea and Tic Control, and the Flea Bag.

Anyway, the Apple advertising seems to say ” It’s all about you.  You are an individual, and you deserve your stuff to be personalized just for you, and we know what you want”  While that is part of most modern ad campaigns, Apple takes it a bit further.  They use the pronoun “I”.  Is that because they are trying to further reinforce the post-modern idea that “I am the most important person, and what I want is all that matters.  It’s my stuff, my way.”?

Contrast that with the Zune ad slogan “Welcome to the Social”.  It seems that Microsoft has stumbled onto the idea that no one is an island unto themselves.  We are made to interact with each other.  Could it be that someone in the Microsoft ad dept. that understands the concept of community?

Microsoft Set to Take Back Some Ground

After much pain and suffering on the part of Gates and CO., Microsoft is setting itself up to push back against its competitors Apple and Google.

For the last few years, Mac has dominated the portable music industry with it’s IPod. Two weeks ago, I read an article at the UK Guardian website titles “Why the IPod is Losing Its Cool” In it David Smith details some disturbing new trends for Apple. While the IPod is still the dominate brand for portable digital music, sales have declined. Also this excerpt for the article probably does not make Steve Jobs morning a happy one:

The Zandl Group, a New York-based trends forecaster which regularly interviews a panel of 3,000 consumers aged 25-35, recently picked up its first significant criticisms. ‘The iPod is far and away the most popular tech gadget with our panellists – however, for the first time we are hearing negative feedback about the iPod from some panellists,’ said the organization’s spokeswoman, Carla Avruch. ‘Panellists cite that the batteries are not replaceable, so when they die the entire player must be replaced,’ she said. ‘We have heard from some conspiracy theorists that the batteries are made to die soon after the warranty ends.

‘Other complaints are that iTunes [Apple’s online music store] is overpriced and the format is not easily transferred on to other players. In our ethnography interviews, some long-time iPod-users told us that they have stopped updating their iPods because it’s too much work, while other consumers who had bought iPods more recently had not even taken theirs out of the package to set it up.’

She added that the iPod is in danger of becoming a victim of its own success: ‘Some backlash is against the ubiquity of the iPod – everyone has those white headphones on the train.’

Note that the IPod is still the dominate mp3 player, but if Apple does not step up again, they will not be at the head of the pack for very much longer. Even with the new ITunes offering movies, and the new 80 gig IPod, Microsoft may still give Apple a run for its money. Also, there was the problem of Apple releasing smaller and smaller units, quite a few actually in short periods of time. Here is the newest offering.

Enter the Microsoft Zune. A 30 gig digital player that does everything IPod does, with the addition of WIFI file sharing. For obvious copyright reasons, the files that can be transferred from one Zune to another are limited, but there are some interesting future possibilities if this delivers half as much as Microsoft is promising. And with Toshiba actually manufacturing the Zune could be a major problem for the lead IPod enjoys right now.

For the last couple of years, Google has taken advantage of multiple legal issues that have distracted Microsoft from what it does. Google has also stolen Microsoft’s thunder on more than one occasion on several competing products. While Gates and Ballmer have been in court, Brin and Page have been pushing ahead. While they are two different companies, in many cases, the only difference between them is that Google does it with a smile, and Microsoft is all business.

Microsoft has released Windows Live on the web. Windows Live is set to poke at Google in a big way, if Microsoft plays its cards right. E-Mail, search, maps, video, and a whole host of other cool gadgets are all similar to Goggle offerings. Blogging is even available. There are even tools that can be downloaded to your PC, ,like the new Live One Care.

And the new IE 7 with the Windows Live Toolbar is outstanding. Personally, I don’t care for tabbed browsing, but it’s there if you want it. There are two other tools that are far more exciting and useful. The first is Windows Live Writer, which I am using now. Live Writer is a blogging tool. Almost similar to Google’s Blogger plug in for Word, Live Writer allows you to do blog entries graphically, instead of having to know how to code. Live Writer also is not just limited to the Microsoft blogging site. Live Writer also works with several other blog providers. I am actually using it to create this post.

The other great tool is the the RSS Feeder integrated into IE 7. And it actually works. No need to download and pay for RSS services like Attensa (although I used Attensa before discovering IE 7) and you don’t have to go to another web page to see all of your subscriptions. And I don’t think that Firefox has that option, but Firefox users can correct me if I’m wrong.

All in all, Microsoft has put itself in a great position to be back on top if they play their cards right. I for one am glad.


Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑