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Re: Microsoft: ODF Leads to Standards Conflict

Roy Schestowitz wrote:
> __/ [ Rex Ballard ] on Wednesday 08 March 2006 18:20 \__
>> >
> > It's a bit like SCO looking at Linux, seeing 1 billion lines of code,
> > thinking it might have found 20 lines that were stolen - and assuming
> > that it was the guy with the deepest pockets (IBM) that stole it.  OF
> > course, they don't want to tell anyone else which code this is, because
> > we might remove the stolen code. - that is if any of the code was
> > actually stolen at all.
> 1 billion LOC's? I guess it was a figure of speech because the last time I
> heard, Linux kernel contained about 5 million LOC's. Because it's elegant
> (must be 'legible'), and despite the fact it's coded in C, it is probably
> much more compact than a 'certain other kernel' (or mish-mash of components
> rather, due to lack of modularity). *smile*

You are correct.  The kernel is only a few million lines.  The average
Linux DISTRIBUTION contains up to 5 gigabytes of binary code, roughly a
billion lines of source in various forms.  SCO seems to be as
interested in libraries as they are in kernel.

> > IBM is asking for the records related to the role Microsoft may have
> > had in the SCO lawsuit, and suddenly Microsoft is trying to accuse
> > everyone else of conspiracy against Microsoft.
> I really wanted to link that story (IBM subpoena) to the original post, but
> thought it would carry the subject adrift.

My guess is that IBM knows that fairly soon, the Judge will dismiss the
charges, but under Utah law, there is also a law that says that the
Judge can award damages to the defendent if there aren't enough
grounds.  SCO is a very small company and even IBM's legal expenses
would pretty much bankrupt the company.  If IBM can provide evidence
that SCO is actually a puppet for Microsoft, then there may be a
possibility of collecting additional settlement funds from Microsoft.
But that's purely speculation on my part.

> > I've heard it said that there are something like 150,000 viruses now
> > out for Windows?
> > (that could just be hype from antivirus vendors :D).
> Probably. Think of the number of crackers and their daily capacity for
> 'production'. Maybe the figure should have said something like "there are
> estimated to be 150,000 critical flaws in Windows, which /could/ get
> exploited by hackers".

It's actually a bit ironic.  There are several hundred patches to Linux
which Microsoft cannot use in the code they got from BSD because the
patches were published under GPL only.

Microsoft may have "reverse-engineered" the fixes themselves.

However, I think eth 150,000 viruses includes every mutation, signature
change, and "script kiddie" variation of about 100 core virus designs.
Almost none of these are exploites of frame-buffer overruns.  Mostly
they are exploits of VBA, VBScript, ActiveX, attachements that containe
executables (appear to be self-extracting zip files but are really
executable viruses), and signed Java applets.  Server hacks usually
involve lack of permission settings on WebDAV directories - allowing a
"poster" to send binaries then post a link to unsuspecting users.

Another common hack is to hijack the DHCP or WINS domain server.  This
makes it possible for a hacker to temporarily "share" anything.

Microsoft actually desgined these features to help it monitor piracy
and to help it provide better customer support.  After all, if they
know what's on your machines, they can better plan their libraries,
determine which applications should be tested when new libraries are
about to be released, and of course, it helps them identify new markets
where they can offer "better" products.

If you leave your key under the door-mat, you don't want to make that
information public.  This may be one of the reasons why Microsoft is
having such a hard time providing the complete specifications of
protocols as requested by both US and EU courts.

> > Linux hasn't had a successful "full scale attack" where any significant
> > number of servers or worktations (say over 50%) suddenly went berzerk -
> > in almost 15 years.
> I guess this argument takes Linux into its age of dawn. Clean sheet.
Actually the Lion virus only affected one in every 1000 Linux

The last real successful malware against *nix was the Morris Worm in
1987.  Ironically, that wasn't even intended to be malicious.  It was
originally designed to help map out the topology of the
usenet/Internet.  The problem was that Morris used a routine with an
argument in milliseconds and Morris thought the argument was in
seconds.  Essentially, by the time Morris realized his mistake, the
worm was spreading too fast to stop it.

Ironically, he was using a "back door" that had been set up by mail
administrators.  That door was almost immediately closed after the

> > The documents written on UNIX systems 20 years ago can be read by Linux
> > systems today.  Documents created for Windows from even 7 years ago may
> > not be readable today.
> >
> > And Microsoft has done such a good job of establishing and maintaining
> > standards like
> > MFC oops, I mean COM, no it's DCOM, or COM+ or .NET or -- what do they
> > call it in Vista?
> Maybe as in Longhorn, the change of names and labels will make it seem as
> though a radical change has been applied. I still believe that the change of
> GUI colours, as well as look-and-feel, was a last minute attempt to visually
> distinguish Vista from what it truly is: Windows XP with SP3 on top. Aero is
> that bear they put on top so as to say "our O/S is as pretty as OS X, GNOME
> and KDE" (sorry to have left some desktop environments out).

There have been times when lack of backward compatibility has lead to
problems.  Every patch breaks as many as 10% of the applications
written for that platform.  Usually, the application vendor realizes
that he is still using a depricated API.  In some cases, it's just bad
interactions between the components.

> > Have you tried running a Windows 3.1 program on XP?  Or a Windows 95
> > program?  Or an NT 3.x program?
> >
> > Flavor of the week from Microsoft - or self imposed published public
> > standard in sufficient detail that even college undergrads can
> > implement it -  Choose!
> *LOL* Good point.
> Best wishes,
> Roy
> --
> Roy S. Schestowitz      |    Y |-(1^2)|^(1/2)+1 K
> http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
>   6:15am  up  22:52,  8 users,  load average: 0.80, 0.70, 0.68
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