Subject: Is M$ a perpetrator of attractive nuisances?
From: Rich Morin <rdm@cfcl.com>
Date: Sat, 6 May 2000 09:17:36 -0700

I have been musing about the notion of "attractive nuisances",
wondering whether it might apply to a company which has shown
itself to be totally disinterested in the possibility that its
products can be subverted and abused.

I refer, of course, to M$, whose operating systems have ever-
increasing opportunities for misuse:

   Start with a complete lack of internal firewalls.
   Add in Visual Basic as a pervasive macro language.
   Add Outlook's automagical running of apps and scripts.

Some of the reason for M$'s vulnerability to worms and viruses
is that it is such a tempting (i.e., large) target.  A virus
aimed a BeOS might not even make the daily press.  Nonetheless,
it is also the case that Unixish systems are less vulnerable to
these attacks and that applications such as Eudora have not been
involved nearly as much as, say, Outlook.

In short, I wonder if M$ has done anything that would go beyond
the usual denials of responsibility, causing it to be open to a
class-action suit (or even criminal prosecution) for knowingly
and increasingly perpetrating this kind of incompetent product.

-r
--
Rich Morin:          rdm@cfcl.com, +1 650-873-7841, http://www.ptf.com/~rdm
Prime Time Freeware: info@ptf.com, +1 408-433-9662, http://www.ptf.com
MacPerl: http://www.macperl.com,       http://www.ptf.com/ptf/products/MPPE
MkLinux: http://www.mklinux.apple.com, http://www.ptf.com/ptf/products/MKLP