I forgot to add too: how's about this as an idea. How's about the internet and whatever powers it - not as some huge grand moneymaking scheme or some enormous electronic shopping mall but instead have the internet as a public service? Would that work? :)
I don't think the author of the original post here is being alarmist. Spam, malware, software that uploads junk to your pc and soforth is becoming a bigger and bigger problem.
While I'm all for switching the internet over to open source software, I really don't think it's ever going to happen. What everyone seems to forget is to make that sort of switch dosen't just require a technical change - it would require a social and possibly even a political change too.
It's taken something like 20 years for computers to be even accepted in the home. It's taken that long for people to even begin to accept computers. And it needed a social change too - even this.
The problem then is will we get that social change that's needed to switch from propietary to open source? Unlikely from what I see. It would be easier in some countries than others, but those countries whose entire philiosiphy is built around making money being the be-all and end-all of everything, or putting money above all else are going to find it the hardest to change. In some countries it's the case that money pratically rules and that big business is pushed onto people pratically at every point in their lives :( .
Certianly, microsoft are responsible for a lot of what is happening. After all it's largely thier OS that is at fault with all its security problems. Microsoft love to paint the picture of their OS as being something wonderful when it isn't. Remember the near-hysteria when Win95 was released? When people just go mad for a product based purely on hype you can hardly call it a reasoned and considered and well-thought out choice.
Microsoft too love to push the idea that you don't need to be a technical expert, too. Remember that MS advertising campaign that portrayed (was it) either hackers or computer technicians as basically being dinosaurs? It's that sort of stupid message that just dosen't help. A PC is a complex thing; if you get into someone else's car you would want them to be a competent driver; a PC is arguably a lot more complex than a car. So to say you need no brains to operate one is ludicrus.
And it's microsoft's use of propietary stands and their messing up of free standards that causes a fair amount of trouble too. Rembember Kerbeous and microsoft misusing a protocol? And what about IE and Windows with all those lovely hooks right into the OS - all there waiting for some spammer to come along and mess up your computer for you. Microsoft certianly should share a large proportion of the blame - after all it's their software that is running most stuff.
The users too I think although they can't be entirely blame should at least do more than *nothing* if they want to use a PC. What I mean is this: If you're an end user actually learn the basics about PCs. Again you wouldn't jump in your car without having a few driving lessons would you?! There are unfortunatly those end users out there who just see "Microsoft" and "PC" and never think to question these two things. They see those spammy tv ads with overpaid actors with windows and graphics flying around their bedrooms or living rooms and can access all kinds of stuff by pressing one mouse button (junk advertising) but yet are first to scream and shout when they turn the PC on and when something is less than 100% optimal or something minor just dosen't work.
I remember .... in the past, you know - to be a computer programmer - to call yourself a computer programmer you had to either have something like a qualification or a degree and actually *know* a programming language. Compare that to today when you get lots of fools out there who proclaim themselves to be programmers when all they can do is write 3 lines of HTML. That's not knowing how to use your computer properly, and it's not being a programmer either. Total Ignorance is no excuse.
It's not just microsoft, however. They are certianly the worst but there are several other companies that are almost as bad. And just because a company declares it will use OSS dosen't mean to say it won't try to copyright and magically turn in it into propietary software at some later stage - a warning to all those who trust IBM. IBM could always do a microsoft at some point in the future.
It would be a good thing though if we could move the internet over to OSS, but really I don't think it's going to happen any time soon. The corporations and companies out there simply excert and have too much power and money; it's very hard to fight them let alone get your message across. Unfortunatly there seems to be 2 ideas of what the internet should be - one is having the internet as OSS and having everyone able to access informtion while the other is just having everything propietary and turning the internet into just one huge electronic shopping mall. x.x
Guess which one's unfortunatly winning at the moment? :(
(Me personally I do not use windows, I will never use it and I have no intrest it any longer. )
PS, apologies for going OT.