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Microsoft Under Attack

18 replies on 2 pages. Most recent reply: Jun 8, 2006 11:08 AM by Jeff Ratcliff

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James Watson

Posts: 2024
Nickname: watson
Registered: Sep, 2005

Re: Microsoft Under Attack Posted: Jun 7, 2006 3:45 PM
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> Only you know if your intent was to be even-handed or
> not.

I don't know what that has to do with you misinterpreting/misrepresenting what I actually wrote.

I never said the Firefox rankings were correct. I would say they often rank things as critical that most people wouldn't consider critical. My only point was that taking two sets of non-uniform data points and drawing conclusions from them is improper.

> > > suggests to me that you
> > > believe that MS isn't following some sort of
> understood
> > > standard, yet in a later post you suggest that there
> is
> > no
> > > standard and it's difficult to define one.
> >
> > That's a poor assesment. I didn't say it was difficult
> to
> > define a standard just that it was hard to find data on
> > this issue where a single standard was applied
> > objectively.
>
> Then what did you mean by the statement: "There are lots
> of things that can not be measured objectively and
> accurately" when asked to define an objective standard for
> software security.

Just what it says. There are things that cannot be measure objectively and things that cannot be measured accurately. Security can probably be measured objectively but whether it can be measured accurately is another thing altogether. The results are only as good as your tests. Finding no vulnerabilities could mean that there are none or it could mean the tests are no good. There's really no way to tell.

> > I find it frustrating that it seems impossible to
> discuss
> > Microsoft without someone bringing a highly partisan
> > stance (pro or con) into it.
>
> I'm not sure what you mean by "highly partisan", but you
> just admitted that you believed that MS software wasn't
> very secure without proof. Isn't that a partisan stance?

No, it isn't. I think Czechvar (Budweiser Budvar) is better than Budweiser (Anheuser-Busch). does that make me an partisan? I have no objective criteria for my assesment.

I reject the assertion that any assessment that isn't made on purely empirical data is invalid.

The definition of partisan that applies here is: an ardent and enthusiastic supporter of some entity or activity

> Note that I haven't been partisan since I haven't
> expressed an opinion about the relative security of OSS
> and MS.

That's not really relevant to whether you are being partisan. Opinions are not the defining characteristic of a partisan. It seems to me that you assume that because I don't think everthing Microsoft does is beyond criticism that I am anti-microsoft.

So what is your assessment of the relative security of OSS and MS.

Jeff Ratcliff

Posts: 242
Nickname: jr1
Registered: Feb, 2006

Re: Microsoft Under Attack Posted: Jun 7, 2006 5:44 PM
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I don't want to waste your time and mine so I won't rehash these arguments further, but I do owe you the answer to your last question.

> So what is your assessment of the relative security of OSS
> and MS.

I don't know. Without an objective standard, how can we draw valid conclusions?

I will say that I think it's plausible (although not proven), that MS's security is improving simply because they have been focusing on it. That doesn't mean that they have a great security process or the best security process.

I'm rather a process-agnositic guy, but I guess that I'm willing to buy into the idea that if you increase your focus on a particular area, it's more likely to improve.

The counter-argument, at least for Vista, is that the increased size and complexity of the OS may decrease its security and stability to the extent that improved security focus might be cancelled out.

James Watson

Posts: 2024
Nickname: watson
Registered: Sep, 2005

Re: Microsoft Under Attack Posted: Jun 8, 2006 9:08 AM
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> I don't want to waste your time and mine so I won't rehash
> these arguments further, but I do owe you the answer to
> your last question.

I just want to say that I felt you were assigning meaning to my statements that were not there. I apologize if I responded to forcefully. But I do appreciate and value your comments on this topic.

> > So what is your assessment of the relative security of
> OSS
> > and MS.
>
> I don't know. Without an objective standard, how can we
> draw valid conclusions?
>
> I will say that I think it's plausible (although not
> proven), that MS's security is improving simply because
> they have been focusing on it. That doesn't mean that they
> have a great security process or the best security
> process.
>
> I'm rather a process-agnositic guy, but I guess that I'm
> willing to buy into the idea that if you increase your
> focus on a particular area, it's more likely to improve.
>
> The counter-argument, at least for Vista, is that the
> increased size and complexity of the OS may decrease its
> security and stability to the extent that improved
> security focus might be cancelled out.

Ironically, I couldn't agree more with everything you wrote here.

Jeff Ratcliff

Posts: 242
Nickname: jr1
Registered: Feb, 2006

Re: Microsoft Under Attack Posted: Jun 8, 2006 11:08 AM
Reply to this message Reply
> I just want to say that I felt you were assigning meaning
> to my statements that were not there. I apologize if I
> responded to forcefully. But I do appreciate and value
> your comments on this topic.
>

It wasn't my intention to misrepresent what you said and I apologize as well. It seems that our opinions aren't that different after all.

Flat View: This topic has 18 replies on 2 pages [ « | 1  2 ]
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