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Big Brother Lifetime Award Goes To Microsoft 219

D4C5CE writes "Microsoft's ceaseless "success" in bringing instability, insecurity and breaches of privacy as well as a deplorable lack of open standards to almost Every Desktop on Earth has now earned them an "Oscar" for Data Leeches, the Lifetime Award for "outstanding mis-achievement" from the BigBrotherAwards 2002 in Germany. Microsoft's Data Protection Officer actually attended the ceremony to collect the prize (probably delighted that unlike the "laureates" of last year's event in Austria, at least he would not receive live cockroaches), and this unlucky winner took the opportunity to make some critical remarks on the company's communications regarding the Windows Media Player and Digital Restrictions (or, euphemistically, in his words: Rights) Management technologies which he deemed crucial for modern business models, rather than acknowledging that it's in fact not just the advertising but the approach itself which is fundamentally flawed."
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Big Brother Lifetime Award Goes To Microsoft

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  • by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Saturday October 26, 2002 @02:57PM (#4537643)
    I love it... another article that's a troll: "instability". By checking out the links, it doesn't look like they have anything at all to do with stability. On top of that, anyone's who's been awake in the past 2-3 years knows that W2K is incredibly stable.

    Bad articles are one things, but blatant trolls are another. Who keeps approving these things?
    • by LordHunter317 ( 90225 ) <askutt@MENCKENgmail.com minus author> on Saturday October 26, 2002 @03:06PM (#4537691)
      That's why I have to reboot my Win2K workstation every week to keep the performance up to an acceptible level, and my linux/BSD workstations are known for having multiple week uptimes and feeling just as fast, if not faster as tiem goes on.

      Win2K might be stable, but the stability is like VMS stability -- at the cost of performance, especially over time. The is extra true when you have a memory leak or such other issues (which many windows applications do).

      I refuse to use a "stable" environment that slows down unless I have to. And I'm runing nothing but a web browser, Outlook, telnet and a X server most days. Sometimes not even that much. Yet, I have to reboot every week to keep it running fast.

      That's not real stability to me. Sorry, no dice.
      • by Saint Stephen ( 19450 ) on Saturday October 26, 2002 @03:13PM (#4537721) Homepage Journal
        I also kept my Win2k boxes up for weeks, and do the same for XP. It's called "knowing how the thing works". You need to spend as much time tweaking and setting up that Windows box as you do that Linux box.

        For instance, you should log out occasionally, kill.exe bad processes, apply the latest patches, stop a lot of crap services enabled by default, and generally know what happens when what happens.

        Really, I get a kick out of watching y'all complain about Windows stability, because at least 50% of the complaints are bogus.

        Now, to not troll, sometimes you are right: You can't keep a Windows box up indefinitely because some crap patch comes out every couple weeks.
        • by LordHunter317 ( 90225 ) <askutt@MENCKENgmail.com minus author> on Saturday October 26, 2002 @03:59PM (#4537893)
          I do logout everynite, and leave my computer running on Standby. I clear as much junk as I can out, but can't clear out everything because this is at work. Believe me, I know how to tweak Windows when I can. Even still, I've yet to see a Windows box reliably stay both stable and fast for more than about a week at a time.
          • I do logout everynite, and leave my computer running on Standby. I clear as much junk as I can out, but can't clear out everything because this is at work. Believe me, I know how to tweak Windows when I can. Even still, I've yet to see a Windows box reliably stay both stable and fast for more than about a week at a time.
            FYI, ACPI is notirously buggy on just about every platform under the sun. It really is a festering piece of shit (search various Linux mailing lists for allt he hassle of implementing it).

            If you need to shut down at night, either hibernate or better yet just shut it down.

            BTW, I admin Win2k boxes that have over a 1 yr of uptime and still benchmark within 5% of their "first boot" performance.
          • by nuxx ( 10153 )
            Hrm. That's odd. I'm sitting on a Windows XP box here with three or four weeks of uptime. Benchmarks just as fast as it always does, provided I kill off enough processes to make it as clean as when it boots up.

            People also need to stop blaming Windows for leaky apps that won't shut down properly. Or Adobe Acrobat or Quicktime stuff that decides that it needs some sort of loader. Like a previous poster stated, if you know what you're doing, you can have a rock solid Windows box. And the learning curve for these things is much lower than it is with *nix command line tools, thanks to a GUI.
            • People also need to stop blaming Windows for leaky apps that won't shut down properly.
              But they can blame Windows for allowing such programs to run. In a properly designed OS, it doesn't matter what the process does -- when it quits, the OS should completely annihilate its memory space. The fact that Windows allows programs with memory leaks to affect the stability of the OS is what's inexcusable.
          • I do logout everynite, and leave my computer running on Standby. I clear as much junk as I can out, but can't clear out everything because this is at work. Believe me, I know how to tweak Windows when I can. Even still, I've yet to see a Windows box reliably stay both stable and fast for more than about a week at a time.

            Doesn't sound like you do - otherwise it would be stable.

            Even at my last job the Dell 5400 NT 4 machine we had which was doing Exchange 5. Now that configuration is arguably unstable - but even then it only had issues once every 6-8 months and it wasn't a bluescreen. Exchange would stop responding and the machine had to be restarted.

            We had some sales servers running some mis app on 2000 - had it going for several years until one day we noticed someone hacked its web interface. It was running on a Dell 4550 (I think - this was a while ago). It was running so stable under IIS and MS-SQL that no-one had bothered to check into it in all that time.
          • Believe me, I know how to tweak Windows when I can. Even still, I've yet to see a Windows box reliably stay both stable and fast for more than about a week at a time.

            Windows is like a house of cards, it's stable so long as you don't touch it ;)

        • I've got a half-dozen W2K machines, part of a distributed system with other Solaris and Linux boxes. I've done nothing to any of them over the past couple years as far as service packs, upgrades, etc. They're on an isolated network that just runs our software. The W2K boxes have reliably stayed up for 365 days at a time. But on that 365th day, they all lose their network connectivity and have to be rebooted. Other machines can see them, ping, telnet, etc. But the W2K boxes can't do anything out - can't ping any other boxes on the net. They all use local files, no DNS or NIS. Strange. Anyone know if this is a known W2K problem? The Linux boxes have been up since day one without a reboot. The Solaris boxes have been rebooted a few times.

        • For instance, you should log out occasionally,

          And you don't see a problem with that? Thats why Windows is not considered a real OS by people that have used stable OSes for years. A real OS shouldn't require you to kill off your userland processes everynight and log back in the next day. A real OS should let you start up your useland processes and keep yourself logged in for months if you like, only locking the screen at night or lunch to walk away without a degradation in performance or stability problems - two things MS still has problems with, which is excusable in this day and age.

      • I run an xp machine with codeguide (java ide), outlook, outlook express, IE, and putty all the time. No performance problems or stability problems, and I haven't rebooted this machine in 2 months.

        "and a X server"

        My best guess is THIS is causing your problems. If you're running cygwin, it can REALLY slow down your machine over time in my experience.
      • OS: Windows 2000 Professional, Service Pack 3 (5.0 - 2195)
        Uptime: 3wks 4days 10hrs 5mins 22secs
        Cpu: 2-Intel Pentium II Xeon, 451MHz, 1024KB (2% Load)
        Memory: 240/512MB (46.88%)

        Runs fine for me... weird, eh?
    • by Jhan ( 542783 ) on Saturday October 26, 2002 @03:23PM (#4537753) Homepage

      Windows is getting more stable all the time. However, an improvement from 0.01 acceptable to 0.5 acceptable isn't going to impress anyone, even if it's a 50-fold improvement.

      You conveniently chose to ignore the other two points, namely:

      • Insecurity. Sure, MS is currently putting lots of money into securing all their products, but the only reason this huge drive was nesescary is that most any MS product is shock-full of security holes!
      • Breaches of privacy. MS is all for BoP! Hell, that's their middle name! They do everything they can to screw over their customers any way they can!
      • Good points.

        But it is really worth noting the progress in the last 1 year. The question will be: how are things going to look in 1 day, in 1 month, and in another 1 year period. Things look to stay the same, but really, on some major problems people have had Win2k is a really at the top of the game as far as Windows has ever been.

        Stability is to the point where it is acceptable except for the very smallest fraction of users. The main reason it fails that test is that the high-level of patching causes unplanned downtime that affects availability that is crucial for some users.

        Insecurity is a major issue, but one that has been so drastically improved over the last 12 months that it really does bear mentioning. If you admin'd a lot of Windows boxes you simply cant help but notice that the response MS has over the entire breadth of their products has gone from dismal to rather good, but short of excellent. People report flaws, they are decent about, patch it, and give credit. IIS can now be configured to be somewhat secure with less than 10 minutes work, and it can be configured to be quite secure - as secure as your average Apache install - in less than 1 hr. Hopefully MS can continue this trends and create an IIS that doesn't max out at "average".

        Breaches of privacy. Maybe I don't see it. I don't use the annoying "features" that alot of people complain about, so it probably just feels like they are whinning to me. But in all my Win2k admining, I've never been affected by any of MS's policies in this manner. Your mileage probably varies.

        I'd say that the difference in quality from NT4 to Win2k is far more than 50 fold, and mabe more than 100 fold. Is it a "better Unix than Unix?". Naw. Is it an acceptable effective general purpose every day server? Yeah.
      • "Windows is getting more stable all the time. However, an improvement from 0.01 acceptable to 0.5 acceptable isn't going to impress anyone, even if it's a 50-fold improvement."

        It's acceptable when you have an easy to use computer that everything runs on (including hardware).

      • by Anonymous Coward
        You both inadvertently failed to mention the most important point, namely:

        Regardless of how much MS improves its products' stability, insecurity, and disrespect for privacy, it's still a monopoly with an inordinate amount of control. The bottom line is that no one would give a lick if MS weren't a monopoly, because we could all use something else.

        Understanding that a "benevolent" dictator is still a dictator is a point that many seem to have forgotten.
      • by sean23007 ( 143364 ) on Saturday October 26, 2002 @07:52PM (#4538959) Homepage Journal
        BoP is MS's middle name? Would that make them MBoPS? Wasn't that an old Hanson song a few years ago...?
      • The only MS product currently filled with holes is Internet Explorer. The rest is patched fairly fast and reliably. Please, give me a list of security holes currently in Windows2000 which can't be patched. I'm sure you have a long list of them, since you say:
        "[...]most any MS product is shock-full of security holes! "

        Also the BoP issue is well documented on your side I'm sure. Why don't you put up a page where we all can see where the issues are and how MS screws customers over?
    • Now, I'm not claiming this this whole article isn't a troll, but anyone who thinks that W2k is "incredibly stable." Hasn't used much else. Incredibly stable in comparison to Win98, ok, but take a look at the competition.
    • Hey,

      anyone's who's been awake in the past 2-3 years knows that W2K is incredibly stable.

      D4C5CE writes "Slashdot's ceaseless "success" in bringing bias, rumour and unfounded criticism as well as a deplorable lack of spelling skills to almost Every Desktop on Earth has now earned them an "Oscar" for Data Leeches, the Lifetime Award for "outstanding mis-achievement" from the BigBrotherAwards 2002 in Germany. Slashdot's CowboyNeal actually attended the ceremony to collect the prize (probably delighted that there was free food availiable), and this unlucky winner took the opportunity to make some critical remarks on the site's communications regarding the Windows Media Player and Digital Rights (or, euphemistically, in his words: Restrictions) Management technologies which he deemed a terrible infringement on his right to pirate music, rather than bothering to learn anything about the technology, acknowledging that it's in fact not just one article but the editing body itself which is fundamentally flawed."

      You see? it's a parody of the article!

    • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Saturday October 26, 2002 @04:16PM (#4537986) Journal
      I had several NT 4 crashes and I used both os's as a workstation and not a server. In w2k I was re-installing my system and I was left with nothing but a blank desktop. I gave it the 3 finger salute to bring up taskmanager but I had no luck. I had to press the reset button. Event viewer showed no errors at all other then apache which stated that the system was not shutdown cleanly. So technically it was not a crash but it might as well be if I had to hit the reset button. I disabled write cache on both my drives so nothing was corrupted. I do this by default on all w2k boxes because I know they are not %100 stable but w2k is a big improvement compared to NT4 and winme. Its close but still not server ready.

      However I have never seen a linux kernel panic before and do not even know what they look like. I have used linux for 3 years now. I am aware the recent 2.4x series is not as stable as earlier version or other unixies but I use linux as a workstation and not a server.

      Now before we state that ms is finally getitng it, I would like to mention how many years it took for ms to make a good industrial OS. Take a wild guess? 2 years? 5 years? 10 years ? 15 years?

      Microsoft began NT work with os/2 back in 1985. They invented the early win32api's in windows386 which was later supposed to be added to os/2. IT wasn't untill 1988 when they hired David Cutley that they officially began what is now NT. This is after ms decided to dump os/2. It took 11 years to make it server ready! Thats right! 1988-1999 when w2k came out! Lets see where linux came in 11 years or how long it took Bell labs to make Unix ready for the mini market? The 2.0 kernel was the first server ready kernel. I admit the smp sucked and some of the features might of been lacking but it was stable, 24x7 ready, and fully posix compliant for server use back in 1996. It took linux 5 years. It probably would of been quicker if Linus decided to make seperate stable and development branches earlier. Now lets look at unix. I believe the first commercial versions came out in the mid 1970's if I am correct. 6-7 years before it became 24x7 ready.

      My point is that it took ms a decade with full working win32 as well as os/2 code to base work on! I only imagine how long it would take if they had to write NT from scratch without any os/2 code. An admin told me once that the first version of NT would display os/2 errors whenever a problem errupted. Where as in the other projects, all the code was written from scratch. Linus I believe decided to dump all minux code for the first version of linux even though it was used to write it. w2k still needs some work and that is a bad track record. Reward is deserved indeed regardless of how good w2k is currently.

      • First off, I think you mean VMS and not OS/2. The core of the NT project was made up largely of NT guys, and early versions of NT 3.1 that I have can produce VMS-ish errors.

        However, they did not actually use VMS code in the kernel space. My understanding is that they used a lot of public domain build-chain tools though, and thats where the VMS-ish errors came from.

        Secondly though, I think you mischaracterize things. The largest problem MS has had with producing a decently reliable OS has been the pain of code-base switching. For the longest time MS was a DOS company. They wrote and sold a single threaded lame-duck Unix knockoff. It was generally crappy *but* it sold well because of the architecture it was designed for and some agressive tactics. Lucky for them. But it was also a major source of problems.

        Since then they've needed a code base switch. But, one of the only really nice things about MS is that they go out of thier way not to displace users of older software - Windows 98 is mostly compatible with Windows 95, Windows NT is mostly compatible with 16-bit DOS program. Win2k is mostly compatiable with Win16, Win32, and 16-bt DOS apps. And all along that has been a major problem.

        MS kept their alternative future orientated projects deliberately small because of this problem. In the "day", Windows 95 was going to be the last of the DOS-hybrid OSen. NT4 was going to be the "XP" of its day. It didnt work out because everyone involved knew that the cost of switching people over to the platform could well kill it dead in the water, and get people to switch to other somewhat nascent but more powerful platforms.

        The bottom line is that MS finally merged everyone to a single tree - XP. The key to it has been that over the years developers have had enough time to get into an NT framework. NT from the start was to have features that were utterly new to most Windows developers.

        Essentially, MS was forced to wait until about now to migrate its userbase to an NT-based OS simply for the reason that their developers would have been unable to cope with it even a little bit earlier. Even now you see many many many developers who are inable to program for a multi-user OS correctly.
        • I do not know about the vms part but I do know David Cutler was the main kernel architect of both NT as well as VMS. He may have borrowed some idea's or actual code from vms at the kernel level.

          My cousin use to work for Microsoft back in the early 1990's. I know for a fact that windows NT was supposed to be the os/2 NT project. He even met him in a seminar where he mentioned that the os/2 NT project would be a seperated into a Windows NT project. Its no longer on Microsoft's website but david cutler had a manual titled "OS/2 NT" which was a general outline on how the new OS was going to be designed and what its goals were. Microsoft wanted to add alot of services above it that would interact with the kernel. IT was decided that each executable would fall into these services or subsystems upon runtime to interact with the kernel. OS/2 apps would link to the os/2 subsystem while win32 would link to another. Wow(win16 on win32) would be used for older dos apps. If your on a NT 4 system check your environmental variables for os2.dll. NT's support for HPFS uses the actual source code taken from os/2 itself. I believe this subsystem might of have been taken out for windows2k since os/2 and hpfs compatibility is no longer needed.

          I know for a fact from my cousin and from people who use NT daily that NT is just a vms like kernel with os/2 code thrown on top of it. My former co-worker showed me a bluescreen of a failed os/2 installation. The words os/2 were printed all over the background when the message popped up. He told me that NT 3.1 and 3.5 exhibited this exact same background that printed os/2 whenever an issue popped up during the installations. Definetly not a VMS error.

          As far as I know only the basic kernel was copied from VMS and os/2 as well as Microsoft's internel Windows386 code was just thrown on top of it. I admit I have never administrated an NT server before but I have never heard of vms error messages. If the clone market never took off it is likely that OS/2 NT would be running on all of the computers today and not Windows.

          • there is an awful lot of folklore about what is and isn't windows NT 3.x, 4.0, w2k, and xp. one thing slashdotters are notoriously bad about is taking 3rd hand information that they _want_ to beleive and retelling it as gospel.

            this gets extra bad when a moderately well-informed poster gets a few things right but then goes haywire elsewhere in the post.

            Windows NT at its core is not VMS, not Windows, Not OS/2, and not anything else. It is its own thing. It is(was) highly portable, built with many modernish OS concepts, designed for SMP/fine grained security from the beginning.

            This is the core of NT. You wouldn't have any fun writing an "NT program". But some do exist - for example, autochk.exe (the w2k chkdsk that runs in vga-console mode on bootup) is an NT "Native" application, because it runs too early in the bootup to use any of the subsystems.

            Which is a good lead into what most people know of NT. At the time NT was getting started, IBM had this OS/2 1.3 investment. IBM wanted to move forward with OS/2, but was in a deal with Microsoft to make it happen. So one of the goals of NT was that it would host OS/2 1.x applications. Thus, the OS/2 subsystem. IBM gets a new OS from Microsoft that their existing customer base can use their existing apps with.

            Back then, you weren't an OS unless you were POSIX compliant. More importantly, you weren't eligible to win certain government bids if you weren't POSIX. So NT needed to have a POSIX interface to it. Enter the POSIX subsystem. With a POSIX layer ontop of the NT system, MS can say"look at this POSIX OS we've got!"

            Eventually, IBM and MS's dealings got sour. MS say that Win16 was really doing quite well, and Win32 was actually materializing. And OS/2 1.x wasn't going anywhere. Suddenly, it becomes important to flesh out another implementation of Win32, and bring that forward into NT instead of relying on OS/2 programs. Enter the Win32 subsystem.

            So we've got NT, which is hosting 3 subsystems - OS/2, POSIX, and Win32.

            These subsystems are completely insulated operating environments. They use the NT provided interfaces to interact with the operating system - which is NT. Programs are written against the NT apis, but more usually, the subsystem APIs. The subsystems expose the NT functionality (and extend it) in different ways, as required.

            If you find an NT 3.x box, that was back when the subsystems were all sort of "equal parties" -- all clients of the NT operating system. As time went on, people figured out that there was no OS/2 software that mattered, and getting better performance out of Win32 on NT was going to be important if anyone was ever going to use NT. So for NT4, more of Win32 went kernel mode... i.e., the Win32 subsystem got some help. A lot of people bitched about this, saying it would lead to decreased stability, etc etc. I even bitched about this in my MS interviews. Turns out i was talking shit (like most people do when they read a lot about NT in trade rags and websites) One of the early chapters of "Inside Windows 2000" addresses this point exactly - moving more of Win32 into kernel mode didn't realy matter, because if the win32 subsystem died, the box would force-panic anyway.

            Anyhow, these days in windows xp, the posix subsystem is all but gone, the os/2 subsystem is gone, and the win32 subsystem has been heavily "favored" for performance. But its still largely a client of the NT API.

            One caveat is that if you get "Services For UNIX", the POSIX subsystem gets replaced with a fully featured unix/posix environment. You get a real bash/tcsh, making posix calls to something that looks like a unix kernel - but its really just a fully fleshed out subsystem making calls to the NT APIs. SFU is one of the best things any person who likes the commandline power and tools of unix can do for themselves if they use a W2k or XP box. I regularly pipe data between excel and one-off awk/sed/perl/sort/uniq constructs that do just what i need them to.

            One of the things thats surprised me the most about NT is just how much is going on under the covers. You've got the entire complexity of the Win32 api (that most programs are written to), which in turn makes calls to the NT api, which at its core is stilly very rich and passes around lots of objects of different types.

            Incidentally, you can see this subsystem stuff on any W2k or XP box. Open up task manager, and find smss.exe. Thats the session manager, which starts the approprate subsystem (if required) based on a flag (i beleive) inside the header of an executable. You'll definitely have csrss.exe running, which is client/server runtime subsystem. Thats Win32. It is a child of smss.exe, and if csrss.exe ever returns, smss bluescreens the box.

            If you install SFU and run some SFU programs, there will be a POSIX.EXE and a PSXRUN.EXE. These are peices of the SFU posix subsystem layer. ANd if you run suitably old win16 or win32 apps (something like the VB6 installer) you'll see WOWEXEC.EXE show up, with an ntvdm.exe i beleive. YOu'll see this immediately because the name is indented in task manager and doesn't have any data displayed in the process list.

            An interesting point is that NT has had a lot of what unix people say windows lacks featurewise for a long time. At its core, NT is in basically all ways more advanced than UNIX. The problem comes in the layering and the adoption. Your only interface to NT is Win32. Win32 has existed in around 5 implementations, afaik (hosted on windows 3.x, Win32s, Win95, NT4, etc). They actually have to be "compatible" with each other. NT provides so much more featurewise (and perhaps pitfall wise) than the old Win16 environment did (which Win32 evolved from).

            So given that at the Win32 layer, you're already basically filtering out the functionality that Win32 doesn't conveniently expose, now you must deal with applications that were written in the "old mindset". Single user, full priviledges, non-existant memory protection. If some new feature gets taken in the NT core apis, it must then be exposed in the subsystem, then in the win32 apis, and then finally in win32 applications. That takes time - even within MS.

            Despite all of this, NT has demonstrated surprising adaptability. It's roughly 10 years old, and its binary compatible with applications that pre-date it by 15 years. Despite all of the layering and complexity, it performs pretty well (look at tpc and tpc/c benchmarks, for instance).

            Comparatively, UNIX has been around for over 25 years, and while its certainly bigger and badder than it used to be, in many ways it shows its ancestry. First and foremost is the security model. Yeah, people knock MS for security issues. UNIX has had 25+ years to get the implementation of a simple design right (and it still isn't). The difficulty of writing suid 0 software in unix is well known, and this problem is inherent in the design. Another big deal is the strong marraige of ANSI, C, and UNIX. The NT interfaces are all 16bit char natively, so supporting UNICODE UCS-2 comes for free practically. For W9x ANSI compat reasons, Win32 duplicates most of the interfaces with ANSI (8bit char) equivalents. So much of UNIX, the c library, and the userland are deeply rooted in the idea of char being 8 bits that unicode will probably never happen in a decent way (UTF-8 is nightmare, its up to each app to do the right thing, etc).

            Ok, i suspect this has hit the comment length filter. If you're interested in the guts of NT at all, the w2k and xp debugging symbols and kernel debugger are freely downloadable. Turns out its quite easy to get quite a lot of info from a closed source OS if you've got the debugger. Better yet, if you get "Inside Windows 2000" you'll get far more info than you could dream of on how NT works, and it includes quite a few good tools for really understanding whats going on underneath the clicks and buttons.

    • I have to agree with the above poster and the poster who said that Windows 2000 requires tweaking, just like Linux. I have seen posts on Slashdot saying that they have to reboot Win2K every 30 minutes, and to be honest, these are either blatant trolls, the user doesn't know what they are doing, or it's a hardware problem.

      If you are having major trouble with Win2K, do the following:

      1) A clean install, formating your partition with NTFS. Don't bother using FAT32 anymore. NTFS will mark any bad sectors on your hard drive as 'unusable', while FAT32 will not.

      2) Service Pack 3. I can not stress this enough. Microsoft has made a huge improvement to Win2K with this Service Pack, both security- and stability-wise.

      3) Update-to-date hardware drivers. A lot of the time, freezing PCs are due to buggy version 1 hardware drivers. Download the latest up-to-date drivers.

      I am an IT contracter for several companies, doing support mainly for Win2K desktops, and in all honestly, Win2K as a desktop is rock solid, not requiring constant reboots like the nightmarish Win9x's did. While WinXP does improve a great deal on security, I'm not really a big fan of it...too much overhead for pretty graphics in my opinion (yes, I know you can tweak it to use less resources, but none the less I'll take Win2K over XP any day).

      The thing that sucks about Win2K (and XP) is the new EULA's, which is a legal problem, not a technical one.
      • I completely agree, except on one point... SP3. I haven't had a single problem with SP2 since it came out. I have POS machines (Point of Sale, not Piece of Shit machines, though the hardware is shit) that haven't been rebooted in months. Not a single hiccup. But, W2K SP3 and XP SP1 don't play nice with a few important apps, like QB and the relatively new QBPOS. I've steered clear of 'em for now. But that being said, a friend who plays games had a problem with XP on a few games, then a "compatibility package" cleared the problems right up. I'm not willing to try SP3 at work because SP2 is workign flawlessly.
    • Bad articles are one things, but blatant trolls are another.

      Bad grammar yet another...

  • microsoft sends a representative to something that's making fun of them?
  • I don't read German....but this looked funny..... [google.com]Translation
  • Whatever you think of what he (?) said, that Sascha Hanke has a lot of balls!
  • I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Michael's ceaseless "success" in bringing instability, insecurity and breaches of journalistic integrity as well as a deplorable lack of standards to almost Every Desktop on Earth has now earned them an "Ogre" for Pointlessness, the Lifetime Award for "outstanding mis-achievement" from the BigOgreAwards 2002 in Germany. The site's Hype Perpetutation Officer actually attended the ceremony to collect his prize (probably delighted that unlike the "laureates" of last year's event in Austria, at least he would not receive live cockroaches), and this unlucky winner took the opportunity to make some critical remarks on Microsoft's communications regarding the Windows Media Player and Digital Restrictions (or, euphemistically, in his words: Rape) Management technologies which he deemed crucial for open-source business models, rather than acknowledging that in fact it's not just the desktop that sucks in Linux but that the approach itself is fundamentally flawed."
  • The site in English (Score:5, Informative)

    by BrianWCarver ( 569070 ) on Saturday October 26, 2002 @03:16PM (#4537729) Homepage

    Why read a lousy Google/Altavista translation, when the site has an English version [big-brother-award.de]?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Go back and look genius, it doesn't have an English translation of the article in question.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 26, 2002 @03:16PM (#4537732)
    It has always seemed to me that it's the outdated business models that DRM is meant to protect.
    • DRM has the nasty side effect of being able to enact restrictions on consumers in favor of big evil content producing companies. Unfortunately, big evil companies have the right to do this as granted under law. Microsoft must think that they could make some sort of money through DRM, but I suppose that they should do "the right thing" and drop the whole idea altogether. You know, continue to make it easy for people to share content even if it's completely illegal.

      I don't know what to think here, but I don't think MS is the bad guy. If a company can provide a technology that would allow me to purchase the products I want in a way that keeps the copyright holders at ease, then I'm all for it. However, if I don't like the copyright holders, that's not the fault of software makers who try to create content protection systems... then again, I'm speaking as a heretic here, since MS makes such an easy villian in these parts...
  • by koh ( 124962 )
    We've probably reached the point at which our considering of MS as the new evil empire may backfire right in our face, as it becomes a good source of advertisement and brand recog.

    Do not forget, if you criticize someone, then you're talking about that someone. If you talk enough about that someone, he won't even need PR reps to have a recognized name (or a "brand image" as they say).

  • by infonography ( 566403 ) on Saturday October 26, 2002 @03:31PM (#4537776) Homepage
    They did the same thing when slashdot and others tried the Refund trick a few years ago as documented in the fine film 'Revolution OS' [revolution-os.com]. They had a table with free coffee and a banner that read 'Microsoft welcomes the Open Source community' (or some such thing). The Theory is very sound, if you duck an issue you get pissed off people, if you at least greet a attack with some grace it defuses the force of the argument. It's social aikido. You just can't punch out someone who offers you coffee....
  • Anyone else read the title and think this was about the women's cable network station Lifetime [lifetimetv.com]? I was like, "What are they doing giving a big brother award to Microsoft?", but then my brain was like fart, fart, fart, fart and it totally derailed my train of thought. I had to think up something new about this article and but I did it fast and it wasn't as good... It was kinda, a bummer.

  • He loved Microsoft.
  • isn't this cliche? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by tomstdenis ( 446163 )
    I thought bashing MS was phase newb-h4x0r go through then get over?

    Here's business 101.

    If MS windows were not a desirable product why would so many people use it?

    Hint: You may blame their shady practices but when it boils down to it people [e.g. the mass horde of end users] just like simple point and click setups. As further proof consider KDE, Gnome and all the other WM out there...

    And since when is this news? So what? Some dork l33t-dudez thinks that giving a dis-award to MS will prove a point? How about they post decorating patterns for their parents basement. Seems like they'd know alot about that too!

    • Firstly - you're missing a key factor in the business model - Just about nobody wants MS Windows. I don't mean that most people don't want it - I mena that nobody wants it. Windows itself doesn't do anything except give you a file browser.

      What people do want is Word, or Excel. Possibly Quake, or Kazaa, or maybe Internet Explorer and Outlook Express. Windows is just a neccesary evil if you happen to want to use these other products.

      Anyway, they didn't say that Windows was a lousy product, just that it was a "Big brother" product.
      • By your logic windows is a "word processor" or "web browser" etc..

        The core of windows is the win32 and C API [among other things]. explorer is just an app like word or Excel.

        In theory it should be possible to take the core win32 api and completely remove explorer et al. from the system.

        • In theory it should be possible to take the core win32 api and completely remove explorer et al. from the system.

          Yes. It's not too hard either. But can you remove the core Win API and leave explorer on the system?

          Let me clarify.

          If you buy a drill, you don't actually want a drill. You want holes in the wall. The drill is just a means to an end.

          Likewise - If you want to produce documents, you want a word processor. If you don't already have a computer, you might still end up choosing Word. The thing is, if you want Word, then you have to buy a computer and an OS that supports it. You don't have a lot of choice, so you end up buying windows, having decided that an Apple is too expensive. So, you have chosen Windows, not because it is better, but because it happens to be the only OS available that will run the application that you've decided is better.
    • If MS windows were not a desirable product why would so many people use it?

      • 'cause it's what they get when they buy a PC
      • 'cause they don't know any better
      • 'cause most people don't give rat's ass about the OS, they just want to use the apps they need
      • 'cause the said apps may be 'borrowed' from workplace or from Joe Neighbor, so it makes sense to have whatever everybody else is having

      By your logic, Big Mac must be a paragon of healthy and wholesome meal, since why else would we have a McDonalds in every other corner. All the more so when you consider that those guys actually sell their stuff, instead of making a deal with all grocery stores that each and every customer is given a Big Mac each time they buy something, whether they wanted or not, and the expenses are hidden to the prices of other products.

    • If MS windows were not a desirable product why would so many people use it?

      For the same reason so many people in India drink arsenic tainted wellwater, they feel they have no easy alternative. Public education is the answer here and there. First people need to be made aware of the what they are doing to themselves. Second they need to know alternate sources are available and how to get them. The worse the consequenses the greater the effort should be. For software the alternatives are easy to come by.

      Big Brother is just another voice that has recognized how bad M$'s software and licensing has become.

      It is apparent that individuals and companies that use M$ trash will suffer. You might enjoy your mail being under the control of others, not being able to listen to anything but RIAA music, spam, continual format purge, and all the other joys of M$ software. Good for you. Others might not.

      • In what way is f.e. SQLServer 'bad software' ?

        You say: "Big Brother is just another voice that has recognized how bad M$'s software and licensing has become."

        Now, stop crying and tell me, IN WHAT WAY is SQLServer a bad piece of software and IN WHAT WAY is SQLServer f.e. badly licensed, compared to competitors like DB2 and Oracle ?

        Ah... the silence is hurting, isn't it?

        If you want to talk about what's bad: the moderation on the reactions to the newsposting. You scoring a +4 on an utterly piece of flamebait with words like 'M$ trash'. A great formulation of a non-biased view on the topic, isn't it?

        • "Now, stop crying and tell me, IN WHAT WAY is SQLServer a bad piece of software and IN WHAT WAY is SQLServer f.e. badly licensed, compared to competitors like DB2 and Oracle ?"


          Bad Software :

          Quite a few remote exploits that require machine reboots to patch.

          Only runs on MS Windows and hence isn't very stable.

          Badly Licensed :

          By default you get n connection licenses, you have to pay more to get more. Oracle licenses with either a per user fee ($100 / user?) or an unlimited license ($10000 / processor?). I believe Oracle development licenses are free for a single user too.

          I have to buy a Windows license to use my SQL Server license and that allows a third party to install and run software on my machine without my knowledge.

          That said, I do think that SQL Server is one of the best pieces of software to come out of MS and if it ran on linux it might be quite compelling as an Oracle substitute as it's cheaper and almost as featureful.
    • ...must have been anti-trust law. Assuming that high market share=good products is a pretty dangerous fallacy that big business would very much like you to buy into. You forget anticompetitive business practices and such that keep their market share where it is.
  • Oh come on (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Junky191 ( 549088 ) on Saturday October 26, 2002 @03:48PM (#4537845)
    What good can possible come from such a negative event? This is just childish slander. Lets try to be more constructive in our criticisms and make a good name for ourselves (I mean linux advocates when I say ourselves) instead of spouting this silly nonsense.
    • Re:Oh come on (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Hanno ( 11981 )
      This "childish slander" is highly regarded among the computer science community. It has put questionable data mining or surveillance practices by companies and governments into the public limelight.

      The past years' awards were widely reported by the mainstream press, explaining the nominees and winners to the average computer user (face, in post-industrial countries like the US, Canada and most of Europe today, bascially everyone in the workforce is an average computer user now) what happens with their data.

      This "negative event" is basically THE best thing that critical computer scientists came up with to put their voice in the mainstream press once a year.

      You should better be thankful that this event helps to give a clue to those people out there who use computers but don't think about the consequences.

      The fact that Microsoft has "won" and the Linux zealots are saying "so there" is just a result of this year's German award. In 2000, the APACHE web server has won the same award [theregister.co.uk] - so there.
    • Re:Oh come on (Score:3, Interesting)

      by twitter ( 104583 )
      Yeah, we would not want to look as dumb as some senators passing around letters about how bad the GPL is, or software vendors who say things like the free software model will never produce anything more than toys, or that now those toys have exceeded the quality of their own software spout bullshit about how free software can't produce user friendly software. No we would not, we have been telling the truth and the above are lies.

      It's hard to constructivly criticise closed source software from a company like Microsoft. To do so you must first waste your time figuring out what the junk does. This is not a trival task but many people do it. Then, what those people find is not so easy to constructivly citicise. What constructive thing is there to say for an operating system that reports all user installed programs, songs and movies played, and now whatever M$ desires? It's kind of like trying to be constructive with a child molester, the leagal system needs to deal with it. The most constructive criticism available is to teach the user why free software is better than what they now own and how to use it. I think these folks do both.

  • Look, making fun of Microsoft is like hating the Yankees. You can't call yourself a baseball fan if you don't live in New York but still like the Yankees. Just saying "They have to be the best, they win all the time, that's why I like them" makes you sound like a twit.

    Similarly, statements like "if windows was so bad, then why do so many people choose to use it" doesn't contribute anything to the discussion, and just shows that you're trying to justify your existance in some way or another, and supporting a winning team seems to do it for you. But I'm not here to judge.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 26, 2002 @03:52PM (#4537867)
    They do really evil stuff now, when things are still going very well for the company.

    You ain't seen nothing. Just wait until they get desperate.

    I wish I were kidding.
  • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Saturday October 26, 2002 @03:55PM (#4537881) Journal
    I think Windows is largely a desktop OS, regardless of any "Professional" labels MS choose to put on them. Remember that a "profesional" user is far too often someone who knows how to use MS Office and Outlook with zero security awareness.

    And for a desktop OS, Windows XP is sure stable and secure enough for me. Sometimes I have to wonder if an easy-to-use OS makes people lazy and don't care about firewalls, anti-virus software and other obvious security software that are necessary today, especially if you're going to use an Operating System that's by far the most common on the market. Microsoft's responsibility isn't to provide security to prevent us from spreading trojans. Only education can do that.

    But don't get me wrong -- I blame MS if they don't have a patch ready before a virus/trojan/whatever is released. But, to use Bugbear as an example, if a patch is released a year ago and someone didn't care to download it, is it then Microsoft's responisiblity to foresee the problem and have a fix when Windows 2000 went retail or the user's responsibility to keep up to date with security patches?

    I guess it all boils down to the fact that we're all human... Since Microsoft has a hard time to keep up with exploits from a huge amount of potential hackers due to the OS' wide-spread use and the end users for not keeping up with security software and patches. Perhaps Windows would be much better of as Open Source since it would help with a larger programmer base, but that's of course impossible as long as Bill Gates has something to say. :-)
  • by jag164 ( 309858 )
    I really couldn't understand what the front page post was trying to say because all the words kinda merged together in maybe two sentences, but that wasn't the worst of it, the ambiguous words played more like buzz word bingo and buzz word bingo is terrible because everyhting else just loses meaning, if you can releate to my words and their meaning. And now for my second sentence I will try to claim that Microsloth is the evil empirie in many ways not only in the United states but also in the EU as well some nasty feeling towards Microsloth in great country of Austrailia, without even tryin to back up my claims, but just relying on the resentment of Microsloth among the current community.

    Me fail English? That unpossible!

  • In related news... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sebi ( 152185 ) on Saturday October 26, 2002 @07:26PM (#4538846)

    The winners of the austrian BBAs [bigbrotherawards.at] were announced today. For those who care: Microsoft did not win a single one, although they were nominated in two categories. All the awards went to companies and public institutions that invaded the privacy of austrian citizens in a much more direct way than Microsoft is able to.

    I do think that giving the award to Microsoft was more of a publicity stunt pulled by the organizers of the german event than anything else. Giving them a "lifetime achievement" for things they will likely do in the future does seem a bit out of place.

    The BigBrotherAwards are not totally useless. But at the moment they should mainly operate on a national level and raise awareness of existing intrusions into privacy. I don't know if there is an international version of these awards. If such a thing exists, then two years down the line Microsoft might deserve to be honored, but right now it just is a cheap attempt to get some publicity.

    In completely unrelated and off-topic news: I just found out that Richard Harris, among a lot of other achievments known as the actor who played Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films, died [bbc.co.uk] today at the age of 72. Bummer.

"No matter where you go, there you are..." -- Buckaroo Banzai