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+ - There's a Windows XP 'Perfect Storm' Coming 1

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Support for the 12-year-old Windows XP operating system is slated to end in less than four months, and Microsoft has been loudly telling customers that they need to move on before it stops providing public security updates. Meanwhile Windows XP's 500 million member user base declined by just two-tenths of a percentage point over the last two months, the smallest decrease since 2007. Now Gregg Keizer writes at Computerworld that if a major chunk of the world's PCs remains tied to XP, as seems certain, Microsoft will face an unenviable choice: Stick to plan and put millions of customers at risk from malware infection, or backtrack from long-standing policies and proclamations. "In either case, it will face a public relations backlash, whether from customers who complain they've been forsaken or those angry at Microsoft for pushing them to upgrade when, in the end, they didn't need to." The security situation will continue to worsen regularly month-by-month as attackers use the security fixes for the supported versions of Windows as a roadmap to possible vulnerabilities in Windows XP. Security expert Lawrence Pingree makes the case that Microsoft should reconsider, and is, in fact, honor-bound to lend a helping hand. "Security shouldn't be optional. If I buy a car, I want it to be safe. If it becomes unsafe [through the manufacturer's fault], I expect the maker to make good." But Microsoft makes little or no revenue from customers with old PCs, and desperately wants them to buy a new Windows system of some sort. "It's very easy to say 'just upgrade,' but not all business can do so," says Pingree, citing money, resources and mission-critical software. "One of the main reasons why people cannot leave XP is compatibility with other software." Nor is Microsoft blameless. XP has hung around because of the mistakes Microsoft made with Windows Vista, the OS flop that outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer copped to as his biggest regret. If Vista had been more like Windows 7, or had shipped at its original "Longhorn" timetable of 2004, then been followed three years later by Windows 7, XP would not have had the opportunity to lock up the ecosystem for a decade. Pingree has a suggestion for Microsoft. ""If it's such a big problem, maybe they should offer an 'Extended Life' [support] subscription and charge for it.""

Comment: Re:Flawed premise (Score 1) 444

by Pyramid (#37167182) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Will IT Look Like In 10 Years?

You believe 1000 ms network latency is acceptable? In my world, that is sheer madness. Our Citrix guys would keelhaul me if I told them 1000ms is ok. Even something as simple as telnet/ssh is extremely annoying at that level.

What industry do you work in? I need to know this because the barrier to entry clearly is low.

Comment: The wireless fantasy (Score 1) 444

by Pyramid (#37166980) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Will IT Look Like In 10 Years?

We've been hearing for over a decade that wireless will make infrastructure specialists the new Cobol programmer. BS! Why hasn't this happened? Because going wireless implies a whole host of security and interoperability issues that are inherent to wireless. A corporation would be mad to place their critical data infrastructure in a shared media like 802.11A/B/G,. 4G and WiMax are still lightyears away from being as reliable and fast as current copper and fiber technologies.

No matter how fast and error resistant the state-of-the-art wireless technology is, there are limits dictated by the laws of physics that govern how much data you can squeeze through a given wireless spectrum in a given physical space. With physical mediums like copper and fiber, I'm only limited by how many runs I can cram into a given space, plus, I have physical control over data. And how my neighbor is using their copper/fiber is completely irrelevant, which is quite unlike current wireless technologies.

Beyond this. proper wireless infrastructure design is an order of magnitude more difficult to get right than physical infrastructure (ignoring slack-jawed installers who make stupid decisions). Anyone who tells you otherwise is ignorant beyond comparison or a damned liar.

Comment: Re:Would MAC address filtering counter this proble (Score 1) 584

by Pyramid (#36751142) Attached to: The Wi-Fi Hacking Neighbor From Hell

I hate to break it to you, but you misunderstand the difference between layer 2 vs. 3, bridging vs. routing and how ARP works.

In your scenario where LAN clients only see the MAC of the Access Point, the AP is acting a a Router (Layer 3). A bridge works at layer 2, all MACs are passed unchanged. A bridge is nothing more than a two port switch (or hub, depending on how/if it manages unicast/broadcast/multicast). This has nothing to do with the nature of wireless.

Even if the AP is acting as a router as most home APs do, having identical MAC addresses on the wirless side will still mess with ARP and cause all kinds of weird connectivity issues. Even in the best case where you've spoofed your target's MAC address *and* IP address, there will be no way to differentiate which packets from each machine go where. In an unswitched network, you'll get massive collision errors and TCP will be quite upset with incomplete conversations flying around and in a switched environment, the switch's MAC table will be FUBARed.

Comment: Re:Definition, please (Score 1) 525

by Pyramid (#34796758) Attached to: Bufferbloat — the Submarine That's Sinking the Net

Perhaps his intended target was technically competent people who want rich context and full details. If this isn't you, feel free to skip the article. Your "right" to not have to "read fifteen paragraphs just to get a basic birds-eye view" is far less valid than the author's to state his case with as much detail as he pleases.

It didn't help that we were dropped into an ongoing blog, but it's not hard to figure that out and read earlier articles to gain context. If you're annoyed by one post to the point of labeling people (nerds), I'm pretty confident the odds you'll make it through the other blog posts are pretty low.

Might I interest you in a "Twilight" novel?

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