RE: Turn Off Automatic Script Activation In Outlook (WA S RE:
I mean social engineering in the sense that they advertise interoperation then turn it off to protect the unskilled or insufficiently knowlegeable. The web and even the home systems are lab experiments that escaped the lab into a population that innocently bought into the massive hype but were not aware of the dangers. I disagree that this is not related to virus writers; they are exploiting it criminally. The rest of your example comes down to inconvenience that will prompt some learning on the customer's part, but not criminal acts. I agree it turned out that the environment was far more hostile than some realized or wanted to admit although some of the original community pointed it out. How that happened is a different topic and one the MS engineers and staff should discuss among themselves. That it happened has become a problem for all of us. It is somewhat similar to the introduction of smallpox to the aboriginal Americas. It infested a population unaware of how to protect and not knowledgeable of the need to protect. The same kind of problem decimated the original Hawaiian population. It produced unacceptable results, but largely by accident. But we have to be clear that hostility by a group is not a legitimate expression of free speech. In other words, MS did a dumb thing. Exploiting a dumb thing by attacking the systems of their customers is not dumb: it is criminal, similar to giving smallpox infested blankets to the aboriginal Americans. The goals are to get MS to turn these features off by default; clearly explain the risks of turning them on. This is a case where the greater good for the greater number is to turn it off because we are seeing a multiplicative effect across the global environment. A related by cause and effect but not intent goal is to come to grips with the reality that an architecture which insists anonymity is a first concern will protect criminals. Anonymity is a problem. Is it a right? I don't have a clear picture of this issue but it is obvious that it can be exploited by criminals in such a way as to make the web a risky technology for the society that uses it. We have a bigger problem than MS leaving on a feature by default. len From: Frank Richards [mailto:frank@t...] What you call "social engineering" sounds to me like trivial attention to good design. Let us assume a totally 'benevolent' (literally 'well wishing') environment. The benefits of live content running automatically largely accrue to users in large enterprises where big apps are set up to use it. End user systems in those environments are configured by pros, who know what to do, and are going to either script or look at all the settings anyway. The dangers of INADVERTANT settings changes or file clobbers (yeah it's rare now, but this started with win95 which is very brittle), or just having an attached MP3 play after you've just gotten the baby down for a nap, largely accrue to the home users who don't want to have to diddle with settings (this isn't social engineering, it's giiving the customer what they both want and need) and frequently don't know how to reconfigure anyway.. It was a dumb move, even if viruses had never been invented.
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