The News – 05/15/01
Microsoft’s Big Brother Attitude, part 2
I hadn’t planned on continuing my rant about Microsoft lest I
appear biased. But last week, Microsoft provided us with perhaps the best
example of why you don’t want to entrust your personal information, and
perhaps not even your Web site, to a closed-source monopolist: The software
giant admitted it has installed a back door password into its Internet
Information Server (IIS) that Microsoft engineers could use to gain access
to documents and information without customers’ consent.
How much longer can we allow this sort of thing to go on?
While Microsoft admitted the back door was against their policy, the fact
that their engineers would even consider inserting it demonstrates the
hubris and arrogant disregard for privacy that, unfortunately, has been
Microsoft’s hallmark. When outed, the company said it planned to notify
customers and recommended that IIS users delete the file, dvwssr.dll, which
contains the offending code.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen many instances when Microsoft has
issued security-related recommendations that were ignored by large
percentages of those affected.
There are alternatives to IIS in the marketplace. Apache, an
Open Source Web server, runs the majority of sites on the Web, including
some huge ones like Yahoo. The source for this server is open, meaning it
is available for any user to inspect for security holes like the Microsoft
Businesses who value their privacy and security should
consider adopting Apache to avoid security problems like this one. In
addition, businesses should think twice before employing any solutions
based on Microsoft authentication and security solutions such as Microsoft
Passport or the recently announced HailStorm project.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Books. Sadly, Douglas Adams,
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy author and one of the funniest men on
the planet, died over the weekend of heart failure at age 49. Adams was
also a Web multimedia pioneer, having previously pioneered CD-ROM-based
multimedia with the Last Chance to See series.
Earlier this month, international standards groups and 28
vendors from around the world successfully completed the most extensive
to date. ebXML (Electronic Business
XML) is a standard being developed to allow businesses’ eCommerce efforts
to easily interoperate. The demonstration simulated an end-to-end B2B
transaction using messages from RosettaNet, Open Applications Group,
Automotive Industry Action Group, EDI X12, SWIFT and ebXML Core Components.
Finally! A research firm gives a low estimate for an
eCommerce market size. ARC
Advisory Group says the market for supply chain process management
(SCPM, also called supply chain event management and supply chain
visibility) is growing at nearly 33 percent and will reach $518 million by
the end of 2005. The study defines SCPM as software that provides alerting,
alert resolution logic and extended supply chain visibility into inventory,
along with a real-time view of key performance indicators. ARC says it is
keeping its estimate low because the SCPM market is still immature.
Can’t Get Enough of ME?
In the unlikely event
that you want more of my opinions, I’ve started a Weblog. It’s the
fashionable thing for pundits to do, and I’m doing it too. A Weblog is a
datestamped collection of somewhat random thoughts and ideas assembled on a
Web page. If you’d like to subject the world to your thoughts, as I do, you
can create your own Weblog. You need to have a Web site that allows you FTP
access, and the free software from www.blogger.com.
This allows you to right click on a Web page and append your pithy thoughts
to your Weblog.
I’ve dubbed my Weblog
entries “Stratlets”, and they are available at www.stratvantage.com/stratlets/.
Let me know what you think. Also check out the TrendSpot for ranking of
the latest emerging trends.
to Mike’s Take