Ralph Nader didn’t just spring from the forehead of George Bush as a Democratic Spoiler in the 2000 Florida election results. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, he was the author of a book called “Unsafe at Any Speed.” It was an indictment of the insanely top-heavy Chevy Corvair (it rolled over if you looked at it funny) and other unsafe manufacturing and design practices at GM in the 1960s. Of course, the fact that he was insisting on better crash performance and shoulder belts for all cars got him labeled a Bolshevik and “anti-business” at the time. (whatever…)
The gist of the consumer advocacy movement that sprang up around the book was essentially “If you’re going to take billions of dollars a year from us for things that we need, then how about making sure they work (and won’t kill or maim us)?”
Someone needs to write a book about the Windows operating system. For all of XP’s “user friendliness” (like bundled drivers and that sort of thing), it still leaves all the doors unlocked and it’s functionality is still MARGINAL.
But don’t take my word for it. Rob Pegoraro has a nice rundown of the differences between the various OSes. Window’s security issues figure prominently in his description of the OS. My favorite section of the article:
“Even if that changed, Windows would still be an easier target. In its default setup, Windows XP on the Internet amounts to a car parked in a bad part of town, with the doors unlocked, the key in the ignition and a Post-It note on the dashboard saying, ‘Please don’t steal this.’ ”
You’d think that the richest man in the world could find engineers that could write an OS that wasn’t such a risk to the user. There really is no excuse for such slipshod design.