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Mark Nestmann's article

lincourt
I was wondering about Mr Nestmann's artcle and what the community thinks? Are there others out there who agree?


Worried about PC privacy? Looking for increased reliability and greater security? Then don't buy Microsoft's new, heavily hyped operating system, called Vista, or any computer that comes equipped with it.

Vista includes an array of "features" that make your computer less reliable, less secure, less stable and slower. These so-called features also cause compatibility problems with other programs. If these features offered some corresponding benefit, perhaps this tradeoff would be worth it. But they don't. They're designed to make certain that you're not violating any of what are called "digital rights management" (DRM) features built into Vista.

What's going on? It's been five years since Microsoft introduced Windows XP-why isn't Vista a faster, safer and more secure operating system?

Blame Hollywood. Most of these "features" were inserted into Vista at the behest of the entertainment industry. Basically, what Microsoft has done is to add what amounts to copy protection technology for certain media formats. If you want the highest-quality output possible from these formats, you'll need to use peripheral devices that have comparable copy protection built-in. Otherwise, you'll see blurred images of your game, movie-or the output may be blocked altogether.

A substantial incentive of Vista software is to essentially keep tabs on you. The good folks at Microsoft want to make certain you're not using "protected media" in any way prohibited by your license agreements. (You do read all your license agreements, don't you?) It's not a huge surprise to learn that this overhead slows down your PC considerably.

Do you live an area subject to less than a perfect electricity supply? Too bad-Vista can interpret slight voltage variations as a hacker attack and automatically restart your PC. Hackers have already taken advantage of this fact to design exploits that subtly alter voltages or other parameters to trigger these DRM features, thereby disabling targeted PCs. (Think of the implications of this kind of attack on a military installation.)

What can you do to protect yourself? The most important thing to do is NOT to purchase Vista or a Vista-equipped machine. This won't be easy, because as with Windows NT, Microsoft is bundling Vista with PC manufacturers so that it will become increasingly difficult not to use it. Moreover, even if you don't use Vista, you'll wind up against Vista's DRM measures in your PC peripherals design and manufacture two different versions of their products

One thing's for sure: Vista's DRM features are so obnoxious that I predict millions of users will wind up disabling it (and thereby breaking the law) simply to play their own legitimately-acquired digital media. And that may finally persuade Hollywood to break their unholy alliance with Microsoft. Time will tell.

MARK NESTMANN, Privacy Expert & President of The Nestmann Group