Sometimes people don’t understand why I’m so anti Microsoft, but this week I came across a story which brilliantly illustrates my assertion that Microsoft don’t get *it*. One of the features that Microsoft added to Vista in the hope of persuading us it was secure was User Access Control (UAC), that’s the thing that pops up all of those annoying… er… pop ups asking for your permission to do stuff all of the time. Most Vista users quickly found this to be a royal pain in the ass and began to suffer from pop up fatigue, in the end granting permission to anything that asked for it just to get rid of the popups, others looked for a way to turn UAC off altogether, even if it meant hacking their registry. Fast forward past Vista to Windows 7 and the geniuses at Redmond decided that UAC needed relaxing a bit, one of the ways that they did this (several routes around UAC have been found in the Windows 7 Beta so far) was to create a whitelist of files that can just bypass UAC. Do you see where this is going yet? Yep, by leveraging one of the pre-approved files and making some fairly standard API calls, you can have your possibly malicious code executed sans user permission. So the user gets all the hassle of the pop ups and none of the security goodness. Good job guys. It’s like building a nuclear bunker into the side of a mountain and then installing a couple of Velux windows to let some light in. Still at least Microsoft have added the ability to remove IE from Windows 7, that should keep the EU happy… except that you can’t remove it, you can turn it off, but it can’t be removed completely. Still, why would you want to, it’s not like Microsoft had to request that the world download an alternative browser when they found a huge security hole in IE! I wonder how many people downloaded Firefox, Opera, Chrome or Safari that week?
In other news, I’ve had some serious problems attempting to set up an IMAP account for a custom domain (area-78.com) with SMTP support, using SSL on incoming and outgoing connections. It seems to work over my Sky broadband connection, but chokes on an O2 broadband connection. Any ideas? Are certain ports more likely to work (I know that 25 is generally blocked to prevent spam)? Is anybody else using SSL, I mean I know it’s not perfect, but surely it’s better than nothing?
Post Tune: Ms Fat Booty, Mos Def, Black On Both Sides.