StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 05/15/01

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StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 05/15/01

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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 backdoor.

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.

Briefly Noted

· 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 ebXML proof-of-concept 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 . 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 . Let me know what you think. Also check out the TrendSpot for ranking of the latest emerging trends.

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