Monday, May 15, 2017

OS vulnerabilities are unnecessary and are just a money saving strategy for OS vendors.

A lot of huffing and puffing about the "WannaCry" virus attacking the world - reminds me that the whole computer 'virus' thing is based on making an OS vulnerable deliberately so it can receive cheap upgrades. In fact, OSs do not need to be soft-writable but could be burnt into silicon and as invulnerable as a light bulb. Problem is that Microsoft is addicted to a plastic, writable, operating system so it can roll out upgrades at little to no cost. They fix things when they get around to them and roll out a patch - business as usual.

Here is the thing: if PC motherboard architects wanted to, they could design a system that was largely constant and which only allowed writable memory is constrained "sandbox" areas. All files could be recoverable at all times. The question is: why don't they? My guess is: no business case for it and a lot of conventional thinking. A smart computer scientist could solve this problem.

I think OS upgrades should be delivered the way Kodak "Brownie" flash bulbs were delivered: in packages of several disposable bulbs per package. Unscrew the old OS and plug a new one into the socket. Meanwhile the only vulnerable part of the computer would be a file repository that you could lose and not care, while routinely backing it up.

As I wrote (somewhere) a "flash bulb" strategy for a disposable OS is quite financially problematic for companies like Microsoft and Apple; as the "light bulb socket" would require an API spec that eliminated the monopolies these companies enjoy.

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