Palladium, networks, and privacy - oh my

Slashdot has an article about Palladium, Microsoft's blatant (as opposed to sneakwrap) bid to control what you can do with your own computer: "The product manager for Palladium, Mario Juarez, says, 'It's important to note that nexus-aware applications will not hinder any apps or anything else running in the regular Windows environment.'"

Here's something to think about. I got a freeware app for my Adobe Acrobat PDF Viewer, ver 5+, that would bookmark pages I chose. I had to get this because v4 and below would automatically open the PDF to the last page you viewed - 5+ wouldn't. So I got it, it works fine, but it takes a little bit of time to load (has a splash screen, normally stays there for about 7 seconds). And a few weeks ago, it just didn't load at all. It would show the splash screen and then hang itself and the Reader.

Bad news. Until I remembered that I changed to Privoxy as my proxy, and checked the logs. Shore 'nuff, PDFSoft was trying to reach its own server every time I started it. The privacy implications are, well, stupid, because I put pdfsoft in my +block section, and now it loads fine.

So, basically, those "network-aware" or "nexus-aware" apps are a serious weak point. Their home servers can go down, be unreachable, or your computer might not be able to dial out. So that means you can't use the software.

Palladium is the reason I'm moving to Linux.

Among many, many others.

Written by Andrew Ittner in misc on Fri 28 March 2003. Tags: commentary, privacy, technology, web