As I See It...
A weekly commentary
by James E. Felton
Active X - Microsoft vs The World
For the past two weeks NC News has featured a link to an Active X demonstration intended to educate the public to it's danger before it is accepted as a standard. If you are even slightly supportive of the NC concept it is imperative that you see this demonstration.. For that matter everyone that owns a personal computer needs to see this demonstration.
As the Active X site demonstrates, anyone (especially Microsoft) can do virtually anything they want to your PC (and eventually to all computers) with Active X. They can write an Active X program to read your hard drive, write to your hard drive, wipe out your hard drive, or as in this demonstration, simply shut down your computer. I would say that makes Active X very dangerous!
Most people seem completely oblivious to the danger of Active X, and seem to take the position that if they ignore it it will go away. Meanwhile, the world's most frequently used browser, Netscape Navigator is being forced to support Active X as proof of their commitment to open standards. Believe me people, ignoring it will not make it go away! Ignoring it will allow it to become a standard.
Excerpts from the Microsoft Sitebuilder Program
Active Platform Technologies
The Active Platform is based on three core technologies: Active Desktop, Active Server, and ActiveX.
The Active Desktop is a technology subset of the Active Platform specifically for developing applications that will run on different operating systems. It gives the user a faster, more responsive, and interactive Web experience. The Active Desktop technology will be included in all key commercial computing operating systems. Content that specifically targets the Active Desktop will run on any operating system that hosts the Active Desktop.
I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but every time a tiny security flaw is found in Java it makes headlines. Yet Active X is the largest security risk that could possibly exist on a computer, and you see virtually nothing about it in the headlines. That should tell you just how much power Microsoft has over the media!
Few people seem to realize it, but Microsoft's Internet strategy is almost completely dependent on acceptance of Active X. Without Active X it's Internet Explorer is just another so-so browser. But, with Active X Microsoft can control the personal computers of the world!
I strongly urge you to find someone with Internet Explorer on a Windows 95 PC, and see the Active X demonstration. Then write to your Senator, Congressman, or browser company of choice, and tell them you are strongly opposed to the use of Active X on the Internet.
Here is the link address: http://www.ncns.com/people.html
Exploder FAQ Fred McLain, Exploder's author, provides updated information
Deadly Controls HotWired/Packet - Simpson Garfinkel
Has Windows Won? by Christopher Barr, editor in chief of CNET
Sandbox Model Provides Compelling Reason To Dump IE 3.0
HotWired/Packet - Simpson Garfinkel
ActiveX Used To Manipulate Bank Accounts CNET - Nick Wingfield
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