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Except governments have no interest in making our computer systems secure, however much they try and secure their own systems.  Standards for commercially available encryption programs are purposely "broken" so messages can be read by intelligence agencies and services.  It seems to be the case the stuxnet mal-ware was designed and spread by the US and Israeli governments.  It is fairly clear countries have been conducting cyber-espionage for decades, the recent outbreak of outrage from the US wrt the PRC's efforts is a case of the biter bitten.

Must Follow Standards freezes the Cybernetic Sector into existing functionality.  In some cases, e.g., ASCII that's an undeniable good ... for a while.  ASCII has a range of coding to support teleprinters.  Who the heck uses teleprinters these days?  But there they sit, hogging space that these days could be used for other, more important, purposes.  It's possible to state ASCII is obsolete; it was designed for 8 bit systems in a 64 bit world.  

In the late 70s 80 megabyte mass storage devices were the size of a small end table costing $80,000.  Today I can purchase 180 terabytes for ~$7,500.  For sheer raw computing power my desktop development system obliterates the IBM 360/70 I worked on 'back in the day.'  The Raspberry Pi at $35 a pop, is more capable than any microcomputer available in, say, 1985.  

The technological change over the past 40 years continues today.  Much of it is not reaching the consumer market because of existing "standards," e.g., WinTel.  And the fact 95% of the people on the software side know bugger-all about hardware, its design, architectural trade-offs between hardware and software, and hardware/software integration.  Putting it simply, computer systems available in 2013 are squarely based on the limitations of 1975 hardware using paradigms and heuristics developed in 1956.  

MicroSoft developed Windows 8 in an attempt to force a move to 2013 technology.  BUT it was an "update" that didn't threaten their market dominance.  Apple forced a change with the various "i" devices but only under the control of a narcissistic control freak: Steve Jobs, who was deeply interested in freeing people to consume anything ... he permitted.  Want to do your own thing?  Tough shit.

Like everything, Standards have a Good side, a Downside, and a range in between.  They are 'an' answer to some things, 'the' answer to some things, 'meh' to some things, and a real hindrance to other things.

 

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 11:20:08 AM EST
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