Resistance is futile: they’ve already started installing Green Dam internet filtering software in schools. The censorware is, according to its proponents, help in the eternal battle against smut and other morally damaging materials. Although we have our doubts as to how many Chinese students really have the time to scour smut at school, we are old enough
Some real Wolverines — at the University of Michigan — have just done a brief study of the software and concluded that it has some whopping security flaws. Like making your computer vulnerable to all sorts of nasty shit, like H1N1 for the computer times a thousand:
We examined the Green Dam software and found that it contains serious security vulnerabilities due to programming errors. Once Green Dam is installed, any web site the user visits can exploit these problems to take control of the computer. This could allow malicious sites to steal private data, send spam, or enlist the computer in a botnet. In addition, we found vulnerabilities in the way Green Dam processes blacklist updates that could allow the software makers or others to install malicious code during the update process.
We’ve heard that Green Dam doesn’t work on Firefox, which seems stupid, because that would imply it’s only useful against IE browsers (and perhaps Maxthon and other related browsers?), but wait, does this mean there are still people out there using Internet Explorer?
But not to worry: any heavy-handed government action is bound to give rise to an oppositional dialectic — the hackers, computer scientists, and bloggers — and there are already numerous websites that tell you how to disable Green Dam. Of course, the creators of the software, as well as the government bodies responsible for its development, have all reassured us that we can simply deactivate or uninstall the thing, but we’ll probably not give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.
Let’s end this on a more optimistic note. Apple has recently announced that their new OS, dubbed Snow Leopard, is going to be released in September. One new feature of note there: built-in Chinese handwriting recognition functionality. Of course, we think this applies most to the new fangled unibodies that huge trackpads where you can scribble characters to your heart’s content. But yes, now instead of always using that pesky pinyin, you can write your characters instead.
In light of all these facts, maybe it’s time you started thinking different and considered making the leap to the world’s most advanced operating system?
*Disclaimer: We don’t work for Apple or any related company. However, we have downloaded porn featuring the Mac guy and we use it on an approximately biweekly basis.