diumenge, 26 d’octubre de 2003

Aquest article és genial!

October 23, 2003


If You're Getting Tired Of Fighting Viruses, Consider a New Mac
By WALTER S. MOSSBERG

For consumers and small businesses, the burden of using Microsoft Windows just keeps getting heavier. After growing easier to use for several years, Windows PCs have taken a giant step backward because they are so insecure.

Windows is riddled with security flaws, and new ones turn up regularly. It is increasingly susceptible to all kinds of viruses, malicious Trojan horse programs and spyware. As a result, Windows users have been forced to spend more of their time and money supporting their computers.

Almost every week, they are supposed to install patches to the already patchy operating system to plug these security holes. And every few months, it seems, Windows users must quake in fear as some horrible new virus is created by the international criminal class that constantly targets Windows.

But for consumers and small businesses, there's a simple way out of this endless morass: Buy an Apple Macintosh computer. There are no viruses on the Macintosh's excellent two-year-old operating system, called OS X. And the Mac is a terrific computer -- as good as, or better than, Windows for the typical computing tasks important to mainstream users.

It isn't impossible to write a virus for the Mac. The system isn't impenetrable. Mac users should still use antivirus software. But any virus or security problem that does emerge on the Mac is likely to be much less serious than the Windows security crisis. "Mac OS X hasn't had any viruses since the OS was launched," says Bill Rosenkrantz, the head of Macintosh products at Symantec, the big antivirus firm. "It's more difficult to attack the Apple system than Windows."

Microsoft is working hard on its security problems. The software giant has declared that better security is its No. 1 priority and is mounting an effort to modify Windows XP, via an upgrade due in the spring, to make it more secure. In fact, the upgrade, called Service Pack 2, is so important to the company that it has temporarily taken priority over the next major version of Windows, code-named "Longhorn," which now isn't likely to ship before 2006.

So, if you're a Windows user, you could sit tight, apply all the patches, worry about all the viruses and hope that the spring's Service Pack will solve most of the security problems without breaking other key features of Windows or interfering with programs you use.

Or, if the security issues are important to you, you could just buy a Mac when you shop for your next computer.

Here's why the Mac is so much less susceptible to viruses:

First, the Mac OS X operating system is built on Unix, an industrial-strength operating system used in business, science and education. And OS X doesn't enable users -- or hackers who hijack user accounts -- to alter certain core files and features of its Unix underpinnings. By contrast, Windows XP users are given "full administrator" privileges that viruses and hackers can usurp to do damage.

Also, Apple ships every Mac with all the communications "ports," or conduits that listen for commands over networks, closed. On Windows, some of these ports are left open.

In addition, Macs constitute such a tiny share of the world's computers that they just aren't an attractive target for virus writers and hackers. You can't take down many computers, so you won't get much publicity.

To do damage to a Mac, virus writers have to construct viruses that are specific to the Mac. The Windows viruses they churn out can't run on a Mac, even if they are received in e-mail by a Mac user. Neither can spyware or Trojan horse programs written for Windows.

Like Microsoft, Apple issues periodic security patches, but they are less frequent than the Windows patches -- and some of them are needed to repair flaws in the software programs Microsoft writes for the Mac.

Mac owners are still affected by two other scourges of today's computing: spam mail and pop-up ads. But even here, the Mac does a better job of protecting you. The Mac's free, built-in e-mail program, called Mail, has a spam filter, while the Windows free e-mail program, Outlook Express, doesn't. And the Mac's built-in Web browser, Safari, has a built-in pop-up blocker, something that Microsoft's browser, Internet Explorer, lacks.

This big gap in security and virus susceptibility has altered the balance in the age-old debate between Windows and the Mac, and made the Mac a more attractive contender than it was when I last compared the two platforms in 2002. But it's not the only thing going for the Mac.

Apple will introduce tomorrow an impressive new version of OS X, called Panther, that can network easily with Windows computers and is packed with lots of other cool features, some of which Windows can't match. And the company has recently introduced faster PowerBook and iBook laptops suitable for consumers and small businesses. Consumer models of the Mac start at $799 for desktops and $1,099 for laptops.

Not everybody can, or should, jump to Apple. But if you're tired of the virus wars, the Mac can be an island of serenity.

Write to Walter S. Mossberg at mossberg@wsj.com

Basque leaders back status plan

The Basque regional government in northern Spain has formally approved a proposal to redefine the region's relationship with the rest of the country.

Under the plan, the Basque country would become what they call a free-associated state, with its people voting on the sort of ties they want with Spain.

The plan's nationalist supporters say the Basque people have the right to decide their own future, their own foreign policy and be represented at European Union meetings separately from Spain.

The plan still needs the endorsement of the Basque regional parliament and approval in a referendum, scheduled for 2005.

The prime minister of Spain's Basque region, Juan Jose Ibarretxe, has denied that he wants to break away from Spain altogether.

"We, Basques, are going to decide with our vote our future. It's our right and nobody can prevent it," he said. "It is a historic day for our people. A commitment to Basque society to provide solutions."

But the central government and the opposition Socialists say the proposal threatens the stability Spain enjoys under its current constitution, and will legitimise the violence of the Basque separatist group, ETA.

Madrid says it will seek to stop the plan by both political and judicial means.


(From BBC News, 25.10.2003)

divendres, 24 d’octubre de 2003

Cop per Cop

L'ofensiva genocida del PP contra Catalunya ha fet un pas més amb l'aprovació per part de les Corts Valencianes d'una proposició contra els Països Catalans. Si a això afegim les polítiques del PP de les Illes, que van directament adreçades a la desaparició de la identitat catalana, tenim que el panorama és ben preocupant.

S'imposa una reflexió. El PP no dubta en portar a terme una estratègia conjunta d'anihilació nacional als territoris catalans situats dins l'Estat espanyol. I allà on té força l'exerceix sense cap mena de manies. Per contra, allà on no té tanta força -al Principat- es fa la víctima i demana tolerància. És l'estratègia del doble joc, del doble llenguatge. No sé si sabeu que a la màxima instància executiva del PP hi ha un tipus que és el coordinador pels afers dels Països Catalans.

Per contra, des de les forces independentistes, lluny de tenir estratègies unitàries i de reforçament de la cohesió nacional, practiquem una maleïda polìtica regionalista. Proposo que per canviar això practiquem una política del cop per cop. Que cap agressió a la catalanitat sigui on sigui quedi sense resposta. I si ells ataquen a Benidorm, a Sóller o a Llavaneres, nosaltres responguem a Vic, a Sueca o a Inca.

Cal d'una manera definitiva acabar amb les estratègies regionalistes, suïcides, que ens afebleixen.

dijous, 23 d’octubre de 2003

Anem preparant-nos per una nova guerra bruta. Després de les declaracions d'Aznar sobre la necessitat de portar a terme accions preventives contra "el terrorisme", i després de l'elogi a la criminal i mai prou assassina Guàrdia Civil, tot està preparat per atacar qualsevol objectiu imaginable, sobretot en l'escenari de la implementació de l'anomenat Pla Ibarretxe. Recordem les paraules del cap de la patronal, el feixista Cuevas, suggerint l'aplicació de l'article 155 de la Constituciò ecs-panyola. A la revista Kale-Gorria ja fa mesos que han avisat dels preparatius d'escamots de guàrdies civils i de falangistes per tal d'assassinar patriotes bascos. Malgrat els temps difícils que s'acosten, estic content, per fi tot el muntatge de la constituciò ecspanyola i els maleïts estatuts faran un pet com un aglà. Preparem-nos pel combat. Els ecs-panyols no vacil.laran en utilitzar tota la força que tinguin al seu abast. Ells sí que pensen que hi ha una idea per la qual val vessar no una gota, sinó litres de sang. Només els imbècils pensen el contrari -o els dats. He dit.

dimecres, 8 d’octubre de 2003

L'AVE no és el TGV

Fins ara per referir-me al TGV deia TGV i mai AVE (denominació espanyola, per suposat). Però, un cop vist l'enèsim ridícul dels espanyols amb el tram Madriz-Lleida, és ben evident que ens trobem davant d'un AVE, que és molt, però que molt diferent d'un TGV. Un TGV corre entre 300 i 400 km per hora. Jo ho sé. El 17 de setembre passat vaig anar de Brussel.les a París en 1 hora i 15 minuts. Tot va anar com una seda i per més inri arribes al centre de la ciutat amb tots els metros i autobusos que vulguis. Per contra un AVE és una tartana que tot just arriba als 200 km per hora, amb trams que ha de reduir fins als 50 o fins i tot aturar-se tres o quatre minuts per no sé quins problemes tècnics. Un AVE és un trenet on no es pot parlar per telèfon mòbil. En resum, doncs, a partir d'ara diré AVE per allò que és un AVE i res més que un AVE, i diré TGV per allò que, gràcies a la tecnologia, és un TGV. No barregem les coses. L'únic que em preocupa és que tard o d'hora, és inevitable, hi haurà una catastrofe de grans dimensions. Ara que donada aquesta inevitabilitat, sempre podria tenir lloc cap als volts de Nadal, quan la carraca vagi plena de gom a gom de xulapos amb destinació a Baquèira. Si més no, seria ecològic.