Now this is funny!

According to this article, the first security exploit has been found in Windows Vista.

While that’s not entirely surprising in itself (after all, the OS has been commercially available for over 3 full days now), the nature of the flaw is both amusing and somewhat shocking.

Vista adds new speech recognition features, allowing the user to issue commands to the computer by speaking. At least, I’m assuming this is new. Mac OS has had speech recognition for at least a decade, but it used to require extensively “training” the computer to recognize your voice. I’m guessing that the new speech recognition software doesn’t require that kind of training, sort of like how pizza places now have speech recognition software that answers the phone and takes your order.

So, on to the exploit: if speech recognition is on, and the computer’s speakers and microphone are both on, it would then be possible to visit a website that autoplays an MP3 of a voice issuing commands to make the computer do all sorts of nasty things (like erasing files off the hard drive)!

Mac does Windows…

It’s old news that Apple‘s new computers all run the Intel Core Duo processor (or the unimaginatively — yet redundantly — named Core 2 Duo), and that thanks to Boot Camp, or a third-party app called Parallels (which I didn’t bother to buy, so I’m also not going to bother to track down the link), Apple’s computers can now run Windows natively.

Ultimately for no other reason than that it can be done, I naturally had to install Windows on my new MacBook. Tonight the “dream” (and I use that term without implying any positive connotations) became reality.

Sure, it’s great to have Windows, I guess. It benefits me mainly in that I can test my work in that most unpredictable of environments, Internet Explorer. I suppose it would also be handy for running Windows-only software, if there were any Windows-only software I actually wanted or needed to run.

The most striking characteristic I’ve noted so far is how obnoxious Windows software installers are. Installing a new application on Windows feels a bit like forcing your way through a crowded flea market, with aggressive hawkers pushing their wares on you. (In fact, come to think of it, that’s basically what it is.)

So far I’ve only installed 3 programs, aside from the OS itself (a harrowing experience in its own right), those being Adobe Reader, Firefox, and AOL Instant Messenger. I tried to install the latest version of Flash Player as well, but for some reason the installer just starts and then vanishes mysteriously. Ah, Windows.

Among those 3 installed programs, only Firefox did not accost me with multiple offers to install other, unwanted programs… or that perennial favorite, the browser toolbar. No thanks! I’m just coming for Adobe Reader. I really don’t care to also litter my hard drive (and desktop… and Start menu… and taskbar) with the likes of a 30-day trial of a watered-down version of Photoshop. And I definitely am not interested in the Adobe Yahoo! toolbar, nor can I even imagine what purpose it could possibly serve, other than to surreptitiously alert Adobe to the fact that I’ve surfed on over to my own website, wherein I’ve then proceeded to write and post a rant on the topic of invasive spyware.

It doesn’t have to be like this, people! (In fact, I am writing this once again having returned to the comfort of an operating system that just gets the hell out of the way and lets me do what I want to do thank you very much!)