Thu, 27 Sep 2007

OLPC security and Windows

I mentioned a while ago that I could see the One Laptop Per Child product selling well in the first world too. I envisaged a scheme whereby laptops were sold here at a premium price, each one sold then subsidising a cheap or free laptop for a needy child (or more likely community) elsewhere in the world. It's just a shame I didn't write this vision down at the time :-)

At that time the OLPC had said it would positively definitely not be sold outside its target markets ! Now we find El Reg iconan announcement from the project: Give 1 Get 1, the programme will run from 12 November and allow consumers to purchase two of the OLPC organisation's XO laptops, one for themselves and one that will be delivered to a child in a developing nation.

Hurrah ! The OLPC might look like a My First Computer from Mattel (see picture on El Reg above) but as I wrote before, inside it apears to be a well designed and secure system which - at least until recently - should not have added to the world's problems with El Reg iconinsecure "zombie armies" of computers all sending out spam and phishes. I really, really hope that the addition of a cut-down Windows capability (done I believe at Microsoft's behest) hasn't opened up all the loopholes that Windows brings with it through its faulty design.

But I fear very much indeed that this recent change to let the OLPC run Windows will lead to an explosion of spam and zombie networks many times El Reg iconthe size of the present Zombie Army :-(

Fri, 16 Feb 2007

Worthwhile further reading on security:

Bruce's Crypto-Gram newsletter

Thu, 15 Feb 2007

Bitfrost and the One Laptop Per Child project

I saw this security system mentioned on Bruce Schneier's blog and as he says it looks interesting. Security by not putting in the dangerous bits. Security that's aimed at being easy to use. Security turned on by default. Distributed secure keys for updates. We could do with more systems like this. I'd not taken much notice of the OLPC project to start with but they're coming up with some really good ideas. I see these laptops selling well in the first world too.