Declare your independence from Apple, Microsoft, and hackers

Or at least flex your First Amendment rights -- Cringely's readers weigh in on Apple fanboys, Microsoft mysteries, and hacking

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But reader J. F. offers a simple reason why he's loyal to the Cupertino Crew:

Because Apple stuff works without jumping through hoops.

That reply is so terse I'd swear it came from the Hand of Jobs -- or maybe just the Steve Jobs E-Mail Generator.

In "Microsoft+Skype: What did I do to deserve this?," I complained bitterly about how companies I hate (like Microsoft and AT&T) always seem to buy companies whose services I love (like Skype and T-Mobile). I asked if Microsoft ever bought anything and made it better. I got exactly one reply, from a Microsoft consultant with the initials S. B.:

The biggest MSFT purchase they improved that stands out to me is Zoomit Via, which has become Microsoft Metadirectory Services, Microsoft Identity Integration Services 2003, Identity Lifecycle Management 2007, ILM 2007 'v2', and currently sitting as Forefront Identity Management. It's been renamed more times than Puff Daddy.

I think that answer speaks for itself. It doesn't make me any more hopeful about Skype, though.

Finally, in a story about the hacking epidemic we've still in the middle of ("Dial 'h' for 'hacker': LulzSec is the future of the Net"), I asked Cringeville residents for their hacking survival strategies. A reader known only as gambit1776 offered up a long list of good advice, along with these bits of hard-earned wisdom:

Let's assume ... you are NOT a hacker. You wouldn't be able to hack if your life depended on it. Yet you run a website that might look like a good target for some hacker. What do you do?

You make every effort to NEVER speak ill of the hacker[s]. Instead, don't be afraid of giving props where they are due. These hackers and crackers have a skill [one you don't have] so make sure people know you acknowledge that fact.

Yes I know, that essentially puts you in a position where you are supporting the hacker[s]. But ... There is NO law saying you can't speak good of someone doing ill. All you're doing is not taunting them, thus minimizing the chance of becoming a target.

I always make sure to never speak too much ill of any hackers. Also, I spend a fair amount of time cowering under my desk.

What are you doing for the fourth? (And don't say "a fifth.") Post your holiday plans below or email me:

This article, "Declare your independence from Apple, Microsoft, and hackers," was originally published at Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

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