[FoRK] MS Skynet: Microsoft Buys Skype for $8.5B

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Tue May 10 17:05:03 PDT 2011

On 5/10/11 10:16 AM, Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:
> Oh, you don't know Bolcer's Corollary to Wheeler's premise?
> Any Infosec issue in computer science can be solved at another abstraction level through indirection to make it someone else's 
> problem.

And, to think, it was almost my problem!  Still might be, but my rate is going way up.
On the other hand, if I'm not entangled, I'll implement an open source alternative some day.  Skype (and pretty much everyone else) 
manages to be unusable for video for some common and key use cases.  Easily solved, if you care.

Skype does have a hard security problem: managing a (mostly) true P2P system that has access to mic, camera, machine, network, and 
other people's systems running the same software.  Lots of potential failure that could wipe out all trust, and most use, in a few 
revolutions of the bad PR wheel.  This would be the major challenge for an open source equivalent too.


> Greg
> On 5/10/2011 9:43 AM, Adam L Beberg wrote:
>> Wayne Baisley wrote on 5/10/2011 8:32 AM:
>>> David Edmondson wrote:
>>>> @TalkingMoose: At first Microsoft weren't sure. But Skype had them at
>>>> "unpatched security vulnerability"
>>> So everyday can be Patch-In Tuesday!
>> To be fair, an operating system is really complex and huge and ugly, so
>> it's expected to have lots of bugs. But it takes real talent to find a
>> way to get a security problem into an AV codec and IM client. Microsoft
>> has just the unique pool of talent to keep that up.
>> Skype is already a bloated P.O.S. The mac client just barely works. And
>> I'd like to see Skype or Facetime operate over a SATCOM link like
>> http://vsee.com/

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