A roundup of some of your recent comments on our stories and blog posts about mobile phones and carriers, non-viruses and geopolitical Internet intrigue

MAILBAG: BYOD, CRTC, IRI and JD

Brian Bloom is a staff writer at ComputerWorld Canada. You can find him on . He covers enterprise hardware and software, information architecture and security topics.

For the past week, we’ve been writing about some pretty diverse topics, ranging from the Nokia Lumia 800 to the supposed plans by the Islamic Republic of Iran to create a squeaky-clean version of the Internet for its own citizens.

But first, let’s look at some of the big Canadian news we covered. We wrote about how the CRTC had ruled that Rogers Communications Inc. wasn’t to blame for denying Wind customers the ability to roam on its network.

Reader Codehopper expressed a sentiment we’ve seen quite often:
 
“Rogers and Bell have way too much power against both consumers and the competition … Canada needs less monopolies and more competition. New cell entrants whose services are gated by what the incumbents allow them to do (with the help of the CRTC) are not on a level playing field.
“Time for the CRTC’s attitudes to be modernized.”
Then there was a post by our intrepid Techbuzz blogger, JD Speedy, about the Mac virus that was only sort of a virus, or maybe not even a virus at all.
Dirk commented that despite its faults, Apple has a better grasp on security than Microsoft does:
“Anyone who has gone through a security audit on their Windows systems, particularly the Server versions, will know that Windows lacks security. They do not patch most of these issues with service packs. Indeed, you need to shut down many services, which are on by default, to secure Windows.
“Would you rather get a cold once a decade or four times a year? I will take the former, which is why I use a Mac.”
But another reader, identifying him or herself simply as “A User” countered that comparing operating systems is sometimes an apples-and-oranges game:
 
“Apple is not intrinsically more or less secure than Windows. Both put out patches to fix security flaws in software. This is like saying Linux is more secure than Apple because it has had even less malware. Truth is, until now systems other than Windows have been too small of a target to deal with. This is changing with Apple because they are growing, and as such, are drawing more attention from malicious coders.
“You will see the same happening to any OS that is widely distributed. If you have a large enough user base, hackers will try to exploit your system.”
And speaking of Windows, we come to the Nokia Lumia 800, the mobile company’s new Windows phone. We wrote about how a bug or two won’t destroy its chances at breaking into the enterprise market (and offering an answer to the BYOD question), but a lack of features might.
Reader StoryFirst wrote that Nokia might be too late, in any case:
“I really enjoy the Lumia 800 but there are occasional software glitches that annoy me (for example, the phone crashing for no reason). But it is hard to say whether it’s just my own handset that causes the problem or some other issue (others do not seem to have my phone’s problems). Still, I prefer Windows 7 to Android and iOS and once that killer phone comes out, we’re on to a winner.
“My fear is, is it too late to join the party?”
Finally, we come to another blog post, this one about Iran’s reported plan to “kill” the Internet. Reader Hass wasn’t happy with JD’s treatment of the subject, and complained that he hadn’t researched the claim carefully enough:
“Really, JD? You couldn’t be bothered to actually CHECK this before posting it? FYI, the report about Iran wanting to cut off the Internet is bogus. And in fact, in 1996 it was the U.S. that tried to cut Iran’s access to the Internet as part of the U.S. sanctions. Iran is, in fact, creating an internal network for banks, etc. but not as a substitute for the Internet. They want a secure domestic communications network.”
 
Well, sometimes it’s hard to discern the motivation behind political decisions. For example, the U.S. sanctions you wrote about did not specifically target Iran’s Internet connectivity (though it was and still is affected by general prohibitions on doing business with Iran). It’s not clear that the United States actually intended to disconnect Iranians from the Internet.
 
So, if we’re giving Iran the benefit of the doubt here, shouldn’t we do so for the U.S. as well?
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