The big lie of computer security is that security improves by imposing complex passwords on users. In real life, people write down anything they can't remember. Security is increased by designing for the way humans actually behave. -Jakob Nielsen
This is a statement that all of us thinks of. What is it going to be like ten or twenty years down the line? Is the government going to crackdown even more? These are big questions, but the big question is this: Are we even going to exist?
With the introduction of the so called web 2.0, fanatics are starting to get on board with the whole Internet idea. Everyday there seems to be coverage on the media about myspace or youtube or some other teenybopper community with no idea of ethics or in turn intelligence. We are seeing a dumbing down of today's society, not only in the computer sense, but in all areas. With gadgets releasing every day supposedly to ease the transition to a “high tech” lifestyle the dumbing down becomes more apparent. No one cares what goes into the products as long as it works (no matter how low the standards are). No one cares about the insides or what makes it tick. No one cares about flexibility and efficiency. In the end it's all about marketability and user-friendliness, but more so it's all about the money.
So with all this presented, where does it leave us? Do we fall into obscurity from proprietary code and algorithms and more so, security? Will the open source movement prevail? This all just speculation but as they always say “The future is near.”
This article is a prophecy from myself. I have much experience in computer security and just everyday computer know how. But recently as I was browsing through an electronic store to buy a new laptop, I noticed that all the laptops had Windows Vista pre-installed. I started thinking: “Do they not know how buggy and unreliable this system is?” All the laptops specs were so unnecessary for the average user and doing so unnecessary priced. I do not want to run a processing and memory eater to just have pretty eye candy while working on development for windows. So I walked out without buying anything. When I got home I started thinking about the future; all the who-ha's and wah-wah's of the computer industry came to play. In doing so this article is what came out of it.
In the future, computer programming is going to become a guarded practice. Programming as it is today has so many layers; more so then the past which focused on very low languages like assembly. Then Fortran came to play giving a more human syntax. From there more and more layers have been added making languages higher and higher and doing so usually slower and slower. So when languages like visual basic are the only languages being taught at many schools this starts the dumbing down of programmers, who are taught very bad habits by vb and have lower logic then say C programmers.
But all this has no concern for you. You will always know how to program, so why do you need to think about the upcoming of others? Well, for one, we all die. Most knowledge isn't written in text on a book or a data file, but spread verbally through teaching and self discovery. We have a duty to pass knowledge onto others for the wellbeing of the hacker community. Now the community has become bloated with wannabes, but anyone can tell who actually has a hunger and a will to learn. This is the common factor of our “kind”. We, unlike most, are fueled by knowledge and we will get it no matter how proprietary it is. Now this starts another question: “How long are we going to be able to get information”.
In the future there will be better security programming by the small but resourceful development community. But unless the open source movement (otherwise known as free software being free in freedom not beer) makes a fatal blow to proprietary software we will see closed source everywhere (We do technically see it now with windows being installed on practically every computer). As we know, reverse engineering is the best defense to closed source, but it can only go so far. So with all this proprietary software and better security how will we exist? Well I believe that we will always be there. But in the future, as in the beginning, hacking will be a lifestyle and not just a pastime. Better security practices will practically eliminate skiddy dos attacks and the like. Also stack based exploiting will be harder to come by as it is starting to decline today. So where does that leave us? It leaves us to not look upon the future for guidance but to see today as a medium to alter the future. That is how we live. The tomorrow will be harder, that's a given, but there is no way that the hacker ideology will die. So on that note lets strive for the better tomorrow. Let open source become the new way we look and practice software. Let your hacking incentives go and explore new realms of computing. Let information be free.
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