NSW locks students into proprietary systems

The NSW Government has announced the roll out of 240,000 netbooks to year 9 students.

The system is completely proprietary:
Windows 7
Microsoft Office
Adobe Photoshop
Apple iTunes
and more..

But then I guess you’d expect nothing less from the Australian Indoctrination Education system.

Not only that, but the Government is touting these as “unhackable.” Oh yeah, right. Here we go..

This comment on Slashdot by by GradiusCVK says it all:

What is it with governments and hubris? If they had just shipped all these laptops without any mention of “unhackableness”, you know what would have happened?
1: 240,000 kids would have gotten reasonably secure systems with useful software on them
2: People would have noticed how secure and safe the systems were, and appreciated the low rate of problems they experienced
3: Eventually, some smart students would have figured out how to bypass all the security so they can play world of warcraft or something, but nobody would have cared and it wouldn’t have gotten any press

Instead, some asshat announces to the world “Bow to our unhackable laptops! We are awesome! HAHAHA!”, and now thousands of hackers and security researchers out there have made it their personal crusade to find a way to totally decimate all the security on the box. You’re right… It’s gonna take about 1 month for an exploit for these things to make it to the front page on slashdot. F****ing idiots.

Yes, I’m aware that security through obscurity is no security at all, but that’s not the issue here. The issue is that instead of nobody caring or trying to break the reasonable security they’ve implemented, now they’ve got thousands of people working on it. THAT does matter.


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