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11/29/2004 Archived Entry: "USAF relies on Microsoft for security?"

I remember how shocked I was to learn, on a visit years ago to Boston's Computer Museum, that the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) depended on vacuum-tube computers up until the early '80s. Vacuum tubes are lovely and fascinating devices, but they do (and did) burn out with annoying frequency.

I got similar shivers this weekend when I read that the U.S. Air Force is entrusting all of their computer networks, and those networks' security, to Microsoft. I confess that I'm at a loss to come up with a suitable parallel for an outfit that has such an established and comprehensive track record of ineptitude. Only fictional characters come to mind: it's like putting the Keystone Kops in charge of Homeland Security.       -- brad

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