[ubuntu-uk] Want to create an advert for Ubuntu?

Avi Greenbury avismailinglistaccount at googlemail.com
Mon Dec 6 21:42:23 GMT 2010

Liam Proven wrote:
> I am aware of a number of worms and a handful - a tiny handful - of
> virus-like programs that have been demonstrated under lab conditions.
> Out in the wild? I'm not aware of a single instance of a live Linux
> virus propagating in the wild. If you are, do please share your
> knowledge.

For viruses in the traditional sense, I don't know of one operable on
any kernel anyone should be running in the wild. Certainly not new
enough to find themselves on an updated Ubuntu PC.
Perhaps, pedantically, your statement is correct. There's nothing
currently known as a 'virus' or as 'spyware' to which a Ubuntu desktop
is likely to be susceptible.
But to advertise imperviousness on the grounds that there's nothing yet
available, despite the obviousness of the possibility, just reeks of
the sort of marketing I dislike some of the larger commercial software
vendors for.
Especially given Ubuntu (and Linux in general) having such a reliance
on community support - the chances of a user inadvertently running some
malicious command that really doesn't look that bad is astoundingly
high. With no real benefit for whoever's doing the misinformation, that
only makes them the same flavour as the early viruses for any other

That said, this is something I've come across on Linux server
platforms. So common is the conception that Linux is impenetrable that
on having Wordpress or similar internet-facing-yet-holey software
compromised on a server, I've known customers suggest that this is
impossible on Linux.

> I have no idea what "FruitLoops" is. AutoCAD I can believe would be
> difficult, but then, the only way to open an AutoCAD file is to have a
> copy of AutoCAD, isn't it? IOW, 99.99% of Windows PCs can't open
> AutoCAD files anyway.

FruitLoops is audio studio software for OSX. It was the first piece of
OSX software with its own proprietary format that came to mind.

You claimed that "it reads and writes ... anything from any Windows or
Mac program." which, in my mind, includes AutoCAD. And, well, any
Windows or Mac program. How about Call of Duty save files? The only
meaningful thing to open those in is Call of Duty itself, which doesn't
run under Linux (including Wine).

> I have in the past found ways to view the contents of plain .DXF
> files; I would not be surprised if with some ingenuity, this could be
> done on Linux.

In all honesty, I'd rather we advertise that we have reasonably good
file compatibility than assume that such 'ingenuity' is just part of
using Linux to open files.

> I feel that my statements are entirely reasonable and acceptable
> generalisations and I do not agree with your attempted rebuttals.

Perhaps they're mostly reasonable, but they're really not things I'd
support appearing in any advertising. Irrespective of the possiblity
of demonstrating them to be logically true, no 'normal' user is going
to believe them having attempted to actually exercise them. 

Like I say, I'd much rather have bulletproof honesty in the advertising
than sail that close to outright lying with 'features'.


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