It pisses me off the amount of idiocy there is on Wired and Slashdot. This is just one example. Both Slashdot and Wired would have you believe there is something special about ActiveX that makes it un−secure and dangerous. ActiveX is the method by which software can be integrated into Microsoft Internet Explorer. What happens is you go to a site like Real or Macromedia and if you are running Microsoft Internet Explorer and you don't have the real player or the flash player or the shockwave player they will get downloaded automatically and a dialog will come up asking you if you want to install them. If those companies are unscrupulous they could be installing malicious software that downloads personal information. Fortunately those two particular companies have so far been mostly trustworth.
The LIE that Wired and Slashdot and others would have you believe is that this ability to do something malicious is because of Microsoft's ActiveX standard. That's bullshit. If you are running Netscape for example, the only difference is it is less convenient to use the same software. Under Netscape (at least until recently) if you go to those same sites you have to download an executable file and then execute it (run it) and it will install similar software into Netscape. And it could just as easily be malicious software. Microsoft decided to make it easier to install software in general. One click "do you want to install" vs everybody else, "Download, save, find, click"
Even "Open Source" software has this problem. The only difference is the install process is much longer "download, unzip, tar, configure, make, make install" And, under Open Source you have the "option" to read through the source code to see if there is any malicious functions on the code. Of course next to nobody reads through thousands of lines of code before they install.
What I don't understand is why Wired and Slashdot, who's authorship / readership is supposed to be so technically literate publishes this clearly wrong information. Either 1) They aren't technically literate or 2) They are but they are lying about the topic. 3) they are so blinded by their hate of Microsoft that they lose their ability to think when they write about them. Note: this is but one one example but it happens daily.