I hate, hate planned obsolescence. Almost as much as I hate religious idealistic stupidity such as that described below.

My wife spent about a month missing an application on a virtual machine that she needs for her job (Drill Draw). And I just spent an hour figuring out what the problem was.

The application was running in a completely contained VM with Windows XP. It worked for 10 years. Now it stopped working.

The only reason it stopped working was that the application needs to check its licence against the provider’s server, over an HTTPS connection. Which uses the root certificates in the operating system. Good luck getting updated root certificates for Windows XP.

So the hardware (hypervisor) is fine, the operating system is fine, the application is fine, and yet all of the above are rendered useless because the certificate authority industry wants to be paid.

That is neither unexpected nor shocking. Of course they do. What does seriously annoy me is that people don’t see this. Practically noone understands it.

I’ve had so many rabid fans of CAs telling me how incredibly bad it is to use self-signed certificates. And how incredibly important it is to have CA-issued certificates expire. But they have no idea what they’re talking about. They don’t know how the technologies work, what the attack vectors are, what the balance is between risk and cost, and who ultimately pays whom for what.

Please don’t foam at the mouth when one of your beliefs is challenged. Use the brain you’ve got to think for yourself. You might be surprised at how well it works over the long term. Learn, discover, decide for yourself. Don’t just repeat what some “authority” told you is correct or the hype generated by the useless masses of idiots with big mouths.

Most everyone is either selling something or has been sold on something. And the harder they sell it – the more skeptical you should be.