Ivan Krstic, co-author of The Official Ubuntu Book, is responsible for security of the OLPC “$100” XO laptop. In this Wired article he is quoted on the subject of security warnings on PCs, saying that the XO laptop won’t include any of the typical scary OK/Cancel security prompts:
“How can you expect a 6-year-old to make a sensible decision when 40-year-olds can’t?” Krstic asked in a session at the RSA Conference. Those boxes simply train users to check “yes,” he argued.
One could make the reverse comparison these days too – if a 6 year old can’t operate an electronic device, there’s definitely no hope for the 40 year olds!
I hope this approach makes it into mainstream computing. I’m sure the Ubuntu community is taking note…
PS I still have a copy of The Official Ubuntu Book, signed by Jono Bacon, Mako Hill and Ivan Krstic available as a giveaway or prize for the Ubuntu-ZA community. All you have to do is come up with a competition to benefit the community.