Withering Technology

As I walked past my boss’s office the other day I glanced in and saw the most ironic thing. She keeps her network cable in a vase so it doesn’t fall down behind her desk. I think its a great iconic image to show how people are unplugging all over and going wireless.

withering technology

Security Packaging — Sony figured it out

I had read an article on how hazardous some security packaging can be. The article was referring to the clear plastic clamshell packages normally found around small electronics. I agreed with it since I’ve destroyed plenty trying to get things out. I didn’t think anything of it until I purchased a Sony digital recorder later in the week.

I got back to my office and went to open it and saw it was perforated. This made my job a lot easier. I was able to grab the tab at the end and pull it apart with my fingers. It was tough, but was doable, and no need for a knife to cut myself with. I later read the bottom of the package where it stated to use scissors to cut along the dotted line. This made more sense.

They seem to have figured out how to package their product, keeping it difficult to open, yet still safe to open. The dotted line and extra space on the edges left plenty of room to cut between the fused plastic and bend in the plastic. The only other suggestion I would make to them is to affix a sticker stating how to open on one of the two bottom corners until people recognize the new easier packaging.

package1

package2

package3

package4

[Tales from packaging Hell] – Wired

MPAA’s Hacker. Does the end justify the means?

I was reading an article today on ZDNet regarding the recently filed Torrentspy vs MPAA suit. Torrentspy is claiming that the MPAA hired a hacker to gain internal information and emails from Torrentspy to use in the previously filed MPAA vs Torrentspy case. Apparently the hacker they hired came forward to Torrentspy and has documents showing the MPAA hired him. Of course, the MPAA is denying all charges.

Hacking is a crime punishable by the very DMCA that the MPAA is abusing for all its lawsuits. Copyright law is gray at the moment and they’ve been trying to figure out how to update it for the digital age. Hacking is clearly wrong, regardless of its use. So does the end justify the means? If they do prove that the MPAA hired a hacker to gain information from Torrentspy, should the judge throw out the charges because Torrentspy is already claimed to be in the wrong?

I think this is just another case that goes to show how crazy the MPAA and RIAA are and that somebody needs to put a stop to them fast. I don’t agree that copyright theft is right, its theft either way. I do think that instead of the clandestine methods the MPAA and RIAA are using to enforce it, they should be looking to ways to improve copyright law and use file sharing to their benifit.

[MPAA accused of hiring a hacker] – ZDNet

Spam Attack

Somehow they have found ways around my blockers. I am using a combination of Bad Behavior and SK2 and still getting about 5 spams a day through. The weird part is that all of them are coming from Canada, usually British Columbia. I had two this morning that traced back to a net block owned by “Impact Advertising” (BC, Canada. No website found on Google, supprise) and another two yesterday that traced back to an ISP in British Columbia.

I had previously not used Akismet because all of my comments would be routed through a central server for processing and because my BB/SK2 combination was working extremely well. I might have to go back and revisit that topic again.

We are in a spam war and the enemy just kicked off the next wave of attacks.

Privacy Drive

… Is a 1GB USB drive that comes pre-loaded with encryption software. The fact that its black with “Privacy Drive” written in large white letters just screams “Steal me and try and hack into me.” I figured it was common sense to not blatantly advertise a security device, but apparently not.

[Privacy Drive] – Newegg.com

UTW rewrites fixed

I was playing around tonight and realized some of my rewrites for Ultimate Tag Warrior 3.1 were broken. Mainly, the pagination. After a while, BigJibby was able to figure it out and here’s what he came up with…

RewriteRule ^tags/(.+)/feed/(feed|rdf|rss|rss2|atom)/?$ /index.php?tag=$1&feed=$2 [QSA,L]
RewriteRule ^tags/(.+)/(feed|rdf|rss|rss2|atom)/?$ /index.php?tag=$1&feed=$2 [QSA,L]
RewriteRule ^tags/(.+)/page/([0-9]{1,})/?$ /index.php?tag=$1&paged=$2 [QSA,L]
RewriteRule ^tags/([^/]+)$ /index.php?tag=$1 [QSA,L]

If they stop working for you, or you can’t seem to get ones posted to the UTW forums to work, try these and maybe you’ll get lucky.

Strange Call

I woke up this morning to my work cell buzzing to tell me I missed a call at some point last night. I flipped my phone open to check the log and it stated:

Private Caller
1/1/00 12:00AM

I’m not sure if theres some strange blocking mechanism that messes with the call log or what. No voicemail or anything. Weird

eBay and Microsoft

Just a word of caution, if you plan on selling anything Microsoft branded on eBay, even if you follow the terms of service for the product, Microsoft is likely to remove it. The latest set of auctions I put up were unbranded OEM cds. I read the terms, and it just had to be issued with the standard piece of non-periphial hardware. Done. Clearly stated in the auction.

From Microsoft’s about me page on eBay:

Some OEM software, called Delivery Service Provider (“DSP”), is licensed for distribution by smaller makers of computer systems, and can be distinguished by the presence of the letter “D” or the phrase “OEM Product” on the Certificate of Authenticity. The distribution of this software is governed by the OEM System Builder Agreement attached to the outside of the multi-unit OEM System Builder Pack in which the software is distributed. DSP/OEM operating systems are licensed for distribution with non-peripheral PC hardware or with fully assembled computer systems; DSP/OEM applications and server software are licensed only for distribution with fully assembled computers. All DSP/OEM software becomes essentially “married” to the computer on which it is first installed, and can be redistributed only with the complete original computer system. Visit Microsoft’s OEM System Builder website for more information.

Two days later I get an automated email from eBay’s Vero program telling me that Microsoft had ordered the auctions down. Lucky for me, they were too late. The auctions had been won within 12-36 hours (I used buy it now) and about a day before they found it and had papers filed.

There is no reasoning with them. They send you a link to contact them, but never results in you winning. This is not the first time I’ve had auctions taken down because of them, and the same goes for a bunch of other people. Normally when it happens, I’ll flip the auction to buy it now and re-list it. This time I had sold the items, gotten paid, shipped them and begun the transfer of funds to my bank account. The only thing I can’t do is give and receive feedback for those three auctions.

It just comes down to another large company abusing the system (yes, much like the RIAA).

Vonage IPO and Slashdot boneheads

I was just reading the news on Slashdot regarding the Vonage IPO and offering commonstock at IPO pricing to customers. Myself, and everyone else I know on Vonage got an email on Monday about this.

I laughed my ass off though at all the boneheads on Slashdot commenting that its a phishing scam. The email came directly from Vonage, the domain is owned by Vonage, and if you call Vonage they will tell you its real… not to mention the press release on their site. What makes it worse is the second thread started after the first guy realized it was legit and said he looked like an ass for opening his mouth. Believe it or not, skeptics still exist and I’m sure if I check back later, some other idiot will have posted they think its a scam.