Saturday, July 31, 2004

Spoofing Firefox?

Apparently it can be done, and the implications are not good. As we all know, anyone can write and publish something on the web. So if you have Firefox or not, you should really check out how impressive this proof of concept is. This will not stop me from using Firefox however.

The proof shows a fake user interface that was all created to emulate Firefox, INCLUDING THE ENCRYPTION LOCK that shows you if your connection is being encrypted. ( PayPal, eBay, Amazon )

The good news about all of this is that someone posted it publicly and it recieved a lot of press coverage. Now it's time for Mozilla to play catch-up in the never ending cycle of Rule 1 and Rule 2. Ya know... I sure wish people would learn these things so I can stop linking to them.

Rotten Apples

So the good folks at Apple have their panties in a bunch over Real Networks release of software that will allow users to download and play songs on the iPOD from the Real Network Music download. See rules 1 and 2. More..

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Are you a BAD American?

First off, let me say that the U.S.A. uses the word American with such arrogance it's laughable. Do you realize that the people living in Brazil and Cuba and Canada, even Paraguay are all "Americans"... Don't try to argue the point, and you can take "popular usage" and jam it! Popular usage or rather common slang of the United States doesn't rename continents.

The following is credited to George Carlin, but so much garbage is credited to him that he had nothing to do with, that I wanted to say I'm not sure if he had anything to do with this. To put this here I had to change the formatting a bit from the place I got it. The only problem is I'm not sure where it came from. Some of it does sound like his style, but some of it is questionable. Someone might have added their own spice to the recipe, ya know?
YES, I'M A BAD AMERICAN by George Carlin


I Am Your Worst Nightmare. I am a BAD American. I am George Carlin.
  • I believe the money I make belongs to me and my family, not some mid-level governmental functionary be they Democratic, Republican or non partisan!
  • I'm in touch with my feelings and I like it that way, damn it!
  • I think owning a gun doesn't make you a killer, it makes you a Smart American.
  • I think being a minority does not make you noble or victimized, and does not entitle you to anything.
  • I believe that if you are selling me a Big Mac, you should be able to do it in English.
  • I think fireworks should be legal on the 4th of July...everywhere.
  • I think that being a student doesn't give you any more enlightenment, than working at Blockbuster. In fact, if your parents are footing the bill to put your pansy butt through 4 years plus of college, you haven't begun to be enlightened.
  • I believe everyone has a right to pray to his or her God when and where they want to.
  • My heroes are John Wayne, Babe Ruth, Roy Rogers, and whoever cancels Jerry Springer and MTV.
  • I don't hate the rich. I don't pity the poor.
  • I know wrestling is fake and I don't waste my time arguing about it.
  • I think global warming is a big lie. Where are all those experts now, when I'm freezing my butt off during these long winters and paying, paying, paying for heat?
  • I've never owned a slave, nor was a slave. I didn't wander forty years in the desert after getting chased out of Egypt. I haven't burned any witches or been persecuted by the Turks...and neither have you! So, shut-the-____-up already.
  • I want to know which church is it exactly where the Reverend Jesse Jackson practices. I want to know where he gets his money, and why he is always part of the problem but not the solution.
  • Can I get an AMEN on that one?
  • I think the cops have every right to shoot your sorry butt if you're running from them. I think anyone who enters your home uninvited in the middle of the night gives up any rights they may have had.
  • I also think the cops have the right to pull your butt over if you're breaking the law, regardless of what color you are.
  • I think if you are too stupid to know how a ballot works, I don't want you deciding who should be running the most powerful nation in the world for the next four years.
  • I dislike those people standing in the intersections trying to sell me crap or trying to guilt me into making "donations" to their cause. These people should be arrested.
  • I believe that, it doesn't take a village to raise a child, it takes two caring parents...one male, one female.
  • I believe if she has her lips on your Willie, it's sex, and this applies even if you are living in The White House.
  • And I question what the heck is going on with gas prices...again?
  • If this makes me a BAD American, then yes, I'm a BAD American.
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Saturday, July 24, 2004

Things that suck

This is kind of blunt and to the point. If you know me at all you're not surprised.
  1. Orrin Hatch sucks because he wants the RIAA to sue Apple for the iPod and all the other MP3 players with his P.O.S. bill The Induce Act. The Induce Act says "whoever intentionally induces any violation [of copyright law]". Read more at CNET.
  2. The Game/Technology news website Little White Dog sucks because they run flash advertisements that play sound! Man, that's about as low as running a mailing list with a "we never sell any of your information" clause in the privacy policy. And then deciding later on that, "due to financial constrains we are forced to peruse new and different sources of revenue, and that has required an update to our privacy policy." Riiiight asshole. I think we call that bait and switch.
  3. SCO group sucks, because they have a business model based on suing the crap out of companies that use Linux, like Daimler-Chrysler and Auto Zone. By the way, SCO has received MAJOR funding from Microsoft, so they can afford to litigate with the big dogs.
Clearly this is not all the things that suck, but these three, suck pretty hard.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Insomnia

Well.. it's 2:40 in the morning and I have to be up at 9:30 to get to my doctors appointment. So, I cruise the web looking at different things like Wil Wheaton's webpage to check up on muh fellow geeks. Looks like they were in my neck of the woods recently. If I were in better shape I might have ventured out to support the cause.

Also I was able to sign up for Google's Gmail service, which has had much press lately about them reading your email blah blah. A computer reads it and tries to advertise to you, WHAT'S NEW?! If you think this sort of thing doesn't happen all the time you're a bigger fool then I thought, and that's saying something!

I would like to be private. I want other a**holes to respect my privacy and to quit treating me like an opportunity or a commodity. Such is not the world we live in.

I wanted to thank GE / NBC for running Leno, Conan, and Carson over and over again all night instead of lame infomercial and crap that is just unwatchable.

More and more I have been playing Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising. A great Military FPS that has been a bit marred by some bugged patches, but they keep coming out pretty quick. This reminds me of my recent rant about game manufacturers and the crap they pull. The only thing I have to say about Nova Logic's copy-protection is that they almost got it right. Almost is pretty good in this arena and they are to be commended for coming so close to a bullshit-free game.
  • There is a CD-key that must be used to install and register the game.
  • Registration is required and that is the bulk of the bullshit right there. You must register and then re-register with Nova World, the online service (free) used to turn the players into a more cohesive community of players ( kinda nice really ). Then once you're in the game you have to set that up with your account information and keep track of passwords and such. God help you if you should have a weak password and someone cracks into your account.
  • AWESOME tech support from Nova Logic, I think I might have commented on this before.
  • You DO NOT need to have the CD in the computer to play!
  • There is a non-intrusive update tool, and it's use is OPTIONAL! (hello, Valve? You've Steamed my ass, so you can shove HL2 right up Gordons!)
  • My entire NovaLogic folder weighs in at 833 MB, and that includes about 30 screenshots.
  • 99% of the game content is intended for use online, which if you've been paying attention is getting to be quite a popular form of game. This game however is playable without any service fees or membership crap like you find in those MMORPG sucker traps I see dumbasses going for. You buy the game, you play the game.
  • You can easily search for players you know or clan members if you should be in one, without having to use a third party app. Yes, I could link "Gay Umspi" and all the others but they suck so... fuhgum!
Bah I could think of more stuff to say about em but I think I got most of it out.

Ok... so still not sleepy. Probably should stop drinking Diet Coke eh?
Goodnight.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

ATTN: Computer & Entertainment Industry

So I, like everyone else I know, can't wait for DOOM 3 to hit store shelves. I've seen the preview footage on all the websites, I read all the .plan file updates, I've seen the screen shots and the TV coverage. I've read the reviews of those LUCKY BASTARDS who got to preview the game. I have virtually soaked up every bit of available information on the game I could find. I even played the leaked code, and enjoyed it.

And so, like it or not, I have been scanning high and low for it to hit the net. Sometimes games and movies hit the net well before they get into stores or into theaters. It's a nice opportunity to play or see the real thing. Not a demo, not a trailer, but the real deal. Yup I can see em right now... Some people in this world are pissed off at me for doing these things.

And so they try to stop me and my peers from sharing this content with each other. They lean on government to make more laws, they bend and break the law to try to identify us. They try to influence technology to make what we do, more difficult or impossible, but all their efforts are in vain. These people have forgotten, or failed to learn my No. 1 Rule of computing.

Rule No. 1 -Surge's Guide to Computing
The hackers will always win. No matter what you do, how sophisticated your plan, intricate your efforts, the hackers will always prevail.

Lets examine why this is so, shall we?
  1. Hackers have unlimited time. You have to meet deadlines, face budgetary constraints and need to deliver your product or service in a timely and marketable fashion. The hacker however, waits until your product comes out, and works on it until the desired result is achieved. This is particularly evident in things that cannot be changed after they hit the market, like DVD's and consumer hardware.
  2. Hackers love to do it because you don't want them to. Viva la resistance! Hackers form what amounts to clubs, that allow them to team up to solve problems. Look at the OpenSource movement and Linux! Geezus! These people have spent hundreds of thousands of man hours working and 99% of them have made precisely jack doing it. Sometimes hackers will spend every free moment they can spare just to impress their friends or peers, and some of this worlds best hacks have been done to embarrass people seen by the hacker community as undesirable.
  3. Hackers seemingly have unlimited resources. Money, access, time, computing strength, bandwidth, knowledge, talent, and experience to name a few. These resources are dispersed among many, but the bigger the target the more collected resources come together to make a great hack. I can think of a few things as an example of this but if you doubt it's true, you must be a complete fool.
  4. Hackers are smart. Just face the fact. It's a simple and often overlooked fact that many people just don't take into account. They spend money and time trying to jam up hackers and P2P users so they can't do what they want to. ( see rule 2 ) Smart people are, at this very moment, working to slip past all your silly efforts to control, monitor, observe, capitalize upon, harvest data from and in general rule over use of computers and the internet.
  5. If you can change, so can hackers. Think you're too dynamic for hackers to keep up? Prove it! Just about anything that's worth a crap to anyone is, or has been hacked in someway. You're going to loose because hackers are, by nature, relentless.
Rule No. 2 -Surge's Guide to Computing
People will always choose the path that let's them do what they want to.

I know this doesn't seem profound, but it is something that needs to be included. It does seem to escape the minds of awesome companies and their efforts seem bent on getting people to do what the company wants, instead of getting the company to do what the people want. Silly stupid sons of bitches.
  1. Today, people can search for and download music in a portable near-CD quality (good enough for most people) format that is universally recognized by 100's of applications and hardware manufacturers, for free. This is in most cases illegal, and yet wildly popular.
  2. Enormous resources have been applied to prevent this, all have failed.
  3. There is no media format available upon which data can presented that cannot be duplicated or recorded, and then shared with others over the internet.
  4. Anti-Spyware programs [also], anti-spamming efforts and anti-virus [also][also], even ad blocking systems are at an all time high for both their popularity and their technical sophistication. People are working very hard to gain back control of their computers and the things their computers are doing.
  5. When the RIAA/MPAA/Metallica shut down Napster, several new technologies jumped in, and people continued to do what they wanted to do.
  6. When it was discovered that hackers had found out how to decrypt DVD content, the MPAA and it's ilk rushed to blast the offenders with lawsuits and public smears. The hacker response was to make the algorithm as small as possible and distribute it as widely as it could be. Some people printed it on t-shirts. One fellow had it tattooed on his body. Today that same algorithm is used to rip and decode DVD's all over the world. People want to share movies and other DVD content. They want to bypass the DVD region locks that would prevent someone in Asia from viewing a DVD sold in Europe or anywhere else. And people can do it... are doing it. Stand in their way if you'd like ( see rule 1 ) but it's pretty foolish.
Hackers have even been at work to defeat systematic controls like websites that require registration, proof of age, or email verification.

So it brings me to my WHOLE freakin point. So many companies are hard at work to develop ways to stop hackers and pirates. The result of which has formed the following banes of the computer users of the world:
  • Product activation - Microsoft and others.
  • CD-Check
  • CD-Keys
  • Serial Numbers
  • Required Registration
  • Hardware Dongles
  • DRM - Digital Rights Management
  • DMCA - Digital millennium Copyright Act
  • Applications that require the CD to be in the drive to use
  • CSS - Content scrambling System
All of these things have been defeated by hackers, sometimes in as little as a few hours. All of them have been widely distributed and defeating techniques for all of them have been well documented and are freely available.

All of these things make using your product or service more difficult for your users and do not stop hackers! Why do you make your customers suffer for nothing? The cost associated with all the BULL user have to put up with to use your product only makes your product more costly for the user. You could save a lot of money by tossing the BS and spending money on adding value to your product. Make sure it works out of the box, no patches, or brief server downtime, or momentary delays in your supply cycle... all creative ways of saying the same thing... we ****ed up. And you continue to do it. You continue to expand your efforts to control, and capitalize and subjugate computer users and so you will be defeated.

More later... I'm sleepy