Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Finland - the air guitar champions of the world

Check out this awesome Virtual Air Guitar project that enhances the art of air guitaring by having a computer analyse the air guitaring in real time to add riffs and licks fed into a speaker system. Your air guitaring has never sounded so good!

The Air Guitar World Championships are held in Oulu, Finland every year.

Party on Wayne!

-TPP

Monday, November 28, 2005

Friday, November 25, 2005

The cause of the French riots? Rap music!

Apparently rap music is the root of all evil, at least in France.

200 French politicians have backed a petition from one of the country's MPs calling for legal action against seven rappers and bands which he claims have fuelled the recent riots that have taken place around the country.

Straight from the Deflect Blame 101 playbook.

-TPP

Couldn't have said it better myself

Rosa Merilainen, a Finnish Member of Parliament, maintains a blog she updates every week.

She was recently involved with voting for a new copyright law in Finland, one which was opposed by 98% of Finnish citizens, but promoted heavily by the entertainment industry lobbyists. The bill caused an unprecedented uproar in Finland before it was passed, and the controversy has not lessened since. Ms. Merilainen was one of the many MPs who voted for the law, and has been critized severely by her constituents ever since.

The entry for week 45 on her blog has an interesting confessional from Ms. Merilainen. While having a rather unsuccessful attempt of doing any work during Thursday of that week, she was nevertheless in a happy mood, because she was heading to the Christmas season opening event of Gramex. Gramex is an organization protecting the interests of performing artists and publishers and also collects copyright related renumerations in behalf of them.

Turns out Ms. Merilainen was looking forward to the event, because she had had such a rough time with the new copyright law, she was trolling for praise from the "wonderful men" (her words) of Gramex.

It's good to know Ms. Merilainen is working hard to please her constituents, or at least 2% of them.

-TPP

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

William Gibson is in the house!

William Gibson arrived into our household on Saturday. Our old cat, Leo, doesn't seem to be too happy about it.

William Gibson is extremely sweet. He likes to climb on top of you and burrow his head onto you and then purr real loud. He also does what can only be described as a happy dance on top of you any time you let him. He also likes to be held, unlike Leo, who will only withstand being held for about 20 seconds.

Let's see what happens in the next few months. Leo is a big cat, not fat, but just really big. He's only two years old but weighs over 15 pounds. William Gibson is really tiny. He's about 7 months, not quite 6 pounds yet, very slim and scrappy. He kinda dances around the apartment, sidestepping at every opportunity to jump on a table or whatever. Leo goes in a straight line from A to B and does not stray in his quest to get to where he wants to go. It looks like the cats couldn't be any more different. William Gibson is holding his own though. He's got a mean jab, one which Leo seemingly wants to avoid.

-TPP

Monday, November 21, 2005

Up yours, spammer scum, yet again

Another spammer lands in jail for being a dick. Peter Moshou gets 12 months for violating the CAN-SPAM law.

-TPP

Friday, November 18, 2005

Fuck MBNA

I'm going on vacation abroad in a few weeks. The reservation at the resort we're going to was made in USD.

Today I'm checking my MBNA credit card statement. There's a 3% foreign transaction fee tacked onto that "foreign" transaction. MBNA is charging me 3% to convert my "foreign" transaction to USD. Only one problem with that...THE TRANSACTION WAS MADE IN USD YOU SONS OF BITCHES!

Fuck you MBNA, I'm not using your credit card EVER for any foreign purchase. Being a foreigner I tend to travel quite a bit. Your fucking loss you fucking greedy bastards.

Goddamn it!

-TPP

Thursday, November 17, 2005

OGHC - word to yo grandma! um, what!?

Check out Old Grandma Hardcore, an elderly gamer from Cleveland. She's over 50, and she kicks ass!

She got profiled on MTV recently, check out the video clip of the profile. Much carnage, cussing and trash talking ensues.

-TPP

Up yours, spammer scum, pt erm

Peter Francis-Macrae aka Weaselboy was just convicted to 6 years in prison for fraud, making death threats, making threats to destroy or damage property, concealing criminal property and blackmail.

I've written about Weaselboy before.

It's amazing how many spammers have criminal records.

More links about Weaselboy's sentence:

Peterbourough Today
The Register
Times Online

-TPP

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Sony pirating software

Apparently Sony's rootkit DRM software contains a statically linked version of the lame mp3 decoder. Lame is licensed under the LGPL license, which would typically only allow this sort of reuse if the application using lame would also be released under LGPL, or Sony bought a non-LGPL license from the authors of lame.

It's highly unlikely Sony did either.

So here we have a company trying to protect their products from being pirated using pirated software. Oh the irony!

-TPP

Sony in the virus manufacturing business

The first trojan to exploit Sony's wonderful DRM scheme has been spotted in the wild. Some enterprising virus writer sent spam overnight with a modified trojan that takes advantage of Sony's DRM security holes.

Apparently the trojan was coded in too much of a hurry because it's not working as intended. Nothing's preventing someone from doing a better job at it though.

More information about the trojan by Sophos

-TPP

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

We are not in Kansas anymore

The Kansas Board of Education approved new public-school science standards Tuesday that cast doubt on the theory of evolution.

And Kansas just moved 2000 years back to neverneverland.

-TPP

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Rootkits are a-ok by Sony

NPR recently interviewed Thomas Hesse, president of Sony BMG's Global Digital Business division, regarding the DRM scheme Sony BMG is using on some of their music CDs.

Mr. Hesse had this to say about their rootkits:

“Most people I think don't even know what a root kit is so why should they care about it”


That comment shows a complete lack of understanding regarding computer security issues. It's not "most people" you have to worry about, it's the bad actors, who are the ones who WOULD know about exploiting the security hole created by Sony. "Most people", precisely because they don't know what a rootkit is, would never know how to protect themselves against exploits helped by Sony's cluelessness.

Here's further evidence of Sony's cluelessness. Mark Curtis' daughter bought a Sony BMG music cd from Walmart. The CD does not play on any music player, including stereo equipment, the family owns. The DRM software is causing the family computer to BSOD immediately after bootup. Walmart is refusing a refund. Sony is saying to install a patch to get rid of the DRM program. How would one do that, if the computer doesn't boot up any more?

-TPP

Friday, November 04, 2005

MPAA stormtroopers invade movie theaters, in Canada

Movie reviewers watching a prescreening of Derailed in Toronto are subjected to detention center type of security procedures before entering the movie theatre. Security guards also record the audience for duration of the screening. Can't wait to go see movies! Maybe they'll give me a strip search next time.

-TPP

My new patent

My next patent is to patent a plotline where an outraged private individual goes postal on the USPTO, blows up the main office, stages a mass protest in front of the ruins and then gets killed in an epic shootout with the FBI.

I'm just afraid it's going to fail the non-obviousness test.

-TPP

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Introducing SuprGlu

Check out the rather excellent new service put out by Iridesco, Inc.

In their own words:

SuprGlu is about bringing the pieces of your web content together into one central place for you, your friends, and maybe even your friends to-be.


This is a great idea and I'm glad one of my friends was bright enough to think of it and make it happen. Way to go Danny!

-TPP - I'm at tpp.suprglu.com

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The CIA is using old Soviet prison camps to detain terrorist suspects

In Soviet USA terrorists are kept in secret prisons outside of US borders to mitigate legal liability.

Washington Post reports that the CIA has set up a covert prison network in 8 foreign countries, including several Eastern European countries, to house top Al Qaeda leaders captured around the world.

It is illegal to do this within the US, which is why the prisons are run abroad. Some of the prisoners have been illegally captured on foreign soil, then transferred into these secret prisons.

Sounds exactly like what communist regimes did back in the day.

-TPP