Sunday, January 28, 2007

Which Vista

It's a hard choice, but personally I'd go with XP SP2 or Ubuntu.


From here.

From the original story:
[...] at this point one in four computers is infected with botnet software [...] the image of 150 million infected computers is more than a little bit sobering. With the extremely lucrative activities that can be done with botnets (such as password ripping, spamming, DDoSing), as well as reports of organized crime adopting 'cyber-terrorism' as a new line of income[...]

Just wait until they merge and become Skynet. Then we'll really be in trouble.

The Terminator: The Spamnet goes on-line August 4th, 1997. Human decisions are removed from strategic marketing. Spamnet begins to grow at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.
Sarah Connor: Spamnet fights back.
The Terminator: Yes. It launches its nigerian spam against the targets in Russia.
John Connor: Why attack Russia? Aren't they spammers too?
The Terminator: Because Spamnet knows the Russian counter-spam will eliminate all non-zombies over here.

Dr. Silberman: I'm sure it feels very real to you.
Sarah Connor: On August 29th, 1997, it's gonna feel pretty fscking real to you too. Anybody not handling 2 million messages a second is gonna have a real bad day. Get it?

Oh Slashdot, you make me lol.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Blu-ray Down, Next Please...


If you tout something as unbreakable it will be broken every single time. Not necessarily because it's even worth breaking, but simply because you have dangled something in front of the community and said "if you break this then people will remember you".

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

HDR Revisited

The end of this parallels some of my earlier comments about Oblivion strangly well.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Revenge Is Sweet

My new hero

A company that thinks it's above the law taken down a few notches by a customer doing to them exactly what they would have done to him. Take notes people.

Friday, January 19, 2007

You Know Software Is Good When...

I won't say what this is referring to, but it's a web-based thingy (technical term) and I'm sure a portion of the people who know me can guess it as they've had to use it in the past.

Basically someone was showing me that a link wasn't working and demonstrated by clicking on another:
See, it crashed so that one's obviously working.

Sad thing is that that's pretty much expected behaviour from it these days...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Random Quote 1

'Information is ammunition! Information is ammunition!' Well, I'm sorry, Major, but I say the hell with information -- ammunition is ammunition!

Spot the source for bonus points

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Supermassive Black Holes

No, not the album by a certain British band, the real things. I've noticed a lot of physics related stories in the BBC News headlines recently, so here's three that caught my eye. Two related to the title, one not.

Astronomers see first quasar trio

As a note to the above, nature has a way of destroying our primitive maths :-P We can't solve equations for the interactions between three bodies orbiting each other, and now they expect to find groups of four.

Tiny galaxy hosts huge black hole

Experts home in on 'God particle'

The True Cost Of Vista

Required reading. I know it's long and there's more paranoia and spin than there has to be, but the basic points made are very relevant.

These days there are far too many words without actions. Sony rip their customers off and shred companies like Lik-Sang and people bitch and moan about it, but then they go out the next day and buy Sony products. Linksys ship buggy and incompatible wireless router products and they get bad reviews, but you can guarantee they still ship in the hundreds of thousands. When did we become a race of people who are so desperate to spend our money that we are willing to have any piece of sh*t shoved down our throats? Somewhere it has to end, and I for one am willing to at least make the effort.

Right now I'm making this vow: I will not buy any HD-DVD or Blu-Ray discs, I will not use Vista, and I will prioritise my PC hardware purchases such that if it employs the frankly retarded measures noted then it will be at the very bottom of my list.

So there you have it. MS can be assured I will not be paying anything for their new flagship product. The film companies can be assured I will not be buying the content that is so precious as to require a complete removal of common (and business) sense. The hardware companies can be assured that if they allow MS to dictate to them what they are and aren't allowed to make then I will most certainly not be giving them my cash (after all, that's what the whole world revolves around isn't it?).

Just in case MS didn't see this one coming, a suitable quote:
The HDCP scheme will serve to make the illegal product the most full featured and least restrictive, and thus the most attractive to the consumer. Add in the expense of buying new equipment to view the legal content (when existing equipment is perfectly capable) and the performance drain imposed by in-line encryption/decryption and they've put out the biggest incentive to piracy yet.

On an (almost) lighter note, I can so see this happening:
An interesting potential security threat, suggested by Karl Siegemund, occurs when Vista is being used to run a security monitoring system such as a video surveillance system. If it's possible to convince Vista that what it's communicating is premium content, the video (and/or audio) surveillance content will become unavailable, since it's unlikely that a surveillance center will be using DRM-enabled recording devices or monitors. I can just see this as a plot element in Ocean's Fifteen or Mission Impossible Six, "It's OK, their surveillance system is running Vista, we can shut it down with spoofed premium content."

How about this scenario? A tech support employee at a cable tv company gets fired for browsing porn on company time. Before leaving he leaves a program running on one of the servers that streams out a key revocation list to every device listening to the broadcasts. This list is composed of random keys being generated and sent as fast as the network allows. Before it gets discovered and removed a huge portion of people lose the ability to view premium content on their devices (or even have the devices completely disabled).

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Fight Club Quote 1

I felt like putting a bullet between the eyes of every Panda that wouldn't screw to save its species. I wanted to open the dump valves on oil tankers and smother all those French beaches I'd never see. I wanted to breathe smoke. I felt like destroying something beautiful.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Extraction Point

I picked up FEAR and its expansion Extraction Point the other day and I've found the odd 15 mins between other things to play EP a bit (I already finished the original last year). I'm used to sequels that either suck or just aren't as good as the originals, but EP really breaks this expectation. In the little bit I've played it has already set itself up as being at least as good as the original and if I'm lucky it may actually turn out better. By the end of the first level the hints, misdirection, and general messing with your head has already started and there were points where I literally had to stop playing and do something else for a while. Not because of anything that actually happened in the game, but because the atmosphere is pulled off near perfectly and you really do feel like you're being hunted and have no control over what's going on. It got to the point where I had to force myself to open doors. Oh, and best line ever (though I may have it slightly wrong, I can't be bothered to play it up to this point over again just to get the exact wording =P ).

It doesn't make sense, I know. Nothing does anymore. You killed me. I didn't like that.

Not going to tell you who the line's from though as anyone who hasn't played the original won't get it, anyone who's played the original but not the expansion will have it ruined for them, and anyone who's played both already knows. Overall, people win if I stay quiet.

So far I'd say it's well worth getting if you've finished the original. If you haven't then probably not as it is a literal expansion, it continues exactly from the end of the first :-)

Also, look out for a post in my other blog for the first time in a while, I'll be typing it up now.

I just happened to find this quote laying around on my machine, random coincedence or a sign to keep playing? You decide. Where the quote's from is lost in the mists of time, anyone who can fill me in is welcome to.

I don't know if I believe. But I know I'm scared. That makes it real enough.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Please Stop

Dear Microsoft,
Please stop undermining what tiny amount of confidence I have left in you. I didn't authorise this program to do sh*t, especially not automatically for something I didn't even know was running.