Monday, 5 December 2005

SONY's guerrilla graffiti ad campaign

Secondary Screening: November 2005 Archives: "Not content with simply knowingly infecting its customers' computers with security-hole inducing spyware, Sony is now sponsoring a 'guerrilla' graffiti ad campaign to promote the PSP"

You're s***ing me, right?


It's like they're trying to be evil.

Saturday, 3 December 2005

Sony's illegal DRM move

Mark, Sysinternals Blog: "At that point I knew conclusively that the rootkit and its associated files were related to the First 4 Internet DRM software Sony ships on its CDs. Not happy having underhanded and sloppily written software on my system I looked for a way to uninstall it. However, I didn’t find any reference to it in the Control Panel’s Add or Remove Programs list, nor did I find any uninstall utility or directions on the CD or on First 4 Internet’s site. I checked the EULA and saw no mention of the fact that I was agreeing to have software put on my system that I couldn't uninstall. Now I was mad."

Here's a list of the laws SONY are breaking, in my opinion:

The computer misuse Act 1990:
It an offence to make "unauthorised access to computer material"
It is an offence to make "unauthorised modification of computer material".

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy".
England signed up to the human right act in the EU parliament, recently.

SONY are facing legal action for this allready: bbc

Here's a link to what's been happening this month to SONY's share price: here.

See SONY, this is what happens when you spy on people and compromise their systems with your buggy, illegal, intrusive DRM spyware.

I want to see someone at SONY go to jail for this. They shouldn't be able to buy their way out of it, damn them. How many hackers have been sent to prison for far less than this?

Monday, 7 November 2005

Nuclear Missiles left on default!

"For seventeen years, during the height of the nuclear crises of the Cold War, the code remained all zeros, and was even printed in each silo’s launch checklist for all to see. The codes remained this way up until 1977" read more.

Makes you feel safe doesn't it?

Just goes to show how even the most sophisticated security in the world won't guard you against plain old human stupidity.

Tuesday, 25 October 2005

Robot Chicken on Google Video

Google video "offers viewers a way to see material from archived TV programs, educational videos, personal productions [and] will search the closed captioning and text descriptions of all the videos in our archive for relevant results."

In other news today, Voltron got served.

Daaaaaamn!

Some other good clips from 'Robot Chicken' (Seth Green's new show):
(1)
(2)

Update: compeltely unrelated, but too damn funny to leave out, it's the Halo 2 version of the a55h013 song! Enjoy.

Friday, 30 September 2005

Using wikipedia as a technical referance guide

Wikipedia is probably one of the most popular and accurate wikis about anything and everything out there - sort of like the 'hitchhikers guide to the galaxy' but it's also got some good technical definitions in there, often including links to other sites where you can get related software and tools. For example, here's a page on internet proxies. Quite a nice summary of all the different types/uses of internet proxies, I thought.

This included a link to this handy page which tells you what proxy you're behind. This is useful if you're at work and you want to know your external IP address and whether your proxy is an anonymous proxy or not.

The reason I went there, is I'm thinking of setting up my own anonmyous proxy at home, that I can connect to to hide my browsing traffic because I'm not sure I trust the squares at work and I disslike the idea of them being able to see my personal stuff going over their network (so what if it's your network? It's my data!). If I get my backside in gear and get it done, I'll do a quick how-to post about it later.

Radio shows about hacking

DDP HackRadio

Lots of shows about hacking and hacking-related topics. Well worth a look!

Saturday, 10 September 2005

F***ing with telemarketers

For a while now, I've been mulling over the idea of using my spare old 56k modem for somthing -maybe a voicemail or recorded message to anoy telemarketers on my lan-line- but then I found the mother of all telemarketer-anoying projects...

The telecrapper 2000!

Share and enjoy!

found via hack a day

Monday, 5 September 2005

Webcams on default

This is so cool:

The register: web cams open to all

hackaday article

Read, try, have fun but please, don't be an a$$-hat with this.

Sadly my searches for nudist beaches have come up empty handed :(

Friday, 2 September 2005

Scientology is as evil as it is stupid

Saun Kenedy often goes off on a rant on rant radio about this but here's another good summary I found:

YAFM!

The Time article here: "Ruined lives. Lost fortunes. Federal crimes. Scientology poses as a religion but really is a ruthless global scam -- and aiming for the mainstream"

So... why is this still legal, exactly?

Yet, speaking out against it might soon be illegal in Britain. The new act they're working on would make it an offence to 'incite religious hatred' (interpret that how you will). So for instance, when I saw one of these idiots on the street giving out 'free personality tests' and I yelled over 'killed anyone recently?', that probably counted. So sue me. I think people should hate scientology - it's an EVIL CULT.

In this day and age we're just too damn PC to fight back. Pathetic really.

Wednesday, 17 August 2005

The Zotob worm

Scary stuff....

InformationWeek : "...rather than attack as a network worm that requires no user interaction, it's a mass-mailed piece of malware posing as an image file attached to an e-mail message. Zotob.c uses such subject headings as 'Warning!' or 'Important' to get the naive to view the message and open the file attachment."

I wasn't too impressed with Microsoft's page about the worm, they just said it installs 'malicious software' and spreads (see here. Just what is malicious? Pop-up messages asking me to buy pills, changing my windows background to the weight-lifter picture or formatting my hard-disc? A little more information would be nice.

CNN just says 'Symptoms include the repeated shutdown and rebooting of a computer.'

I wonder how long it will be before some idiot make a virus like this which is deadly to PCs running windows -that really does format your disc or flash your BIOS with garbage after infecting as many PCs as possible.

A patch isn't much consolation after you've lost all the files on your HD or had your BIOS flashed. How about a little prevention rather than retro-active patching eh, Bill?



(found via Slashdot).

Friday, 5 August 2005

Would recoding email have stopped 9/11?

No.

Terrorists wouldn't be stupid enough to use these communication mediums without some sort of protection like encryption which would be cracked after the attacks (if at all). No, the only thing this would be good for is spying on your own, looking for 'the trouble makers', figuring out when protests are going to occur and blocking them, etc. The next big step to an Orwellian state.

Just what are we fighting for anyway if we have to give up all our freedoms and rights until we win a war on terror (that will never end)?

"The attacks on London are an attack on human rights. The protection of those human rights matters most when governments and societies face times of crisis. The worst possible response would be to jeopardise those carefully wrought rights by a panic-inspired response. A mass surveillance response to terror would result in a resounding success for the perpetrators of these attacks: a fundamental undermining of our most fundamental values."

Please take time to sign the petition above, against the new proposal to 'keep all telephone and internet traffic data of all 450 million Europeans'.

Monday, 1 August 2005

Fighting the 419-ers

Advance fee fraud, often also known as the Nigerian money transfer fraud, Nigerian scam or 419 scam

Ah Nigerian scammers, how they make me laugh....

'Dear Sir, I have a huge sum of money to invest... blah...blah...blah... [implausible situation]....blah...[ridiculous request]....blah....give you lots of money if you agree to [insert bait here].... yours in Jesus, [made up English-sounding name]".

What cracks me up more is the folks who decide to play with them.....

Artists against 419 presents: The Lad Vampire

419 eater

Classic.

Friday, 29 July 2005

Classic mistakes software companies make

1. Contracting out all 'green-field' development to 'off-shore' companies because they're cheap and then using in-house staff to support and maintain the systems, resulting in the end product costing twice as much in the long run because 'cheap' doesn't mean 'quality'.

2. Not giving out at least inflationary-level pay rises or bonuses to reward hard work

3. Promoting staff to the level of incompetence.

4. Having sales and marketing people have any say in technical decisions of any kind, like for instance delivery dates.

5. Having programmers answer the phones, do technical support, deal with customers, etc. Think: cost efficiency. Every time you distract a programmer, you're loosing money.

6. Thinking that an annual performance review should be an opportunity to real off a list of anonymous criticisms and complaints against a staff member instead of dealing with the issues as and when they occur.

7. Starting work without a specification.

8. Arguing with technical staff about how long something will take.

9. Getting angry about when people turn up to work late, after they've been working all hours of the night to fix your crappy systems. Never piss off a coding monkey before they've had their coffee, they might just rip your arms off.

10. Not training your staff, keeping them doing 'what they're good at'. Stagnation results in boredom and apathy.

My company has done pretty much all of the above. I know I'm not alone.

Interface crimes against humanity

Anyone who makes a web site consisting of the following interface atrocities needs to be shot:

1. Tonnes of flash 3d graphics that grind most PCs to a screaming holt and make the interfaces virtually unusable due to processor lag. Flash: just say no.
2. Obnoxious, vomit-inducing flashing red on green poker adverts, which i always block or nuke.
3. Pop-ups. Ahhhhg the devil, the devil!
4. Spy-ware or other anti-privacy features. If you need to know you need to ask.
5. Sites that try to dissable all the features of your keyboard and browser (such as the context menu, refresh, back, etc). So dumb and so pointless!
6. Terrible spelling.
7. Terrible grammar.
8. Ringtones adverts! Ahhg! The devil (again)!
9. Fonts so small an ant would struggle to read them.
10. My favorite: 'I.E. 5.0'-only sites. Over 75 million people have downloaded firefox. Isn't it about time you catered for them rather than the lowest common denominator?

Web designers: read a book on usability before you design a public service, or else me and my posse of hard-pipe-hitting monkey usability vigilanties will come knocking on your door and get medieval on your ass. (*)


(*) May not actually be true but you should do it anyway.

Friday, 24 June 2005

Foot-printing tool

Netcraft: "What's that site running?" (top left of page).

Neat little tool I found via BinRev. Tells you what software a web server is using and has lots of other interesting links in there, IP addresses, addresses, server versions (!) and such.

Check it out, I could be wrong but it looks like NTL.com is using a vulnerable version of MS IIS (5.0). If so, it just goes to show what massive n00bs they are (and anyone that's had the pleasure of dealing with NTL customer services knows that allready).

Monday, 6 June 2005

My toaster looks sexier than the XBox 360

What a naf colour and a crappy design. Also, I'm not impressed with Microsoft's attitude when it comes to it's existing customers:

(Wikipedia): "J Allard stated, 'Xbox 360 will be backward-compatible with top-selling Xbox games'. The ambiguous statement has many media outlets believing that Microsoft may pick and choose certain games. Steve Ballmer in an interview with Engadget has stated that they will concentrate on making sure the best selling titles, such as Halo and Halo 2, are compatible, and by engineering. Michael Brundage, a Microsoft software engineer, says on his site about the current challenge to develop an emulator, granting more reliable and solid compatibility."

I can't see how they're going to make Halo backwards compatible when the new controller doesn't seem to have the black and white buttons used for switching grenades and using the team communicator.

This looks like a poorly thought out marketing gimmick with very little in the way of technical innovation and rational design. Ok, so you've stuck a faster processor in the box and made it a little smaller - so what?

Typical microsoft: when a product works, release a new version at greater cost and stop supporting the older one.

To come: X-treme marketing shots of my toaster.

Thursday, 19 May 2005

Caffeine withdrawal

So I gave up tea and coffee - indefinitely - because I was getting the black shakes (amongst other things) and being knackered at home after work is no fun. The first thing I noticed was 4 days of headaches in the afternoons. So I did a little research on the effects of caffeine withdrawal:

Coffee and Caffeine's Frequently Asked Questions: "What are the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal? Regular caffeine consumption reduces sensitivity to caffeine. When caffeine intake is reduced, the body becomes oversensitive to adenosine. In response to this [oversensitivity], blood pressure drops dramatically, causing an excess of blood in the head (though not necessarily on the brain), leading to a headache. This headache, well known among coffee drinkers, usually lasts from one to five days, and can be alleviated with analgesics such as aspirin. It is also alleviated with caffeine intake (in fact several analgesics contain caffeine dosages). Often, people who are reducing caffeine intake report being irritable, unable to work, nervous, restless, and feeling sleepy, as well as having a headache. In extreme cases, nausea and vomiting has also been reported."

Holy crap, anyone would think you were giving up crack!

So what about decaf - is that safe? It depends... sort of. It still contains caffeine (in small doses) and unless it's water filtered rather than using methylene chloride (which is a suspected carcinogenic) then maybe it's not so safe.

Strange which drugs are legal isn't it?

Wednesday, 18 May 2005

Food that kills you

The utter crap we put into the food chain these days....

Aspartame (Nutrasweet) Toxicity Information Center: "Toxicity Effects of Aspartame Use"

I'd heard that the artificial sweeteners in 'diet' drinks were bad for you... but holy crap! Check out some of the highlights from the side effects list:

weight gain
diarrhea
hypertension (high blood pressure)
brain cancer (Pre-approval studies in animals)
death!

Lovely. Right... that's it, no more diet coke for me. In fact, I think I'll quit caffeine too....

"[caffeine] abuse results in symptoms... which include agitation, disorientation and a syndrome which may be mistaken for anxiety/neurosis. It is a habit-forming drug"

"Caffeine particularly has a profound effect on the central nervous system, but it also affects, to a lesser degree the heart muscle, gastric secretion and diuresis."

"The post stimulation "let down" with caffeine results in fatigue and lethargy and the constant stimulation caused by chronic caffeine dosing could be disastrous" - Yeah, that's me baby!

SOURCE here

Also, if you haven't already seen it, go buy/rent/steal this film now: Supersize me! To summarise: junk food kills you slowly, don't eat that s***!

And people wonder why they look and feel like crap?

Friday, 6 May 2005

Labour, Episode III: return of the dictator!

So that's it. The end of the UK elections, Labour won. The unwashed Sun 'newspaper'-reading masses have spoken. You wanted your dictator to stay, you got him.

It seems that the majority of UK voters are happy with pensioners paying taxes they can't afford, failing health and education systems, houses we can't afford and sending our soldiers off to die for the sake of making a quick buck for the oil industry in the name of 'national security'.

Looking on the bright side, the Lib Dems got the best result they've got in decades. Maybe one day they'll bring sense to the government.

Just 60% of the country actually exercised their right to vote. That's pitiful! Think of all the people that fought and died in World War II - that fought for our freedom, our right to decide how we're governed and who by - and you decide you can't even be bothered to get off your fat asses to post a vote? Maybe you should leave this country then and go live in North Korea.

We're watching you Tony, you grinning f***.

Friday, 29 April 2005

Micro$oft ph34r-dowz and it's hidden shares

Try this: open a folder on your desktop and in the address bar, type in the ip address of another machine you have, like so:

\\xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx\C$

It will ask you for a username and password. Type in the username and password for that machine.

Bang! Instant access to that machines root directory. So, if you do a brute force attack you can probably get root on most PCs this way in a relatively short space of time for most machines. Or maybe you'll just lock up their account, preventing them from using it until the administrator unlocks it - either way,you don't want this to happen to your PC!

This 'handy' little feature is deliberately installed by M$ by default and on their wonderfully helpfull website they state:

"Hidden administrative shares that are created by the computer (such as ADMIN$ and C$) can be deleted, but the computer re-creates them after you stop and restart the Server"

So how do you get rid of these blatantly dangerous shares?

A regedit hack seems like the only option.[*1]

But that only gets rid of all but one of your standard shares. IPC$ stays. IPC$ is used for 'Interprocess Communication' (used for server to server comms). See here, here and here why this is bad - most of these article talk about NT, but 2000 and XP were built on top of that and when in doubt - assume the worst.

How do we get rid of this ****ing thing? Goto services and dissable the server service. Also, follow the hints and tips in this article [*2] to dissable netbios over ip (and various other good practices).

Well, hopefully that's made my PC a little more secure until next week when I find another gaping hole in window's so-called security.

You suck Bill.


[*1] There may be certain bits of software that rely on these shares, so it's possible you might one day need to re-insate them temporarily. My advice: if the software relys on that crap, ditch it and get some decent alternative!

[*] Many thanks to John Cesta of server automation tools for providing this list.

Thursday, 28 April 2005

Telemarketers P0Wn3D!

Amercians have the 'do not call list'. In the UK we now have the TPS (Telephone Preferancing Service). What this means:

"Under Government legislation introduced on 1st May 1999 and replaced on 11th December 2003 by the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, it is unlawful to make unsolicited direct marketing calls to individuals who have indicated that they do not want to receive such calls."

The other day I got yet another call from an 'independant orange headset retailer' - I told them I don't even have an Orange phone anymore and I'm allredy registered with the TPS - so what they're doing is illegal. The guy tuts and goes 'whatever' and the f***er hangs up on me! So, naturally I complained to the TPS and now they're could be facing a 5k fine. Suck on that 'independant Orange phone sepcialists'! How do you like them apples?

They're also providing a similar service for mail, although I don't think there's any laws passed about junkmail just yet - but it could be on the cards. Think of all the trees and CDs that could be saved if AOL was unable to send unsolicited coffee coasters (signup CDs) to everyone by post.

How can these credit card companies keep a straight face when they show those 'identity theft' adverts when they mass-mail pre-approved credit card application forms to random addresses? S***, half the time it's for someone who no longer lives a that address. Personally, I allways shred the application then post it using the business reply envelope, taped to a brick and all the other junk mail I've recieved and then post it back to them.

If no idiots actually replied to this s***, then companies wouldn't stoop to these crappy tactics.

Thursday, 21 April 2005

Network Security Tools

Pretty extensive list full of some very usefull tools:

Top 75 Network Security Tools

Wednesday, 13 April 2005

War driving with a difference

Wireless keyboard security issues.

I wonder how long it will be before someone captures somebody's password this way? How hard can it be - just open a text editor, rig a wireless keyboard reciever up to your laptop and sit within 100 meters of someones PC for a while?

Think I'll stick with my boring old wired keyboard (that doesn't broadcast my internet banking password), thanks!


Friday, 8 April 2005

What your IP address or domain name tells people about you

Be aware that you're not completely anonymous on the Internet. A good rule of thumb is, never do anything on the net that you wouldn't have the balls to do in real life.

You (or rather your ISP) get addresses from an RIR. You can find a list of them here. These sites always provide a 'who is' link somewhere which allows you to search for an ip address and gives you registration information.

For instance, go here and type in '66.249.87.104'. You'll see that this range (66.249.64.0 - 66.249.95.255) is goggle's but look what else you've got, their address and what looks like their telephone number for technical support. This sort of information is very useful to social engineers because it often gives the company web site, administrator name and email and telephone number.

If someone does a portscan on my network, my firewall will tell me. I can get their IP address, from my firewall logs or via DOS's netstat command (which shows who's connected to the PC). Odds are it won't list your phone number and address in the 'who is' search results, unless you're a large business but it will tell me who your ISP is. The IP address, together with your ISP gives me some clues about your location.

It might be possible to social engineer your name and/or address from an ISP by just ringing them up but it might be easier just to attempt to break into one of your machines, either the IP address you spotted, or one in the range given to you by your ISP (which I expect are almost always contiguous). I can also do a trace-route to that IP address to find out the IP of your router/firewall and begin foot-printing that to see if I can break in. Once I'm in to your network, I'd be looking for documents with your address on them. This is definitely not legal and I don't suggest anyone tries it - I wouldn't!

Incidentally, you shouldn't really ring up to report any old script kiddy attack though, use email if you're sure its worth it and not just background traffic or some AOL user's viruses looking for other vulnerable machines. If you know for sure that someone's trying to hack you and it's ongoing, ring up their ISP and get them to give them a smacking instead.

Sometimes people conceal their IP address with proxies and/or fake it when port-scanning to one of the reserved ip addresses (so they can't even be followed back to the proxy) but this is something for another article.

Web site name registrations (domain name registrations) tend to offer even more information. These registrations tell the DNS servers (Domain name servers) all over the world what IP address to map to what web site.

It's always best to register your domain privately especially if it might offend people (so your domain registration company keeps your details hidden - except from Big Brother of course). Certain domain hosting companies will do this for you, while others don't seem to care and list your full details for any 'who is' search! Type in a few web sites to the search box on say, this domain registration site and click on the 'who is' bit and you'll see.

Queue Jay and Silent Bob to print the authors details out, come around to their house and get medieval on their a$$!

Try here for more 'who is' search tools.

Tuesday, 5 April 2005

Party policies summary



There's a useful page on the BBC news site to summarise party polices.

I've read through this and it's helped me make my decision about who to vote for in the next UK election. Some of the things here made me laugh though:

Labour:
"Stand by Iraq war - even if weapons intelligence was wrong, Saddam flouted UN resolutions"
"university top-up fees up to £3,000, with grants for poorest students"

Ha! Flouting UN resolutions is an excuse for war is it? Then we'd better invade America because all Bush ever does is flout resolutions! Idiots. Good luck getting the student vote Tony, telling them that they need to pay 3k a year.

Why the hell do the conservatives want to 'oppose postal voting'? - w**kers. I hope that those fascist bastards don't get in. I'd vote Labour if I thought they weren't just a more efficient version of the Conservative party instead of actually being socialists like they claimed to be. Besides, I don't want that grinning git Tony to get in again and let us be ruled by proxy from America for the next 5 years.

I'm quite impressed by some of the ideas that the Lib Dems have come up with though:
"Replace council tax with a local income tax"
"Raise stamp duty threshold to £150,000 to help first-time buyers."
"50% tax rate on earnings over £100,000 a year"
"Replace fuel tax/VED with national road user charging"
"no GM crops without strict controls"
"written Constitution"
"want only judges to imprison terror suspects"

I especially like the idea of scrapping council tax and replacing it with local income tax. When you run the rat race all your life, surely after you retire and stop earning money you shouldn't have to pay tax on your home - that's just plain f***ing wrong.

The biggest (and most convincing) argument against the Lib Dems I've heard to date is that it will simply cost us too much but I think the 50% tax on the rich should sort that out. What's the alternative? Labour and Conservative parties have been f***ing us over for the past three decades and like typical British people, we keep on taking it.

Monday, 4 April 2005

Anti-spam email account

Will Hack For Food! - Free Temporary Email Accounts

Handy tool for when you need to hand out an email address that you only want to work for a short while (until you've recieved a website account activation email, for instance). Later on the account just vanishes, so you don't have to worry about spam.

Provided by StankDawg at BinRev.

Sunday, 13 March 2005

Why spend money on schools, police or hospitals when you can spend it on insecure web services?

I recently got a letter from the council, saying they've set up a web site to access your council tax details - presumably to cut the cost of their staff answering simple enquiries. Sounds like a good idea in theory, until you remember who you're dealing with.

They gave me a password by post. They told me my account number was on my bills. The password was a f***ing 6 digit numeric code! It looks like everyone in town must have got one of these letters and I'm guessing each one of them has their own easily-crackable 6 digit password. When I got around to reading the damn thing, I logged on in a panic and changed it but I wonder how many other people would actually be bothered?

What's to stop me (if I where so inclined) using a brute force attack to access somebody's account details? Of course, I'd hide this attack using proxies and maybe space it out over a period of time to hide the traffic boost - but what's the likelihood of the council being competant enough to be checking their logs for attacks anyway?. Alright, I'd need the account number - the easiest way to do that is probably just to ring the council, pretend to be the target and just ask for it! There are other ways of course - read Kevin Mitnick's 'The art of deception' if you're interested.

From this attack, I've gained the following information:

Their name, address, council tax account number, the complete details of their council tax payments and perhaps whether or not they live alone (if they claim the single occupant's discount).

Then unless their telephone number is X-Directory (not listed) -maybe even if it is- I could find out their telephone number and social engineer my way to their bank account details, like so...

Social Engineer: 'Hello Mr/Mrs X, I'm Bob from the local council, you're account no. 5687458743 right?'
Victim: 'Erm... yeah. right.' (would you even check?)
SE: 'Great, we're having some computer problems right now and the engineers are repairing some damaged tax records, mind if I just double check that we've got our records straight for your account?'
Victim: 'Yeah, ok, if it's quick.'
SE: 'Great, thanks, shouldn't take long. First, can you just confirm your address.. is it [reads out full address]'
V: 'Yeah'
SE: 'right, that's a band B property?'
V: 'Yes'
SE: 'Ok, so you made the following payments on this date right....[lists recent payments]'
V: 'Sounds about right'
SE: 'great, thanks, oh... and can you just confirm your bank account and sort-code payment details please?'
...

Now I have your personal details, your martial status, your phone number and your bank account details. Scared yet? Wait until I phone you back three months later when you've forgotten the sound of my voice claiming to be 'Fred' from your bank who's having difficulty with our 'on-line banking service' and needs your current bank password so they can log in and 'reset it' (empty it into my Swiss bank account).

Banks loose millions of pounds a year from social engineering and identity theft and it's all thanks in part to incompetent idiots like the local council. Nice work, idiots. It's good to see that my annual council-mugging of £683 a year is well spent! I mean, why spend that money on the schools, police or hospitals when you can spend it on insecure web services?


Related:

Friday, 11 March 2005

Star Wars Episode 3

The Star Wars Episode 3 Trailer is now available for download at Torrent Reactor.

It's going to be a PG-13! This one looks a lot more like it's going to be a lot darker like 'The Empire strikes back' rather than the sad puppet show that was episode 1 - lets hope this doesn't suck as much a** as that did. From the looks of it though, this is going to be pretty good.


found at Slashdot.

Thursday, 3 March 2005

So you're on TV - nobody cares!

There's been an alarming increase of 'reality' shows on TV over the past couple of years (although I'm not quite sure how being locked in a room full of ugly lesbians and loud-mouthed scouse-t***s can be classed as reality: unless you are exceptionally unlucky). I can't understand why.

Also, there's all these magazines like 'Heat' advertised on TV, over and over again. Telling us who's sleeping with who, what they're wearing, their latest hair style and which designer made their handbag, etc -riveting stuff like that. Just once I'd like the 'Heat' advert to tell it like it really is:

Idiot Girl: [teases co-wokers about having magazine that they don't]
Co-worker: I'm sorry, I think you're confusing me with someone who gives a f***.
Idiot Girl: Oh... [puts mag in the bin and gets back to over-paid data-entry job].

If you ever flip through these mags as I'll admit I've done occasionally while I'm in the dentist's waiting room- you'll notice they're mostly just full of pictures of celebrities attending events.

Seriously, who gives a f***? Why the hell should I care what someone's wearing/doing/f***ing just because their ugly face has been on TV? What's with all the ex-soap/reality TV types releasing records and/or fitness videos? Here's some free advice to annoying attention-whore celebrities (like Jade from Big Brother): if you look like a pig and you're more annoying than the crazy frog ring-tone, stay at home.

Sunday, 13 February 2005

Interesting technical projects

Guerrilla.net is an interesting project site I found via 'hack a day' about a bunch of people aiming to set up global, wireless, secure internet, for free. To "ensure that the free flow of information is not obstructed, captured, analyzed, modified, or logged".

I'm totally for this, I think in the past few years there's been an alarmingly rising rate of internet censorship and spying. Anyway... they've got some interesting links to alternative power sources on their site (to power the nodes in their wireless network). I particularly found this article on home fuel cells interesting: homefuelcells.pdf

I saw the idea of hydrogen fuel cells being used to generate power on tv about 7 years ago - looks like they've really moved on now and there are now viable home generators being developed. Hopefully in a couple of years time we'll be able to buy these units to fit in our homes and never have to pay a single penny to the greedy electric company again! All you need is water - amazing. The other really cool thing about hyrdogen power cells is that they're totally environmentally friendly unlike other power stations which contribute to global warming.

If only the American government would plough as much money into research into alternative fuel sources like this than it did invading other countries - we'd have half the pollution we do today. Imagine a world where all the cars run on water.

Hack a day's got lots of other cool links on it - check it out - like this guy who took high-altitude weather balloon and attached a Linux box, webcam, GPS, parachute and long distance wireless network (amongst other things) to take some awesome pictures. Cool.

Monday, 7 February 2005

More Gates bulls***.

I was doing some research on Linux at www.linux.org and came across this link to a comment by Bill -f*** the customers- Gates:

Gates: 'Linux makes interoperability harder' - silicon.com

Ok, in English: "Interoperability, n. : (computer science) the ability to exchange and use information (usually in a large heterogeneous network made up of several local area networks)".

Bill is actually criticising Linux for not being good at enabling the exchange of data between different systems? Am I missing something here? Talk about flaming hypocrisy!

Yeah, there may be a few areas where Linux still can't handle the crazy sh** Microsoft has created, that's because Microsoft never f***ing sticks to standards - even it's own standards sometimes! - but for the most part, Linux is actually really good at coping with data from other systems - look at OpenOffice!

Remember the browser wars of the late 90s? Microsoft ignored the HTML standard and bastardised it so that many web pages would only be viewable in IE and not Netscape they also bundled their browser with their OS to force out the competition (doesn't sound so bad until you realise you can never uninstall the f***ing thing -even today). How is that promoting 'interoperability' if you exclude web sites from being viewable in other browsers?

Remember Sun taking Microsoft to court for bundling an implementation of Java with it's OS which (deliberately) didn't match the Sun specifications for Java in a pathetic attempt to burry the technology? That's pretty non-interoperable right there - bitch.

This is pure and blatant scare mongering by Microsoft aimed at managers who don't know any better. It's a sign of the times - they're getting desperate - with good reason. Fire fox is here to stay and more and more people are waking up to the fact that it's the only way to surf the net. I mean, who the hell wants ActiveX components compromising their system?

Microsoft actively strive to be incompatible with everyone else - it's their M.O. How else can they maintain their monopolistic hold on the market?

Haven't you got enough money yet Bill?

Keep trying to throw mud at Linux you sad little man.


Check out how they tried to sue some 17 year old kid called Mike Rowe for creating a web site called www.MikeRoweSoft.com. They obviously failed because the address still takes you to his site. Priceless.

Wednesday, 26 January 2005

Ch-Ch--Check it out

MilkandCookies - Beastie Boys

Ah, these guy's videos crack me up. Love the 'intergalactic' one. Takes me back to my youth when the charts weren't just entirely comprised of tallentless jail-bait teen bands with ugly hair and fashion-victim clothes.

Friday, 21 January 2005

What qualifies you to be an IT recruitment agent?

If I had a pound for every time an IT recruitment agent has wasted my time, I'd have enough money to afford a deposit on a small flat in Surrey. These guys are complete f***tards. They're basically sales people with f***-all knowledge about what they're selling. Sales people are usually scum but these guys could teach the average sales person a thing or two about slime.

I'm not happy with my job so I'm looking for work. Like most IT people, I have to register with free job-search sites - which means I'll get every cowboy and his clue-less cousin ringing me up at work on my mobile and spamming my inbox.

The junk email I can cope with because I have a separate account just for that and when this is all over and I'm happily employed elsewhere I will ditch my mobile number and get a new one (with the added incentive that I'll avoid being rung up my project manager - who thinks my mobile is his own personal technical support line). What irritates the crap out of me is the time-wasting phone calls.

After I've left my open-plan office to find somewhere private to talk, I usually find the agent wants to sell me the job for about 15 minutes while i patiently wait for them to let me have a word in edge-ways. My questions then are usually: where is it, what does it pay and what are the entry requirements? I swear 90% of the time the agent hasn't even considered that these are things that are the most important aspects of any job! They're too bussy trying to make a sale rather than find a match. Half the time they'll either not know the answer to my questions -but they'll lie and pretend they do!- the other half they'll know it but lie to make it sound more attractive - anything just to get you to agree to let yout CV join the cannon-fodder pile to make it look like they've been productive.

A while ago, when I still had patience for these people, I gave one of them a 'free computer lesson' because he didn't know s*** about the skills the company he was recruiting for was after. All he knew was 'they want Java'. They want Java? What kind? Embedded, Standard, Enterprise, what? This guy didn't know the difference between C++, Java and Perl. I don't expect the average person on the street to know that but when agencies hire IT recruiters they should at least make sure they have a clue!

These agents earn upwards of 30k - not counting commission - that's more than most coders! Companies pay agencies huge fees for these cretins to find their staff. I think it's time agents picked up a book, learnt some s***, earned their salaries and stopped wasting everybody's time!

I'm never getting out of here alive.


UPDATE: Update: got an email from a recruiter this morning, just asking me to SIGN and POST (not just email) a 4 page terms and conditions CONTRACT between them and me! Needless to say, I told them where they could stick their contract.

Wednesday, 19 January 2005

And relax...

After a string of rants, i feel compelled to introduce some fluffyness to calm down....

Awwwww.

...'s just y'know idiots getting me down. Too many stupid people in the world, not enough sniper rifles and tall bell-towers....ahhg the voices... better take my pills again....

'I am the Angle of death, the time of purifcation is at hand' (simpsons)


more cute-ness (found on b3ta).

Another example of government ignorance regarding P2P

SB 96 Senate Bill - INTRODUCED: "...any person or entity that sells, advertises, or distributes peer-to-peer file sharing software, as defined, that enables the user to electronically disseminate recordings or audiovisual works over the Internet who fails to exercise reasonable care in preventing use of the software to commit an unlawful act... is punishable by a fine not exceeding $2,500, imprisonment in a county jail for a period not to exceed one year..."

Ah! This is so stupid it hurts my brain to read it!

FACT: P2P typically runs over the protocols UDP and TCP/IP (or rather other protocols like HTTP and Sockets run on top of these) . These are also the main protocols that support networking, hence most of the Internet (a web page is, after all, just a 'file').

FACT: These protocols provide the means to break the law in exactly the same way as the P2P software does, with exactly the same absence of any kind of anti-piracy provision. Is Senator Murray going to try to hold the creators of this software accountable M$, Berkeley, MIT, etc?

Saying P2P should be banned because it's mostly used for piracy is like saying the Internet should be banned entirely at work and in schools because it's mostly used for porn rather than educational/business purposes.

How exactly would one go about adapting the Internet protocols or P2P software to "take due care to prevent piracy" anyway? Sounds like a machine learning problem to me!

They're trying to pass this law to make it illegal to provide technology to people that could be used to commit a crime. Tell you what a**holes: I'll agree to that when you hold people who sell guns and other weapons (including governments) accountable for the atrocities that are committed with them! Not so worried about that sort of accountability are you? Hypocrites.


Article found at Slashdot

Monday, 17 January 2005

Why the world needs the BBC

Another example of Fox News rapid-defence of Bush. I wonder why they're so afraid to let people criticise Bush on air?

If it weren't for the BBC, the only kind of media coverage of important events would be by biased right-wing a**holes like Bill O'Reilly - who never even give other people with views different to theirs a chance to explain themselves and offer up a different perspective other than 'America is great and we're always the good guys'.

For example: Transcript of Interview of Jeremy Glick by Bill O'Reilly. You can see the video here. Is that even remotely fair and balanced reporting?

'Sorry people, I wouldn't have invited him on the show if I knew that was what he thought' - unbelievable! He doesn't even try to pretend to be fair and balanced and Fox News has the nerve to criticise the BBC for being biased?

Fox News could learn a thing or two from the BBC about reporting, if they weren't so busy fellating the current administration.

This is what happens when your funding comes directly from advertisers and big corporations who themselves are entirely political and effectively get to censor the news because Fox is worried about one thing: money! Keeping the investors happy! You can't have fair and balanced media with vested interests.

But the BBC doesn't just benefit the UK - it's available world-wide (well, except for China and places like that - and not in the USA if Rupert Murock has his way). Unlike a lot of newspaper sites all over the world -you don't have to pay to view the stories on its website (not directly anyway)!

Some members of the government (particularly those that like white-washes) and the corporate media (Rupert Murdock, mostly) want to destroy the BBC -and they're just looking for an excuse to get rid of this little embarrassment to them.

In 2006 the government will review the 'royal charter' situation. Hopefully better judgment will prevail and we'll get to keep it as it is - I dread to think of the alternative: Fox News? I can almost imagine it. Well groomed, shiny-toothed yapping little lap dogs of big corporations, acting out the news with faked passion and interest like a nightmarish pantomime.

F*** you Rupert Murdock and the horse you rode in on.

Tuesday, 11 January 2005

Security researcher to be jailed for finding bugs in software?

Full story here (found via slashdot).

That is f***ing ridiculous!

"According to Tena's Web site, his research "showed how the program worked, demonstrated a few security flaws and carried out some tests with real viruses. Unlike the advertising claimed, this software didn't detect and stop ‘100 percent of viruses’."

Tena, who is currently a researcher for Harvard University in Massachusetts, said that Tegam responded in a "weird way" by first branding him a terrorist and then filing a formal complaint in Paris. During the resulting tribunal, Tena said the judge decided that because the published exploits included some re-engineered source code from Viguard’s software, he had violated French copyright laws."

This pi**ed me off so much, I decided to write to the company involved and let them know what complete jacka**es this court case is making out of them. I mean, when you make claims like 'stops 100% of viruses' be prepared to be tested and if you only get tested by security professionals -where the worst they ever do is make you red faced- count yourself lucky. Imagine what would have happened if a bank had used your crappy software and a black-hat hackers had got in because of your crappy code?

Why not drop my friends an email here and let them know what people think about this kind of greedy, arrogant behaviour?


UPDATE: searching their news site, I found this page, which would appear to be their defence of their actions. Not much of a defence though, I mean if you're going to accuse people of being one-sided and lying, then at least tell us your side (what your point is) - rather than just bitching like little girls about having your work 'deprecated'.

Idiots.

.

Monday, 10 January 2005

Genius

I took one of these spam-vertisement IQ test things -I was bored- anyway... apparently I have an IQ of 136 and I'm a 'Visionary Philosopher' - according to this lot anyway. Is 136 good? Maybe, if it was a proper IQ test. Try it out but only if you're bored silly and need some exercise for your brain.

136? Visionary Philosopher? Pfffft! How come I'm still poor then, eh?

Or maybe 'Visionary Philosopher' is the PC way of saying 'daydreamer'... i.e.:

Fat bastard is to 'gravitationally challenged' as 'Visionary Philosopher' is to
(a) theoretical physicist
(b) astronaut
(c) penniless daydreamer

Send your answers on a postcard to coding_monkey@hotmail.com. Enclose £50 for my exclusive, personalised IQ report. SAMPLE.