Sony is feeling the pressure

I was delighted to note this – Sony to pull controversial CDs, offer swap
LOS ANGELES รขโ‚ฌโ€ Sony BMG Music Entertainment said Monday it will pull some of its most popular CDs from stores in response to backlash over copy-protection software on the discs.

Seems Sony has “heard” the masses. Bit too late I think. Their arrogance in concealing the rootkit in the first place beggars belief!

Bloggers jailed!

Wow, this is serious stuff – but we knew that.

Political bloggers jailed, detained

Libya has sentenced a blogger to a year and a half in prison after he criticized the government in his online articles, according to Human Rights Watch.

It’s not just Libya as the article points out.

This goes some way to answering Robin Good’s question :- Are Blogs Credible News Sources?

Obviously, some governments are afraid that they will be treated credibly – and have taken action to stop them.

Be afraid… very afraid….

The Sony “fix”

Well – they didn’t really have a choice did they?
This is the comment and the link to the “de cloaking” method that Sony and it’s team have made available to their “customers” (read victims)…

XCP Support Software Updates
This Service Pack removes the cloaking technology component that has been recently discussed in a number of articles published regarding the XCP Technology used on SONY BMG content protected CDs. This component is not malicious and does not compromise security. However to alleviate any concerns that users may have about the program posing potential security vulnerabilities, this update has been released to enable users to remove this component from their computers.

Sony Music USA – And THAT system

Well, took a while to find but this is on the Sony website. Not what I would Call detailed!

Sony Music USA
A traditional audio CD when placed in an audio CD player, CD EXTRA offers a free interactive multimedia experience when played in a computer’s CD-ROM drive *. CD EXTRA offers the music fan a closer look at their favorite artists, with many CD EXTRAs containing exclusive content.

As already posted, They forget to mention a closer look and interactive experience of seeing your system crashing or your CD drive disappearing if you try to remove their poorly designed rootkit based DRM!

Shame Sony – Shame!

I came across this as a link at Geek news central, as well as noticing it on Digg amongst other places. There is rarely something that makes me stand back in awe and amazement – and also makes me mad as hell – but this is one of those times.
The people at Sysinternals – who have developed the Root Kit Revealer to detect the worst possible forms of computer invasion – have now found a Root Kit installed by Sony as part of their DRM. – A poorly coded root kit too! AND, from all reports, it is NOT covered in the EULA.

Mark’s Sysinternals Blog: Sony, Rootkits and Digital Rights Management Gone Too Far
The entire experience was frustrating and irritating. Not only had Sony put software on my system that uses techniques commonly used by malware to mask its presence, the software is poorly written and provides no means for uninstall. Worse, most users that stumble across the cloaked files with a RKR scan will cripple their computer if they attempt the obvious step of deleting the cloaked files.

The awe and amazement is a reflection of the detailed and comprehensive analysis they took to discover this critter and the fact that they posted each step along the way. The depth of analysis was common 20 years ago with a small DOS system – but within a windows machine nowadays – and using many routines that they wrote themselves I think that they deserve an award.
PLEASE go to their site and read this – then take your Sony merchandise back and ask for a refund.


Anyone thinking class-action?

iTunes Music Store IS in Australia

Well – it IS here people. Go to iTunes music store and open up the list of international sites – AUSTRALIA heads the list!

So far it looks like Aus$1.69 per track but haven’t had a good look yet. Videos are up to $3.39.
Albums $16.99. Pixar also $3.39. NO TV episodes yet.


iTunes Australia to Launch Next Week! Sure??

Well, this is on SlashDot

Slashdot | iTunes Australia to Launch Next Week
“It looks extremely likely that the iTunes music store will launch (finally) in Australia next week. Apple confirmed that its vice president of iTunes Eddie Cue, and vice president of iPod product marketing Greg Joswiak will be flying down under for a press conference on Tuesday morning.

How many times have we heard this? Well only time will tell – waiting and watching with INTEREST.

Gmail Tip: Faster attachment uploads

This site has simple but good advice when using Gmail with attachments. Select the attachment EARLY:

GMail background upload of attachments
With this knowledge, a small tip for using Gmail is to select your file attachements before typing the email body. In this way, by the time you finish typing your email, the file attachment could already be uploaded completely and it will only take seconds to send out the email.

Seems sensible to me ๐Ÿ™‚

eBay CEO Says All Phone Calls Will Be Free

Via Digg…
It sounds too good to be true!

eBay CEO Says All Phone Calls Will Be Free
“In the end, the price that anyone can provide for voice transmission on the ‘Net will trend toward zero,” Whitman told analysts during the call..

Ryan said that service providers would make money from the phone calls through advertising or transaction fees.

The eBay CEO was responding to criticism from analysts who questioned whether eBay had overpaid when it bought VoIP provider Skype Technologies for $4 billion.

But- reading between the lines – how is Ebay gonna make money then? Seem to contradict themselves. Free one minute and “transaction fees” the next.

Think I will believe it when I see it.

Spammer plagiarism – what next?

These poor souls have been plagiarised a hundredfold by the new generation of SPLOGGERS at Blogspot.

Build A Better Blog: 16 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

There are a lot of ways to attract people to visit your blog. Patsi and I recently wrote an article outlining 16 ways to drive traffic to your blog.

It seems the Sploggers have taken some of their lessons to heart!

So far I have identified at LEAST a dozen SPLOGS (5 minutes work) that look legitimate – initially – but which have all the text from the above site. The SPLOG is then littered with hundreds of (irrelevant) images that link back to clicktrakers / advertisers, as well as circular links to other SPLOGS that are almost identical.

SO someone’s legitimate hard works has been stolen and now services their SPLOG community.

I wonder if Chris Pirrilo is aware of this NEW SPLOG type?!

How low will they stoop next time?

p.s. I haven’t linked to any of the SPLOGs on purpose – you can find them very easily if need be.