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Journal: ubisoft uses crack...then ships it to customers

Journal by ssintercept
story stolen from techdirt - Ubisoft, one of the larger video gaming companies out there, has a somewhat troubled history of overburdening its games with awful DRM<http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20060331/1549225.shtml>. And, as with most DRM systems, the people it tends to hurt most are the legitimate purchasers who somehow run afoul of whatever DRM rules are in place. In this case, the Ubisoft game Rainbow Six: Vegas2 (R6V2) had some DRM that would check to see if the physical media (CD-ROM) was in the drive before it would let you play. Unfortunately, Ubisoft also offered the game as a download via IGN's Direct2Drive store. They had set it up so this would work even without the actual CD, but a recent patch didn't take that into account, and broke the game for anyone who had purchased it via D2D.

So, what does Ubisoft do? It releases a patch that isn't actually a "patch" but a well known crack that it downloaded off the internet. As TorrentFreak points out at the link <http://torrentfreak.com/ubisofts-no-cd-answer-to-drm-080718/> , according to the way companies like Ubisoft look at things, it "stole" someone else's code and passed it off as its own. And, of course, there's the somewhat delicious irony that it didn't just "steal" any code for its own use, but the very code that companies like Ubisoft insist is evil, immoral and illegal. Except, of course, when Ubisoft is in desperate need of it, apparently. from techdirt- <http://techdirt.com/articles/20080718/1117121722.shtml>
User Journal

Journal: Kryptonite found in serbia

Journal by ssintercept
from the BBC
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6584229.stm Kryptonite is no longer just the stuff of fiction feared by caped superheroes. A new mineral matching its unique chemistry - as described in the film Superman Returns - has been identified in a mine in Serbia. According to movie and comic-book storylines, kryptonite is supposed to sap Superman's powers whenever he is exposed to its large green crystals. The real mineral is white and harmless, says Dr Chris Stanley, a mineralogist at London's Natural History Museum. "I'm afraid it's not green and it doesn't glow either - although it will react to ultraviolet light by fluorescing a pinkish-orange," he told BBC News.
User Journal

Journal: Have a video wallpaper for any version of Windows

Journal by ssintercept
http://vistarewired.com/2007/03/08/dreamscene-on-any-computer/
Sure, you are not actually going to get Dreamscene for your PC but it doesn't matter if you're going to get the same effect right? This is exactly what VLC Player can do for you. You might or might not have heard of this program but it is a free video player that eliminates the need to download many different codecs as it already recognizes a large number of them. VLC has a built-in feature that allows you to play videos as your wallpaper. Dreamscene is only available for Windows Vista Ultimate users, but with this method, it can be made available for anyone with a copy of Windows or MacOS X Tiger. If you have a Mac, scroll down to the bottom of the page. Before we begin, please note that VLC is still not fully compatible with Windows Vista. Although this tutorial has worked for the majority of users who have tried it, it may not work for you. But before giving up, I recommend you view the updates I have made at the bottom of the post regarding problems and some of the comments I have made. Hope you enjoy this tutorial. 1) Download the latest version of VLC Player here. 2) Open your video file, right click, and choose wallpaper. You can find some great videos to use here: Winmatrix SkyTimeLapse Corbis Motion Microsoft WMV HD 3) Next step If you do not see the wallpaper option then proceed to: Settings > Preferences > Video > Output Modules > Direct X. Once you get here, check the Advanced Options box in the bottom right hand corner. The advanced options will appear. Check Enable Wallpaper Mode. Now when you right click on your videos, you should be able to see a Wallpaper option.
User Journal

Journal: Satan spotted on I-15 fleeing Salt Lake City

Journal by ssintercept
Salt Lake Tribune - Satan on I-15

Satan on I-15 Public Forum Letter Article Last Updated: 04/14/2007 01:37:01 PM MDT My family and I were driving home from my cousin's house after enjoying a nice holiday meal, when my wife and I saw a beat-up old van with the Utah license plate "666." Here it was on Easter Sunday, the one day that truly represents what Christianity is all about, an

The Courts

Journal: N.C. State is Fighting the RIAA

Journal by ssintercept
The Recording Industry Association of America has upped its campaign against N.C. State students downloading music with 23 lawsuits.(1) Originally, the RIAA was only sending letters regarding a settlement students could pay to avoid legal action. However, the organization has now sent lawsuits to 37 who elected not to settle. Student Legal Services, led by Pam Gerace, can't stress enough that students who are caught up with the RIAA have support and can fight the charges.(2) It's apparent, based on the amount of attention the University gets from the RIAA, that we are one of its main targets, and this is something we all must fight. We realize that students who engage in music piracy have done something illegal, and neither Student Legal Services nor the Technician advocates for it. However, Student Legal Services does want to make sure students are treated fairly. It is imperative that the University community makes it clear that the RIAA can't shove us around with its deep pockets, and the opposition starts with the accused -- students. If you are one of the targets of the RIAA, contact Student Legal Services immediately. Do not settle and do not attack this by yourself. The more money and victories the RIAA scrapes up from NCSU, the more it will continue to come after us.
User Journal

Journal: Gunman kills 30 in rampage at Virginia university

Journal by ssintercept
Gunman kills 30 in rampage at Virginia university - International Herald Tribune: "At least 30 people were killed and 29 were wounded Monday at Virginia Tech University in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history and one of the worst anywhere."

shortly after a frantic call for help to the campus police 911 center, state and local police, along with heavily armed SWAT Assault Teams swarmed the campus.
the first shooting reportedly occurred about 7:15 a.m. on the fourth floor of a large residence hall, Ambler Johnston. students refer to it as "Animal House."
freshman, Aimee Kanode, told the AP that "They had us under lockdown," and when "They temporarily lifted the lockdown. The gunman shot again."
the assault continued two hours later across campus, @ Norris Hall. Between the attacks - a matter that has raised immediate question - why the campus was not secured?
later, a jerky cellphone video taken by student, Jamal Albarghouti, aired on CNN, the sound of gunshots can clearly heard, after a closer-sounding shot, Albarghouti can be heard saying, "Whoa!"
Privacy

Journal: amerika uber alles

Journal by ssintercept
The Bush administration asked Congress on Friday to allow monitoring of more foreigners in the United States during intelligence investigations. The plan is among several proposed changes, which have been in the works for more than a year, that go to the heart of a major U.S. surveillance law.
The administration says the changes are intended to help the government deal with national security threats better by updating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to bring it into line with rapid changes in communications technology.
The administration also wants new provisions to ease surveillance of people suspected of spreading weapons of mass destruction internationally. And the administration wants to allow government lawyers to decide whether a FISA court order is needed for electronic eavesdropping based on the target of the monitoring, not the mode of communication or the location where the surveillance is being conducted.
One effect of such a change would be that the National Security Agency would have the authority to monitor foreigners without seeking court approval, even if the surveillance is conducted by tapping phones and e-mail accounts in the United States.
Most often used by the FBI and the NSA, the 1978 FISA law has been updated several times since it was passed, including in 2001 to allow government access to certain business records. Among other tools available now, the government can break into homes, hotel rooms and cars to install hidden cameras and listening devices, as well as search drawers, luggage or computer hard drives.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18100710/
User Journal

Journal: Chicago's run for the Ring/s

Journal by ssintercept
being a chicagoan, i am very glad to hear that the city of the big shoulders (aka the windy city/ chicago) is in the race for the 2016 olympiad...Chicago has seen off Los Angeles to become the US Olympic Committee's chosen venue for the 2016 Summer Games. Chicago, which has never staged an Olympics, joins several other cities hoping to be handed the Olympic flame after London in 2012.

Madrid, Prague, Rome, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo may be joined by Azerbaijan and Qatar in the candidates' list. n 1904, Chicago was the first city in the United States chosen by the IOC to host a summer Olympics, but the Games were switched to St Louis.
http://thediseasedrepublik.blogspot.com/2007/04/run-for-rings.html
Windows

Journal: microsoft espionage and the war on piracy

Journal by ssintercept
i am very aware of the war on rampant piracy in south east asia and russia but this story hits close to home, i frequent the forum and seek answers to my PC interests/ questions/woes, etc...thehotfix is a great resource for all computer users not just ubergeeks or microsoft 'spies' as alleged by one forum member. this opposing view amongst the anti-MS rhetoric was lambasted: --" You idiots all flame Microsoft for protecting their intellectual property, yet you forget that you're the thieves stealing the software developed by them. You can't flame them and then enjoy using their software (and your vulturous behaviour clearly indicates that you do)." -- one piracy apologist said " STFU J***C. No wonder we have spies here around And no, who says we realy enjoy MS's software?? Sometimes it's just plain oops. And MS dont give a oops and only thinks about security. We have our reasons for being pirates..." --and-- "You can say that but there's a huge difference between the hotfix and Microsoft. Maybe where the thieves but in my opinion I'm only stealing back from a company that has a worldwide monopoly and is charging ridicules prices for a single license. I have several systems for which I had to buy more than one OS license, who's the thief here?? So don't talk to me about idiots and my/our behavior, just wake up!!!" and finally an accomplice waded into the fray: -- "I gave richard access to my account to access the private Beta to leak onto the web. I have already contacted Microsoft appologised and they have termminated my access to the beta. Please stop bothering Richard Any complaints/hate mail queries ect. can be sent to Jordan@diggvista.com" --and it seems that he is congradulated for his irresponsible act with this comment -- "nice one jordan, thts real cool wot u did! [biggrin.gif] Hopefuly M$ will drop it, hav they said nething else to u app from removing u from the beta program?" i would have thought that there would have been some admonishment for bringing the heat onto thehotfix. and in all fairness the poster who manned up for the incident seemed remorseful and truly dismayed at losing his beta testing status. i respect him for being personally accountable. it seems to me that the trait for being accountable for your actions is missing in many people lately. and i would love to leave you with the most insightful post in this piracy issue: In Soviet Russia, betas leak you!
It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal: eight core mac pro

Journal by ssintercept
Double your cores and increase your performance by as little as three to seven percent. Are Apple's hardware or software engineers to blame? NOOOOOOOO! the blame lies at the feet of the rebel Mac.heads! they were too busy fighting darth gates and defending the economic policies of obi wan iJoba in the Forum Flame Wars. too bad apple pulled of all those developers to finish work on the super cool iphone. faulty by design is a phrase that comes to mind...set phasers to flame! --sarcasm is cathartic--

http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2007/04/14/new-eight-core-mac-pro-performance-mixed-bag will auto-link a URL

Everything that can be invented has been invented. -- Charles Duell, Director of U.S. Patent Office, 1899

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