* Posts by Gweilo

18 posts • joined 18 Dec 2009

Microsoft: Pirates at high risk of malware infection


Keygen a threat?

"Win32/Keygen, in particular, was the most frequently detected potential threat across every version of Windows studied."

1) Download software from legit site

2) Find keygen. Run in a sandbox to get a serial number while blocking any potential side effects

3) Run installer, input serial

I've got a box full of bootleg CD installers. Never had a single infection from any. And a lot less hassle than from the legal software with its incessant nagging to upgrade and phoning home.

Warez sites have feedback and forums and infected stuff is reported pretty quickly and blacklisted. A lot quicker than MS will admit they have a problem

I'm not addressing any moral issues, just the bullshit equation of warez with viruses that these "surveys" by software vendors always make. I think the major malware vector is the browser by far, and MIcrosoft's IE led the way in making that easy.

Pr0n domain approved by ICANN



"It will make it easier for the nanny states like Australia and the UK to protect their citizens from seeing what comes naturally."

Really? How? Will all the porn on other TLDs just disappear?

Why would anyone move a porn site to a domain that is going to be blocked in a great number of places? They may feel compelled to put up a mirror site in .xxx, but no one is going to give up their .com.

Single complaint sparks police raid and total ban on rental movie


Was not "put bacl"

"Shop put film back on shelfs.

This seems fairly ok, surely?"

Not okay.

1) Plural of shelf is shelves.

2) The film WAS NOT PUT BACK. See


"We're sorry, but the title you requested could not be displayed."

Harder to read = easier to recall


serifs are cool

"On a computer screen, it takes less time to read a sans-serif font like Arial than a serif font."

Really? Sez who?

Whenever given the option I change the font of a webpage to a nice serif one (my current favourite is Georgia as a screen font). Often when faced with a page of Arial I click the "Mode" button in Opera to remove the formatting and leave me with nice clean SERIF font that is much easier to read.

So I doubt the basic premise of this story too: who says Arial is easier to read than Bodoni?

Sure, Bodoni's fine lines requires sharp, high res printing, but given that it's very pleasant to read.

See http://screenfont.ca/fonts/today/interim/ which is an examination of fonts used for subtitling, and why Arial, despite being the default, is one of the worst.

How to make boots on Mars affordable - One way trips



Even if the colonists are sterile, they could bring some frozen sperm and ova along, kept in a lead-lined fridge. Of course, a good proportion of colonists are going to have to have medical qualifications anyway.

3D printers, one-dimensional enemies



"Going back to our Lego example: Lego bricks used to be protected by patent – not the nobbles on the top but the tunnels underneath that grip them – but these days it's the copyright* (which doesn't wear out) that protects the iconic Lego brick."

What? What? What?

Since when can you copyright a brick? If that were possible, no one would need to bother with patents or trademarks. Clearly compatible clones of many items are legally offered for sale, despite the best efforts of manufacturers to prevent them.

If Lego has won a judgement anywhere on the basis of copyright, it is a travesty and would certainly be overturned if a competent defence had been offered.

Since this is the conclusion of your article it would have been nice to have a citation of what you base this statement on.

EU to lift flight ban on carry-on liquids



"where liquid is increasingly becoming a common tool for terrorist use"

Increased from zero to zero, as far as I know.

There has NEVER been an actual attempt to blow up a plane using the notional "liquid bomb". Some idiots were planning to, were busted before they had even bought a ticket, and the bomb would have been unlikely to have worked anyway.

At least there was one attempt to use underpants. Yet still a great number of passengers board planes WEARING UNDERPANTS!

Fly safe: Go commando!

Google: Street View cars grabbed emails, urls, passwords


big deal

Google didn't intrude on anyone's private property.

People broadcast unencrypted data that anyone with a laptop in a car could have "intercepted".

If you undress in front of an open window you can't demand that everyone avert their eyes.

For God's sake, pull the curtains/turn on WPA encryption.

Google's default behaviour is to store all the data they come across and mine it. They wouldn't have deliberately used any of the "private" information (as in email text), but it would probably have remained in their files, unread, indefinitely if no one had complained

Why people are worrying about this when Google as complete history of many people's email via GMail and their complete search history, every video they watch on Youtube, etc, I don't know.

Amazon Kindle 3 e-book reader




Some OCR packages are much better than others. I've found "ABBYY" the most reliable.

Once it's "trained" on a particular font it makes fewer mistakes.

Pulp novels were printed cheaply in every way, from the paper that gave them their name, to the layout which was quick and dirty and often too tightly set. So I wouldn't worry too much about matching the original format. As long as you get the logical structure: paragraphs, chapter heads; otherwise let the text flow and choose a more legible format.

You might find more people in your niche than you expect.

See eg http://pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/ and other sites linked from there.

Youth jailed for not handing over encryption password



"after encryption is cracked in a few months"

A 50-character password? More like untold trillions of years. However, often a search through file remnants in "deleted" parts of the disk can find a clue, unless whole disk encryption was used.

419ers take council for £100k

Dead Vulture

Not "419"

As the lede says " A Scottish local authority lost £102,000 to an African gang after being duped by a targeted letter scam." That IS NOT a 419 scam. 419 is "advance fee fraud", where victims are suckered into paying a fee in order to gain some reward.

"419er" is not a shorthand for "Nigerian fraudster". It refers to a specific kind of fraud. This was a quite different one that preyed simply on the victims' credulity, not appealing to their greed.

Moms stand firm against antenna madness



"there is mounting evidence that these transmitters can...

disturb sleep

lead to hormonal imablances

some people even get rashes after these masts are installed?"

Because there isn't any actual evidence, just fear.

I note that fear can cause all those symptoms.

In any case, billions of people now have cell phones and live near masts without ill effect.

Harrow flicks pirate thrown in slammer



Copyright infringement, okay.

But how is it "fraud"? He was giving the videos away. They were bootlegs and everyone knew that. So there was no deception.

The only mystery to me is why anyone would waste their time watching a videocammed movie, complete with background chatter, rustling sweet packets, fuzzy images... I've picked up a few in used DVD markets and never spent more than a minute watching them before ejecting and throwing it away. If you want a bootleg, wait a couple of weeks at most and get the Russian release.

These videos aren't watched by anyone instead of buying the movie; it's just so people can say they were "first" to upload a video or make it available, and downloaders can get a taste of a new movie.

Twitter airport bomb joker loses second job



"This is not about taking away his right to free speech, only about him writing something on Twitter that someone thinks is a threat."

According to the article, nobody thought it was a real threat. They were criminalising something that was obviously -- to EVERYBODY involved -- a joke. "Shouting fire in a crowded theatre" is different, it's quite reasonable to assume that's a real warning.

Oz anti-censorship site is censored


Aussie rules

" Their defense should have been that they are a satirical site - end of story."

From your spelling, I assume you're American. This does not hold in Australia. You actually are supposed to show that you have a commercial interest in a name to have a .com.au.

If they'd had "stephenconroyisawanker.org.au" they would have had a case, I think.

'CRU cherrypicked Russian climate data', says Russian


strange if they weren't

@Tim Schomer

Have you been paying attention to the news?

If any treaty is signed at all, at the moment there is doubt of that, it will be entirely toothless platitudes. And even if it weren't, nations are NEVER "locked in" to treaties. They just ignore them if they become inconvenient, as most countries did with Kyoto. As Bush f***ed the Geneva Convention, if you want another example.

And of course it isn't "strange" that "doubt is being cast" now. Climate change is in the news, so the deniers are making the most of it.

Stargazers spy super-Earth waterworld


Bar on another planet

@Lusty: Why assume, it's right there in the quote

That's not referring to the SURFACE pressure of the planet, but deep in the interior.

Iraqi insurgents hack US drones with $26 software


$26 -- so what?

Every news article on this story makes a big deal out of "$26 software", including The Reg, which put it in the headline. Why is the list price such an important fact? Would it be less a problem if the software retailed for $500? Or was free? I'm not sure. I am pretty sure that the "insurgents" didn't use Paypal to pay the $26 in any case. Any idiot can find a download with a with one Google search (Google even helpfully suggests such terms as "crack", "keygen"). The point surely is that it can be downloaded by anyone anywhere. Not that trying to restrict downloads would make any sense, I get tired of the ludicrous checkboxes "No, I am not a member of the Axis of Evil and am not plotting jihad" one sometimes has to go through to download some trivial piece of freeware.



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