Tracking down an unknown driver

The always informative Mark Russinovich (you may have heard of him – he pretty much broke the Sony DRM malware story) has a brief but detailed article on how he tracked down an unknown driver on his system and why he noticed it in the first place.

The other day I used Process Explorer to examine the drivers loaded on a home system to see if I’d picked up any Sony or Starforce-like digital rights management (DRM) device drivers. The DLL view of the System process, which reports the currently loaded drivers and kernel-mode modules (such as the Hardware Abstraction Layer – HAL), listed mostly Microsoft operating system drivers and drivers associated with the DVD burning software I have installed, but one entry, Asctrm.sys caught my attention because its company information is “Windows (R) 2000 DDK provider”

[tags]Driver tracking, DRM[/tags]

AP steals blogger’s article, doesn’t care to attribute

A blogger, Larisa Alexandrovna, spent scads of time documenting changes in security clearance policies.  She shared this information with others, and after getting it checked by others, released her work.  The work apparently showed a tightening of requirements for granting security clearances.  Since one of the items of interest was guidance on sexual behavior, some GBLT groups picked up on it, shared the story with the Associated Press, and said the AP needed to cover this story.  How AP handled it was not quite professional…

In response, several GLBT groups contacted us and issued a statement. We gave the advocacy groups our notes and article, which they then took to the AP and demanded that the story be covered. The AP was given our article and maybe our notes.

On March 14, 2006, the AP did their own article, left out any attribution to me or my publication and lifted not only my research but also whole sections of my article for their own (making cosmetic changes of course).

We contacted an AP senior editor and ombudsmen both and both admitted to having had the article passed on to them, and both stated that they viewed us as a blog and because we were a blog, they did not need to credit us.

Hmmmm, so stealing from bloggers isn’t plagiarism?  Interesting.

[tags]AP plagiarism[/tags]

From the premise that everything you see in movies is true…

(via Boingboing)

This is just too funny. The author of this page, along with visitors who choose to contribute, has put together a history of everything as told in film. Anything from a movie can get on to the site, provided the date can be narrowed at least to a year.

It can be a real event (eg. the sinking of the Titanic) or a far-from-real event (eg. Marty McFly attending his parents’ school dance) – so long as it’s found in a film. It must be a verifiable date – whether a year subtitled at the start (“1941, France…”), a visible clue in the film (character picks up a newspaper), or some historical backdrop (From Hell’s Jack The Ripper). If you know what year a movie is set in, let me know.

And some history from the page:

2897BC October 10: Bouvet Island, Antarctica – Predators arrive for their feasting ritual on xenomorphs and humans (Alien vs Predator)
2797BC October 10: Bouvet Island, Antarctica – Predators arrive for their feasting ritual on xenomorphs and humans (Alien vs Predator)
2697BC October 10: Bouvet Island, Antarctica – Predators arrive for their feasting ritual on xenomorphs and humans (Alien vs Predator)
. . .

1959 – In one timeline, Biff Tannen named ‘The Luckiest Man on Earth’ (Back To The Future Part II)
. . .

1995 Peter Sarsgaard’s lover’s death becomes the subject of a film (The Dying Gaul)
Four kids, Evan, Kayleigh, Tommy and Lenny, go off the rails, or on the rails, depending on the timeline (The Butterfly Effect)
Nick Leeson causes a financial meltdown (Rogue Trader)
Eminem raps his way to victory (8 Mile)
Judy and Peter join the ‘Jumanji’ board-game started 26 years earlier by Alan Parrish and Sarah Whittle (Jumanji)
T-1000 arrives from the future to kill John Connor, now protected by a reprogrammed T-800 (Terminator 2: Judgment Day)

So much going on. Who knew the world was so hard to figure out.

[tags]Movie timelines[/tags]

Bigger smaller drives

(via TechEBlog)

LaCie has announced a new 30 Gig USB hard drive. That wouldn’t normally be amazing, but this one is pretty stinking small. Called the Skwarim, this drive is handy for it’s portability and storage space, not it’s speed. In fact, speed test performed by The Register were rather disappointing:

The disk itself is a 4,200rpm job with 2MB of cache. I hooked up the Skwarim to Reg Hardware’s test PC, an Athlon FX-60 machine with a 250GB Serial ATA II HDD and formatted the pink ‘un as an NTFS volume. Copying across a 4.01GB test file took, on average, 213.84s – a thoughput of 19.22MBps. Duplicating the same file on the Skwarim itself took a whopping 16m 16.62s. That amounts to a mere 4.21MBps – rather less than the 12.16MBps I got using LaCie’s Rugged drive. The HD Tach benchmark suite measured a burst transfer rate of 35MBps and an average read speed of 19.5MBps.

Before showing the picture, you should know the drive will also be available in blue as well. It is also available in a 60 Gig model.


[tags]USB Drive, LaCie[/tags]

Bless the Danes

(via The Consumerist)

Danish factory owners have been working for years to reduce drinking in the
workplace.  To no-one’s shock I’m sure, workers aren’t as eager to do this.

Last year, Harboe Brewery workers went on strike for two days after being told to stop drinking beer while working.

The strike went ahead even though their quota of six bottles of beer per day would have remained unchanged.

The order merely said they would have to go for a break to enjoy their beer.

This looks to me just a bit over the top, but at least the employees are sticking to their beliefs.
[tags]Danish workers, On-the-job drinking[/tags]

IHOP joy (long rant)

I love IHOP. Great pancakes (and other foods), affordable meals, usually decent service. I would be much fatter than I already am if I were to eat at IHOP as often as I’d like. Given that, it’s a bit disappointing when I have a bad experience there. But when I do, you, my attractive and above-average-intellect reader (both characteristics developed by virtue of reading my work) get to share my pain.

Thursday night after work, several co-workers and I decided to go to an IHOP near the office for dinner/breakfast. We arrived around midnight, went in together, and waited just a minute for a serv-o-tron to offer to seat us. We asked for seating for 5, as that happened to be the number of people in our group, and we didn’t plan on changing seats frequently enough during the meal to need extra chairs. To our surprise, we are informed that seating 5 together will result in an automatic 15% gratuity added to our bill and we will not be allowed to split that bill when it is time to pay.

A quick thinking cow-orker suggested we be seated at two tables, with two at one table, and three at the other. At this, the delightful young lady (hint: look up sarcasm here, folks) turned to the person who would actually be serving us and said “You want to take care of them? I don’t have time for this.” And then she walked off. “Never mind,” said we, and off we went. After all, once any trouble is associated with your party, you are more likely to get the serv-o-tron special sauce added to your meal, and we each preferred to only consume/sample our own saliva that evening.

Had this happened on a Sunday afternoon with the church crowd amassing and leading to a 30-60 minute wait, we could understand. Had the restaurant been busy in any way, we could possibly understand. But this was right around midnight on a Thursday. There were 5 guests at 3 tables. There were 3 visible employees, and likely more out of sight. There was almost no visible traffic outside the IHOP, so a mass of unexpected customers swarming the site was unlikely. The chances that the extra 60 seconds it would have taken to handle our orders separately causing a major back-up for the rest of the serving staff, food preparation staff, or any other staff was so miniscule I’d suggest it was actually non-existant. I’m going out on a limb here and suggesting that perhaps this delightful young lady just didn’t want our type. Of course, I’m not sure how to classify our type other than well-paid technology workers who over-tip, don’t ask for much attention during the meal, and try to not disturb others. She might have had a different idea of what we were like.

Normally, I never give additional business to a company that I feel has slighted me. When a BP station failed to compensate me for a broken gas pump that resulted in my getting charged for gas I could not actually get, I stopped getting gas at any BP. After receiving bad service from a truck-rental company when moving one time, I started to always go to a competitor when I need a truck in the future.

But I love IHOP. Shoot, I even mentioned that at the start of this article. Do I just stop going to that location (4725 Showcase Boulevard in Memphis, TN in case you are wondering) and continue going to the others where I have gotten good service? Do I maintain my standard of hatefullness and punish all IHOPs for the misdeeds of one (my typical response to bad service)? Do I pretend it never happened, and just act like 4725 Showcase Boulevard doesn’t exist? I’m not sure. I know I won’t ever go back to that site, even though I’d never had trouble there before. I just don’t know if I’ll stop going to all other IHOPs as a result.

Does it even make sense that a business would make it standard practice to not split checks? I don’t even carry money with me most days. If I can’t pay with debit/charge card, I don’t think I’d be able to eat out usually. I don’t speak out against the added gratuity, but the serv-o-tron gets slighted by automatic gratuities when I eat out, because I won’t add to the required “tip” due to the offense I take at this being foisted upon me. Maybe for 10-12 people and up this makes sense, but at 5, it just seems obnoxious.

Nintendo Revolution to emulate Genesis and TurboGraphx-16

(via TechEBlog)
I hope this DailyTech posting is true.  I love my TG-16.  There were some great games made for that system.  Too bad the company (NEC) didn’t support the system – like so many other failed technologies, it was better than the competitors at the time.

Nintendo of America, Inc.’s, President Satoru Iwata announced that his company’s new gaming console, the Nintendo Revolution, would support not only all NES, Super NES, and Nintendo 64 games, but also Sega Genesis and Turbo Grafx 16 games by way of emulators.

[tags]Revolution, Nintendo, TG-16, Genesis[/tags]