Code is law

On the Internet, Code is Law. This book is a guide to regulation of and in cyberspace – ultimately, what is allowed online is controlled by the code running everything. While available in dead-tree format, it is also avaible via bitstream for local viewing or (soon to be available for) reading and updating via wiki. The digital version is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License, so you can redistribute it modified or unmodified, provided you give proper attribution and release with the same license. (via boingboing)

[tags]Code is law, Lawrence Lessig book[/tags]

LED booklight

lightwedge140.jpgThis is a slightly cooler than normal booklight, I think. It might be a hassle to switch sides of the page a lot, which appears to be necessary based on how it is built. I can see this light illuminating a page more evenly than any other booklight I’ve seen, though, which makes it totally worth having. It’s in the mid to upper $20 range, depending on which version you get. Geek-boy (yes, I stopped maturing around the age of 7 – that makes me still a boy, at least inside) that I am, I think I’d like the Harry Potter version.

[tags]Cool booklight, Better booklight[/tags]

Yahoo top searches

OK, since I have nothing better to do with my life than track down useless stats, I decided to check what the most searched for phrases or words are on the top search engines. I just find the results interesting to check on some times. As of the time of this writing, here are the top Google and Yahoo searches.  There are tons of search stats on these pages.  This is just a glimpse of what you can find.
zeitgeist-2006-end_dec02.jpg yahoo-2006-overall-dec_11.jpg

So what does this all mean?  Nothing really.  I just find in interesting.  Note that Google does their searches week-by-week (although you can also check out a monthly top searches, and even a full year once the year is complete) while Yahoo seems to just do a “to-date” top searches, with no obvious starting date for that.  Perhaps they track top searches since the inception of Yahoo?

I do wonder about all the people travelling to France, looking for a hotel.  But that’s just my curiousity, I suppose.

[tags]Top searches, Google and Yahoo top searches[/tags]

Don’t open Microsoft Word documents

News of this vulnerability is available in many places. I’ll point to the Secunia posting about the latest announced security vulnerability in Microsoft Word. Opening Microsoft Word documents with Word can lead to your computer being taken over by hostile programs – almost assuredly without your knowledge. Until a patch is available from Microsoft, do not open documents unless you know and trust the document creator.

A vulnerability has been reported in Microsoft Word, which potentially can be exploited by malicious people to compromise a user’s system.

The vulnerability is caused due to an unspecified error in the handling of Word documents and can be exploited to cause a memory corruption.

Successful exploitation may allow execution of arbitrary code.

I’m not even going to do my standard Microsoft rant here. Designing security into a program as complex as Word is hard. Going back and trying to add security to a finished application which wasn’t designed with security tenets in mind is almost impossible. I am almost certain Word was not designed with security as a key component, which means there will probably always be problems like this. And consumers are to blame, as they don’t demand secure applications by withholding money from vendors who don’t design for security. In other words, the buying public is largely to blame for this – Microsoft is just doing what the customers indicate they want with show of dollars.

Microsoft has additional details on MS TechNet and on TechNet blogs.

[tags]Don’t open MS Word documents, Latest big security vulnerability news – MS Word[/tags]

Hacking Vista’s registration lock

Thanks again to TimG for the heads up on this one. I didn’t figure it would take long, but I hadn’t paid attention to find out when Microsoft Vista’s activation check so anyone can fake a valid Vista installation. Using the newly released crack, anyone can install an enterprise copy of Windows Vista and have it function as a valid installation.

Hackers are distributing a file that they say lets users of the corporate version of Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system get around the software’s anti-piracy mechanisms.

. . .

The software Microsoft.Windows.Vista.Local.Activation.Server-MelindaGates lets users spoof that KMS process, allowing them to activate copies of the enterprise editions of Vista, its creators say. The hacked download is available online on sites including The Pirate Bay and other file sharing sites.

An article on Yahoo including a link to The Pirate Bay is just an extra touch of funny, to me.

[tags]Vista activation hack, Vista enterprise installation hack[/tags]

Sony sticking to 1 million PS3s claim

Word over on is that Sony still plans to have 1 million PlayStation 3s for North America by Dec. 31.

We will continue to utilize airfreight delivery for the PLAYSTATION 3 to assure a steady stream of systems for North American consumers through the end of the year. And while initial day-one launch shipment goals weren’t achievable due to early manufacturing issues, those problems have been resolved and we do remain focused on having one million PS3’s in the pipeline by December 31, 2006.

Of course, aside from the improbability of this actually being true, note the “in the pipeline” part there. If Sony doesn’t have 1 million in stores by Dec. 31, they can just claim everything that is in transit to North America as being in the pipeline. And while currently Sony is shipping every PS3 air direct over here, who knows when that will stop. If the shipping method changes on Dec. 30 and another quarter million ship the last day of the year that will take 12 days to get here, it still counts in the Sony counting method. Given that Sony only sold 197,000 PS3s in November (down from their 1 million, errr, 600,000, ummmmm, 400,000 at launch claims made earlier this year), I’m skeptical.  Also:

The six-year old PlayStation 2 continues to dominate the market, outselling all other consoles in November, including much newer systems from the competition.

For values of “all other consoles” which don’t include the Nintendo DS, this is true.  However, the DS selss as many systems as all other consoles combined in the typical month.  Some don’t count the DS as a console, in which case this info doesn’t apply to them, but I think it is just another console for this sale information. 

Ultimately, I think Microsoft and Sony botched their respective console launches. Only Nintendo really pulled of the launch well, and even there some troubles were seen. (via Kotaku)

[tags]Sony to get 1 million PS3s in pipeline by year end[/tags]