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Bus firm takes car sharers to court
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:30 am EDT, Jul 12, 2005

"They might have been congratulated for their "green" efforts in an area of heavy air pollution.
Instead a group of French cleaning ladies who organised a car-sharing scheme to get to work are being taken to court by a coach company which accuses them of "an act of unfair and parasitical competition".

The women, who live in Moselle and work five days a week at EU offices in Luxembourg, are being taken to court by Transports Schiocchet Excursions, which runs a service along the route. It wants the women to be fined and their cars confiscated."

Bus firm takes car sharers to court

Blizzard v. BNETD
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:38 am EDT, Jun 23, 2005

On Monday, June 20th lawyers for BNetd (EFF & Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder) have argued (in an appeal) that conflict preemption renders EULA prohibitions against reverse engineering unlawful because they remove rights federal law (under 1201f) has granted. It's a fairly interesting case, with wide reaching implications.

Blizzard v. BNETD

Atlanta Time Machine
Topic: Recreation 5:51 pm EDT, Apr  6, 2005

] The Atlanta Time Machine website is dedicated to
] examining the history of Atlanta, Georgia by comparing
] vintage photographs of Atlanta with much more
] contemporary images shot, more or less, from the same
] perspective of the original photographer.

Atlanta Time Machine

The Top 10 Intelligent Designs (or Creation Myths)
Topic: Science 5:24 pm EST, Mar 31, 2005

] Scientists now believe that there is an intrinsic logic
] to our reality, that there are absolutes, laws of nature.
] Much remains a mystery, and as one question is answered,
] many others arise. The question now facing Pennsylvania's
] Dover School District is whether or not the imposition of
] one creation belief on a multi-ethnic, secular student
] body is in keeping with the law that prohibits the
] creation of a state religion. If they allow one belief
] system to be taught, surely they must also teach others?
] To help out with this dilemma, LiveScience presents a
] list of those Creation Myths that helped define
] civilizations both past and present.

Ah, comedy!

The Top 10 Intelligent Designs (or Creation Myths)

Advanced binary analysis of CherryOS: proof of theft
Topic: Technology 10:40 am EST, Mar 31, 2005

just incase anyone didn't believe them already here goes the analysis (I do this sort of thing for a living) first off CherryOS.exe is what we call in the security industry "packed", that means that they have taken a compiled binary and run it through an obfuscator to make it hard to reverse engineer (or at least with hard if all you're doing is strings)...this is common for virus writers, worm writers, 31337 bot net kiddies, and on the legitimate side, game developers do this a lot...its not very common among the commercial (or free) legitimate software market (mostly because it doesn't work and doesn't do any good) so, the easiest way to defeat the packing is simply to let it start up (this one has several annoying checks for debuggers so its easiest to just attach after its loaded)...

the eula for this thing says its a violation to reverse engineer it, but if you do disassemble it you find they never had the rights to license it in the first place, so I don't feel worried to put this here...

if you want to follow along I downloaded a trial copy of CherryOS this morning and I got the latest version of pearpc as of this morning off of sourceforge (not from cvs, just the tarball), I am using windows XP with Interactive Disassembler (IDA)... goes:

so the first thing we want to do is find some strings which are common to both, they will not in and of themselves give you the answer you're looking for but they will give us a good starting point, we will then use these to get a context on the code that uses these strings, we will then compare the functions (or in this case class methods) to see if they are similar (or in this case identical)

so, example number one lets look at something in the cpu emulation code (because that is the heart of the code)

direct your editor to cpu/cpu_jitc_x86/ line 465 you will see the following small function

extern "C" void FASTCALL jitc_error_program(uint32 a, uint32 b) {
if (a != 0x00020000) { // Filter out trap exceptions, no need to report them
ht_printf("JITC Warning: program exception: %08x %08x\n", a, b);

first lets see if we can find the format string "JITC Warning: program exception: %08x %08x\n" somewhere in the core memory image of CherryOS

now if you're using IDA attach to an already running CherryOs.exe (not to be confused with mainCherryOs.exe) and regenerate strings or do a direct string search, and search for this exact string...

you will find it in the text segment located at the fact that it exists alone is almost enough to pass summary judgment, but lets keep going so its painfully obvious...

in cherryos.exe at .text:0040E8C0 you will see a reference to the format string from pearpc the disassembled function at this address looks like this (don't worry details will be explained in a bit)

.text:0040E8C0 sub esp, 0Ch
.text:0040E8C3 cmp ... [ Read More (1.6k in body) ]

Advanced binary analysis of CherryOS: proof of theft

AFP Sues Google News for Copyright Infringement
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:48 pm EST, Mar 19, 2005

[ A story about a web site filing a lawsuit to save themselves from having to edit robots.txt. Swell. Stupid french. ]

AFP Sues Google News for Copyright Infringement

Council Directive of 14 May 1991 on the legal protection of computer programs (91/250/EEC)
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:40 am EST, Mar 19, 2005

[ General software laws in europe, each nation integrates the directives into their existing law a little different, but I found this an interesting description of how software copyrights work in europe in general. Of particular interest to me was articles 6
and 5(3).]

Council Directive of 14 May 1991 on the legal protection of computer programs (91/250/EEC)

Publishing exploit code ruled illegal in france
Topic: Technology 8:24 am EST, Mar 10, 2005

Researchers that reverse engineer software to discover programming flaws can no longer legally publish their findings in France after a court fined a security expert on Tuesday.

Publishing exploit code ruled illegal in france

US spamming conviction overturned
Topic: Technology 8:50 pm EST, Mar  3, 2005

This is sort of interesting. I was under the assumption that jury decisions can't be overturned strictly on the basis of their decisions alone (only for process problems, and other associated problems with the way the trial was conducted), and that jury nullification was indeed possible.

US spamming conviction overturned

Court preserves aftermarket competition under the DMCA
Topic: Technology 7:30 pm EST, Feb 24, 2005

This is a good overview of two cases where the court has limited the reach of the DMCA.

Court preserves aftermarket competition under the DMCA

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