Create an Account
username: password:
  MemeStreams Logo

Less technical than nuclear mechanics


My Blog
My Profile
My Audience
My Sources
Send Me a Message

sponsored links

Dagmar's topics
  Sci-Fi/Fantasy Literature
  Role Playing Games
  Video Games
   PC Video Games
   Console Video Games
   Multiplayer Online Games
Health and Wellness
Current Events
Local Information
  Politics and Law
   Internet Civil Liberties
   Intellectual Property
   Computer Security
   PC Hardware
   Computer Networking
   Computing Platforms
   Software Development
    Open Source Development
    Perl Programming

support us

Get MemeStreams Stuff!

Microsoft Said to Limit Device Makers’ Chip-Partner Choices
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:31 am EDT, Jun  1, 2011

Translation: "We've decided that we wish to spend the least amount of time possible working on hardware compatibility, and feel that a lack of consumer choice will benefit us greatly. Also, that we have enough dominance in any market that we can shove this up consumer's asses and tell them to like it and they can't say otherwise. After all, it only took one exclusive business contract to put a stop to that nasty Linux thing shipping on netbooks."

Microsoft Said to Limit Device Makers’ Chip-Partner Choices

AllClear ID powered by Debix Identity Theft Protection Offer for PlayStation®Network and Qriocity™ Customers
Topic: Computer Security 4:49 pm EDT, May 25, 2011

This from my inbox:

AllClear ID powered by Debix

Identity Theft Protection Offer for PlayStation®Network and Qriocity™ Customers

Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment have made arrangements with Debix to offer AllClear ID PLUS to eligible PlayStation®Network and Qriocity account holders in the United States who are concerned about identity theft.

AllClear ID PLUS is a premium identity protection service that uses advanced technology to deliver alerts to help protect you from identity theft. The service also provides identity theft insurance coverage and hands-on help from expert fraud investigators.

Sony has arranged, at no charge to eligible PlayStation®Network and Qriocity account holders, for twelve months of this service to be provided by Debix to those who choose to enroll. In order to be eligible, account holders must be residents of the United States with active accounts as of April 20, 2011.

If interested, please submit your email address by June 28, 2011, at 11:59:59 PM CST at:

Please note, you must enter the same email address used to register your PlayStation®Network or Qriocity account. Once your email address is validated, you will be sent your AllClear ID PLUS activation code.


Sony Computer Entertainment & Sony Network Entertainment

Somehow, I'm not really encouraged by the fact that the people who've been getting hit on an almost daily basis for the last two weeks are expecting me to put an email address into a server they're running.

Just... no.

Asterisk, not Linux, the target of Microsoft's Skype Acquisition
Topic: Miscellaneous 5:43 pm EDT, May 24, 2011

...and finally the other shoe drops.

Now it's clear that what Microsoft had in mind wasn't to kill Skype, but to severely hamper Asterisk's growth in favor of being able to promote Microsoft's own Lync project.

Asterisk, not Linux, the target of Microsoft's Skype Acquisition

Obligatory Elitist Chidings
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:17 am EDT, May 20, 2011

Amazon says:

As further proof of how digital media dominate today's entertainment, Amazon announced Thursday that its customers now buy more e-books for its Kindle device than all print books -- hardcover and paperback -- combined.

IT'S F**KING AMAZING WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FINALLY DROP THE PRICE TO LOWER THAN THAT OF THE PRINTED VERSIONS that we all knew were by far more expensive to distribute and get into stores/homes.

Note: It's not that the record companies have yet to figure out that no one wants in on a "deal" where they know they're being screwed (i.e., paying no less for mp3s than they would a plastic CD)... it's that they don't care. The last thing the record labels want is to actually sell you music.

Obligatory Elitist Chidings

...and now, some unbiased reporting from USA Today... NOT!
Topic: Current Events 6:21 pm EDT, May 12, 2011

So, by now lots of people have heard that Facebook hired a PR firm to shill against Google on the basis of "Google invading your privacy and giving your information away"...

Rather interesting subject matter considering that Facebook absolutely adores doing this very thing... "monetizing" your contacts in Facebook by handing out a great deal of your personal information to anything you "Like" (or to anyone smart enough to bypass their questionable security filtering).

It seems to me that Facebook is likely attempting to capitalize on the nonsense left over from the mess that was the Google Maps vehicles literally picking up wireless confetti, in an attempt to use the court of public opinion to get the FTC to sternly forbid Google from doing anything remotely like what Facebook makes their money doing. (...and it's not like this would be the first time Google has been attacked this way!) Elimination of competition by government action? True innovation!

Since the actual "spoiler" story broke I've seen signs that a few major news outlets actually did take the bait and published articles critical of what Google is doing with Social Search (I guess they didn't get the memo that the jig is up)... and then a few minutes ago I spotted USA Today's article, which really takes the cake for slanted reporting. They stop just short of outright lies but they really go a long way to swing that double-standard--berating Google for doing things they've subtly misrepresented and in the next paragraph lauding Facebook for doing even more of the same thing. They even engage in the timeless tactic of not actually saying nasty things, but instead simply quoting J. Random Asshole's comments about it, even if J. Random Asshole just learned about the situation from the reporter that asked them a handful of minutes before. I think the best part is how they use an article exposing this sort of smear campaign to actually engage in their own smearing.

Here's some nice blockquotes that are probably lawyer-bait, but what the hell... There's no use talking about something like this unless you can point to specific examples:

Let's start with the byline:

It's not as if Google lacks privacy controversies to quell.

Well, I suppose if you count the manufactured controversies at hand and whatever the hell just went down in Korea, then you've got two, possibly three controversies. Notice how they don't come out and make an accusation, when stating that there's not a lack of rumors can say so very much more. Cheap, and just as effective as saying "It's not as if your sister's never been called a whore."

Just an inch below that (you can't really call them paragraphs, can you?) we have:

Google said that Social Circle in fact allows Gmail users to make social connections based on public information and private connections across its ... [ Read More (0.4k in body) ]

...and now, some unbiased reporting from USA Today... NOT!

It Only Does 80710A06.
Topic: Console Video Games 3:52 pm EDT, May  4, 2011

A T-shirt to celebrate Sony's lack of concern both their customer's information, as well as actually keeping their service up.

Some of you with games containing some of the more obnoxious DRM (on a freaking console, even!) which you can't even play by now might have the shirt in-hand before your shiny game disc can release it's elfin magic once more.

It Only Does 80710A06.

More evasiveness about the PSN breach from Sony
Topic: Console Video Games 9:56 am EDT, Apr 28, 2011

Q: Was my personal data encrypted?

A: All of the data was protected, and access was restricted both physically and through the perimeter and security of the network. The entire credit card table was encrypted and we have no evidence that credit card data was taken. The personal data table, which is a separate data set, was not encrypted, but was, of course, behind a very sophisticated security system that was breached in a malicious attack.

I hope I'm not reading too much into this, but it seems to imply the personal data tables were more protected than the credit card numbers. Could it be that PCI regulations are actually that much less strict than the rules concerning how you store the PII of children? Was that the fundamental problem here--that PCI regulations actually don't have stiff enough penalties to serve as a sufficient deterrence against corporate jackassery?

Q: Was my credit card data taken?

A: While all credit card information stored in our systems is encrypted and there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained. Keep in mind, however that your credit card security code (sometimes called a CVC or CSC number) has not been obtained because we never requested it from anyone who has joined the PlayStation Network or Qriocity, and is therefore not stored anywhere in our system.
Either way, with 24 hours to go, I really don't think Sony's going to be able to explain their way out of this one.

This is just silliness. Anyone who has made a purchase through PSN has forked over the CVV from the back of their credit card, or the transaction wouldn't have cleared. Whether or not they were actually storing it ("to facilitate greater ease of purchasing") when they're explicitly forbidden from doing so I suppose to comes down to whether or not one believes in their veracity.

Being that a) Sony is a corporation which has neither a soul nor morals that can and will lie/cheat/steal so long as the quarterly statements have larger numbers and b) they're already lying to us in that very same paragraph... I ain't buyin' it.

More evasiveness about the PSN breach from Sony

You have got to be @!#$@$! kidding me.
Topic: Console Video Games 1:18 pm EDT, Apr 27, 2011

So, Sony's PlayStation Network has been down more or less without explanation for five days, and now I get an email from Sony containing the following things:

Although we are still investigating the details of this incident,
we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following
information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country,
email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login,
and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data,
including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip),
and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may
have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your
dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have
been obtained. While there is no evidence at this time that credit
card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have
provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity,
out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit
card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have
been obtained.

Wait... what? Let's focus on something in there:

While there is no evidence at this time that credit
card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility.

Translated into more practical and less asinine terms that says:

"We've been merrily ignoring PCI guidelines and keeping your credit card information in plaintext where anyone could get at it through a simple compromise of our gaming network."

Words absolutely fail me on how incredibly wrong that is.

As much as I despise Microsoft and everything they stand for, I'm giving Sony exactly 48 hours to come up with an answer that involves taking responsibility for their actions, or I'm selling my PS3 and using the money to buy an XBox360 the copies of the games I was still playing on the PS3.

Big Copyright hinders innovation, part blah blah blah
Topic: Intellectual Property 10:21 am EDT, Apr  7, 2011

So, very likely at the behest of lawyers threatening to sue Google (because suing people because you want their money is The New Work), the music streaming app GrooveShark has been yanked from the Android store... where it's been for a year and a half without incident.

The likely reason? GrooveShark dared to not cut deals with every record label to pay them money every time someone listens to their own goddamn mp3s.

In yet another round of "instead of doing something new and innovative, we'll simply demand money from the people who are already doing something new and innovative" music record labels feel comfortable "selling" people mp3s, but since they can't get people to buy mp3s that pay them every time they're listened to, they'll demand anyone who makes something you use to listen to them pay the label every time a user listens to the mp3 they "bought".


Big Copyright hinders innovation, part blah blah blah

Sexy little DVR remote for homebrewers
Topic: PC Hardware 10:59 am EDT, Apr  5, 2011

Now this is a sweet little PVR remote, complete with the four mysterious rainbow buttons, and a qwerty keyboard on the underside.

It's sixty bucks pre-ordered, but still that's a ton better than the (comparitively) four jillion dollars Logitech was asking for their fancy remote--especially considering Motorola is promising actual support (which probably just means 'working drivers' but close enough...) for this baby.

Sexy little DVR remote for homebrewers

(Last) Newer << 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 ++ 18 >> Older (First)
Powered By Industrial Memetics