East of the Sun, West of the Moon


More Sony Fun

Filed under: News,Software,Technology — Erwin @ 8:14 pm

After the previous follow-up, here’s some more thoughts and info from others:

  • Wired is one of the sites reporting that the rootkit used open-source software:

    It turns out that this music player contains components from an open-source project, an MP3 player called LAME.

  • Pamela Jones over at GrokLaw wonders if Sony’s downloadable music has similar rootkit issues:

    Sony’s choice for format restricts consumers to its own hardware – a complaint the paper also makes about Apple, though at least iTunes does permit you to rip CDs to MP3 for transfer to other brands of player. Sony’s SonicStage software does not support MP3 and “it defaults to storing music in an invisible, deeply buried sub-directory”, the paper warns….

    Invisible sub-directory? Hm, sounds familiar.

  • Dan Gillmor points out the lies upon lies in this story:

    At this page, Sony has a list of music CDs it says were infected with the “rootkit” malware that secretly installs hackable, dangerous crap on customers’ computers. (No, Sony doesn’t use these these words to describe what it prefers to think of as anti-infringement protections.) There are 52 CDs on the list.

    Go listen to this report on NPR from November 4, a few days after researcher Mark Russinovich started blowing the whistle on the company’s sleazy behavior. The reporter, Neda Ulaby, quotes Thomas Hesse, president of Global Digital Business for Sony BMG Music Entertainment: “He says only about 20 CDs have the software.”

And of course the fun of the virus scanners and such not noticing this thing for over a year and various people wondering what other record companies might be putting on their CDs that we haven’t noticed yet.

Here’s hoping more and more media will pick up on this and let it backfire at Sony and friends, let this be their bridge too far.

Big Bird?

Filed under: Dutch,News — Erwin @ 6:24 pm

The Netherlands at its finest, turning a little bird into a huge elephant (BBC News and various other newssites worldwide):

The shooting of a sparrow on the set of a Dutch world record domino-toppling attempt sparked outrage among animal lovers and led to threats to staff.


The bird’s fate was sealed when it knocked over 23,000 and organisers feared it could knock down more. An exterminator cornered the sparrow and shot it.


But Big Brother creators Endemol said things started to get out of hand when staff started receiving threats.

Uh, yeah. For instance, how does this compare to the birds that get killed because they got in the way of cars and planes, or that simply don’t make it for other reasons? One single bird. If the organisers compensate for this by putting some food out for a few days they probably already almost made up for it. Sheesh, people, have some sense of perspective here.

Small World

Filed under: Software — Erwin @ 3:51 pm

I had no idea who was using it, but I noticed a browser agent in the site stats called ‘SharpReader’ and wondered what that could be. So I searched for it and instantly found it here and noticed that it was created by someone called Luke Hutteman.

Eh, hang on. Luke… that wouldn’t be Lucas, would it? Uh, yes it would, as the whois information of his domain points out. That almost has to be the same guy as the student two years ahead of me in university back in the Netherlands (who also played on IgorMUD) who then went on to move to the US at some point.

Checking further I’m 100% certain it wasn’t actually him that browsed my site but it certainly was amusing to find out that connection of sorts. 🙂

Update: It was indeed him, he found the blog entry and responded.

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