As it turns out, Sony are more or less universally WEASELS

They’re using black-hat rootkit techniques to install and hide their copy protection scheme on CD purchasers’ systems. Lovely. (Via BoingBoing.)

(Translation for nongeeky readers: When bad people try to intrude on and take control of other people’s computers, they sometimes use a class of software package called a “rootkit,” which is named for the “god” level account present on Unix-like operating systems (“root”). Rootkits typically modify the system to achieve whatever theintruder’s goal might be AND conceal the hack from the computer’s rightful owner by deleting log entries, hiding files, and modifying the programs a user might use to detect the intrusion. If this sounds like serious electronic breaking & entering, that’s because it IS.)

So, once again: Leave Windows if you can, and do NOT buy copy-protected CDs. Ever. As we see here, putting a copy protected CD in your Windows box may well do serious damage to your computer’s software — damage that is not accidental.

More on Sony DRM, wittily and scathingly written.

Rude Pundit Strikes Again

Offensive and rude as always, his Samuel Alito: Another Motherfucker for America tell us much about Bush’s latest nominee:

Samuel Alito is such a motherfucker that he supported the rights of cops to strip search a ten-year old girl who was not named in a search warrant because, as he stated, “[I]t is a sad fact that drug dealers sometimes use children to carry out their business and to avoid prosecution,” which also means that it’s a sad fact that the girl’s got no rights to unreasonable search and seizures. Which means, really, none of us do if we happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. [Note: I belive the child was in her own home.] […] And, according to the Washington Post, on September 24, 1986, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Sam “Motherfucker-in-training” Alito helped author a Justice Department policy that “said that discrimination based on insufficient medical knowledge was not prohibited by federal laws protecting the handicapped. Employers, it said, may legally fire AIDS victims because of a ‘fear of contagion whether reasonable or not.'” The Justice Department’s position was rejected by many states, including some that reacted by barring discrimination against people with AIDS. Alito, whose work helped foster some of the hysteria about AIDS during the Reagan era, said, “We certainly did not want to encourage irrational discrimination,” but the reaction to it “hasn’t shaken our belief in the rightness of our opinion.”

Dept. of Forbes is Full of Crap

Forbes has published (use Bugmenot or this local PDF) an astoundingly, resoundingly stupid piece on how to “punish bloggers” — or any internet site — when they run afoul of your corporate talking points. Nowhere in their recommendations do we find “don’t be a dick,” which is kind of surprising considering the content of most of these “brand-bashing” sites. Instead, Forbes focusses on silencing critics without regard to the content of the criticism. Lovely.

Included in their “blog defense” plan are such gems as digging up dirt on the blogger to discredit him or her as well as blatent misuse of the DMCA to intimidate ISPs and hosting companies into taking the blogger’s site down. We suppose simply NOT operating in a way that inspires sites like is just not in the cards. BoingBoing has an excellent collection of rebuttal links, including a fine piece by Dan Gillmor.

It’s worth noting, too, that the author is a well-known anti-Open Source bigot, and was one of the lone voices defending an article about Pamela Jones (local PDF) of Groklaw that was little more than thinly veiled attack-and-intimidate piece. Jones’ site covers the SCO-IBM trial, and while Lyons attempts to paint her as a partisan IBMer, the facts of the case have always been on her side (as is evidenced by every single ruling in the years-long case so far). From Gillmor’s piece:

One sidebar, attacking a pro-Linux blogger, inveighs against bloggers’ alleged attacks on free speech because they complained about journalism they found wanting. This could have been an interesting story to cover, but Forbes turns something fairly subtle into a cartoon. One of the problems with the story the Linux folks were attacking was some unsupported innuendo, which the Forbes piece actually repeats in an especially slimy way. (Perhaps it’s worth noting that the Forbes reporter [Daniel Lyons] has a long history of jabbing at the open source folks.)

One word? Cretin. Way to go, Forbes!

PR Lessons for the White House

So, White House lawyers have actually gone after the Onion, a satirical weekly newspaper, for using the Presidential Seal without permission.

Of course, this constitutes a violation of that rule about getting into fights with people who buy ink by the barrel, virtual or no: this week’s edition includes something we suspect is meant as payback.

Merry Fitzmas

Buh-bye, Scooter. Vice President Cheney’s Chief of Staff Lewis Libby has been indicted on 5 felony counts. Wonder who’s next?

Now watch the same craven fuckers who insisted Clinton’s perjury warranted prison time backpedal and claim this is some “technicality” and that Fitzgerald is “criminalizing politics.”

Remember Operation Eden?

Yeah, things have gotten a bit better for Clayton Cubitt’s family. Close your office door before you read this if you don’t want people to see you get misty. Sometimes, good things happen. Sometimes, people are just better than we have any right to expect.


Look, voting’s about to happen. Let me make this very, very clear:


And, more importantly, if you’re in Texas:


If you vote for this abomination, you’re no friend of mine.

Dept. of Grade-A Snark

Via TBogg:

I’m didn’t really care much one way or the other who won the World Series (although I did get a charge out of watching George H.W. and Barbara Bush witness something even more disappointing than their children)…

Dept. of Stuff We’re Kinda Embarrassed We Didn’t Know

So, as the previous post probably makes clear, we’ve switched ISPs. Gone are the $50/month days of Earthlink (yeah, we know; we’ve just been paying the bill for five years without bothering to check other deals). Welcome to the $25/month days of SBC, with better than twice the bandwidth (3Mbps down, .5 up).

The sudden influx of speed made us wonder what the next step might be. For 15 years or more, we’ve thought of the T1 as the holy grail of bandwidth, but we realized we didn’t actually know how fast it was. Turns out, “T1 speed” is about half what we’re getting from SBC, but it’s symmetric (1.54Mbps both ways). As Mike pointed out, time was that a T1 made you an ISP (well, you’d also need a modem bank and a shitload of inbound lines); now, a T1 means 10-year-olds laugh at you.

Ah, life in the future.

More From Merlin

Merlin Man’s 5ives has a real winner today:

Five rules from the NPR drinking game
  1. Nina Totenberg reads a transcript (1 drink)
  2. oboe is heard (2 drinks)
  3. Malcolm Gladwell reference (1 drink)
  4. Scott Simon cracks himself up (1 drink)
  5. Daniel Schorr mentions Watergate (3 drinks)

Try not to get TOO excited, but:

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas court issued a warrant Wednesday for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to appear for booking, where he is likely to face the fingerprinting and photo mug shot he had hoped to avoid.

<a href=”>CNN

In which we point out that other people seem to have enjoyed it, too

The oft-linked Mike seems to have enjoyed our wedding, though he does take certain liberties in his recap. In a later entry, he makes clear a sentiment we’ve heard much of in re: the reception food:

Chet and Erin’s wedding had, without a doubt, the best food of any wedding I’ve ever been to. I mean, even though I think my wife took to feeding me cake to stop me from talking to other women, I didn’t really mind.

Said food was from Jill Rubenstein and PersonalChefsNYC. She and her husband David ROCK THE HOUSE. They rule. Totally. Mike’s opinion of the food was shared widely at the reception. While Jill didn’t do the cake (that was the aptly-named Who Made The Cake?, with whom we are also very pleased), she was responsible for everything else that our guests ate or drank, including a pseudocustom cocktail. She was also, while not cheap, quite reasonable. HIGHLY recommended.

While we’re talking about awesome, we should also note our Crack Wedding Officiation and Documentation Team. David outdid himself with our beautiful pictures, and his fantastic wife was the best darn officiant EVAR; many folks complimented us on the service she put together around our (scant) input. It should also be noted that it was in fact David who pointed us to Jill, whom we first met through Spacetaker‘s launch party last year. Awesomeness abounds.

Dept. of We Fixed Something

The big ol’ pile of well-wishing comments on the last post reminded us we needed to fix something in the code so that said comments are actually legible.

Oh yes: we’re home.