Thursday, November 17, 2005

Big Day Out: good news, bad news
The 2nd announcement of acts for BDO 2006 brings heaps more hiphop - Common, Jean Grae and Edan, and throw in UK indie darlings Go!Team and it's all good. EXCEPT that M.I.A. is playing most of the OZ BDOs but not coming over to Kiwiland. Suckville!








latest from Boing boing..Latest Sony news: 100% of CDs with rootkits, mainstream condemnation, retailers angry

From the New York Times...
CD's Recalled for Posing Risk to PC's

The global music giant Sony BMG yesterday announced plans to recall millions of CD's by at least 20 artists - from the crooners Celine Dion and Neil Diamond to the country-rock act Van Zant - because they contain copy restriction software that poses risks to the computers of consumers.

The move, more commonly associated with collapsing baby strollers, exploding batteries, or cars with faulty brakes, is expected to cost the company tens of millions of dollars. Sony BMG said that all CD's containing the software would be removed from retail outlets and that exchanges would be offered to consumers who had bought any of them.

A toll-free number and e-mail message inquiry system will also be set up on the Sony BMG Web site, sonybmg.com. "We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause our customers," the company said in a letter that it said it would post on its Web site, "and are committed to making this situation right..."

Market research from 2004 has shown that about 30 percent of consumers report obtaining music through the copying and sharing of tracks among friends from legitimately purchased CD's. But the fallout from the aggressive copy protection effort has raised serious questions about how far companies should be permitted to go in seeking to prevent digital piracy.

The recall and exchange program, which was first reported by USA Today, comes two weeks after news began to spread on the Internet that certain Sony BMG CD's contained software designed to limit users to making only three copies. The software also, however, altered the deepest levels of a computer's systems and created vulnerabilities that Internet virus writers could exploit...


AND how many of these CDs are in New Zealand stores? Anyone?


pee&poo.jpg

via Gizmodo "For heaven's sake, could it be that only a Swedish designer could get away with making plush toys that represent pee and poo, and have them called cute, cuddly and unique? Pee & Poo toys have been sold solely in the Swedish market thus far (I don't even want to know what Laura Bush would have to say about this) and coincidentally, have completely sold out. Designer Emma Megitt was obviously way ahead of her time, though I mean, who wouldn't want furry human waste hanging around their home? Plushy, stuffed furry human waste, I mean, not the real kind. We all have that lying around, don't we?"PEE & POO TOY

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sony BMG want to root you
Via Boing boing - "Close examination of the rootkit that Sony's audio CDs attack their customers' PCs with has revealed that their malicious software is built on code that infringes on copyright. Indications are that Sony has included the LAME music encoder, which is licensed under the Lesser General Public License (LGPL), which requires that those who use it attribute the original software and publish some of the code they write to use the library. Sony has done none of this.

The evidence against Sony is compelling, and this further reveals the hypocrisy of Sony's actions. Sony claims that it needs to install dangerous, malicious, underhanded software on its customers' computers to protect its copyrights, but in order to write this malware, it has no compunction about infringing on the copyrights of public-spirited software authors who make their works available under free software licenses like the GPL.

I suppose it's natural to believe that everyone is at least as sleazy as you are: for Sony's rip-off artists, assuming that paying customers are planning to rip them off must come easy. Link"

and more from Boing boing...
On the Freedom to Tinker blog, DRM researcher par excellence J. Alex Halderman dissects a second variety of malicious software that purchasers of Sony music CDs can be infected with. Sony not only uses the now-infamous First4Internet rootkit, but also uses a second piece of malicious software from Suncomm, the less-well-known but still-dangerous MediaMax. Halderman's masterful research is both lucid and alarming. If you want to have a safe experience with Sony music, you'd better acquire it by some means other than purchasing it:
To summarize, MediaMax software:

* Is installed onto the computer without meaningful notification or consent, and remains installed even if the license agreement is declined;
* Includes either no uninstall mechanism or an uninstaller that fails to completely remove the program like it claims;
* Sends information to SunnComm about the user's activities contrary to SunnComm and Sony statements and without any option to disable the transmissions.

Does MediaMax also create security problems as serious as the Sony rootkit's? Finding out for sure may be difficult, since the license agreement specifically prohibits disassembling the software. However, it certainly causes unnecessary risk. Playing a regular audio CD doesn't require you to install any new software, so it involves minimal danger. Playing First4Internet or SunnComm discs means not only installing new software but trusting that software with full control of your computer. After last week's revelations about the Sony rootkit, such trust does not seem well deserved.

Link

and still more...

"Dozens of BB readers wrote in to say that Sony is no longer putting malicious rootkit software on its CDs. Of course, the stores are still filled with infectious CDs, and untold millions of computer users have had their PCs compromised by the rootkit. And Sony's statement on the action is the lamest non-apology I've ever read:
Sony defended its right to prevent customers from illegally copying music but said it will halt manufacturing CDs with the "XCP" technology as a precautionary measure. "We also intend to re-examine all aspects of our content protection initiative to be sure that it continues to meet our goals of security and ease of consumer use," the company said in a statement.
Link

ADDED: Genius DNS hacker Dan Kaminsky designed a research project that has produced a count of the number of networks that have been infected with the malicious rootkit Sony distributed with its audio CDs: over 500,000 networks contain at least one infected machine. Many of these are governmental and military networks.

AND THEN...
Sony has applied for a patent that will lock a PS game to one console and one console only:

"They take the media that today lets you do everything copyright permits -- timeshifting and quotation, format-shifting and backup -- and they take away all those things. Then they painfully dribble each of those rights back as a "feature" that you pay extra for. Drip, drip, drip -- each drop of functionality painfully and expensively squeezed into your living room, every time you want to do something you used to do for free. That's not a business-model. That's a urinary tract infection."

Monday, November 14, 2005

Ring the Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Saturday November 12
Jackie Mittoo - Chicken and booze
Dancing Djedi - body surfin
Leroy Sibbles - Express yourself
Led Snoopelin - Drop it like a whole lotta love (partyben.com)
James Brown - Funky drummer (DJ Muro remix)
Ray Barretto - Pastime paradise
Beenieman and Devonte - Imagination
King Tubby - Money dub
Sean Paul - Straight up
Keith Lawrence feat Rodney P - Style and fashion
Brooklyn funk essentials - Creator has a masterplan
Rhombus - True rub-a-dub love style
One self -Temptation
Rick James -Bustin out
Cornerstone Roots -Generation dub (see em live in Auckland at Galatos
Saturday 19 November)
Western Roots - rockers galore
Floetry - Waiting in vain (bit heavy on the cheddar but not too bad)
Fabulous Counts - dirty red
Beastie Boys - Shadrach (Peanut Butter Wolf remix)
Dexys Midnight Runners - Geno
Maxwell Implosion - Follow my riddim
Prince Fatty - On the run
Son Sine feat d.e.w. - Believin
Phillip Levy - My god my king
Damian Marley - All night
Bilal - High'n'dry
Peak - Get Carter
Port Authority Soul Band - Superstrut