Sony Sued for Software Piracy: Hypocrisy Again

March 31, 2008

Remember when there was some scandal involving one of Warner’s top management where it was found that the guy’s daughter pirates music at home? Well, now we have another hypocrite, and this time it’s Sony, the one that tried to plant a root kit onto your computer, making it open to all manner of viruses and spyware, just to protect their own music. The latest news is that Sony BMG is now being sued for software piracy, and its assets have been seized.

Maybe BSA should make a raid on all of the recording studios and movie production offices. You know, to find out if this is just the tip of the iceberg. RIAA and MPAA should also raid BSA offices too – who knows what sort of music and movies that may be pirated there? After all, these people are talking and thinking about piracy all the time. That’s pretty suspicious isn’t it? The rest of us ordinary folk don’t even think about such things until either the RIAA, MPAA or BSA bring it up.

Filed in Outraged, Opinion, Humor.


Nobody Reads EULAs, Not Even the Company that Writes Them, Like Adobe, Google & Apple

March 30, 2008

I have come to the conclusion that no one reads End User Licensing Agreements, or EULA, not even the company that writes them. Here’s proof. 🙂

I find the entire thing hilarious.

Filed in Humor.


Creative Takes Down Third Party for Fixing their Broken Vista Audigy Drivers

March 30, 2008

Creative probably made a major tactical error. Apparently the drivers for their sound cards do not work well under Vista, with many features crippled. A developer named Daniel K created fixed drivers that allowed Audigy and X-Fi (?) users to use their cards on Vista the way they could on XP. Now Creative has issued a notice to the modder to take down his drivers. This has led to a major hue and cry in all the major forums, including Creative’s own, as well as many tech news sites.

I have a feeling that Creative is disallowing the fixes because they want users to buy a new sound card for Vista, as well as pay for some add-on software pack called Alchemy so that their sound card will work in Vista as advertised.

There are probably at least 2 parties at fault here:

  • Microsoft – for releasing a Vista that has disabled so many things that came with XP and causing so many driver problems. The Vista developers obviously don’t believe in backward-compatiblity.
  • Creative – too money grubbing about the whole matter. Good grief, customers have already paid for your card. And you didn’t even have to fix the software, someone did it for you. You destroy your goodwill when you take him down without providing your own fixes.

Update: see the latest news on this, as well as the URL where you can get the modded drivers in Creative on the Defensive over X-Fi/Audigy Drivers Fiasco.

Filed in Outraged, Opinion, Windows.


Google Forbids Kids from Using Its Services

March 29, 2008

Google’s Terms of Service forbids people under the legal age (usually 18 in US) from using its services:

You may not use the Services and may not accept the Terms if (a) you are not of legal age to form a binding contract with Google…

So it looks like all kids are not allowed to use Google, Gmail or any of its services.

And this comes hot on the heels of the news that Apple forbidding Windows users from installing Safari for Windows. Don’t these companies read their own licenses?

Filed in Humor.


It’s Not Safe to Install Safari After All: Major Security Vulnerabilities

March 27, 2008

After wondering whether to trust Apple enough to install Safari for Windows, I’ve come across a security advisory describing two serious holes in Safari that will allow a malicious site to compromise your machine and execute malicious code on it. So I guess I got my answer as to whether or not to install Safari.

Besides, it seems like Apple’s release of Safari for Windows is a bit of a fiasco.

  • They put it as a default update to Itunes. Yup, Safari is considered an update to Itunes. And the installation of Safari is checked by default in the Apple Updater. After my experience with the obnoxious QuickTime for Windows, this behavior alone has made me hesitate about installing Safari.
  • Because it is an update to Itunes, some sites are making fun of Apple’s EULA. The updater says that the software is governed by the EULA of the software it’s updating. Unfortunately, that EULA says that you can only install the software on Apple PCs, not the sort of PCs that are used by the majority of people running Windows. I’m sure this is just a silly mistake, but it’s pretty funny. Sneaking in a Safari install and giving a EULA that forbids the running of Safari on Windows machines!

Filed in Software, Outraged, Security, Browsers.


Save the Developers: Ditch IE 6

March 27, 2008

IE 6 is a wretched nuisance to develop for. It is broken in so many ways: its ability to render pages properly according to standards, as well as its security holes. Some web developers have set up a site called Save the Developers to try to get users to upgrade from IE 6 to just about any other browser around, including Firefox, Opera, IE 7 and Safari. All you need to do is to put some Javascript on your site, and if your visitor arrives at your site with IE 6 they will get an unobtrusive notice that overlays the top right of their browser for a short while, asking them to upgrade.

Unfortunately, I can’t put that script here, since wordpress.com doesn’t allow JavaScripts.

Filed in Web Design.


Vista’s Driver Problems Are Not Exaggerated

March 26, 2008

In case you thought Vista’s problems were exaggerated, Ars Technica dissects Microsoft’s internal documentation about the vista driver problems that caused crashes. Nvidia driver crashes accounted for 479,000 of crashes, or 29% of all crashes recorded in the period under study. Microsoft’s own drivers was the next highest cause of crashes, at 17.9%. And so on. ATI’s, Intel’s, and other manufacturers’ drivers also led to crashes.

I find it amusing that Microsoft’s own drivers was the second highest cause of crashes. They can’t exactly blame the third party manufacturers for not implementing drivers correctly here! 🙂

Now that we’re in 2008, more than a year since Vista’s release, I really hope that these problems are fixed. It’s becoming quite hard to find computers that come with XP, and sooner or later, I have to upgrade my computer.

Filed in Windows.