Free software? You can’t just give it away

Who could possibly be upset with the Mozilla Foundation for giving away its Firefox browser?

Well according to this article in the
Times Online -Technology News Gervase Markham (he works for the Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting choice and innovation on the internet), has found one Trading Standards officer who is incredulous:

“I can’t believe that your company would allow people to make money from something that you allow people to have free access to. Is this really the case?” she asked.

“If Mozilla permit the sale of copied versions of its software, it makes it virtually impossible for us, from a practical point of view, to enforce UK anti-piracy legislation, as it is difficult for us to give general advice to businesses over what is/is not permitted.”

Oh dear , Mozilla is being held responsible for the disintegration of the UK anti-piracy system. Who would have thought giving away software could cause such difficulties?

You really have to read this one

Running as Limited User

This is one of those geek alert ones… but you really should have a look at it, it might help you control your friends and relations from trashing your Windows XP setup

Over at Mark’s Sysinternals Blog there is a recent post called Running as Limited User – the Easy Way.

The Malware epidemic has grown to Cecil B deMille proportions in the last few years. No matter how careful you are; running antivirus, antispyware, and a firewall, even a careful user can fall victim to malware (how true). Malware-infected downloads, drive-by exploits of Internet Explorer vulnerabilities, and a careless click on an Outlook attachment sent by a “friend” can trash your carefully configured system and lead to several boring (and you really don’t know how boring this can be until you have done it) hours with the Windows setup CD and application installers.

Mark Russinovich and Sysinternals have some of the best tools, Mark is the guy who identified the Sony DRM rootkit. Once you have finished reading the post have a rummage through the rest of the Sysinternals site.

Well worth it.

Ultra High Security Password Generator

Sometimes you need really serious passwords , for routers, wireless access points, securing databases. You know… serious stuff.

Generating long, high-quality random passwords is not simple. So Steve Gibson has made it easier here is some totally random raw material, generated just for YOU, to start with his Ultra High Security Password Generator

Each time the page is displayed the server generates a unique set of custom, high quality, cryptographic-strength password strings which are safe for you to use:

Some Examples below.

64 random hexadecimal characters (0-9 and A-F):

63 random printable ASCII characters:gC ‘Vn]`’Wr ‘YmdXyxB{*&=:gY1c&”1_?mJJ!~om)h(>6:6}QGG%!ov(Zz~$D:

63 random alpha-numeric characters (a-z, A-Z, 0-9):

Useful, if a little obscure.

Vatican copyrights the Pope

Well at least his utterings.

According to the Times Online the Vatican ‘cashes in’ by putting price on the Pope’s copyright

It appears that the Vatican has been accused of trying to cash in on the Pope’s words after it decided to impose strict copyright on all papal pronouncements. For the first time all papal documents, including encyclicals, will be governed by copyright invested in the official Vatican publishing house, the Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

I wonder if they will do yet another rewrite of the Bible , tell everyone that this is now the “authorative” version and quietly start copyrighting it.

And then there’s the songs and the song books, the Vatican and the RIAA can exchange pointers.

Or is that me being cynical?

Grant over at CC:365 ( A song a day etc) posted this.

…this is the funniest thing I’ve read this year.

When you think of it, DRM isn’t so incompatible with the bible.
The whole tree of knowledge debacle was all about this.

God is all like “No distribution of my IP”.
Then the Snake is all like “I haves the 0-day”.
And then Eve is all like “Adam, dude, here’s a torrent”.
Adam to Eve “No way, God will totally rootkit our ass”.
Eve back to Adam “Chillax, guy”.
Then Adam is like “K”.
And God totally kickbans them from the server.

It must be Saturday

Aus Gov to introduce “personal use” legislation

Oh goody… Phil Ruddock “might” be giving us all a chrissy present.
See MILLIONS of Australians who tape TV shows and copy CDs will soon get the right to do it with a clear conscience.
A quick overview…

“The Federal Government will next year legalise the video recording of television shows for personal use, and the transfer of songs from CDs to MP3 players, in a bid to overturn a ban which has made criminals of much of the population. Attorney-General Philip Ruddock has flagged tidying up copyright laws by adding fair-use loopholes that will clear the way for private citizens to copy the content without breaking the law.

But yet to be decided is whether a levy will be slapped on the store price of blank CDs and MP3 players, such as iPods, to compensate artists for the revenue they stand to lose under the new laws.
Though the practice is widespread, it remains illegal to convert a CD to MP3 format for playing on an iPod. There are more than 100,000 Australian iPod owners, all of whom have broken the law by uploading music. It is also against the law to tape a television program.”

So there you have it folks, do we trust Phil or do we just sit back and see what the “present” will cost us.

Wait and see time.

How to rip a DVD

How timely is this? Elliott Back has written a quick tutorial on How to rip a DVD.

Ripping a DVD to xvid or divx avi is really quite easy, if you have the right tools.

You’ll first need to download DVD decrypter and auto gordian knot (autogk). DVD decrypter allows you to rip the raw DVD video and audio data off of your disk drive, decrypt the CSS protection, and finally remove any other protection schemes, such as Macrovision. AutoGK is a package of codecs and a GUI interface that will take the raw DVD data through an AV processing pipeline to produce a single windows video file.

and the rest is in the article.