* Posts by Alex

12 posts • joined 7 Apr 2008

Sims 3 pirated 180,000 times in three days

Alex
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Undoubtedly not lost sales

The key point that seems to be skipped around but missed here is the very fact that these downloads are happening before the game has been released.

I'd be willing to bet almost anything that at least a sizeable portion of, if not the large majority of, those 180,000 download are by people who've already preordered the game anyway. XWiz above has hit the nail almost on the head, he's preordered it but cant play it as his legit version hasnt arrived yet. Realistically, how many other people are going to do the same? You've preordered a game you've been waiting on for weeks/months/years, your copy's arriving in a week or two, but "oh look, I can get it early via a download!". Knowing the fanaticism that surrounds the anticipation of getting your hands on a game you've been waiting on for ages, not many people would say no to that.

So, just how much of a "lost sale" is each of the downloads that represents a user who's preordered and bought the game anyway and just wants to play it sooner? Ah yes, its not.

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BNP DDoS 'mega-assault' not actually mega in the least

Alex
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@Not that insignificant

I have to agree with Dr Who in questioning these numbers - According to Rapidswitch's own published network information they use 10Gbit pipes between their dispersed facilities and only 2gbit between their redbus and telehouse suites, so yes while a 600mbit DDOS is one their network as a whole can undoubtedly take without a significant problem, it would be incredibly remiss of them if traffic that amounted to roughly 1/15th of their total network capacity between entire datacentres (or roughly 1/3 of the available capacity if BNP were hosted in one of their Redbus suites) being directed at one server "hardly hit their radar".

By all accounts if the 600mbit figure is accurate it's certainly a laughably tiny DDOS in comparason to real attacks, but considering it's easily enough to take a single server offline and would crap out the networks of most small to medium providers, I have to wonder if an extra zero got tacked onto there or something when it gets dismissed as barely noticeable.

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USAF raygun boffins clocking planet-buster asteroid threats

Alex
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Detection = Safety?

>>>But clocking all the nearer and more visible stuff would certainly eliminate a big portion of the risk

It does? One thing curiously missing from this article is exactly what anyone would plan to actually do about one of these huge asteroids having detected it, other than orchestrate a coverup to keep the public ignorant - Unless the USA happens to have a bunch of misfit expert oil drillers and a couple of backpack nukes on hand to get blasted up to the asteroid in a spacecraft that the USA will no longer have after next year, it'd be interesting to know whether Minuteman / Trident et al weapons would actually have any possibility of stopping one of these things having found it.

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Site schools world+dog in browsing history pilfering

Alex
Unhappy

@AC 10:50 10/05/2009

>>>>er, perhaps because adding sites to the Trusted Zone does FAR more than allow Javascript. I might want to let some gaming site run Javascript but that doesn't mean I trust it.

>>>>>And by the way, what annoying yellow bar? noscript does no such thing - perhaps you have it misconfigured....

As one who talks about how I "misconfigure" noscript, I could point you to the same thing - Beyond disabling protected mode (which is vista and win7 only anyway) the trusted sites list by default allows very little more than the normal zone does anyway. And guess what, everything it does or doesnt allow is... you got it, configurable.

And the yellow bar noscript displays is this one, taken from a screenshot on noscript's own website:

http://software.informaction.com/data/noscript/ss2.png

That bar is enabled by default and has to be explicitly hidden to remove, so quite how you can say there's no such thing is a mystery..

Frankly this whole thing is a non-story, sure it's something that'd be nice for the browser developers to prevent but that website is clearly just scaremongering over something that really isnt very much of a security hole atall, and is perfectly preventable in ALL browsers, hell in IE you dont even need to alter your security settings, as said above it's simply a case of browsing with InPrivate enabled.

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Alex
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No IE solution?

>>> Indeed, Start Panic's snoop script was rendered impotent until NoScript was instructed to allow the site to run javascript. We're still dumbfounded Internet Explorer doesn't offer a similar capability.

How about simply disabling javascript for the Internet zone and adding trusted sites on which you want to allow Javascript to the trusted sites list? Granted this is a new fangled feature that IE has only offered for the past decade or so and which unlike Noscript doesnt place an annoying yellow bar at the bottom of your browser, but it's exactly what Noscript does.

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Win 7 RC fails to thwart well-known hacker risk

Alex
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How do MS win?

This seems a bit of a non-story and a non-issue - While security firms may like to take a jab at MS over this insecurity that isnt an insecurity, if Explorer did show filetypes by default, the same Joe Home User that would get stung by virus.jpg.exe with filetypes hidden is the same type of user who will try to convert all his music to mp3 by renaming bobdylan.wav to bobdylan.mp3 then wonder why it doesnt work any more, or wont know the extension is needed in the first place and shorten reallyimportantfinances.doc to finances then find he has no functioning finances document any more, despite the warning given when you try to rename a file and change it's extension.

As far as i'm concerned the "problem" is 6 of one and half a dozen of the other, so why not have it default to the one thats nicer looking for the large majority of MS's customers who dont know *or care* about file extension types.

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Microsoft's idea of Family Protection? Block Google

Alex
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@Google is uncatagorised?

>>That's a really comprehensive filter then, if they haven't categorised Google, the worlds top internet site yet, or Yahoo the worlds #2 website....

How do you expect them to categorise it then? It's a search engine. The fact that the homepage is nice and blank and white and "family friendly" doesn't mean all the bizzare crap you can search for with it (which can be displayed using it's own cache and images seen on google's own image search, so dont spew anything about how the filter should only block the domains of the offending sites themselves) is.

Also, the category that blocks google also blocks the msn homepage and its' resulting live search. Obviously an attempt at hurting the competition in favour of their own search system, right? O wait, wrong, because having just tested the filter (for the first ever time) it in fact doesnt block any of these sites by default, the category has to be set as blocked for it to do so.

Maybe these sites should be under a better-explained category of "search engines so we dont know what content you can see on them" rather than "uncategorized", but really, it's not that hard to figure out.

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Microsoft conjures imaginary 'Apple Tax'

Alex
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@Steve Todd

>Would you care to point out a non Apple solution that combines these features into one box? If not how about pricing in the separate components?

How about a Freecom 28662? Not only is it a Gigabit ethernet switch, USB print server, with 802.11a/b/g/n with NAT router and NAS drive in one box, it also provides a builtin web and FTP server so that you can access the files remotely as well as host content (Time capsules only allow the former, and only using MobileMe). It's also 2 physical disks and a raid controller instead of 1, so you can configure automatic mirroring onto the two drives for redundancy (a HUGE plus for a device primary purpose is secure storage of data) or use them for max disk storage with no mirroring, an option not available on a Time Capsule.

Oh, its cheaper too.

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Swedish web traffic tumbles as IPRED arrives

Alex
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@Anonymous Coward

>> "I love the way in the BBC licence fee thread so many whined on about "TV's all crap nowadays", but don't seem to equate the loss of revenue from illegal file-sharing with perhaps at least having some influence on this decline in quality?"

And I love the way people spewing on about the poor downtrodden artists and producers don't realise that it's the other way round.

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MS packs yet more tweaks into 'near-ready' Windows 7

Alex

@Simon

>> You didn't use a GUI before windows came along in '95?

He quite possibly used the various versions of windows which included a GUI in the decade before windows 95? Or did you not realise that win95 wasnt, in fact, ms's first OS release?

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EC will force users to pick a Windows browser, says Microsoft

Alex
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Some less equal than others?

> If someone chooses not IE, will they get a proportion of their money back? I seriously doubt it. Even if the law required it, Microsoft would make it more hassle than it is worth.

Even if the law did require it, why should they? IE is offered by Microsoft as a free product, even if it does end up not being bundled with Windows itll still be a free product, why should they charge you less for not giving you something free?

Frankly as much as most people despise IE this entire legislation around not bundling it for competition reasons is nuts. What Microsoft do bundling IE with their software is no different whatsoever to what countless vendors do with countless products across all market sectors. My recently-aquired brand new Fiat came included with a Fiat-branded Blaupunkt radio. There was no option to not have this radio and I wasnt given a checklist on purchase to select the radio manufacture I wanted, but curiously I fail to see the EU injunction forcing fiat to allow me to choose between their preferred Blaupunkt, and a competing Sony, Kenwood, Pioneer, JVC et al. Hell, the car even came with half a tank of fuel, yet those evil bastards at the showroom never gave me the choice of whether it was BP or Shell fuel in the car.

I bought a Coolermaster PC case the other day. How dare Coolermaster strap 4 Coolermaster case fans inside it, when obviously the choice should be there on purchase for me to choose between their own fans, and ones made by Akasa, Zalman, Silverstone, and Sharkoon?

Oh wait, I guess they didnt because providing their own products included with the thing i'm buying rather than those of a competitor is the *bloody sensible obvious thing to do*, yet somehow only Microsoft get criminalised for it?

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Australia to restrict laser-pointers - Minister

Alex
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Good start

Restricting access to the pointers is a good start, but they could go much further to stomp this out. Per the US example where they've evidently managed to catch at least some of the people doing this, reading them the patriot act doesnt go far enough - Prosecute them with one count of reckless endangerment for every passenger and crew member on the plane, lock em up for a couple of decades, and do it all *very publicly*, and I bet you wont see many more teenagers pissing around with em at aircraft.

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