The Golden Braid

Weaving Wonderful Worlds

FBI plans new Net-tapping push

The FBI has drafted sweeping legislation that would require Internet service providers to create wiretapping hubs for police surveillance and force makers of networking gear to build in backdoors for eavesdropping, CNET News.com has learned.

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July 8, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

WGA Debate

I am by no means an advocate of the Windows Genuine Authentication initiative, but I do understand their attempts to put a stopper on rampant copying of their software. I think that it would be in Microsoft’s best interest to have a healthy dialogue with its users about how and when to go about this in the proper way.

That being said, I think it is also in poor form on the user’s end to point fingers at seemingly innocuous details. Sensationalist comments like this do nothing more than drum up support for specters of the real Intellectual Property debate. I have already noticed that the author’s comment has been “dugg” and is quickly climbing on the site’s front page. I ask that anyone that reads this to stand back and take a moment to muster a true perspective of the topic in question.

Microsoft’s PR response in the comment was that 80% of WGA positives are due to the unlawful duplication of volume license keys. Microsoft has already confirmed that many of these are likely due to pirated copies of its OEM versions that have been reverse engineered to dodge its initial activation step in some way. There is nothing surprising about this, as XP enterprise versions and volume license keys are targeted because they were engineered to avoid this activation step. This does not imply that there are not other methods around activation; it is simply the most actively used method because it is the easiest. While one may read into the comment thinking that WGA is throwing false positives once for every 5 legal keys, the real number is likely a tiny fraction of that.

The author should be commended for his pursuit of the truth, but my opinion is that we don’t need to “call up the troops” to support something that may not even be an issue yet.

It will be become quite evident if any real news comes from this. Meanwhile, there is really nothing exciting about this story as of yet. Move along.

July 4, 2006 Posted by | Daily thoughts, technology | Leave a comment

Processor Battle Heats Up

AMD is getting serious about losing the performance crown to Intel’s Core processor. They are making sweeping cuts to streamline their channels but are apparently not in the best of strategic positions to do so at the moment. The move by Intel appears to have caught AMD off gaurd, a tactic AMD initially used in tandem with an aggressive pricing strategy to garner its market share with their first socket-based Athlon line. This round of the fight is the first in which Intel has brought a true competitor since AMD’s rise from the ashes…. are both companies agile enough to survive a few more punches?

AMD will be able to buy some time for their newer AM2 configs if they hurry their quad-core to market. If you can’t beat them with one core… why not add a few more?! Well, power consumption might play a tiny role ;).

July 3, 2006 Posted by | technology | Leave a comment

iLiad E-Reader is Now Shipping Orders

I’ve been waiting for this one for awhile. The iRex iLiad E-Reader is the first ebook to feature electronic ink. It has a wide variety of available features and document formats. The only downside is the price-point at 649 euros. Hopefully this will lower as production ramps up and Sony introduces its Sony Reader; a competitive product utilizing e-Ink due near the end of the quarter.

Is this the end of the traditional book as we know it? The outcome is not likely if you take previous forays into replacing pulp-fiction into account. Despite this, I do have to admit that this is a pretty nice piece of gear.

July 3, 2006 Posted by | technology | Leave a comment