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Note that the title of most blog entries provides a link to the relevant document.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

CNET News.com: Sony rootkit victims in every state, researcher says

"A security researcher has claimed that computers in every U.S. state have been affected by copy-restriction software from Sony BMG... Florida seems to have the highest number, with 12,588 networks detected that are hosting computers with the digital rights management software installed"

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Monday, January 16, 2006

CNET News.com: Windows Wi-Fi vulnerability discovered

"A Windows feature that automatically searches for Wi-Fi connections can be exploited by hackers, a security researcher has warned."

The vulnerability revolves around Windows 2000 or XP (pre XP2, which I installed today, for free) trying to connect up to whatever Wi-Fi is available upon booting. As usual, it is extremely easy to protect against this - for example, just enable IEEE 802.1x authentication and specify EAP parameters. Or, you can disable your wireless card until needed (which I also do so I don't get silly Windows messages). Or, just don't configure your system in "ad hoc" mode, but rather limit it to "infrastsructure" mode.

The real problem though is just like that faced with the Sony DRM fiasco. Microsoft ships its operating systems configured for ease of use, and this seems to open up security holes galore. It is typically fairly easy to overcome most of these security problems. However, the vast bulk of Windows users these days don't have a clue as to what is going on in their computers, and, thus, never know until much too late of their vulnerabilities and how easy it would have been to protect against them.

I see Microsoft going through the motions, as they did with the "WPA wireless security update" for Windows XP included in SP2. But, in the end, ease of use sells more computers (and thus, in their case, software) than does safety. So, I don't expect things to change.

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AP: Study Finds Exercise Helps Delay Dementia

"Older people who exercise three or more times a week are less likely to develop Alzheimer's and other types of dementia, according to a study that adds to the evidence that staying active can help keep the mind sharp."

Good to know, and just another reason to keep exercising.

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AP: Gore Assails Domestic Wiretapping Program

Former Vice President
Al Gore called Monday for an independent investigation of
President Bush's domestic spying program, contending the president "repeatedly and insistently" broke the law by eavesdropping on Americans without court approval.

Al Gore is at it again, jumping on whatever bandwagen he finds that might get him into the White House. Never mind that much, if not most, of the evesdropping was started when he was VP, or that as president, he might want to continue it. If it might get him into the White House, it is fair game.

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Monday, January 09, 2006

Open letter to Sony BMG (and its owners, Sony and Bertelsmann), First4Internet, and the LAME community.

Right now The LAME maintainers aren't interested in initiating a legal battle with Sony BMG. We live in a social competent world where we don't need to pull the weapons and are able to talk about what needs to be done to correct mistakes, right? But we expect Sony BMG to take appropriate action and tell the public about those actions.

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Maricocpa County: Judgement against Sunncomm

--$8,202.82 - Costs
-$10,411.49 - Costs
-$79,314.75 - Attorney Fee
$115,334.16 - Interest
$384,447.23 - Principal
----$779.76 - Jury
$598,490.21 - Total

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Friday, January 06, 2006

ottawasun.com: Canadian Suit targets 'spyware'

"ECHOING a U.S. lawsuit, a $100-million class action was launched in Ottawa this week against Sony BMG Music (Canada) Inc. over allegations the company damaged Canadians' computers with software designed to thwart online piracy."

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CNET News.com: Court OKs Sony "rootkit" CD settlement

"A New York judge has given a preliminary approval to the settlement of consumers' lawsuits against Sony BMG Music Entertainment, according to an Associated Press report ."

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AP: Judge tentatively OKs Sony BMG settlement

"NEW YORK -- A judge Friday tentatively approved a proposed settlement of lawsuits against Sony BMG Music Entertainment that would give millions of consumers free music downloads to compensate them for flawed software on CDs."

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

EFF: Florida AG's Office Enters Sony BMG DRM Fray

"Charlie Crist, the Florida Attorney General, has joined several other states in investigating the Sony DRM debacle."

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BBC NEWS: Legal fallt from Sony's CD woes

"Sony's settlement over the rootkit fiasco represents a blueprint for legislative action, argues law professor Michael Geist."

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Monday, January 02, 2006

Michael Geist: Rootkit fiasco shows sterner laws needed

"Notwithstanding its shortcomings, the Sony settlement does provide a potential starting point for a much-needed statute that protects consumers from TPMs."

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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Michael Geist: The Start of a DRM Protection Act

"Reports today indicate that a provisional settlement has been reached in the U.S. Sony rootkit class actions. While the settlement still requires court approval, it makes for an interesting read since it may provide the starting point for a future statute that protects against the misuse of digital rights management technologies."

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Mark's Sysinternals Blog: Sony Settles

"I’m proud to announce that a major step forward in the legal phase of Sony's rootkit: Scott Kamber and Sony have filed a proposed settlement for the national class-action suit brought by Scott."

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