Sunday, June 26, 2005

Mainstreaming Spyware

This weekend post makes my second late post in a row, but it was coincidentally also for a surprise birthday party. We had it for my brother's girlfriend and she was totally clueless so it worked out real well. Food was great and fun was had by all, and I ended up staying there for the night so I didn't end up coming home until a couple of hours ago. So anyway, the article I thought you guys would find the most intriguing was regarding major advertisers using spyware. The list includes JC Penny, Sprint,, Sony, and Mercedes-Benz USA among others. The good news is that prosecutors are going for the big companies as well as the subcontractors to show these bastards that they mean business. If I was a hacker I'd concentrate my efforts on getting viruses and spyware on these companies' computers rather than on just a regular person's system. I was really surprised to learn that some companies, like Expedia, support the practice as just another advertising tool! I don't see how this will help business as it grows. It makes me wonder whether spyware can actually be contained or if it's a Pandora's Box like drugs and weapons of mass destruction and such.

There's some pretty good technology news this weekend. PCWorld is running an article on the best ISPs out there in all aspects of service. I'm proud to be using Earthlink being at the top for cable providers and I think that's a good article to keep handy for future reference. It's become a growing concern as the number of broadband lines worldwide has grown to 164 million. I find it ironic that Communist China has the second most number of lines. Many of you already know the power of Flash memory from the USB drives you carry around, and now Apple laptops may soon be armed with them rather than hard-disk drives due to falling costs. The only problem I've noticed with them is that they seem to eventually go bad and get corrupted, but maybe the kind I've used is just old. I had reported a while ago that CVS was making disposable camcorders and you'd have to pay them for a DVD of it, but now some dude has managed to crack the camcorder in order to transfer the data to his computer. The video quality looks like a digital camera took it though, which I guess is expected from a disposable. Some fuzzy early shots of Internet Explorer 7 are online showcasing the RSS implementation and tabbed interface a bit, and I just hope that they try to close up more security holes. It doesn't look too bad so far. Lastly, a new keyboard called the DX1 is answering the call of gamers to have a keyboard that meets their needs by being totally customizable. At only $50 it's a bargain and looks pretty useful:

Very smart

There's just a little bit of movie news. The king in the box office this weekend was Batman raking in over $26 million despite three newcomers and showing that it means business. It has thankfully now made back its production budget in worldwide sales but will almost certainly be knocked down The King Kong production diary has a new entry from the good people at Weta Digital showing off some of the special effects stuff and it's looking good. Don't forget to catch the teaser trailer tomorrow night (or I guess it's already Monday for most of you). AICN has a lukewarm review of Serenity claiming that it's only providing an ending for the tv series, but he had better reasons for not being enthralled with it. The last bit of movie news I have is this article listing the best beams and laser rays in cinema history and is a nice walk down memory lane. I have one random thing I though I'd mention here and that is an explanation of why home prices seem to be rising despite receding inflationary pressures. It just goes to show that an economic measure is only as useful as the understanding of the analyst using it.

Now for some Unconscious Mutterings:

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Useless::Bums (the people, not the body part)
  2. Radiant::A certain girl who will remain nameless
  3. W::Weary
  4. Unpaid::Parking ticket
  5. Geek::Loser
  6. Unfaithful::Adultery
  7. Reboot::Computers
  8. No!::That damn Capital One no-hassle commercial
  9. Squad::Pep
  10. Fetish::Hentai

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