Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

29Jan/05Off

Time For A Little Nothing

I just finished reading part of Plato's Republic for the purposed of comparing it to Bridget Jones's Diary. Sometimes I really despise school. More often or not a professor following his personal tastes or the narrow confines of their masters work needs to be smacked. I'm not saying that people should not teach what they're intimately familiar with or that they should avoid safe subjects but the feeling that I'm part of some bad and half-witted sociological experiment haunts me. I'm not even sure what exact point I'm trying to make here other than being vaguely annoyed. I could probably rant about the proliferation of oral presentations in upper division English classes for twice as long but I'll spare all parties involved the oh-so original woes of undergraduate work.
Onto the somewhat more applicable:

The invariably excellent Groklaw has a great rebuttal to the Computer World article from a couple days ago about the potential disadvantages of using Firefox because it won't run ActiveX controls. I ground a similar axe a day or so back but the Groklaw piece gives a lot more context, real criticism, and less overuse of four letter words than I'm capable of. The real issue here is that you probably shouldn't be automatically executing code through your web browser. What makes that even more apparent is how closely the browser in question is tied into the actual operating system. I've seen virus through the browser infections that didn't require any escalated user privileges which gives the browser considerably more power than the local user. That is just plain 1995 bad. I suppose if you want seamless integration in an environment with a laughably bad security model you would have to allow random code to run. All of that said, I'm amazed that I'm constantly explaining why I'm running Linux while cleaning up spyware, worms, and viruses on Windows boxes at work.

Ars Technica took a gander at the MPAA's Parent File Scan software and thought it was pretty fucking stupid. Apparently, and I'm just reading and regurgitating here so apply the appropriate salt, the app just scans your hard drive for any media files and suggests deleting them. The MPAA claims, on their site which is all Flash and doesn't lend itself to direct linking, that it doesn't install any spyware at all. I'm going to set it up on one of the test XP boxes at work next week and see what I can see although I'm more interested in what sort of licensing is attached to the actual software than anything else. The MPAA seems particularly dense about technology so I can't imagine them hiding additional installs very well. In the unlikely event that I do actually find the time for this little project I'll post the results later on. You've gotta love the message they're delivering with a tool that wants to delete any digital media you have.

Detained looks amazing. No matter how much the big budget horror movies initially catch my attention there will always be a helluva lot more space reserved in my heart for the smaller projects. This one is fifteen minutes long and I'm probably going to spend more time than I'm comfortable with trying to see the damned thing. There is a trailer available from the site as well as press stuff but the actual film is being played at festivals and whatnot so it might be a while until those of us stuck in unfortunate places like Denver are able to see it. Creep is also rising on my to see list although it isn't clear when exactly it's set to release in the U.S. I'm kinda hoping that the relative fame of Franka Potente will speed this process up.

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