“The Longest Suicide Note in History” How Vista cowtows to RIAA & MPAA and how you lose your ‘fair use’ rights

That's Peter Gutmann's assessment of Microsoft Vista in his technical, economic and performance analysis of the compromises in Vista. This document is a must-read if you are interested in how the performance and stability of the system for which you paid hard-earned cash will be adversely affected. These issues all stem from demands by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to prevent the copying of HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, and other content on personal computers, even for fair use backup. A great article written several years ago on this development sits on the Freedom to Tinker blog. The Electronic Frontier Foundation also has an excellent analysis of this cozy and far-reaching relationship here. Lest you think that this is just paranoid hype, read Microsoft's own Output Content Protection and Windows Vista page and accompanying white paper for yourself.

Quoted directly from the Microsoft link above, here are the critical parts of OCP:

    • Protected Video Path – Output Protection Management (PVP-OPM) makes sure that the PC's video outputs have the required protection or that they are turned off if such protection is not available.

    • Protected Video Path – User-Accessible Bus (PVP-UAB) provides encryption of premium content as it passes over the PCI Express (PCIe) bus to the graphics adapter. This is required when the content owner's policy regards the PCIe bus as a user-accessible bus.

    • Protected User Mode Audio (PUMA) is the new User Mode Audio (UMA) engine in the Windows Vista Protected Environment that provides a safer environment for audio playback, as well as checking that the enabled outputs are consistent with what the content allows.

    • Protected Audio Path (PAP) is a future initiative under investigation for how to provide encryption of audio over user accessible buses.

For the full story see: http://www.mobiletechreview.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Board=tankerbobblog&Number=26899

Wash your keyboard in the dishwasher

Just because nobody has stirred up any heated debates on here recently, and I happened to have had this topic on the conversation in the last week or so, I figured I would post several links to pages that give advice on washing your keyboard in the dishwasher. First though, I will say that I have done this many times (5+ is a guess), and I have never had a problem with it. I have mostly done it with my IBM Model M keyboard, which is from 1987, but I would be confident in using just about any wired keyboard. The Bluetooth/RF keyboards might work, but, I haven’t tried. In my practice, I have always made sure to use the top shelf, no soap, and nothing else in the dishwasher. In addition, I have never used the heated drying, prefering to let it air-dry for several days. Two days is probably the minimum, however, I have personally always left them to dry for somewhere in the 4-5 days range. (Who doesn’t have at least one extra keyboard lying around?)
And, well, here are the links. Feel free to search more yourself. And, when I get the courage up, I might think about dishwashing the MBP, its keyboard is a little gross….

http://plasticbugs.com/index.php?p=263
http://www.rabidhardware.net/index.php?id=9
http://computerhelp.mwsi.net/Hardware/31CleanKeyboard1.htm
http://birdhouse.org/blog/2006/10/23/keyboard-in-the-dishwasher/
http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/34709834/m/96300096063
http://jamesholden.net/2005/06/11/howto-dishwasher-your-keyboard/
http://www.engadget.com/2005/05/31/your-keyboard-might-be-dishwasher-safe/

Combating Googlebombs

OK, first of all I had no idea they were called "Googlebombs" until I saw this article but I thought it was interesting enough to post. Basic definition: using search phrases to get unintentional, often humorous results. For example "talentless hack" I believe used to take you to a page about George W. Bush. If not him, some other politically charged person. The most interesting part of the write up to me is Google's reasons for why they want to try and stop it.

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2007/01/quick-word-about-googlebombs.html