Friday, May 31, 2013

Forty Bit Ain't

Once upon a time in a cold country there existed someone who liked to play with code.  This someone, along with one or two unnamed cohorts from one or two other countries whose weather wasn't quite as cold, was interested in solving a problem.  The problem was that there was not a program which allowed users running Linux to play D.V.D.s on their computers.  This someone was partly or primarily responsible for creating the first version of DeCSS [De C.S.S., commonly pronounced as DeSis].  This first entry into the history of coding and other subjects was not designed to crack the CSS [C.S.S.] in order to distribute copies of D.V.D.s on the torrents.  This first entry was designed so that way Linux users could play their legally owned copies of D.V.D.s on their Linux-running computers.

For his troubles, the young man was arrested and interrogated for seven hours without a food break.  The young man's father was questioned at home because he was ill.  This action caused a big outcry among bunches of people, but being way back in or around 2000, this whole thing was quickly forgotten.  The young man had two computers and a cell phone confiscated by the authorities.  For his troubles, he had to go to trial and re-trial, facing two or three years in prison for writing a code.  Wisely, the authorities gave up.  But not without causing more butt-hurt for other people along the way.

Into the fray marched creators of t-shirts and a creator of a neck tie.  The t-shirts and the neck tie featured certain lines of code.  The judge ruled that just because you can put something on a t-shirt, it does not automatically follow that it ought to be protected as free speech.  It is more than likely that you cannot buy the t-shirt today, although links on the net still point to where you used to be able to buy one.  There are some people in the state known as California who are legally enjoined not to wear said t-shirt.  The rest of us may be able to wear it but we just can't find any places to buy it.

The MPAA [M.P.A.A.] is a trade organization which has been formulated to increase the bottom line of Big Hollywood.  Its' members are prominent players in the industry.  The MPAA is understandably invested in the idea that users have no rights to the dissemination of their singular copies of movies and other things which they legally own.  There is on-going dispute about these things.  It used to be back in the glory days that we were allowed to make one copy of a movie or music piece that we had obtained legally in order to preserve said movie or music piece against damage.  In other words, I could take a legally purchased DVD home and make one copy.  I could play my one copy until it broke or until the cows came home.  If the copy broke, I was not out a bunch of money as I still had my original legally purchased DVD.  This consumer protection is no longer a law.  Instead, the MPAA argues that if my legally purchased DVD breaks or becomes inoperable, I have to utilize my filthy atheist bucks in order to buy another one.  Similarly, if I want to watch a movie which I purchased on a DVD format in my living room which for some reason has only an old VHS [V.H.S.] player, I am no longer legally allowed to port my DVD or copy my DVD onto a VHS tape.  The MPAA would want me to buy a VHS tape as well as the DVD.  And if I am radical enough to run Linux, I am just plain out of luck.  The MPAA would have me bow down to the Micro$oftie openings in the walls before allowing me to create or use a player designed for Linus which would strip the CSS from my DVD.  Because, according to the MPAA, everyone is a pirate.  Even those techies who are fans of Linux suddenly becomes a criminal.  Besides this, DVD players themselves will only play DVDs purchased in the zone that the DVD player is designed for.  Thus, my legally obtained DVD of a movie which I brought back from my trip to India will not play on my Untied Statsian DVD player.  The answer to this quandary is obvious.  Purchase a DVD player from the proper zone for each foreign movie I own-- there are seven zones in all-- or S.T.F.U. and forget about it.  The MPAA has a reason or an excuse for every action that they take.  Those of us who oppose the D.M.C.A. which a certain president had signed into law, C.I.S.P.A., A.C.T.A., R.I.A.A., W.I.P.O.,  and all other recent terrifying initials suspect that the bottom line involves profit.

The only bright part of this tale is that the young man was acquitted.  The horrifying part is that he was not a pirate.  He did not intent to distribute a copy of any DVD on the wires to other people who did not legally purchase their own copies.  He in fact did not share any DVDs with his friends.  He only wanted to play his legally purchased DVDs on his Linux box.  Although no evidence existed that he was a pirate of any sort, he was detained and had to go through a trial and a re-trial.  The DMCA does not require evidence of any illegal activity for there to be arrests of citizens of the world.  The disappointing part of this tale is that although as long as I stay out of the state known as California, there are few or no DeCSS t-shirts to be had for any price anywhere.

why the title: CSS uses forty-bit encryption.  Forty-bit is weak.  The word "bit" rhymes with the word "shit".

radical sapphoq on a bit of oft forgotten internet history 
I support the E.F.F. 
I read 2600.         

p.s.  Due to the availability of MPlayer and also LinDVD, I believe that DeCSS is no longer needed in order to play legally purchased DVDs on a Linux OS.

references                                 /css_descramble_joe_wecker.mp3 


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Update on Lori Handrahan

Lori Handrahan again did not show up for her most recent court date in April 2013.  She was supposed to answer as to why she continues to publish material on the web regarding the young daughter.  In spite of the court order in January to quit publicizing the daughter's name all over the internet, postings and uploads of various court documents have continued to pile up.  Some appear to be by Lori Handrahan herself or based on letters which she allegedly wrote, others are articles and posts by various supporters.

One article reports a court decision made on May 4 [no year; either 2012 or 2013: Because of reference to internet postings, I believe it must be 2013] that Igor Malenko now has permanent custody of the child, that Lori Handrahan is not to contact the child, that she is held in contempt of court for not paying a court-ordered settlement to Igor Malenko and to the child, that she is also held in contempt for not taking down from the internet various and sundry articles and legal documents, and that she is to pay Michael Waxman's attorney fees. 

radical sapphoq says: Lori Handrahan continues to [allegedly] tweet many tweets about the child being in danger under her [alleged] various twitter accounts.  The whole thing has become a mini-media circus, replete with accusations that Igor Malenko's attorney Michael Waxman comes with trolls who are getting paid to "stalk" or "harass" Lori Handrahan.  Unfortunately, Lori Handrahan continues to swirl at the center of said circus.  Yes, pedophilia and child trafficking happens.  No, it is not happening to the child.  And no, there is not a shred of evidence that a grand elite pedo-ring operating out of the state of Maine which involves the young child.  And a reminder to Lori Handrahan-- Anonymous is not your personal army.

References:     socks   Read the comments.  May 18, 2013      posted May 15, 2013 by "a guest."  There is no expiration date.  Related to this post:  Reprint of article by Keith Harmon Snow posted on May 6, 2013    posted May 2013 by "Anon"  reprint posted May 2, 2013   Uploaded 2 court documents on May 16, 2013 and May 18, 2013   uploaded April 16, 2013  Bigs' submission April 16, 2013
about halfway down the page  posted April 16, 2013  from  Posted March 6, 2013    Posted April 15, 2013.  Reprint of Forbes article September 9, 2012.  Reprint of same article, also posted April 15, 2013.  March 10, 2013    March 29, 2013  February 12, 2013  reprint of an article that appeared on-line in a midwestern newspaper in 2012.   Jan 16, 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013

It's All Happening at the Pool

The Center for Disease Control has written a nifty little report indicating that there is bacterial shit in 58% of the samples from public pools in Atlanta, Georgia.  Among the recommendations are to shower before getting into a pool, change diapers away from the pool area, and don't get into a public pool if you have the runs.  For sure, don't swallow any water from public pools.  People got paid to conduct this study and then to write this report.  What I want to know is this:  Did anyone doubt the presence of fecal matter and urine in public pools before this great report came out?  

One out of five Americans has [or admits to having] peed in pool water.  Some higher up there ought to commission a study of the presence of urine in public pools.  Wait.  It's not necessary.  There are some number of people who drink their own urine, use urine topically to "treat" infections, swear that urine applied topically is good for the skin, and think that urine is good for maintaining the whiteness of their teeth.  Urine-drinking is an ancient practice.  So carry on.  Go ahead and keep peeing in the pool water.  Uh, no.  Seriously, don't.

radical sapphoq says:  Here's a recommendation that I did not find in the c.d.c. pages or in the news reports referenced below: Shower AFTER you get out of the public pool.  Just maybe, a warm shower and the use of soap might succeed in knocking the stray e. coli and the urinary contributions of your pool pals off of your skin.