20120809

My political compass, August 2012

I missed doing this in January. Let's see where I stand now.

There seems to be a pattern forming here, and here.

20110223

Thoughts on comparing the reactions of Sony and Microsoft to getting hacked

I read this article on Mashable comparing the reactions of Microsoft and Sony to the Kinect and PS3 getting hacked. I feel that the comparison isn't quite fair.

  1. Hacking a peripheral device is a different degree of severity (I guess) compared to hacking the main console itself. That said,
  2. Microsoft has gone after a guy who offers to mod 360s for cash which resulted in the prosecutors dropping the case, I assume to prevent the DMCA being tested in court. Granted, I am unable to find an instance where MS went after the guy who actually hacked it, but I think there was less publicity surrounding the hack as well. Which brings me to,
  3. Microsoft's 360 has been hacked from day 1 as far as I can gather. They're probably used to it. The PS3 has just been hacked after 4 years. Sony is probably butthurt that this was not due to their amazing engineering, but rather it was because people simply wasn't interested. Consoles getting hacked quickly was pretty much the assumption then so the 360 being hacked didn't make much of a ripple. The PS3 remained unbroken for 4 years and suddenly being spectacularly cracked open was big news. The publicity that the hack and the hackers themselves were getting probably inflamed Sony even further.
  4. In comparison, who the fuck hacked the 360? This is a good thing, maybe. I don't think they've managed to get to anyone from fail0verflow.

I think Sony is throwing a tantrum. I think MS's decision to release an SDK for the Kinect is good. I think if MS were put in the same situation as Sony, they would react the same way. I think that if you don't want to get taken to court, stay anonymous. I think that getting the case to court is potentially a good thing as it could get issues like the DMCA and who owns hardware I bought sorted out. Geohot is asking for donations for legal funds (first round is closed but there are some good links to read there). I think fuck Sony Entertainment.

20110113

My political compass, January 2011

I think this should be an annual event. I took the Political Compass test again and lo and behold! Compared to last year, apparently I have become more socialist within the past year and become just slightly more libertarian socially.

I'm not quite certain why but I am guessing that it's because I feel that corporations should not be allowed the same freedoms and rights as actual human people. Some statements seem to be worded in such a way that when I evaluate them I go into corporations-should-not-be-a-person mode. Maybe it was meant to be that way. I would like to think that if the words "corporations" or "businesses" or "companies" was replaced with "businessmen" I would be a bit more liberal in my choices.

And the more I think about it the more I seem to not agree with separating personal and business liabilities… I think I need an education.

20110101

All children are psychopaths

Yes, you read that right. I did write all children are psychopaths.

What proof do I have? None whatsoever.

But remember that time you had to teach your little precious that other people feel pain too? That other people can feel sad? You know why? Yep, it's because your little precious is a psychopath.

Now don't get me wrong — he or she or it is probably be a cute little psychopath. They kind of have to be to survive past the age of five.

By the time they're teen-aged the cuteness wears off because they don't need it any more. By now you've probably become too attached, invested too much into your psychopath to do anything about it. Hence the so-called "terrible teen years". Don't delude yourselves: they've always been terrible. They just stopped being cute.

There's not much you can do about it now (legally) other than persevere and hope your psychopath develops into a proper human.

20101127

RIM declares ISPs to be made responsible of online piracy #RIMjob #ISPLiability

We present to you: The ISP Liability Act!

This new law called the ISP Liability act, will be tabled in Parliament next month, according to Recording Industry Association of Malaysia (RIM) chairman Norman Halim.

RIM has been lobbying the Government for an ISP Liability act for the past 5 years as illegal online downloads have been cannibalising the legitimate sales of music, worldwide.

“The act makes the ISPs responsible for curbing online piracy. The ISPs will be fined if they don’t take action against illegal downloaders. The ISPs have the technology to track P2P users,” said Norman.

The Star. Emphases mine

Have they presented proof that (a) legit music sales has declined, and (b) that the decline is caused by online pirates? I have yet to see such data.

I maintain that if you make good music, fans will go above and beyond to give you money (unless you're a dick). If domestic music sales are indeed going down, perhaps that says something about the quality of the music we make?

The article says nothing about how "offenders" will be identified.

I have yet to see any comment from any of our ISPs about this, though. And that is very strange, considering that the bill will place extra burden on them. Perhaps they were caught unawares as the news broke on a Friday evening. I hope that is the case anyway, and they are not simply going along with it out of habit.

Also, it's outrageous that this bit of news was announced by the RIMchairman, and not the MP who will actually present the bill to Parlimen.

Do we have a chance of convincing our MPs to vote No on this?

20101105

And it's November again

So what's new?

  1. I got an actual job. In KL. It's a support type job but I don't have to deal with end users so that's a plus. Yay for me!
  2. Did I mention that the job is in KL? So I'm crashing at my uncle's place. That's nice. Also, a challenge. I'm looking at you 5-year-old boy who shall remain nameless
  3. And due to me being in KL, no PS3 :(

So Ubuntu released version 10.10 last month but I don't think I'll upgrade to it. In fact I am thinking about switching to some other distro. Perhaps a rolling distro so I don't ever have to think of an "upgrade" as a chore that it is right now.

One thing I may have to consider though is that I don't have access to wired internet at the moment and some distros don't have the proper wifi drivers in on the CD. I think I tried sidux some time ago and it needed to grab non-free drivers for my wifi.

Bah, decisions!

20100928

Anime is dangerous!

Japanese anime is among DVDs identified as dangerous as they contain negative elements which can corrupt the minds of Malaysian children, said Film Censorship Board chairman Datuk Mohd Hussain Shafie.Source: The Malaysian Insider

Some people still don't get the difference between medium and genre. Anime is a medium and many genres that use the medium of animation to tell their stories. The Censorship Board needs to get it in their collective heads that just because it is animation it does not automatically mean that it is "for children". Some anime are made for adults (on a separate but related note: not all video games are made for children, too). And as adults, we demand the right to make our own decisions about what we want to watch (and/or play) without some Figure of Authority saying that this is Bad For Us.

Thank you very much.

20100729

Huawei E1552 on Ubuntu Lucid

Update 20101025: Install the usb-modeswitch package.

$ sudo aptitude install usb-modeswitch

Created a udev rules file at /etc/udev/rules.d/60-huawei-usb-3g-modem.rules with the following contents:

SUBSYSTEM=="usb",
ATTR{idVendor}=="12d1",
ATTR{idProduct}=="1446",
RUN+="/lib/udev/modem-modeswitch -v 0x%s{idVendor} -p 0x%s{idProduct} -t option-zerocd"

And restarted udev.

$ sudo service udev restart

Plugged the modem in and configure it in "System > Preferences > Network Connections > Mobile Broadband". The settings for all Malaysian mobile ISPs should already be available by default. Pick your poison.

20100714

A homeopathic standard to ensure its safety and efficacy? You must be joking

The Star reports that apparently the Ministry of Health has developed "a standard for homeopathic medical studies to serve as a guideline to ensure its practice is safe and effective". One wonders just how exactly such a thing to be achieved since, well… it doesn't work!

The short article is full of such gems as:

The ministry's resolve in enhancing the quality of homeopathic medical studies has been proven when the Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences started to offer a degree in homeopathy in 2009
Liow also said that homeopathic medicine should be registered under the Control of Drugs and Cosmetic Regulations 1984

*sigh* At least the ministry is utilising its resources to ensure that we Malaysians get the highest quality of woo…

Are there no MDs in the Ministry of Health? Do they know that a homeopathic preparation is likely to not even contain a single molecule of its "active" ingredient (i.e. it's water)? In the UK for example, doctors are actually calling for a ban on NHS funding for homeopathic treatments because there are no scientific evidence that it works. The level of awareness of what homeopathy is here appallingly low.

I'll let James Randi explain:

Also, xkcd:
Dilution (xkcd)