Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bloggers are protected just like journalists

OR at least so says a South Carolina judge.

Philip Smith blogged to describe his bad experience of working with an eBay listing company. He ended up representing himself in a federal defamation and trademark dilution lawsuit. To add insult to injury the plantiff's lawyer turned to dirty tricks like hindering the sale of his condo by clouding his title to the property.

The Federal judge Henry Hurlong Jr, ruling pretty much says that bloggers are journalists. "It's not about the title, it's about the content, a journalist turns out to be anyone who does journalism, and bloggers who do so have the same rights and privileges under federal law as the real journalists."

Elwell, the ass hole attorney for the plaintiffs,was sanctioned for his actions. The court found that he should have known that what he had done was totally inappropraite. The case in question was not about the title to any real estate, lawyers can't simply go clouding up the title to people's homes to ensure they get paid at the end of a case.

Elwell was forced to pay $1,000 in fines direct to Smith for his actions.I think it should have been much more.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Duluth jury decides Brainerd woman must pay $222,000 for downloaded music files

Sorry for the long absence, but work is consuming all my time now.I plan to update at least weekly from now on. Promise!

Well the first RIAA case that went to trial ended in a judgement for the plantiff. There was quite a bit of evidence that is really hard to prove without the hard drive forensics. Unfortunatly the defendant's drive had to be replaced two weeks after Media Sentry logged her ip address.

Too bad as it seems she was a avid music fan and legally purchaced hundreds of cds. I hope this doesn't discourage those who are wrongly accused of file sharing to fight back against these boiler plate lawsuits.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Sound Exchange caught lobbying

A federal appeals court recently rejected a plea from webcasters to postpone the deadline for a new royalty scheme that sets the stage for SoundExchange to begin levying billions of dollars from internet radio stations in the coming decades. It already collects a tidy sum from satellite radio and now it has set its sights on U.S. terrestrial radio stations, which currently pay no broadcast performance royalties. If it wins there, its power could grow exponentially.

You can read the article in entirity here

This is really bad news to know a company thats supposed to be a third party without any interest in the internet stream royality rates other than getting paid for collecting. It interesting to find out they are freaking lobbist as well.

I am to the point in my life that I think "the gov" is so far corrupt because of how powerful few large cooperations are. They become even more so when they get together and form a "gang"

Every time I think I am out (of this topic) they pull me back in....

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Saved at the buzzer, but.......

Of course there was a stipulation on the agreement. That is that webcasters must work to ensure that stream-ripping is not feasible. I know that sounds like crazy talk, but it's true! That is what this whole mess was about in the first place.

Ripping streams is very easy, and there are several programs that do so such as streamtuner/streamripper(gnome apps), kstreamripper/amarok(kde apps) , stationripper (windows), and radiolover (mac).

Remember I said crazy talk, well this is why. Many of you have a dvr like tivo. Well recording internet streams is pretty much the same principle. The software records what you hear playing through your speakers. This is NOT illegal! The way you can record tv for your own private use later, applies to music streams as well.

How do you think the public would react if tomorrow, you set your tivo or other dvr to record your favorite shows, and you weren't allowed to? There would be a such a public outcry that it would be written in the history books for future generations.

I think those greedy fat swine at the RIAA, are getting way to bold in their tactics. They couldn't change the laws on streams to make it illegal "protect the artists rights", and ensure they are making money off you every time you listen to their music, so they come up with this.

DRM is failing everywhere, I just read yesterday that someone has cracked the Zune MS's mp3 player,and have written a program that strips the DRM from the media on the device, making it yours again. Hell you bought it, and you should own it, right?

My hats are off to the RIAA thou, thanks guys I knew you would find another way to screw the consumer once again. Fact is no matter what you do, it won't stop people from defending their rights. Every time you introduce another technology to limit our ability to enjoy the product we bought from you, it will be circumvented. Live with it!

Just a little point, if the streams I rip in the future are cross faded, which is the only way I see to feasibly prevent a rip don't worry. I already have software that will separate the tracks, and with a few commands I can easily a tag my entire collection.

So what you did was just piss off your customers again. Congrats! You may prevent a few less tech savvy people from ripping streams, at least until a point and click solution is available, but the people who who run large scale piracy operations you can't touch anyway.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Time is running out!

As I have been writing about for many months the deadline draws near to when the new internet radio royalty rates will be enforced. This is such an act of bulling I can hardly believe it.

Yes bulling. By whom you ask? The large record labels, thats who. Most people don't realize this, but what you hear on the radio is what they are payed to play. Traditional radio listeners are zombies, that hear songs in rotation many times a day, thus becoming popular. MTV is no different kids, they are slaves to the record companies as well.

I began listening to web casts around a year ago, and when ever I listen to my local radio stations I get sick at all the crap they play, and the hours upon hours of commercials they force upon you as a listener.

I was doing some yard work last week and while mowing my lawn, I listened to a local rock station. I counted the songs that were played in the hour and a half it took me. Anyone have a guess? Twelve! Yes twelve songs.

We have established that the lack of programming control is something the record labels can't stand. ( you may actually decide for yourself what you like) Now to another point that the "recording industry" wants to kill net radio.

This is that few very large companies control the music that's put out. Smaller, new companies can't afford the playing time to get their artist's music played. The big companies have that niche controlled. They now have a quickly growing media the net.

How unfair is it to charge web casters more money than large radio stations? Basically it will put everyone out of business. The stations I listen to don't even have commercials!!! There is no income from all the bs advertising you are forced to listen to on FM.

You have a voice people! Let it be heard before they silence a great thing!


Call your elected officials. Tell them to stop this tragedy. Demand it, they work for you!!

You can find their numbers by filling out the form with your address here.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

State of open source

There has been many articles floating about the internets (thanks Senator Stevens) lately about the sad state of open source. One of which today I feel the need to discuss. Hey this is my blog, and I can do what I want so sit back and listen.

Microsoft's new browser plug-in called Silverlight is supposed to deliver rich media and interactive apps from within web pages. Which for those who don't know is what adobe's flash does. I am not a microsoft fanboy by any measure of the word, but I don't think this is a bad thing.

For years flash has been the web standard for this type of content. We linux users were at the mercy of adobe to write linux versions, and often we were waiting many, many months before it would be released. Now with the cooperation between ms and novell, the development of silverlight for linux is going strong.

I don't like the fact that this is proprietary software any more than any other FOSS advocate. However the fact that we penguins are already stuck with one proprietary web standard makes the argument for healthy competition valid in my opinion. What I hope for is that Adobe will recognize the Linux user base is constantly growing, and they stand to loose those users to Silverlight if they don't put Linux development in a higher priority.

Now if we can just convince everyone that the periodic threats issued by MS via Steve Ballmer are just scare tactics to sway business' from making the move to open source. But that is for another post.....

Monday, March 26, 2007

Net Neutrality

What does net neutrality mean and what does it have to do with you? Well there are many big corporate isp's that are trying to make more money from the service they offer without giving anything in return. If they have things their way they can priortize sites, and if they aren't paid by those sites then you will find it hard to access them.

Here is the US we are quickly falling behind many other countries. Did you know that other countries in Europe and Asia have far better service, and our internet speeds are slow compared to their's? It's true, there haven't been any plans to change that either.

Back in the Clinton era many of you may remember his work to bring the internet to the masses. Well instead of spending our tax dollars to put more fiber optic cable in the ground, the current administration choose to put troops in Iraq to get those weapons of mass destruction. Oops I mean to bring democracy to Iraq.

Since the demands on the net are growing greater each day, the person in charge of internet commerce, Mr Ted Stevens believes that you should have less access than you do now. His way of thinking is that sites like YouTube , and others streaming video are the problem. That streaming video is "clogging the tubes". See exactly how idiotic he is, this is the guy in charge of internet commerce. No wonder the richest country in the world is behind.See Hodgeman and Stewart having fun with this topic here.

Also visit this site, as it has the audio from the session were the Daily Show clip was taken. I don't want anyone reading this to be confused or uninformed afterwards.

Eweek's article today shows that the FCC, is dragging their feet, as is the norm for any federal agency.

WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission is launching an inquiry to determine how broadband providers are behaving in terms of providing access to the Internet to subscribers. The Notice of Inquiry, announced at the March 22 commission meeting here, is intended to seek comments on whether providers are restricting access to sites on the Internet, whether they are giving any sites favorable treatment and whether the companies charge extra for that, and how consumers are affected. The inquiry is also designed to determine whether the FCC needs to issue a new principle of nondiscrimination.

According to a statement released by Chairman Kevin Martin, this inquiry will "provide a convenient forum for various providers, including network and content providers, to tell us what is happening in the market and about their concerns." Martin said in the statement that the FCC has a responsibility to promote infrastructure investment and broadband deployment. He also said it's important that consumer access to the Internet be protected.

However, Martin's statement didn't receive universal acclaim from the rest of the Commission. Commissioner Michael Copps, while concurring that the inquiry should be conducted, said action was also needed. In a statement, Copps said, "It is time for us to go beyond the original four principles and commit industry and the FCC unequivocally to a specific principle of enforceable nondiscrimination, one that allows for reasonable network management but makes clear that broadband network providers will not be allowed to shackle the promise of the Internet in its adolescence."

Copps said he thinks adding another study to those already done will simply take too long and may result in nothing actually being accomplished. "We proceed too leisurely here," Copps said. "Rather than strike out and unflinchingly proclaim this agency's commitment to an open and nondiscriminatory Internet, we satisfy ourselves with one tiny, timid step … Let's be frank.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The death of internet radio.

How many of my readers enjoy listening to internet radio? Well if I am indication of what my readers are like then all of you do. I know that many of you haven't heard anything about this issue, which is why I feel obliged to inform you. Hopefully after reading this you will no longer be oblivious to the facts. What you do with the facts is entirely up to you.

Well it seems the RIAA is hard at work again, I guess they are bored with suing little old ladies and children for downloading mp3s. They have set their sights on our beloved net radio stations in hopes to increase their bottom line. These corporate greedy thugs think that we don't have a voice anymore. Hey, aren't we the reason they make a profit? How long will we let them control what we have a right to? I say we make them listen to us.

One thing I do is never buy any product they have. So no music for me that is DRM'ed, remember we talked about that eariler. That is one way to voice your opinion, and maybe the only voice they care to hear. The cash register. Remember that the next time you are at the music store in the mall on itunes or another mp3 site.

On March 2 2007 the Copyright Royalty Board or CRB, as we will call them, approved new rates that are so ridiculously high that most small radio stations would be in the red simply because of them. In other words their already small profit will quickly become a loss. Here are the new rates in PDF

Now that you know of this new rate increase, and the ramifications of it, what are you willing to do? What can you do? As an American you have elected officials that you can write and demand action. If enough people do then they will have to take action. You can find their contact info here

Protect your right to hear eclectic indepenent radio and discover new artists. Write Washington. They would love to hear from you, after all you are their constituants. They are there to serve the public and protect your rights. Pass the word to anyone you know that loves or makes music, get involved before we loose another choice.

I urge you to visit the following site and complete the petition there.Here is what our friends at suggest. Tell your representative:

I do not support The Copyright Royalty Board's (CRB) March 2nd decision to substantially increase royalty rates. Not only will it impact my choices, but the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) manipulation of these rates, and the CRB's indifference will hurt working artists, damage small record labels and force law abiding small webcasters, already paying a large portion of their revenue per month in royalties, out of business. This decision will also damage hundreds of small businesses providing goods and services to working artists, small record labels and small webcasters.

I respectfully ask that you evaluate the CRB decision and do whatever is necessary to establish a reasonable royalty rate for all the parties involved.

A bit from Neptune on the subject:

It was the early seventies, and we listened to something called AM radio. I remember my first AM radio. It was portable, a hand-me-down from a neighbor. It used vacuum tubes, required approximately eighty-five D-cell batteries, and weighed about 175 pounds. But it had a handle, and that made it officially portable. To this day my right arm is a half-inch longer from lugging that beast around. I'd turn it on, watch the tubes slowly start to glow (the service panel had been long lost), fiddle with the tuning till I got a station and listen. For about five minutes. Then the batteries would be dead and I'd have to save up for another eighty-five D-cells.

We were in a small town. On hot, dusty summer nights, we'd gather in the parking lot across from the Sinclair gas station, drink too many sodas, look at each other's cars and listen to the radio. Mostly we listened to KELI, AM 1430, out of the big city. They played the music we liked. But they also broadcast the news that mattered to us. The local school athletic scores. The places and faces that we knew, because we'd been there and seen them. Yes, there was national news, but it was almost an afterthought. Much of the content was local community. KELI for a while would send a staffer to the local drive-ins so that teenagers could request songs from Dan Kelly, one of the DJs there. All of the DJs were named Kelly - Bill Kelly, Dan Kelly, Don Kelly. No, not nepotism, just a gimmick. They never made it to our parking lot, but we listened anyway.

We were listening when Mazeppa and some friends dropped by the KELI studio one night, and things got, uhmmm informal. The DJ was fired the next day. Mazeppa, a local character better known as Gailard Sartain, went on to roles in TV and about fifty movies. His buddy, and cohort in crime, Teddy Jack Eddy, is better known as Gary Busey, of 'Lethal Weapon' fame. KELI was, in every sense, community radio. Our community.

But something happened. AM radio died. FM was the rising star on the radio horizon. But FM was more expensive. The broadcast equipment was more expensive. The licensing was more expensive. And FM didn't have the broadcast range, compared to AM, which meant fewer available listeners per station, so they had to adjust their business model accordingly. But it sounded better, and people began to tune in to the big FM stations more and more. There were technical solutions for AM, but there was big business behind FM, and the FCC famously dithered on such things as AM stereo, while the ratings dropped lower and lower.

I can hear you now, "AM's not dead, I've got AM in my car and I can hear AM stations now". Well, I can explain that. I lied. AM is not dead. It's worse. It's the undead. It is the walking corpse of what it used to be. As the margins between the advertising and the relentless pressure of increasingly onerous content fees became thinner and thinner, station after station folded, and were scooped up by big media corporations. It's now a vast soulless, featureless plain dominated by a handful of major media outlets. It's been sterilized and homogenized. You can drive to fifty different cities - and hear the same programming everywhere. Not surprisingly, under similar pressures, FM is little better.

So is this about nostalgia? Nope. I was just sneaking in a history lesson with a little candy. I'd like to fast-forward to the present. The present is the Internet. The bandwidth and technology of streaming media have come of age, and the flexibility of the Internet has redefined our concept of community. There are now a host of virtual communities, defined not by your physical location, but by your preferences, beliefs and interests. And the great news is - community radio is back.

You can't get in the broadcast radio game any more without heavy financial backing. Those days are gone. But the Internet has changed the playing field. It's brought democracy back. With a little bandwidth, and a few servers, it's possible to create your own radio station again. To broadcast to your own community on the Internet.

Yes, community radio is back. But it's got some big guns pointed at it. The RIAA has already been dipping into the pockets of the Internet broadcasters, much like the friendly guy who makes his weekly collections from the small business owners in Brooklyn. "You wouldn't want nuttin' bad should happen to your store, now, would ya?" Of course the RIAA doesn't call this extortion. They call it Royalty Rates. Sounds much friendlier.

So the webcasters have to pay. And currently, it's manageable, a percentage of their profits. But that's not enough for the RIAA. I've been reading some Hunter S. Thompson lately, so perhaps that's why the phrase, "greed-crazed vampire swine", springs to mind. But I won't use it. It's a disservice to greed-crazed vampire swine everywhere. These are the folks who just can't stand it if you're listening to something and they don't get a quarter out of your packet. And they really can't stand it if you're listening to content that they can't lay some dubious claim to - it means you're not eating their dog-food.

But that's OK. That's what bloated parasites do - they cheat the artists and they cheat the consumers, while producing nothing. We call that "value", or in this case, lack there of. And, as long as you've got a choice, they're entitled to operate that way.

Here's what's not OK. When the government rolls over and plays sock-puppet for the RIAA, they've abdicated their duty. And that's exactly what's happening again. The CRB, (Copyright Royalty Board) hos established a fee structure that would absolutely gut the webcast landscape. In short, you lose your choice. Once again, the independents are about to be crushed under corporate greed, backed up by government regulation. Once again, you're about to see your ability to tune in to the community radio of your choosing vanish.

When the government stops protecting our freedom to choose, when it acts solely for the benefit of big corporate interests, it's gone off track. And if we don't remember who our government works for, we've gone off track. It's our government. It's my government. It's your government. But only if you remind them from time to time. Now would be a good time to remind them.

I can't turn back time to the those long summer nights in the early seventies. I wouldn't if I could. But I'd hate to see history repeat itself. I'd hate to see us lose our freedom of choice. It doesn't have to happen. The same Internet that the RIAA wants to own will take you directly to your representatives. Let them know how you feel.

Thanks again Neptune. The extorsionist bit is priceless.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

We the people.....

Digital Rights – Government Wrongs

“We the people...” Three simple, innocuous words. Yet those words were so important, so fundamental to all that followed, that the authors of the United States Constitution put them right up front. They set the tone for the entire document. Looking around at the current legislative landscape, one wonders if that document has ever been read by the recent crop of lawmakers. Especially those first three words.


Bits and Pieces:

On April 27, 1998, BIOS manufacturer Phoenix Technologies buys out it's only significant competition in the BIOS market - Award Software. If the CPU, or processor is the "brain" of your computer, the BIOS is it's "heart". Basically, it controls access between the software and the hardware of your machine.

1998 - The DMCA - Digital Millennium Copyright Act is passed. There has been speculation that Microsoft and major media interest groups both lobbied for and provided input to this act.

On March 10, 2000 at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft, officially unveils the XBox game console to the world.

June 2002 - Microsoft announces "Palladium" which is part of the strategy of the TCG - Trusted Computing Group. "Trusted Computing" - it sounds so warm and fuzzy, doesn't it? Question is - trusted for whom?

April 2003 - David Rocci is sentenced to prison and fined nearly $30,000 USD for selling so-called XBox mod chips over his website. He is charged and sentenced under the DMCA.

September 2003 - Phoenix Technologies, LLC and Microsoft Corp. announce a joint venture to tie together the Phoenix core BIOS code more closely with Microsoft software. The Phoenix BIOS, thanks to their acquisition of Award Software, is now at the heart of nearly every PC you can currently purchase.


There are more pieces, but these will suffice. Consider, David Rocci did not sell crack cocaine. He did not sell child porn. He sold a chip that let the purchasers of the XBox (remember the concept of "you paid for it - it's yours?") run software not locked down by Microsoft. That's all. In essence, David Rocci sold you a set of high-performance tires for your car - he was jailed under the legal theory that someone, somewhere might rob a bank using a getaway car fitted with those tires.

Microsoft wants to sell you a car. They also want to tell you where you can buy your gas, what streets you can and can't drive on, whose oil you can buy and who you can have in the car with you. They then want to “upgrade” the roads – and sell you the same car all over again.

The original XBox was a warmup exercise - unlike every other game console, the original XBox was a fairly standard PC. The question the XBox asked: "Can we sell a PC that is locked down by technology and legislation to run only what we say you can run?" - The answer was a resounding yes.

The technology part of this scheme can be, and has been defeated. But the real hammer, the real threat is the legal side of the equation. You could be sent to prison for doing so.

The original DMCA had several arguments made for it. It was promised to cut into wholesale piracy by criminal organizations. It was even suggested that terrorism was funded by such piracy. But the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Instead, it has been used primarily by huge business interests to prosecute and intimidate ordinary citizens.

Yet that hasn't stopped the U.S. government from proposing even more draconian legislation. The IPPA, Intellectual Property Protection act would not only make it illegal to fit non-Microsoft tires to your car – it would make owning the jack and wrenches (UK note: spanners, and yes, tyres) illegal. Imprisonable for up to ten years. You would literally be better off walking into a store, stuffing your pockets with software and music then running out. That would likely only net you only probation and community service.

And we heard the same tired arguments trotted out for the IPPA. According to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the problem is that the money made by infringing businesses is being used "quite frankly, to fund terrorism activities." Mr. Gonzales, pardon me for saying that this smells like the north end of a south-facing bull. We've heard it before and it smelled about the same then.

It's all about DRM - something called Digital Rights Management. Sounds good, it has the word "Rights" in it so it must be good, right? Problem is, it has absolutely nothing to do with rights - at least, not your rights. It has everything to do with the bloated sense of entitlement that the major hardware, software and media outlets call "rights". And what does "Digital" have to do with fair use rights, anyway? It's a noise word, thrown in to confuse the tech-phobic. So it's not about "Digital", it's not about "Rights", that pretty much just leaves "Management" of your use of the goods you paid for.

We live in a world where "fair use" has become a dirty term - equivalent to piracy. This is the perennial squeal of the fattest corporate hogs who think there should be more slop in their trough. The ones who envision a day when every time you listen to a CD, another coin rolls into their purses. A day when their competitor's media will be unusable on their products. And I understand that. Really I do. It's capitalism at work.

What I don't understand, what I can not condone, is the legislative concept that corporate "rights", which are a fiction, somehow trump very real individual rights in the laws of our land. What I don't accept is the “right” to have legislation enacted that props up a flawed business model. I have the right to open a restaurant that serves boiled shoes. I just do not have the right to legislation that forces everyone to eat my boiled shoes.

The stench of corporate entitlement is so thick in our halls of government that you need a chainsaw to cut through it. And there's no sign of improvement. But that may not be the worst of it. Corporate interests aside, I do not know of a government, anywhere, at any period of history that didn't have some attraction to the concept of managing access of the populace to media. Control the media – and you control the people.

Which is why open source is crucial. Which is why open media formats are vital. The day content can be controlled completely is the day you see that control being used to manage the little people. You and I. Open source, more than any other technology phenomenon is one way to combat this trend. I urge you to use and actively support open solutions wherever possible, and to promote them at every opportunity. I ask you to remember a concept that our current governments have forgotten – and would like us to forget...

We the people.

Special thanks to Neptune, PCLinuxOS forum member for this wonderfully written piece.

Monday, February 26, 2007

My favorite OS PCLinuxOS on the tv show Heroes

You can stop worring about malware and viruses with Linux

One of the most common questions I hear new Linux users ask is "What program should I use for virus protection?" Many of them lose faith in me as a source of security information when I reply, "None." But you really don't need to fear malware on your new platform, thanks to the way Linux is built.

Savvy Windows users have to watch their virus checkers as closely as the head nurse in the ICU keeps an eye on patient monitors. Often, the buzz in the Windows security world is about which protection-for-profit firm was the first to discover and offer protection for the malware du jour -- or should I say malware de l'heure? The only thing better than having backed the winning Super Bowl team come Monday morning at the office coffeepot is having the virus checker you use be the one winning the malware sweepstakes that weekend.

If a rogue program finds a crack in your Windows armor, paying $200 per infection to have your machine scrubbed and sanitized by the local goon^H^H^H^H geek squad not only helps to reinforce the notion that you have to have malware protection, but that it has to be the right protection, too. The malware firms are aware of this, and all of their advertising plays upon the insecurity fears of Windows users and the paranoia that results. Chronic exposure and vulnerability to malware has conditioned Windows users to accept this security tax.

It's no wonder, then, that when Windows users are finally able to break their chains and experience freedom on a Linux desktop, they stare at me in disbelief when I tell them to lay that burden down. They are reluctant to stop totin' that load. They have come to expect to pay a toll for a modicum of security.

I try to explain that permissions on Linux make such tribute unnecessary. Without quibbling over the definitions of viruses and trojans, I tell them that neither can execute on your machine unless you explicitly give them permission to do so.

Permissions on Linux are universal. They cover three things you can do with files: read, write, and execute. Not only that, they come in three levels: for the root user, for the individual user who is signed in, and for the rest of the world. Typically, software that can impact the system as a whole requires root privileges to run.

Microsoft designed Windows to enable outsiders to execute software on your system. The company justifies that design by saying it enriches the user experience if a Web site can do "cool" things on your desktop. It should be clear by now that the only people being enriched by that design decision are those who make a buck providing additional security or repairing the damage to systems caused by it.

Malware in Windows Land is usually spread by email clients, browser bits, or IM clients, which graciously accept the poisoned fruit from others, then neatly deposit it on their masters' systems, where malware authors know it will likely be executed and do their bidding -- without ever asking permission.

Some malware programs require that you open an attachment. Others don't even require that user error. By hook or by crook, malware on Windows often gets executed, infecting the local system first, then spreading itself to others. What a terrible neighborhood. I'm glad I don't live there.

On Linux, there is built-in protection against such craft. Newly deposited files from your email client or Web browser are not given execute privileges. Cleverly renaming executable files as something else doesn't matter, because Linux and its applications don't depend on file extensions to identify the properties of a file, so they won't mistakenly execute malware as they interact with it.

Whether newcomers grok permissions or not, I try to explain the bottom line to them: that because they have chosen Linux, they are now free of having to pay either a security tax up front to protect themselves from malware, or one after the fact to have their systems sterilized after having been infected.

So Linux is bulletproof? No. Bulletproof is one of the last stages of drunkenness, not a state of security. Linux users, like users on every operating system, must always be aware of security issues. They must act intelligently to keep their systems safe and secure. They should not run programs with root privileges when they are not required, and they should apply security patches regularly.

Misleading claims and false advertising by virus protection rackets to the contrary, you simply don't need antivirus products to keep your Linux box free of malware.

This article originated from here

Monday, February 19, 2007

I am currently putting together a set of screen shots to show just how cool a KDE Linux desktop is. Hopefully I can get them up some time this week.

Scroll down and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

For all those that don't know anything about open source software, do take the time
to broaden your computing experience. There are so many advantages to open source, many of which can be summed up with the fact that you can take back control of the computer that you own.

What I mean by tacking back control is that you can do with it as you please with out fear of prosecution from large proprietary software makers like Microsoft. I have been free of the restrictions placed upon me by this monster for over a year now.

Many of you may be thinking what other alternative do I have short of a rather large investment in a Macintosh box. Well I am here to tell you that there is another choice and it's totally cost free. Free in meaning that you won't be required to invest money to be able to use it.

You will however have to invest time, and the efforts required to learn something new. Will it be easy? No, not always, and there will be times you will want to give up. If you have the determination to stick it out and suffer the learning curve then try Linux.

There are so many choices in which version of Linux to use, that you will be dumbfounded. After much searching around I found the distro that was made for me. It is PCLinuxOS, a Mandrake based os that has a small user base of about 5,500 users. The community surounding it is the most friendly and helpful I have found anywhere. Come pay us a visit here and see if you can find the new home for your computer.