Russinovich: Sony Took DRM Too Far

Mark Russinovich has a great article on his blog about Sony DRM and rootkit-style cloaking. He does a good job of navigating through the obfuscation that an idiotic DRM company foisted on Sony and on the world.



Mark concludes:

The entire experience was frustrating and irritating. Not only had Sony put software on my system that uses techniques commonly used by malware to mask its presence, the software is poorly written and provides no means for uninstall. Worse, most users that stumble across the cloaked files with a RKR scan will cripple their computer if they attempt the obvious step of deleting the cloaked files.




Wow. Reason #524 why I hate DRM. I know we gotta have it, but it just leads to crap like this. And worse. But that’s a topic for another day and other websites. At least with Apple, you know where you stand.



So, no more buying CDs from Sony. Too bad; they have some good stuff on their classical labels.

Stupidity In Threes?

  • Two weeks ago, I left my iPod on a plane. I realized it 5 minutes after they left the gate. It never turned up at the other end of that flight.
  • Three days ago, I turned my car in off lease and left my garage door opener in the car. Fortunately, they found it last night.
  • Yesterday night, I left a sack with a 200GB hard drive and some paperwork with my name and address on it in the parking lot of my local CompUSA. I realized it within 5 minutes, turned around, and called. It never turned up.




Here’s hoping that we’re done with that game.

Filter Manager Redistributable For Windows 2000

Good news! An NTDEV poster pointed out that Filter Manager is available as a redistributible from Microsoft, if you call them and ask nicely. I hope this turns into a fully-supported redistributible. But, it’s one less reason to ever try to write a filesystem filter that’s not a minifilter.


UPDATE: Neal clarifies on NTDEV:

Let me clear up some confusion.  This KB article is not for the
redistributable.  It simply is to let people know that filter manager
was part of the W2K URP.

We are still planning on releasing the redistributable.

I agree that it has taken longer then originally planned.  I pinged the
group in India that is doing this, unfortunately this week was a holiday
and most people were out.  I will have a status update on the
redistributable at the PlugFest next week (14-18).

Neal Christiansen
Microsoft File System Filter Group Lead
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no
Rights

What A Webcast

Wow…

  • The host kept talking in the background, totally distracting me repeatedly,
  • The fire alarm went off in my building halfway through,
  • The host asked me a question that our Q&A screener explicitly marked as “don’t-ask”,
  • I violated personal policy and mentioned a quasi-competitor or two, unintentionally,
  • I took 25 minutes to do the first 25% of the slides, leaving 5 mintues to do the rest. Went way over. :-)




Other than that, it went quite well. If you’re interested in this sort of topic, bonk the link at the top of the Positive Networks homepage – it’s archived for 30 days or so.

Beware Of Google Web Accelerator?

David at 37signals has pointed out a couple of interesting reasons to fear the Google Web Accelerator. This has implications for anyone who works on any kind of intranet or management web app. Om Malik points out that there are security concerns as well.



Update: Jason Sloderbeck, our Director of Operations at Positive Networks, says: “It’s not nearly as bad as whatever Slashdot story you just got done reading. Google didn’t write software to automatically trade your stocks in E*Trade. They’re smart. Quote me.”

Driver Installation Using DIFxApp

Until the MVP Summit, I had only heard of, but had never used, the DIFx tools. We had a great presentation with the DIFx people where they demonstrated exactly how to cleanly incorporate driver installation into an MSI, and I’ve been meaning to work on doing just this since I got back. But, one thing drives out another, as they say.



Well, it seems that a new blogger, Code Mortem (catchy name), has posted information on getting your driver to install with DIFxApp.



Have a look. And welcome to the Blogosphere™, Mr. Mortem!

Web 2.0 Anxiety Continues

It’s funny how something that seems at first to be nothing but the reemergence of opportunity can be the cause of so much anxiety. The Web 2.0 buzz that’s been going on since the conference (I discussed it in WTF Is 2.0? and in More On Web 2.0 recently) has been surprisingly divided between hype and fear of “Bubble 2.0″.



I think a repeat of the late 90’s is unlikely. If it were to happen, it’d be because venture capitalists had forgotten the very very expensive lessons they learned during the crash. Having spoken to a few of them recently, I most certainly don’t think they have – VCs are out looking for good companies with products to sell and customers to win, not merely a cool concept.



Even if we do see another frenzy of stupid investing, which I doubt, the web economy is in a different place now than it was then. I’ve been a happy E*Trade customer for approaching 10 years, I’ve been using Google every day for a couple of years, I buy a nontrivial amount of junk from Amazon, I use Ebay on occasion, etc… These companies, be they 1.0, 2.0, or even 3.1b2p6, are not going anywhere soon.