Archive for the 'Pirates' Category

Pirates III is Out

There are some people who would say to me, “James, being an extreme Pirates of the Caribbean fanboy, having eagerly awaited the conclusion of the trilogy for months, and having been one of the first to see the third movie (having gone at 12:01 AM on May 25th), do you feel that it has been worthy of the anticipation, lack of sleep, ten bucks, and “Pirates” name?

The people who ask these things don’t exist, but I’ll flatter myself and pretend that they do.

To these sorts of people, I shall reply:

(Spoiler. Mom, don’t cheat.)
Continue reading ‘Pirates III is Out’


Steve Jobs pwns the music industry

Earlier today, Steve Jobs released an open letter to the music industry. In it, he argued that digital rights management is both fundamentally flawed and unnecessary. Wow. Jobs has power, and he’s using it for good. If record companies pay heed, this would seriously be one of the best things to ever happen to music enthusiasts using computers, on any operating system.

It’s a rather interesting move. Perhaps Apple is seizing in on how Microsoft has been getting beat up lately for including extensive DRM support in Windows Vista.

Trusted Computing and BitTorrent

This Guy is claiming that Trusted Computing is like BitTorrent. I disagree.

My first observation would be that while BitTorrent is voluntary, Trusted Computing is being forced upon us. One enforces liberty, the freedom to do whatever we want with our files. The other locks it down. They are really polar opposites.

Both technologies can be used for good or evil. However, just as BitTorrent is predominantly used for pirated materials, I don’t really see TC being used for much more then DRM. Yes, it could be used for distributed computing. BitTorrent could be integrated with apt-get to distribute Linux updates, too.
Will either happen? Maybe, but not right now and probably not for a while.

Another thing; this *will not* stop music from being pirated. I doubt it will make a dent. If you can play audio, you can capture it. If not by software, then by hardware. Plug a cable from the headphone jack to the mic jack and start recording. Might cut down on software piracy a bit, but I’m sort of doubting enough companies will be organized enough to make things work within three years. Maybe, maybe five or six. If all these web 2.0 people are to be believed, all the important stuff will be online, accessible from anywhere by then, anyway.

Meh. I don’t know how Trusted Computing will work out, but my gut tells me two things. One, people will pirate software and music no matter what. Two, I can’t see the average consumer liking TC when they find out what it is and what does in the grand scheme of things.


If you liked Pirates of the Caribbean, you’ll probably enjoy this animated short.

Apparently, it was made in seven months by five French students as some sort of final project. I suppose it’s too much to hope for a full length movie…

In which James taunted a scammer

From: James D <************>
Subject: Re: Your Reply
Date: Thu, 18 May 2006

You don't frighten us, Brunein pig-dogs! Go and boil your bottom, sons
of a silly person. I blow my nose at you, so-called Prince Musa .B.
Bolkiah, you and all your silly Brunein guards. Thpppppt! Thppt! Thppt!
I don't wanna talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough
wiper! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and
your father smelt of elderberries!
Now, go away, or I shall taunt you a second time!

Or report you to the FBI fraud bureau. Either one, really.

On Thu, 2006-05-18 at 22:01 +0700, Prince.Musa Bolkiah wrote:
> Dear Friend,
> I am Prince Musa .B. Bolkiah, the eldest son of Prince Jefri Bolkiah, former Finance Minister of Brunei, the tiny oil-rich sultanate on the Gulf Island of Borneo.
> I will save your time by not amplifying my extended royal family history, which has already been disseminated by the international media during the controversial dispute that erupted between my father and his stepbrother, the sultan of Brunei Sheik Muda Hassanal Bolkiah. As you may know from the international media, the sultan had accused my father of financial mismanagement and impropriety of US$14.8 billion dollars.
> This was as a result of the Asian financial crisis that made my father company Amedeo Development Company and government owned Brunei Investment Company to be declared bankrupt during his tenure in office.
> However my father was kept under house arrest, his bank accounts and private properties including a crude oil export refinery were later confiscated by the sultanate. Furthermore during this unfortunate period, I was advised to evacuate my immediate family outside the sultanate to avoid further prosecution from the sultan and his security operatives, but before I could do that I was placed under house arrest by the Sultan and I had no access to phone, but I have a Palm V hand-held computer from which I am sending you this mail. Some of the guards here are still loyal to me.
> Before my Incaseration, I went ahead to dispatch the sum of Four hundred and twenty Million United States Dollars (US$420,000,000.00) in cash with the assistance of a foreign diplomat who now reside in Europe.
> The money has now been deposited as valuables into different private security and trust company for safe keeping abroad. The money where splited and kept in the following countries in this proportion: US$50 Million is in London, US$80 Million is in Spain, US$40 Million is in Thailand, US $170 Million is in Cotonuo Republic of Benin and the balance of US$80 Million is in Holland.
> Please if you know you can assist in claiming and investing it in real estate/property to guarantee the future survival of my family, contact me fast so that I'll give you contact information of the security company in Europe and other parts of the world where the funds are deposited.
> For your assistance i will compensate you with 25% of the total sum and another 5% shall be set aside to defray any expenses that may arise.Please I count on your absolute confidentiality, transparency and trust while looking forward to your prompt reply towards a swift conclusion of this business transaction through my email address as follows: <>
> Thanks & May Allah's blessing remain with you.
> please i await your prompt reply.
> I remain yours sincerely,
> Prince Musa .B. Bolkiah

Trial by DRM

I received Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, among other things, as a gift a few days ago. It looks like a pretty neat game, it appears to be pretty much Neverwinter Nights with a new graphics engine, better storyline and a Star Wars theme. My good friend Alex recommended it highly.

Of course, Alex has only played it on Xbox. But the PC version can’t be too different, right? Well, one would hope. Little did I know what path lay ahead. Would I stick to the happy, legal, light side? Or would I succumb to the dark powers of software piracy?

Continue reading ‘Trial by DRM’

Is piracy theft?

A interesting website that has popped up in the peer-to-peer file sharing debate is theThe Piracy Calculator.
It allows you to calculate how much money the RI/MPAA would accuse you of stealing. Not terribly accurate, but interesting, nonetheless. Particularly the two paragraphs at the bottom of the page. Continue reading ‘Is piracy theft?’

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