Friday, June 30, 2006

Blogger Comments and Microsoft Sued Over WGA Notification

I found a way to edit Blogger Comments, it is really quite simple, all you have to do is edit the comment as if it were a post, the following form makes this easier, just follow the simple steps, thanks to Blogger Templates. The form can be found here: editor/, use it how you wish, just be careful. I and/or Blogger Templates take no responsibility to loss of comments or any other further damages to your blog.

Today I learnt that a Seattle resident has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft, claiming that the company’s Window’s Genuine Advantage (WGA) anti-piracy programme is nothing but sophisticated spyware.

The WGA notifications component which was launched officially last week originally had a feature that enabled computers to connect with Microsoft servers each day and check for updated files configurations. This feature, which was already criticised by piracy experts, prompted the user to sue Microsoft, on grounds that the company had not adequately disclosed the details of the tool. Moreover the lawsuit accuses Microsoft of violating spyware laws of his home state, as well as Washington.

Although the lawsuit does not ask for monetary compensation, it does ask to prevent the use of the feature in further releases, but may be fined by the state nevertheless. While Microsoft refuses to acknowledge that it has violated any spyware rules, it has indeed disabled the feature, but says it is merely updating it. If, during court proceedings, the software giant is found guilty, it may have to compensate on more than just money.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

News Feature, Comedy Central GTA and Development Blog

I Made a News feature for my blog that sits above, tell me what you think of it. Also, I found this video which is rather funny, enjoy:

I have recently been testing a few things on my blog and I was scared to do much to it in case I mucked it up, so I created a "Development Blog" so that I can use it to edit the template and such, without fear of losing anything. If you would like to help me in the testing, or would just like to see what is going to be added to my blog in the near future, visit Bull3t's Development Blog.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Counter-Strike: Source

Today I felt like playing Counter-Strike after watching a few videos called Pure Pwnage. So I went to Amazon and purchased myself Counter-Strike: Source, Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 2000 and Microsoft Basic Optical Mouse Black. Apparently they should all be coming on Wednesday 28th. So if I don’t post for a while after that time, then I will be glued to Counter-Strike! I will be know as Silver_Bull3t as Bull3t is taken.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Signature of the Week #1

MPGH's first Signature of the Week was won by mostwanted! He has been presented with a Tag, second SOTW will be created by me, today. The theme is going to be Final Fantasy, lets hope we get some more entries this week.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Firefox Wallpaper

Made a Firefox Wallpaper today, with black and grey gradient, text and a huge Firefox logo - I quite like it actually. Use as you wish, just give me credit if you edit it or what have you. Comments and constructive criticism welcome.

Monday, June 19, 2006

PayPal Flaw and Computer Hacking Course

PayPal Flaw
Online Transaction outfit, PayPal has found a phony URL on its site that was being used by fraudsters to steal credit card numbers and other personal information belonging to PayPal users.

The scam involved tricking users into accessing a URL hosted on the real PayPal web site. This URL used SSL to encrypt information transmitted to and from the site, and a valid 256-bit SSL certificate was presented to confirm that the site does indeed belong to PayPal. But the content on the page had been modified by the fraudsters via a cross-site scripting technique (XSS).

When a victim visits the page, they are presented with a message that has been “injected” into the genuine PayPal site that says, “Your account is currently disabled because we think it has been accessed by a third party. You will now be redirected to Resolution Center.” After a short pause, the victim is then redirected to an external server located in Korea, which presents a fake PayPal Member Login page.

If the victim logs in via the fake login page, their PayPal username and password is transmitted to the fraudsters and they are subsequently presented with another page which requests them to enter further details to remove limits on the access of their account. Information requested includes social security number, credit card number, expiration date, card verification number and ATM PIN.

The server currently running the scam is hosted in Korea and is accessed via a hex-encoded IP address. PayPal has now addressed this vulnerability. A company spokesman said Paypal is working with the Internet Service Provider that hosts the malicious site to get it shut down, and does not yet know how many people may have fallen victim to the scam.

Abertay Computer Hacking Course
Dundee’s Abertay University has become the first in the country to offer a degree in computer hacking. The university has been quick to point out that the BSc (Hons) in Ethical Hacking and Countermeasures is not designed to train the next generation of hi-tech criminals, but to help organisations fight computer crime.

Students will learn how to overcome the most sophisticated IT security systems, with a view to advising companies on how best to protect their systems and their customers.

Nevertheless, the university accepts the skills being taught on the four-year course would be invaluable to criminals and terrorists.

“That is a concern that has been expressed,” said an Abertay spokesman. “However, the students will be thoroughly vetted to make sure we are not recruiting any known criminals.

“In addition, they will not be introduced to hacking skills from day one, but gradually over the length of the course.

“There will be two years or so during which we can keep a very close eye on them to see what type of people they are.”

After graduation, the students are unlikely to have to look too hard for a job, the spokesman went on.

“We have done some research which shows there is a rapidly growing marketplace in what the industry calls penetration testing, and is more usually known as ethical hacking,” he explained.

“There are cases where companies and organisations are required to have this as a condition for insurance.

“As a result, there is a very high demand and the right people can command salaries of £45,000 upwards.”

The course is being led by tutor Colin McLean, the only academic in the country with an ethical hacking qualification.

Explaining the need for hacking skills to be passed on, he said, “These days there’s such a large reliance on computers for most aspects of a company’s work, and legislation means reasonable steps have to be taken to make sure data is secure.

“Specialist companies are employed to go in and test computers for any kind of security flaw and we are looking to prepare undergraduates for jobs in that area.”

Mr McLean said the stringent selection process would play the most important part in preventing hacking skills being taught to students prepared to use them illegally.

Despite the high cost of computer-based crime —up to £270,000 an hour — many companies fail to tell the police about it because they do not want adverse publicity, according to a report today.

Cyber crime is one of the fastest growing problems for businesses, but many firms are not aware of how badly they could be hit, risk consultants Protiviti said.

The company said there had been a 66% increase in the number of computer-related crime cases it had dealt with in the first three months of the year compared with the same period in 2005.

Firms were often not aware of the scale of the problem because they could not visualise the crime or were not so afraid of criminals they could not see, it was suggested.

Sean Holohan of Protiviti said, “Through greater connectivity and technological advances, e-crime is growing at a rapid rate and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

“However, the factors behind this also make it easier to identify the electronic ‘fingerprints’ of the criminals.”

Computer crimes included fraudulently mis-stating accounts by abusing spreadsheets and other financial related electronic information, defrauding company payroll systems to create fictitious staff to steal money from the company or creating false certifications and other official documents.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Hard Drive Reformat Survival, mKeys and Chinese Censorship

I survived my Hard Drive reformat, I manged to only reformat my System side of the Hard Drive and kept nearly all my data! It was allot quicker than I thought, although I am still downloading and installing things here and there, when I need them. Anyway at the moment I am currently working on a program called macroKeys or mKeys, which is basically a Text Replacement / Keyboard Macro. A little bit like Shortkeys, but free and will hopefully be better, but I doubt it. If you don’t have a clue what a Text Replacement / Keyboard Macro is then download and try Shortkeys, it is free for a certain amount of time, after that period is over you have to pay $19.99, so I am hoping to eliminate this fee with my free version. I will notify all of you when I release it, until then I will be working on it quite possibly for the next few weeks.

Chinese Censorship

Yahoo 'Worst Offender' for Chinese Censorship
97 per cent of results link to authorised sites only, says Reporters Without Borders.

Yahoo censors more sites than other search engines operating in China, according to press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders. The group alleged that Yahoo China censored more results than Google China, MSN China and local search engine Baidu.

Using a list of 'subversive' keywords including 'democracy', 'human rights' and '6-4' (the date of the Tiananmen Square massacre), Reporters Without Borders measured whether the results returned linked to sites authorised or not authorised by the Chinese authorities.

A massive 97 per cent of the results returned by Yahoo China were to authorised sites, making it more restrictive than Chinese competitor Baidu. Google China returned 83 per cent authorised sites, compared with 78 per cent for MSN China.

The same search on showed only 28 per cent of authorised sites in the results.

The study also found that if users entered certain search terms into Yahoo, such as '6-4' or 'Tibet independence', they would be temporarily blocked from using the search engine for an hour. Only Baidu used the same technique.

Reporters Without Borders urged companies operating in repressive countries not to censor search results.

"We are convinced that these companies can still access the Chinese market without betraying their ethical principles. They must, however, adopt a firm and clear position in relation to the Chinese authorities," the organisation said in a statement.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

New Blog Template

Decided to have a bit of a change, so downloaded and installed a new template. Not sure how reliable it will be, but feel free to report any bugs. Also took off the NiceTitle effect, because it was getting annoying. May think about doing my re-format today, if I can be bothered, but now my keyboard has buggered up. The Shift key isn’t working so I can only do capitals with the Caps Lock key, which as you can image is very annoying.

Friday, June 16, 2006

WarRock Closed Beta

WarRock Closed Beta begins on June 15, 2006

K2Network is pleased to announce the Closed Beta release of WarRock. At this time we would like to welcome back all the Pre Release users of WarRock. We appreciate all the feedback and support you have provided and hope for your continued interest and suggestions.

New Features

  • Maps - Two new and exciting maps have been introduced.
    • Emblem - a fast paced map where opposing Derbaran and NIU forces fight for control over a secret base located in hilly wooded terrain.
    • Engrene - a large scale battle map with trucks, tanks, motorcycles, helicopters and airplanes!
  • Weapons - Two new weapons.
    • Glock - A lightweight powerful pistol equipped with extended magazine and customised for superior stopping power.
    • Stinger - A portable short range missile launcher. Lock on to enemy aircraft and blow them out of the sky!
  • Website - Enhanced web security and features.
    • Account - Log in and change user account settings.
    • Email - Email verification.
    • Friends - Invite Friends to Closed Beta - All those who have accounts in good standing will be able to invite up to four friends to play WarRock.
  • PunkBuster - PunkBuster has been fully integrated into WarRock. Cheaters and hackers beware!

  • Servers - Two new servers have been added. There are now servers located in Dallas, Texas and London!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Hard Drive Reformat

Lately my computer has been going rather slow and doing some strange things, so I came to the conclusion that if I can be bothered, on Saturday I am going to be starting the first step of my hard drive reformat. It may take a few days, so I may not post for a while. The following steps will take time, but I will try and be as quick as possible.
  • Backup: First I have to backup my wanted data, such as signatures, profiles etc. [2–3 hours]
  • Format: I will then have to format my hard drive. [1 hour]
  • Install: I then have to install Windows again, this can take up to an hour. [<2 hours]
  • Update: I will have to reinstall Windows, Drivers etc. updates, until I am back upto date. [2 hours]
  • Download: Download and install many needed or wanted programs such as Firefox, Xfire, Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware and so on. [2 hours]
  • Back: Take all my backed up data and dump it back onto my fresh hard drive. [<3 hours]
  • Games: Install some games that I think I will be playing. [1 hour]
  • Finish: Make some finishing touches, such as Wallpaper, Screensaver, Resolution and so fourth. [<1 hour]

After that I should be near enough to where I am now, with more speed and less crap. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Gamespy Matchmaking

Ensemble Studios has announced that GameSpy will host matchmaking services for the "Legacy" Age of Empires titles. This includes Age of Empires, Age of Empires: Rise of Rome, Age of Empires II: Age of Kings, and Age of Empires II: The Conquerors. The new host will attempt to fill the void that will be created from the soon to be retired MSN Zone.

Players can enjoy the core matchmaking services from GameSpy free of cost, and premium services will be available too. Gamers can use GameSpy to access a wide range of features including player created ladder, friends lists and easy to download patches. Users can download the GameSpy Arcade software directly at GameSpy Arcade. The service will be available after the June 19th closing of the Zone, and only affects legacy titles and does not affect Age of Mythology or Age of Empires III.

Thankyou Gamespy! We love you!

Monday, June 12, 2006

MSN Casual Gamers

Long time, no post! I have been busy these last couple of days, and I have had no time for my own blog. I may not be posting every day now either, but I will try my best. Anyway, about Ensemble Studios:

MSN Casual Gamers has announced that as of June 19th, the MSN Gaming Zone will no longer be supporting CD-Rom games. This means that players will no longer be able to use the Zone Matchmaking service for Age of Empires titles. This includes Age of Empires, Rise of Rome, Age of Empires II, and The Conquerors expansion. It seems that Ensemble are trying hard to get them supported elsewhere, but until that time I guess I will have to play something else. []

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

38 Thousand Sites Defaced

Today I learnt that the most dangerous place on Earth to host your website is Turkey. On Thursday of last week, 38 000 Turkish hosted websites were defaced. Iskorpitx, a formerly less known Turkish hacker, became world infamous, when he managed to deface over 38 000 Turkish websites in two blasts. He targeted mostly Windows based webservers.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Today I decided to create some avatars, found a nice tutorial on Pixel2Life and made the two following indented avatars:

The first is done with a Knuckles Sprite, the second with a Sonic Sprite, thanks to Ren “Foxx” Ramos for the Sprite Rips. I did use the same Sonic Sprite as the tutorial did, but that's because I found the Sprite Sheet and I couldn't get any other good ones.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Blog Links and Images and MPGH Graphics Moderator

Blog Links and Images
I added two new features to my Blog today, to make it have a more user-friendly and generally make it different from other Blogs. The first is; “nicetitle”; You will notice, when you “mouse over” some links on my Blog they show a little pop up under your mouse saying where the link will take you and the link title. This nifty little feature is called “nicetitle”. It is Javascript so if you don’t have a Javascript enabled browser these will not show. The second is “lightbox”; When you click on some images I have posted, instead of it opening a new window and showing you the image, it now shows a pop up box on the same page with a close button and the opacity of the page decreases. At the moment “lightbox” does not seem to work, I will try and get it fixed later on.

MPGH Graphics Moderator
I have been nominated for the role of MPGH Graphics Moderator! I will now have to be allot more active there and accept some graphics requests. Thanks to EnriT for dropping my name in! If I feel like it I may post some of my finished requests here.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Specification Image, WarRock Account and The Pirate Bay

Got bored yesterday so decided to make this image, feel free to comment on it. Not sure what else to say today except that I found out that my account has been banned from WarRock, seems someone reported me, damn snitch! Anyway I will have to wait for the Closed Beta and sign up for that. Also The Pirate Bay is back up and running from it’s down time after the Swedish Police took it down for awhile, it seems they have made a joke out of it as well, if you goto the link the title of the page reads: “The Police Bay”.

Friday, June 02, 2006

WarRock News

During June WarRock will be taking registrations for the Closed Beta, where new maps and weapons will be added for our “gaming pleasure”. Current WarRock users receive a notification email. Also it seems they have been working very hard to implement Punkbuster into the game so they expected to have it on or before the Closed Beta starts.  New servers are in the works, WarRock are adding additional North American and European servers due to combat lag issues. Cheaters beware! Your days are numbered.