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September 01, 2008

Ever wanted to wrap yourself in softly-glowing sperm? Boy have we got the product for you

grinding.be � Blog Archive � LightMate

LightMates are soft anthropomorphic pillows and warming lamps. This awfully attractive creature heats, lights and provides company. Their different sizes answer to everyone’s need of heat; a mate to hug or a huge companion you can lay on.

August 26, 2008

Mickey Mouse may legally be out of copyright (but not trademark)

Disney's rights to young Mickey Mouse may be wrong - Los Angeles Times

Short version: Copyright was incorrectly stated in Mickey's first cartoon, possibly invalidating all further claims.

For Brown, it was as if the glass slipper fit him perfectly. The key was location of the word "copyright" in relation to the name "Walt Disney." There were two other names listed in between -- Cinephone and Disney's top studio artist, Ub Iwerks. Arguably, any one of the three could have claimed ownership, thereby nullifying anyone's claim under arcane rules of the Copyright Act of 1909.

Welcome to the wonderful world of copyright law.

Brown leapt on the ambiguity, asking the court to reconsider its ruling against him on grounds that Mickey Mouse was out of copyright. But he was too late. Without ruling on the merits of Brown's arguments, the judge tossed it aside as untimely.

. . .

The authoritative legal treatise "Nimmer on Copyright" says that a copyright is void if multiple names create uncertainty, and courts have agreed. In 1961, a federal judge in Massachusetts cited the "accompanied by" rule in throwing out a copyright claim by newspaper cartoonist Art Moger. Moger's name was included in the title above his panels, but the name of another artist ran inside the boxes.

August 21, 2008

How to: Sneak lockpicks on to an airplane

I-Hacked.com Taking Advantage Of Technology - Sneaking lockpicks past the TSA in carry-on luggage

Short version: Hide them in the metal handles of your carry-on luggage where the security x-rays can't penetrate.

August 20, 2008

Has the uncanny valley been conquered?

Video: Lifelike animation heralds new era for computer games - Times Online

I don't know. She is still a bit creepy to me.

Extraordinarily lifelike characters are to begin appearing in films and computer games thanks to a new type of animation technology.

Emily - the woman in the above animation - was produced using a new modelling technology that enables the most minute details of a facial expression to be captured and recreated.

She is considered to be one of the first animations to have overleapt a long-standing barrier known as 'uncanny valley' - which refers to the perception that animation looks less realistic as it approaches human likeness.

August 14, 2008

Anti-virus programs useless

via | Cybercrime and Doing Time | Anti-Virus Products Still Fail on Fresh Viruses
the truth is the criminals are innovating faster than the Anti-Virus vendors can keep up with. Its true that some of the AV companies have really fast signature cycles, but its also true that their methodology is to write new signatures for viruses that are encountered in the wild. The problem with that, of course, is that once the virus is in the wild, their customers may encounter it before they do. Face it. Someone has to report that the thing exists!

Bush administration too lazy or dumb to fix DNS?

'Cause, like, it's only the Web, see, no big deal. Chill, brah! Wired | Experts Accuse Bush Administration of Foot-Dragging on DNS Security HoleM
Despite a recent high-profile vulnerability that showed the net could be hacked in minutes, the domain name system -- a key internet infrastructure -- continues to suffer from a serious security weakness, thanks to bureaucratic inertia at the U.S. government agency in charge, security experts say. Kaminsky quietly worked with large tech companies to build patches for the net's name servers to make the attack more difficult. But security experts, and even the NTIA, say those patches are just temporary fixes; the only known complete fix is DNSSEC -- a set of security extensions for name servers. But because DNS servers work in a giant hierarchy, deploying DNSSEC successfully also requires having someone trustworthy sign the so-called "root file" with a public-private key. Otherwise, an attacker can undermine the entire system at the root level, like cutting down a tree at the trunk. That's where the politics comes in. The DNS root is controlled by the Commerce Department's NTIA, which thus far has refused to implement DNSSEC. "A few years ago, there were still technical hurdles to actually signing and using DNSSEC, but in the past few years, a lot of software tools, both commercial and open-source, have come out, and now it's a completely solved problem," Woodcock said. "All that's left is the far less tractable, purely political problem." "Arguing over who gets to hold the cryptographic keys in the long run [should] wait until we're not facing a critical threat," Woodcock said.