Monthly Archives: november 2005

KDE 3.5 Released

“The KDE Project is happy to announce a new major release of the award-winning K Desktop Environment. Many features have been added or refined, making KDE the most complete, stable and integrated free desktop environment available.

Notable changes include:

* Konqueror is the second web browser to pass the Acid2 CSS test, ahead of Firefox and Internet Explorer
* Konqueror can also now free web pages from adverts with its ad-block feature
* SuperKaramba is included in KDE, providing well-integrated and easy-to-install widgets for the user’s desktop
* Kopete has support for MSN and Yahoo! webcams
* The edutainment module has three new applications (KGeography, Kanagram and blinKen), and has seen huge improvements in Kalzium”

One of the things I’ve been looking forward to in KDE 3.5, is the MSN webcam support in Kopete. This one feature has prevented a lot of my friends from installing Linux on their girlfriends’ computers because girls, for some odd-ass reason, appear to like using webcams 😛

Also Konqueror now passes the Acid2 test, which means it’s complies with standards a lot better, than before, which is great for everybody.

Now that KDE 3.5 is out of the door, the KDE guys can finally fully focus on KDE 4.0, which be a huge change in KDE’s design, which they expect to release in a year from now. One of the features they look to do is to create a new multimedia layer so that all the issues with the old arts audio server will go away, also they are creating a new theming engine called Oxygen, and a new interface for developing applets, a little bit like dashboard in OS X Tiger but with a significant difference, instead of adding another layer to the desktop, you make the applets intergrate with the desktop.

The future looks very brigt for Linux on the desktop, 2006 is gonna bring a lot of great stuff, a long with two extra next-gen consoles. Personally, I’m going to preorder the Nintendo Revolution ASAP, because I just love Nintendo’s ideas of doing a pure-gaming machine and adding so much goodness for gamers and not a lot of multimedia shit.
For example, they’ve promised a Smash Bros. title at launch, with online gaming from day one.
That I just can’t wait for, but sadly I have to. 😉

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The Legend of Zelda Movie?

“Just after The Hylia did a feature on the possibility of a Zelda film, Reggie Fils-Aime spoke to Club Nintendo, a Mexican publication equivalent to Nintendo Power, about the Big N’s plans for their franchises on the silver screen. Plans that include The Legend of Zelda, and the production apparently will be handled by Nintendo itself.”

With both Tomb Raider and Doom being inspiration for movies, Nintendo could be thinking of doing a Zelda movie, which I think sounds cool. I’ve got a VHS tape with some old Zelda cartoon episodes, sadly there was only produced 13 episodes of that series. I think Nintendo generally has franchises that do very well for cartoons, Pokemon is great for this IMHO and I like those series, they also once had some Super Mario series, but they dropped that which I think is a shame because Mario’s world is wonderful for a cartoon, it can be darn funny and cool at the same time.
Recently a Kirby series has been made, I’m not sure how big it is because I don’t have any way to watch it, but from what I’ve seen it looks great, especially since it’s japanese anime, that is the perfect animation-model for Kirby.

From me to Nintendo: Use your franchises to make some great cartoons, I loved those that were made in the past, and I would sure like new ones! 😀

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KDE 3.5 Release Candidate 1

“KDE 3.5 is almost finished, so we have prepared a first release candidate. We want to have it tested as much as possible, so please give it a show.”

The KDE project is close to a final release of KDE 3.5, which will include a cool bunch of new features. The ones I’m look forward to the most is webcam support in the KDE instant messaging program, Kopete. One of the things that keeps some of my friends tied to Windows is the webcam features of MSN Messenger. Hopefully, when KDE 3.5 is released I can get them to migrate, because it’s a pain in the ass to fix their PCs about every month, and especially when you do it for free.

Another thing great thing in KDE 3.5, is that Konqueror, the KDE file manager and web browser, now passes the Acid2 test. Which makes it comply with global web standards even better, which is always great.

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California Suing Sony Over Rootkit DRM

“California has filed a class-action lawsuit against Sony and a second one may be filed today in New York. The lawsuit was filed Nov. 1 in Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles by Vernon, CA. It asks the court to prevent Sony from selling additional CDs protected by the anti-piracy software, and seeks monetary damages for California consumers who purchased them. The suit alleges that Sony’s software violates at least three California statutes, including the “Consumer Legal Remedies Act,” which governs unfair and/or deceptive trade acts; and the “Consumer Protection against Computer Spyware Act,” which prohibits — among other things — software that takes control over the user’s computer or misrepresents the user’s ability or right to uninstall the program. The suit also alleges that Sony’s actions violate the California Unfair Competition law, which allows public prosecutors and private citizens to file lawsuits to protect businesses and consumers from unfair business practices”

Sony has been taking a lot of heat for their dirty tricks with their audio CD DRM system which contained a rootkit.
For those of you who don’t know, a rootkit is basicly a little program that hooks into the operating system, and hides any process running on the computer, so that antivirus software, firewalls, antispyware… NOTHING is able to see and or detect it. Now this is something malicious crackers has been using for over a decade when they cracked into a system and wanted to put a hidden backdoor on the system.

Whenever you would try to play an audio CD from Sony it would pop up and End-user license agreement (EULA), which most people would just ignore and click yes or no.
If you choose yes, the this program of Sony’s would install a DRM system in order to prevent you from ripping the CD or making a copy of it. But not only that, it also install a rootkit that makes the DRM system totally invisible to the user, and if the user would actually find it and pull the files out, they would loose access to their CD-ROM drives, because this DRM system acts as a filter on the CD-ROM drive.
And if you thought that was bad, apperantly this crab DRM system of Sony’s is poorly written, it is known to acutally cause blue screens and make Windows crash.

Apperantly there is already a trojan out there using Sony’s rootkit to hide itself, the rootkit will hide ANY file, of which’s filename begins with $sys$. So “$sys$sonysbadassrootkit.sys” would be completely invisible to the user, antivirus software and antispyware software.

This poses a serious security risk to the people who has this shit of Sony’s installed on their machine, a few of the major antivirus companies have said that they will be releasing standalone tools in the upcoming days that will get rid of this.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a list of CDs which has been confirmed to contain this DRM rootkit:

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004144.php

The above list could very well be incomplete, Slashdot reader xtracto has also made a list of albums:

http://slashdot.org/~xtracto/journal/121088

If you’re curious if you’ve Sony’s DRM rootkit on your system, you can download Rootkit Revealer free from SysInternals, you need to look for a huge tack of files that begins with $sys$

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FreeBSD 6.0 Released To Mirrors!

FreeBSD 6.0 has just been released to mirrors around the world, I guess I found out so early that the folks over at the FreeBSD project didn’t get a chance to post news about it on their website, as of writing. 😛

Anyway, FreeBSD 6.0 brings some major updates to the FreeBSD operating system. Stability and performance has improved a lot, and support for wireless networking has also been improved. And of course A LOT of bugs has been fixed.

I’ve been anxiously awaiting this new one because I really want to use FreeBSD on my main desktop computer, but 5.4 has some problems with the IDE controller on my motherboard, which is pretty much a pain in the butt since I have a lot more IDE drives than I do SATA drives.

If you, like me, wanna give the new version 6.0 of FreeBSD a whirl, go check it out at FreeBSD.org

BSD Daemon