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.NET Hobbyist Programmer Staying Confused in a Busy World November 2005 Entries
Ordering Code Construction Tasks

This is a great post on Ordering Code Construction Tasks by Jeremy Miller.  In it he answers the question of what order do you build an application?  It shows good reasons to implement agile development.  (Hat Tip: Roy Osherove)

Posted On Saturday, November 26, 2005 6:47 PM

Sony DRM Defeated
Last time, Sony's DRM was defeated by a dark marking pen. This time it is a piece of tape. (Who knows, the pen may work as well.) A Gartner research post Sony BMG DRM a Public-Relations and Technology Failure describes the simple technique. They also sum up the music industry's efforts at implementing DRM quite eloquently. “Gartner believes that it will never achieve this goal as long as CDs must be playable by stand-alone CD players.” We have come full circle on this story and I am now ......

Posted On Tuesday, November 22, 2005 5:01 PM

Google Analytics Too Successful
After wondering why the data stopped flowing, I reverted to my original Analytics domain of After a time, I checked back and found this notice. The demand for Google Analytics surpassed even our highest expectations and as a result some customers may temporarily experience report-update delays. All data continues to be collected and no data has been lost. We are currently adding resources to ensure high-quality service. We apologize for any inconvenience. I guess a free ......

Posted On Monday, November 21, 2005 6:32 PM

Sony DRM Debacle: Now for the Lawyers
Brian Bergstein, AP Technology Writer, gives us a good summary of where things stand with Sony and their DRM problems. Suffice it to say that they relied on First 4 Internet for the expertise and F4I proved to be inept. I think Sony's suits have little concern about the “thieving users” who are trying to steal their content, but only get concerned about the lawsuits and lost profit. The music industry got too used to obscene profit margins and now cannot live without them. Sony seems ......

Posted On Sunday, November 20, 2005 5:37 AM

Chinese Love and Rockets

This hurts to watch.

1) Does the guy in the background know what is going on just feet away?

2) Does the broken hand impair his microphone tricks?

Posted On Saturday, November 19, 2005 11:52 AM

Google Analytics
Update 1: For some reason, the data has stopped. I am tweaking things to see if I can get it to appear again. Update 2: Hmmm. It may not be me. The demand for Google Analytics surpassed even our highest expectations and as a result some customers may temporarily experience report-update delays. All data continues to be collected and no data has been lost. We are currently adding resources to ensure high-quality service. We apologize for any inconvenience. I have added the code for Google Analytics ......

Posted On Friday, November 18, 2005 9:58 AM

Nautical Terminology: Dead Horse
When a Sailor pays off a debt to the command (advance pay, overpayments, etc.) they say they have paid off a Dead Horse. The saying comes from a tradition of British sailors. British seamen, apt to be ashore and unemployed for considerable periods of time between voyages, generally preferred to live in boarding houses near the piers while waiting for sailing ships to take on crews. During these periods of unrestricted liberty, many ran out of money, so innkeepers carried them on credit until they ......

Posted On Friday, November 18, 2005 3:58 AM

Google Zeitgeist
What is it? zeit·geist | Pronunciation: 'tsIt-"gIst, 'zIt | Function: noun | Etymology: German, from Zeit (time) + Geist (spirit) | Date: 1884 | Meaning: the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era In Google's reality, it is a place where they list their most popular queries, or as they put it, "Search patterns, trends, and surprises according to Google". Check it out. Some interesting things pop up there ......

Posted On Thursday, November 17, 2005 7:48 PM

God Hates Shrimp
Every once in a while, you come across a parody website that makes you smile.  Do not forget to check out their banner graphics.

Posted On Wednesday, November 16, 2005 7:12 AM

Sony DRM Death Spiral Continues
The media is looking for blood, and there is plenty of Sony's lying around. Update 1: Someone finally says that the antivirus companies who were supposedly protecting us have no clothes. Update 2: A good USA Today article that links the Sony DRM to executive changes, a questionable merger, and staff downsizing. The stories are only getting worse. I think this will emerge as a perfect case study of now not to protect a company's intellectual property. Sony issues a second apology, stops production ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 16, 2005 4:21 AM

Sony Maximizing Their DRM Pain
Previously, I hypothesized about a fictional pitch that sold Sony on the rootkit XCP DRM they included on some recent CDs. I then examined how the software's authors pitched their product. All of those scenarios were fatally limited because I think I fell into the same trap the Sony did -- I did not examine how CDs are played from all angles. My assumption was that the players in this game were Sony (and by extension First 4 Internet) and the incipient thieves who buy the CDs. The point of view that ......

Posted On Monday, November 14, 2005 5:31 PM

Selling a (Bad) DRM Technology
Now that we know quite a bit about how the XCP DRM copy protection scheme was implemented for Sony, how was it sold to the record companies? First 4 Internet has the following posted on their XCP DRM website. Read the following knowing they are talking about a specialized player supported by a rootkit-based DRM driver. They pitch it as a “disc format“ when it is actually a standard format (to play in regular CD players) with added autorun software for computers (both PC and Mac), and ......

Posted On Sunday, November 13, 2005 5:40 AM

When DRM Gets You Fired
I have lots of links in this post about Sony's XCP DRM software and how they bungled it. The last update there brings up an interesting point. Picture yourself in front of senior management pitching the “cutting-edge” technology you have found at an unremarkable British software company. No lawyers or PR flacks are around. You are suitably vague about the detailed techniques, but you breeze through the slides extolling the benefits of the process. The suits are impressed. You get the ......

Posted On Sunday, November 13, 2005 5:20 AM

Sony DRM = Rootkit
I am sure Sony would use different words, but the effect is the same. Their effort is poor, the purchased rootkit is not very well written, and their subterfuge is potentially vulnerable to legal challenge. (Buy those CDs now and join the potential class action suit!) Read about it here. [Highly Recommended] Update 1: Hmmm. More here concerning Sony's “uninstall” system. It also covers how the Sony system phones home. The software's authors attempt some rebuttals here. Overall, this is ......

Posted On Tuesday, November 1, 2005 4:01 AM

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