Archive for category Law/Legal

So THAT’s where all my bandwidth is going!

I noticed a significant increase in response times in my httpd logs. So I decided to take a look at what was running. I saw that transmission-daemon was using an assload of bandwidth (and causing a noticeable bump in IOWAIT time). For those not in the know, transmission is a bittorrent client/server. So I fetched a list of torrents and I noticed that one of them had a 771:1 share ratio! Here’s the info on that:

  Id: 4                                                                         
  Name: <REDACTED>                                   
  Hash: 7a617db5464640a5d4c83359c8c0d7fe5156775f                                
  State: Seeding                                                                
  Percent Done: 100%                                                            
  ETA: Unknown                                                                  
  Download Speed: 0.0 KB/s                                                      
  Upload Speed: 238.2 KB/s                                                      
  Have: 15.4 GB (15.4 GB verified)                                              
  Total size: 15.4 GB (15.4 GB wanted)                                          
  Downloaded: 15.5 GB                                                           
  Uploaded: 1204.9 GB                                                           
  Ratio: 77.7                                                                   
  Corrupt DL: 8.0 MB                                                            
  Error: Tracker returned a 4xx message                                         
  Peers: connected to 8, uploading to 8, downloading from 0                     

The name has been redacted for obvious reasons. Note the “Uploaded” stat. In a little over 30 days, I managed to serve 1.1 Terabytes of data from this one file alone! I think I might need to throttle that down a bit.


Getting Ripped Off – The Easy Way

I went to State Fair just to hang out and look at neat stuff. I saw a jewelry booth that had a nice selection of Masonic rings. I was in the market for a new one since my first ring got lost at work. I saw two nice ones – one for $89 and one for $198. Naturally I went for the $89. The clerk offered me half-price on the $198 ring so I took that one instead.
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Why I can’t find a job

Thank you for your interest in employment with the UW-Madison, Division of Information Technology. You had applied for the Identity and Access Management positions recently and were selected to move on in the recruitment process. Unfortunately, due to the State’s budget concerns, the positions have been canceled and will not be filled.

We wish you the best of luck in your job search.

That says it all, really.

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The ADA/AA works!

I’ve not really been around here too often because 1) my dad had surgery on Monday, and 2) my brother was being discriminated against because of his hearing loss. So, I’ve been helping quite a bit more than normal around here and I was helping my brother with his issue.

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Some Ramblings

1. I want to shoot whoever came up with the idea of golumpki/holishkes (the difference being that the latter is baked in tomato sauce/soup..which is how we’ve always done it). I mean, seriously, who the hell thinks that it’s a good idea to take a cabbage out of almost boiling water, peeling it, putting it back in, and stuffing the leaves with the meat mixture while everything is still 200 degrees?! It’s painful and infuriating when the damned leaves aren’t big enough and the meat falls out and all over you. Or, it’s just as fun when the fuckers break while trying to fold them over and hence get sprayed with every single thing inside that somehow is still 200 degrees. I fucking hate making those damned pieces of pure hell.

2. I was looking over a settlement offer and it’s amazing how lawyers can make something simple and stretch it out to…14 pages. Basically, the gist of it is that we were underpaid for something because some funny math was going on that shouldn’t have been, so we get back whatever we shouldn’t have lost; in this case it’s about 20% of a..well..large sum. I’ve never settled before, but it’s tempting and it’d be exactly what the differential is so it’s not really a gain/loss on either of our parts.

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Quick! Call the waaaaaaambulance!

Okay – this is 98% whining and 2% asking for help.

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Celebrate Bureflux!

As ddate(1) reminded me today:

Today is Prickle-Prickle, the 50th day of Bureaucracy in the YOLD 3176
Celebrate Bureflux

Bureflux is the 50th of Bureaucracy in the Discordian Calendar.  It’s a time to celebrate the wonderful mess that strict adherence to bureaucratic regulations can bring.  So take some time to contemplate what a mess the good intentions of overzealous rule-makers can make.  And eat some hot dogs but no buns since it’s not Friday.  And don’t forget the wine.

Five tons of flax!

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Intel Threats

“There are laws to protect both the intellectual property involved as well as the content that is created and owned by the content providers,” said Tom Waldrop, a spokesman for the company, which developed HDCP. “Should a circumvention device be created using this information, we and others would avail ourselves, as appropriate, of those remedies.”

What standing does Intel have to sue? If someone uses the algorithm they can effectively create the HDCP authorization, so it’s not bypassed. Now if said device allows someone to output it to a non-HDCP device, would that be circumventing the DRM? To me, circumvention is evasion or overcoming of some measure; if the measure is left in place, you’re not exactly evading it.

Further, there was a case a couple years ago where Lexmark tried to invoke the DMCA against a company for reverse engineering its software. The company won the case for the circumvention because, as per “The Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Skylink Technologies, Inc.”, “(1) they had ownership of a copyrighted work, (2) it was controlled by a technological measure that was circumvented (3) third parties can access it (4) without authorization in a way that (5) infringes rights protected by the Copyright Act due to a product created, advertised, or provided by the defendant…” and in the Lexmark case (Lexmark Int’l v. Static Control Components) the court said “‘Lock-out’ codes—codes that must be performed in a certain way in order to bypass a security system—are generally considered functional rather than creative, and thus unprotectable.” Thus, there’s no copyright claim. As for the DMCA claim the court opined that “Anyone who buys a Lexmark printer may read the literal code of the Printer Engine Program directly from the printer memory, with or without the benefit of the authentication sequence[…]No security device, in other words, protects access to the Printer Engine Program[…]”. Basically, if you purchased a HD media device and you can figure how to read the coding, with or without authorization, it’s not controlling access. Moreover, if someone creates a program, it’s not a copyright infringement if it needs and uses the original program for interoperability.


dustpuppy’s new banner

The old banner was somewhat intimidating, due to the requirement of having a disclaimer since the only publicly accessible domain was registered to the Grand Lodge of WI.  Since that’s no longer the case, I no longer need the disclaimer.  I’ve decided to update it to something a bit more imaginitive.
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Weekly Stickies

  • Intel assumes that you’re using an optimizing assembler.  For example:  Assembling “subl $1,%eax” gets you the opcode for “decl %eax”.  Attempting to do anything with 0 as an immediate poses a problem as there are no opcodes that will use 0.  “movl $0, %eax”, “subl %eax,%eax”, and “xorl %eax,%eax” all assemble to the same opcode, which is an instruction with no mnemonic:  STZ, aka the STore Zero instruction. Read the rest of this entry »

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