email sillyness

You’d have thought Apple would know how to do email right, but sadly it appears not. A message I sent to the Beowulf list today generated a bounce from a email address back to me rather than to the envelope sender – very naughty as RFC-2821 says:

If an SMTP server has accepted the task of relaying the mail and later finds that the destination is incorrect or that the mail cannot be delivered for some other reason, then it MUST construct an “undeliverable mail” notification message and send it to the originator of the undeliverable mail (as indicated by the reverse-path).

I wonder if they read their Postmaster email ?

Free computer recycling from Apple

Apple are doing free computer recycling in areas of Sydney and Melbourne towards the end of July.

For a limited time, Apple will recycle any brand of personal computer, printer or computer related peripheral for free,* in an environmentally responsible manner. Apple continues its dedication to being an environmentally conscientious company, and we hope you will join us.

* A maximum of 20 systems per car load.

  • Sydney Locations
    1. Saturday 21 July 10am – 4pm
    2. Sunday 22 July 10am – 2pm
  • Melbourne Locations
    1. Saturday 28 July 10am – 4pm
    2. Sunday 29 July 10am – 2pm

There is more information about precisely where and when on the Apple Recycling Program web page.

EMI+Apple to sell “premium” tracks without DRM

A very interesting development courtesy of the BBC:

EMI said every song in its catalogue will be available in the “premium” format. It said the tracks without locks will cost more and be of higher quality than those it offers now.

These DRM free tracks will cost 99 pence on iTunes, but apparently that’s only for single tracks, you will be able to buy an entire album DRM free for the same cost as one with DRM. Steve Jobs said:

The right thing to do is to tear down walls that precluded interoperability by going DRM-free and that starts here today.

Hollywood to Require 64-bit Intel/AMD Processors for HD-DVD and BlueRay Playback ?

From El Reg:

Speaking in Australia this week, Microsoft Senior Program Manager Steve Riley effectively revealed Windows Media Player 11 will not play HD content from HD DVD or BD sources unless it’s running under a 64-bit version of Vista. According to Riley, 32-bit mode is too open to hacks designed to bypass the optical discs’ copy-protection mechanisms.

Given MS’s current current track record with security, it remains to be seen how effective this push to use the UnTrusting Computing platform will be for this..

According to Riley, the decision to drop 32-bit HD DVD and BD playback from WMP 11 was made because “the media companies asked us to do this”. What’s more, he added, “they don’t want any of their HD content to play in [32-bit] at all, because of all of the unsigned malware that runs in kernel mode can get around content protection”.

So presumably anyone else not MS who wants to beg leave to create an official player is going to have to play along with the media companies attempts to wrest control of your computer from you.

It also probably means that Apple Mac users will have to buy 64-bit Intel Macs if they want to be able to watch this new content and high quality (as I don’t believe that the PowerPC line of processors supports the lock in that Hollywood requires).

With Sony and Toshiba supporting BD and HD DVD playback, respectively, on select PCs running 32-bit Windows XP, playing content from pre-recorded discs may not seem to be much of a problem. But it will become more of an issue once content companies begin enforcing region coding and HDCP compliance for full-resolution output. That may require new software for playback, and the updated code could well meet Hollywood’s demand for 64-bit computing.

Given that I don’t run Windows anyway, the whole question is likely to be moot..

Anti Virus Company Recommends You Don't Use Windows

It used to be the joke was “Friends don’t let friends do Windows” – well now it’s a case of many a true word spoken in jest.

The UK anti-virus company Sophos is reportedly recommending that you don’t use Windows any more due to its increasing vulnerability to attack.

Security threats to PCs with Microsoft Windows have increased so much that computer users should consider using a Mac, says a leading security firm.

As someone who is constantly having to fight spam because of Windows PC’s that have become infected by viruses, trojans and other malware I second the call – please think twice before buying a Windows PC!

US Wants to Remove More Rights, Expand DMCA

It would appear a coalition of the repressive wish to expand the remit of US Copyright law, including the DMCA, to make it even harder to do research, play media on any OS but those you have to payed Microsoft/Apple for, or defend yourself against damaging software they put on silver circles they claim to be (but are not) Compact Discs.

Jessica Litman, who teaches copyright law at Wayne State University, views the DMCA expansion as more than just a minor change. “If Sony had decided to stand on its rights and either McAfee or Norton Antivirus had tried to remove the rootkit from my hard drive, we’d all be violating this expanded definition,” Litman said.

Even the current wording of the DMCA has alarmed security researchers. Ed Felten, the Princeton professor, told the Copyright Office last month that he and a colleague were the first to uncover the so-called “rootkit” on some Sony BMG Music Entertainment CDs–but delayed publishing their findings for fear of being sued under the DMCA.

..and how do they propose to get this through ? Fear of course! That resurgent American political tool.

During a speech in November, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales endorsed the idea and said at the time that he would send Congress draft legislation. Such changes are necessary because new technology is “encouraging large-scale criminal enterprises to get involved in intellectual-property theft,” Gonzales said, adding that proceeds from the illicit businesses are used, “quite frankly, to fund terrorism activities.”

Ed: my emphasis added