Calibre

Dec. 5th, 2005 11:58 pm
mrlachatte: (Default)
Required links:

"It's like watching ogres dance"
Q-Unit - Like American Edit, but even more bizzarre (Queen and 50 Cent?  Who knew??)
A touching animation of romance and video game crossover (oh yeah, there's mind-blowing animation, too!)
Ever wondered about how antivirus companies worked in 1996? - Very cool story about one of the most complex viruses of 1996
Ever wondered if anybody is actually doing anything about spyware? - This man is kicking spyware ass and taking names, and he's consistently funny to boot
The Dilbert Blog - What do you know!  Scott Adams is actually an extremely funny and down to earth writer when he's not rehashing the same Dilbert jokes over and over.

Q-Unit is definitely worth a look if just for the image on the page.  I personally find it more of a novelty than serious mashup album, good enough to check out the songs once but not something I'd listen to over and over (unlike American Edit).  The Street Fighter 2/Mortal Kombat crossover animation is amazing to behold.  Somebody put far too much work into that.  Vital Security is one of the most consistently interesting feeds I have in Google Reader, it really shows you the seedy underbelly of the "legitimate" web.  It also shows you that you should pay more attention to those license agreements in programs off the web, because they might actually be legally binding!

Speaking of EULAs, this is my favourite program of the year.  Eulalyzer takes the guilt out of skipping those license agreements, because it scans them for key phrases ("third party software", "install", etc) that could signify something that you may not want to agree to.  It then shows a summary page, giving a few words around each page, and lets you zoom to the flagged phrases and work out exactly what the software's packing.  Now, almost everything is a false positive (it's not even a positive, it's simply a phrase that could be interesting), such as " 5.3 You shall indemnify PC Tools fully against all liabilities, costs and expenses which PC Tools may incur to a third party as a result of Your breach of the copyright and Trade Mark provisions of this agreement."  That came from Registry Mechanic, and it's simply the developers covering their backsides in case you screw up some other installed program by cleaning up your registry.  Skype, on the other hand, has a crapload of phrases flagged, but every one of them is legitimate and doesn't threaten me ("Skype also may suspend or terminate any license hereunder and disable any Skype Software You may already have accessed or installed without prior notice at any time with immediate effect and without recourse to the courts.")  Bolded bit is the flagged phrase, of course.  This is Skype saying that they have control over all their products and licenses and I can't do a thing about them.  It's not great, but I can live with it.

Eulalyzer saves me.  Period.  I feel so much safer knowing that this free program is scanning license agreements for me and showing me potentially harmful bits of the legalese.  And frankly, it's a lot easier to understand the small sections around potentially interesting phrases than it is to try to read the entire document at once.  Take it from me, get the program, make a shortcut to it on your desktop and take the extra 20 seconds to copy license agreements into it before clicking 'I agree.'  You never know what those crafty developers might be shovelling down your throat.

December 2007

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