Thursday, November 17, 2005

Bonus Tracks

Truth In Advertising

Just bought that new Neil Diamond CD? Popped it into your computer to have a listen? Guess what? You're screwed. You've now got malicious software deeply embedded on your computer that makes your computer vulnerable to viruses and hackers! And it's even hidden from your processor, so good luck getting rid of it! All thanks to Sony BMG!

This week, Sony BMG admitted to placing secret software on the majority of their new music CD releases. Once installed, the Sony software can relay data, which indicates what CDs are being played, to an outside server. To relay the information, the software has to find its destination by contacting the Internet's domain name system address servers, where a publicly available record of that request is left behind.

Said software was also specifically created to stay hidden from the user. And not only does it hide itself from the user, it allows for virus and hacker vulnerability. Sony admitted this, only after some computer geek somewhere discovered this. Sony has been selling these tainted CDs for the past 8 months, and would've continued indefinitely, had it not been for this computer geek. Thank the Lord for computer geeks!

For The First 5000 Only!

Sony finally reported that over the past eight months it shipped more than 4.7 million CDs with the so-called XCP copy protection. What was intended as copy-protection software that prevents the CD purchaser from making multiple copies of the CD they purchased with their very own hard-earned money, suddenly has become a deeply-embedded program that allows hackers access to the computer files. Sony quickly began back-peddling their evil intentions by releasing a software-removal uninstall tool designed to uninstall the copy-protection software deposited by Sony's CDs which in fact actually exposed a critical vulnerability on computers.

The tool downloaded a program that causes a user's hard drive to accept instructions from Web sites. But the program remained active on the user's hard drive after it had been instructed to uninstall the Sony software. The program could then be triggered by almost any code from any Web site, including malicious instructions. This would allow any web page to seize control of your computer then it can do anything it likes. Thank you, Sony BMG!

The Collector's Version

At the time of discovery (or when Sony finally admitted doing this) more than 2 million of the Sony discs had been sold. Sony was quick to note that the copy-protection software is not activated on an ordinary CD or DVD player, or on a Macintosh computer. It only screws up Windows-based PCs. Thank you, Sony BMG!

Santa knows who's been naughty, you know!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Up Against The Wal-Mart

Coming To A Living Room Near You

Did you know that Wal-Mart is not only the world's largest retailer, it's the world's largest company, and yet many of their employees make below poverty level wages? Did you know that when they build a new Wal-Mart in town, they put many smaller businesses out of business? Did you know that even though they once promoted themselves with the slogan, 'Buy American' in truth the majority of their products come from China? Did you know that over half the employees of WalMart cannot afford the health insurance offered by the company? Did you know that they've gotten into major trouble for forcing workers to work off the clock?

And did you know that there's a new documentary movie being released later this month that exposes all the evil-doings of Wal-Mart? And did you know that you can help to promote the film?! Well, now you do.

"WAL-MART: THE HIGH COST OF LOW PRICE is a feature length documentary that uncovers a retail giant's assault on families and American values.

The film dives into the deeply personal stories and everyday lives of families and communities struggling to fight a goliath. A working mother is forced to turn to public assistance to provide healthcare for her two small children. A Missouri family loses its business after Wal-Mart is given over $2 million to open its doors down the road. A mayor struggles to equip his first responders after Wal-Mart pulls out and relocates just outside the city limits. A community in California unites, takes on the giant, and wins!"

That quote is lifted from this website which encourages people to get involved in a grassroots campaign to put Wal-Mart out of business. Well, not really. But at least to hold them accountable for their many, many transgressions.

Let The Witchhunt Begin!

Much has been written about the unscrupulous business tactics of big corporations. But no corporation seesm to flaunt their unscrupulousness quite as openly as Wal-Mart. So filmmaker Robert Greenwald, the same man behind last year's 'Outfoxed', has decided to take on the giant behemoth by hitting them where it hurts...a scathing documentary that exposes the corporate giant's game plan for becoming the world's largest company at any cost. Oh, wait a minute, they already are!

Putting On An Unhappy Face

If you feel like getting involved, here's the place to go:

You can sponsor your very own premiere of the film in your very own home, if you sign up soon enough. Otherwise, you can order your copy of the DVD at the site. Something tells me they won't be carrying this movie at Wal-Mart.

Click On The Happy Faces
To Expose More Transgressions