I somehow managed to get dragged into volunteering for the Girl Scouts at Camp Pine Acres in Acworth, Georgia for Brownie Blast weekend. What’s even more perplexing is that I somehow managed to become the trash cleanup coordinator for the various Girl Scout troops. During this laborious process, I earned the name Ranger Titus. Because hey, if you’re a guy and you’re at the Girl Scouts, you must be a ranger. At least the food was free, and you should see my newfound skills in arts and crafts.
On November 29 at the Cobb Galleria right here in Atlanta, Microsoft is premiering SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005, and BizTalk 2006. If you use the Ready4Launch invitation code when you register and actually attend the event you will receive complimentary copies of SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 software! Admission to the event is free, so reserve your seat now. More information on the launch event is also available.
ILD Teleservices is running a scam. One of our Bellsouth small business accounts recently had the following charge on it:
Miscellaneous Charges and Credits For ILD Teleservices, Inc. Billing Questions, Call 1 800 433-4518 Amount Service Provider - Axcess Internet Solutions, Inc For billing questions, call 1 800 433-4518 Date 1. 08/25 Web Hosting Monthly Service Fee (29.95)
This comes from ILD Teleservices, Inc., a service provider that has notified BellSouth that they are billing new services on this above bill this month. After further investigation, I found the website for Axcess Internet. Here’s what Axcess has to say about it on their site:
Axcess Internet would like to take this opportunity to let our customers know that neither Axcess Internet Services, Inc. nor Axcess Internet (a Washington State registered trade name) is responsible for this action. Any charges attributed to Axcess Internet or its subsidiaries, found on your phone bill, are fraudulent.
On their site, there is also more information on the fradulent company responsible for these erroneous charges. Kevin Tien writes about his incident with ILD Teleservices, and provides other customer complaints. Consumer Affairs has even more customer complaints. One can only wonder how shady companies like these can even be allowed stay in business.
For a Sunday, there’s been quite a few very exciting technologies coming out that have been reported on. In particular, I’m really psyched about the GP2X, a new console from Gamepark for homebrew developers. The product is shipping in October for non-UK customers. Some cool features about this embedded system:
- It runs the free Linux operating system. I’m especially interested in putting emulators on this platform to run Gameboy, SNES, and Game Gear games.
- The handheld can connect to the TV, console style. You can watch your DivX movies on the TV.
- A large 320×240 backlit screen.
- It has an open SDK for development.
- It takes 2 AA batteries, but gives you 6 – 10 hours from them.
An open source handheld, and unlike the Sony PSP, it has the guarantee that the company that makes it is going out of its way to enhance your homebrew experience and give you the ability to use your hardware to do whatever you like. Awesome.
It’s been a busy past couple of days, especially with the recent publication of the IBM DeveloperWorks article, Introducing the Java Content Repository API. My apartment lease at Rosewood Plantation has also come to an end, so I’ve temporarily holed myself up in Cartersville, Georgia to avoid being locked into a lease agreement until I get settled again. I know it’s the middle of nowhere, but the rent is cheap, and I have two Jack Russell Terriers on guard at all times to keep me safe. They’re bred for hunting, so it makes for an interesting experience around other small animals and little Mexican children.
And in between last week’s Atlanta Hack event, I’ve also finally finished the write-up of DragonCon 2005. Ryan and I also discussed plans for some upcoming e-commerce technology, which may eventually require moving back to Mobile.
While Britney Spears gave birth to her bubbly new baby boy, the rest of us cared less and trotted down to the Brewhouse Cafe for our monthly Atlanta Bloggers meetup. Bobafred managed to acquire a lot of interesting blogger pictures, and Lori has managed to do the same with shiny Titus. As is tradition, Scott Strader kindly scanned the dinner napkin, which I’ve mirrored. Our Atlanta Blogging Network has grown quite considerably, and it was great to meet all the new faces: Fat Asian Baby, Neon Poisoning, and Mr. P’body, to name a few.
I have agreed to remove the MSKey4in1.exe and MSKey4in1.rar key generators from my web site after talking, not with Microsoft’s lawyers, but with outside consultants who work on behalf of Microsoft Legal. Here’s what Peter Anaman had to say:
In respect of your message, Microsoft Product Keys prevent an unauthorized user from accessing a copyrighted Microsoft computer program and therefore constitutes a "technological measure that effectively controls access" to copyrighted work.
The program "MSKey4in1.exe" is a product key generator and generates Microsoft Windows XP, Windows 2003 and Office XP product keys. As such, the "MSKey4in1.exe" program is an unlawful circumvention device within the meaning of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. Section 1201(a)(2),(3). Providing or offering the "MSKey4in1.exe" violates the provisions of Section 1201(a)(2) which prohibits the "manufacturing, importing or offering to the public, providing, or otherwise trafficking" in an unlawful circumvention device.
Personally, I think these guys are making a mountain out of a mole hill. For those who are interested in why this program is so irritating to Microsoft, you can search on Google for MSKey4in1.
But what I really can’t understand is why Microsoft won’t allow me to publish the complete FCKGW serial number, available on Microsoft’s very own web site. Ouch.
Update: Microsoft and I have reached a conclusion on the contents of the article, Windows Genuine Advantage. The changes have been noted at the end of the article.
Some people have asked me for the actual DMCA notice, so I’ve reproduced it here. Please see Demand for Immediate Take-Down: Notice of Infringing Activity, Case #: 37928 for more information.
Update: A lot of people claim that this e-mail is fradulent, so I’ve contacted my ISP. Here’s what they have to say:
This DMCA complaint is absolutely legitimate. James Young is a lawyer who has been consulting for Microsoft for several years now. As an outside consultant, he would not be on Microsoft’s payroll, so their Human Resources Department wouldn’t have him on file.
Can anyone actually find any contact information for this guy?
Microsoft has invoked the DMCA on my web site. As a result, most of the content is currently disabled because the pages have been blocked. This is beyond annoying, but in the mean time, I’m working to get it back up as quickly as possible. It will take a few days.
Update: The pages have now been unlocked, and everything is back up again.
Another year of DragonCon winds down. This year, I managed to meet a lot of old acquaintances, including a former Teaching Assistant from Georgia Tech as well as a former student of Baker High School in Mobile, Alabama. The half-day affair managed to bring with it some interesting guest speakers, as well as some in-depth repeats from previous Star Trek panels.
- LeVar Burton let us know about his upcoming ventures, including his upcoming superhero movies with Spike Lee.
- Marina Sirtis heads with her two dogs and husband to England to pursue acting, and recounted interesting tidbits from her times on the Star Trek set.
- Peter David, best known for his Star Trek novels, ventured from the path and read from the pre-release of his upcoming Fallen Angel comic, a preview of which is available on Newsarama.
- Chris Nuccio of Leo Ticheli Productions and Hunter Cressall of the well-known Mac Parody gives us the nitty-gritty details on Digital Video Compression and Manipulation. Discussions ranged from digital rights management, to video encoding techniques and video ripping, to BitTorrent and the legality of web sites like the Pirate Bay and Torrent Reactor.
While I didn’t actually take any photos myself, Slinderdoo has posted some nice costume shots of DragonCon attendees. CyanBane and Mark Lusher also made an attendance, though I didn’t have a chance to personally meet them.