I’m Back…

SOPA and PIPA are not gone. We didn’t win. We were impressive. But, the politicians and the commercial interests involved have just stepped aside and allowed the wave of protest to pass. They are expecting us to go back to sleep.

Alec Rawls writes on Watt’s Up With That about Cass Sunstein, an Obama czar, wanting to use copyright laws to stop rumors and conspiracies, in other words to stifle free speech. The copyright laws in the US have the idea of fair use. That idea is to be modified so that you can’t write about ideas I espouse on this site. That would stop discussion of those rumors and ideas.

Harry Reid, the chairman of the US Senate, is rewriting PIPA to try and get it through the Senate and to the House. The bill is about getting the government to enforce copyright law for Hollywood. The most heinous aspect is the efforts to dispose of due process. The change is to make one guilty until they can prove their innocence. That’s an over simplification but…

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Another Scandal in Second Life?

It is actually hard to say if we actually have a new scandal brewing or not. We have known factions in Second Life that have decided to take IP Protection and Griefing matters into their own hands. Some of us think of such actions as vigilantism. In response to vigilantes other groups have sprung up to rain in the vigilantes. They are sort of anti-vigilante vigilantes. And so it goes. Whether it is a new scandal or maybe just the smoke from artillery shots in an ongoing war is hard to say. So, this article is mostly a reminder of risks in SL.

Image by: US Army Africa - Flickr

Rob Humble at SLCC 2011 in his keynote mentioned doing something with griefers. I don’t have an exact time mark, but it was around 30 minutes in. The Lab is not going to tell us what the Lab is planning. In many ways it is a war between the Lab and griefers. I’ve been in office hour/user group meetings where the Lindens were griefed. When they can’t stop an attack the meeting moves to a new location. So, it is a complex issue even for the Lab. They are NOT going to tip off the enemy.

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New Trojan: MS Removal Tool

I’ve been busy the last couple of days fixing client’s computers that have been infected with the latest Trojan. It is the newest in a line of extortion Trojans to infect computers. Yes, this is another Windows Trojan. Read on to learn what it is, how to recognize it, protect your computer and how to remove the MS Removal Tool Trojan.

Extortion Trojans are the ones that tell you how horribly infected your computer is, usually reporting dozens of virus. They then promise to remove them, if you pay some money to buy their software. If you don’t pay, you basically can’t use your computer. The problem is you computer is infected with their Trojan. Paying them is like paying a blackmailer, never ending and ineffective.

MS Removal Tool's Fake Report

MS Removal Tool's Fake Report

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RedZone Privacy Issues Develop – Review

RedZone Spyware

Spyware in SL - Image by: Anonymous9000

Update: 2011-3-2RedZone removed from market place. Quickware detector disappears. CDS remains but the product description is gone.

Update: See JIRA SVC-6793 vote and watch.

More people are becoming aware of what RedZone (RZ) is and what it means for their privacy. From June 2010 to February 2011 people have changed from ‘wus zat?’ to ‘WTF is being done about RedZone?’ Alphaville Herald has been reporting the state of RedZone and resident reaction along with the Labs actions. I am getting more curious about RedZone (L$3,999 in Market Place) and decided I needed to review the product and state of drama around it.

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Another Second Life Scam Site?

Massively is reporting a new Second Life scam site based in Singapore; VirtualGet.net. (Actually, it looks more like it is New York based.) This is a very XStreetLS like site. Various creators in Second Life are warning customers that VirtualGet.net is a credit card harvesting site. That is apparently unconfirmed. However, it is confirmed that products and images of products displayed on VirtualGet.net are there without the creators’ permission. Numerous DCMA complaints are filed.

There is a thread about the VirtualGet.net site in the Second Life Blog; Has anyone encountered the virtualget.net ripoff site? As of 10:58 Oct 7, 2009 Jeska Linden has locked the thread and provided a link to file your complaints.

The VirtualGet.net site is displaying and ‘OOPS!’ message as I write this. The claim is that this was a test site and products were pulled by an automated process to populate the site and show the client what the final site would look like. Lots of apologies there. Apparently a new site developer.

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Neil Life Viewer Review Updated

I added an  update to the Neil Life Viewer Review I wrote in early August. See; Warning – Neil Life Viewer

Today Massively is reporting that a number of those using the Neil Life Viewer for IP theft have been banned. See; Linden Lab rounds up and ejects a bunch of copyright infringers

Massively explains how those abusing IP rights were separated from those just running the viewer. Smart.

This effort from Linden Lab is a good move in the face of the current law suites pending regarding IP theft. (See Wired: Linden Lab Targeted in Second Life Sex-Code Lawsuit) When one considers that Second Life residents spend about US$50 million real life dollars per month an idea of the importance of the action is apparent.