(malware) how a 13-yr old kid made my day...

Around 8:30 this morning I went out looking for a place that will let me photocopy some documents I needed later in the day; I need not tell you that our government bureaucracy is solely responsible for the profit margins of most copier makers ;-)

Anyway I found a little internet cafe + photocopy shop in which a young boy was vigorously dusting the various bits of hardware lying around. Very hopefully, fearing the usual "abhi dus minit mein ho jayega", I approached him.

[Aside for people unfamiliar with Hyderabad: "dus minit" is measured on the Brahma scale (refer to Hindu mythology for that one...)]

To my intense surprise, he actually took my documents immediately, hit some buttons on the machine, and started the copy. Great -- I don't have to wait around.

While he was doing that, a young man of about perhaps 20-25 years walked in, and said "internet chal raha hai?"

Having seen more than my share of blank looks in the past, I resisted the urge to explain to him that multi-billion dollar corporations like Cisco and Sprint and BBN and God knows who else are hard at work trying to make sure of precisely that, and so, in all probability, the internet was not just "chal raha hai" but "doud raha hai".

Anyway the 13-year old lad running my photocopy said "hanh -- woh teesra cubicle mein jao. Aur internet explorer mat kholna; Mozilla firefox use karna".

[Don't forget -- this was a guy I mistook to be a cleaning boy, and worried if he'd be upto switching on the photocopy machine and doing the duplex copies I wanted...]

Middle-aged men with gray hair are not expected to suddenly break out in a joyous jig, so once again, I restrained myself and, with as much disinterest as I could feign, asked him "kyon"?

And he said "virus aa jaate saab". With one hand still operating the copy machine, he demonstrated what were clearly meant to be a series of nasty popups with the other hand -- I can't describe it in writing, you'll just have to imagine it.


This is it guys. When kids who look like cleaning boys in internet cafe+xerox+STD/ISD shops start telling people to use Firefox instead of IE, MS is done for.

World domination can't be that far away... YEEEHAAAW!


(PHB) the stupidity of large corporations

Never underestimate the stupidity of people in large groups, a wise
man once said. I'd add, never underestimate the stupidity of lawyers
in large corporations.


So you are one of the most successful car companies in the world.
Your products have many proud owners, who are so proud of the cars
they bought from you that many of them make really cool desktop
wallpapers of their photographs, presumably to show off. And then
they post these wallpapers on to a site dedicated to desktop
wallpapers, presumably to help others (less artistic than themselves)
also show off their cars.

What should the car maker do? Treat this as a bunch of free
advertising and nod benevolently? Maybe even pass on the occasional
high-res shot for people with the twin passions of photographs and
Toyota cars to drool and ooh and aah over?

That's what *you* think. No wonder you never got a job as a lawyer at
Toyota! Toyota lawyers know better.

Toyota is demanding that a website dedicated to desktop wallpapers
remove all wallpapers featuring Toyota cars, **even if the photograph
is copyright someone else*** (like perhaps one of the users of the
website). They cite this as a DMCA violation, of all things. The
DMCA, as some of my readers will now, is the law that supposedly
attempts to protect music and videos from being put on the internet.

Despite the fact that the DMCA has been misused and abused far more
often than used, I can understand a music company losing revenue if I
post an MP3, but a car company losing revenue due to wallpapers
created by proud owners?


excellent review of my favourite distro, mandriva

...just ignore the grammar and the somewhat sloppy writing;
this guy's heart is in the right place as far as Mandriva is concerned! :D