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The Weekend Is Almost Upon Us

Posted by | Posted in Random | Posted on 16-01-2009

And good job, too. Although to be honest, I don’t know where this week has gone.

So, Obama is to be inaugurated on Tuesday. Let’s hope he makes some changes after the Bush administration has left. There seem to be some very high hopes for the new president-to-be, so lets hope he can follow through. (No pressure!)

Personally, I’m quite interested to see and hear how the relationship between the UK and the US will evolve now that a new president is on the horizon. Gordon Brown has been Prime Minister for less than two years now, and a lot of people say he’s a tad different from Blair. Lets hope he can shake the reputation that the UK has for being the US’ lapdog.

I made it to the gym again last night, despite being rather tired by the end of the day. I guess a good night’s sleep helped, although having found myself hooked on the latest series of 24, I went to bed later than I should have, and had trouble getting up this morning. Still, it was worth it – 24 is still as mint as ever.

My new network card arrived yesterday and I managed to get it installed and running in no time. I have to say that after I put the card in my machine and started Windows, I got the boot error that asks if I wanted to start in Safe Mode, due to there being “hardware changes”. After simply booting in Normal Windows Mode, the card was found, and the drivers installed, automatically. So far so good, although I still want to figure out what’s wrong with my on-board LAN card. I’m a little wary of doing so, however, as the chances are I’ll get it working, and would have forked out for a new network card needlessly. Don’t you just love computers?

The renowned UK hacker Gary McKinnon might possibly have a chance of staying in the UK, rather than being extradited to the US for prosecution for breaking into US military computers. Personally, I’d see this whole situation as a bit of political game, than a matter of justice. As I said above, I think the UK needs to get out from under the US’ shadow, and start showing them that we can decide things for ourselves, and can deal with our own problems in our own way. We shouldn’t just hand over people willy-nilly to the feds, but rather, criminals should be tried here in the UK, if that’s where they commited the crimes. People have enough trouble trusting the government without the knowledge that they’ll ship you off to whoever wants to lock you up at the drop of a hat. And as far as I know, McKinnon didn’t actually cause any harm, aside from pointing out the uselessness of US computer defenses. Perhaps that’s where the writers of 24 got their latest storyline from…

The debate about what to do about music piracy is still continuing. Although the majority of what’s said in that article is true, the last paragraph made me laugh:

“Governments are beginning to accept that, in the debate over ‘free content’ and engaging ISPs in protecting intellectual property rights, doing nothing is not an option if there is to be a future for commercial digital content.”

Says John Kennedy, chairman and chief executive of IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry). What he means is…

“If we’re to continue making millions by exploiting talented artists and taking advantage of the public (who are getting poorer by the day) then we need to stop the internets!!”

Good luck with that. As I’ve said before, I like to listen to a track before I buy it, and if I like it, I WILL buy it. My CD collection is getting mountainous – in fact, it’s causing the chest of drawers it sits on to bow under the sheer weight of it – so I know I’m doing my bit for the music industry. I’m sure there are people out there who don’t buy a single thing, but the majority of people (I hope) are more honest than that.

Another thing that struck me as odd about the article was the fact that although there has been a decrease in CD sales, the increase of digital MP3 sales hasn’t made up for the loss in CD sales. But who said that people would be buying music in the same quantities as before? For all they know, it doesn’t matter what format they release music in; people might not be spending the money on music that they used to, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone is getting their music illegally. It could well be possible that people are just spending their money on other things, or that they simply don’t have the money to spend at all. We are in a the middle of a Credit Crunchy Nut, don’t you know…

Another BBC News article I read today made me laugh. “Steve Jobs is a national treasure”? I don’t know what nation would take pride in that fact, but I’m glad it’s not the UK. Bruce Forsythe, Tony Robinson, and Stephen Fry are the sorts you want as a national treasure… but Steve Jobs? Hmm. Some people need to get our more. Or at the very least, watch some quality mid-90’s Saturday night British TV. Having said that, I hope Jobs gets well soon. I might not like the hype surrounding those poxy iPods he makes, but I wouldn’t wish him any harm.

Bring on the weekend!

UPDATE: Well, it seems as though the Conficker worm (that’s infected our systems here at work) has made headline news over at the BBC. It’s nice to know that our highly reliable, professional, and IT security-centred company is helping to propagate the virus. Yay!

For those who are having difficulty stopping the worm, I suggest you download and use Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool to remove the worm from your PC’s. It currently supports Windows 2000, XP, Server 2003 and Vista, and was updated on 13th January to include protection from the Confiker worm.

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