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"Inside the MediaMax ProspectusMake Your Own Copy-Protected CD with Passive Protection Thursday December 15, 2005 by J. Alex Halderman Here’s a great gift idea just in time for the holidays: Make your friends and relatives their very own copy-protected CDs using the same industrial-grade passive protection technology built into XCP and Macrovision discs.
Passive protection exploits subtle differences between the way computers read CDs and the way ordinary CD players do. By changing the layout of data on the CD, it’s sometimes possible to confuse computers without affecting ordinary players — or so the theory goes. In practice, the distinction between computers and CD players is less precise. Older generations of CD copy protection, which relied entirely on passive protection, proved easy to copy in some computers and impossible to play on some CD players. For these reasons, copy protection vendors now use active protection — special software designed to block copying.
Discs with XCP or Macrovision protection employ active protection in conjunction with a milder form of passive protection. You can create your own CD with exactly the same passive protection by following a straightforward five-step procedure. I’ll describe the procedure here, and then explain why it works.
What you’ll need:
A computer running a recent version of Windows (instructions are Windows-specific; perhaps someone will write instructions for MacOS or Linux) Nero, a popular CD burning application CloneCD, an advanced disc duplication utility Two blank recordable CDs "
"Here are two things that bother me about this extension:
1) Every request is transmitted to Google over HTTP, i.e. in clear-text. This is not good. Here is why: Consider a web application that uses SSL to encrypt the session. If this web application were to submit private information about you via a GET request (i.e in the URL, such as a credit card number), this will now be transmitted to http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/lookup in clear-text, allowing someone on your network segment, or any router in between yourself and google.com to sniff the information off the wire.
2) The extension sends the entire GET request to Google. If a web application were to send private information via GET parameters, this will now be transmitted to Google.
I am more worried about the issue #1. However, I do realize that web applications should be designed to use POST in order to send sensitive information, but the fact of the matter is that many web applications do not follow this guideline. Google’s extension makes this situation worse by transmitting this information over clear text (assuming the web application uses SSL). This extension is designed to help protect users from illegitimate resources, but the irony is that it has the potential to expose sensitive information about you when you visit legitimate resources!
So there you have it – my preliminary analysis of Google’s new Firefox extension."
“Ontrack Data Recovery receives more than 100,000 requests for data recovery service every year so we come across some pretty strange data disasters,” said Jim Reinert, senior director of Software and Services for Ontrack Data Recovery. “Although the examples in this year’s list are pretty extreme, they illustrate a very important point – data recovery is possible, even in cases where it seems impossible.”
The Ontrack 2005 Top Ten List of Data Disasters and Remarkable Recoveries
"My dog loves USB Flash"
10. PhD Almost an F – A PhD candidate lost his entire dissertation when a bad power supply suddenly zapped his computer and damaged the USB Flash drive that stored the document. Had the data not been recovered, the student would not have graduated.
9. Suffering from Art – While rearranging her home office, a woman accidentally dropped a five pound piece of clay pottery on her laptop, directly onto the hard drive area that contained a book she’d been working on for five years and 150 year-old genealogy pictures that had not yet been printed.
8. Domestic Dilemma – A husband deleted all of his child’s baby pictures when he accidentally hit the wrong button on his computer. His wife hinted at divorce if he did not get the pictures back.
7. Bite Worse than Bark – A customer left his memory stick lying out and his dog mistook it for a chew toy. Ontrack was able to recover all of the data despite teeth marks all over the stick and a hole that went completely through.
6. Don’t Try this at Home – A man attempting to recover data from his computer on his own found the job too challenging mid-way through and ended up sending Ontrack his completely disassembled drive – with each of its parts in a separate baggie.
5. Out of Time – A clockmaker suffered a system meltdown, losing the digital designs for all of its clocks. Ontrack literally beat the clock recovering all their data just in time for an important international tradeshow.
4. Drilling for Data – During a multi-drive RAID recovery, engineers discovered one drive belonging in the set was missing. The customer found the missing drive in a dumpster, but in compliance with company policy for disposing of old drives, it had a hole drilled through it.
3. Safe at Home – After one of their executives experienced a laptop crash, the Minnesota Twins professional baseball team called on Ontrack to rescue crucial scouting information about their latest prospects. The team now relies on Ontrack for all data recoveries within its scouting and coaching ranks.
2. Hardware Problems – A frustrated writer attacked her computer with a hammer. When the engineers received the computer, the hammer imprint was clearly visible on the top cover.
And finally, the number one most bizarre data disaster of 2005…
1. La Cucaracha – In hopes of rescuing valuable company information, a customer pulled an old laptop out of a warehouse where it had been sitting unused for 10 years. When engineers opened the computer, it contained hundreds of husks of dead and decaying cockroaches