Wednesday, July 31, 2002

More Musical Controversy!

It's with no small hesitation that I post this, after observing the controversy and strong feelings stirred up by Steve Earle's song about John Walker, the American Taliban. However, as an artist I feel that it's important to look at all sides of an issue, and to walk the proverbial mile in the shoes of those we condemn (which, in this case, is especially appropriate). That said, I present without further comment a look at the world through the eyes of another man who some call "terrorist".

(to the tune of "Margaritaville", with profound apologies to Jimmy Buffett)

I got reservations
For a US vacation
American Airlines to Miami Beach
Got plastique in my footwear
Can't wait till I get there
With seventy virgins I'm looking to breach

Wasting away again in Terroristaville
Searching for some matches or maybe a Bic
Some people claim that there's Osama to blame
Cause y'know, he insists on short wicks.

Soon the "kaboom" comes
But first get a Coke from
The complimentary beverage cart
Experience wind shear
Spill Coke on my fuse-gear
Hopin' that won't make it harder to start

Wastin' away again in federal custody
Share my cell with some huge cracker named "Zed"
Some people claim bein' the bitch ain't no shame
But I think that I'd rather be dead.

My Zippo got detained
But luckily I retained
A book of matches from Soggy Joe's Bar
I'm gropin' and fishin'
Trying to get some ignition
Tray table and seat back don't let me get far

Wish I was locked away down in Guantanamo
Soakin' up the sunshine and fine Yankee chow
Some people claim that there's "root causes" to blame
But I think they won't root for me now.

Torn out of my seating
Receiving a beating
Little old ladies are kicking my ass
Being bodily restrained
Experiencing great pain
Suspecting that I should've travelled first class.

Wasting away again in Terroristaville
Allah, why did you treat me so bad?
Some people claim that there's Al Qaeda to blame,
But I think I just suck at jihad.

Yes, and some people claim that there's Al Qaeda to blame.
All I know, I'm really bad at jihad.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

We Get Mail

D3re Happy Phun Pundit:

hahahaha. u guyz are a bunch of lamerz! hakkerz rule! the riaa is a bunch of loosers! soon they will know the ossom powar of r hakken and I'M COMING, MOM! phreaking. and i want to hakk the riaa cause squiggy32 said there are nudez of britney and i think shes hot. as r esteamed l33der captain crunch said, MOM! I'M TYPING A MESSAGE! "HAKKERS RULE!"

he r33ly said that!

captain destructo
Well, THAT didn't take long...

According to ArsTechnica, the RIAA's servers have already been hacked.

Some unknown group of people hit with a Denial-of-Service attack that left the site inaccessible for portions of the weekend. Ironically, the attack was similar to what the RIAA will be allowed to do to P2P networks, provided their bill passes.

Welcome to the law of unintended consequences, RIAA.

Not only is their proposal of this insidious law biting them in the ass, but it's completely useless anyway. The next generation of P2P networks will be completely encrypted and anonymous, making it impossible for the RIAA to determine who's trading what. Their only option in that case would be to attack every single user running the client, which would be a monumental task and would also violate the terms of the bill they are trying to pass.
The RIAA Goes To War

Not against Al-Qaida or anything. That would be, you know, productive. In fact, they are seeking the legal right to hack your computer. Rep. Howard Berman*, a California Disneycrat, has introduced a bill that would allow the entertainment industry to launch denial of service attacks against anyone running a peer-to-peer networking client. From the article:

Berman said his bill would not allow industry to spread viruses across file-trading networks, destroy files or hack into a consumer's personal data, but experts said its language would permit intrusions into a consumer's audio and video files and attacks that would knock a computer off-line.

Well, that's a relief. They can't actually "destroy" your files, but they can "intrude" into them. That's like saying, "I'm not going to shoot you, I'm just going to cause this tiny bullet to intrude on your body."

Oh, and they can knock you off the internet with Denial-Of-Service attacks. The law also allows the companies to do this without fear of financial retribution - you will not be allowed to sue them unless your damages exceed $250, and even then, the Attorney General must personally approve your lawsuit. Let me know how that works out for you.

There is one possible worry for the RIAA - Hackers. Some of them are considering this a 'declaration of war', and feel that if this law passes it will be open hacking season on the RIAA.

Memo To the RIAA: Do you know who you don't want to piss off? Homone-enraged young hackers, quivering from testosterone, frustrated at the lack of female companionship, freshly abuzz from chugging a half-gallon of Jolt Cola, and with a MAJOR Jones for retribution. That's who you don't want to piss off. Or as 'tacokill' on Slashdot put it, "Oh, so it's open season. Fine. Game on."

And while I cannot condone intentional attacks on the RIAA's servers, I can sit down and enjoy the action. Welcome to the first cyber-war of the 21st century. I'll get the popcorn.

* Berman received at least $186,891 from the entertainment industry during the 2001-02 election cycle, including $31,000 from The Walt Disney Co. and $28,050 from AOL-Time Warner Inc