A Fine Example of a “Copyright Troll”

Over lunch today I happened upon the following article by Rafael Rivera (and here’s Rafael Rivera’s profile on on Google+).

The Rise & Fall of a Windows Phone Marketplace Scammer

Here are my takeaways:

  1. Mr. Rivera for some reason felt compelled to defend Nintendo’s intellectual property when they apparently weren’t even interested in such a minor case.
  2. The fact that Mr. Rivera was able to obtain the copyright to Mr. Hartger’s works so easily (and presumably for free) indicates that if Mr. Dudley had the same idea, he would have been immune to Mr. Rivera’s approach. (And how much “stealing” is really going on when the author gives away copyright to any old person who asks?)
  3. Does Mr. Rivera’s collusion with Mr. Hartger represent an “unholy alliance”? I mean, Hartger facilitates the “theft”* of ROM’s by distributing the emulator that Mr. Dudley allegedly stole – so how does this measurably protect Nintendo’s copyrights?

You are my hero Rafael Rivera. You defended the powerless Nintendo corporation against some hack. Now Nintendo will make millions as Windows Phone users, noting the lack of Nintendo emulator software for the device in the Windows Phone Marketplace, go out and buy Nintendo products.

Personally, I think this story only illustrates how easy it is for a sociopath on a mission to abuse DMCA takedown notices.

I’d only really heard good things about Mr. Rivera before this. Seems at the very least that he’s a statist with some serious issues determining priorities in life.

*Note: I have a hard time accepting that creating a copy of an idea or object at your own expense constitutes theft. The ROMs were not “taken” since neither Nintendo or their customers were deprived of their use.

Windows Phone Apps I Recommend

Microsoft did a really great job of integrating the features I use most right into the core phone OS, so honestly, I spend most of my time using built-in Windows Phone functionality – but sometimes I have a need to get off the reservation. Here are some Windows Phone apps I recommend checking out (and you can download them to your phone from the links provided)…

4th & Mayor (Foursquare Client)
Amazon Kindle (I read free classics with expired copyright)
Avego Driver (neat idea, needs more users locally for it to work though)
BandWidth (checks your bandwidth)
Constitution (don’t leave home without it)
FlightAware (See that plane in the sky? Wonder where it’s from and where it’s going?)
GasBuddy (allows you to check and log real-time gas price data so you know a good deal when you see it)
Glympse (shares your real-time location with friends for a set amount of time)
GoPayment (allows you to accept credit cards for a 4% fee)
HealthVault (mobile app that ties into MS HealthVault services)
Love Clean Streets (See a problem? Take a photo and describe it, they’ll find out what authorities are responsible for correcting it)
Netflix
Planning Poker (A tool for Scrum estimation meetings)
SkyDrive (25 GB of cloud storage)
SkyMap Free (To figure out what that star is…)
TouchDevelop (An experiment in scripting by touch UI)
Visual Studio Achievements (Get achievements for working in Visual Studio)
The Weather Channel
WPCentral (Great source for Windows Phone news)
Your Shape (Tracks your progress in Your Shape, Fitness Evolved for Xbox Kinect)
YouTube Pro (Allows viewing of HD YouTube videos with a Metro UI)

Renewing S/MIME Certs in Windows Vista & Windows 7

Back to S/MIME Tutorial

While attempting to update an expired secure email cert, Vista users may receive the following error from the Thawte website:

Thawte 424 object required

This issue can be resolved using the Mozilla Internet browser to request the certificate.

Export from Mozilla

In Mozilla, went to Tools > Options > Advanced section > Encryption tab > View Certificates > Your Certificates > Backup

Convert

Before the exported certificate can be imported, the MIME type must be converted to “application/x-x509-user-cert”. This can be accomplished using the ad-hoc Firefox PKCS7 mimetype converter.

Import with Internet Explorer 7 & Internet Explorer 8

Tools > Internet Options > Content > Certificates > Personal
Click Import
Click Next
When you browse for your cert file, be sure to filter for the P12 filetype.

Update Email Client Settings

When replacing an expired certificate in Windows Live Mail, users will need to select the new certificate to be used for signed and encrypted emails. Otherwise the following message will appear:

Security Warning

Your digital ID for this account has expired
Windows Live Mail has found several valid digital IDs on your computer. Would you like to choose which digital ID to use when sending digitally signed mail from this account?
[Send Without Signing] [ Cancel ]

Oddly, neither of the options take you to where the digital ID can be selected.

Tools > Accounts > [Select the account associated with the cert] > Properties > Security Tab

From here you can choose which certs you want to use.

Back to S/MIME Tutorial

Replace an SUV with a Segway

I’m finishing my Engineering degree (9 months remaining) and without time for a job, I need to save as much money as possible. One way to do this is to park my SUV in the garage and ride a Segway to school.

The commute would be about 4.6 miles one-way and would take 47 minutes. The maximum range of a Segway i2 is about 24 miles I should be able to recharge it at home each night. I’d have COTA bus service as a backup (1 hour ride 1 route transfer to go 4.6 miles) during inclement weather.

I expect to save about $1,500/yr. with this plan – which is quite a bit less than the cost of a new Segway (around $4000) plus operating costs. I don’t have the money lying around to attempt this, and I’d rather not go into debt for this project, so my hope is to raise enough money from folks that feel strong enough about the environment to get an SUV off the road. Clearly, the savings alone are insufficient to fund it.

I’ll be updating this page with photos and fundraising milestones. My initial goal was to raise enough funding to ride a Segway to school on the first day of class (September 22, 2004). I’ve heard a lot of folks concerned about “Global Warming” since Al Gore’s movie was released, but I’m not convinced that people are worried enough to do anything about it (like donate to small projects like this).

If you’ve ever wanted to have one less “gas guzzling” SUV on the road or have one more available parking space, now is your chance. Even if you can only afford to give one dollar.

All proceeds go directly toward the purchase of a Segway i2 Commuter.

Even if you can’t afford to donate a signle dollar, hopefully you will at least tell a few people about this page – maybe blog about it, digg it, or put a link in your email or newsgroup signature – it would be greatly appreciated.


PROJECT COMMENTS

We appreciate and applaud you for your efforts
Union of Concerned Scientists

A noble endeavor, and excellent way to economize
SUVHate.org

That’s a very cool idea. I hope you gather lots of donations.
SUV Backlash


Q&A

Q: Why not ride a bike?
A: Quite a few students ride bikes to campus. Often their commute is only a few city blocks. City code requires that all bikes be ridden in the street, though I know this to be an unsafe practice. Bikes on campus are not permitted indoors and are frequently stolen and vandalized. I’ve been told I could store and recharge a Segway in the office of a friend.

Q: Why not ride the bus?
A: The bus is indeed a backup, but it does not run at all hours or to my residence. Taking the bus would require a time consuming trip downtown, then back up to campus. The bus also does not run on my street during the better part of the day. Finally, the most efficient route requires a transfer in one of my city’s most dangerous neighborhoods. I’ve already been the victim of a violent attempted robbery once, that’s why I’d like to take a different approach.


NOTE: The donation process should allow comments. I may post a few of them here. If you wish to make a comment, why not donate a few bucks? I will obtain permission from donors before posting comments.

People/organizations donating $100 or more are eligible to receive mention on this page along with a link.

Donations of $500 or more are eligible to receive mention on this page along with a link and logo.

Windows Media Player Skins

People seemed to love using Weeplayer since the footprint is so small. It was originally designed for people running high resolutions, but for people on computers running at a very low resolutions I wanted to offer Microplayer; something smaller that would even keep out of the way, yet “always on top” at lower resolutions as well.

Windows Media Player Skin Downloads

Microplayer

Microplayer Thumbnail
Microplayer.wmz (8.24 KB)
Released 6/28/2002

Microplayer is the second skin I have made – based largely on feedback I recieved from users of the original Weeplayer. Microplayer is designed to reside in the title bar of a maximized window near the upper-right corner of your screen.

Weeplayer

Weeplayer Thumbnail
Weeplayer.wmz (7.86 KB)
Released 11/10/2001

Weeplayer is the first WMP skin I made. I spent a few hours one weekend reading the WMP SDK and figuring out how things worked. The rest was suprisingly easy. Weeplayer is designed for users who have high-resolution video cards. It has a large “Play/Pause” button so that it’s easy to control music and audio streams even though the interface is so small.

Feel free to share your opinion of the skin via my feedback chat (no login or software download required).