EM

Editorial Archives




02-25-2001

Dave, this conversation can serve
no purpose anymore. Goodbye.

    Windows security is based on ignorance. There is a lot of undocumented features on this OS that you are not supposed to know anything about, which are usually backdoors of standard functions. These functions are everywhere in Windows dlls, and are used by Microsoft programmers as workaround to certain restrictions in the normal behavior of the system. As a proprietary software, you cannot see the Windows source code so Microsoft developers thinks they can build undocumented, less secure, functions that have higher permission and hope that nobody in the public will ever hear about them. But as everything can be hacked down to byte, these functions sometimes come-up in the hacker's community (I mean the REAL ones), downside is that these functions are generally version dependent and awkward to use. However, ignorance is not limited to Windows, not everyone know that with a tone generator you can make free long distance call, that a smartcard can be copied and reprogrammed to anything you want, that you can build a stungun with Radioshack part or that you can make your own explosive from fertilizer.

    As long as there is only a small minority of people that are aware of the loopholes, government and corporation won't say a thing, that's part of the game, a slight number of people can make high-explosive, so unfortunately it's not much of a threat. But when the majority knows the trick, take Napster for instance, when most people who listen to music know that they can get music for free on the internet using a simple software, thing get ugly on the corporation side. They will do anything possible to bring back the percent of people not working THERE rules to something that is irrelevant on there balance-sheet. And in the society we live in, they WILL win. Even better, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) "prohibits anyone from publishing or publicly distributing any hardware or software that is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing protection afforded by a technological measure that effectively protects a right of a copyright owner." They are wise. Condition people to think that it is illegal to even know how to fuck the system, and you win. Ok, now I'm getting to the point of all this. Some of you where interested to know what really happens when you install new softwares.

    I stumble on interesting proz that monitor activities on files and access to the Windows registry. So, if you have a handle on what you are doing you can get which keys and files are modified during installation and which keys or files to clean in order to make a whiter than white uninstall. So the utilities are Filemon and Regmon, both available at Sysinternals. After trying this out you will see that there is a lot of things going on that you are not even aware of. With those proz you can now spy on spywares.
- PacK


01-17-2001

The Fear Business

    According to the medias, our society is a very dangerous place to live. Rapers, terrorists and serial-killers are running free out there and right at the corner, somebody might be waiting for you with a knife. Since the upcoming of internet, real beggards do not make banks anymore. These "hackers" are overwhelmingly frightening the corporations. First with the BBS until now, these guys are really a threat to corporation's profits so that the money spent by the web-oriented corps for computer security is ridiculous and they will cover-up any security fail by themselves. Besides corporations, the average user also feel as if his private life or confidential information were threatened. Well, welcome to the fear business.

    This business relies on the fear that has been induced in each of us with too many years of "World's Most Dangerous Creatures", "USA Most Wanted Criminals", the OJ live pursuit and all that bullshit right out of CNN and all the mass mediated crass with which they pollute our mind. As if a top-notch firewall would stop any security heckler, corporations such as Zone Alarm market their "safety products" at an outstanding rate and enjoy using plenty of scary buzzwords such as Trojan Horses, Polymorphic viruses, etc. Antiviruses, firewalls and "security" devices of any sorts are selling like hot cakes and the flock mindlessly keep collecting them as if an evil computer whiz would waste his precious time to look at some word processing files in Joe Average's computer. The logical following to the Big Mac and the Nintendo, we found something else to mass-commercialize and after Lee Harvey Oswald and Ted Bundy, we seem to know which new breed of buggers we should blame.
- The Crimson King


01-05-2001

Happiness for 19.99$

    As Hollywood trained us to think, there is always two kind of people, the good guys and the bad guys: Star Wars' light and dark side, Democrat and Republicans, left and right, us and them. It also seems that both of these are making money from each other. While most of the money out there is being made by the formal, politically correct necktie-wearing, legitimate and benevolent software developper spending half of his day watching to Seinfeld and Jeopardy and the other half making user-friendly interfaces, countering the plans of the Evil Hacker and finding a way to reach most people with a spare hand from the marketing department, it seems now that quite a bit of money is also made from the "dark side", commercializing ideas of freedom taken-away and conspiracy theories. Back from the General Idea team, the use of marketing strategies to promote anti-capitalism ideas is paradoxical in itself. N'Sync are best sellers for singing the same old copy-pasted shit while Eminem is the best seller for bitching about N'Sync. In either case, the common point is that both are best sellers. Both needs each other, a symbiosis like hippos and teeth-cleaner birds. Both will keep making money for singing their crappy shit for a few more month until the executives regulating the cartel of pop music decide which new artificial hero will once again take control of the radio frequencies flooding all across the continent. Like remoras, we feeds ourselves out of business sharks leftovers. But once again we've got caught in the web of marketing analysis.

    Books such as "The Art of Happiness" coming from the Dalai-Lama or other new-age prophets are coming out right in time. After all the "Do-it-yourself" books of any kinds where we learned how to make dog-houses, fences, car painting and 4-pieces kitchen sets, now happiness seems to be the new quest for mankind available in any good bookstore. Happiness in a can, 2 minutes of microwave and it pops up. I am not exclusively talking about these silly books but the whole craze for asserting being a preacher of the counter culture on MTV. I am also talking about other sites such as incunabula.org who tells us "How to be enlightened" for only 24.99$ because "enlightement" now has a dollar sign attached to it. Of course many of you would be tempted to sell their hometown called Happyland for one of these "Answer-it-all" books or bands but in opposite to Ivan Stang's quote from his pseudo-sect of the general Conspiracy, I'm not that certain that "It takes money to fight money" but in case you agree with him, he accepts personnal checks or money orders...
- The Crimson King


12-15-2000

Merry fucking Christmas

    Thanks for your participation to the contest, we had a hard time to see your entries (that you can see here) because Hotmail is having trouble these days. By the way, I want to congratulate the guy who is probably in an intensive session of Denial of Service on Hotmail since a week and which MSN tries to keep quiet to avoid their stock value to go down all of a sudden.

    Since the bankrupt (yeah sure) of 1st Up, many of you were expecting us to do something. Well, we did and our new "Beware of Dog" banner hunter-chaser and killer is now available in the Download Page. It has a brand new engine, many new features (such as a "keep alive" and a connection manager). It is now able to handle the very large majority of the free ISP (well, lets say all of them up to now...). You can give your comments in the guestbook.

    Have a good time during your holiday if you have some and watch out for that nasty "Christmas spirit". This is the period of the year where everybody is trying to sell you something. The birthday of our unholy savior and all that bullshit has now turned to a capitalist event to confidently justify ourselves to load up our credit card and to allow the corps to make 75% of their annual profit in 10 days. I wonder which one was better anyway. As was saying that 80 years old guy: "Different days, same old shit".
- The Crimson King


12-06-2000

"The Death of 1st Up" EM Contest: keep your smile

    Ok, for those of you who don't already know, 1st Up (the corporation who makes the engine of Altavista free access, Freelane and Brittanica free ISP) is closing for some reasons that I don't want to investigate. Does that means that you guys will have to go for another free ISP such as Netzero with a banner?.. or have to pay a 20$ AOL connection?... or worse: that would mean the death of The Elusive Masquerade, proud supporters of sollicitation-free web browsing? Relax guys, we expected from a long time the crumbling of these bastards. Our main programmer is now about to release an ultimate banner killer that would kill the banner of many of the free ISPs rather than just Altavista, so you will still be able to enjoy a banner-free free ISP.

The contest goes as follow: we are looking for a name for our new proz. Write us an e-mail and suggest a name. If your name is the best of the bunch we received, your nickname will be included in the "About" of our new proz... and of course the proz will bear the name you suggested.

THE ULTIMATE BANNER-KILLER WILL BE RELEASED ON DECEMBER 15, so the deadline for your submission is december 14 at 11:00 PM.
- The Crimson King


11-30-2000

Federal elections: The show must go on

    Well in both countries we received our respective amount of political bullshit. The whole damn thing looked like a big hockey game transmitted on CNN. Not that I dislike entertainment but nobody seems to notice how sick the average citizen is getting of hearing the same meaningless speech by a few mentally-challenged necktie-wearing puppets. The participation rate was one of the lowest of the history and this is a sign of improvement. Maybe people are starting to realize as was saying Mr. Stang that "Real Government do not need elections". In both of our countries, the result is pathetic: in Canada, the brain-dead dummy got his third mandate... I mean look at him, that what Canada is all about, his face just says it all. In the US, you are at the point where it's just a matter of who has the NSA on his side... or who would spend more money on weapons between a democrat and the Texas governor in favor for capital punishment. The guess is hard indeed. The last time a democrat wasn't on the side of the CIA, they shot him if I remember well.
- The Crimson King


11-11-2000

"Grab what you can and fuck the other guy"

    We sometimes receive funny e-mails from different people for different reasons but this week we received the funniest e-mail ever...
Are you a stupid fucking idiot? Do you understand why Alta Vista puts a banner on their free internet? Do you? BECAUSE IT'S FREE YOU MORON. YOU DONT HAVE TO PAY $22.00 A MONTH. It's not "mindless solicitation", it's called not going bankrupt (...) Stealing is stealing. I think you are jealous altavista was able to make some cash. It isn't brain wash, it's a product. I think you should go make a crack for k-mart so you can steal from them too. Maybe you can go make a crack for abercrombie and fitch, that'd be nice. Grow up.

-From Jason Shouldice "neogamlin@rock.tera-byte.com"
Somebody can explain me what that "steal" is about?
Now I think you should know who you are dealing with:

"In January 1999, Altavista became a wholly owned subsidiary of Compaq Computer Corporation (NYSE: CPQ). Compaq purchased Shopping.com in March and Zip2 Corporation in April of that year. Then in August of 1999, CMGI, Inc.(Nasdaq: CMGI) acquired 83% of our outstanding stock from Compaq, and Shopping.com and Zip2 became wholly owned subsidiaries of AltaVista. Later that same year, AltaVista acquired Raging Bull, bolstering their financial expertise while adding a new community element to the AltaVista network..."

With a Big Mac in one hand and a fucking Pepsi in the other, dressed in "abercrombie" and "fitch" (what's that anyway?) and dazed in front a flickering TV screen, M. Shouldice is right about the fact that kids like us don't understand shit what real business is about. Indeed, I never got the point why 80% of the human kind earn less than a fucking dollar per day while an executive get 300 000$ a year for needlessly interfering. But a banner is still essential for not going bankrupt I guess.
- The Crimson King


10-26-2000

The Credit Card Society

    I learned something new today: we can now "buy" a degree. I was expecting this kind of non-sence one day or another but now it is real and happening under our very eyes. I noticed that many of my ex-engineering student partners would have been idiot enough to send 10 000$ to their faculty to "buy" their certificate if they could. Well, you can now legally obtain the fake stamp. How could the human race could have reach that level of weak-mindness. People justify their level of achievement according to the size of the stack they gathered. Dad buy his son a brand new japanese convertible and pay his Princeton's tuition... or Yale, Queens, McGill or you name it. I've been -screwed- in the academic process for such a long time to notice that when you'll get out, nobody will ever give a damn about who you are, they will hire you for your Harvard papers and your ability to kiss other people's butt. Maybe we should take care more about the educationnal issue but we are too busy building brand new state-of-the-art archologies where we teach our already-dead children where to build a plant in order to minimize the production cost of the little plastic phone plug and where to sell it to maximize the benefits, or in which Carribean island an executive should build his trust. And of course we tell our kids to "Stay in School". After all, the sooner you hook them, the more slaves you will end up with to wax your shoes. The true beauty of this "freedom-oriented" continent in which we live is that for every one who survive, thousands are sent to pasture, feeding an artificial hero who post his synthetic face-lifted smile in another best-selling magazine who promotes slow-wit.

After "Grease", they finally released "Greed"... That just says it all. KittScchhink...
- The Crimson King


10-01-2000

Welcome to the Elusive Masquerade website.

    Some of you are friends, some of you will be soon and some are just passing, faceless, without giving much of a damn. In either case, you are lucky to end up here because it's getting harder to reach us since we have been kicked out from Cnet (or any of its offsprings such as Download.com, Winfiles, and you name it...) by whatsoever kind of bot because I guess their notion of freeware must include any kind of banner or money-making device. When an algorithm decides where you go and which photon emissions will consume your brain cells, this is where the expression "computer is power" takes place. Soon they will implement a code that mess up with our genetic structure or while you still investigates on the Salt Lake City hoax or whatever, they would engineer a silent-behavior X-ray tracking satellite of some sort.
- The Crimson King


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