The Haus

Friday, May 5, 2000

Solar Systems are Cool

Hey, today is a big day! All seven classical solar system bodies span their smallest geocentric arc in ecliptic longitude -- 25 53' -- at 8:08 UT on May 5. Cool. Wanna learn more? Check out this article on the Griffith Observatory website.

New I LOVE YOU Variants

Since the I LOVE YOU virus/worm was written in VB script, some people are modifying it to create their own versions of the virus, which will likely spread as fast as the original. A ZDNet columnist is calling for everyone to stop using Microsoft Outlook since its lack of security is what leads to things like this and Melissa. Here's a snip from the ZDNet article:
I'm on record as saying that Outlook is a security hole that also happens to be an e-mail client. If this mess doesn't convince of you of that, I don't know what I can do. Just like Melissa, ILOVEYOU only transmits itself to others if you're running Outlook. If it weren't for the fundamental flaws of Outlook having minimal security and its too-close integration with Windows, we wouldn't have a Melissa or an ILOVEYOU at all.

Now, a Microsoft security spokesperson is saying that while Microsoft is working closely with antivirus companies, it doesn't have any plans to issue a patch or security warning. Thanks guys, good of you to pick up the ball like that.
I have to laugh at some of the comments underneath this article. Some have the audacity to say that it is because stupid users read email attachments that the problem occurs. Umm, hello? Why should a mail reader give ANY incoming script immediate and total control of the whole system? That's a security hole big enough to drive Bill Gates' wallet through! In the name of making things slightly easier for users, they have made all their systems far more vulnerable. I'm getting really irritated about this whole thing. Maybe all the lawyers that will be unleashed on M$ after the antitrust trial will get them to wake up . . . but I doubt it. Thanks Stomped.

Starlancer Review

The Firing Squad has a review of Starlancer the latest space sim from the Digital Anvil and the Roberts brothers--the founders of the Wing Commander series of games. It sounds like if you liked the first two Wing Commanders, you'll like Starlancer. I can't wait to check out the demo.

RA3 Screenshots

The official Rocket Arena 3 (for Quake III Arena) website is now operational. No word on when the mod will be ready to download, but there are some pretty sweet screenshots of the new levels.

Speaking of RA, I wonder when RA:UT is going to be released again?

History today

Q3A v1.17 Mac Released

Robert Duffy updated his .plan with info on the Q3A version 1.17 update for Macintoshes:
I've updated the Macintosh 1.17 point release. Two things happened with it.

1. The installer seemed to expire between when I started it ( about a week ago, been running since ) and when I built the Mac install. Some people had issues running it getting an unregistered installation. I'm not sure why everyone did not see the problem ( it worked fine on several Mac's here ;-) In any event, we re-registered it and anyone who had those problems should not see them anymore.

2. There was a frame rate drop on Macintoshes, again only on a percentage of them which has been addressed.

In other news, new game source for 1.17 should be out sometime this weekend, and I am hoping to get the tool source out at the same time.

Q3: Team Arena Announced

id has officially announced the mission pack for Quake III Arena to be called Quake III: Team Arena. I'm sure that there will be information and screenshots galore about this at next week's E3. You can read the full press release at the Shugashack.

Thursday, May 4, 2000

History Today

Sweeney Q&A

Voodoo Extreme has slapped up another Q&A with Epic's lead programmer, Tim Sweeney. There's a lot of good stuff in there, but it's kind of like reading a John Carmack .plan update (not surprisingly, since they are probably the #1 and 2 3D engine programmers in the business). If you REALLY want to know what goes on behind the scenes in a 3D engine, check it out.

Hun-Speak: Solving the MP3 Crisis

I was right! The news item on Metallica going after Napster and its users (story) prompted me to write a new Hun-Speak column entitled Solving the MP3 "Crisis". I tried to deal with the issues in a way that even the densest record executive could understand them. Of course, I did use some polysyllabic words so that might throw them for loop :)

J.t.Qbe comments: Good stuff from A.T. Hun! Read this article, and then pass it along to everyone in your address book and you'll be guaranteed good luck for the next 3.2 million years. Oops, sorry, that's the next M$ virus. . .

Ban Metallica?

Slashdot's JonKatz waxes philosophical on the recent attempts by the rock band Metallica to go after literally hundreds of thousands of people downloading their music on Napster. His solution? Shut Down Metallica, Not Napster. Here's a snip:
Step One: Let's Shut Down Metallica's attacks on computer users, not Napster. Stop buying the band's music. Urge everyone you know to do likewise until Metallica calls off its legal Rottweillers, leaves kids downloading music alone, and agrees to slug the issue out in court and other venues where it belongs.
Hmmm. I feel a Hun-Speak coming on . . .

J.t.Qbe comments: Ok, normally I think Katz is a dork but he did make a good point: once Metallica portrayed themselves as rebels; now they've become the establishment. What do ya think, A.T.?

A.T. Hun comments: I thought that was the best point of the whole article. I've been following Metallica since my high school days in the early 80s. I can't imagine them doing something like this in the Ride the Lightning days. How the mighty have fallen!

Mac Q3A Issues

MacGamer is reporting that there are "issues" with the recently released Quake III Arena 1.17 patch on the MacIntosh. Some how id managed to use an expired installer and the patch itself is causing some major performance hits. Expect a fix soon. Thanks everyone (again).

Beware: I Love You

No, J.t.Qbe isn't stalking you, but the latest virus/worm is. The I Love You virus appeared on the scene today, and it's nasty. Here's a description:
An e-mail virus which sends an e-mail message with the subject line I LOVE YOU and an attached VBS module called LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.vbs is circulating commercial and IT companies worldwide and causing major damage to their email systems.
If you get an email with this VBS module attached, watch out! This virus has been taking down networks and has been causing a lot of trouble in Europe this morning.

Of course, if you're not running Outlook, you're safe. Tell me again, Micro$oft, why is it such a good idea to give every application a VB interface? Here in Unixland we call VBS a great VDS (Virus Delivery System). Just wait, folks--the viruses for M$ products are only going to get worse.

A.T. Hun comments: This is the #2 reason why I use Forté's Agent as my mail and news reader instead of Outlook. #1 is that I think Outlook just plain sucks canal water, but that's me. Let this serve as a reminder of the old truism--always treat email attachments with suspicion!

The Master comments: Looks like this one got past the mail server scanner at work today. Ouch. Now they get to update and check all 150 PCs one at a time. Amazing. Half of MIS is away for a day to a seminar and this happens :-)

Q3A Mission Pack = Team Arena

GA Source is reporting that the new Quake III Arena mission pack from id will be called Quake III: Team Arena. The article also has a bit more information than we've seen before. I'm sure we'll know a lot more after E3. Thanks, um, everybody for the link.

Past Two Days' News

Recent Headlines

January 5, 2015: It Returns!
August 10, 2007: SCO SUCKS IT DOWN!
July 5, 2007: Slackware 12.0 Released
May 20, 2007: PhpBB 3.0 RC 1 Released
February 2, 2007: DOOM3 1.31 Patch

January 27, 2007: Join the World Community Grid
January 17, 2007: Flash Player 9 for Linux
December 30, 2006: Darkness over Daggerford 1.2
December 19, 2006: Pocket Tunes 4.0 Released
December 9, 2006: WRT54G 1.01.1 Firmware OK with Linux/Mac

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