The Haus

Thursday, July 20, 2000

OpenUT Site Update

Linux Games is reporting that the OpenUT site, the open-source Unreal Tournament site, has been updated with some new features:The OpenUT site is a great place to start if you are trying to run Unreal Tournament under Linux. You also, of course, could check out my article on installing UT under Linux. *shameless plug*

Spam == Illegal (Soon)

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill which will hopefully curb the tide of spam flooding into my mailbox. Here's the full word from Beta News, so I could show off my cutting and pasting skillz:
The United States House of Representatives nearly unanimously voted yesterday [July 18] to pass H.R. 3113, which bans unsolicited e-mails lest the spammer provide a return address which the consumer can use to opt-out of said mailings. In a 427 to 1 vote, the United States has finally made the move to stop the mass mailings and spamming currently polluting mail servers and inboxes everywhere. Keep checking back as the bill continues through the process.
According to a follow-up post, the one dissenting vote was cast by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). I think we can find it in our hearts to donate all of our spam to his mailbox. It figures that the House would wait until an election year to do something sane :)

More NVIDIA Manipulation

Kyle at HardOCP has added to his commentary on NVIDIA's strong-arm tactics with certain websites. I guess the solution for some of the smaller hardware websites is this: just don't accept freebie hardware. Maybe you won't be able to offer the same kind of content that HardOCP, AnandTech, or Tom's can, but you don't have to worry about pressure. If you are accepting free hardware (or software, or whatever) you have to expect some of this. That doesn't make it right, but you would have to be pretty naive to think its not going to happen. Thanks Shugashack.

ASUS Cheating Drivers: Update

Riva 3D contacted ASUS for clarification on their "cheating drivers" that were exposed by Riva Station yesterday (story). Here's the summary of their conversation:
  1. The Transparency Drivers are a feature that ASUS has been exploring.
  2. ASUS does not intend these drivers to enable cheating in games, but to take advantage of new technology and show the capabilities of the technology.
  3. If the drivers are released (and that's not a definite thing yet), ASUS may pursue working with developers to ensure that this feature is detectable so that online tournaments, etc., are not affected in any way.
  4. ASUS listens to the feedback, and takes your feelings seriously when considering features for their products. After all, they ARE in the business to succeed... ;)
Can you say "damage control"? I knew you could! #2 is complete and utter B.S., especially when you read ASUS' own press release in yesterday's story! #3 is almost worse because it is ADMITTING that these drivers WILL be used for cheating. Methinks I might have to dig up an ASUS email address so I can vent (logically, of course). Thanks Blue's News.

RA3 Sunday!

crt has announced that if no bugs crop up, Rocket Arena 3 for Quake III Arena will be released this Sunday! The download will be available for Win32 and Linux. The main download will be 50-60M and the soundtrack will be a seperate 60-70M download. Great news! I've been looking forward to this mod since I got Q3A! Thanks Blue.

UPDATE! The Shack posted crt's email announcing RA3's availability.

Pondering the Imponderable

Sigh. I tried to recharge my Rayovac Renewals for the first time and the charger overcharged them so they leaked. Oddly enough, it charged an old set of NiCads just fine. Guess I'll need a replacement. Or I'll just order a truckload of ProCells.

In other Visor news, I downloaded a Scorched (the classic multi-tank game of angles and power) clone called Pocket Scorch. The only problem was that I had to install the Afterburner hack to underclock my Visor, otherwise the game was unplayably fast. The enemy AI seems a little too good at the easier levels, but other than that it's a fun game.

J.t.Qbe comments: Rogelero and I spent way, way too many hours playing Scorched Earth on my old '286. Great multiplayer action. I'm gonna have to get this one!

Since I'm officially in a training class right now, I'm doing my commenting through the Lynx web browser (text only). Cool stuff!

The Master comments: Heh-well, I BUILT The Haus using Lynx on the server. I didn't have X configured at the time. I still use Lynx when testing new features since it's easy to make a change in vi, exit, lynx it, repeat.

Wednesday, July 19, 2000

YAMSH (Yet Another Microsoft Security Hole)

News hit the wire today that another hole has been found in Microsoft Outlook. This one opens the door for a buffer overrun exploit which can be triggered simply by downloading your mail via POP or IMAP. You don't need to open or read the email--simply downloading it will do the trick. With this trick, a malicious email can do anything you could on your computer, such as run a program, format your disk or change all your Quake skins to Barney. Microsoft is working on a patch. The best fix is to get rid of Outlook and install Netscape.

A.T. Hun comments: I'd like to hear from the folks who said all the email viruses were the result of user stupidity about this one. How long will it take before people realize that Outlook is a gateway for viruses and precious little else? I shudder when I think about how many companies use it as their primary email and scheduling app.

LithTech 1.5: Lesson Not Learned

Our very own Wraith, author of the Bloodbath Mod for Shogo, discovered that the same well-known exploit in LithTech 1.0 (Shogo) still exists in LithTech 1.5 (KISS Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child). It just shows you how little Monolith listened to the problems Shogo players were encountering.

Oh, and Shogo fans, if you download the demo for Psycho Circus, take a look at client.exe in a file manager and tell me if something looks familiar :)

UPDATE! Wraith just heard back from Third Law and it appears that the server already catches this exploit so that it would not affect KPC:TNC multiplayer. Stay tuned . . .

UPDATE #2 Wraith got permission from Third Law's Mike Maynard regarding the exploit (which, I can now reveal, was the rapid-fire cheat):
This sounds like something we already thought of and fixed. Our server doesn't allow weapons to 'attack' faster than a specific amount of time that's been defined for each weapon. If someone changed the animation's attack rate, it would simply show the (fast) attack on that person's client, and the server would ignore it. Other client's would only see normal attacks that the server sends them.
That's great news. I feared that the game would have a cheat before it hit the shelves.

Caldera buying SCO?

According to Yahoo!News, Caldera could be buying SCO, maker of SCO Unixware and SCO OpenServer. This is a HUGE deal, since SCO is one of the last mainstream UNIX manufacturers (UnixWare is a UNIX v5.4 variant) and, coincidentally, powers the servers I use at work. SCO UW has been a really nice UNIX platform, and I hope if this deal goes through Caldera will continue it's development.

Thanks Dave.

J.t.Qbe comments: Caldera certainly should have the cash to buy SCO, and I think they could do some good stuff with it. SCO has some nice things in development which would benefit the Unix community at large. I agree that UnixWare is a nice system (better than SCO's own OpenServer) and deserves to live. Plus SCO holds the licensing for ancient versions of Unix, and I'd like to see that become more available.

The Master comments: Plus SCO UnixWare scales much better on large numbers of processors than Linux. I'd love somebody to pull the SMP stuff from SCO and plop it into the Linux kernel. That would be SOOOooooo sweet. Caldera could do it if they bought out SCO.

ASUS Cheating Drivers

RIVA Station is reporting that ASUS is planning to release drivers for their AGP-V7700 and AGP-V7100 cards which have options for transparent textures, wireframe, and extra light. Yep, you don't have to rely on a 13-year-old 1337 haX0r anymore when a formerly reputable hardware manufacturer has done the cheating for you! Here's a press release:
Taiwan, Taipei July 18, 2000: ASUSTeK Computer, Inc. announces its new secrete weapon for AGP-V7700 and AGP-V7100 series graphics cards " the 3D SeeThrough TM technologies. "ASUS always provides the best value for our customers." said Jonathan Tsang, vice president of marketing and sales division of ASUSTeK Computer Inc. "The ASUS 3D SeeThrough TM technologies are developed for users to be a constant winner in the adventure or action 3D games. There are three special weapons for ASUS VGA cards' users " Transparent View, Wireframe View, and Extra Light. If you do not have an ASUS VGA card " be careful! Never compete in the 3D games with anyone who has an ASUS VGA card. Because the only result is to loose"
Yes, there are a couple of typos in the PR. I didn't know if it was a Chinese to English problem, a Chinese to German to English problem (RIVA Station is a German site), or if the whole thing is a hoax. I looked for the PR on ASUSTeK's site but couldn't find it. If this is true, someone at ASUS needs his head examined. RIVA Station has posted screenshots from several games showing off the effects. Thanks Shugashack.

Communicator 4.74 released

Netscape has released version 4.74 of Communicator. You can use the above link to download, or direct to FTP.

CNET aquiring ZDNET!

According to Yahoo!News, CNET to aquire Ziff-Davis for $1.6 billion in stock. Wow-that will combine both Gamespot and Gamecenter, two of the biggest game networks on the internet. Wow. Thanks Blue.

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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