Friday, November 18, 2005

Starting Anew

I'm starting this blog as a service to my customers, friends and family. I hope to use it to offer interesting and helpful information on home computer use, home network management, new and emerging technology and related topics.


Sony's music division has installed software on many of it's music CDs that, when inserted into your PCs CD drive, will install itself without telling you and will then hide itself in such a way that if you use any tool (like the Windows Task Manager) to see what is running on your PC, IT WILL BE HIDDEN FROM YOU. They use this software to prevent you from copying the CD more times than they think you should.

In addition to doing this to your PC without even telling you and then hiding it from you, there are bugs in the software that will help hackers to attack your machine and to hide their attack in the same way. Here is a link to an excellent article in the NY Times explaining the details:

For the more tech savy among you here is a link to Bruce Schneier's excellent blog covering this fiasco in detail:

I also snail mailed the following yesterday. If you feel the same way after reading the above, you may want to send something similar:

Nicole Seligman
Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Sony Corporation
550 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022-3211

Dear Ms. Seligman:

Sony was a company I could trust. I have purchased or recommended to friends and family for purchase literally dozens of Sony products based in large part on a trust which Sony has now violated.

The inclusion by Sony of software on music CDs which installs on PCs without notice then hides itself and, to make terrible matters worse, does so in a fashion that in several ways exposes Sony’s customers to further damage by third parties is an unforgivable abrogation of Sony’s responsibilities to its customers. I refuse to do further business in any way with a company that treats it’s customers in this fashion.


Jim White

End of Message
Probably won't do any good, but mailing it, and making the resolution to boycott Sony products certainly made me feel better.

More later.

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