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Tom Keating
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Technology and Science

Technology and Science

AVG Anti-virus Free Edition displays Become Legal to force pirated users to pay up

August 16, 2006

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition now complains (as of 2 days ago) if it detects you have more than 1 machine at home running AVG Free Edition. It then displays a popup message with a hyperlink to 'become legal'. Clicking the link brings you to AVG's website where you are offered the paid professional version to purchase. It welcomes you with what I took as a sarcastic "Welcome to the legal AVG community!".

Popup message with link asking you to Become Legal

AVG became very popular with many users since it essentially offers a feature-packed anti-virus program free of charge with free antivirus signature file updates.

Microsoft "Genuine Advantage" cracked

August 9, 2006

Microsoft "Genuine Advantage" was cracked in just 24 hours according to a 2005 Boing Boing article. The crack simply required adding some Javascript to your browser window.

Before pressing 'Custom' or 'Express' buttons paste this text to the address bar and press enter:


It turns off the trigger for the key check.

This simply crack used to work, but Microsoft is now getting serious about stopping pirated software. Just today, Microsoft Watch stated "Come this fall, however, the Redmond software maker is planning to turn up the Genuine Advantage heat in two ways: By baking more Genuine Advantage checks directly into Windows Vista, and by taking aim at PC makers, system builders, Internet cafes and other sources of potentially pirated software."

YIKES! Maybe it's time to buy some Microsoft stock since no doubt MS will get a stock boost from many illigitimate users simply paying for a legitimate copy rather than play "tit for tat" with Microsoft, which keeps "tweaking" the WGA code to thwart users using pirated versions of Windows XP/2003 (and soon Vista).

But if your so inclined to play the "game" of hacking WGA and are looking for other methods of cracking Microsoft Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) you can check out the plethora of comments below for various cracking methods.


August 7, 2006

Amazon, Google, Yahoo, eBay fight net neutrality with letter to Congress

July 13, 2006

Internet Titans Amazon, Google, Yahoo, eBay, and IAX/InterActiveCorp joined together in writing a letter to Congressional Senators expressing their concerns about net neutrality. This is a clash of the titans for sure. Congress and the telecom/cable lobbyists on one side and large Internet behemoths on the other. Of course, a letter is a bit weak.

BMW car that parks itself

July 12, 2006

The Robot Hall of Fame

July 12, 2006





Cold Chips Go Very Fast!

July 6, 2006

Researchers at IBM and the Georgia Institute of Technology recently announced that they have broken the speed record for silicon-based chips with a semiconductor that operates 250 times faster than chips commonly used today. (New York Times reports.)

(No, not the chips on the left.)

The achievement has been called a major step in the evolution of computer semiconductor technology that could eventually lead to faster networks and more powerful electronics at lower prices. 

Sporty Electric Cars

June 5, 2006

I looked at a hybrid-electric SUV several months ago, but decided it wasn't worth the premium you pay and got a Jeep Grand Cherokee instead. I also considered electric cars such as the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight (right), but they are just butt-ugly. In fact, most electric cars are plain ugly with the worst design imaginable. Only a tree-hugger hippie blinded by the environmental benefits of these cars, could love some of these electric car designs.

Gates: The Dawning of the Age of Friction-Free Innovation

June 2, 2006

Love or hate Microsoft, there's no doubt about that it's always interesting to hear what Bill Gates has to say about the future or technology and science. You may not agree with him, but he does have way of shaping what all of us are doing -- and how we do it.

How About A Truly Connected World: Do I Hear Global Village?

June 1, 2006

Great article in USA Today earlier this week about how a potent combination of computer companies, tech entrepreneurs and philanthropic folk are working together to bring the digital age to the Third World (and the rest of the world).

Here's an excerpt from Kevin Maney's article:

It's a mini-movement. There's former Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab chief Nicholas Negroponte with his $100 laptops [that's one in the photo], funded in part by Google. There's chipmaker AMD with its 50x15 program — funding projects that can get 50% of the world's population on the Internet by 2015.

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