Internet users in China forced to reveal real names when posting online

Perhaps, before talking about this tech news as discovered from Softpedia, there should be my history that took place several years ago or even in the further past of mine.

Back then when I was a kid, there was a school lesson about sending and receiving email messages through Hotmail. The nickname name I came up with was more or less wasn’t 100% a nickname back then like it was an impersonation of a fictional character and that was bad. But sometime in the mid-2000s, I came up with a real nickname that lasted for long time until last year where I changed my nickname again as proven in the recent gameplay videos.

Another past history of mine was that there was another person in Facebook who had the same exact real name as mine that I changed my alias as that time to something different than the universal nickname. Again, it wasn’t a real nickname of mine but that still represented me at that time until I changed my Facebook alias again and made it as universal as other accounts I had like Twitter, YouTube, etc. Perhaps, I suspected that someone was impersonating me on Facebook that I made a change as a result.

Then, here came the past history from Facebook, where the users were forced to reveal real names but the policy wasn’t as strict as what I’m going to blog about. I made changes to my Facebook account with multiple aliases. The first being the real name, and the other is the current nickname in full.

In fact, I’ve been seeing tons of YouTube users attempting to impersonate various fictional characters including the real life persons or whatnot. A policy forcing users to reveal real names or nicknames shouldn’t be a problem for me nowadays as fooling people with impersonating names is a rare thing. But even with a policy like that, there is still an immature workaround for people, like introducing themselves with real names followed by something that doesn’t look anything like a real nickname for instance so the policy may still have a mixed opinion from critics. I don’t like this sort of impersonation but a simple report over it is one challenging thing.

Maybe there should be a policy when creating your own account saying that it’s a no-no to impersonate a person, group, organization, etc. whether it’s fictional or not. So this is why I have a mixed opinion about this news discovered from Softpedia.

 

Such policy as stated above is taking place for various services like WeiBo, WeChat, etc. Perhaps, it is time that I make adjustments to my Sina account if that’s the case but for foreign users like me although I had learnt local Chinese besides English, that may seem to be a confusing problem in the future and especially that I’m way too average at Chinese language due to using English way too much. I also have a WeiBo account but I rarely use it although the service is said to be related to the others like Sina Mail service or something.

The only criticism so far from critics is about banning the VPN. Companies may probably need it for remote corporate access outside of the company premises but to ban the VPN completely is probably due to the fact that many people bypass the geo-restriction. I don’t know which concern is strong, the bypassing part, or the companies’ need for corporate access through VPN? Furthemore, the Beijing government has order the telecom companies to ban the use of VPNs starting February next year for better control of the internet.

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Sango Guardian Chaos Generation

The game may look like it’s been in development for few to several years before getting finalized sometime this year. At the time the game was in prototype phase, there are mistakes spotted like the flashing messages on top of the screen throughout the game for instance. Those messages were asynchronous in terms of the way they flash if you ask me and that’s not how things flow in fighting games nowadays for the arcades. The messages are supposed to change/flash every second at the same time no matter where you are in during the game.

The amount of characters isn’t quite large but the interface may remind you of various fighting games. The same may probably go for the announcer. The game uses a different game engine and in terms of presentation, it goes towards the Street Fighter IV route.

As the game is made in some Chinese-speaking country, expect things to be in native Chinese although the announcer is using English throughout the game similar to KOF MI series like from the way the characters’ names and the game title are being pronounced. Right now, I don’t know where the game is exactly made in.

For the arcade system, I don’t know the brand and the system specs although it is based on the Lenovo Thinkcentre computer system that powers this embedded arcade system. Not even the name of the hardware is revealed on the bootup screen that I don’t know it either. It uses Windows Embedded Standard 2009 just like the Ringedge series and Ringwide arcade systems. At least, I saw the video of the machine booting up in action and stuff like that but it might seem that the video from Mikado game center’s YouTube channel was about the game update. Apparently, the game was recently finalized and they mentioned things like Nesica X Live and All.NET P-Ras Multi along with Windows 10 when it comes to technical concerns. To upgrade the arcade machines to Windows 10 IOT through the forced Automatic OS Upgrade from Windows Embedded Standard 7 or 8 is asking for serious cussing and bashing from the arcade staffs. Not to mention the upgrades of the OS build-by-build. The only maintenances of the machines allowed are game-updates, necessary OS patches, driver updates, etc. This game on the other hand doesn’t have the player card feature thingy which is the feature you’ll see when you start the game. When starting the game while it’s online, you have the option to start it with or without the card, this is way before the Nesica X Live and All.NET P-Ras Multi services existed. The earlier generation cards would be like VF.NET cards, E-Amusement Passes, Nesys cards, etc.

There’s a chance that the arcade system this game is running on will have additional support for two more years before Windows Embedded Standard 2009 is out of life support. I guess that future updates will feature additional characters and stages but a guess like that doesn’t seem to be turned into a rumor if false.

For consumer system release, I can probably guess that the graphics will be like one-era behind to the Playstation 4 and Xbox One as games that use DirectX11 technologies can be on par with those consoles already.

Disney sued for spying on kids through mobile apps

What was Disney thinking when making those apps suited for children? There may be tons of mobile apps that open doors to collecting too much information and especially that you’re not able to adjust the permission in earlier Android OSes for instance.

According to Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act by FTC, parents must give permission before information is collected by the apps aimed at kids but is Disney’s violation of it such a case?

From the victim parent’s claims, it appears that Disney and its partners didn’t disclose the information about letting parents know about the data collection, in which the parent, Amanda Rushing, claims that it is a serious violation of the privacy and highly offensive. The lawsuit was already filed against Disney and they were ready to deal with the case in court.

It’s not the first kind of news about the kids’ privacy being violated through the products suited for them.

Ransomware that caused global cyber attack (Originally posted in May 15)

This is a big one that happened globally this month and it put the previous malware attacks to shame during the Windows XP days and especially that even my previous computer was infected back then with things popping up out of nowhere, indecent computer performance due to something running in the background and other things that slow the computer down. That ransomware is called, the Wannacry/Wannacrypt, or whatever you may want to call it. I guess that it is both a ransomware and a worm, demanding victims to pay up to decrypt the data and get it back and the cyber attack spread so quickly like wildfire as a worm. I have some guesses that the attackers have the most mischievous and childish behavior. To put an end to their future one day may cause a serious emotional reaction from them like they can deny whatever childish shit they did. Anyway, there won’t seem to be a point in paying up to get your data back but the best thing is that such attacks shouldn’t happen to your computer in the first place. By having to pay up to the attackers, there may be a chance for them to plan another attack.

The cyber attack targeted systems running Windows including the servers and even embedded systems. I AM NOT KIDDING about even embedded systems becoming the victims! It had targeted tons of organizations including the standard users and the solutions by the tech companies and security researchers were already outpaced by the attackers by this time with the new version of the attack that goes against the kill switch.

Generally, without data backup, security patches and even the latest virus database, you’re already screwed if your data is encrypted by the attackers. What do you do when that happens? Do you reinstall Windows or something? Even using the other hard drive isn’t going to help and don’t bother paying up the ransom.

This isn’t the ordinary cyber attack everyone has discovered as the attackers might have used the tools that were leaked from National Security Agency. The tools were leaked by another cyber-attack group called The Shadow Brokers, without the agency’s knowledge but from the amount of exploits discovered by Microsoft, they were fixed with patches you should get via Windows Update. Originally, before the leak, the tools had been used for surveillance but the leakage already opened doors for other cyber-attackers and investigation is going to take months or years to find the culprits behind the attacks.

Right now, I’m not infected with this cyber catastrophe but being vigilant from cyber-attacks is one important key as there’s a chance of the malware being evolved after the solutions are discovered or something for instance.

Lastly, about embedded systems infected by this, there are already such cases like in these picture tweets for instance:

Do you expect the manufacturers to deploy the patched OS in addition to the main embedded programs? You can call the staffs about such non-ordinary technical problems you’ve seen but the thing is, are they able to take technical actions like that? In case of arcade staffs, reinstalling the OS along with the latest update of the game isn’t going to drive that ransomware away. WHERE IS THE FIREWALL FOR THOSE MACHINES? Will the games still work without lag while the firewall stuff is running? And do you include the firewall and antivirus software in the Windows embedded system? Jeez, when the Windows embedded machine starts, either it goes to the desktop mode awaiting commands from the user, or it starts up the program automatically after login. By the way, the tweets are entirely in Korean and the cyber-incidents took place at some arcades in Korea but I hope that I don’t see such bullshit in the local arcades as well.

It’s a cyber catastrophe at a global level and if the culprits behind it are not found ASAP, who knows what will happen next?

One more thing I forgot to mention is about disabling the SMB as the workaround to this extraordinary cyber threat. In addition, Microsoft already had released the important security patches that you should apply like I already did. Well, I sort of patched my computer with the April and May security rollup patches but it seemed that I wasn’t able to get the January one. Not to mention that even Windows Defender/Microsoft Security Essentials has the latest virus database so it looked like Microsoft said that Windows 10 users are secure with it and the security patches. However, there is a fear/worry that this safeness will not last long. I can also hope that even the editions of Windows that don’t support running EXE files should be patched as well. Lastly, needless to say, catching cyber-criminals is no easy task. Not only is the investigation taking months to years or something, but also the fact that they have to be careful in tracking down the cyber-criminals without violating people’s privacy. Violating people’s cyber-privacy is unacceptable even by mistake as there will be lawsuits against organizations or perhaps cyber-criminals.

NES Classic Edition

Well, the NES Classic Edition console was apparently discontinued this year after its launch last year with huge demands that it quickly sold out. The flaws as we knew them were strong like the lack of the ability to play any NES/Famicom games besides the pre-given ones along with the fact that everything is all stored on the ROM with no storage device whatsoever. There should be an internal storage SOMEWHERE in the console but no, it’s like a modern NES-on-a-chip system but superior than any NES clones you can find due to decent emulation when compared to the one from Virtual Console on 3DS, Wii and Wii U. Hell, you can also use the Wii U controller for NES Classic Edition but obviously, another flaw involved the short cord of the controller and it’s even worse for Mini Famicom since the cord is part of the console and you can’t use the Wii U controller as the alternative.

Also, the controllers are said to have some disabled features for the Mini Famicom in addition to the cartridge slot being fake. Even if you make it real like it can be opened or something, the board itself is completely different.

One cool fact about the system is that it uses the Linux Kernel that there may be some chances for hacks or whatnot. While it allows for the addition of other NES/Famicom games, the downside is that the hacks have been done for illegal purposes like allowing the games for other systems to be run on NES Classic Edition. How about using any Linux distribution on that system? It’s not easy as the console doesn’t have the NON-READ-ONLY storage for that. If only the console has micro-SD card slot or perhaps the USB port for storages, there should be a technical chance.

Lastly, to discontinue the console like that has made people think, “What’s the point of releasing this in the first place?” And the worse thing is that Nintendo bounds to repeat this campaign with SNES Classic Edition that will be released this holiday.

Waterway Point Shopping Mall Part 2 – May Edition

Frankly, I’ve been sick and tired of that eating spree BULLSHIT they repeated on me ever since the last month and things had gotten worse with that idiotic trash from my home wanting to land me into whatever troubles she’s caused. Not to mention, one technical trouble after another besides the non-technical ones like the charging cable’s end being pulled out of physical contact and my computer’s power adapter is going whiny and loose like it won’t make any electrical contact from the inside. Do I have future plans to get those things replaced?

One contrary was that I’ve been a customer of the shops I buy things from like I shouldn’t worry about anything bad stated above in the first place but things took for a worse on the second trip. Not only was the home renovation still on-going but also I feared that that troublemaker had the guts to manipulate my uncles and aunts to disrespect me again like the last time. Perhaps, my anxiety order over troubles still continues to this day. It’s like her presence has been making me feel uncomfortable ever since the Lunar New Year of this year and such ignorance about what I do and what I suffer from is not allowed.

Refusing to listen or do something, or perhaps not listening? BULLSHIT, THAT IS AN ON-GOING IGNORANCE ABOUT THE FACT THAT I’VE BEEN IGNORING THE OFFENDERS! And manipulating anyone to disrespect us is WRONG! It’s like you are not solving the attitude problem correctly! Can’t you even tell the difference between a slacker and a hater? You can identify the attitude weaknesses of a slacker but not a hater because you must know the offending problems that haunt them.

You know the worse part before the day of the trip, was the question issued to me by my uncle about if I had applied for jobs through CDAC? No, because that same idiotic troublemaker had started the launching chamber of the insult there somewhere at Tampines last year where I would be embarrassed at the workshop day elsewhere. That indicated when I felt insulted in my personality because of those embarrassing activities there. They never apply to me and that is that and that insult was launched at me from the place I was forced to register for a workshop at. But after advises from the WSG career coaches at Our Tampines Hub, it seemed that I could spare CDAC in one go so the troublemaker from my home whom I ranted about was to blame for such troublesome embarrassment in the first place.

Sure, that troublemaking garbage could deny all the offenses committed to me and take it that I was whining or some kind but ever since the renovation days, I already keep fearing of what is she up to. I also feared that complaining to the town council over this sort of bad behavior would worsen things for me as that would be considered a rash act.

Verizon AppFlash

Well, the internet privacy is gone in the US as people around the globe know about the news like this and especially that the US ISPs are planning on making their services pre-available with the cyber surveillance stuffs. Like, what kind of political selfishness is that anyway?

If you really care for freedom and know the situations that have been going around, there must be careful plannings and you must make sure that you plan things right but for US ISPs, it will be a challenge for the US citizens heavily concerned about them. Various tech companies have been concerned about the privacy, net neutrality and other stuffs outside of the tech field that try to affect their businesses negatively but if you’re going to talk shit about this sort of concern, perhaps, you’re borrowing that sort of political selfishness like you think that the tech companies are helping baddies and stuffs like that.

It seems that Verizon had started delivering their phones pre-loaded with the worthless search engine app, AppFlash, which is based on some existing search engine app. Currently, the phone to delivered with the app is LG K20 V and as of now, we don’t know if the other Android and IOS devices will be the next victims.

The reputation is bad enough for the US ISPs and even Google does the same sort of security compromise through its services like the Play Store that you’re better off with the third-party alternatives to it.

Speaking of alternatives, you can get the Cyanogenmod OSes on your Android devices when possible but they’re not the only workarounds for privacy protections. VPNs are useful for bypassing the data collection and censorship but the downside is that they can be used for viewing and obtaining foreign contents as if the regional information is made false on purpose. I don’t like falsifying personal information on many of the websites but if the websites don’t have international support, chances are that your phone numbers will be mistaken like it already happened to me during the Relay texting assignment I had last year and there won’t be a Country option in the form that supports full country list. Last suggestions for privacy protection are to make use of the secure web browsers like Tor and Tails OS but I don’t recommend them to you as they are too over-protective and going through various websites you visit everyday can be a problem that way.

So, privacy protection is an important thing but don’t use the purpose of this barrier for doing bad things as it will be penetrated through once you are found out.

Dance Music Formula Training Parts 2 & 3

So we’re back to where we left off and this free training lasts for a week on the day it began with Part 1. In part 2, I was taught the music structure like the Intro, Breakdown and the Verse and I was taught even more in part 3 where there are intros, breakdowns, verses, drops and even outros. The Breakdown portion has lesser instruments being played while the Drop portion has most of the instruments being played. The Verse portion is like having the standard amount of instruments.

Outside of the training, I had already heard tons of songs where there are parts of the music structure where there are less instruments being played with no drums at all. There are also Pad-type instruments in those portions of the structure as well but it depends on the song. Also, for the intro, the song starts off with the drums only, followed by the addition of the bass and other stuffs containing some repeated melody being moving on to the Verse section or something.

Bonuses so far from Parts 2 & 3:

  • Part 2: You get the pack from Digital DJ Tips although the Crash and Reverse Crash are missing in the pack. Also, you get to register at Loopmasters website and get a bonus pack for free. I guess that you can use it in any Digital Audio Workstation of your choice but you may want to read the Legal Terms and FAQ before you realize things quite late on what you do.
  • Part 3: A beginner assignment on arranging a song from Joey Santos, seriously? Why is it looking like you start the music production lesson with arranging/remixing a song first? What is so difficult about composing one?

Lastly, there will be a full priced version of the course which will arrive in your inbox if you had registered for free courses like this at Digital DJ Tips. Also, the song used from the training doesn’t seem to interest me enough to arrange it at this moment but I had arranged tons of songs prior to registering for this free training. It’s just that I’ve been doing music production in an unusual way probably due to using the demo version of FL Studio. Will I have plans to buy the Cubase product so that I can do music production in an usual way? I don’t know. There are already changes done to the shopping malls so I don’t know if the retail copy of a Cubase product is still sitting there or not?

The potential of music production from this training was quite low but at least, it taught me what music production was like for real. If I had joined Electronic Music Production Interest Group in my first year like 5 years ago instead of being in my second year, I wouldn’t have missed the music production lesson at all. I was able to learn DJing stuff during my first year of the Interest Group but that was quite all I learnt so far. What was I missing until last year was the theory information about how to get DJ gigs and it’s not as easy as I realized. Well, I guess that this free training wasn’t in vain this time, not like the DJ lesson I had during my interest groups days then. I guess that it was in vain either last this or this year but what was more in vain was the Diploma in other technical field I took.

Unexpected dinner at Our Tampines Hub (19 March)

The original plans were to proceed to the arcades at Century Square and then going to Tampines Mall to buy the USB HDD and USB Flash Drive but I unexpectedly was called for a dinner upon being spotted. The dinner took like estimated 2 hours or more and I eventually went to Tampines Mall to buy those things before going back.

Blog articles about the USB HDD and USB Flash Drive I bought can be seen on my main blog and needless to say after the day of the dinner, I already applied for more technical jobs at the time at Jobs Bank portal. Before the dinner stuff, I already realized on how bad the reputation is for CareerBuilder that I eventually thought of applying directly from the company website but needless to say, it was a harder method that way. Some of the sites don’t have the Career/Jobs/Join Team pages where you can directly apply there, some require the CV letter which I have never done before, some require the photograph along with other things as well as to send the email as the digital modern alternative to CV letter and some bring you to the external job portals. Why will they bring you to some external job portals you don’t know of when trying to apply directly like it’s beyond me? Also, job portals related to CareerBuilder carry over the reputations and technical errors from it as if I got bombarded with a bunch of unknown phone calls offering me the sales part ever since two years ago. You know, I should have known the goddamn solutions way earlier than last year like planning to apply directly from company’s websites as well as to apply from better job portals that have decent reputations. Securing a job thanks to CareerBuilder or any other related job portal is guarantee-less as I had recently seen the negative opinions about it like you don’t know if the one you’re offered turns out to be on a dark side or maybe a scam job.

So, DO NOT APPLY OR SECURE ANYTHING from CareerBuilder or any other job portal acquired by it! I don’t know if your future is going to be ruined or not because of that but I really hope that legal employment is the careful key this time.

Then, there’s the restaurant card called, Kopitiam Card, which you can use it to buy foods, deserts, snacks and even drinks from that any Kopitiam outlet. I have no idea how and where you can top it up though but I guess the concept is more or less the same as EZ-Link Card or perhaps the card you use at the arcades to insert coins. Do I have the intention to buy that in the future? I don’t know but it’s essential for the future.

One more reason for going out at that time was that there was a event booth area taking place at Our Tampines Hub and one of the booths caught me the attention in which there is a music production course in the previous day. Unfortunately, because of that dinner that took me 2 estimated hours or more, the event was already over by the time I finished it. Where else can I find music production courses locally?

And for the DJ/Producer stuff, that should be known by my DJ friends along with other DJ people I networked with offline and online so it could be an inconvenience telling my elder aunts and uncles about that. It’s not because the ambition of becoming a DJ is being frowned upon or something. It’s that not all parents and elders know stuffs like DJ, musician, rock bands and stuff. There are already cases where some DJs deny their parents’ rejection of them becoming DJs but what’s next after finding out that career, who knows?

Lastly, I already demanded the deactivation of my Jobscentral account recently as the damage done to the companies was already dark enough thanks to CareerBuilder being the source culprit of my complete delays. It was an epic confusion like you can’t tell if the phone call comes from the company you’ve applied from or something else but criticizing CareerBuilder and Jobscentral over CareerBuilder’s bad reputation during the interview is a risky idea in the first place.

Wikileaks – Vault7 leak

Again, the reports of the agency-related cybersecurity actions would take you back to the year 2013 when all the cyber-spying stuffs had been exposed by Edward Snowden. They were said to be illegal that it kept people and tech companies concerned that all those actions had been done ever since the past. We know the reason on why they did all this cyber surveillance on people in various countries through the victims’ devices but then, we had also seen actions taken by the tech companies in which many of the vulnerabilities had been patched as stated by Apple and Google.

Unfortunately, even with the encryption intact for Telegram, Signal and Whatsapp, there’s a chance that CIA can bypass it for data collection purposes. The Year Zero issue is not at the application level and it takes place in many devices and operating systems like routers, computers running Windows, Macintosh and Linux and even if the computers are offline, the data collection can still occur.

More and deep information can be found from the links below:

Unfortunately, for those using the outdated Android and IOS like me using Android 4.x series of OSes, chances are that not all vulnerabilities are patched and that the patches support the later OSes. Microsoft investigated this situation but may need more time and strategy to come up with more solutions.