Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Privacy and Copyright on ICQ/AIM

I’m sure it’s an old hat for the most of you, but I read about this for the first time and found it unacceptable (and I can’t believe I really overlooked this when I agreed to the terms of service).

From the ICQ Terms Of Service:
You agree that by posting any material or information anywhere on the ICQ Services and Information you surrender your copyright and any other proprietary right in the posted material or information. You further agree that ICQ Inc. is entitled to use at its own discretion any of the posted material or information in any manner it deems fit, including, but not limited to, publishing the material or distributing it.

From the AIM Terms Of Service:
You or the owner of the Content retain ownership of all right, title and interest in Content that you post to public areas of any AIM Product. However, by submitting or posting Content to public areas of AIM Products (for example, posting a message on a message board or submitting your picture for the “Rate-A-Buddy” feature), you grant AOL, its parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, agents and licensees the irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt and promote this Content in any medium. Once you submit or post Content to any public area on an AIM Product, AOL does not need to give you any further right to inspect or approve uses of such Content or to compensate you for any such uses. AOL owns all right, title and interest in any compilation, collective work or other derivative work created by AOL using or incorporating Content posted to public areas of AIM Products.

I heard that Jabber is an interesting alternative, and it also supports PGP. You don’t need to search for their terms of service; it’s completely free, open, public.

Bureaucracy rocks

I am currently working on a review of Diomidis Spinellis’ book “Code Reading – The Open Source Perspective”. I found a nice quote at the beginning of chapter five, “Advanced Control Flow”:

“It is necessary for technical reasons that these warheads be stored upside down, that is, with the top at the bottom and the bottom at the top. In order that there may be no doubt as to which is the bottom and which is the top, it will be seen to it that the bottom of each warhead immediately be labeled with the word TOP.”
(British Admiralty Regulation)

Had a good laugh when I read that 😉

C64 MTBF 20 years

MTBF is “Mean Time Between Failures”, and a recent article will lead to a slight increase of the C64’s MTBF. It states that on old C64 was responsible for the electronic displays on the main station of Dortmund, and it lately quit its service after 20 years. The funny thing is that they need to repair it, as a new system would cost three million Euros. An expert from Munich was commissioned to repair the computer, but he did not arrive yet. Rumour has it noone in Dortmund knows on which rail he’ll arrive.

Download of the day

Microsoft is always good for a laugh. If you ever wondered why your Snow White & the Seven Dwarves DVD won’t work when watching it under Windows XP, it might be because you missed to install this patch. A friend of mine recently pointed me to this one and I had a good laugh. Don’t bother about IE security issues, download a Snow White & the Seven Dwarves DVD patch instead!