Monthly Archives: December 2006

Sony BMG rootkit debacle settlement

Sony has been fined $1.5 million in penalties and costs to reimburse Californians and Texans whose computers were affected by the illegally installed digital rights management software (antipiracy software) on some of their music CDs. Consumers will be reimbursed up to $175.00 to offset the cost of repairs incurred when removing the software. Consumers without proof of the cost of repairs are still eligible for $25.00.

To date there are 40 states that have settled the law suit with Sony. The total settlement amount is up to $5.75 million. For a list of the 40 states affected by the settlement see the Massachusetts Attorney Generals Office.

The CDs might contain XCP or MediaMax 5.0 designation on the CD label and some are labeled as “Content Protected” on the front upper-left corner. 52 CD titles were manufactured with the antipiracy software. A full list of the titles affected can be found here.

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer estimates that 450,000 Californians purchased Sony BMG CDs that used rootkit technologies. Texas estimates 130,000 people purchased the CDs. An estimated 12.6 million cds were sold between January 2005 and November 2005.

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The special gift

Author Unknown

The following is an excerpt from a newsletter I subscribe to from The International Council of Online Professionals. The story has been around for quite awhile, but it still holds true. This link will take you to a webpage where you can sign up for the newsletter. It’s free.

Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his backyard in the snow. Bobby didn’t wear boots; he didn’t like them and anyhow he didn’t own any. The thin sneakers he wore had a few holes in them and they did a poor job of keeping out the cold.

Bobby had been in his backyard for about an hour already. And, try as he might, he could not come up with an idea for his mother’s Christmas gift. He shook his head as he thought, “This is useless, even if I do come up with an idea, I don’t have any money to spend.”

Ever since his father had passed away three years ago, the family of five had struggled. It wasn’t because his mother didn’t care, or try, there just never seemed to be enough. She worked nights at the hospital, but the small wage that she was earning could only be stretched so far. What the family lacked in money and materials things, they made up for in love and family unity.

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Becoming aware of elder abuse

Elder abuse is a national growing epidemic that affects several hundred thousand Senior citizens every year. A recent Readers Digest article using data from a 2002 study performed by the National Research Council states that one to two million Americans 65 and older have been injured, exploited or otherwise mistreatd by someone on whom they depended for care or protection.

The purpose of this post is to help people understand the problem and how to fix it. If you suspect elder abuse is happening to a relative or friend, or if you are a victim of abuse, there are several resources listed at the end of this post with a lot more information. Make sure it gets reported to the proper authorities.

The information provided below is for informational pusposes only to help make others aware of elder abuse. More detailed information about elder abuse can be found from The National Center for Elder Abuse (NCEA), Medline Plus and There are also more resources listed below to help report it and how to avoid it.

Some of the conditions of elder abuse include:

  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Emotional or Psychological Abuse
  • Neglect or Self-Neglect
  • Abandonment
  • Financial or Material Exploitation

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Coping with Feline Diabetes

On December 1, 2006 after a 5 year, 4 month battle with diabetes, we lost our beloved pet Doodles. He was over 14 and 1/2 years old, and was an indoor only cat. I had started this story a month ago with the intention of putting it online to help other cat owners. After he passed away, I almost decided not to post it, but thought that I should so others could learn from him. There is a picture of him below.

He was diagnosed with diabetes in August of 2001 when he was 9. At the time he was diagnosed, he weighed a little over 18 pounds, and the average life expectancy for diabetic felines was 2 years after they were diagnosed. I’m not sure what that number is now. Until that time I never knew cats could get diabetes.

Diabetes Mellitus (sometimes called sugar diabetes) is actually pretty common in cats and dogs. Diabetes is not caused by eating too much sugar. One common cause is being over weight. When Doodles developed his diabetes, he weighed almost 18 and a half pounds.

Diabetes occurs when the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin (a hormone), which is needed to absorb basic food substances (such as glucose or sugar) into body cells or when the cells can’t properly use the insulin. Insulin is used by the body to convert glucose into energy. When insulin is not being produced or is ineffective, the body will start to break down fat and protein to use as alternative energy. This will cause the animal to eat more but still lose weight.

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