Archive for the Privacy Category

EULAs – Text vs Reality – Battlefield Punk Buster use case scenario

Posted in Knowledge, Privacy with tags , on September 17, 2014 by Sirusdark

End User License Agreements (EULA) are those pesky long legal text documents that most people usually answer “YES”, “Next, next, next…”, “Finish” during software installs.

Let me tell you something: it’s NOT gibberish. I myself never bothered to read much of it, until I actually did start reading them. Since then, I’ve become an EULA addict avid reader: I now read every EULA out there for all the software, websites and services I use. Doing this has allowed me to understand many things like what companies can or cannot do when we agree/accept those EULAs.

Here’s a real true use case scenario of what the EULA’s text SAY vs the REALITY of what is means:

EA’s Battlefield

PunkBuster, a very invasive anti-cheat system is required to play most of EA’s multiplayer games, more specifically, the Battlefield franchise. Here are some examples of difference between EULA and reality:

1. Battelfield Free (web browser game)

EULA says: Punkbuster is not required to play the game.

Reality:  The installer doesn’t even proceed to install the game if you cancel Punk Buster’s installation.

 

2. Battlefield 3

EULA says : Punkbuster is not required to play the game. During the game install, you can choose to skip installing PunkBuster component. The game will run fine and play without a hitch.

Reality: 99.99% of all the game servers require PunkBuster to play online with other players. PunkBuster-less servers available: zero.

See? Although they abide by the EULA, the only available services require the anti-cheat component. If you ever take the time to read PunkBuster’s own EULA (I dare you), you’ll most likely never wanna  have such a program running on your computer, especially if you have any kind of sensitive information, important data, etc.

Conclusion

DO take the time to read legal documents. You WILL learn things and be more informed on what you’re getting into. Here’s one last example: the game Defiance’s EULA say that every chat sessions, text, voice, pictures or data will belong to the company and can be used as they see fit. It means they could take a voice recording of you and a friend within the game, make an ad out of it and you wouldn’t even have a say about it.

Enjoy EULAs!

Sirus
sirusdark.ca

References
-http://www.evenbalance.com/
-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EULA
-http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1903684

Need help uninstalling PunkBuster? Lemme know! I just might just write an article about that…

Truecrypt – Still safe and NOT DEAD

Posted in Computer, Free, Privacy, Security, Software Tools, Windows with tags on June 3, 2014 by Sirusdark

Truecrypt LogoSome of you may have read some alarming news that Truecrypt, a free encryption software, was now “unsafe”.

NO

No, Truecrypt is not completely dead, though the initial authors apparently cancelled further development.

No, Truecrypt is still safe to use. How safe depends on how you use it and in which context.

No, Truecrypt is still a valid encryption solution.

 

According to Gibson Research Corporation (GRC), Truecrypt is still safe to use. GRC’s website also offers many useful tools, check it it out!

YES

Yes, Truecrypt won’t be supported anymore.

Yes, Truecrypt is still not 100% open source (for now).

Yes, the security audit is still ongoing and soon will be completed. This will allow the community to focus on solving the issues that will be uncovered.

The new project

For the very first time in its history, the source code will most likely be maintained by the community and contributors won’t be anonymous anymore. This means Truecrypt will continue to evolve, improve and become a better encryption solution.

For legal purposes, yes, Truecrypt’s name may change in the near future, but the features shouldn’t.

So keep using Truecrypt for now, and stay tuned for upcoming news! Also, check out the references for more good reads.

Enjoy!

Sirus
sirusdark.ca

References
-http://www.truecrypt.ch/
-http://opencryptoaudit.org/
-https://www.grc.com/misc/truecrypt/truecrypt.htm
-http://truecrypt.org // -http://truecrypt.sourceforge.net
-http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2347200/truecrypt-encryption-is-no-longer-secure-due-to-windows-xp-end-of-life
-http://istruecryptauditedyet.com/

How to – Bypass YouTube restriction without logging in Google

Posted in How to, Internet, Privacy, Tweaking with tags , , , , , , , on May 20, 2014 by Sirusdark

I noticed websites had embedded YouTube videos and not a single age restriction/login prompt. After making such an observation, I tried embedding videos in a simple custom HTML page and it worked!

Why

Ever wanted to watch a movie trailer on YouTube only to be asked to login to view it? Then you decide the movie isn’t to your liking, but Google thinks you like this type of movie and start showing weird videos/ads suggestions? I got fed-up with that.

Simpler, faster

Guess what? There’s an easier and simpler way to do it than manually coding an HTML page every time: JSFiddle!

1. Copy the YouTube embeded code from the video’s sharing option

2. Go on JSFiddle and paste-it in the HTML section

3. Run the code.

Voilà! Problem solved. Google won’t ask you to login and won’t associate the viewed video to your account, since you’re not logged in. Right?

Enjoy!

Sirus
sirusdark.ca

ASK – The only thing to do to protect yourself online

Posted in Free Stuff, Internet, Privacy, Security with tags , , , , on May 12, 2014 by Sirusdark

Most people just fill out any form they see online. They install software, download stuff without even knowing what they’re doing. They then wonder why they have viruses, receive spam, get their identity stolen or why their computer isn’t running as fast as before…

Playground

The Internet is NOT a safe playground. Even legitimate website can be compromised. Recently, a small error in a security protocol (known as Heart Bleed) was enough to allow unscrupulous individuals to steal private information. People should always be weary of what they do and what information they provide while connected to the Internet. Also, once something is made PUBLIC, it’s to late to “remove” it.

Cracks

Just realize: a single code breach (which you have no control over) is enough to compromise your privacy and security… Now imagine all your home’s doors and windows opened instead of a crack… that’s what using the Internet is when you don’t know what you’re doing.

Don’t feel stupid ASKING others when you’re not sure about something. Whenever doubting, ASK.

Knowledge is everything.

Enjoy!

FREE BONUS

Blizzard - The Lost Vikings

Click to enlarge – Note that StarCraft Anthology is not free.

Blizzard, world renown game creators of Diablo, Star Craft, Warcraft and World of Warcraft, FINALLY made available their old game Three Lost Vikings for FREE! Simply log into your battle.net account and grab it in the Classic Games section of your account!

Sirus
sirusdark.ca

Reference
-http://gamasutra.com/view/news/216877/Rock_n_Roll_Racing_The_Lost_Vikings_now_free_on_Battlenet.php
-http://heartbleed.com/

How to clear Windows 8’s Jump Lists (aka Folder History)

Posted in Privacy, Tweaking, Windows with tags , , , on March 11, 2014 by Sirusdark

Here’s how to clear Windows 8‘s recent Jump Lists (aka Frequent File, Recent or Folder History) from your Taskbar shortcuts/icons. Note that you can also clear your recently opened programs, but that’s not desirable, as you’d also lose your Run history… Something very useful to keep if you work efficiently.

Jump the Jump Lists

First, right-click anywhere on an empty space of your Taskbar >go in Properties > then click the Jump Lists tab and ONLY uncheck:

[ ] Store and display recently opened items in Jump Lists

Click Apply, then re-check the box and click Apply. That’s it! Your Jump Lists history should now be empty.

Enjoy!

Sirus
sirusdark.ca

How to clear Windows clipboard

Posted in How to, Privacy, Windows 8, Windows XP on January 25, 2014 by Sirusdark

Ever wanted to clear you last copy-paste query? Tired of pasting the wrong stuff? Well here’s how to clear Windows clipboard, aka COPY (Ctrl+C)! It applies to pretty much all Windows versions:

Windows XP

Win+R, then type:

clipbrd.exe

And press the “X” icon to clear the clipboard.

Windows Vista/7/8

Win+R, then type:

cmd /c echo off | clip

I recommend you keep your “run” history: it’s then easier and faster to run past commands again. (see my “Launch any program from the “Run…” prompt” article)

Enjoy!

EDIT (24-04-2014)

I noticed using quotes rendered the command useless. I updated the command. Sorry for the inconvenience. It’s strange because it used to work before using quotes… (cmd /c “echo off | clip”)

Sirus
sirusdark.ca

Reference
-http://mywindows8.org/clear-clipboard-in-windows-8/