Monday, January 28, 2013

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Piracy Free!

MEGA beta has just been launched. The home page reads:

For a split second, I read it as "THE PIRACY COMPANY". Well, that must have to do with my impression with Mr. Kim's other service, MegaUpload... I remember the old days (not too old though) when I would download some package from MegaUpload or RapidShare and install software for free... Being able to do that and joining sites like UpdateSofts (mentioned here) or SoftVnn are huge... No matter how expensive a program is, we will just spend a few minutes (or hours, more likely) to download it, extract, install and apply "magic" to make it work!

Growing up, studying to be a software developer, I learn more about piracy and at some point a few years ago I have decided to avoid piracy as much as possible. The process probably started with me buying my first laptop (DELL 1510) by myself: it cost about 15m and came with Windows XP OEM preinstalled. For the first time, I was being able to upgrade Windows without worrying about Windows Genuine check. Good time!

And today, in the light of MEGA's launch, I checked all the app installed and happy to announce that my computer is Piracy Free! That includes virtual machines running in perfectly legal Parallels 7. I have a licensed Windows 8 Pro VM running with Microsoft Office 2010 (licensed, of course). On mobile devices, I have both Google Play Store account and Apple iTunes account to purchase contents and apps. I bought so many games for iPad and Galaxy Nexus that sometimes I regretted. Talking about games, I also have a Steam account full of games after all those irresistible sales and Humble Bundles. Oh dear, those bundles...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Auto invite friends to Facebook group

Quite a few Facebook friends of mine sent me some Facebook group invite these days. The target group is always bullsh!t in some way or another (e.g.: making friend, life story, love group). I didn't pay much attention until today... Too lazy to work so I spent a while to investigate the case.

Most of the groups tell you to copy and paste some script to Google Chrome's console to get list of people who visit your profile. I have made a copy of the script here.

A typical cover image of the fishy groups

Turned out they use the first degree link to get your friends list then fetch the invite dialog with each friend and finally trigger a mouse event programmatically to send our the invite. Pretty clever! However, the script kiddie is unethical in two ways: After finishing the job (inviting your whole gigantic friends list) which may take a while, they don't show the list of friends in first degree as advertised -- false advertising! And secondly, the first degree is not about people who stalk you, it orders people by how much you stalk your friends -- completely liar! So, if you happen to be invited (like me), you should at least report the group before leaving it. For good measure, please spend an additional minute to report the group admin too. Those bastards!

If you are curious to see the list of people that you stalk, you can use a cleaned version of mine available here. A minified version is also available below:

jx={getHTTPObject:function(){var e=!1;if("undefined"!=typeof ActiveXObject)try{e=new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.XMLHTTP")}catch(t){try{e=new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP")}catch(n){e=!1}}else if(window.XMLHttpRequest)try{e=new XMLHttpRequest}catch(r){e=!1}return e},load:function(e,t){var n=this.getHTTPObject();if(n&&e){"get",e,!0),n.onreadystatechange=function(){n.readyState==4&&n.status==200&&n.responseText&&t&&t(n.responseText)},n.send()}}};var m="please wait...";
jx.load(window.location.protocol+"//"+Env.user+"&filter[0]=user&__user="+Env.user,function(e){for(var e=e.substring(e.indexOf("{")),e=JSON.parse(e),e=e.payload.entries,t=0;t<e.length;t++)if(t<10)console.log(t==0?"Most Favourite:":t==1?"Second place:":t==2?"And the third:":"#"+t+":",e[t].text);else break}),m

Just go to Facebook, open the browser console, paste the code and press enter. You will get something like this:

The list looks about right to me
Interesting notes:

  • Google Chrome usage in Vietnamese Facebook users must be quite high
  • Facebook has patched their site from the original first degree script by blocking all cross domain script loading. Very good practice!

But seriously, do not ever listen to ANYONE who tells you to run some arbitrary code on your browser/computer/whatever machinery.