Saturday, May 23, 2009

A culture of perversion exposed

The night before last, I came into work and was appalled by what I saw on television in a cubicle. A 51-year-old North Carolina man from Morehead City was on "paid suspension" by the Carteret County school system, most recently as a school counselor at an unspecified school, and also in some capacity at Morehead City Primary School and Newport Middle School before that, for taking nude photos of young boys. Unmarried, this man has five adopted "sons", who are likely the subject of the photos, though that was never specified. The oldest boy, 18, has moved out quickly enough, but defends his adopted dad's activities, saying that he believes strongly in nudism, and that nakedness is not bad. Further investigation reveals that he was planning on taking two of his "sons" to a pedophile resort in the area, which has photos of nude children with nude adults on its website, but hasn't been shut down due to vague laws over what is artistic and what is pornographic.

I understand nudist colonies are fairly popular, particularly with the college-age crowd. Now, I have nothing against nudist colonies in general. I think it's a novel idea, but they become labeled "pedophile resorts" by me when they force children to participate as well. I have no problem with consenting adults in a closed colony practicing nudity. I don't care if they have mass orgies, either. It is not something I would choose to do, but hey, life's short and all that. If that's how they want to spend their life, that's all good. It's when they want to bring children into it that I have a problem.

I remember a few years ago I read an article in TIME about a pedophile resort, highlighting a young girl whose parents had been taking her there for years, every summer they'd rent a cabin or apartment or something, and I guess it was only during the summer, because clothes were forbidden. She said that as a kid she didn't mind, it was fun, and she says she was never touched by anybody or forced to perform any sexual acts, but she says as she reached puberty, she wanted to cover up, and not only was it not allowed, it was not tolerated. The resort made a huge deal about it, threatened sanctions against her parents. Being a clever girl, she got ahold of the rules, and found a loophole that said towels could be worn, for example to dry off after coming out of the pool. So she began wearing a towel. And that was all she was allowed to wear. Now what kind of adults would tell a child she can't wear clothes? That pretty much sums up a pedophile to me.

Nude photos - Art, Nature, or Pornography?
A WITN poll, from the same site, asks readers the following question: "A local nudist resort has pictures on its websites of naked adults with naked children. Do you think this practice is appropriate?" Of the 428 who answered yes or no, 77 said yes, this is OK, or appropriate. While I don't doubt some of them were pedophiles, as this story would certainly attract their lot, especially an anonymous poll, I'm sure a good portion would have no sexual attraction to children, yet would answer yes for other reasons. When I was a child, back in the early 1980s, there was no grey area. Parents took nude photos of their children, but it wasn't explicit, and it wasn't in excess at all. It was common practice to have one or two pictures of baby's first bath, in those blue baby tubs they had. My mom sent my wife a picture of me, just having gotten out of the tub, at perhaps age 5 or 6, fully nude from the front. Or was it the one sliding into the kiddie pool? But back then it was considered cute, and innocent, and when I reached school age, the practice stopped immediately, but practice is too strong a word. It wasn't like my parents practiced taking them. But back then, you had to pay for film, and then you had to pay to have the pictures developed and printed. And in being printed, somebody got to look at each one as it came out of the machine. So you couldn't take explicit pictures. Well, you could if you had a Polaroid, but those were specifically low resolution images that did not last long.

Now, it's so much different. Just a couple years ago I remember hearing about a woman who tried to shoot a home video of her 11-year-old daughter in the shower. Took her by surprise and was trying to take closeup shots of her chest, backside, and private areas. The girl was so disgusted, she told her teacher, who called the law. When confronted, the mother said the video was just for family. Family, right. I'm thinking Uncle Craig. As in Craigslist. Yeah, she needed money and was trying to hawk the video online. Family wouldn't want closeups of her chest and private areas. That's not nature, that's not cute or innocent, that is patently pornographic, and it's porn because it focuses on sex. Now, you take - imagine, in your head, a naked girl of about that age, just standing there. Being a decent human being, you don't look her up and down, you look her in the eye - it's not a pornographic scene, it's natural. We're born without clothes, so there's nothing wrong with it. However, same girl, but now she's on her back with her knees up and her legs spread wide open. That isn't natural at all, that is patently pornographic. And there's the difference.

Having not seen the photos this school counselor was busted for having, I can't judge just the photos, but I can say they were sexual in nature. First of all, he's a single guy - no girlfriend or wife to speak of. He lives with five young boys, and forces them to practice nudity in the home. He hasn't adopted any girls, just boys, which shows a preference. Now, nudity in and of itself does not perversion make, and child gender preference does not sexual orientation determine. But when you add them together, what it adds up to is that this guy is a homosexual pedophile. He prefers children, and he prefers them to be the same gender. Homosexuality is a hot issue these days, and I have nothing against homosexuals who prefer adults. That's all good with me. But homosexual pedophiles, I hate just as much as heterosexual pedophiles. Because it doesn't matter if they abuse boys or girls, or both, I hate 'em just the same. But because he prefers, possibly requires that they be male - he hasn't adopted any girls - that makes it sexual. Now that doesn't mean that if he had adopted kids of both genders and forced them all to strip for him that it wouldn't be sexual, but the addition of a gender preference does help to quantify things. There are undoubtedly bisexual/omnisexual pedophiles out there.

Art as Safe Haven for Pedophiles?
When I got home the next morning, I fired up my Firefox browser, and saw Google's response to the controversy. They say a picture speaks a thousand words; worked into the Google logo was a painting of a woman holding a nude girl of about 8 or 9 years old, with just a cloth covering her lap. I'm sure it's a coincidence, Google being a Mountain View, CA company, some 3,500 miles from Morehead City, NC, but their point is made just the same. Porn isn't pornographic sometimes, if it's art.

When I was a young teenager, I had a few Penthouse magazines hidden away in my closet. I got them from my best friend, who stole them from his dad. His dad kept them in the bathroom in a cupboard without a lock. We were 13, he'd sneak them over to my place in his backpack, and he and my brother and I would gather in my walk-in closet, which was like a fort back then, and we'd all giggle over the bare breasts and genitals. It was great. And he'd let me keep some, too. One, I remember, weirded me out because it had a little history article where it was talking about how in the 1800s, it was common practice for the wealthy to have nude portraits done of their children. Nothing explicit at all, and the one they had featured a girl of about 10 or 11, sitting on a rock, like at the beach, with her knees pulled up to her chest, her arms around her knees. Her arms covered her chest, and she was sitting at an angle, so you couldn't see between her legs. I was glad the picture was small, maybe a square inch at the most.

A few years later, one of my cousins became obsessed with anime, and to this day he, his brothers, and my aunt still are. Very strange lot. Anyway, one of my cousins puts in this videotape, it's an anime about three crime-fighting sisters, and all I can remember is their names started with A, B, and C, and they rhymed. Anyway, this scene he thought was so cool, had this girl of about six get out of a swimming pool, go into the changing room, strip out of her bathing suit, and get dressed. Of all the ways I could think of to do it tastefully (aside from not doing it at all), they avoided, and I was pretty disgusted. I thought he had something illegal on his hands, but it turns out that because it was animated, and not involving real kids, while distasteful, it was legal. And that makes sense. Nobody's really being hurt, freedom of speech and all that. "If you don't like it, don't look at it" and all that. Fine. I don't like it, so I don't look at it. As a more popular example, I hear the original Japanese Sailor Moon got away with the same stuff. (Well, OK, I've seen it, an anime music video I've seen shows a clip. It's bad. Worse, I bet I could find it on YouTube. Yep, I think I see it. Search YouTube for "Jerry Springer Weird Al" and look for the boy with the dazed-out eyes. I didn't want a clever IT nerd at the servers seeing a search for Sailor Moon in my net history, otherwise my search would have been more specific.)

Lastly, I saw a program on Showtime named "Sex and the Silver Screen" in which they covered the crackdown on underage sex and nudity in the late 1970s. Reportedly, movies made before this time featured children in nude scenes to softcore sexual situations, and this was stopped by the 1980s. However, because the films in question were made before the law was passed, the movies are legal, and are still available to this day, even remastered on DVD. And every now and then, those movies and movies with similar content produced in other countries (including a popular one from Italy) are discussed on movie forums, and one has to wonder about the fans of these movies. I called some out rather recently, actually, and these guys got pretty defensive, their arguments basically boiling down to "you normals wouldn't understand". I've come to believe that topics like, "Hey, anybody like (such and such movie)?" are generally a sort of gathering call, I don't know if they're swapping email addresses to trade the "real stuff" (meaning the hardcore porn), or what, I don't know, but it's a good bet it's a gathering of perverts.

I've always thought of myself as an advocate or ambassador to kids, and I certainly like spending time with them, and listening to what they have to say about various topics, and I love helping them learn, but no, I don't understand the attraction. Even if you can justify the attraction, it has to go both ways, and then you have to have consent. The consent must also be informed, and a preteen is incapable of making the level of informed consent to engage in sex. Furthermore, there are physical dangers, not just risks, certain internal parts which are not developed enough, not large enough, to handle sex. So there is no way, shape, or form that it can ever not be abuse, and abuse of the worst kind, and while these perverts may try to tell themselves (or others, e.g. on forums) that they love the kids, they're not fooling anybody, probably not even themselves. And I've always thought of it as natural, as human nature, to be somewhat defensive of kids. So when I hear of people advocating abuse in any form, or saying it doesn't matter, I wonder if they're somehow less than human.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

324 songs and counting! Alice Cooper and Social D added

"Poison" by Alice Cooper and "Story of My Life" by Social Distortion added. I think the Social D song was on Guitar Hero 2 or 3, but it sounds great and I'm glad to have it. Axel, our drummer, ALWAYS picks "I Was Wrong" by Social Distortion, I don't know if he digs the tune or just loves playing it, but it's a real SOB on bass. I can hang with it half the time, but I'd pick something else if it were on me. Good song though.

Gonna do something a little different with this bulletin. I'm now gonna play 'em and post my scores. Not tryin' to brag, unless you're a freakin savant, your first play ain't gonna be all that special, but if you know the kinds of scores someone gets on songs of the same difficulty tier, maybe it'll help you figure out your own chances at it.

Difficulty is out of 7. Zero filled circles on the difficulty chart is first tier. One filled circle is second tier. All five circles filled is tier 6, and 5 devil heads is the hardest tier, Tier 7. These are both pretty easy in comparison to, say, the Yngwie Malmsteen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Dream Theater stuff.

Regarding ratings, you're given a points score, a "star" rating out of six, the percentage of notes that you hit, and then the longest unbroken streak of successful notes. Here's how the new songs stacked up, and here's how I did:

STORY OF MY LIFE by Social Distortion from "Greatest Hits" (2007) (originally 1990)
BAND 2/7 GUITAR 2/7 DRUM 3/7 VOCALS 1/7 BASS 1/7
59,132 3 stars 91% 56 note streak
Notes: "Story of My Life" is long and tedious. It starts with one green note, a long green note, and then 2 together, and then repeats a similar pattern on seemingly random colors, with an occasional burst of, like, 6 notes in a row, real close together. There are maybe four orange notes in the whole song, they're not close to other notes, and you can see 'em coming a mile off. Bassists, keep your fingers green-to-blue and take the orange ones as they come. And don't stay on red-to-orange, just hit the orange note and then come on back. This song felt like it was ten minutes long, but I'm just out of practice. It ain't a short song; I'd guess six minutes; Wikipedia gives it as 5:48. Close.

Oh, and though my guitar reported half battery strength, the batteries died partway in. I just turned the guitar back on and kept rockin. After the THIRD death, I changed batteries - and started over. So it's not a true sightread, per se. Close enough though. And it ain't like I did great. Onto "Poison"...

POISON by Alice Cooper from the album "Trash" (1989)
BAND 3/7 GUITAR 5/7 DRUM 2/7 VOCALS 2/7 BASS 2/7
22,892 3 stars 79% 30 note streak
Notes: "Poison" starts out easy as hell, with two sets of two green notes and then a series of long notes on the red-to-orange track, so switch down as soon as the green goes away. Once the long notes are gone, it gets kinda random, with a lot of jumping around and then a long series of notes, with every seventh or eighth just a little off. I got up to half my overdrive, but was afraid to use it, because all the overdrive notes were on those one-off trick parts I couldn't nail. After getting up to 75% on pure chance, I went ahead and went, and even with overdrive (each note counting double) I dipped into the red, but held on for the whole song, which thankfully wasn't long. I could perhaps do better with practice, but this song's really for the real fast-fingered guitarists who can just fly all over the controller, being where they need to be on a split seconds' notice. There were a couple cruel tricks, but mostly it was just straightforward.

Now it's onto bed... I actually intended to follow up those sorry performances with me owning all over "Say it Ain't So" or "Orange Crush" but my wrist is so damn tired (and you'd think being single for 25 years, that wouldn't be a problem...).

In other news though, got some new equipment. Our Xbox 360 got the dreaded Red Rings of Death, so we took it back to Best Buy. Now, Best Buy is the best place to buy electronics, and they're not paying me to say that or anything (they don't know, and probably don't care). The trick is to always spring for the protection plan. Long story short, my camera goes out, and they give me a newer one, since it was actually the bottom of the line of the same brand, but still much better than the one I had. I did however have to buy a new memory card as it used another format. And a new warranty - that's always the gotcha. More recently, we took in a broken wired guitar, they replaced it with a wireless one. Sweet!

So we bring in the Xbox 360 - and now, we paid $350 for the old 20GB "Pro" model. They have the new 60GB "Pro" for $300. After the exchange, since the Xbox is now $50 less, that $50 actually went to us. It covered the warranty renewal (which gives us another year, since it starts now, or rather last week) and they gave us a gift card with the remaining balance. It's like $12! So we got a brand new Xbox 360, a 2-year warranty, and $12 to spend there (most likely on song credits for Rock Band). If you ask me, the Red Rings of Death aren't so dreaded! I think we came out alright!

A couple weeks before this, Jen and I both upgraded our guitars with authentic albeit entry-level guitar straps from First Act - they make a bunch of entry-level musician equipment, most of which can be used by Rock Band and Guitar Hero players. Guitar straps, drumsticks, a drum stool, guitar stands, a lot of nice stuff. (No, they're not paying me to type either - nobody is.) So we got their straps, and while they are sturdier, they still scrape my neck on long setlists. Here's what I did: We're in Walmart last night, and I got this thing meant for seatbelts. It's like a wooly sock thingy that goes around the strap for comfort. I put it on my guitar strap and it feels great. It does tend to slip as I adjust the guitar, so I'll have to work on something to hold it in place. Axel Steel - again, our drummer - is pretty demanding during practice. I'm talking about playing for 4-5 hours straight (well, with breaks - him and Jimmi Rivers (think Bret Hart), our guitarist, are pretty heavy smokers, they can't go too long without a Newport, which works great for me when I'm out of practice.

Now, I hope you realize these band names are made up. Well, they're the names we use in the game. I'm Ben Sisko, named after the captain on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Kinda look like him, but younger and with Costello glasses. Jen's Aura Jo, and the other guys, well, I haven't asked their permission to name them publicly, so they get called by their stage names up here. And Aura Jo on vocals, Jimmi Rivers on guitar, Axel Steel on drums, and last but not least Ben Sisko on bass, we're DysS\MemB/EreD. Don't laugh, either, dammit, we came in 3rd place at the Carolina Gaming Summit Rock Band 2 tournament in Goldsboro, NC this past February, and the 8 guys who bested us couldn't be nicer guys, even though the ones who came in 1st got their ticket to the finals by beating the event promotor's kids. A little bit of backstage trickery there, but they beat us fair and square, so it's all good.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Disturbed for Rock Band DLC next week

Downloadable content (new songs) just announced for Rock Band; we're getting "Stupify" and "Stricken" by Disturbed.

"Stupify" has got to be one of the best jokes in radio. Most radio stations play the song uncensored, even during the day, even though he's dropping the almighty F-bomb after every other line. I guess because it sounds more like "rock!" or even just a grunt. I wish I saved it (and Jen probably did somewhere), but on the old Disturbed board, in the "Ask the Band" area, someone asked of vocalist David Draiman what he was saying at the end of the lines. His answer was short, sweet, and to the point. He basically said "X fuck, one luck, no rock" where X was the number of F-bombs in the song, and "luck" ends the line "shit outta... luck". It better be uncensored on Rock Band, long after the cat's been let out of the bag. But it probably won't be. If it were just me, I wouldn't get it, but Jen loves 'em, and I gotta admit it would be fun to sing.

"Stricken" on the other hand is an awesome song. Disturbed stuff is hell hard to play in these games. The four we have in Rock Band ("Inside the Fire", "Indestructible", "Perfect Insanity", and "Down With the Sickness") are no pushovers and I've played "Stricken" on Guitar Hero 2 or 3, and it wasn't easy there, either.

Also on deck next Tuesday is "My Old School" and "Black Friday" by Steely Dan. I'd never heard either - where's "Reelin' in the Years"? "My Old School" doesn't sound all that great, but "Black Friday" is a cool song - I might pick it up.

There's also a few songs by Social Distortion. I don't really care for punk, but it's always fun to play in the game, including Social D's other song, "I Was Wrong" included on the Rock Band 2 game disc.

And a song by Elvis Costello, "Radio Radio", but I've never gotten into Costello, and his song on Rock Band 2, the name of which escapes me at the moment, isn't anything special.

...And maybe another obscure song or two, I don't know. Jen left the post up for me and I didn't grab the URL. There's a small army of folks on Twitter who post the updates, you can follow any of them to be kept in the loop, or if you prefer to kick it old-school, you can hit up the announcements page on

Note: Lot of links here. Clicking on song titles will take you to a YouTube video so you can hear it (most always not the official video). Clicking on artist names will take you to their Wikipedia page. The word "Twitter" goes to my boring-ass Twitter page, and the three links immediately surrounding it go to Twitter pages that post Rock Band updates. The last two are kind of self-explanatory.

Digital TV is really cool

For a few months prior to the original analog/antenna TV cutoff date in February, I've posted a few articles praising the move and shaming efforts to delay it, but I've never actually talked about digital TV itself, at least not from experience, as I'd never seen a TV with a digital converter box and antenna. Until last week, anyway.

Here at work, we have about the ugliest and crappiest TV you can imagine. Well, maybe. It's white, it's got a roundish screen, a very odd-shaped back, and I think it's an RCA, but I can't tell, there's a sticker over the logo. I can only see a hair-wide bit of grey on the bottom of it. Prior to the digital converter box, it got 5 channels, if you count getting the same one twice on two different channels, with one almost unwatchable. The picture was grainy, had a lot of static, faded in and out, the volume fluctuated... it was crap.

Digital TV has gone beyond impressing me. One article I wrote criticized someone who said DTV has less channels. That's an outright lie. We have no less than a dozen channels, and I work out in the middle of nowhere. The picture is stunning. Even on the crappiest analog TV, it looks good. It's DVD quality. It's like a DVD player was hooked up to it. (I have hooked a DVD player up to it, before I discovered PortableApps and learned to watch movies/episodes on the computer. So I know what DVDs look like on it.)

The only problem I have is that what it doesn't letterbox (bars on the top and bottom) it zooms out (bars all around). I guess the only way to get a square or rectangular picture on a round screen is to zoom it out, but surely they don't need to zoom out that far. On a screen that's 14" at best, having a full inch taken off from all four sides is a lot.

If for whatever reason you have a TV that doesn't have digital or satellite, and it's not a digital TV (it's not rectangle, but rather more square), you'll need to get one of these converter boxes by June. June 12 I think it is now. They'll probably delay it again, but at some point, the companies who bought those airwaves (Sprint and AT&T I think) will push for the date to stay, and your TV will no longer get signal over the air. I don't appreciate the government selling everyone out like that any more than analog/antenna TV owners, but they are offering vouchers which cover $40 worth of equipment. The cheapest converter box is $50 at Walmart, so you're still out $10. Plus you have to buy an antenna. (They don't tell you that.) It's worth it. It's not HD (you need a digital TV for that) but it looks good.

For some things, like the news, it's comparable to HD. HD has its advantages, and it's true that it has more dots, but to the naked eye, it really does not look that much better. Unless, of course, it's digital to start with. Digital animation (Pixar for example, like Wall-E; or Japanese anime) and video games (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but not Wii or PlayStation 2) look absolutely stunning in HD. Real people don't look much better in HD; in fact HD is good for revealing flaws which were more easily covered up with conventional television. Until they replace news anchors with computer-animated, voice-acted avatars (not an impossibility at all), your news is good either way.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Why not to trust Firefox

I typed the name of this article very grudgingly, but a point must be made. Over the past week, the second-rated security extension for Firefox, NoScript, went behind its trusting users' backs and slipped malware into the code. They were quickly caught, of course, because like Firefox itself, the extensions are open source. More to the point, the .xpi files are really fancily-named .zip files and can be unpacked very easily, their code laid out plainly before anyone with the wit to understand what it does. Of course most of us don't, so we just trust our security software to keep us safe online.

NoScript is an interesting extension. As its name implies, it blocks scripts that can potentially harm your computer online. Scripts are used legitimately 99% of the time, so for sites that use them, you'll have to tell NoScript they're fine. Presumably, after a couple weeks of surfing, you should have your NoScript trained. Then, when you happen upon a site you don't know (in other words, you're surfing for porn or warez) and it tries to run a script to take over your computer. NoScript stops it, and makes it ask permission. Since you don't trust the site, you say no and it does nothing.

The #1 security extension is AdBlock Plus, which does that plus it blocks the regular ads, too. Before a week or so ago, they could be used together for extra protection. The authors of NoScript wish people wouldn't use AdBlock Plus at all, however, because their site is allegedly loaded with ads. Ads that make NoScript's developers money and fund development. And recently, the NoScript team has been pushing out updates left and right, sometimes unnecessarily, because when you update NoScript and restart Firefox, it loads up their page to remind you that you're protected. And as a coincidence you get to see all their ads, and they make more money.

Unless you're using AdBlock Plus, that is, in which case you see no ads, and since they never tried to justify the updates, you're probably just wasting your time and their bandwidth.

Until recently, however, when a new version of NoScript sabotaged AdBlock Plus by inserting a filter for ABP which allowed the ads on NoScript's site. (This is nothing new: the most popular filter for regular AdBlock back in the day was Pierceive's site, and he sold whitelisting to Yahoo!, which meant AdBlock/Pierceive users saw ads on Yahoo!.) Well, a lot of people threw a fit.

There's another, much lesser-known Firefox extension called GameFOX. If you've ever been to the GameFAQs forum, you know that besides it being a cesspool for everything that's wrong with the Internet, it's pretty ghetto by forum standards. Founder Jeff Veasey (username CJayC) famously coded it himself. It's not Invision, it's not vBulletin, it's not a paid forum package which is routinely updated, it's a hackjob which Veasey maintained and is now maintained under the guidance of his successor, SBAllen (I forget his real name). Though SBAllen is much more liberal, where CJayC was fairly conservative, it's still short on updates. Features users of other forums take for granted are unavailable, while, ironically, practices on most other boards are allowed. GameFAQs is one large contradiction. Anyhow, this extension basically modernizes it though scripting, and GameFAQs has been waging a cold war against its authors for a couple years now (basically, since it got popular). Among stunts which are too mind-numbingly stupid to name, they say in their Terms of Use that "third party modifications" or some such bull might "steal your account info". Trouble is, they're quite right. GameFOX could very well be programmed to do just that. And GameFAQs has reason to fear, because their little secret society, "Life, The Universe, and Everything" (rumored to have all sorts of illegal stuff, but also alleged to just be something people can say they're a part of for the sake of it) might be compromised, if a user with LUE access (or, presumably, worse, a moderator) were to have their account compromised, immeasurable havoc could be wreaked across the site.

And that's the thing about open source. It lowers the bar for new programmers. Before open source got big (thanks Firefox!) aspiring programmers had to write their own code and learn from examples which were just that - worthless examples that did a whole lot of nothing. "Hello world" for example. Now anyone can peek at the source and study it, and learn like that. A malicious user can take an open source program of some repute, alter it slightly, and offer this altered version. (Though, to prevent against this, Mozilla trademarked the Firefox name - an altered Firefox must be called something else - Iceweasel is a famous example of this - and Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition by is a famous exception.)

...Or at least that's what Microsoft and others would like you to believe. Internet Explorer 8 is newly released, and to some pretty generous fanfare. Internet Explorer is a professionally designed software application whose source code is not open to review, let alone malicious tampering. It's also no big secret that Microsoft has a cozy relationship with advertisers. For $30 you can buy a pass which will block some ads in Internet Explorer, but won't block all of them - I guess some pay a premium to keep their ads from being blocked, I suppose. And therein lies the problem with NoScript. They just decided to override the end users' choice and force their ads through in a quick grab for cash. But where Microsoft succeeds, apparently, NoScript failed. Hard.

Update: 4 May 2009: It would seem that NoScript couldn't take the heat, and have not only released a new version of NoScript which does not attack AdBlock Plus, it also removes the malicious whitelist, if you had one of the versions of NoScript in question. I'll proudly point out that I never said NoScript was a bad extension, only that it didn't do anything for me. I hope the authors have learned their lesson and have found a more honest way to make money for their hard work, and that if their apology is genuine, that those who previously found their extension useful will do so once again.