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1
FAQ on games, gaming & IT / Re: Bitcoin Sextortion & Blackmail Scams
« Last post by kat on May 20, 2019, 04:03:16 PM »
Alternative version of the sextortion/ransom note;
Quote
Hey!

I know your pass is: [password]

I infected you with my private malware, (RAT) / (Remote Administration Tool), a few months back when you visited some website where my iframe was placed and since then, I have been observing your actions.
The malware gave me full access and control over your system, meaning, I can see everything on your screen, turn on your camera or microphone and you won't even notice about it.

I have also access to all your contacts, private pictures, videos, everything!
I MADE A VIDEO showing you (through your webcam) STATISFYING YOURSELF!
You got a very good taste! Hahaha...
I can send this video to all your contacts (email, social network) and publish all your private data everywhere!

Only you can prevent me from doing this!

To stop me, transfer exactly [$ramson] with the current bitcoin (BTC) price to my bitcoin address.
I think it's a very good price compared to the damage and hell it can bring into your life!
If you don't know how to get bitcoin, Google - "How to buy Bitcoin".
The wallet you can create here: [bitcoin server URL]

My bitcoin adress is: [bitcoin address]

After receiving the payment, I will delete  the material I got from you, we will forget everything and you can continue living your life in peace like before!
I give you 3 days to get the bitcoins and pay! Since I got access to your account, I know if this email already has been read!
To make sure you read this email, I sent it multiple times!
Don't share this email with anyone, this should stay our little secret!
2
General Content Creation / Made a minecraft style Character in Blender
« Last post by kat on May 18, 2019, 10:35:46 PM »
To make a simple minecraft style character take a look at the following 'blue-print' that's designed around a very particular design idea, that the characters dimensions being be restricted and regular in shape so it can be (UV) mapped to fit a predefined image/UV layout.


Twitch Video
With the above blue print in mind the character can be assembled from a couple of simple Cube meshes before each is given a basic Material and UV unwrapped to fit the predetermined layout. Once done the characters can be rigged - vertex groups and Parented to a simple Armature, which is then animated.

3
IMVU Content Creating / Re: IMVU Android Login error
« Last post by kat on May 16, 2019, 03:57:14 AM »
For the technically minded... this persistent login error happens with IMVU because the Android app does not create an account on the Android device (Settings » Accounts) as other apps and games might do.

Instead IMVU mobile essentially stores login details securely in a similar way to browsers securely storing cookies. For the Android app although this has the advantage of wiping old login data for security doing so also has the disadvantage of being cleared every time IMVU mobile is updated, which happens quite frequently to keep current with Androids own update schedule.

Absent the Android app version of IMVU creating an localised device account (Settings » Accounts) that's stored locally, login issues are inevitable.
4
IMVU Content Creating / IMVU Android Login error
« Last post by kat on May 16, 2019, 02:33:37 AM »

Having trouble trying to log in to the Android version of the IMVU app? Make sure to remember the password, exactly as typed, and the email used, as typed. Seriously, most log in issue on mobile are a result of users just running their fingers across the on-screen keypad for both, then being totally frustrated as to why they can't log in the next time IMVU app is updated! Which happens quite often by the way, requiring log in, again (IMVU does not store account information like other apps might in Android's Settings » Accounts).
Quote
[sic]im so p****d of rn. i cant even login into my account, it says "attempt to many times", when i did enter the right password, i still tried to change my password, the password was changed successfully. trying to login it still shows the same thing. i try contacting customer service, there is no way to reach them not even on the website...

Basically without a VALID EMAIL, one that's immediately ACCESSIBLE, access to the IMVU account in question will NOT be possible no matter how much there might be the inclination to complain and write bad reviews in Google Apps store!.

Quote
[sic]Ok so I can't log back in to my account. Imvu kicks me out and says there is a log in error when there is none. open and closed the app, uninstalled and Re installed the app to no avail. so annoyed...

With the above in mind here's a check-list;
  • 1st: make absolutely sure the email accosiated with the inaccessible account is AVAILABLE and VALID.

  • 2nd: visit the IMVU's website, https://www.imvu.com/, and use the 'forgotton password' feature and follow the instructions - AVOID trying to reset the password or account using the IMVU Android app itself, use the website instead. Email should then arrive with reset instructions (important: some email providers have been known to block IMVU messages, so if step 3 is taken below ask CS to confirm email has been sent).

  • 3rd: If the above do not work contact Customer Support (may require creating a temporary account - save the details of *this* as well for goodness sake) with the name of the account that's currently inaccessible/exhibiting the log in error (if using the Android App or Next, the account name is after, but includes, the "@" symbol, i.e. @katsbits, not the 'screen' name, which may also be the same, i.e. "katsbits" without '@' in this instance). CS may ask for the email address associated with the account to send a reset message or other communication.
    Where to find an IMVU ACCOUNT name

Quote
[sic]my very first day I attempted to sign in and its not taking my password, that I know definitely is correct. then I go to the help center there's no chat agent available, I can't ask the community or contact anyone because I have to sign in and it now says too many attemts to then come back? what kind of madness, incomprehensible concept of customer service is this? at this point, my first day, im ready to delete my account as the game is not android mobile friendly at all in addition

Tips
When creating an (new) account;
  • Make a note of the password in Android's Quick Memo, Quicknote, SuperNote or other note/text app and SAVE IT TO THE DEVICE. When logging in open this file and copy/paste the details saved.
    Save IMVU password details in an Android note

  • Sign in using a Facebook account - IMVU securely fetches this information for easy login.

  • Use a password manager or vault app to securely store account information, Google Password Manager for example (accessed via web browser).

5
3D Modeling & Content Creation / Re: 3D Modeling WIP Topic
« Last post by kat on May 12, 2019, 06:44:36 PM »
The bark texture is pretty interesting. Still impressive collection overall considering the old tech (Unreal 1) being used!. And yup, creating the high-poly assets for baking is super time consuming!.

Re: images. The number of images posted isn't as much of an issue as the format and resulting file size, remember that a lot of users view forums on mobile/cellular devices so this current batch all being PNG rather than JPG would mean using 20MB+ of data to view them when they could all be loaded in 1 or 2 with little dramatic reduction in quality.
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3D Modeling & Content Creation / Re: 3D Modeling WIP Topic
« Last post by Asaeis Wi Vio on May 12, 2019, 05:06:16 PM »
Thanks Kat, though the bleached lighting is kindof unintentional. My friend who works on the 227 patch (the latest update for the first Unreal) is in the middle of getting full per fragment, per pixel hardware lighting working with his latest renderer (being developed alongside the patch) which will also feature better gamma handling, shader support and overbright among other things.

Currently Unreal still mostly renders everything from the CPU rather than the GPU (well, the GPU simply does some 'polishing up' to the final result), which was really the only thing in the way from implementing shader support, overbright, hardware lighting or better gamma handling before.

Otherwise, I've been working on alot of assets since I last posted, mostly originating from high poly models (which normal maps and other such maps will inherit their details from for the lowpoly/ingame models).

Here are some of those assets, overall they're still WIPs :









(Keycard reader for the door shown above)








(WIP domestic android)




(Back of the android's head)


I'll cap the WIP images at that for now, there are probably more but I'm not sure it's alright for me to post too many! D:

Thanks for your help with things though Kat, since I've often found alot of your tutorials/guidance helpful.
7
Blog / Online Harms White Paper - indirect internet regulation & censorship
« Last post by kat on May 07, 2019, 03:45:23 PM »
The "Online Harms White Paper" [PDF] lays out the case by the UK Government for the legislative enforcement of a "Duty To Care" on all online service providers where users interact and/or receive service from or access to, a provider, the latter then having a 'duty to care' for users safety and well-being.

What is considered 'harmful'?
The list of 'harms' (cf. table 1 pg.34.) is not exhaustive (cf. 2.1/2.2) and is meant to compliment considerations covered under other legislation/law (cf. 2.3/2.4). The overall intent is to centralise or collate the regulation of certain types of activities or behaviours under one framework, making them an 'offense' subject to prosecution and/or fines.

In relation to the summary below, this means many aspects of current law may be subject to legislative oversight with respect to the 'harm' they may cause the individual and/or to the security of the UK (cf. 2.5) as outline/laid out in the white paper.
Quote
Summary
• This White Paper sets out government action to tackle online content or activity that harms individual users, particularly children, or threatens our way of life in the UK, either by undermining national security, or by reducing trust and undermining our shared rights, responsibilities and opportunities to foster integration. It sets out an initial list of content and behaviour which will be in scope, as well as a list of harms which will be excluded.

Who does this affect?
Anyone providing a 'service' that grants (public?) access to user-generated content and/or allows users to interact with one another, i.e. an online gaming or content creation community like KatsBits, is affected by the proposed legislation.
Quote
4 .1 [...]We propose that the regulatory framework should apply to companies that allow users to share or discover user-generated content, or interact with each other online.

4.3 A wide variety of organisations provide these services to users. This will mean that companies of all sizes will be in scope of the regulatory framework. The scope will include companies from a range of sectors, including social media companies, public discussion forums, retailers that allow users to review products online, along with non-profit organisations, file sharing sites and cloud hosting providers.
(emphasis added)


8
Blog / Article 17 full text (formally Article 13)
« Last post by kat on May 06, 2019, 06:03:17 PM »
Full adopted text for Article 17 (formally Article 13), the 'meme ban'.
Quote

Article 17

Use of protected content by online content-sharing service providers

  1. Member States shall provide that an online content-sharing service provider performs an act of communication to the public or an act of making available to the public for the purposes of this Directive when it gives the public access to copyright-protected works or other protected subject matter uploaded by its users.

    An online content-sharing service provider shall therefore obtain an authorisation from the rightholders referred to in Article 3(1) and (2) of Directive 2001/29/EC, for instance by concluding a licensing agreement, in order to communicate to the public or make available to the public works or other subject matter.

  2. Member States shall provide that, where an online content-sharing service provider obtains an authorisation, for instance by concluding a licensing agreement, that authorisation shall also cover acts carried out by users of the services falling within the scope of Article 3 of Directive 2001/29/EC when they are not acting on a commercial basis or where their activity does not generate significant revenues.

  3. When an online content-sharing service provider performs an act of communication to the public or an act of making available to the public under the conditions laid down in this Directive, the limitation of liability established in Article 14(1) of Directive 2000/31/EC shall not apply to the situations covered by this Article.

    The first subparagraph of this paragraph shall not affect the possible application of Article 14(1) of Directive 2000/31/EC to those service providers for purposes falling outside the scope of this Directive.

  4. If no authorisation is granted, online content-sharing service providers shall be liable for unauthorised acts of communication to the public, including making available to the public, of copyright-protected works and other subject matter, unless the service providers demonstrate that they have:

    1. made best efforts to obtain an authorisation, and

    2. made, in accordance with high industry standards of professional diligence, best efforts to ensure the unavailability of specific works and other subject matter for which the rightholders have provided the service providers with the relevant and necessary information; and in any event

    3. acted expeditiously, upon receiving a sufficiently substantiated notice from the rightholders, to disable access to, or to remove from, their websites the notified works or other subject matter, and made best efforts to prevent their future uploads in accordance with point (b).

  5. In determining whether the service provider has complied with its obligations under paragraph 4, and in light of the principle of proportionality, the following elements, among others, shall be taken into account:

    1. the type, the audience and the size of the service and the type of works or other subject matter uploaded by the users of the service; and

    2. the availability of suitable and effective means and their cost for service providers.

  6. Member States shall provide that, in respect of new online content-sharing service providers the services of which have been available to the public in the Union for less than three years and which have an annual turnover below EUR 10 million, calculated in accordance with Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC1, the conditions under the liability regime set out in paragraph 4 are limited to compliance with point (a) of paragraph 4 and to acting expeditiously, upon receiving a sufficiently substantiated notice, to disable access to the notified works or other subject matter or to remove those works or other subject matter from their websites.

    Where the average number of monthly unique visitors of such service providers exceeds 5 million, calculated on the basis of the previous calendar year, they shall also demonstrate that they have made best efforts to prevent further uploads of the notified works and other subject matter for which the rightholders have provided relevant and necessary information.

  7. The cooperation between online content-sharing service providers and rightholders shall not result in the prevention of the availability of works or other subject matter uploaded by users, which do not infringe copyright and related rights, including where such works or other subject matter are covered by an exception or limitation.

    Member States shall ensure that users in each Member State are able to rely on any of the following existing exceptions or limitations when uploading and making available content generated by users on online content-sharing services:

    1. quotation, criticism, review;

    2. use for the purpose of caricature, parody or pastiche.

  8. The application of this Article shall not lead to any general monitoring obligation.

    Member States shall provide that online content-sharing service providers provide rightholders, at their request, with adequate information on the functioning of their practices with regard to the cooperation referred to in paragraph 4 and, where licensing agreements are concluded between service providers and rightholders, information on the use of content covered by the agreements.

  9. Member States shall provide that online content-sharing service providers put in place an effective and expeditious complaint and redress mechanism that is available to users of their services in the event of disputes over the disabling of access to, or the removal of, works or other subject matter uploaded by them.

    Where rightholders request to have access to their specific works or other subject matter disabled or those works or other subject matter removed, they shall duly justify the reasons for their requests. Complaints submitted under the mechanism provided for in the first subparagraph shall be processed without undue delay, and decisions to disable access to or remove uploaded content shall be subject to human review. Member States shall also ensure that out-of-court redress mechanisms are available for the settlement of disputes. Such mechanisms shall enable disputes to be settled impartially and shall not deprive the user of the legal protection afforded by national law, without prejudice to the rights of users to have recourse to efficient judicial remedies. In particular, Member States shall ensure that users have access to a court or another relevant judicial authority to assert the use of an exception or limitation to copyright and related rights.

    This Directive shall in no way affect legitimate uses, such as uses under exceptions or limitations provided for in Union law, and shall not lead to any identification of individual users nor to the processing of personal data, except in accordance with Directive 2002/58/EC and Regulation (EU) 2016/679.

    Online content-sharing service providers shall inform their users in their terms and conditions that they can use works and other subject matter under exceptions or limitations to copyright and related rights provided for in Union law.
  1. As of …[date of entry into force of this Directive] the Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, shall organise stakeholder dialogues to discuss best practices for cooperation between online content-sharing service providers and rightholders. The Commission shall, in consultation with online content-sharing service providers, rightholders, users' organisations and other relevant stakeholders, and taking into account the results of the stakeholder dialogues, issue guidance on the application of this Article, in particular regarding the cooperation referred to in paragraph 4. When discussing best practices, special account shall be taken, among other things, of the need to balance fundamental rights and of the use of exceptions and limitations. For the purpose of the stakeholder dialogues, users' organisations shall have access to adequate information from online content-sharing service providers on the functioning of their practices with regard to paragraph 4.
9
Blog / Article 15 full text (formally Article 11)
« Last post by kat on May 06, 2019, 06:02:43 PM »
Full adopted text of Article 15 (formally Article 11), the 'link tax'. Using links containing copyrights content is exempted for NON-COMMERCIAL or PRIVATE use.
Quote

Article 15

Protection of press publications concerning online uses

  1. Member States shall provide publishers of press publications established in a Member State with the rights provided for in Article 2 and Article 3(2) of Directive 2001/29/EC for the online use of their press publications by information society service providers.

    The rights provided for in the first subparagraph shall not apply to private or non-commercial uses of press publications by individual users.

    The protection granted under the first subparagraph shall not apply to acts of hyperlinking.

    The rights provided for in the first subparagraph shall not apply in respect of the use of individual words or very short extracts of a press publication.

  2. The rights provided for in paragraph 1 shall leave intact and shall in no way affect any rights provided for in Union law to authors and other rightholders, in respect of the works and other subject matter incorporated in a press publication. The rights provided for in paragraph 1 shall not be invoked against those authors and other rightholders and, in particular, shall not deprive them of their right to exploit their works and other subject matter independently from the press publication in which they are incorporated.

When a work or other subject matter is incorporated in a press publication on the basis of a non-exclusive licence, the rights provided for in paragraph 1 shall not be invoked to prohibit the use by other authorised users. The rights provided for in paragraph 1 shall not be invoked to prohibit the use of works or other subject matter for which protection has expired.

  1. Articles 5 to 8 of Directive 2001/29/EC, Directive 2012/28/EU and Directive (EU) 2017/1564 of the European Parliament of the Council1 shall apply mutatis mutandis in respect of the rights provided for in paragraph 1 of this Article.

  2. The rights provided for in paragraph 1 shall expire two years after the press publication is published. That term shall be calculated from 1 January of the year following the date on which that press publication is published.

    Paragraph 1 shall not apply to press publications first published before [date of entry into force of this Directive].

  3. Member States shall provide that authors of works incorporated in a press publication receive an appropriate share of the revenues that press publishers receive for the use of their press publications by information society service providers.
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Blog / Article 11 » 15, Article 13 » 17, EU Copyright Apr 2019 (provisional)
« Last post by kat on May 06, 2019, 06:02:00 PM »
Provisionally adopted text of the European Parliaments "Copyright in the Digital Single Market" for Apr 2019. 150 pages, mostly preamble that sets the Directive's context, the environment within which is functions. Pertinent text/clauses pg. 87 onwards.

Important changes:
Article 11 is now Article 15 ("Protection of press publications concerning online uses", pg.117),
Article 13 is now Article 17 ("Use of protected content by online content-sharing service providers", pg.121)



Additional Reading
- European Commission on the Copyright Directive, Article 11 & Article 13
- Article 13, YouTube (BigTech) & #SaveYourInternet astroturfing
- Article 11 of the EU Copyright Directive (link tax)
- Article 13 of the EU Copyright Directive
- EU Commission & Restricting YouTube for the Public Good
- "Net Neutrality" has been hoodwinked, yet again!
- Two tier Internet - Net Neutrality has been hoodwinked
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