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May 22, 2012

PSotD - Mai Kaze + Updates

Good evening. I'm in quite a good mood tonight. I restarted my anime marathon addiction. Around December 2011 I had put watching anime on hiatus mainly because I got sick and tired of the repeating (naive) storylines. But last night I realised that I had a lot of stress built up from "life", and it occurred to me that I had been feeling pretty depressed for over two months. I knew I needed a way of releasing these negative emotions. Previously, I found that drowning myself in music was an effective solution. Sadly, as of last week this antidote stopped working; No matter what music I listened to (even my beloved Gackt), they were not able to lift me from my depression hole. Last night I decided to start watching anime again, and it was a good decision. I'm feeling pretty good right now, having watched two animes, Another and Chaos;Head (edit: I also watched Accel World). As you may have noticed, today I posted an anime review on Another. This review (and hopefully many more to come) is independent of the anime reviews that MegaBubbletea has been writing, and the opinions are solely mine, pumpkin_so77.
Back to topic, tonight I want to share a song from one of my favourite animes Hakuouki. There's plenty of bishies to drool over in this anime so get your towels ready!


Title: Mai Kaze 
Artist: Aika Yoshioka
Year: 2010
Notes: Opening song for the anime Hakuouki: Hekketsu-roku.
DDL: From Gendou music (Requires account - it's easy to make one!)


Anime Review (v.P): Another

This anime is not for the faint-hearted. A rather gruesome horror story and it all began 26 years ago with a severe case of denial and a curse.
Warning: There will be blood, lots of blood. If horror is not your cup of tea DO NOT watch this. If you get scared rather easily I also suggest that you don't watch this at 2:30am.


Synopsis: (from myanimelist.net)

5 Centimeters per Second
26 years ago, in a third-year classroom of a middle school, there was a student named Misaki. As an honors student who was also good at sports, the charming girl was popular with her classmates. When she suddenly died, her classmates decided to carry on as if she was still alive until graduation. Then, in the spring of 1998, a boy named Sakakibara Kouichi transfers to the class, and he grows suspicious of the fearful atmosphere in that classroom. In particular, there is a beautiful, aloof girl named Mei Misaki who wears an eyepatch and is always alone drawing pictures.

Review:

[STORY] It was a well paced and fully developed story. I did not find any part of anime that included useless information. All character developments helped enhance the suspense of the horror story and the progression of the story made logical sense.
From the first two episodes your inner senses would tell you that something was "not quite right" and that you suspect something terrible would happen soon. The shock comes in episode three when the first "death" happens. It was a crucifying death. I thought that the slow-motion effect of the death succeeded in contributing terror into this horror story.
I was quite pleased with the ending. It wrapped up the mysteries posed at the beginning of the story. One good aspect was that it didn't end with a "happily ever after" feel.
Rating: 9 (*Note: all ratings are out of 10.)

[ART] The average "school story" art, with big eyes for both males and females, slender faces and pointy chins. The backgrounds used were the typical Japanese neighbourhood and school grounds. There was nothing spectacular or unique about the artwork. This is in favour of the anime, because I think the main focus should be on the grotesqueness of the story and detailed artwork would just be a distraction for the viewer.
Rating: 6

[SOUND] I felt indifferent towards the OP and ED songs in this anime. They're not songs whose tunes stick around in your head. For a horror story, the producers could've chosen better songs.
However, I enjoyed the voice of the seiyuu that played Misaki.
Rating: 4

[CHARACTER] The characters were well developed. Sufficient information was provided to keep the suspense of the story going.
Rating: 6

[ENJOYMENT] Three words, I loved it. It had all the elements required for a good horror story. There were several parts of the story which I did not expect and thus created a big impact on me when the "truth" or event was unveiled.
Rating: 8

[OVERALL] A very "delightful" horror anime. This would definitely be on my "Re-watch list".
Rating: 8.5

What's this malware? Explained.

<em>Illustration: Dionne Gain</em>
As users with technology, we would have encountered at least a virus in our lives. Where we are just surfing the internet or downloading files, somehow malicious software sneaks in and makes our life more miserable. Malicious software (or malware for short) comes in many different forms so it is good to know what you are dealing with to prepare for an attack or to protect yourself. This is important for Windows users as must viruses target the platform. Mac users are quite safe, however, not completely. A few weeks ago we all heard about the Flashback virus that has been rampant on Mac's platform. Linux users, you are pretty safe if not completely; but still take caution when dealing with the internet.

Virus

Most widely known and used term in the world. "Virus" can be used as a generic term to describe any malicious software. However, in a more specific term, a virus must be able to replicate itself without user intervention. The most common way is through macros, which are automatic commands that run when you open an email or attachment. Viruses can attach itself to other files in your system and spread through other communication channels such as email. Viruses tend to damage files, install other malware and infect other people's computers.

Trojan

A "Trojan horse" is a type of malware that arrives in your computer disguised as something else. Although a trojan horse doesn't actually do anything itself, it can be considered as a "carrier" - meaning it carries the actual malware into your computer such as a virus, worm, spyware, bot or something else. Trojan horses can come in varied types and sizes ranging from your innocent JPEG image to a full-length movie video file.

Worm

A worm is a type of virus that operates from the shadows of your computer. You will not notice anything wrong until you find that your computer has slowed down dramatically. It's purpose is to replicate itself until it consumes system resources thus making it impossible for you to do your work. Worms are mostly spread via instant messaging networks slowing down the whole network for all users.

Spyware

Spyware is malicious software installed on your computer without your knowledge and tracks what you are doing on your computer. It then will send information back to the source of the virus. Most notable form of spyware is the keylogger. It tracks your typed keys and retrieves your details such as login, passwords, credit card information and any sort of authentication passwords you use. Spyware can spread via email attachments, links, online ads and even a drive-by attack.

Adware

Adware, as you might have guessed, it software that pops advertising on your screen without notice. It is quite annoying for end users and can slow down system resources. A lot of adware also sends information back to advertisers about what you're up to, so it's a form of spyware.

Bot

There are good bots and bad bots. We are talking about bad bots here. This software behaves like a human being on the internet but at automated speeds. Good bots are purposed to gather volumes of information from websites such as what Google does for search results. However, bad bots are used to infect computers so as to turn them into more bots, or zombies that do as they are told. They can be used to organise a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on a particular website. A botnet is a term that describes a whole network of zombie computers controlled by one or more attackers.

Phishing

A form of "fishing" that deals with technology and the act of stealing credential information from you. A technique to gather some of the information that keyloggers also gather. Phishing involves sending people links in emails or instant messages purporting to be legitimate communication from banks, eBay or other reputable organisations. The links in these emails, however, do not lead to the legitimate sites but to fake sites that look remarkably like the real ones. When users enter usernames, passwords and other information, the ''phisher'' receives them. The attacker now has the credentials to impersonate users and access their account.

Social Engineering

Like phishing, social engineering is an attack technique designed to tempt people to fall for scammers' tricks. It takes advantage of the fact you're human, thus likely to be curious and open a photo a friend has sent or a link that offers ''proof'' people have been talking about you. Once opened, the file or the link allows a piece of any of the malware types to install on your computer in the background.

In conclusion, Windows users must have some form of antivirus installed on their systems. This is essential as there is an increasing amount of new malware everyday. As for Mac and Linux users, you guys are quite safe from most attacks, but keeping your system up to date would be the most appropriate thing to do.