Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Star Trek and Klingon Antivirus from Sophos

The new Star Trek movie is brilliant, and cleverly so pitched as to appeal to a general audience, not just fans. It may help if you know that Mr Spock is the man with pointy ears from Vulcan, but that is about it!  It is set at a time when Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Scotty, Chekov and Sulu are all cadets, joining Star Trek, but the story steams forward at a fast pace, with lots of tension and excitement, so there is really no chance of the viewer being bored.

Without giving too much of the plot away, as far as fans are concerned, the plot involves time travel and changing the past (which is the movies "present") in such a way that the rest of official canonical continuity about what happens next is more or less wiped out. This is a clever move because it means that any sequels are not hamstrung by the "future" of the Shatner/Nimoy series, or any other series which came after that. Doctor Who's own revamp played a similar trick with its "Time War", which wiped out the Time Lords, and allowed a "reboot". After time, any long running series can be swamped by its own past, and continuity becomes obsessive at the expense of original stories; it appeals to a certain kind of fan, but can lose touch with a general audience - who are "out of the loop", and do not want to need to know all the long and convoluted background material. As with Doctor Who, the Star Trek film has sly little homages to the television shows, and the previous movies, but these are a plus for the fan who will notice them, and not to the detriment of the story (as happened with the 1980s Doctor Who of Peter Davison and Colin Baker, or Star Trek - Enterprise). Instead, these are subtle, such as the team member in red who joins Kirk and Sulu for a skydive; you know that, as in the original series when Kirk, Spock and a crewmember beam down, that person is surplus to requirements and will meet a sticky end!

The effects are good, but unlike the first Star Trek The Motion Picture, they don't get in the way or slow down the story telling - that film had endless slow and ponderous effects shots. The costumes reflect the originals in colour, but have been modernised slightly, and the bridge has the same structure, but is a much larger, lighter structure; it is a good re-imagining of the Star Trek ship's bridge for a modern audience's expectations. But the story and characters drive the movie, amd Chris Pine as Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock are especially good, capturing the nuance of the originals very well, but without mimicry. It is a Star Trek to capture a new audience, and please an existing one, and it has succeeded extremely well!

On the subject of Star Trek, Sophos actually (this is not a joke!) produced a version  of Sophos Antivirus in Klingon, which must be a first! The details, and a download link, are on Graham Cluhey's Blog. Cluhey and the Sophos team are obviously Star Trek fans, as evidenced by their April fool - the Shatner virus which infected Satellite systems with a subliminal messages

IT security and control firm Sophos has discovered that hackers have successfully infected an orbiting communications satellite with a virus, and are interfering with television broadcasts.

The Far Polo L1 satellite, placed in geostationary orbit to broadcast TV programs to a global audience, appears to have been infected by a virus known as W32/Shatner. Under the control of sci-fi obsessed hackers, the Shatner virus is embedding subliminal images related to Star Trek into popular television programs such as "The Simpsons", "Friends" and "Doogie Howser MD" as they are beamed down to viewers on Earth.


Anyhow, here is the story behind the Klingon Antivirus product. See the link if you want to download it!

1) From time-to-time Sophos looks into creating bespoke software for particular groups, rather than make them available to the masses. We were asked by a potential customer to investigate whether it was possible to translate our software into Klingon, and Klingon Anti-Virus was produced as a test by our techies. Although the software is finished it wasn't supposed to have been made available to the world at large - some of you have noticed that of the text on the webpage was unfinished. We've fixed that now, and added some additional information.
2) We translated the software with help from naHQun, a member of the Klingon Language Institute (KLI). I'm sure those of you with a good knowledge of the language will agree that naHQun (who also goes by the name of "Michael") did a great job.
3) As the Klingon Anti-Virus software is being widely linked to, we're not going to remove it for now. You can still grab a copy if you like.
4) Which might well upset some people. Because earlier today Sophos received a rather hard-nosed communication from a certain party seemingly trying to bully us into removing the Klingon Anti-Virus software from our site. We think that's daft, so we won't be doing it.



Anonymous said...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Star Trek quiz...Boldly going where no quiz has gone before
By David Buckna
Special to ASSIST News Service
A Heavenly Enterprise

'Star Trek'
By Ann Hornaday
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 7, 2009

Anonymous said...

Kapla !