Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Slashback News

Slashback: Discipline, License, Name-calling 352

Posted by timothy
from the departure-arrival dept.
Slashback tonight brings you a boatload of updates and amplification to previous Slashdot stories, including: the outcome of the RIAA-driven administrative crackdown on file trading at the U.S. Naval Academy, the legal status of ambiguously labeled Microsoft "gimme" software, more information on the insecurities of Blackboard's card-based payment system, and more. Read on for the details!

Every day, in every way, I am becoming a better and better Lt. Junior Grade. alanjstr writes "The Baltimore Sun reports 'The Naval Academy has disciplined 85 students who used a military Internet connection to illegally swap copyrighted music and movies, but it stopped short of carrying out its threat to impose the maximum penalties of expulsion or court-martial, an academy document shows.' It goes on to say that the raid was spurred less by the RIAA and more by the threat of losing the internet connection due to the enormous amount of bandwidth consumed. The academy had given students several warnings before raiding the dorm rooms. Some of the hard drives seized last November were found to contain one or two copyrighted files, while others ran into the hundreds or thousands."

I bet they could make a better agreement with Xiph.org Magnetic Confinement writes "In an effort to make life more difficult for civic-minded Mac users, NPR has decided to drop Quicktime from its available streams. Nothing specific on their webpage addresses it, just some suspicious vacancies remain. Their helpdesk response is officially:

'NPR.org had been offering some of its audio in the Apple QuickTime format under an arrangement with Apple QuickTime. We regret that we were unable to reach mutually acceptable terms for a new arrangement with Apple QuickTime. As a result, NPR is unable to continue offering its content in this format.

You can also contact Apple QuickTime directly at: quicktime@apple.com

Weston
NPR Online'"

A note that got lost in the bin for too long ... JulesVD writes "Microsoft has agreed to tweak its Windows XP operating system in response to recent feedback from the Justice Department over its antitrust settlement with the federal government. (See news on Yahoo!) Microsoft will give more prominent display to a button in Windows that allows computer users to remove the company's Internet Explorer browser, company spokesman Jim Desler said. The Justice Department is overseeing Microsoft's compliance with the settlement. Placement of the button in a hard-to-reach spot in Windows was one of several complaints Microsoft's rivals made to the department last year."

Proportionality isn't just for the personals. You may still be boggling (I am) at the recently announced RIAA suits alleging that colleges and college students are liable for billions of dollars in damages to the music industry for facilitating online file trading. Reader Derek Lomas writes in with another editorial indicating "growing support at Yale for legal alternatives".

Even biggerness. The Gathering is billed by some as the the world's largest computer party. MC68040, though, writes "I'd like to remind everyone to have a look at dreamhack, that 'also' is the largest LAN in Sweden twice a year ... Which had over 5000 participants in 2001 and even more in 2002.. *arhem* Biggest you say?"

If you want to fight about "LAN party" vs. "Computer party," leave me out of it!

How about calling it "900t"? An anonymous reader writes "As previously reported, mozilla.org's Phoenix browser has been renamed to Firebird. This hasn't pleased supporters of the Firebird relational database project. In an Australian LinuxWorld article, one of their administrators calls the name change "one of the dirtiest deeds I've seen in open source so far." In a MozillaZine article, the same person accused mozilla.org of "theft" and "corporate bullying". They don't explain how it was different when they picked a name that was already used by a BBS, financial software manufacturer, Fenix IDE and games company. Meanwhile, IBPhoenix, an organisation that supports the development of the Firebird database, has put up a protest page, encouraging people to spam the MozillaZine forums (even though MozillaZine had nothing to do with the decision) and send masses of email to many Mozilla developers (most of whom were not involved in selecting the new name). I find it rather hypocritical that the Firebird database people are accusing Mozilla of "the filthiest of dirty tricks" while at the same time advocating the harassment of many Mozilla developers."

Point of clarification. batkid writes "In response to the article 'Microsoft pirating their own software,' Seems like MS is taking it pretty seriously. I got the following response from Microsoft (I am a faculty member, but the response should be the same to students).

April 9, 2003

RE: Visual Studio .NET Professional Edition and Windows XP Professional software distributed during the Microsoft Faculty Seminars

Dear Faculty Member, Thank you for attending the recent Microsoft Faculty Seminar. The purpose of this letter is to clarify questions concerning the legal use of the Visual Studio .NET Professional and Windows XP Professional software distributed to faculty who attended the Seminar. The software received is governed by the electronic license embedded in the product set up that appears prior to installation and no additional documentation is required.

Notwithstanding language on the CD label for the copies of Visual Studio .NET Professional Edition and Windows XP Professional Edition that you received during your attendance at the Seminar, which appeared to indicate that a separate license document was required in order for you to legally use the software, this letter will confirm that use by you of the software received is governed by the electronic license embedded in the product setup that appears prior to installation.

You are required to agree to accept the terms and conditions of this license prior to proceeding with the products' installation. Acceptance by you of these "Click to Accept" licenses is the only license required for your use of the copies of Visual Studio.NET Professional Edition and Windows XP Professional Edition received. We recommend that you keep a copy of this letter in your personal files for future reference."

Thanks for passing that along.

What if Masterlock security was assured this way? Monday, you read that security researchers Billy Hoffman and Virgil Griffith (known as Vergil and Acidus) were were prevented from speaking at a security conference by means of a Cease and Desist order from Blackboard, Inc.. The two planned to talk about security flaws found in Blackboard's Transaction System.

In a mail posted at Declan McCullagh's Politech mailing list, David Yaskin of Blackboard responds to the criticism that the company's legal action has drawn. John R. Hall has posted a FAQ explaining some particulars of the Blackboard Transaction System which Virgil and Acidus aren't at liberty to discuss, as well as contradicting some claims that Yaskin makes in the posted email.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Discipline, License, Name-calling

Comments Filter:
  • by avalys (221114) on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @08:04PM (#5747815)
    *highlights*
    *Ctrl-C*
    *Ctrl-V*
    *Prints Letter*
    *Launches Gnutella*
    • Me too! (Score:3, Funny)

      by abe ferlman (205607)
      Highlights...
      Left mouse click...
      Middle mouse click...
      lpr...
      Launches Gnutella...

      What the %^&#, this requires WINDOWS?!

      Launches Gnutella again...

  • Why blame NPR? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @08:04PM (#5747821)
    In an effort to make life more difficult for civic-minded Mac users, NPR has decided to drop Quicktime from its available streams.

    How do we know Apple wasn't being unreasonable in the terms they wanted?

    BTW, those Phoenix database people sound really mature.
    • Re:Why blame NPR? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ragingmime (636249) <ragingmime AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @08:51PM (#5748048) Homepage
      I don't think it would be a matter of Apple wanting an agreeable contract. Nobody needs Apple's permission to do Quicktime streams - you just buy Quicktime server software, plug it in, and go. It sounds (although I'm really not up on how these contracts work) like NPR wanted some sort of reimbursement from Apple for them to provide Quicktime streams. I see no reason (or legal method) for Apple to prevent NPR from using its software - I just think they decided that having NPR broadcast in their format wasn't worth the money. Just a theory - I have no real hard evidence on that - but I think it makes sense.
      • Re:Why blame NPR? (Score:2, Informative)

        by afidel (530433)
        No you are not up on how quicktime or most other streaming serve liscensing works. If you are a big broadcaster you pay for capabilities per simultaneous stream at a specific bitrate. Apple probably wouldn't come down to the cost per stream that NPR thought they could afford.
        • Re:Why blame NPR? (Score:5, Informative)

          by ryochiji (453715) on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @11:45PM (#5748803) Homepage
          > If you are a big broadcaster you pay for capabilities per simultaneous stream at a specific bitrate

          Where did you get that from? According to the QTSS FAQ [apple.com]:

          Both QuickTime Streaming Server 4 and Darwin Streaming Server 4 are free, with no per-stream license fees.

          So, no, it doesn't seem like licensing fees were the issue.

    • BECAUSE IT'S FREE (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SuperBanana (662181) on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @09:30PM (#5748275)
      How do we know Apple wasn't being unreasonable in the terms they wanted?

      Maybe because Quicktime streaming server is freely downloadable [apple.com].

      Well, okay, you've got to have OS X Server to get that one, but if you don't want to even run OS X Server, guess what? Darwin streaming server [apple.com] is both open source and runs on Linux, Solaris, OS X(server or regular, 10.1.x or better), AND WINDOWS(both win2k and NT).

      If -that- isn't good enough for you, there's no shortage of MP3 streaming servers. If THAT isn't good enough, there's ogg-vorbis.

      Something smells, folks. MS -bought- their way into this one, probably via strong-arming or simply bribing with free hardware+licenses. By the way, PBS dropped Quicktime recently too.

      • Re:BECAUSE IT'S FREE (Score:3, Informative)

        by clifyt (11768)
        Exactly,

        Apple is the only one of the big 3 that isn't charging a per stream fee. The end user pays through the purchase of QT Pro, but you can still use the free version -- just not with as many frills.

        This sucks as I won't install Real on ANY system, and WMP is just as bad (and buggy on my Mac).

        clif
      • Even though Apple's site says QuickTime Streaming Server requires OS X Server, it really doesn't. You can install it on a regular OS X system.

  • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @08:04PM (#5747823) Homepage Journal
    The whole Blackboard presentation - including a .PPT attachment with photos of GT's physical security problems - is available at Cryptome [cryptome.org].

    Don't worry. It opens in Open Office Impress just fine!

    • by BitHive (578094) on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @09:27PM (#5748256) Homepage
      I looked through these things yesterday, and while they were interesting, there was little information of substance in them. All of the supposed vulnerabilities are theoretical, and the author himself does not claim to have tried any of them. Yes, a replay attack would work if the system works as he claims it does. Has he taken the first step of patching into one of the RS-485 drops that he claims are so very insecure? No. Does he know what kind of encryption is used on the IP converter? No. He merely speculates that it is "DES on the high end; XOR on the low end". How informative! The same could be said for any system that uses encryption.

      I am following this closely because my college has installed the Blackboard system to provide all-hours card access to dorms and after-hours access to academic buildings. All of the readers are bolted into concrete or brick, or are installed on steel posts. You would have to do more physical damage to the building or the post to gain access to the supposedly insecure RS-485 drops than you would to simply force the door open. My school, however, has not extended this system to anything using real money, perhaps because they are aware of the flaws and want to limit the risks, or perhaps because the damn thing is so motherfucking expensive.

      One thing that really detracts from the credibility of this "security analysis" is that in the PowerPoint presentation, someone is circled using paintbrush, identified by name, and labelled "piece of shit" or something like that. Apparently this is one of the guys that insists the system is secure. It may not be, but you can't expect anyone to take you seriously if you put crap like that into your presentation.

      • Well then, why the restraining order?
  • by Elpacoloco (69306) <elpacoloco&dslextreme,com> on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @08:05PM (#5747828) Journal
    Remember that joke about the kid who prooves that he has no time to attend school, since he must spend x days sleeping and x days eating and x days are weekends.....

    The kid in this joke arrives at the figure that he does because the way he does it counts a good portion of time twice. (IE: Sleep and weekends overlaps...)
    The RIAA I think is counting things twice when it obtains these "Billion Dollar" figures. I think that it counts the number of P2P transactions and multiplies it by the cost of an album. This dispite people downloading songs that they would never buy. In fact, one could further inflate the figures by including incompleted transactions as a full one.

    Billions of Dollars? Baloney.
    • by menasius (202515) on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @08:13PM (#5747876)
      I agree, it doesn't fit logically.

      The Music Industry is a big thing. However, my arguement to the exageration of these figures is that the music industry has supposedly taken "billions in losses". Even a behemoth like that would feel billions in losses and it would be visible. The airlines are having rough times and its obvious, it's not that they are trying to screw anyone it just seriously looks like they are in a great hurry to fix things and are making mistakes.

      All the music industry has done is file suit, but the state of the industry doesnt say "we are fighting a loosing battle". If they lost billions where are the record labels that are dropping production or cutting wages to try to save the ship.

      Thats just my 2 billion cents.

      -bort
    • by Slowping (63788) on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @08:48PM (#5748037) Homepage Journal
      They also conveniently don't count back in compensating income designed to offset these "losses", like the RIAA CDR tax. Seeing as how they haven't really paid any of that tax back to the artists, I'm guessing that's quite a deep source of income for the RIAA.

      Anyone got numbers for the amount they collect via CDR tax?
    • Or downloading 7 songs from a single album as "7 lost album sales".
    • The billiosn of dollars figure is not baloney, it is based on the penalties incurred under US Copyright Law. When you infringe copyrights you don't say "a'right coppa, ya gots me. Here's the scratch for the albums I stole" and simply walk away. Being found guilty of breaking laws come with penalties and in teh case of copyrights, stiff financial penalties per infringement (per song in this case, not per album). These morons would have been better off simply buying the music they listen to.
    • by ralico (446325)
      Well, you know there are 3 kinds of lies:
      "Lies, damned lies, and statistics," Disraeli [btwebworld.com]
    • I triple guarantee you, there are no illegal MP3s on Kazaa! It is a fabrication by the RIAA to decieve us into approving the DMCA!
  • Blackboard (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ggwood (70369) on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @08:06PM (#5747834) Homepage Journal
    Anyone know of a substitue for Blackboard? Open source or otherwise? I don't use it here at CSUN, but other Universities I deal with do use it. I was actually going to push it for the physics department here, but not now. Thanks.
  • Oh my (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Raul654 (453029) on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @08:10PM (#5747854) Homepage
    The fact is that most students at Yale are very familiar with breaking copyright law, because they are not willing to give up learning about music just because they can't afford the $15 cost of each CD.

    Does anyone else find that laughable?
  • 'NPR.org had been offering some of its audio in the Apple QuickTime format under an arrangement with Apple QuickTime. We regret that we were unable to reach mutually acceptable terms for a new arrangement with Apple QuickTime. As a result, NPR is unable to continue offering its content in this format.

    That's strange, the quicktime streaming server is opensource and free. Were they using a proprietary, licensed format to deliver the audio? If so, why not just switch to low-bitrate MP3, which QTSS [apple.com] supports w
    • Perhaps NPR wanted Apple to pay them to broadcast QT streams since, as you pointed out, the software is free to procure and use.

      Maybe they wanted a little payola themselves.

      This kind of pisses me off because I recently started using QT to listen to NPR since my schedule changed and I wasn't in my car during the evening news broadcasts anymore.

      RE: MP3... I have no frigg'n idea why people turn their backs on free standards that will actually save them money is both the short term and the long run.

      It's not
  • by Garion911 (10618) on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @08:11PM (#5747864) Homepage
    They should just rename it "TransAm", its the same thing anyways......

    • My favorite...

      Citroen!
    • They should just rename it "TransAm", its the same thing anyways

      Or, how about what the automotive world refers to the Firebird as(screaming/flaming chicken car), with a Mozilla twist?

      I can see it now: "Screaming Dinosaur 7.0! Now featuring the Mullet theme, complete with AC/DC background music. Cinderblocks available as add-on module(please note, Cinderblock module disables browser completely, installs junk on your desktop)"

  • by mrjive (169376) on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @08:14PM (#5747881) Homepage Journal
    "Some kids were running miniature Napsters," said the academy official, referring to the now-defunct music-sharing site. "They had enormous drives - multigigabite drives - and they were on all the time. They became little Web sites."

    Just goes to show how educated some naval personell are about computer technology. I mean MULTIgigabyte drives?!? Holy shit man, that's a lot of storage!!!

    *note sarcasm above*
    • If it were multigigabyte drives dedicated purely to Mp3's... that's actually a fair bit of music. 1 person with about 3GB can be near a thousand songs... multiply that by a few people and that's a lotta music.

      Mind you, I'm not sure how anyone gets over 1000 proprietary songs in Mp3. I've got a lot of *free* music (legal), but there's not enough RIAA-owned/popular music out there for me to pirate 3Gb worth.
      • I have about 2.3 GB worth of MP3s and that's just 530 files. Although I don't have anything less than 128 kbps, and most are 192. Also most of my songs are about 6-7 minutes lond not the latest 3 1/2 minute brittney spears songs.

        • I have two SSA1010s upgraded to 9 gig disks, with 30 in each chassis, for around 522 gig of storage in two raid 5 arrays. Most of this is 256k MP3s and SHN recordings.

          The majority of this wasn't downloaded, but encoded using parallel bladeenc (www.mpi.nd.edu/~jsquyres/bladeenc/) from various sources, my own CD collection for the most part.

          Sad thing is, when I upgraded the SSAs from the 32550WC drives they came with (2.1G disks) to the hodge-podge of 9G drives that I spent a couple ebay-weeks collecting,
      • Or you could rip you entire CD collection to VBR insane quality LAME mp3's and fill up your 5GB iPod with quite a lot left on the HDD. Not to mention all of the DJ mix cd's I haven't bothered to rip yet (I get em free when I do VJ gigs, DJ's like my work and will give me free copies of their work hoping I will hype them up). It is quite possible to fill up gigs and gigs with legit and "proprietary" music. A way to do it without going broke is as close as your nearest used record store.
    • Just goes to show how educated some naval personell are about computer technology.

      No, no. It just goes to show what kind of crap PC hardware most military members get to run at work that "multigygabyte" would be considered enormous.

      • A mere five years ago a "multigigabyte" drive would have been immense. So you'll have to excuse these guys for not being 15 year old gaming geeks who need to upgrade their hardware every few days.
    • Gee, sounds like some of the CS majors I go to school with who don't understand why I need the 90 gigs I find small.

      Then there are the professors from various departments who hate using the internet.

      Lesson? It's got nothing to do with them being in the military, it is just the way some people are.
  • Ok, I have commented on this before. I am still curious as to if the RIAA has it's way and wins this lawsuit, will it prove anything?

    I mean, unless the student is very rich family, along the lines of Bill Gates rich, the RIAA would never see the money. And, on a appeal, the settlement would be thrown out on the fact that the amount, millions and millions of dollars is too much for anyone to pay.

    I am still curious if the RIAA is just doing this for headlines, or to scare people from sharing music.

    • Two forces at work here, you tell me which has more sway.

      1) Rich people ($$$ Profit)
      2) Rich people have the money to mount a legal defence (--- big losses)
    • This is only making people laugh. And feeleven less threatened to download.
    • The RIAA is actually going about this in a winnable fashion and they don't even have to win to win. First they are taking on a person who does not have the deep pockets to defend himself against the 2,000Lb. gorilla that the RIAA is. If the student does not defend himself, the RIAA wins by default. The RIAA would then have a judgement placed against the student which would not be avoidable by bankruptcy and probably even have rights to his estate after his death. His credit is ruined and he would never hav
      • That makes sense. But, you forgot that most judges in the united states are liberals and would never let a settlement of billions dollars on one person to stand. In the end, the judge and set a dollar amount for the settlement. If the student just admits his was in the wrong, then the judge will set a limit of more or less in the area of a couple thousand dollars.

        But, I think we are also forgetting that the RIAA said a few years ago that they would not sue any person directly like this. But that is so
  • Blackboard (Score:5, Informative)

    by mrbrown1602 (536940) <mrbrown@mrCOFFEEbrown.net minus caffeine> on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @08:14PM (#5747883) Homepage Journal

    We use the Blackboard transaction system here at LSU, and a lot of our food/drink machines with the system are usually offline... now, if you swipe your card in the machine while its offline, it'll display what's supposively stored on the card - your social security #.

    Just something I thought was kind of interesting.

    • That is intersting, though I'd never seen it. The system seemed to be working OK three years ago. LSU used to use social security numbers, unfortunately, for everything, printing them in big numbers on your ID card and encoded into the magnetic stripe. with four or five extra numbers. Ordinary card readers from Nothern Computer read them, so I imagine they used some kind of standard. Security nightmare? Well of course it was but it always seemed to work. Did they put in something just as full of holes
  • Skepticism Abounds (Score:5, Insightful)

    by yoink! (196362) on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @08:19PM (#5747908) Homepage Journal
    I don't believe that Microsoft intends to allow users to actually remove much software with any of these "new" features. Even if a user edits his/her sysoc.inf (you can find it in "%systemroot%\inf" if you so will) file and removes the word "hide" from applications which are not appearing under the "add/remove windows components" manager, most of the applications remain on the hard disk even after they are supposedly "uninstalled." I have found this to be true with Outlook Express and Media Player. Frankly who cares about Internet Explorer at this point. Most people I know use it on their windows machines anyway, regardless of how buggy and insecure it may. At this point, Microsoft being forced to alter XP so much that Internet Explorer is "uninstalled" is nothing more that a friendly pat on the ass compared to the original goals of the anti-trust case(s). The justice department should be absolutely ashamed.
  • About the Mozilla naming thing...you can't pick a much less original name than Thunderbird...

    Is it really that hard to pick an original name and then run a few searches to make sure there are no similar products with that name?

    For example, why not pick something from another language that fits the product well? Something like 'gaiyuu' (Japanese: foreign travel) or 'michiyuki' (Japanese: going down the road)...

    Seriously...it seems ridiculous the amount of trouble these people have coming up with original names...

    IMHO.

  • by poppen_fresh (65995) on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @08:23PM (#5747932)
    It say that the Navy found some hard drives with 100s and 1000s of copyrighted files on them. It never says if the students had a right to have those files... I have 1000s of "copyrighted" files on my hdd in the form of mp3s, which I obtained by buying the CDs and then ripping them...
    • by Mononoke (88668) on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @09:05PM (#5748140) Homepage Journal
      It say that the Navy found some hard drives with 100s and 1000s of copyrighted files on them. It never says if the students had a right to have those files... I have 1000s of "copyrighted" files on my hdd in the form of mp3s, which I obtained by buying the CDs and then ripping them...
      Even worse. Every single file on my hard drive is copyrighted, as is every single file on yours, most likely.

      You see, I'm the author of many of the files, and as such, I hold instant copyright. Quoting from US government copyright office: [copyright.gov]

      Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is created in fixed form. The copyright in the work of authorship immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work. Only the author or those deriving their rights through the author can rightfully claim copyright.
      I'll bet we're all guilty of possession of copyrighted Slashdot images in our browser caches. I hope they don't mind.

  • by eniu!uine (317250) on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @08:24PM (#5747938)
    It's about time. Making internet explorer easy to remove will definately eliminate the problem with Microsoft's monopoly. The only reason Linux hasn't been adopted as a major desktop competitor is that it was widely felt that the internet explorer icon needed to be removed from Windows before you could install Linux, and this should clear that up. The justice department deserves a big pat on the back for this. Way to go DOJ!

  • Even biggerness.

    Sounds like they embiggened it a bit too much.

  • Oh, please (Score:5, Informative)

    by jesterzog (189797) on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @08:30PM (#5747966) Homepage Journal

    I guess most people have come to expect this from slashdot, but it should be pointed out all the same. It's too bad everyone (me included) puts up with it.

    From the slashdot writeup:

    "Meanwhile, IBPhoenix, an organisation that supports the development of the Firebird database, has put up a protest page, encouraging people to spam the MozillaZine forums (even though MozillaZine had nothing to do with the decision) and send masses of email to many Mozilla developers (most of whom were not involved in selecting the new name). I find it rather hypocritical [--snip--]"

    From the linked article [ibphoenix.com] (slightly summarised):

    Let the Mozilla forums know how you feel. They've already taken some heat in forums on their website. To join that fray, you must register. Check http://www.mozillazine.org/forums/index.php [mozillazine.org] and http://www.mozillazine.org/talkback.html?article=3 075 [mozillazine.org] for the discussion.

    You might also send mail to the following people and groups:

    Asa Dotzler - he made the announcement [..]

    drivers@mozilla.org - drivers are the project managers of Mozilla [..]

    These people are the technical project leaders of Mozilla. They too should be aware that the possibility for confusion exists. [--snip eight addresses--]

    Listing the eight technical project leaders at the end might have been a tad excessive, but I'd hardly call that "encouraging people to spam the mozillazine forums" or harrassing mozilla developers in the way that slashdot makes out to be. It looks like an ordinary informational page to tell people how they can contact the people who are able to make a decision.


    • Oh how many times has been heard
      the slashdot war cry "email them".

      When in violent passion the nerd
      mixed flammible breath and igniting pen.

      And opon corporations came the herd
      of emails in flooding streams unbroken.

      In crafty demise the corps did gird
      slashdot with the purchased by OSDN.

      Now email storms are thought obsurd
      and fuel for the flame to the nerd is returned.
    • too bad the Mozilla project leaders didn't name Pheonix, errm, Firebird... uh, I mean ... whatever you wanna call it. How bout they instead have one of their own addresses where people can send all the comments they have and then deliver it to the Pheonix people. That would be more along the lines of open source community ^^

    • I guess most people have come to expect this from slashdot, but it should be pointed out all the same. It's too bad everyone (me included) puts up with it.

      I agree, but in this case the write-up mostly plagiarizes a post on MozillaZine. The misleading posts on /. are frequently deceptive, but not as often orignially deceptive.

      From MozillaZine: [mozillazine.org] "InternetNews was one of the first sites to report on the renaming of Phoenix and Minotaur to Firebird and Thunderbird. Australian site LinuxWorld conc

  • Masterlock (Score:2, Informative)

    Actually, IIRC, Masterlock did threaten lawsuit over the dissemination of info that would allow someone to find out a combination to a MasterLock combo lock in a few easy steps.

    This is not new.

    Vidar
    • Richard Feynman covers this trick in one of his books.. since he is dead no one is there to blame..

  • RIAA Statistics (Score:2, Insightful)

    by )v(agnus (665275)
    We all know that statistics can be manipulated to show anything one wants. Here's how to fix the problem: * Dismantle the RIAA and scatter the fragments to the four corners * Let Artists decide how to advertise and distribute their creations
  • by Snork Asaurus (595692) on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @08:39PM (#5748000) Journal
    Warning: Since Internet Explorer is part of the operating system, your operating system will no longer function after you click the button. Please forward all concerns to the US Department of Justice. Have a nice day.
  • The "Legal" solution proposed by that Yalie simply won't work w/o stronger DRM, which currently isn't available, and which hopefully won't ever be widespread...
    He claims that streaming would not involve illegal copying, but I have to question if he really knows what he's talking about. Just because certain players will stream from certain sources does not stop anyone from redirecting those streams to disk and storing them there for as long as they want...
    Failing that, there's always the good old high-qualit
  • But not Emmett Plant [hydrogenaudio.org] I guess...
  • Placement of the button in a hard-to-reach spot in Windows was one of several complaints Microsoft's rivals made to the department last year.

    This sounds to me like an argument that might be made by people trying modchip X-Boxes - "It's too hard to circumvent Microsoft's way of doing things!"

    Is it just me, or does legal wrangling over the placement of a button just seem kind of silly?

    Mike Pettit, a spokesman for Procomp, an anti-Microsoft computer industry trade group, said the latest modification w
  • [i]You are required to agree to accept the terms and conditions of this license prior to proceeding with the products' installation.[/i]

    Since when? There's no shrinkwrap EULA that says I need to agree to your EULA.

    The only time I agree to any licensing is when I click on the "OK" button. Now, seriously, how many people have reverse engineered the installer _BEFORE_ actually installing and set it up so that it installs even if you say you Disagree?

    If I don't agree to the EULA, but still manage to install
  • by sootman (158191) on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @09:14PM (#5748187) Homepage Journal
    this could have all been avoided if they would have gone with my suggestion, 'el pollo del fuego'.
  • They don't explain how it was different when they picked a name that was already used by a BBS, financial software manufacturer, Fenix IDE and games company. Meanwhile, IBPhoenix, an organisation that supports the development of the Firebird database

    So an organisation that shared the name with the current browser (Phoenix) is upset that the new name change is close the the product they support (Firebird)?

    And there's a Fenix (Phoenix?) IDE named "Firebird" as well?

    Jesus, the software community's run out
  • MS just dumping WMP (Score:5, Informative)

    by SuperBanana (662181) on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @09:18PM (#5748200)
    We regret that we were unable to reach mutually acceptable terms for a new arrangement with Apple QuickTime.

    Well, at least they answered someone- I tried asking PBS why they dropped quicktime(also quite recently) for their TV episodes, and didn't get ea reply. I even offered to help implement open-source, free alternatives...since I live quite close to WGBH, one of the biggest PBS stations in the country.

    In any case, this is bull- the software to stream quicktime is FREE, and you can use any codec you want- it doesn't have to be proprietary sorenson, for example.

    Further, if cost was an issue, then they could stream ogg-vorbis, since there are no royalties, period. Sure, users would have to install a plugin, but that doesn't stop thousands upon thousands of sites forcing me to install Flash. It could certainly be offered as a choice.

    I suspect what happened was MS either coerced them into switching(that's what they did in my old company- they said they'd look the other way on license violations if they went 100% MS. Sure enough, new policy came out right after the audit saying "solaris and linux will be dropped, MS win2k will be used everywhere") or MS gave them everything, maybe even gave them free hardware and server licenses.

    It is positively disgusting that our public radio and TV companies are switching to just ONE, PROPRIETARY format.

  • by edrugtrader (442064) on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @09:30PM (#5748277) Homepage
    this is so simple to fix...

    current implementation:
    reader to NP: this guy says he wants a coke
    NP to reader: give him a coke

    how it is hacked:
    intercept the NP to reader command and resend "give him a coke" to the reader. free coke.

    fixed implementation:
    reader to NP: this guy says he wants a coke
    NP to reader: give him a coke, lets call it UNIQUE_KEY
    reader to NP: can i give this guy a coke and call it UNIQUE_KEY?
    NP to reader: if this challenge already occured respond "no, you already did", otherwise, respond "yes, give him a coke" and log the UNIQUE_KEY

    problem is the current hardware can not be upgraded to do handshaking or challenges like that. if you have programmed for paypal's IPN, it works as correctly described above and seems like the obvious solution... i can't figure out what these guys were thinking **for 19 years**!
  • If your smart enough to deal with not having I.E. then finding the button to remove it shouldn't be that hard. Imagine being on the phone doing tech support for some bozo who's deleted I.E. because Microsoft is Evil, and dealing with the complications thereof.

    Oh, and is it just me, or is this pathetic? Microsoft used illegle tactics to destroy several companies, and dominated the industry with those tactics to the point where the only way an even potential competitor could make it was by circumventing the
  • There are a heck of a lot of variants on the flaming bird theme, as any Phoenyx.net staffer could tell you. (Of course, some are harder to spell than others, which is why our most recent machine name is merely "roc".)

    Still, I won't complain that they changed the name... you have no idea how hard it is to *properly* spell "Phoenix" after eighteen years of "Phoenyx."

    We've considered renaming The Phoenyx, since (1) the name was come up with back in the day when you had to remember a number, not a domain name
  • Maybe it's time I bouht a yacht and start living in international water so that stupid US laws don't apply to me. After all, what does the US government actually do for me?
  • Notwithstanding language on the CD label for the copies of Visual Studio .NET Professional Edition and Windows XP Professional Edition that you received during your attendance at the Seminar, which appeared to indicate that a separate license document was required in order for you to legally use the software, this letter will confirm that use by you of the software received is governed by the electronic license embedded in the product setup that appears prior to installation.

    You are required to agree to ac

  • by alizard (107678) <alizardNO@SPAMecis.com> on Wednesday April 16, 2003 @11:47PM (#5748812) Homepage

    How about calling it "900t"? An anonymous reader writes "As previously reported, mozilla.org's Phoenix browser has been renamed to Firebird. This hasn't pleased supporters of the Firebird relational database project. In an Australian LinuxWorld article, one of their administrators calls the name change "one of the dirtiest deeds I've seen in open source so far." In a MozillaZine article, the same person accused mozilla.org of "theft" and "corporate bullying". They don't explain how it was different when they picked a name that was already used by a BBS, financial software manufacturer, Fenix IDE and games company. Meanwhile, IBPhoenix, an organisation that supports the development of the Firebird

    I'd like to suggest that all Open Source disputes over program names be settled through trial by combat in the old English tradition.

    If this works, perhaps this method can be used to settle all trade name disputes.

    Alternately, a version of this adapted to the programmer community can be tried.

    Set up a server on a static IP. One side tries to keep it running, the other side tries to h4ck it down, who defends and who attacks settled by coin flip.

  • NPR is part of PBS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by djupedal (584558) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @02:03AM (#5749299)
    Do you use QuickTime...are you giving $$ to PBS?
    <BR>
    <BR>
    This email is to discuss a recent decision by NPR, which I note on it's website says "In partnership with PBS".

    NPR.org has announced* it will stop using QuickTime for online /audio, in favor of an apparent Microsoft-only solution.

    As a past supporter to PBS in my hometown, Sacramento, I find it less than 'public' for an otherwise public resource such as NPR to adopt what I feel is a restrictive posture towards their online community.

    I also notice that the PBS website still supports QuickTime as a available format for viewing video online. I would like to believe that if PBS can continue to support more than one choice of online video, NPR would be able to follow suit.

    If PBS/NPR is going to request financial support from the community at large, it should perhaps consider those funds come from people with various choices that not only apply to politics, etc, but to information access methods as well. If I felt that PBS/NPR was only going to support a Microsoft environment in the future, I would be less apt to provide financial support....and I'm sure others will be thinking along similar lines.

    Regards,
    .....
  • by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @02:18AM (#5749339) Journal
    You can download audio of many articles directly from the site. Unfortunately, Apple's web browser of choice (Safari) thinks that the audio links are served up as *.smi files--perhaps "self mounting image files".

    Safari will, instead of opening these files with RealPlayer, Quicktime or downloading them to a desiganted directory, will open them up directly with Disk Copy-- an operation that wil surely fail.

    And because NPR uses javascript to decide what kind of stream to serve up, it's rather difficult to cut and paste a link directly into one of the audio streaming clients. I suppose you could uncheck the "open safe files automatically,", and control click the downloaded file, select "Open With RealOne Player" and enjoy the results, but that solution is rather complicated.

    NPR blames Apple [npr.org] for this. I'm sure that in the confusion, angry Safari users have jammed already strained technical support queues. So NPR does the only sensible thing-- it seeks petty revenge by dropping Quicktime.
  • by YetAnotherName (168064) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @02:41AM (#5749378) Homepage
    1. Enroll as student at university hosting next MS-sponsored event and grab a CD.
    2. Ignore sticker that says separate license required, as MS says to.
    3. Wait for cat to walk on keyboard during installation and agree to on-screen license agreement.
    4. ???
    5. Profit!

"Never give in. Never give in. Never. Never. Never." -- Winston Churchill

Working...