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Linux Drivers For Free Barcode Scanner Cease-And-D...
Linux Posted by CmdrTaco on Friday September 01, @10:21AM
from the in-a-world-full-of-lawyers dept.
On Aug. 30 several folks who have written Linux drivers and apps relating to the free barcode scanner mentioned here a few days ago were sent cease and desist orders demanding that they stop distributing the code. [updated by timothy 20:00 GMT: Please note that what flyingbuttmonkeys received is not officially a "cease and desist" letter; instead, it merely says that the longer the drivers are available, the "longer damages will accrue," citing "intellectual property rights owned by Digital Convergence."] The barcode scanner is called a CueCat (with some lame marketroid colons that I'm not using because it irritates me when people name things like that). The code included a device driver written by Pierre-Philippe Coupard and a reader/decrypter written by Michael Rothwell. The code is afaik unavailable, but hopefully folks who downloaded it will have mirrors soon. I asked Michael to describe to me what his decoder did, and a few other questions.

> How complicated is the driver/what does it do?

It isn't terribly complicated. There's two programs that I wrote in the package, and one I did not. All are based on the "libcue" I wrote, also in the package. The deocder algorithm is a simple modified base-64 XOR 67. Jean-Philippe 'JP' Sugarbroad figured it out, and Colin Cross wrote code based on it and made me aware of it. I re-implemented it for the learning experience. The program named "decode" reads in a line of output from the cuecat for stdin or as first argument. CueCat output looks like this:

<ALT-F10>.C3nZC3nZC3nYDhv7D3DWCxnX.cGf2.ENr7C3b3DNbWChPXDxzZDNP6.

decode splits the Cue output into fields separeted buy ".". It ignores the first field and runs the rest through the base64+XOR decoder. This becomes the first line output. Digital Converegence added some additional "encryption" to their Web service; their program takes the output of the cuecat and inverts its case befoe sending it off to http://[server].dcnv.com/CRQ/1..[activation code].04.[cuecat scan].0

[Server] can be a, o, s, t, or u. [activation code] is supposed to be the activation code you get from your registration, but can be simply "ACTIVATIONCODE", which is actually what my spftware puts there. [cuecat scan] is the raw output of the device, minus the ALT-F10, with case inverted. Their servers send back a little blob of text containing several fields, including a suggested URL and description. Libcue parses those out and makes them available to its clients. Here's the scan of an NADA car-guide book:

The output of decode looks like this
DATA 000000001768443202 IB5 978034533392650599

CUE 0345333926
AMAZON 0345333926
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0345333926/104-2159322-9263954
Ringworld Larry Niven
http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0345333926.01.LZZZZZZZ.gif

The gnome panel applet reads in CueCat scans, looks up the :Cue at DCNV servers, and redirects Netscape to the suggested site, if any.

> What does their commercial software do exactly?

The same thing mine does, without the amazon lookup and with some annoying GUI features, like a tabbed CueCat panel.

> How many lines of code?

1258 according to "cat cuecat-applet.c cuecat-applet.h decode.c decode.h libcue.c libcue.h | wc -l"

Michael makes another interesting point in a seperate e-mail

When they sent the letter (Aug. 30), my software did not touch the DCNV servers to look up :Cues. It simply decoded the data, and if an ISBN number was scanned, the panel applet made Netscape go to the Amazon page blindly: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/[isbn number here].

So it was not the use of DCNV servers they objected to, but the mere decoding of the output of the cuecat. I didn't release the :Cue and Amazon lookup-enabled version until yesterday (Aug. 31), when the FedEx letter arrived by overnight delivery.

Thanks to Michael for taking the time to answer this stuff. It's pretty scary when the stuff that you have can't be poked at without a corporation demanding you stop. Imagine if Ford had said you can't open the hoods of your car a hundred years ago.

Update: 09/01 02:49 PM by CT: Freshmeat has a perl script CueCat Decoder that will also decode the CueCat's output.

Update: 09/01 02:57 PM by CT: Russel Nelson pointed out that Lineo's Driver has also been taken down following a cease and desist from Digital Convergence (CueCat's parent).

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    legality (Score:3, Interesting)
    by Skorpion (alex at bofh.torun.pl) on Friday September 01, @10:26AM EDT (#4)
    (User #88485 Info)
    Is this legal ? I undestand that they may have objections on ways of using their servers, but what with hardware they give away ?

    Alex


    -- The source of all our problems is that we think, that today we won't die.

    Re:legality (Score:1)
    by SpacePunk (sensei@techdojo.net) on Friday September 01, @10:31AM EDT (#17)
    (User #17960 Info)
    You'd think that once someone gives an item away, or sells it for that matter, that you are free to do with it as you wish. There's gotta be something that covers this.

    Just more BS from lawyers. The feds sure as hell handed them a huge plate to eat from with recent legislation.
    Being proactive... (Score:2)
    by Legolas-Greenleaf on Friday September 01, @11:22AM EDT (#160)
    (User #181449 Info)
    As a start of action towards this, I've decided to boycott Radioshack entirely, and make my peers do so as well (since they use this technology and are the ones giving out the scanner). I am also writing a firmly worded letter to various Radioshack email addresses expressing my displeasure, my intention to boycott them for competeters, and encouraging them to pressure Digital Convergence into stopping this nonsense. I encourage others to do likewise.

    (and, yes, in my email, I am actually using spellcheck. =^)
    -legolas

    i've looked at love from both sides now. from win and lose, and still somehow...
    it's love's illusions i recall. i really don't know love at all

    Re:Being proactive... (Score:2)
    by 1010011010 (1010011010@PORKSHOULDERANDHAMholly-springs.nc.us) on Friday September 01, @11:36AM EDT (#203)
    (User #53039 Info)
    I wouldn't boycott RadioShack. It's not their fault. Lots of people are handing them out. It's Digital Convergence that's the problem. I imagine if you order a reader from DCNV for "shipping costs," you will be bound by their agreement.

    See "i-opener" in the archives.

    ---- ----
    Don't like Echelon?/
    Re:Being proactive... (Score:3, Insightful)
    by Legolas-Greenleaf on Friday September 01, @11:59AM EDT (#254)
    (User #181449 Info)
    Personally, I think that Digital Convergence will listen to Radioshack a little more attentively then it will to me. For one thing, Radioshack stands something to lose from having boycotting customers and should act on their behalf. Digital Convergence, on the other hand, makes no direct money off of me, so is under no real obligation to listen to me. However, if Radioshack threatened to pull their scanner, which i assume they pay nice sums of money for, then Digital Convergence would have to listen. I think this would probably be a more productive way to approach this problem.
    -legolas

    i've looked at love from both sides now. from win and lose, and still somehow...
    it's love's illusions i recall. i really don't know love at all

    Re:Being proactive... (Score:2, Interesting)
    by Scrag (Scragno7h@nospam.hotmail.com) on Friday September 01, @10:07PM EDT (#564)
    (User #137843 Info)
    RadioShack is not the problem at all. They just hand them out to people. You can read about my experiences with the CueCat HERE
    Sorry about the big pictures, I didnt have time to thumbnail them.

    --To decode this comment into a readable form, rot13 it twice.--
    Re:Being proactive... (Score:2, Interesting)
    by SvnLyrBrto (SvnLyrBrto@micro$oft.yahoo.com) on Friday September 01, @12:58PM EDT (#333)
    (User #62138 Info)
    >I've decided to boycott Radioshack entirely,

    NO!!! Don't boycott!!!

    In fact, I plan to become a BETTER Radio Shack customer because of this!

    Hell, there are four Radio Shack's I can think of off the top of my head between work and home. I'll be taking the time to stop at EACH ONE on my way home tonite to pick up my free barcode scanner. Hell, I bet Radio Shack's webside has a store locator... the SF Bay Area is SURELY rife with them. I could devote a couple hours over the weekend to picking up as many Cue Cats as I can reach Radio Shacks. Rinse, Lather, Repeat... when a different salesdroid is working the store!

    >and make my peers do so as well

    Hey! So will I!!!

    And mabye I'll tape the wonderous scene of hundreds of CueCats being dumped into the bay!!! Compress to Quicktime, and email to both Radio Shack AND digital convergance!

    john
    Resistance is NOT futile!!!

    Haiku:
    I am not a drone.
    Remove the collective if
    You wish to send mail.

    Re:Being proactive... (Score:1)
    by luckykaa (squigly@maxmail.co.uk) on Friday September 01, @03:12PM EDT (#438)
    (User #134517 Info)
    Can I have one?
    Re:legality (Score:1)
    by ncc74656 (salfter@salfter.ncc74656.dyndns.org) on Friday September 01, @11:29AM EDT (#180)
    (User #45571 Info) http://salfter.dyndns.org
    You'd think that once someone gives an item away, or sells it for that matter, that you are free to do with it as you wish. There's gotta be something that covers this.

    IANAL, but isn't the first-sale doctrine (brought up recently here WRT books) something that would come into play here? (It says that once you purchase something, it is yours to do with as you please and the seller has no control over what you do with it.) If it is applicable, then the proper response to Digital Convergence would be to tell them what they can go do with themselves.

    The only snag I can think of here, though, is that nothing is sold to you here...they're giving these scanners away. Would that make any difference?

      _/_
     / v \
    (IIGS( Scott Alfter (remove Voyager's hull # to send mail)
     \_^_/

    Re:legality (Score:1)
    by Fist Prost (fistprost@outthroughthe.inbox.as) on Friday September 01, @11:50AM EDT (#236)
    (User #198535 Info) http://amishrakefight.org/gfy
    Did you sign anything to get one?

    Personally I'm not going to boycott Radio Shack over this. I've been a customer my entire life, from the "battery o' the month club" to my first 150 projects in one kit to the computer I first touched basic on. Must recently I've been travelling to all the stores in my area and cleaning them out of those 1337 blue LEDs...

    Anyway, and for the guy above, try sending a politely worded letter letting them know that you're disspointed in the C&D action. Remind them that it was hobbyists and crazy home inventors that put their company into a position to be able to offer free scanners and sell stereos to the masses.
    fist prost(retired first poster) I smack kneejerk moderators.
    Re:legality (Score:1)
    by sethdelackner (sdelackn@ucsd.edu) on Friday September 01, @08:16PM EDT (#533)
    (User #110929 Info)
    It gets even better. I received my CueCat reader in the mail without even asking for it because I am a Forbes subscriber. So exactly what grounds do they have to demand ANYTHING? When someone sends you a pack of address labels and demands a donation the same rule applies: you owe them NOTHING and have agreed to nothing.
    Re:legality (Score:1)
    by jodo on Friday September 01, @11:51PM EDT (#582)
    (User #209027 Info)
    Exactly so. It also seems to me if they are giving something away then there is no contractual relationship because there was not an exchange of value. This is getting ridiculous. Bar code readers have been around almost forever. What are these guys trying to protect. Their customers want as many users as possible to place orders with these devices. So why slow down the spread of usage. If you give me a claw hammer and I crack nuts with it; have I violated any of your rights?
    "Don't Follow Leaders." Bob Dylan
    Re:legality (Score:2, Interesting)
    by danheskett (heskettd@hotmail.com) on Friday September 01, @01:00PM EDT (#336)
    (User #178529 Info) http://www.vocalstudent.com
    Thats not entirely it. The rigth of first sale just means that the company only has the right to control the first sale of a product. It came from a case where musicans or a tradegroup (cant remember which) tried to impose a tax on all second-sales of cassettes (at garage sales, thrift stores, etc, etc). The courts ruled (and not for the first time - first sale goes back a while if i remember right) that a company transfers ownership to a customer permanently when they sell something to a consumer and have bascially no legal power to control the product after that point.

    First sale does not apply to licensed, leased, or other service type products. For example, in the case of leasing, you cant sell your car while leasing it. Similiarly, you cant sell you car if you have a loan against it. The Bank retains its first sale rights and deny's those rights to you till they are paid-off. In the case of this situation, it probably stands to reason that the company only licensed the scanners to people (very common these days). If they really sell it, then you can pretty much do what you will - in the context of the DMCA of course.




    Get Vocal. http://www.vocalstudent.com
    Re:legality (Score:1)
    by crm0922 on Saturday September 02, @01:11PM EDT (#615)
    (User #50203 Info)
    You'd think that once someone gives an item away, or sells it for that matter, that you are free to do with it as you wish. There's gotta be something that covers this.

    If that was true we wouldn't have the DeCSS problem. Fortunately, Fair Use is supposed to be helpful here...although it only applies to media I think. I dunno, reverse engineering that does not circumvent security measures (BS) is legal even under the DMCA.

    Chris
    Re:legality (Score:1)
    by SquidBoy (stuartfin()4thenet'co'uk) on Friday September 01, @10:32AM EDT (#20)
    (User #208635 Info)

    Are they planning to make it illegal to read barcodes? Maybe they have a patent on reading barcoded information into a computer.

    Am I missing something, or is there any real difference between using this scanner and just typing the numbers on your keyboard? (Other than getting to pretend you work at the forefront of retail technology.)
    If you're a jock, inflict some pain / If you're a nerd then use your brain - DAPHNE AND CELESTE

    What nations does the order apply to? (Score:1, Interesting)
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, @10:43AM EDT (#52)
    And more importantly, in what nations does the cease and desist order mean nothing?

    Mirror the code on servers in those nations

    God bless the lack of a single world government.

    Re:What nations does the order apply to? (Score:1, Insightful)
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, @11:11AM EDT (#131)
    Every nation.
    Re:What nations does the order apply to? (Score:1)
    by The Mgt on Tuesday September 05, @02:02PM EDT (#658)
    (User #221650 Info)
    Er, hardly.
    The Mgt.
    Re:What nations does the order apply to? (Score:1)
    by danheskett (heskettd@hotmail.com) on Friday September 01, @01:04PM EDT (#343)
    (User #178529 Info) http://www.vocalstudent.com
    That means nothing.

    Putting the code in a country that doesnt even have copyright laws will not satisfy the situation. Laws in major countries extend into international contexts. They govern you, not the code. The cease and desist applys to you - not a piece of code on a server far away. They can order you to cease if you are an American, in the country when the acts occured (even if the acts ended up taking effect in a foreign country).

    Now, a subpoena is a different matter all together. The ISP in the far away land would not have to obey a subpoena. So that would shut you down. But realistically, they could subpoena you for your passwords, which they could force from you, and then take it down using that information. Its a back door for sure, but possible in the context of current law.


    Get Vocal. http://www.vocalstudent.com
    Read the fine print; they never "gave" it to you (Score:1)
    by Krimsen (daveg@NO_SPAM_FOR_ME_THANK_YOU.post1.com) on Friday September 01, @10:50AM EDT (#74)
    (User #26685 Info) http://www.3113.com
    I don't remember where and I am too lazy to look, but somewhere in the fine print (whether it is in the manual or during the software installation, I don't remember) it states (in legalese) that they are only letting you borrow the CueCat and that at any time they may wish to recall it and you _have_ to give it back.

    Yes, welcome to the future, where nothing in your posession is yours - you have simply been given a license to use it.
    FOUND IT! (Score:4, Informative)
    by Krimsen (daveg@NO_SPAM_FOR_ME_THANK_YOU.post1.com) on Friday September 01, @10:56AM EDT (#86)
    (User #26685 Info) http://www.3113.com
    Here is the exact text, from their site:
    The :CueCat reader is only on loan to you from Digital:Convergence and may be recalled at any time. Without limiting the foregoing, your possession or control of the :CueCat reader does not transfer any right, title or interest to you in the :CueCat reader.

    If you want to view it yourself, check here and go down to the third heading called "Permitted Uses and Restrictions". Read about halfway down that section, then be careful you don't hurt youself as your jaw drops into your lap.
    Re:FOUND IT! (Score:2, Informative)
    by ConversantShogun on Friday September 01, @11:03AM EDT (#111)
    (User #227587 Info)
    Yeah, but the ULA only applies to readers "distributed under this license."

    Unless the license (or, at least the existence of one) was explicitly made obvious to you when you were handed the thing, or when you opened it or installed it, then it was not distributed to you under the license, and therefore the license doesn't apply.

    This applies in my case. Note, I'm talking about the hardware itself. The fact is, I never opened or installed the software--threw it away since I knew I wouldn't have any use for it.


    ----------------------------------- Constants aren't; variables won't. .
    Re:Same here - and the 1st ammendment (Score:1)
    by tz on Friday September 01, @12:10PM EDT (#275)
    (User #130773 Info)
    They should countersue Radio Shack and DC for violation of 1st ammendment rights. What is bothersome to me is that the letter in each case was so vague - violated "The intellectual property". That has to be a patent, copyright, trade secret or something. You can't enforce a deed to property that doesn't state where the boundaries of that property is. I can see a trademark problem since cuecat and a few other things were used unacknowledged. But if the sites (like lineo) are going to give in this quickly, what about when they get a letter "your entire site violates something we aren't going to clarify - please take it down immediately"?

    They can have the CueCat reader back (perhaps minus a few screws) - if they send me a prepaid shipping container.

    (They are probably tracking everyone who uses the software. Anyone for integrating hustler magazine UPC barcodes into kiddie comics?).

    What does Radio Shack have to say about this?

    Re:FOUND IT! (Score:2)
    by 1010011010 (1010011010@PORKSHOULDERANDHAMholly-springs.nc.us) on Friday September 01, @11:11AM EDT (#132)
    (User #53039 Info)
    When the counter jockey at Radio Shack handed me my scanner, I was told nothing about restrictions. I signed nothing.


    ---- ----
    Don't like Echelon?/
    Re:You missed the important part (Score:4, Informative)
    by deacent on Friday September 01, @11:24AM EDT (#167)
    (User #32502 Info)

    From the Permitted Uses and Restrictions section of the CueCat license:

    You acknowledge that the Software and :CueCat reader contain trade secrets and other proprietary information of Digital:Convergence and its licensors. Except as expressly permitted in this License, you may not decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, modify, rent, lease, loan, sublicense, distribute or create derivative works based upon the :CRQ software or :CueCat reader in whole or part or transmit the :CRQ software over a network or from one computer to another.

    [snip]

    In any event, you will notify Digital:Convergence of any information derived from reverse engineering or such other activities, and the results thereof will constitute the confidential information of Digital:Convergence that may be used only in connection with the Software and :CueCat reader.

    DISCLAIMER: IANAL

    This leagalize does give them a leg to stand on. It's a matter of whether a court of law will find it enforcable. I guess it's a lot like the EULA. As long as Radio Shack employees aren't forcing anyone to sign an agreement, I think this license is unenforcable.

    -Jennifer


    Re:You missed the important part (Score:3, Insightful)
    by Krimsen (daveg@NO_SPAM_FOR_ME_THANK_YOU.post1.com) on Friday September 01, @11:29AM EDT (#177)
    (User #26685 Info) http://www.3113.com
    Yes that is the one thing ConversantShogun pointerd out here... The whole license is contingent on you seeing it. I checked everything that came in the little plastic baggie, including the manual and the CD case and there was no copy of the license there. It just said that using the software was contingent on accepting the license - it never said anything about any license associated with using the hardware... loophole possibly?
    Re:You missed the important part (Score:1, Interesting)
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, @11:29AM EDT (#178)
    You cannot license physical property, only intellectual property. Therefore, you cannot create derivative works that would infringe on the CueCat patent, but they cannot prevent you from developing software that exploits its capabilities. I'm tempted to release commercial software that utilizes the CueCat to allow users to purchase through affiliate sites on the Internet and, since *I* am not reverse engineering their product, there is nothing anybody can do to stop me.
    Licenceing property (Score:1)
    by luckykaa (squigly@maxmail.co.uk) on Friday September 01, @11:58AM EDT (#252)
    (User #134517 Info)
    Actually, you probably can licence physical property by lending it. Giving something away, then telling people that it can't be used for certain purposes is not the way to do it of course. (They could possibly demand the return of their property)
    Re:You missed the important part (Score:5, Insightful)
    by commandant (ajh3@spam.redirect.de) on Friday September 01, @11:40AM EDT (#215)
    (User #208059 Info) http://www.xfree86.org

    When I walked into my local Radio Shack, the guy didn't even know what a CueCat was. I had to say, "You know, the barcode reader?" He acknowledged and handed me the thing. He took my name and address (I still can't figure out why I didn't use fake info). He never said anything about a license to use it. He also never said, on the phone or in person, that it was on loan from DigitalConvergence.com. He said they were "giving" it to me, for free.

    After opening the package I plugged the thing into my machine, and glanced at the card they give you. I've just now read the entire card, and it says nothing about a license agreement, or even a mandatory look at crq.com. It only says to go to crq.com to get a unique activation code.

    Unfortunately, in screw-you lawyer style, the back of the CD jacket says, in tiny print on the bottom, "Opening of this software constitutes acceptance of our License terms contained herein. Copies can also be found at www.digitalconvergence.com/ula.html. [...]" Although I don't recall a EULA in the package, it does direct you to online information. It also doesn't say installation constitutes acceptance, only opening the software. And that happened when you eagerly ripped open the plastic containing the device.

    Therefore, unfortunately, we are all bound by those license terms. I could imagine, if one took it all the way to the Supreme Court, one could claim that decoding the CueCat output is merely reinterpretation of public information (since the CueCat dumps its code into any text editor you choose, they aren't making an effort to conceal the code).

    If mine gets recalled, though, I won't give it back. The reason? I paid for it. That's right: when I was at Radio Shack, and before I could even see a hint of a license agreement in the package (the message was obstructed by the informational booklet), I gave away my name and address (it's even printed on the receipt they gave me), which is valuable marketing information. So Radio Shack (and potentially DigitalConvergence.com) can send me shit I don't want, and I have nothing to show for it? I don't think so. I deserve compensation for giving up my privacy.

    Maybe that's why I didn't use fake info.

    I do not belong in the spam.redirect.de domain.
    I do belong in the cec.wustl.edu domain.

    Re:You missed the important part (Score:4, Interesting)
    by Sloppy (sloppy@spam^H^H^H^Hrt66.com) on Friday September 01, @11:49AM EDT (#233)
    (User #14984 Info)

    Therefore, unfortunately, we are all bound by those license terms.

    Eh? Even if I were to accept the wildly controversial assertion that opening the software causes you to be bound by the license, there's still a big problem: just about everyone here (except for the Windows users) didn't open the software. The CueCat got plugged into the computer, and the unopened Windows software went into the trash, just like the Windows drivers disk that comes with most the hardware that we buy.


    ---
    Have a Sloppy night!
    Bullshit (Score:1)
    by Psi-kick Guy on Friday September 01, @07:23PM EDT (#525)
    (User #149014 Info)
    Per the licensing agreement on the site (http://www.digitalconvergence.com/ula.html or http://www.crq.com/legal.html) you agree to follow thier license if you do any of the following :

    And per the licensing agreement on _MY_ site (the URL of which I'm not going to send you), everybody on /. has to send me $100 USD whenever they post here.

    Since you've posted on /., when can I expect your money order?

    They can't claim that last little sentance legally (Score:3, Insightful)
    by Svartalf (fearl@!spammers!die!airmail.net) on Friday September 01, @10:44PM EDT (#572)
    (User #2997 Info) http://members.xoom.com/svartalf
    If there's ambiguities, etc. that either invalidate or otherwise, they can't claim that the interpretation that is most favorable is the one that's the correct interpretation. Legally speaking, they have to be explicit in everything or it causes a loophole. Since they weren't explicit on the packaging, a claim on the WWW site doesn't give them footing in this regard.

    (Just because it's in the boilerplate at any location, doesn't mean it's legit- loads of companies alike try to pull fast ones all the time!)
    "All we are is dust in the wind..." -- Kansas, Dust in the Wind
    phantom license agreements (Score:1)
    by James Fraser on Saturday September 02, @02:30AM EDT (#599)
    (User #224613 Info) http://members.xoom.com/jamesfraser/index.htm
    Okay, so supposedly by ripping open the **UNMARKED** plastic baggy and plugging the cuecat (suspiciously also not marked as concerning this amazing claim of license) into my computer, they claim I can be held to their ULA, even though I'd NEVER SEEN anything up to that point concerning it? I don't think they could make that stick legally. Besides, it's not like it's a marvel of electronic engineering. It's a bar code reader. Big deal. They have done themselves only harm by making a huge stink of this code that could only help them (or at least certainly not hurt them). BTW, if they could make that ULA stick, then I think we should all start putting ULA's on our websites... in tiny print at the bottom of a page buried under layers of menus: "accessing ANY of this site's pages entitles the webmaster to bill and receive from the user $4000.00 per page viewed by said user. User indicates his/her acceptance of this license by digitally accessing any of these pages..." And just like the DeCSS thing (where the code to READ the DVD is illegal to own for fear that everyone who owns it will start pirating DVDs), this is another gleaming example of our screwed up legal system, where common sense if considered null. If they succeed with the DeCSS lawsuits, you better hold onto your tape recorders, cd burners, typewriters and even your pens and pencils... they may try to claim that by being able to write you have an illegal ability to plagiarize copyrighted materials. It's getting ridiculous.
    Re:phantom license agreements (Score:1)
    by wcb4 on Saturday September 02, @09:10PM EDT (#623)
    (User #75520 Info)
    You know, as stupid as this sounds, NSI actually tried to pull this about a year ago. Their main whois search page said nothing about it, but when you search fora domain name, the page that came back said that the information was their property and you could not include it in any other web page or parse the information for inclusion into any other web page and that by viewing this information you were legally bound to that condition. In other words by viewing this page, you are bound to something, written in the page at the bottom ;-) what a wonderful world we live in. I personally hope to see linux,windows,BeOS adn mac drivers linked here soon that will let me just plug in my :Cuecat and scan something and have the barcode number appear on my screen as if I had typed it. Then, I will get some use out of it by printing bar code labels and plastering them on everythign I own for inventory purposes.


    I think....therefore I am
    I think you are annoying....therefore you are
    Re:You missed the important part (Score:1)
    by Punto (punto@geocities.com) on Friday September 01, @03:56PM EDT (#450)
    (User #100573 Info) http://anime.com.ar
    Opening of this software constitutes acceptance of our License terms contained herein

    That's what I'd call a paradox (unless you have some kind of 'x-ray-cdrom-reading vision' or something).

    --
    this is the last post of the milenium. buy now

    Re:You missed the important part (Score:1)
    by CowbertPrime (dont.spam.me.at.sirdrake99@yahoo.com) on Friday September 01, @10:09PM EDT (#565)
    (User #206514 Info) http://resnet.uconn.edu/peterl
    If they do NOT print the EULA out, it is unenforceable. IIRC, all legal documents must be either on hardcopy, or immediately be printable when the user opens the package (e.g. the 'print' button on the EULA when you install stuff).
    Re:You missed the important part (Score:1)
    by Sc00ter (travis@scootz.net) on Sunday September 03, @11:12AM EDT (#636)
    (User #99550 Info) http://www.scootz.net
    When I went and got mine they just handed it to me and didn't ask me or tell me ANYTHING
    Re:You missed the important part (Score:2)
    by griffjon (griffjon@spamsucks.austin.rr.noitreallydoes.com) on Sunday September 03, @02:07PM EDT (#639)
    (User #14945 Info) http://www.GriffJon.com
    I walked in to RS, asked if they had any, the guy threw one down on the counter, I picked it up, and left. I agreed to no restrictions, signed no documents, did not even give them my name. The packaging required to get through to open the cutcat hardware had no licenses or references to licenses. I broke no seals beyond ordinary packaging (plastic bag). The hardware component itself has no reference to licensing, beyond, "For home or office use" and the fact that it is patent pending.

    Even moreso, it was manufactured by Tandy, NOT Digital Convergence. it was manufacuted under some agreement.

    The instruction booklet has no license agreement or mention thereof.

    It says the :cue:cat "reads any product code and isntantly transports you to the corresponding website"

    I have not opened the CRQ Software package, and cannot be held to licenses within it.

    I'd love to see Digital Convergence try to take it back and not get charged with theft.

    (What's the PC term for "indian giver"?
    The revolution will not be televised, it will be distributed freely over the Internet via peer-to-peer filesharing progr
    Re: This Comment is FREE (Score:1)
    by klasiphyd on Tuesday September 05, @05:03PM EDT (#663)
    (User #19890 Info)

    I hope you have enjoyed it.

    This comment can only be read through RayBan sunglasses. I know I said it was free, and it is free. But it more like a Loan. You can borrow this comment, but only if you look at it through RayBan sun glasses. Anything else, and you are violating my Intellectual Property and "damages will acrue".

     
    Re:You missed the important part (Score:1)
    by thrash_ (NOSPAM-bcrochet@efn.org) on Friday September 01, @01:03PM EDT (#337)
    (User #34661 Info)
    This leagalize does give them a leg to stand on. It's a matter of whether a court of law will find it enforcable. I guess it's a lot like the EULA. As long as Radio Shack employees aren't forcing anyone to sign an agreement, I think this license is unenforcable.

    I think you are totally correct. I went and picked one up after this story came out, just to see the licensing and so forth. IANAL, but the way I see it, if you never install their Windoze software, then you never actually accept the license agreement. AND, even if you do, the Windoze License only mentions the software, NOT the Scanner itself. This would never hold up in a real court of law, IMHO.

    Re:You missed the important part (Score:1)
    by topeka (topeka@remove.catchen.org) on Friday September 01, @01:16PM EDT (#351)
    (User #57768 Info) http://www.catchen.org

    As far as I know you cannot revoke a person's right to reverse engineer a product. Reverse Engineering has long been proven legal and cannot be revoked just because it is printed in scary legalese.

    In fact, there is controvresy in the legal world as to whether or not EULAs are even binding in court.

    The same can be said about the rest of the license. Writing it down means nothing until it has been proven or upheld in a court of law. They can add any caveat they want to this license. They can send out as many cease and desist letters as they have stamps for. It matters not.

    The community needs to have the guts to stand-up and ignore these threats.


    I never agreed to that. (Score:2)
    by Russ Nelson on Friday September 01, @01:22PM EDT (#355)
    (User #33911 Info) http://russnelson.com/
    I never agreed to any such contract. The CDROM (which I hadn't examined until now) says that by opening the software I agree ... I don't agree, so I didn't open the software.
    -russ

    IANAL: Do I have any obligation to these people? (Score:1)
    by Rocketboy on Friday September 01, @03:10PM EDT (#437)
    (User #32971 Info)
    I didn't ask for Forbes to send these things to me; I haven't installed the hardware or the software, and I certainly never agreed to any relationship of any kind with DigitalConvergence. Given that, I don't see why am obligated to hold onto these things until DigitalConvergence decides that they want them back (and if they do they can send me pre-paid shippers: I have no intention of footing a postage bill to return something I never asked for.) In fact, as I understand it, these things came in the mail, which places them under postal regulations and I seem to recall a postal regulation which says that if someone mails you something you didn't ask for, it is yours. Like I said above, IANAL but I wish someone who was would comment.

    Another thought: I never installed the hardware or the software, so how can I be bound by some purely hypothetical (from my view point, since I have no way of verifying it,) license agreement? If I don't install the software, which links me to their web site in order to register the product (as I understand the instruction sheet,) then why can't I hack the hardware any old way I want?

    mjs
    Re:IANAL: Do I have any obligation to these people (Score:1)
    by RuphSkunk on Friday September 01, @04:32PM EDT (#472)
    (User #22588 Info)
    I recall the same thing about receiving someting in the mail you didn't ask for. It seems to me that if DigitalConvergence is trying to impose some sort of "contract for use" to a product they mailed to people that did not ask for it, that contract must be considered unenforceable. Can anyone say mail fraud? maybe not, but it sure seems fishy. IANAL
    Re:IANAL: Do I have any obligation to these people (Score:3, Informative)
    by RuphSkunk on Friday September 01, @06:34PM EDT (#517)
    (User #22588 Info)
    This seems to be very relevant:

  • US Code Title 39, Part IV, Chapter 30, Section 3009. Here is an excerpt:

    (b) Any merchandise mailed in violation of subsection (a) of this section, or within the exceptions contained therein, may be treated as a gift by the recipient, who shall have the right to retain, use, discard, or dispose of it in any manner he sees fit without any obligation whatsoever to the sender. All such merchandise shall have attached to it a clear and conspicuous statement informing the recipient that he may treat the merchandise as a gift to him and has the right to retain, use, discard, or dispose of it in any manner he sees fit without any obligation whatsoever to the sender.

    This section also references Title 15, Chapter 2, Subchapter 1, Section 45, regarding unfair business practices. I thing The barcode scanner manufactures could sue on unlawful distribution.


  • Re:You missed the important part (Score:1)
    by Seqram (em ay ar kay at kay el eye dot oh ar gee) on Friday September 01, @06:04PM EDT (#503)
    (User #165661 Info)

    I didn't install their software; I didn't even open the CD envelope. Does that mean I can post the software safely?


    Re:You missed the important part (Score:1)
    by kernelbabe (kernelbabe@yahoo.com) on Saturday September 02, @12:09PM EDT (#613)
    (User #229062 Info)
    Went to RS today...picked up my free reader and software (along with a RS catlog full of these huge, obscene barcodes...note that they've had to reduce the size of the pics in the catalog to accommodate the codes). Now you HAVE to visit the websites just to see what the friggin things look like. Can't wait to play with the software and create some derivative works... then offer it for free on my ftp site. DC..Let's tango!
    My soapbox: It's insufficient to protect ourselves with laws. We must do it with math. But I'm a girl. Whadda I know?
    Re:You missed the important part (Score:1)
    by klasiphyd on Tuesday September 05, @04:59PM EDT (#662)
    (User #19890 Info)
    You are right, they don't have a leg to stand on. IANAL, but if I am given something and am not required to sign or agree to something before being handed the item, and I never open any software, break any seals or anything, how can I be bound by a EULA. That would be similar to the fine people at Sam's Club giving me a sealed envelope with each free food sample they give out. And then, when you open the envelope it says, "Each food sample costs $50.00. By eating the food sample you agree to pay us $50.00." That just doesn't work.


    "No signature != not a contract" (Score:1)
    by luckykaa (squigly@maxmail.co.uk) on Saturday September 02, @06:08AM EDT (#606)
    (User #134517 Info)
    For the record, you don't need a signature for a contract. It certainly helps having it all written down, but a verbal contract is still legally binding. Opening packaging would probably not be accepted as acceptance. Clicking on "I agree" might or might not but has never been tested, but right of first sale might apply. But maybe not in this case if it was given to you. Of course, contracts start to look a bit suspicious if they have clauses that are not to do with the item in question.
    Does the license apply to me? (Score:1)
    by Lancer (chobbs@silvervalley.k12.ca.us) on Friday September 01, @11:54AM EDT (#240)
    (User #32120 Info) http://www.silvervalley.k12.ca.us/chobbs/
    I walk into a RadioShack ("You've got questions, we've got shrugs!"), and they hand me a plastic bag with a piece of hardware, installation instructions, and a CD sleeve which I assume contains a CD and some hardware.

    • The plastic bag does not contain that "By breaking this seal..." acceptance of any license - just a generic plastic bag...
    • The installation instructions do not contain any mention of a hardware license...
    • The CD sleeve does contain the text "Opening this software constitutes acceptance...". Fine. I don't really want to use the software anyway - I just want to play with the moderately cool hardware.
    • RadioShack did not have me sign any agreement or even imply that such an agreement between me and DigitalConvergence exists.
    To me, this gives the impression that I have a nifty new toy with no strings attached... can anyone see where my logic is off?

    BTW, I used to manage a RadioShack store, and I remember the first time I saw "You've got questions, we've got shrugs!" in a Usenet post - LMAO!

    -- Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read.

    Uhm.. what if you threw the thing away?? (Score:2, Interesting)
    by The Optimizer on Friday September 01, @11:55AM EDT (#245)
    (User #14168 Info) http://www.ensemblestudios.com/ourteam/pritchard.shtml
    I threw mine away the day it arrived in the mail. Can they force me to go the town landfill and hunt for it if they "recall it at any time"?

    I don't fs*kn think so....

    Post office regulations apply to mailed ones. (Score:3, Informative)
    by rjnerd (dp@the-nerds.org) on Friday September 01, @12:48PM EDT (#323)
    (User #143758 Info) http://the-nerds.org/
    If someone mails you something, unsolicited (even in error) its yours. Those that got them in the mail without asking for one, own the hardware. Federal law says the "hardware license" part of the "contract" is void.

    (this got enacted after places started sending people unsolicited "merchandise", followed by a bill. Its very clear now, you mail it to someone without their asking for it, they own it)

    I can't comment on the "loan" status for those that asked for one at ratshack.


    Organizer:New England Rubbish Deconstruction Society;The NERDS,first US team in the UK Scrapheap Challenge/Junkyard Wars
    Re:FOUND IT! (Score:2, Informative)
    by rotten_ (kris@#SP@M#toolhouse.com) on Friday September 01, @12:14PM EDT (#283)
    (User #132663 Info)
    This is kind of interesting, something I don't usually see on a EULA:

    Your Signature


    ____________________________________

    Agreement may be sent via facsimile to
    Digital:Convergence at
    (214) 292-6001.


    -k
    Re:FOUND IT! (Score:1)
    by _Nemmeran_ on Friday September 01, @12:33PM EDT (#310)
    (User #157098 Info)
    I just asked for the thing at RS, gave a name and address(annoying customer hassle!), and they gave me the bag with the cue, some papers and a CD. I did not have to read any sort of copyright crap, nor did I click an I AGREE button. I simply ripped the plastic open, extracted my scanner, and dumped the remaining materials directly in the local trash bin. I have not agreed to any sort of loan, nor did I agree to any sorta recall.
    A Brave New EULA (Score:2)
    by skoda (skoda [at] www . shoutingman . com) on Friday September 01, @01:59PM EDT (#390)
    (User #211470 Info) http://shoutingman.com
    "You agree to the terms and conditions of this license by performing ANY OF THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS: (1) using the :CRQ software."

    I wonder when we'll see THIS EULA posted outside storefronts:

    You agree to the terms and conditions of this license by performing ANY OF THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS: (1) entering this store.

    Required Uses and Restrictions
    By entering this store, you agree to purchase a minimum of $1000 US in merchandise in services. You also agree to accept all recommended Extended Warranty Contracts.

    Limitation of Liability
    (1) If this store collapse, maiming or killing you, this store is not responsible. If poorly placed objects fall from shelves, striking your body, this store is not responsible.

    (2) If the employees taunt, ridicule, or insult you, this store is not held responsible. If the employees strike, injure, maim, or kill you, this store is not responsible.

    Complete Agreement
    This License constitutes the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the use of the this.

    Governing Law
    This agreement shall be construed, interpreted and the rights of the parties determined in accordance with the laws of the State of Our Mind (without reference to its choice of law provisions).

    skoda
    -----
    D. Fischer
    http://shoutingman.com
    Re:A Brave New EULA (Score:1)
    by slacker990 (shawnATalchemyDOTcom) on Friday September 01, @05:14PM EDT (#488)
    (User #35417 Info)
    You agree to the terms and conditions of this license by performing ANY OF THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS: (1) using the :CRQ software."

    I wonder when we'll see THIS EULA posted outside storefronts:

    You agree to the terms and conditions of this license by performing ANY OF THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS: (1) entering this store.

    According to an earlier post, for analogy this to hold, this license would be posted INSIDE the store.
    Re:FOUND IT! (Score:1)
    by mp3car on Friday September 01, @02:04PM EDT (#391)
    (User #179460 Info) http://www.mp3car.com
    Here are a few things:

    1. At my radio shack they didn't even take my address information so I don't know how they are going to recall mine
    2. Like others are saying, I was not instructed nor was it implied that by using this device I would be bound to rules and regulations.
    3. If there are regulations, they need to be presented to the customer at time of purchase. They cannot be posted on a website and you company require that customers know he/she has to check there first.


    Re:Read the fine print; they never "gave" it to yo (Score:5, Informative)
    by imp on Friday September 01, @01:04PM EDT (#340)
    (User #7585 Info) http://www.village.org/~imp
    Sure, it said this in the software license that came with this item, but they are SOL. It isn't legally enforcible. I *NEVER* installed the software, so the terms of the sale is fixed when they gave it to me WITH MY OTHER PURCHASE. I bought a video amplifier and they gave me my cat. The contract for the entire transaction was fixed at the time I gave them my money (since it is impossible w/o software to fix the contract at a later point in time).

    In addition, the item was not free, but given to me (and everybody else) for good and fair compensation, namely the personal information. It can be shown that this information has a monitary value (just look at how much email lists and snailmail lists sell for), and therefore the exchange could likely be viewed as a "sale" for the purposes of the uniform commercial code.

    Software is a special case because it has labels on it stating that you are agreeig to a license, plus presents you with the license and a chance to repudiate the license and get a refund (in theory at least, when was the last time someone was able to return software they didn't like the license terms to, say, CompUSA).

    So I think they are SOL unless you installed their driver software. Which I've never done. I've not even taken it out of the packaging.

    P.S. If I were the author that got such a C&D letter, then I'd demand they get a whole lot more specific about what, exactly, was in violation. Such vague letters are easy and cheap to write and are meaningless in many cases because they aren't specific. Ask them for specifics. What, specifically, are they objecting to. What gives them the legal right to object to it (copyright claim, granted patent claim, trade secret, etc) so you have a chance to audit their claims. If they refuse, then you are in a much better position later if they file legal action against you.

    Re:Read the fine print; they never "gave" it to yo (Score:1)
    by fyl on Friday September 01, @01:58PM EDT (#389)
    (User #71155 Info)
    I have to agree here. There were no visible license terms until on opened the plastic, I specifically asked the store manager about "what was the catch" and he said "I don't know what's happening--they are being very secretive" and I did exchange my name and address (so "I could receive updates") for it. We (Linux Journal) want to "talk" all about this.
    Phil Hughes, Linux Journal
    Re:Read the fine print; they never "gave" it to yo (Score:1)
    by Daeng on Friday September 01, @08:51PM EDT (#539)
    (User #228956 Info)
    The enforcement of an EULA is still questionable, but binding me to an EULA I have never seen and never agreed to, which is not even hinted at in the packaging, is a joke. Give me this code, please, and I will post it. There's no leg to stand on here.
    Re:legality (Score:1)
    by 1alpha7 (devnull@diamondwrite.com) on Friday September 01, @05:40PM EDT (#497)
    (User #192745 Info)

    Is this legal ?

    Legal isn't how the system works. My lawyer for this stuff sends out a letter easy as pie and charges me about US$100.00 to do it. I have gotten 100% results from these letters, although of course I am not harrassing the innocent.

    Corporations call their "I have more money and lawyers" tactic SLAPPs, "Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation". Locally a church(ha) called The Church of Scientology has raised them to a high art. I strongly recommend studying their tactics to anyone interested in using lawyers as a bullying tactic. Just don't try that sh*t on me.


    Lousy business model (Score:1)
    by Peter Desnoyers on Tuesday September 05, @11:36AM EDT (#652)
    (User #11115 Info)
    There's a lesson here for anyone who hopes to make money by giving something away. Basically, they totally forgot that they needed some means to tie their promotion (the scanner, which cost them real money to manufacture and distribute) back to whatever they're making money off of. Without that they're doing the equivalent of handling out dollar bills and hoping that people will use the money to buy their products.

    Now that the horse is out, and their CEO is no doubt in danger of getting offed by their board for making such a boneheaded mistake, they're trying to lock the barn door by calling in the IP lawyers. I wonder how long it will be before they figure out the obvious solution, which is to respin the hardware with a simple protection mechanism and start distributing new hardware and drivers?

    Re:*think*, people (Score:1)
    by Anonymous Coed (pibble at yahoo dot com) on Friday September 01, @08:00PM EDT (#528)
    (User #8203 Info)
    The world offers him a strawberry, so he takes it.

    Nobody offered him anything. The strawberry was minding its own business when this stranger came along and savagely consumed it. Not only that, but it was pure gluttony too, as the man obviously didn't need the nurishment of said berry if he was in such a predicament. PLANT RIGHTS NOW!

    Can we write CueCat? (Score:1)
    by georgeha on Friday September 01, @10:28AM EDT (#7)
    (User #43752 Info) http://www.frontiernet.net/~ghaberbe/george2.htm
    And ask them for Linux drivers?

    Come on, they're going to be distributing them in WiReD, and everyone knows that most WiReD readers use Linux.

    George
    Re:Can we write CueCat? (Score:2, Funny)
    by grammar nazi (nospam@nospam.nospam) on Friday September 01, @10:32AM EDT (#21)
    (User #197303 Info)
    Mr. :Cue:Cat, do you have any comments about this situations?

    .C3nZC3nZC3nXE3f3Cxv7CNnX.ahb6.fxn2Dxn0.
    .C3nZC3nZC3nXE3f3Cxv7CNnX.fHmc.C3r3CNn7CNv2DhT0.
    .C3nZC3nZC3nXE3f3Cxv7CNnX.fHmc.C3TXENnYCNT1CNfZ.
    and
    .C3nZC3nZC3nXE3f3Cxv7CNnX.fGjX.C3r3D3rZE3D3DNf2C3a.


    Keeping /. free of grammatical errors for 3 years.

    Re:Can we write CueCat? (Score:1)
    by Cebert (4 7 @ s p a c e m o o s e . c o m) on Tuesday September 05, @01:59PM EDT (#657)
    (User #69916 Info) http://hac47.dhs.org
    I'd like to keep my urine INSIDE my pants, thanks. =D

    This reminds me of the interview with a can of Spam and Spam Lite from a while back...I just can't remember where I read it though...
    -- www.bteg.com | bleh.n3.net | hac47.dhs.org
    Re:Can we write CueCat? (Score:2)
    by Snard (mike@snard.com) on Wednesday September 06, @02:52PM EDT (#672)
    (User #61584 Info) http://snard.com/
    Translation:

    "No sir, I didn't like it."
    - Mike
    Here's the link to Wired re:CueCat (Score:1)
    by uqbar on Friday September 01, @10:33AM EDT (#23)
    (User #102695 Info)
    Wired distributes CueCat

    I guess their business plan was missing a few "Risk Factors"...

    Re:Here's the link to Wired re:CueCat (Score:1)
    by mikefoley (rebel@without.a.clue) on Friday September 01, @11:33AM EDT (#194)
    (User #51521 Info) http://www.yelof.com
    I'm writing to Wired to threaten to pull my subscription if they don't push back on CueCat.

    AND heading over to eff.org to send some money.

    This kinda crap has got to end.


    -- mike
    Re:Here's the link to Wired / CueCat - Link Gone? (Score:1)
    by tz on Friday September 01, @12:20PM EDT (#291)
    (User #130773 Info)
    I get a blank page.

    Their HTML is bad so Netscape doesn't show anything. Lynx works.

    And using their search on cuecat, nothing shows up.

    Wired should recall CueCat (assuming they haven't already), or get a "the scanner is yours" license, or refund the cover price.

    From that wired article:

    In addition, Tandy has invested in us. Other companies that have made investments in us include Young & Rubicam, Inc., Belo Corp., The Coca-Cola Company, The E.W. Scripps Company and Spielberg/Katz Associates, LLC.

    And I used to enjoy Coke...
    Re:Can we write CueCat? (Score:1)
    by arivanov on Friday September 01, @10:35AM EDT (#24)
    (User #12034 Info)
      Can someone post any relevant copyright and licence and eulas on the device itself. Any discussion without this is pointless.
    If they intended the Cue whatever to be a loss leader to a binding service than oh well... We know what happens to ideas like that after a post to Slashdot. Anyone remember the EOpener? If this was the CC model they are already ready for chapter 11 ;-)
    @*** Baker's Law *** Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.
    HW eulas (Score:2)
    by ConversantShogun on Friday September 01, @10:48AM EDT (#69)
    (User #227587 Info)
    You can check out the license here. It says that "the CueCat reader distributed under this license is covered by this license."

    Well, I got my reader at RS, and no license agreement or coverage was implicitly or explicitly stated, requested, or alluded to regarding opening, installing, or using the device itself. I have not installed or opened the software. (In fact, I've thrown it away, since I had no use for it.) So I would have to say that my device was not distributed under the license, and therefore is not covered by the license.

    Does anybody know whether this is sound legal reasoning?


    ----------------------------------- Constants aren't; variables won't. .
    Re:HW eulas (Score:4, Insightful)
    by TheCarp (sjc@delphi.com) on Friday September 01, @11:18AM EDT (#148)
    (User #96830 Info) http://people.delphi.com/sjc/
    hmmmm ok I can see EULAs for software, its a standard insudtry practice, and there is even law now that makes shrink wrap licences semi-legitimate for scopyrighted works.

    However...this is hardware. A Physical device. It is not a copyrighted work. So wouldn't any such type of licence legally require them to go through some measure of proper contract procedure?

    Do you have to sign anything to get one of these readers? If they don't make it CLEAR ahead of time, then its their own fault for being stupid.

    Personally though, I have to agree, this idea of moving on to a future where corperations own everything and we just licence it, gives me extreme nausea.

    I guess its their world, we are just living in it.

    -Steve
    -- "I opened my eyes, and everything went dark again"
    Hey, I'm spinning my polycarbonate disk... (Score:1)
    by marcus (memore0@yahoo.com) on Friday September 01, @03:17PM EDT (#441)
    (User #1916 Info)
    ...right now. I've got a laser to shine on it, a motor to spin it, a photodetector to pick up the reflections of the laser light and a program on my pc that takes those electrical impulses and then uses them to generate various sounds and visual pixel patterns on my crt.

    It's really pretty cool. I can watch and listen for hours at a time. Sometimes the pixel and sound patterns can really be captivating. If there are any really neat pattern sequences, I can make the laser go back and shine on the same section of the polycarb disk and it will make the same sequence of sound and visual patterns again. Just the same, if there are any boring sections, I can make it skip over those.

    You can find these polycarbonate disks in lots of places. They come in these flat, square little boxes. The boxes have pretty pictures all over them. If you buy the box, you get the disk inside for free! I guess you could use them as coasters to hold your drink while you are looking at the pictures on the box, play catch with your dog or something) One thing that I found out is that if you buy another box with the same set of pictures, then the patterns made by the light reflected off of the disk inside are the same. The really neat part is that if you make sure that you buy a box with different pictures on the outside each time, then the sound and pixel patterns are different for each disk!

    It's great fun, you ought to try it out!

    The End
    Re:Hey, I'm spinning my polycarbonate disk... (Score:1)
    by TheCarp (sjc@delphi.com) on Friday September 01, @04:06PM EDT (#455)
    (User #96830 Info) http://people.delphi.com/sjc/
    Ok...your talking about Audio CDs obviously.

    Whats your point? Did you even have one?

    -Steve
    -- "I opened my eyes, and everything went dark again"
    No, not audio CDs (Score:1)
    by marcus (memore0@yahoo.com) on Friday September 01, @04:24PM EDT (#463)
    (User #1916 Info)
    DVDs.

    They are hardware. So is my disk spinning device.
    They both shine lights on stuff and have detectors that pick up the reflections. There is also software for both that takes the reflections as input and makes patterns on the screen dependent upon the input.

    I don't have a "player"
    I don't have a "license"

    I have some software that takes the reflected light patterns as input and makes images and sounds. It was not produced by the same company that produced the disk or the hardware that spins it.

    Getting a clue?

    I'm not violating any license agreement.
    I'm not revealing any trade secrets.
    I'm not defeating any access control mechanism.
    I'm not pirating copyrighted works.

    The End
    Re:No, not audio CDs (Score:2)
    by TheCarp (sjc@delphi.com) on Tuesday September 05, @12:34PM EDT (#655)
    (User #96830 Info) http://people.delphi.com/sjc/
    > Getting a clue?

    Yes I am getting the clue that you are trying to draw an unwarrented parallel.

    Yes, DVDs can be looked at as a peice of hardware. However thats besides the point. It has nothing to do with the barcode readers whatsoever.

    In this case, the barcode reader is akin to the DVD Drive, not the disk (as it is not obtained for the information that it contains, it is a reader of information).

    Reverse engineering hardware is, in most places, perfectly legal. Publishing how it works, or releaseing software on how it works is also perfectly legal. At BEST what they have is a "Trade Secret". If a person discoveres their "Trade Secret" without going through improper channels (like a leak within their organization), then they have NO legal resource for protecting it.

    There is NO copyright, trademark, or Patent issue here. It is simply an issue of a company that is either A) Clueless about what they really can legally protect. or B) A malicous company that is lieing to people and bluffing legally in an attempt to threaten away developers.

    Your attempt to compare it to DVDs is completely foundationless.
    -- "I opened my eyes, and everything went dark again"
    Re:Can we write CueCat? (Score:2, Insightful)
    by grammar nazi (nospam@nospam.nospam) on Friday September 01, @11:19AM EDT (#151)
    (User #197303 Info)
    I submitted this on their contact webpage:

    I am very interested in your :Cue:Cat bar code scanner and immediately went to Radio Shack to purchase one. They gave me one and I went home and starting using it. I tried to install your software but it asked for too much of my personal information, so I canceled the installation. At no time did I ever agree to any End User License Agreement.

    Now, it seems that there is some agreement that I must comply with on your website. I never saw this before I started useing my scanner, does it still apply to me?

    My primary operating system, Linux, has some very basic :Cue:Cat support that just recently recieved a Cease and Desist letter from your company. I've already downloaded and currently use this support. Again, does this apply to me?

    I am very happy with the :Cue:Cat barcode scanner, but to deny me Linux support seems very detrimental to the wide spread acceptance of this device. You could easily design a Java (or even JavaScript) program that scans barcodes and points people to the proper website. These programs would run on any computer operating system and increase the popularity of the :Cue:Cat.

    There is a large market of Linux, and other non-Windows consumers out there. Please try not to offend them or deny them from using this wonderful barcode scanner.

    THank you,
    ***(grammar nazi's identity withheld to protect the innocent)

    Keeping /. free of grammatical errors for 3 years.

    What "intellectual property"? (Score:5, Funny)
    by zlite (chris at comminus dot com) on Friday September 01, @10:28AM EDT (#8)
    (User #199781 Info)
    The cease and desist letter says they're protecting :Cue's "intellectual property". I fail to see how writing an independent program that simply makes use of the output of the :Cue scanner in any way infringes on the company's intellectual property.

    Reverse engineering of file formats are the closest example and my understanding is that courts have rules that this is fine.

    I don't see how they have a leg to stand on. Hack on...
    Re:What "intellectual property"? (Score:1)
    by angelo (anrkngl@lowmagnet.org) on Friday September 01, @10:42AM EDT (#46)
    (User #21182 Info) http://www.lowmagnet.org/
    Nope, they don't have a legal leg to stand on because this is what they call a clean-room environment. One guy figured out the sequence of characters, and another guy wrote the code. Perfectly legal. Maybe they are mad because the "intellectual property" is their "encryption". BFD.
    We do politics too
    Re:What "intellectual property"? (Score:1)
    by haystor (spiff@waymark.net) on Friday September 01, @11:25AM EDT (#168)
    (User #102186 Info)
    I personally think they actually know they don't have a legal leg to stand on. But, they can get a lawsuit, perhaps an injunction, and just drag it out with, effectively, the result they want until the verdict arrives. It mays be years before it ever gets that far.

    I think we should have a bounty set up for anyone providing proof that these guys know they are wrong, but are using the courts as a business tactic.

    For that matter is there anything actually criminally illegal about that, or would it just require yet another civil suit going the other way?

    Re:What "intellectual property"? (Score:1)
    by escher (escher@schwap.drizzle.com) on Friday September 01, @02:11PM EDT (#395)
    (User #3402 Info) http://www.drizzle.com/~escher/
    Maybe they are mad because the "intellectual property" is their "encryption".

    So... wouldn't reverse-engineering their (rather weak) "encryption" violate the DMCA?
    Re:What "intellectual property"? (Score:1)
    by ikjos on Friday September 01, @08:05PM EDT (#531)
    (User #224087 Info)
    Reverse-engineering the CueCat Code should not be a violation of the DMCA because the DMCA covers defeating technical methods of copyright. You can apparently patent addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, but you can't copyright them.
    Re:What "intellectual property"? (Score:5, Interesting)
    by interiot (newcumdb at cs blaupunkt purdue grunpunkt edu) on Friday September 01, @11:13AM EDT (#135)
    (User #50685 Info)
    Exactly. Sega vs. Accolade established that reverse engineering was legal. DMCA says that reverse engineering isn't allowed except for the purpose of interoperability. I don't see libcue as doing anything besides allowing interoperability, so libcue seems to be legal even if DMCA is upheld.
    --
    Re:What "intellectual property"? (Score:1)
    by alkali (ab294@detroit.freenet.org) on Friday September 01, @02:35PM EDT (#408)
    (User #28338 Info)
    DMCA says that reverse engineering isn't allowed except for the purpose of interoperability.

    I believe the DMCA prohibition is limited to reverse engineering copyright protection mechanisms or some such. It certainly isn't a blanket ban on all reverse engineering.

    Re:What "intellectual property"? (Score:1)
    by interiot (newcumdb at cs blaupunkt purdue grunpunkt edu) on Friday September 01, @02:56PM EDT (#428)
    (User #50685 Info)
    *smile* I realized my error over lunch, but was waiting in case nobody commented on it. Here's my lame excuse for the +5:

    If an obviously evil and restrictive law such as the DMCA allows reverse engineering for interop, then I doubt that any other law (other than patent law) could possibly restrict it in any way.
    --

    Re:What "intellectual property"? (Score:1)
    by pallex (p.a.l.l.e.x.@.m.y.-.d.e.j.a...c.o.m.) on Friday September 01, @11:17AM EDT (#147)
    (User #126468 Info) http://pallex.webjump.com
    Codemasters sold nintendo and sega games carts...got sued by both of `em, but (u.k.) courts told them to f**k off. You can do what you want with other peoples hardware, once you`ve bought it.
    Re:What "intellectual property"? (Score:1)
    by luckykaa (squigly@maxmail.co.uk) on Friday September 01, @11:29AM EDT (#181)
    (User #134517 Info)
    I believe in that case there was actually some code copied as well (verification code mainly). Not a substantial part was copied though.
    Maybe the refer to the DeCSS case (Score:2)
    by gotan (Ra.Berger@fz-juelich.de) on Friday September 01, @11:37AM EDT (#206)
    (User #60103 Info)
    After the DeCSS case (part 1) it seems obvious that encryption (however weak) may not be broken if only you can pay the lawyers (maybe 'legal encryption' will become more secure than 'quantum encryption' soon, stop all that science at once, maybe we can soon make planes fly by simply forbidding them to land ... oops got sidetracked there) now since the output of their device is 'encrypted' noone may decrypt it without properly licensed decoders.

    Against all expectations, the universe was Y2K compliant.
    Re:Maybe the refer to the DeCSS case (Score:1)
    by AxelBoldt (boldt@math.ucsb.edu) on Friday September 01, @02:51PM EDT (#421)
    (User #1490 Info) http://math-www.uni-paderborn.de/~axel/
    After the DeCSS case (part 1) it seems obvious that encryption (however weak) may not be broken if only you can pay the lawyers

    No, only "effective" copy protections of copyrighted material may not be broken under DMCA, but in this case, the barcode information is not copyrighted and therefore the cease and desist letter is completely bogus.

    --
    Sponsor free software at the Free Software Bazaar

    Re:Maybe the refer to the DeCSS case (Score:1)
    by Another MacHack on Friday September 01, @03:15PM EDT (#440)
    (User #32639 Info)
    "effective" has a very specific meaning w.r.t. the DMCA, and is defined in the statute. It doesn't mean "functions well".
    Damaging "intellectual property" (Score:2)
    by llywrch on Friday September 01, @11:57AM EDT (#248)
    (User #9023 Info)
    Hmm. Supposedly if J. Random Hacker writes software that causes (say) a $1000-- loss to a given corporation, this corporation can sue J. R. to recover this amount of money.

    But if J. R. writes software that causes our hypothetical corporation to have an increase of (again, say) $1000--, does this mean that the corporation has to sue J. R. to pay her or him some or all of this negative damage?

    Maybe these suits are afraid of & the cost of tracking down random hackers to reimberse them for their contributions.

    In a nutshell, this is what this whole stupid act on the basis of these legal sharks come down to: someone writes software that increases the market for their hardware, & they get told to stop it.

    And if I'm being a smart-*ss about this, it's Friday & these same legal sharks don't deserve any more of my attention than that.

    Geoff


    I think I see a trend here. Maybe for them it really would be easier to muzzle the entire internet than to produce praiseworthy software? --Black Parrot
    most likely: web/barcode linking patents (Score:2)
    by jetson123 (br_9801 at hotmail dot com) on Friday September 01, @04:07PM EDT (#457)
    (User #13128 Info)
    I believe one or more companies have patented the "idea" of using barcodes in printed advertising to link consumers to web sites, and to allow price comparisons. They are probably referring to some kind of patent in this space.
    Re:What "intellectual property"? (Score:1)
    by turbosk (jjm87149@yahoo.com) on Friday September 01, @11:53PM EDT (#583)
    (User #73287 Info)
    From the corporate site:
    "RadioShack operates 7,100 company-owned stores and dealer franchises nationwide. RadioShack serves more than one million customers each day. In fact, 94 percent of all Americans live or work within 5 minutes of a RadioShack store or dealer. "

    Now *that's* an install base! With a little more exposure from the barcode-reading cat, it's about time that this Intellectual Property issue get a little better coverage in the mainstream media beyond the napster crap.

    There's an idealogical war starting over control and distribution of information. You'll find me on the front lines.
    Re:What "intellectual property"? (Score:2, Funny)
    by SEWilco on Friday September 01, @11:58AM EDT (#250)
    (User #27983 Info) http://www.wilcoxon.org/~sewilco
    Sir,
    Please remember that when you acquired the refrigerator the notice on the box required that you only use it for storing USDA-approved food, that it be filled only by a licensed professional, and that cleaning be done only by our certified maintenance facilities. We have noted that users often lose the magnetic external storage accessories, but you can easily buy approved replacements at the manufacturer's official web site. Violation of your usage license or use of unapproved accessories requires that you return the appliance immediately, without opening it after the violation occurs.
    Re:What "intellectual property"? (Score:1)
    by RobNich on Friday September 01, @01:29PM EDT (#359)
    (User #85522 Info)
    This would apply if the manufacturer gave the refrigerator away for the price of shipping because they are counting on you spending more with them.

    Tired of wearing glasses and contacts? Fix your eyes!
    Here is a idea (Score:1, Insightful)
    by SquadBoy (squadboy@thisisnotitsisna.com) on Friday September 01, @10:28AM EDT (#9)
    (User #167263 Info) http://www.linuxfanatic.net
    Why don't we set up a legal defense fund for this. Donate as much or as little as you want. IANAL but someone is going to have to put a end to this madness. Many of us in this business are making very good livings because this kind of stuff was legal for so long. I think it is time for us as both people and companies to pick a case and fight it hard.
    I'm afraid it is you who are mistaken about a great many things....
    Re:Here is a idea (Score:2, Insightful)
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, @10:35AM EDT (#25)
    It's called the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
    Re:Here is a idea (Score:5, Insightful)
    by SimonK (simon@flatnet.demon.co.gb) on Friday September 01, @10:36AM EDT (#30)
    (User #7722 Info)
    Its probably not worth it. They're just sending threatening letters with vague comments about "intellectual property". I fail to see any protectable intellectual property in what they do, or what the Linux drivers do. You can't copyright protocols, they have not patents I'm aware of, there's no trademark infringement. All thats been done is the reverse engineering of something they might consider to be a trade secret, but in themselves trade secrets have not legal protection.

    They haven't a leg to stand on, and I doubt they'll even find grounds to sue.
    Re:Here is a idea (Score:1)
    by kd5biv (my-real-callsign AT arrl DOT net) on Friday September 01, @11:23AM EDT (#163)
    (User #129563 Info)
    They haven't a leg to stand on, and I doubt they'll even find grounds to sue.
    Like that's ever stopped anyone in the US from suing! ;-) Shall we trot out whats-er-name v McDonalds again?


    73 de N5VB (ex-KD5BIV) AR SK
    McD's PR spin worked (Score:4, Informative)
    by Legolas-Greenleaf on Friday September 01, @11:46AM EDT (#228)
    (User #181449 Info)
    Actually, in that case (as has been discussed many times on slashdot), she had good reason to sue. The reason we think of her as some idiot spilling coffee on herself is a successful PR spin by McDonalds.

    As you can see at this page, entitled the actual facts of the mcdonalds coffee case, the coffee was quite overly hot. This is beyond the hot you expect coffee - it was served at between 180 and 190 F (most places serve it at about 140). This was enough to burn through her sweatpants and cause 3rd degree burns to 6% of her body, including some very tender spots. She required $20k in reconstructive plastic surgery. If the coffee was even at 155 F, she would have avoided serious injury. Initially, she asked McD's for just the money to cover the surgery, but when she refused and discovered over 700 claims from between 1980 and 1992, including cases of 3rd degree burns, she did the full-out lawsuit. Also, the jury found her 20% at fault, which is why she only got $160k of the $200k awarded to her. Since that time, the temperature of the coffee at that peticular McD's has been dropped to 158 F.

    Just letting 'ya know the facts. =^)
    -legolas

    i've looked at love from both sides now. from win and lose, and still somehow...
    it's love's illusions i recall. i really don't know love at all

    Re:McD's PR spin worked (Score:1)
    by dhogaza on Friday September 01, @12:08PM EDT (#270)
    (User #64507 Info) http://donb.photo.net
    People who trivialize the McD case simply haven't taken a close look at the facts - 3rd degree burns are no fun.

    A barrista at my local caffeine dealer had an accident with one of their large coffeemakers last week and ended up with 2nd degree burns (large blisters) from her right hand to her elbow, really ugly, not to mention painful. Will she sue? Nope - the company's covering her medical expenses, etc.

    The woman in the McD case was much more severely burned with a smaller quantity of much hotter coffee, and as the previous poster's pointed out would've originally settled for medical expenses if McD's hadn't been such pricks about it.
    Re:McD's PR spin worked (Score:2, Interesting)
    by pheonix (slashdot@nospam.thelances.com) on Friday September 01, @06:20PM EDT (#512)
    (User #14223 Info) http://www.thelances.com
    Regardless of the temperature, I find it ridiculous that McDs lost the suit. It's friggin coffee. If you put coffee (HOT) in your crotch and drive, you SHOULD get burned, and probably be beaten to death for the rest of your life for being a risk to other drivers.

    Personally, I far prefer to use the instance of a boat enthusiast on Lake Michigan suing Weather24.com for the cost of his boat + pain and suffering for failing to mention a storm in the area that ended up sinking his boat. It's a much better example of litigous idiocy.
    -Jer "If Windows is the answer, it must have been a stupid question."
    Read the link, dumbass (Score:1)
    by TheFrood on Friday September 01, @10:52PM EDT (#575)
    (User #163934 Info)
    Regardless of the temperature, I find it ridiculous that McDs lost the suit. It's friggin coffee. If you put coffee (HOT) in your crotch and drive, you SHOULD get burned, and probably be beaten to death for the rest of your life for being a risk to other drivers.

    Since you didn't bother to follow the provided link regarding the lawsuit, here it is again.

    As it states, the woman who suffered the burns was not driving the car, her grandson was. In fact, the car was not even moving; the grandson had stopped the car so that she could remove the lid from the cup.

    Facts are wonderful things. You should check them out.

    TheFrood

    Re:McD's PR spin worked (Score:2, Interesting)
    by kjhambrick on Friday September 01, @09:18PM EDT (#545)
    (User #111698 Info)
    hmmm ... ( OT alert ) ...

    How can H2O-based liquid at 190F cause 3rd degree burns ?

    Isn't a 3rd degree burn defined as charred meat ?

    I could see blisters ( 2nd degree burns ), but charred
    meat from coffee in the crotch seems a bit of a stretch.

    just wondering.

    -- kjh
    Re:McD's PR spin worked (Score:1)
    by Billy Donahue (spam_billy_spam@spam_dadadada_spam.net) on Saturday September 02, @01:36AM EDT (#597)
    (User #29642 Info) http://dadadada.net/~billy
    It doesn't mean charred meat.
    EDUCATE yourself!!

                                  What are the categories of burns?

                                  The treatment of burns depends on the depth, area and location of the burn. Burn depth is
                                  generally categorized as first, second or third degree. A first degree burn is superficial and
                                  has similar characteristics to a typical sun burn. The skin is red in color and sensation is
                                  intact. In fact, it is usually somewhat painful. Second degree burns look similar to the first
                                  degree burns; however, the damage is now severe enough to cause blistering of the skin and
                                  the pain is usually somewhat more intense. In third degree burns the damage has progressed
                                  to the point of skin death. The skin is white and without sensation.

    Maybe you don't realize how hot 190F is...
    -- The Funk, the whole Funk, and nothing but the Funk.
    Re:McD's PR spin worked (Score:2)
    by Legolas-Greenleaf on Friday September 01, @12:31PM EDT (#307)
    (User #181449 Info)
    Yes, see "whats-her-name vs. Mcdonalds" is troll shorthand for "suey suey suey piiiiiiig suey suey suey" or "here kiiity kiiiiity kiiity".

    i noticed. still, the tone of the message seemed to indicate that the poster was an ignorant hippy, and not a crafty troll. (speaking from experience with both ;^)
    -legolas

    i've looked at love from both sides now. from win and lose, and still somehow...
    it's love's illusions i recall. i really don't know love at all

    Re:Here is a idea (Score:1)
    by Captain Pillbug on Friday September 01, @12:07PM EDT (#269)
    (User #12523 Info)
    No, we shouldn't.
    Re:Here is a idea (Score:1)
    by stopbits (stopbits@NOSPAM.home.com) on Friday September 01, @11:32AM EDT (#192)
    (User #203463 Info)
    They haven't a leg to stand on, and I doubt they'll even find grounds to sue.

    But does it matter? the software is now not on the net because most people do not have the resources to fight large corporate entities in court. Digital Convergence has gotten exactly what it wanted through bullying. Many fights that are important to us slahdot readers are being fought now. The scary thing is that the field for these battles is the courtroom and they are being fought by lawyers. The corporate world seems much better suited to fight these battles with thier endless amounts of cash. Not to mention that they seem to have a pretty big influence in the creation of the law itself, ie DMCA.

    I think it will be quite an uphill battle to defeat them, even if they are going againsts all common sense.
    Re:Here is a idea (Score:1)
    by c_chimelis on Friday September 01, @12:42PM EDT (#316)
    (User #120443 Info) http://www.debian.org
    A better idea might be to file a class-action suit against them for invasion of privacy WRT their spying software. Why are we always trying to defend against the corporations when we haven't really tried playing their game? I think everyone should just sue them instead for profiting off of information that we did not knowingly and voluntarily offer.
    Cease and Desist (Score:4, Funny)
    by abe ferlman on Friday September 01, @10:30AM EDT (#14)
    (User #205607 Info) http://www.geocities.com/bgtrio
    This article and all responses to it violate the intellectual property rights of :CueCat, inc. and RadioShuck Inc. Cease and Desist reading it immediately. We will prosecute all individuals who view this contraband information to the fullest extent of the law and then some.

    Sincerely,
    Iaal T. Corporate, Esq.
    Sausage King of Chicago (Yes, Ferlman is intentionally misspelled.)

    Re:Cease and Desist (Score:1)
    by undertoad on Friday September 01, @11:25AM EDT (#170)
    (User #104182 Info)
    This post is to inform you that you are violating the intellectual property rights of Cease and Desist, LLC. We demand that you take it back! or we will prosecute all individuals who view this contraband information to the fullest extent of the law and then some.
    Re:Cease and Desist (Score:1)
    by |_uke (nu . dragonarmy @ luke) on Friday September 01, @11:34AM EDT (#197)
    (User #158930 Info)
    This post is to inform you that you are violating the intellectual property rights of This Post, inc. We will prosecute all individuals who view this information to the fullest legal extent.

    :)
    -- Luke
    Re:Cease and Desist (Score:2)
    by Cannonball (bigpapa@sigep.net) on Friday September 01, @11:44AM EDT (#221)
    (User #168099 Info)
    This post is to inform you and Cease and Desist LLC that I have acquired a patent for the phrase "Cease and Desist" please Cease and Desist(tm) from using it immediately.


    So there I was. Naked. In a refrigerator. With a potroast on my knees. Smokin a cigar. That's when it got REALLY weird.

    Re:Cease and Desist (Score:1)
    by SEWilco on Friday September 01, @12:06PM EDT (#266)
    (User #27983 Info) http://www.wilcoxon.org/~sewilco
    Would you believe there are no trademarks in the U.S. which use the word "Desist"? I actually checked the database.
    Ahhhhhhh but (Score:1)
    by AbbyNormal on Friday September 01, @10:31AM EDT (#15)
    (User #216235 Info)
    Didn't Mr. Ford and other manufacturers prevent a little known company (Tucker, I think..can't remember) for creating a car that would "revolutionize the industry?" I'm sure US. Conspiracy buffs could better fill in the details.

    In anycase, companies are starting to get a little to antsy about protecting their rights without actually looking at the code. I mean isn't that inventing is? Creating a product that is better than the original without infringing upon other peoples ideas? This sounds like a kickass idea but once something comes out that could threaten the marketshare of company, that company releases the lawyers. Perhaps stiffer fines in the US should be imposed if a threatening letter is sent unjustifiably. That would knock the wind out of a lot of these orders. Fight the power Michael!


    Duct tape is like the force; it has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
    Re:Ahhhhhhh but (Score:1)
    by Paranoid Diatribe (paranoid_diatribe@hushmail.com) on Friday September 01, @11:13AM EDT (#134)
    (User #68959 Info)
    You know, I've always wondered about how feasible it would be to DoS a company's legal team. After all, in the US there's almost no risk in filing a lawsuit (unlike, say, the UK where the plaintiff is held liable for damages/costs if they loose).

    What if every time someone gets a threatening quasi-legal-looking email/letter, they respond with a true legal response, suing for harassment? I'm certainly no lawyer, but this should be easy enough to do pro se, right?

    Help BigGreedyCorp.com rack up legal expenses. Take your case as far as you can sans lawyer and they'd be overwhealmed with cases.

    Of course, this has the negative side effect of flooding our legal system with even more garbage. But it seems that cases truly worthy of court time are few and far between anyway.

    Re:Ahhhhhhh but (Score:2, Interesting)
    by AbbyNormal on Friday September 01, @11:19AM EDT (#152)
    (User #216235 Info)
    Very good point. It would be cool if you could file with your local court system ONLINE and have the judge email the company and impose a fine for harrassment if that company cannot provide just cause.

    I think in the long run, if more power were beheld by the people and used this way, then the companies would certainly rethink their "threat" policies and use them only when they are certain that their product is being abused/pirated.
    BR Good AskSlashdot question: "How can we OpenSource the US Justice Department?"


    Duct tape is like the force; it has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
    screw this (Score:5, Insightful)
    by klund on Friday September 01, @10:31AM EDT (#16)
    (User #53347 Info)
    From his page: I'm beginning to think we're headed into a new age where private property is abolished -- but instead of everything being owned by the state, it will be owned by corporations.

    I'm sending $100 to the EFF today. This kind of crap has got to stop.

    I hope everyone who reads this article (and who can afford it) will join me.
    --
    My word processor was written by Stanford Professor Donald Knuth. Who wrote yours?
    Re:screw this (Score:1)
    by Asim (asim_AT_mindspring.NOSPAM.com) on Friday September 01, @10:48AM EDT (#71)
    (User #20552 Info) http://www.mindspring.com/~whill

    From klund:

    I'm sending $100 to the EFF today. This kind of crap has got to stop.
    Hear, hear!

    I also sent a letter of support to Michael, asking if he thought a letter to this company would be an aid at this point. But here's a tough question. What if their model is a micropay per wand-wave? How do we help them make money with an Open Source product in that way? It's a tough call, but I think this is the best way to honor our Open Source considerations (those who have them) while helping a company pay the hardware costs for such a device.

    Ideas? I'd recommend e-mailing Michael (his address is on that site in the article) and give him your support and advice, too. I think soild, reasonable suggestions for them to make even more money work best. Companies always like to hear how they can make money, after all. *SMIRK*

    ----Woodrow
    Re:screw this (Score:2)
    by puppet10 on Friday September 01, @11:03AM EDT (#112)
    (User #84610 Info)
    Their model almost has to be some pay per scan.

    This means that this letter is even more moronic than it first appears.

    What they should have done is approach the program developer, and ask to include a reference to their servers for each scan so they can get paid and continue to provide their hardware.

    Instead they knee-jerk threaten the developer, poison almost any chance they had of dealing with the community he was serving with software written to use their hardware with threat of legal action which doesn't seem to have a leg to stand on (although you can file a civil suit without any basis for the suit, you just lose).

    So now the software will spread even quicker (DeCSS anyone) without any chance of them wanting to help this company ever.

    The best course of action for the company at this point would be to send a quick apology and ask for changes to the software to allow them to continue providing their hardware and still make a profit.

    Obviously they were clueless in thinking that these would only be used how they specified. They gave them away at RadioSnack a pretty geeky place.
    -------- This space intentionally left blank --------
    PayPal EFF (Score:1)
    by SEWilco on Friday September 01, @12:11PM EDT (#277)
    (User #27983 Info) http://www.wilcoxon.org/~sewilco
    Due to the recent /. discussion about PayPal, I checked...the "Support EFF" page on EFF.Org does invite payments through PayPal as well as several other electronic and traditional services.
    average people need to do more for themselves (Score:5, Insightful)
    by MenTaLguY (mental@rydia.net.nospam) on Friday September 01, @10:58AM EDT (#90)
    (User #5483 Info) http://moonbase.rydia.net/mental

    I'm beginning to think we're headed into a new age where private property is abolished -- but instead of everything being owned by the state, it will be owned by corporations.

    Nader calls this Corporate Socialism. I'm beginning to think he has a point.

    Some days I wonder if we're headed toward a society where you can't even wipe your own butt for yourself, instead of having some corporation do it for you (for a nominal fee).

    If you did it yourself, you'd be depriving some butt-wiping company of revenue, you see. Putting honest, hard-working people out of jobs, for heaven's sakes!

    (if you disagree, you're a communist butt pirate and should be shipped off for re-education)

    This is severe hyperbole, of course, but unfortunately something very near that mindset is truly already out here in corporate-land.


    "Quoting yourself in your signature is pathetic. Please cut it out." - an AC with a good point
    Re:average people need to do more for themselves (Score:2)
    by cybercuzco (cybercuzco@yahoo.com) on Friday September 01, @11:06AM EDT (#116)
    (User #100904 Info) http://www.processtree.com/?sponsor=24427
    Didnt your teacher ever tell you? Sharing is communisim and is unamerican. At least thats what mine told me, he only had one eye, and his name changed to "prime time" betweeen the hours of 7 and 11


    "you've corrupted the Borg"

    -Picard to Lore

    Piss off the man,Vote Nader!

    Re:average people need to do more for themselves (Score:1)
    by cybercuzco (cybercuzco@yahoo.com) on Friday September 01, @03:58PM EDT (#452)
    (User #100904 Info) http://www.processtree.com/?sponsor=24427
    thats

    because

    I

    formatted

    it


    "you've corrupted the Borg"

    -Picard to Lore

    Piss off the man,Vote Nader!

    Re:average people need to do more for themselves (Score:1)
    by M-G on Friday September 01, @12:02PM EDT (#255)
    (User #44998 Info)
    Some days I wonder if we're headed toward a society where you can't even wipe your own butt for yourself, instead of having some corporation do it for you (for a nominal fee).

    That wouldn't be it. You would simply be subject to cease and desist letters and lawsuits if you used the paper contrary to their current licensing scheme...which takes the term 'sneak-wrap' licensing to a whole new realm....

    Just imagine...Charmin sues your ass (so to speak) because you used their product to blow your nose with, or because you hung the roll the wrong way. I suppose the TPing of houses is forbidden too. (To go the other way, I wonder if the TP makers have been sued yet because someone's house got TPed...the manufacturers should have forseen this and put a warning on the product..)

    Maybe we should get some toilet paper printed up with pictures of Lars on it...err...maybe just the name 'Metallica'...I'm not sure if I want Lars' face coming at my sensitive areas....


    Re:average people need to do more for themselves (Score:2)
    by quux26 (jayds@macross.thispartshouldprobablyberemoved.com) on Friday September 01, @12:17PM EDT (#287)
    (User #27287 Info) http://www.crashspace.net/
    "Some days I wonder if we're headed toward a society where you can't even wipe your own butt for yourself, instead of having some corporation do it for you (for a nominal fee)."

    Brings a whole new meaning to PayPal, doesn't it?

    My .02
    Quux26
    www.crashspace.net

    Re:average people need to do more for themselves (Score:2)
    by Cramer (foo@bar.com) on Friday September 01, @12:59PM EDT (#335)
    (User #69040 Info) http://do.i.have.to?
      Some days I wonder if we're headed toward a society where you can't even wipe your own butt for yourself, instead of having some corporation do it for you (for a nominal fee).
    That's already sorta true... you buy toilet paper, right? Ok, so we don't have a little midget in the bathroom to scrub our ass after we do our business -- well, not until you get "really old".

    As for wise-cracks about communism (or is that Communism), in case you've not noticed with all the C&D letters and DMCA lawsuits, democracy doesn't work exactly right either. The problem is that all forms of government depend, nay rely, on people. The net result is that the inscrupulous people (no offense) tend to bubble to the top. Politicians don't do what's in the best interest of their constituients; they do what's best for them -- their bank accounts and whatever keeps them in office.

    Corruption is a fact of life. When given power, people will eventually abuse it. I'm not saying everyone with administrative access to the mail server is, as matter of daily operations, reading everyone's email. People don't have to answer, but just think to yourself: How many times have you used the privledges granted to you to do something for your own gains or amusement? (i.e. read someone's email, go look through someone's files, snoop through a netscape cache or history file, etc.) [I'll admit to having done all of these things over the years. Hell, I've done far worse than those things. Actually, I've done worse without exercising privs. -- some of you will know what I'm alluding to *grin*]
    yes, but.... (Score:2)
    by MenTaLguY (mental@rydia.net.nospam) on Friday September 01, @05:15PM EDT (#489)
    (User #5483 Info) http://moonbase.rydia.net/mental

    That's already sorta true... you buy toilet paper, right? Ok, so we don't have a little midget in the bathroom to scrub our ass after we do our business -- well, not until you get "really old".

    True, but right now I'm free to use e.g. yesterday's newspaper instead of TP, and even if I bought toilet paper, I'm not legally obligated to hire the midget to use it.

    Corruption is a fact of life.

    Certainly. Human nature is what it is. I'm just bitching because most people seem so damn naive about it...


    "Quoting yourself in your signature is pathetic. Please cut it out." - an AC with a good point
    Re: The license (Score:1)
    by fugue (bwpearre@alumni.princeton.edu) on Friday September 01, @05:19PM EDT (#490)
    (User #4373 Info) http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~bwpearre
    Are you allowed to wipe your butt with a USA flag? I can't remember whether you're allowed to burn it or not, but if not I expect the same law would apply. Look on the bright side, though: at least it's not exactly a corporation telling you you can't (well, sort of).


    People who think "Industry Standard" is a compliment probably haven't used industrial toilet paper.
    Another way to protest .... (Score:2, Insightful)
    by taniwha on Friday September 01, @12:18PM EDT (#288)
    (User #70410 Info) http://www.taniwha.com/nospam.jpg
    Go down to Radio Shack .... get a free bar code scanner .... throw it away ... lather/rinse/repeat ...

    In short fuck with their business model ....

    Re:Another way to protest .... (Score:1)
    by SUWAIN on Saturday September 02, @07:55AM EDT (#609)
    (User #223234 Info)
    :-D

    This is really a good idea. But you have to do it in their stores. You can't just take it home. They'll never notice.

    Hilariously good idea!

    ...............
    SUWAIN: Slashdot User Without An Interesting Name
    /dev/brain > /dev/null

    well don't forget (Score:1)
    by ArchieBunker (root@[127.0.0.1]) on Friday September 01, @12:26PM EDT (#302)
    (User #132337 Info) http://www.netcraft.com/whats/?host=www.stallman.org
    You didn't purchase this scanner. If you read the fine print you are merely borrowing it and they can recall it any time. It seems fair since you are getting something for free.
    http://www.netcraft.com/whats/?host=www.stallman.org
    Re:well don't forget (Score:2)
    by imp on Friday September 01, @05:46PM EDT (#498)
    (User #7585 Info) http://www.village.org/~imp
    If you read the fine print you are merely borrowing it

    Well, no. There's no fine print in a cash transaction. I went to Radio Shack. I gave them money for a purchase, and this was included for free. No contract was signed, so the Uniform Commecrial Code applies. A contract was fixed at the time of sale. I gave them my name, address, etc. They gave me the scanner. A simple quid pro quo transaction. The fact that there's a piece of paper in the packet that purports to be an enforcible contract is really laughable. It is invalid and cannot be enforced. This is doublely true if you never installed the software. If you did, The Cat people can say that you agreed to the contract since the packaging for the cdrom contained the right warning lables. Since I never installed the software, or even opened the cd package, I never agreed to a modification of the contract that was fixed at the time of sale.

    In other words, They are going to have a hard time enforcing the supposed contract.

    Re:well don't forget (Score:2)
    by WNight (wnight@rocketmail.com) on Friday September 01, @08:04PM EDT (#530)
    (User #23683 Info)
    Quite right. If they want a contract to stick they need to make it known beforehand. "Sir, if you'd like one of our free barcode scanners and will agree to our agreement, you can have it."

    Same goes for EULAs. If you buy something and didn't agree to a contract beforehand, you can use the software in any way you see fit, as if it were a book. The maker has no more power to restrict your actions than a book publisher has to restrict who can read the book, etc.

    You may be bound by a license if you use the free software, because you haven't already paid to use it, but if it was bundled with the scanner which was a gift for making a purchase (ie, they gave it to you) then you're safe there too.
    Time to Tithe 10% of Gross Salary to EFF (Score:1)
    by rthille on Friday September 01, @01:30PM EDT (#360)
    (User #8526 Info) http://members.tripod.com/rthille

    It used to be that everyone tithed 10% to the church. I think if we want to continue to keep our 'freedom to innovate' :-), we need to start supporting those people who fight for those rights.

    Robert
    My Flame to DC (Score:2)
    by Non-Newtonian Fluid (wislocki_NO@SPAM_math.grin.edu) on Friday September 01, @02:36PM EDT (#410)
    (User #16797 Info) http://www.math.grin.edu/~wislocki/
    Try http://www.digitalconvergence. com/contact/index.html

    I find it rather troubling to hear that DC is threatening legal action against people who use its product (the CueCat) under Linux by writing their own software to interface with it. Perhaps you could explain to your customers why you choose to threaten them, without the cloak of legal doubletalk. All in all, this is definitely a great way to stir up support for your product on the Net. I'll be sure to throw away my CueCat as soon as I get home from work, and tell my friends to do the same.

    Re:FLAME RADIOSHACK (Score:1)
    by aqua (another-slashdot-spam-magnet@devin.com) on Friday September 01, @06:32PM EDT (#515)
    (User #3874 Info) http://www.devin.com
    Be polite. There are secretaries on the other end of that phone number who are not to blame for the decisions their companies make, but whose job it is do public-interface on behalf of their superiors. Same goes for digitalcreations.
    Re:screw this (Score:1)
    by The_H0und (jkaldon.AT.yahoo.DOT.com (Spam Proofed)) on Saturday September 02, @03:20AM EDT (#601)
    (User #37508 Info)
    I send the EFF an $80 check each month with only my email address on it.

    Others should do similarly,
    Josh


    If you were building The Matrix: NT or Unix? (I thought so :)
    So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:3, Funny)
    by GMontag (gmontag@dc2600.com) on Friday September 01, @10:31AM EDT (#18)
    (User #42283 Info) http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=
    Looks like we have another case of the stupids on our hands.

    I can't wait until Burger King starts handing out free toys and then sends cease and decist letters to anybody using it for propping a wobbly table leg.

    For crying out loud, this stupid instance will probably make it into court soon just like the stupid DeCSS case.

    Why on earth do courts (yes, I know it is not in court yet, I am just proving that I am psychic;-) even bother to hear cases based on this crap?

    Visit DC2600
    Memorize the books before burning.
    Re:So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:1)
    by TyFoN on Friday September 01, @10:55AM EDT (#83)
    (User #12980 Info)
    Why on earth do courts (yes, I know it is not in court yet, I am just proving that I am psychic;-) even bother to hear cases based on this crap?

    In normal countries in Europe the judges would just laugh if anyone brough up cases like DeCSS and this one (and all the claims for money. e.g. the macdonald and hot coffee case) :)

    Řyvind

    Re:So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:1)
    by Samus (scorder@SpamFreecinci.rr.com) on Friday September 01, @11:07AM EDT (#119)
    (User #1382 Info)
    Really, do 3rd degree burns and reconstructive surgery from a much hotter than standard coffee (about 180 degrees instead of 140) sound frivolous to you? Can we just leave the McDonalds lawsuit out of the stupid lawsuit examples?

    "What are the three words guaranteed to humiliate men everywhere?
    'Hold my purse.'"
    --Francois Morency
    Re:So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:1)
    by Foxman98 (slinco01@providence.edu.spam) on Friday September 01, @11:24AM EDT (#166)
    (User #37487 Info) http://studentweb.providence.edu
    Having lived on three continents; America, Africa and Europe (Holland) I must say that never in my life have I lived in a country this chock full of morons. The lady bought coffe and PUT IT IN HER LAP IN BETWEEN HER LEGS. What in god's name did she expect to happen? And then sued. And got money for it? What is wrong with people in this country. Seriously, I know many intelligent individuals here but I find the overall populous to be incredibly simple minded. I hurt myself - who can I get money from? Stop looking to blame others when the blame is on yourself.
    S.t.e.v.e.
    Re:So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:2)
    by Ex-NT-User on Friday September 01, @12:03PM EDT (#259)
    (User #1951 Info) http://zeb.dhs.org
    No no no, it was after she spilled the coffee that this info was found. Listen I believe she was in part responsible for what happaned the problems with this case that no one seems to bring are:

    1. McD was heating the coffee at 180 degrees instead of 140 which is the "safe" limit

    2. The management of that particular McD was incontact with the head office telling the head office that the coffee requirement was too hot and their customers were complaining. (The head office specified the 180 deg temp)

    3. The woman only originally asked for McD to pay PART of her medical bill. She knew she did something dumb, but the severity of the burns were because the coffe was unsafe to even drink.

    4. McD refused, and a fat lawyer got involved who uncovered the previous complaints as well ast the comunications with the head office about the temperature of the coffee.

    5. Her lawyer sued.

    6. She was awarded 10 million, Which was later put aside. (IE she never got it)

    7. McD now heats their coffee to 140 degrees which is still DAMN hot. Go try some.

    8. McD but this stupid lill warning on the cups saing "Contents are hot!" and fed the media about how people don't take responsibility for their actions.

    9. A lot of people BOUGHT it.

    The way I see it McD was at least in part at fault in this case. But THEY refused to admit it and it cost them.

    ---------------------------
    Yes there is a lot of I'ts not my fault I'll sue cases in this country.. this was not one of them.

    Ex-Nt-User
    Re:So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:1)
    by Foxman98 (slinco01@providence.edu.spam) on Friday September 01, @12:29PM EDT (#304)
    (User #37487 Info) http://studentweb.providence.edu
    Ok, ok, if that is indeed the situation then this case is exempt. However it still stands that the lady is, in the infamour words of Beavis and Butthead, a dumbass. I'm sorry, but putting hot coffee in between your legs is just stupid stupid stupid. No matter how hot the coffee is. Granted McDonald's shouldn't be selling scorching hot coffee... but still. Sorry for the above outburst, these sueing cases just really really irk me.
    S.t.e.v.e.
    Re:So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:2)
    by radja (oldshoe@itookmyprozac.com) on Monday September 04, @07:39AM EDT (#645)
    (User #58949 Info) http://www.ankh.morpork.net/~nobbs/
    McD's indeed serves lukewarm coffee, which is why I don't drink the stuff. 85 degrees(about 170F) is the normal serving temperature for coffee, and ideal temperature for making coffee is between 95 and 98 degrees. Go look it up, I can't be bothered to get the link. Now it's time to wait for someone to sue McD's for selling lukewarm coffee that should be hot. At least THAT would make sense..

    //rdj
    Want DeCSS? just mail me!
    Re:So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:1)
    by lalas on Friday September 01, @11:25AM EDT (#169)
    (User #85981 Info)
    much hotter than standard coffee (about 180 degrees instead of 140)

    hmmm, was that put forth by ISO? I was unaware that it was illegal for McD's to sell coffee that was too hot. Thank God for that lawsuit, the world is such a better place because of it.

    Re:So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:1)
    by SquidBoy (stuartfin()4thenet'co'uk) on Friday September 01, @11:29AM EDT (#179)
    (User #208635 Info)

    I make coffee with boiling water straight from a kettle (wooh, 212 F). I give this to friends visiting my house. If one of them spills it in their crotch and is traumatized by an embarrassing hospital visit, can they sue me then? Should I stick to luke-warm beverages from now on? Or beer?

    Why do most lawyers make the characters in Ally McBeal look sensible?
    If you're a jock, inflict some pain / If you're a nerd then use your brain - DAPHNE AND CELESTE

    Re:So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:1)
    by Tower (/dev/whoop-ass) on Friday September 01, @12:10PM EDT (#274)
    (User #37395 Info)
    Only serve ice-coffee - much safer ;-)

    People are stupid and can't take responsibility for their own actions (like spilling on themsleves). The feel the need to blame somebody else.
    --
    "Funk the Dumb Stuff!" - ToP
    Re:So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:1)
    by CorporateProgrammerD on Friday September 01, @12:47PM EDT (#322)
    (User #170692 Info)
    Beer? IANAL but AFAIK (Don't you just love writing like that?) You are liable if they get drunk and do something that hurts themselves or somebody else.
    Re:So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:1)
    by luckykaa (squigly@maxmail.co.uk) on Friday September 01, @11:33AM EDT (#195)
    (User #134517 Info)
    I agree. The damages seemed a little excessive (A whole days coffee sales worth - punitative), but apart from that, it seems reasonable that McD should have offered to pay for the medical bills.
    Re:So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:1)
    by jsmaby (jsmaby at virgo.umeche.maine.edu) on Friday September 01, @11:35AM EDT (#201)
    (User #217465 Info) http://virgo.umeche.maine.edu

    I don't know how you drink your coffee, but I bring water to a boil before adding coffee grounds and decanting. I even pour some of the boiling water into my coffee cup and the decanter first to warm them up. You like your coffee luke warm? I once took a sauna where the temperature read 210F (I was sitting on the top bench too). I didn't die or anything (although when I jumped in the snow bank afterwards, I'm sure my heart missed a few beats). If I spilled 180F coffee on myself, I would say `ouch' and call myself an idiot. Now I'm going to go get a lab thermometer and see how hot exactly my coffee is when I drink it. I bet it's more than 180F.


    GS/M/MU d++ s: a22 C++ UB++++ P+ L+++ E--- W+++ w--- V- PE PGP++ !tv b++ DI+ D- e++>++++ h* !r !z
    Re:So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:1)
    by mariab (maria at meow dot at) on Friday September 01, @03:08PM EDT (#436)
    (User #198250 Info)
    but this was the air that was at 210 F...

    water has an enormous specific heat capacity, I don't know what it is, but I am sure I could find out if i were enthused enough.

    a specific heat capacity of something is the number of joules of energy that it takes to raise a kilogram of that by one degree Celcius.

    so, let's say a cup of coffee has 300 grams of water in it ... 300 grams of water that have a LOT more energy in them than 300 grams of air, which would occupy a vastely greater volume.. and so have even less energy that can be transferred to something else

    it is the energy that burns, not the temperature


    meow! Maria
    Re:So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:1)
    by Cid Highwind (blue-dragon@tamu.edu) on Friday September 01, @11:39AM EDT (#212)
    (User #9258 Info)
    Really, do 3rd degree burns and reconstructive surgery...

    I don't care what the courts think happened to this woman, but you can't get 3rd degree burns from anything that contains water. A 3rd degree burn happens when skin or flesh is burned away. I don't know what the ignition temperature of human flesh is, but it is well above 100 C, when her coffee would have turned to vapor.

    pedantic? yes. pointless? yes, but so was the suit
    0 1 - just my two bits
    Re:So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:1)
    by Samus (scorder@SpamFreecinci.rr.com) on Friday September 01, @01:03PM EDT (#338)
    (User #1382 Info)
    I don't know either but I would offer the example of focusing sunlight on a magifying glass on a piece of paper. It doesn't burn right away but leave it on long enough and it will burn. Its likely that she was probably wearing pants or a skirt with some kind stockings. We know that she was in her car when it happened. So at the very minimum she has to stop the car, jump out and take her garments off. I would think that the continued exposure would act in the same way. If you need another example think of going to the beach or a pool. The longer you stay in the sun the more you will burn. Also though 3rd degree burns are characterized by charring it is also classified by the extent of the damage to the skin. A second degree burn while serious usually results in only minor skin damage with blistering. Yes she was dumb for putting hot coffee in her lap but I doubt coffe served at 140 would have resulted in such permanent damage.

    "What are the three words guaranteed to humiliate men everywhere?
    'Hold my purse.'"
    --Francois Morency
    Re:So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:1)
    by SirGeek (sirgeek@NOSPAM.soffen.com) on Friday September 01, @11:49AM EDT (#232)
    (User #120712 Info)
    And when you remove the lid fom ANY LIQUID 140+ degrees or more and place it between your legs when driving you DESERVE to get burned.

    In my NOT so humble opinion, you just failed a basic IQ Test.

    Re:So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:1)
    by Billy Donahue (spam_billy_spam@spam_dadadada_spam.net) on Saturday September 02, @03:03AM EDT (#600)
    (User #29642 Info) http://dadadada.net/~billy
    She wasn't driving...
    Why can't people read before posting....
    -- The Funk, the whole Funk, and nothing but the Funk.
    Re:So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:1)
    by SirGeek (sirgeek@NOSPAM.soffen.com) on Saturday September 02, @02:10PM EDT (#616)
    (User #120712 Info)
    Fromt your link:
    ...Liebeck placed the cup between her knees and attempted to remove the plastic lid from the cup. As she removed the lid, the entire contents of the cup spilled into her lap.

    Still seems pretty stupid to me ! Hmmm.. I'm having trouble opening my HOT coffee, let me place it between my knees and try and open it, if it splashes, I won't get burned... Symantics. Fine she didn't do it BECAUSE she was driving, still doesn't diminish the fact she was stupid, I won't even open my cold soda cups between my knees because I don't want a bath if I spill it..

    Re:So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:1)
    by phayes on Friday September 01, @12:20PM EDT (#292)
    (User #202222 Info)
    No, Instead we have French courts trying to impose what may or may not be sold throughout the Internet based on french law...
    Democracy is a sheep and two wolves deciding what to have for lunch. Freedom is a well armed sheep contesting the issue
    Re:"Clean" countries in europe? (Score:1)
    by joshua42 (joshua(a)linux.nu) on Friday September 01, @11:35AM EDT (#198)
    (User #103889 Info)
    > The USA might be full on lawyers, but at least we brush our teeth and bathe at least once a day!

    Right. Have you ever been to the southern states?

    - El riesgo siempre vive - Private J. Vasquez

    Re:"Clean" countries in europe? (Score:1)
    by jallen02 (:-( .) on Friday September 01, @12:30PM EDT (#305)
    (User #124384 Info) http://gdev.net/~jallen
    *cough* *cough* That is plain not nice.

    I have lived in Georgia all my life and uhm anyways its not true, I hate stereotypes.
    Insert Quarter here --->[   ]<---
    Re:"Clean" countries in europe? (Score:1)
    by DaKrushr (dgwatson@NOSPAM.kent.edu) on Friday September 01, @05:39PM EDT (#495)
    (User #16560 Info)
    I don't think he was talking about Georgia, Virginia, or any of the 'civilized' southern states...

    Think Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi ;)
    Re:So, we have another case of the stupids (Score:1)
    by caver on Friday September 01, @11:37AM EDT (#208)
    (User #208346 Info)
    This puts McDonalds in the same category as the tobacco companies

    I love it when people bring up brain dead analogies like this one. The tobacco companies knew that using their product *in the proper way*, i.e. smoking it, was hazardous to your health. McDonalds was sued for using their product *in the wrong way*, i.e. pouring it on your lap. There is a vast difference between the two cases.
    harsh (Score:1, Funny)
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, @10:32AM EDT (#19)
    Nice to see that someone has time on their hands to worry about someone actually doing them a favour.. Amusing to see any legal letter addressed to flyingbuttmonkeys.com though :)
    This is just stupid (Score:2, Interesting)
    by update() on Friday September 01, @10:35AM EDT (#26)
    (User #217397 Info)
    Slashdot is constantly complaining about companies' legal activities. I think 95% of it is misinformed, hypocritical or just downright absurd, and I don't hesitate to say so.

    But this business is just stupid. What does this company care? They own the patent on the device and the software is free, right? I don't see how this affects their revenue at all, even if it is illegal, which I doubt. (And before a swarm of people point to the DMCA, I know about that and I still doubt it's illegal.)

    I've been working on KDE panel applets lately. Here's a port to add to my list...

    ---------
    Karma freeze? Well, there's more where that came from!

    Re:This is just stupid (Score:2)
    by kramer (kramer@angband.org) on Friday September 01, @11:19AM EDT (#153)
    (User #19951 Info) http://random.yahoo.com/bin/ryl
    It's simple. They give the software away for free, but you have to register at their website and give them an e-mail address and fill out some demographic information. That way they can make all sorts of fun lists indexed by e-mail address of what products interest you in the Radioshack Catalog, and what other items you are scanning. It's one big demographic information gatherer.

    Unauthorized software allows the possibility of an end-run around their demographic gathering. It destroys their poorly thought out business model. They don't gather this information, they don't make money.
    They should do an end-run around the user (Score:1)
    by Captain Pillbug on Friday September 01, @11:41AM EDT (#216)
    (User #12523 Info)
    Seriously, RadioShack has for years collected all sorts of demographic info on its customers (or at least the ones who're stupid enough to give it to them). Why couldn't they just tap into ratshack's database for each customer who walks away with one of these devices? Cuecrap gets the demographic info, and ratshack gets you to come into one of their stores and potentially walk away with another purchase.
    Re:They should do an end-run around the user (Score:1)
    by david duncan scott on Friday September 01, @12:30PM EDT (#306)
    (User #206421 Info)
    Good as far as it goes, but they don't get your further interests -- if you scan beer UPC's, then they know you're interested in beer, something they'd never be able to derive from your RS purchases.

    It might be useful (in a marketing sense) to know that 89% of the people who bought DVD players in the past year also bought Tampons, condoms, and dog food (or whatever).

    What CueCat needs, of course, is either to release or to allow someone else to release non-Windows versions of the s/w that do the same stuff. This way they're simply shooting off their own toes, one by one ("Macintosh users? No, sorry, we don't know anything about them. Linux? BSD? BeOS? Sorry -- black holes of ignorance in our consumer database")

    The sad thing is that these people only look at one side of the numbers. They know they've got potential access to a bazillion Windows users, but they don't consider the admittedly-smaller-but-still-way-too-numerous-to-fit-in-my-living-room group that they're throwing away through sheer laziness.

    Maybe somebody should write to the CEO of CueCat and point this out -- "Your lawyers are sending away customers that your people are apparently too incompetent to serve!"

    I mean really, what's the point of opening your doors if your own staff are going to block them with their sleeping bodies?

    Re:They should do an end-run around the user (Score:1)
    by david duncan scott on Friday September 01, @04:17PM EDT (#460)
    (User #206421 Info)
    Hell, a lot of people would say that Mac users have proven themselves to be a lucrative target market even for the wrong product.

    (Sorry, just can't resist a straight line. Apple makes a fine product, really. Please don't hurt me.)

    Re:This is just stupid (Score:1)
    by update() on Friday September 01, @11:50AM EDT (#234)
    (User #217397 Info)
    OK, that makes more sense.

    It seems to me CueCat's first step should be patching their server software so to require a valid registration code. Next, maybe associating each ID with the IP or domain from which it was registered so the third-party software doesn't get rewritten with a valid ID hard coded in. (I don't have any problem with companies setting the terms on which their servers can be accessed.) At that point, let hackers write all the software they want! CueCat will be getting their ports done for free.

    ---------
    Karma freeze? Well, there's more where that came from!

    Re:This is just stupid (Score:1)
    by update() on Friday September 01, @11:50AM EDT (#235)
    (User #217397 Info)
    OK, that makes more sense.

    It seems to me CueCat's first step should be patching their server software to require a valid registration code. Next, maybe associating each ID with the IP or domain from which it was registered so the third-party software doesn't get rewritten with a valid ID hard coded in. (I don't have any problem with companies setting the terms on which their servers can be accessed.) At that point, let hackers write all the software they want! CueCat will be getting their ports done for free.

    ---------
    Karma freeze? Well, there's more where that came from!

    Re:This is just stupid (Score:1)
    by Scrag (Scragno7h@nospam.hotmail.com) on Friday September 01, @09:55PM EDT (#557)
    (User #137843 Info)
    I don't think that stopping people is legal. My experiences can be found here: CueCat Experiences
    There are pictures of the product in the packaging it came in, and the license agreement.

    --To decode this comment into a readable form, rot13 it twice.--
    Too little too late. (Score:1)
    by Orclover on Friday September 01, @10:36AM EDT (#28)
    (User #228413 Info)
    Cease and decist?(spelling nazis can piss off), I wonder how long it will take major corporations to figure out that once a program is out on the internet it is too late, you cant stop it, hell you can barely slow it down. This of course covers any program made by individual users provided free to the general public.
    "Its ok mam im a cop!/I dont think he gives a sh!t" -Predator II
    Re:Too little too late. (Score:1)
    by talesout (leenat@willinet.net) on Friday September 01, @11:58AM EDT (#251)
    (User #179672 Info)
    Perhaps they were thinking clearer than what would at first appear.

    After all, they would have to be pretty moronic if they thought they could *stop* the distrobution of this software (and that way stop the products use *huh*). But, they are probably smart enough to realize that if they made a stink about it it would get that software distributed faster and make more people interested in the product to begin with.

    Remember, there is no such thing as bad publicity. Of course, they were stupid enough to not realize that the entire slashdot crowd would get their panties in a bunch and avoid them like the plague :-).
    Re:Too little too late. (Score:1)
    by Ares (ares0-AT-geocities-DOT-com) on Friday September 01, @02:39PM EDT (#414)
    (User #5306 Info) http://www.tc.umn.edu/~micha044
    Quoth the poster:

    But, they are probably smart enough to realize that if they made a stink about it it would get that software distributed faster and make more people interested in the product to begin with.

    Quite possibly. I remember when I was a lifeguard, I learned that the quickest way to get a kid to run on the pool deck, was to tell them they couldn't. I guess at 23, the generalization of that applies to me. The quickest way to get me to get myself a copy of DeCSS, or the software for this, is to tell me I can't have it.
    Is this illegal? (Score:1)
    by deuist (dis_tance@nospam-hotmail.com) on Friday September 01, @10:36AM EDT (#29)
    (User #228133 Info)
    I don't know how using someone's else hardware and then writing your own lines of code is illegal. There are no violations of copyright law. And wasn't that how PCs came to be - Compaq reversing IBM's bios?

    If you ask me, Rothwell did CueCat a service in that now the company doesn't have to worry about writing a Linux driver.

    I do see where CueCat may be scared, though. With the code from Rothwell freely given away, other companies can come in and start making their own bar code readers thereby keeping CueCat from making all the money.

    Do they even have a case? (Score:1, Interesting)
    by Sawbones on Friday September 01, @10:36AM EDT (#31)
    (User #176430 Info)
    I haven't gotten around to radio shack yet to pick up one of the free barcode readers there, but maybe someone who has can answer this.

    When you pick up one of these scanners do you have to fill out a form or sign anything stating that you intend to - or must - use this scanner only for their special barcode catalogs? IANAL, but it seems to me if they haven't, even if the premise of the whole giveaway is to use the scanner with the specified catalog, you'd be fine - for all you knew it was a promotion to was just to get you to go to a new store, like giving away really oddly shapped baloons.

    Ad in classifieds: Pandora's Box (no box) $5
    Re:Do they even have a case? (Score:1)
    by Jim Buzbee (jbuzbee@nyx.net) on Friday September 01, @10:45AM EDT (#59)
    (User #517 Info) http://batbox.org/
    I got one in the mail, unsolicited, from Forbes magazine.
    Re:Do they even have a case? (Score:1)
    by turbosk (jjm87149@yahoo.com) on Friday September 01, @11:01AM EDT (#106)
    (User #73287 Info)
    No case from the store, just a plastic baggie. My guy didn't even ask for my address- can he get fired for that? I'm SURE it's a punishable offense there....

    Here's hoping that ColonCat really did have consumers' best interests at heart, and wasn't playing some Tom and Jerry jerkaround like it looks like they're doing. crap.

    Maybe it'll be more useful in a few weeks? What does one use these things for? Maybe we didn't know we needed a personal CatScanner ;j
    Re:Do they even have a case? (Score:1)
    by wanna (wattwsw_@hotmail.com) on Friday September 01, @10:53AM EDT (#79)
    (User #110872 Info)


    No signing anything! Picked up four of them the other day and actually had to remind the clerk to give us 'catalogs'! He just handed them over and asked for our addy's like Radio Shack always does.

    No mention at all of it's use being ONLY for some specific purpose... The guy actually had to hunt up the 4th catalog, ending up giving us the one off their own counter to satisfy OUR REQUEST one for each Cat.


    "If you tell me, I might forget. If you show me, I might remember. If you involve me, I will understand" Chinese Proverb
    Re:Do they even have a case? (Score:1)
    by Zerth (zerth@linuxstart.com) on Friday September 01, @10:54AM EDT (#81)
    (User #26112 Info)
    > When you pick up one of these scanners do you have to fill out a form or sign anything stating that
    > you intend to - or must - use this scanner only for their special barcode catalogs?

        Well, if you install the software that comes with it, it mentions that you don't actually own the physical device, you are just "licensed" to use it, same as the software. I'm not sure, but it might have had a clause about use, and I do remember them saying they could recall.

        I think they'd have a really hard time getting anyone to give "their" property back anyway. Can one license a physical object?(as opposed to renting or something)

        Fortunately, for me at least, I never installed said software(somehow the cd ended up in the microwave before I finished plugging mine in), so I own this thing free and clear as far as I can tell.
    Re:Do they even have a case? (Score:1)
    by broody on Friday September 01, @10:55AM EDT (#82)
    (User #171983 Info)

    When you pick up one of these scanners do you have to fill out a form or sign anything stating that you intend to - or must - use this scanner only for their special barcode catalogs?

    No form but you do have to put up with the annoying Radio Shack way of verifying your address and contact information. Hell, the guy at the shop I went to was nice enough to ask me if wanted the catalog or not. <:


    Skiddily- Easy cash for a so-so portal. Come get some.

    Re:Do they even have a case? (Score:1)
    by DrLazer on Friday September 01, @10:58AM EDT (#92)
    (User #228664 Info)
    Well, there's nothing on the printed materials that explicitly forbid this. Of course, there's a click-thru license on the software. I guess they figured that nobody'd figure all this out this fast.

    FWIW, you DO fill out a survey during installation (the usual: spending habits, hobbies, etc), so likely they're pissed at the likelihood of losing the user demographic information.

    Doc L
    If it wasn't for half of the people in this country, the other half would be all of them -- Col. Stoopnagle
    Not only no specification of using the catalog... (Score:1)
    by TBone (mark@thisismyown.com) on Friday September 01, @11:28AM EDT (#176)
    (User #5692 Info) http://www.thisismyown.com
    But the software and drivers support OTHER "Cue"'s. If you want to write a driver to interpret audio Cue's from your TV, that's possible too (not that I can find a list of Cue-enabled TV shows anywhere). This is just a load of crap to make us have our uses of the codes tracked.

    This space for rent. Call 1-800-STEAK4U

    Re:Do they even have a case? (Score:1)
    by Darnit (epenne at yahoo.com) on Friday September 01, @11:32AM EDT (#191)
    (User #75420 Info) http://doppler.unl.edu
    I asked the Radio Shack employee if they would work in Linux.

    He said that they used some funky encryption thing so it won't just read in the standard UPC codes. He also said that he had seen a driver for it on freshmeat.

    So obviously he didn't have me read any legalese before getting the reader.

    Re:Do they even have a case? (Score:1)
    by wolf- on Friday September 01, @01:12PM EDT (#348)
    (User #54587 Info)
    I personally picked up 5 units from Radio Shack.
    Wife got 3.
    Father in law got 2.
    Brother got 2.

    None of us signed anything, nor were we asked for personal information.

    I'v not installed their software, so I am not bound by their software license. Additionally, there is no shrinkwrap on the cd. There was no hardware rental/use agreement signed. In local courts, this item will be considered a gift, there were no terms associated with the gift.
    Re:Do they even have a case? (Score:1)
    by xamfear on Friday September 01, @04:27PM EDT (#468)
    (User #182743 Info)
    I didn't even ask for a cat. One was mailed to my house by forbes.com without my even having asked for one. Here's a parcel for you, keep in mind if you open it you will have to play by the rules as laid out by the enclosed EULA! That's a good idea for a business. Send out letters demanding a $100 payment and stuff a EULA in the envelope that states that the opener has agreed to abide by the rules. HMMMMM "Well your honor he DID open the letter and the enclosed EULA DID state that he would abide by its terms upon opening" Well I'm off to make my millions! Thanks /. xam
    Re:Do they even have a case? (Score:1)
    by Colol (waiting.on.dhis.net) on Friday September 01, @07:10PM EDT (#524)
    (User #35104 Info)
    No forms were filled out, no statement was made to that effect.

    In fact, the salesdroid at RadioShack offered just the opposite -- "Pretty soon you'll be able to scan just about any barcode on anything and be taken to it's homepage and stuff, dude."
    ... and monkeys will fly out of my butt!!! (Score:4, Funny)
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, @10:37AM EDT (#32)
    I think he should go to court just so we can hear the judge and lawyers say "flying butt monkeys" a lot
    Re:... and monkeys will fly out of my butt!!! (Score:1)
    by alkali (ab294@detroit.freenet.org) on Friday September 01, @02:59PM EDT (#429)
    (User #28338 Info)
    It just shows you how law has advanced. 1920s: Monkey Trial. 2000s: Flying Butt Monkey Trial.
    This is your final answer. (Score:2)
    by jjr (jjr@theotherside.com) on Friday September 01, @10:38AM EDT (#33)
    (User #6873 Info) http://theotherside.com/
    These people do not understand that we are not tring to any wrong.
    Message to the company
    We are just creating an application that can use YOUR product. We would think you would be happy about this. Do you understand if your company tries and stop people from exploring the possiblity with your product. That you will hurt only your own sales. Instead of tring to stop this you should at least try and work with the people who could possibily be creating a set of customers for you.

    The Micro$haft BSOD T-shirt
    Re:This is your final answer. (Score:1)
    by angelo (anrkngl@lowmagnet.org) on Friday September 01, @11:02AM EDT (#109)
    (User #21182 Info) http://www.lowmagnet.org/
    They are worried about copy:cats out there that may use their format to hijack the links. Of course, putting :cue:cat links in every magazine they can then giving only Windows users a client? duh, perhaps they should have come up with at least a Mac client before goin on. Maybe there is already a Mac developer working on it aside from :crq. Perhaps they are next for a C&D.
    We do politics too
    Almost funny. (Score:1)
    by Farq Fenderson (farq[at]stylishpants[dot]org) on Friday September 01, @10:38AM EDT (#34)
    (User #135583 Info) http://www.isn.net/~goat/
    I was about to laugh, as I was expecting this... but there's no reason for it. What do they lose if people make practical use of it? It's not like they're losing profits. They should have expected this anyhow. Stupid marketroids.
    ---
    Break The Law
    Re:Almost funny. (Score:1)
    by radja (oldshoe@itookmyprozac.com) on Friday September 01, @11:01AM EDT (#104)
    (User #58949 Info) http://www.ankh.morpork.net/~nobbs/
    almost? from a european standpoint these eternal threats with lawsuits are getting increasingly funny. Just about daily, I read about (tm)(r)(c) sueing someone who offers an added value to their product. yup. it's funny. but it may just be my sense of humour, which at times is decidedly strange...

    //rdj
    Want DeCSS? just mail me!
    Corporation annoyance recipe... (Score:5, Funny)
    by quantum bit (root@localhost.microsoft.com) on Friday September 01, @10:39AM EDT (#35)
    (User #225091 Info)
    1. Convert the DeCSS source code to groups of three-number octects (000-255) representing the ASCII characters of the source.

    2. For additional fun, before step one, invert the bits of the source code. Claim this is a copyright protection device and nobody can attempt to circumvent it under the DMCA.

    3. Use a barcode printer to print out the resulting sequence of numbers in barcode format.

    4. Give to a friend.

    5. Friend scans barcodes with free scanner and Linux driver.

    6. Friend converts source code back into original form, saves it in a file whose name starts with Metallica and ends with .mp3.

    7. Publish the resulting file on Napster, Gnutella, Freenet, etc...

    8. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

    .sig: Not all /. users with high UIDs are trolls dammit!
    All computers are illegal (Score:1)
    by RichMan on Friday September 01, @11:15AM EDT (#141)
    (User #8097 Info) http://www.doe.carleton.ca/~rjg
    The DMCA does not require that the protection schemes applied to copyright works have any sort of minimal strength.

    Could not the argument be made that text if encode in the ASCII data representation stored in binary on a digital media be enough of a coding scheme that any machinery decoding this text is in violation of the DMCA. Send someone a email message, mark it copyright, then if they even view the message using a computer they are in violation of the DMCA.

    Re:Corporation annoyance recipe... (Score:2, Interesting)
    by rgmoore (glandauer@worldnet.att.net) on Friday September 01, @11:30AM EDT (#184)
    (User #133276 Info)

    An even more amusing excercise would be to not print out the list as a big long bar code. Instead, find a series of products whose UPC symbols would, when concatenated, give you the code. It may be necessary to create a simple format conversion system to accomodate the characteristics of the UPC system. Then you can convert DeCSS into a shopping list.

    When they said that information wants to be free, they meant free as in speech, not free as in beer.

    Older barcode systems? (Score:1, Insightful)
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, @12:43PM EDT (#318)
    I know there must be other systems like this already out there. Does anyone remember one from maybe a dozen years ago that printed long stripes? At one point there was talk of computer magazines encoding their source code listings with these stripes on the bottom of the page to enable scanning in the source code.

    As far as the corporate annoyance, since these guys know enough to write a linux driver to read these things, they should be able to write a driver to write these codes. Then encode DeCess with it, print it out and send it all over meatspace.

    Nelson Munze ("Haw Haw!").
    Barcode wand terminal uses (Score:1)
    by illtud on Friday September 01, @10:39AM EDT (#36)
    (User #115152 Info)
    I've just this day set up a dumb Wyse-50 with a barcode scanning wand to serial login to my dev (RH) box. I work at a Legal Deposit Library and we're paying a company to come and bin some 40 of these. They cost a few *thousand* pounds each back in the 80s (customised character set/language support) and being somewhat of a scavanger, I'm playing with one to see if it's worth saving them. It reads barcodes happily and simply dumps the numerical codes to stdin - I'm going to take one home and link it up to an MP3 jukebox & db so that I can scan barcodes from my ripped CDs and trigger the server to play the album.
    I suspect this is just a misunderstanding (Score:4, Interesting)
    by sethg (sethg@ropine.com) on Friday September 01, @10:40AM EDT (#39)
    (User #15187 Info) http://www.ropine.com
    The meat of the letter is this sentence:
    It has come to Digital Convergence's attention that services/information being offered at such sites ... are in conflict with intellectual property rights owned by Digital Convergence.
    This is so vague, it makes me think that the lawyers (and Digital Convergence) don't really know what's going on. Somebody at Digital Convergence or its law firm probably saw that the Linux software was available, found out that someone outside the company had wrote them, and ASS-U-ME-D that you had copied their software.

    So if your code looks nothing like theirs, they won't be able to prove that you violated their copyright by posting it, and everything will be copacetic.

    Of course, IANAL.

    And I'm glad I downloaded that stuff yesterday.
    --
    "...relational databases are some kind of sinister death cult...." --Tim Bradshaw

    Re:I suspect this is just a misunderstanding (Score:1)
    by tralfamador on Friday September 01, @10:55AM EDT (#84)
    (User #159554 Info)
    then do something useful and post and freakin' link to it!
    Re:I suspect this is just a misunderstanding (Score:3, Informative)
    by Masem (mneylon@wtower.com) on Friday September 01, @10:59AM EDT (#99)
    (User #1171 Info) http://pinky.wtower.com/mneylon
    What's not implicated stated in this particular slashdot story, but refered to previously, is that when you swipe with the scanner, the first part of the mumbojumbo you get back is a unique identifier for that scanner. This gets sent back to the server, and gee, at that point, what do you think it's used for?

    At which point, the software for Linux is compariable to clean room interoperability (legal by DCMA) and to junkbuster. Both which are legal, AFAIK.


    "Pinky, you've left the lens cap of your mind on again." - The Brain

    Port it to windows (Score:2)
    by gotan (Ra.Berger@fz-juelich.de) on Friday September 01, @11:50AM EDT (#237)
    (User #60103 Info)
    I think the OSS implementation should be ported to Windows (just to embarass them further), after the legal hassles are sorted out (I think they really don't have a case).

    Against all expectations, the universe was Y2K compliant.
    Re:Port it to windows (Score:1)
    by paulbort on Friday September 01, @12:49PM EDT (#326)
    (User #9372 Info)
    There's no need. The PERL version mentioned in the article will run under PERL for Windows. Hell, it's even in a .ZIP file. It might have been written in Windows.
    -- Spring: Forces, coiled again!
    Re:I suspect this is just a misunderstanding (Score:2)
    by interiot (newcumdb at cs blaupunkt purdue grunpunkt edu) on Friday September 01, @01:33PM EDT (#365)
    (User #50685 Info)
    it makes me think that the lawyers don't really know what's going on

    Or... maybe it's like this:

      Digital Convergence thinks they can successfully sue, tell lawyers to attack

      Lawyers really know what going on, realize the suit is stupid and won't fly, but spend one minute doing the minimum requirements in notifying Airborne leTouche deMonkey.

      Lawyers assume leMonkies will ignore the latter and send Digital Convergence a big bill


    --
    lame marketroid names (Score:5, Funny)
    by Noodles on Friday September 01, @10:40AM EDT (#41)
    (User #39504 Info)
    Ummm... I have seen punctuation marks used in other names too: /.
    Hehhe (Score:5, Funny)
    by dizee (diz@spamkillsbabywhalescafes.net) on Friday September 01, @10:40AM EDT (#42)
    (User #143832 Info) http://www.deepfreeze.org
    I'm sure the person that typed up that cease and desist letter kept a straight face.

    I can see that conversation:

    Law firm: So you want to sue flying butt monkeys?
    DC: Yup.
    Law firm: Riiiight...

    But anyhow, this is just ridiculous, it's a physical product that sends output like a keyboard, basically, it is a keyboard. We can do anything we want to with it. We can destroy it, we can pee on it, we can set it on fire, we can strap gi joes and 74 bottle rockets to it and boldy send it where no cat-shaped bar code reader has gone before. We paid for it (granted it cost $0), it's ours.

    The nerve of this company is absolutely absurd. Tonight, I'm going to write as many useless (maybe even useful) programs that use the scanner as I can just to piss them off.

    Really, what is the world coming to (or at least the US)? I feel that there's going to have to be a revolution before too long, ya know? Kill all the stupid people!

    Mike

    "I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer."
    --Homer Simpson
    Re:Hehhe (Score:1)
    by talesout (leenat@willinet.net) on Friday September 01, @12:10PM EDT (#276)
    (User #179672 Info)
    Really, what is the world coming to (or at least the US)? I feel that there's going to have to be a revolution before too long, ya know? Kill all the stupid people!


    1. We only have enough nuclear arms to destroy the Earth seven times over. That's not nearly enough to kill all the stupid people.

    2. The Earth would be extremely lonely if all the stupid people were dead (think of it, one person per million sqare miles or so, maybe less).

    3. We should keep a few stupid people around just for entertainment value. Perhaps, leave them in a constantly televised place (Big Brother II, it would be almost as intelligent as the current show).
    Re:Hehhe (Score:1)
    by Vagary (jawarren@trentu.ca) on Friday September 01, @01:23PM EDT (#356)
    (User #21383 Info) http://blaze.trentu.ca/~jawarren/

    What I don't understand, is why technically savvy people are willing to give up their freedom and good government for money. Move to Canada: you won't get as much money, but then you won't have to spend as much either. And our government has no intentions of catering to corporate lobbists anytime soon.


    Re:Hehhe (Score:1)
    by ahodgson on Friday September 01, @02:42PM EDT (#417)
    (User #74077 Info)
    Since when? Canada's patent and copyright system falls into step with the US almost as fast as the government can bring it in. On top of our own stupid laws (like CDR taxes) and insanely high taxes.

    Yeah, for the moment we don't have a DMCA. But you can bet the government's under pressure from the US and the same companies that got it passed down there, and they're working on one as we speak.


    -- Alan
    Re:Hehhe (Score:1)
    by JohnnyGTO (jlang ;) @techcorp.com) on Friday September 01, @06:07PM EDT (#504)
    (User #102952 Info)
    and the inability to own land.
    Naming Fun (Score:2)
    by _Sprocket_ on Friday September 01, @01:58PM EDT (#388)
    (User #42527 Info)
    Law firm: So you want to sue flying butt monkeys?
    DC: Yup.
    Law firm: Riiiight...
    Note to self:
    If planning to do any progect that may involve upsetting goverment or corporate entities, be sure to host the progect on an odd domain name. At least then while you're dealing with legal hassles, you can still chuckle at pompous beurocrats intoning things like "flying butt monkies".
    Re:Hehhe (Score:1)
    by LoveMuscle on Friday September 01, @05:25PM EDT (#491)
    (User #42428 Info)
    This is slightly off topic of course, but do you realize that if you kill all the stupid people (assuming here that stupid person == anyone more stupid than yourself). You end up being the most stupid person on the planet...

    I am all for keeping lots of stupid people around. Just make sure they aren't governing in anyform..

    (of course this easily opens the whole debate on "what is stupid?"..)
    Re:Hehhe (Score:1)
    by Seelo on Saturday September 02, @12:18AM EDT (#587)
    (User #107803 Info) http://www.seelo.com
    >Really, what is the world coming to (or at
    >least the US)? I feel that there's going to
    >have to be a revolution before too long, ya
    >know? Kill all the stupid people!

    If that were to happen we'd all be the first one up against the wall.
    What can they do? (Score:1, Insightful)
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, @10:41AM EDT (#43)
    Did you have to sign any kind of agreement to get to walk out with the barcode scanner? Or did the salesperson verbally explain to you "Now don't go and do anything naughty like writing Linux drivers for this, or reverse engineering how it works" or the like? I mean, if you didn't, and you aren't adding to the load placed on their servers, I don't see that they've got a leg to stand on... of course, that's purely opinion. I mean, if some dude's girlfriend gets all hot and bothered and uses it to masturbate, are they going to sue her for finding a use of it outside the one they intended? I think not.
    Re:What can they do? (Score:1)
    by nmarshall (nmarshall@den.virtualave.net) on Friday September 01, @11:57AM EDT (#247)
    (User #33189 Info)
    i work for RS, where never told to ask any such questions. i have said, that i was working on drivers, good thing i havent had time to write them eh. :)

    really the only thing i ask for, is name and address, mostly because if you can ask me for it then you can tell me your n&a. also low n&a%'s is a punshable offence. and hell, cuecat track you anyway....


    nmarshall
    #include "standard_disclaimer.h"
    R.U. SIRIUS: THE ONLY POSSIBLE RESPONSE
    The Revolution®
    Now THAT'S a good idea! (Score:1)
    by pestie (spamtrap@bleeding-head.com) on Friday September 01, @12:25PM EDT (#300)
    (User #141370 Info) http://www.bleeding-head.com
    Dammit! My girlfriend just went home a few days ago! Damn these long-distance relationships. I'll bet dollars to donuts I could have gotten her to do that, too, and let me do a little digital imaging at the same time. As long as I didn't show her face or anything, I'll bet she would have let me post the images to alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.cuecat, too. She's swell like that.


    Futurecast... (Score:2, Insightful)
    by rongen (scott@prosebush.com) on Friday September 01, @10:41AM EDT (#44)
    (User #103161 Info) http://www.prosebush.com

    Wow, these guys never get tired of trying to maintain the status quo...

    I remember someone telling me about how easy it was to rip people off when buying the first electronic goods in North America (way back!). Basically, the public's knowledge level was very low. No-one knew how well these things SHOULD work so they just accepted the low level of usability and the fact that they broke easily.

    A few years go by and suddenly people are tinkering and learning about the internals of thier devices (not everyone but a few). Electronic hobbyist magazines became popular and suddenly the quality of manufactured goods started increasing to meet consumer demand. There wasn't much of a monopoly back then (maybe GE? I don't know) so the market really was driven by consumer choice.

    As an aside, the same thing seems to be happening in operating systems and software, etc, today...

    Anyway, I think it is obvious that when people know how things work they want them to work better, or more efficiently, or they want to change them. Companies normally HATE that! One reason they might is because there may be plans to incorporate "direct buying" into printed material soon (or maybe just consumer tracking) by printing codes in catalogs that are subtly different for different geographic areas or whatever. I don't know, I am just speculating....

    It's easy to see how a couple of intelligent, inquisitive people could ruin any chance for these companies to pull things like that on the sly. Thanks guys, we owe you one!

    --8<--
    read/write: http://www.prosebush.com

    there IS no license agreement of any kind (Score:4, Insightful)
    by mrbill (mrbill@sunhelp.org) on Friday September 01, @10:41AM EDT (#45)
    (User #4993 Info) http://www.sunhelp.org
    When I got mine (two of them) from Radio Shack,
    they just handed me the Cue:Cat in a baggie
    w/a CD-ROM, and a catalog. There is no legal
    license agreement saying I have to agree to
    anything to use the hardware - *ONLY* if you
    install the software (on a Windows box) do you
    have to agree to anything. I dont see where
    they have a case here. Nothing is being
    reverse-engineered, its only being decoded and
    interpeted.

    I'm going to write them - I was planning on
    writing a review of the unit in conjunction
    with the Sun PS/2 keyboard interface box and
    Sun's PCi pc-on-a-card product for PCI-bus
    SPARCstations (I actually got it to work).
    Now, I'll throw it in a drawer, and put up
    mirrors of this guy's code alongside my
    DeCSS archives.
    Anybody else got them? (Score:1)
    by yakfacts on Friday September 01, @10:43AM EDT (#49)
    (User #201409 Info)

    In the style of 2600 (okay, not the best example ATM) we could just mirror them all over the net until their FedEx budget dries up.

    I wonder how this all works? How do they make money on the product--they're giving them away at the Rat Shack, right? If we understood this, perhaps we would understand their reluctance.


    Re:Anybody else got them? (Score:1)
    by Ares (ares0-AT-geocities-DOT-com) on Friday September 01, @02:52PM EDT (#422)
    (User #5306 Info) http://www.tc.umn.edu/~micha044
    Gotta give their lawyers credit, though. At least they delivered hard-copies instead of the emails that certain other rights-stomping organizations send.
    What about outside the US? (Score:2, Interesting)
    by DaisyEmmett (daisy@youknowwhattodowiththisbitdontyou_xs4all.nl) on Friday September 01, @10:43AM EDT (#50)
    (User #91197 Info) http://www.xs4all.nl/~johnr/index.html
    I would like to know what would happen if this code (and others which the US courts have seen fit to ban) is placed on a web site outside the US. US lawyers can send me as many cease and desist letters as they please, I live in Holland.

    What I would like to see is an article or interview on how Intellectual Property law is handled across national boundaries. If something is illegal in the US, can we just post the information in Holland, or Thailand, or China, or Hong Kong, or Australia, etc? It seems to me that many of the problems the Open Source community is facing with respect to Copyright, IP, etc, could be resolved by placing the information outside of the jurisdiction of the complaining authority.
    Can anyone say data haven?

    One of the things which annoys me most about Slashdot is that everyone assumes that the world consists of a) The United States of America b) Canada c) Some other places. Obviously, the US plays a leading role in the software industry, and Slashdot is based in the US. But honestly, go look at a map of the world, you'll find there are actually other countries as well, some of them with their own capital cities and everything! Some of them even have their own legal systems!

    David
    Re:What about outside the US? (Score:1)
    by K. on Friday September 01, @10:56AM EDT (#85)
    (User #10774 Info) http://www.stunbunny.org/
    US lawyers can send me as many cease and desist letters as they please, I live in Holland.

    Is Wassenaar in Holland? Geography was never my strong point.

    K.
    -


    -- Proud descendant of semi-nomadic cattle-herders.
    Re:What about outside the US? (Score:1)
    by Aqualung (dave@nol.org) on Friday September 01, @05:39PM EDT (#496)
    (User #29956 Info) http://www.nol.org/home/dave
    Is Wassenaar in Holland?

    Yes, it's a suburb of Den Haag (The Hague)
    HTH,

    ----
    Dave
    MicrosoftME®? No, Microsoft YOU, buddy! - my boss
    Re:What about outside the US? (Score:1)
    by wannabe (bradbartram@wsypcaoml) on Friday September 01, @12:33PM EDT (#311)
    (User #90895 Info)

    What's so scary about this post is not necesarily the tone, but the implication that to have free software it must be mirrored outside the US to avoid prosecution from big Corporations (or Small ones for that matter). It's like software exiles. The Dali Lama, DeCSS - two situations but remakably similar just the same.


    "Draw them in with the prospect of gain, take them by confusion." Sun Tzu
    Isn't Canada the whole world? (Score:1)
    by alteridem (rob@no-spam.alteridem.net) on Tuesday September 05, @11:23PM EDT (#671)
    (User #46954 Info) http://www.globalserve.net/~vertigo
    Canadian World Domination
    Where's the code? (Score:1)
    by Kether on Friday September 01, @10:43AM EDT (#51)
    (User #56079 Info)
    someone have a link to a mirror?

    anyone have a savehaven account they can pop this on? I *HATE* it when you go to look for some source and find its been pulled. one would think it would be almost impossible to cleanly pull a piece of code off the net. one would think there would be a copy sittin in Google's cache or something. I'm still searching for mp3enc-mpi.

    doh!.
    Re:Where's the code? (Score:3, Insightful)
    by broody on Friday September 01, @11:12AM EDT (#133)
    (User #171983 Info)

    I haven't found that guys code but here is a page that is still alive.


    Skiddily- Easy cash for a so-so portal. Come get some.

    Let's see (Score:2, Insightful)
    by Jaeger (jaeger(at)festing(dot)org) on Friday September 01, @10:44AM EDT (#55)
    (User #2722 Info) http://jaeger.festing.org/
    What portion of their Windows-based app does this circumvent? Registration. So you don't have to type in your vital marketing data so they can sell you out to all their valued marketing partners. Maybe this is their most important revenue stream, so obviously they want to protect it. Does anyone else find it ironic that the previous story is Amazon appending their privacy policy?

    Is this device covered by some sort of EULA (not the software, but rather the device) that prevents reverse engineering? If not, than they have nothing to sue over, besides standard legal manipulations that we're all familiar with. This needs to be delt with quickly and appropiatly, by retaining legal council and verifying that they have no legal leg to stand on.

    Is this a forbringer of a day where reverse engineering is illegal? Where everything is sealed and consumers own nothing but rent them from major corporations? Maybe not, but it's enough to make one wonder.

    Not a cease and desist (Score:3, Insightful)
    by Jeffrey Baker (jwbaker@ireallydontwantspam.acm.org) on Friday September 01, @10:44AM EDT (#56)
    (User #6191 Info)
    That isn't a cease and desist letter, it is just a letter from some lawyers. A cease and desist letter would have the words "cease and desist" along with the word "demand" in it somewhere. There would also be a list of causes of action, as well as a date by which you must respond. This letter just looks like an attempt to make a bunch of hackers without lawyers start getting afraid of businessmen with lawyers.

    IANAL

    intellectual property? (Score:1)
    by 20000hitpoints (hitpoints20000@hotmail.com) on Friday September 01, @10:45AM EDT (#58)
    (User #175978 Info)
    The real issue is this: it's obviously illegal to take something someone else did and make money off it. What these people want to do (DVD, etc) is make it so it's illegal to do anything that CUTS INTO THEIR PROFITS. So then it follows that they can make it illegal to be a competitor! Everyone wants a monopoly now.
    Other than intended purposes... (Score:1, Interesting)
    by Zibby on Friday September 01, @10:46AM EDT (#61)
    (User #94201 Info) http://www.ringworld.org
    Is it just me, or did they just alienate a large group of people who would actually use their product? Shouldn't the fact that the programmer worked in support for their server be a good thing? That's the intent isn't, basically selling "advertising space" on their servers, so if I'm reading my issue of Linux Journal and see a product I want more info on, I can scar the barcode in the ad and my computer will take me to more info.

    I wish they put some thought into it first. Like, hey...we just got support in a new operating system, and we didn't have to pay to develop the drivers or anything. Wow, neat!

    What they're actually seeing is: Oh no! Now someone can use our product for something other than we intended for.

    Well, nobody got a cease and desist order for Furby Autopsy, or various Tickle Me Elmo and Barney mutliations. Maybe Matel should have come after me for hanging my action figures infront of a space heater. I tell you, those He-Man action figures looked really cool while they melted!

    BMW doesn't care when James Bond drives his brand new car off the top level of a parking ramp. Boeing doesn't complain when yet another disaster movie shows a 747 crashing down. You think that would hurt the pockets more than someone writing a driver for a simple bar-code scanner...

    "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein
    Cease and Desist? why? (Score:5, Insightful)
    by zerodvyd (zerodvyd@cyberzone.net) on Friday September 01, @10:46AM EDT (#62)
    (User #73333 Info)
    My company uses tethered barcode scanners on a regular basis, in fact each of my in-process workstation have one connected. These puppies cost about $300 a pop, connect to PS/2 port and provide a pass-through for standard keyboard attachment to it. What's even better is that the piece of hardware will scan just about any barcode, decode it, and send it as if it were a keyboard input stream ...with a hit to the enter key at the end of the input string.

    these have no driver requirements whatsoever
    they work on every OS I've tested them on (NT, 9x, *nix/x86)

    Why did this CueCat (yup, next is the CueDog right? or CueMouse?) require so much effort to just dump for free into the hands of the end user??? Call me crazy, but if I were going to hand something out for free, I wouldn't devote any time to serious development like a minor encryption scheme... I bet the next version of it is supposed to have an IP address per CueCat.

    This kind of thing should be covered under Fair Use. Though I'll lay money (in the hands of EFF) that they'll continue blithely on their prosecution path and try to pull the DMCA down on the developer's head because it defeats a 'digital copy protection' scheme of some format.

    If they're angry that they lost money on the development of the device, they have nobody to blame but their own developers and marketers. KIS - Keep It Simple.

    If I get my hands on one of these things I do have a door that doesn't like to stay open, sounds like an adequate door stop. Will I get a Cease and Desist order too?

    please
    zerodvyd
    the only dangerous mind is a closed mind
    Re:Cease and Desist? why? (Score:1)
    by Sabalon on Friday September 01, @11:45AM EDT (#222)
    (User #1684 Info)
    They don't want people to grab these things to replace the $300 wands (not that they could - they are junk.) They want people to grab them for their data-tracking.

    Part of that info sent back in the stream is an ID for the cuecat. This way they can say that the user who scanned this ad, also scanned this ad, and scanned this cd/dvd they have at home/work.

    I doubt that they care that someone broke their encryption - big deal. They are probably more concerned that people will be able to use them as just regular bar-code scanners without them getting the needed personal info to sell.
    Is That Prior art invalidating DCM Patent? (Score:1)
    by OmniGeek (shersey@world.std.deletethissection.com) on Friday September 01, @11:45AM EDT (#224)
    (User #72743 Info)
    Hmmm. I haven't seen what, if any, patent has been granted on the CueCat reader (of which I have two, handed to me by RadioShack clerks without any sign-this-license, and NO hardware license or references thereto anywhere in the package or the transaction process).

    However, it seems to me there's nothing new or novel about a pass-through PS/2 kbd interface barcode reader, NOR anything patent-worthy about their encoding scheme (it's damn' well obvious to US practitioners of the Art; see how fast it was reverse-engineered for compatibility purposes); if they are trying to patent a "device implementing said algorithm", then an existing PS/2 pass-through barcode reader would invalidate any hardware portion of said patent.

    They may well be able to patent their business model, but the reader? Not likely.

    The prior-art monster hits your patent armor -- your armor disappears!

    "My strength is as the strength of ten men, for I am wired to the eyeballs on espresso."
    Re:Cease and Desist? why? (Score:1)
    by adipocere on Friday September 01, @11:55AM EDT (#243)
    (User #201135 Info)
    Damn.

    What's the name of this lovely piece of hardware? I could have some serious usage of it. Being a good little consumer droid, I have thousands of paperbacks and a few hundred CDs that need cataloging.

    OT (Score:2)
    by Pfhreakaz0id (joeblow47@THISWORDOPTIONALhotmail.com) on Friday September 01, @12:04PM EDT (#260)
    (User #82141 Info)
    I agree. Those things rock! I had to do some maint. programming on an app that used bar code scanners and I thought "wow, this will take a little bit, 'cause I'll have to learn this bar code API or whatever", then I looked through the program for a while and couldn't find anything! That's when I figured it out. What a great solution. You can use it with existing apps! This one scanned multiple items and we just programmed it to send a "tab" character after the scan. It would just jump through the form. Very cool.
    ---
    "There's a short list of people whose opinions of me I give a rat's ass about, and guess what? You're not on it!"
    Re:Cease and Desist? why? (Score:1)
    by sik puppy on Friday September 01, @01:48PM EDT (#381)
    (User #136743 Info)
    Why did this CueCat (yup, next is the CueDog right? or CueMouse?)

    Nope - CueFerret - it takes your data and hides it - until you agree to sign away your rights, your privacy, and your first-born (or bribe it with a raisin)


    The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers. Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 2, Act 4, Scene 2
    What's next: "Convergence Cable" (Score:1)
    by slashkitty (/dev/null) on Friday September 01, @08:41PM EDT (#538)
    (User #21637 Info)
    Hehe. There other product is called the convergence cable. It hooks the audio from your tv/cd/stereo into your computer. There software will listen to "special messages" embedded in the audio. These messages of course will take you to various websites. Sounds like a lot of peoples worst nightmares.
    --
    Tee Shirt ??? (Score:3, Funny)
    by preferred_nick on Friday September 01, @10:47AM EDT (#63)
    (User #136626 Info)
    So where do I get a tee-shirt with the code ???:)
    Re:Tee Shirt ??? (Score:1)
    by Orclover on Friday September 01, @10:56AM EDT (#87)
    (User #228413 Info)
    http://www.copyleft.net/item.phtml?dynamic=1&referer=%2F&page=product_276_back.phtml
    Im wearing mine with pride right now, nobody else in the office has a clue what it is but thats ok.
    Re:Tee Shirt ??? (Score:1)
    by broody on Friday September 01, @11:18AM EDT (#149)
    (User #171983 Info)

    I'm wearing mine today too. For the most part, people ignore it in the office but occasionaly someone comes up to me and asks me about it. So far the only response I have gottten when I tell them is "Ah, those are the guys pissing off the MPAA".

     


    Skiddily- Easy cash for a so-so portal. Come get some.

    Re:Tee Shirt ??? (Score:2)
    by waldoj (waldo@waldo.net) on Friday September 01, @12:02PM EDT (#257)
    (User #8229 Info) http://www.waldo.net/
    I just e-mailed copyleft with this rather obvious, but funny idea. Take the core of the code, the part that handles the actual communication with the device, and encode it in a barcode font. Print on t-shirt.

    Beautiful, no?

    -Waldo

    -------------------
    End the +50 karma cap!
    The issue appears to be the name... (Score:1)
    by kylerk (fake-email@nospam.gov) on Friday September 01, @10:47AM EDT (#64)
    (User #69856 Info) http://www.kyler.com
    I think they are complaining about the use of Cue Cat not the creation of the barcode software. Any others agree? Ken
    A solution (Score:1)
    by SpacePunk (sensei@techdojo.net) on Friday September 01, @10:47AM EDT (#65)
    (User #17960 Info)
    The solution to such actions is a boycott of CueCat, and companies that are in league with it.

    Boycott Radio Shack.
    Send customer service feedback that you are doing so.
    Send email to digitalconvergence that you are doing so.

    The url for contacting Radio Shack is http://www.radioshack.com/ContactUs/Index/0,2050,,00.html
    The url for contacting digitalconvergence is http://www.digitalconvergence.com/contact/index.html

    I've already sent mine to them.

    The battle doesn't just have to happen in the courts, it can also happen at their profit margins. Remember to tell as many people as you can to also boycott Radio Shack. Geeks made em, geeks can unmake them.

    Re:A solution (Score:1)
    by RichMan on Friday September 01, @04:56PM EDT (#480)
    (User #8097 Info) http://www.doe.carleton.ca/~rjg
    Don't boycott them. Attack their buisness model, go to as many stores as you can, collect as many CueCats as you can, either throw them out or put them in storage. Destroy their buisness model which is to gain and sell information on users to fund the cost of manufacture and distribution. Collecting and not using devices costs them.

    In any case if they see a large number of devices being picked up and do not get a similar number of registered hits on their site they are going to know they are in a lossing situation. Just not getting the device means you are just a customer that has not "encountered" their technology yet. I would rather be counted as a "failed" customer. It hurts their bottom line more.
    I've learned something from DeCSS (Score:1)
    by bsdbigot on Friday September 01, @10:47AM EDT (#66)
    (User #186157 Info) http://www.bsd4us.org
    Download the code, specs, whatever as soon as they come out, then don't share with people you don't know. I know this is a little anti-community, but... it becomes increasingly difficult for the owners of the original product (CSS, CueCat) to persecute/prosecute because they don't know who has the code.

    Disclaimer: I do not endorse or support illegal behavior. All behavior should be legal. ALL HAIL DISCORDIA!

    This message written by a Pope.
    <:) L
    Re:I've learned something from DeCSS (Score:1)
    by Fist Prost (fistprost@outthroughthe.inbox.as) on Friday September 01, @01:43PM EDT (#374)
    (User #198535 Info) http://amishrakefight.org/gfy
    No, set up an anonymous email account (www.prontomail.com) using either e school or corporate proxy, anyplace you can get access without a record of who you are. Then create a yahoo/geo, tripod, freez, xoom, and whatever other free homepage accounts you can, and post the code there. Using the same public terminal, make a post onto as many web boards as you can with links to the pages in different places. Never check your new email or log into the homepages again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    The reason not sharing with everyone is bad, is that you might miss someone who could write the killer app using that code, but might not be able to find it. Likewise, if the Corporate bully is going to go to efforts to stamp out all instances of the code, then make them work extra hard to whack every mole out there. If they won't let us be, then don't let them rest.

    keeping the source somewhere private and offline is definately a good idea, to make sure there's no chance of it dissapearing completely, but the point of sharing is to make everyone feel good, except the corporate bully. Just make sure to protect your identity if you do redistribute.
    fist prost(retired first poster) I smack kneejerk moderators.
    Clearly trying it on (Score:5, Informative)
    by streetlawyer (johnsaulmontoya@MAJORPORTALENDINGINEXCLAMATIONPOIN) on Friday September 01, @10:48AM EDT (#68)
    (User #169828 Info)
    Subject: Not everything which resembles a c&d letter, is one

    One to be filed in the round file, methinks. A cease-and-desist letter worth paying attention to would have said exactly what IP was being infirnged (clue: none is) and used the words "cease", "desist" and "remove". This is just something threatening dire consequences in unspecific terms.

    Charitably, one might assume that they are putting a marker down; they don't know whether they might have a problem with flying butt monkeys, but they do know that if they ever need to prosecute in future, they'd better not be found in proof that they knew about this software for a while, but did nothing about it.

    Irritating, perhaps, but part of the price we have to pay for a common-law based system. The alternative would be for there to be government-provided coding licenses and prior restraints of what code you can write.

    Re:Clearly trying it on (Score:1)
    by Frank T. Lofaro Jr. on Tuesday September 05, @06:42PM EDT (#667)
    (User #142215 Info)
    The alternative would be for there to be government-provided coding licenses and prior restraints of what code you can write.

    Government-provided coding licenses you say? There has been some serious talk from time to time about mandatory licenses for programmers. Have no license/lost your license and program - go to jail. Do something "annoying" (i.e. that hurts someone with power) and lose your license.

    Now it is illegal for you to work in your field. Welcome to the world of fast food order taker.

    ROTFL! (Score:2, Funny)
    by Kaa (freedomdotnet!kaa) on Friday September 01, @10:48AM EDT (#70)
    (User #21510 Info)
    I took a look at the letter and nearly fell out of my chair laughing. Here are some pieces:

    "It further includes not only the direct infringement made by Flyingbuttmonkeys.com, but also any infringement which Flyingbuttmonkeys.com induces others to perform. The longer that Flyingbuttmonkeys.com continues its improper activities, the longer damages will accrue."

    and further on

    "both we and Digital Convergence intend to continue monitoring the activities of Flyingbuttmonkey.com...".

    improper activities of flying butt monkeys! monitored by our learned friends at Kenyon & Kenyon!! ROTFL!

    Kaa
    Kaa's Law: In any sufficiently large group of people most are idiots.
    Re:ROTFL! (Score:2, Funny)
    by Nidhogg (aandersonNO3@SPAMhome.com) on Friday September 01, @11:55AM EDT (#244)
    (User #161640 Info)
    Here's an idea.

    Someone register a new domain and mirror the code there. Then when the case goes to court we'll get the following.

    Bailiff: "Case #135987432452 Digital Convergence vs. Flyingbuttmonkeys.com & YourHonorIsAPooPooHead.com"

    Judge: "Pardon?"

    Hopefully we'll got both legal teams in the slammer for contempt before he realizes what's going on.

    I was wrong. This changes everything. --Maynard James Keenan

    another thought (Score:1)
    by 20000hitpoints (hitpoints20000@hotmail.com) on Friday September 01, @10:50AM EDT (#75)
    (User #175978 Info)
    Pretty soon it will be illegal to say to your friend "Dude, 'Gladiator' sucked, don't go see it." The movie studio will sue you for cutting into their profits.
    Re:another thought (Score:1)
    by radja (oldshoe@itookmyprozac.com) on Friday September 01, @11:14AM EDT (#140)
    (User #58949 Info) http://www.ankh.morpork.net/~nobbs/
    By reading this post you declare that you fully understand this post. We DEMAND that you CEASE and DESIST any and all uses of the word 'Gladiator' or any of the letters contained in the word 'Gladiator'. Your infringement of copyright is punishable under the DMCA or some obscure little piece of law that we managed to sneak in when congress wasn't looking. We also demand that you provide to us ALL adresses in your possession, as you have had the opportunity to alert them to the existence of the word 'Gladiator'.

    signed:
    G.E. Neric-Lawyer, esq.

    Want DeCSS? just mail me!
    it's even worse than that (Score:1)
    by 20000hitpoints (hitpoints20000@hotmail.com) on Friday September 01, @12:07PM EDT (#268)
    (User #175978 Info)
    By reading this post you agree to give me $100. Ha! Tricked you! Here's my address, check or money order please...
    Re:another thought (Score:1)
    by Nullsmack on Friday September 01, @11:41PM EDT (#581)
    (User #189619 Info)
    Alright, while we're at it, I'm going to make a few movies..
    One of them will be called "Home"
    hrm.. Another will be called "Doctor"
    and the third one will be called "Unreal".

    I will have massive commercial campaigns around these. Any use of the titles of these movies (which are a series) will entail the usual 'review fee' of $10 per use of the word.
    athome, here I come!

    (All ideas expressed in this post are Patent Pending #03470703125, all rights not expressly stated to the poster are not expressly denied.
    void where prohibited. Indiana residences please add 10% bs tax. Copywrite 2000. This post is a registered Trademark to the poster. I 0wn j00)

    -since when did 'MTV' stand for Real World Television instead of MUSIC television?
    perl decoder (Score:2)
    by TheTomcat (sean@caedmon.net) on Friday September 01, @10:50AM EDT (#76)
    (User #53158 Info) http://www.caedmon.net
    I found a perl based cuecat decoder on freshmeat this is NOT a mirror, but at least it's something.

    "If there is hope, it lies in the proles." -George Orwell, 1984
    Hmmm... Can I send it back? (Score:1)
    by lenski on Friday September 01, @10:52AM EDT (#78)
    (User #96498 Info)
    I received one of these CueCats for being a Forbes subscriber, and thought it was a neat little item...

    If I cannot get it to work on my system (meaning under Linux) then it has absolutely no utility: for me, for the Digital Convergence folks (the people who seem to have come up with the concept) or for Tandy (who built it).

    It's too bad, really... I hope people like this get a clue someday. Is it their intention that *only* Windows users use their product? Or (more likely) They want *only their software* handling the transactions so they can limit people's use of the device to accessing the paid "CueCat enabled advertisements?"

    Cease and Desist doen't mean much... (Score:4, Interesting)
    by sterno (sterno@bigbrother.net) on Friday September 01, @10:56AM EDT (#88)
    (User #16320 Info) http://www.bigbrother.net/
    Correct me if I'm wrong lawyers in the audience, but a cease and desist letter really doesn't mean anything. That is to say, I can send you a cease and desist letter to tell you to stop drinking Pepsi. It doesn't mean I have any legal merit in a lawsuit and it doesn't mean I will sue you, but it is essentially an official threat.

    Now, CueCat, I'm guessing is concerned that RadioShack will stop giving away the scanners because they can be hacked to work with competing barcodes. Thus they'll stop sending money to cue cat. But I don't see any legal basis for there case. I mean no copyrights were infringed, no licenses broken. Reverse engineering (outside of the realm of the DMCA possibly), is a long defended right. If CueCat does sue, I can't imagine they'd stand a chance.

    That being said, if one cannot afford the lawyers and take the risk of being sued, then this may be a somewhat moot point (and you know cuecat is hoping for that). So, everybody get your check books ready, looks like we're gonna have to send some more funding to smack down the dumb corporations.

    ---
    Disclaimer: IANAL (I Am Not a Lama)

    Re:Cease and Desist doen't mean much... (Score:2, Informative)
    by alkali (ab294@detroit.freenet.org) on Friday September 01, @11:22AM EDT (#161)
    (User #28338 Info)
    Correct me if I'm wrong lawyers in the audience, but a cease and desist letter really doesn't mean anything. That is to say, I can send you a cease and desist letter to tell you to stop drinking Pepsi. It doesn't mean I have any legal merit in a lawsuit and it doesn't mean I will sue you, but it is essentially an official threat.

    One qualification: A letter does mean that if the recipient is later sued or prosecuted for the conduct described in the letter, there can be no question that the recipient was acting intentionally. (That is, the recipient can't later say, "I had no idea this person had a copyright/patent which might cover what I was doing." In this regard, it would be interesting to know if any recipient of a C&D letter in this case has received a letter which references a specific copyright, patent or license term.)

    An email I just sent to info@CRQ.com (Score:3, Interesting)
    by The Infamous TommyD (timd88@hotmail.com) on Friday September 01, @10:57AM EDT (#89)
    (User #21616 Info)

    I am writing to express my utter disgust with your corporation's heavy handed
    tactics against innocent programmers trying to use the CueCat on other
    operating systems. The free CueCat software that has been developed and
    posted to the Internet in no way infringes on your intellectual property. It
    is simply a driver for the device! I am certain that no use was made of your
    copyrighted material (i.e. software that came with the cuecat) to learn to
    decode the cuecat's output. (It really is not a difficult thing to do simply
    by analyzing the output of the device.) Also, note that users of the cuecat
    are not required to sign any form of non-disclosure agreement so no
    "intellectual property" could be released there. As for Trade Secrets, do you
    think that someone broke into your property to steal a secret that could be
    decoded by anyone with a pencil, paper, and a bit of time?

    Obviously, we aren't talking about patents here or trademarks. So nothing is
    left. Your use of the legal system to stifle free development of software that
    supports your device is utterly reprehensible and you deserve to be sued for
    harassment!

    Re:An email I just sent to info@CRQ.com (Score:1)
    by segmond (segmond[at]hotmail) on Friday September 01, @11:03AM EDT (#113)
    (User #34052 Info) http://confused.panthernet.com/~segmond/
    Thanks dumb ass! Now you gave them the idea which will require us to sign forms to get the free device. Blah!


    Curiosity may have killed the cat. But lack of it, is killing mankind.
    Re:An email I just sent to info@CRQ.com (Score:2)
    by The Infamous TommyD (timd88@hotmail.com) on Friday September 01, @11:08AM EDT (#124)
    (User #21616 Info)
    You think the lawyer's haven't already thought of that?
    Besides, that means they'd have to store bazillions of those damn contracts. Overhead that would eventually cost more than the cuecats themselves.

    BTW, thanks for the polite reply, 5h1tf@ce.
    Distribute! (Score:1)
    by adipocere on Friday September 01, @10:58AM EDT (#91)
    (User #201135 Info)
    Let's hustle this baby into Freenet, Gnutella, and any other good repositories of "stuff that THEY don't want you to have." Hell, push it to some newsgroups, even throw it in alt.sex.binaries.teen.lesbian.sourcecode or something to make sure it gets lots of exposure.

    It'll probably show up in the next Master Hackers Secrets CD or the like.

    Only in the US? (Score:1)
    by jqs on Friday September 01, @10:58AM EDT (#95)
    (User #67745 Info) http://www.iridani.com
    Does anybody know if RadShack will distribute these in Canada? If not, anyone South of the Border wanna pick me up one?
    Useless Use Of Cat award goes to... (Score:1)
    by Dom2 (dom@happygiraffe.net) on Friday September 01, @10:58AM EDT (#97)
    (User #838 Info)
    It bugs me when people use cat(1) when they don't need to. What the hell is wrong with:

    % wc -l *.[ch]

    It saves 1 process!

    Anyway, with that little bit off-topicness over with, I'll head back over to comp.unix.shell...
    Re:Useless Use Of Cat award goes to... (Score:1)
    by somnambule (inchpirate@technician.org) on Friday September 01, @11:15AM EDT (#143)
    (User #6675 Info) http://www.technician.org/
    Using a wildcard would not give you an aggregate word count with wc. He used cat for the intended purpose, which is to concatenate files and print them to stdout.

    At least he didn't use a for loop.


    -somnambule
    Re:Useless Use Of Cat award goes to... (Score:1)
    by somnambule (inchpirate@technician.org) on Friday September 01, @01:40PM EDT (#373)
    (User #6675 Info) http://www.technician.org/
    I stand corrected. Using cat does avoid the "clutter" though which could, I suppose, be the reason for me doing it that way. I was wondering where this file named "total" came from. Muffalt.
    -somnambule
    What they are protecting (Score:5, Informative)
    by Desdinova77 (desdinova_nospam@_nospam_.nac.net) on Friday September 01, @10:59AM EDT (#101)
    (User #184164 Info)
    http://www.cuecat.com/faq.html Has a link to their privacy policy. There they admit they collect 'demographic' data and makers of the decode program acknoledge that your 'id' number is sent and can be replaced witha generic code. They dont care about the scanner or the software. They property they are protecting is thier ability to track your internet usage.
    Then they've already lost the war (Score:1)
    by OmniGeek (shersey@world.std.deletethissection.com) on Friday September 01, @01:50PM EDT (#382)
    (User #72743 Info)
    'Cause:

    1) The decoding info and independent software is already out there, and neither genie is going back in that bottle; they will have to coexist with the free software that (admit it) only the technically savvy will use. John Q User will do the dumb-sheep thing as always and use their software.

    2) Since the protocol cannot be protected, and their ability to restrict use of the reader is questionable at best (I seriously doubt that a click-through software EULA can restrict my use of the hardware), they may well have to live with competing services that understand the reader. Hard to imagine they can prevent ALL such uses, even if their business model is patented.

    3) They WILL lose any suit attempting to suppress the above tools (though they might deter some by intimidation), so they cannot push TOO hard.

    4)With the ill will they are generating, any encrypting device they replace the current CueCat with (an unlikely development due to internal compatibility and cost problems; obsoleting the current model would cost as much as the current campaign and yield $0 benefits) would promptly be reverse-engineered as well, so there's no net gain for them there either.

    On the one hand, DCNV cannot effectively maintain that monopoly against Open Source drivers and outside lookup servers; on the other hand, they don't really need to try (remember John Q). On the gripping hand, their every effort to suppress alternatives gains them ill will among their most likely user group (techies!), and MAY garner them the attention of a bigger fish that could push THEM out (say, if Yahoo or Amazon offers an option on their site that lets a CueCat user do lookups without using the DCNV software).

    "My strength is as the strength of ten men, for I am wired to the eyeballs on espresso."
    My GF thinks the cue:cat is cute (Score:1)
    by ascheuch (ascheuch@eece.maine.edu) on Friday September 01, @10:59AM EDT (#102)
    (User #30478 Info) http://www.eece.maine.edu
    Because I subscribe to Forbes, they gave everyone a cue:cat to use. They are going to have advertisements in the magazine with links to URL's where you don't have to type anything in ... just swipe the cat.

    When the package came in the mail, I was just going to throw the stupid thing away. But my girlfriend took one look at that and said, "that is _cute_!!" So, from that point on I had to install the cat on my computer and let her scan merrily way. I guess this is a form of cheap entertainment.

    It's too bad that someone cam up with an actual _use_ for the stupid device. I'll probably get sued because I have a linux box in the same room that my GF uses to scan the ads in the magazine.

    ... sigh ...
    Sue them first (Score:4, Insightful)
    by Greyfox (nride@uswest.net) on Friday September 01, @11:01AM EDT (#105)
    (User #87712 Info) http://www.paratheoanametamystikhood.net
    I'm fucking sick of this.

    1) Sue them seeking a declaratory judgement that you're not infringing on anything.

    2) Once you win that, sue them in civil court for harassment.

    Someone had to put all that chaos there!

    My email to info@crq.com (Score:1)
    by Darnit (epenne at yahoo.com) on Friday September 01, @11:01AM EDT (#108)
    (User #75420 Info) http://doppler.unl.edu
    Why are you sending cease and desist letters about Linux software for the
    Cue Cat?

    According to your site:

    ":CRQ software is the wave of the future... so don't delay, get yours
    today."

    Why would linux users be excluded from the wave of the future?

    Also according to the www.crq.com website:
    "Find a new world of content online now that ANYTHING can be Internet
    Enhanced!"

    ANYTHING does not include Linux?

    By stopping the :Cue:Cat from being used in Linux, you are attacking a
    large part of the market you hope to attract to the technology.

    Linux users are by nature "early adopters". The CRQ and Cue Cat
    technology cannot survive without early adopters. I assume you chose
    Radio Shack as one of the original outfitters of Cue Cat because much of
    their market can be considered technologically informed early adopters.

    Now you need to either release Linux drivers for the Cue Cat or allow the
    software that is available for Linux to continue being released.

    Either way you choose, your encryption has already been reverse engineered. More software will be released with or without your consent.
    Please don't follow the ways of DeCSS and turn this into a big ordeal.
    Embrace the Linux community and the Linux community will reward you with
    praise and adoption of the technology. Attack the Linux community and you
    will be scorned and flamed all over the internet.
    its funny to see (Score:1)
    by acomj on Friday September 01, @11:02AM EDT (#110)
    (User #20611 Info) http://www.plocp.com
    flyingbuttmonkeys.com in a legal breif..

    I mean can you imagine going to trial against flyingbuttmokeys. How can anyone take that seriously.

    Seriously these lawsuits are taking the fun out of writing code. It seems anything you write violates many patents..


    "Sit back and enjoy the chaos" -Unknown
    Why did you cave? (Score:2, Insightful)
    by ravi_n on Friday September 01, @11:06AM EDT (#115)
    (User #175591 Info)
    The Slashdot consensus (worthless in a court of law, I know) is that Digital Convergence doesn't have a leg to stand on. Given that, I'm wondering why you decided to take down the code. Did you talk to a lawyer first? Or does the whole mess just seem too expensive to fight?

    I'm not passing judgement on your situation. I don't know your circumstances, so that would be foolish. But it seems to me that the reason why our rights are so often eroded is that we let them be eroded by not defending them vigorously. Here, these lawyers wanted the code taken down and their flimsy letter accomplished it. If they really have no legal leg to stand on (and IANAL, so I don't know), they won with threat and bluster what they couldn't win in court. By letting them get away with it this time, they will be encouraged to pull more of these stunts in the future and we will all be poorer and less free because of it. We need to find ways to (safely) stand up to empty threats and bluster in the future.
    Re:Why did you cave? (Score:2)
    by 1010011010 (1010011010@PORKSHOULDERANDHAMholly-springs.nc.us) on Friday September 01, @01:50PM EDT (#384)
    (User #53039 Info)
    I've not given in yet. I jsut want to make sure that I don't bury myself deeper later without meaning to...
    -M

    ---- ----
    Don't like Echelon?/
    We think there's something wrong... So stop it. (Score:1)
    by Croatian Sensation (tomi@engineer.com) on Friday September 01, @11:07AM EDT (#117)
    (User #27341 Info) http://pc-emery3.geoeng.umanitoba.ca
    We at digital Convergence think that there's something wrong with what's on your website, so you should take it down. We're not going to tell you what we find objectionable, however we will spew some marketing speak about the number of hours and dollars invested in no-brainer technologies that we have created.

    Thank you for your help in making us look like morons.

    Amazing how there's not one bit in the letter describing exactly which IP they believe he's compromized or what they find objectionable on his website. Perhaps they just want him to Cease and Desist living...
    Just cuz you ain't paranoid, doesn't mean they're not after you.
    Here's an older version (Score:2)
    by smartin on Friday September 01, @11:08AM EDT (#120)
    (User #942 Info)
    If anyone has a new version, please put it up somewhere 0.05 is here
    Well named (Score:2, Funny)
    by Badmovies (fenris@badmovies.org) on Friday September 01, @11:08AM EDT (#121)
    (User #182275 Info) http://www.badmovies.org
    Notice it is called the ":Cat" and this translates into "Colon Cat." They certainly are anal...


    Andrew Borntreger
    Champion of cinematic disasters
    Re:Well named (Score:1)
    by angelo (anrkngl@lowmagnet.org) on Friday September 01, @01:48PM EDT (#380)
    (User #21182 Info) http://www.lowmagnet.org/
    at least it's not :Hampster, in that case.
    *ducks*
    We do politics too
    Here's my version of a letter (Score:2, Interesting)
    by ardran (ardran@hot-spam-mail.com) on Friday September 01, @11:08AM EDT (#122)
    (User #90992 Info)
    (sent to DigitalConvergence.com)

    To whom it may concern,

    I have recently become aware of legal threats being made against Michael Rothwell by the law firm of Kenyon and Kenyon, representing Digital Convergence, makers of the :CueCat bar code scanner available at Radio Shack outlets. As Mr. Rothwell explains on his web page,

    http://www.flyingbuttmonkeys.com/useofthingsyouownisnowillegal/

    Kenyon & Kenyon has accused him of intellectual property infringement over his distribution of software for the Linux operating system that would interpret the output of a :CueCat scanner in the same manner as the currently (and freely) available software for Windows. This attitude is both misguided, in that the net effect of Mr. Rothwell's work would be increased usage of :CueCat scanners by people who would otherwise by unable to use it, as well as dangerous, in that it stands against the principles of reverse engineering which are a cornerstone of scientific advancement.

    I am greatly distressed by the actions taken by Kenyon and Kenyon/Digital Convergence. I would appreciate a statement from Digital Convergence clarifying and explaining your position on the issue.

    Thank you for your time,

    ardran@hotmail.com

    perl source (Score:1)
    by sPaKr on Friday September 01, @11:10AM EDT (#128)
    (User #116314 Info)
    After sucking on some FreshMeat(TM)
    I found this link. Dont know how long it will be around Mirror soon, mirror often!. It doesn't look as cool a nice C daemon but I'm you perl coders will get a chubby over it.
    Lawyers (Score:1)
    by nixon on Friday September 01, @11:10AM EDT (#130)
    (User #12262 Info)
    I wonder how much money in letterhead and stationary that law firm could save if they'd trim the list of names on the header. Dumbass lawyers.
    Boycott (Score:1)
    by devious507 (devious507@yahoo.com) on Friday September 01, @11:15AM EDT (#142)
    (User #192750 Info) http://www.minot.com/~devious
    Lets all send a polite letter to DC's webmaster, asking him to forward it on to their legal and marketing departments explaining that this type of harassment is intolerable and you'll be removeing the windows software from your system and encouraging others to follow suit as a form of consumer boycott. 100,000 letters should be enough to convince them that their draconian policies might not be in their best interests.
    How to make all this **** just go away. (Score:1)
    by kd5biv (my-real-callsign AT arrl DOT net) on Friday September 01, @11:16AM EDT (#144)
    (User #129563 Info)
    Use a different brand of scanner, like, say, the Symbol Technologies LS1004-I100 .. which will read just about any barcode format I have thrown at it, including Code-39, I-2-5, Code-128, UPC-A, UPC-B, .. well, just about anything but Plessey and USPS.

    With some minor changes to the drivers, you can duplicate the whole hack without using anything supplied from CueCat, thus slamming the door to any conceivable IP claim they might make. Ridiculous and unnecessary, perhaps, but even if they are clueless enough to think that people can't FIGURE OUT how their system works, this will at least convince the lawyers that they don't have even a shred of a case. Unless they're trying to imply that the whole concept of scanning a book and linking to an online catalog is their IP, in which case, well, they're going to lose.


    73 de N5VB (ex-KD5BIV) AR SK
    Is My Javascript Decoder Illegal? (Score:2)
    by raygundan on Friday September 01, @11:16AM EDT (#145)
    (User #16760 Info)
    I wrote a Javascript :CueCat decoder-- is it illegal? I certainly do not have the legal resources or time to stand up to a challenge like this at all-- if I get a letter of some sort like this down the road, what can I do short of going to court? If there aren't any other options, I will have to take it down when the letter comes. I thought I was being a general nice guy, and providing a useful tool for people. What is wrong with decoding the output of a barcode reader? Does this make cash registers illegal? Libraries?
    Re:Is My Javascript Decoder Illegal? (Score:1)
    by FoxIVX (foxivx@mediaone.net) on Friday September 01, @11:27AM EDT (#174)
    (User #104861 Info) http://www.cantara.org
    Well, buddy either you typo'ed the link (which wouldnt be a super big suprise, since you forgot to close the anchor tag) or xoom has already yanked your site..

    That is, unless your knees started shaking a little early, and you rm'ed it yourself.

    -Josh
    Re:Is My Javascript Decoder Illegal? (Score:3, Informative)
    by raygundan on Friday September 01, @11:55AM EDT (#246)
    (User #16760 Info)
    Sorry about the link tag-- I was in a hurry and screwed up, but it is at that URL. I just verified it by clicking on the link myself. Xoom is incredibly slow-- so be patient. The JavaScript decoder is here. Hit reload if it doesn't go through the first time.
    Well, it's GPLed (Score:1)
    by Captain Pillbug on Friday September 01, @12:04PM EDT (#261)
    (User #12523 Info)
    Massive proliferation is one of the few ways to defeat bullshit like the DeCSS mess. Congratulations on making the correct (if obvious) choice.
    People with limited imaginations are so funny. (Score:3, Funny)
    by (void*) (voice@void.) on Friday September 01, @11:19AM EDT (#150)
    (User #113680 Info)
    It never ceases to amaze me how lame some people are. A few months ago, I bought some bedside tables from IKEA, and used them a bedside table, a phone table, and a small table for working. Does IKEA get to sue to me for using a bedside table as something else?

    In eactly the same fashion, Radioshack gives you a barcode scanner and they expect you to use it on their catalogues and their catalogues only. Nevermind that it could be used elsewhere. You should stop doing it now, and get ANOTHER barcode scanner for that. If cuecat was so unimaginative as to think that are as unimaginative as they are, trying to make a lame business out of these kind of artificial restrictions, they should find something else to do - really.

    Kinda depends on the definition of Funny (Score:1)
    by delevant on Friday September 01, @11:36AM EDT (#202)
    (User #133773 Info)
    Corporations like Cue:Cat are "funny" in the same way that a six-year old kid with a hand-grenade is funny . . .

    . . . you can't decide if you should run like hell, or stick around and see what happens.

    Of course, I'm a heartless monster.

    I have no .sig, and I must scream.

    Re:People with limited imaginations are so funny. (Score:1)
    by Dust31 on Sunday September 03, @10:59PM EDT (#642)
    (User #140804 Info)
    Does IKEA get to sue to me for using a bedside table as something else?

    IANAL, but as I recall from my business law class regarding liability, a company that produces a product may be held liable for a product's unintended but foreseeable use that causes harm or damage to the user of his/her property. An example would be using a chair to stand on to reach the light bulb on the ceiling. The chair is not intended to be stood on, but it is reasonable to expect that most people may use it in that fashion occasionally.

    (humor)
    As Digital:Burp should have considered the foreseeable uses of its product, it is reasonable for them to expect that people would attempt to "play" with the scanner. Now that Digital:Burp might intend litigation against Michael Rothwell, Michael should be able to turn around and sue Digital:Burp for damages resulting from the foreseeable use of the product.
    (end humor)
    Re:People with limited imaginations are so funny. (Score:1)
    by Kitanin on Tuesday September 05, @11:36AM EDT (#653)
    (User #7884 Info)
    It never ceases to amaze me how lame some people are. A few months ago, I bought some bedside tables from IKEA, and used them a bedside table, a phone table, and a small table for working. Does IKEA get to sue to me for using a bedside table as something else?

    Det var jävla dumt sagt. Now IKEA knows you're abusing their IP (IKEA Products). You're in trouble now! :-)


    Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.
    These IP claims just get sillier and sillier... (Score:1)
    by gopherdata on Friday September 01, @11:20AM EDT (#154)
    (User #228790 Info)
    The situation seems similar to a hammer manufacturer sending cease-and-desist letters to a nail maker because the nail makers product is in confict with the hammer maker's "One-Hit Board Fastening" patent or some other silly ip claim "the defendand reverse engineered the hammering process and is now making pirate nails!"
    They should really be mad at... (Score:1)
    by imagineer_bob on Friday September 01, @11:20AM EDT (#155)
    (User #163708 Info)
    ...the "computer scientist" who implemented that encryption scheme for them! The encrypted string should have made it all the way to thier servers, and then they could do the redirect! That way, the scanner would merely pass the encrypted code from the bar code to the redirect server.

    This is just a symptom, of course, of the Internet lowering standards for everyone! It's exteremely hard to find decent computer folk these days. Kids with "CS" degrees (or dropout dotcom wannabes) can cut and paste Java, JavaScript, and HTML, but have no Idea how do develop robust systems. -- ib

    ---
    Speaking only for myself,
    ib

    Where'd you get that idea? (Score:1)
    by LionMan (LionMan6969@yahoo.com) on Friday September 01, @02:07PM EDT (#393)
    (User #18384 Info) http://127.0.0.1/
    That wouldn't have stopped users on oher OSs from using it. In fact it would have made it easier.
    -LLM
    device driver (Score:1)
    by ZeePrime (ZeePrime@penguinpowered.com) on Friday September 01, @11:21AM EDT (#159)
    (User #76765 Info) http://www.penguinpowered.com/~ZeePrime
    Here's Pierre-Philippe Coupard's device driver, now all I need is the reader/decrypter... :-)

    ftp://ftp.tuniv.szczecin.pl/dsk4/Linuxberg/files/console/network/cuecat-0.0.5.tar.gz

    ftp://ftp.uakom.sk/pub/linuxberg/files/console/network/cuecat-0.0.5.tar.gz
    No Agreement Was Done. (Score:3, Informative)
    by NetJunkie (jason@planetportal.n.o.spam.com) on Friday September 01, @11:22AM EDT (#162)
    (User #56134 Info)
    They messed up. If you don't install the Digital Convergence software you NEVER agree to any license or agreement. When I got mine from Radio Shack I signed nothing. I also didn't even break a seal to get it out of the bag it came in. I also never installed their software. I'm using the above mentioned software for linux.

    Since they can't win this, I hope the linux community keeps writing software for this device and DOES NOT ever go through the Digital Convergence servers. Let's show them what happens when letters like this get thrown around without thinking.

    Good luck Digital Convergence. :)
    Re:No Agreement Was Done. (Score:1)
    by psychosis (philnmarie@mail-dot-com) on Friday September 01, @12:12PM EDT (#279)
    (User #2579 Info)
    I got two of them and gave them two different false addresses. Maybe not the most up-and-up way to get around their supposedly-allowed "recall", but I don't feel that their covert data collection is too legit wither. (Yeah, I know it's buried in their FAQ/legalese, but that's just a cheap shot on the consumer. I want big freakin' letters that say "we give you this to track your habits." Yeah.... sure....).
    The way I see it, they'll be trying to recoup losses againt non-existant persons. That and without installing the software/breaking the cd seal, I'm not subject to the EULA.
    :P
    l8r... pjh
    Re:No Agreement Was Done. (Score:2)
    by dublin (dubNO@infoSPAMwave.com) on Saturday September 02, @12:35AM EDT (#590)
    (User #31215 Info)
    NO! We should NOT keep writing software for this device. There are plenty of reasonably priced bar code readers out there that don't even require drivers at all (their interfaces are typically described as "keyboard wedges" - they lierally make it look like you typed in the info. - all the magic happens in the hardware!)

    Why should we even dignify a such a proprietary device with our support, especially after their behaviour and with good, and open alternatives? Simple bar code readers just aren't that expensive, guys... Go grab a cheap one, get a Code 39 (3 of 9) bar code font and go to town. (There are several other formats, but Code 39 is kind of the Lingua Franca of the bar code world, and I've found it the most common and standard format int he past...)

    Women aren't told that abortion causes breast cancer. Why not?

    Digital Convergence doesn't have a leg to stand on (Score:1)
    by dudeman2 on Friday September 01, @11:23AM EDT (#165)
    (User #88399 Info)
    I received a CueCat free in the mail as a subscriber to Forbes Magazine. If you install the Windows software, you have to go online and agree to an EULA before the software will function. The interesting bits of the EULA are as follows:

    - You agree not to reverse engineer the CueCat software or hardware
    - You agree that the CueCat is property of Digital Convergence Inc. and may be reposessed at any time.

    (I'm paraphrasing the above.)

    Now, let's say you never agreed to the EULA. How can you be bound by the above restrictions? I received the CueCat free in the mail WITHOUT ASKING for it.

    Digital Convergence is probably banking on the driver developers to fold under pressure. And they may do just that. But I'd love to see them fight it in court.


    Kenyon & Kenyon are dead (Score:2, Funny)
    by rigorist on Friday September 01, @11:25AM EDT (#171)
    (User #176416 Info)
    Look at the names on the letterhead. No Kenyons. So . . . Dead lawyers will be suing flying butt monkeys.
    You don't seem to get it. (Score:2, Informative)
    by Jon3 on Friday September 01, @11:27AM EDT (#172)
    (User #11977 Info) http://www.outland.net
    Read the radio shack website for the necessary clue of WHY they're doing this. Companies don't give things away for free just for fun. There's always a catch that allows them to make money. In this case, its marketing info. This is a quote from the faq at Radio Shack "What happens to my personal information (like my name, address, and e-mail address) when I register and use the :CueCat? Any personal information (such as your name, address and e-mail address) collected online when you register and use your new :CueCat is held and owned by Digital Convergence Corporation (not RadioShack). To view Digital Convergence's privacy policy, Click here. Unless you give Digital Convergence permission to share your personal information with us, or unless you register or purchase on RadioShack.com or volunteer information at a RadioShack store, you and your shopping habits remain anonymous to RadioShack.com. Click here to view RadioShack.com's privacy policy." They only gave you this "handy" device because they want you to register and and scan lots of barcodes, so they have lots and lots of information about your personal interests, so they can sell your information to direct marketers (think human spam). When you write a linux driver, you bypass all the secret sending of private info to their servers, which means they can't make money off you.
    Re:You don't seem to get it. (Score:1)
    by warkeng (gxw@suespammers.org) on Friday September 01, @12:40PM EDT (#315)
    (User #181606 Info)
    When you write a linux driver, you bypass all the secret sending of private info to their servers, which means they can't make money off you.

    So, Digital Convergence Inc. is not going to make any money me because I'm using their device without their software. I'm real broken up about that - more like ROTFLMAO.

    -- Spammers: My E-mail server is in California. Consider yourself warned.
    Re:You don't seem to get it. (Score:1)
    by angelo (anrkngl@lowmagnet.org) on Friday September 01, @02:08PM EDT (#394)
    (User #21182 Info) http://www.lowmagnet.org/
    Hrm, "volunteering" is what they call it when they badger you for it every time. Jeez. This is my primary peeve with the "'Shack".
    We do politics too
    Re:You don't seem to get it. (Score:1)
    by Daeng on Friday September 01, @11:07PM EDT (#576)
    (User #228956 Info)
    this letter to RS customer service should absolve me from all guilt if they don't reply.
    "I was never informed when I got my "free" scanner that it was not really mine and that I was subject to a lisence I never saw and was not told existed. You should be ashamed for cohorting with a company like this. I still have not seen the license, and so will use my :CueCat however I see fit. If you do not agree to this, and want it back, email me (yes, this is my real information: I'm not scared) and I will take it back to the store which gave it to me."
    Daniel

    BULL! (Score:3, Interesting)
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, @11:27AM EDT (#173)
    I signed nothing, I read nothing, I didn't even give them my name. I ripped open the bag, tossed the papers and CD in my pile of useless CD's. I took a screwdriver to the case and looked inside (rather dull actually).
    I agreed to NOTHING!
    In short, it is mine to do with as I will. I can write other software for it, sell or give it to someone else, let my dog chew on it or take it out back and use it for target practice.
    I'm surprised they found a lawyer who'd even write up the cease and desist as they don't have a case. It's been decided by the courts before, if you give something away for free it's no longer yours to control.


    Decode spec (Score:4, Informative)
    by RudeDude (don@steem.com) on Friday September 01, @11:28AM EDT (#175)
    (User #672 Info) http://steem.com/
    Here's the decode spec itself from the README found in the link driver:


    The encoding is a base64 (not MIME tho) with a random XOR thrown in. Each letter is a base 64 (6 bit) number, a is 0, z is 25, A is 26, Z is 51, 0 is 52, 9 is 61, + is 62, - is 63 (and fill in the blanks between there). A group of four of these 6 bit numbers are combined into a single 24 bit number, which is then split into three 8 bit ASCII codes (XORed with 67).

    Taral corrected my first perl script to solve the short code problem. If a group of 4 characters is not complete (ie there are only 2 characters), it should be padded with 0's ('a' in the base64 encoding), and then follow the same decoding process. Then chop off the same number of characters from the decoded string that were padded onto the encoded string.

    No tables/codes should be used anywhere - it is simply a coincidence that they work for numeric values, because the top 4 bits of all the number ASCII codes are the same, 0011 binary.


    If you want to print your own barcodes I suggest the encoding called "Code 128". I found a company (Elfring Fonts) that sells windows fonts and software to make it easy to encode your own stuff: http://www.barcodingfonts.com/
    ---
    Don Rude - AKA - RudeDude
    Perl/Linux/PHP hacker

    Re:Decode spec (Score:1)
    by Zwack on Friday September 01, @12:58PM EDT (#332)
    (User #27039 Info) http://www.mutant.net/
    Or you can simply pad to four characters with the corresponding characters from 0x10, 0x34, 0x0D, 0x03. i.e. if you need two characters,pad it with 0x0d, 0x03.

    Then when you split it up into three characters and XOR it with 67 you end up with null characters in the remaining spaces.


    Re:Decode spec (Score:2)
    by 1010011010 (1010011010@PORKSHOULDERANDHAMholly-springs.nc.us) on Friday September 01, @01:54PM EDT (#386)
    (User #53039 Info)
    Use Gnu Barcode.


    ---- ----
    Don't like Echelon?/
    Re:Decode spec (Score:1)
    by RudeDude (don@steem.com) on Friday September 01, @02:36PM EDT (#409)
    (User #672 Info) http://steem.com/
    For those wondering (as I was) where to find the package this guy names... try the freshmeat appindex: http://freshmeat.net/projects/gnu-barcode/?highlight=gnu+barcode

    If you want other bar code scanning hardware try: http://www.csensors.com/index_b.html

    Other misc bar-code info (TONS OF IT): http://www.adams1.com/pub/russadam/
    ---
    Don Rude - AKA - RudeDude
    Perl/Linux/PHP hacker

    Is the US a Democracy? (Score:1)
    by anubis__ on Friday September 01, @11:30AM EDT (#182)
    (User #168382 Info) http://elysium.systemcrash.org
    Well we're obviously not paying as much heed to individual rights anymore compared to the business profit. Human rights or stocks... looks like human rights are losing.

    So what's this have to do with anything? Obviously, as demonstrated by the RIAA, the MPAA and various other conglomerates and companies, the real power of this country is in business, not government.

    Sure, government allots the tax dollars and makes the end decisions, but the truth is he who has more money always wins in court. Corporations will always have more money than an individual and therefore will always win in trial. These trials help establish new laws and ultimately determine what governs us. We're not governed by the Constitution anymore and its as plain as day.

    So what is this new form of goverment? Its not a democracy and its not communism. Its capitalism pushed to the extreme: Corporatism.

    — Anubis
    Re:Is the US a Democracy? (Score:1)
    by eean (eean@nospam.inorbitdotcom) on Friday September 01, @12:33PM EDT (#309)
    (User #177028 Info) http://members.home.net/eeanm
    It is a common misconceptioin that the US is a democracy.
    "First they laugh, then they fight, then you win" - Mahatma Ghandi
    'Democracy' is not that simple (Score:1)
    by eean (eean@nospam.inorbitdotcom) on Friday September 01, @01:04PM EDT (#341)
    (User #177028 Info) http://members.home.net/eeanm
    If you're saying that the consititution is what makes us not a democracy, your wrong. What you are refering to as Democracy is actually Pure Democracy (such as what the Athenians had something like). However, when you say Democracy all by itself that is simply the idea of the power coming from the people. It doesn't have to be directly.

    However, America is not a Consititutional Republic in reality because power comes from the upper class (as they have more say in elections with campaign controbutions), thus making it a Plutocracy. So, in a Plutocracy it is only natural that laws such as the DMCA exist.
    "First they laugh, then they fight, then you win" - Mahatma Ghandi
    Re:'Democracy' is not that simple (Score:1)
    by eean (eean@nospam.inorbitdotcom) on Friday September 01, @10:18PM EDT (#567)
    (User #177028 Info) http://members.home.net/eeanm
    Suppose its that publich school. (-: I learned it as pure democracy.
    "First they laugh, then they fight, then you win" - Mahatma Ghandi
    Take Them At Their Word (Score:2, Interesting)
    by crawling_chaos (dcjanes at erols dot com) on Friday September 01, @11:30AM EDT (#183)
    (User #23007 Info)
    They obviously don't want Linux users to use their product, and they claim it's on loan to you anyway. I say do the right thing and return it to them.

    Postage Due.


    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wagn'nagl dominos.
    In his house in R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits for the pizza man

    Re:Take Them At Their Word (Score:1)
    by devious507 (devious507@yahoo.com) on Friday September 01, @11:39AM EDT (#213)
    (User #192750 Info) http://www.minot.com/~devious
    Ummm.... on loan from them, I never signed an agreement to that effect, I have a sales receipt for 0.00, and I didn't break shrink wrap on the box... I really dont think thats a loan, gift might be a better word.
    "Decode"? (Score:1)
    by RudeDude (don@steem.com) on Friday September 01, @11:32AM EDT (#186)
    (User #672 Info) http://steem.com/
    I find it interesting that ANYONE can get in trouble for "decoding" the output of this device. I installed the dumb windows software that comes with it and dug around a little.

    There is an app that gets installed BY DEFAULT called "catscan.exe". If you run it instead of the tray item it grabs the device output and shows you the plain test decoded data.
    ---
    Don Rude - AKA - RudeDude
    Perl/Linux/PHP hacker

    Money (Score:1)
    by Zelphyr on Friday September 01, @11:32AM EDT (#188)
    (User #130474 Info)
    To my mind, what they really object to is the fact that there is a free version of their proprietary software running around out there. Even though its for a platform they don't support they're afraid it will leak on over to a supported platform.

    So its about money. They chose a poor business model. Instead of opening the source and thereby having a much, MUCH, larger market share from which to support (for a fee) they chose to ride the ever shrinking Bill wave in hopes that some of his billions might rub off onto them.

    It's easy. (Score:2)
    by Moderation abuser (Email? That's sooo 20th century.) on Friday September 01, @11:32AM EDT (#189)
    (User #184013 Info)
    Give 'em the reader back and tell them to go fuck themselves.


    -- Abusing the /. moderation system at every opportunity.
    Re:It's easy. (Score:2)
    by puppet10 on Friday September 01, @11:36AM EDT (#205)
    (User #84610 Info)
    Make sure to send it back postage due too, since they seem to want it so bad make'em pay for it.
    -------- This space intentionally left blank --------
    riiiight (Score:1)
    by linuxgod (jd@linuxgod.net) on Friday September 01, @11:35AM EDT (#199)
    (User #17683 Info) http://www.linuxgod.net
    Din't we see this with DeCSS?
    If i were him id reply telling the company to
    shove it up their ass. If I get a program its
    MINE, not THEIRS. Screw them. Even if they said
    stop, id keep passing it out. on MY server.
    If they tried to hack the server, id sue them.
    And the moral of the story is ...... (Score:2)
    by taniwha on Friday September 01, @11:35AM EDT (#200)
    (User #70410 Info) http://www.taniwha.com/nospam.jpg
    If you have some razor/razorblades backend business model then you had beter make sure you have your Linux software ready the same day you ship .... or pissed potential customers will write their own software and in effect hijack your platform ....
    How many languages can people do DecodeCat in? (Score:2)
    by Christopher B. Brown (cbbrowne@hex.net) on Friday September 01, @11:37AM EDT (#207)
    (User #1267 Info) http://www.hex.net/~cbbrowne/lsf.html
    I'll probably do up Scheme and Lisp versions over the long weekend; it would probably be an interesting exercise to do it in OCAML, as an exercise in pattern matching.

    Betcha most of them fit into under a page, and well within the constraints of a ./ message...
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

    Re:How many languages can people do DecodeCat in? (Score:2)
    by klund on Friday September 01, @12:11PM EDT (#278)
    (User #53347 Info)
    I'll probably do up Scheme and Lisp versions over the long weekend; it would probably be an interesting exercise to do it in OCAML, as an exercise in pattern matching. Betcha most of them fit into under a page, and well within the constraints of a /. message...

    Sounds like we need a contest for the shortest decodecat program. Use any lanuage you want, must read stdin and output barcode on stdout, 'wc' is the final arbiteur.

    I stopped by RatShack on my way to work to pick up a CueCat, and the sales guy *talked me out of* taking a RatShack catalog.
    --
    My word processor was written by Stanford Professor Donald Knuth. Who wrote yours?
    (The Perl Version Could Be Tuned) (Score:2)
    by Christopher B. Brown (cbbrowne@hex.net) on Friday September 01, @02:50PM EDT (#419)
    (User #1267 Info) http://www.hex.net/~cbbrowne/lsf.html
    I pulled the fairly short Perl version, and immediately concluded that it could be shortened and speeded up immensely by suitable use of associative arrays.

    The same principle will hold true for just about any language offering easy access to hash tables; the program can be made data-driven, and be both minscule and incredibly fast.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

    Re:How many languages can people do DecodeCat in? (Score:1)
    by zakezuke on Saturday September 02, @06:22PM EDT (#619)
    (User #229119 Info)
    Personaly I'd like to see at-least a cuecat compatable shell, or somthing that is at-least compatable with MAS-90, or other major UNIX applications. Copyright all your works. Use the technique Compaq used to pirate IBMs bios. Authors by no means use or run the CueCAT software, not opening the disk grants you the right the write code based on perimeters others reverse engeniered. Until such time CRQ software makes a Linux version, you've got the right as you are not interfearing with anyone's rights.
    Not Much of a Device Driver (Score:2)
    by Christopher B. Brown (cbbrowne@hex.net) on Friday September 01, @04:12PM EDT (#459)
    (User #1267 Info) http://www.hex.net/~cbbrowne/lsf.html
    The way it interfaces, it pretends to be a keyboard, which means that the "nasty" parts of producing a driver have already been done.

    What needs to be written is the "user space" side of things, which essentially amounts to an interface that takes ISBN numbers read using the scanner and then "does something useful."

    That's not "device driver" work; that's application work. Feel free to be inspired to work on apps or drivers; don't assume that the info here provides any guidance on dealing with device drivers.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

    Cooltown (Score:1)
    by dingbat_hp (dingbat@codesmiths.com) on Friday September 01, @11:39AM EDT (#211)
    (User #98241 Info)

    This is one of a whole pile of data convergence applications now appearing. HP have Cooltown, a somewhat similar (although much broader) concept.

    If you want to build your own version of CueCat, a look at the Handle Servers concept gives you most of the infrastructure almost straight out of the box.

    The most effective action may be... (Score:4, Insightful)
    by Rocketboy on Friday September 01, @11:40AM EDT (#214)
    (User #32971 Info)
    Here are a couple of e-mails I sent. The first was to DigitalConvergence, makers of this toy:

    "Our company has received several of your CueCat scanners via Forbes recently and I would like to know whether you would prefer us to return them to you or to Forbes, or to just trash them. While there is some potential value in this device, your company's business practices are offensive enough that we have no desire to use them at this time (re: "Cease and Desist" letters to developers of Linux drivers for your device.) Better luck next time.

    Sincerely,

    etc etc

    Then I sent this one to subscriber@forbes.com:

    "Please stop sending the CueCat device to subscribers of Forbes magazine at XYZ Corporation. We find CueCat's business practices deeply offensive and will simply dispose of any such devices which we receive. As subscribers to your magazine, we find your association with these predatory and possibly illegal business practices to be deeply disturbing and we hope that your choice of business partners is merely an temporary aberration, not an indication of future trends. Thank you very much.

    Respectfully,

    etc etc

    Possibly they can be educated, possibly not. But I won't do business with either of them until they demonstrate some enlightenment. :)

    mjs
    Re:The most effective action may be... (Score:1)
    by mendepie on Friday September 01, @02:17PM EDT (#401)
    (User #228850 Info)
    I just made a feedback to DigitalConvergence telling them that until they change this practices, I will stop using their product/service and stop doing business with anyone who distributes their product. I sent a similar message to Radio Shack's Customer Support.
    Re:The most effective action may be... (Score:1)
    by KnightStalker (hoffmanj-A@T-oit-D.T-edu) on Friday September 01, @10:04PM EDT (#563)
    (User #1929 Info) http://internet.oit.edu/~hoffmanj/
    Forbes Magazine, in connection with hardball buisness maneuvers... who would have thought? :-)
    Re:The most effective action may be... (Score:1)
    by awch on Friday September 01, @11:10PM EDT (#577)
    (User #134042 Info)
    Here's the letter I just sent to Cue Cat:

    I'm trying to understand your actions against the Linux/Open Source community. Are you asking us not to use this device to visit advertiser web sites? You'd prefer that we, hundreds of thousands of net savvy internet users, go to our nearest Radio Shack store, ask for a Cue Cat, take it home, and throw it in the garbage because you, in your finite wisdom, think it is best that we don't use it? Wouldn't that be expensive for you? Would your advertisers appreciate that kind of publicity?

    Be careful what you ask for!

    Thanks,

    I'd like to applaud this (Score:1)
    by SecurityGuy on Tuesday September 05, @11:54AM EDT (#654)
    (User #217807 Info)
    And I'd like to see more of us doing it. Recognize that the solution to these problems isn't necessarily more heavy handed government intervention or calling in the lawyers who, after all, gave us our present excuse for a legal system. The solution is an educated and informed consumer population who can and will demand that the companies they choose to do business treat them appropriately.

    There are a select few instances where this doesn't work (monopolies, price fixing), but if you're selling something in a competitive market or selling something I can do without (like that DVD player I still haven't purchased), you'll do so responsibly or you won't see my money.

    Discrepancy between license and advertising (Score:1)
    by HugoRune (pharrison@ramtop.demon.co.uk) on Friday September 01, @11:45AM EDT (#223)
    (User #20378 Info)
    IANAL, but there seems to be a distinct discrepancy between their advertising and the license agreement.

    This page says that you "get your new :CRQ system including the :CueCat reader free". This would seem to me that these things become your property when they are delivered. The licensing agreement states that it is on loan from them and may be recalled at any time.

    I can't see how they could use the DMCA to defend their claims. The DMCA protects against access to copyrighted works without the authority of the copyright holders. So unless the majority of barcodes are copyrighted and permission to read these barcodes is restricted to the :CRQ software, I can't see how it is relevant. They may be encrypting the output of these bar code readers, but they don't own the copyright on the bar code contents.

    Re:Discrepancy between license and advertising (Score:1)
    by devious507 (devious507@yahoo.com) on Friday September 01, @11:53AM EDT (#238)
    (User #192750 Info) http://www.minot.com/~devious
    Hardware is something you OWN, you can use it for anything you wish ... software is the only thing with this bizarre "we own it and only give you the right to use it" clause. I categorically refuse to accept a "license agreement" on any hardware device. So much so that I paid retail for my cell phone so cell phone company couldn't claim they owned the phone and give me a forced upgrade when the Big Brother we will find you via GPS phones come out real soon now.
    the real nature of this (Score:2, Insightful)
    by 20000hitpoints (hitpoints20000@hotmail.com) on Friday September 01, @11:45AM EDT (#226)
    (User #175978 Info)
    The bottom line on this is as follows:

    The license agreement for this thing is one of these agreements that says as soon as you use the thing, you agree to the terms of the agreement. It says that they are loaning you the reader, not giving it to you. That might be okay, if they told you ahead of time what you were agreeing to. But they didn't.

    It follows that I could:
    1. write up an agreement that said "by wearing this baseball cap, you agree to give me $100".
    2. casually go up to my friend and say, "hey, I've got this old Mets cap, you want it?"
    3. Wait until I see him wearing it one day and then show him the agreement and say, "Dude, you owe me $100! Pay up!"

    This kind of bullshit has got to stop.
    Re:the real nature of this (Score:2, Insightful)
    by 20000hitpoints (hitpoints20000@hotmail.com) on Friday September 01, @12:02PM EDT (#256)
    (User #175978 Info)
    P.S.: I've had an unopened "CueCat" in my backpack for a couple of days. Just opened it up. The license I read online is not explicitly printed anywhere on the stuff that comes with it.

    You also can't go through the previous scenario (see the message I'm replying to), but instead give your friend a baseball cap with a tag on it that says "to read some important information about this cap, go to central park and look under the bench on the uptown side, closest to the 72nd street gate", unless the tag explicitly stated that under the bench was the "use license" for this cap, and that it was not legal to wear the cap until the license was read. An agreement cannot be entered into without both parties knowing that they are entering into the agreement. This is a fundamental freedom that needs to be fought for.

    This is different from laws. I am implicitly bound to abide all the laws of the country I live in whether I know what they are or not. Legal agreements are something else, they are restrictions that are above and beyond the law, that you willingly enter into with your own knowledge and consent. I know that that's bad English to say "enter into a restriction" but you know what I'm talking about here.

    This is a really serious issue. They better just be bluffing.
    James Rosini (Score:2, Interesting)
    by Hygelac (hrothgar.sppamsuxx@techie.com) on Friday September 01, @11:48AM EDT (#229)
    (User #11040 Info) about:mozilla
    I had a couple minutes and wanted to see what I could find out about James Rosini, the man who signed the LegalLetter. The only notable thing I found was that he represented AT&T when AOL tried to sue over their supposed trademark of "You've Got Mail." Here's a link: http://techlawjournal.com/cour ts/aolvatt/Default.htm
    -- Grow up and use mutt.
    Evolution of the EULA (Score:1)
    by Sir_Dill on Friday September 01, @11:54AM EDT (#239)
    (User #218371 Info)
    I think that this is the first in many cases where this is going to be happening. The more "agreements" like this that end up in court the more "agreements" there will be. Nobody likes being sued and what we are going to get into is a serious case of CYA, unfortunately, the only way to do this is with vague yet specific terminology, lots of money and a gaggle of lawyers on fat retainers. This has got to stop before we end up having to agree to the disclaimer that pops up on our tv screen everytime we turn it on before we can surf some channels. It's almost like they don't want people using their product. This is a perversion to creative thinking. If anybody should be upset and seeking restitution for it it should be those that have written the software....but then it wouldn't be in the spirit of Open Source. They should be recieving letters that say "Hey thanks for hookin that up for us...we were having some trouble with it....mind if we post it on our site?". "Help Help I'm bein repressed"
    This is what you get... (Score:1)
    by mcrbids (mcrbids@excite.com) on Friday September 01, @11:54AM EDT (#241)
    (User #148650 Info)
    Where we've seen alot of contention between open-source guys and corporations is where the corporations "give away" hardware in order to get you to run their software.

    The 'net workstation whose software is hard-coded to use their Internet services, or the video game console given away so you have to buy their game cartridges.

    The value of that hardware is NOT THE HARDWARE - it's the fact that it works only with their service - making you buy the service to use this hardware - and that's where the corporation gets their return.

    Break this line, and you'll see plenty of cease-and-desist letters!

    More examples? Buy an Ink-Jet printer for $50, only to buy cartridges for $28. Buy a full-fledged digital camera for $250, only to pay $130 for another memory cartridge. Try to buy a consumer electronics device from Montgomery Wards without an "extended service contract" - they'll almost run you out of the store. (at least here)

    It's a most common ploy - get the consumer "in the door" by giving away the core for free or very cheap, then make the money on the periphery.

    In this example, the hits to the web-page/advertising dollars from their software are the periphery the company is planning on profiting from.

    They could (and quite rightly, tho they don't know how to say it) consider the hardware as "IP", as the hardware is linked to THEIR software.

    So what REALLY constitutes "IP"?

    -Ben
    - What if your life support system ran under Windows? -
    Talk to the CEO (Score:1)
    by geoGIF (rweems@nospam.home.com) on Friday September 01, @11:54AM EDT (#242)
    (User #19699 Info)

    J. Jovan Philyaw is the CEO of Digital Convergence (the company behind the :Cue:cat). He's also the executive producer of NetTalk Live. It looks like NetTalk Live is an interactive talk show about computers, the web, etc. that allows people to ask questions.

    It might be interesting to join the next broadcast and see if we can get some comments from ole J. Jovan about his company's actions

    Re:Talk to the CEO (Score:1)
    by hungerfan on Friday September 01, @04:30PM EDT (#470)
    (User #225474 Info)
    Actually...Jovan has nothing to do with the show now. He stepped down about 4-5 months ago.
    Can it be a loan if they mail it to you. (Score:3, Informative)
    by kramer (kramer@angband.org) on Friday September 01, @12:05PM EDT (#264)
    (User #19951 Info) http://random.yahoo.com/bin/ryl
    BIG FAT IANAL

    A friend of mine pointed out that Cuecats are being sent to various subscribers of Wired and Forbes and possibly other magazines as a promotion.

    Now IIRC, federal law states that any unsolicited merchandise received by mail is a gift. This federal law would supercede any click through license agreement. It's no longer theirs, and you're free to do with the hardware as you see fit.
    The way to complain to CueCat (Score:1, Insightful)
    by doublem (mattDENIALOFSERVICEwmiller@hotTOSPAMMERSmail.com) on Friday September 01, @12:09PM EDT (#272)
    (User #118724 Info) http://users2.50megs.com/mattwmiller/
    Below is an e-mail I just sent the firm that distributes CueCat. Let's not flame these guys. It was probably a clueless order from someone who didn't understand what's going on. Once they understand we just want to use the thing without using Windows, and they realize they might be able to build a large and enthused user base they'll probably relent.

    To Whom it may concern,

    I just picked up a CueCat at Radio Shack and I was wondering if Digital:Convergence intends to release Linux drivers for the device. I know there is a third party program that emulates the functionality of your Windows software, but I've also heard you sent the developer a cease and desist order.

    My primary OS at home is Linux (Mandrake 7.0 to be exact) and I'm afraid the device isn't much use to me without a Linux driver. Do you plan to release your own Linux software or work with the existing Linux port to produce an "authorized" version? Given the speed and ease with which a port was developed, I don't see any reason for you to not release a Linux version of the software, unless there is some contractual or financial pressure to support only specific Operating Systems.

    On a separate note, I am the MIS Director of Educational Training Systems Inc. and I'm interested in adding our courseware to your database. I would like to be able to add the appropriate CueCat bar codes to the books themselves so people could find information on them more easily. Additionally, our sales department is interested in using CueCat in conjunction with bulk mailings to potential clients. Specifically, they would like to put a CueCat barcode on the mailings so clients could just scan it in and be taken directly to the appropriate order form or information page on our web site.

    We have several other ideas for integrating your technology into our advertising and customer service areas, and I would like to discuss what costs and procedures are involved in using your technology.

    Matthew Miller
    MIS Director, Educational Training Systems, Inc.


    Matthew Miller,
    "I didn't expect her to counter my plan with nakedness!" -Riff
    Re:The way to complain to CueCat (Score:1)
    by hungerfan on Friday September 01, @04:28PM EDT (#469)
    (User #225474 Info)
    If you get an actually reply from them I will be suprised. I would also like to see what they say in the email.
    They Should Be Thrilled (Score:2)
    by waldoj (waldo@waldo.net) on Friday September 01, @12:10PM EDT (#273)
    (User #8229 Info) http://www.waldo.net/
    What's incredible about this is that CueCat seems to make money from various other streams (licensing fees, privacy violations, etc.), so I can't imagine why they'd be opposed to geeks embracing their technology. This is extremely shortsighted of them.

    What I enjoy knowing is that there's that *one* Linux user that works for them. S/he's quietly sitting in the corner, head shaking, saying "I told you so...."

    Don't mess with Tuxas. (Or something like that.)

    -Waldo

    -------------------
    End the +50 karma cap!
    This is not really about IP - it's about revenue (Score:1)
    by markana on Friday September 01, @12:13PM EDT (#281)
    (User #152984 Info)
    If you're not using their (Digital Convergence) Windows software, and their servers, you're not giving them valuable demographic data. Thus nothing to sell to advertizers to cover the cost of the hardware. This is closer to the IOpener situation than DeCSS.

    The letter is primarily designed to intimidate - it's a pretty cheap opening shot. But you can bet they'll follow up with bigger guns if the software stays available.

    A couple of years ago, I'd say they didn't have a chance of winning in court. But after the DeCSS debacle, I bet they could. Especially if they moved the case to a certain judge's venue...

    WWVBD? (Score:1)
    by ciaohound on Friday September 01, @12:17PM EDT (#286)
    (User #118419 Info)
    or, "What would Victor Borge do?" regarding that stupid colon. Wasn't he the one who had a set of sound effects for punctuation? If my recollection of his readings on Sesame Street serves me, it would be pronounced something like "ptttt!! ptttt!! cue cat".

    --
    Stand on your own head for a change. TMBG
    Dear FlyingButtMonkeys: (Score:1)
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, @12:19PM EDT (#289)
    Please repost your code at www.flyingbuttmonkeys.com. The letter you received from Kenyon and Kenyon was written by a drone who is paid to act, not think. The letter does not say
    anything about removing code, ceasing and desisting, or eating soda crackers. By reposting your code, you make Digital Convergence more irritated. Digital Convergence will again ask Kenyon and Kenyon to make another form letter addressed to you. The letter will contain many ambiguities that will designed to intimidate you into removing the code. However, you will have the last laugh because Digital Convergence will again be billed by the lame law firm of Kenyon and Kenyon for another no-content letter. Anyone can write a letter that claims you are conflicting with what they are doing and that you are "damaging" them. Let them fart upwind.
    Thank you.
    Even Worse: Digital Convergence Spies on You! (Score:5, Informative)
    by Brian Ristuccia (brianr-slashdot.org@osiris.978.org) on Friday September 01, @12:20PM EDT (#290)
    (User #2238 Info) http://brianr.978.org/

    Every cuecat scan results in some garbage that looks like the following:

    .C3nZC3nZC3nZCxj2Dhz1C3nX.fHmc.DxPYE3b6C3nZC3jY.

    Hidden inside that code is the barcode type, and its numeric or alphanumeric equivilent. But there's more: There's also a serial number. And that serial number is probably easily matched up to the store where you picked up your cuecat device, or even to your name if you gave it to the clerk at the store.

    .C3nZC3nZC3nZCxj2Dhz1C3nX.fHmc.DxPYE3b6C3nZC3jY.
    000000000215756002 UPA 691839000011

    The first item in the second line is the serial number. Then the barcode, and then the numeric value of the UPC type A code. This serial number stuff is real bad news. It's like a cookie that can't be turned off, and it gets sent to Digital Convergence every time you scan a barcode that brings you to a web site using their software.

    Of course, they're going to be pissed about people using their barcode scanners without their spying software: They want to make money by seling your personal information. They know where you live. They know what books you read, and they know what products you buy, all by what you scan with their little cuespy.

    The cease and desist letter they've sent is a vague piece of crap. Its sole intent is to intimidate. They have no legal standing. First spying, now intimidation tactics? I think perhaps it's time for a TLO to investigate Digitial Convergence.

    I've mirrored the standalone cuecat decoder software at http://osiris.978.org/~brianr/cuecat/.

    Mirrors: CSS and LiViD, Cyber Patrol Info

    And they would like your TV habits! (Score:1)
    by sconklin on Friday September 01, @01:14PM EDT (#349)
    (User #208349 Info)
    Even more scary - if you read the enclosure that's with the scanner. They encourage you to connect your TV audio out to your sound card input, and claim that their s/w will automatically cause your browser to track your tv viewing or some such. What if you just have a mic plugged in and the TV on? A quote - ":C.R.Q. (tm) software instantly links TV programming to your PC, and lets you get information on the web you didn't even know existed". I might suggest the following addition - " . . . and allows us to gather information that you don't even suspect we're collecting".
    Re:And they would like your TV habits! (Score:1)
    by Brian Ristuccia (brianr-slashdot.org@osiris.978.org) on Friday September 01, @01:19PM EDT (#354)
    (User #2238 Info) http://brianr.978.org/

    Even more scary - if you read the enclosure that's with the scanner.

    Someone else said there was a slip of paper in with the scanner that said "This isn't yours. You're just borrowing it from us" or something to that effect. I didn't get such a slip with mine.

    Are they asssuming everyone's a big enough moron to trade their privacy for a barcode reader they don't really own?

    Mirrors: CSS and LiViD, Cyber Patrol Info

    Re:And they would like your TV habits! (Score:1)
    by jabberw0k (wlindley@wlindley.com) on Friday September 01, @01:34PM EDT (#368)
    (User #62554 Info) http://www.wlindley.com
    So... if I leave my TV and computer on for a few hours, what am I gonna get, three hundred sixty nine windows, one web page for each commercial that was on?

    Oh... and the CD pouch says, "Opening this software [note: it's an unsealed pouch!] constitutes your agreement to the license terms..." I dunno about anyone else but I never opened the pouch, and there's no license agreement on the HARDWARE, so upon what do they base their claims?
    Re:Even Worse: Digital Convergence Spies on You! (Score:2)
    by kramer (kramer@angband.org) on Friday September 01, @01:34PM EDT (#366)
    (User #19951 Info) http://random.yahoo.com/bin/ryl
    Personally I can think of some really fun stuff to do with this information.

    Find out someone's unique ID, hack a program to send their unique ID instead of yours and then start scanning *LOTS* of barcodes from really raunchy porn. All of a sudden it looks to all the mass-marketers that the person you got the ID from is a crazed porn addict.

    Even better, just hack a program to send a random Identifier. See, their information is only worth anything as long as it is percieved to be accurate. If customers buying the list know that probably half the stuff is bullshit nobody's gonna buy it. Sour the milk so to speak.
    Re:Even Worse: Digital Convergence Spies on You! (Score:3, Interesting)
    by WNight (wnight@rocketmail.com) on Friday September 01, @08:23PM EDT (#535)
    (User #23683 Info)
    This is a great idea. They're commiting nearly fraudulent acts (threatening legal action when they know no crime has been committed and no criminal harm has been done.) so we might as well fight back, not just against their current moves, but against the company itself.

    If the only thing that have that's worth anything is the data, lets ruin the data. They're not paying us for data and nobody signed a contract guaranteeing accurate data, so let's screw it up royally.

    There are many ways...

    1) Random IDs, your stuff... Makes it look like tons of people use it once or twice and throw it away after scanning random stuff.

    2) Random ID (singular), List of Stuff... Makes it look like tons of people own exactly the same things, usefullness depends on how many people scan the exact same list.

    3) Random IDs, Barcodes of favorite products... Makes it appear that thousands of people are scanning the same products. What a way to boost your favorite band's sales figures, etc.

    No scanner is needed for this, just an app that will make the appropriate net connection and report a given serial # and UPC code. Then lists of stuff we want to promote (hacker-friendly bands, O'Reilly books, etc) can be passed around for people to boost their sales figures.

    Re:Even Worse: Digital Convergence Spies on You! (Score:1)
    by Frank T. Lofaro Jr. on Tuesday September 05, @07:03PM EDT (#668)
    (User #142215 Info)
    From their website, describing the "advantages" of their product:

    Allows mainstream media to act as the filter, the portal, the direct digital information point

    Mainstream media is part of the problem in our society, not part of the solution. Seeing "mainstream media" and "filter" next to each other sends chills down my spine. This is so close to "1984" it is scary.

    I'm very surprised they'd tout this is an advantage on a public website, do they think the people are so stupid as to think this is a good thing, rather than exploitation?

    Scary thought, maybe about that they are right. Maybe the people are that stupid.

    Re:Even Worse: Digital Convergence Spies on You! (Score:1)
    by esper on Friday September 01, @03:08PM EDT (#435)
    (User #11644 Info)
    that serial number is probably easily matched up to the store where you picked up your cuecat device, or even to your name if you gave it to the clerk at the store.

    Ummm... No.

    I don't know about you, but the guy at Radio Shack who gave me mine just grabbed a bag and a catalog out of a box and handed them to me. Yes, he took my name, but there was no obvious way to have accessed the serial number, much less associated it with my name.

    Of course, if I use my CueCat to scan something from the Radio Shack catalog, get zapped to their web site, and order it there, I expect that my name would get tied to my CueCat's serial number as a side effect of that transaction, but if you don't buy anything using the scanner, you should be safe.

    Re:Even Worse: Digital Convergence Spies on You! (Score:2)
    by Brian Ristuccia (brianr-slashdot.org@osiris.978.org) on Friday September 01, @04:25PM EDT (#464)
    (User #2238 Info) http://brianr.978.org/

    that serial number is probably easily matched up to the store where you picked up your cuecat device, or even to your name if you gave it to the clerk at the store.

    Ummm... No.

    The clerk who took my name entered it into the computer and then scanned the cuecat (or the catalog, I'm not sure) before giving it to me. Even if the serial number wasn't definantly associated with the identity I gave at time of purchase, it was certainly associated with the store location. There's no doubt that Digital Convergance would keep track of which serial numbers got shipped to which Radio Shack locations.

    Furthermore, from what I've heard there's a potentially identity revealing registration process one must complete in order to use the Windows software.

    Even if Digital Convergence doesn't know a person's exact identity, they know at the very minimum what Radio Shack store the scanner came from and thus very approximately where they live in most cases. And that's more than enough to increase the value of any marketing/profileing data they collect substantially.

    Mirrors: CSS and LiViD, Cyber Patrol Info

    It doesn't spy on me. (Score:1)
    by vanguard on Friday September 01, @09:32PM EDT (#549)
    (User #102038 Info)
    FWIW, they didn't take my name or scan anything in.

    I just asked them if they were giving away free scanners and they said, "Sure, I'll get you one."

    Before I knew it they put the scanner and the catalog in a bag and I was on my way.
    Some stores gathering names, others not. (Score:1)
    by Brian Ristuccia (brianr-slashdot.org@osiris.978.org) on Saturday September 02, @12:25AM EDT (#588)
    (User #2238 Info) http://brianr.978.org/

    FWIW, they didn't take my name or scan anything in.

    I just asked them if they were giving away free scanners and they said, "Sure, I'll get you one."

    Before I knew it they put the scanner and the catalog in a bag and I was on my way.

    I had a similar experience when I picked up another cuecat at the Radio Shack in Billerica, Massachusetts. The clerk just gave me the scanner, no catalog, and told me to have a nice day. However, when I picked up units at the Radio Shack in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, I was asked for a name and address and also given a catalog. The clerk scanned at least one of the items.

    From what I can tell, they don't check to see if it's your name and address or just a name and address. If you give the name of an existing Radio Shack customer (try Smith), however, they'll use the information already on file saving you a few questions.

    Mirrors: CSS and LiViD, Cyber Patrol Info

    Re:Even Worse: Digital Convergence Spies on You! (Score:2, Interesting)
    by pirodude (andy@mbrez.com) on Friday September 01, @04:27PM EDT (#467)
    (User #54707 Info) http://www.mbrez.com
    ahem..wrong! When he entered your name into the computer he scanned in the catalog AND the cue cat...each cue cat comes packaged with a different bar code on that little piece of cardboard on the back. Now they have your name to your cue cat. In past catalogs they would just give you one. Now they ring up a $0.0 recipt to snag your name.


    uh..w00t?
    Re:Even Worse: Digital Convergence Spies on You! (Score:1)
    by mjphil on Friday September 01, @06:13PM EDT (#507)
    (User #113320 Info)
    >>In past catalogs they would just give you one. Now they ring up a $0.0 recipt to snag your name. This is a REAL problem... so lie to them. They won't ask for ID's. This has been my policy at RS for years since they wanted your info no matter what you were buying.
    Re:Even Worse: Digital Convergence Spies on You! (Score:1)
    by thogard on Friday September 01, @09:47PM EDT (#554)
    (User #43403 Info) http://web.abnormal.com
    I would love to get one of these toys but my closest radio shack is something like 10,000 miles away. If the RS computer system had a place for a country in their DB, I would have no problem with someone claiming to be me :-)

    Australian Post Codes are 4 digits, US ones are 5 (ok 9). Giving a non local one has broken more than one system.

    Re:Even Worse: Digital Convergence Spies on You! (Score:1)
    by egburr on Friday September 01, @06:16PM EDT (#508)
    (User #141740 Info) http://burr.dyndns.org/~egburr
    They didn't make me give any info. I just wandered around waiting for the line at the cash register to die down some. A salesperson wandered up and asked if he could help me. When I asked for the scanner, he went behind the desk, picked one up, and handed it to me. He then asked if I would like a catalog to go with it and handed me one. At no time did he scane any codes from the cat or catalog, nor did he ever ask my name or any other info. The closest they'll be able to track my cat is to that store.

    Edward Burr
    Curiosity was framed; ignorance killed the cat. -- Author unknown
    Re:Even Worse: Digital Convergence Spies on You! (Score:1)
    by XsinTRK on Friday September 01, @10:48PM EDT (#574)
    (User #228976 Info)
    Actually, that's just a UPC code packaged with the scanner. They are all the same. I just picked up two tonight and compared them.... They still may be different by region I suppose, but they aren't 'tagged' to an in-duh-vidual, I imagine that's done once you install the windows software.
    Re:Even Worse: Digital Convergence Spies on You! (Score:2)
    by WNight (wnight@rocketmail.com) on Friday September 01, @08:27PM EDT (#536)
    (User #23683 Info)
    Why do you give them your name?

    Last time I was at RS I was asked for my name, I asked if the warranty depended on it, I was told 'No,' that the receipt was enough. So I declined.

    If you're willing to pass up the warranty (if any) on what you buy, they have no way to make you give them your name.
    Mirror List (Score:1, Informative)
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, @09:33PM EDT (#550)
    We need a mirror list of this software. If you have a mirror email me at peri@logorrhea.com - Current mirrors: http://www.logorrhea.com/cuecat
    http://osiris.978.org/~brianr/cuecat/
    COPA? (Score:2)
    by Black Parrot on Saturday September 02, @06:31AM EDT (#607)
    (User #19622 Info)
    > But there's more: There's also a serial number.

    So take your kid to RS, put his name on the forms, and tell him to scan the bejesus out of everything he sees for a week.

    Then you can send them an e-mail that says "Go directly to jail".

    --
    Inscription found at Pompeii: Nero MCCCXXXVII VkrIpVII kIddXIII est.
    How do you build a Bar Code Scanner? (Score:1)
    by doublem (mattDENIALOFSERVICEwmiller@hotTOSPAMMERSmail.com) on Friday September 01, @12:24PM EDT (#297)
    (User #118724 Info) http://users2.50megs.com/mattwmiller/
    Let's say I want to buy the parts to build a bar code scanner and hook it up to my computer. What should I do? Where do I start? Where online are there instructions? What software do I use? Can I get it to look up the ISBN of a book on Amazon?


    Matthew Miller,
    "I didn't expect her to counter my plan with nakedness!" -Riff
    Let them know how you feel (Score:1, Informative)
    by kerskine on Friday September 01, @12:34PM EDT (#312)
    (User #46804 Info) http://www.whatiflinux.com
    I just dropped a note at their website. Maybe you should too.

    Share and Enjoy


    **** "I'd never want to join a club that would have me as a member" - G. Marx
    Re:Let them know how you feel (Score:1)
    by Ivan the Terrible on Friday September 01, @01:32PM EDT (#364)
    (User #115742 Info)
    This email address should also work.
    What the... (Score:1)
    by taliver on Friday September 01, @12:35PM EDT (#313)
    (User #174409 Info)
    Ok, So I'm now licsensing the homework I've written. Any professor that reads my homework is now legally bound to give me an "A" in all classes that he has any control over. Failure to do so will result in prosecution.
    Now, who do I sue?

    Don't use your toys (Score:2)
    by rkent (rkent(at)acm.org) on Friday September 01, @12:42PM EDT (#317)
    (User #73434 Info) http://cc.kzoo.edu/~k96rk01/
    Man! I'm getting so sick of seeing companies put cool technology out there, and then go apeshit when people like it enough to really dig in and play with it. In that sense, this reminds me of the DeCSS case; no one was trying to copy DVDs, they just thought the DVD player was cool and wanted to see how it worked. More complexity to that case, I know, but that seems to be all there is to the CueCat. What possible financial damage could flyingbuttmonkeys (an awesome name, btw) be doing to radio shack?

    "We're the most ripped-off company around..." -- Bill Gates, 1980

    Bigger Picture (Score:1)
    by chchchain on Friday September 01, @12:43PM EDT (#319)
    (User #120540 Info)
    So how is this different than writing a driver for any other piece of hardware? Couldn't any encoding scheme be construed as IP by some fat lawyer?
    Why they did it (Score:2, Insightful)
    by xercist (xercist at lammah dot com) on Friday September 01, @12:49PM EDT (#324)
    (User #161422 Info) http://www.stratius.com
    Now this is just my own guess, but I've noticed many people here asking "why do they care when they're not making a profit anyway?". Here's my theory:

    Their software gives their servers the id of both the barcode you scanned, AND the id of your original cuecat. How hard is it to set the server up to remember all these, track people's scanning habbits, even know roughly where you live based on the id their software sends them? Not hard at all! I bet they're collecting massive demographic information about every one of their users, and this linux software is screwing it up for them.
    The linux drivers don't send the server your cuecat id, because I assume the author was in the its-none-of-their-damn-business mindset.

    Now the product they spent money to give away to the public is no longer collecting all the information they want, which was the whole purpose of giving it away in the first place.

    Just my opinion anyway, but I suggest you don't use their software if at all possible, if you're concerned about privacy. Hell, it probably also gives em a good look at the contents of your drive...who knows :/

    --
    I'm very interested in what you have to say. Please send your comments to /dev/null.
    A few thoughts... (Score:1, Interesting)
    by c_chimelis on Friday September 01, @01:03PM EDT (#339)
    (User #120443 Info) http://www.debian.org

    First off, as I just wrote in a reply to another message, why is it that nobody has started class-action lawsuits against "information-gathering" companies for invasion of privacy? I think end-users and other people reverse-engineering hardware/software need to start playing the game the way the corporations do: proactively. Why spend tons of money on defending against these clowns when we should be suing them for the various things that corporations always seem to do: defamation of character, invasion of privacy, misuse of information that isn't explicitely given by the end-user, etc. I say, rather than only defending against them, countersue.

    As always, IANAL, but I would be happy to ask a corporate law attorney about this type of situation (and probably will...I know a few). Coming from a background in the medical field as well, I know that, if a hospital were misusing your information, you'd be climbing all over them with lawyers. For instance, a patient who's been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS has privacy rights that extend so far that the doctor cannot even tell your spouse or blood relatives about your condition without explicit consent (which is often on paper and extremely rarely verbally given). After all, explicit and informed consent must be given to any member of the medical profession before any kind of release of information is legally allowed. Why aren't similar laws enacted that enable the same type of consent practices and protections in the technology fields? I personally don't mind if Digital Convergence gathers information about me and my scanning habits if I knowingly consent to this, but I do mind if they sell that information without my consent to a third party. A medical correlation would be me gathering patient info and selling disease and injury statistics from that info WITH patient names to a third party (which is just plain illegal).

    As I see stories quite often involving privacy and personal property, I'm beginning to wonder just what in my house is actually legally owned by me (which is sad). I think it's time that we "draw the line" and establish that the individual has rights as well and that idle threats and suits by corporations shouldn't be tolerated by the common person. I'm quite aware of the fact that many /. readers are from outside of the USA and, if the companies want to start trying to file suit against you (see DeCSS case), then you need to study the laws of your respective countries and try to establish legal precendent in this arena as well (since it's been established that you're NOT immune from prosecution or attempted prosecution at this point). For the USA folks, write your congressmen and call your lawyers. Let them know that your privacy is being threatened and that corprations are using strong-armed tactics against the individual in order to protect their profit streams, no matter how poorly thought-out their business model is. Granted, we may not get far, but if even one person wins a case against a corporation in a situation like this, it will establish a legal precendent that can be used and referred to in later cases.


    Eee Gads, BRILLIANT Brain... (Score:2)
    by Cramer (foo@bar.com) on Friday September 01, @01:10PM EDT (#346)
    (User #69040 Info) http://do.i.have.to?
    Ya know, I've got an idea...

    Why not gather up all the :Cue:Cat's from every RadioShack and where ever and microwave them... in the bag. And then mail the glowing, chared remains back to Cue (or whom ever) -- postage due of course.

    I don't know how much damage that would do to the electronics, but the CD would certainly be a gonner.
    Why a cease and desist? (Score:2)
    by pete-classic (pete_classic@hotmail.com) on Friday September 01, @01:11PM EDT (#347)
    (User #75983 Info)
    Mr. Shack: You know, I can't afford to give these things away if people are going to find non-shopping-at-radio-shack
    uses for them.

    Mr. Cat: No problem. My engineer* assure me that the device can only be used with the custom radio shack software. It
    would take an infinite number of hackers on an infinite number of keyboards until the heat death of the universe to reverse
    engineer a driver for it.

    Mr. Shack: That's a relief. If someone came up with another way to use it, I would have to sue CatCo. out of existence!

    Mr. Cat (to self):Oh, sh!t, there is a driver on freshmeat already!

    Mr. Cat (to his law firm): You guys are down one client if you can't get that driver erased from the internet!

    What do we learn from this? Nothing. We already knew that suits don't understand technology.

    *MCSE


    Try adding "<BR><BR>" at the begining of your sig.
    Their Own Game (Score:1)
    by chchchain on Friday September 01, @01:16PM EDT (#350)
    (User #120540 Info)
    Of course, if someone wanted to beat them at their own game, wouldn't it be trivial to jam their database full of bogus profiles for a given serial number? These profiles could just be white noise (randomly selected bar codes from a massive database), or they could be carefully crafted so you get junk mail from the UFO society, Frederick's, or whoever. Choose your own identity! A simple privacy reclamation web app could ask for your cat serial number, and then just submit a ton of HTTP queries to big brother. Perhaps at randomly distributed times. Perhaps with random IP sources. A more devious hacker might do this for a wide range of serial numbers, but reclaiming your own privacy (as if you were dumb enough to give it to them anyway) by diluting their database certainly seems justified.
    Cease and desist (Score:2)
    by Elvis Maximus (slashdot|AT|ryan|HYPHEN|silva|DOT|com) on Friday September 01, @01:17PM EDT (#352)
    (User #193433 Info) http://www.ryan-silva.com/

    The barcode scanner is called a CueCat (with some lame marketroid colons that I'm not using because it irritates me when people name things like that).

    Dear Sir:

    It has come to our attention that you have reverse-engineered the clever encryption scheme used in the branding of our latest technological advance, properly called :CueCat, and posted the brand name in plaintext on your website.

    We order you to cease and desist in your devilishly clever reverse-engineering and to post the product's name only in it's encrypted form.

    Sincerely,

    Digital Convergence

    -
    Give me liberty or give me something of equal or lesser value from your glossy 32-page catalog.

    I love this guy! (Score:1, Funny)
    by djrogers on Friday September 01, @01:25PM EDT (#357)
    (User #153854 Info)
    I just can't stopp luaghing at the the thought of some stuffy lawyer dictating the phrase flyingbuttmonkeys half a dozen times... And imagine the water cooler chat too: "Hey Bill, what are we doing abou the flyingbuttmonkey issue?" "Well Biff, I'm sure not gonna sit on this flyingbuttmonkey thing any longer" "Hey Sue, did you get that flyingbuttmonkey thing out for me?"
    hahahahaha...
    Doing my part (Score:2, Informative)
    by fedaykin on Friday September 01, @01:34PM EDT (#369)
    (User #165881 Info)
    it turns out that I used to work for the CEO of digital convergance at an ISP I used to work at, and helped out on his show Net Talk live.. I threw him an email to ask some questions about the actions mentioned here. I'll keep you all posted
    Free use of IEFT standards (Base64)? (Score:2, Informative)
    by Dr. Manhattan (sorceror171@hotmail.com) on Friday September 01, @01:44PM EDT (#376)
    (User #29720 Info) http://www.tir.com/~sorceror/
    I and a friend here were under the impression that if one uses an IETF standard, e.g. RFC 1341 which defines Base64 encoding, one is obligated to allow others to use it freely. I can't find an explicit statement of that yet on the IETF pages, but if this is the case it would seem that Digital Convergence would be the ones in violation.
    Re:Free use of IEFT standards (Base64)? (Score:2)
    by Xenu on Friday September 01, @05:33PM EDT (#493)
    (User #21845 Info)
    See RFC 2026, The Internet Standards Process.

    It looks like the same policy as the IEEE, standards may use patented inventions but the patent holder is required to license the patent under openly specified, reasonable, non-discriminatory terms.

    CueCat also used for Parade Magazine (Score:1)
    by Alowishus (jpenix@usa.net) on Friday September 01, @02:23PM EDT (#403)
    (User #34824 Info) http://www.nerd-out.com/apex
    Just last Sunday I saw a small article in Parade Magazine (the weekly rag that comes in your Sunday paper), saying that they are going to start placing CueCat barcodes to relevant articles/advertisements in their magazine as well.
    Use their own tactics against them (Score:1)
    by base10 (spamcan@base10.org) on Friday September 01, @02:36PM EDT (#412)
    (User #69409 Info) http://base10.org/
    I gotta wonder:

    If I send the people that make these things a letter, and in that letter, include my address and the following notice:

    "This letter contains valuable marketing material in the form of my name and address. By opening this letter you have agreed to send me 15% of your company's annual revenue in exchange for this information."

    Sure, it's outrageous, but what's the difference between their shrinkwrap licenses and this, except direct monetary compensation?

    None, methinks. So I think I'm gonna produce some letters in short order. :)
    Perl module (Score:1)
    by martial on Friday September 01, @02:42PM EDT (#416)
    (User #107984 Info) http://www.loria.fr/~michel/
    Now I am annoyed.

    I nearly finished a CPAN module for this device, it should be called "Device::CueCat", and does work by doing the extentded Base 64 xor 67 algorithm that a friend and I reverse engineered from the output of the device. I was adding a ibn/ib5 check code to it (because it not always reliable) as well as a small documentation (the code itself was 1K big), but now I am going to wait to see where this goes.

    Still, I am gonna use the software for my DVD list ... "wait to borrow a DVD ? sure, just scan it ;)"
    -- Martial MICHEL
    I've passed this to some columnists... (Score:2)
    by satch89450 (slashdot@fluent-access.com) on Friday September 01, @02:55PM EDT (#427)
    (User #186046 Info) http://www.fluent-access.net

    ...who just love this sort of stuff. I also have a feeler from a few editors.

    I'm also preparing pitches to a number of editors, some computer journals, some business magazines, some national newspapers. The story needs to come out.


    Unsolicited Merchandise == Gift (Score:1, Informative)
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, @03:00PM EDT (#431)
    The USPS says:

    Unsolicited Merchandise Federal law prohibits the shipment of unordered merchandise. Such a practice may constitute an unfair trade practice. Merchandise mailed in violation of United States Code may be treated as a gift by the recipient without any obligation to the sender. The laws governing this practice are enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. If you believe that you have received unordered merchandise in violation of federal law, contact the Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at:

    BUREAU OF CONSUMER PROTECTION

    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

    WASHINGTON DC 20580-0001

    http://new.usps.com/cpim/ftp/pub s/201/pub20110.pdf

    N.B.: The USPS is now a .COM. I guess since they lost so much money the last quarter, they'd be cool, too.

    Go to the source, luke! (Score:1, Informative)
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, @03:07PM EDT (#434)
    (posting this again, this time non-anonymously)
    The lawfirm of Kenyon and Kenyon are active in the IP (Intellectual Property) arena, and their website is at www.kenyon.com. The partner who wrote this CnD letter, James Rosini has an email address jrosini@kenyon.com.
    I think instead of just grumbling about these things here, we should make an attempt to have a discussion with Mr. Rosini, and try to convey to him what we think is wrong with his thinking.
    Look, Mommy! A moron!!! (Score:1)
    by cantherius on Friday September 01, @03:13PM EDT (#439)
    (User #63843 Info)
    God almighty!!! Did I miss "drop your brain and forget everything you ever learned in your entire life" day? AHHHHH!!!!!
    Readerware (Score:2)
    by rw2 on Friday September 01, @03:17PM EDT (#442)
    (User #17419 Info) http://www.objenv.com
    I wonder why they don't send a nastygram to the folks at http://www.readerware.com/ also?
    Re:Readerware (Score:2)
    by rw2 on Friday September 01, @03:31PM EDT (#444)
    (User #17419 Info) http://www.objenv.com
    Or these guys http://sourceforge.net/projects/jbiblioteca/


    Marketdroid Colon? (Score:2, Funny)
    by DougLandry (info@deltadesign.com) on Friday September 01, @03:54PM EDT (#448)
    (User #27581 Info) http://www.pbzone.com
    Taco says:

    The barcode
                              scanner is called a CueCat (with some lame marketroid colons that I'm not using because it irritates me when
                              people name things like that).

    And he runs the site named "/."

    Another Solution (Score:2, Interesting)
    by Sun_Tzu99 on Friday September 01, @03:56PM EDT (#451)
    (User #224988 Info)
    One solution would be for anyone who has registered the software and submitied personal information to contact the company and demand that they remove that information. Federal Law says that all personal information about you is your property and must be returned/destroyed at your request (with a few loop-holes for law enforcment, etc) Thats right your medical records, school records, etc are all your property and must be given to you on request. If everyone registers and then demends that there information be removed we can bog down their servers/work force and make them really pay!
    ___________________
    He who laughs last... Thinks slowest
    John Huncke (Score:2, Insightful)
    by SonOfFlubber on Friday September 01, @04:06PM EDT (#456)
    (User #14544 Info)
    Notice that on the second page of the letter from KENYON & KENYON they cc: a certain John Huncke, Digital:Convergence Executive Vice President of Business Affairs. From checking his bio linked above, you can see that he previously was an attorney for various media corporations and "a clerk at The Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Arkansas during Hillary Clinton's tenure", which should tell you a lot about his outlook towards intellectual property and innovation.
    Why would RS allow this (Score:1)
    by Scorcher on Friday September 01, @04:21PM EDT (#462)
    (User #86738 Info)
    Radio Shack is one of the last companies I would expect to see this from. They were the hardware hobbiest's friend for many many years and I have built a lot of small projects and prototypes using their parts. Used to be, stuff came with schematics in the manuals. They were open with everything. Even sold the Color Computer ROM dissasembly books in some stores.

    Now their hardware selection is almost nothing and they are tolerating this harassment of people for figuring out how use to hardware they give away. What is the world coming to?

    (If Radio Shack said stop the harassement, surely this dinky little company would have no real choice).

    Class-action countersuit??? (Score:2)
    by WillWare on Friday September 01, @04:30PM EDT (#471)
    (User #11935 Info) http://world.std.com/~wware/
    Is anybody keeping track of these wild-ass flagrant miscarriages of the legal system? There seems to have been a bizarre abundance of them just in the last few weeks. Most of them seem to involve the usurpage of rights for individuals to further the interest of corporations. The corporations seem to have the financial means to redirect the legal system, rendering the Constitution inert.

    If these bizarre things could be compiled into an on-line database, perhaps it would ease the research burden of any idealistic lawyer who feels like attempting a counter-suit. Or maybe the EFF or the Greens or some such group could organize a class-action suit, on behalf of all U.S. citizens who aren't corporations.

    cease and desist this. (Score:1)
    by Ice Station Zebra on Friday September 01, @04:47PM EDT (#475)
    (User #18124 Info) http://%7D--%3C__(-|-)__%3E--%7B.com
    Spread the word these :cuecat sucks. Lets have a contest and see who can collect the most. #include stdio.h #include stdlib.h #include string.h #include ctype.h #include sys/time.h #include sys/types.h #include unistd.h #include "libcue.h" main(int argc, char **argv) { char sample[2048]; struct chunks *c; int bs; char *s; if (argc > 1) { c=convert(argv[1]); if (c != NULL) { if (c->data != NULL) { decode_type(c); if (c->formatted != NULL) { printf("%s\t%s\t%s\t%s\t%s\n", c->head, c->serial, c->ctype, c->data,c->formatted); } else { printf("%s\t%s\t%s\t%s\t\n", c->head, c->serial, c->ctype, c->data); }; }; free(c->serial); free(c->data); free(c); }; } else { while(1) { bs=read(0, sample, 2047); sample[bs]=0; c=convert(sample); if (c != NULL) { if (c->data != NULL) { decode_type(c); if (c->formatted != NULL) { printf("%s\t%s\t%s\t%s\t%s\n", c->head, c->serial, c->ctype, c->data,c->formatted); } else { printf("%s\t%s\t%s\t%s\t\n", c->head, c->serial, c->ctype, c->data); }; }; free(c->serial); free(c->data); if (c->formatted != NULL) { free(c->formatted); }; free(c); }; }; }; };
    Freeeeee!!! (Score:1, Interesting)
    by TrenchWarrior on Friday September 01, @04:47PM EDT (#476)
    (User #219169 Info)
    If anyone takes the time and visits RadioShack's website they will see that RadioShack is giving away the CueCat for FREE... It clearly states that . An item that is given away free has no value. An item that has no value is a poor candidate for court action. I've seen radio shack paper adds also stating they are giving away the CueCat for FREE. If anyone might be out of line legally it might be RadioShack in reference to Digital Convergences EULA... FREE does not mean that I'm loaning it to you and have the right to take it back if I dont like how you use it... If Digital Convergence is insistant on this amazingly silly tactic, it only make people very irratated at Radio Shack... and with the Christmas Season approaching does Radio Shack want ANY negative consumer actions. If Radio Shack does NOT have Digital Convergence issue an appology then I believe Radio Shack should be held responsible for FALSE ADVERTISING... Oh yeah the bar code reader is the UGLIEST one I have ever seen... FREE is probably the only way I'd ever hold one. TW
    Soft thoughts bend metal.. Pure thoughts cleave steel.
    Re:Freeeeee!!! (Score:1)
    by hungerfan on Friday September 01, @05:00PM EDT (#482)
    (User #225474 Info)
    HEY NOW! I helped design that ugly scanner! :) I had no option in the matter though. They said..give it some ears and make it look like a cat about to pounce on something. So I did what any good wage-slave would do. shheeessh...ugly is such a harsh word.
    The EULA applies ... you are using the software. (Score:1)
    by latham on Friday September 01, @04:54PM EDT (#478)
    (User #9839 Info)
    I've read in a lot of these post where people claim "I just opend the bag and plugged it in. And I threw away the CD. So I I didn't use the software and therefore, I'm not bound by the EULA."

    Well, what do you think is producing the datastream that you are grabbing? A microcontroller with some custom software. So while you didn't use the software on the CD, you are using Digital:Convergence's software. And any lawyer will argue that the EULA covers both end-user software and the software embedded in the barcode reader.

    So bottom line, your screwed and bound by the EULA if you used the barcode reader.
    Re:The EULA applies ... you are using the software (Score:1)
    by RuphSkunk on Friday September 01, @08:03PM EDT (#529)
    (User #22588 Info)
    But if you received the product in the mail unsolicited...then the EULA is null and void. Read the federal postal code here
    just a front (Score:1)
    by bigsweatyballs (hot18teenslut@fbi.gov) on Friday September 01, @05:14PM EDT (#487)
    (User #212748 Info)
    Maybe the "invasion of privace" isn't the address and name, number, ect.

    Perhaps their software transmits the books' titles you scaned to a centralized database and can sell your reading habits a the end result is: your ass be spammed. Whereas the linux software is clean and healthy(well maybe not clean...)

    later,
    freeze
    at least someone there... (Score:1)
    by jbridge21 (woevqtr21 ng ab fcnz qbg rneguyvat qbg arg) on Friday September 01, @05:46PM EDT (#499)
    (User #90597 Info) http://w3.to/jbridge21/
    ...isn't TOTALLY clueless:

    Not Found

    The requested URL /faq.html was not found on this server.

    Apache/1.3.12 Server at www.digitalconvergence.com Port 80

    (my bold)


    -----
    Here's MY mirror: diddl.firehead.org/censor
    Re:at least someone there... (Score:1)
    by weld on Friday September 01, @06:01PM EDT (#502)
    (User #4477 Info)
    there is a faq at www.crq.com/faq.html You can also order a free one from their site if you give them your address. -weld
    Re:at least someone there... (Score:1)
    by ParrotDroppings (dont.bother.me@all) on Friday September 01, @06:17PM EDT (#509)
    (User #171035 Info) http://members.home.nl/seti/
    order a free one
    WRONG!
    It is true they do not charge you for the product but they do charge you for the S&H, and that does not constitute as free in my book.

    I still ordered it to see if they would ship it overseas ;-) not expecting it to happen but it would be fun if they did.
    I have my 300+ books already lined up for scanning...

    ---
    Free ?! Does that mean I can't get a Discount ?!
    Re:at least someone there... (Score:1)
    by jbridge21 (woevqtr21 ng ab fcnz qbg rneguyvat qbg arg) on Friday September 01, @06:27PM EDT (#514)
    (User #90597 Info) http://w3.to/jbridge21/
    thanks! I just got the digitalconvergence.com/faq.html link off of Google, so I thought that it might actually exist, but then again maybe not.

    -----
    Here's MY mirror: diddl.firehead.org/censor
    CueCat not a waste (Score:1)
    by mashy on Friday September 01, @05:48PM EDT (#500)
    (User #135839 Info)
    So now that the CueCat sits useless on your desk, try putting it behind one of those unfinished caffeine cocktails.. creates a nice radioactive effect with the lights out.
    And I still do not have it ... (Score:1)
    by ParrotDroppings (dont.bother.me@all) on Friday September 01, @06:11PM EDT (#505)
    (User #171035 Info) http://members.home.nl/seti/
    Hellooooo Woooorld!!!!

    I am living in the Netherlands (as in: that small country in Europe between Germany and the United Kingdom (a.k.a. Britain a.k.a. England)).
    I ordered the KutKat [play on words here] online and they do not state on their website and orderform that the product is not to go abroad.

    Their conformation recieved by e-mail:
    Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2000 00:45:20 -0700
    X-Priority: 1
    X-MSMail-Priority: High
    Importance: High
    X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.50.4133.2400
    X-OriginalArrivalTime: 25 Aug 2000 07:45:20.0468 (UTC) FILETIME=[6B395140:01C00E68]

    Thank you for ordering the :CueCat Kit.!

    Your free :CRQ software and :CueCat will arrive shortly.
    You'll only be charged shipping and handling as indicated below.
    Your :CueCat Kit also includes a free Convergence Cable so your TV can talk to your computer, a $7.95 value, free, for ordering online.

    Thanks again for becoming Digitally Converged.
    Your life online is about to change forever!

    Quantity Ordered: 1 Shipping and Handling: $9.95 (Normal Shipping)


    Now, as I ordered by way of creditcard I presume they will try to cash my order or at least confirm the validity of my creditcard, what should I do?
    Call the creditcard company to block their reciept {sp?}
    or what?

    By the by; I still have not recieved the KutKat [word-joke again] and now do not expect it at all, or are they that simple-minded that the take the addition of "-The Netherlands" after the city fo granted and mail it anyway?

    I'll submit updates as they become available and y'all be the secong to know (because I will be the first ;-)

    {thank /. for the preview-button} And that Digitally Converged thingy sounds like there is a bucketload of Bytes streaming through their Intestines and refusing to pASS the gate.
    My life online has been changed forever because I am now suffering from a /.-addiction ;-)
    I wonder what other uses the KutKat has; hmmmm... let's call it an "Adult Toy"(TM) as I fear graphic descriptions are frowned upon here...

    Let's say I'd like to use the Convergence Cable to string them up so the soles of their shoes can really be free from the dirt of the Earth. Gives a whole new meaning to "booting" does it not?

    Greetings and Sympathy from a {still} Free country on the other continent.

    {squawk} Pollie wants a Cookie

    ---
    Free ?! Does that mean I can't get a Discount ?!
    Re:And I still do not have it ... (Score:1)
    by ParrotDroppings (dont.bother.me@all) on Friday September 01, @06:13PM EDT (#506)
    (User #171035 Info) http://members.home.nl/seti/
    And to think I blew all my moderation-points on this ... sheesh, sometimes you can not have it all

    ---
    Free ?! Does that mean I can't get a Discount ?!
    Get your cuecat's now!!! (Score:1)
    by chipwich on Friday September 01, @06:18PM EDT (#511)
    (User #131556 Info)
    Given the poor consumer relations and business practices of digital convergence, I think our course of action (as a group) is clear and probably even legal:

    1) Obtain and "misuse" as many cuecat's as possible - Do not sign anything at RS when you pick it up, and certainly don't open that useless software with the EULA on it. Suggested uses for CueCat are: generic barcode reader, cat toy, paperweight, etc. Anything *except* uses which aid digital convergence's business model.

    2) Tell people what you are doing and why... it doesn't help unless they can see what their silly letter has brought upon them. Tell forbes, digital convergence, radioshack, etc.

    How many cuecat's do YOU have?

    Forget :Cue:Cat - Time to create GNU-Cat! (Score:1, Interesting)
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, @06:35PM EDT (#518)
    It should take little more than a PIC microcontroller, LED, Phototransistor, a keyboard extension cable cut in half, and a small bit of code to make a simple keyboard wedge.



    Such a design would not be free, but it would be Free.



    And ironically enough, most of the parts are available at your local Radio Shack...

    Federal Postal law (IANAL) (Score:2, Interesting)
    by RuphSkunk on Friday September 01, @06:43PM EDT (#521)
    (User #22588 Info)
    This seems to be very relevant:

  • US Code Title 39, Part IV, Chapter 30, Section 3009. Here is an excerpt:

    (b) Any merchandise mailed in violation of subsection (a) of this section, or within the exceptions contained therein, may be treated as a gift by the recipient, who shall have the right to retain, use, discard, or dispose of it in any manner he sees fit without any obligation whatsoever to the sender. All such merchandise shall have attached to it a clear and conspicuous statement informing the recipient that he may treat the merchandise as a gift to him and has the right to retain, use, discard, or dispose of it in any manner he sees fit without any obligation whatsoever to the sender.

    This section also references Title 15, Chapter 2, Subchapter 1, Section 45, regarding unfair business practices. I thing The barcode scanner manufactures could sue DigitalDirtbags on unlawful distribution.


  • cuecat mirror (Score:1)
    by bahamat on Friday September 01, @07:24PM EDT (#526)
    (User #187909 Info)
    This may not show up in the replies, but maybe it will. If anyone wants a copy of cuecat, I've got it on my ftp server, here
    Mirror/links (Score:2, Informative)
    by kgasso (slashdot-comments@bofh.blort.org) on Friday September 01, @08:23PM EDT (#534)
    (User #60204 Info) http://bofh.blort.org/
    Okay, there's probably a few out there already. Why not just say, "me too!" and hop in on it.

    http://blort.org/cuecat/

    Happily accepting corrections and additions. :)
    --
    Kameron Gasso [slashdot-comments@bofh.blort.org]

    Another mirror (Score:2, Informative)
    by jmorris42 (jmorris@beau.org) on Friday September 01, @08:59PM EDT (#541)
    (User #1458 Info) http://www.beau.org/~jmorris

    Ok, this has gone far enough.

    Here's my mirror of one of the packages, a description of the encoding and a taunt for Digital Convergance to 'come get some'.

    http://www.beau.lib.la.us/~jmorris/linux/cuecat
    A suggestion for Mr. Rothwell (Score:1)
    by jhr on Friday September 01, @09:52PM EDT (#556)
    (User #125494 Info)
    1. Buy a new dual-processor alpha.
    2. Find a high-bandwidth connection.
    3. Install the oldest version of slackware you can find.
    4. Don't change the default install.
    5. Name the machine unhackable.flyingbuttmonkeys.com.
    6. Put a directory under root's home directory called private.
    7. In this directory put the cuecat software in a file called intellectual_property.tar.gz
    8. Make it mode 0.
    9. IRC to any IRC server that will let you as root. I suggest #warez.
    10. Wait for the inevitable.
    Cuecat Experiences (Score:1)
    by Scrag (Scragno7h@nospam.hotmail.com) on Friday September 01, @09:56PM EDT (#559)
    (User #137843 Info)
    My experiences with the CueCat can be found here: CueCat Experiences
    There are pictures of the product in the packaging it came in, and the license agreement.

    --To decode this comment into a readable form, rot13 it twice.--
    Mirror List (Score:1)
    by Periwinkle (peri@SPAMMYWHAMMY.logorrhea.com) on Friday September 01, @09:59PM EDT (#561)
    (User #23090 Info) http://www.logorrhea.com
    I have a mirror list of all the mirrors mentioned on slashdot. If you wish you add a mirror, email me at peri@logorrhea.com

    Mirror list: http://www.logorrhea.com/cuecat/mirror s.html

    I eat dog. Free DVDs. Horray!
    -John
    Thanks everybody ! (Score:1)
    by Rosco P. Coltrane on Friday September 01, @10:45PM EDT (#573)
    (User #209368 Info)
    I just wanted to thank you all for your responses and support.

    Take care !
                                        ////\
                                        (@ @)
    --------------oOOo-(_)-oOOo---------------
    Pierre-Philippe Coupard
    Software Engineer, Lineo, Inc.
    Email : pierre@lineo.com
    Phone : (801) 426-5001 x 208
    ------------------------------------------
    Patent coming Soon! (Score:1)
    by neilmjoh (neil.johnson@motorola.com) on Friday September 01, @11:19PM EDT (#578)
    (User #156292 Info) http://www.interl.net/~njohnson
    Let me guess .... They soon will be getting a patent on "A Method for Accessing Electronic Content" or some sort of other nonsense. -Neil Johnson
    These guys are funded by Microsoft (Score:2)
    by Skapare (cuvy@vcny.arg.rot13) on Friday September 01, @11:40PM EDT (#580)
    (User #16644 Info) http://linuxhomepage.com/
    These guys are funded by Microsoft. If you doubt it, check out Net Talk Live, another one of their operations here in Dallas. If anyone does get into a legal process with them, be sure to demand in discovery to see all the agreements they have made with Microsoft to ensure that only Windows gets any support from this device.


    Ths siG is kurentlee n alFa rleese verzun 0.0.0.0.-1a
    Re:These guys are funded by Microsoft (Score:1)
    by zakezuke on Sunday September 03, @09:35PM EDT (#640)
    (User #229119 Info)
    Microsoft may be a big corperate evil, but they are not IDIOTS. Case in point, should this have been a Microsoft(tm) policy, Microsoft(tm) would have issued similar orders in regards to "Microsoft Compatible Mice(tm)" being used on NON-microsoft systems. How many linux users are using, "Microsoft Compatble(tm)" Mice? Everyone on the PC platform? Thought so. Microsoft's Staff (tm) are much more likely to engage in hostice, preemptive proactive activities, but they are not dolts. While Microsoft Employee's (tm) would claim that the "Microsoft Mouse Protocal" (tm) is the property of Microsoft, even a Microsoft Employee (tm) would not to be dumb enough to sugest that only Microsoft Systems (TM) could use Microsoft Compatable Mice (tm). It's just a mouse after all. Not after the goverment shot down their case in regarads to their ownership of the mouse. Concept 2: Microsoft does have a vested interest in the Mac(tm), and it's in their best interest to make their software compatable with the Mac(tm) This is a case about rights. If Digital Convergence is granted to right to make it so that their product is only compatable with a set of machines of their choosing, then it does give Microsoft(tm) the power to issue the same rules regarding Microsoft Compatable Mice (tm), which would trully create an unfair market place. The only power Digital Convergence (TM) should have in regards to their hardware products is the power to choose who to release their white papers to. It's just an attempt to make up for the fact that Xerox didn't take their chance to take ownership of the Mouse, so another company is going to try with the Cat. Sorry Charley, 20 years too late.
    My Response (Score:1)
    by The Original Bobski on Friday September 01, @11:56PM EDT (#584)
    (User #52567 Info)
    Ok, I know there isn't a snowball's chance that anyone will see this. There are already too many posts. However, this is my response to Digitial Convergence:

    ----
    I'm normally a pretty rational guy. I don't get very upset about much of anything. BUT. Get your heads out of your stinking asses you nitwits! Get a grip on reality. Find out who the real enemy is (in your case Pogo has you pegged).

    Don't fight the largest grassroots movement this planet has ever seen. Don't be deceived by preliminary injunctions. This movement is too big. All who get in its way will be ultimately crushed.

    Believe it people. I'm not some pimple faced kiddie. I've been watching this movement from a distance for a time now. From a distance because I'm too old to become a part of it. But I am not too old to know when major changes in cultural direction are taking place.

    This one's big, folks. Either make these new forces your allies, or die a bloody death (business-wise, I'm not an idiot).
    ----
    Re:My Response (Score:1)
    by zakezuke on Monday September 04, @03:16PM EDT (#646)
    (User #229119 Info)
    Clearly you need more fiber in your diet if your movements are that big.
    My letter to digitalconvergence.com (Score:2)
    by KodaK (kodak@asi-computers.com) on Saturday September 02, @12:44AM EDT (#592)
    (User #5477 Info)
    To whom it may concern:

    When I first heard about the Cuecat device I must admit
    I was impressed. I wanted one and, hey, it's free!

    Imagine my dismay when on the same *day* I picked up
    a Cuecat from Radio Shack your company and it's lawyers
    decided to issue a cease-and-desist letter to the author
    of one of the few peices of cuecat decoding software
    for my choice of operating system. I am not pleased.

    As I'm sure you're aware, the Sega vs. Accolade case
    (among others) solidified the legality of the reverse
    engineering of technology for the purposes of
    interopability. You cannot use an unenforceable licence
    to stifle it, nor can your bullying tactics dam the flood
    of Free Software Cuecat decoders.

    The way I see it you have two choices. 1) Continue your
    fruitless bullying efforts and alienate the entire
    Free Software and Open Source community (incedently,
    said communities are composed of very, very influental
    personalities.) 2) Embrace the Free Software and
    Open Source communities and work *WITH* the authors
    designing Cuecat software (and possibly *gasp* contribute
    *code* to their projects...) and reap the benefits of
    an expanded user base.

    The choice is yours, though the only reason I can
    imagine you not opting for choice 2 is that you're
    doing something unspeakable in the guts of your
    C.R.Q. software.

    I myself an am influential person. I provide support
    and advice for many companies and individuals in the
    St. Louis area. If your lawyer-dogs are not reigned
    in promptly I will have no choice but to caution
    my family, friends and my paying customers to not
    use your Cuecat device, your Convergance Cable device nor,
    especially, your C.R.Q. software.

    I have already downloaded several alternative Cuecat
    decoding software packages. The most useful of which
    is a book cataloging package. I intend to use and share
    these pieces of software freely. I also intend to use
    my skills to improve and refine them. This can not be
    illegal, nor I might add immoral. You have given me a
    device that can be used for more than it's intended
    purpose, and for that I thank you.

    In closing, I'd like to add that people like me, hobbiests,
    hackers, and just plain inquisitive people made the Internet
    into the tool that it is today. The tool that you use
    for your marketing purposes and the tool you have based
    your business model on. Let me re-iterate: Hackers
    built the Internet. It is not wise to raise the ire of
    the same people who provide you with your email. Your
    web services. Who create the protocols you depend on.
    Who route your packets. You want bullying? Well there
    it is.

    Re7+!!

    End Game. Your move.


    --J(K) Why is Unix so violent? Pound, Bang, Slash....
    Rest in pieces (Score:1)
    by Wokan on Saturday September 02, @12:55AM EDT (#593)
    (User #14062 Info) http://members.xoom.com/wokan/
    My boss got one of these. Brought it in to me at work to ask me about it. Glad I recommended he not install it. Personally, I want to send it back to them, but broken into many little pieces. (Including the software, especially if it can be smashed in the packaging. If these things are being given away free, why don't we all exercise a little civil disobediance and return our broken bar code readers. Be sure to get one from every location offering them that you can. Then have plenty of hammers ready. Fun for the whole family.
    Digital Wokan
    I wanted to spend 8 years defending the US constitution.
    I spent 8 years defending American corporate interests. FTN
    Check your soup cans online! (Score:1)
    by Crusadio (crusadio@NOyahooSPAM.com) on Saturday September 02, @01:22AM EDT (#595)
    (User #30981 Info)
    Here is a cool link to an online UPC database that lets you scan an item's barcode with the CueCat and find out what it is (of course, you could read the item's label, but that wouldn't be any fun :)

    - Crusadio

    :Fuck:Off (Score:1)
    by Rogain on Saturday September 02, @04:14AM EDT (#602)
    (User #91755 Info)
    Scumbags!

    "Oh gee, someone is not using the thing we gave away to spend money!!!! The damn commie bastards!! Sue, Sue!!!!!"
    Java code, too (Score:1)
    by Jeremy Traub on Saturday September 02, @05:03AM EDT (#605)
    (User #211072 Info)
    There's also Java code for reading CueCat output and cataloging it into a book collection at: http://freshmeat.net/projects/jqkat/homepage/ - Jeremy
    GET RICH QUICK! (Score:1)
    by SUWAIN on Saturday September 02, @07:46AM EDT (#608)
    (User #223234 Info)
    Do you want to make lots of money quick? You can be a millionaire! Here's all you have to do:

    Handwrite someone a note. Sue whoever taught them to read. Why? Your handwriting is a proprietary algorithm.

    I'm going to become richer than Bill Gates... Then I'll handwrite _him_ a letter.

    ...............
    SUWAIN: Slashdot User Without An Interesting Name
    /dev/brain > /dev/null

    Radio Shack's Response (Score:1)
    by eap (consumer@the-dma.org) on Saturday September 02, @12:09PM EDT (#612)
    (User #91469 Info)
    Here is the response I received after notifying Radio Shack of my boycott:

    Hello:

    Thanks for the email. However, the company that filed the order is Digital Convergence, not RadioShack.

    RadioShack is not involved in the software development for the Cue Cat. There are plans for a McIntosh version of the software to be made available by Digital Convergence, but your questions and comments regarding the software issues should be directed to Digital Convergence. They may be reached via the following site:

    http://www.digitalconvergence.com/contact/index.html

    Regards,

    Chuck McConvey Customer Care Center

    The letter seems to indicate a misunderstanding of the issue on Radio Shack's part. They seem to believe the main concern is that a Linux version of the cue cat software is not available, when the real issue is that of a company using lawyers to extinguish our right to reverse engineer.

    Radio Shack doesn't seem to realize that by supporting Digital Convergence, they are supporting this behavior. I will continue my boycott until they act otherwise.
    7 73 179

    Why not Optical Mice Reading Barcodes? (Score:1)
    by topham on Saturday September 02, @02:34PM EDT (#617)
    (User #32406 Info)

    As I understand it, the new optical mice use a ccd to grab an image about 1000/second, analys it and determin how much, and in which direction the mouse has moved. Why not allow the mouse to read, and decode barcodes too?

    I admit, as scanners, the current crop of optical mice would not be particularly good. You have no specific idea where the sensor is. But, relocating the sensor to the (for example) top, left corner could make it viable.


    Cue, the property University of Birmingham (Score:1)
    by zakezuke on Sunday September 03, @09:45PM EDT (#641)
    (User #229119 Info)
    http://www-clg.bham.ac.uk/CUE/
    http://www.clg.bham.ac.uk/CUE/uk/ac/bham/clg/cue/corpus/CueCat.html

    CUE version 1.3

    Copyright (C) 1997 by The University of Birmingham and Oliver Mason for versions beyond 1.0, and

    Copyright (C) 1997 The University of Birmingham, Oliver Mason and John Sinclair up to and including version 1.0

      This software is free for non-commercial use; for commercial use please contact the author at the address below.

      THE AUTHOR MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES ABOUT THE SUITABILITY OF THE SOFTWARE, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MECHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. THE AUTHOR SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES SUFFERED BY LICENSEE AS A
      RESULT OF USING, MODIFYING OR DISTRIBUTING THIS SOFTWARE OR ITS DERIVATIVES.

      -- Oliver Mason, O.Mason@bham.ac.uk

    Sounds like a violation of Intelectual Property (tm) to me, this Cue as nothing to do with :Cue or :Crq, but never the less this is the man one needs to speak with to make any sort of reference to "CUE" or "CUECAT", as his copywrite is the older.


    Deforestation (Score:2)
    by mirko (mirko@myfamilyname.org) on Monday September 04, @02:52AM EDT (#644)
    (User #198274 Info) http://www.vidovic.org/mirko
    Have you seen the letter paper headers ?
    I wonder if they renew it each time staff changes occur...
    --
    Hi, I'm a .sig Virus, put me in yours :-)
    don't link isbns to amazon (Score:1)
    by tregoweth on Monday September 04, @06:19PM EDT (#649)
    (User #13591 Info) http://pobox.com/~jyoung/

    If you're gonna have ISBNs automatically go to a Web site, it would be better to have 'em go to something like ISBN.nu, which lists prices at many stores, not just the dreaded Amazon.



    -j


    Another silly idea. (Score:1)
    by FroMan (daya@csis.gvsu.edu) on Tuesday September 05, @11:18AM EDT (#651)
    (User #111520 Info) http://www.csis.gvsu.edu/~daya

    Okey, so they really want to declare war over people writing linux drivers, huh? Well, this is going to be a reasonabley small number anyways, so their market research isn't going to be lost from us Linux users. It the M$ users that, is where they are going to get the majority of their information from for market research. Lets write some M$ drivers and distribute these on the net. Like at shareware.com, or where ever windows users get their software from.

    Also, another fun little thing to do is set up something to repeatedly scan garbage items, such as, say M$ software boxes. And just have it scan them for hours on end, screw with their data. Or scan silly things.


    'init' is the mother or all processes...
    Really lame complaint (Score:2)
    by Animats (slashdot-replies@animats.com) on Tuesday September 05, @12:40PM EDT (#656)
    (User #122034 Info) http://www.animats.com
    That's a really lame cease-and-desist letter.

    Also, they apparently mail these things out unsolicited. In the U.S., that makes them a gift, according to Federal law. (39 U.S.C. 3009) The recipient has no obligations regarding unsolicited merchandise. The sender can't even ask for it back.

    AH HA! (Score:1)
    by klasiphyd on Tuesday September 05, @04:52PM EDT (#661)
    (User #19890 Info)
    It looks like Digital Convergence is using the information that is sent to them during the registration process and associating that with an "Activation Code" in their database. Then, everytime an item is scaned, the "Activation Code" is sent with it. So... when users start scanning everything they own, just for the fun of it, Digital Convergence starts a nice little database of demographic information connected to what goods you have purchased, which books you read, what cd's you listen to, etc, etc. They are outraged because the software created by the Linux community has no concern for assiting them in accurately building their database. It sends "ACTIVATIONCODE" as the activation code. That provides them with no useful information whatsoever. Things are starting to make sense now.
    Re:Barcode Scanner? (Score:1)
    by puck71 on Friday September 01, @10:36AM EDT (#27)
    (User #223721 Info)
    because it's FREE damn it! and it's pretty cool, i guess
    For vocational training (Score:1)
    by georgeha on Friday September 01, @10:40AM EDT (#38)
    (User #43752 Info) http://www.frontiernet.net/~ghaberbe/george2.htm
    You know, when you get fired for downloading pron, you can always get as a cashier.

    George
    Re:Barcode Scanner? (Score:2, Informative)
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, @10:51AM EDT (#77)
    Well, here's what I did with my barcode scanner: scanned in my entire book collection, grabbed the catalog data from Amazon (etc), and turned it into a database. 1500 books in a weekend. If I had done that by hand, it would have taken weeks.

    Note that I didn't use a CueCat. This was several months ago, before the CueCat program started -- I just went out and bought a scanner. Nonetheless, you could do the same thing, and I've gotten email from people who plan to.

    Feel free to use my code. Python scripts, GPL, kind of ugly (and note that one needs correction since Amazon changed their page layout.)


    Cheaper beer and groceries (Score:1)
    by Hairy_Potter (T_Rone@hotmail.com) on Friday September 01, @10:54AM EDT (#80)
    (User #219096 Info) http://members.xoom.com/T_rone/T_RONE.HTM
    You scan in the barcode for some cheap-ass Americn swill, and print it on a label.

    Verify that the barcode is good with the CueCat, then go to your local market.

    Slap the sticker on something decent, maybe Grolsch or Sierra Nevada or Guinness.

    Yum, a six-pack for $2.99, don't know why it scans as Milwaukee's best, must be a computer error.

    Heh-heh-heh.
    Re:Cheaper beer and groceries (Score:1)
    by luckykaa (squigly@maxmail.co.uk) on Friday September 01, @11:08AM EDT (#125)
    (User #134517 Info)
    Why not just photocopy the barcode onto sticky labels?
    Re:Cheaper beer and groceries (Score:1)
    by Hairy_Potter (T_Rone@hotmail.com) on Friday September 01, @11:14AM EDT (#138)
    (User #219096 Info) http://members.xoom.com/T_rone/T_RONE.HTM
    Why not just photocopy the barcode onto sticky labels?

    It would take a bit of work to put a barcode on each label, and then you have to hope that the barcodes printed fine enough.

    Really, this CueCat thing sounds pretty lame, one more way for people to spend money.
    you can read it manually (Score:1)
    by ArchieBunker (root@[127.0.0.1]) on Friday September 01, @12:23PM EDT (#296)
    (User #132337 Info) http://www.netcraft.com/whats/?host=www.stallman.org
    Its no big secret, remember that school that had the kids social security numbers in a barcode? Well they learned how to read it.
    http://www.netcraft.com/whats/?host=www.stallman.org
    Uhm..Duh. (Score:2)
    by NetJunkie (jason@planetportal.n.o.spam.com) on Friday September 01, @12:29PM EDT (#303)
    (User #56134 Info)
    Of course they track what you scan. That's the whole idea of these devices. They aren't just being nice and giving you something. They expect marketing data in return.
    Re:Slashdot Friends!!! (Score:1)
    by david duncan scott on Friday September 01, @12:49PM EDT (#325)
    (User #206421 Info)
    The state of Maryland (yay for my home!) used to have a Censor Board that screened (in both sense) all movies shown here (it was shut down as a boondoggle some twenty years ago). The common presumption was that the Board was made up of slavering porn freaks and popcorn addicts who were happy to sit through anything and everything just for the odd flash of breast or something.

    Of course, we also had The Block and Blaze Starr and all that, making the whole moral-Maryland thing a bit foolish, but that never stopped a state-funded group before.

    Re:Everybody Needs One! (Score:1)
    by wuffie on Friday September 01, @09:42PM EDT (#553)
    (User #228183 Info)
    Got 10 already. Going back tomorrow for more.

    Computers will not be perfected until they can compute how much more than the estimate the job will cost.

     



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