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That's it. From this point forward when I hear someone waxing beautifically about hwo "great" Apple is, I will be linking to this story. And others. To show them how tyrannical the company has truly become.
Ok, I'm with you on the privacy thing. You know Apple has security cameras at their stores, so there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. But take a minute and think about what this guy did - he wrote literal spyware. Specifically, he wrote a program, secretly installed it on a computer he didn't own and used that program to relay information back to him. If he did that at my office, on my equipment (ok, the company equipment) I'd lose my mind. I'd call the the cops, FBI, and yeah, sure, the secret service.
Wired, you suck. I think this guy did some creepy, messed up stuff and you gave him a free pass because it was in the name of "art" and you can sell magazines by dumping on [Apple/HP/Microsoft]. Let's pick his brain for a moment:
The next week, I got some pings from Apple in Cupertino. I looked through the logs and tried to reconstruct what was happening. I saw a few pings from one computer, a few from another. Sometimes multiple copies of the app were running. I even had a vague sense of when they took their lunch break.
What if this guy wasn't an artist? What if worked for a competitor who was trying to get a headcount at a certain store? Would that change the story? I love art as much as the next man, and sure, it's an interesting idea, but the but the guy has earned what he's received.
The point of government research is to learn something new, whether it works or not.
FTFY. Commercial research, as you pointed out further down, includes product development. (Of course, it also includes developing things that help you develop the products as well.) Xerox PARC was/is funded by the sale of copy machines. It isn't unreasonable to require researchers to focus on developing products that help fund more research.
You shouldn't expect Xerox to fund projects that are solely designed to learn something new. Sometimes they will and that is great, but at the end of the day, the responsibility for funding high-risk research (the research that commercial labs often build upon) rests solely on the government.
As I understand it (oblig IANAL), if you can pass a state bar exam, you are a lawyer in that state. You don't have to prove your education in law, or have affiliation with any recognized lawyers' associations. You just need to prove you know everything you could have learned in law school, but didn't. As it is, you can represent yourself in a court of law and it's a bonus if you actually know the protocol, so you are, for all purposes, a lawyer for yourself (Yes, I know there's a difference between representing yourself versus someone else.)
You understand it incorrectly. Passing the state bar exam is one barrier to entry (a VERY DIFFICULT barrier), but you also have to pass the MPRE (an ethics exam), possibly take an additional ethics course (if you're in New York, like I am) and finally, submit an application to the court for admission. The application is very thorough - I just sent mine in and had to include reference letters from every attorney I ever worked with and had to list every job and residence I've had for the last ten-odd years. Here's a link to the packet, if you want to look it over. After you have submitted the packet, you get grilled by the character and fitness committee and then, if you make it through that step, you become a lawyer.
I believe that the original poster isn't a great journalist. (Did you see how I qualified that?) He or she didn't bring up the fact that after creating websites like obsidianfinancesucks.com, she offered her services to Obsidian to clear up their "PR Problem" at $2,500 a month. That seems like an important fact that someone might need to shape his or her opinion on the ruling. As I understand the judge's ruling, it doesn't bar all bloggers from being considered journalists, just this one and even then, only as it applies to this case.
I'll go on record with a preemptory "what he/she said" to include all of the previous comments. This is one of those things that nearly every slash dotter has to do at one point or another and in my experience, you'll have to deal with at least one of three bottlenecks: time, money, or bandwidth.
If you are doing this to several hundred machines, sneaker net is likely a faster solution than your network. Take advantage of the higher bandwidth and save the backup images to a portable USB drive. With a large enough drive you can also keep the new image local as well. Using this method you can boot into Your Favorite Backup Solution, take the backup, securely erase the disk, and write the new image in one fell swoop. After the imaging is complete collect your various USB drives and march them back to the server.
With large enough USB disks, you could repeat this process several times before off-loading the images to your server.