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Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1) 70

by drinkypoo (#48208807) Attached to: Raspberry Pi Founder Demos Touchscreen Display For DIY Kits

but you can't really run a temperature controlled fan stoker for a BBQ pit from a tablet either, which

Of course you can. There's lots of ways to do that, including hacking into the audio hardware. I'd probably just use an old phone though, and not a whole tablet. You don't need that much screen for that job. Most devices have some GPIO on board, which can be used with some effort, but using the audio hardware is much easier. Use one of the many phones with USB OTG, and connect up a cheap MCU to do the USB-to-GPIO work.

Comment: Re:After whast happened to Odroid-w, why? (Score 1) 70

by drinkypoo (#48208791) Attached to: Raspberry Pi Founder Demos Touchscreen Display For DIY Kits

rPI is Not an open hardware project and never claimed to be.

Nonsense. They claimed to be generally open, hardware and software. Then it was pointed out that important parts of the software were so closed you couldn't even use them. Eventually it was opened up enough so that you could use them, but all the important parts except the interface (which was originally closed) remain secret sauce. They also claimed to use all documented interfaces, but provided inadequate documentation for the display and camera connectors for a seriously long time as well.

They absolutely claimed to be promoting an open platform originally. They also made lots of other claims they never came through on, like that they would release Android for the device.

All the hacking people are using it for is welcome, but wasn't what they were going after in the beginning. You can't just copy other peoples closed source hardware.

Yes, you can, unless it's patent-protected.

Comment: Re:Not right (Score 1) 432

by drinkypoo (#48208765) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Car analogy: If you bought a Frod, and took it to Ford Dealer and they put in a Motorcraft Oil Filer that damages your FROD because it isn't a Ford, is Ford Responsible because all you cared about was the Frod Car was cheaper on eBay?

but this is Ford installing a Motorcraft oil filter which was designed not to open if it was connected to a Frod, not one which just happens to not open in that condition. There's a massive difference there, and the difference is one of intent.

Comment: Re:what? (Score 1) 66

by mjwx (#48208753) Attached to: Judge Says EA Battlefield 4 Execs Engaged In "Puffery," Not Fraud

Even if they weren't intentionally lying, telling investors information that is effectively false is at best being self delusional, which is professionally irresponsible.

To be fair, EA and the Battlefield series has been going downhill for a long time. The BF3 was complete shite and I fell off the bandwagon after that. Given all the other bungled EA product launches (the Sims, Sim City) its hardly surprising.

I kind of have a hard time feeling sorry for people who bought BF4, the pattern was there clear as day. Caveat Emptor as they say.

Comment: Re:FUD? (Score 1) 432

by drinkypoo (#48208751) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

From the article, the fakes are not bricked it is just their device ID is changed to 0. FTDI are simply saying this isn't one of our chips so we won't let it work with our driver.

Or your OS, which will refuse to deal with the device, assuming that it has failed or is otherwise exhibiting bad behavior.

Those manufacturers that include fake chips will end up with a lot of returns and might reconsider using fakes.

Most of those manufacturers will just close their doors, change their name, and open them again, and the users will end up contacting FTDI, or just giving up.

Comment: Re:Sure, blame FTDI (Score 1) 432

by drinkypoo (#48208735) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Ok, so the cloners copy the design (that FTDI paid for),

Reverse engineering for the purposes of interoperability is critical to scientific development. Here in the USA, it is an activity which is explicitly protected.

steal the VID (that FTDI paid for),

It's not theft, because they're not depriving them of it.

and then by clear intention, use the FTDI driver (that FTDI paid for),

The user uses the FTDI driver.

and you say FTDI started a war?

Yes, but a war on users, some of whom deliberately set out to buy FTDI hardware. They won't make that mistake again.

Really? Good for FTDI. The supply chain will get purged of the counterfeit material faster this way then any lawsuit could.

That's probably true. However, they're going to have a whole lot of lawsuits coming their way in response, and those lawsuits will be from users of their chips.

Comment: Re:On the other hand... (Score 1) 432

by drinkypoo (#48208683) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

No, it's because if they release a firmware that just refuses to work, the people that made these fakes will just release hacked drivers, based on FTDI's.

No, they won't. If they were prepared to do that, they would be doing it already. They're not even distributing drivers in most cases, and it's left as an exercise to the user to download it, or the manufacturer of the device which uses the chip to include it. They're counting on not getting busted for the copyright violation of marking FTDI on top of the chip, and not risking getting busted for distributing the driver.

Comment: Re:The good news (Score 1) 432

by drinkypoo (#48208655) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

The FTDI FT232RL is one of the best in terms of reliability and has the best drivers, while also providing some handy bonus functionality.

Reliable? Meh. Best drivers? Definitely a lie. They screw those up all the time. Additional features? That part is very true, and it's the reason why you need a real FTDI chip anyway. A lot of stuff won't work right if you don't have one.

Comment: Re:On the other hand... (Score 1) 432

by drinkypoo (#48208621) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

I'm pretty sure DMCA or friends WON'T let you, legally, make a chip that pretends to be another chip

The DMCA doesn't cover this issue. The closest it comes is explicitly protecting reverse engineering for the purposes of interoperability. Creating a chip that works just like the FTDI chip is not illegal. Putting FTDI's marks on the top of your chip is a violation of trademark law. Distributing FTDI's driver would be a violation of copyright law. Downloading FTDI's driver without permission is also a violation of copyright law, so who distributes/downloads the driver affects who violates copyright there. Finally, using the driver without permission is also a violation of copyright law. AFAIK there is no legal precedent (and certainly no applicable laws) which cover the use of someone else's USB ID, unless you are doing it with the intent to cause some kind of harm, or cause harm through negligence.

Any possible claims over these clone chips center around driver copyright or misuse of trademarks. Or, of course, patent abuse, but that seems relatively unlikely here. FTDI is in extremely well-traveled territory.

So some company makes a fake Ford, which has acceleration problems. It crashes, kills someone, and Ford is to blame because it had a Ford badge? ...

If you take your fake Ford in for service, they detect that it's a fake, and instead of telling you that it's fake (and possibly removing your emblems) they reflash your PCM, deliberately causing your car not to start, how will you feel about that? Will you solely blame the manufacturer of your fake car, or will you be angry at the dealership for disabling your car?

Comment: Re:On the other hand... (Score 1) 432

by drinkypoo (#48208561) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

The solution is simple, the knockoffs need to provide a proper driver set.

There's no good reason for them to do that. Their chip implements the same interface as the FTDI chip, and applications are expecting to talk to the FTDI driver. That's a battle they can never win. But they can see what the hardware interface looks like.

Comment: Re:But disabling GSM when possible is still smart (Score 1) 17

by Qzukk (#48208523) Attached to: Deutsche Telecom Upgrades T-Mobile 2G Encryption In US

They're eager to do things they can charge for. I bet AT&T charges a pretty penny for the connections to room 641A

They're a little less eager to do things they can't make money on. Of course, if they don't participate they might find themselves like Qwest's CEO, who lost all the government contracts because he wouldn't play ball with the NSA, then got arrested on securities charges for losing stockholders' money by losing the government contracts.

Comment: Re:Is this legal? (Score 1) 432

by drinkypoo (#48208519) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

And I hope FTDI wins. Eventually this should go back to whoever made the counterfeit chip.

FTDI's deliberate intent is to damage people's equipment. How is that not illegal? I'd bet that it is.

If I'm using counterfeit chips in my products and an update from FTDI stops things from working, I'm not going to be pissed off at FTDI, I'm going to be pissed off at whoever sold me a chip and told me that it was an FTDI chip,

I'm going to be pissed off at both, and I hope FTDI dies and someone else takes over for them. They're not very good at their job anyway.

Comment: Wut? (Score 1) 9

by smitty_one_each (#48207627) Attached to: The Kevlar Kandidate Gets Some Help

Of course they are. What else can you do when someone is trying to murder you?

How can a union, as such, possibly be an object of murder? All Walker did was enact some common-sense reforms, right?
Public sector unions are a mutiny awaiting their moment, or, in the case of Wisconsin, trying to have their way with taxpayers.
I hasten to add that I have no problem with private sector unions, insofar as there are right-to-work laws to keep them in check.

We want to create puppets that pull their own strings. - Ann Marion

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