"and kept politics contained in the opinion pages" - To play devil's advocate - this particular article IS in the Opinion section.
From looking at how their stuff works, no. The driver tries to change the PID on all devices, but genuine hardware doesn't actually write out the EEPROM until further action is taken, while clones immediately write out the EEPROM.
Although it isn't really a "brick" - it sets the PID to 0. Which is invalid, but happens often enough these days that you can still force the hardware to be used. Someone wrote a Linux patch that would register the correct driver for FTDI's VID and a PID of 0.
Another option FTDI could have done is: Change the PID to one reserved for clones, then spit out warnings when that PID is seen.
"are not sold as made by the company" - They use FTDI's USB VID/PID - this is representing yourself as an FTDI chip.
The tough thing is HOW to do it on first plug-in. The only method I can see that would work is to perform the same alteration the driver is doing, but instead of changing the PID to 0, change it to one reserved for fake chips. Then have the driver spit out lots of warnings if the "fake chip" PID is seen.
(As to how their driver is doing its thing - from what I've read of decompiled code, it attempts to change the PID to 0 on all chips. However, genuine hardware needs additional steps to actually start the EEPROM write, while clone hardware immediately writes out the EEPROM.)
"The issue is that the FTDI driver is deliberately reprogramming a chip that is not theirs"
Except they're only doing this to their USB VID/PID - which IS THEIRS.
If you use FTDI's VID/PID, you're trying to pass yourself off as an FTDI chip, and it is YOUR FAULT ALONE if an operation that does not cause issues on genuine FTDI hardware does bad things to your own.
(If you look at the decompiled code, the driver attempts to write the EEPROM on all hardware. However, genuine FTDI hardware won't actually START the write operation until the driver does "additional stuff" - but clones will immediately write the new EEPROM value.)
"This is because if you accidentally get a bad shipment of clone chips, and put them into your devices, your devices will be subject to bricking, creating returns and bad PR."
Not if you actually test your product before you ship it.
Not if you perform ANY sort of inspection/testing of incoming components.
Yup. And now they've got a surefire test for genuine chips.
Seriously - these people using counterfeit chips have to be testing the final product. If that final product dies with an official FTDI driver, they can sue the crap out of their supplier for selling them counterfeits.
Um, it's not 5 products out of several thousand. These are all screwups by a single division that refuses to learn from their mistakes and repeatedly makes the same kinds of mistakes over and over again.
They KNEW that the VYL00M/MAG4FA/KYL00M fwrev 0x19 was faulty, and they kept on shipping it for MONTHS in devices even though they had a newer fwrev (0x25) that didn't cause these problems.
They KNEW they had a track record of secure erase issues, and a year after becoming aware of a device-bricking bug, they were STILL shipping products vulnerable to that bug (the 840 Pro secure erase mess).
You simply don't see this sort of crap occur with eMMC chips from other manufacturers like Toshiba. Yeah, some of them have quirks, but none of them have such severe bugs that they render the device they're installed in unrepairable without a motherboard replacement.
"under a corporate aegis"
Depending on how the company manages the open source project, this can strongly discourage community members. Even if the company TRIES to encourage community development, a combination of licensing and other behaviors of the company might cause issues.
See http://readwrite.com/2013/08/0... - I once saw another article (can't find link) where one of the MariaDB guys said that with the new org structure of MariaDB, they have FAR more community contributions than MySQL ever did, even before getting purchased by Oracle.
Another example was the Cyanogen Focal relicensing incident. Cyngn's founders tried to use their CLA to obtain MySQL-style dual licensing (and the founders cite MySQL's business model as their inspiration despite the fact MySQL never had a vibrant community behind it) caused a nasty forking event, and also caused other community projects in the AOSP-derivatives space to reduce their cooperation with CyanogenMod. I keep on hearing/seeing evidence that implies numerous people on the "community" side of things that stayed with the project are pretty unhappy, only staying because it's still (for now) the dominant and most well known project in that space. Cyngn leads have even found themselves having to bribe people with devices to get them to stay.
(Disclaimer: I was one of those who left CM after the Focal relicensing dispute.)
Couldn't write a proper wear levelling algorithm if their life depended on it.
First the MAG4FA/KYL00M/VYL00M data corruption bug that affected the Galaxy Nexus - https://android.googlesource.c...
Then (actually BEFORE it, Google found it during Galaxy Nexus development but Samsung kept it hush-hush - but it became a public issue much later) - the infamous Samsung Superbrick fiasco (If you fired a secure erase command at the chip, it had a chance of permanently corrupting the wear leveller data to the point where the chip's onboard controller would crash until you power cycled it any time you accessed that region of flash). - https://git.kernel.org/cgit/li...
Then pre-release 840 PRO devices suffer from the SAME DAMN BUG SAMSUNG HAD BEEN AWARE OF FOR OVER A YEAR - http://www.anandtech.com/show/... - While this only affected review devices, the fact that this was a known bug since before the release of the Galaxy Nexus (a year earlier) is inexcusable.
Then there was the Galaxy S3 "Sudden Death Syndrome" issue in late 2013... - https://github.com/omnirom/and...
Then there were a few other issues - http://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/w/...
Probably more people have heard of them as HID Global and not iClass.
When I saw iClass, my thought was "I can't remember, is that one of HID's brands?"
The HID products where I work are flaky as hell too...
I've had so many devices that people claimed had shitty battery life, when I had no issues whatsoever. Like the Nexus 4.
(The N4 DID have some issues on initial release with the GPU frequency governor and broken wifi ARP offloading, but once these were fixed the device was great.)
Same with the Nexus 5. Google had some nasty power management bugs that killed battery on some wifi networks, but they had commits on AOSP within days that fixed the issue on the next OTA.
This is only if the phone's broadcast/multicast filters are broken.
A proper wifi chip SHOULD filter out broadcast/multicast when the device is suspended.
Unfortunately, it's a common item for vendors to screw up. The Nexus 4's ARP offload was broken for example, leading to all sorts of issues. The original Galaxy S2 had a Broadcom chip that fully supported ARP offload and broadcast/multicast filtering - but Samsung disabled the filters, allowing everything through!!! (They do this on a regular basis on multiple devices...)
"Two NVIDIA Tegra processor modules are at the heart of the electronic components in the Model S, which "command a sizable price tag," according to Rassweiler. Here is a look at how they work."
Um no... Nearly all of Tegra3's design wins (including 2012 Nexus 7) were due to it being cheap...
Also, how is this news? It's been known for ages that the Tesla HU used Tegra3. http://www.theinquirer.net/inq... (March 2013) - and I've seen documentation dating back as far as 2012 that Tesla was using the T3.
Except that it doesn't. I click "not spam" on a regular basis. I've been doing that for three goddamn years.
Despite this, the following routinely go into my spam folder:
Anything from Amazon
Anything from another gmail user
gmails handling of forwarded email is 100% broken, and there is NO way whatsoever for a user to fix it. I've explicitly whitelisted some addresses, but the end result is gmail now has a gigantic banner on every such email saying "This was not sent to spam because you overrode it".
Just stayed in a Marriott for a week. The wifi did not require a login, so accessing it did not require you to have paid a room fee.