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Comment: Re:In later news... (Score 1) 482

by NotSanguine (#48210049) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

At the same time, just modifying the PID is far from "destroying" the device. If FTDI's driver did something that actually did damage to the hardware, I might be more sympathetic. Let's say you take your car into a dealership and they flash the ECU so that the car won't start. No physical damage was done, so it's all good.

There's the rub. For your analogy to work, it would need to read something like this:
Let's say you take your car (a Honda, for example) into a dealership and they see that it's not actually a car manufactured by them, but a car that copied their designs and sells cheap knockoffs with 'Honda' written in all the right places, and change proprietary settings in the car electronics so that the car won't start. No physical damage was done, so it's all good.

No, it's not right and it shouldn't have happened. But caveat emptor.

Comment: Re:In later news... (Score 1) 482

by NotSanguine (#48210029) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Regardless of whether they were permanently 'bricked' or not, your initial comment was about 'technologically ignorant users' somehow 'requiring' them to support the fake product - the driver can simply refuse to work with the device.

Now, however, you take that 'technically ignorant user' who went out and bought say 3 x 4GB USB dongles that happened to have fake FTDI chips in them, unaware of that fact of course, who then copies his business critical data, say 3 years worth of work, onto all 3 of them (for safe keeping)... then his machine auto-updates his driver (because, again, he's a technically ignorant user) and suddenly he can't get to his data... in fact, again, technically ignorant, he tries all 3 dongles (if the first one fails, try the backup(s) right?).

Now, he can't even take them to another machine that maybe didn't get the driver update, or a Linux machine without the proprietary FTDI driver... sure, it's 'fixable' by him say paying an IT geek (a non-technically-ignorant person) to reprogram the USB ID, but that's a cost he is incurring because of what FTDI did to his devices. And that isn't to mention that perhaps he needed that data to bid on a potential $million contract with someone, on a deadline that he's now missed because of what FTDI did to 'damage' his devices.

He most certainly, if it can be proven that FTDI is *deliberately* breaking (even temporarily) the devices in question, has a good case for damages from FTDI.

Actually, what I said was:

I'll say it again. FTDI went about this the wrong way, but just as ignorance of the law isn't a defense, a consumer's ignorance of technology shouldn't require a manufacturer to support those who steal their designs and profit from them.

Since (based on what you wrote) you misunderstood my statement, I'll explain. I make two points:
1. FTDI blundered badly (whether that bites them with legal action, we'll have to see) by having their driver reset the PIDs of counterfeited FTD232 chips to '0'.
2. Many folks posting on this thread (not you, BTW) seem to be making the argument that FTDI should somehow suck it up and support counterfeited chips with their drivers. That isn't the case, IMHO. Caveat emptor.

You pointed out that:

Now, however, you take that 'technically ignorant user' who went out and bought say 3 x 4GB USB dongles that happened to have fake FTDI chips in them, unaware of that fact of course, who then copies his business critical data, say 3 years worth of work, onto all 3 of them (for safe keeping)... then his machine auto-updates his driver (because, again, he's a technically ignorant user) and suddenly he can't get to his data... in fact, again, technically ignorant, he tries all 3 dongles (if the first one fails, try the backup(s) right?)

[emphasis added]

As TFA (and much of the discussion here) points out, the chip in question (FTD232) is a USB/Serial converter (UART) and isn't used for flash drives -- nor is the driver, so your example isn't realistic. Sure, modifying the PID will inconvenience users, but it doesn't put anyone's data at risk.

The updated driver modified the PID setting (to a value of '0') on hardware not manufactured by FTDI that was using FTDI's assigned VID/PID.

One more time: I do not think that FTDI did the right thing and I suspect it will come back to bite them in the ass. But FTDI did not damage anyone's hardware.

Comment: Re:Is this legal? (Score 1) 482

by NotSanguine (#48208605) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

So you would have no problem at all if I secretly modified the EPROM data of your car's computer so that it no longer starts up? I haven't permanently broken your car you see, you should be perfectly capable of fixing the damage yourself if you can figure out what I did.

Is reading comprehension an issue for you? I said, and I quote:

this will likely produce a nasty backlash against FTDI, as they went about this the wrong way.

Or is it just that you want to argue with someone?

Comment: Re:In later news... (Score 1) 482

by NotSanguine (#48208457) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

car anlology time.

Its like you taking you car into a dealer them finding you got a oil change at a non-dealer mechanic so they brick engine control chips on your cars on board computer and saying its you problem you can fix it you just need to overhaul then engine to get at it and re flash the firmware and it will work fine. So its not broken even though it won't start and requires special equipment and non trivial time money and knowledge to fix.

for all intents and purposes it is broken and they are responsible for breaking it

You know, I was thinking of using a similar analogy myself. However, the analogy just doesn't fit, so I bagged the idea.

A better analogy would be that you bought a car from a dealer who claimed it was a Ford, but when you took it in to the actual Ford dealership, they checked and found that it was a Yugo (yes, I'm old) masquerading as a Ford.

Under those circumstances, it makes no sense to get all butthurt that Ford won't service the car -- they didn't produce it.

Whether or not the Ford dealer has the right to remove any logos or other identifiers (like the USB PID) that make the Yugo look like a Ford is another question. And the answer is probably not, IMHO. But that doesn't mean Ford needs to service such a vehicle, does it?

Comment: Re:In later news... (Score 1) 482

by NotSanguine (#48208381) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Nobody could complain if they simply went and made their driver incompatible with the forged chips. If there is no working driver, then the customer would have to complain with the original maker of the hardware and demand a working driver. That's quite within FTDI's rights.

The point is that they attack the firmware of the device involved, which is by no accounts ok anymore. This isn't locking out a competitor, it's destruction of a competitor's hardware. Yes, that competitor didn't act correctly by trying to get a free ride. No doubt about that. By that logic, though, it's just a-ok for any printer maker to trash the printer (e.g. by hosing it with printer ink) should they detect that you use anything but their overpriced original stuff.

We are clearly in agreement here except on a single point: changing the PID is neither attacking the firmware nor damaging the hardware. After a PID change, the hardware (and firmware) is still functional -- as long as either some driver can recognize it or the PID is reset to a valid ID.

It may be that FTDI was unable (or unwilling) to find a way for their driver to stop supporting the counterfeited chips, so they just removed the mask (the PID) on the chip that claimed the counterfeits were genuine. That's not damaging the hardware or the firmware, merely modifying an embedded setting.

All that said, FTDI's actions were not appropriate -- and they will likely end up paying for it in the court of public opinion. However, FTDI's driver did not damage or harm the chips themselves -- and they certainly weren't (as some here have claimed) "bricked."

Comment: Good Luck With That (Score 1) 4

by NotSanguine (#48207873) Attached to: The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

Let's leave aside the folks who actually disagree and want to argue about it. Those are *not* trolls. Nor should they be considered to be trolls.

There are a small number of people who delight in screwing with others. Those are the trolls. They're the people who soaped your windows or TP'd your house on Halloween. They are unpleasant, annoying and sometimes downright nauseating.

However, if we wish to have a free society (I know, it's a pipe dream), then we need to have freedom of expression. Freedom of expression doesn't end just because someone is being a jerk.

Those who act like jerks should be shamed in the forum in which they act thusly. Those who prefer rational, considered discourse should ignore such folks and move on.

tl;dr: Don't feed the trolls. They will eventually go away.

Comment: Re:In later news... (Score 1) 482

by NotSanguine (#48207797) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

I didn't say it was fair. In fact, I said it was rather underhanded. That said, the manufacturer should provide a driver for their hardware. But that would require more work than just copying someone else's design, wouldn't it?

Given that FTDI invested in the R&D to design the chip and write the driver, I would expect that they should be able to decide if they want their driver to work with chips made by other manufacturers.

I'll say it again. FTDI went about this the wrong way, but just as ignorance of the law isn't a defense, a consumer's ignorance of technology shouldn't require a manufacturer to support those who steal their designs and profit from them.

I tell you what, go ahead and develop a new device and start selling it. I'll copy your design and sell it for 25% of your price, and instruct users to install your software for the device. If you make any attempt to stop me with your software, I'll blame you and suggest you be sued. Sound good?

I'll say it one more time -- FTDI went about this the wrong way.

Their driver should just ignore any device that it can detect as counterfeit and produce an error suggesting that the user contact the actual manufacturer for a driver. Assuming there is no such driver, then the consumer is hosed.

Comment: Re:Is this legal? (Score 1) 482

by NotSanguine (#48207467) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Since the common customer will have no idea that it can be done (or how), it is for all purposes *bricked*. Guess who the customer will blame? the manufacturer, not the counterfeiter. So basically FTDI is harming legitimate manufacturers. Hope they get sued into oblivion for that...

If these manufacturers are legitimate, why are they forcing their customers to use a third-party driver from FTDI?

Comment: Re:In later news... (Score 0) 482

by NotSanguine (#48207207) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Cut the crap, FTDI modifies the chips in such a way as to not work with any drivers, not just theirs. They are breaking them. Willfully and maliciously.

As I said, it was rather underhanded. However, they are not breaking anything. The device is still fully functional, but won't work with drivers that were made for the real chips.

If you have a problem, contact the actual chip manufacturer or someone along the supply chain to where you purchased the counterfeit and ask for their driver.

What? The manufacturer didn't expend any resources in creating drivers for the chips they manufactured? Sounds like a pretty crappy manufacturer. Perhaps you should use hardware that has drivers instead, no?

Comment: Re:This might have been incompetence, not malice (Score 1) 482

by NotSanguine (#48207117) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

So FTDI is pissed that counterfeiters are using FTDI PIDs in their counterfeit chips so that the counterfeit chips get the benefit of FTDI drivers. I certainly sympathize with their gripe there. So FTDI is saying, "Don't use our PID" and setting the PIDs to 0 in counterfeit chips.

My guess is that FTDI didn't really think through the implications of that, that setting a PDI of 0 would brick the chip. What they should have done is just set the PID to some generic USB CDC serial port so that the counterfeit chips would no longer use the FTDI driver and would no longer show ups as FTDI chips to the OS.

This very could have been more of an "oops, sorry about that dude" than an "I KILL YOUR CHIP NOW! MOOHAHAHHA!"

Except the chip wasn't, as you put it, "killed." The chip is still fully functional with a driver that will support it. That FTDI doesn't want to support counterfeited chips with the driver it developed for the real article is reasonable.

Why should FTDI support chips it didn't make?

Comment: Re:Is this legal? (Score 0) 482

by NotSanguine (#48206953) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Um, no. They're intentionally modifying the device ID on the counterfeit chip so it will no longer work. The average consumer will have no idea this is what's wrong or how to recover. While this isn't necessarily destruction of property, it IS (in the US) a federal hacking crime because it is causing the victim to lose access to their device and/or data.

As I previously mentioned, no real damage is done to the hardware. Various tools are available to resolve the issue and the device itself is not damaged.

That said, this will likely produce a nasty backlash against FTDI, as they went about this the wrong way.

At the same time, resetting the PID points up the counterfeit chip without any ambiguity. I guess that was the point.

Comment: Re:In later news... (Score 2, Informative) 482

by NotSanguine (#48206809) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Intentional and willful destruction of another person's property for the base reason that he didn't buy with you but with your competitor? I don't know about your country, but over here in socialist Europe we have consumer protection laws that deserve that name.

I would say that modifying the PID on the chip is pretty far from "intentional and willful destruction." From one of the comments in the support board posting masquerading as TFA:

The driver reprograms the product ID so it won't work.

Price of buying fake chips.

If that is the case you can easily bind the new VID/PID to the correct driver in Linux and it should still work:

Code: [Select]

A vid/pid pair can be added dynamically using sysfs, for example:

echo 0403 1234 >/sys/bus/usb-serial/drivers/ftdi_sio/new_id


Again, if that is the only "damage" done, lsusb should help you find the device, or just monitoring dmesg as you attach it.

And

The new Windows driver reprograms the PID to 0.

More info here:

http://forum.arduino.cc/index....

While it is rather underhanded, had FTDI done this the *correct* way and just interrogated the chip and refused to work with a fake, this would be a non-story. At the same time, just modifying the PID is far from "destroying" the device. If FTDI's driver did something that actually did damage to the hardware, I might be more sympathetic. That's not to say that I think FTDI did the right thing, just that the did not actually damage or "brick" anything. The device isn't broken, it just needs to have its PID reset. Once that happens (and I guess that's what FTDI was trying to do), the end user will be painfully aware that they have a counterfeit chip.

As I said, poorly executed and likely to cause some backlash, but no hardware is damaged or destroyed. Unless you're an idiot.

+ - Washington Post Says Marijuana Legalization is Making the World a Better Place 3

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Christopher Ingraham writes in the Washington Post that many countries are taking a close look at what's happening in Colorado and Washington state to learn lessons that can be applied to their own situations and so far, the news coming out of Colorado and Washington is overwhelmingly positive. Dire consequences predicted by reform opponents have failed to materialize. If anything, societal and economic indicators are moving in a positive direction post-legalization. Colorado marijuana tax revenues for fiscal year 2014-2015 are on track to surpass projections.

Lisa Sanchez, a program manager at México Unido Contra la Delincuencia, a Mexican non-profit devoted to promoting "security, legality and justice," underscored how legalization efforts in the U.S. are having powerful ripple effects across the globe: events in Colorado and Washington have "created political space for Latin American countries to have a real debate [about drug policy]." She noted that motivations for reform in Latin America are somewhat different than U.S. motivations — one main driver is a need to address the epidemic of violence on those countries that is fueled directly by prohibitionist drug war policies. Mexico's president has given signs he's open to changes in that country's marijuana laws to help combat cartel violence. Sandeep Chawla, former deputy director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, notes that one of the main obstacles to meaningful reform is layers of entrenched drug control bureaucracies at the international and national levels — just in the U.S., think of the DEA, ONDCP and NIDA, among others — for whom a relaxation of drug control laws represents an undermining of their reason for existence: "if you create a bureaucracy to solve a particular problem, when the problem is solved that bureaucracy is out of a job.""

+ - US Tourist Tweets For Help, Locked Inside Waterstones Bookshop For Three Hours->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "American tourist David Willis from Dallas, Texas has become an overnight Twitter sensation after he was locked inside the Waterstones Trafalgar Square bookshop in London for two hours last night.

Willis posted on Instagram at 10:11pm that he had gone upstairs to the first floor of the bookstore for 15 minutes and then came downstairs to find himself locked in with "all the lights out and door locked"."

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