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Comment: Re:Unpaid labour? (Score 1) 41

Could someone tell me why we would want to do unpaid labour for Microsoft?

I'm quite prepared to test and help support Linux and open source projects. Microsoft? Not so much....

I'm sure the Linux distro makers (which often are commercial entities) gladly take your free labor, and laugh at their way to bank.

The phrase is actually, "laugh all the way to the bank".

In any event... You imply that I can't use Linux to make money without selling it. That's pretty silly.

I make a pretty good living using Linux, in spite of neither paying nor receiving any money for Linux, and I am quite sure I'm far from being the only one. Why should I care that the maintainers of my distro sell a commercial version of it? They're not taking any money from me, and they've bills to pay same as most folks, including me, so it's all good. I conclude that you're ignorant and/or trolling.

Comment: Re:Third World America (Score 1) 159

by the eric conspiracy (#48209897) Attached to: Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?

A lot of what you describe is voluntary, and regional. For example the state of Massachusetts has one of the best education systems in the world.

Other aspects of it have a lot to do with the bimodal population distribution, for example the lack of passenger rail. If you look at other aspect of the US rail system for example freight you will quickly find the US is absolutely world leading. For example the US ships 10x more freight by rail than Europe does.

Ultimately what counts is economic output. There is no indication whatsoever that the US economy is declining to third world standards. If you spent some time in the third world as I have you'd find the idea ridiculous.

Comment: Re:hasn't stopped him yet (Score 1) 37

by swillden (#48209609) Attached to: Google Leads $542m Funding Round For Augmented Reality Wearables Company

so where was his "strong anti-authoritarian and anti-military streak" when he was rolling over for the NSA **for years**...

That never happened. The NSA tapped Google's fiber without Google's knowledge, but there's no evidence that Google ever willingly participated. As soon as Google found out about the taps, it accelerated a program to get the data on all those fibers encrypted, to lock the NSA out.

Google invades privacy for profit and for decades gave the NSA (and god knows who else) an unaccountable back door to all our data

Google trades the right to target ads to you in exchange for services, and enables you to opt out of the trade if you want, even providing the necessary tools for you to do it. Google has never given the NSA an "unaccountable back door". See David Drummond's numerous public statements on this issue. From my personal perspective as a Google security engineer, I think it would be virtually impossible for such a back door to exist in Google's systems without my having noticed some trace of it. Take that as you will.

You're coming to this question with a whole bunch of inaccurate assumptions, which are seriously skewing your perspective. You should take a breath, look into what really happened (as much as is public information anyway) vis a vis the NSA, PRISM, etc., and then re-evaluate.

Or not, that's your choice. I'll merely point out that time will prove me right with respect to any purported military-focused work by Google X and leave it there.

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1) 75

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 0) 75

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) 542

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:FUD? (Score 1) 542

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) 542

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) 542

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) 542

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) 542

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) 542

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.