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Comment Re:Japanese Paradox (Score 1) 38

I don't completely agree. I just finished "The Lights in The Tunnel", and previously read "Manna." http://www.thelightsinthetunne... The problem is how do we maintain consumption of goods and services in a society where working is optional? I would love to be in the ideal society, where I'm given an "allowance", and allowed to create the things that I want to create that bring additional income. I'm Libertarian at heart, but I don't see how capitalism is going to solve this problem. We are already seeing erosion of unskilled jobs, so wealth concentration will push us towards looking a lot more like a third world country in terms of a poverty analysis. I'm too optimistic in my hope that idle people would do good with their spare time. As I get older, I find myself wanting to branch out into more engineering projects, but I'm sure I'm in a very small minority. Without any structure, I bet a huge portion of our population checks out, going to a perpetual drug induced stupor.

Submission + - What are the Consumers' Rights to Modify Files in Their Devices?

michalk writes: I own a device that was manufactured in the post-DMCA period that uses a database. This database is available from only one company. I've looked at the files in the database card, of which there are two files: the actual database, and what I believe to be a signature. Changing one or the other causes the device to refuse to work.
I have come to the point where I want to make my own database, but there is no way to do this unless I know how to make the device accept the signature file.
What are the consumer rights in this circumstance? DMCA most likely prevents reverse engineering, but I don't want their database. I'm not interested in duplicating or reverse engineering the hardware, but that seems like the only way to get around their DRM to use my own data.
Searching Google, I get drowned in other irrelevant DRM arguments and am unable to find examples relevant to supplanting data provided by a company on my device.
Is this legal?

Comment Re:Well duh (Score 4, Interesting) 208

When this happened, I was mulling over my position on jury nullification, and came to the conclusion that it is an important tool as a limit on state power. However, in a civil case it gets a lot more difficult. We need a stable set of rules so we know where the boundaries are, otherwise we are no better than a third world country where graft is the norm. The problem is now that civil damages exceed what criminal damages can do to an individual, where do we draw the line? Do we say Jury nullification is okay to be used when excessive damages are awarded for file sharing? Okay, then why is that different than patent infringement? I like jury nullification. Unfortunately every time I've been in voir dire, and admitted to the ability to use it, I've been thrown out. For jury nullification to be a valid defense against the state (and corporation too?), it must be used properly. It doesn't feel to me like it was used properly in the Samsung/Apple case.

Comment Tinfoil Hat (Score 1) 241

Sometimes you have to wonder. If one reads enough of these vulnerabilities in Windows and antivirus and browser systems, one would get the idea that it's all quite convenient in some ways. I am not a conspiracy theorist ... well after this post I may be. My theory would be that a company could easily be approached by the government and paid to add back doors to their software. It's a lot safer than trying to get records from the phone companies and there's a lot more information to be had. If the company is large enough, it would never get noticed by regular programmers. All it would take is a compromized module, object, dll, whatever to make this happen. Even a compromized compiler would do it.

Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982