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Slashback: Elaboration, The number 4, Toys 61

"Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." No, that's for a wedding. For Slashback, try something more like "Something about Intel, something about Mattel, something about TiVO,something about England." Much less romantic, but quite a bit more fun to read.

Alright mister, I'll see your accusatory bluster and raise you a page of cogent explanation. Our own Jamie McCarthy points out: "[Matthew Scala, one] of the authors of cphack has written a very extensive FAQ about the program and his settlement with Cyber Patrol/Mattel." Here's the link to the Cyber Patrol break FAQ.

This just in from Georgetown: Pat Ramsey, omniscient Mac-support guru at Southwestern University (The original University of Texas) participated in the recent ResNet 2000 conference, and wrote with some clarification about the recent Slashdot story on Simson Garfinkle's recommendations on ftp, telnet and other common protocols.

I submitted a blurb on Sunday about Simson Garfinkle keynoting the Resnet 2000 Symposium in Philadelphia. Being there at the conference, I can say that Rob's take on the Chronicle article is a little off. Garfinkle gave a presentation intended to raise awareness of how insecure most campuses are.Telnet and ftp protocols are just two examples of services that use clear-text passwords. He believes that that practice should be banned. Clear-text passwords are too easily sniffed.

But telnet and ftp were just two examples of things that campuses should look at. Even bigger, and the article didn't convey this with it's somewhat sensational headline, is the lack of policies that say in writing what is done with data that is inconspicuously gathered. Search engine queries, cookies, packet sniffs, Cisco Netflow logs, tcpdumps, etc.

This seemed to be of more importance then eliminating telnet and ftp.

Especially good for anyone who didn't read the full text of the article linked to; ftp and telnet may be great protocols, but Garfinkel is arguing they're less suitable than their more secure counterparts. Thanks, Pat!

14 hours ought to be enough for -- oh, nevermind. undef24 writes: "A followup to a slashdot story posted earlier this week. They've published a way to upgrade a 14-hour Tivo to 52 hours on the AVS Forum." The directions are thorough, but these guys make no bones about what TiVO will think of your mucking about in the guts of your previously-sealed machine. And it raises the inevitable, recurrent question: how close is an off-the-shelf Linux hobbyist version that has the same function?

For once, technical information is slightly flashier than the product name. Maro Shim writes "What's Up With Willamette? (Part 1, Part2), a two-part article, is a good one for understanding Willamette, (i.e. Pentium 4) architecture, which is the next generation x86 processor design from Intel. It includes a description of the development roots of Willamette and the basics of how its organization and operation differs from earlier P6 generation processors. In Part 2, he examines the new technology and features of Willamette in more detail and speculate on its implementation, operational characteristics, and performance. This is a must read for CPU enthusiast."

Flashes of Doh from the other side of the pond. Builder writes "Hi. A while back I used the stand.org.uk service to fax my MP. Today I got a reply back. Some things scare me about the reply. It is almost as if my MP refuses to believe the things we and other large groups of people (ISP's, Consumer groups, etc.) have been saying. ... I've posted the letter, as well as a quick disection about why this whole thing (The bill, my reply and the attitude in general) scares me so much. It can be found at http://www.penguinpowered.org.uk/stand/index.html

If you haven't got involved yet, please do so now! Lobby your MP. Make a noise! Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease..."

Tell me this wasn't inevitable. nutty writes pointing out that the Connectix lawsuit dropped by Sony has been refiled. Legal maneuvering? War of attrition against those who dare oppose the marketing might of the PlayStation behemoth? Sony!? I wish this one were tougher to believe.

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Comments Filter:
  • To be fair, the Prevention of Terrorism Act is not meant to be implemented permanently, and is voted on regularly. It will cease to be passed after terrorism is considered a very minor risk (....shyeahright, well, thats the theory).

    The Criminal Justice Act was not the fault of our current government, although they don't seem to be taking any steps to make it a little bit more just.

    Sorry, we prefer Thatecherism which lives on in the persona of Jack Straw.

    Actually, it was better with Thathcher. She had such a reputation of being a meglomaniac, that anything like RIP would have only helped to prove this.
  • Hell, yeah. England's getting there. All we need now is for them to get rid of any books and media that could lead to dangerous thoughts, and find some way to make sure that we all vote the right way, and we'll be the envy of the world.

    I think I'll start selling newspeak dictionarys.
  • I hope that some day (hopefully soon), we will see machine-friendly TV listings and recipe listings. Unfortunately I can't think of a way to make this terribly commercially attractive, but it could happen.
    Isn't that what XML is all about?
  • I'd rather be over here where our overweight (FED), loudmouthed (yes, were ALLOWED to be this in our country) dont have to worry about people like you who stereotype an entire nation based on some poor experience of a proper english gentlemen...Ok! My turn to stereotype! Uhm...let see here...recall important events of the english existance:
    1.)Black plauge (reassuring you are unclean)
    2.)Seperation of the american colonies (oh, us loudmouthed, overweight countrymen beat the guys in the red coats!)

    I'd rather be overweight and free then a Proper slave.

    mp3.com/PhysicsOfASquall ---Overweight experimental music
    -Swift ::
  • Well, I can't speak for bleem, but I know that VGS for the mac does check if its a valid playstation game. further it is not the black color that the playstations have is not related to the way they check for fake CDs (they look for a specific bad memory block) my 2
  • I'm not going to get into this whole UK vs. US argument, except to say that I'd rather not be lumped as overweight simply because I'm a US citizen.

    In fact, I recently read a compilation of statistics on the average British woman, and found many of those statistics to be the same as mine, including height. However, if this source is correct, then I, an American, weigh several pounds less than your average.

    You can't say that we Americans are all loudmouthed (although I do answer to that charge) and overweight any more than we can generalize you all as the effeminate chattel of one of the few remaining European monarchies.

  • by PigleT ( 28894 ) on Saturday July 01, 2000 @02:37PM (#963915) Homepage
    Yeah, I've sent one email and one fax so far.

    The email was met by a letter from my MP, and was relatively pacifying - "sure, we don't believe in it either" was the overall tone.

    However, when it came to the fax thing, all my MP did was to forward it to Jack Straw and convey an incredibly patronising response back to me. Between them they obviously think that I'm so naiive as to believe it's for the good of the country that we all lose any privacy rights and some essential human rights just to lock up a few stupid criminals.

    Someone on here posted a sensible idea: perjury-trap your keys with a comment like "this key not valid if used under duress".

    I really *really* don't want to be associated with the UK if the government is going to be a bunch of pillocks like this...

    .|` Clouds cross the black moonlight,
  • Ummmm .... Sony follows the give away the razor, sell the blades. This requires:

    a) a high margin on the blades which they achieve through developers licensing model at minimal risk (they get a slice no matter what games are produced)

    b) blades wear out and thus require replacement. Now the trick with this is to periodically make the razor slightly incompatible enough that people are motivated to buy the new version. A more sophisticated form is make the product so compelling (a la Gilette) that the competition is basically sidelined by the hype

    c) you retain control over the distribution/branding of the razor/blades. If people forgot, Sony has recently purchased a bank. Given their technical wizardry and ability to interface every consumer electronics gadget known to man-kind into their system (not to mention owning significant audio/video/digital content) then you can probably guess their strategy.

    ***** PROSUMER PROTEST *****

    I reject the presumption of media companies that digital media (including games) are a disposable item. When I acquire an item to add to my not-inconsiderable collection, I expect the value (include resale) of that collection to be retained over time. While OSs are clearly a service industry (their job is to maintain system stability and interoperability), the computing games industry business is entertainment and I expect to recreate the pleasureable experience from fragging (in the nicest possible digital way) my younger brother for many years to come in the future. Altering the system from a durable item (console + disk + game) to a mere temporary license to use for a limited period due to the "oh, so sorry, parts for your failed console are unavailable" is a subtle form of *BAIT and SWITCH*. Hardware is failable, but software can always be recreated/emulated. Now if there was a *CREDIBLE* (ie FUD-proof) software competitor to their hardware, guess how they would retain long-term control over developers who can bypass them and go straight to the software emulator? Sony might not be the Evil Empire (TM) currently attached to a not-so-loved company but from the point of view of a prosumer (ie take the con- out of consumer), I would prefer a long-term competitive landscape so that prices reflect reality and also give incentives for the smaller niche players (e.g. MUD) to develop really innovative games (plus as a matter of principle, I like supporting the underdogs).

    If people are serious about preserving the long-term value of any games they may buy, I would strongly urge you to support the WulfStation project [sourceforge.net] on SourceForge. It is in *your* long-term interests to keep any PSX2 games you buy when they roll around with the PSX3 in 5-6 years time.


  • [...]it seems almost like the whole point of the thing was to get famous from it

    Well, maybe. Maybe not. He does seem to enjoy the attention. But he also points out repeatedly that he is not the ultimate hacker, merely a competent mathematician with coding skills. He even goes to lengths to detail what he doesn't want credit for or has mishandled.

    And he has the distiction of being slapped with a frivolous lawsuit. A distinction you and me could do without.

  • I'm defending every person the origional post mentioned...I guess thats my fault.
    Oh..so a low count makes me a newbie, Eh? It's good to know that superiority comes in bottles of who became an elite slashdotter first. Thats alright...anyone who wants to be mad @ me over what I said can do that...anyone who appriciates me backing myself and others up...thats fine too. If you choose to stereotype an entire country based on personal account, then In the whole scheme of things, the defination of 'newbie' is obscured by reality.

    -Swift ::
  • Sony dropped the copyright suit against Connectix (77% of which had been thrown out already) in favor of a patent suit.
  • No, this is something that you don't normally get in the media....updates on past stories.

    Um...newspapers actually tend to follow up on major stories. It's just rare that a followup gets front-page coverage.

    Newpapers even print errata when they really blow it.

    Zardoz has spoken!
  • What are the current plans for the House of Lords? Last time I heard, they had annoyed Our Glorious PM so much that he wanted to get rid of the few that were left.
    Only reason he hasn't is that he can't think of anything to replace them.
    Apparently, he gets very upset when non-obligated people vote with their conscience...
  • Finally, don't forget the War On Drugs, although it's not nearly as bad as in the US due to the lack of guns.

    I recently ran across an interesting paper, Fear and Loathing in Whitehall: Bolshevism and the Firearms Act of 1920 [cybersurf.co.uk], that argues that the Firearms Act of 1920, the first law that seriously restricted gun ownership and the carrying of guns in Britain, was passed due to a fear of Bolshevik revolution, not because of the misuse of firearms by criminals. As in the United States, a bogeyman was used to justify a law that turned a right into a privilege that was granted at the convenience of the state.

  • No, not really. You need to worry about what the other side will do, e.g., seek costs, sanctions, etc. Also you need to consider the relevant statute of limitations. Once the trial has actually started if you attempt to withdraw the suit then there will ordinarily be rulings adverse to you and you will end up having a much more difficult or perhaps even impossible time bringing it again. You will be bound by "the law of the case" in your next attempt. That means that any rulings will carry over to the new suit and those issues and facts will not be subject to further litigation. One of the goals of law is "finality." That is a necessary concept in order to settle the relations between parties and thereby assist them in planning future behavior. In this instance however, Sony may have gotten their case so screwed up procedurally, i.e., wrong or missing parties, jurisdictional problems, etc., that they realized they could not accomplish their objective. So, they decided to just withdraw it, take their lumps and start over again correctly.
  • Your strategy would be effective if you had complaints under 20 separate titles of law. Sony dropped the copyright suit because legal thought a new suit accusing patent infringement would be more effective.
  • >Um...newspapers actually tend to follow up on major stories.

    Major stories tend to keep going, hence the 'follow-up'

    An example of a splash and no follow up - the sextuplets born, what 2 years ago?

    "old media" doesn't let you look at a old/new story and then follow it to the present. Or, the present story into the past. This option exists on the web. And could exist here on /., if the /. crew wanted to spend the $ on it.
  • If a case (or claim) is dismissed w/o prejudice the same claim can be re-filed. This in (some jurisdictions) can be done before the defendant answers, or it could be dismissed by the court on a summary judgment or a motion to dismiss. But the it frowned upon after any discovery is done.

    AugustFalcon is correct on the intent of finality.

    Mattel happens to be trying the same with me. They dismissed w/o prejudice which would allow them to bring the case anywhere they please (maybe someplace without an Anti-SLAPP statute or free speech rights).

  • Reading the FAQ for the guy who wrote (or helped write) cphack, it seems almost like the whole point of the thing was to get famous from it, and talk about all the job offers and scholarships he's had to turn down. You see a lot of people doing this kind of thing lately. Getting "busted" for some sort of hacking/cracking/hacktivising/crapping or whatever other PC term you have for this these days, then turning around and becoming a computer security advisor to the news. Trying to get their name mentioned in as many articles as possible. He says he didn't want use a pseudonym because that reeks of the unprofessionalism associated with "WarEZ d00DZ". There are kiddy cracking groups that could have written this thing over a weekend. When I say cracking, I mean the by-passing of copy protection schemes on commercial software for the purpose of pirating that software. Not breaking into systems.
  • Well, sure, it's possible to build your own TiVo. However, it will take far longer than walking to the Best Buy in a City two states away and cost far more than the price of several TiVo's.

    Anyone who's seen the insides of a TiVo -- and actually understands computer hardware -- knows there's a great deal of work inside that box. While there are several common components -- various Philips video in/out chips, sound processing chips, and even a standard IBM MPEG2 decoder chip -- there are two notable non-common chips: a TiVo custom ASIC, and a Sony "thing". And we've not even gotten to the software (or the remote.)
  • Actually, the majority of stories on Slashdot appear to be whimsical or irrelevant; at the very least very arbitrary.

    But, I know what you mean.
  • Yeah, kinda like an extra life. If you've collected enough dollars during the course of the game, you can buy a second attempt if the first one fails.
  • What exactly does MP stand for? I am guessing Member of Parliament, but could someone please help me out.
  • No, this is something that you don't normally get in the media....updates on past stories.

    A large number of stories on /. are part of a thread on 'topic X'.

    Attempts to track 'a thread' include
    1) Sections
    2) This slashback idea
    and the occational link back to a previous /. story.

    If /. had the money (that gets you time/talent) you could actually have a 'story thread' function.

    Thus: If you wanted all the links about, say the Sony/emulators story, you could get just that presented. And just sony would be a seperate link. Mind you, you can preform searches, and to go thru such work would be an attempt to actually make /. some kind of news research/link site.

    Given it is 'news for nerds, stuff that matters', it prob. is not worth the extra code for most of the users here. Esp. with the facination of some readers with making pertified beowolf clusteres of natlie portman.
  • Yes MP == Member of Parliment. Although i guess that with the RIP bill going through Parliment at the moment, it could start to mean Military Police...
  • Abstract: A process whereby one uses the a method that is least unusual than any other methods to convert an incomplete task to a totally completed task, possibly going through processes which may consist of but are not confined to a partially completed task, and an almost completed task.

    Possible extensions include patenting this to prevent other people from doing it.
  • MP does mean "member of parliament."
  • Just a small set of quotes from Mrs. T "We are a grandmother" "There is no such thing as society" "Welcome to the cabinet Norman Tebbit" "Die alien scum" OK, I made that last one up!
  • I wasn't saying this was something that I could do. I was simply saying I have seen far harder things accomplished with complete anonymity, by people who aren't so stuck on themselves. I could really care less about his little project in particular. Here are some essays and information from the "University of Reverse Engineering" [instinct.org]. They make cphack look like little kid stuff. They even have some Linux software cracking.. :)
  • Our own Jamie McCarthy points out:

    Jamie McCarthy works for slashdot now? Man, Geeks are getting better looking every day!
  • Somewhat offtopic, but does anyone know whether there's a radio equivalent for the Tivo? There are several radio programs that I would love to record to hear afterwards, how can I do this? Could you, maybe, hack the Tivo to record audio? (and later convert the audio to MP3) Is there a computer solution for doing this? Please advise

  • "Liberal Democracy? Sorry, we prefer Thatecherism which lives on in the persona of Jack Straw. Oh well, at least I don't live in NI."

    This is your mistake. These bills result from Democracy. Face it, a large majority of people hate gypsies, ravers, crusties, tree huggers and the rest of them. So, most people are in favour of, or at least don't object to, laws that stamp on these people. That's the rule of the many. It bites for the few. The alternative is the rule of the few, which bites for the many.

    What's the problem?

  • And look how cunning and intilligent this proper gentlemen from the big island is! Not only does he properly state his reasoning but he gives clear, smartly though through comments like mentioned above! I had once assumed that all members of the english masses were beeming with redeemable qualties, but exceptions to every rule are just bhudda's way of keepin' it real.

    Lets all have a round of applause for this british man in the 3rd row, brown hair!

    This is fun.
    -Swift ::
  • In a controversial move, the letter "D" is withdrawing support from Sesame Street because of the planned addition of "Bruce" a homosexual muppet.
    - From The Onion
  • Hehehe.. war on drugs? I liked Mixmag's predictions for 2000. one of them was "Drug Czar does FA *again*" LOL....

  • only an AC would post such bull shit
  • Slashdot ran a story about it, and a whole lot of people downloaded and read the essay. We got a whole lot of fan mail. A bunch of activists and academics posted the essay and software on their own Web sites ("mirroring" it). This was all more or less what we expected to happen.
    He can't actually name mirrors for legal reasons but the essay can be found here [anonymizer.com] and related stuff can be found here [openpgp.net].
  • I can't channel flip with the Tivo! Changing the channel takes something like 800 ms. Yuck!

  • Buy one of those radio cards. Hauppage has a WinTV+radio card for $100. Despite the name the TV card is very cross platform compatible, not sure about the radio aspect. It should be a piece of cake to record programs on a given schedule, and you could probably encode to MP3 in real time just like the MP3 broadcasters do.

  • My old 1200 bps mpdem is obsolete. I replaced it.
  • FEAR the government that Fears your Guns. Fear the government that fears your Computers.

    And dont EVER let them take either from you, or limit their use.
  • It seems that the campaign against the Bill and other folks haven't updated their web pages for some time, nor do they appear to follow the progress of the Bill in parliament.

    The Bill has been amended in the house of Lords, and some of the worst features have been eliminated. For example, clause 51(3) [parliament.uk] now allows 'forgetten it' as a reasonable defence.

    Note for non-UK readers: the House of Lords functions primarily as a revisionary chamber, where the details of Bills can be examined outside the hothouse atmosphere of the Commons. It allows the government of the day to back down on contentious issues without suffering the indignity of losing a Commons vote.

  • What is this about?
  • ...This class was brought to you by the language C and the number F.
  • Slashback is not a bunch of shorter stories, it's a bunch of updates to stories previously posted on /. . Quickies tend to be whimsical and/or irrelevant, but Slashback stories merely aren't given full story status because the topic hs been covered recently already.
  • Hmm... let's see, about 10 different stories sent in by fellow slashdotters, on the same page -- sounds like quickies to me. Why call it Slashback? Is it just a marketing attempt?

  • Quickies are a steaming pile of non-stories that are worth your time.
  • by timothy ( 36799 ) on Saturday July 01, 2000 @07:25AM (#963958) Journal
    Quickies is more for things that are funny, cute, bizarre, ephemeral ... quickies. The point of Slashback is to correct errors, point out The Other Side of The Story, follow up on previously raised stories that you may be sick of hearing about as their own stories, things like that.

    If you don't like the section, feel free to post suggestions on improving it, or simply avoid it. Unlike quickies (which can show up like leprachauns, whenever they feel like it), Slashback appears (subject to change, but hey) Saturday around noon and Wednesday around 5 pm. Can't post everything, usually it's 4-6 items.




    And 6 != "about 10"! ;)

  • So if I don't like the way a trial's going I can just drop and it and refile it?
  • by NetJunkie ( 56134 ) <jason...nash@@@gmail...com> on Saturday July 01, 2000 @07:20AM (#963960)
    If anyone thinks they can easily make a TiVo like setup out of a off the shelf linux machine they've never used the TiVo. The appeal of the TiVo just isn't recording TV to MPEG it's the interface, the channel guides, the TiVo suggestions, etc. With the price at only $299/$399 I just don't think it's worth the effort.
  • Great. Then since it's a regularly scheduled feature and not a haphazard collection of random stuff, you'll be giving it its own category.
  • Next time I want something, im just going to _pretend_ to sue 20 times and wear em' out...

    -Swift ::
  • There are kiddy cracking groups that could have written this thing over a weekend.

    Well, then, why didn't they? Or anybody else? There sure is a lot of studly talk around these parts, but when someone actually gets down to it and does something, the armchair hackers can't seem to offer anything but vague criticism.

    Herbie J.

  • by Munky_v2 ( 124274 ) on Saturday July 01, 2000 @07:43AM (#963964)
    Would you brits stop saying "Patnetly Obvious". No one has patented obvious.....

    Oh, wait. Yeah, that's right. Amazon.com did.

    -MunKy_v2 [dialug.org]

  • Ah, but what I want is a fully digital, networked video recorder. I want to be able to record any of my aging video tapes and preserve them in on a backup tape. And then I want to be able to play them on any computer in the house. Can the TiVo do that for me? Probably not. Which is why I'm waiting for my next pay check-
    Please hurry, pay check, and damn you Rahul, you owe me money!
  • Hey,

    He got a reply from his MP? He's lucky. I sent mine a detailed description of possible misinterpretations of the RIP bill, and I dodn't even get a reply.

    That's what I love about living in a democracy. You can really tell your representative cares about your opinions.

    Michael Tandy

  • by pjc50 ( 161200 ) on Saturday July 01, 2000 @08:45AM (#963967)
    For those of you who think that the RIP Bill represents some NEW incursion into your rights, think again. It is already the case that, with a warrant, your communications can be monitored without your knowledge. It is common practice to bug members of opposition political parties (Sinn Fein).

    If you want to be scared, look at the Prevention of Terrorism act. (Not on line, AFAICT), or indeed any of the Northern Ireland Acts. The current PTA strectches the definition of terrorism to include "the threat of damage to property" (targetted at environmental protestors). "Terrorist" groups can be declared "proscribed organisations"; effectively, you can be arrested and held without charge if you are "suspected" of being a terrorist.

    Let's not forget the Criminal Justice and Public Order Acts, various parts of which have attempted to make raves, gypsies, the miner's strikes, and environmental protests by occupation ["Aggravated Tresspass"] criminal offences.

    Currently they're going after asylum seekers, who are currently being rounded up and held in what are concentration camps in all but name.

    Finally, don't forget the War On Drugs, although it's not nearly as bad as in the US due to the lack of guns.

    Liberal Democracy? Sorry, we prefer Thatecherism which lives on in the persona of Jack Straw. Oh well, at least I don't live in NI.
  • Although I've never used a TiVo, I can see what you're getting at. I've often thought about making a portable cookbook or a TiVo-like device. Writing and using the software would be absolutely trivial (making a cool looking box for it is another matter), but it all comes down to the content. All sites (that I'm familiar with) that have recipes or TV guides are formatted for people. Having a computer try to get a complete TV listing would just not be worth the effort.

    I hope that some day (hopefully soon), we will see machine-friendly TV listings and recipe listings. Unfortunately I can't think of a way to make this terribly commercially attractive, but it could happen.
  • ...use a larger hammer [cnet.com].

    Honestly, when this [cnet.com] happens to a company like Sony, you really can't (shouldn't) be surprised that they withdrew it, changed it so it wasn't half-assed, and refiled it.

    I'm not trying to start a flamewar here, since I love *almost* everything Sony makes (anyone who's met me will know this is true), but I think Sony dropped the ball on their original suit.

    I remember reading an article about how Sony breaks even on the PlayStation unit itself, and just makes money on the games. If this is true, then Sony should have nothing to worry about, since people have to buy the games anyway to use them with Connectix's software...

    ...or then again, can you use burned "backup" copies with it? Does the software check for the validity/legitimacy of the PlayStation CD inserted?

    As an interesting side note, you can actually get black "PlayStation" CD-Rs -- unfortunately, they're almost impossible to find. (PlayStation CDs aren't actually black, they're dark blue -- hold one up to bright light and look around the center hole. Since the laser light is infrared, it goes right through a dark blue disc with no problems.)


"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin