Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Slashback

Slashback: Banco, Warez, Fiction 309

For tonight's Slashback, eaders have submitted updates and corrections tonight on several recent stories, from the global raid on illegally copied software to ever-more software for your TI-89 to the confusing names (and ownership status) of Mexican banks. Read on for the details.

What about a Dvorak-layout program for the number keys? hex4def6 writes "Ticalc.org is back up for business after the unfortunate incident in which "inapropriate Content" was pressed onto the CD's that Texas Instruments included in their "Fun Kit" graphlink kit from the Ticalc archives. New things in the archives include a neat winamp plugin that allows you to control winamp from your Ti-89 webpage. Check it out here. All the archives are back up, but there is a backlisting of new files submited."

Many happy returns! Eileen Gunn writes "Last August, Slashdot ran a story about The Infinite Matrix, an online SF zine aimed at technogeeks, that posted its first and last issue in one fell swoop, after losing its funding (what's new?). The site was slashdotted, of course, and among those visiting it was a Slashdot reader who threw the zine a 6-month financial lifeline. The Infinite Matrix is now posting new material every day from both Bruce Sterling and Terry Bisson. Plus, there's a new story by SF giant Avram Davidson, more fiction by Richard Kadrey and Kathleen Goonan, columns by John Clute and David Langford. Thanks, Slashdot! You've made my life infinitely more complicated."

This is like reading Jules Verne when he was writing newspaper serials -- and no eBook reader is required.

The perils of translation and the world of international banking. Al Giordano of Narco News wrote from Cochabamba, Bolivia, with a correction of my (incorrect) correction on Yesterday's post about First Amendment protections granted online journalism. He provides a better explanation about nomenclature and the Mexican banking system:

"Banamex, or Banco Nacional de Mexico (the way the plaintiff's name appears on the now-dismissed complaint against us), is translated as National Bank of Mexico.

The 'Mexican Fed' that you refer to is titled Banco de Mexico, or Bank of Mexico.

So you got it right the first time!

The confusion stems from this: All Mexican banks were nationalized before becoming privatized. It's a long and bloody story and in fact my own story about it is one of the exhibits used by Banamex in its now-fracased SLAPP suit.

When Banamex filed suit against Mario Menendez, Narco News and me, it was still a Mexican bank. The Citibank merger wasn't announced until May 2001 and wasn't finalized until July 20, 2001, ironically, the same day we had our court hearing in New York."

Unfortunately, there's no monopoly on sketchiness. S^(2) writes "Here is a better rundown of the warez crackdowns across the globe. I guess people are running scared a bit and this page is hopping from mirrored site to site, but for now at least check out; http://www.cyberworld.ru/scenebusted/ It breaks down what groups were suspected to have been FEDs, which groups/members will be needing legal defense funds, which groups have shutdown, and a bit on the howto of the crackdown, such as agents raiding a house and watching what connections happened without pulling the plug. That can't be legal, can it? Should I hide my pc behind a wall of something benign, like say VHS bootlegs?"

Or, on the other hand, not distributing warez is an option.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Banco, Warez, Fiction

Comments Filter:
  • that was some present can I take it back to the store?
    • Ranger Online (named after the famous pirate killing ship)is busting a lot of software piracy sites these days. RIIA, FBI, Microsoft, and US Customs has hired them to find stuff.

      Rangerinc.com has code developers in Toronto, venture capital from media lawyers in Vancouver, a web page based in Seattle and the scanning operations are in San Diego.

      All the big Microsoft busts, MP3, and warez sites have been busted by this outfit. They're basically bounty hunters. You might have been scanned from this address: 209.95.126.167, they probably have others in San Antonio.

      They regularly troll IRC chat rooms, web sites, for copyrighted downloads. Its a bad time to be hosting a WAREZ site.

      A better idea is to contribute to GNU or some other free software site and don't buy software from the corporate police state. The consumer still has the right of choice.

  • Ticalc.org is back up for business after the unfortunate incident in which "inapropriate Content" was pressed onto the CD's that Texas Instruments included in their "Fun Kit" graphlink kit from the Ticalc archives.

    Uhh, maybe I wasn't there or something, but what was that "inapropriate content" that was on the CDs?

    TI's press release makes it sounds like pr0n...

    • Exactly how much pr0n could you fit onto a Ti89 calc? I mean, the graphics on that calc are good, but not THAT good. I'd need at least a 256-color monitor to take advan.... umm.... I mean who would want to look at pr0n when there is much gaming to be done! Yeah, that's it! damn...
    • Is how did they manage to get their site shut down? I mean I can see TI pulling the plug, but how did they manage to pull the site?

    • by mliu ( 85608 )
      After snooping around a little with Google, it would seem that TI has banned programs featuring:
      Profanity
      Pornography or sexually explicit content
      Drug-related content
      Content promoting or depicting terrorism or racial/ethnic hatred.
      Content promoting or depicting violence in schools
      Programs made exclusively for cheating (e.g. fake memory-clearing programs)
      Copyright or trademark violations (e.g. calculator ROMs, text or graphics that violate others' copyrights or trademarks)

      Programs that were specifically mentioned by people included Drug Wars (too bad, that was a fun game, but I could see how parental no-fun no-humor censor types could get pissed off) and strip blackjack (which somehow had no pornography in it actually, or so they say).
  • Defense? (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by saintlupus ( 227599 )
    which groups/members will be needing legal defense funds

    "Uh, he didn't know it was copyrighted, your honor."

    Seriously, what the fuck. How is some warez rat going to be better off with a non court appointed attorney?

    --saint
    • Re:Defense? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by nEoN nOoDlE ( 27594 )
      If OJ can get away with murder, some 18 year old in a college dorm can get away with IP infringement - with a good lawyer.
      • "I didn't know any of this was even going on. Someone must have cracked my box and set up an FTP server. I swear! Ok, then prove I'm lying."

        .
    • Here's another site that has a list much like cyberworld.ru:

      http://phlow.digimagix.org/scenebusts.htm [digimagix.org]
    • Re:Defense? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by billcopc ( 196330 )
      Well I hate to say it but I'm somewhat in support of these groups, if only because I'm sick of buying the latest games only to discover that the best part of the game was the free demo. Truly great games are one in a thousand, and even then they don't last long enough.

      That's where the warez scene can swoop in and deliver salvation: download a stripped-down rip of whatever game you want, try it out for a couple days, then go out and buy the full-blown masterpiece. Or delete it and forget it ever existed. It encourages the game houses that work hard, while cutting the revenue stream of the half-assed hype-machine con artists, most of which sell their crap at Mallwart and other idiot chains.

      Think of it like music: they put a catchy song on the radio, you pop 20$ on the album, then find yourself duped because 8 of the 10 songs are just filler. You can't ask for a refund because you've already 'consumed' the product (because that's what it is: a product). They'll politely tell you you're a pirate and that it would be unlawful for them to return your money. Same thing applies to PC games.

      To get back to the point, I say they deserve a fair trial (if such a thing exists), not on the basis that I support organized non-profit piracy, but rather because the law system was most likely manipulated by corporate interests and thus the accused were unjustly treated.

      The problem lies within the game market itself: the insane price-gouging that's going on and getting worse every year. Why should I blow 80$ (50 of your U.S. dollars) on a product I haven't seen nor experienced, and that carries no useful warranty ? Just look at Hasbro and how they're destroying the game industry by raping classic titles, making flashy smelly shit with the original concepts and selling them anywhere there's a cash register.

      Ironically, the shareware business is practically dead, even though it was probably the most honest form of software marketing in existence. You had a decent game/utility on its own, not just a crippled 5-minute unstable demo. If you enjoyed the experience and wanted to prolong it, you'd pay 15-20$ for 2-3 extra episodes, or a bunch of USEFUL extra features in the case of utilities/mini-applications. And what if you didn't need or want the extras ? Then you just kept on using the shareware version because it was actually a fully enjoyable piece of software on its own.

      Warez may be illegal, but it definitely has its place in the world and on the net. And its working members certainly aren't rats. If you want a rat, go find your favorite pro-invasive-law lobbyist. They're the ones making our lives miserable and taking away from everyone. Warez takes away from those who are screwing us in the first place.
      • Re:Defense? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Sheetrock ( 152993 )
        I've got no argument with your take on the game industry today... in fact, I'd like to add that I thought we were supposed to be over the hideous copy-protection schemes a decade ago and that 'expansion packs' (aka 'A $30 part 2 to that $50 part 1 you bought three months ago.') are a blight on the industry. I'm back to console gaming until they start pulling similar tricks.

        However, I think that the reason you believe that shareware is almost dead is because the mainstream producers/publishers we got accustomed to (Apogee, Epic Megagames, iD) have either replaced the word 'shareware' with 'demo' or went the commercial boxed route because they were successful enough. Well, that and the exodus of BBS users to the Internet. Anyway, there is still decent shareware gaming to be found. It is admittedly a couple of steps behind the Hollywood-style production process you see in most commercial games today, but in many cases that is made up for by the gameplay itself, the cheaper pricing, and the appreciation from the developer. I've been following the comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic and comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.space-sim newsgroups lately, and aside from a 6+ year flamewar there were a couple of suggestions for decent games from small developers. The first, Dominions (http://www.illwinter.com/dominions.html), is a turn-based strategy game that is somewhat similar in style to Master of Magic. The other, Starships Unlimited (http://www.apezone.com/), is a turn-based strategy game that is not unlike Master of Orion. I like turn-based strategy games. Also, I bought a game a couple of months ago called Pontifex (http://www.chroniclogic.com/pfx.html) in which you engineer bridges on a budget that are supposed to hold up under the stress of a train with a variable weight passing over it a variable number of times.

        All of these are pretty neat games and meet your definition of shareware. I heard about all of them by wandering off of the normal game-finding path. (http://www.swreg.org) is one avenue many shareware developers (including all of the above) are turning to to sell their games; they should have a storefront on there somewhere where you can browse titles to download or buy, but I think the site might be broken right now. If you don't mind wading through it, Usenet is a good place to spot game reviews or announcements. (http://www.isonews.com) also has a pretty good game review forum on it, though given the general direction of the site these tend to be about standard commercial games and not shareware.

        Anyway, I just wanted to mention that shareware is still alive and still worthy of trying out if you know where to look.

      • You need to start shopping at EB. If decide you don't like a game and you still have the reciept, you can bring it back. Even if you've already opened it and played it. Works great when you find out that a game only takes 2 hours to play and has no replay value.
        • True, that does address the problem of "no warranty" I had mentioned, but why should I need to return a game in the first place ? Remember the dark ages of software, before the www became moderately mainstream around 4-5 years ago. You'd run down to the local radioshack or EB (which was much less game-oriented back then) and paid 5$ for a shareware disc of Duke Nukem or Quake. You played it to the bone, had a digital orgasm and called the 1-800-idsoftware to buy the full game, which arrived shortly in your mailbox. If you didn't like the 5$ episode, then you just deleted it and handed it to a friend.

          Now with the net, it's even easier : just download the first episode for free, play it out, then order online if you liked it. Often they will let you download the full game minutes after you've paid for it.

          You don't have to get off your fat ass and find a parking spot in the downtown frenzy. You don't have to endure nosey mindless sales kids who don't know a thing about _service_. Most importantly, when you call or email for tech support, you get a personal and useful answer, not just a corporate autoreply and some incompetent clerk's copy-paste solution.
    • Re:Defense? (Score:2, Troll)

      by kesuki ( 321456 )
      Are you serious? Are you brain dead? A good lawyer could mean freedom, or a reduced sentance. A court appointed attorny could mean getting stuck in a cell with murders rapists and terrorists. Remember 'hacking' is now a crime of terror. Equivalent to blowing up a building with 10,000 people in it.
      A good legal defense could get that law removed by the supreme court. How can you compare writing software to keygen an application to taking thousands of lives????

      If you think this is just about warez it isn't. This is about people who rob convenience stores being thrown back out after three months while some kid who wrote a keygen gets a life sentance WITHOUT the possibility of parole. Even if you think warez is wrong do you really believe that it is a crime on the level of murder?
  • I love slashback. Except that the links to the original stories are only sometimes listed in the slashback blurbs. Wouldn't it make sense to always link to the original slashdot story?

    Just my $1.34 Canadian
  • by SumDeusExMachina ( 318037 ) on Thursday December 13, 2001 @07:09PM (#2701949) Homepage
    I'm sorry, but I draw the "geekiness" line at pissing away your time writing silly crap like that for a calculator. A calculator is a tool of science and business, not a gaming machine. I cannot begin to describe the problems that it has caused me as a high-school math teacher. Not only has the rampant Tetris-playing caused my students to stop paying attention in class, but the ability to store "notes" in the calculator is a major source of cheating on tests. It has gotten so far that we have had to require that only scientific calculators be used on the upcoming midterm exams.

    On an unrelated note, why don't you write about HP calculators some time? They are far superior from a technological and software standpoint, and RPN works a lot better than standard algebraic notation. Alas, I suppose now that HP's discontinuing them, they don't matter to the Slashdot crowd anymore...

    • by Samuel Hughes ( 538483 ) on Thursday December 13, 2001 @07:24PM (#2701984)
      Since you mentioned tetris, I had to post this. At my high school, everybody was playing games on their calculators -- from Race to MARIO. However, the 83plus users couldn't play tetris, because it only worked on the 83. Anyway, I created a program called "TETRIS." What it did was displayed "Loading..." on the screen, while it archived every variable, including all of the unusual vars (such as the Str1 and Str2, etc.) except for the lists (I saved them for later). I put their screen in "split mode," while setting the graphing to Polar, with Xmin being larger than Xmax and Ymin larger than Ymax (resulting in a "Window Range" error screen). The program then filled a list named "SYS" up to 999 items, then going on to L1, L2, L3, etc.. until the program filled up the memory and threw an error.

      I gave this to another kid (a snobby kid who never stopped playing games on his calc), and it crippled his calculator. He had to pay me five bucks to get it fixed.

      I later lost my calculator, and I got it back two weeks with all of my games played repeatedly (with the high score list changed) and all my vars archived, lists filled, etc., resulting in it getting returned (they apparently thought it was broken). I lost it two more times, with the exact same results before it was returned to me.
    • Heh that's the same thing my father used to say about the computer.

      But that was before I got him addicted to minesweeper.
    • As a student who has passed a whole lot of time in many mathmatics, physics, and computer science classes with my TI-89, I take exception to your notion that TI-89 games are "silly crap." I use my TI-89 to advance my programming skills thorough games. I also use it to gain attendance points. I, unfortunately, have been party to many boring professors, who's lack teaching ability, and adeptness at inducing sleep by lecture has forced me to find other ways to pass time in class. Maybe instead of complaining about the use of calculators for games you should encourage students to use their calculators to enhance their mathematics, programming, or scientific skills through creating games, algorithms, or some other activity. I don't know about your ability to bore students, but there are ways to teach that keep us deliquent geeks attentive. Try to reach them where they are. Give them a reason to pay attention.
    • Re:Ticalc? TI-89s? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mliu ( 85608 )
      As a former high school student, I can tell you that it's not the Tetris that caused students to stop paying attention in your class.

      I dunno if you remember what it was like to be a high school student anymore, but if it's not the Tetris it'd be something else, like staring blankly out the window or day dreaming.

      The Tetris on the calculator wasn't so fun that I would think about it when I wasn't playing it, it was just something I would do when I was bored to tears and needed a distraction. Rather than blame some calculator game for why your students no longer listen, maybe you should look at other possible causes........and yeah yeah, I know, you don't have a whole lot to be working with there, given the subject you're teaching to high-schoolers, but I have definitely had good and bad math teachers. The good teachers were the ones who made me think, and came up with interesting ways to link the subject back to real life. And even in their classes, I would play calculator games when they were spending too long on a subject (maybe for other people in the class) that I already understood.

      So if all your students have stopped paying attention in your class, maybe rather than blaming the easy to blame calculator games, you should look at yourself and how you're teaching them.......
    • I am an excellent student, and did very well in math classes until middle school. You see, I have this strange problem with math; I can process mathematics just fine, but I am almost entirely unable to recall from memory almost any mathematical theory beyond simple logic or multiplication. Put a decent text or a good set of notes from such a text in front of me, and I can plow through math with no trouble. Take it away, and I am unable to even handle that pythagorean theorem stuff.

      This, of course, led to terrible grades and multiple math class failures in high school; due to the fact that no matter how much I tried or studied the shit just would NOT stay in my fucking head. Know how I finally got through? I convinced my mom to buy me a TI-85 calculator that I plugged all of my math notes into every day, and used it during ever single test I took. If my teachers had been pompous pricks like you, I would have been simply branded a cheater and never finished high school.

      Teachers like you prove the old adage "Those who can do, those who can't, teach." If inflexible morons like you were allowed to exist in the business world, programmers would suffer having to work without reference, sysadmins without man pages, et al.

      I only hope that as mankind progresses, we can isolate the gene that produces personalities like yours, and destroy it- and people like you- utterly.
      • As one of my teachers told me, in college, 'lets face it. In real life, if you don't know the answer, you're going to either look it up, or ask somebody. So, on the tests, bring in your text books, go nuts. But the tests WILL be such that if you don't know the underlying theory, you're screwed.' And he did it, too. He'd structure some of the questions such that they looked like english wordings of the equasions, but he'd alter something. He'd go ahead and square root something that the forumla is supposed to, so if you plug it in, you'll square root it again, and fuck up. It was great.
    • I draw the "geekiness" line at pissing away your time writing silly crap like that for a computer. A computer is a tool of science and business, not a gaming machine. (s/calculator/computer/g)

      Is that you meant to say? I'm guessing that a pencil is a tool of science and business, not a gaming tool, too. Doing anything serious on a TI-89 is a decent challenge, though less than the -83's or -85 that didn't come with a half meg of memory.

      Not only has the rampant Tetris-playing caused my students to stop paying attention in class,

      Really? Students will pay attention in math class without TI-89s? That's surprising; I wouldn't think a lot of students would pay attention no matter what you did.
    • If I recall correctly (it has been a while), one thing that always frustrated me about my physics and math courses is that they always seemed to want a numeric result at the end.

      I seem to remember that I would generally solve a problem symbolically down to the point where it was just a matter of arithmetic, at which point I would whip out the calcuator. That last step is really trivial, however, and if it weren't needed, neither would be the calculator.

      If calculators are such a problem, then why not just ban them?
      • Re:Ticalc? TI-89s? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by QuasEye ( 98125 )
        It's interesting you said that. Back when I was in high school, I took the "Independent Study" Calculus course. It was the only one my school offered, and I was one of three who took it. I took the whole thing on a beat-up TI scientific that a friend of mine had found laying outside on the ground. It was so old, it had batteries only - no solar. Anyway, later that year, I took the Calc AP test. The rules said that a graphing calculator was recommended, but my math teacher said it would probably just get in my way. The morning of the test, my calculator died - big crack through the LCD. The guidance counselor lent me his calculator - a four-function. Ok, it had a square root button too, but that was it. I took the whole test with it, and had to leave a lot of the answers in symbolic form - I think I gave the height of a tree as ln(3.8) + 2 or something.

        Anyway, long story short, I got a 4 - first at my high school ever to pass.

        So, in conclusion, symbolic answers can be a good thing. :)
    • I'm sorry, but I draw the "geekiness" line at pissing away your time writing silly crap like that for a calculator.

      A large part of hacking is making something that's not meant to do cool stuff do cool stuff. Are you suggesting that hacking isn't geeky?

      It has gotten so far that we have had to require that only scientific calculators be used on the upcoming midterm exams.

      So? There's no reason high school math students need graphing calculators. In fact, with the possible exception of Trig functions, they shouldn't need calculators at all. As a college level math tutor I think it's unfortunate that high school math teachers encourage the use of calculators. I've watched too many freshman flounder in Calculus because they never really understood Algebra. That's certainly not entirely because their high school teachers let them use calculators, but it's certainly a contributing factor. It's really sad to see someone who claimed to get A's in math all through high school who can't even multiply by 10's without picking up their calculator.

      On an unrelated note, why don't you write about HP calculators some time? They are far superior from a technological and software standpoint, and RPN works a lot better than standard algebraic notation.

      That would explain their popularity, or lack thereof. Personally I despise RPN, for the same reasons I despise Newtons notations for Calculus. Oh well, I guess if your going to be wrong you might as well be wrong about everything...

      • There's no reason high school math students need graphing calculators. In fact, with the possible exception of Trig functions, they shouldn't need calculators at all. As a college level math tutor I think it's unfortunate that high school math teachers encourage the use of calculators. I've watched too many freshman flounder in Calculus because they never really understood Algebra. That's certainly not entirely because their high school teachers let them use calculators, but it's certainly a contributing factor. It's really sad to see someone who claimed to get A's in math all through high school who can't even multiply by 10's without picking up their calculator.

        Amen! I've seen a student who claimed to have gotten straight A's in AP calc get a C followed by an F in first year calculus. He told me ``...if I could just use my calculator, I'd be fine...''. He was partly right; he did know what buttons to push for some familiar problems. But he had never learned calculus, and he had never learned how to learn math. All he knew was how to push buttons, and learn button sequences. He couldn't reason.

    • I understand your frustration with calculator games in high school math. I believe my high school teacher put it best, however, in regards to what goes on in his class:

      "I don't care what you do, as long as you don't disturb others. Paint your nails or sleep for all I care. While you're in summer school, I'll be teeing off on the golf course at 9am."

    • Games on the TI (Score:2, Interesting)

      It seems to me to be a decent way to learn a little programming. The fact that you can carry it around with you and whenever you are bored whip it out and code a few more lines is a plus factor, not like my computer where when I sit down on it there's a lot more to do that distracts me from ever learning how to program on it...

      The whole point of hacking is to make things work above their abilities. I wrote a multiplayer Tic Tac Toe type game for the TI-83 that worked over the link cable, which was pretty cool. (Turns out though that the link cable connection isn't good enough to do anything requiring speed or anything close to two way communication, so any multiplayer action type games are out...)

      For a lark I am now programming a 3D Wireframe Renderer for my TI-83. It reads XYZ points from a matrix variable and then reads which points to connect with lines from another matrix variable. It is pretty cool, not useful for anything, but still cool.

      Tim
    • I understand your concern, my school has to battle the same problem. But the teachers have the stance that if they pass the test, they don't seem to fuss. I'd see the previous post about summer school.

      Seriously, before a midterm or regents, the teacher in one menu managed to reset the calculator. It wipes out the notes (and games, darn), and resets things like radians, but is the only foolproof thing when everyone's in the test room. Just check inside the cases for cheat sheets.
    • Re:Ticalc? TI-89s? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dillon_rinker ( 17944 ) on Thursday December 13, 2001 @10:19PM (#2702712) Homepage
      I'm a former mathematics teacher. You should be. Let me pick your post apart line by line. I'll be quite harsh, so stop reading now if you don't want your day ruined...

      I'm sorry, but I draw the "geekiness" line at pissing away your time writing silly crap like that for a calculator.
      Do you think it's silly for football players to lift weights because there are no weights on the football field? Learning to program in a small space develops excellent mental muscles. Learning to program in Z80 assembler (or whatever language is used) is invaluable to ANYONE who wants to understand computers. YOU don't see the usefulness in it, therefore you conclude it's pointless; I must disagree. I'd point out also (something that you as a teacher MUST come to understand) that anything that motivates a student to learn something, ANYTHING, is invaluable.

      A calculator is a tool of science and business, not a gaming machine.
      Ever hear of a computer? Ever hear of the IBM PC? Speak of facts, not wishes.

      I cannot begin to describe the problems that it has caused me as a high-school math teacher.
      Yes, you can. You go on to do so in the next sentence. It would have been better to say "I can only begin to describe..."

      Not only has the rampant Tetris-playing caused my students to stop paying attention in class, but the ability to store "notes" in the calculator is a major source of cheating on tests.
      You have a classroom management problem. The game-playing and cheating are symptomatic. It could be note-passing, it could be talking, it could be throwing pencils at the ceiling. The problem is not the paper, the mouths, or the pencils, it is the students' lack of respect and motivation. Like it or not, responsibility (if not causation) lies with you. Students play games because they have nothing better to do. As for the cheating, you make it sound as if you didn't understand the potential of these "tools", and I have no patience with this. You have no business teaching with them if you don't understand them. I worked with some of the early pioneers of the graphing calculator in secondary mathematics education, and rapidly learned that a teacher who didn't understand the technology would do more harm than good. Students would not only fail to progress in their mathematical skills; they would regress as they lost competence in skills they'd previously developed.

      It has gotten so far that we have had to require that only scientific calculators be used on the upcoming midterm exams.
      More evidence that you have NO business teaching with graphing calculators. You apparently hand students a tool, teach them to use it, and test them on their ability to accomplish tasks without the tool. You may as well teach them to do long division with paper and pencil and require oral examiniations in which they do all the work in their head. The analogy is almost exact. Here's what we did to solve your problem. On test days...
      1. Students place all books under the desk as class starts; only the calculator and some writing implements are on the desk.
      2. Students remove batteries from the calculators.
      3. The teacher walks to each desk and verifies that the batteries are out.
      4. The students replace batteries and place calculators under their desk.
      5. The teacher passes out Part 1 of the test; it measures rote memorization of formulas, proofs, etc. This portion of the test is timed.
      6. When Part 1 is completed, the teacher passes out Part 2; students could use their calculators.
      This worked quite well for us.

      On an unrelated note, why don't you write about HP calculators some time?
      I believe they have...

      They are far superior from a technological and software standpoint, and RPN works a lot better than standard algebraic notation.
      Right, and Esperanto is far superior from a linguistic standpoint and works better than standard English phonics. But no one speaks Esperanto at my supermarket because everyone speaks English. RPN is a poor choice in a pedagogical environment because you must teach not one, but two mathematical languages. If you want to teach RPN, by all means do so..but teach only RPN and use textbooks whose notation makes RPN obvious.

      Alas, I suppose now that HP's discontinuing them, they don't matter to the Slashdot crowd anymore...
      Not a homogenous group...but you're probably mostly correct.

      Some of this has been pointed out in other posts, but I wanted to be thorough. BTW, I'm a former mathematics teacher because I was a bad mathematics teacher. I loved mathematics, I loved my students, and I loved being in the classroom. I just really, really sucked at it. Anyway, I can see the symptoms from a thousand miles. You really need to either leave the field (as I did) or seek some drastic change to your teaching. A few years reflection on my failure has lead me t believe that classroom management (aka discipline) skills are the core competencies of good teachers.
      • Re:Ticalc? TI-89s? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by quantum bit ( 225091 )

        2. Students remove batteries from the calculators.
        3. The teacher walks to each desk and verifies that the batteries are out.
        4. The students replace batteries and place calculators under their desk.

        Tee hee, I remember my HP48GX had a mega-capacitor inside of it that would keep the memory for up to 10 minutes with no batteries. The idea was to make it easier to change the batteries without losing data, but it made it great for those who didn't understand the technology :)

        Not to mention it had symbolic maniuplation and automatic built-in unit conversion YEARS before TI caught up.

        Personally, I like the attitude of my calculus teacher. You had to show the steps on the test, so I wrote some programs that used the symbolic maniuplation to come up with the right results. A few of the other students thought this was an unfair advantage, but her opinion was, "If you understand the subject well enough to write a program to do it for you, more power to ya."

        • I had a Casio (forget model number) which seemed nicer than the TI-81's of the time (1995)--it was slimmer and had graphical matrix representation, but it used only large watch batteries. The night before the AP Calculus test, I loaded the thing with every trigonomic identity and useful formula possible.

          The test arrived. I turned it on. The power drain was so great that it was unusable. I sighed and stuck a paperclip into the reset hole.

          I got a 3, though. Good enough to skip a semester at college!

        • great for those who didn't understand the technology
          Yup. Those who don't understand the technology have NO business using it for teaching. I have more patience for Luddites (those who disallow technology out of fear that it may someday replace them) than technophiles (those who incorporate as much technology as possible, regardless of the benefits) when it comes to teaching.
      • I would like to mod this +1 "good thought out post from someone who understands WTH he's talking about"

        Its Ironic that someone who can use hindsight to relize that they where a bad teacher and why, isn't teaching. I think a lot of teachers need to step back and think this way about there teaching. So they can constantly improve there skills.
    • I don't know if the parent of this comment was intended to be funny or not. I didn't find it funny.

      I'd just like to make a distinction between writing silly games for your calculator, and cheating in class.

      I had a great time programming my TI-85 and TI-82 when I was in my high school math classes, I never once used them to cheat, and I went on to major in Math in college. Lots of my other friends played with them when they were bored, but didn't ever cheat. Sure, sometimes we didn't pay attention to the lecture - but we wouldn't have been paying attention to the lecture without a calculator either - often we figured out what was going on in the first 10 minutes of class and were bored, while all of the other students were still struggling.

      My suggestion is this: encourage use of graphing calculators to understand math. Tolerate use of calculators during class (but take them away from any students who abuse this privelege). Disallow them during exams.

      One other suggestion: if you're a Math teacher, take the time to learn how to use these calculators. If you suspect a student of cheating, take their calculator and examine it for notes. If you want to be fair, you'll tell your students about this policy ahead of time.
    • Re:Ticalc? TI-89s? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by BryceH ( 263331 )
      the ability to store "notes" in the calculator is a major source of cheating on tests

      dont let the students use calculators on exams. my best courses were the ones where we were not alowed to use calculators on exams. the problems used easy enough numbers that you didnt get caught up with number crunching on the calc. but you had to demonstrate a clear understanding of the material in order to get a correct answer. if you ask me most people use calculators far far to much for simple problems and they are so reliant on the calculator that they never really stop to think about the problem. or they are so trusting of the calculator that they make stupid typos and never catch them. for example take 100/10=? someone types 100/100 in to the calculator on accident they get 1 as the answer and just write it down. they never think about the problem.
    • Re:Ticalc? TI-89s? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by snilloc ( 470200 )
      Things I did w/ my TI graphing calculator:

      1)Write programs to do my repetitive homework assignments for me while the few morons in my class struggled with something basic.

      2)Actually see the full calculation I was attempting to perform, in standard notation, before hitting Enter.

      3)Being able to quickly recall the last few things I did... and edit them efficiently to correct mistakes or perform repetitive tasks.

      4)Cheat. Polyatomic ions (which I eventually learned just from using them so much). As I recall, that was the extent of my cheating.

      5)Check my calculus answers. It was impossible to cheat in my high school calculus class because we always had to show our work. Checking (not cheating) on the calculator saved my butt more than once.

      6) Spiffy self-written Pythagorean program clued me in as to whether or not I would get an answer at the end of my work, and if so, what it would be. As I had a mere TI-82, it was actually necessary for me to write this program. (Half-cheating - The pythagorean theorem is so damn easy. I only wrote the program after seeing how much time I was wasting doing it by hand.)

      7)Programs to reset the variables to various sets of constants, depending on what class I was in, or after another program had just destroyed my variables... it was so much easier in Chem class to just hit "N" than do the SciNotation for Avogadro's number.

      My biggest gripe about graphing calculators in high school are the schools that standardize on one type of calculator and waste valuable time to teach the kids how to use them. There would also be less program (and thus game!) sharing if a few kids had Casios, maybe some HPs for variety, and a few more had various flavors of TI, among which there are minimal compatibilities. (For example, 83 is mostly backwords compatible to 82, but not at all w/ 85. Same with the 86 w.r.t. the 85.).

      As I recall, there was only one test on which my high school calculus teacher didn't allow graphing calculators. All the other times it didn't matter, but the multi-line display sure was a much bigger help than anything else in the calculator.

    • Why not just let them use the notes?


      My high school math teacher (had him from precalc/trig through AP calc BC) had the philosophy that "what's allowed on the AP test will be allowed on my tests." Since you can use calculators/notes/programs on the test, he allowed it in his tests as well.


      Not only did he have a phenomenal ratio of students that passed the test (80% or so got a 5, and virtually everyone who took the test passed), but most of those who had taken the his class performed significantly better in college math courses than their peers.


      Being able to refer to notes doesn't prevent you from learning something -- in fact, it helps you learn to seperate the "theory that you need to understand" from the enormous set of equations that you can always look up if you need.

    • At my university each candidate is issued a standard calculator at the start of each exam, and they're collected up afterwards. You're not allowed to bring your own calculator into the exam room any more than your own answer booklet to write on. (Your own pens are okay since nobody's found a magical cheat-helping pen.)

      Calculators are so cheap nowadays that you don't have much excuse not to do this. Although your solution of requiring only 'scientific' (I assume this means, not graphical) calculators is also a good answer.

      Unfortunately, people aren't going to stop building features into calculators just because teachers would prefer it that way. It's the schools' responsibility to decide what type of calculators are and are not acceptable in class or in tests.
  • TI-89 Emulator (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Vardamir ( 266484 ) on Thursday December 13, 2001 @07:11PM (#2701958)
    Someone should port a TI-89 emulator to the Strong-ARM 206MHz based PDAs, like the new Zaurus. Hardest thing would be to make a good GUI because the regular keypad on the TI-89 would take up too much room.
  • Warez: The New Drug? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Brontosaurus Jim ( 528803 ) on Thursday December 13, 2001 @07:12PM (#2701961) Homepage
    Damn, it's really shocking to read the crap those agents pulled on the warez groups. Even ignoring the obvious immorality/illegality of it, it seems to me like they put a lot of time into the raids.

    What the hell are they wasting their time for (and our money) on little stuff like this? It's like the federal government has no capability to distinguish between minor crimes and major ones.

    If we don't watch out, the next war (after terrorism) will be on software. Damn, imagine if the BSA ever got to use guns. *shudder*

    That's not a good thought. Sigh, I'd better stop posting to /. and go get the papers ready for my companies upcoming audit.
    • crime is crime

      the police try and arrest people who commit crime

      it's hardly surprising that after 10 years of 0 day warez someone is going to knock on the door with a badge and a gun

      they should've stuck to fido, BBS and CD's in the mail

      maybe now ppl will use a vpn or something sensible

      trading in irc is like selling drugs on the street corner, do it long enough in the same spot and your gonna feel some heat.

      too bad for the fall guys
    • Quite simple. Companies have money. When you have money you can make anything you want illegal. If you've played your cards right once you've made things illegal you're the only source for some product or service, or at least one of the few sources. It's a dangerous spiral that makes sure the rich keep on getting richer. Mind you, it does end at some point with the companies back being broken under it's own weight.
    • Look, I'm as much anti-copyright as anyone. And I'll haply use the results of these warez kids. But I don't really have much sympathy for them. They got lazy and stupid. They should have been using more secure setups, and been a lot less 'interconnected' operationally. (I'm not saying don't socialize, but for god sakes, don't go around giving out shell accounts and stuff to everybody).

      The other thing is, how are these groups funded? As far as I can tell these kids are warezing just so they can feel like big criminals (witch they are, if he FBI is putting so much work into catching them) but they aren't making any money, are they? If so, how?
    • I do agree that the FBI could be spending their time on terrorists or serial killers. Violent crimes should be their main job, then physical robbery, and everything else last on the list.

      In the older warez days people put Cracktros into the games, old Amiga and c64 cracktros and demos. It wasn't about copying games, it was about hacking, skill, showmanship.

      Today its about ripping people off, companies selling counterfeit office, windows, adobe. This goes against everything most hackers believe in.

      The same thing goes for Mp3s, its like a bootleg tapes, even thou its illegal, people love them. I think this is a kind of double standard on morals, its ok to be robin hood and steal, but you cant sell.

      Morals, laws and justice. 3 completely different things.

      -
      What party are you? [lp.org]
    • by Jeffrey Baker ( 6191 ) on Thursday December 13, 2001 @11:22PM (#2702889)
      In 1995 David LaMacchia, a student at MIT, was cleared of federal (US) wire fraud charges. The charges were brought because LaMacchia was operating two bulletin boards to distribute pirated software, cracks, and other warez. He was not convicted because the courts determined that there was no crime if the defendant hadn't profitted from the alleged copyright violations.

      Obviously this is pertinent to the case of these busted warez organizations. From my humble participation in the scene in '94 and thereabouts, I never saw anyone from the larger groups (Razor, DoD, PwA, RTS) selling CDs, selling FTP access, or otherwise trying to make a buck from warez. Everybody just wanted to get the biggest and best 0-day releases, the coolest demos, and the hardest cracks, then spend all night in IRC bragging about it and trying to take over channels (yay EFnet).

      Have there been any laws since the LaMacchia case that make priacy without profit a federal crime?

      If you haven't got the faintest idea what I'm talking about, Google for David LaMacchia and Harvey Silverglate (civil libertarian and author of The Shadow University)

      • Have there been any laws since the LaMacchia case that make priacy without profit a federal crime?

        As far as I can tell, the "No Electronic Theft" or NET act, making it illegal "to reproduce or distribute, including by electronic means, one or more copyrighted works having a total retail value of more than $1,000." (description from this page [ipwatchdog.com]) is now law. It seems that you can read it here [usdoj.gov].

        Now, it should be obvious to any reasonable person that 99% of the people who warez down software either can't afford to buy it, and so never would have bought it, or are just trying it out and will probably either buy it or decide it's crap and never run it again. Software "piracy" might not be a victimless crime, but it comes awfully close.

        So why are the feds so concerned about it? Could be just that the adbusters [adbusters.org] people are right, and the corporations' interests override common sense and the public interest [adbusters.org] (like, having the FBI spend its time on actual threats to public safety rather than warez mavens, most of whom would probably never hurt a fly.)

        But there's a subtler, more chilling trend going on, too. It's already illegal to buy or sell a radio scanner that tunes the cellular frequencies; you can't buy a wideband receiver unless you're the government [universal-radio.com] (or live overseas; so much for the "land of the free"), and I believe you're not allowed to tune into alphanumeric pagers, though I can't find a reference for this. And the electromagnetic spectrum belongs to all of us, not the government, damnit; why can't I do what I want with the electrons running through my antenna on my property?

        With these raids, they're telling us what we can and can't do with the bits that come down our cable modem; and with the truly chilling SSSCA and prohibitions on digital VCRs, they're going to prevent the computer and home electronics manufacturers from selling boxes that will even permit us from doing things they don't like with the bits.

        It's still a pretty long way before Big Brother and the two-way, spying TV-- but that is the direction we are moving, and as annoying as it is that I'm not gonna be able to get warez as easily now, the broader implications are what really bug me.

        • I kind of said this the last time the story came around : (sorry :) )

          Now, it should be obvious to any reasonable person that 99% of the people who warez down software either can't afford to buy it ...

          That it is illegal keeps many people from doing it. Also, should part of a law read "You cannot use software illegally unless you do not profit from it."? That is not a factor in traditional property crimes ... why should it be so in intellectual property crimes?

          or are just trying it out and will probably either buy it or decide it's crap and never run it again

          I've never understood this argument ... most software packages have demo versions. If they don't, you can usually contact the company and arrange a demo with them. Granted, not every company probably does this, but I'm troubled that this major excuse probably only really applies 5% of the time.

          like, having the FBI spend its time on actual threats to public safety rather than warez mavens, most of whom would probably never hurt a fly.

          This is an oft-cited argument whenever somebody is pinched for a minor crime. The simple fact of the matter is that much more time is spent on major crimes. However, if law enforcement spent all of their time on major crimes, we still wouldn't solve all of them, and every minor crime would go unpunished. Also, if you consider that this is the first bust in umpteen years, and the feds sound like they're not going to do it again in the near future, they really aren't spending much time on it (relatively speaking).

          Also, threats to businesses might not seem like public safety issues. But go to Pittsburgh and tell them that intellectual property and protecting the rights of businesses isn't important. They might disagree. Everybody craps on the rights of businesses, but occasionally they need to be protected from unfair competition for the public good.


          • That it is illegal keeps many people from doing it. Also, should part of a law read "You cannot use software illegally unless you do not profit from it."? That is not a factor in traditional property crimes ... why should it be so in intellectual property crimes?


            No it doesn't. Everyone I know who is, or used to be (myself included) into Warez knew it was illegal and didn't care. People I know who don't avoid the warez scene do so either because they lack the technical know-how, have personal ethical reasons, consider the time involved in aquiring warez more valuable than the money it costs to buy a package or like me made the switch to Free Software and discovered that warez had become redundant. Those that want to pirate software, and have the skill and time to do it will, regardless of the law.

            The difference between IP "theft" and traditional property crime, is that when you "steal" IP you do not deprive the original owner/creator of the use of the IP, unlike physical property crime. All you are stealing is a potential sale. In my warezing days I liked maybe 1/10 titles I downloaded well enough to even keep installed and use for more than a week, maybe half of those I liked well enough that I would've paid for (and later when I could afford to buy software, did or at least the next release or similar game by the same company) Not that I'm justifying my "piracy" with my later purchases, just being honest and putting my view into perspective. The points I'm trying to make is that piracy isn't really theft, in the same sense that stealing your car is theft, as no one really loses anything and that the law has little to no affect on stopping people from pirating software. On the other hand pirating a software package and reselling your own boxed version (or plain CD's) for 1/10 the regular purchase price does cost the producer something, everyone of those bootleg sales should be considered an actual lost sale IMO. It's the large, for profit pirate rings that actually harm businesses, not a bunch of IRC warez d00ds.
  • If only we had had these back in the old days, maybe the soviet union wouldn't have collapsed afterall.
  • I am sure those warez busts will help out the recession, put some of America's best and brightest (some MIT students and top IT executives supposedly) in jail. I am sure this will sky rocket the economy considering they supposed lky helped with the 6+ billion of dollars lost due to piracy? Give me a break.
    • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Thursday December 13, 2001 @08:16PM (#2702249) Journal

      Warez kids are the best and the brightest?! Please explain. My notion of "best and brightest" doesn't associate itself with people who produce nothing, steal from those who do, and get caught doing it. This seems more like evolution in action to me.

      • I just want to point out that the guy who got caught at MIT was a sysadmin, not a student. [boston.com].
      • I agree. Being able to take a binary that has no code that you know of, and that might have strict anti-piracy measures built in, and being able to adapt the code of that binary to make it bypass all that anti-piracy crap is really, really trivial.

        I mean, any 5th grader can do it... :P
      • My, what responses I got. They were all pretty much along the lines of "these kids are so smart because they got into top schools and they crack". Of course it takes a kind of "intelligence" to crack things, but I must reiterate that this does not make them the best and the brightest.

        They fail to see the forest for the trees. What truly useful inventions could such genius produce? Maybe they could have been like Dean Kamen, producing medical devices and earning enough money to sink it into pie in the sky scooter projects. Maybe they could be "cracking" the human genome for cancer cures. Maybe a lot of things I can't even imagine. We will never know. They were too busy ripping into other people's work.

        Intelligence is only part of being "best and brightest". These kids are like burly men with big hammers. Instead of using their hammers to pound nails, they use them to smash Windows. When you look at these people, and multiply their "best" factor by their "brightest" factor, the product is futility.

  • #!/bin/bash
    echo "Fuck off FBI!" > /var/ftp/incomming/windowsxp.iso
    echo "Fuck off FBI!" > /var/ftp/incomming/window95.iso
    echo "Fuck off FBI!" > /var/ftp/incomming/photoshop.iso
    echo "Fuck off FBI!" > /var/ftp/incomming/win2000.iso
  • ya know (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Before all you scoff at the busts remember this: the group hit the hardest "DoD" where the ones who told that 16 year old kid how to crack CSS. They told him how to do it, he just wrote the code. I remember you guys all loved DeCCS right, well DoD are the ones who figured it out how to do it...

    Oh if you notice nobody from FLT or DVN got busted, after evading that sting you gotta admit FLT is fucking ereet.
  • by awptic ( 211411 ) <infinite@c o m p l e x . com> on Thursday December 13, 2001 @07:52PM (#2702134)
    Well I tried submitting a story on this earlier, but it was rejected. Anyways, for some information on what went down from people who are closely involved with the scene, check out this site [www.envy.nu] , a detailed list of who was involved and the 'warez groups' they came from is there, as well as locations.
  • by Mad Quacker ( 3327 ) on Thursday December 13, 2001 @07:55PM (#2702140) Homepage
    It just struck me WHY this happened now, to DoD! The group released less than 1% of total releases last year, but they were the ones behind the DeCSS algorithm (though not the code). They couldn't get anything out of punishing a 16 year old foreign national, so this is their tactic. There is no other reason for the FBI to target DoD over other groups with _much_ higher volume.

    Welcome to the Corporate Republic.
    • High profile raids like this are made more to make a point than to stop an activity. Bill Clinton had his Waco raid to make a point about fire arms. It was pointless violence, as Koresh could have been taken quietly on a visit to town. Clinton wanted to make a point, that the Fed is biger than you and will shoot your ass if you fight. Fighting religious fringe groups played well to Clinton's constituents. It was not intended nor did it hope to eliminate illegal firearms.

      So did John Ashcroft want to send a signal here? If he did it's muddy. You would think that DeCSS would have been mentioned explicitly as a reason for the raid. The reasons given were music and M$ junk, and other coppied cracked comercial software. Also, if he wanted the public to confuse thak kind of trash with banned free software he would have mentioned it as an "encryption circumvention device".

      He might have wanted the news to filter up through the community through some kind of Mad_Quacker.... Ahhhh! the conspiracy theorists are the conspirators.

      Disinformation Nation: where the un fettered flow of non peer moderated publications has exactly the opposite effect of free speech.

  • real site (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
  • by Chagrin ( 128939 ) on Thursday December 13, 2001 @08:11PM (#2702225) Homepage
    From Wired's take on the warez crackdown [wired.com]:
    • Investigators served 56 search warrants and expect to grab about 130 computers.

      Customs agent Allan Doody said each computer has between one to two terabytes of stolen software.

    • That sounds like another case of the feds "Mitnicking" again - arbitrarily multiplying the damage reports for the sake of making things sound more serious.

      1TB? come on. Maybe a seven drive external SCSI enclosure filled with 150GB drives. Otherwise, how would they do it? I'm no warez expert, how could you even get more than six 120GB HDs in a computer (assuming four IDE channels, a CDROM and a CDRW, leaving six free for those 120GB HDs... and four or five hundred CDRs besides?)

      A couple hundred megs, maybe. But I highly doubt more than a handful of those computers were terabyte plus capacity (one to two terabytes... as the original poster suggests). I don't condone warezing, but I don't want to see the kids get lynched for a billion dollars of theft, either.

      Typical sensationalism. I bet there's an awful lot of us that were at one point either FTP siteops or into the warez scene to some degree... its almost like a rite of passage for the internet-inclined. (donning flame suit)
    • >Customs agent Allan Doody said each computer has between one to two terabytes of stolen software.

      Wow! If each software came on a CD-ROM, holding an average of 600 MB, that means each computer was surrounded by 3333 1/3 shoplifted products.

      Now, if each box is about 10" x 7" x 2", and your average room has a ceiling height of 8 ft. (96") then the room would have to be 83.3" x 58.3" (7' x 5').

      I guess that's why they busted universities. University dorm rooms are just about that size.

      Now, if each software was new when it was shoplifted, and if the average software costs $100, that's $333,333.33 of stealing each!

      What I don't get is why these stores were stupid enough not to notice 3333 software titles missing from the shelves.

      I guess we'll never know...
  • Legality (Score:3, Informative)

    by mindstrm ( 20013 ) on Thursday December 13, 2001 @08:30PM (#2702309)
    >such as agents raiding a house and watching what connections happened without pulling the plug. That can't be legal, can it

    By what logic? They are observing illegal activity taking place. They did not put up the site, they did not instigate people to use it, it's not entrapment.

    That's like saying watching a drug transaction go down to find out who is involved instead of stopping it is illegal.
  • I was kind of wondering what the general feeling about the lack of discussion on the video today. I feel that while /.'ers can tire very quickly of hearing (not caring) about UBL, having the video and transcrpits online along without having the servers get overloaded was IMHO newsworth for us. Another reason I have been apart of the slashdot community is because this forum has the background to make intelligent comments, rather than the shit that gets posted everywhere else.
  • Sorry, had to do it. Oblink for them:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/stores/arti st /glance/-/88810/ref=m_art_dp/107-0093169-3520543
  • First: With so many groups with such great organization and skills (obviously more than some software makers) this is part of our culture. If you agree with their actions or not - you must realize these could be the Al Capone & Baby Face Nelsons of our time.

    Do they really have the press conference saying:
    "Today a judge issued warrants for John Smith also known as; Arsdigi..."
    and so forth?

    That has to be a riot to the persons parents or whoever. They all know he just sits in his house all day.
  • by The Bungi ( 221687 ) <thebungi@gmail.com> on Thursday December 13, 2001 @10:58PM (#2702819) Homepage
    ... has been a mess since it was nationalized in 1982. Basically, one day all the investments companies like Bank Of America and Citi had in Mexico back then was for all practical purposes stolen, and the country paid the price for the next 15 years - no investment institutions would do business there no matter how good the odds were.

    Things have gotten better over the last few years, where now they're at the point of allowing foreign companies to acquire what was once the "pride" of the mexican financial system, Banamex (mentioned in the article). The problem is that Banamex was supremely in bed with the ruling party, and thus it can still do whatever the heck it pleases. Having said that, US law should hopefully shoot them down in this sad case.

    FWIW, the mexican 'fed' is technically not the Banco De Mexico, but the board of governors headed by the Minister of Finance and the governor of the bank itself. For many years this 'bank' was really just a money production factory, back in the golden days of the banana republic mindset when the government printed more money if it suddenly ran out for some reason. 40% inflation baby!
  • What is wrong with busting warez distributors? I mean, I'm all in favor of free speech and I believe that source code (even deCSS) and compiled programs should never be banned from distribution, provided that the copyright owner allows it.

    But these people were actually distributing copyrighted material which they *didn't* own the copyright to. I mean, they did something that they new was illegal, is clearly illegal (and has been so for many, many years) and they got caught red-handed. This is not a "free Kevin" or "free Dmitry" type of issue.

    Besides, these guys will all get deals to rat out someone else, just like Dmitry did.

    I'll probably get flamed, but I had to put up my $0.02.

    MM
    --
    • by freeweed ( 309734 ) on Friday December 14, 2001 @01:22AM (#2703136)
      I won't flame you, because I also share your opinion of "break the law, suffer the consequences". Where I do disagree is in the consequences themselves:

      Imagine if the FBI had spent millions of dollars setting up dragnets on known jaywalkers around the world. These people KNOW they're breaking the law, and they've been caught red-handed. You don't have the RIGHT to jaywalk. Jail time is the only possible answer, right? And to top it all off, undercover agents secretly were telling suspects how to jaywalk, and where to jaywalk.

      Puts things a little more in perspective, right?

      (Note: I'm assuming that jaywalking is illegal in most jurisidictions.. if not, insert your own silly law here)

      • Jaywalking law is legitamite because it establishes culpability in an accident. If someone walks out from between two cars in the middle of the street and I hit them, it's not my fault; they were the ones breaking the law (and I can sue for damage to my car!). However, if they are in a crosswalk and I hit them then it's my fault.
        • In most municipalities Jay Walking laws also cover crossing with/against the light, and yet in most cases the driver is still culpable if you hit the pedestrian in the crosswalk (take a look at how Cali law says motorists have to stop as soon as the pedestrian enters the crosswalk).

          Yet in New York for instance, Jay Walking laws aren't enforced (even though there are definate times when they should be), simply because its impractical. Heck I know several friends who ended up getting Jay Walking tickets in other cities specifically because they were from New York where Jay Walking is viewed as rediculous (ie. a person should be brighter than to run between cars, and if you do it and no one gets hurt/no accident or traffic hicup, then all is good).

Take an astronaut to launch.

Working...