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Slashback: Ford, Buccaneers, Hardware 255

The updates tonight (below) are on the industrially appealing sliMP3 player (get in line, buddy), the U.S. government's continuing War on Copyright Violation, the pricy but cool-sounding Audigy sound card from Creative Labs, what you'll find at mysql.org, and more. Enjoy!

It seemed like a good idea at the time, though. GeekLife.com writes: "After 20 months, Ford has ended (technically "deferred") their "Model E" free computer and discounted Internet access for their employees (announced here and discussed here). Employees who already have computers will be able to keep them, and their Internet service will not be affected."

I sure hope that Ford (like many large companies) at the very least gives Ford employees dibs on any computers that are being replaced within the company to make up for each new round of Windows.

Sounds like a slimple decision, if you like the look. rockwood writes: "We've all been waiting for this for quite some time, but it appears that now for only $269.00 Slim Devices, Inc. is now shipping their sliMP3. Though they state quantity is limited, due to a component shortage. Last minute Christmas gift for the tech on your list!"

For that price, it better read aloud in a very sexy voice. The other day we linked to a review of the new all-singing, all-dancing Audigy sound card on 3D Spotlight; in case that wasn't enough to help you choose whether to spend or save your money, LinkDJ writes: "This card is great for those with older sound card in their systems, but if you have a Sound Blaster 5.1, there is no real need to upgrade. The cool things about this card are that it has integrated SB1394 Firewire, thus eliminating the need for a separate Firewire add-in card. Read the full review."

WhoseSQL? gwynnebaer writes "A friend of mine just pointed out to me that the contentious www.mysql.org now points to the main MySQL AB site. If you remember, there was much gnashing of lawsuits over trademark issues this past summer. So, looks like at least one part of the battle is over, but for the life of me, I can't find any articles or newsworthy information to explain what happened. Anyone know the scoop?"

Free software might be a good way to lessen your legal liability. MooRogue writes: "Looks like the Feds are raiding Universities and corporate offices for more pirated software. They're questioning people and seizing computers to gather digital evidence in 'Operation Buccaneer.' Here's the article on the NY Times (free reg, blah blah)"

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Slashback: Ford, Buccaneers, Hardware

Comments Filter:
  • ouch (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "only" $269?
    • Yeah, and it serves the same purpose as your computer running winamp and an audio cable coming out of your sound card. It may be slim, but it isn't all that usefull.
      • Unless of course your computer is far away from the stereo, or you want a remote that works at the stereo. This thing would be cool for me because I have ethernet near my stereo but not a computer... too bad it's so dang expensive.
  • by Robber Baron ( 112304 ) on Thursday December 20, 2001 @08:08PM (#2735092) Homepage
    ...all the pimps, drug dealers, and other riff-raff, who must surely all be behind bars now and consequently our law-enforcement agencies have nothing to do but hassle college kids!

    These are the pirates that they need to be going after, [theregister.co.uk] not college kids swapping mp3z or warez...
    • Just because taxes are theft doesn't make theft any less wrong.

      However, I do agree with you that taxes would be better spent, if spent at all, prosecuting violent crimes.

      If you believe your taxes are better spent catching software thieves, then donate to the BSA or whatever it's called. If you think it's better spent on violent crime, then send your money to someone who prosecutes violent crime. Or NORML, to convince the thugs to go after violent criminals instead of peaceful private drug users.

      I would gladly donate to a fund that tracks down and prosecutes murderers, rapists and muggers, but I have no money left since my money has already been taken by some of the worst thieves I've ever seen. They wear badges.

      Bob-

      • Idiot. If I believe that my taxes are being spent on the wrong things, how does me spending even more money on the right things solve that problem?

        Answer: It doesn't.

        I think you meant to say "lobby your govermnent reps to change how your tax money is spent".

        HTH. HAND.
        • No, I think that what he is trying to a say is that there should be less taxes in general so that we can spend/donate our money to what we think is actually useful. He is not trying to say that we should be forced to lobby our government reps to spend our money differently(slow, tedious and ineffective). It is much more efficient and effective to simply donate the money to charities/organizations ourselves. (This is not to mention the increased choice that we have in where our money goes.)
        • First, no one I've ever voted for has won their election. That means I am taxed without representation.

          My so-called "representitives" at the Federal level consist of Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinswine, and some party hack I can't even remember the name of. Oh, and "I never saw a power I didn't like" Bush, of course.

          If you can tell me how any one of those will be swayed in the slightest by yet another heart felt, sincere letter opposing practically everything they have ever done, I would love to know how.

          What I receive back are form letters that have nothing to do with the issues I addressed.

          Please, refute me. Tell me how you convinced your "elected representitives" to change their actions. I'm really, really interested.

          Bob-
          • First, no one I've ever voted for has won their election. That means I am taxed without representation.

            No, unless you live in Washington, D.C., where you are taxed by do not get a vote on congressional matter, you are represented. Just because the guy you voted for didn't win doesn't mean you don't have representation in Congress - you *have* a representative there, he or she just may not be representing you as you see fit. But then, that's what representation is all about - Congressional leaders *supposedly* making choices based on their electorate, and not on their own personal views. Sorry. Democracy isn't perfect, but it's the best we've found so far.

            BTW, no one I've voted for in the last 3 years (save for the recent state gubernatorial election) has won either, but that's unfortunately the way it works.

      • Though I agree that it's obscene how our "representatives" are exploiting the deaths of thousands to increase their own power. What i disagree with is the gun control issue.... the terroists didn't use a single gun in the execution of their plan, so it really does show that banning guns won't stop things of that nature. And if anyone else on those planes had been armed, the terrorists would never have succeeded (think pilots..)

        Though I realize i'm probably preaching to the choir in your case.....
  • all I want to know is when linux drivers would be available for the audigy.. ;)
    • Re:Audigy (Score:3, Informative)

      by moronic1 ( 162493 )
      ahh nevermind.. looked at the older article and

      ----
      The review doesn't mention how the Audigy works under any open source operating systems, though.

      If you're interested in helping Creative develop open source drivers for the Audigy, go to their Open Source Page [creative.com]. Get the emu10k1 source [creative.com] and thumb through the mailing list archive [creative.com] to find out how to get the Audigy branch of the tree
      ------

      http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=25000&cid=27 14 515
    • Re:Audigy (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bbqdeath ( 314918 )

      When the next version of Windows comes out, I suspect a lot of people will be saying "all I want to know is when the Windows-?? drivers will be available for the audigy."

      I've had enough pain and suffering from creative labs' prior driver support issues that I'm going to have to think long and hard about whether the price for this card is worth it, because I can't realistically expect the card to work past whatever version of Windows it supports now.

      Eugene

      • Re:Audigy (Score:2, Informative)

        by moronic1 ( 162493 )
        I hear you pain.. I might be lucky.. but I havnt had any troubles, Ive run the card in windows me and 2000, and two different versions of linux with no problems.. now.. my dxr2 card.. thats a different story(linux), which I have found is related to my video card..
      • no dont.

        buy a turtle beach santa cruz.
        1/2 the price and 3 times the quality.

        check the specs, it blows away anything creative can make and borders on professional quality.
        • no dont.
          buy a turtle beach santa cruz.
          1/2 the price and 3 times the quality.
          check the specs, it blows away anything creative can make and borders on professional quality.

          Yes, but what if you have a machine with only four PCI slots and you want to replace both the sucky on-mobo sound and add Firewire to your system? You have these cards installed:
          1.)Xpert 128 PCI video to kill the hideous i810 Vampire Video;
          2.)TV Wonder;
          3.)Intel NIC

          Pop question: what do you do?

          a: Get the Santa Cruz and forget about Firewire, or:
          b: Get the Audigy OEM for $20 less than the Santa Cruz and have a little less audio fidelity but all the functionality?

          I'm going to run this beastie on 2KPro. (Please don't flame me...I have my reasons.) Suggestions are welcome.

          • by TheAwfulTruth ( 325623 ) on Thursday December 20, 2001 @09:46PM (#2735417) Homepage
            Get the $199 Xtacy Everything (ti-200+TV in/out/pvr) and free up that TV wonder slot! :) But then what do you do about USB2 :(
          • For some reason, I wanna come up with a suitably smart-ass answer to cut you down to size, but I can't -- it look like you got a really sweet system for doing some heavy video processing on a budget. My suggestions are below, but they can't match an OEM Audigy, which pricewatch says is $55.

            c: If you have an ISA slot, put in an Awe 64 and a PCI firewire card.
            d: Get a Radeon 8500DV, which replaces the Xpert, the TV Wonder, AND firewire.
            e: Get a real motherboard, with 6 PCI and on-board ether.

            And Win2k kicks boot, no flames are warranted.

            -B
            • For some reason, I wanna come up with a suitably smart-ass answer to cut you down to size, but I can't -- it look like you got a really sweet system for doing some heavy video processing on a budget.

              Budget is the key word here. This all started with a $30 motherboard I found at Overstock.Com. Most of the parts will come from my parts pile, and a good friend dropped an InWin mid-tower case with a Powerman/Sparkle 300W power supply on me, saying "happy holidays."

              And much of the parts will come from a machine I rescued from a Doomed Dot Com. For details on that little adventure, follow this link: http://www.lowendpc.com/msgeek/2001/1030.html [lowendpc.com]. I found the ultra-econo motherboard just after I wrote this article.

              And what will be the original machine's fate? It will be a file and backup server for my home network. Running Linux. Yeah I had problems installing Mandrake but installing Debian or Red Hat on a machine that probably will never run XFree86 is not a problem.

              That Radeon is tempting but very, very pricey. Also the TV Wonder is already in my parts pile.

              Thanks for the ideas.

          • One important thing to look at is did Creative fix the problems they introduced in the Live and did they migrate to the Audigy line? Many people have had trouble with the Live series causing lock-ups and other pci mayhem because it is not pci compliant and put's niose on the pci bus.

            Does the audigy solve this? creative won't admit the live problem, so asking them wont help.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2001 @08:12PM (#2735111)
    an Australian LUG applauded the raid [zdnet.com] saying that stamping out pirated software will make open source alternatives more attractive
    • Linux users who celebrate the loss of freedom deserve the fate that will befall them should Microsoft manage to make linux as illegal as warez. The loss of freedom is not in reference to these warez busts, but rather the laws that were passed which enabled them. They were busted on December 11 for a reason. The FBI wants people to think of warez groups as they think of the taliban. The fact that these busts will enforce the rule of law that breaking encryption == a terrorist act. You may as well stop watching DVDs under linux, unless you use closed source apps like PowerDVD. The power the FBI now has allows them to go after the people who Make open source DVD players. And when the MPAA pushes them to do so, who will be there to defend you? If they can convince the average person that a warez group = terrorists, then they can damn well convince them that a linux user is a criminal.

      Need I remind you that making an open source DVD player Is a violation of the DMCA? Which means they could now prosecute you as a terrorist, which means they Can Extradite you from your native country and put you on trial Here in the US. Assuming your country allows you to put on trial here.

      Of course the DMCA can also be interperted to mean that it is illegal to provide copies of the US constitution. How convenient, since it's clearly in violation of the US constitution.
  • by WaIter Bell ( 542911 ) on Thursday December 20, 2001 @08:13PM (#2735114)
    Let me preface this by saying that I am an avid Linux user. I use Latex for word processing, Koffice to read office docs, and Netscape 4.77 to browse the web. I do not depend on non-free software for anything.

    Now, my question: what were these "DrinkOrDie" people thinking? They are going to spend months, maybe years in jail just because they couldn't live without their precious warez. I find it hard to imagine what you can't do with free, legal open source software - so why did these kids forsake their entire future over some crappy commercial software products? It blows the mind, really. The latest Debian CD provides all the software anyone could ever conceive of needing.

    One possibility is that they did this to "be cool" and to show that they could get away with it - just for the thrill of doing something illegal. Well, it didn't get them laid, and they're not getting away with it. So they can take comfort in the fact that they will be rotting away in their prison cells as vaginal virgins. I hope they are proud of themselves.

    Why anyone would subject themselves to this sort of punishment for a little free closed-source software is beyond the realm of comprehension.

    ~waIly

    • by Exmet Paff Daxx ( 535601 ) on Thursday December 20, 2001 @08:21PM (#2735150) Homepage Journal
      The latest Debian CD provides all the software anyone could ever conceive of needing.

      At first glance, you're right. But think about it for a minute. Rob Malda is quite possibly the most Open Source concious person I know of, and he is (by his own admission in several posted stories) almost addicted to the closed source computer game FFX. He discussed his obsession earlier in this story [slashdot.org]. If Rob can't get by with Tux racer, how can we expect people with only average willpower to resist the lure of proprietary software?

      Face it, no matter how much we like Open Source software, there's always going to be something Closed Source that you like, even if you're Rob Malda. And what better what to stick it to the man and teach them to go Open Source than to just copy the software?

      I think the mistake these DrinkOrDie guys made was that they copied too much. I only copy one or two games a month and nobody has ever busted me.
      • by .sig ( 180877 ) on Thursday December 20, 2001 @08:28PM (#2735168)
        "I only copy one or two games a month and nobody has ever busted me."

        The fact that you haven't been caught doesn't make it right. How dare you suggest that stealing "only one or two" is justified?

        I know this isn't a perfect world and not every criminal can be caught, but that doesn't mean you should flaunt the fact that you haven't been caught stealing yet. (And not even posting anonymously... there are ways to track you down, especially if /. really does log personal info from users.)

        The mistake these guys made was in stealing their first piece of software. They got away with it, but commit a crime enough times and you will and should eventually get caught.

        • You're a bit arrogant to assume that you're right in your assumption about what's right and wrong. Just because something is illegal, does not mean that it is wrong. Someone made the decision that it is wrong and made it illegal, but that just means that that person thinks it's wrong. I always laugh when I hear someone counter an argument about piracy with "stealing is stealing and it's wrong." Well, what if I don't think pirating is stealing? What if I don't feel that victimless crimes, in general, are wrong? Then the argument doesn't stand.

          You have to realize that, while you believe pirating is moraly wrong, not everyone feels this way. Some things have been outlawed not because their morality is doubtful, but because of political reasons (I'm sorry, I wish I could give you some examples, but I don't have any right now, although I think opium and marijuana might be examples).

          Next time you hear about something like this, instead of asking yourself "is what they did illegal?" maybe you should ask yourself "should what they did be illegal?"

          Just my opinion.

          • by .sig ( 180877 ) on Thursday December 20, 2001 @09:42PM (#2735402)
            It's not my assumption that stealing is wrong. It's a law, one held by pretty much every set of moral beliefs out there. If stealing is ok for you, then you're more than welcome to try and legalize it in whatever country you live in, but I kinda like that law.

            You must win a lot of debates if nothing that you don't believe in is not a valid argument. You don't think pirating is stealing, so it's not? First off, it's not a victimless crime. You are stealing revenue from whoever owns the rights to that software. You are taking something that belongs to someone else. It doesn't matter that the original is not destroyed, you're still depriving someone of the revenue that they worked to earn. If you worked for a company for awhile, and then got fired without compensation, I'm sure you'd complain. They aren't stealing anything physical from you, but they did steal your time and effort. Is there no victim there?

            While it's true that not everyone feels that stealing is wrong, that's not enough to convince me. Maybe if I knew why you thought stealing should be legal and it was a convincing enough argument I might change my mind.

            Do you really think that stealing is illegal for political reasons, or was that just a smoke cloud to make your argument look more reasonable. I know plenty of laws are passed for political reasons, but that doesn't make this one of them. Who lobbied to make stealing against the law? Look it up, it was probably done for a good reason though, not just politics.

            And yes, I've already asked whether stealing should be illegal. In my mind, I am 100% for this. I wouldn't want someone stealing the product of my work and then bragging about not getting caught for it. Maybe I'm the only one, but I just can't see any reason not to.

            • You don't think pirating is stealing, so it's not? First off, it's not a victimless crime. You are stealing revenue from whoever owns the rights to that software. You are taking something that belongs to someone else. It doesn't matter that the original is not destroyed, you're still depriving someone of the revenue that they worked to earn.

              So that's how you make this argument. I have been trying unsuccessfully for quite some time to simplify my thoughts on copyright infringement. Your comment that this is theft of a revenue stream, even if it is an "artifical" one created by laws, sums up exactly what I was trying so miserably to say in a few previous /. posts. I'm disappointed to see that your post is only moderated to a +2. Even if the moderators disagree with your points, they ought to give you credit for being more well-spoken than the rest of us.

            • You don't think pirating is stealing, so it's not? First off, it's not a victimless crime. You are stealing revenue from whoever owns the rights to that software. You are taking something that belongs to someone else. It doesn't matter that the original is not destroyed, you're still depriving someone of the revenue that they worked to earn. If you worked for a company for awhile, and then got fired without compensation, I'm sure you'd complain. They aren't stealing anything physical from you, but they did steal your time and effort. Is there no victim there?

              First of all, before we wonder whether it is victimless let us first ensure that we agree that it is a crime. I agree with you that something that is simply victimless is no less a wrong. So now we must try and determine if there is a wrong here (and let us use the term wrong, because crime carries with it more baggage than we need since in general copyright infringement is a civil wring and not a crime [at least until the DCMA, but that is a _whole_ other story])

              Now in order to steal, and let us suppose that stealing is the correct wrong to use, one must first have property. In order to have property it must be sanctioned by the State as property. For example, it is not usual for for the state to grant property in illegal substances. A kg of narcotics is not something over which you can assert your property rights, the briefcase in which it was held yes, the narcotics no. So in the same way that you argue that just because something is not "real" doesn't mean it is not property, realness is not even a sufficient test for property.

              As an aside, in fact there are _many_ systems that fail to recognise private property (the private is really important for these arguments), including almost all preindustrial cultures, and then also many of the more reactionary ideologies of the last 100 years, socialism, collectivism, communism, even anarchism. So the universal acceptance of theft as a wrong is not a good place to base an argument. For waht its worth, I agree that theft is wrong.

              So if we can find property in software somehow then we can find a wrong in its theft. This is where the alarm bells should be ringing (i shall return to the revenue stream later). Your example of the working and being fired is not a good one for a couple of reasons. First, since once I have expended my labour (uncompensated) on the project in question, I cannot get it back so failure to compensate is a wrong. Second, its a bad example becuase its a contract between parties where one side has failed to meet their obligations and so it is even more problematic to run the "theft" argument since contract allows persons to arrange their own obligations.

              Now for the revenue stream argument. It seems that you are founding your entire argument on the fact that denying a revenue stream is a wrong. This is problematic at best. What about the situation where you have the local paper shop and I open up in competition, selling exactly the same papers, to exactly the same clients, but since you have already identified the paper readers i just follow you round on your paper round and offer drop a pamphlet to all the readers that I will deliver the same paper for the same price but hand delivered to their door at exactly the time they want (so the paper isn't wet or late or whatever) and they can change their time on an ad hoc basis for ehen they sleep in. (Oh and I can afor to do this 'cause I have loads of kids doing the delivery for a pittance) so I am still making money. Now I think that most would agree that I am "taking" your revenue stream, and if I expanded the letterbox drop to everyone in the area, even more so taking the future revenue stream. But what we have just described is pretty much what I would call competition.

              Now even if one disagrees with my example and I am happy to conceed that it is somewhat contrived, there are many other was to elminate the concept of a revenue stream as a right that I think one must concede that protecting a revenue stream does not entitle one to claim property

              So let us return to the idea of a piece of software that I have written that I begin to distribute. The problem I have with your argument and the argument of all the reists (I like that word even if it does not extist), ie those who will find property in the output of intellect, is that you presuppose the existince of the software in the paradigm of property and therefore require property to justify the creation of the software (or book or film or music). Consider an alternative world where your revenue stream is not guaranteed and you do not have property in the output of intellect. How did the software get written, well either someone commissioned it or you wrote it on spec or you are paid wages by people to do stuff because they liked your output (or the cost is reasonable and what goes around comes around, ie you might solve their problem one day and someone elses another).

              The commissioning method is the way a vast number of systems get written even today (sure most people want to be able to resell them and the more complex they are the greater the opportunity even with no property) and the third option, about wages, is the way IT departments in big companies work so the property issue is kind of ancilliary to getting the majority of lines of code written even today when property is mandated by law.

              The reason for this rather extensive reply is that theoretically there is no property in the output of intellect, in fact we do have such property because of law and this law is just wrong (IMNSHO). But one will never be able to justify the existence of IP (and hence the copying is stealing argument) in logic because the initial premise is flawed and not logically consistent.

              PS sorry about the spelling and typing

          • by zhensel ( 228891 ) on Thursday December 20, 2001 @10:00PM (#2735457) Homepage Journal
            I once heard a philosophy professor say a great thing about idiotic moral relativism like this:

            So this relativist (sorry, forgot which) goes up to Socrates and claims, "Whatever I think right is so." Socrates spits back, "But what if I don't think so?" The relativist modifies his statement - "Whatever I think right is so for me." Socrates thinks for a moment and retorts, "I think you're wrong."
            • So this relativist (sorry, forgot which) goes up to Socrates and claims, "Whatever I think right is so." Socrates spits back, "But what if I don't think so?" The relativist modifies his statement - "Whatever I think right is so for me." Socrates thinks for a moment and retorts, "I think you're wrong."

              That's dumb. I'd get a new philosphy professor if he can't come up with a logical argument against that. Though amusing, there's no value in that anecdote. Socrates has simply admitted to the fact that right and wrong are in your perception and judgment. Socrates thinks the relativist is wrong, and the relativist thinks Socrates is wrong. How we're any closer to a definitive answer escapes me....But then, I can get a real job, and don't have to teach Philosophy.

              • Yeah, I should've put in there that I really forgot exactly how the professor worded it and that his telling of the story was a bit more convincing than mine. I haven't taken a philosophy class yet though. I should be taking Philosophy in Film at some point to get closer to finishing my cinema minor, but we shall see. Anyhow, there was a bigger jump between the relativist's theories and Socrates final jab had a bit more tact than I can give it in a bastardized second telling. You also can't underestimate the power of a scrawny philosophy professor building up relativist theory for five minutes and then tearing it all down in five seconds with such a quick story. It was definitely better than the chemistry tutorial that I had the option of attending.
    • well, you can be assured they'll get laid now, since we know how badly convicted felons in prison treat warez kiddies.

      :)
      • Moron. How many of the "Convicted felons" out there even know what a 'warez kiddie' is. It's not like these kids arn't going to be thrown in with the stock manipulators and stuff in min-sec prisons.
    • Typically, when I am helping my clients or friends make a choice between using Free software or "stretching licenses" for commercial software, I use the comparison:

      "Why rob a bank when the credit union next door is handing out $100 bills?"

      And that analogy is perfect for this situation.

      freebsd guy

      • "Why rob a bank when the credit union next door is handing out $100 bills?"

        Unfortunately, the credit union is usually handing out $100 bills that don't interact well with the money currently in wide circulation, and upon seeing these odd $100 bills, most cashiers will get a blank look on their face, not knowing what to do with them.

        I'm not saying this is the _fault_ of Open Source, but it IS a barrier to its adoption.

      • There are quite a few ways to legally stretch licenses. There are programs that will run on a network server that will monitor the number of copies of any software, including Office. On a budget, it's a much better idea to buy 20 copies of Office for 50 people, and use one of these license tracking applications than it is to illegally stretch or to choose a free office package that may not suit the needs of the business.
        • There are programs that will run on a network server that will monitor the number of copies of any software, including Office.

          D00D - wh3r3 c@n 1 637 [get] 0n3 [one] 0f 74353 [these] pr06r@m5?

    • Dude, Netscape 4.77 is non-free [debian.org].
    • by mz001b ( 122709 ) on Thursday December 20, 2001 @08:55PM (#2735260)
      The latest Debian CD provides all the software anyone could ever conceive of needing.

      Doesn't provide a Fortran 90 compiler. Projects exist [sourceforge.net] but they are a long way off yet. Most Linux distributions come with the major apps you need, but there are plenty of other, more specialized ones, that are needed.

      • Way off -yet-? Do you mean to tell me that Debian will eventually, in the future, have a Fortran 90 compiler, or that it should?

        I don't see why anyone would consider using Fortran. But even if you have your reasons (which I'm sure you do)...

        I don't see why a Fortran 90 compiler is a "major app". I think that's the sort of thing that an OS does not need to come bundled with.

        The reason? Simple. 99.7% of Debian users will never touch a Fortran compiler.
      • Yeah I'm sure the DrinkOrDie 1337 WaReZ kiddies were pirating a bunch of Fortran compilers. Definitely.
    • by Phexro ( 9814 ) on Thursday December 20, 2001 @09:06PM (#2735295)
      "The latest Debian CD provides all the software anyone could ever conceive of needing."

      uh, the latest Debian cd [debian.org] doesn't even provide linux 2.4.x or xfree86 4.0.

      and show me one audio processing tool that's comparable to soundforge, or SAW or protools, or any other professional audio editing studio. i'm a debian developer and i don't know of one.
    • I have to agree. Getting in trouble by copying Microsoft software? Talk about adding insult to injury!

      The real treasure is the movies, though. Seriously, legal DVD's are not all that expensive, what's the draw? If the persecutors, I mean prosecutors, weren't using "list price" of the software to rack up the "multi-billion dollar pirate ring" charge, just how much "value" did these crooks steal anyway?

      Bob-

    • Since you mentioned LaTeX...

      I thought I'd just put in a plug for LyX [lyx.org] which takes all the creamy goodness of LaTeX and spreads it onto all the nooks and crannies of a GUI.

      My apologies to the writers of "The Tick".

  • by snake_dad ( 311844 ) on Thursday December 20, 2001 @08:13PM (#2735116) Homepage Journal
    Actually this is for me a big reason to use free software. Especially so because I earn my money in closed source software. Illegal use of software wasn't that big an issue for me when I was a teen, but now i'm a bit more concerned with the moral aspects of stealing someones work.

    I try to point friends to freely available software as much as I can, thereby slowly trying to win them over to the Open Source community. It ain't much, but i'd like to think that every little bit helps..
  • My uncle on vacation here in the good old USA, while he was still in China i asked him to buy me some programs and games. well what i got was a little bit over my head. i got windows XP pro, adobe photoshop and other expensive looking programs on a three cd's. but they were not offical from there respective owners yes they were bootlegs. they even have nice cd's for the bootlegs. what gets me is they get all these programs before they even come out here in the US, and they openly sell these cd's on the street. I got a bunch of games too. i asked him if there are real cd's out there. he says yes but why would you spend about 100(insert english version of the chinese currency) on the real cd's but for pennies or dollars you get a disc that has 4 games on it. God bless china the only place microsoft isn't a monopoly.
    • Yeah, it's great. Although, China isn't really Microsoft-monopoly free, many people choose to ignore copyrights and such. It's actually the same really all over Asia. My brother just came back and decided it'd be nice to get me crapload of stuff for like $5. It was probably well over $5000 worth of stuff, and I ended up using Textpad off of his 3 discs, which is semi-freeware anyway. :)
      • bad part id about all the free software you get is that you have to install the chinese version of Microsoft to run some of the games and the major problem of reading chinese. next time my uncle can get me a chinese to english electronic dictionary on a bootleg cd.
    • Eh? You do realize its still piracy even if you pay some third party for the software, right? What you're doing is still illegal, and if caught using that software you could be charged with a felony, depending upon how much of it you have (you don't need to have very much).

      In any case, if you're going to pirate software, why don't you just download it from the net? It doesn't take very long to find it (even after these busts), its convienient and you get the English versions of products.

      I'm not condoning piracy, but if you're going to do it, why bother importing pirated software from overseas?

      • He can't be Charged with a felony you fucking idiot. God, where do people come up with this shit? Possessing pirated copies of stuff is not a crime, only distributing them is.

        God, why do people think that just because they can imagine something it's automatically true?
    • 100(insert english version of the chinese currency)

      100 Yuan.
  • by Mike Schiraldi ( 18296 ) on Thursday December 20, 2001 @08:42PM (#2735217) Homepage Journal
    From the article:

    Law-enforcement officials said more raids were imminent as they tried to shut down a multi-billion- dollar international piracy ring

    Multi-billion dollar? How do they come up with these figures? "Oh, it cost our studio ten million dollars to make this movie, and you have a copy on your hard drive, so you stole ten million dollars from us."

    If we had a police state like this 80 years ago, Prohibition would never have been repealed.
    • The billions of dollars figures come from supposed "lost revenue". eg. We have a product that costs $500; we have tracked 10,000 pirated versions of this software to pirates. We lost $5,000,000 in revenue because these pirates didn't pay.

      Of course, it doesn't really add up -- if a pirate version of that software wasn't available, all but a very small percent of those 10,000 pirates wouldn't have actually bought the product... From what I see, most pirates don't even use the vast majority of software they get, they just archive it and build vast collections for bragging rights.

  • Windows Licensing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by statusbar ( 314703 ) <jeffk@statusbar.com> on Thursday December 20, 2001 @09:01PM (#2735280) Homepage Journal

    • I sure hope that Ford (like many large companies) at the very least gives Ford employees dibs on any computers that are being replaced within the company to make up for each new round of Windows.

    But that is illegal unless they wipe the windows off the hard disks and install Linux/NetBSD/etc on it instead. Or, they can pay microsoft their extortion/protection fee.

    The windows licenses that the corporation bought are not transferrable. In the future you will not be able to buy older versions of windows at all. Yet, the newer versions of windows (XP) won't work nicely on these computers - otherwise why would they be getting replaced?

    So in a roundabout way, microsoft makes linux the only option for people with older computers - especially if the computers are hand-me-downs.

    --jeff

    • You don't have to worry, they probably don't do it. If Ford is anything like General Motors, then they destroy their old computers. GM has a strict policy of destroying anything they are putting out to pasture, include furniture, computers, equipment, etc., because in the past people abused the giving employees first dibs bit. Managers would throw stuff away and buy new stuff just so they could take it to their house.
  • Audigy (Score:4, Informative)

    by afidel ( 530433 ) on Thursday December 20, 2001 @09:07PM (#2735297)
    Actually for anyone writing music there is a very, very good reason to upgrade to an audigy. It has 4x more power, so more effects can be done in hardware. It also has ASIO drivers. With a SB Live I get ~70ms latency in Propellerheads Reason, with the Audigy and the newer drivers you get ~8ms. This makes a huge diffence when trying to sync live/semilive effects to the midi streams.
    • What Processer have you got? I get playable latency (10-15ms) in Reason with SBlive. If you're going to get a decent soundcard, it wouldn't be the audigy.

      Look at the hoontech range!
  • MySQL Dispute (Score:5, Informative)

    by retrosteve ( 77918 ) on Thursday December 20, 2001 @09:18PM (#2735333) Homepage Journal
    For those interested in whose SQL it is anyway, it appears to me that MySQL AB won the dispute. They got the offending site taken down and redirected, and in return appear to have removed their story from their own web site. You can get Mysql AB's side of the story from Google's cache here. [google.com]
  • fountain-city-nightmares
    Those are no more than the spillover from Christenberry Heights, Tim.
  • by JohnPM ( 163131 ) on Thursday December 20, 2001 @09:23PM (#2735348) Homepage
    Very cool device, but $269 is pretty excessive considering you can get cheaper fully contained players for less. For example the 10G Neo Jukebox [ssiamerica.com] for $220. Hmm paradoxically you can buy the Neo Jukebox without the hard drive for an extra $10 at MTE [mteweb.com].

    I'm not saying don't buy one. The point is that you just know devices like this sliMP3 could be sold profitably for less than $50 if the volume was high enough. They are essentially the same as the Neo jukebox but with all the expensive components removed (battery, hard drive) and with an ethernet chip added. The Neo has a dinky remote control as well.

    If you check out Slim Device's photos [slimdevices.com] page, you can see just how 'garage' the company has been. It's pretty cool how they take you through the whole production process - almost makes me want to buy one just for that.
    • The point is that you just know devices like this sliMP3 could be sold profitably for less than $50 if the volume was high enough.

      Any gadget can be sold for under $50 with enough volume - do you want your SliMP3 now, or five years from now?

      Anyway, if you can tell me where to buy just the displays for less than $50, I am all ears!
      It's simple. SliMP3 is the same price as it's competitors, but you get a better display, better remote, better software, and a smaller device.
  • by Phrogz ( 43803 ) <!@phrogz.net> on Thursday December 20, 2001 @09:43PM (#2735405) Homepage

    For over 1.5 years I've been wanting (and attempting to convince friends and others to make) a device almost like this. Here's my instant money-making idea for anyone who wants it, IF ONLY THEY'LL MAKE THE DEVICES AND SELL THEM TO ME!

    Really, I'm rather desperate. Here are the specs:

    Source/Receiver

    4 RCA (stereo in/out)

    1 RJ-45

    1 ID selector (set unit's ID to 1-8) on back

    1 Source selector on front (choose to listen from any unit

    Uses 10BT chip and 2 $2 TI A/D chip to convert sound to/from PCM on the network

    Cost: $US150
    Receiver Unit

    2 RCA (stereo in)

    1 RJ-45

    1 Source selector on front choose to listen from any unit

    Cost: $US100
    Computer Software

    Encodes/decodes broadcast signal from the LAN, to let your computer be a source or receiver unit.

    Cost: $US50

    What I want is many-to-many sound setup in the house. Let the computer be playing MP3s and tune into it on the stereo. Let the A/V system be attached as a source so I can have any/all of the computers tuned in, re-broadcasting the sound around the house for parties. Cheap(~) receiving units can be placed in various locations (outside) with cat5 run to them.

    Later improvements would include using software to set a friendly name for each source, a small cheap display to show the source names on the screen, and real-time MP3 encoding/decoding.

    But at a minimum I just want a small hardware device which I can feed an RCA signal and have it use my existing ethernet infrastructure to broadcast that signal around the house! Anyone? Anyone?

    • * 1 ID selector (set unit's ID to 1-8) on back

      What is this, 1982? I'm not sure what you intend this ID for (the source selector, I presume), but is there some reason you think the ID should be limited to 3 bits?

      Unless you've got some SCSI-like data bus that's allocating a wire for each address bit (sounds like you're using ethernet instead), there's no reason not to give each unit a unique ID (e.g. MAC address or IP address obtained via DHCP) and let the units select other units they can see on the network (with those on the same segment auto-detected by sending out broadcast packets). Then you just need up/down buttons on the front to select from a much-less-limited number of sources (though nicer versions might have better controls). Plus, you just saved yourself the cost of an ID selector on the back.

      * Uses 10BT chip and 2 $2 TI A/D chip to convert sound to/from PCM on the network

      I think a 100Mbps chip (e.g. tulip) should be cheap enough nowadays that you shouldn't feel bad putting one in there.

      Since it (in itself at least) adds nothing to the incremental cost of the units, you might as well run Linux on the darn thing, and then you can be cool and send the music with IP multicast (so it can be routed to other networks).
      Mmmmm.... multicast.

      Instead of trying to develop your own protocol for sending the music around, you could use icecast [icecast.org] (though I'm not sure if it supports multicast or what formats of audio it can stream if you're set on PCM).

      Of course, I'm no audio expert, so perhaps there are some sound-quality conerns that I've missed.

      * Cost: $US150

      You do realize that for *much* less than that amount of money you could buy a used low-end pentium, a sound card, and a network card, and put something like this together yourself? Of course, then it would be not-so-small, and you wouldn't have a keypad and display on the front, but it's better than nothing.

      Maybe I'm missing something, but somebody has to have done something like this already. I'd hack one up for you, but I really don't have the time.
  • Cool Audigy option (Score:3, Informative)

    by John Whitley ( 6067 ) on Thursday December 20, 2001 @09:59PM (#2735451) Homepage
    The Audigy has a useful optional package (sitting right here on my desk at work): the Platinum EX. It's similar to the various Live! Drive modules, except this one is external (hence the EX), and extends all of the normal Live!Drive jacks plus firewire to your desktop. Oh, and it's black, not asthetic-nightmre beige. 8-)
  • Ford's PCs (Score:3, Informative)

    by dherman ( 223949 ) on Thursday December 20, 2001 @10:04PM (#2735470)
    Ford leases all PCs from Dell (3 yr Leases)
    So, when the lease is up, the PC goes back.

    The same applies with Unix Workstations (HP, SGI, SUN) (3 Yr Lease)

    Mainframes, Supercomputers (Crays, etc...) (Variable Leases)

    So, there are no presents to the employees.

    But....

    We do get great deals on Cars, Trucks, Cell Phones, Microsoft Products, etc...
  • by argoff ( 142580 ) on Thursday December 20, 2001 @10:17PM (#2735522)

    It seems like law enforcemnet has a bad habit of picking fights that they can never win. The war on drugs is a great example, prohibition was another.

    However, like most federal overeach, there is also beneficial side effects (to them). For example, the war on drugs helps the govt collect trillions in taxes that it would not have otherwise. Not from drug lords, but from legit busisnessmen who are fear mongered into not using the same tax protections associated with drug lords.

    There is likely a similar agenda with copyright enforcement. It likely has little to do with copyrights, but the fact that the same methods used for copyright enforcement can also sacre legit businessmen from peer to peer technologies.

    • It seems like law enforcemnet has a bad habit of picking fights that they can never win.

      Good point - that's a great way to stay well funded. You just have to maintain the belief that you're getting somewhere, so you periodically display large amounts of intercepted drugs/money/weapons, and keep convincing people that you're fighting against something that's bad, so you pressure Hollywood and TV producers to de-glamorize drug use.

  • Somehow I doubt that this half-enclosure that they're using is going to allow them to pass FCC testing.


    Although, it does look very cool.


    Cryptnotic

  • Ford computers (Score:2, Informative)

    by vanguard ( 102038 )
    I sure hope that Ford (like many large companies) at the very least gives Ford employees dibs on any computers that are being replaced within the company to make up for each new round of Windows.

    If Ford is like any other large company they probably lease their computers. The reason for leasing is that under IRS tax laws computers must be written off over 5 years. That means that the tax deduction is 1/5 of the price of the computer per year * their tax rate. In real life, computers are not usually kept this long.

    By leasing, they are able to more closely match the cost of the machine to this time it is used (and get the bulk of the tax deduction sooner).

    Because of this standard practice, I doubt that Ford will be able to give their end of life machines to their employees.
  • Reruns... (Score:2, Informative)

    by mcneight ( 61095 )
    I don't know where Mr. GeekLife.com [mailto] has been hiding, but Ford cancelling the "Model E" program is such old news that /. covered it over two months ago! [slashdot.org]

    I'm starting to think that maybe VA <buzzword> sold /. to TVLand [tvland.com]...
  • Ford Model E program (Score:2, Informative)

    by MrRee ( 120132 )
    I'm a sys admin at one of the Ford plants in the US. A few notes on the Model E program.

    The computers that the Model E program provided were crap--scraps from a botched deal with HP for company machines. Most people I've talked to in my domain wished they hadn't heard of the Model E program.

    As far as giving company computers to employees as those computers are phased out, all Ford company computers are leased from Dell.
  • I know that Apple has trademarks to the name Firewire, and Sony owns iLink, and they're both IEEE1394 (although Sony's spec isn' fully implemented, small connectors only, so no power on the bus), but SoundBlaster is calling the port an "SB1394" port. Does this mean that its not a true Firewire implementation? Can I plug any 1394 device into it, or only high-end audio equipment?

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