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Slashback: Decade, Fragmentation, RDRAM 206

Slashback brings you updates and amplifications on the SSSCA, the future of RAMBUS and Intel, fragmentation of filesystems, a book reviewer who's been publishing online longer than some slashdot readers have walked erect, and more. Read on for the details.

A screenplay written by Jack Valenti? cc_pirate writes: "Apparently Sen. Fritz Hollings (D - Disney, er - SC) completed his hearings today on how the media needs to have content protection included in computers. Intel and other high tech companies resist and are chastized by Hollings."

Penguins are the new Turtles. Gerein writes "After many months of extreme lobbying, personal attacks, public petitions and surveys, the war over the future OS of the Bundestag (German parliament) is finally over (previous /. stories). As heise reports (in german, use the fish) Linux won't make it to the desktops (they're going with XP) but will take over the 150 servers. The last critical question over the directory service has finally been decided in favor to OpenLDAP instead of Active Directory. It's not the complete victory for Linux, many had hoped for, but it's a start for more Open Source in the German government."

Full disclosure seems like a nice idea. Merlynnus writes: "Yahoo! is running a story, Copy-protected CD makers lose battle, in which Music City Records, Fahrenheit Entertainment and digital rights management company Sunncomm have 'agreed' to stop collecting personal info, and to label copy-protected CDs as defective, er, play-challenged in certain devices. The agreement came as the result of court action by a Cali resident, Karen DeLise, over the Charlie Pride CD, 'Charley Pride: A Tribute to Jim Reeves.' Did that CD really need copy-protecting?"

This should have been transparent. Metrollica writes: "It turns out the transparent aluminium article at Spiegel was misunderstood. Sci-fighter published a correction. The transparent substance was not aluminium but alumina, shorthand for aluminium oxide. Slashdot reported on transparent aluminium here."

Odds are, somebody's written a thesis on it ... and here one is. Whether in response to this Ask Slashdot question or just a lucky guesser, Cine writes: "The standard filesystem benchmarking tools such as Bonnie++, Postmark , Mongo and others all test the optimum case for the block layouting algorithm. But in practice one also is interested to know how a filesystem performs when it is or was heavily used over a longer period (e.g. months and years).So Constantin Loizides has written a Master Thesis about the performance of filesystems under the influence of fragmentation."

Intel-Rambus break not as simple as portrayed. Controlio writes: "Tom's Hardware Guide has posted a clarification regarding the EBN story with the sensational headline, 'Intel to drop support of Rambus in new CPU products'. The article was also posted on Slashdot. Tom reports:

EBN had the sensational headline Intel to drop support of Rambus in new CPU products, but the story goes on to say, "Intel will continue using Direct Rambus memory with its network processors. Also, although not new products, the next iterations of its 850 and 860 chipsets, supporting a 533MHz front-side, will support RDRAM when they arrive, probably in the second half of this year." A little misleading, wouldn't you say? Hard to tell, but you read it for yourself, and make your own call.
Great. More sensational journalism. Maybe someone should submit Jack Robertson's resume to Fox News."

Finally, some congratulations are in order. danny writes (does he ever): "February 28th marks the 10th anniversary of my first book review; there are now over six hundred. I have written an account of ten years writing book reviews, which illustrates something of how online publication has changed over the years."

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

Slashback: Decade, Fragmentation, RDRAM

Comments Filter:
  • Transparent aluminum (Score:3, Informative)

    by Whitehawke ( 112798 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @08:03PM (#3087802) Homepage
    I don't think the article originally claimed it was actually alumnium...certainly someone here on /. pointed out that it was not.

    --Dave Storrs
    • if you mean this one:,1020,165318,00.j pg

      than it is ceramic, not aluminium
    • Agreed. Aluminum Oxide being transparent is non-news - that's what they've been coating laminate florring with for years. Yawn.

      In other non-news, an amazing discovery has been made on how to make water nearly transparent!
    • you are correct. what is funny is that the person who submitted that had the username of 'Metrollica'. I may be wrong, but I do believe that I've seen his handiwork on quite a few trolls here (when I go surfing at -1). He certainly claimed credit for the last posting of the 'troll faq' that I saw.
      • I agree with the previous post, what has it come to when well known trolls are supplying stories. Will we have
        1. sweetandsourjesus articles on how is bored and lonely
        2. articles with the latest information on, (and links to)
        3. how to widen a web page
        4. tips on getting a first post
        5. how to get around the lameness filter
        6. trolls getting modded up, rather than down?

        The mind boggles. I could go on, but this will probably lose me enough karma as it is.

    • Actually I submitted the story with the correct claim (Aluminium Oxyde) a day before it was published. DER SPIEGEL wrote the correct thing.
  • by MiTEG ( 234467 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @08:09PM (#3087825) Homepage Journal
    A screenplay written by Jack Valenti?

    More information can be found from the SJ Mercury article [] from today's paper, although it was written Dan Gillmore, who tends to be quite sensationalist in style but is consistently pro-consumer and anti-DMCA.
    • Les Vadasz says "This technology is not going to be put back in the bottle," he said. "They can slow down progress, but they cannot stop it."

      Unfortunately, he's wrong. Perhaps he's never heard of the Greeks and the Romans? The Greeks got as far as inventing mechanical calculators, while the Romans had central heating. These technologies were not rediscovered until the last couple hundred years.

      Never, ever make the mistake of thinking that our prosperity must last forever. We could fall at any time, and it's a long way down.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    "a book reviewer who's been publishing online longer than some slashdot readers have walked erect,"

    Waitaminnit! How come nobody told me we were supposed to be walking erect??!! Dammit!

  • by DCram ( 459805 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @08:15PM (#3087848)
    "The content community ... has historically feared technology," Vadasz said. Yet every technological breakthrough -- from Thomas Edison's little dog to the invention of home taping and digital devices -- "has proven to be a major growth catalyst for the studios."

    OH MY GOD!

    I am at the moment trying to invent something as cool as the dog. I was going to go for a rabit/antelope combo but saw one for sale in the cabellas catalog. Now I think ill just strive for something like a human without any genetic defects. I think I could get a post on /. about it.

    WOW .. the dog!!! damn that man was good
    • Well he keeps on inventing even though he has been dead for a while...first the electric hammer and the three legged chair, and now the dog
    • Re:The little dog? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tb3 ( 313150 )
      I was going to go for a rabit/antelope combo...

      How about a basselope [] instead?
    • Re:The little dog? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Squalish ( 542159 )
      As mentioned in the Douglas Adams work "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency," Edison invented the Dog Door. It was brilliant really. A door within a door. Electricity was already there, he merely discoverred it. The dog door idea he came up with himself.
    • Thank God he got away from that witch out West.

      "I'll get you my pretty, and your LITTLE DOG too!"

      Too bad he didn't know about the water trick, huh?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 01, 2002 @12:28AM (#3088669)
      I don't know how many times I have seen this misconception in print. Thomas Edison did NOT invent the dog. He did, however, invent the LITTLE DOG. Think of it as the transistor of the dog world.

      For those of you wondering how this fits into the music industry, some of the earliest recordings made for Edison's phonograph are the little dog barking, and these are generally thought to be the early influences of such artists as Britteny Spears, Christina Arugula, and N'Sync.
  • So times (Score:3, Interesting)

    by metoc ( 224422 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @08:21PM (#3087868)

    Maybe somebody should inform the good senator of how much money the high tech sector is worth and that it is distributed nationally, where as the movie industry primarily operates out of Southern California (percentage $$$ wise). He should be reminded that if a flaw is found, then every consumer item is vulnerable. Is he planning on setting up a firmware police to make sure your refrigerator won't play pirated software?

    Germany did find in my opinion. Going all of one thing is insane. An all Linux network is no better than an all Microsoft network. Lest ye protest, remember that they just found a major security hole in PHP. I wonder how many unpatched Linux boxes their will be after a week? They can join all of those unpatched Windows boxes.
    • Going all of one thing is insane.

      That is just a stupid comment. Use what makes the most sense for the job. That's what they did. If for them it had made sense for an all Linux setup (or an all Windows setup), then so be it. That doesn't automatically make it an insane choice.

      I agree with you that Germany probably did the right thing for them. Course, I don't know their situation exactly, but right now those two choices for server and desktop OS are pretty set (ok, so I'd go w/ 2000 instead of XP, but oh well...). So if what you ment to say was that in the current situation it doesn't make sense to go with just one or the other, then yes, I agree with you. But chose your words more carefully next time...otherwise people might not pay attention to what you mean, and instead only look at what you say.

      Jesus, I sound like an old english professor.
      • By "what makes the most sense" you mean "what copy-paste function will our secretaries be able to understand", right?
        • Which has got dick to do with servers, unless the Bundestag has combined secretary/network admin jobs.
        • What software do they run? Is there a viable Linux alternative? Do any of them run special programs that require Windows?

          I mean, don't get me wrong, I use Linux as my personal's just that in that large of a group, I don't think it would be ready for deployment. You just can't second guess what that many people are going to need. Course you could do an all Linux setup, and give something like a dualboot option or give 'em a 2nd computer for everyone that would need Windows, but I think that would just end up being too much to deal with.

          Hopefully within a year or two, I'll be able to change my position...but I just don't think Linux is there yet. It's getting close though.
        • Yes. Unless the Free Software Movement is offering to pay for the extra time and effort adjusting to a new method is going to cost.

  • by freerangegeek ( 451133 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @08:22PM (#3087876)
    Ok, am I the only one thinking if you can make windows out of alumina, that doping it correctly you can make a seriously BIG 'synthetic' ruby by doping said window with chromium? The article is non-specific about size, even a window of 4" square and 1" thick represents a pretty big honking ruby. Are sapphire (the other kind of alumina) and ruby about to go the way of aluminium itself?

    If I remember correctly at the time it was built, the Washington Monument was capped with an aluminum peak []. This was done, because refined aluminum metal was both rare and precious.

    I'm thinking ruby drinking glasses, ruby soda cans, 5c ruby rings. You get the picture. :)

    • "big" artificial rubies have been around a long time, at least 40 years. The first lasers were built around artificial ruby rods that were about 1" diameter and 4" long. (That's 25mm diameter and 100mm long, for people who are able to understand non-moronic measurement units).
      • Yes the process has existed and is expensive, I went back and researched the original article, it doesn't mention the cost of these alumina sheets.

        Years ago Nova []reported on the gem quality synthetic ruby manufacturer (who dope's her rubies so that they fluoresce under black light). They're cheaper per carat for large stones than the kind mother nature provides, but far from dirt cheap. I guess it was wishful thinking on my part to assume the Germans had improved the process to where it was at a significant price reduction.

        Of course on further reflection, I should have imagined a "ruby" iMac [] which was actually ruby!

    • When I was 12 -- that would be around 1973 -- My dad brought home a ruby for me. It was a cylinder around 8 cm. long and 1.5 cm in diameter. It was a an artificial ruby intended for use in a laser, but it wasn't quite optically perfect. It was a beautiful, pure red and worth about as much as a silicon wafer with a few too many impurities to make ICs on.

      By now they ought to be able to make optically flawed rubies at least as big as a baby's arm holding an apple.

      --Andy Hickmott
  • The Precedent (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rob Riggs ( 6418 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @08:25PM (#3087886) Homepage Journal
    "'Charley Pride: A Tribute to Jim Reeves.' Did that CD really need copy-protecting?"

    Well, the idea here, as in many unsavory endeavors, is to establish a precedent. Go after something nobody should notice and then claim "but we've been doing it for so long and the consumers accepted it."

    • Charley Pride: A Tribute to Jim Reeves.' Did that CD really need copy-protecting?

      Amen, brother.

    • Re:The Precedent (Score:2, Insightful)

      by csbruce ( 39509 )
      The shit is not really going to hit the fan until Joe Sixpack sets up his new digital TV to his new digital video recorder and his new digital cable system and presses the record button and it says "Permission Denied".
    • Actually as I recall the spur behind Charley Pride CDs having Copy protection was when Charley Pride was in his own home town and saw a whole rack of pirate CDs that he wasn't getting a dime of royalties from at a local store.
      Now the fact of the matter is that the no copy protection scheme is going to stop bogus CDs from being sold at retail channels. Still the labels could have told him it would help, and he might have believed them.
  • Every time I open a window to go the the common caue site to lookup the amount of money Fritz (Adolph? - I get names mixed up) Hollings received in contributions from whome (who?), Internet Exploder - well - explodes. There must be a conspiracy afoot.

    Since IE seems to not want to go to common cause's website, I can only assume that Adolph (Fritz?) Hollings has long and gratifyingly suckled from the teat of the MPAA/RIAA. (BTW and click on the soft money laundry - very informative).

    "If you do not put ze kopy protektion in de device vee vill put it in for you."--Fritz Hitler (or is it Hollings?)

    Anyway, Intel's right. I don' t want my PC turned into a VCR. I also don't want to live in a world where my O/S crashes because the DRM built into the CD player doesn't play with the DRM built into the motherboard. However, the crash confuses the DRM on the hard disk to notify the BSA that I was running a pirated copy of Linux and gcc. In turn it notifies Microsoft that I was dual booting, which generates a revocation of my EULA and a nasty letter. Using the magic of .Net web services, Microsoft also notifies the BSA, BATF, FBI, and the Boy Scouts, who all raid my home, looking for pirated software and Elian Gonzales.

  • Rambus (Score:2, Flamebait)

    EBN had the sensational headline Intel to drop support of Rambus in new CPU products, but the story goes on to say, "Intel will continue using Direct Rambus memory with its network processors. Also, although not new products, the next iterations of its 850 and 860 chipsets, supporting a 533MHz front-side, will support RDRAM when they arrive, probably in the second half of this year." A little misleading, wouldn't you say?

    I don't see how that's so misleading. the i850 is hardly the flagship of Intel's product line, and neither are their network processors.

    It's not like any of those are in products that generate the DRAM shortage...
    • Re:Rambus (Score:3, Interesting)

      by thesupraman ( 179040 )
      Unfortunately, I get around a !20%! speed advantage using rambus over ddr-sdram for serious scientific computations (large matrix inversions, primarily, for simultanious equation solutions).

      Rambus SIGNIFICANTLY kicks the arse of DDR (and certainly standard sdram), and the extra cost is well worth it in these situations. I wish people would stop trying to benchmark 'high-end' equipment by running office suite benchmarks on it and then think they are actually testing anything.

      Good code (and trust me, with runtimes in the days it is WELL worth having good code for these problems) does actually make use of the full capabilities of rambus, and ddr doen't even come close to catching up.

      I would love to see them produce 64-bit wide rambus dimms (the same width as ddr-sdram) as opposed to the current 16 bits wide, and THEN see the ddr try to keep up, as this would give them equivalent circuit board resource usage.

      The future of RAM (well, for a while) will be rambus type busses, as they make much more effective use of pins on the chipsets, and pins are becoming a scarce resource (look at the pincounts for the new hammer line from AMD if you don't believe me), allowing rambus to support many moer busses than ddr.

      Politically rambus is a complete failure, which is a pity, the technology is absolutly great, as is the real-world preformance FOR THOSE WHO NEED IT.

      • Are these benchmark comaprisons for P4 systems each with equal configurations (other than one running DDR and one running RDRAM)? If so, it may be indicative of poor DDR support in P4 chipsets; in high end systems, one could use multi-channel DDR (installed in pairs, for example) for higher bandwidth, although I don't know that any motherboards support this.

        In any case, without more specifics, it is hard to know whether those results are a reliable basis for comparison. But, your point is well taken; matrix math can really make use of memory throughput, and is not as sensitive to latency issues, depending on the problem and its implementation.

        But, I think DDR can deliver equal or higher throughput (at least for a while), if chipsets and motherboards were designed for this.
      • Unfortunately, I get around a !20%! speed advantage using rambus over ddr-sdram [...]

        What is unfortunate about getting better performance?
        • Re:Rambus (Score:2, Interesting)

          by thesupraman ( 179040 )

          The unfortunate part is that intel may very well kill of rambus in the 'consumer' level (ie: where the best price/performance tends to be for computational clusters), to a large extent due to 'public' misunderstanding of benchmarks. A lot of people think that ddr is as good as rambus.

          For example, a lot of people trot out the 'latency' issues without understanding them. ddr requires a lengthy burst read of *64* bit wide data to achieve it's bandwidth, while rambus, also needing a brust read, reads only 16 bits per, resulting in a more 'localised' abiity to read memory, and therefore less wasted reads, which amounts to less wasted memory bandwidth.

          It is very interesting to have a look at the memory subsystems used in mainframes, where it is very normal to have a large number of effectively seperate, and not very wide, memory busses to allow much more efficient 'scattered' data reads without generating false dependencies between memory addresses.
  • >Apparently Sen. Fritz Hollings (D - Disney, er - SC)

    Um, that's mickey mouse. . .what was he thinking?
  • 'Charley Pride: A Tribute to Jim Reeves.' Did that CD really need copy-protecting?

    With the huge success of a bluegrass music [] at last night's grammy awards [], the demand for country (American Roots/bluegrass/traditional) music will, most likely, increase greatly.

    I, as much as any code monkey, love "music to code by" -- especially metal -- but I was thrilled to see O Brother Where Art Thou do so well. It was a great movie with an even better soundtrack.
  • Enough is enough (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Silver222 ( 452093 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @08:34PM (#3087920)
    It's time to go tell the content cartels to go fuck themselves. Fritz Hollings can go to hell as well. If the technology industy can't agree on standards blah blah blah. Shut the fuck up Fritz. You want an example of what my life would be like if the content cartels go their way all the time? Here we go....

    When I run, I really like my mp3 player. It doesn't skip like compact discs do, and it fits into my pocket. Oh wait, those aren't allowed. about cassette tapes? Hmm...this is not as good, it's bigger and I don't have random access to songs. What's that Fritz? These aren't any good either? I can pirate stuff with these? Well, I guess I'm going to run without any of the shit that Hollywood pumps out then. It's not like Vivendi Universal is stepping in with an innovative new technology any time soon.

    And of course, I would like to tape that show that is on while I'm running. Can't do that now, can I? God forbid using a PVR too, those things are brutal for Hollywood. Ok...I just won't watch it then....

    I'm sure everyone on Slashdot knows where I'm going with this. If it becomes too cumbersome to access entertainment, people are going to look for something else. Lest our good friend, Fritz Hollings, the Senator from Disney forget, politicians are the same way. Too cumbersome, and before you know it, elected right out of office!

  • But I'm sure some slashdot readers have been walking erect for quite some time now.

  • by jasno ( 124830 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @08:47PM (#3087960) Journal
    Did I miss something? Aren't these guys a little late?

    Computers already exist that can easily handle the compression, storage and manipulation of copyrighted content. Are they going to require me to turn in my home system? If not, then what on earth is going to stop me from hooking up my video capture card to the line out (which is going to have to be there to remain compatible with all of the billions of dollars of consumer equipment out there) and divx'ing their latest and greatest?

    Its too late!
  • Creativity vs. Theft (Score:5, Interesting)

    by StaticEngine ( 135635 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @08:53PM (#3087974) Homepage
    "The underlying issue is not old media versus new technology. It is creativity versus theft," said Disney CEO Michael Eisner.

    Yeah, because The Little Mermaid, Atlantis, and Aladdin were very original ideas all thought up by the geniuses at Disney...
    • There's one of the fundamental issues. Disney has obviously benefited from the wealth of human knowledge available in the public domain. However, in their greed, they refuse to let any of THEIR contributions enter the public domain.

      This is a fundamental problem, and one of the reasons that Disney is just as immoral, if not significantly more so, than the people "stealing" their content. At least with the "stolen" content ideas get passed around - Disney et al would have knowledge locked up and only available to the highest bidder.
    • You forgot to mention K^HSimba, The Lion King.
    • Ahh yes, but they don't derive, look at their view of such things as:
      'the kings new groove' (reality, the spaniards turned up and killed/tortured everyone)
      'the hunchback of notre dame' (reality, being killed for looking different)
      'pocahontis' (nope, I'm not even going to touch that one).
      'anastasia' (reality, the violent murder of the russian royal family)

      they certainly aren't COPYING stories, just rewriting history to be SO MUCH NICER, what more can we ask from our leaders (sorry, I mean media).

    • For anyone that doesn't know about the Atlantis scandal, they didn't just "not make up" the story of atlantis, basically they ripped the movie from Nadia and gave it a different title.

      It's hard to believe, but see for yourself: Nadia V. Atlantis []
    • The last time (actually, first, last and only time) I was at Disney World, in a tribute to Walt himself, I saw this him quoted:

      Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards -- the things we live by and teach our children -- are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings

      If this is Walt's view, then Eisner & Co. must have him spinning in his grave!

  • I don't think so. A simple label 'Warning: this is a country music' would suffice.
  • ... they can fucking build their own!

    Expecting the computer industry to do it for them for free, tailor made to their exacting specifications, and forcing it through legislation is utterly ridiculous.

    hollings, valenti, and disney are just pulling off one gigantic circle jerk in front of the mass media, and are expecting consumers to open their mouths and take it all over their faces. Then they go and whine when consumers don't swallow.
  • Fox News? (Score:1, Redundant)

    by wifflefan ( 23164 )
    "Great. More sensational journalism. Maybe someone should submit Jack Robertson's resume to Fox News."

    ...or CNN, CBS, ABC, or--best of

    Why do I get the sneaky suspicion this reply will be marked as a troll, while if I were to submit some news with it, it wouldn't? Hmm....

    • The real question is: why does crap like that get posted in the first place. Slashdot editors see no problem using their infinite mod points, why not cut some trolling while they're at it.

      Not that I'm complaining about the mod points, I couldn't possibly care less.

      ...and no, I don't watch Fox News, or ABC, or NBC, or CBS for that matter. I can read faster than the news anchor can speak. Compressing the whole day into 10 stories and compressing that into an hour is stupid. My television hasn't moved off channel 3 (the Nintendo channel :) ) in months.
    • Fox TV is indeed tabloid GOP-TV.

      CNN, and all the others you list, are moderate to conservative entities, if they can be characterized at all. Besides, "liberalism" is defined as open-mindedness, fairness, and the ability to see all sides of a story. Any TV network should be proud to be called such.

      But they are not "liberal". CNN is changing its lineup to suck up to the FOX crowd. ABC, and most certainly NBC are owned by extremely conservative corporations, Disney and GE respectively. The bosses of those Republican companies are influencing hiring and firing of upper and middle level management, causing a tilt towards the right that is becoming discernible even to a casual viewer.

      FOX is not in the fairness business. It follows the meme, a wrong one, that all who do not agree with their views are Liberal, and part of a Liberal powerbase that they are in biz to negate.

      FOX is Murdoch's wet dream. He wants a no-apologies propoganda machine for deregulation, insulting Clinton, religion, slandering Clinton, corporate welfare kings, removing Clinton, military buildups, destroying Clinton, and destroying any damned body that gets in his way to enormous wealth and power for himself and all of his ideological stripe.

      No, I'm not going to cite sources. I 'm not going to exhaust myself proving water is wet for the millionth time. And anyway, it is the hallmark of conservatism that they can NEVER be wrong, and that the other side IS. And immoral and evil and godless and...

      Liberalism's hallmark, and the hallmark of good journalism as well, is the ability to see all sides of an argument, and to doubt and question deeply held beliefs. FOX fails this test, and is not a journalistic network. It is an attack vehicle for a narrow slice of American life -- angry white suburban USAian men who think that blacks have more rights than they, that all their money is being shipped overseas, that women are too damned uppity, and that their religion is the right and only one. And like lots of guns in case the Guvmint needs overthrowing, or blacks leave the cities and attack their suburban strongholds... believe me, I grew up reading the pamphets spread by milita, Birchers and similar. I'm not exaggerating.

      Anyhow, to sum up: Murdoch is a right Uberwinger who created the FOX NEWS network to destroy the influence of anyone who does not support his ideology. FOX exists to demonize its opponents and slavishly promote its politicians.

      "Liberals" (anyone not a Murdochian) have no such parallel network of ruthless lying attack dogs. By "Liberals" I mean the 75% of the USA that are not conservatives.

      "Troll" indeed.
  • by Dr. Awktagon ( 233360 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @09:02PM (#3088015) Homepage

    Throughout history, technology has been key to opening up new markets. It only represents a problem if it is allowed to undermine existing markets by facilitating [unauthorized copying].

    Wow! New technology is okay, as long as it doesn't undermine existing markets?? That's a great quote.

    Welcome to New Capitalism: from each corporation according to their ability, to each corporation according to their need.

    • by FreeUser ( 11483 ) on Friday March 01, 2002 @02:19AM (#3088917)
      In an alternate history near you:

      Throughout history, technology has been key to opening up new markets. It only represents a problem if it is allowed to undermine existing markets

      said Buggy whip manufacturers, demanding that a one hundred year old law banning horseless carriages within the United States be renewed for another century. In other news, hundreds of eye witnesses reported a mysterious flying object high above the skies of Los Angeles. Subversive elements claim it is was an Aeroplane, the rumored heavier-than-air flying device said to have been in use in much of the rest of the world for the last seventy years or so ... almost as long as Europeans are alleged by radicals to have had widespread use of the horseless carriage.

      "Nonesense," said Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings, D-S.C. (chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee), "the United States remains the leader in world technology, and will continue to do so, without endangering the hard earned profits of buggy whip manufacturers and liveries everywhere. Anyone alleging the existence of horseless carriages or mysterious flying Aeroplanes is Unamerican and a traitor to the republic."

      Thankfully, our leadership in the early part of the twentieth century was nowhere near as pathetic as it has become today.
  • by Hobart ( 32767 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @09:03PM (#3088019) Homepage Journal

    Doctor Fun [] has been published on the Internet since 19930924. For that matter Where The Buffalo Roam [] has been on the 'net via USENET since 1991, but Dr. Fun was Internet-only. ;)

  • Driving Growth? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ansible ( 9585 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @09:08PM (#3088053) Journal

    I don't know how accurate the article is, but it states that the reason we need mandatory copy-prevention is to encourage the major content distributors to put their wares in digital form. This, therefore, will drive the adoption of high speed Internet access and HDTV.

    This is a completely circular argument, that doesn't make any sense to me. The media companies want to take away my ability to own a PC that does what I want, in return for services I also don't want.

    So basically, the media companies basically want to own everything, and we should just turn over control of our networks and computers to them so that they can more easily make money from us.

    If you want to go after the illegal distribution of your wares, fine, go ahead, I won't stop you. But just because you want to make money doesn't mean that you now have the right to take away our freedoms.

  • by quark2universe ( 38132 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @09:11PM (#3088066) Homepage
    I've been walking erect since I first saw that Farrah Fawcett poster in the '70s. Perhaps I've been around longer than the online book publisher.
  • by Anonynnous Coward ( 557984 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @09:11PM (#3088067)
    We give the industry their SSSCA [], lock up all the hardware, and outlaw all operating systems except DRM-OS [].

    Since this will now result in the total demise of copyright infringement, the movie [], recording [], and video game [] industries then immediately pay taxes on the hojillions [] of [] dollars [] they claim to be losing per year, at the prevailing highest corporate tax rate, with no writeoffs on this amount. These additional taxes should be a small price for industry to pay for the increased profits that would result from all that sudden demand now that their material isn't available for copying in digital form, now that general purpose computers would be outlawed.

    Oh--you mean they aren't going to sell all that, because the people they claimed as having been costing them money wouldn't have bought the product anyway? That's OK--we can just sell the assets of the companies benefiting from the SSSCA to take care of the taxes, then.

    • Now that I like. But, as an option, let them pay a lot of the taxes in-kind --

      -- by releasing their film and music libraries to the public domain and the trusteeship of the Library of Congress.
  • by Wraithlyn ( 133796 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @09:19PM (#3088099)
    "who's been publishing online longer than some slashdot readers have walked erect"

    I would submit that some /. readers don't walk erect at ALL, thereby invalidating any sense of seniority this statement might otherwise have implied. Consider a wheelchair bound reader. Or possibly a child who hasn't learned to walk yet, but sits on a parent's lap and stares at the screen, or similarily some type of animal.

    These last two don't count as reading, you say? I beg to differ. And for incontestable proof, I turn to Jamie Lee Curtis, keeper of all thoughts wise:

    Otto: "Aha! Apes don't read Nietzsche!"
    Wanda: "Yes they DO, Otto, they just don't understand it!"
    - A Fish Called Wanda

    (Yes, it's been one of those days)

    Moderation Totals: Silly=2, Directionless=1, Waste of Electrons=3, Total=6
  • by iPaul ( 559200 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @09:34PM (#3088142) Homepage

    Let's say the entire technology industry agrees that intel and motorola have a DRM package and it's what they're going to roll out. For the sake of argument, let's say Motorola and Intel will make the chipsets and open driver information so the DRM can be easily integrated into any OS.

    • Who gets to say the protection is good enough?
      • Would the require a connection to the internet while you're using the media?
      • How much device to computer or computer to device copying would be allowed?
      • Would the studio have the ability to step in and say it's not strong enough?
    • What if it requires HDTV, CD's and DVD's to be encoded differently? Thereby making 'protected' CD's/DVD's useless in existing players?
      • Would all the studios, HDTV broadcasters, and other content producers switch? Would they replace serveral million dollars worth of broadcasting, encoding and production equipment?
      • What if it made the process of creating the protected media more expensive? Would media companies still want it?
    • Would Sony really buy in and make DVD players and television sets that supported the intel/motorola chipset? Would they really adopt it into their product line?
    • What if Intel charges a stiff license for the encoding technology but free decoding technology? Would the studios fork up the dough?
    • What if, after spending millions of dollars on the whole thing some pesky mathemetician figures out how to break the encryption in a matter of a few hours?
      • Would Sony be allowed to sue intel and motorola?
      • Would we have to start again, making the 'protected' DVD's I bought useless?
    • Who's to blame when a pesky consumer advocate raises a law suit and shows the device/technology violates their fair use rights?
    • I just don't see the upside for the computer manufacturers to figure this one out. If the do it they'll be blamed for creating poor protection, or blamed for raising the cost of movies, or blamed for making your new home theater useless.

      It's the studio's content -they should figure out how to lock it up. After all, I don't make my neighbors wear GPS tracking devices just because I refuse to lock my door.

    • Sadly, fair use is a defense against infringement but not a right. If vendors make fair use impossible to exercise, all we can do is persuade everyone to take their business to vendors that don't (or somehow accumulate more money than the content cartels and buy ourselves a law).

      Nobody's obliged to continue pressing DVDs, but it seems to me if a company sells DVD players and then starts pressing DVDs their existing players can't handle, they've violated the warranty of merchantability.

  • I'm starting to think some folks are creating their headlines with the express purpose of being slashdotted.
  • by morgue-ann ( 453365 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @09:43PM (#3088166)
    The transcripts (what was actually said including questions & answers) will probably be available in a couple of weeks at the Government Printing Office [] {check out Orrin Hatch's Judiciary Committee Hearing on Copyrights while you're there}

    The submitted statements are available on the Committee's own page. []

    The hearing was broadcast on CapitolHearings [], but they don't seem to offer archives. I ripped the stream & will post an Ogg Vorbis version soon, but the everyone must have woken up today & decided to surf porn 'cause the 16kbps stream over a well-tuned DSL connection was interrupted several times, some of which failed auto-retries (do I hate RealPlayer now?).

    If anyone else has a stream rip, please post it. My favorite part is Hollings saying "son of a bitch" a couple minutes before the hearing starts. Yes, that microphone is on sir.

    Did anyone else listen? I thought Eisner went off the deep end during the question & answer period. He wants to protect camcorder-at-the-movie -> DivX;-) movies from distribution (not just stuff with DRM). The Intel V.P. (who was very calm despite the verbal LSD flying around) said that wasn't possible, but I don't think he was considering the full totalitarian push. Consider a law requiring ISPs to NAT and dynamic-IP all users so no one can run a server unless registered (like guns) & authorized. All P2P traffic is illegal. The entire US is firewalled off from "rouge" nations. Sure, it sounds unlikely, but that's why Eisner sounded so wacked out. He really sounded like he either wanted the net to become cable TV or just be shut down entirely (Disney isn't making any money from or or what do they need the damned pirate club for anyway?)

    You might think Eisner was talking about watermarking, but he wanted 90% of "pirate" traffic catchable. He's MORE concerned about a teenage projectionist inviting over his buddy who's dad has a 3-chip DV camcorder than DRM cracks. A 400x300 divx compress from a camcorder aimed at a screen is not going to preserve watermarks unless they really fuck up the quality. I think he's heading towards the RIAA "we want the right to snoop & crack those pirate sonofabitches" idea.


    • Thanks for the link, as I have no life, I read the submitted testimony (both panels). I think the best part involved Jack Valenti and Disney. The first is the "horrified they couldn't control the number of people watching" quote referring to Disney and video tape. The second thing was ressurecting Valenti's tape-worm comment, again, implying VCRs were going to ruin Hollywood.

      Luddites are alive and well.

  • Just say no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pinball Wizard ( 161942 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @09:47PM (#3088179) Homepage Journal
    I would rather not have movies at all than to be forced to use copy prevention on my PC. If the lack of copy prevention is what is keeping the MPAA from joining the internet age, well, they can just stay where they are as far as I'm concerned.

    I will buy neither digital products that cannot be backed up, converted into other formats, or otherwise copied. I still use VHS for this reason. I'll buy a DVD player when I can finally make backups with DVD's. Nor will I buy disabled computers. Somehow I doubt the Pacific Rim manufacturers I buy computer parts from are going to bend over backwards for this.

    The technologies that I can backup, copy and preserve? Sure, I download MP3's, but usually just to check out a band or to find something thats not available on CD. If its something I like I buy the CD, because MP3 takes away too much for me to fully enjoy the sound. I spend at least $100 a month on music, and another $50 or so buying movies. But I will spend $0 on products I can't back up or copy, or computers that are bastardized with copy protection.
    • Re:Just say no (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tkrotchko ( 124118 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @10:16PM (#3088273) Homepage
      "I would rather not have movies at all than to be forced to use copy prevention on my PC. If the lack of copy prevention is what is keeping the MPAA from joining the internet age, well, they can just stay where they are as far as I'm concerned."

      I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment.

      I have yet to see content compelling enough to give up a single right, much less giving Hollywood the ability to gut the humble PC.

      I can watch a DVD now. I can watch TV now.

      Will the programming get better if I give up control of my PC? Will Hollywood look out for my best interest once I give up control?

      Write your congressmen and senators with pen and paper. Be civil, but show some courteous passion that tells them that you won't vote for them if they vote for any more DMCA nonsense. Let them know, again very politely, that you'll let other people know about this nonsense. Don't just say "I'm very concerned", say "I believe this is not in my best interest and I would no longer support you in any future elections if you vote for such proposals". Hollywood isn't pulling any punches, and neither should you.

      I've been told by someone who knows that if a represenative or senator gets 15 letters on a topic, they get extremely concerned.

      Between us, do you think we could produce perhaps 1,000 letters?
    • Re:Just say no (Score:3, Interesting)

      by omega9 ( 138280 )
      I agree somwhat, with this to offer...

      Here's a quick one. In 1991 Brent Spiner, of Cmdr. Data fame on ST:TNG, released an album titled Ol' Yellow Eyes is Back. It was a very short run and only a limited number of copies were produced. It *was* put in reprint in 1994, but that was also a limited run. Since hearing of this album in ~1996 I have been on a warpath looking for a copy by any means needed.

      Essentially, I am a consumer in need of a product. Is it around for me to purchase? No. Is this still copyrighted material? Yes. Will I download it the first damn chance I get. You freakin' bet. If the album is not in production any more then neither the label nor artist will be making money on any more sales, as they will be used. I would gladly purchase a used copy (in good condition, of course), but they are nowhere to be found.

      This is one example. The same goes for an album by Symbiosis that I have been tracking down, and there are many more that aren't in production any more but would be illegal to download. How in the hell am I supposed to get this music? To me this is the biggest train that the RIAA/MPAA is missing.

      (PS - If anyone happens to have a copy of Ol' Yellow Eyes this is an open invitation to contact me. Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more)
      • Your point echoes the one I make with people and family on this issue! I try to explain to people how these content cartels are slowly taking away the ability or incentive of individuals to create.

        There's something else though, about out-of-print media and software. If I buy a car, I don't expect Honda to replace it when it gets damaged or worn. When I buy a CD or DVD, I should have that same expectation. But I didn't buy it, it's licensed. So, if it isn't mine, and I can't do with it as I please, then what do I get in return?

        I agree fully that there should be some mechanism for replacing old or lost media. They ignored P2P, they lost, and now they want to go all "sour grapes" and ban P2P for any reason.

        They're like a bunch of spoiled brats who lost the stickball game and are whining as they leave with the equipment...

        - Suddenly, all those dystopian stories don't seem so far-fetched

      • This OYE page [] suggests that it is still possible to purchase the Infinite Visions re-release.
  • by Helmholtz ( 2715 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @10:17PM (#3088274) Homepage
    Yes, that is a quote directly from Senator Fritz Hollings. It is portrayed in Frank Zappa's song Porn Wars which can be found on the album Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers of Prevention. For those old enough to remember, this is a harkening back to the PMRC (an attempt to force the listing of song lyrics on album jackets). The hearing is a matter of public record, and is out on the web somewhere ... unfortunately I don't have a link to provide, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

    The most interesting thing about the hearing IMO is when Mr. Zappa simply keeps asking "Okay, so who's going to pay for it?". I just think it's funny to see how 20 years later these guys are still trying to take away as many freedoms as possible.

    For what it's worth, the only artists from the music industry that showed up to testify at the PMRC hearings were Frank Zappa and John Denver. Of course both of them are dead now.
    • For what it's worth, the only artists from the music industry that showed up to testify at the PMRC hearings were Frank Zappa and John Denver. Of course both of them are dead now.

      Coincedence? I think not!
    • Three cheers for the unabashed candor of Mr. Zappa during the PMRC and Senate Commerce Committee hearings:

      Senator Danforth: There is nothing on the face of the album which would notify you if the record has pornographic material or material glorifying violence?

      Tipper Gore: No, there is nothing that would suggest that to me.

      Frank Zappa: I would say that a buzz saw blade between the guy's legs on the album cover is good indication that it's not for little Johnny.
    • The transcript [] of the hearing makes interesting reading, particular Sen. Hollings' view [] on the music he is now so keen to protect:
      But in all candor, I would tell you it is outrageous filth, and we have got to do something about it. I take the tempered approach, of our distinguished chairman, and commend it. Yet, I would make the statement that if I could find some way constitutionally to do away with it, I would.
      A true champion of listeners' freedom.
  • What exactly are they going to store on the OpenLDAP server? Shares? Permissions? Application settings? Where can I learn more about the integration of OpenLDAP and Windows 2000/XP?

    I'm interested because we do some work with clients that have 2000/XP on the desktop. We use Samba right now but we want to move from the simple sharing to domains. I know Samba can be a PDC and we are working on that but I'm wondering where OpenLDAP fits into all of it.
  • And people complain about grade inflation.

  • "It's just me in front of a brick wall for 90 minutes. It cost 80 million dollars. Here's a clip"

    Jack:Thieves!....That's the joke.
    Consumer:You suck Valenti! *BOOM*
    Jack:You stole 350 billion songs!
    Consumer:Get off the stage! *Bang*
    Jack:You will be responsible for the starvation deaths of corporate tools like Metallica!

    Apologies to the Simpsons and McBain
  • by catfood ( 40112 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @11:27PM (#3088512) Homepage

    The article quoted Hollings as saying to Intel, "We don't want to legislate. We want to give you time... to develop technology."

    I think the real-world translation of this might indicate that the Honorable Senator from Disney is looking for a settlement of sorts.

    Maybe Intel ends up producing DRM-enabled CPUs and mainboards for entertainment-oriented PCs, and Congress refrains from banning traditional general-purpose computers.

    Then the "content" industry produces stuff that only works on the DRM-enabled systems, and those of us who don't care about watching the latest Disney flicks on our rack-mount servers will be left alone.

    In other words, the scenario that Seth Finkelstein described in a comment to the previous SSSCA article.

    But I don't think that's such a horrible outcome. You'll have your regular computers like you have now, and then you'll have a glorified VCR to use with all your "content." A work computer and a "fun" computer.


  • by alizard ( 107678 ) < minus city> on Thursday February 28, 2002 @11:41PM (#3088560) Homepage
    Why don't you tell good old Senator Fritz what you think of his sellout to the major multimedia corporate interests at the expense of everybody else.

    Being a trained attack dog for Disney and AOL doesn't serve anyone living in your state. It just gets him campaign money.

    If you find that it's literally impossible to back up your hard drive or your company's data storage a year from now because he got those "anti-piracy" (note: in Hollings-speak, fair use = piracy) laws passed, do you think Hollings will help you? Maybe he can get a law passed making it illegal for hard drives to fail.

    His public contact page is [].

    Be as nasty as you like, there's no possibility of working with him. He has been bought and being an honest politician, will probably stay that way.

    From ID=N00002423&cycle=2002 []
    The top industries supporting Ernest F. Hollings are:
    1 Lawyers/Law Firms $1,151,134
    2 TV/Movies/Music $260,034

    Note: you may safely assume that at least some of the law firm contributions are from organizations on media industry payrolls.

    Since I don't live in South Carolina, the only way he's going to pay any attention to what I say as a non-constituent is if I send it via snailmail with a check for over $1,000 enclosed. Since hell will freeze over before I send him money, I didn't see any reason to bother writing him.

    Here's a copy of the e-mail I didn't bother sending. Perhaps some of you who live in SC can get some inspiration from it. Note: URL below is

    a fair usage quote from Yahoo News:

    Senator rips tech fears on piracy curb

    Threatens government standards to protect copyrights

    By Lisa Smith, Medill News Service

    WASHINGTON (CBS.MW) -- A powerful senator criticized Silicon Valley's high-tech firms Thursday for obstructing efforts to fight movie and music piracy.

    If the electronics and content industries can't agree on a solution to digital piracy, the government will step in, promised Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings, D-S.C., chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.

    Hollings told Intel (INTC: news, chart, profile) executive vice president Leslie Vadasz that it was "nonsense" to say that protecting intellectual property rights would damage the high-tech industry, stifle innovation, reduce product usefulness and slow new technology investment, as Vadasz had testified.

    Dear Senator Hollings:
    The above comment makes you either a liar or a fool.

    There was a time I used to admire you. After you decided you now represent AOL/TimeWarner, the MPAA, and Disney instead of the poor suckers who voted for you, I no longer can respect you as a public leader or even a human being.

    You're just another political whore. You are a disgrace to the US Senate and a living indictment of American democracy.

    Of course, this is not news to any of your staff member who reads this, but if that person had any personal integrity or decency, he or she wouldn't be working for you anyway.

    Hopefully, when those companies you attack finish with you, you'll be just someone who's trying to become a lobbyist and finding that nobody in politics can afford to be associated with you, instead of the "powerful senator" you are no longer fit to be.


    • My letter to him asked why on earth he thought that he knew better than Intel what the effects of the SSSCA would have on computers. They do make electronics for a living, after all.
    • I DO live in South Carolina, though I go to school in NC...I wrote old Fritz an email on Wednesday regarding all this mess, and I tried to be nonargumentative and make my points reasonably on this stuff. I felt a small amount of duty in writing that letter, since maybe they'll be slightly more likely to listen to me since I'm a resident. I don't want the rest of the country to get screwed by my backwards state's politics and I was afraid few others in SC would be informed enough to do anything about it.

      As of now I haven't heard anything back, not even a form letter...I'll post if I do have any more contact with them.

    • If you want to have an impact, make sure he knows you are a lifelong Democrat and send a copy of your $1000.00 check that you've sent to the Green party. Send a copy to the DNC, as well. His aides will start noticing REAL quick.
  • During the hearing, Eisner played a clip from Sony Pictures' "Black Hawk Down" -- now playing in theaters -- that was ripped from the Internet.

    Heh. I can't help wondering about the employee at Disney who was instructed to go out on Gnutella and warez some movies for Michael Eisner...
  • It is my understanding based on a Politech [] post by Mike Godwin that Vadasz of Intel actually made a pretty good presentation and that the problem is that "too many of the players and decisionmakers in this area lack the basic technical understanding necessary to make intelligent copyright-policy and IT-policy decisions"

    This ignorance has become dangerous to all of us. Like to back up your system using mass storage with Hollywood-style copy protection built in?

    Hollywood has already bought the politicians who are going to decide on this. They don't get it. There's no political profit in getting this.

    I've said for some time if the high-tech community from CEOs to end users all decided to pull together on an issue, that we can win regardless of opposition.

    Collectively, Compaq, Dell, IBM, Intuit, Microsoft, Sybase, and Unisys are a probably lot bigger and employ more people than the motion picture industry. I mention these companies because their leaders signed an open letter to MPAA asking that the movie industry start having real discussions with them with respect to a solution everyone can live with.

    Jack Valenti figures correctly that he doesn't have to compromise, and by the time Hollywood finds out that their own computers have been compromised by the solution the top corporate suits bought from Congress, he'll be in a very well paid retirement.

    Perhaps it's time for high-tech industry to stop kissing their asses and start kicking them and see about enlisting our help in kicking them as well.

    If these high-tech companies start buying media time and doing press campaigns about just what the Hollywood solution means (start with pictures of dark factory floors, blue screens on computers, etc.) in conjunction to putting out a call to write letters to Congress to their employees and their developer communities and to communities like this one.

    I'd certainly write my own Senators over this issue even if the request was signed by Bill Gates.

    I've been telling people to avoid XP and I've been running AMD in my boxes for years and years. However, there are issues where the most die-hard Linux fanatic with any sense will realize that we've got common interests.

    If the Senators don't get the point, a number of them are up for re-election this fall. High-tech money and voters can make the difference between who wins and who loses.

    We know who our enemies are. We can't do anything permanent on them by ourselves. A high-tech coalition can probably remake Congress in our own image. We don't have to like Microsoft, just be glad they're on our side for a change and be willing to work with them.

    There are other major corporations who would be greatly inconvenienced by having MPAA use Congress to tell us what our computers are going to look like and what can and can't be done on the Internet.

    It's coalition time. It's single-issue politics time. . . us vs. the laws Hollywood has used Congress to ram down our collective throats. I know that every major corporation I mentioned specifically has people reading slashdot. Carry the word back to your bosses that it's time to see what kind of coalition we can put together.

    High tech developers and users plus high-tech corporate money is probably an unstoppable political force. There are few issues that we can all agree on, but on those issues, we need to work together.

  • by maxpublic ( 450413 ) on Friday March 01, 2002 @03:29AM (#3089037) Homepage
    Tonight I ran into my first defective CD. It was the newly-released Alanis Morissette album (you have your tastes, I have mine). My wife and I bought this along with the new release from Pink, came home and popped it into one of our computers while we made dinner.

    After a minute or two I noticed that the speakers remained mysteriously quiet, and that no music puntuated the sounds of rattling dishes in the kitchen. Ambling over to the computer I popped open Windows Explorer (my wife had booted into Windows on her computer to play a game and hadn't booted back to Linux) and noticed...


    Well, not quite nothing. There was a 'special media presentation' on the CD just begging for our attention, but other than that *no tracks* appeared on the CD. Wisely expressing my confusion with the words "what the fuck?" I popped the disc back in...and still there were no tracks.

    Just that goddamned media thingy trying to get my attention. I didn't buy the damned CD for any bloody commercial, I bought it for *music*. Fuck the damned commercial, where the hell was my MUSIC???

    With growing horror I realized I'd just been given the RIAA shaft up the ass for the first time. Here I was, with a CD I legally purchased, unable to play it in my - goddamnit - CD player.

    Quickly I scanned the case and the plastic wrap the CD came in, thinking I'd missed some disclaimer like 'won't play on a computer, you mp3-ripping pirate asshole'. But no. Even the tiny print on the back said nothing of the sort. There was no warning of any kind to indicate that the CD was intentionally defective.

    With something akin to a cry of rage, echoed by my incredibly pissed-off wife, I transferred the cd to my computer - which was running Linux - and fired up the burning software to see if it could find the tracks. It did without any problem whatsoever. Put it back into the machine running windows - the tracks were gone. Rebooted my machine to windows - no tracks. Booted my wife's computer to Linux and ran the ripping software - the tracks were there.

    Yep, no doubt about it, the CD was crippled with 'copy protection'. I'd heard about CDs that Windows couldn't play but that Linux could, but I'd never actually seen them before. This was my first.

    So here I am, ripping the Alanis Morissette cd so that I can copy the tracks back onto one of my own blank cds, in the hopes that the protection is on the cd itself and not incorporated into the tracks. If I'm right I'll soon have an Alanis Morissette CD that'll play in Windows as well as Linux - which is what I goddamned well paid for when I went to the store in the first place.

    It's one thing to hear about this shit and express outrage over another persons misfortune, and quite another to find out you've been fucked yourself. I work for my money and I bloody well expect value when I plunk down my cash; if they're going to cripple the CD then the motherfuckers had better goddamn well label the shitty product so I can avoid it in the first place.

    Until now I've downloaded music off of Napster, Bearshare, Gnutella, etc. to 'try before I buy' - just like everyone else I know. Our CD collection has quadrupled in the last two years because we've discovered artists we'd never in a million years consider seriously if we hadn't been able to hear the album first. Alanis was one of those artists and we now own everything she's put out.

    But I have to ask myself now: if the music industry is going to deliberately sell me defective products, why on God's green earth should I waste the money I work hard for on fucked-up CDs? In this case it looks as if I can rip the songs to the computer and burn them back to a blank CD; but why should I have to do this? I didn't consent to buy a defective product, nor was I informed of the defect before purchase. I was more than willing to hand over $16 bucks to the RIAA bloodsuckers to buy Alanis's new album - and they screwed me anyway.

    Assholes. Please tell me - how is this supposed to encourage a generally honest joe like myself to remain honest and buy CDs of songs I've downloaded and liked? If I know I stand a chance of being reamed, with the potential battle of trying to return the CD for a refund to the tight-fisted music store bastards that own my town, what incentive do I have to buy? All this is going to do is encourage piracy, not contain it.

    Well, at least the Pink CD works like it should.

    • by clare-ents ( 153285 ) on Friday March 01, 2002 @05:38AM (#3089208) Homepage
      Invoice them.

      Dear Sir,

      I regret to inform you that the mastering on the new Alanis Morissette CD catalogue number $foo is faulty. Using my own ehanced proprietry CD mastering toolkit I have been able to remaster the CD correctly such that it complies with the CD Audio standard [reference $document_at_phillips] and now plays correctly on all devices bearing the CD Audio mark which your disc did not.

      I regret to inform you that the cost of doing this has been

      blank media $1
      mastering time $50

      I enclose an invoice for the following amount and a correctly mastered CD for your use.

      I hereby grant you license to sell the remastered Alanis album for a royalty of $0.01 per copy.

      If in future you wish to avoid the royalty I can supply you with a standards compilant mastering writer for the sum of $10000.

      Please pay the invoice by cheque payable to $my_name within 28 days.

      Yours Sincerely


      Director, CD Fix Ltd.

    • 99% of the CD's that do this can be handled by opening CDplayer.exe and hitting play. It is ADware crap, but it isn't copy protection as almost any ripper software will grab it.

    • More likely, this disk has multiple sessions - one CDDA session and one ISO9660 session. These disks are commonly referred to as CD-Extra disks.

      The way this is supposed to work is that your computer should access both sessions, and you should be presented with both the Data and audio - this way you can enjoy the music as well as the additional data - links to interesting websites, lyrics to the songs, karaoke sing-along, etc.

      Unfortunately, most (all?) versions of Windows are too stupid to know what to do with a multi-session CD. They will only show you the data session automatically.

      There are two simple solutions to this problem:
      1. Start the Windows CD player manually, and it should find the audio session automatically.
      2. Use an OS that doesn't suck (Mac OS handles these disks just fine, for instance).

  • Fragmentation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kievit ( 303920 ) on Friday March 01, 2002 @07:26AM (#3089330) Journal
    If fragmentation is such a big deal, then why do you never read about defragmentation tools for gnu/linux (or unix in general)? I know that it exists for Windows (one of the few things I know about that OS) since had to do a defrag before I could install linux so that I had a dual boot machine.

    So, while I wrote this post I decided I should do my homework first. On Freshmeat I found a defrag [] program for linux, but it seems to be totally dead, abandoned since 1998. On sourceforge a search for defrag only gives a hit for some Windows application. A Google search finally points me to a Debian page [] which advertises exactly the kind of defrag program I was looking for. The buglist shows that it is still being maintained, but there does not seem to be much going on (which might be a sign of stability, but the developer could have tried to impress me with promises to support more filesystems than only ext2, minix and xiafs). Why isn't this program a standard solution that makes fragmentation a non-issue? Do people here have experience with this tool?

  • ... write your letter, letting them know that you're a lifelong Democrat and enclose a copy of your contribution check made out to the Green Party (the larger, the better). Send a copy of the letter and the check to the DNC, as well. His aides will get hit with a cluestick really, really fast.

I've got a bad feeling about this.