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Slashback: Activism, VOIP, Ivies 165

Slashback tonight brings you a response to Declan McCullagh's approach to political activism (and tangentially related, evidence of Bruce Perens' very different way of doing things), a link to a few more VOIP Blasters, tantalizing news from the Blender front, and more -- all below.

Until we know how to get to Stallman's Gulch ... sbrown writes: "Public Knowledge responds to Declan McCullagh's call for less activism, more code. Don't fool yourself geeks, political participation is absolutely necessary to maintain the freedom to write code. Public Knowledge has a plan to make geek political participation easy and effective."

Speaking of activism, Roblimo reported yesterday that Bruce Perens might be leaving HP. Today, IDG reporter Matt Berger confirms the break, writing that "Perens says he is leaving HP to pursue political activism. His protests against the DMCA and other legislation that Perens says threatens the open source community, apparently, were too much for HP to handle. So he is becoming an independent consultant and will work with HP as a consultant. He also plans to follow through with a presentation of a DVD player cracking software that he says is in violation of the DMCA. HP stopped him from doing the demonstration at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention last month."

Might these be the basis of a long-distance relationship? AndersBrownworth writes "After Creative nixed their VoIP Blaster, ($20 USB to "plain old telephone line" converter with free software available) ebay prices eclipsed the $200 mark. Now, it seems Creative has found some VoIP Blasters still hanging around and is selling them as refurbished units for $29.99. Ebay prices have reflected the move in Internet time."

Much more fun than a PBS pledge drive. Kodi writes "In case you haven't been watching, Blender's campaign to become open source by raising 100,000 is almost complete, with about 85,000 raised. If you were holding back, perhaps a little doubtful that they would make it, now's the time to chip in and push it over the top."

If your donation happens to be The Last Straw (and the Blender folks can verify it), I will provide you with your choice of ThinkGeek T-shirt ;)

And such pretty campuses, too. guttentag writes "Several weeks ago, Slashdot ran a story about the Princeton admissions dean who used applicant information to hack into a Yale Web site. Today Princeton announced it will remove the official from his position; however, it will offer him another, undisclosed job. It also revealed that Princeton and other Ivy League schools were aware of the break-ins as early as May 15.

MIT's The Tech adds Princeton officials previously said they were unaware of the incident prior to July 24 when Yale's president informed Princeton's, and that Yale notified the FBI the next day (President Bush's niece was among those students whose privacy was violated). It was not until that point that Princeton placed the official on administrative leave.

Apparently, misusing applicant information to commit identity fraud is not a serious offense at Princeton unless the public learns of it (or a member of the president's family is among the victims), and even then it's not serious enough to warrant dismissal. Princeton's president also said other school officials will be disciplined, but declined to provide details, presumably to protect the privacy of those officials or the university."

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

Slashback: Activism, VOIP, Ivies

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  • by AntiNorm ( 155641 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @08:07PM (#4079941)
    Princeton admissions dean who used applicant information to hack into a Yale Web site.

    If hacking is now considered terrorism, why isn't the government all over this one?
    • Easy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 15, 2002 @08:14PM (#4079962)

      Because only the poor can be criminals.

      • Re:Easy (Score:2, Interesting)

        by glebfrank ( 58922 )
        Because only the poor can be criminals.


        That's insightful? Osama is a multi-millionaire. Lindh's family is rather well to do. Stepping out of the terrorism context, what about the recent wave of corporate fraud investigations? Are all those guys poor?

        It's sad to see how the amount of left-wing bullshit here is starting to resemble Kuro5hin.

        • OK, let's try this: See how many CEOs go to jail for scamming thousands of investors. If that number is greater than or equal to one, you win. If not, STFU. Deal?
        • Re:Easy (Score:4, Insightful)

          by fmaxwell ( 249001 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @10:38PM (#4080535) Homepage Journal
          Stepping out of the terrorism context, what about the recent wave of corporate fraud investigations? Are all those guys poor?

          Are they in jail? We live in a country where kids with no prior record are being jailed for years at a time for having, not selling, drugs at rock concerts. A car thief can expect to spend years in jail, but George W. Bush violated securities laws multiple times [public-i.org] and he's in the White House.
          • Re:Easy (Score:1, Flamebait)

            by glebfrank ( 58922 )
            Are they in jail?


            Out on bail [clarionledger.com] right now. give it time.

            We live in a country where kids with no prior record are being jailed for years at a time for having, not selling, drugs at rock concerts.


            I'm with you here - it's nuts.

            A car thief can expect to spend years in jail, but George W. Bush violated securities laws multiple times and he's in the White House.


            So he filed a bunch of forms late. Big whoop-de-doo.
            • Re:Easy (Score:4, Insightful)

              by fmaxwell ( 249001 ) on Friday August 16, 2002 @12:18AM (#4080866) Homepage Journal
              So he filed a bunch of forms late. Big whoop-de-doo.

              You missed the key point. G.W. Bush filed the forms late so as to hide the fact that he was engaging in insider trading:

              The tardiest --34 weeks late--was his Form 4 report disclosing that he had sold $848,560 of Harken stock on June 22, 1990, just weeks before the company filed a quarterly report revealing that it had hemorrhaged $23 million during that period. Bush had sold his stock for $4 a share. By the end of the year it was trading not much above $1.
              • But Bush did file his Form 144 properly, the one announcing his intent to sell and arguably the more important of the two. Form 4 is just after-the-fact accounting, what was actually sold (you can change your mind and not sell y'know) and for how much. If his intent was to deceive, why file the Form 144? The explanation given, that the accountants and/or SEC lost the Form 4 paperwork, makes the most logical sense.
        • Because only the poor can be criminals.

          That's insightful?


          Actually, I think that comment is well grounded in recent evnets. Exampl:, a recently proposed law [slashdot.org] would let media companies break into computers which are believed to be involved in trading copyrighted materials.

          Compare that to the way HP treated some white-hat hackers [com.com] who tried to get them to fix an old HP-UX vulnerability.

          What does this tell us? Wealthy corporate hacker = good, average joe white hat = bad. I'm pretty sure that's the sort of thing the poster was getting at.
          • I am correcting you. HP-UX did not have the vulnerability. Instead, Tru64 Unix did. Tru64 came from Compaq, which came from Digital.

      • Because only the poor can be criminals.

        Not true! Sometimes the media and/or government will make a criminal out of someone rich for the sole purpose of making sure that the above statement is NOT true!

        Therefore, the above statement is NOT true. There are exceptions.
    • Because the guys who did it were probably white.
    • by jjoyce ( 4103 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @09:25PM (#4080250)
      Because it's a dilemma for Bush:

      Breaking into computer system = bad
      Erosion of personal privacy = good

    • This was neither hacking nor cracking. The admissions officers didn't have to hack past any security, because there wasn't any security. They just plugged in name, date of birth, and social security number into Yale's online form. That's like entering a room that isn't locked, but does have a closed door. Try to get the police to arrest the perpetrator for breaking and entering - if property was stolen, they might; but otherwise, they're just going to laugh you off.

      The obsession with the word "hacking" -- which you're further propagating with your post -- is exactly why the sensationalist media labeled this a hacking incident. Nothing could be further from the truth.

      • I agree with both points...the police are ALLOWED to open closed doors. They are just not allowed to open "locked" doors without a warrant or without visible signs of "something wrong"...which could be anything as far as the police go, but that's another story....

        In any case, it's the "breaking" part of "breaking and entering" that's the problem.

        Perhaps that's why nothing is really being done here in this situation, because technically this isn't a crime! This guy, the dean, and all their lawyers prob. know that too. Gauranteed off and big egg on Yale's face.

        I say let the guy keep his job, he walked right in through an open door and caused no damage. If anyone should be fired, it's the sysadmin/page designer at Yale that set up this site! What he/she did qualifies as "gross negligence," "dereliction of duty," and violation of "generally accepted accounting/webdesign practices."

        • because technically this isn't a crime!

          IANAL, but I don't see how the level of [in]security matters. From the origional article [yaledailynews.com]:

          she added that the presence of a disclaimer screen, which warned users of the site that it was only intended for the personal use of the applicant, made Princeton officials' use of the site vulnerable to a lawsuit or even criminal charges.

          • I dont think that warning has any more legal weight than "no soliciting" signs on your front porch do.

            I HAVE had the police come into my house "un-announced" throught the "open door" policy. Of course they wouldn't do it if it were illegal...would they? The law about entry of structures says that if the door is open, they (anyone) can come in. Even the television crime shows get this one right....try the doorknob to see if it's unlocked, if open, enter at will....

            The best you could get on somebody who does come in through an open door is tresspassing. Ya' see, I got charged with tresspassing for entering a construction site through an "open door." And the best they could get me for was...you guessed it...tresspassing...they would have tried to get me for more too, if they could...but they had nothing!

            In most situations, (read taxes, porn and crime) the government wants to make "cyberspace" the same as "meatspace." Why should this case be any different? Why should the laws for this kind of entry be different than the physical world?

            In the physical world, people assume a certain level of culpability for their actions. Because there are so many people terrified of computers and technology though, we adopt special laws and give the government extra powers to ward off the demons....perhaps the Bush/Yale connection is the real reason for the "life sentences for hackers" bill...do you really feel that this was hacking?....or was it really more a situation of "hey you kids, get out of my yard!"

            Don't you think that if Yale could do something about it, they would? The disclaimer is a bluff.

            • I dont think that warning has any more legal weight than "no soliciting" signs on your front porch do.
              Actually, in my state, "no soliciting" signs do have legal weight. A great many disclaimers and such are bluffs -- but without talking to a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction, don't assume they all are.
        • Hmm, is this not impersonating another for the purpose of gaining access to an otherwise restricted system (identity theft in simple terms). Also is this not exactly one of the many chages Keven Mitnik was convicted on? Think about his social engineering the Novel support staff pretending to be an off site employee.
          • I don't see anywhere in the disclaimer that "by entering this information, you are claiming to be the person whose information this belongs to"....if there were, you may be right about the fraud/identity theft angle.

            Sounds like just some simple data entry fields and the notice about "prosecuted to the fullest extent"...blah..blah...blah...no place where the person entering the information "claims" to be the person described by the entered information. It's pretty hard to claim fraud when the "hacker" hasn't claimed anything at all, other than "here's a valid SSN and it's associated with this name."

            I seem to remember that Kevin Mitnik was "claiming" to be a phone company employee, claiming to be whoever during his social engineering, in an attempt to get the information that he wanted (passwords etc). That's fraud. If there's no deception or attempt at deception, how can there be fraud? Also, by obtaining the passwords through fraud, he's effectivly "sealing" the keys and opening a "locked" door, not simply opening an "unlocked" door.

            O.K. you say...what about people who attempt multiple passwords then?....arn't they simply "trying the door" multiple times with different data?....well yes, but this starts to look like "lockpicking" after two or three times, doesn't it?....

            Who knows how this "hacker" got the information. Some states sell their drivers liscense data, and you can find out people's SSN's legally too. There's no need to resort to theft to find out all you need to know about somebody.

            If the information entry fields are simply asking questions which can be entered truthfully without requiring some other crime or claim to be that person, I don't see any theft angle.

    • If hacking = terrorism then RIAA and MPAA would be considered terrorists (according to this article [slashdot.org]).

      Let's fight the war on terroism and start trading mp3's!! :)

      "I believe in everything in moderation. Including moderation." -Dean DeLeo, Stone Temple Pilots

    • The purpose of draconian laws is *not* to be
      enforced uniformly. Their purpose is to be
      applied *selectively*, to crush your enemies.

  • by stwrtpj ( 518864 ) <p.stewartNO@SPAMcomcast.net> on Thursday August 15, 2002 @08:21PM (#4079991) Journal
    The NewsForge article had a very interesting comment about the LinuxWorld Expo:

    There are not a lot of hippie hackers hanging out, and hardly anyone is wearing funny costumes. The combination Trekkie convention and Renaissance Faire feel a lot of early Linux get-togethers had is gone. This is a business gathering.

    The author apparantly meets this with dismay. I would like to argue instead that it's about time.

    I hate doing things in stuffy, overly-businesslike ways. I much prefer the more freewheeling, hacker style, and I am sure that many /. readers do also. But these are also the same people that want Linux and OSS in general taken seriously. Well, as unfortunate as it may be, to be taken seriously by business-type people, you have to act like business-type people, or at least hire people to do it.

    Like it or not, movements that have gatherings of people in "funny costumes" or that have a "trekkie convention" atmosphere are going to be trivialized. Columnists will report these events in the "for your amusement" part of the newspaper, sandwhiched between Dear Abby and the horoscopes. By adopting a more serious attitude at events like this, now you start to get recognition where it counts, like in the Wall Street Journal.

    As much as it galls most hacker types (myself included), appearance is everything. But the OSS community needs to remember that it has something more than just appearance, something that many proprietary vendors are missing: substance. OSS code actually works and delivers on what it claims in most cases.

    So OSS hackers should keep coding and wearing funny costumes, or whatever floats your boat. But also let the business people and marketers loose. Let them promote what you're doing (think of it this way: it gives you even more time to code).

    • by Ian Bicking ( 980 ) <ianb&colorstudy,com> on Thursday August 15, 2002 @09:17PM (#4080215) Homepage
      By adopting a more serious attitude at events like this, now you start to get recognition where it counts, like in the Wall Street Journal.
      You shouldn't buy into Wall Street Journal's bullshit. They claim relevency for themselves, for their economic order, for their definition of achievement, for their suits and their lingo. But the free software we have was written by individuals, and they didn't wear those suits, they haven't been doing it for that model of success, and they don't use that lingo. They have been and continue to be relevant because of their actions and their creations.

      Linux has survived all the dot-com bullshit because it was always by the people and for the people. The companies that have come and gone never effected the sole of the movement. They've helped at times, they've hurt at times, but they never were essential. If they all went away, free software would continue. If all the hackers went away, free software would die -- even if its licenses lived on and were used, even if its code continued to be extended by hired hands, its sole would be gone. It would just be another business efficiency, cast aside at some future date when the suit's whimsy changed.

      We didn't get here by asking suits what was important or trying to get their approval. We didn't need them then, and we need them even less now. We might be able to use them -- but they aren't us and never will be. We should not forget that.

      • Dude, it would be nice if most business people took the time to explore ALL of the alternatives and made the best choice, but the fact is that Microsoft and lots of other companies have armies of salesfolk paid to sell their products to businesspeople. Somebody needs to convince these businesspeople that open source stuff is worth using, and the businesspeople need to be able to find a distro they can use productively. Remember, businesspeople are already too busy and probably don't want to have to be sysadmins on top of everything. At worst, they want to be able to hire somebody fairly cheap to watch the systems, necessitating more Linux training courses and unfortunately some kind of certification so the courses will have at least a minimum to teach to -- yeah, it does enhance credibility to have some standards and ways of measuring skills.

        OK, so the suits are crucial to commercial success, but why is commercial success necessary? Well, there's Palladium. If GPL software has a installed base including powerful political and business entities who would be inconvenienced and overcharged were all executables to require a Microsoft certificate, they'll be much more likely to resist the changes and might stop them. I'd like to see a future where my own compile of open source software runs on commodity hardware, and where the majority of programmers could enjoy an ethic of sharing code for practical, economical, and educational reasons.

        Whew.

      • You shouldn't buy into Wall Street Journal's bullshit. They claim relevency for themselves, for their economic order, for their definition of achievement, for their suits and their lingo. But the free software we have was written by individuals, and they didn't wear those suits, they haven't been doing it for that model of success, and they don't use that lingo. They have been and continue to be relevant because of their actions and their creations.

        I couldn't agree more with you. You're absolutely right, and this is what I meant to imply by the last part of my post. Hackers are not suits and should never try to be. But does that mean it's wrong to have suits promote them? Hell, I'd say that was an example of using the system against itself. Sure, the suits are interested in their own agendas and making their money. But if OSS can benefit at the same time, why not?

        Certainly, the suits are not the only path to enlightenment. But it's still a way of getting people to pay attention to you. Then once you have their attention, you don't need the suits anymore.

        But consider this: Look at the average hacker community. Most of the time, it's a well-knit, cooperative community. But all too often you get stupidity like the Gnome-KDE flamewars, Linux vs FreeBSD jihads, and the Linux vs GNU/Linux crusades. People outside of the hacker community look at this and once again trivialize us.

        I'd love to get rid of the suits and not have to depend on them for a damn thing. But we have to clean up our act first. Until then, the suits can serve their purpose.

        We didn't get here by asking suits what was important or trying to get their approval. We didn't need them then, and we need them even less now. We might be able to use them -- but they aren't us and never will be. We should not forget that.

        You're right, we did not ask them what was important. The beauty of what's happening now is that they're looking at us and adopting (more or less) what we consider important. And, yes, we can use them, and we should use them -- until we don't need them anymore. At that point, they should get the hell out of the way.

      • If you want to be a hobby coder, no, it's not important.

        If you want there to be more fun, well-paying jobs that involve working with open source, on the other hand, getting buyin from the suits is a Good Thing. Do we need them to write good software? Of course not. But will we have better software if some of us are paid to work on it full-time? Hell, yeah!
    • As way of analogy, it reminds me of the forrest blockade demonstrations in western australia. For nearly 20 years, the rather rightious cause of not killing the forrest was fought by greenies in dreadlocks, wierd wool, tatters and threads. Then around 97/98 the conservative world got interested. A woman with the name dame xxxx (insert correct name, I cant remember!!!!!), basically a founder of the wa liberal party, and sister veronica, a catholic nun, did a "lock on" , which basically is your locking onto a tree to stop loggers from killing it vibe.
      After 20 years sudenly the media was interested, and a year later, finally the scientific community finally was listened to and we saved those old karri stands. Geek activism at it's most primordial.
      I guess what I'm trying to say is, via analogy, despite our wierd headed tendency to get all anti-ms (right on!) and pro-free and what not. It's the eric raymonds, the orators, the suits , flutes and not absolutes in our community that will win this fight.
      Guys & Gals, finally we have a *real* O/S on our hands, after years of puting our hands over our eyes and saying "make it true" , KDE3 / kernel 2.5, gnome making sense , and all of that, we got there.
      Let's not let our ideology ruin it. Truth stands on it's own two feet.
  • (Tough break about the cut. Perhaps you can post the scene script when the movie it out...)

    But enough about CleverNickName... It seems that Creative's HTTPS order transaction server is also /.'ed into the stone age. I'm trying to order a couple of VOIP Blasters, and while I can do the non-secure part of the system great, all I get when I try to proceed to checkout is "Server timed out".

    Hmmmm. Just like a brick and mortar - Plenty of stuff in the store, but not enough damn cashiers....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 15, 2002 @08:28PM (#4080022)
    First Napster rules
    Then RIAA/MPAA/Politician cartel throws down
    Now the pendulum is swinging back... ... as developers get a little pissed!

    We need to assault the politicians on all fronts:
    - with code
    - with law
    - with awareness-campaigns
    - with boycotts of companies who support politicians

    Remember when people ask us to have faith in the law system and that everything will work out we should not trust them. As bleak as it sounds we cannot have faith in many things and should trust only ourselves and that is why WE need to be actively doing all the above bulleted items.
  • "activism" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Johnson ( 580 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @08:34PM (#4080045) Homepage Journal
    The tough thing about activism in the 21st century, is, how the HELL do you choose? There's too much- impossibly too much that needs to be addressed.

    Do you fight against the DMCA and people's right to exchange information with each other?

    Do you fight for clean air? I live in VERMONT and today we have worse smog than fucking LA, which I learned courtesy of online EPA ground level ozone reporting information. I would not have believed that possible. Today southern Vermont is at smog danger levels for children, elderly or those with asthma. I have asthma...

    Do you fight against water privatization? The global fresh-water situation is getting desperate at a horrifying rate. Part of the problem is overuse, and part of the problem is- get this- corporations forcing entire countries into privatization because the World Bank demands it as a condition of doing business with the country. Once privatized, in the spirit of 'free trade' the corporation (such as Vivendi out of France) can export the country's water elsewhere- like America, if it wants- and refuse water to those in the original country who can't pay for it.

    Or you could fight against corporations polluting, like in Anniston, Alabama. When Monsanto dumps so much poison into the creek that fish fucking explode and fall apart within minutes after being put in the water, you HAVE to buy water that Vivendi exported from some African nation where people die of thirst unable to afford water, because if you dig a well for water and drink it, you die!

    Or you could google for 'Operation Northwoods', learn that in the 60s, McNamara repeatedly vetoed proposals from our own military to attack US citizens in order to basically create martyrs, blame it on Cuba and stir up enthusiasm for a war they felt desperately necessary... and ask whether any of that seems familiar, try to see if you can do better than 40 years of silence on what's going on today.

    These are either great or horrible times to be an activist. The situation is so bad it forces any sane person to question. But there's too much to be done!

    You have to pick a thing and work on that, or you just get ulcers and die early... mind you who can tell with the amount of poison and pollution in our air, our water, our food...

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Agreed. I'm pretty much going to stop paying attention to the DMCA as far as activism goes and am going to switch over to supporting gun control and banning the private ownership of guns. I won't rest until every gun owner is in prison.
    • Re:"activism" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by extrasolar ( 28341 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @08:54PM (#4080129) Homepage Journal
      Naively, it seems the real solution is to fix the problem. In otherwords, if politics worked the way its supposed to--none of them things you list would not be on the way towards being solved. Fix the system, and the rest comes after.

      It seems to me the problem is the corruption of money in politics and business. If only there is a way of causing money to loose its political power, then we'd be on the way towards a more perfect union.
      • Re:"activism" (Score:1, Redundant)

        by Chris Johnson ( 580 )
        Well, you're preaching to the choir when talking to me. I actually voted my principles when it came down to it- voted for Nader (well known enemy of corporate welfare and advocate of campaign financing reform) and voted Progressive otherwise- I had some literature from the Progressives suggesting things like a MAXIMUM wage. Call me crazy, but I think there's no reason to have one person's assets more than, oh, ten million times as much as J. random welfare mother? One Ferrari and one million dollar mansion IS enough ;)

        If you can come up with a way to sell people on the value of society instead of the value of money, please do so- you're right that it'd help.

        • The idea of a maximum wage isn't that good. If a very well-to-do broker makes 25 million a year, and the maximum wage is 1 million, this broker is no longer stimulating the economy after January 14--there's nothing in it for him. BTW, I voted Nader too.
        • Re:"activism" (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MoneyT ( 548795 )
          Problem with maximum wage is, no one gets a wage that isn't thought of as worth it.

          Sure people are pissed that A-Rod (a shortstop for those of you that don't follow baseball) is making a gross amount of money (I think it's in the range of 8 or 9 didgets) but some where someone thinks he's worth paying that much for. And not only that, but the fans that keep paying upwards of $50 for handicapped bleacher seats and upwards of $200 for good seats seem to think so too.

          Like it or not, everyone gets what someone thinks they're worth. The best way to stop something is to vote with money. The most powerful parts of the governement are those that have to do with money. If money stops flowing, things change. Money give life and money sure as hell can take it away. Vote with your check book.
          • >Like it or not, everyone gets what someone thinks they're worth.

            Great! I'm someone. I think everyone's worth, oh, say, US$40K. So now that I've made my decision, everyone will get that?

            The problem is when the "someone" is a person who's not personally paying. And especially if the "someone" is selected by the person whose salary is in question.
            • Like I said, if you don't like what some one is getting paid, cut off their money supply. If you don't like what Bill Gates is earning, you have to stop buying Microsoft products, get others to stop buying them too and start actively speaking out.

              If you don't like that A-Rod's getting a shit load of money, don't buy baseball tickets, and get others to join you. Nothing get's done by sitting on the fence and whining, you have to get off your ass and actualy do something about it.
          • This is of course your opinion :D

            You are welcome to have it, but other ways of doing things HAVE been tried. They're called 'governments', and sometimes talk about 'rights' and things ;)

            I could find someone in a psychiatric ward who believed with all his heart that Bill Gates was worth 31 billion dollars. That person could honestly assert that they believed Bill Gates was worth more than half the amount of paper money the US Treasury prints in a year, and also more than 2/3 of all the gold in Fort Knox, all by himself.

            That person would still be fucking crazy!

            Like the guy in The Young Ones said, "I don't mean to be negative, but no." Your view of things is not realistic. You simply cannot reduce all of life to free market economics and expect it to work. You only get insane, pathological results- Gates is only the most egregious, as well as being an object lesson in motivation- do you believe for one second that the guy would mellow out if his 'wage' was capped at, oh, one billion? Only people with neither money nor the tenacity to make money believe that- they want to believe in Santa Claus. "Maybe the money fairy will give ME 30 billion dollars some day, how would I feel then?"

            Meanwhile, in the real world, Capitalism shakes itself to death for lack of a rev limiter- and in the end days, lots of the big winners end up dead, and the revolutionaries who killed them aren't even better off, because what they should have been killing was not the results of the system, but the inadequacies of the system.

            I'm sorry, but after listening to you I am all the more persuaded that a maximum wage is very important. If a million upsets you, how about a billion? Or would that cut into YOUR income too uncomfortably? ;)

            • Governments and rights huh. So a controled economic system. Like what China has? The world sucks. And the people in power will always have access to the biggest cash reserves. It may not be fair, and I sure as hell don't like it, but it's the way life is, and it's realistic. You want to talk about the government, let's talk about how much they cut into your salary. Have you looked at your taxes recently? Have you considered how much of your money goes into sales tax? Or how much you pay in taxes for gas? The government cuts into your wallet just as much as the big corp guys, and more directly too. Believe me, if the people who have power over at M$ didn't think Bill was worth his millions, he wouldn't get it. And they wouldn't have it to give, if people didn't think it was worth $300 a pop for an office suite. Like I said, vote with your money, that's where the reall power is.
              • No, when I say "You simply cannot reduce all of life to free market economics and expect it to work. You only get insane, pathological results- Gates is only the most egregious, as well as being an object lesson in motivation- do you believe for one second that the guy would mellow out if his 'wage' was capped at, oh, one billion? Only people with neither money nor the tenacity to make money believe that- they want to believe in Santa Claus. "Maybe the money fairy will give ME 30 billion dollars some day, how would I feel then?""... when I say that, the point I am making is that Bill is not worth half the money printed in the US per year all by himself. He's not! That's crazy.

                If you are seeing that happen (and you are) that is no endorsement of any economic or political system. It is a BIG RED FLAG that something is horribly wrong- like 'valuations' of dot-com companies, and you know what happened to those? When the 'real world' is giving you results that are stark raving insane, that means something's gonna blow, that something is BROKEN somewhere. In this case, what is broken is the notion that any one person has a legitimate claim to be worth more than 2/3 the money in the Federal Reserve.

                Your randroid-baiting with regard to 'wah, taxes are too big' is not relevant or useful either. Maybe your taxes are bigger than they need to be because guys like Gates are not supporting society to the extent of their ability to do so.

                Seeing as I have been a humble Mac user since WAY before it was hip and fashionable, I suggest that voting with your money doesn't accomplish as much as you think it does. MS didn't need my money to armtwist PC OEMS and ISPs. They did it anyway without any help from me.

                • I have long been a mac user, so that is irelivent. The sad fact is, one person's vote does not count. Face it, that's life. The majority voted with their walets, and they voted M$. I voted, and still do vote Apple. On the other hand, I'm doing my part to change things. Gates get's his paycheck from the money flowing into M$, whether it's via stocks, tax refunds or revenue, it doesn't fricken matter, the point is, people are providing him with money. If you want to change things, you have to CUT OFF THE FLOW OF MONEY.

                  Why did all the over valued dot coms fail? BECAUSE THEY HAD NO MONEY FLOW!!!!!

                  Why does the stock market crash? BECAUSE MONEY STOPS FLOWING!!!!! (Do you realize that theoreticaly, the stock market could neveer crash so long as people keep investing. The market crashes when people start pulling money out. Then people see the market crashing and pull mor emoney out, causing a snowball effect. To stop a crash, start investing money.)

                  Why does the tobacco industry thrive and the government not care? MONEY MONEY MONEY!!!!!

                  Why do all things in government (except thiose specificaly provided for in the constitution) go through congress? BECAUSE CONGRESS CONTROLS THE MONEY!!!!!

                  Money is where it's at. Bill Gates may not be worth that much money to you, but to the thousands of people paying his paycheck, he apparently is.
              • No, when I say "You simply cannot reduce all of life to free market economics and expect it to work. You only get insane, pathological results- Gates is only the most egregious, as well as being an object lesson in motivation- do you believe for one second that the guy would mellow out if his 'wage' was capped at, oh, one billion? Only people with neither money nor the tenacity to make money believe that- they want to believe in Santa Claus. "Maybe the money fairy will give ME 30 billion dollars some day, how would I feel then?""... when I say that, the point I am making is that Bill is not worth half the money printed in the US per year all by himself. He's not! That's crazy.

                If you are seeing that happen (and you are) that is no endorsement of any economic or political system. It is a big red flag that something is horribly wrong- like 'valuations' of dot-com companies, and you know what happened to those? When the 'real world' is giving you results that are stark raving insane, that means something's gonna blow, that something is BROKEN somewhere. In this case, what is broken is the notion that any one person has a legitimate claim to be worth more than 2/3 the money in the Federal Reserve.

                Your randroid-baiting with regard to 'wah, taxes are too big' is not relevant or useful either. Maybe your taxes are bigger than they need to be because guys like Gates are not supporting society to the extent of their ability to do so.

                Seeing as I have been a humble Mac user since WAY before it was hip and fashionable, I suggest that voting with your money doesn't accomplish as much as you think it does. MS didn't need my money to armtwist PC OEMS and ISPs. They did it anyway without any help from me.

                (argh- someone mind modding down the all-italic one please? :P )

        • If you can come up with a way to sell people on the value of society instead of the value of money, please do so

          The way out of the money pit will gradually reveal itself during the middle of this century as nanotechnology transforms our economy of scarcity into one of abundance. Hypercapitalism doesn't have much meaning in that kind of environment- people can focus less on material survival and wealth status, and more on what counts in life.

          The gap between the haves and havenots will be MUCH MUCH smaller in a future where the means of material (re)production are as cheap and democratized as current information (re)production is. One of the reasons Gates is so absurdly filthy rich (as compared to just Rockefeller rich or Ford rich) is because he's got a monopoly selling something which isn't really scarce.

          Anyway, assuming tyrants haven't been given control of the planet by the meek (who've been frightened by likes of Bill Joy's KillJoy), this'll be another Renaissance period.

          I know... I sound like someone with my head up my^H^H^H^H^Hin the clouds... but in fact much of this scifi speculation is based in reality.

          --

          • The gap between the haves and havenots will be MUCH MUCH smaller in a future where the means of material (re)production are as cheap and democratized as current information (re)production is. One of the reasons Gates is so absurdly filthy rich (as compared to just Rockefeller rich or Ford rich) is because he's got a monopoly selling something which isn't really scarce.

            Hmmm...Isn't that completely contradictory?

            If Bill Gates, et al., can use IP law and contract law to get a continuing monopoly on a non-scarce resource, why do you think that we will not see the same thing when technology reduces the scarcity of material items? Seems to me that technologies that reduce scarcity can be counteracted by legislation and business practices. The world won't benefit unless we have both the new technology and a new social/economic model to use it.

            The technology will be the easy part. Changes to the current social/economic model will be very traumatic. Look at all the junk that's going on with the simple change from analog to digital media technology. Now expand that from a single industry to the majority of industries, and imagine the implications...

            • I addressed that contradiction when I "hoped" that we wouldn't be living under technological tyranny by that point.

              Much like how millions of people think nothing of "pirating" information, I expect BILLIONS will likewise think nothing of "pirating molecular blueprints" so they can then 'illegally' manufacture that object using the locally available molecules that compose it.

              I don't know about you, but I wouldn't feel an ounce of guilt in "pirating" and reproducing a scan of a McDonalds cheeseburger for example... in fact I'd feel orders of magnitude less guilt doing that than dl'ing some poor bands mp3 AT PRESENT, because AT PRESENT that band has to eat expensive food to survive.

              Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but I really believe that something this disruptive can't be held back by the status quo that is trying to limit digital freedom. It's all encompassing with nanotech... not just info, but matter.

              --

      • How does money work? I give you some money, you put it in the bank, it earns you interest. If you don't need to spend it you keep it, because it'll be worth more in the long run.

        Who decided it should be that way? There are hundreds of examples from the last few hundred years of communities and regions implementing an alternative currency - one with a state imposed depreciation rate. I give you $10 in August, its worth $9 in September, and $5 by new year. I'll bet you spend it in August!

        Why does that help? Because it keeps the markets liquid. It no longer pays for the rich to save their money - they have to spend it. And on the whole that creates wealth in the economy - it is not the amount of money in a country that matters - its the amount of money MOVING in the market that matters.

        Do this and political bribes will still exist - but wealth accruel will be a lesser driver. Bill Gates will still be a rich fucker for the rest of his life - but the rest of us will see more of his money more quickly.

        If eBay started a similar currency who's to stop them?
        • How does money work? I give you some money, you put it in the bank, it earns you interest. If you don't need to spend it you keep it, because it'll be worth more in the long run. Who decided it should be that way? There are hundreds of examples from the last few hundred years of communities and regions implementing an alternative currency - one with a state imposed depreciation rate. I give you $10 in August, its worth $9 in September, and $5 by new year. I'll bet you spend it in August!

          Er, well um yes, but then it isn't money. There are traditionally four purposes of money;

          • medium of exchange
          • unit of account
          • standard of deferred payment
          • store of value
          Clearly the last of these is somewhat incompatible with your world. In all seriousness though and nit picking aside, all you are really describing is a tax on savings so you will find that people just find an alternative store of value, stock, precious metals, etc. What's even more interesting is that you will then find that there is a market that appears with people who have guaranteed income next month willing to sell it to people who have cash this month at a premium approaching the discount rate you choose and so it wont really have the effect you desire.

          In truth the way to deal with your issue is a) eliminate capital (been tried, didn't work very well :-) b) use progressive taxation, death duties and gift taxes to redistribute the "money" from those who do, to those who don't, have it. We all gripe about that one, but in many countries outside the US there is much less griping and much better social services... hmmm...

          • There are traditionally four purposes of money;
            • medium of exchange
            • unit of account
            • standard of deferred payment
            • store of value


            I think you have it all wrong. How about these.
            • measurement of your worth as a human being
            • indicator of how the government and legal system should treat you
            • what level of participation you deserve in the political process
    • Re:"activism" (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jazman_777 ( 44742 )
      The tough thing about activism in the 21st century, is, how the HELL do you choose? There's too much- impossibly too much that needs to be addressed.

      Maybe just pick one where you can focus some good effort. If everybody picked one, we'd still be a lot better off. Instead of trying to save the whole freakin' world all at once, but then, that _would_ be the American way.

    • First of all, calm down. The world is getting better, not worse, richer, not poorer, cleaner, not more polluted, and freer, not less free. I realize that there's lots of 21 and youngers here who won't believe me and can't be convinced except by seeing a little life themselves, but it's true.

      Just to pick one example -- next time you go to the New England coast, notice all the egrets, cormorants and other shore birds. They weren't there 15 years ago. The Clean Water Act has brought them back.

      That doesn't mean there's not a tremendous amount of vital work to be done, but the air of apocalypse is unwarranted.

      Which brings us to point two. Of the things you cited, worrying about what some lunatics in the army allegedly considered doing 40 years ago really doesn't make my list of concerns. (Is it even true, as in someone can point to FOIA documents proving it? None of the sites Google comes up with have any such thing.)

      (Unless you seriously believe that the World Trade Center was attacked by the US, in which case you can go join Cynthia McKinney and the aforementioned Google links, most of which blame it on the Jews.)

      • Oh, so you mean that *New England* is better,
        richer, cleaner, and freer. Well, assuming that
        you're not swarthy, anyway.

        You will find the Operation Northwoods documents
        at the National Security Archive, at George
        Washington University.

        I think you have confused Israel (with which I am
        in no way affiliated) with the Jews (with whom I
        am intimately affliated). The Jews are not
        responsible for the WTC attacks; Israel is,
        morally at least.

      • Otter, I wasn't getting choked by smog 15 years ago living in New England. Now I have to consume an expensive medicine called Serevent just to be able to function- and I live in a small town on top of a MOUNTAIN, currently. I'm not sure if they were pumping PCBs into streams 15 years ago- depends on if they'd invented those chemicals yet...

        I realise it is appealing to go with the 'Long Boom' approach and hypnotize yourself with an 'everything is getting better, cleaner, freer, and full of wealth' mantra, but the cost is too damned high. I can't forgive such wilful ignorance when there are very real consequences- especially when you are persuading yourself that the world is getting "richer" and "freer" in THIS day and age. That's horribly wrong.

        I don't know how old you are- I'm 34 and won't be impressed by suggestions to wait and see... "it'll be great, don't be negative". I suggest to anyone under 21 who's concerned about these things- don't wait, STUDY! Study history, learn to place these things in a historical context. With a nick like 'Otter' it may be that Otter is more up to date on specifically sea pollution, oil spills etc. He says bird life has returned to the New England coast. GOOD! Meanwhile, too damned many other things, environmental, social, economic, political, are ready to blow, so enjoy the birds and get busy on the next catastrophe to defuse.

        As for point two: I don't think the US military should EVER have seriously planned to kill US citizens and blame it on Cuba. Thank McNamara for vetoing the idea every single time it was put forth... but it's very wrong that this was even considered, and the thinking isn't dead.

  • (President Bush's niece was among those students whose privacy was violated).

    Maybe she can get C's at Yale too...
  • ...misusing applicant information to commit identity fraud is not a serious offense at Princeton unless the public learns of it

    How about being completely clueless about security? I guess it's a good thing society doesn't incarcerate people for committing stupidity (I'd be the first to take a drink). But seriously, this is like violating the DMCA by uncoding someone's ROT13 email signature.
  • Thanks Bruce (Score:5, Informative)

    by extrasolar ( 28341 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @08:44PM (#4080091) Homepage Journal
    I'm glad you're on our side.

    In another note, here's [gnu.org] an interesting rebuttal to the Declan article.

    Also, know the Digital Speech Project [digitalspeech.org]. Best not reinventing any wheels.

  • I should be shocked, shocked! that the Slashback blurb on the Princeton-Yale fiasco is heavily editorialized, and don't even bother linking to the primary source [princeton.edu]. (ObDisclosure: I'm an undergrad there, and I know LeMenager) But I'll let that slide.

    I'm still curious as to three things:

    1. Why did the editors post this blurb without indicating that independent investigators concluded that admissions director LeMenager intended only to check the security of Yale's website? The implication that he intended to spy on innocent applicants who entrusted him with their personal information is irresponsible.

      Quoth the press release [princeton.edu].

      Mr. LeMenager entered the Yale site by using the name, birth date and social security number of a Princeton applicant who he thought might also have applied to Yale, fully expecting that he would then be asked for a password or an ID number. He was surprised to learn that there was no security beyond name, birth date and social security number.

      If LeMenager was actually committing "identity fraud" for fun and profit, why on earth would he tell Yale exactly what he did at an admissions conference in May? Read the source [princeton.edu]. LeMenager made the mistake of repeating the entry to demonstrate how it was done. That hardly qualifies him for dismissal. Quoth the press release [princeton.edu].

      While we do not in any way condone these actions, there is no evidence that there was any intention on Mr. LeMenager's part to do anything other than test, and then demonstrate, the site's security or that he used confidential information for any other purpose.

      Lest we forget, Yale sat on this story for two months before releasing it. I've no idea why.

    2. Given the sheer quantity of Slashdot wailing and chest-beating about the tragic propensity for computer-security whistleblowers to get reprimanded, sacked, or prosecuted, the sarcasm of the last paragraph of the blurb is unexpected, if not downright hypocritical.

    3. I can understand why the mainstream news calls this a 'hack'. But Slashdot should know better. I'm not referring to the ESR/RMS "Editor, when you say hacker, you really mean cracker" lexicographic crusade -- I'm referring to the fact that using a name/SSN pair obtained legitimately (i.e., from an applicant who mailed it to you) to access a website is not "hacking" by even the most tortured definition of the term. It is social engineering, maybe. It is illegitimate, if done with malice, sure. But it is not "hacking."
    I can understand why the mainstream press screws up. Six years ago, how often could you find an article about the Internet that didn't contain enough glaring errors to qualify it for a good MST3King? How much better are they today? Not much [nytimes.com].

    I expected better from Slashdot.

    Joe

  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @08:57PM (#4080144) Journal
    Damn, since when has entering a name, dob and SSN been elevated to "hacking". How about firing the moron who approved such a system, instead of the slightly more secure "mail them a PIN" or some such.

    I'm sorry, that isn't a hack.

    Unfortunately, I didn't see the web site, so maybe someone who did can say. Where was the "do not enter name other than yourself" disclaimer? In big letters on the login, or buried on the "privacy policy" page?

    What a joke.
    • I agree with you -- it certainly doesn't meet most definitions of "hacking." However -- and here's the rub -- it is unauthorized access to someone else's computer system. That's illegal in most states that I know of. I know at my college the login screen has a large print, red font statement that basically says if you aren't the person you're logging in as you're breaking the law and will be prosecuted.
    • See also Slate's Take [msn.com], which makes a case similar to yours (that the real problem here is Yale's insecure system). Furthermore, it would appear that Yale had no intention of making any public accusations until after they found out that the story was going to go public the next (courtesy of the Yale Daily Herald, a student-run publication). At that point, they realized that publically blaming Princeton would distract attention from their negligence in using such an obviously flawed system.
  • Well done, Bruce! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by vadim_t ( 324782 )
    I'm really glad to see you're one of the few people who have principles and will follow them.
    • I'm really glad to see you're one of the few people who have principles and will follow them.
      Does anyone else thing that maybe he was politely or not so politely instructed to leave direct employ or else be fired?

      That's been known to happen.

      From time to time.
  • Strange incentive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cDarwin ( 161053 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @09:10PM (#4080193) Homepage

    If your donation happens to be The Last Straw (and the Blender folks can verify it), I will provide you with your choice of ThinkGeek T-shirt ;)

    Doesn't this encourage people to wait longer to make a contribution?
    • Blockquoth cDarwin:

      If your donation happens to be The Last Straw (and the Blender folks can verify it), I will provide you with your choice of ThinkGeek T-shirt;)

      Doesn't this encourage people to wait longer to make a contribution?

      Not if you've got $25K buried in the couch....

      b&

  • I have a VoIP blaster and after testing the quality (on PC2PC conversations) I decided to pay for the PC2Phone service. However, InnoMedia decided that they don't want my money. The reason? They didn't like my email address, saying that they don't accept an email address in your own domain.

    Well, screw that. I wonder how they managed to keep the product alive so long with such crappy service.
  • Over the next few months, we are going to launch technology to organize and consolidate grassroots activity on policy issues affecting copyright and technology.

    They are doing this by writing more code; this is what they mean by "launching new technology".

    Code is the key to solving many problems. Like the problem of the RIAA and its inordinately and disproportionately strong political influence.

    For example, by writing code, and creating an alternative copyright adminsitration system and organization to gather together the some 80% of copyrights that are not RIAA controlled, the writing of code will have a direct political impact on the issues surrounding compulsory DRM and RIAA / MPAA paid for legislation.

    We need to have code written that organizes the scattered power in the world and focuses it to do our collective bidding. Either way, in the end, more code has to be written; Declan is right, and Public Knowledge are acknowledging this by writing code to solve a problem of political imbalance.
    • "Code is the key to solving many problems. Like the problem of the RIAA and its inordinately and disproportionately strong political influence."

      "We need to have code written that organizes the scattered power in the world and focuses it to do our collective bidding. Either way, in the end, more code has to be written; Declan is right, and Public Knowledge are acknowledging this by writing code to solve a problem of political imbalance."

      (end quote)

      "We reject: kings, presidents, and voting. We believe in: rough consensus and running code." - David Clarke

      Bring it on.

      It wasn't a meteor that killed the dinosaurs, remember, it was the dust. How can you fight against dust? (This bit of zen makes me want to say only: "I'm disrespectful to dirt! Can you see I am serious! Join me or die. Can you do any less?" (quoting the whole thing would be too weird, and probably expose me to too much thinking about why I linked the two. Mr. Sparkle in the Land of the Lost!)

      OK, so that was a nonsensical rambling. Bring on the revolution anyway.
  • Blender paranoia! (Score:1, Redundant)

    by TheSHAD0W ( 258774 )
    I just took a wwwalk over to the Blender [blender3d.com] site. I'd like for everyone to realize that this campaign will make Blender open source -- but it may NOT make it FREE.

    The deal [blender3d.com] is to make Blender "'free software' or 'open source' forever". Please note the "or". The term "free software" isn't mentioned elsewhere.

    While it would be nice to have an open-source 3D environment, please note that open-source does NOT mean GPL'd or completely free. You might be donating your money for the purpose of creating more commercial software.
    • - publishing the full Blender sources, including old and new development, under the GNU GPL license ('Free Software'). The NaN mobile technology will not be included in this.

      Sounds like the GPL to me...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I think the "or" means "in other words", not the logical operator or.

      Read the very next lines:

      "What the NaN Holding shareholders and the Foundation agree on:

      - publishing the full Blender sources, including old and new development, under the GNU GPL license ('Free Software'). The NaN mobile technology will not be included in this."

      Contrary to what you state, the phrase "Free Software" is right there.

      They later mention BSD-style licenses for use in commercial projects.
  • by SMN ( 33356 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @09:44PM (#4080337)
    While I do agree that what LeMenger and others does warrant disciplinary action, I think that if you read the full findings of the investigation, you might realize that what took place was not nearly as bad as you make it out to be, and I daresay even understandable. The full story can be found in President Tilghman's statement [princeton.edu]. Here's a better summary that I posted somewhere else yesterday:

    The statement explains each of the accesses, which basically comes down to LeMenager testing Yale's security and getting in, then showing how he did it to others three times, then 8 accesses by "junior" members who then thought it was OK and were interested in whether certain students were accepted, and one more access they're not clear on (actually, they mention a total of 14 accesses from the admissions office, but I only count them explaining 13?). As expected, all of the accesses were _after_ the decisions letters were dropped off at the post office. More interestingly, LeMenager isn't being fired (on account of his 20 years of experience, it seems), but he is being moved out of the admissions office. For now, he's being moved to the Communications Office, and according to a local paper (this isn't in Tilghman's statement) his salary will remain the same as it was before.
    According to the full findings, LeMenager first entered the information because he wanted to see what he expected was a step 2 of the sign-in process, which would likely be a PIN number or password - wound up it wasn't there. Three more accesses were LeMenager showing his superior, Dean Hargadon, and others how it worked. The some junior staff members, seeing this, though it was ok to check the site themselves, thus leading to a total of 14 accesses - all of which are justifiable, even if they still deserve punishment.

    Furthermore, there was a very interesting take on the fiasco published on Slate yesterday; go ahead and read the full story there [msn.com]. The independent author makes a strong case saying that the only reason Yale bothered to accuse Princeton of wrongdoing was that the Yale Daily Herald had discovered what was happened, and was about to make the report public; Yale wanted to distract attention away from their inadequate security, and did so by blaming Princeton.

    • Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

      This is the first intelligent thing ive heard said about the whole issue. the blurb on slashdot makes it sound like everyone involved just got cushy packages and shuffled around to sweep the whole thing under the table that's completely untrue. The fact is that two people's lives were ruined by this and in alot of people's opinion what they did was a mistake NOT a crime. LeMeneger wasnt moved to an undisclosed new position, he was reasigned to the communications office. basicly he was demoted several levels and that's the end of his career in the admissions office. Harganon who has worked his ass off for 40 years to try and get not only the brightest but also the most interesting and able students no matter what their background has been forced out of a job which has basicly been his whole life for a long time. This for TWICE disclosing to yale admissions staff that site was unsecure before any investigation was started. If you read the full report youll realize that when the fact that the site was easy to access was brought up at the meeting NOT ONE PERSON mentioned the impropriety of what LeMeneger did but instead they discussed how security is really important for a site like the one yale threw up.

      I know im not impartial but im glad that some people arent going to just jump on this becuase of the it's princeton so therefor the elietist bastards got what they deserve argument.

    • LeMENAGER DID NOT HAVE THE APPLICANTS' PERMISSION TO USE THEIR PERSONAL INFORMATION TO TEST THE YALE SITE'S SECURITY.

      Whatever his intent was, he was misusing confidential data that was provided to Princeton's admissions department for purposes clearly and entirely unrelated to Yale's website.

      NONE of the accesses (save for the one by a visiting applicant to see if she had been accepted at Yale) are justifiable. Period.
  • I hold Mr. Perens in high regard and take pleasure in reading his perspectives. However, I am out of my depth in a parking lot puddle of parsing people's prerogatives. That's enough alliteration for one night. Anyway, I realize Mr. Perens' relationship with HP and how it evolves is one that is mature beyond a few paragraphs of my positing.

    As HP may take, deservedly or not, a black eye over such antics, I would want to relate that there are many types of people who work for a company, and to put one face on a moniker may be an oversight of the people that make up that stock quote.

    I purchased a used HP-branded laptop with no supporting documentation or installation disks. I had no luck in finding out much information about the unit on HP's web site, as the model does not apparently exist, according to all of their mechanisms available. I think the unit may have been a very short production run or a contract build for a government agency or private corporation.

    My thorough efforts resulted only a few tentative results for BIOS and driver information. I called HP support expecting to pay a per-incident fee. To my suprise, I spoke with an incredibly helpful and interested tech support rep who realized that with what detective work I had done that I do have a rather rare laptop with no online support documentation. Together we found the appropriate most current bios and identified the major system components. With that information and a little more effort I now find myself writing this post on said same laptop just a few hours later, repartitioned for booting my favorite linux distro and all the hardware questions satisfactorily resolved.

    This is just a perspective a satisfied person who in this case was not even a customer of HP's yet got what information I needed to accomplish my task with enthusiastic official support. I hope that his attitude holds sway.
    • I have also had good experiences with HP support. I was given a DeskJet 500 some years ago and ran into some trouble with the feed mechanism. Not only did the support person not ask for a serial number and proof of purchase, yada-yada, she was knowledgable enough to help me fix a mechanical problem over the phone!

      Well done!

  • Good for BP... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Relyt ( 96115 )
    Bravo to Bruce Perens for not being HP's bitch on this one, and standing up for himself.
  • i agree with the above posts: merely typing in someone's name and data is not hacking. furthermore, this was done with good intentions, not to misuse anything. We should (and i do) support the guy who did it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Just so you know, I just looked at the blender3d fund page and it had this to say:

    Paid: 68985
    Pending: 15200
    Intent: 3470
    Total: 87655

    So the real value is, in fact, 68985. My employer had "intent" to pay me "pending" money too. Nothing's yours unless it's in the bank. Isn't there a time limit this 100,000 has to be raised by?

    • "Isn't there a time limit this 100,000 has to be raised by?"

      Nope--nothing offical, anyways.

      As for the amount of money that's "pending," that's just money that hasn't gotten through PayPal, or checks that haven't yet been cleared. "Pending" is stuff that is almost guaranteed to come into the bank.

      It's the "intent" money that could be tricky. That's money that people have pledged or promised to give. That is far more easy to default on.
  • You go, Bruce!! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Junior J. Junior III ( 192702 ) on Friday August 16, 2002 @09:18AM (#4082012) Homepage
    If this is true, and you're really leaving HP on your principles, I greatly admire your conviction. If you run for something, I'll vote for you. Best of luck.

Whatever is not nailed down is mine. Whatever I can pry up is not nailed down. -- Collis P. Huntingdon, railroad tycoon

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