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January's Toast to Tech Evil 82

comforteagle writes "In this month's mocking toast To Evil! Danny O'Brien laments the holiday habit of trying to hide one's evilness from Father Christmas, but finds those evil tech companies can't help being who they are. 'I'm really hoping that in their next batch of cinema adverts, the MPAA addresses this, and shows a grumbling adware developer instead of a Hollywood set-painter. The piracy issue, it affects us all: the construction guy, the lighting guy. And me, the guy who installed all that crap on your mum's computer. And also an awful lot of Los Angeles-based cocaine dealers. Why doesn't anyone think of them?'"
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January's Toast to Tech Evil

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  • this month's mocking toast To Evil! Danny O'Brien...

    I understood that Conan O'Brien (not sure if it's spelled this way) had some fun about another Evil in Las Vegas last week...
    Might be some family vendetta against evil.
  • by The Grassy Knoll ( 112931 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:13AM (#11347996) Homepage
    And don't forget the motorcycle cop and the red indian. They were my favourites.

    • Yes, lets all remember that the construction guy and lighting guy, who have no equity stake in the music/video/movie etc [e.g. no front-end or back-end points] and who were paid before the production was even complete, are harmed immensly by the fact that you watched the movie/viedo or listend to the music TAHT YOU WEREN'T GOING TO BUY ANYWAY for free.

      Their unionized jobs are threatened, threatend I tell you, by the possibility that the people that _do_ have the equity stake may consider that $100 million
  • at least they didn't kill him
  • This thread doesn't have an icon. You need to get an "evil" icon for topics like these. Until then, just use the Microsoft or SCO icon.
  • I can just see MPAA's line of thinking - "Let's all conspire to change the dreaded '666' to a '999' in everyone's minds, just for a laugh..."
  • Don't do drugs. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:22AM (#11348075)
    Overpeer is a company known to be paid by the MPAA and RIAA member companies to upload corrupted files onto the networks.

    Now it appears to be setting up a side-line, generating ad revenue by tricking gullible users to download its faux warez.

    It's like calling the cops to tell them that you were robbed while buying drugs. Yeah it sucks that you got 0wn3d while downloading warez but who the hell are you going to complain to and have anything done about it?

    If you tattle you both get in trouble. You might get in more trouble than they will. Sad but true. Remember who has the better lawyers and the political backing...
    • Re:Don't do drugs. (Score:1, Informative)

      by me at werk ( 836328 )

      Read the rest of TFA?

      It's kind of intriguing, isn't it, when the MPAA and RIAA is to scaring us [] into believing that the world of unauthorized copying is filled of dodgy-dealers stuffing the files with all kinds of polluted malware and pop-ups, that they're also paying the people who do the stuffing?

      I think that's where the "evil" part comes from.

    • Re:Don't do drugs. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by NetNifty ( 796376 )
      "If you tattle you both get in trouble. You might get in more trouble than they will."

      Not if they infect something which is public domain (didn't some of Elvis' music just become public domain in the uk?) in another country and hence legal to download, but illegal to run unauthorised software on someone else's computer (like in the UK under the computer misuse act ?).
    • Re:Don't do drugs. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by IndiJ ( 842721 )

      Two wrongs do not a right make. EVERY crime has a victim - most have many. In this example:

      ...robbed while buying drugs...

      it depends on what was stolen (do insurance companies come into it? do they have to pay out?), if the buyer was hurt in the theft (health insurance now, plus one less spot available in over-busy hospitals), etc. etc.

      Posting corrupted/nonsense files disguised as copyrighted media wastes bandwidth that we all share, and makes it that much more difficult for the authorities to track

    • I thought it was illegal to create software with the intent of damaging people's computer systems. Maybe that only applies to non-corporations.
    • Wait.

      So Overpeer is being paid to upload corrupted files on the networks. Why is it illegal to download those files? Aren't they implicitly giving you copyright access to those files by uploading them?

      The only reason it was illegal was because they own the copyright.

      So it's not like being robbed buying drugs, at all. It's like... downloading a copy of Spider-Man 2 from an MPAA affiliate site!
    • Original software (Score:3, Interesting)

      by phorm ( 591458 )
      I download warez all the time. CD ISO's, and sometimes movies etc.

      It's not illegal (not here), because I have the originals. The software I've yet to find a program for that will successfully rip an ISO mountable with daemontools (most ones I download don't work either, but eventually I usually get lucky). Movies I've just not the time to rip-and-reencode. But it's much nicer to have a bunch of 600MB DivX files so I can fit multiple movies onto a DVD (for travelling with my laptop) or CD-images so I don't
  • I stopped reading at "RIAA suing BitTorrent Trackers" [sic] ...

    Last I checked despite your opposition to a law you can't simply "ignore it" when it doesn't suit you. Otherwise I totally call dibs on everything in your home. Cuz like "property laws" don't appeal to me.

    Yet another knee-jerk fodder-podder for /.

    Fuck humanity!
    • I stopped reading at "RIAA suing BitTorrent Trackers" [sic] ...

      It shows. TFA never said the RIAA shouldn't sue the trackers, it said they were. Period. Fact.

      What's more, the article isn't even about the RIAA's lawsuits. The author mentions that in order to talk about Travis Kalanick.

      It's obvious to me that the knee-jerkery is firmly on you, who started to RTFA and then quit because it pushed one of your buttons, so you ran back to /. and threw up an off-topic post with your rant-du-jour.

      I know I

      • This is a post about "evil behaviour" that then mentions the MPAA suit against bittorrents [and yes I typo'ed and meant MPAA in my original post, sorry about that].

        Point is it's just another stupid irrelevent story. Just because somebody had a thought and posted it to a website doesn't mean it's worthy of being news.

        • Actually, the MPAA lawsuits weren't an example of evilness. Travis Kalanick (whose last name sounds suspiciously like "colonic") is a turncoat, and that's what was evil:

          In March, Kalanick...was far more conciliatory to the competing technology.... "I don't want to fight BitTorrent," he said....

          A few months on, and Kalanick's opinion has apparently modified very slightly. Choosing to speak on the MPAA's behest at the very event where they decided to take on BitTorrent, his new take appeared to be: I don

    • Last I checked despite your opposition to a law you can't simply "ignore it" when it doesn't suit you. Otherwise I totally call dibs on everything in your home.

      Of course you can. That's what freedom is all about. That's what Mel Gibson died to tell you. "You can take our lives, but you'll never take our freedom" - get it?

      Naturally you have to accept the consequences of your choices; which might inlude a court date with the RIAA, having your entrails cut out or my fist in your face if you come round my ho

      • Of course you can. That's what freedom is all about. That's what Mel Gibson died to tell you. "You can take our lives, but you'll never take our freedom" - get it?

        I'm pretty sure he said "they may take our wives, but they'll never take our freedom".

        It seems to go along with the whole nobleman sleeping with every married woman thing. Don't know much about English history, but I remember the movie pretty clearly . . .
      • I suspect the RIAA and MPAA's real agenda is to suppress alternative methods of distribution.

        Musicians are making hay on filesharing out there, without going through the 'establishment.' That's the only real threat to the RIAA, considering since music is selling like hotcakes now because of filesharing.

    • Yes, but when you feel that a law is not morally justified, civil disobedience is and has been in the past a legitimately recognized way of protesting it. Sure you run the risk of getting in trouble with the proper authorities if caught, but private citizens have no right attacking you. If I park my car in the middle of the road the police can arrest me or tow my car, but random guy X who's inconvenienced by being late to work doesn't have the right to get out of his car and start defacing mine. This is wha
      • It seems to me that Overpeer and the entertainment industry have crossed the line from the defensive posture of seeding defective files to outright vigilantism. This is perilously close to what Orrin Hatch was proposing a couple of years ago, that anyone possessing illegally copied materials should have their computers destroyed. Overpeer is the kind of arrogant outfit that could easily step further over that line and embed a nastier payload into those files. Or if not them, someone else in the **AA's emplo
  • Hall of Evil (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Perhaps have a Karma system for companies:


    Every time a positve or negative story appears add or subtract 1 point.

    Then there is evidence to support the scoring and people can't click a company to oblivion.

    Perhaps the board could automatically place a scoring behind a company name when it appears in a summary.

    "Today it was announced by Evil corp (1pos, 113neg) everyone should pay them more."

    • Great idea (Score:5, Funny)

      by AtariAmarok ( 451306 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:41AM (#11348238)
      "Perhaps have a Karma system for companies: Every time a positve or negative story appears add or subtract 1 point."

      Great idea. The business news could give daily "Slashdaq" index reports:

      "In today's Slashdaq, Microsoft fell to a record low -11,454 points. Apple's rating is still at a steady 323 despite a loss of 13 points after reports of them sueing "ThinkSecret"."

        Yet another software development
        project decidedly acceptable,
        but the want
        to make it
        free will independently waste
        real time found absent.

        In order words: Sounds fun but I don't have the time to program and promote it, seeing as I'd like it to be software libre.

        Made with 95% recycled acronyms

    • Start a site (available) to list the companies that are completely damned by their evil actions to eternity in hell.
      • Too easy... the answer is all of them that have more than a small integer number (perhaps 1) of investors.

        Get enough investors involved, and the company will of necessity turn evil.

        • Well, would be a list of companies irredeemably damned to eternal HELL for evil actions. (For stupid actions, they can go to DUH.) And once they're on the list, there would be the chore of rating and placing them. Most evil companies might only get a one circle rating. I guess SCO would get at least five circles.
    • News stories are ALWAYS written in the lite as to how it will effect distribution of the publication. The major complain heard for decades from the public has been that the vast majority of the news out there is 'bad' aka is a story about something/someone/somewhere bad. The 'bad' news is what sells. The big players in the economy are always going to get more bad news than smaller players because the news agency knows people will recognize the names better and therefore more sales of their news product.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    copywrite infringement.

    I dislike huge media companies as much as the next communist, but as somebody who pays for games, films and music rather than downloading them I get a warm feeling inside from the thought of someone downloading the lastest generic R&B album only to be owned by ads. Perfectly legitimate tactic in my opinion, and the joy the company seems to take in this persuit is a pleasure to behold.

    However, the statement "turning illegitimate downloads into legitimate sales" strikes me as slig
    • Personally, I feel like cheering. Overpeer are doing more for killing the WMA (and probably WMV) formats, and their DRM, than anyone else. Also, for a site that can be really harsh on people who get their PCs infected with viruses/adware because they did something dumb, /. seems remarkably forgiving of "I downloaded this illegal WMA file from some random guy on the Internet and played it".
      • I agree, and that's a good thing. I have a fair collection of media but there's not a single WMx file in it. But I'll bet that Microsoft's legal team has already taken note of Overpeer, and that some action will be taken. If nothing else, any profit these jerks are making will be sucked out in legal fees.

        To the earlier poster that was getting the warm fuzzies thinking about those evil downloaders getting zapped, enjoy the glow while it lasts. If this kind of corporate misbehavior gets popular, you can b
    • Wow, who would have thought of that? They must be running ads for their competitors.

      Or do they know we will think that and are they running their own ads to double trick us?

    • I dunno man, spamming a network with not only useless but destructive data/programs seems:

      1. Amoral
      2. Assinine
      3. Waste of Bandwidth/Resources/Time
      4. Illegal

      Am *I* legally entitled to penetrate Overpeer and destroy their network if I find an employee littering or jaywalking?

      These guys are bottom-feeders.

  • The problem, it transpired, was a 16-bit signed integer in a proprietary application written fifteen years ago by SBS International.

    Ah, the devilish temptation of premature memory optimization! Not something to which we in the free software world would *ever* fall victim. No, no, no. Well, maybe. Anyway, we'd certainly be able to manage a timely upgrade to cope with this problem. Well, maybe.

    I'm going to take a wild leap off a cliff here and venture that HAD the flight software been reviewed by thousand
    • by arkanes ( 521690 )
      OSS wouldn't have fixed this, as I understand it. The 16 bit limit was a known and documented limitation of the system. There was even an upgrade path in place. It wasn't premature optimization - when written, saving those bits made a huge difference. They got bit by a combination of organizational inertia and bad luck more than anything.
  • There is but power, and those who chose to use it.

    (clickity clickity clickity)

  • Everyone raise your right pinky in celebration! Mu ha ha ... ha ha ha ... HA HA HA HA HA!
  • when you read the title, did you think something about toastytech and his IE is evil page?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Just the other day my friend was at a movie and , during the 30 minute "captive audience" advertising segment the stuntman ad came on. Up until then he had never even considered downloading movies but the ad made him realize that instead of paying $15 to see a half hour of ads or spending about $6 to rent a video which may or may not suck (and would still include the ads), he could just download the movies ad-free in the comfort of his own home for pennies (about $1 for each movie he decides to keep). He

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire