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Slashback Media Software The Almighty Buck

Slashback: DRM, MPAA, ADSL 509

Slashback tonight with a response from Sony that removes the DRM 'rootkit' that has caused so much commotion, more hijinks from the MPAA, continued battery advancement, a followup to the UK broadband plan that had so many American's drooling, a catch in the recent Netflix settlement, and continued financial trouble for Silicon Graphics. Details on these stories and more, below.

It's not evil, but just in case... gmr2048 writes "Sony seems to have heard the commotion. They have offered a "Service Pack" to uninstall the DRM Rootkit. From the announcement: 'This Service Pack removes the cloaking technology component that has been recently discussed in a number of articles published regarding the XCP Technology used on SONY BMG content protected CDs. This component is not malicious and does not compromise security. However to alleviate any concerns that users may have about the program posing potential security vulnerabilities, this update has been released to enable users to remove this component from their computers.'"

Obviously they have never heard the adage about deep pockets. Dieppe writes "The MPAA is at it again. This time they're suing a grandfather who didn't cave into the $4,000 blackmail offer for movie downloads his grandson downloaded from iMesh. Four movies in total, and they already owned 3 out of 4 with the grandson deleting them soon after download. This time the MPAA wants "as much as $600,000" in damages. The article also claims that "illegal downloading" costs the industry $5.4 billion per year. Not sure where the MPAA comes up with these figures."

Longer life and no charge time. It doesn't come easy writes "A press release from A123Systems announces another new lithium-ion battery technology that promises to deliver unprecedented performance (according to them). The technology is suppose to deliver 10 times the cycle life and 5 times the power over conventional lithium technology, and only require 5 minutes to recharge to 90% capacity. This is certainly not the first breakthrough for lithium based batteries that has been promised. I wonder if there is a patent lawsuit in the making?"

Fast net connection, but only if you live nearby. conJunk writes "The BBC is running an article about the ADSL2+ that touted a 24MB/s net connection. It seems that this number in fact only holds up if you live across the street from the service provider."

Always read the fine print. JeremyWall writes "The recent Netflix class action settlement has a catch. While it is nice that the average subscriber will be upgraded for one month for free, if you read the fine print in section 4.2 of the long form [PDF Warning] of the settlement you find that you will be automatically charged for the higher subscription going forward. If you don't opt back out when you get their email, you are gonna get charged from then on. If you opt in for the settlement - check your email box regularly!"

Know when to hold and know when to fold. psykocrime writes "According to a recent press release SGI stock has been delisted by the New York Stock Exchange, as a result of falling below the NYSE's minimum share price." SGI, the former darling of the high-tech world, has been in trouble for a while, perhaps this is really the end.

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

Slashback: DRM, MPAA, ADSL

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:01PM (#13936961)
    From their ass! They pulled it right out.
    • In a related story, Jack Thompson has filed suit against the MPAA for infringing on his "methods and means" patent.
    • by tezzer ( 558085 ) <terry@nOSPam.chiastic.net> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:27PM (#13937136) Homepage
      I love this quote from TFA, hopefully frustrated judges will slap down the MPAA for bringing some of these ridiculous lawsuits:
      Most cases have been settled out of court, he said, and the ones that aren't are moving slowly through the system, where judges have been baffled with how to treat many of the lawsuits.

      "Frankly, most of the reaction I have seen from the federal courts has been bewilderment. They aren't used to having hundreds of people who can't afford attorneys coming in not knowing why they are there in the first place," von Lohmann said. Lawrence's case fits the norm in many of the file-sharing suits, where companies go after the parent or grandparent paying for Internet service, although it is often a child doing the downloading.

      In some instances, parents have argued they didn't do the downloading and won, only to have the industry sue the child.

      "That is not a very pleasant outcome, but if you truly can't afford it, it's probably easier for your child to file for bankruptcy than for you to file for bankruptcy," von Lohmann said.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      $5.4billion per year loss is probably how much they spend on their lawyers. :-)
    • This time the MPAA wants "as much as $600,000" in damages. The article also claims that "illegal downloading" costs the industry $5.4 billion per year.

      It is obvious how they got their figures. 9000 people caught, sued for $600,000 in damages each, makes a total amount of damages to the industry of $5.4b.

      Of course this means that all the other file downloaders are doing no damage at all.

      I think I would be quicker and easier just to charge everyone on the planet $5 a year and let them download as much as they
  • by mister_llah ( 891540 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:02PM (#13936966) Homepage Journal
    24mbit/sec? Sounds like "across the street from the provider" has suddenly become prime nerd real estate, beats the hell out of lakefront housing any day!
    • ScuttleMonkey would be well advised to change the upper-case B to a lower case one in the Slashback write-up...
    • Re:24mbit/sec?!?!?! (Score:3, Informative)

      by ophix ( 680455 )
      it will hit it in theory, in practice with about 200 ft of copper between myself and the dslam i am only getting about 14 Mbit/s in my testing of some adsl 2+ equip. might be the modem though, i am synced up at 23Mbit/1Mbit and i am getting all of my upstream most definately.

      still damned fast, and can go further distance than normal adsl
      • The real issue is, how much bandwidth are they actually going to feed you? It's not like they're going to have enough bandwidth to let all subscribers use the full line at the same time...
      • by InvalidError ( 771317 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @08:33PM (#13937578)
        For 200', wouldn't it be simpler to simply run ~$30 worth of Cat5E to the customer and not have to use a DSLAM + Modem? 100Mbps full-duplex, only need a managed switch to fix per-port bandwidth limits and port isolation policies.
    • Re:24mbit/sec?!?!?! (Score:3, Informative)

      by uhoreg ( 583723 )
      Watch your capitalization, there. 24mbit/sec (with a lower-case m) is 24 millibits/second (0.024 bits per second), which is just a tad slow.
    • At that distance gigabit ethernet with a repeater, if needed, would seem more logical.
    • Re:24mbit/sec?!?!?! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ptbarnett ( 159784 )
      24mbit/sec? Sounds like "across the street from the provider" has suddenly become prime nerd real estate [....]

      A Verizon subcontractor has been laying fiber in front of my house this week. When it goes live, an install crew will bring fiber up to the side of my house and install an Optical Network Terminal (ONT). From that, I'll get a Cat5/100Mbit cable to a router inside.

      I have a choice of packages:
      5 Mbps/2 Mbps for $40/month
      15 Mbps/2 Mbps for $50/month
      30 Mbps/5 Mbps for $200/month

      http://www22 [verizon.com]

    • Re:24mbit/sec?!?!?! (Score:4, Informative)

      by MisterBuggie ( 924728 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @09:21PM (#13937819)
      Erm, we've been using adsl2+ for a good year in France (with the ISP Free)... You can get 20Mbps up to around 2km. Afterwards it slowly goes down, but even around 5km away you can still get 2-4Mbps. And the 1Mbps upload isn't really affected by the distance, until you get really far away. It's odd, 5 years ago, France was far behind, with the US being in the lead. Now France is ahead of Britain which has barely discovered 2Mbps as a general public offer, and the US is drooling over the *British* adsl? And no, I'm not some snotty French idiot come to be arrogant as Americans seem to think all the French are, I'm a Brit expat. Oh, did I mention the fact that along with 20Mbps dsl, we get free VoIP (with a phone pugged into the modem, not through the PC), *and* TV? Oh, and it's only 30 euros a month ;o)
    • 24mbit/sec? Sounds like "across the street from the provider" has suddenly become prime nerd real estate

      When you combine it with fiber to the curb (FTTC) you get your 24 Mbps just fine all over the place, not just on the same block with the Central Office (CO).

      The fiber carries the signal to the RT ("remote terminal" in telephone parlence: a line concentrator located outside the CO). That is located within a couple blocks of your house. The ADSL2+ carries it from there to your house over a copper pair.

      Eve
  • by Trigun ( 685027 ) <evil@evilempireP ... cx minus painter> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:03PM (#13936971)
    Leave it up to the MPAA to go after a grandfather. Where is the accountability for this group? Who do we direct our hatred at?

    Let's give the fuckers a name, and a face. No more of this MPAA, let people know who is behind it, which artists are in cahoots with this. Then we'll see how much we can really cost the industry.
    • The best part is that they already owned three of four movies yet somehow this cost the MPAA US$60k. Pretty amazing. Does that mean if I make SVCDs from my DVDs so I can watch them on my old laptop (enough horsepower to play MPEG2 at SVCD res, but not DVD res) I'm costing them money?
    • Where is the accountability for this group?
      It's called the court system. If you think the legal system needs reform, that's a separate issue.
    • by TheLoneDanger ( 611268 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:41PM (#13937262)
      As has been noted by many others before on the MPAA and RIAA, they don't necessarily want just money (although of course, they want that too), they want CONTROL. By controlling distribution channels, they guarantee profitability in perpetuity. So, the real way to hurt them is to use their attempts at control as fuel for the very revolution they are trying to quash.

      Spend more money on "independent" filmmakers and musicians. Listen to more live music. Tell people why they should do the same (they've given us tons of ammo). Spread the music and films via P2P when the creators allow it. If you are a musician or filmmaker, see if you can do it without the studio and use the net to find your audience.

      Thinking about profits and money is short term thinking, which many Slashdotters accuse the MPAA and RIAA of. I don't think they are actually that stupid.
    • A good start (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Simonetta ( 207550 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:47PM (#13937309)
      The article gives a name. Ms. Kori Bernards, vice president of corporate communications for MPAA.

          Let's take a time out for a brief lesson on how the world works. People have some money. People give a little of this money to lawyers. Lawyers give some of the money that they get to politicians. Politicians pass laws requiring you to give more of your money to the people who gave a little of their money to the lawyers. A positive feedback loop. It continues to grow until (1) people kill the politicians, or (2) people kill the lawyers. This is how the world works.

          The MPAA (or any group with money to pay for politicians) will continue to extort your money from you until you either (1) kill the lawyers yourself, or (2) pay someone to do it for you.

          When the entertainment lawyers collectively realize that they personally will suffer as a direct result of their applying their professional expertise to the topic of randomly selecting someone who watches a movie or listens to a music recording and demanding thousands of dollars, then this shit will stop. Until then, it will continue.

          Be real, this is America in the 21st century. The corporations own the three branches of government, the military, the media, the police, and damn near everything else. NONE of these avenues is open any more for a systematic redress of grievances.

          What else is left?

          I can not and will not in good faith condone murder in either a public or private forum. What I can say is that, from a historical perspective, violence is the fastest, cheapest, and most effective way to either institute social change ( for better or worse ) or to seek redress from injustice.

          There are alternatives to violence. Reread the works of Dr. Martin Luther King or Gandhi for powerful accounts of effective alternatives. Nonviolent tactics did work against far more dangerous and evil enemies than the entertainment industry. Perhaps the newer communications tools such as the web can be used to organize effective boycotts and other tools of social change.

          Nevertheless, you asked for a name and you now have it.
      • by caitsith01 ( 606117 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @08:35PM (#13937591) Journal
        IAAL working in IP and media law and I take strong exception to your attitude. Lawyers are not the cause of this problem. Lawyers are paid money to argue for their clients interests (or perceived interests). If the MPAA pays money to a good lawyer and gives them instructions, that lawyer goes and researches the law, determines what tactics will be effective, and ASKS THE CLIENT FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS. It is the client who decides to go ahead and sue a grandfather for $400K, and the client who decides to lobby Washington.

        If you want to obliquely suggest killing any group of people because you think this will solve the problem I suggest you review and include (in reverse order):

        4. Artists who continue to participate in the corrupt entertainment industry

        3. The MPAA for ruthlessly trying to protect its own profits and interests

        2. Politicians for being so pathetically weak that they can be bought and sold like prostitutes

        1. Yourself and everyone else who does not fall into 4, 3 or 2 but who (a) funds the MPAA and the artists by buying their crap, (b) funds the politicians with their taxes, and (c) allows the politicians to get away with it by being politically disengaged and reelecting them all the time.

        Do not blame lawyers. In my experience most lawyers tend to be more sympathetic to the views of people like us who are unhappy with these stupid laws and stupid lawsuits than they are to the views of organisations like the MPAA. Most lawyers I know think that the DMCA and its international equivalents are idiotic and outrageously biased, for example. But lawyers are part of an adversarial system, and their duty is to represent the interests of those who retain them to the best of their abilities. So instead of attacking lawyers, why not pony up some cash for your beliefs and help the EFF or someone like that get their own kick ass legal team.

        I am so sick of people who bitch about the corporations owning everything but ignore the fact that the corporations only have as much power as you, the consumer, gives them. And I am SO SICK of people bashing lawyers, who tend to be progressive, intelligent, and politically and socially engaged individuals (real lawyers, not ambulance chasers).
        • "I am so sick of people who bitch about the corporations owning everything but ignore the fact that the corporations only have as much power as you, the consumer, gives them."

          While technically true, this ignores reality. A corporation can spend a lot more time and money on the political process than can an individual. They also have certain advantages, such as most of the rights of a person with few of the disadvantages (death, for instance....) Sure they get a lot of power by getting people to give them mo
        • by masdog ( 794316 ) <masdog@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @09:12PM (#13937768)
          That's bull. You might be paid to represent a client, but its not like they're putting a gun to your head and forcing you to work for them. If lawyers are sick of the stupid lawsuits and laws that keep people down, then why do they keep working for these organizations?

          You have other choices. You can quit. You can find a new firm to work for. You can start your own firm.
          • by lordofthechia ( 598872 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @09:54PM (#13938002)
            " its not like they're putting a gun to your head and forcing you to work for them." Thank you! I can understand there are some cases where someone *has* to represent an individual (criminal cases, simple disputes, etc). But c'mon, if someome tells you they want to hire you for X/hr to utterly devastate someone and take all their savings, kids college funds, their house, etc, for as stupid of a reason as this, would the GP *have* to take the job? I'm sure as hell wouldn't. I think this is silly that folks dont' think that they should be held accountable for their employers/clients actions.

            If you do it, regardless of wether you get paid or not to do it you are morally responsible. And I personally have quit jobs (twice) because I found my employer actions/buisness objectionable and or morally aprehensible. In both cases I ended up with a job that was lower paying but in the end more satisfying. I didn't have to go home knowing that I spent the whole day working for someone who lives to take complete advantage of their customers.

            I think the best argument I've heard for employee accountability has to be from Clerks: [imdb.com]

            DANTE: My friend is trying to convince me that any contractors working on the uncompleted Death Star were innocent victims when the space station was destroyed by the rebels.

            WORKER: Well, I'm a contractor myself. I'm a roofer... Dunn and Reddy Home Improvements. And speaking as a roofer, I can say that a roofer's personal politics come heavily into play when choosing jobs.

            RANDAL: Like when?

            WORKER: Three months ago I was offered a job up in the hills. A beautiful house with tons of property. It was a simple reshingling job, but I was told that if it was finished within a day, my price would be doubled. Then I realized whose house it was.

            DANTE: Whose house was it?

            WORKER: Dominick Bambino's.

            RANDAL: "Babyface" Bambino? The gangster?

            WORKER: The same. The money was right, but the risk was too big. I knew who he was, and based on that, I passed the job on to a friend of mine.

            DANTE: Based on personal politics.

            WORKER: Right. And that week, the Foresci family put a hit on Babyface's house. My friend was shot and killed. He wasn't even finished shingling.

            RANDAL: No way!

            WORKER: I'm alive because I knew there were risks involved taking on that particular client. My friend wasn't so lucky... You know, any contractor willing to work on that Death Star knew the risks. If they were killed, it was their own fault. A roofer listens to this...[taps his heart] not his wallet.
        • Pot, meet kettle (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Solandri ( 704621 )
          Lawyers are not the cause of this problem. Lawyers are paid money to argue for their clients interests (or perceived interests). If the MPAA pays money to a good lawyer and gives them instructions, that lawyer goes and researches the law, determines what tactics will be effective, and ASKS THE CLIENT FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS.
          ...
          2. Politicians for being so pathetically weak that they can be bought and sold like prostitutes

          Let me let you in a little secret. People here don't hate corporations per se. W

        • That's all well and good -- I know a lot of lawyers, and as you say by and large they don't support stupid laws or overbearing tactics. But clearly there are also far too many lawyers who put the job (and the paycheck) ahead of personal ethics -- after all, your client didn't put a gun to your head and force you to engage in slimeball tactics against people who cannot reasonably defend themselves.

          It occurs to me that this is much like the situation of a military grunt receiving an illegal order from his com
        • by jafiwam ( 310805 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @10:50PM (#13938307) Homepage Journal
          Any and all lawyers that work for the RIAA or MPAA are free to take other employment by choice any time they like. No chains are on their ankles, there is no Saddam to burn their families alive if they try to leave. Remember, THEY cash in on this grandpa too.

          Sayihg "lawyers suck" is simply a less articulate way of saying "if you work for an immoral company willingly, you are also immoral" akin to perhaps PETA's view of factory farm workers or labratory technicians. Or maybe even some of the christian 'right' folks who blow abortion workers and security workers to smithereens because of what THEY do for women's health.

          It's a part of our culture to partially blame the workers for the things the corporations do. After all, the corporations exist as a sum of the workers in the first place.

          So, going picking or possibly bankrupting grandpa and grandson for downloading stuff they already own..._downloading_ not distributing will get backlash from the public.

          So I give you a resounding FUCK YOU. Lawyers are evil when they participate in this stuff. They can quit or change firms any time. Sooner or later a pack of geeks will gleefully do the same stuff to these lawyers what they do to spammers and there's not a damn thing your misplaced righteousness bullshit can do to stop it.
        • by steelfood ( 895457 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:04PM (#13938370)
          I think, as most siblings have pointed out already, the most common issue with lawyers are their morals, or the lack thereof. Decent people will not help others ruin the lives of senior citizens or 12 year olds willing, and if they do so unintentially, they will attempt to make amends. So any decent person in the position of the MPAA/RIAA's legal representative would immediately quit. Let's just assume for the sake of argument that these people are decent human beings. Then why haven't they done this? Obviously, the money's too good. And that is where the problem comes in. There's something very wrong about sacrificing morals for dough. I think it's called being immoral, but there might be a more appropriate word.

          Maybe, you would argue that these are the bad apples--the ones that give the rest of the lawyers a bad name. Then for the love of all that is good, go and defend your occupation and your reputation, if you think it is worth your time and efforts defending. Fly yourself over there and give legal council to those people--for free. That's what decent people do. If they see something unjust happening to other people, and it is within their power to stop it, they do it. If someone intentionally releases a bad patch that introduces security holes into a popular open-source application, you'd better believe that there'd be a patch out to fix the problem and an immediate blacklisting of the person from the FOSS community the moment people find out about it. Yeah, you argue, but it doesn't cost much to release a software patch. To help these victims of corporate greed would require spending time and money, probably better spent putting food on the table and the kids through college. Besides, vacation time is limited. So I guess lawyers don't mind having their good name tarnished, so long as they still have work.

          All in all, the behavior of your average, everyday lawyer is undefendable and any attempts to do so is just more excuses as to why it isn't pragmatic to be good, decent, humane, or noble--especially not to those who need the most help--on top of being intelligent.

          I noticed you listed intelligent, progressive, and interesting as being a part of a lawyer's makeup. That's probably true, since it does take a certain amount of intelligence and education afterwards to get through law school. However, that says nothing about their morals. Hitler and Stalin were probably just as intelligent, interesting, and from their perspective, progressive, and perhaps even more so than the average lawyer. That doesn't mean they shouldn't've been opposed, violently or otherwise. And yes, lawyers haven't really doing anything attrocious as the two aforementioned personages. But to call draw the analogy between them and Nazi or Soviet Party members wouldn't be too far off. After all, what they did wasn't their fault; it's their superiors' (the clients in the case of the lawyers) orders and they're just following orders.

          Oh, BTW, if you think that by my standards, a lot of people in this world are bad, then yes, I would agree. And there are people who are worse (the ones who are actually making the decisions to sue 12 year olds), but that still doesn't make the other people bad. I wouldn't necessarily agree with killing all of them, but I would do everything I can to not be like them.
        • 4. Artists who continue to participate in the corrupt entertainment industry

          Agreed to a point. Unfortunately, the only way to make a living as a musician is to participate in the corrupt entertainment industry. Since popular musicians provide real value to society, it's hard to fault this group. They could work in another profession as a day job, but then they could not concentrate on their chosen profession, and the public would not benefit from their musical talent.

          3. The MPAA for ruthlessly try

      • The MPAA (or any group with money to pay for politicians) will continue to extort your money from you until you either (1) kill the lawyers yourself, or (2) pay someone to do it for you.

        (Wasn't this an audio disk? That would be the RIAA.)

        Given the RIAA's origin in organized crime (the jukebox syndicate) and ongoing business model (extortion), I strongly suspect that even going after them with tommyguns - and killing off a number of them - would affect their strategy. (In fact, some of them might find it a
  • "Service Pack" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by raistphrk ( 203742 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:03PM (#13936974)
    The real question about the Sony "service pack" is whether it removes the entire software program, leaves anything behind, or simply replaces the old rootkit with one that's harder to detect and remove.
    • Re:"Service Pack" (Score:5, Informative)

      by Software ( 179033 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:10PM (#13937028) Homepage Journal
      Well, they would have to extremely stupid to do that. They know they're going to have to get past Russinovich again, so I'd doubt they'd be dumb enough to think they can pull the wool over his eyes.

      Oh, and don't bother to use Firefox to try to download the "Service Pack": it's IE only. Typical.

    • "The real question about the Sony "service pack" is whether it removes the entire software program, leaves anything behind, or simply replaces the old rootkit with one that's harder to detect and remove."

      'Fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again' --

      Would you trust Gator or Bonzai buddy creators if they came up with an anti-virus? I dont trust Sony anymore. Fuck them.
    • Re:"Service Pack" (Score:5, Interesting)

      by evil agent ( 918566 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:28PM (#13937145)
      According to CNet [com.com],

      "...the antipiracy software itself will not be removed, only exposed to view. Consumers who want to remove the copy-protection software altogether from their machine can contact the company's customer support service for instructions, a Sony BMG representative said."

      Yeah, good luck with that.

      • Re:"Service Pack" (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Ruprecht the Monkeyb ( 680597 ) * on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @08:04PM (#13937408)
        So, we're mostly techies here. We know what it costs to do tech support, and I bet most of us have gotten good at blowing through the first tier by pretending to do the stupid stuff we'd already done before we called them. So, everyone make 10 calls to Sony, spend a half-hour drinking coffee and jerking around their tech people.
    • Smoke and mirrors. The rootkit shouldn't have been there to begin with, and then there's the question of how many people will even hear about and use, this fix?

    • What does it matter if it removes the whole thing when you can't use it? Sony's download website for the removal tool REQUIRES INTERNET EXPLORER .

      If you use Firefox or Opera, you cannot remove the rootkit from your Windows box. Sorry.

      The site, BTW, requires IE because it installs an ActiveX component that checks for the rootkit before allowing you to download the uninstaller.
    • I had over 27 hits on my blog today for "sony rootkit" or something similar to that search.
      Here's where you can complain to Sony about DRM and Rootkits:
      http://www.sonymusic.com/about/feedback.cgi [sonymusic.com]

      Here's my letter, please modify it if you use it:

      Dear Sony,
      I'd like you to know how displeased I am that you've put DRM in your Compact Discs, and I'm shocked that "Van Zant's" CD is reported to have a "rootkit" virus that infects Windows so that certain file names remain hidden from even anti-virus scanners. Your
  • Sony - Bony (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jjeff1 ( 636051 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:04PM (#13936983)
    So to uninstall this mess, they want me to go to a web site, hosted by the company who wrote the spyware/rootkit, and run an activeX control. Hahahahaha.

    This is exactly the sort of thing that makes me channel Nancy Regan, and "Just Say NO!".
    • Re:Sony - Bony (Score:3, Interesting)

      by seanellis ( 302682 )
      Imagine your cable guy had gotten into your house and surreptitiously installed new locks on your doors, so that he could check that you weren't stealing channels. But, the lockes would let anyone in with an appropriate key. One of your security-savvy friends notices and blows the whistle. Now the cable guy comes back and says "I didn't do anything wrong. But you can't remove the locks. Let me come and do it. Oh, and you'll need to leave everything unlocked while I do it."

      This is effectively what Sony are s
  • by totallygeek ( 263191 ) <sellis@totallygeek.com> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:05PM (#13936991) Homepage
    Know when to hold and know when to fold. psykocrime writes "According to a recent press release SGI stock has been delisted by the New York Stock Exchange, as a result of falling below the NYSE's minimum share price." SGI, the former darling of the high-tech world, has been in trouble for a while, perhaps this is really the end.


    This is sad that SGI cannot stay afloat. I put them akin to Next in that they both make(made) quality machines that not many people want to buy. Notice I did not say need to buy. SGI has been a perfect fit for many a project of mine, but for varied reasons no one wants to take them.


    I guess this movie [imdb.com] just isn't going to be accurate. One line I chuckled at during watching it was when it says, "Silicon Graphics Saves the World." Of course, this may be somewhat off...

  • by happyemoticon ( 543015 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:08PM (#13937013) Homepage

    ...resort to desparate and morally reprehensible measures to slow their decline, be they the MPAA or the RIAA. They're behaving like frightened, cornered animals. I'd expect both of these industry cartels to resort to some really scary shit in the next decade or so to try to cut their losses (like the east fork stuff, http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/article/18 11/ [hardwareanalysis.com]), but they don't understand the difference between gliding along in a paracheut and flying. Ultimately, the industry megacorporations will tank (well, the music industry will, but movies are much harder to make than music), and our freedoms will be the real casualty.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:13PM (#13937046)
    The actual speeds usually ends up around 16-18Mbits, but we've had 24Mbit available here a long time. And, yeah, it's also ADSL2+
  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:15PM (#13937056) Homepage Journal
    According to TechDirt [techdirt.com] the grandfather was sued for offering movies for download. Claiming that he isn't liable because his grandson was the one doing it, not him, is about as rediculous as saying that he's not liable if someone cracks their head open on faulty steps in his house because his grandson lives there not him. He owns the line, he's liable for any copyright infringement performed from that line. And no, it doesn't matter if it wasn't his son but some hackers who broke into his computer; if a burglar breaks into your house and puts his back out trying to lug away your safe, you're still liable. Much like copyright law in general, personal liability is insane and should be abolished.
    • Claiming that he isn't liable because his grandson was the one doing it, not him, is about as rediculous
      Is it ridiculous? Isn't that very similar to the argument that a mother recently used successfully against the RIAA? (that her child was responsible)

      < Spelling Nazi mode > What's with "rediculous" -- has 50% of the /. population forgotton how to spell "ridiculous" -- or did they never learn the correct spelling?

      • What's with "rediculous" -- has 50% of the /. population forgotton how to spell "ridiculous"

        Considering that better than 50% of the /. population doesn't know how to spell the word than, you sure have high hopes.
    • >He owns the line, he's liable for any copyright infringement performed from that line.

      He doesn't own the line. And he's not responsible for the bits that enter/leave on that line for example if they came from a worm.
    • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @08:03PM (#13937403)
      He owns the line, he's liable for any copyright infringement performed from that line.
      Oh, well then the studios who own the film are liable for any copyright infringement performed with the film.
    • by cpt kangarooski ( 3773 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @08:23PM (#13937535) Homepage
      Actually, parents are rarely ever responsible for the torts of their children. If MPAA can't prove that the grandparent did it, in light of his claim that it was his grandchild who did it, then he will indeed get off the hook.

      There are indirect forms of copyright infringement, but they would still require that the grandchild be shown to be the direct infringer, and would require more of the grandfather than merely owning the telephone line. I'm afraid that your grasp of the law remains, as ever, poor.

      Additionally, while I would like to see significant reform of copyright law, I don't think that we're at a point where it makes sense to abolish it.
  • by chrisgeleven ( 514645 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:16PM (#13937064) Homepage
    Only works in IE.

    How about a full exchange of that CD for a new one without the DRM and the rootkit?

    I hope someone sues them just to get such an exchange program going.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:19PM (#13937084)
    Just went to the Sony site to download the DRM removal tool, using Mozilla on Linux.

    Sony site initially says, I have to use MS IE.

    I set my Mozilla to lie and claim to be MS IE.

    Now Sony demands that I enable Javascript, along with instructions for IE.

    I turn on Javascript

    Finally I get to the download option and what do I see!? It's not a download at all, it's an "ActiveX" component that they want you to "INSTALL".

    SONY .... Just say NO!
  • by temojen ( 678985 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:19PM (#13937085) Journal
    5 minutes to recharge a battery sounds like a recipe for a housefire to me.
  • Mmmmmm.... sleazy! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:23PM (#13937108) Homepage Journal
    The original email that I got from Netflix is taken nearly word-for-word from the settlement, but leaves out this tasty tidbit: ...the upgraded service shall renew automatically (following an email reminder) at the end of the upgraded month at Netflix's regular subscription rate for the upgraded program, unless and until the Class Member cancels the service or modifies his or her subscription.

    I probably clicked to indicate that I read the full version at some point, but it's a seven page document and I suspect most people rely on the summaries of long legal documents, we not being lawyers.

    I'm gonna count on them to send me a nice, clear email at the end of the month. We'll see. Usually they've been pretty good, but I know some Netflix subscribers have been unhappy.

    *sigh* This is exactly the sort of game that always seems to come out of class-action lawsuits, which is why I ignore most of the ones that come my way. This one seemed chintzy, but not evil. "What could it hurt?" I figured when I saw it.

    Now I know. Thanks, Jeremy Wall.
    • funny, the email i got says:

      After the benefit period ends, the new or upgraded level of service will continue automatically (following an email reminder) and you will be billed accordingly, unless you cancel or modify your subscription.

      Right there in the bottom paragraph (the normal place for such exceptions, I think). Makes sense to me: you get a free month at a higher plan no charge, and you can stick with the higher plan if you choose to do so, at your own cost. Not really a "catch". Just some people not
    • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:40PM (#13937251) Homepage Journal
      Netflix is sleazy anyway. Try this fun experiment: Use netflix for six months and watch how long it takes them to send you the next DVD. Watch this take longer and longer as time goes by. Now, cancel for a month, then sign up for netflix again with a new email address, but the same physical address. I dunno if they have this shit figured out yet, but last time I did that, the rate went back up to what it was originally... and then tapered off again.
      • by Eccles ( 932 )
        If you want a cheaper solution than netflix, look into peerflix. [www.peerflix] No regular fee, just a very low price per DVD, plus time spent mailing ones you're done with. Selection depends on the other folks in the system, and response time isn't super-fast, but if you don't watch that many movies, it's much cheaper than netflix.
      • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @12:19AM (#13938697) Journal
        Use netflix for six months and watch how long it takes them to send you the next DVD. Watch this take longer and longer as time goes by.

        See, now you're completely wrong about this. It has nothing at all to do with how much time has gone by, and everything to do with how many movies you rented in the past month. This also affects the availability of the DVDs in your queue that they don't have enough copies of.

        When you first sign-up, they do ship as fast as they possibly can, and will continue to do that if you rent a relatively small number of DVDs each month. If you rent a lot, the turnaround time is only slightly longer, as they add your DVDs to the queue below the less-frequent renters.

        Personally, I find this to be a prefectly appropriate trade-off. My DVDs are slowed-down only slightly, so somebody that is helping subsidize Netflix is slightly happier. I'll admit I think it's very unfortunate they don't mention this fact anywhere on their site, but it is widely available info.
  • by GecKo213 ( 890491 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:23PM (#13937110) Homepage

    I'm just a bit curious... Does the patch keep the rootkit permanently disabled and removed? It seems to me that if we put a deviant Sony CD back into our computer that the rootkit would just be reinstalled. Then do we have to run the patch again? This is rediculous. I've do not intend on purchasing any music that has the SONY lable on it. This to me is just plain stupid. What gives Sony the right to install deviant software on "MY" pc and then make it stealth so that I don't know it's there. As far as I'm concerned I think that's the lowest a company can go. That's stooping to the level of those bastard red headed step children Spammers/Spyware installer/Virus/worm pushing assholes.

    I'm to the point now watching this rediculous attempt from Sony to attach it's controls on something that I purchase the rights to use/listen/backup and trying to enforce through deviant means. What is this rootkit supposed to do!? They just wanted to install it for the Hell Of It? Nope, it's supposed to reinforce their stupid DRM bullshit and keep me from listening to the music that I paid for. I'm to the end of my rope. I think that there needs to be a group or mutiple groups put together that should purposefully break what Sony is trying to do. I've been years out of the programming/Computer industry and thus lack the skills to do it, but I think that we should form Anti-DRM, anti-Sony groups to demolish the protection that they put on their stupid CD's. I will not from this day forward purchase anymore music from Sony until they drop their Bullshit practices. I call for a Boycot of Sony's Music. I'm not sure what one man can start, but I'll be damned if I'm going to stand around any longer and watch Sony impose itself on me! They want me to buy their shit, then they want to enforce by deviance their policy, and after all that they hijack my PC for WHo knows what! Ahhh! Time for a Revolution. I love my PS2, but am refusing to play it again until SONY stops all this Bullshit! No more video games purchased either. Damn you Sony! Leave me the Hell alone! Stay off of my Computer and my CD's! Damn you!

    With that said, I feel somewhat better, but am still disturbed deep inside that they would have to stoop to that level to try and enforce their protection. Maybe they don't realize that as the sound comes out of the speakers it can be recorded with a MIC and pirated that way, or through LINE OUT. Damn them. Rant Over.
  • by TeknoHog ( 164938 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:27PM (#13937135) Homepage Journal
    When it comes to upload capacity, ADSL2+ is no better than plain ADSL. Therefore I don't see much of an improvement there. I think the 8/1 ratio in plain ADSL is dumb enough already.
    • Nobody is offering that though(at least in this country - max is 512kb and most have 256). Apparently at those speeds voice quality suffers, so they don't offer it.

      ADSL2+ will have 1MB+ upload from the start, so it's an improvement.

      Also with ADSL2+ you can trade upload for download, so if you wanted a 2MB upload you'd have a slower download (don't know how much slower - it's not equal, and nobody offers it yet anyway).
  • MPAA figures (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:28PM (#13937142) Homepage
    I think it's pretty obvious where the MPAA is getting its figures from myself. By their own admission the MPAA and similar bodies are monitoring the P2P networks and the associated support infrastructure, so it's quite likely they have a pretty good idea how many copies of a given film or whatever are being downloaded. In the case of a movie, I'd assume that they assume that each download equates to the lost revenue they would otherwise have got from a theatre ticket, rental or media sale and multiply out accordingly.

    Obviously they want the largest figure possible to get the politicians in a spin ("OMG! We're not getting the tax on $5.4b!"), so factoring in relative prices of the media in different markets is probably fudged, and a cant towards the more profitable of the three options is quite likely. The mere possibility of the fourth option, that someone will have downloaded the file just because it didn't cost them anything and wouldn't otherwise have seen it the film before it hit the TV screen, if at all, almost certainly isn't going to be a factor of course.

  • WHAT??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brain_Recall ( 868040 ) <brain_recall&yahoo,com> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:30PM (#13937163)
    This component is not malicious and does not compromise security.

    Say WHAT? ... I ... This.... WOW.

    I cannot belive that they can say this. They released a rootkit, bloody damn general purpose rootkit, and it doesn't comprimise security? IT HIDES AN ENTIRE SUBSET OF FILE NAMES! With this rootkit installed, ANY file or folder starting with $sys$ is immmedately hidden from the Windows API. People are already using it to hide hacks for WoW. What happens if someone distributes a trojan, tells them to run Sony's rootkit to make sure they don't get caught by Warden, and the thing disappears and the user never knows the better.

    Sony screwed up beyond reproach with this, and that comment just makes me scream.

  • You need a browser with Craptive-X enabled to download the fix - Unbefriggenlievable...
  • by radtea ( 464814 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:35PM (#13937205)
    This component...does not compromise security.
    The Sony CDs install a rootkit that virus-writers can take advantage of. How does making the job of virus-writers easier "not compromise security"?
  • Warm and Fuzzy! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by quakeroatz ( 242632 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:35PM (#13937206) Journal
    Isn't it reassuring that the Sony DRM removal kit is an ActiveX object, only available with IE?

    Allow popups from xcp-aurora.com? Always/Yes/Never
    Purchase products from from Sony BMG? Never/No/Nada

  • by bcrowell ( 177657 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:38PM (#13937237) Homepage
    Ohmigod, a grandfather? How dare they? Grandfathers should obviously be immune to all lawsuits. Grandfathers are always nice, and we all know that nobody should be able to sue nice people. I say Grandfathers should be allowed to download all the movies, music, and porn they can get their liver-spotted hands on.
  • Another architecture bites the dust. Looks like we're down to POWER on IBM workstations and servers, SPARC for high-end Sun workstations, and x86 or x86-64 for everything else. (And no, embedded machines don't count).

    I wonder if there will ever be another non-x86 architecture? The x86 is like the Windows of the architecture world; it may not be technologically the best, but since everybody needs it for "compatability"....

  • On Netflix's website [netflix.com] they proclaim that "Netflix Ranks #1 in Customer Satisfaction", while at the bottom they carry a link to "Settlement".

    Their marketing people must have completely detatched themselves from reality.

    They must be taking some wicked drugs.
  • by bADlOGIN ( 133391 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:42PM (#13937263) Homepage
    To kick and take candy from respectivly. Of course, given the track record so far, I'd believe it the other way around just as well.
  • Goodbye SGI (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stox ( 131684 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:47PM (#13937308) Homepage
    A very bad sign in SGI's response to delisting on the NYSE. Unless a company is in deep trouble, they would normally do a reverse split to bring the stock price back over $1. In this case, chances are that SGI will be filing bankruptcy in the near future and cancelling all existing equity. Then create new shares in a debt for equity swap. No need to bother with a reverse split, since they would be delisted when they went bankrupt anyway.

    Pretty sad, SGI pioneered some wonderful technology in its time. Too bad they never figured out business rule #1, ideas don't mean squat unless they make money.
  • by Sinical ( 14215 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:56PM (#13937361)
    I have a bunch of SGI machines that I use where I work:

    2x 8 processor Onyx2s
    1x 8 processor Origin 300
    1x 8 processor Origin 2200
    1x 32 processor Origin 350
    1x 4 processor Prism
    3x 1 processor Octane2s

    and I hate them all with a passion. I've been fighting with software installation on the older Origin 2200 (8 400MHz processors, 6GB of RAM). SGI's crap compiler can't bootstrap gcc 4.0.2, their versions of common Unix tools like grep, etc., suck (forcing you to upgrade to the GNU versions, if their stupid compiler can build them), and IRIX has been at release 6.5 since 1998 or something. Sure, they want you to move to their new Linux-based Prism machines, and I've got one of those, too. Yippee, Itanics! What a super swell processor! I have an 8 processor Origin 300 where the total power consumption of all 8 processors is less than the consumption of 1 of the Itanics! See also, the poor code produced by gcc for this processor.

    So, anyway. Upgrading SGIs sucks, their hardware is immensely fragile, its very persnickety about its environment (god forbid the temperature in the room not be in the 60s), licensing all their tools is hellish, their debugger is ancient and decrepit, my tech is a retard who tried to cable together the Origin 300 incorrectly and I had to fix it for him, and get this -- 8GB of RAM for an Origin 300 cost $25,000. That's right: $25k. You know what it is: it's PC3200 with some goddamn proprietary bullshit thrown in so you have to order your parts from SGI.

    I'm glad you're dying. You've made every misstep possible: lets sell Windows NT machines! You sell Fuels in regular ATX cases with rockin' 800MHz processors that start at something like $10k. Your video offerings, once your strong suit, suck -- all you offer is older ATI cards in crap configurations -- $40k for two cards since I needed a new node (didn't buy it, duh).

    The only reason to buy an SGI in the last five years or so is because of the good realtime performance of IRIX: I can sustain 16us interrupt times pretty much forever. But that's it. I'm not paying $130k for another slow-ass computer without even a damn video card for a console. And I don't need to: Ingo Molnar's realtime patches are coming along, and my quad Opteron box wipes the floor with the Origin and cost, oh yeah: $19,992 including shipping, and $7k of that is pimpin' SCSI disks.

    Yay for your death! Ding dong, bitches.
    • by artifex2004 ( 766107 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @09:32PM (#13937897) Journal
      I'm glad you're dying. You've made every misstep possible: lets sell Windows NT machines! You sell Fuels in regular ATX cases with rockin' 800MHz processors that start at something like $10k. Your video offerings, once your strong suit, suck -- all you offer is older ATI cards in crap configurations -- $40k for two cards since I needed a new node (didn't buy it, duh).


      Don't forget they stopped using the cool cube logo, too.
      Managers and clients don't want to see an effete little "sgi," that hardly inspires confidence.
      Where's the logo that booms, "Damn straight, I AM graphics?"
    • by anothy ( 83176 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @10:55PM (#13938325) Homepage
      i feel sorry for you. no, really. that must be awful, having all that SGI hardware around. in fact, at great personal sacrifice, i'd be willing to take it all off your hands. no, no charge. see, i'm better than a therapist! just trying to look out for you.

      lemme know where i can pick the hardware up from. :-)
  • by ezthrust ( 564219 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @08:04PM (#13937413) Homepage
    Can somebody tell me why ridiculus is consitantly misspelled as "rediculous" on Slashdot? Is it some sort of in-joke?

    I sure hope it is

  • The $600,000 figure (Score:5, Informative)

    by cpt kangarooski ( 3773 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @08:08PM (#13937432) Homepage
    This time the MPAA wants "as much as $600,000" in damages. ... Not sure where the MPAA comes up with these figures."

    17 USC 504(c)(2) is where.

    There are two types of damages available in a copyright infringement suit: actual and statutory. The plaintiff gets to pick which one he wants. The maximum possible statutory damages are $150,000 per work willfully infringed. In this case there are apparently four works. 4 times $150,000 is $600,000.

    Of course, they would need to not only prove infringement, but that the infringement was willful. Furthermore, that only results in the court being able to award any amount it feels appropriate, within the range of $750 - $150,000 per work. The amount awarded may well be less than the amount sought.
  • XCP IE only? (Score:3, Informative)

    by WhiteWolf666 ( 145211 ) <sherwin@a m i r a n . us> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @08:10PM (#13937448) Homepage Journal
    Check this out:
    XCP SUPPORT
        ActiveX Unsupported
    Sorry, your Internet Browser does not support ActiveX Controls.
    Please use Microsoft Internet Explorer to continue.
    Download Internet Explorer from the Microsoft website


    More Lock in! Thank god I'm on Linux.
  • by pandrijeczko ( 588093 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @08:17PM (#13937500)
    1. The service pack "removes" the rootkit software. Does this mean that when you insert one of their corrupt CDs again, it gets installed again leaving you having to remove it again? Presumably it does not disable the autorunning of CDs?

    2. If you only install the service pack once, then presumably there must be a service/daemon running to detect the insertion of future corrupt CDs to stop the rootkit being installed. In which case, the service pack will need to use continual PC resources to be constantly running.

    3. If the format of the corrupt CDs is such that the rootkit needed to be in place to allow three rips of the CD to be made, what happens once the rootkit is disabled? Can you no longer exercise your fair usage rights to rip the CD for personal use?

    • 1. The service pack "removes" the rootkit software.

      No, it doesn't. It just makes the files visible again, but leaves everything in place. It just removes the opportunity for virus writers to hide files by naming them $sys$foo. So you could consider that it removes the most dangerous part of the rootkit, but it still cripples your system (scanning active processes periodically) and cannot be uninstalled easily.

      2. If you only install the service pack once, then presumably there must be a service/dae

  • by Em7add11 ( 635150 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @08:20PM (#13937519)
    Send Sony some feedback about their DRM software: http://cp.sonybmg.com/xcp/english/form11.html [sonybmg.com] I sure did.
    • by Sheridan ( 11610 ) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @05:09AM (#13939623) Homepage
      My submission:-

      I am shocked to read that SonyBMG is now incorporating software onto its audio disks which hides executables, files and registry entries in such a way that could easily be exploited by virus and spyware writers to hide malicious software.

      Although I use an operating system (Linux) which, thankfully, isn't susceptible to such malware tactics, I will not be purchasing any further SonyBMG products until such a time as this ill-conceived software is removed.

      I gather that you do not even provide an uninstaller for this malware without the customer jumping through hoops of contacting your customer support organisation and furthermore your patching/uninstall process appears to require that your customers install Microsoft Internet Explorer and enable ActiveX, both of which are acknowledged as being security risks in and of themselves.

      I sincerely hope that you reconsider this despicable practice of compromising the security of the computers of your paying customers. As I stated above, I will not be joining the ranks of your paying customers until such a time as you do cease this free assistance to virus/spyware/malware writers.

      I am not holding my breath either for a change in your policy or even for a non-proforma answer to my points above. Feel free to surprise me!

      P.S. Please inform your web developers that your email feedback form is broken: "+" is a perfectly valid character in email addresses. Please ask them to read RFC822 if they are in any doubt over this.


      --
      I'm not politically incorrect, I'm just differently articulate
  • by dbc ( 135354 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @10:04PM (#13938052)
    This was copied from a Washington Post [washingtonpost.com] discussion:

    We would be interested in speaking to any California residents that have experienced this problem before the EULA was changed. We have looked at many DRM cases and Sony went too far with this particular scheme. You can contact us at gw@classcounsel.com or by visiting our web site at http://www.classcounsel.com./ [www.classcounsel.com]

  • Wow. Poor SGI. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dtfinch ( 661405 ) * on Thursday November 03, 2005 @01:33AM (#13938985) Journal
    Their stock price lost about 1/3rd overnight, 1/100th of what is was in their glory days. It's interesting that they peaked in late 1995 while most other software companies hit their peak in 2000. Their stock chart looks like a big triangle, and you barely see it wiggle when the dot com bubble burst. Too bad for all those XFS users out there. At least it's open source.

    A few reverse splits ought to help fix their delisting problem, depending on the extra requirements they must meet to be relisted.

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