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The Real Purpose of DRM 235

Roberto writes "Gorgeous nerd Annalee Newitz hacked a political interpretation to recent vacuum cleaner cockfights at O'Reilly's ETech: 'Hollywood corporations have finally admitted that the real reason they built digital restriction management (DRM) software into PVRs and DVD players was to stop geeks from turning their recording devices into back-alley combat machines. You haven't seen ugly until you've watched what a DVD player without DRM can do to a TiVo.' Don't try to even think of this at home."
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The Real Purpose of DRM

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  • What's the point? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Phantombrain ( 964010 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @01:42PM (#15046144) Journal
    Why would someone even want to turn a DVD player into a battlebot? And even besides that, Why would makers care? If more DVD players get destroyed, that means more are bought. Why spend more money to make less?
  • Re:Gorgeous? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chowderbags ( 847952 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @01:50PM (#15046175)
    You're forgetting, it's "Gorgeous nerd". It's relative at that point.
  • by munehiro ( 63206 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @01:57PM (#15046198) Journal
    Well, imho she is not that bad, and you should consider that:

    1) you don't see the body
    2) the photo is BW
    3) the photo is small
    4) the photo is crappy
    5) there are people that appear not so good in photo but they are pretty in real life.
    6) and most important, a girl can be gorgeous in her ideas and behavior, and you evaluate more and more this point of view as you get older.

    therefore, you have to figure out in real life.
  • Looks... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 02, 2006 @01:57PM (#15046200)
    It would be nice if women could be judged on the merit of their ideas instead of their looks. Just a thought, you know :-P.
  • Re:Gorgeous? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PrvtBurrito ( 557287 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @02:05PM (#15046226)
    and one wonders why there aren't more geek women...
  • Re:Gorgeous? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Joe Enduser ( 527199 ) <joe.enduser@kids ... l ['me.' in gap]> on Sunday April 02, 2006 @02:12PM (#15046252) Homepage
    Obligatory references to the caricature of the desperate slashdot audience aside, the blatant sexism of refering to this intelligent, witty and inspiring woman as "gorgeous" almost counters that of tagging every article on the front page as "gay" in the sense of a general derogatory term.

    Btw. Slashdot, thanks for fixing that.

  • All you can really tell from the picture is that she's not ugly. As a sometimes photographer, I'd say that they're not particularly flattering pictures.

    I've seen people go from drab to sexy with just a change of clothes. These webcam images say that there's a good bit of room for potential. I definitely not expect a date with her to be drab.

    .... and a freaking school photo! How many hot babes do you know that have ID pictures that make them look like complete blobs? Besides. Intelligence counts for alot, and she seems to be missing nothing there. we can work on the rest later.

  • Re:Oh, of course (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Winlin ( 42941 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @02:26PM (#15046309)
    Let me make formal introductions...Rodness, humor. Humor, Rodness.
    Or, in the immortal words of Foghorn Leghorn "It's a joke son, get it?"
  • by muchtooold ( 826024 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @02:31PM (#15046321)
    Some of these comments suggest that urgent humor transplants are needed.
  • by svkal ( 904988 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @02:35PM (#15046332)
    Do the Slashdot editors really feel that introducing a woman by a description of her (in this context irrelevant) physical looks is appropriate? (I say "woman" because I have a hard time imagining that Slashdot would introduce a male with a similar adjective: a case in point is that it was obviously a joke when they commended Linus Torvalds on his physical looks yesterday. If they were to do it in a non-joking manner, that would obviously be just as inappropriate as this.)

    As was pointed out yesterday by several posters, this year's April Fool's was more than a little misogynistic in that it seemed to imply(obviously through exaggerations as Slashdot normally does on April Fool's) that women would like pink and ponies rather than technology news. I'm quite willing to let that slide, knowing that subtle humour is not really Slashdot's forte - but really, they shouldn't push their luck by describing female writers as being "gorgeous" the day afterwards.

    (I do know that "political correctness" is largely frowned upon at Slashdot, but really, this isn't about submitting to some ever-changing and arbitrary standard, it's about basic politeness and showing respect for the people you are describing. You don't bring things like physical looks into the picture unless they are somehow relevant, and you certainly don't set different standards for what is relevant depending on the gender of the person being described.)

    (Oh, and if anyone feels the need to argue that though "gorgeous" in this context obviously wouldn't be said about a male subject - given the gender of the Slashdot editors - it is a harmless one-word compliment which doesn't lastingly change the focus of the discussion: do note that there's already a thread contesting [] that Ms. Newitz is "gorgeous" based on a 120x130 grayscale picture in her profile. (Which in and of itself confirms some stereotypes about geeks.) Would there be such a thread debating this unless the submitter/editor had seen it fit to mention this in the introduction?)

  • by Ka D'Argo ( 857749 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @02:43PM (#15046368) Homepage
    Cause this sure as hell is not "news" of any kind. Mod me down if you want but this was a waste of fucking time to read. Decently hot chick or not, the article was bogus as hell. Who gives a rats ass about this? Sure fighting robots is cool, but some half assed non-true tagline that is full of shit is not cool in the least.

    Is it a slow Sunday or what? Is this the best that's come into the old Inbox today?

  • by n6kuy ( 172098 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @03:20PM (#15046477)
    No, it's restriction, not rights.
    Rights are inherent; they don't need to be "managed".

  • LAME! NO PONIES!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SmurfButcher Bob ( 313810 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @03:30PM (#15046511) Journal
    TFA is useless! No kittens! No ponies! No fluffies!
  • by Hiro Antagonist ( 310179 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @03:56PM (#15046582) Journal
    Before the parade of guys comes in ripping on the parent poster, I wanted to make a small comment.

    I have a friend who is a former figure-skater and an otherwise knockout bombshell blonde. She's smart, witty, catty, and has legs that could stop an artillery shell. She also loves computers, and was working on finishing up a degree in Computer Science while working in IT.

    That is, until all the geeks chased her out.

    Asking her to crawl under a desk to fix a cable whenever she'd wear a skirt (never on the jeans days), making lewd comments 'just out of earshot', and all kinds of other crap nominally pulled by thirteen-year-old boys.

    She got tired and left for the other side of the business world. Makes more money, and doesn't have to put up with the juvenile bullshit.

    So, guys, listen up -- you want more geeky women, you've got to treat them like human beings, and not like sex objects.
  • by pomo monster ( 873962 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @04:08PM (#15046618)
    A backhanded compliment, implying that a woman's beauty is in any way relevant to the content of her writing. If you can't see why this is a putdown, then there's really no hope for the Slashdot demographic.
  • Re:Err... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by xtieburn ( 906792 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @04:12PM (#15046639)
    A lot of people seem to be getting confused or thinking this is an April fools but to me it seemed pretty straight forward.

    It was an exagerated story of geeks going mad with modifications in hardware in order to give sarcastic support towards DRM. Basically shes slagging off the companys for claiming to put DRM in to stop people doing dangerous terrifying things when in actual fact its just to make more money at the expense of normal consumers.

    At least thats what I thought it ment. It seemed clear when I read it. After reading half of the comments here im beginning to think that maybe im completely wrong and in fact it was totally nonsensical waffle...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 02, 2006 @04:22PM (#15046682)
    It's sad when an entire discussion on the dangers of DRM descends into a debate on the relative "hotness" of a woman shown in a 120x130 grayscale picture.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 02, 2006 @05:01PM (#15046800)
    Not a thing you wrote rings true. "Other side of the business world"? I work both and there is no other side, just the same distribution of assholes. She wore short skirts working IT, knowing the physical work entailed? She worked IT just for Comp Sci geeks who chased her from the field? None of the narrative, what little there is, makes any sense. It's a bullshit moral fable on a topic which doesn't need artificial stories to justify itself.
  • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @05:14PM (#15046837)
    But [rights] need to be enforced sometimes, no?

    No, they don't. In the absence of outside influence, one's rights are maintained. Even criminal law doesn't enforce *rights* - it imposes restrictions upon behavior for which there is no right.

    Anyway, DRM doesn't preserve or enforce any rights. All it does is enforce restrictions that content producers have deemed desirable. Hence the phrase "digital restrictions management", untouched by the marketing wonks at the ??AA.

  • by Mistshadow2k4 ( 748958 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @05:18PM (#15046848) Journal

    Well, I'm a woman and the first thought that went through my mind was "funny how they criticize her looks but don't mention their own". In my experience, guys are quick to shoot down a woman's looks regardless of how good-looking they're not themselves. Frankly, if some pudgy, out-of-shape geek criticizes my looks I can easily fix that problem... with a fork.

    But yeah, the fact that there were comments about her looks made me roll her eyes. I've read articles that had pics of the guy in question and never once made a comment on his looks. Perhaps I will in the future - why shouldn't I?

    Disclaimer: I've just been to a site where 90% of the files to download weren't available because "this entry is not approved". So I'm a bit irritated anyway.

  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @07:01PM (#15047187) Homepage Journal
    DRM, like "two tier Internet", copyright abuse, IP lockdowns, domain name tyranny, and all kinds of corporate grabs of virtual property rights, are certainly means to a primarily political end. Even severely asymmetrical broadband, stymied 3G, and proprietary software requirements. The goal is to protect an official publisher class from encroachment by hordes of merely populist entrants, like you and me. 20th Century politics depends on special deals between political incumbents and media for mutual self-perpetuation. Leveling the playing field for incumbents and new, more diversified entrants who can fill all the niches more efficiently, is bad for everyone who's already got power.

    That's why we find the same people on each side of each of those apparently different conflicts. Prosumers [] are the wave of the future, but the powers that be are hyperextending the "long now" as late as possible.
  • by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @07:34PM (#15047303)
    As was pointed out yesterday by several posters, this year's April Fool's was more than a little misogynistic [...]

    You use that word a lot. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Mysogyny is an aversion or hatred of women. I have a six year old daughter, and believe me, the "PONIES" stuff was a pretty good (if way, way too obvious to be a prank) parody. But it doesn't signify mysogyny in any way.

    Similarly, describing Ms. Newitz as "gorgeous" may be clumsy, insensitive and more than a little bit objectifying, but it's hardly mysogynistic. The overwhelming majority of single straight male slashdotters don't hate women, they just don't get them (in more ways than one).

  • Re:What? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Cheapy ( 809643 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @08:30PM (#15047475)
    He's trying to restrict your ability to freely think.
  • In mentioning the attractiveness of Ms. Newitz, Slashdot isn't really breaking any ground here. She was named one of the top ten sexiest geeks of 2005 [] by multimediatrix and sex educator Violet Blue.

    I'm sure she is lurking here and taking it all in stride. An accomplished journalist, she writes about techno-sexuality herself all the time--just take a look at some of her published pieces []:

  • Re:Gorgeous? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stor ( 146442 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @03:39AM (#15048574)
    Why don't you post some pics of yourself and we'll let her comment?

    Do you dudes wonder why you don't get laid? When you put a woman down like that it shows off your ego for the nanoparticle that it is.

    This isn't "Women 101": this is the test you need to pass to get into Women 101.


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