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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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  • Dude... (Score:5, Funny)

    by SigILL ( 6475 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @01:37PM (#15046122) Homepage
    April fools day is *so* yesterday.
  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <> on Sunday April 02, 2006 @01:40PM (#15046135) Journal
    A late attempt to keep the secret of printed word hidden from the peasants and the surfs.

    Those uprisings do cause ever so much trouble.

    -Lord Rove II
  • 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?
    • Why would someone even want to turn a DVD player into a battlebot? And even besides that, Why would makers care?

      Maybe they're worried that sales would suffer if their product got its ass kicked by a Tivo.

  • What? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 02, 2006 @01:42PM (#15046146)
    "Don't try to even think of this at home."

    What the hell does that mean?
  • Err... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by remembertomorrow ( 959064 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @01:48PM (#15046166)
    Am I the only one who feels more confused after reading TFA?

    Is this supposed to be a joke, or some form of satire? A "jest" at "nerds"?
    • 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...
    • This article reminds me of German. You have a sentence and about 3/4 of the sentence is a build up to the end of the sentence. Sort of like saying "The answer is 2*34-28+2, 42", instead of saying, "The answer is 42". This is why I labor trying to read any German book!!
  • 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.
  • by henster29 ( 965532 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @02:18PM (#15046275)
    Its rights.. not restriction
  • by Jerf ( 17166 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @02:33PM (#15046326) Journal
    Your digital rights to swing your digital arm ends where my digital nose begins!

    (Digital, digital, didgeridoo...)
    • Your digital rights to swing your digital arm ends where my digital nose begins!

      I'm not sure what you think you own. Good luck having a thought that has not been published in the last 100 years. RMS won't try to stop you from using the above phrase, but others will keep you from using equally common phrases and words. Then again, your view of what such an original thought entitles you to is skewed. Slaves frequently and paradoxicly side with their masters and direct the ire of their condition at their w

  • Evasive tactic (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AnalogDiehard ( 199128 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @02:33PM (#15046328)
    Hollywood doesn't want the words "fair use" to be uttered to their congresscritters, and they want to draw attention away from the Sony fiasco. This is just an evasive tactic to lend legitimacy to DRM.
    • AnalogDiehard doesn't want to read the article, and she wants to draw attention away from the fact. This is just a pre-canned comment with no relevence to the article as a tactic to lend legitimacy to her karma-whoring.
  • 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?)

    • Excuse me. Allow me to refer to this particular female, then, as Ugly Ms. Newitz. We wouldn't want to compliment a person just because they look attractive, now would we? Especially if the compliment couldn't, in good faith, be given to a guy. I'm sure nobody ever called Brad Pitt gorgeous, no sir! I shall make certain that all the Slashdot editors are sacked, and then sacked again.
    • Incase you didn't notice, the "editors" don't write the stuff in quotes. Otherwise, it wouldn't be a quote, by definition. Some dude named Roberto used that adjective.
      • Fair point. But if the editors do occasionally edit(though I do know that's in question), they did make a choice by leaving it in there. Furthermore, they accepted the story, so it's not unreasonable to say that they have a bit of editorial responsibility.
    • Being unable to laugh at others is just as bad as being unable to laugh at oneself.

      While your personal standards are largely none of my business, I can tell you that for Slashdot they are too high.

      DELETE Stick FROM Ass WHERE Who = 'you';
    • It's a goddamn compliment, for cryin' out loud! Have you become so sensitive to the feelings of women that you can't compliment them anymore? Give it a rest.
    • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @03:51PM (#15046568) Homepage
      To be fair, it wasn't the slashdot editor but the story submitter that referred to the author in that way.

      Likewise that introduction would be obviously inappropriate if the author's story was about an OpenSSH vulnerability or a commentary on the sad state of Windows Vista. In that case writing about physical appearances would be an irrelevant distraction which would imply judgement of factual nature of the article in question based upon the physical appearance of the person. Whether or not that judgement is positive isn't important.

      But on a farcical story about cockfighting roombas that line isn't very clear. Can a comedian be demeaned by references to her appearance? Are they making less relevant a story that is already, at core, irrelevant? It again implies a degree of judgement, and a reminder of the prevalant nature of physical judgements in this culture. (I might add, the most insidiously judgemental people about women's appearances are largely other women)

      I personally would have edited out the reference to her "gorgeousness." But the question remains... In a non-serious, non-professional context, is it OK to slip in an irrelevant compliment about someone looks?
    • 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
      • news for nerds, what do you expect ?
      • ...and next you would like to ask that geeks would drop their fanboy attitude to various tech subjects :))

        To be fair, it is simple because geeks sees real life [tm] girls very rarerly. To learn how to talk with the girl, even is she is your work colegue, is very time consuming task. Too much time consuming. Don't expect standard geek spend time on this.

        I learned several heavy lessons with all this. First, hardcore geeks won't get laid, period. It simply won't happen. So if you dig both - tech and girls - si
      • 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.
      • Well, at our last company Christmas gathering we had a little get-together with a gift exchange (or rather, a gift lotto). It was mentioned that several women at our main office had been wishing that they could have more painting projects as apparently one of our painters had a rather nice butt.

        They awarded him a little name plaque attesting to his nice-assedness at Chistmas. Now if the environment were totally PR, or likely if he were a woman, this would have caused problems. However, as a guy he blushed
      • "Asking her to crawl under a desk to fix a cable whenever she'd wear a skirt (never on the jeans days)"

        She wore skirts when she knew that her job would sometimes entail climbing under a desk?!?!?!?! Your friend simply dressed inappropriatly for her job. She was a hypocrate for complaining. You were kidding right? She didn't really wear skirts to a job that required climbing under a desk did she?
    • Annalee Newitz a "nerd"? This is a woman who, after a visit to New York City, actually wrote a column fretting about how difficult it was to figure out the New York subway system. [] I mean, come on. Maybe it would be more appropriate to introduce her as "pony-loving Annalee Newitz..."
    • It would normally be inappropriate, except for the fact that she writes about sex for a living makes her kind of an exception.
    • Sorry sir but there is no place for meta-commentary on Slashdot. I suggest you take your pseudo-intellectualism and go here []
    • I thought my (just-turned) 13 yo neice would get a kick out of Slashdot because of the OMG PONIES, she did. She now has it bookmarked because she liked reading the REAL articles. So, it's JUST as mysoginistic to think that women OR men, would NOT like Slashdot because of the colours and the OMG PONIES.

      Case in point, she asked where the pink went.

    • Well, while there are a goodly number of geek males that would qualify as acceptable. The range of ones that would qualify as gorgeous (to females, or gay males I suppose) are probably rather smallish. However, were there to be a geek of bodybuilder scale, I wouldn't mind at all if it were mentioned as many here seem to equate that brains and brawn must run opposite to each other (or in the case of females, brains and beauty).

      In my books, it's always nice to see geeks who can qualify as both intelligent a
    • 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).

    • 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 []:

  • O.M.G. (Score:4, Funny)

    by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @02:36PM (#15046337)
    Is this really such a slow news day that this is news?
  • 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 Parham ( 892904 )
    I have absolutely no idea what that article was about. Whenever I thought something insightful was about to be said I was disappointed. Can someone actually tell me what that article was about (if anything)? Was it meant to be a joke article? What was the point of it?
  • Huh? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FullCircle ( 643323 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @03:11PM (#15046455)
    Does anyone have a clue WTF this article is about?

    If the summary is that bad, I'm not about to click the link.
    • If the summary is that bad, I'm not about to click the link.

      wow. afraid to click a /. link. I mean, i know the bits are expensive, but geez.

      it's tongue in cheek humor. get some.
    • It's a joke, until you consider the raft of mod chipping cases from the DMCA and similar stupid laws. The AIBO [] case is most pertinent. Sony gave up because the cease and desist notices were bad for business. The law was and is on their side. I'm too fed up with the mean spirited crackers and gougers portrayed to be more than mildly amused by the joke and think the topic is too important to be made light of like that.

      If you can't make a computer do what you want, you don't really own it. As computers b

    • Thought it might just be me, but the summary seemed almost incomprehensible to me...... I think I get the gist of it, but the phrasing seemed to be so awkward that it was almost impossible to figure out.
  • 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!
  • what a crock of shit. I am so pissed I followed the link.

    Damn you Cowboy Neal.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    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 kimvette ( 919543 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @04:38PM (#15046722) Homepage Journal
    Can I buy a Roomba and reprogram it to think it's a pony? OMG!!!
  • the RIAA and MPAA joined forces to have one global association called MAFIAA [] (Music And Film Industry Association of America).

    About time someone came out with this joke :)
  • Every day there's a new "real reason" for DRM. There is one reason which always seems true no matter what the daily fad is. DVD players are $40 because you can download DVD players for free. Blu-Ray players are $1800 because you can't download Blu-Ray players for free.
  • Since nothing interesting is going on in the comment department for this slashdot article, this is a neeto video on trusted computing I found on Youtube. []

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun