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Comment Re:life-long updates (Score 3) 687

I would agree with all of the above _EXCEPT_ point number three.

Screw the phone home stuff - build a serial number generator and call it good.

I used to work for a prominent software house that made plugins for Illustrator, Photoshop, etc, and that's all we ever had. The pirate networks had figured out our algorithm, but who cares? They were never our customers in the first place. And for support, we required our callers to give their serial number before we would help them - we kept an account of which serials had been sold, so it was easy to cut off the freeloaders.

Go with an offline serial scheme that is non-obvious, but simple to code and you will be fine.

Bonus points - if you are doing online sales only, use the customer's CC or PayPal ID or whatever as the salt against a serial number for validation... you can not only spot pirates, you know where they got their copy.

Extra bonus points if you embed that hash into the IPTC or EXIF data of exported images...

from an interview with Kai Krause in 1994:

CJ: Japan has traditionally had a problem with software piracy on a home user level: users passing along copies of programs to their friends. Do you have problems with this, and what do you do about it ?

Krause: Yes, many people do steal the software and copy it. It's a very tricky problem for software manufacturers. But what we keep saying to people is, it's OK for their friends to use something, and play with it to see what it's like. But we appeal t o them that, "If you use it more than once a week, or if you do a serious project with it, then you should invest in your tools, and help those that make the tools to make better tools." So with that ethics angle, we find a lot of people understand that a nd buy the software. We get a lot of letters from people who say it's the only program they ever paid for. It's OK with me if they give it to a friend so they can at least see what it is like -- but it is a little tricky in Japan.

The Courts

Submission + - Supremes lift corporate election spending limits (

SnapShot writes: The logical conclusion of the insane idea that corporations are citizens, the five conservative supreme court justices have lifted campaign spending limits by corporations. On the plus side, at least the voting machine conspiracies will go away. Why would a corporation bother when it can just spend a few hundred million on the Congress that they want?

Net Users In Belarus May Soon Have To Register 89

Cwix writes "A new law proposed in Belarus would require all net users and online publications to register with the state: 'Belarus' authoritarian leader is promising to toughen regulation of the Internet and its users in an apparent effort to exert control over the last fully free medium in the former Soviet state. He told journalists that a new Internet bill, proposed Tuesday, would require the registration and identification of all online publications and of each Web user, including visitors to Internet cafes. Web service providers would have to report this information to police, courts, and special services.'"

Comment Re:Overkill? (Score 1) 497

This is so sadly true -- I work in a data processing facility for an eDiscovery firm. When our clients want their old drives destroyed, we run them over a large (no idea as to the specs, make, whatever) electromagnet for several minutes (long enough to heat the casing up) and THEN we ship 'em out at USD$10/per for physical destruction.

I'd rather give them a single-pass random write and then take them to the range -- faster, cheaper, and much more fu.


Submission + - USNS Hoyt S. Vandenberg to be sunk on Wednesday (

caffiend666 writes: "The USNS Hoyt S. Vandenberg is to be sunk on Wednesday becoming the worlds second largest artificial reef. The USNS Hoyt S. Vandenberg, named after the Air Force's General Vandenberg, served as a missle tracking and space relay ship for decades. Ship was used as a part of project Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and the Shuttle Program. Was used as a set for some of the scenes the 90's movie Virus as the Russian MIR relay station. Should be one of the more awesome diving spots soon..."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - ZigBee Pro: the New Home Automation Standard?

An anonymous reader writes: Echelon, Microsoft, Intel, Sun and the Electronic Industries Alliance have been trying to create a home automation standard for two decades — to no avail. Now the ZigBee Alliance, proprieter of a low-rate two-way wireless mesh networking technology, says it will prevail. In six weeks, automation vendor Control4, which has about one million ZigBee nodes installed, will flip the switch on the new ZigBee Pro, which promises interoperability among light switches, thermostats, door locks, motorized shades, security systems, remote controls and some 36 million electric meters.

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