Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Slashback Software Education Government The Courts News

Slashback: OpenDocument, Intelligent Design, More DRM 399

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the people-just-don't-get-it dept.
Slashback tonight brings a few corrections, clarifications and updates to previous Slashdot stories, including several updates to the Sony DRM rootkit fiasco, another school system's take on intelligent design, some of the first pictures of the much talked about avian flu virus, a sentencing that gives us the first torrent user to get jail time, Bernard Golden weighs in on the continuing Massachussetts OpenDocument debate, and one users commentary on recent announcements to start pay-per-download services for TV shows. Read on for the details.

Sony still not "getting it". c writes "Mark Russinovich continues his investigation of Sony's DRM as he tries out the official uninstaller. His verdict? 'I've analyzed virulent forms of spyware/adware that provide more straightforward means of uninstall.'" Relatedly Cronos1388 writes "According to the Inquirer an Italian group is also suing Sony over the rootkit." Also, an unexpected side effect of this technology is that script kiddies have been able to leverage Sony's tool to hide unauthorized cheat programs from the watchful eye of MMO creators.

Intelligent design supporters ousted. PMuse writes "The Register and others are reporting that all eight of the members of the Dover, PA school board that had required Intelligent Design to be taught alongside Evolution have been canned by voters in yesterday's election."

What does avian flu look like? DevL writes "Swedish photographer Lennart Nilsson has managed to capture images of a H5N1 (bird flu) virus entering and taking control of a cell. While the text is in Swedish, the images speak for themselves."

Torrent user goes up the river. stinerman writes to tell us that the Hong Kong man who was recently arrested for making several movies available via BitTorrent has had his sentence handed down. Chan aka "Big Crook" uploaded Daredevil, Red Planet, and Miss Congeniality which landed him 3 months in jail.

Golden weighs in on OpenDocument debate. OSS_ilation writes "With so much FUD and anti-FUD flying in the face of Massachusetts' decision to go with OpenDocument, it's no surprise that open source advocate Bernard Golden weighs in with his take on current events."

User says new downloadable television just plain "sucks." Thomas Hawk writes "In the past few weeks the three major studios have all announced deals to begin offering downloadable television for consumers -- Apple/ABC, DirecTV/NBC, and Comcast/CBS. The problem with each of these respective offerings is that they largely suck. Apple sells expensive low res limited television from ABC. NBC's new service will only work on DirecTV DVRs (uh hello McFly, why pay money for this service when I can just record it for free). And CBS' downloadable programming could contain commercials."

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

Slashback: OpenDocument, Intelligent Design, More DRM

Comments Filter:
  • by tiredoftryingtofindo (924798) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @08:05PM (#13993794)
    I not sure their desire to put in DRM on their CDs won't cause them more grief than it saved them in non-pirated copies of the disc (which is probably already on P2P sites, most probably because of this fiasco)
    • by Ctrl+Alt+De1337 (837964) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @08:17PM (#13993884) Homepage
      I just wonder how the logic in the decision-making process went.

      "Since CD sales have been falling, and it's cheaper to blame piracy than develop original artists, let's put a DRM rootkit on our CDs to prevent copying."

      "But wait sir, what happens when people find it? Won't that motivate people to avoid buying CDs since they don't know if they can trust us anymore?"

      "Don't worry. We'll hide it really really well so no one knows about it. Even though we have to run a firewall and antivirus software on our network to protect against vulnerabilities that no one even knows exist yet, we can safely assume that not a single soul on the entire earth will find our rootkit. And if we get sued, we'll can probably get off somehow by screaming DMCA. The lawyers are looking into it as we speak. Plus if no one finds it and sales go up, we all get bigger bonuses."

      "Apparently, I'm engulfed in evil."

      With apologies to Dilbert for the last line.
      • Your point is well-taken, but:

        Since CD sales have been falling, and it's cheaper to blame piracy than develop original artists

        I'm not sure why people say things like that. It's a hell of a lot easier to find new good music today than it was 5 years ago, and a thousand times easier than it was 5 years before that. Maybe I just live in some weird radio paradise area that doesn't only play Avril Lavigne.

        If there's a problem, and I'm not sure there is, it's that they play the same song off a CD for 3 months o
        • "I'm not sure why people say things like that. It's a hell of a lot easier to find new good music today than it was 5 years ago, and a thousand times easier than it was 5 years before that. Maybe I just live in some weird radio paradise area that doesn't only play Avril Lavigne."

          Simple...

          1.) It depends on your definition of "good". This is a subjective argument that the labels can't win on.

          2.) The downward forcing of prices for CDs from the likes of WalMart is causing their decline in profits. The labels th
  • by jeblucas (560748) <(jeblucas) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @08:08PM (#13993817) Homepage Journal
    ...that they went after the guy that uploaded Daredevil, Red Planet, and Miss Congeniality. Does this mean that they are really serious and will protect their copyrighted materials no matter how crappy they may be? Or, are they so pissed at this guy for reminding P2P users that these three movies were made that they had to do something to punish him? If the latter, I hope whoever posted Gigli on eDonkey has a good lawyer.
  • Downloadable TV (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dduardo (592868) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @08:11PM (#13993826)
    Why don't the networks give people the choice to either download HDTV shows in WITH ADS from their site for FREE or download HDTV shows WITHOUT ADS for $2.00? They could even create their own torrent type network that only works with their network to lessen the load.
    • Re:Downloadable TV (Score:5, Insightful)

      by n1ywb (555767) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @08:16PM (#13993869) Homepage Journal
      That would imply that the network executives had functioning neurons. I would like to direct your attention to the following Futurama transcript...

      Network President: Greetings gentlemen, you already know my Execubots. Executive Alpha, programmed to like things that are seen before.

      Alphabot: Hey hey hey.

      Network President: Executive Beta, programmed to roll dice to determine the fall schedule.

      [Betabot rolls two dice.]

      Betabot: More reality shows.

      Network President: And Executive Gamma, programmed to underestimate middle America.

      Gammabot: It's funny but is it going to get them off their tractors?
      • Re:Downloadable TV (Score:2, Insightful)

        by kraut (2788)
        > Network President: And Executive Gamma, programmed to underestimate middle America.
        You can't underestimate middle America.

      • by ajs (35943) <ajs AT ajs DOT com> on Thursday November 10, 2005 @12:23AM (#13995326) Homepage Journal
        Slashdot poster: Greetings gentlemen, you already know my Execuscripts. Script Alpha, programmed to like things that are seen before.

        Alphabot: Information wants to be free!

        Slashdot poster: Script Beta, programmed to roll dice to determine preferences.

        [Betascript rolls two 20-sided dice.]

        Betascript: Imagine a beowulf cluster of petrified torrents!

        Slashdot poster: And Script Gamma, programmed to underestimate anyone with a non-technical job.

        Gammascript: It's cool, but is it enough to get the network executives to stop suing children for the FBI long enough to give me free stuff?
    • Re:Downloadable TV (Score:4, Informative)

      by Wesley Felter (138342) <wesley@felter.org> on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @08:21PM (#13993916) Homepage
      The affiliates probably wouldn't be happy about either of those options.
      • What if there was a geoIP lookup, and the network credited the nearest affiliate in some way? Network is happy because they can distribute in upper lower bulgoslovia without bother to sell to a local affiliate in every single country. Existing local affiliates are happy because all the downloads earn them something.
      • Re:Downloadable TV (Score:5, Insightful)

        by javaxman (705658) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @09:17PM (#13994321) Journal
        The affiliates probably wouldn't be happy about either of those options.

        This assumes (a) that the affiliates are not owned by the broadcaster and (b) that the affiliates are in a position of power.

        Let's think for a minute. What's a better market for an advertiser : All of the viewers in one major market, or all of the users of iTunes?

        The local, independant affiliate has lost market share in a big, big way over the years. They don't have the sway over the broadcasters that they once had. How many people get their TV off-air ( not via cable or satellite ) these days? Is that market the wealthier, even middle-class group that advertisers like to target? Affiliates might not be the most important part of the network equation, at least not for long...

        • This assumes (a) that the affiliates are not owned by the broadcaster and (b) that the affiliates are in a position of power.

          Granted.

          What's a better market for an advertiser : All of the viewers in one major market, or all of the users of iTunes?

          It depends whether it's a local or national business.

          The local, independant affiliate has lost market share in a big, big way over the years. They don't have the sway over the broadcasters that they once had. How many people get their TV off-air ( not via cable or s
    • Re:Downloadable TV (Score:3, Interesting)

      by temojen (678985)
      Why bother creating annother torrent type network? Just include ads and drop the tracker a week after it airs. The Internet could be considered just an extension of the RF broadcast business model to further distances.
      • Re:Downloadable TV (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dduardo (592868)
        Or they can have a system that automatically updates both the ads within the video and the tracker every so often. Fresh Ads = Constant Revenue.
        • That wouldn't be compatible with long-lived seeds.
          • Sure it would: The advertisement part of the file would all of the sudden start failing hash checks. Even though they are no longer actively downloading, the seeder should be able to realize that it has a corrupted file and redownload the changed sections. The initial TV station seed would then just have to be in a superseed type mode where it propogates the ads first to the people who have the rest of the show so that they can quickly propagate through the torrent.
      • Torrents don't need the tracker to be online anymore with dht networks. The network could remove the link but it would still be easily accessible by anybody looking on google.
    • I think the biggest reason is the predominance of really basic, easy-to-use editing tools. And no, I'm not talking iMovie, even. Just QuickTime Pro, for instance, gives you the ability to cut segments out of a video stream. Until they have a way of guaranteeing an impression every time you view (i.e., making it available only by live stream), there won't be an option for free viewing with commercials.
      • Yeah, because the cheap availability of VCR's with a fast-forward button and able to record absolutely killed the ad-supported over the air model. The point is, you and I know how to do that, but 99% of the people watching don't know how to remove the ads. Any intelligent advertiser considers a stupider consumer a more valuable pair of eyeballs anyway.

        • VCRs do still enable ad impressions. It doesn't matter if you watch the 30 second spot and hear the jingle, or if you just see the McDonalds logo while fastforwarding through. An impression is an impression is an impression, and to any company large enough to care, it doesn't matter if you know their jingle as long as they're getting mind-share.

          I agree that large portions of people may not know how to do this from the get-go, but I do believe that the perception* that distribution through these channels p
      • Re:Downloadable TV (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nmos (25822)
        Until they have a way of guaranteeing an impression every time you view (i.e., making it available only by live stream), there won't be an option for free viewing with commercials.

        There are few guarantees in life but one of them is that if they leave the download market to the P2P community then noone will see their commercials.
    • Re:Downloadable TV (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tiger4 (840741)
      Good idea, but it only solves half the ad revenue problem. The network is happy, it gets the national ads put into place. But the affiliates don't get to sell the local ads.

      Us old time satelite dish guys still remember the dead air "holes" the networks leave in place for the locals to insert local spots in. You can tell the locals, they are the ones with real prices, real dates, locations you recognize, etc. Sometimes you can hear the little tweedle-chirp that triggers the local tape players on and off.
    • Why don't the networks give people the choice to either download HDTV shows in WITH ADS from their site for FREE or download HDTV shows WITHOUT ADS for $2.00?

      One of the major problems with this is that they don't have ads to show; advertisers aren't exactly biting at the bit to stick their ads on a download instead of on-air. Why is that? Because there does not exist an official ratings system for downloads. Until Nielsen or some other group begins collecting reliable and independent stats on viewershi

      • Re:Downloadable TV (Score:3, Interesting)

        by NickFortune (613926)
        Until Nielsen or some other group begins collecting reliable and independent stats on viewership of video downloads, you won't see any advertisers that are willing to pay big money for ads on downloaded video.

        Does Neilsen still work on polls plus power consumption? 'Cause I foresee problems getting this off the gound...

        Neilsen Suit: Pardon me sir, I wonder if you might tell me which of these shows you download
        L337 D00D: Why, none all all. These shows are only available via unauthorised downloads. T

  • Apple video SUCKS (Score:5, Informative)

    by mboverload (657893) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @08:16PM (#13993866) Journal
    Apple video uses QVGA, which is Quater VGA. It means exactly what you think it does, you can put 4 tiles of QVGA into one VGA image. That's 320x240 pixels. 320x240 VERY compressed pixels. VGA is the same resolution as NTSC. Yes, it's crappier than network television quality, if that's possible.

    Go to TorrentSpy.com and download a 350 meg episode of Prison Break. With just DSL you can download faster than you can watch. Or go for a 700 meg version, which is insane quality.

    These are just words, and words can not describe the bullshit that Apple is selling.
    • QVGA.... is the best resolution ever! If you can not see how much better it is please report to your local apple fanboy education centre where we will re-adjust your eyes.
    • BitTorrent doesn't work for streaming at all, as blocks are downloaded pretty much at random. In general I found that video becomes watchable only when you get 90-95% of the file. Before that the only useful thing you're likely to get out of a partial file is to be able to verify that it's what you want and that the quality is good enough.
    • by javaxman (705658)
      Apple video uses QVGA, which is Quater VGA. It means exactly what you think it does, you can put 4 tiles of QVGA into one VGA image. That's 320x240 pixels. 320x240 VERY compressed pixels. VGA is the same resolution as NTSC. Yes, it's crappier than network television quality, if that's possible.

      Yup. Optimized for the video iPod. You are somehow thinking it should be optimized for your computer? Not until Apple can make more money on that model...

  • by rastin (727137) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @08:17PM (#13993879)
    Recent developments in Kansas have paved the way for the largest increase of "Science" class offerings to our next generation of young Americans. Take "CZO140: A field study of the behavior of Unicorns" for example. Students will learn how to make Unicorn calls, analyze a maidens purity through Unicorn reactions and extract faerie dust from Unicorn droppings. For years "Rational Science" has frowned upon the link between faerie dust and Unicorn dung, likening it to a futile study of plain old horse shit. But now that science is not limited to natural explanations of phenomena jobs in academia are readily available to anyone with a wild imagination and a fragile grasp on reality!
    • Careful what you say. In Kansas they already believe in jayhawks [wikipedia.org], so you never know what's next!
    • Yes indeed, the Kansas school board has changed the definition of 'science' so that it's no longer limited to natural phenomena. I'm sure their authority rests on members' vast curriculum vitae and numerous Nobel awards, or what a 300-foot Jesus told them.
    • by vanyel (28049) * on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @08:46PM (#13994081) Journal
      I feel for students of the Kansas school system when they try to enter the job market. If I were hiring and saw they were from Kansas, I would immediately be concerned that they wouldn't have the rational thinking skills necessary to function in the real world. Actually, for that same reason, I think the Kansas school system should lose its accreditation.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @08:17PM (#13993881)
    detailed at Washingtonpost.com's Security fix blog. [washingtonpost.com]:

    From the article: "A class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of California consumers who may have been harmed by anti-piracy software installed by some Sony music CDs. A second, nationwide class-action lawsuit is expected to be filed against Sony in a New York court on Wednesday seeking relief for all U.S. consumers who have purchased any of the 20 music CDs in question [slashdot.org].

    The suit alleges that Sony's software violates at least three California statutes, including the "Consumer Legal Remedies Act," which governs unfair and/or deceptive trade acts; and the "Consumer Protection against Computer Spyware Act," which prohibits -- among other things -- software that takes control over the user's computer or misrepresents the user's ability or right to uninstall the program. The suit also alleges that Sony's actions violate the California Unfair Competition law, which allows public prosecutors and private citizens to file lawsuits to protect businesses and consumers from unfair business practice."


    The Post also has a PDF of the California filing [washingtonpost.com] and suggests another nationwide class action will be filed in New York shortly.

  • by tetrahedrassface (675645) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @08:17PM (#13993883) Journal
    Sony may have a black eye over this, but in the end they are gonna win. In fact all the big media conflagrations are going to win.. Its not because their music is better, its because the minute they hear something open and interesting they just copy it, change it around and feed it to the million of idiots paying for their antiquated system of development (read theft). They have been stealing IP (intellectual property) for so long,that they feel they can do anything. Well not only *can* but *will*... Thats the reason you don't hear anything new out there, and the reason the song mills of Nashville, LA, and New York are busier than ever. Busy churning out shit.. Why should they reward creativity that does not fit in with their designs on control? They don't have to because they can clone any sound and any look. They not only can they do.. Thats why most of the great music is dead. They don't really need DRM, they already have a version of it far superior.. that being total A&R control.. They want minions of slave musicians.. and they have it. If i sound embittered it because I am, but not for the most obvious reasons. although they all are valid/
    • Okay so thats flamebait.. sorry for telling the truth.. I know an 80 year old dude who wrote for sun records.. He lives in a trailer, and wrote 3 #1 hits... /shrug/ /me moves on
    • bear in mind that 'shit' makes a lot of money.
      Just because you decide not to like it, doesn't mean nobody else likes it.

      I would think we have had enough of people like you who automatically thinks that everyone like the same things as you do. Hell, there are probably whole Genres of music you refuse to listen to becasause its 'lame'.

      If people making music wouldn't sign the contracts, the contracts would be changed. Plus, producing your own music is damn cheap these days.

      GO Away.
      • I didn't say anyone had to like what i like..
        Thats not the point of this whole thread
        The point is the music industry gets it coming and going, and they have a cabal..
        Regardless of genre.
        Im not going anywhere..
        Peace
  • by tehanu (682528) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @08:19PM (#13993893)

    On related news about the Sony DRM,

    Antivirus companies are going to start detecting it as harmful software:

    http://news.com.com/Antivirus+firms+target+Sony+co py+protection/2100-1029_3-5942265.html [com.com]

    The article also has claims from CA that the DRM damages the computer's ability to make rips of ANY CDs including non-copyrighted CDs.

    According to Computer Associates, the Sony software makes itself a default media player on a computer after it is installed. The software then reports back the user's Internet address and identifies which CDs are played on that computer. Intentionally or not, the software also seems to damage a computer's ability to "rip" clean copies of MP3s from non-copy protected CDs, the security company said. "It will effectively insert pseudo-random noise into a file so that it becomes less listenable," said Sam Curry, a Computer Associates vice president. "What's disturbing about this is the lack of notice, the lack of consent, and the lack of an easy removal tool."

    And the original patch has been replaced by one one third of the size. Mark Russinovich posted new info on the (smaller) patch on his blog showing it causes BSODs in Windows.

    http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.j html?articleID=173601122 [informationweek.com]

  • Commercials? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by aerthling (796790)
    If they do start including commercials in downloadable TV, what's to stop people editing them out?
    • Re:Commercials? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bodrell (665409) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @10:14PM (#13994658) Journal
      If they do start including commercials in downloadable TV, what's to stop people editing them out?

      I think you're missing the point. These are commercials in a file that you pay for, that you download with your own bandwidth. Why should you have to tediously edit-out commercials from a program you already paid for? By a similar rationale, why should you have to sit through commercials in a movie theatre, after paying $8 for admission and who knows how much for concessions?

      People really need to realize that their attention, and their personal information, are very valuable to marketers. It's not really a bargain to get a free T-shirt in exchange for signing up for a credit card. Your name, address, income, etc. are worth a lot of money to advertising folks. The T-shirt, if you wear it, is free advertising for them. Every second you watch a commercial, it's equivalent to giving money to the "sponsor." But people don't generally calculate the value of intangibles such as their time and attention. Any marketing students or professionals out there know the exact figure, the amount each TV viewer's time is worth to the people buying ads? In pennies per second? For Homer Simpson, for example? (White male, 35 years old, nuclear technician, wife and three kids.) If you have to download and (theoretically) watch the ads, they should be free, like broadcast TV. Otherwise you're paying for them twice.

  • by Work Account (900793) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @08:21PM (#13993913) Journal
    I am so sick of this.

    I am also a True Believer and attend a worship service every Sunday.

    That said, ID is NOT true science. It is simply a score of men who wish to get nonsense into our textbooks.

    We MUST stop ID!
    • by geekoid (135745)
      ID is NOT science, there fore it doesn't belong in a science class.

      I, for one, would like to thank Kansas for taking the first step that leads us to a new dark age!
    • I am also a True Believer and attend a worship service every Sunday. That said, ID is NOT true science. It is simply a score of men who wish to get nonsense into our textbooks.

      Ok, I rarely comment on lame moderation, but really, you're currently moded "Flamebait" for that?!? Someone needs to turn in their geek card and have their moderation responsibilities take away from them. Until someone can come up with an experiment to prove the existence of a deity, that's not flamebait, it's fact. "Intelligent Des

      • How the heck do you propose to prove that "some intelligent designer" "guides" evolutionary forces? How the heck to you propose to prove that life spontaneously emerged from nothing? I don't want religion in science classes, but I do want honesty. If scientific observation indicates that current theories are inadequate to explain the complexities biological structures, why would you want to supress that information?
        • by ceejayoz (567949) <cj@ceejayoz.com> on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @09:51PM (#13994521) Homepage Journal
          How the heck to you propose to prove that life spontaneously emerged from nothing?

          How do you propose to prove that God spontaneously emerged from nothing? And let's not have the "oh he was always there" chickenshit answer - if that can happen with God, it can happen with the Universe.

          Plus, evolution makes no comment on the origin of life. It is a theory on the origin of new species, which is a different thing entirely.

          If scientific observation indicates that current theories are inadequate to explain the complexities biological structures, why would you want to supress that information?

          That information is not being surpressed. Scientists acknowledge that, for example, we don't know what was around prior to the Big Bang. Scientists acknowledge that we're not sure of the exact mechanism of the beginning of biological life. Scientists acknowledge that we're still learning bits about how evolution works.

          Intelligent design is being surpressed, but that's a different story alltogether. ID is just saying "we don't know how this works yet, so LET'S MAKE SHIT UP!"
    • Wow, you make it sound like Darwinian evolution has to resort to riot tactics to keep its place in line. "Follow me, guys, and bring your pitchforks, WE'RE STORMING THE CASTLE!"

      Overreact much?

    • by buckhead_buddy (186384) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @09:41PM (#13994463)
      Inteligent Design is "science" once you redefine the term "science" to be more broad minded. It's like Microsoft redefining "Open" file formats to include Microsoft Word. *Heh* Perhaps we'll see an "Intelligent Document" format come out of Redmond soon.
    • That said, ID is NOT true science.

      Well, unless you take a page out of the Kansas school board's book, and redefine the term. Heh!
    • If Intelligent Design were toilet paper, I wouldn't even wipe my ass with it.

      ~X~
    • "We MUST stop ID!"

      GOD COMMANDS IT!

      Wait a minute......
  • by QuantumRiff (120817) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @08:21PM (#13993918)
    Is if Sony practices what they preach?? If I start sharing $SYS$Daredevil.AVI and $SYS$AllMetalicaSongs.mp3.zip, will their network monitoring tools not notice it? Seeing what they have done with their little rootkit, that seems only logical for them..
    • Or perhaps more usefully, $SYS$EverquestCheats.exe. It's a pity that cheaters are using this to target WoW, when they should be targetting Everquest. It'd be much more fun to pit the Sony departments against each other even more.
  • Intelligent design supporters ousted....In Pennsylvania. They made some pretty nice headway in Kansas, though. This seems like a rather ~focused~ Slashback if it can recall a story from May 2nd [slashdot.org] that ends well for the side of science and well-reasoned individuals, but ignore the story that got front page treatment earlier today [slashdot.org].

    These ID guys are starting to scare me a little. It's one thing to learn this stuff at Bible Camp and what not, it's another to compel teachers to give it time in science class. Emba

    • Well, I certainly can't wait for courses such Recognizing Evil Spirits in Medical Crises or How The Devil Can Make Your Engine Misfire. Now that we've got rid of all that nasty naturalism, we can finally get back to tearing down lightning rods that block Divine thunderbolts and teaching our children how to recognize witches. At last, the Enlightenment has ended. Bring back the Dark Ages!
    • Unless you're talking about Intelligent Falling [theonion.com], then all bets are off. In all seriousness, this is just a little speedbump in the march of progress. The Kansas creationists tried this in 1999, and got voted out. Now they're are back, but they'll be easier to beat this time. Teaching creationism was found to be unconstitutional in Edwards v. Aguillard [talkorigins.org]. In the Intelligent Design (ID) trial in Dover, strong evidence has been presented showing that "ID" is a drop-in replacement for "scientific creationism
  • OpenDocument DRM, Intelligently Designed.

    I think the interest in Sony's rootkit methods will only grow as spyware writers begin to include a rootkit with their install routines, so that Spybot, MS Antispyware, and competitors will begin to have further trouble cleaning up customer's computers. Perhaps it's already started?

    And as a side note, today AVG detected my Adaware 1.06.exe file as containing a trojan downloader. I guess whichever site like Download.com that I got it from was less than trustworthy,
  • by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann.slash ... Hl.com minus cat> on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @08:30PM (#13993970) Homepage Journal
    Since the Avian flu video couldn't be purchased online because it sucks, and the DVD's can't be purchased because they have a rootkit, the State of Massachussets proposed to download an Open Document version of it. Luckily, this became available for all, including intelligent design proponents in Kansas who realized someone very evil had to design those viruses, because they couldn't just simply evolve. In related news, a new torrent file of the Avian Flu virus was distributed in Hong Kong, but a misunderstanding led to the government think that the distributor was actually committing bioterrorism, so they got him arrested. In his defense, he said: "the Flying Spaguetti Monster made me do it."
  • by cannuck (859025)
    Glad to hear voters in Dover chucked all 8 school board members trying to force creationism into the public school system. I have been following the Dover case on the online newspapers from Dover - lots of allegations floating around about several of the board members having perjured themselves. Which would be par for the course.
  • Microsoft at UMass (Score:3, Interesting)

    by staticx0085 (794487) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @08:45PM (#13994076)
    I find it interesting that despite the Mass. government moving to the OpenDocument format, Microsoft chose my school, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, as a "Microsoft IT Showcase School."
  • Commercials (Score:3, Insightful)

    by porkface (562081) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @09:07PM (#13994251) Journal
    Heavens! Commercials you say?

    You want hi-res Hollywood quality (Lost) television on the cheap with no advertisements? Come on.

    To say a service sucks, go ahead and cite things like low-resolution, klunky DRM, limited playback options, platform dependence, or anything like that. But don't complain that their either charging for it or showing ads.
    • Re:Commercials (Score:3, Insightful)

      by iamsure (66666)
      "But don't complain that their either charging for it or showing ads."

      Thats the key - they are doing *both*. Charging for it, AND showing ads. Or more precisely, making you pay to download content that includes an ad.

      That also nicely ignores the fact that the content is available already at high-quality, without ads, for free, and a faster download, on P2P.
    • How about we complain that they're charging for it, and also trying to charge a monthly subscription fee?

      You know, with all the absurd attempts at this that I've seen, it almost makes one think that they might intentionally be trying to sabotauge its acceptance with a crappy rollout. Gee....big networks would NEVER do that to try to protect their current advertising revenue model, would they?

  • all eight of the members of the Dover, PA school board that had required Intelligent Design to be taught alongside Evolution have been canned by voters in yesterday's election.

    That Schoolboard actually has nine members, of which only eight came up for reelection this year.

    You can expect the ninth to get the boot next year, but for now, they still have one idiot left. Let's just hope their charter doesn't include a lot of ways for a lone moron voice to cause endless trouble.
  • by davidwr (791652) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @09:51PM (#13994524) Homepage Journal
    Are You Infected by Sony-BMG's Rootkit? [eff.org] has a list of known infected CDs.

    Here's the list as of this post:
    ==========
    Trey Anastasio, Shine (Columbia)
    Celine Dion, On ne Change Pas (Epic)
    Neil Diamond, 12 Songs (Columbia)
    Our Lady Peace, Healthy in Paranoid Times (Columbia)
    Chris Botti, To Love Again (Columbia)
    Van Zant, Get Right with the Man (Columbia)
    Switchfoot, Nothing is Sound (Columbia)
    The Coral, The Invisible Invasion (Columbia)
    Acceptance, Phantoms (Columbia)
    Susie Suh, Susie Suh (Epic)
    Amerie, Touch (Columbia)
    Life of Agony, Broken Valley (Epic)
    Horace Silver Quintet, Silver's Blue (Epic Legacy)
    Gerry Mulligan, Jeru (Columbia Legacy)
    Dexter Gordon, Manhattan Symphonie (Columbia Legacy)
    The Bad Plus, Suspicious Activity (Columbia)
    The Dead 60s, The Dead 60s (Epic)
    Dion, The Essential Dion (Columbia Legacy)
    Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten (Epic)
    Ricky Martin, Life (Columbia) (labeled as XCP, but, oddly, our disc had no protection)

    Several other Sony-BMG CDs are protected with a different copy-protection technology, sourced from SunnComm, including:

    My Morning Jacket, Z
    Santana, All That I Am
    Sarah McLachlan, Bloom Remix Album
    ==========
  • can I... (Score:2, Funny)

    by AbraCadaver (312271)
    "...all eight of the members of the Dover, PA school board that had required Intelligent Design to be taught alongside Evolution have been canned by voters in yesterday's election."
    Can I just say "Amen to that!" :P
  • by erikharrison (633719) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @10:52PM (#13994857)
    I'm putting together a letter to Microsoft right now, regarding this Sony rootkit disaster. Basically, it asks MS to publically come out opposed to this sort of behavior. This is exactly the kind of programming that MS (claims, at least) gives Windows a bad name. MS consistently says that it is bad applications and bad drivers that cause stability problems, and that spyware and viruses are mostly Windows centric because Windows is the most dominanat desktop platform.

    Yet when Sony installs a DRM rootkit, with now exposed security and stability issues, MS says nothing. Sony's DRM only works on Windows, thus giving a reason to move to Mac OS and Linux, and by not censuring this kind of behavior, MS effectively says "it's okay for vendors to cripple our OS and drive business to our competitors, it's okay for Sony to implicitly install a bad driver, it's okay for Sony to make a mockery of our OS, and to make public one of it's weaknesses".

    It's embarassing for those folks who administer Windows machines to have to go into work, and be asked why they still run Window's boxen when the one big advantage of MS - support from a large company - is nowhere to be found when blackhat tactics like rootkits are used by a major vendor. Even a well written rootkit (which this is not) still will introduce bugs in other applications that must go through the same subsystem the kit is bound to - having this kind of tactic tacitly approved of by the software vendor only leads to a world where it's more dangerous to upgrade applications, for fear of conflict - the traditional Linux distro problem, now twice as bad in the Windows world.

    I urge everyone to point these facts out to MS. Even if MS approves of this kind of user bait and switch, and over invasive DRM on principle, I believe these arguments will force MS into the position of having to publically disapprove. Which has the nice side effect of giving this invasion of consumer rights the attention in the media that it deserves.
  • If you look at Microsoft's Office XML Reference Schema License [microsoft.com], you will see that it has massive restrictions on what you can do with it. You are only allowed to read and write. Things like editing are not included (and even seem to be explicitly excluded. Microsoft may be able to deny the license for anybody for any non-governmental uses, and, in any event, they can make your whole license invalid by modifying the schema on the next iteration of Office (including, possibly even the first official release of office 12).

    It may also be possible that they could force your customers to register for the right to use your software (so they know who to 'go after', in cutting off your air supply).

    And, of course, if your company gets bought out, your license disappears.

    I can see lenders and shareholders running screaming from any business that embarks on a major undertaking, having accepted these terms. You would have to be either foolish or desparate to do so unless you could recoup the full cost of your endeavor with your first contract (which could raise the cost of your contract, making you non-competetive).

    Unlike the ODF, which (contrary to MS's FUD) does not place any restrictions on a company using it(*), Microsoft's XML license would leave any company accepting it at the abject mercy of a convicted monopolist.

    Good luck. You'll need it.

    (*)Unlike KOffice (which also implements ODF), Open Office is LGPL, which means that a company could legaly compile in proprietary extensions to OO without having to release their own code. That is, in fact, precisely what SUN does with StarOffice. This opens up opportunities for local vendors that would never be available under MS-Office.

  • Evolution (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ppanon (16583) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @01:02AM (#13995502) Homepage Journal
    Intelligent design supporters ousted.
    PMuse writes "The Register and others are reporting that all eight of the members of the Dover, PA school board that had required Intelligent Design to be taught alongside Evolution have been canned by voters in yesterday's election."

    Think of it as political evolution in action.

    I think it's getting to the point where the first thing any candidate for school board should be asked is how they feel about the teaching of Evolution and Intelligent Design in schools. This is a mandatory pass/fail question.

I use technology in order to hate it more properly. -- Nam June Paik

Working...