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Draconian DRM Revealed In Windows 7 1127

Posted by kdawson
from the just-who-did-you-think-owns-your-machine dept.
TechForensics writes "A few days' testing of Windows 7 has already disclosed some draconian DRM, some of it unrelated to media files. A legitimate copy of Photoshop CS4 stopped functioning after we clobbered a nagging registration screen by replacing a DLL with a hacked version. With regard to media files, the days of capturing an audio program on your PC seem to be over (if the program originated on that PC). The inputs of your sound card are severely degraded in software if the card is also playing an audio program (tested here with Grooveshark). This may be the tip of the iceberg. Being in bed with the RIAA is bad enough, but locking your own files away from you is a tactic so outrageous it may kill the OS for many persons. Many users will not want to experiment with a second sound card or computer just to record from online sources, or boot up under a Linux that supports ntfs-3g just to control their files." Read on for more details of this user's findings.

Re — Photoshop: That Photoshop stopped functioning after we messed with one of its nag DLLs was not so much a surprise, but what was a surprise: Noting that Win7 allows programs like Photoshop to insert themselves stealthily into your firewall exception list. Further, that the OS allows large software vendors to penetrate your machine. Even further, that that permission is responsible for disabling of a program based on a modified DLL. And then finding that the OS even after reboot has locked you out of your own Local Settings folder; has denied you permission to move or delete the modified DLL; and refuses to allow the replacement of the Local Settings folder after it is unlocked with Unlocker to move it to the Desktop for examination (where it also denies you entry to your own folder). Setting permissions to 'allow everyone' was disabled!

Re — media: Under XP you could select 'Stereo Mix' or similar under audio recording inputs and nicely capture any program then playing. No longer.
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Draconian DRM Revealed In Windows 7

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  • by Quebec (35169) * on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:19PM (#26881197) Homepage

    For the sake of civil liberties, culture and sanity and as weird as it may seems I am not joking. Laws are made by the people for the people and some disconnected tenants of some ivory towers need to be reminded of it.

  • oh please (Score:4, Insightful)

    by timmarhy (659436) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:23PM (#26881229)
    i stopped reading right here "replacing a DLL with a hacked version"

    so your application stopped working after you fucked with the dll's, and it's microsoft's fault?

  • Aim at the foot (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:24PM (#26881237) Homepage Journal

    Let them! It will only help doom Windows. Younglings especially are not going to like when they can't rip their own version of their fav youtube music video, etc. "Web-tops" that don't run Windows are becoming increasingly popular, and those that offer less DRM are going to sell better.

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:24PM (#26881243) Homepage

    Repealing the DRM clause of the DMCA would suffice.

  • Yes, and no. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:25PM (#26881269)

    It seems that the problem was that Windows was cooperating with the app vendor to lock out such hacking attempts.

    Who owns your computer? You or the ISV's?

  • by zappepcs (820751) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:26PM (#26881279) Journal

    Can we just go ahead and admit that the broken windows [wikipedia.org] economy doesn't work.

    Seriously, I don't think that it will take long for this to make Windows 7 as popular as Vista is. All we need to do is tell people that Kubuntu is Windows 7 [zdnet.com] and everything will be fine.

    I jest of course. We really should tell them that the one that works is Linux, and the one that looks like it but doesn't work is Windows 7. I'm truly perplexed at the pace with which this one company tries to put itself in the red. There isn't much to say that doesn't come out as MS bashing when I hear this. Lets just throw it away and pretend it doesn't exist... quickly.

  • by hannson (1369413) <hannson@gmail.com> on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:30PM (#26881303)

    You think Windows 8 will have less DRM?

  • by east coast (590680) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:30PM (#26881307)
    It's not like politicians have really cared that much about what the constitution has had to say for the past few decades anyway.
  • Re:oh please (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Fluffeh (1273756) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:32PM (#26881329)
    If I change a DLL in a program, what gives my operating system the right to stop the program functioning?

    This isn't talking about a DLL that didn't work. This is a working DLL and windows shit-canning the application because it doesn't match what the vendor wants.
  • by mikesd81 (518581) <<mikesd1> <at> <verizon.net>> on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:32PM (#26881331) Homepage
    Do you honestly think they will learn from this mistake for Windows 8? They didn't learn much from Vista's mistakes.
  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by toleraen (831634) * on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:34PM (#26881345)
    Who's to say that Microsoft is just protecting installed DLL files, not necessarily per any vendor's request? Locking down the OS to make it more secure and all that stuff people rag on them for. Just sayin.
  • Re:Aim at the foot (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:35PM (#26881355)
    I most certainly agree. While it has been an uphill battle for linux to gain acceptance lets not look a gift horse in the mouth. With MS shooting itself in the foot, again, can only be a good thing overall for FOSS. I say we encourage MS when it comes to making their platform that much more unusable.
  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:36PM (#26881369)

    i'm not seeing how MS has done you wrong. use the app as licensed. this is like criminals whining about people putting better locks on their houses.

    No, this is like me buying a bicycle from you, and you putting proprietary locks on the axles to prevent me from switching them w/o your permission.

  • Sigh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DarrenBaker (322210) <darren@@@flim...net> on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:37PM (#26881375) Homepage

    Unfortunately, I think you misunderestimate the capacity for not caring by the Public at Large. This will only affect a certain percentage of folks, not enough to make waves, I'm sure.

  • Um... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Estanislao Martínez (203477) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:38PM (#26881393) Homepage

    Can somebody post a readable, reasoned summary of this submission?

    Um, forget I said "summary." This would need to be longer than the original. Maybe "commentary" is the right word...

  • Proof? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TejWC (758299) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:39PM (#26881405)

    Not that I don't believe this guy, but can we have some screen shots and some evidence before we scream and yell to the rest of the world?

    If indeed Windows 7 does this, I know a lot of people that will get a "rude awakening" from DRM and they will not stand for it.

  • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:40PM (#26881413)

    After Vista drove me to Linux, I was considering giving Windows 7 a chance, but news like this means I'll probably skip it and wait for Windows 8.

    I guess I'll have to keep the XP machine I use for games running a little while longer.

    I used Ubuntu and Gimp wouldn't start after my machine crashed, and my sound card inputs didn't work at all. Of course, that information is useless, just like the random anecdotes and wild conclusions in TFA.

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:40PM (#26881423) Journal

    For the sake of civil liberties, culture and sanity and as weird as it may seems I am not joking. Laws are made by the people for the people and some disconnected tenants of some ivory towers need to be reminded of it.

    The Constitution doesn't regulate transactions between private parties. It regulates the powers granted to the Government. If you don't like the DRM in Windows 7/Vista/XP/whatever then vote with your feet and wallet. It's not like there aren't alternatives available.

    You want to amend a document that's only been changed 27 times in ~200 years over computer software? Just think about what you are advocating for a minute.

  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:41PM (#26881427)

    i'm not seeing how MS has done you wrong. use the app as licensed. this is like criminals whining about people putting better locks on their houses.

    I admit I do not fully understand what's going on here, but doesn't the description also imply that it'd be harder to corrupt Windows? I mean, if it's punting apps because of hacked .DLLs, isn't that potentially a good thing? Even a social engineering 'hack' would have trouble with that.

  • FUD? False alarm? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bersl2 (689221) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:41PM (#26881431) Journal

    As much as I want to believe this, I'm not so sure that these effects are intentional.

    First of all, can anyone duplicate them? Secondly, is a binary really the best way to test this? I would think that one would want to interact with whatever APIs control the recording process. In any case, I think that more investigative work needs to be done.

  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:41PM (#26881435)

    This is more like locksmiths complaining about the state putting better locks on their own houses.

  • Re:oh please (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:41PM (#26881439)

    so your application stopped working after you fucked with the dll's, and it's microsoft's fault?

    It should in principle be possible to modify a DLL and have it still work if you know what you're doing. This appears to be a situation where they've ensured no change can be made to a library because it will alter a checksum.

  • by nobodyman (90587) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:41PM (#26881445) Homepage

    Honestly, this is one of the worst-written front page stories on I've seen on ./ in quite some time. No citation, no proof, nothing. Not even a fucking link to a story? Please.

    Win7 might very well be Evil Incarnate. But it's not like your gonna convince anyone with 'journalism' that reads along the line of "yeah this one guy I know says that win7 totally sucks".

  • by iris-n (1276146) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:43PM (#26881465)

    Ok, it will generate some bad PR from the knowledgeable folks, like Vista. Some will avoid it. Most you notice that the compatibility problems are gone and you can find almost good drivers for almost everything.

    What percentage of users are capable of hacking a dll? What percentage of users know what a firewall is, let alone check its configurations?

    What can have some implications is the audio recording thing, if it does stop users from downloading videos from youtube. Most teens I know do this. And hell to microsoft if it messes with their sacred youtube, facebook and msn.

    What worries me is that large corporations will like these features. "Hmm, a nice locked-down unhackable desktop. Yes, it will keep the network safe."

    For me, their behaviour was outrageous enough in the XP times. I've switched to debian and never looked back.

  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:43PM (#26881475)

    It seems that the problem was that Windows was cooperating with the app vendor to lock out such hacking attempts. Who owns your computer? You or the ISV's?

    There are many legitimate reasons a "power user" might want to dink with DLLs, and none of them are Microsoft's business.

    And now an analogy that I'm sure someone will object to...

    You buy a car. You want to "upgrade" the carb with a custom device. You can't, the car wont run with non-factory mods.

  • by .Bruce Perens (150539) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:44PM (#26881483) Homepage Journal
    Seriously, what is the article even saying? Not that is even an article to LINK to, but what the hell?

    the days of capturing an audio program on your PC seem to be over (if the program originated on that PC).

    Hunh?

    Does he mean capturing with an audio program? Does he mean that I can't use the same program to capture audio and then use as a player? What does this even mean?

    Under XP you could select 'Stereo Mix' or similar under audio recording inputs and nicely capture any program then playing. No longer.

    Again, wha??? Does this mean I can't rip a CD? Or that I can't do an audio mix? What hardware is this person using?

    Not that slashdot has ever been a paradigm of reporting, but to but one user's incoherent ramblings on the front page as news is just irresponsible. Wait until a semi-reliable tech sight posts something that makes sense, has some screen shots, and has a modicum of citation to back it up. I mean, holy shit.

  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:44PM (#26881487)
    i'm not seeing how MS has done you wrong. use the app as licensed

    How about I be allowed to use my own personal property as I see fit? Fucking DRM apologist.
  • by mikesd81 (518581) <<mikesd1> <at> <verizon.net>> on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:46PM (#26881511) Homepage
    While most casual users won't be bothered by this, the more tech savvy or people in the audio visual fields will be concerned.

    While I fully understand the reasoning behind DRM, and while I may even agree with the principle (protecting your work), draconian DRM will send people the other way. It is now 2009. Generations are getting more and more tech savvy and educated. The internet is a huge social network. To not be able to record something and manipulate as you want can send people the other way.

    So this is where Linux needs to step up. Microsoft is shooting themselves in the foot and Linux has the ability to take a big step forward. If you can record on Linux with no interference and you could be able to watch DVD with no interference on Linux on an out-of-box install, Linux could easily take over. Now we need the big Linux distros (Suse (shut up novell haters), Red Hat, Ubuntu, etc) to get on the software market to distribute versions for Linux. I don't mean it has to be open source, I mean it has to run on Linux. Natively. Without going through this config and that config to change things just to get it to run. Linux is on the right track, and with more and more being handed to it by Microsoft, it needs to get on the ball and make changes. Distros need to agree on where they put config files, on all distros. There would be nothing wrong with one main (but others available) package managers and packaging style. And there are other examples. And all this could be easily obtained.
  • by Manip (656104) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:46PM (#26881513)

    This article is seriously short on details.

    So you replaced a DLL and the application stopped working? What DLL? What evidence do you have supporting your theory that it is the OS's fault?

    So you can no longer record application's audio? Are you using the same drivers? On my system the sound card has to specifically support such functionality.

    Windows 7 might contain tons of scary DRM but unfortunately this article contains no real proof of that. In fact it is so vague that is sounds almost like voodoo.

  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RuBLed (995686) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:46PM (#26881515)
    Well, it is more like the utility people locking you, as the owner, out of your own circuit breakers. Or the plumber locking the cabinet under your sink after he installed it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:47PM (#26881533)

    1. What Photoshop CD4 dll? Does it do this with Vista? Does it do this with XP? Why is this attributed to Windows 7?

    2. What sound card and driver? Does it do this with Vista? Does it do this with XP? Why is this attributed to Windows 7?

    3. What build of Windows 7? Who is the testor? Why is two paragraphs of incomplete information hitting the front page and it's not an "Idle" post?

    kdawson, you are truly an idiot.

  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:48PM (#26881551)

    Microsoft is doing wrong by taking away what you could have already done. What about legitimate usages? While rare, 3rd party security patches are made on rare occasions. There also things like game mods and such. This is about taking away users rights even further for no benefit to the customers. We have a right to complain as customers especially since these things are rarely highlighted unless you are a big geek.

    You really can't say when you buy apps, you buy a license. Companies like to only say that when it's convient to them. Buy a cd and they will say license in normal cases but lose the cd and you will have to buy a new cd which is like a product. Of couse this doesn't fit all software as some apps fall more towards license while others fall more towards products.

    The main problem is simply that microsoft using it's position to push changes that simple don't benefit the customers and many will have little recourse in it.

  • by davester666 (731373) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:49PM (#26881563) Journal

    What do you mean?

    This is a total "make-work" operating system, designed to get the economy going.

    You need to:
    -buy another FireWall program to block apps going through Windows built-in FireWall
    -buy a program to enable to you access the files that the Windows GUI is preventing you from accessing
    -buy a program to route audio to a file (like what WireTap Studio does on Mac OS X)

    I am surprised, because I really didn't think MS could/would go further with their DRM lockdown than totally giving in to the big media labels (both audio and video). But I guess, this is just 4 more years of ideas from the labels, with some added input by the big software publishers...

  • It certainly made it illegal for two parties to sell liquor to one-another in the early 1920's. That's a private-party transaction if I've seen one.
  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:52PM (#26881583)

    Who's to say that Microsoft is just protecting installed DLL files, not necessarily per any vendor's request? Locking down the OS to make it more secure and all that stuff people rag on them for. Just sayin.

    I don't administer linux so I don't know, but is this how Linux protects its DLL files?

  • Re:Aim at the foot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by philipgar (595691) <pcg2@NoSpAM.lehigh.edu> on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:52PM (#26881595) Homepage

    We all know the only real winners will be Apple, and Windows XP. Linux will likely carry along with it's .8% market share or whatever it has been at for the past 10 years or so. If these allegations are true, and hold in the final version (remember this is BETA software), it could be problematic. However, there could also be good security reasons for these changes (allowing applications to register what dlls they use and not running if they're changed is a good security practice that can prevent third party applications from breaking their software through the insertion of trojans and/or adware). The inability to fix some of the issues is also probably due to the beta nature of Windows 7.

    As for the sound issue, do we really know that this is the OS doing it, and not the driver manufacturers not having this feature implemented in their driver yet? Lots of things could be at fault, and to call DRACONIAN DRM on it is a bit hasty.

    Phil

  • by idiotwithastick (1036612) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:54PM (#26881613)
    Seriously, what sort of conclusions does this "article" even make? They say that it is somehow Window's fault that their software stops working because a DLL is replaced, because you know, somehow programs are supposed to run after you change parts of them. Next thing you know, they'll blame Windows for breaking their graphics card after they deleted their graphics driver. As for programs modifying the firewall, that has been implemented since the Windows XP firewall at least. Run an iTunes install and you'll see all the exceptions that Apple puts into the firewall for their own software. Hell, perhaps we should blame Windows for letting the iTunes installer put Bonjour and Apple Updater and QuickTime on your computer as well? Clearly, they are allowing software vendors to put crapware on your machine!
  • Re:oh please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iris-n (1276146) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:54PM (#26881615)

    I'm not trying to defend microsoft, but maybe it's a form of virus protection? You know, virus modifies dlls, OS detects that the dll is not what was installed, and blocks it. No big deal. Sure, it might check if it was the user who modified it, but I don't know if windows is capable of doing this or if microsoft cares.

    What I'm saying is, until I have a better proof that this is DRM I will not run around crying "evil microsoft".

    That said, I will never install software from them in my pc.

  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hal_Porter (817932) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:55PM (#26881637)

    It seems that the problem was that Windows was cooperating with the app vendor to lock out such hacking attempts.

    Who owns your computer? You or the ISV's?

    More likely these guys don't know what they hell they're doing.

    HINT: If you have local admin rights, you completely own the machine.

  • Facts? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by atari2600 (545988) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:55PM (#26881641)

    - No valid article referenced here

    - Posted by kdawson

    - I've known several geeks over a very long time taking the effort to differentiate the words cracking and hacking. This joke of a slashdot posting laughs at me.

    So an idiot used a pirated DLL to get rid of a nagging screen and somehow this means Windows 7 has draconian DRM. Jesus Christ...I meant to say, fucking idiots. Being in bed with RIAA? What sound card? what drivers? what the fuck?

  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:56PM (#26881645)

    'owning' and 'being locked out of' are mutually exclusive.

  • Re:windows, meh (Score:1, Insightful)

    by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:57PM (#26881665) Journal
    I just installed Fedora Core 10 on a spare box with a bc4306 wireless card, and after screwing around for a few hours hooked up an RJ45 to the back because it was just too much a pain in the ass to get wireless to work on it. I would have tried Ubuntu but its support for SATA RAID sucks. I work with Linux and Unix for my job, but don't have to worry about user interface because it is mostly command line there. But at home I want a GUI thank you very much. I also want it to just work. I work on computer systems during the day... when I want to use my machine at night I don't want to 'work' on it. I wish it were the case that this will drive people to Linux but it won't until it just works, including every day things that are done very easily on Windows like setting up SATA RAID and wireless. No blaming vendors or users... it just needs to work. If anything, it will drive people to Apple who in my opinion aren't any better than Microsoft when it comes to 'lock in' and DRM shite. Fist the things in Linux that should be easy and people will use it. Otherwise they won't. No, I don't want to fix it. I don't need to fix it. I am willing to pay for MS Windows if I need something to work. I don't rip CDs or other crap so this won't bother me. I'm just tired of hearing how MS does something else that is bad and of course this will drive people to Linux. No it won't. It will never drive people to Linux until Linux works as easily as Windows does. And don't get in a huff over this, the proof is in the pudding. People ignore programs that are hard to use and use programs that are easy or easier to use. Most of the market uses MS. Get the hint?
  • by Shakrai (717556) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:57PM (#26881667) Journal

    How well did that work out again? ;)

    If you think you can get 38 states to sign off on a DRM banning amendment then I guess all the power to you. Personally I think the GP's was a rather absurd suggestion. A better suggestion would be encouraging people to vote with their wallet and not give Microsoft the business. I certainly won't be buying it if the summary is accurate.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:00PM (#26881685)

    It serves you right for following the annoying trend of writing the first line of your post in the goddamn title field.

  • Re:Irrelevant (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:01PM (#26881711)
    There's an Ubuntu for that...
  • by Shakrai (717556) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:02PM (#26881719) Journal

    Sure, over a tied in internet browser. If you think the Government is going to get involved over measures theoretically designed to protect media from all those evil pirates then I'd like to remind you that half of the Democratic Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hollywood. The other half doesn't understand the issues well and does what the first half tells them to do.

    Vote with your feet. There are alternatives available to Windows.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples.gmail@com> on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:03PM (#26881729) Homepage Journal

    I think there is a limit to the amount of DRM the average person is willing to accept in their OS.

    And I don't think we're anywhere near that limit. For decades, gamers have been content to use computers whose operating systems are designed not to run any program that isn't approved by the computer's manufacturer. Think something like the iPhone App Store, except you have to have an LLC or corporation, dedicated office space, and a past published title on another platform, just to get the SDK.

  • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:03PM (#26881731)

    The Constitution doesn't regulate transactions between private parties. It regulates the powers granted to the Government.

    DRM in the US is not a transaction between two private parties. Instead, it is the *government* offering to step in and put legal force behind one party's interference with another's right to use their own property.

  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chryana (708485) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:09PM (#26881807)

    If this story is true, can you imagine what would happen if spyware started using those DRM features? It will be utterly impossible to clean it up. I'm not looking forward to having to choose between reinstalling and doing a rollback from a month ago if my computer gets infected.

  • Re:Facts? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:11PM (#26881823)

    I guess you figure MS and Adobe own your computer and it's their right to stop you from using software you actually paid for because you wanted to do nothing more than get rid of a nag screen.

    This is exactly why I run Linux. Nobody in the Linux world has yet decided that they get to own my computer. They allow me to decide what I want to install, and what I want to do with it. That is something MS has long ago taken away away from their customer base, and people like you see nothing wrong it. Well, I do.

    Here's something which I saw somebody comment in an online forum. It's been around for quite a while but I guess they hadn't seen it before.

    http://www.linuxgenuineadvantage.org/

    Their comment, as I guess they didn't understand the entire site is sarcasm, was "Who would be stupid enough to install this?". My answer to his question: Hundreds of millions of Windows users! They put up with this every day of the week.

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:11PM (#26881827)

    You will be called a troll...but I know you are saying the truth.

    ...Without going through this config and that config to change things just to get it to run. Linux is on the right track, and with more and more being handed to it by Microsoft, it needs to get on the ball and make changes. Distros need to agree on where they put config files, on all distros...

    Now that's the truth...thank you!

    But remember fellow slashdotter, Linux needs a beautiful interface. One that everyone or the majority of folks will look at and say "wow!" But when I suggested that Linux (read distros) needed a commonsense standard, one that will enable software to be installed from distro to distro, I was called a troll.

    I am passionate GNOME user but I have looked at KDE 4.2 and what can be achieved with the QT toolkit. I must say QT is very capable and KDE 4.2 has lots of potential. When you look at the capabilities of the upcoming QT 4.5 release, you realize that Windows Vista and 7 can be given a run for their money without a lot of effort. So I supported KDE and have switched to it ever since.

    Then the bombshell landed: I was informed by Linux zealots that what I call confusion on the Linux world is a feature that they, that use Linux, love to death. This is not helping us defeat Microsoft. Why is it so difficult to get?

    It amazes me that folks that do the serious coding in Linux, create software that worries Microsoft and the like but cannot agree on a meaningful set of standard.

    Thank you for your comment.

  • by EastCoastSurfer (310758) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:13PM (#26881851)

    I mostly agree with your point. The quickest way to kill DRM is not to buy OR pirate anything that supports DRM.

  • Re:Aim at the foot (Score:4, Insightful)

    by markdavis (642305) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:14PM (#26881865)

    > We all know the only real winners will be Apple, and Windows XP. Linux will likely carry along with it's .8% market share or whatever

    Some estimates place Linux at more like 1.5 to 2% of desktops (but it is so impossible to really know). Even so, it is pretty low. And Linux has something like a 60% share of servers. In any case, the low adoption rate of Linux on desktops says less about the quality or capability of Linux (which is high) and more about the effects of market lock-in and marketing by Microsoft (which is much higher).

    It almost doesn't matter WHAT Microsoft does. 90+% of computers are pretty much mandated to come with whatever OS Microsoft is currently forcing, and they will get paid handsomely, even if the user already owns XP and downgrades, or uninstalls Vista/7/whatever and puts Linux/BSD/whatever on it.

    If we really wanted to see what market share Linux COULD be, it would require the computer sales industry to be forced to unbundle MS-Windows from all computer sales and show consumers the optional line item cost of MS-Windows. THAT would be an interesting experiment.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:14PM (#26881869)

    That's what happens when religious nut jobs get control of your government.

  • by allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:19PM (#26881917)
    Unfortunately, if you are a gamer, there aren't alternatives available. :(
  • Re:oh please (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dhavleak (912889) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:19PM (#26881921)

    I'm not sure what to make of it, but my first reaction is that this article is FUD.

    Have they not even explored the possibility that this DLL was failing an Authenticode signature check? Or are they actually saying that Application Signing is the same as DRM? If they are, then the state of FUD on slashdot (and from kdawson in particular) is fairly sinister.

    Btw -- signing does not mean that no change can be made -- it merely means that if you change the dll, the new dll also needs to be signed into some root that is trusted. You yourself could potentially write the new DLL, sign it yourself (for a nominal fee -- from a provider other than MS -- they are not in the code signing business), and then replace the old DLL with your new one. The purpose behind this: a virus trying to alter your DLL will not succeed (in getting the DLL to load). A virus trying to alter your DLL with a signed version of the DLL is traceable to the owner of the signature. A malicious provider who tried to tamper with the DLL (insert trojan or something like that) before providing the software to you is also traceable to the signature they used.

    Bottom line -- code signing is an important security mechanism. I couldn't get to TFA (because kdawson in his infinite wisdom did not link to it) and the site referenced was down. But if I was able to read the damn thing, I'm almost certain I'd find that it's just bitching about security mechanisms, deliberately re-interpreting them as draconian DRM (without offering so much as an explanation as to what MS would gain by controlling these DLLs and folders thusly), and probably uses the most alarmist language possible while doing so.

  • by Duradin (1261418) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:20PM (#26881939)

    Large, well funded and powerful interest groups.

    Oh, you said elected and not selected. Well obviously the masses elect who they're told to. Can't have one of those crazy third party candidates who aren't all ready bought and paid for get into office.

  • by w0mprat (1317953) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:20PM (#26881945)
    It seems patently obvious that is merely a file protection system (as per pervious versions of Windows since way back) and not any feature that could be confirmed as DRM. I'm not certain of this as I'm still tinkering with Windows 7, but it seems that the file protection has now been extended to applications that opt-in.

    A .dll file changing is most often an indicator of a virus/trojan, malware etc. Least often it is some power users patching a binary. This feature existed in some form in previous versions only for system files. It was pretty badly implemented but it did protect XP/2003 from some degree of attacks.

    Largely this feature would be a good thing if extended to applications.

    Application gets exploited: Windows cans it.

    Unfortunately TFA goes straight to the assumption of DRM. They also don't really attempt to circumvent it or even to actually go see if you can turn SFC off in Windows 7 (looking for it now)
  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:22PM (#26881973)

    From what I've seen, there are very little changes in the audio layer from Vista to Windows 7. Now in Vista, all the audio DRM stuff relates to protected audio path and only matters if you are playing a DRM's file through a player that uses it. It has no effect, whatsoever, on media you produce. I say this as someone who has actually done plenty of audio production on a Vista system.

    Now as for the audio thing it sounds like one or maybe both of two possibilities:

    1) Crappy drivers. Windows 7 is still in the beta stage, and thus so are drivers for it. Some companies are rather fast with drivers for that and they are essentially release quality. Other companies suck at the drivers and thus have poor (or no) drivers out. Check a hardware board and you'll find all kinds of people saying "Where can I get Windows 7 drivers for my soundcard?"

    2) Crappy hardware. Not all soundcards are created equal. You will find professional soundcards on the market that can handle 96 simultaneous inputs, 96 simultaneous outputs all at 24-bit 96kHz without dropping a sample. You'll also find cheap consumer cards that can't even do what they claim on the box. One thing that cheap cards have problems with more often than they should is operating full duplex, meaning outputting sound and inputting it at the same time. Some just plain can't do it, others can do it but have to cut the input or output sample rate, others are just flaky. Just because a soundcard has inputs, doesn't mean it deals with them well, since that is a feature many users don't make use of.

    So I'd want to see this done in a properly controlled setup: It a quality, current, soundcard that is known to have good input and output quality, and known to have no issues doing both at the same time. Also ensure there are beta drives out from the company that don't state any major problems. Put it in a system and try it in Vista and make sure it works. Then Put Windows 7 on that same system, and try it again. If there's a problem, ok well then maybe there is something to this (though I'd still be interested in drivers). If not, and I suspect not, then this guy needs to STFU.

    I get more than a little tired of morons who have a problem on their system and instantly run and blame the OS. No, it is often NOT the OS's fault. I get even more tried of all the FUD surrounding MS and DRM. I heard all this crap about Vista's audio DRM and how it was going to not let you control your own music. Well guess what? It is all 100% bullshit. You can record in Vista, you can mix and master in Vista, you can encode to non-DRM's format, including MS's own Windows Media format (which has no DRM by default, you have to set it up yourself). Vista doesn't at all mind or interfere.

    This really strikes me as more of the same. I mean the guy is clearly a moron. He goes and downloads a crack for CS4, let's not play make believe like that's what he wasn't doing, and it doesn't work. So he blames Windows? What the hell? Then a random rant about audio. Ya, I'm thinking no.

    I can't for sure say he's wrong, I've not yet test Windows 7 my self, but his story has all the markings of BS.

  • by zippthorne (748122) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:23PM (#26881987) Journal

    It especially doesn't make sense as MS's yearly net profits exceed the entire gross revenues of either the recording or movie industries.

    What's with the tail wagging the dog here?

  • Hold on a second. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3@nosPAm.phroggy.com> on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:23PM (#26881989) Homepage

    Is DRM really what we're talking about here?

    A legitimate copy of Photoshop CS4 stopped functioning after we clobbered a nagging registration screen by replacing a DLL with a hacked version.

    People keep complaining about how easy it is for viruses and malware to infect Windows PCs. Microsoft and/or Adobe figure out a way to secure Photoshop to prevent the executable code from being modified, and you bitch that they shouldn't have. Not only that, but rather than doing some research to try to find out exactly why it doesn't work with your hacked DLL (and whether this security feature can be easily turned off), you blindly assume it must be some new invasive form of DRM that Microsoft is pushing on the unsuspecting masses.

    With regard to media files, the days of capturing an audio program on your PC seem to be over (if the program originated on that PC). The inputs of your sound card are severely degraded in software if the card is also playing an audio program (tested here with Grooveshark). This may be the tip of the iceberg.

    Is English your native language? If not, your grammar is definitely excusable. However, I think it's dangerous to confuse DRM itself (which is avoidable simply by refusing to purchase DRM-encumbered media) with attempts to close the analog hole [wikipedia.org], which are a pain in the ass for everybody.

  • by Quebec (35169) * on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:23PM (#26882001) Homepage

    As you may notice if you read my comment, it was about the DRMs and not about Windows version X (which I don't really care because I don't use at all). The DRMs are starting to be omnipresent and this is really bad, just try by yourself to copy a scene from a bluray movie to include it in a report, a parody, a backup or any other fair use, you will find that there are obstacles in your way.

    Even if you would settle for a downgrade of the artwork it will be difficult to find something to convert the HDMI ouput signal to something recordable because of HDCP feature of HDMI.

    Content publishers, hardware manufacturers and software publishers are working hands in hands to lock the cultural content in DRMs. To all this insanity you add the american DMCA and patent office to it and you will find that there is an oligopoly protected by the governement which is impeding seriously in your access to culture.

    I'm not an american, I'm not even a constitutional expert in my country but I would think that access to culture should be a civil right and that any civil right should be part of the constitution of every countries.

    Just think of what you are not advocating for a minute.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:24PM (#26882005)
    No. It is a fundamental right of companies to be able to include DRM in software along with everything else they see fit. The problem is it is also a fundamental right for someone to have the right to take it out, to use it however they see fit, to modify it, to change it, to install it on their toasters if they can make the binary run.

    There is nothing wrong with software developers using DRM, it however is outragious that us, the consumers cannot change these programs to remove the DRM or make unrestricted files.
  • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:24PM (#26882009)

    If the DRM is disclosed up front and you still buy the product then you have no one to blame but yourself.

    Most DRM would be irrelevant if the government weren't willing to throw people in the slammer for disabling it or helping others to disable it. Without this radical government intrusion into your own personal affairs, you wouldn't have to blame anyone because most DRM would be hacked into oblivion.

  • by Wovel (964431) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:26PM (#26882031) Homepage
    Just because the author does not know how to change something does not make it "locked".
  • If the DRM is disclosed up front

    Since when is that the case? Unless you're willing to do a lot of research up front, it's not as though there's a DefectiveByDesign label on it.

    and you still buy the product

    Then you should still have the right to reverse engineer it. The DMCA is what made this a government issue. Repeal that and I don't care about touching the constitution.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:27PM (#26882043)

    DRM in the US is not a transaction between two private parties. Instead, it is the *government* offering to step in and put legal force behind one party's interference with another's right to use their own property.

    Methinks you confuse "DRM" with "DMCA".

  • Who elects those politicians?

    The oligarchy appoints a set to choose from and mindless idiots pick the prettiest one.

  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by neokushan (932374) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:34PM (#26882113)

    There's a whole bunch of cracks out there for CS4 that, quite simply, do not work. Whatever Adobe did, they were clever enough to make CS4 work for a bit with a crack, then stop working, so many released cracks appear to work for a time, then something happens (So much time passes or a certain date is hit or whatever) and suddenly the nag screen is back, or CS4 stops working completely. I find it incredibly likely that the "user" in this case was simply using one of the many "bad" cracks out there and when it didn't work, blamed it completely on Microsoft.
    Unless they actually state what dodgy DLL they used, there's absolutely no way of knowing what caused the App to stop working.

    It's like me saying "Well I bought a new car and when I replaced the brakes, suddenly the car stopped working, clearly have used some draconian scheme to prevent me from fixing my own car!"

  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by setagllib (753300) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:34PM (#26882117)

    Pretty much. If your car is impounded and all your keys taken, yeah, it's not yours until you pay to get it back.

    Modern Windows is much the same. Your computer is being held hostage and you are given the occasional phone call to access what you store on it. Once in a while you receive a severed appendage in the mail. As if that wasn't bad enough, hackers who DO know how to deal with Windows' "security" will have more control over your computer than you do. The latest round of Windows worms is irrefutable proof.

  • by zappepcs (820751) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:35PM (#26882125) Journal

    Makes you wonder if the tail is really the *AAs and perhaps not some other group or agency that has friends in high places. Of course, it's conspiratorial for me to say anything like that. I have trouble seeing where the money is going with moves like this too, and sometimes think it's easy to say it's not money that is changing hands but perhaps a get out of jail free card or two.

  • No it wouldn't (Score:5, Insightful)

    by superbus1929 (1069292) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:43PM (#26882205) Homepage
    The media cartel would still make it more worthwhile to Microsoft - who have their own interests - to do these things than not do them.

    The only thing they will respond to is a mass boycott. And considering this is Windows, which is pretty much locked into most large scale networks as it is, not to mention end users' homes, good luck.
  • by neokushan (932374) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:43PM (#26882213)

    Mod this guy up, I'm shocked at the number of comments that immediately start bashing Windows and promoting Linux, when this article is flimsy at best.

    I know for a fact at there's SEVERAL CS4 cracks out there that DO NOT WORK and do exactly what this author is describing (break the app completely), unless they explain what DLL they use, I can only assume they broke the app themselves. Hell, they could have hexedited random parts of the file on a whim and blamed MS for it suddenly not working, that's how little they divulge.

  • by Eil (82413) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:43PM (#26882215) Homepage Journal

    DRM in the US is not a transaction between two private parties. Instead, it is the *government* offering to step in and put legal force behind one party's interference with another's right to use their own property.

    Then it is an issue for the courts to deal with, not legislators. (NEVER give congress something important to do, they'll fuck it up every time.)

  • by pythas (75383) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:44PM (#26882223)
    Kdawson always posts complete and utter bullshit, but this really is over the line. I've been reading Slashdot for a long long time, but if this is seriously what makes it on the front page these days, there's really no point in even visiting here anymore.

    It's been real everyone, last one out hit the lights.
  • Do your research (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:46PM (#26882241)

    I know kdawson is an incompetent moron. but really this is getting ridiculous.

    how about you do some basic research before you display your incompetence to the world.

    heres a few hints,
    a) look up windows permissions and specifically file ownership permissions
    b) look up windows file protection.

    I know that this is gonna shock you but neither have anything to do with DRM and lots to do with your incompetence.

  • by zooblethorpe (686757) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:47PM (#26882251)

    A better suggestion would be encouraging people to vote with their wallet and not give Microsoft the business.

    While certainly a commendable course of action, it bears recognizing that a legislative revision is most certainly in order even if not at the level of a constitutional amendment, as it is currently, and rather ridiculously, a federal offense to work around such DRM, even if no copyright violation takes place. So, ostensibly, under the terms of the DMCA, even the act of installing a second sound card to try to get around this obnoxious and unconscionable crippling imposed by Microsoft, which impedes even the copying of a user's self-produced media, would itself comprise "circumvention" and put such a user at odds with the law. This is truly a ridiculous and untenable state of affairs.

  • by ozphx (1061292) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:49PM (#26882281) Homepage

    No it bloody well isn't and I'm sick to death of this broken-ass analogy.

    When you are dumb enough to buy DRM content, or dumb enough to use a program that creates DRM content, all you get is the same damn content which is encrypted. You dont "get" the key, you have to use someones stupid program to play it back. Sometimes this stupid program (ie playing back media player) will go check a bunch of driver signatures to see if its people they trust (aka PVP). Why did you buy this content? Why would you buy a BluRay with ICT enabled... when it comes with the condition that the entire HDCP chain is checked? There was an option - don't buy the damn DRM encumbered content - and you don't have to worry about all this DRM shite!

    Its barely more than checking the signature of your binaries to make sure they haven't been hacked.

    The constant FUD that suggests theres some kind of maelevolant process in the background checking your MP3s against a central database deep in the bowels of redmond, and deleting them / sending in the party van, is about on par with the editorial quality of this stupid article.

    Photoshop crack fails! DRM blamed! Noobs can't understand filesystem permissions, DRM is bad! etc fkn etc

  • by idiotwithastick (1036612) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:50PM (#26882285)
    Yes, I did. That part would have been more interesting if they had provided more evidence of what they did, but it just seemed like a permissions issue (perhaps they had created the files as administrator and could not change it afterwards). However, this does not change the fact is that the first two arguments presented are worthless.
  • by Shakrai (717556) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:55PM (#26882343) Journal

    The DRMs are starting to be omnipresent and this is really bad

    Says who? Apple and Amazon both offer DRM free music for download.

    Content publishers, hardware manufacturers and software publishers are working hands in hands to lock the cultural content in DRMs

    Again, says who? The only reason DRM is at all successful is because people continue to buy it. Stop buying DRM'ed products and they'll disappear pretty quickly.

    but I would think that access to culture should be a civil right and that any civil right should be part of the constitution of every countries.

    You can access culture. You just can't access some parts of culture because of the intentions of the publisher of that culture. Don't do business with him and he'll stop doing it or go out of business. Problem solved.

    Just think of what you are not advocating for a minute.

    I'm not advocating changing a 200 year old document over a software issue.

  • by 644bd346996 (1012333) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:56PM (#26882353)

    The US Constitution already makes it explicit that the purpose of patents, copyrights, trademarks, and any other intellectual property law is "to promote the progress of science and the useful arts". All it takes is a judge to rule that a law making DRM enforceable is hindering scientific progress (or not time limited), and the law is unconstitutional, thus freeing people to circumvent DRM as appropriate.

  • Good grief (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @12:09AM (#26882447)

    What is wrong with most of the posters here? Yes, you dislike MS and their practices, Open Source is great, hurrah hurrah!

    This article is vague and offers no proof. It's posted by kdawson. Have there been any other similar reports?

    I've been using the beta builds 7000 and 7022 without any of the troubles experienced by the OP. I've recorded streaming audio, I've used both authorized and unauthorized software without problem, and I've had no working with protected or system files.

    Am I worried Microsoft is going to put draconian DRM in Windows 7? Oh yes. But I'm going to wait for proof before I raise a fuss and sling dirt.

  • Re:Facts? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by domatic (1128127) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @12:12AM (#26882473)

    I guess you figure MS and Adobe own your computer and it's their right to stop you from using software you actually paid for because you wanted to do nothing more than get rid of a nag screen.

    Er, no. That isn't what he's saying. He's questioning whether this early report is what it seems as do I. I'm no lover of MS by any means but I'm not going to seriously credit this report until I see others confirm its assertions. I recall the DRM of Vista being somewhat Chicken Littled as well. As it turned out, a fully DRMed WMA file can be a nasty thing indeed but nobody reported being unable to play their MP3 collection on Vista.

    Others have already pointed out that apps can create exceptions for themselves even in the XP firewall and that the Stereo Mix functionality behaves like that on Vista but can be re-enabled. The consequences of DLL diddling may have only revealed a bug of some kind. So I can wait a bit to see if Win7 is going to be any worse than Vista on the DRM front.

    Oh, and I'm a Linux user too but being a Linux user doesn't mean I automatically believe any negative thing about MS just because they are MS.

  • by rabbit994 (686936) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @12:16AM (#26882509)

    You took a beta operating system, installed a cracked program, and then after some stuff went completely screwy, started blame Windows for all of this? I haven't really tested Windows 7 but I seriously doubt it locks you out of Local Settings folder. Adding Exceptions to Firewall has been around since XP and Vista but I believe if you have UAC enabled, it will complain about that. Usability vs Security and Microsoft compromised with UAC if I remember correctly. Besides, hoping your firewall picks up some nasty and prevents it communicating outbound after you have executed is little much.

    Then, you took some Audio recording program which probably hasn't been updated for Windows 7 (and that's possibly cracked since your so willing to crack Photoshop) with beta quality drivers and ended up with some crappy quality audio. Instead of ruling out drivers, operating system compatibility between programs you were using and lack of any form of nasty payload on this cracked software, you have determined that Microsoft is completely in bed with RIAA and Adobe to completely screw everyone over.

    This article doesn't even count as news, it looks like shit you would find on digg and kdawson should have his editor privileges revoked for letting this be cleared for publication. Next article cleared for publication by kdawson: "Black Helicopters seen over Redmond, Washington. Microsoft in bed with CIA and developing brain reader. Get your tinfoil."

  • Re:No it wouldn't (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brass1 (30288) <SlrwKQpLrq1FM@@@what...net> on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @12:36AM (#26882669) Homepage

    The only thing they will respond to is a mass boycott. And considering this is Windows, which is pretty much locked into most large scale networks as it is, not to mention end users' homes, good luck.

    It seems to have worked with Vista.

    If Microsoft's largest customers (IT departments) reject this version of windows over it's anti-piracy measures just like they rejected last version of windows over it's performance issues, you'll get your wish.

  • by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@NoSPAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @12:43AM (#26882717) Homepage

    I'll make a list.

    • 1) If a program stops working when I replace a vital program DLL, I don't blame Windows, I blame whoever made the non-functioning DLL. Especially if it's from a different vendor (IE a hacker) than the original.
    • Local Settings has been moved to %APPDATA%\Local. The "Local Settings" folder, like the "Documents and Settings" folder, exists for legacy compatibility purposes. This is not new to 7, this was like this back in VISTA.
    • The volume app has been reworked and much of the previous functionality has been hidden away in dialogs, but it looks like you can still record from "stereo mix"... right click the volume tray icon, click recording devices, select the mic and click properties. Under "Listen" it looks like the "Playback through this device" drop down may allow you access to that functionality.
    • Any app has been able to insert itself into the Windows Firewall exception list since XP. This allows for apps to open their own ports without the user having to fiddle with the firewall. Even as an experienced programmer I occasionally wrestle with networking problems that turn out to be caused by a router or firewall blocking something. Joe Average wouldn't know what to do! Not to mention this is a complaint about the behavior of a third-party app... if you don't like it, don't use it, find something else. Technically once you have an app running it COULD disable your firewall and anti-virus if it wanted. Perhaps MS foresaw that vendors would hack their own entires into Windows Firewall and also provided them an API so they could do it properly instead of risking breaking Firewall.
    • Because of these other points I also seriously doubt audio input is degraded when you're playing audio. I find it more likely the app used sucks (Grooveshark, wtf is that?) or that the mic was picking up audio output from the speakers. The "test" isn't exactly well documented so I'm just going to just go and label it "inconclusive".

    I begin to see why people block kdawson articles.

    Summary: Blaming Microsoft for behavior of third-party code, can't take 5 minutes to figure out where Stereo Mix recording has moved to, and declares that a folder that has been locked since Vista for compatibility reasons newly locked once he did something completely unrelated, without checking to see if it was related. Yup, sounds like fail to me.

  • I been saying it and saying it that the DRM in Win7 hadn't been turned on and that is why they are getting good performance out of it now. Vista Beta 1 ran great for me too, but that was the pre DRM version. All of this DRM crap has to monitor you to keep "criminals" like the owner of the PC from doing as they like 24/7/365. All of that monitoring takes up CPU and RAM that could have been used for your stuff.

    Mark my words, what we are seeing here is the tiniest tip of the turd iceberg that is Win7, AKA Vista the second edition. It will go down in flames as folks find out it is a big pile of stink just like Vista. That is why just yesterday I had a customer literally throw money at me saying "make this %^&^&$ POS Vista go away! I don't want to see this thing again until XP is on it!". So mark my words, Linux guys. Be getting your A games ready. Be doing everything you can to fix the little irritants like Winprinters because when Vista7 goes down in flames you are going to have a LOT of POed folks looking for a new direction. And Apple is just too damned expensive for John Q. Average. So this is your shot, make it count. I doubt seriously after Win7 goes down in flames that Ballmer will have a job and the next guy they bring in will probably be one of the MS Office guys and he will go back to dull and boring business OSes(Oh,Lord,please let it be so!) so you guys probably won't get a third at bat.

    I for one would like some healthy competition to make the marketplace more fair so don't miss your shot,make it count. Because a moron as stupid as Ballmer only comes around once in a lifetime and you don't want to miss it.

  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @12:56AM (#26882827) Journal
    I never have mod points when I discover a sane rational explanation in the middle of a stupid debate about a Non-issue.

    So a Kudos, for pointing out the Hacked Dll doesn't work because the system is smarter than the hack finally. Give it a few weeks...

  • Re:Just say no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Technician (215283) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @12:57AM (#26882837)

    Which distro? Because I use Ubuntu for my desktop and I'm a geek, and I still get frustrated (fuck pulseaudio).

    If you are primarily using the PC for AV stuff, the real time kernel and bundled apps in Ubuntu Studio are hard to beat. I use it for my studio recording and production. Jack and related apps can be a pain to set up and use, but provide huge flexibility when working. For simpler stuff, Audacity is hard to beat. At the moment, stick with USB interfaces. There are still a few bugs with some of the firewire capture stuff. Read the Forums to see what works.

    Audacity is very flexible. We even used it for an engineering project to design a t shirt launcher for a competition. We needed a way to figure out how long to make the launch tube. Audacity provided a way to measure the acceleration of the t shirt in the launch tube to figure out at what point it stopped accelerating and thus the length to cut for maximum launch velocity.

    Scroll down to the Audacity screenshot to see how we did it.
    https://inteltrailblazerschallenge.wikispaces.com/Barrel+length+trim+method [wikispaces.com]

    We won the overall competition.
    https://inteltrailblazerschallenge.wikispaces.com/Blazer+Game [wikispaces.com]

  • by neokushan (932374) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @12:58AM (#26882853)

    No, but I'm guessing they were barking up the wrong tree. Here's a look at my User folder on a Windows 7 machine:

    http://i42.tinypic.com/2cna2k5.png [tinypic.com]

    Notice that a lot of the folders have shortcut arrows beside them? Well, they're not real shortcuts you just click on, they're just there for legacy programs. If a program tries to dump a file into "Local Settings", it will automatically be redirected to a different folder (Probably AppData/Roaming). Trying to double click any of those shortcuts bring an "access denied" error box, even the "My Documents" one, but I can access My Documents just fine by going to Documents as normal.
    If the user in this case just did a bit of research, they'd probably find that the data they want is in AppData/Roaming/Adobe or something.

    The only reason Windows doesn't let you change this is because it WILL break things and there's no reason for you to.

  • oh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by smokedcheese (1157145) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @01:09AM (#26882943)
    It's nice to see how easily a half-baked posting with vague "details" about theoretical "draconian DRM" makes the anti-Microsoft vitriol flow freely. "we replaced a nag dll with a hacked one and now it won't work" and "we can't find stereo mix" isn't news.
  • by Cjstone (1144829) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @01:11AM (#26882957) Homepage
    Here's my analysis of the situation: Microsoft isn't putting these features in at the demand of the RIAA/MPAA. They're putting them in to try to get a leg up on the competition. Media is increasingly becoming digital; music/movie download sites, streaming content, etc. Microsoft realizes this. So they decided to build the most appealing (to the RIAA/MPAA) content distribution platorm. This meant locking everything down at the OS level, so that users "cannot under any circumstances" copy the content. Of course, this isn't going to stop the hard-core pirates, who will always find a way around it. The only way to stop the copying of music and movies is to fully plug the analog hole, which is absolutely impossible without some sort of brain-computer interface that streams the content directly into the viewer's skull.
  • You misunderstand me. I wasn't "moaning", that was the gp. I don't think it's the place of the government to make DRM illegal. Not that it would make a bit of difference: Our fearless leaders don't give a flying fuck about the law anyway. The market will (eventually) decide that FOSS is simply better.

    I was just correcting the parent, who thought he was posing a rhetorical question.

  • Actually I think I can explain that. if you look at the emails in the Comes VS Microsoft [gotthefacts.org] case they are all, including old evil Bill himself, collectively shitting their pants over Apple and the iPod, talking about how the WMP "scenarios" just suck ass when compared to iPod+iTunes. So what is their answer? More DRM! Lock down as many media outlets by offering cheaper and nastier DRM than Apple has and hope to lock in the customers to WMP and Windows, no matter how shitty the experience. What I think we are seeing here is those emails bearing fruit.

    But don't believe me, read them yourself, especially those by Jim Allchin. As someone who has built, repaired, and sold MSFT products since the days of Win3.x even MY mouth dropped. How guys that have no fucking clue can get to be that high up in a company? Who knows. Maybe it is that "rise to your level of incompetence" thing. But I swear these guys actually BELIEVE they can beat the iPod by cranking up the DRM and then Creative and Dell(BWAHAHA!) will take the market. I shit you not. They have completely lost touch with reality and what the consumers want. At least in the past we could avoid their home shite by buying business OSes like WinNT and Win2K, but with Vista and Vista SE we are all stuck in the suck.

    Oh, well. At least I will get to make money hand over fist as folks throw it at me to make Vista and Win7(Vista SE) go away and XP reappear. Because I have YET to have a customer that actually wanted the turd that is Vista. I have even been having my custom builds pick up, in spite of the economy, once I pointed out you can still get those with XP drivers. But I'd be happy to trade the extra business for a low resource business OS that would work with all my hardware and software. But it looks like until Ballmer is told to clean out his desk all we are going to get is DRM wrapped in shiny. Meanwhile my customers are hanging onto their XP discs I get them like the fat lady hangs onto the buffet bar.

  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Barny (103770) <bakadamage-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @01:43AM (#26883143) Homepage Journal

    I never have mod points when I discover a sane rational explanation in the middle of a stupid debate about a Non-issue.

    So a Kudos, for pointing out the Hacked Dll doesn't work because the system is smarter than the hack finally. Give it a few weeks...

    Here here, this post is a good reason why the mod system should go to eleven and not just 5.

    I was reading the OP and thought exactly the same thing, most of the legacy folders in 7 (and vista for that matter) are links like this pointing to their newer counterparts, and cannot be accessed through the GUI explorer.

    As for the sound, "zomg my sound card has problems in this beta OS"... submit report plz :P

  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by neokushan (932374) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @01:58AM (#26883239)

    I did and the rest of the problem is just as frivolous as what I just explained.
    They claim the OS removed their rights to view "Local Settings", but this folder doesn't even exist, what they were doing is moaning about a symbolic link designed for (poorly coded) legacy apps that don't know about the AppData folder.

    Everything they needed is in that folder and perfectly accessible. Microsoft moved some shit around and left a few shortcuts for stupid programs, apparently they didn't realise this.

  • by Darkk (1296127) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @02:05AM (#26883255)

    Personally, I wouldn't buy a Mac Mini to give in their whims about DRMs on their iPhones.

    If you and millions did that then what will prevent Apple to say, "Maybe we shouldn't have used DRM in the first place?".

    There is nothing wrong using Linux with the iPhone, just Apple want to make it difficult so they can sell more Mac hardware.

  • Re:No it wouldn't (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fallen Seraph (808728) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @02:27AM (#26883339)
    Actually, most large corporations don't "get XP." They have mass volume licenses. I used to work in IT in the NYC branch of one of the top 5 largest companies in the world. We used an automatic build disc and the volume license. Whether XP wass still being sold in stores or not made absolutely no difference to us. The only thing of significance was ending security update support, but that's been extended several times now.
  • by bhpaddock (830350) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @02:28AM (#26883345) Homepage

    EVERYTHING. Absolutely EVERYTHING in this article is incorrect.

    * What kind of idiot blames the OS for "disabling a program based on a modified DLL." The OS has no such support, this is the APP either crashing or doing its own integrity check.

    * Lots of apps ask you if you want to add the appropriate firewall rules during their installers. This has nothing to do with Adobe being a "large software vendor" - Stardock's apps do this too. Go read the API documentation on MSDN if you want to know more.

    * The "sound degredation" thing is just unsubstantiated FUD.

    * Microsoft in bed with the RIAA? Since when?

    * Anyone can browse into their own Local Settings folder. Either this is further idiocy, or ::gasp:: someone hit a bug in a beta OS.

    * "Stereo Mix" is a feature of some sound drivers.

    And Slashdot proves again that it doesn't matter if something is true, so long as it makes Microsoft look bad.

    You haven't "found" any DRM in Win7 because there isn't any (other than the same support for DRM'd WMA and WMV files that has existed in Vista and XP).

  • by Skreems (598317) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @02:58AM (#26883463) Homepage
    I was fine with a lot of the features in Vista -- it ran fine on a dual core machine, UAC wasn't really that irritating, and Aero was pretty nice. I used it and actually enjoyed it on a work machine. But there was no way in hell I would ever pay money to put it on my home machine, because it contains so many "features" that exist to take control away from you and hands them over to other people.

    Microsoft is convinced that they can turn the PC into a glorified console, where it only runs what they allow to run. That's not right; it's my machine. It does what I say, not what somebody else says. And I don't think that's a completely geek stance, either. It's pretty easy to say to a layperson "a computer is meant to be a multi-purpose device, and Vista and Win7 lock down multiple functions and put them under someone else's control". I've tried it, and they do care. People will reject this nonsense if enough people raise a stink about the problem.

    It worked for Vista, anyway.
  • MS knows it's buisness model is doomed and they are DESPERATE to replace windows and office with a similar cash cow.

    They need a new monopoly and they are smart enough to realize that computer based entertainment centers are going to be worth an immense amount of money. If MS can get the public to expect their media OS/media box (Xbox 3?) as a standard living room feature they've just captured as much revenue as windows & office together have provided. It doesn't matter what they sell the actual units for if they control the screen and sell ads for the indefinite future. Moreover, it provides the same kind of lock in and opportunity to leverage market share they've used so effectively in the past. I'm sure that the MS gaming system will be the only one that integrates seemlessly with the media center and MS's near field interface devices will make it way easier to get your media onto the media center.

    They've been trying to muscle into this field since long before apple released the ipod and they've consistantly failed. They are deathly afraid that apple will capture the space the way they did the portable music player market. If they can't beat them on design and interface MS figures it can beat them on content by cozying up to the media companies so apple will be left out in the cold.

    Of course it would be pretty short sighted of the media industry to help MS without some very long term guarantees. If MS succeeds suddenly the relationship will flip around and the media companies will live or die at MS's whim.

  • by Allador (537449) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:11AM (#26883495)

    Windows didnt "do" anything here.

    The poster is an idiot.

    In Vista and W7 there are some folders that are locked down by default such that even admins dont (by default) have rights to change things.

    But you know what? An admin can change anything in the system, so you just change the perms to allow yourself to do what you need to do.

    The problem here isnt the great big evil windows coming to get you all, its that some windows users are idiots, and dont have a clue how the system works. So when something happens that they dont understand, they have a conniption and go screaming bloody murder.

    This was pure PEBCAK, with some Adobe installer shittiness thrown in.

  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Allador (537449) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:20AM (#26883543)

    The story is not true, the poster is an idiot.

    He let the adobe installer have admin access to his machine, and you know what? It made changes to his machine that made it hard to hack the adobe products.

    Why this is a big surprise to anybody is beyond me.

    This isnt MS conspiring with Adobe for special privs, this is an ignorant users who doesnt understand how the system works and is crying foul over nonsense.

  • Re:No it wouldn't (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HJED (1304957) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:20AM (#26883545)
    That's a good point and it may finely be the thing which pushes big company away from Microsoft (and other organizations for that mater), I know many company have put off vista upgrades for similar reasons and letting user installed programs take control would be a very big deterrent
  • Re:oh please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Allador (537449) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:25AM (#26883561)

    This is a working DLL and windows shit-canning the application because it doesn't match what the vendor wants.

    No its not.

    this is about a grossly ignorant user, who (poorly) tried to steal Photoshop, and got tripped up by CS4's much nastier activation and anti-hacking measures.

    And when his 'crack' stopped working (which is a well known phenomenon with CS4), rather than use the opportunity for an education, he started running around crying like a chicken with his head cut off.

    His comments about the 'Local Settings' just exacerbates his ignorance.

    The bottom line here isnt that MS did something nefarious. Its that the poster doesnt understand how W7 works, and therefore thinks its a big conspiracy to stop him from his right to steal photoshop.

  • by shmlco (594907) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:29AM (#26883573) Homepage

    "That's not right; it's my machine. It does what I say, not what somebody else says."

    Nice delusion, but totally false-to-fact. Maybe back in the day of the Altar or Apple II you could control the entire machine, but today you didn't write the OS, the BIOS, the device firmware, the drivers, the utilities, or the programs. You have no say in the matter.

    And that applies to 99% of the Linux folk too. A single distro has millions of lines of code that no one person has ever read, thus you're placing your trust in others that all of that code is doing what you think it's doing. Maybe it is. And maybe it's not...

  • by Toreo asesino (951231) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @04:42AM (#26883881) Journal

    No evidence of any kind; not even any repeatable steps "system configurations, build numbers, etc".

    The only time Windows ever degrades anything multimedia is when you play HD video (BluRay for example) and the vendor specifically states they want the output protected (so far nobody has set this flag) AND you don't have a secure-path display. Microsoft themselves admit this in clear and plain text; it's no secret.

    This article here doesn't even explain how they themselves came to the conclusions they did; let alone any evidence from anywhere else. Complete and utter FUD, period.

  • by JasterBobaMereel (1102861) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @04:49AM (#26883921)

    There is a difference between "I don't know what this is doing so I cannot do it" and "I know exactly what this is doing and I cannot do it" one is lack of knowledge one is deliberate

    It seems that Microsoft is going further an further down the route of "this is not your machine" ... well it is and formatting the hard-drive and installing something else will prove it ....

  • by Jurily (900488) <jurily@gmail . c om> on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @05:02AM (#26883981)

    Nice delusion, but totally false-to-fact. Maybe back in the day of the Altar or Apple II you could control the entire machine, but today you didn't write the OS, the BIOS, the device firmware, the drivers, the utilities, or the programs. You have no say in the matter.

    Except you do, especially on Gentoo and LFS, where you can even make sure the code you're running is the code they say it is. You're not forced to blindly accept your OS, and that makes it credible. On LFS, you're encouraged to apply your own patches as you see fit.

    DIY distros are fun, try it sometime.

  • Nice delusion, but totally false-to-fact. Maybe back in the day of the Altar or Apple II you could control the entire machine, but today you didn't write the OS, the BIOS, the device firmware, the drivers, the utilities, or the programs.

    Nice faulty logic... But I see what you did there. (Emphasis mine)
    To control your entire machine, you do not have to write a single line of code. You just have to be able to choose which code gets executed on it.

    You have no say in the matter.

    So this does not follow from your previous statements.

    In fact, it seems that you never heard of the coreboot [wikipedia.org] project, or firmware updates. And hell, I did write my OS, drivers, utilities and programs... together with other people. I chose what kernel to put on it. I chose the patches. I chose the programs.

    If I want, I can change the firmware of my DVD drive to play music for me, write my own OS so I can use my keyboard to control the music it plays, and flash it into the BIOS.

    I have complete control over my computer.

  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cbhacking (979169) <been_out_cruisin ... om ['aho' in gap> on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @05:28AM (#26884089) Homepage Journal

    (They're similar to *nix hard links.)

    Kind of - they're actually more similar to symbolic links (symlinks) in that they don't actually point to the exact same physical location on the disk, but merely tell the filesystem to go to another file/folder. Unfortunately, NTFS junctions (as these particular flavor of reparse points are called) are substantially more restricted than symlinks, as the examples given above illustrate. That said, you actually can use junctions in Explorer; type into the navigation bar (in Vista)
    C:\Documents and Settings\<YourUserName>
    and press Enter. Even though DOCUME~1 is a junction, you'll still be where you expect to be. Try clicking on the breadcrumb for the junction, though, and you'll find you still can't view it directly.

    The weird thing? In Vista, NTFS actually supports symlinks. I can only assume they weren't used in the default install because XP wouldn't know what to do with them... it does seem that they would make things easier, though.

  • by TheThiefMaster (992038) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @05:31AM (#26884095)

    I think it's more likely that that "hacked" dll he used on photoshop was infected with some virus, and THAT is why he can no longer go into his own user folder.

    If your computer starts acting up after you do something, blame yourself, not the computer.

    The guy's an idiot.

    Of course, this post is so far down the comments that very few people are going to see its wisdom...

  • by donaldm (919619) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @05:33AM (#26884111)

    A single distro has millions of lines of code that no one person has ever read, thus you're placing your trust in others that all of that code is doing what you think it's doing. Maybe it is. And maybe it's not

    To a certain extent true but at least with Open Source Linux/Unix you can see the source and even modify if you can program or hire someone to do it. You can even replace it with a different distribution if you are not happy with the one you have and if you do it yourself he total cost to you is $0.00 and it is perfectly legal to do so.

    Placing your trust in others is no more different than driving a car. You hope it's reliable, you hope it's fuel won't destroy the engine, you hope that the road you are on has been properly maintained and you wish that slow driver in front of you would get out of your way :)

  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @05:54AM (#26884163)

    Oh please! Exactly what DRM are you talking about here? There is nothing in the original "article" that has anything to do with any DRM on Microsoft's part. Adobe's copy protection is mentioned, but how is the inability to crack it somehow Microsoft's fault?

    Photoshop inserts itself into the firewall exceptions list? I agree that this should require a UAC elevation, but it is no different to how the firewall works on XP. It is not a Windows 7 issue, nor is it anything to do with DRM. Neither does not being able to move or delete a DLL that is in use. We had that problem back in the day of Windows 3.0!

    It doesn't surprise me that someone would submit a crazy uninformed rant (especially the Firehose version of it - you have just got to read that version if you like a laugh). It also doesn't surprise me that kdawson would post it.

    What does surprise me is how many people here accept the DRM claim without even thinking about it. Doesn't anyone wonder how Microsoft "allows large software vendors to penetrate your machine" without asking what it is that these large vendors can do that ANYONE with a compiler can't do? Why are people not pointing out that "Local Settings" is now stored as AppData\Local, and is still perfectly visible.

    The XP system that I am using right now doesn't allow me to select 'Stereo Mix', probably because either the motherboard chipset or the drivers do not support it. Why jump to the conclusion that it is Microsoft's fault and not lousy hardware?

    And if you claim that Windows 7 is faster because the DRM is turned off, what can you do in the beta now that you can't currently do in Vista?

  • by Nursie (632944) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @07:22AM (#26884549)

    No, I think you're the one with the weird definition of control.

    I can choose to do whatever the hell I like with a linux system. I have more trust in it because the code can be (and has been) seen by multiple people, I can inspect it and change it to do what I like.

    If I were to hear about a linux component pulling this sort of crap (and I would) then I would be free to remove it, disable it, alter it, break it, whatever. And I wouldn't have to hack or reverse engineer anything, because I have absolute control.

    I don't know what your definition is, but by the sounds of it nobody is ever in control of a car (unless they built the engine, starting by smelting the iron ore)

  • by quantumphaze (1245466) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @08:10AM (#26884817)

    Of course it would be pretty short sighted of the media industry to help MS without some very long term guarantees. If MS succeeds suddenly the relationship will flip around and the media companies will live or die at MS's whim.

    You give the recording industry too much credit. They still don't understand digital content and the Internet. There was a great opportunity to profit from new business models that incorporated digital distribution but now they have this uphill war against "piracy" and end up with crazy laws and DRM.

  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by unitron (5733) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @08:37AM (#26884947) Homepage Journal

    Actually that post is a good reason why users who are trusted to be moderators should have more control over when they moderate.

  • by dpilot (134227) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @10:40AM (#26886181) Homepage Journal

    There is of course the well-known article about a bootstrap compiler with a non-source-visible built-in trapdoor that inserts that same trapdoor when it compiles its own source code. These are times when it's nice to know that there are sofware paranoids like Richard Stallman around. At least for the moment, I trust him and his ilk to deliver a bootstrap compiler to me that doesn't have a hidden trapdoor. I might not trust him to handle my social calendar or financial affairs, but my compiler, bootloader, etc, yes.

    It's really hard to go through life without trusting someone. I feel much safer trusting people like the FSF, Linux, and OSS communities to develop and deliver my software than I do commercial software suppliers, Microsoft the example in this topic.

  • Re:No it wouldn't (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Achromatic1978 (916097) <robert@chr[ ]blue.net ['oma' in gap]> on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @10:46AM (#26886271)
    Or, far more plausibly, Microsoft extended the 'protection' of system DLLs to application DLLs too. It's probably picking up on the fact that the DLL changed, attempting to replace it, but failing (remember, 'beta'), more so than sophisticated theorems about Adobe having registered an MD5 of a DLL with Microsoft for shipping in the Windows 7 beta.

    But that would mean we couldn't scream bloody murder at Microsoft.

  • Re:No it wouldn't (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheLink (130905) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @11:28AM (#26886879) Journal
    Yeah. I don't see that much in terms of actual proof, details of tests conducted or reports of people reproducing the findings and/or adding more details.

    I mostly see lots of hysterical screaming, and people going off tangent.

    As you say the DLL thing is probably another "protect the user" feature.

    But I'm definitely interested on the degradation of audio part.

    Say if I am recording sound at an event, but I also want to use the same computer to play out some sounds/music while doing so, does that mean the audio will be degraded if I use Windows 7? If that really is true, then Windows 7 will be totally unacceptable to many people who do audio stuff.
  • Re:The Exception (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ak3ldama (554026) <james_akeldama@y[ ]o.com ['aho' in gap]> on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @11:31AM (#26886927) Homepage Journal

    All of the new Adobe CS4 collection of applications "phone home" now and here is why.

    and to think... they could have avoided all the hassle, all the testing, all the lameness, if they would have just trusted their users. Trust the kid who doesn't pay for it to grow up and pay for the next version (or the n+x version.) Trust the user who did pay to do whatever they want. Trust that a happy user will continue to be their user. Trust that their internal bean counters are absolute freaking idiots.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @12:16PM (#26887915) Homepage

    You give the recording industry too much credit. They still don't understand digital content and the Internet. There was a great opportunity to profit from new business models that incorporated digital distribution but now they have this uphill war against "piracy" and end up with crazy laws and DRM.

    It's the content industries that are either actively sawing off the
    branch they're sitting on or letting new and acceptable forms of
    innovation die on the vine. A lot of this new media stuff could have
    been cut off by adequately exploiting what could be done with old
    media. Before the rise of the "rip-mix-burn" mentality they had the
    technology to allow for an iTunes style experience without divorcing
    content from it's physical media.

    They chose not to do that. The end result is that people stop thinking
    in the limited terms that the media industry wants. They see what's
    possible and start to stray off the reservation. It's not so much about
    what is "legal" but about "control".

    What I do with my media makes it remarkably more valuable. It makes it
    more desirable. Sure it also could enable mooching. Dwelling on the
    dark cloud doesn't necessarily make sense.

    Just take the MPAA reaction to the VCR as an example.

    This alone should be enough to convince the entire congress that
    the media industry should be largely ignored for it's own good.

  • Re:No it wouldn't (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Blakey Rat (99501) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @01:03PM (#26888831)

    The fact that people will read complete bullshit like the summary and instantly assume it's even half true makes me very, very sad. No, it's not half-true. It's not a tenth-true. Neither were any of the DRM claims about Vista, if you remember those from this site. Face it, when it comes to DRM in Windows, Slashdot posts nothing but unfiltered bullshit.

    Here's the most likely possibility:

    - The 13-year-old retard hacker who modified the .DLL to get rid of the nag screen is a shitty programmer, and his modified .DLL doesn't fucking work.

    - The idiot who submitted this article doesn't know jack about Windows or computers in general:

    For example, the "Local Settings" folder doesn't exist in Vista or Windows 7, it's actually a NTFS junction to the new Users/[Name]/Local folder. Arguably it's a bug that Windows Explorer can't correctly follow junctions, but it's not a conspiracy.

    Oh, and applications have always been able to add exceptions to the firewall, just as they can in any other OS I've ever run. Firewalls are designed to prevent *external* attacks; if you go through the effort of installing an application, obviously you've given it your blessing and that application can modify firewall settings. (If you don't trust an app, *don't install it*! Duh!)

  • by Taevin (850923) * on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @01:14PM (#26889025)
    All that proves is that Open Source is not a panacea that prevents all abuses (something I would hope we all know by now). What we do know is that it does make it possible for a programmer of above average mastery (or perhaps lower, depending on the code) of the language to decipher the code's function. Depending on the code involved it may, however, require rigorous inspection to find a flaw, particularly of the kind involved in the contest you mentioned.

    This is where I take exception to the Wikipedia article; the article claims the programs in the contest should pass rigorous inspection but the actual contest makes no such claim. The contest only requires that the code pass visual inspection. I went and looked at one of the special mention entries for the 2005 contest by Natori Shin (picked at random). I went and did a visual inspection of the code and found nothing obvious. Scanning the code I saw some for loops that I recognized as initialization blocks but one stood out because of an if statement (with no else/else if) inside of it. I don't know about you but that throws up red flags for further inspection for me. A trivial inspection then reveals that the very first iteration of the loops fails the conditional and thus matrix[0][0] remains uninitialized.

    Now, I'm an average C programmer at best. I freely admit that given a day or even more I probably would not be able to determine whether the code was malicious or exactly what the error resulted in. I almost never have to code anything in C and thus the vagaries of the stack and the ins and outs of the stat() function (both of which the code exploits, per the spoiler) are mostly a mystery to me. However, were I reviewing a patch containing code like this, I would reject it flat out for failure to initialize a structure that was used a few lines later.

    That's what I think is disingenuous about using various C contests as a rebuttal to the strengths of Open Source; the fact that the code is out in the open does make it possible to detect (or at least prevent, even accidentally) malicious code fragments, something that is virtual impossible with closed source. Even if the malicious nature of the code cannot be readily determined, even by an expert, it would probably be rejected for basic violations of coding practice. Part of the reason many open source projects have and enforce a strict coding style is to prevent exactly these kinds of errors, malicious or not.

    These are just subtly evil things too. Show me some patch(es) that modifies an existing major open source project that phones home with private user data or does some of the other things that have been mentioned in the comments here. If that patch can pass the auditing standards of the project and still accomplish that, then perhaps you'll have a point. In the meantime, the various C contests will remain a provocative challenge for C programmers to display their ingenuity and serve as a learning tool for the rest of us.
  • Re:No it wouldn't (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eth1 (94901) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:14PM (#26891271)

    Or, far more plausibly, Microsoft extended the 'protection' of system DLLs to application DLLs too. It's probably picking up on the fact that the DLL changed, attempting to replace it, but failing (remember, 'beta'), more so than sophisticated theorems about Adobe having registered an MD5 of a DLL with Microsoft for shipping in the Windows 7 beta.

    But that would mean we couldn't scream bloody murder at Microsoft.

    And that's not really even a DRM issue; it's a security issue. DLL injection attacks (basically an attacker fscking with a DLL, which then gets loaded and runs their code with SYSTEM or other elevated privs) have been a serious problem in windows. You can't really blame MS TOO much for not trusting 3rd party apps to have proper file system security on their libraries.

  • by ErkDemon (1202789) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @09:57PM (#26897087) Homepage
    I have an old version of Adobe Acrobat, and just over a year ago I thought that I'd consider upgrading to the latest version.

    So I downloaded and installed the demo version for the latest release, to see what goodies it had. Not only did the Acrobat demo regularly try to sneakily "phone home", but when it did, it glitched my system, and caused conflicts with some other background processes that had a similarly cavalier attitude to thinking that THEY owned the computer (hello MS Update).

    In the end, the program went into a death spiral where the failed home-phoning glitched the software itself in the middle of file operations, and somehow the thing ended up progressively corrupting its own files, until two weeks into the four-week demo period, the thing stopped twitching and finally died, and I had to unpick the unholy mess it left behind by hand, because even the uninstaller no longer worked.

    Now, the sad thing is, for all I know, the program without the "phone home" stuff might well have been stable. I'd already bought an earlier version, and was serious about getting the update, partly from a misplaced sense of customer loyalty, and partly because I thought that the Adobe colour-conversion facilities might be better than on the free or near-free third-party PDF-editor apps.

    But what the demo showed me was that (a) Adobe felt entitled to write stuff into their software to do stupid and dangerous things to my PC that I wasn't aware that I'd agreed to, and that I'd normally associate with malware, vaporising any residual sense of loyalty or trust, and (b) that there's no way in hell that I was going to run a piece of dangerous buggy shit like that on any important computer system.

    So bye-bye Adobe product sale, and bye-bye any hope of me buying another Adobe product until they can prove that they can be trusted. I don't want that stuff anywhere near my hard drives.

    Personally I think that there should be a list of companies whose products shouldn't be allowed onto any government or company (or educational) networks without breaking the network's security certification, and while Adobe are pulling shit like this, they ought to be on the list.

  • by LordKazan (558383) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:02AM (#26900819) Homepage Journal

    Don't fool yourself, DRM is not about piracy. It is about inhibiting the exercise of fair use rights by legitimate customers and convincing them those rights do not exist. Rights such as format-shifting, time-shifting, personal backup copies, etc. DRM is just a way to increase their revenue stream because now instead of exercising your fair use right to copy that CD into your MP3 player you have to go pay another $1/song if they can convince you that right does not exist, or make exercising that right too difficult.

    DRM has never, and will never, end real "piracy" as real pirate learn to bypass it with ease

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