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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.

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

      Repealing the DRM clause of the DMCA would suffice.

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

          by brass1 (30288) <`ten.tahw' `ta' `MF1qrLpQKwrlS'> 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.

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

            by donaldm (919619) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @05:11AM (#26884031)

            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.

            Mass boycott of Vista? That may have worked for the people who wanted to upgrade and decided that it was not worth it when XP was "good enough", however for many people Vista was not an option when purchasing a new PC. As far as the corporate was concerned many businesses had contracts in place and had already payed for their Vista upgrade whether they liked it or not. Unfortunately I don't see the adoption of MS Windows 7 being any different.

            The only way this will change is when Government sectors insist of having Linux on their desktops and except for a few countries this is not happening very quickly.

    • 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.
    • 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.

      • 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.

      • by Artraze (600366) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:21PM (#26881955)

        Of course; having an amendment that says "DRM is bad" would be pretty silly.

        The idea would be to neutralize the government's ability to back up DRM and similar tech (like Trusted Computing). DRM would be a noting but a waste of money and a fun challenge if not for the DMCA. Similarly, no one's going to waste their time and money on TC hardware unless they are forced to.

        So I'd envision it more like:
        "Congress shall pass no law limiting the rights of persons to manipulate, operate, or otherwise utilize as they see fit any of their possessions or effects, nor the sale or trade of tools to be used for such purposes."

        There ya go, "The Hacker's Amendment". And it leaves plenty of room for interpretation, just like the rest of the Constitution...

      • 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 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.

    • My "fix" is to revoke the copyright for any programs that have DRM.

      No DRMed program will ever enter the public domain in any real sense (in that it could be modified/built upon/etc.)

    • 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).

  • Dear Microsoft, (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:21PM (#26881205)

    Even we can't defend you any more. If it happens in our computers, we're going to record it.

    Fuck you.

    Love,
    All of us.

  • 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.

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

      by philipgar (595691) <pcg2@lehig h . 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

      • 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.

  • Just say no (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:24PM (#26881245)

    Linux has gotten "good enough" on PC hardware that I just don't see any reason to even play the game anymore with Microsoft. Time to get off the ride. All of the "windows only" apps that I use seem to work under wine. The rest all have some open equivalent (firefox/thunderbird/openoffice/etc).

    *shrug*

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:25PM (#26881257)

    Boy am I glad that I finally took the plunge. Learning about the mac, messing with ubuntu. It took a long, long time to wean myself off but I've finally kicked the habit. I'm just so grateful there are alternatives. Up to recently I felt like a battered wife, hating Windows but still using it. Such a relief. (not trying to troll, just stating how I feel. For those who want to stay on Windows, my condolences.)

  • Will people care? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by javacowboy (222023) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:35PM (#26881359)

    That's the question. There are two kinds of DRM:

    1) The kind that people do care about, like the Sony Rootkit or Spore's DRM. That's the kind they take notice and take exception to.

    2) The kind that people accept and don't really notice, like iTunes DRM.

    Microsoft is banking that their new DRM will be 2), as long as they don't do anything overt, like disable users' MP3 collections.

    Still, with Linux getting easier to use to the point where regular people are willing to try it, this DRM could be the final nail in the coffin for a lot of Windows users.

    • by ratboy666 (104074) <fred_weigel@@@hotmail...com> on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @12:25AM (#26882587) Homepage Journal

      True Apple Story -

      I bought my wife an iPhone. First Apple product I've purchased in a LONG time. Makes for a lovely phone -- but we can't access the "Apple Store" and also can't put media onto the device. We use Solaris and Linux.

      I get iTunes running under Wine, and sign up for the Apple Store. This allows my wife to buy from the Apple Store. Yeah!

      Now, my wife wants a case for the device. She purchases a case; all seems good for a couple of days. But... the phone begins to behave "oddly". It turns the screen off, but leaves calls connected, and other (more minor) ailments.

      We book an appointment to the Apple "Genius Bar". We are told we MUST attach the iPhone to a computer at least once; that the problem is the "old software". Ok, we explain that we have no computer capable. Answer: well, then use someone elses.. "Will you do it?". Answer: no.

      My wife works as a librarian -- she has a circulation desk computer with Windows XP. Downloads and installs iTunes, plugs in the iPhone, and is asked "Do you want to sync automatically or manually?". That's really it! She chose "manual", because she didn't want to put all of her personal photos on that computer. Bad mistake... "Are you sure you want to upgrade?" "Yes" --- and BOOM! All the data is GONE. Just... vaporized... She calls Apple Support "Oh, yes, that would happen; there is nothing that can be done".

      Miserable, miserable, miserable... Complete data destruction without even a "are you sure" dialog. And it's all iTunes fault. Why do we use it? DRM. The Apple iPhone databases CANNOT be updated without anything else. We have a perfectly servicable application (Amarok) that we use for playback, but it no longer works to load music. Gotta use that iTunes shitware. Even a self-booting DOS or Linux disk for updating, *or* a failsafe firmware updater...

      And, as a final added insult -- the Genius Bar was wrong. The problem was that the iPhone 3G requires specific cases, and the case being used was wrong (it was an iPhone case). Go figure. I'm still buying a "Mac Mini" as an accessory to the iPhone, but still -- this is what DRM does. Locks out people who could possibly do a better job of it.

  • Sigh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DarrenBaker (322210) <darren@fl i m . 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.

  • by xjimhb (234034) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:37PM (#26881381) Homepage

    I'm beginning to think ... and hope ... that the "True Name" for Windows 7 is really going to be "Windows Chapter 7." Wouldn't that be nice?

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • Re:FUD? False alarm? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:23PM (#26882003) Homepage

      Agreed. For all we know, the problems this guy is having with his sound card are due to a driver bug or incompatibility rather than an intentional crippling of the audio, while the problems he's having with Photoshop and the problems with his Local Settings folder are due to introducing foreign code that messes up Windows in ways that Microsoft could not have anticipated.

      Besides... why would the current version of Photoshop be coded against undocumented features in still unreleased Windows 7?

      I am Willing to abandon Windows over draconian DRM, but I want evidence of that before I'll lambast Microsoft for it.

  • 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 MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:43PM (#26881473)

      One word:

      kdawson

    • 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!
    • 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 mikesd81 (518581) <mikesd1@veri[ ].net ['zon' in gap]> 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.

    • 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 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.

  • by ahecht (567934) on Monday February 16, 2009 @10:48PM (#26881539) Homepage
    It's not intuitive, but you can get access to ANY folder. You just need to give yourself ownership first.

    Open a Windows Explorer window, navigate to the directory, right click on the it, select Properties, go to the resulting Security tab, and click the Advanced button contained there.
    Click Edit, select "Administrators" from the list of potential owners, click the Replace owner on subcontainer and objects checkbox, then click the OK button.
    After a couple minutes you'll be presented with a Window informing you that you need to close all property dialogs for the ownership changes to be visible. Follow this advice by clicking the OK button in the File Properties window and you should now be back at the Windows Explorer window you originally opened.
    Right Click on the directory again and select Properties one additional time. Go to the Security tab, and click the Advanced button again also.
    Click the Add.. button in the Permissions tab, type in Administrators as the name (ensure your Local Computer domain is selected), and select Full control from the list of available permissions. Click OK out of the Permission Entry dialog, select Replace all existing inheritable permissions on all descendants... then click OK from the Advanced dialog.
    After a couple minutes you should once again be back at the File Properties dialog. Feel free to click OK and close Windows Explorer.
  • 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?

  • by Sc4Freak (1479423) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:03PM (#26881735)

    I suspect that the user upgraded to Win7 beta from XP - because ever since Vista there has been no "Local Settings" folder. In Vista, the old "Local Settings" folder which existed in XP was relocated to AppData\Local.

    In the location of the old Local Settings folder is an NTFS junction, which merely redirects to the new AppData\Local location. Windows Explorer doesn't handle these junctions correctly and instead of redirecting you, will erroneously give you an "Access Denied" message.

    Also, programs have always been able to insert themselves as exceptions into the Windows Firewall. Many applications which require internet access and which are blocked by the firewall will ask you if they can create a firewall exception for themselves. So programs have always been allowed to insert exceptions into the firewall - it's not a requirement that the program has to ask you first.

    If a program is already running on your computer then it means the firewall is no longer responsible for stopping that application in any way - the firewall only protects against outside threats.

    It's also far more likely that your modifications to the DLL broke something, which would explain why CS4 no longer worked. Why jump to the inane conclusion that Microsoft/Adobe are plotting against us all in some wild conspiracy?

  • 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)
  • Unsourced FUD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:37PM (#26882145)

    A guy gets on here and makes a bunch of unsourced statements about MS and everyone laps them up like mother's milk.

    It's funny how the most recent scuttlebutt has been about how Windows 7 is really just Vista SP3 and is no different from Vista and boy isn't it amazing how MS just keeps putting out Vista with a different name.

    Yet apparently, this OS that is just another version of Vista is so radically different that it changes the very nature of hardware access.

    Fully aware that the Nazi's will mod this down into invisibility, but had to post it anyway, for pete's sake people, get a life.

  • 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.
  • Lies, Lies, Lies (Score:5, Informative)

    by svunt (916464) on Monday February 16, 2009 @11:45PM (#26882227) Homepage Journal
    Weird, none of the stuff in the article above is true on my Win 7 install. None of it. CS4 works like a charm, no hacking required. Capturing sound is really easy too, this whole thing is not just FUD, it's a bare-faced pack of lies. Shame on you /. for just accepting this utter nonsense because it speaks to your biases.
  • 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."

  • by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@@@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.

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