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A Tech Lover's Call to Arms

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the apathy-is-the-true-enemy dept.

Technology 163

PrinceofThieves writes "CNET technology columnist Don Reisinger has issued a call to arms for all journalists and tech junkies to join him in his crusade against the forces that attempt to ruin the sanctity of tech. 'Now, a new group of people has emerged to confront the tech lovers all over the world and stop them from being able to do what they want with the technology they own. And while many have tried to confront them on an individual basis, it has not worked. And it's for that reason that we must all come together and fight the ridiculous impositions brought upon us.'"

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163 comments

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Did you hear about this? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23125100)

Researchers from the University of Manchester have created some of the smallest transistors ever, measuring only one atom by 10 atoms.
In other words, researchers have created a microscopic transistor that is still 100 times the size of Rob Malda's penis.

Sanctity of Tech? (2, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125126)

What kind of idiot actually thinks there is some sort of "sanctity" to tech, or anything tech-related?

Re:Sanctity of Tech? (1, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125202)

What kind of idiot actually thinks there is some sort of "sanctity" to tech, or anything tech-related?

Somebody who really needs to get a grip on what's important in life. Poor fellow: "Everyday when I wake up, I'm constantly reminded by how limited we are in our rights with technology." (Proceeds to rant about RIAA and friends).

OK, all you slashdotters who continually post the same whining about teh evils of said RIAA and the importance of being able to freely copy anything you can get your hands on: Do any of you wake up and and think about this stuff?

This guy needs to start with the front page of some news periodical. "There's more to the heavens and the Earth, Don, than are dreamt of in your philosophies."

Re:Sanctity of Tech? (5, Insightful)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125464)

You know what? "Sanctity" may be an overdramatic word for it, but if you don't get what it's ostensibly supposed to mean here, I don't think you really appreciate the spirit of the tinkerer.

Yes. Saving human life in Darfur is more important. Political expression in Tibet is more important. Economic recovery in the USA is more important.

But here we are at Slashdot, where the subject is our own lives. To probe, inspect, disassemble, analyze, and modify the technology we use is what we do. We are curious, we are inventive, and we are resourceful.

There are many who openly wish we were none of those and seek to prevent us from doing these things. They fear what they do not understand, even as their bogeymen are less often nefarious and duplicitous, and more often simply curious, inventive, and resourceful.

This message, that tinkering is not to be feared and that understanding is key, is important. It's not on the front page of the papers. It's not life or death. But it is its own little message of freedom. And that's something worth taking a stand for.

Re:Sanctity of Tech? (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125532)

What it amounts to is that people who think for themselves are no longer wanted in society.
When did this happen?
What should we do about it?
Who is John Galt?

Re:Sanctity of Tech? (1, Offtopic)

FoolsGold (1139759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125538)

Fair point, but I'd argue what the parent is suggesting is that perspective is the key.

As in, with regards to all the true things that are important in a person's life and what should be worried about, technology should pale in comparison to, in the case of most men, finding a nice girl, raising a family, spending time with your kids, etc. THOSE aspects of life are what count to most people - the pleasures in life that are respected far more than one's crusade to protect the "sanctity" of technology.

Re:Sanctity of Tech? (5, Insightful)

EvilNTUser (573674) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125800)

Are you saying that you spend so much time worrying about your family that you don't have time for anything else? Your argument is meaningless, and only serves to diminish the importance of technology rather than elevate the importance of "true things".

But let's look at this from the perspective of children, sure. Do you want them to grow up into a world in which the vendors control everything they can do with their devices? A world in which learning is impossible unless you're the best cracker who ever lived, and the economy is in the gutter because industries aren't adapting to new technologies? No, you probably don't.

And what if we replace the word technology with the word freedom? Are you going to continue being so cavalier about fighting one losing battle after another, small as they may seem?

As aimless as that article may seem to us who already know about all the abuse, maybe it'll actually reach someone who doesn't read slashdot.

Re:Sanctity of Tech? (1)

X-Kal (861125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125916)

Okay, but imagine a world in which we did not have access to news articles that are deemed upsetting or offensive, where controversial ideas are censored.

The tech lover's call to arms is a simple call to stop allowing companies to violate our constitutional rights in the name of copyright law, terms of service and other legal-speak reasoning. Is it right to have our civil liberties violated, all in the name of fighting copyright infringement? Should companies be allowed to charge us huge fees for early terminations, when they're not giving us the service we're paying for, anyways? Should ISPs be allowed to block user access to content they deem objectionable? We are getting a bad deal, and too many people are accepting it like business as usual.

Re:Sanctity of Tech? (3, Insightful)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125972)

Your argument is retarded, sorry. There's lots of time in life to support "would-be-nice" causes. It's not the zero-sum game you make it out to be.

Start promote free technology (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126734)


It's time that the technology industry gets intelligent and stops being stupid. Intelligently design your technology.

Napster was a great idea, it's decentralized. The way to solve this is to decentralize by design and bring as much power as you can to the user through the design of the software itself.

Saving human life in Darfur is more important... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23125554)

Saving human life in Darfur is more important

Not really.

If everyone in Darfur died tomorrow would your life change as much as when 3000 folks died in the 9/11 attacks? How about if just your immediate family died?

The cold hard truth is that not every life is equal to most people.

I'm just saying...

Re:Sanctity of Tech? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23125620)

Actually, I'd say it's more important that that - it's pretty much all that sets us apart from other apes. Intellectual "property" thugs seek to deny others their very humanity.

Re:Sanctity of Tech? (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125738)

Saving human life in Darfur is more important.
Sounds like a WoW quest to me.

Re:Sanctity of Tech? (4, Insightful)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125836)

I agree with you, but I think there's a flaw in your argument. Sure, life in Darfur is way more important, but it has been the allowing of people like the RIAA run rampant in one area that has set the example for others. If you can, say, screw over everyone because you're a record company, why can't I as something else do the same? Why can't I, as a doctor, screw people over, since I see lawyers getting away with it all the time? I don't know who said "rot from the core spreads outward" but he missed the mark; rot doesn't have to be at the core to spread.

Or maybe this only makes sense with a lot of beer.

Re:Sanctity of Tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23126034)

But just because you can put the diagrams to build a nuclear bomb on the internet doesn't mean you should.

Re:Sanctity of Tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23126592)

If people said the same things about rifles or road vehicles, they would generally be considered either loonies or assholes.

Design your revolution (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126726)


Revolutionary software and hardware designs will bring you a revolution of options.

If you want a call to arms, the best ideas would be new legalese licensing schemes to protect privacy rights, and the rights of the tinkerer.

New software designs which promote tinkering and interaction, such as free software. Use your creativity to promote your liberty.

Re:Sanctity of Tech? (2, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125430)

Maybe he meant "sanctimonious."

I read the summary twice and still had no idea what he was talking about.

Re:Sanctity of Tech? (2, Insightful)

radagenais (1261374) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125604)

It is not the tech that we should sanctify, but the freedom of thoughts and actions that seek to satisfy curiousity and a thirst for knowledge.

And the freedom to do anything you please with something you rightfully own - most especially an object.

But so long as the burden is on Them to have to sue Us one by one to exercise their so-called "rights" and "licenses", I really don't see a real threat to these freedoms - at worst a nuisance. Possession is nine-tenth's the law, after all.

Re:Sanctity of Tech? (1)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126736)

What kind of idiot actually thinks there is some sort of "sanctity" to tech, or anything tech-related?
From TFA: "But now, as I look at technology zealots like myself ..."

Technology zealots, obviously.

Maybe people should stop stealing music? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23125128)

As a record store owner, my business faces ruin. CD sales have dropped through the floor. People aren't buying half as many CDs as they did just a year ago. Revenue is down and costs are up. My store has survived for years, but I now face the prospect of bankruptcy. Every day I ask myself why this is happening.

I bought the store about 12 years ago. It was one of those boutique record stores that sell obscure, independent releases that no-one listens to, not even the people that buy them. I decided that to grow the business I'd need to aim for a different demographic, the family market. My store specialised in family music - stuff that the whole family could listen to. I don't sell sick stuff like Marilyn Manson or cop-killer rap, and I'm proud to have one of the most extensive Christian rock sections that I know of.

The business strategy worked. People flocked to my store, knowing that they (and their children) could safely purchase records without profanity or violent lyrics. Over the years I expanded the business and took on more clean-cut and friendly employees. It took hard work and long hours but I had achieved my dream - owning a profitable business that I had built with my own hands, from the ground up. But now, this dream is turning into a nightmare.

Every day, fewer and fewer customers enter my store to buy fewer and fewer CDs. Why is no one buying CDs? Are people not interested in music? Do people prefer to watch TV, see films, read books? I don't know. But there is one, inescapable truth - Internet piracy is mostly to blame. The statistics speak for themselves - one in three discs world wide is a pirate. On The Internet, you can find and download hundreds of dollars worth of music in just minutes. It has the potential to destroy the music industry, from artists, to record companies to stores like my own. Before you point to the supposed "economic downturn", I'll note that the book store just across from my store is doing great business. Unlike CDs, it's harder to copy books over The Internet.

A week ago, an unpleasant experience with pirates gave me an idea. In my store, I overheard a teenage patron talking to his friend.

"Dude, I'm going to put this CD on the Internet right away."

"Yeah, dude, that's really lete [sic], you'll get lots of respect."

I was fuming. So they were out to destroy the record industry from right under my nose? Fat chance. When they came to the counter to make their purchase, I grabbed the little shit by his shirt. "So...you're going to copy this to your friends over The Internet, punk?" I asked him in my best Clint Eastwood/Dirty Harry voice.

"Uh y-yeh." He mumbled, shocked.

"That's it. What's your name? You're blacklisted. Now take yourself and your little bitch friend out of my store - and don't come back." I barked. Cravenly, they complied and scampered off.

So that's my idea - a national blacklist of pirates. If somebody cannot obey the basic rules of society, then they should be excluded from society. If pirates want to steal from the music industry, then the music industry should exclude them. It's that simple. One strike, and you're out - no reputable record store will allow you to buy another CD. If the pirates can't buy the CDS to begin with, then they won't be able to copy them over The Internet, will they? It's no different to doctors blacklisting drug dealers from buying prescription medicine.

I have just written a letter to the RIAA outlining my proposal. Suing pirates one by one isn't going far enough. Not to mention pirates use the fact that they're being sued to unfairly portray themselves as victims. A national register of pirates would make the problem far easier to deal with. People would be encouraged to give the names of suspected pirates to a hotline, similar to TIPS. Once we know the size of the problem, the police and other law enforcement agencies will be forced to take piracy seriously. They have fought the War on Drugs with skill, so why not the War on Piracy?

This evening, my daughters asked me. "Why do the other kids laugh at us?"

I wanted to tell them the truth - it's because they wear old clothes and have cheap haircuts. I can't afford anything better for them right now.

"It's because they are idiots, kids", I told them. "Don't listen to them."

When the kids went to bed, my wife asked me, "Will we be able to keep the house, David?"

I just shook my head, and tried to hold back the tears. "I don't know, Jenny. I don't know."

When my girls ask me questions like that, I feel like my heart is being wrenched out of my chest. But knowing that I'm doing the best I can to save my family and my business is some consolation.

Some people are offended by my blacklist system. I may have made my store less popular for pirates and sympathisers, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make to save my industry from destruction. I am inspired by artists such as Metallica that have taken a stand against the powerful pirate lobby. When everyone believes 2 + 2 = 5, to simply state the truth, that 2 + 2 = 4, is a courageous act.

Re:Maybe people should stop stealing music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23125150)

I hope this post is some sort of lame copypasta otherwise you need to shoot yourself in the head for being suck a huge faggot.

Every day, fewer and fewer customers enter my store to buy fewer and fewer CDs. Why is no one buying CDs? Are people not interested in music? Do people prefer to watch TV, see films, read books? I don't know. But there is one, inescapable truth - Internet piracy is mostly to blame.
So you have no clue why you get less sales, but you're quite sure it's internet piracy? Way to contradict yourself there, assface.

Re:Maybe people should stop stealing music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23125326)

Re:Maybe people should stop stealing music? (5, Interesting)

What Would NPH Do (1274934) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125168)

If the pirates can't buy the CDS to begin with, then they won't be able to copy them over The Internet, will they?
False. Most of the scene releases of CDs and DVDs are stolen or leaked copies from someone on the inside of the production. You're blacklist idea will do all of jack and shit to stop piracy.

Re:Maybe people should stop stealing music? (4, Insightful)

NoobHunter (1090113) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125272)

To quote a favorite movie of mine..."And Jack Left Town!"

At the end of the day...what it boils down to is the societal slant to defer consequences and responsibility on others, in this case...the minorities.

RIAA: Our system is dying, the consequence should be to invent a new system. But we will slough it off and punish the innovators so the old bags of shit still running the cartels can stuff their pockets and keep paying for the whores and crack.

MPAA: We are similar in situation to the RIAA except we produce MegaTons of shit and expect people to overpay for it. We should screen the shit we decide to produce more but instead, we will punish those we should be embracing so we can also keep paying for our whores and crack.

Pro-Familly and Anti-VideoGame Violence: Holy shit, where do I begin? We refuse to admit that the reason the youth of today is in a downward spiral of self-destruction is because we pamper our children to the point where they believe they are more righteous than we, the parents and teachers are. We refuse to expose them to the realities of life because it may damage them but when they lack the psychological tools to deal with life once it hits them in the face, we blam everyone except for ourselves because frankly...we are not to blame. Video Games and Movies and Music teach our children to do drugs, shoot guns and kill people. I mean...sure Grand Theft Auto is rated M for Mature and 17+ but I will buy it for him/her anyways. I mean...it's just a video game...but I will blame the development companies when my 12 year old swears like a sailor and tells me to frack off because...well...he saw it in the video game they made....It's not my fault...

The Gov't (In this, I include the Canadian and US Governments because they are just as bad as the other in this...): All of the above can pad my pocket for millions of dollars so they must know what is right for everyone...right? I mean, what harm can passing a bill that a Lobbyist proposed do? Net Neutrality? The Internets? All those tubes? Sure! Let the ISPs control them freely! After all, China had it right, except for all that killing. We just need to figure out a way to do it without everyone noticing....and anyone that refuses? I hear Guantanamo Bay still has a few empty cells.....
That Jack Thomson guy seems so nice! He really has the people in mind and he does think of the children!

I think I covered most of them....putting myself in their frame of mind actually hurt....alot. Where's that bottle of whiskey?

Re:Maybe people should stop stealing music? (2, Funny)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125726)

Where's that bottle of whiskey?

Ahhhh, we have a philosopher. Whiskey and tears my friend, whiskey and tears.

Re:Maybe people should stop stealing music? (1)

radagenais (1261374) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125614)

Who buys CDs any more? Download, upload. It's the latest thing.

Re:Maybe people should stop stealing music? (2, Informative)

Coldeagle (624205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125188)

You shouldn't categorize everyone who doesn't buy CD's as pirates. One of the reasons I don't buy CD's anymore is because I don't want the bother of converting them to MP3 for my iPod. It took me weeks to convert my collection of 400+ CD's so I could listen to them on my iPod. Now I just buy them online. It's much easier and more convenient.

Another reason I prefer purchasing online is the fact that I don't have to pay for all the songs on an album. I usually don't like between 30-50% of the songs on an album. Why should I pay to buy the songs that I don't really want to listen to?

Re:Maybe people should stop stealing music? (2, Funny)

Brother Phil (1151069) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126078)

You don't want to take whatever shit they shovel at you and pay over the odds for the privilege?
What are you, some kind of islamist hacker terrorist?;)>

Re:Maybe people should stop stealing music? (1)

Jamu (852752) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125200)

What a sad, sad story.

Re:Maybe people should stop stealing music? (3, Insightful)

exley (221867) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125212)

They have fought the War on Drugs with skill, so why not the War on Piracy?
Okay, we know that parent HAS to be making a (very long-winded, boring) joke just because of that line. Right?

Re:Maybe people should stop stealing music? (1)

BeerCur (627281) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125218)

okay I'll bite. If you are being truthful, your little record store is going out of business because it is an outdated method of selling music. It's bit like a stable owner blaming stage coach thieves in 1912 for the dwindling number of customers. It sucks for you, but it's time to find something else to do with your life.

Re:Maybe people should stop stealing music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23125226)

What the hell? Copy-pasta on Slashdot now?!

Get the hell back to 4chan you moron.

Re:Maybe people should stop stealing music? (4, Funny)

Trespass (225077) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125250)

What the hell? Copy-pasta on Slashdot now?!

Get the hell back to 4chan you moron.
Hey, it works for the editors.

Re:Maybe people should stop stealing music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23125370)

You must be new here.

No, I'm New Here. (2, Funny)

New Here (701369) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125644)

No, I'm New Here.

Re:Maybe people should stop stealing music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23125242)

Wow. You are a total douchebag, no wonder no one wants to shop at your store. I especially like the part where you seem to have a mouth as "filthy" as some of the music you have banned in your store.

Re:Maybe people should stop stealing music? (5, Insightful)

evil_aar0n (1001515) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125278)

> Why is no one buying CDs? ... I don't know. But there is one, inescapable truth - Internet piracy is mostly to blame.

You just admitted you don't know, but you're sure it piracy. Does that make sense?

Maybe they're not coming to your store because they don't like the hypocrisy of some Jesus Freek pulling a Dirty Harry on teenage kids.

> fought the War on Drugs with skill.

Either you're Nancy Reagan, still with the blinders on, but after a real heavy binge, or you're a shill for the *AA.

Regardless, if you can't see that your business is doomed - or you _do_ see that it's doomed, but you persist - then you deserve whatever untoward fate befalls you.

Re:Maybe people should stop stealing music? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23125636)

In my day, people were smart enough not to waste their time responding to stuff like this. Darn kids nowadays...

Re:Maybe people should get a fucking clue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23125696)

Holy Shit You Are A Loser.

Re:Maybe people should stop stealing music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23125872)

Obviously your one of those old people that cant see that PHYSICAL medium sales are dying, and online music sales are soaring.
I dont hear the Apple iTunes store going out of business do you? No, I just hear your ancient business strategy being left in the 20th century where it belongs.

Re:Maybe people should stop stealing music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23126242)

So, you say you sell Christian music, and your business is going down (as pretty much any other business around, retailers even [guess they found a way to download hardware off the 'net too, let me know if you know how]). Tell me though, Christian music is often heard by, you know, Christians, whatever happened to "Thou shall not steal?"

What I mean to say is: Don't blame others because of the consequences of your own actions, you just said yourself you lose costumers because of your own system. Do you think costumers rain from the sky? Ever heard of market penetration? There is a limit of people who will buy X. After those people have bought X, you will have to introduce Y or face loss. That's economics 101 for you. If you reduce your client base, then the less X you will introduce and the sooner you will have to get a Y. Guess what? Don't have the Y? You go into a crawl. REAP WHAT YOU SOW.

Wow (0, Redundant)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125130)

What a misguided, childish rant.

So, this is news? We see rants (and better quality at that) on the multitude of blogs. I guess we cant really count on anything else from cnet...

Interesting but no direction (3, Interesting)

Coldeagle (624205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125134)

He makes some good points, but he doesn't really say much other than take up arms. Unfortunately the very people he's making reference to don't read CNET or any other technology slanted publication. I would almost say boycotting is the best way. Organize a boycott of companies that don't meet with our ideals. I already do this with Microsoft, AT&T, and Time Warner cable. I will not give my money to this companies because I staunchly disagree with their business practices.

What does everyone else think?

Re:Interesting but no direction (1)

Coldeagle (624205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125152)

Just to clarify by, "people he referenced," I meant the ones in public office and senior management.

Re:Interesting but no direction (5, Interesting)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125276)

Being a little politically pro-active might also be called for. So not just a boycott but, actually making those offensive practices illegal and, punishable by long term imprisonment.

The internet provides the means by which the majority can regain control over politics and laws. The internet redefines how the public mind scape is formed and shaped. The mass media, greed is every thing message is dying, along with celebrity worship and the mindless messages that celebrities sell.

So a campaign of re-regulation, a campaign of corporate executive culpability and liability, a campaign of not only protecting what we have but also taking back what has already by stolen via corporate corruption of the political system.

Re:Interesting but no direction (2, Interesting)

Coldeagle (624205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125310)

I would love to see that eventually, but what's the first step? If there's a major boycott going on, the media will start to pay attention. If that happens, maybe people will pay attention the message that our legal system is fraked up and needs a boost. FCC, Patents and copyrights, etc. We also need to start hitting the freaking polls people, and I don't mean the ones /.

The first step (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125582)

The first step is to put down our Slashdot fetish and (excuse the term) troll the sites the common folk frequent. They need to know. We can tell them. If we don't there are plenty of astoturfers in a Bangalore web center where people get a few bucks a day to post the same lame FUD every day.

Those of you who frequent the informed corners of the www may be shocked to discover the information more common folk are offered as fact. It's apalling.

Hell, make it a game. Make a website where you get points for correcting disinformation on popular websites, with moderation and prizes. Share donations with the best posters. That would work.

Re:The first step (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125752)

Generally I go with politely informing the miss-informed during those all to frequent 'free' service and support sessions, all done in a friendly manner to ensure word of mouth to spread in forums and social networks that I have no real desire to visit. Best to leave the trolling to the marketdroids.

NOT MORE REGULATION (2, Interesting)

sporkme (983186) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125436)

The problem is not a lack of regulation; it is that there is already excessive regulation--of end users. The means for organizations like the ones mentioned are based in existing law. The solution is not to make MORE laws, but to repair or preferably repeal the "broken" laws.

What is it that they say about insanity? Doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result... something to that tune. We do not gain freedoms from more laws. Fouling up the code further for people on down the line is not such a great idea, because that's how we find ourselves here. We are the victims of good intentions and unintended consequences.

So, be politically proactive, but focus that energy on removing the legal weapons that are aimed at the public. Instituting NEW weapons aimed at troublesome organizations constitutes a legal arms race, and that only ends in a cold war!

Re:Interesting but no direction (2, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125470)

actually making those offensive practices illegal and, punishable by long term imprisonment.

Be careful what you wish for. There are far too many ill conceived laws on our books already and they do plenty more harm than good. There is no inherent right not to be offended. If we start passing laws against practices which some people find offensive then it will be the first step towards the end of freedom. This is what separates us in the civilized Western world from those in the east who live under religious law defining what is and is not offensive both in practice and speech with punishments such as cutting off hands and death. I don't know about you, but that is not how I want to live.

Always remember that the law is the application of violence or threat of violence and should be reserved for those cases where it is necessary to prevent and deter violence to others. The over application of the law, forcing people to live a certain way or not say certain things or the like, is a far greater evil than anything currently done by the corporations which you so detest.

Re:Interesting but no direction (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125472)

So a campaign of re-regulation, a campaign of corporate executive culpability and liability, a campaign of not only protecting what we have but also taking back what has already by stolen via corporate corruption of the political system.

Are you now or have you ever been a... communist?

Re:Interesting but no direction (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125780)

Generally the application of communism has been nothing more than another version of totalitarianism, so no I never have been nor wish to be a communist. I am quite comfortable with being a social democrat, you know, you just might possibly have heard of it, a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Why would wanting to ensure legal accountability for corporate executive officers be considered communism. Taking legal and moral responsibility for your actions might be considered a long way from corporate fascism but it is hardly at the opposite end of the political spectrum, it is generally considered to be the conservative middle ground. Yes, I know it does allow for legalised lying cheating and stealing but, you must understand and you should clearly see by now by the example set by the current US administration that it is inevitably destructive and more closely aligned with being a totalitarian traitor than a democratic patriot.

Re:Interesting but no direction (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125890)

:-) Sorry, I forgot...

What time is it on Earth?

Forget politics. Build and innovent. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126748)


Liberty through creativity!

Re:Interesting but no direction (1)

spidr_mnky (1236668) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125556)

My first thought is that at this point, it's not practical to stop doing business with everyone I'd like to boycott. I try to take the positive approach, and keep an eye out for companies that actually do things I respect. I'll refrain from examples, because any "X is good because Y" argument can be countered with "X is evil because Z". In concept, though, I try to give as much of my business as possible to the good guys.

Whitelisting, as they say.

Re:Interesting but no direction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23125656)

He makes some good points, but he doesn't really say much other than take up arms. Unfortunately the very people he's making reference to don't read CNET or any other technology slanted publication. I would almost say boycotting is the best way. Organize a boycott of companies that don't meet with our ideals. I already do this with Microsoft, AT&T, and Time Warner cable. I will not give my money to this companies because I staunchly disagree with their business practices.

What does everyone else think?
Just pirate their software. That'll show em.

--Male College Student, Root of all Evil

who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23125138)

"Now, a new group of people has emerged"

Who, exactly?

Re:who? (2, Insightful)

darinfp (907671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125198)

"Who, exactly?"

Everyone who doesn't agree with him, of course. That's the way rants work,

You'll keep hearing it (5, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125176)

How many times must we hear that video games cause violence before we stand up together and stop the spewing of inaccurate ideas? How many times must we listen to the RIAA tell us that college students are the root of all evil as it pertains to piracy before we tell the organization that it's wrong? How many times must we listen to public interest groups allow families to get off the hook instead of blaming them when "security concerns" are revealed to the public before we tell them the truth? How many times must we listen to people who have no knowledge of the technology industry restate the misguided ramblings of lawmakers before we vote for change?
You will keep hearing all these things until your Think Tank writes papers & model legislation stating otherwise.

You will keep hearing all these things until your "experts" go on TV and intelligently explain your position to a media interested in death, sex, and scandal.

You will keep hearing all these things until your lobbyist "educates" misguided lawmakers.

I could keep going in that vein for quite some time, but what it fundamentally boils down to is either changing the structure of the debate or co-opting it for your own message. But honestly, who's going to pay for a 30 second TV ad with a montage of straight-A students saying "I play violent video games and I've never killed anybody"

Re:You'll keep hearing it (3, Insightful)

Coldeagle (624205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125214)

Maybe EA, LucasArts, or TakeTwo would pay for them? Seriously, why aren't the big names in gaming spending any money on commercials about what crap it is that playing violent games makes you violent?

Seriously! At least Eminem makes a good point about the violence he spouts, it's just MUSIC, if your kids decide to go blow away their class mates, maybe you should look at yourself and not try to blame everyone else for your lack of parenting. My parents raised me to be responsible for my own actions and decisions.

Re:You'll keep hearing it (2, Funny)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125332)

I just recently watched an episode of "A Bit Of Fry & Laurie" - and I think they had the right idea (and from 1989, ahead of their time!). If simulated violence made people want to act violent in real life, why not include depictions of heroes giving large sums of money to the game makers? That way, if they're wrong about video games causing violence, it won't matter because they'll be rich, rich, rich!

Re:You'll keep hearing it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23126492)

I've got a camera. I'll work free. Running Ubuntu Studio, so i got the edits. Find me those students, and I will do this before George Bush leaves office. I swear that. Hit me up: ildonjuan@yahoo.com

Yeah, don juan. Know why? Cuz I'm no anonymous coward. This isn't Cyrano de Bergerac.

A righteous rant, but no focus (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125192)

Yes, we all have our hit list of hated Luddites and money grubbers, but this article is so much standing on on a soap box in a pouring rain screaming to passers by, (most of whom regard the screamer as a kook).

There is no rational plan of action, no believable tragedy for attack, and no suggestion for doing anything but throwing open the windows and screaming into the night.

Until we either change the laws we are pretty much stuck with the current situation of constant turf wars, suits and counter suits until the absurdness of it all starts to sink in.

There are signs that it IS starting to sink in. But not due to whining of the masses, but rather people suing ISPs, counter-suing the RIAA, etc.

Real actions. Pony up for the lawyers and go to court. The soapbox gets you nowhere.

Re:A righteous rant, but no focus (2, Funny)

somenickname (1270442) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125342)

Actually, I found TFA inspiring. I think we should all galvanize and form some sort of foundation to help protect the electronic frontier. Now if we could only come up with a catchy acronym for it...

Re:A righteous rant, but no focus (1)

distantbody (852269) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125518)

no believable tragedy for attack
You've never experienced having to put down a perfectly adequate CPU and mobo because Tux Racer requires a faster GPU have you?

Re:A righteous rant, but no focus (2, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126686)

You've never experienced having to put down a perfectly adequate CPU and mobo because Tux Racer requires a faster GPU have you?

That's what gives life meaning.

Re:A righteous rant, but no focus (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126730)

You've never experienced having to put down a perfectly adequate CPU and mobo because Tux Racer requires a faster GPU have you?
*Sigh* yes, I miss My Tseng ET-4000 too :(

Liberty through creativity (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126776)


You understand the technology, they dont.

You understand the code, they dont.

You designed the hardware, they cant.

You created the protocols, napster, linux, slashdot, programming languages and compilers, encryption and decryption software, etc.

Start by making sure everything you design and create in the future increases the liberty of the user, call it user-centric design. No more client-server, or slave master designs. Peer to Peer, and Hive designs are the answer.

Decentralize and distribute.

Lots of Hot Air (5, Insightful)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125222)

Seriously man.

Sanctity of technology? I'm a software engineer. I help created technology but I don't worship it. I love when my code is nice and elegant but I also make trade-offs when needed because what I make has to work in the real world. Sanctity? What is this guy trying to sell? Only fanboys and snake oil salesman talk about technology as some Platonic ideal or traded as an object of worship.

Where has this guy been? Did he JUST now noticed the RIAA, MPAA, and corrupt lawmakers trying to subvert the spirit of intellectual rights and freedom? This didn't just happen over night. The DMCA was passed when Clinton was president.

Lastly, at the end of the rant, he has a call to action. What does he want us to do? Give us a plan. A rant without a plan is just a rant. Unite and rise up? Seriously man. We're not some Bolsheviks trying to overthrow the tzar. Get a sense of reality. The entire "article" is a bunch of hyperbole, obvious statements, and a total lack of any actionable items.

Give me a break. It's an insult to our intelligence.

Re:Lots of Hot Air (4, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125290)

Yes, its all very stupid. Is RIAA evil? of course. Are file shares of copry written material evil? Of course. Just because there are two sides,doesn't mean any of them are correct. In most wars both sides are wrong.

Re:Lots of Hot Air (2, Interesting)

Heshler (1191623) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125320)

I agree that there was a lack of substance, but that is understandable considering the breadth of the issues. Yes it didn't have a plan; yes it was a rant. However, it was a provocative rant, which was the entire point. Basically saying let's get our act together. Should geeks have more political influence?

Re:Lots of Hot Air (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23125364)

PrinceofThieves writes (article blurb)
Sanctity of technology? I'm a software engineer. I help created technology but I don't worship it. I love when my code is nice and elegant but I also make trade-offs when needed because what I make has to work in the real world. Sanctity? What is this guy trying to sell? Only fanboys and snake oil salesman talk about technology as some Platonic ideal or traded as an object of worship.
I would agree that the word is misused, but the mistake was made by the submitter and not the writer of the article as it appears no where in the article. We mustn't forget however that many also attempt to villainize technology instead of those misapplying it. Many would like to label the users of technology as well, so it is good you call him down for the use of "sanctity" as nothing would get the users and creators of technology labeled as being associated with "satanic" activities so fast as claiming to be "sacred". Of course we never did get the world corrected on "hacker" usage.

Re:Lots of Hot Air (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125476)

Right... So the use of words as a PR technique, replacing acurate but simple descriptions with lofty ambiguous terms, maybe like adding the word 'engineer' to job titles, such as sanitary engineer for janitor, or sales engineer for sales person, or software engineer for programmer... These kinds of shameless self-stroking marketing tactics can safely be ignored

Re:Lots of Hot Air (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23125628)

Many years ago I walked into the office as a grinning co-worker got of the phone with his sister and started laughing. He then asked me if I remembered him telling me how his sister was having trouble getting her work done in the secretary position she held at an aerospace company, seems she was having to spend all her time assisting other secretaries with the new computers they had just switched them to in place of their typewriters etc. Being the only one in the office with a clue about word processors spreadsheets etc made her the go to person for everyone else.

Her immediate supervisor gave her a hard time over not getting enough of her assigned tasks done and complained to personnel etc.. However the office gossip had apparently already circulated the accurate story of what was going on. Her phone call to her brother was placed after she got called to the personnel office one day. Having went expecting the worst she was very suprised to find that she was being reclassified to the position of Software Engineer at a payscale a few times higher then what she was receiving.

Having grinned and laughed his way to this point in the story my co-worker's expression suddenly changed and he stated "hey, that means she is going to be making a lot more then I do and I have a college degree!" Amusingly he seemed a lot more interested in helping others get things done after that.

Grow a spine, be spiritual about your work. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126784)


Wouldn't you rather code with a purpose?

Anyone can be a software engineer, don't you want to change the world?

I must say, (3, Insightful)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125224)

technology is such an old and abused term I say we stop using it right now. The word is a total buzz kill. Computers and circuitry are already ubiquitous enough that we can just factor this "technology" reference out.

If in 20 years we still refer to our "toys" as "technology" I would be damned.

Re:I must say, (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126716)

Fire and the wheel are still technology. It doesn't matter how old a technology is, it's still technology. Perhaps that puts it in too stark terms for you? People would be pretty outraged if they couldn't light a fire or breathe oxygen without paying licensing fees. But that's the way it's going. So, perhaps the term is unexpectedly apt?

Personally, I find "tech," "technological" and "IT" to be more offensive and abused than "technology." What do you think it should be called?

Question about this "to arms" thing... (5, Funny)

russlar (1122455) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125262)

Does taking up arms require me to get off my couch? That would really be a deal-breaker.

And of you want me to go outside at all, forget it.

Geek Voting Block (4, Interesting)

Heshler (1191623) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125294)

I wonder if geeks could form some sort of voting block/interest group. We could stand up to tyranny. Seriously though, I'm not sure the extent to which this is feasible. First of all, people don't generally expect politicians to have a clue about tech. In Canada, it is a non-issue. These kinds of issues can simply be sidestepped by politicians. I guess the question is: how many people (not just /.) would actually change their vote based on a candidate's tech policy? Personally, Obama's tech credentials put him just over McCain (if I could vote there), but ALL OF PARLIMENT/CONGRESS needs to understand these issues in order to enact sound policy and not be easily persuaded by lobbyists. But let's be honest. Many/most of these issues have little tangible effect on typical people. It's hard to persuade people that tech issues are up there with Heath Care and the Economy.

Re:Geek Voting Block (1)

Coldeagle (624205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125340)

Problem is not many geeks have the $$ to make an interest group! Most of us are well off, but not that well off.

Maybe more of us need to run for office so we can educate the lawyers in Congress about what affect their policies on technology have!

I would say let's start our own political party but so many of us are of different opinions on non-technology related politics. (as seen by the ramped Ron Paul debates seen on /.)

Re:Geek Voting Block (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125500)

We have at least one card carrying programmer congressman [cnet.com] right now, Bill Foster [house.gov] , representing the 14th district of Illinois.

Geeks decide elections. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126788)


It's the geeks that rigged the voting machines.

Geek Wakeup Call (2, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125346)

Gee, a call to arms at 11:30PM on a lovely Spring Friday night.

This manifesto is going nowhere. At least not this weekend.

It's not that I'm apathetic... (3, Funny)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125424)

...it's that I just don't care.

hypocrite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23125442)

CNET has staunchly stood for everything this W/U claims to oppose. Yeah, I've wanted to get a call to arms to fight back against those who want to take away our technology freedom.

That's why I joined the Free Software movement [gnu.org] . My enemy is Microsoft, Adobe, and CNET.

Technology must be stopped! (3, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125446)

Won't somebody please, think of the authorities? Jackboots aren't free, you know.

New American Theology of Civil Submission (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126800)



If you want to know why technology must be stopped, it's because technology is making all the wrong people smart and successful. Also technology promotes disobedience and the point of society is to promote and maximize submission.

-> New American Theology of Civil Submission [youtube.com]

just like real life (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125450)

In real life, all sorts of things are being regulated and prohibited as well. Sometimes, it makes sense (monopolies), sometimes it doesn't (sex, drugs). It's just the way governments and people work.

A motherboard with OpenBIOS would be a good start (1)

distantbody (852269) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125498)

...I believe (I may be wrong) that, unfortunately, there isn't any single entity that is 1.coordination 2.delegating and 3.prioritizing the development of Open Hardware; the closest being The Open Hardware Foundation [openhardwa...dation.org] , and that is closest in name only, as it is currently only working on the Open Graphics Project.

Wikipedia's Open source hardware page [wikipedia.org] otoh informs me of numerous Open Hardware projects, but still, no coordinating entity/s.

Sure some may argue that they don't want to be organised and would rather produce something for hobbyists not mass consumption, but I think a look a the positive role organizations such as the FSF, The Linux Foundation and numerous others have played in developing viable Open Source Software is a good example of why much more coordination would be beneficial in the Open Hardware realm.

YES!!! PERFECT SOLUTION! everyone read the ^ post! (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126812)


The open hardware solution is the ultimate solution.

The question is, how do we make it cheap enough for the masses to get involved? We don't own factories in China yet.

What about through non profit organizations? How about we form a church?

Missed the point (4, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125612)

There is a problem, but the article managed to barely graze it on it's way to somewhere else (I'm not sure where).

The part about ripping was there and made sense but that's about it. The real problem is things like media companies driving efforts to force manufacturers to design hardware primarily to make sure it doesn't do what the owner wants.

In turn, that makes open hardware a real problem to obtain. Not that I think we would otherwise get firmware source with a new DVR, but I'll bet manufacturers would make a lot less effort to hinder hacking if they weren't forced into it.

There is a nasty trend towards more expensive, lower performance, and less versatile standards just to please a 3rd party (HDMI cables anyone?).

Part of Vista's problem is that so much of it is designed to prevent the user from (God forbid) copying a movie. Meanwhile, all the electronic "tilt switches" will surely drive up the cost and lower the performance of video cards with no benefit to the buyer whatsoever. An estimated 10% of the nice new CPU you paid for is dedicated to making sure you haven't modified the video card you bought.

In truth, the lot of it is interferance with ownership.

Really old news (4, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125672)

People had the same idea years ago. They founded the EFF. You can help them finance their crusade, it has been an ongoing effort.

mod parent up (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 6 years ago | (#23126604)

I really wish I had some mod points right now. This article sounds like such wishy-washy, unrealistic crap. I can't wait to read his next article: "Hey y'all we should do something about the homeless", or "Kids, stop humping. That's how babies are made"

The Vote (1)

DigitalisAkujin (846133) | more than 6 years ago | (#23125708)

This is one of the reasons I'm voting for Obama in Tuesday's PA primary,
-He's for net neutrality so that becomes assured for another 4 years at least and would give the internet time to become even more dependent on the concept. There's a certain threshold with internet where network neutrality needs to be maintained for a long enough period to which the public gets educated enough on the concept that they won't accept an un-neutral internet.
-Advocates copyright reform.
-Advocates patent reform.

among other things... http://www.barackobama.com/issues/technology/ [barackobama.com]

Also, Hillary wants to censor videogame sales further which screams "Nanny state" to me.

Generally speaking I don't really think the above issues are prime but I do think that it's about time with the Health care issues and voting for any Republican right now would most assuredly put the United States on a path towards losing our super power status. It won't really drive us down it's just that we're so stagnant that we're just gonna be watching the European Union and China pass us by and new emerging technologies.

A lot of people view the Democrats as simply instigators of a Socialist agenda but the idea is that the United States is so rich and so filled with money that it just makes sense to provide the ability to heal anyone in the country without them having to pay out of their pocket. It's a simple investment in the human capital of this country. Sure you'll be paying more taxes but the reward will come from the increased productivity of the population thereby driving up GDP.

Changes to be made (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23125834)

Music:
The most hilarious thing about the RIAA is not that music shouldn't be pirated. The truth is, it shouldn't. The funny thing is that they actually BELIEVE that these artists (less their managers/producers) deserve the amount of money they get. It's ridiculous. Everyone who isn't a celebrity toils away at their hard jobs, while freeloaders go on American Idol and suddenly have a record deal out of nothing. What happened to working for what you want? Even the artists who worked hard to get where they are: they just sing a few songs, tour, and make millions. Who the fuck do these people think they are?

It's our fault that we'd allowed them to be elevated to this godly status in the first place. Truth is that music artists, and celebrities, don't deserve the amount of money they get. And this just a small part of what drives the costs of media up so much. Don't even get me started on the corporate corruption, and the disdain that iTunes store, and the like, have brought to the industry.

Movies:
Who says I can't make a copy of my own DVD? If I buy a video from Columbia Pictures and the DVD gets scratched. The movie is ruined and I can't watch it anymore. But how much was the physical DVD worth? About 50 cents and a .0002ms stamp by the master. Hard job... but will they send me a new copy of my movie, despite the fact that it's the CONTENT I bought, NOT the DVD. No, they won't. This is yet another problem with the industries.

ISPs:
This is more of a difficult issue. Yes, we know they are screwing us. But it's difficult to tell just HOW MUCH they are screwing is. The quality of your connection speed is more difficult to quantify. This is of course because of the fact that the internet is just that, a network of networks. They use this to their advantage.

If people knew that they should be getting X speed from Y server all the time, but were in fact getting a lower speed than what they paid for, they would immediately contact the Better Business Bureau. The quality of an internet connection should be REQUIRED to be realistically quantifiable. This would be the only solution to getting the service you paid for. Otherwise, you really have no case. This will only happen once new better protocols are released, and more tech-savvy people are placed as government officials. For now, it's ridiculous what the telecom companies get away with.

Anyway that's my rant. Night.

lynch the bastards! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23126080)

Got my torch and pitchfork and im right behind u brother.

Why are women forced to pay ridiculous sums... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23126108)

...of cash for stealing 20 songs?
Because even seasoned journalists (moreover in rallying cries like this) can be tricked into using and spreading legally inaccurate demonizations like "stealing" and "piracy" that have only been coined to exaggerate IP infringement [oxfordjournals.org] out of proportion?

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23126436)

I like what the guy had to say... but not enough to sign up for an account on cnet and say, "yeah man, I've got your back." If someone with an account there sees him over the weekend, please share my sentiments with him. Now, on to the real order at hand, once we've ripped power away from the ludites, how far is too far when it comes to revenge. Revenge of the nerds they drove a tank through a wall. Well, now to keep up, I'll think I'm gonna need to at least bust out the coffee mug and think this through.
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