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Slashback: Palace, Perl, Coastalism

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the just-5-shopping-days-left dept.

News 114

The webmaster responsible for putting Red Hat Linux in service for the Royal Family steps down, The A in ALS stands this year for "oAkland," DSS hackers can rejoice for the moment, and visions of Perl will soon adorn at least two continents. For more on these completely explicable statements, read on in tonight's episode of Slashback.

007 would prefer not to be required to go reinstall Linux. You may recall that in addition to various other pieces of head-adornment, the members of Britain's Royal Family rely on Red Hat, by way of their webmaster, Mick Morgan.

Brian writes: "Looks to me as if the Queen's webmaster is pulling out. See the letter at http://www.open.gov.uk/services/letter201200.htm. Let's hope the new owners keep Linux eh?"

Yet another yet another. Pittsburgher Kevin Lenzo wants you to know that June 13-15 in Montreal marks yet another Yet Another Perl Conference. They're also looking for sponsors worthy enough to fund their deeds of derring-do. Suggested reading includes parent organization the Yet Another Society and YAPC Europe (which will be terrorizing Amsterdam sometime in early August, CFP soon), and darn-near required reading includes the (and I quote) "kick-ass" Damien diary going at the Joy of YAS.

Do you ever suspect that some people code Perl strictly for the interesting conferences?

Hey, is there good barbeque in Oakland? In a clever move which might have caused Sherman some consternation, one of the coolest things about the city of Atlanta will shortly be appearing in Oakland, CA. A notice sent out by Usenix announces that November 6-10th of this year will be the next manifestation of ALS. Maddog Hall is sure to be there, so play hookey from work or school to go visit. The announcement reads, in part:

The ALS 2001 Program Committee invites you to contribute your ideas, proposals, and papers for tutorials, invited talks program, refereed papers track, workshops, work-in-progress reports, and symposia tracks. We welcome submissions that address any and all issues relating to Linux and the Open Source world.

The Call for Papers with submission guidelines and suggested topics is now available at http://www.linuxshowcase.org.

Submissions are due June 5, 2001

Revenge of the -- oh, I won't say it. A coward who failed to sign his name writes: "DirecTV stuck on Sunday a week before the Superbowl and wiped out 98% of hacked DSS cards. Supposedly DirecTV wrote to an area that is write once thereby making the cards go into an infinite loop. Now the hackers have found a way to bypass that sequence in the ROM in the form of a DPBB (Dead Processor Blocker Board). The board has a simple Atmel ROM that glitches pass the looped part of the ASIC on the DSS cards. DSS hacking is back."

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114 comments

Re:Sheesh (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#445171)

For all the time and effort spent into developing a hack for DSS, they could buy a thousand subscriptions to the service.

Not if they're Canadian, they can't.

Confession. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#445172)

Up until 'black Sunday', I was a frequent viewer of a hacked DSS signal. Now, however, that our card is inoperative, have we become paying customers? The truth is that we have not, and are actively pursuing other means of beating the system. I certainly don't blame DirecTV for trying to put an end to our illicit viewing, but I do have to question how cost effective this strategy is. I highly doubt that there is much of, if any, marginal return on every dollar they spend trying to defeat pirates.

Just my take on the matter...

Re:What about... (1)

Ranger Rick (197) | more than 13 years ago | (#445173)

Up until April I lived in Illinois. I feel your pain. :)

1st Law Of Networking: Loose ends are bad, termination is good.

What about... (1)

mortonda (5175) | more than 13 years ago | (#445175)

Those of us in the *MIDDLE* of the country, that don't get any Linux conventions... Ugh!

Re:why? (1)

kraig (8821) | more than 13 years ago | (#445176)

So your taking advantage of my goodwill in releasing my IP by not paying me for it is mitigated by the fact I'm not really "losing" anything? Defend your moral stance here, please, I'm not certain I see your reasoning clearly. What you're saying is that people should not release IP and reasonably expect to get paid for it or make a living off of it, since it isn't "really" property and you're not "really" hurting me. Would that make it OK to steal the physical possessions of an artist, since they can always go out and create more art, thus bringing in money to re-purchase their stolen property? Oh, sorry, they can't, because it's ok for me to make copies of their art, since it isn't "real" property, it's only intellectual.

Re:Yes it should! (1)

Mooset (9986) | more than 13 years ago | (#445177)

If I'm using an "unlicensed" SmartCard (btw I'm not, I actually rarely ever watch TV), I still own that card - it's my property. If DirectTV breaks it by any means, they are illegally tampering with something I own.

Ah, but you don't really own the card, at least not from a legal standpoint. The card's software was created by DirectTV and as such is licensed proprietary code. As with any software license, they have the right to terminate it at any time. (Read the EULA on your latest game, it's in there.) And since you are not the rightful licensee of the code, they are not required to offer any form of reimbursement.

Of course this is all a moot point since the software code on the card had already been illegally reverse-engineered and altered, and because of that violation of the license agreement is illegal to operate in the first place.

Re:There is such thing as due process (1)

Mooset (9986) | more than 13 years ago | (#445178)

This is the case because in the USA, we're supposedly Innocent Until Proven Guilty.

You make a good argument, except for this... The tactics used by DirectTV only affected cards that had been illegaly hacked. Anyone who fell victim to the attack by DirectTV had already been "proven guilty" because had they not been breaking the law, no damage would have occured.

I know it sounds like a cheap argument, but in this day and age it would probably stand up in court.

Re:Going back to Cali (1)

FigWig (10981) | more than 13 years ago | (#445180)

maybe they can pull a siggraph and alternate between the sites every year? Siggraph goes between Los Angeles, Orlando, and New Orleans.

Re:God Bless the CRTC! (1)

Panaflex (13191) | more than 13 years ago | (#445181)

OKay.. here's some logic...

I have a river on my property. I can certainly drink it, bottle it, use it to water my garden.. But if I am polluting and that pollution is unmanaged, then I am in the wrong.

Simularly, a radio signal that is on my property. I can certainly listen to it, record it, and show it to me friends and comrads. But if I am "pulluting" that radio signal, such as to affect my neighbors reception, then I am in the wrong.

Because a company decided to broadcast it's content onto the open airwaves.. doesn't mean that I don't have fair use!!! Just because they throw a little bit scrambling into it doesn't make it and more or less of the content. It is just a format. But out american politicians shield a company from loss by PASSING a law to say that it IS illegal?!

Pan

Your re-reasoning is also flawed... (1)

MO! (13886) | more than 13 years ago | (#445182)

The exceptions you point out are exceptions because of one specific thing - they affect "downstream" entities. If I dump pollution into a river, or even a pond on my property, there is a direct negative affect on the enrironment outside my property. That is the specific reason why it's illegal. If you have an isolated container, that does not suffer from seepage, leaks, evaporation, or other methods of affecting the environment, then there really isn't anything illegal about it. If you don't believe this, consider your trash/garbage can - although it does suffer from minor leakage/evaporation, it is small enough that the polluting material does not significantly affect the environment.

Unscrambling a signal has no affect on that signal in general, so it isn't even the equivalent of a trash can, more like a stove (utilizes the material present). If, however, you "pollute" the airwaves, by immitting a signal of your own which affectively blocks or prohibits others from receiving the original signal (much like dumping pollution into a stream running through your property), then you are definately breaking laws against jamming public airwaves.

There is such thing as due process (1)

MO! (13886) | more than 13 years ago | (#445183)

I agree that the legality of the card may be in question, but that does not give them the right to destroy it, only pursue proper legal channels to prosecute the issue. If I believe the TV in your home was purchased by somone selling stolen equipment from a van, that does not give me or the TV manufacturer, or TV stations, or the police, or anyone the right to enter your home and destroy your property. I can only inform the proper law enforcement officials and they will prosecute the matter if there is sufficient evidence.

This is the case because in the USA, we're supposedly Innocent Until Proven Guilty.

Re:DirecTV (1)

Elm Tree (17570) | more than 13 years ago | (#445187)

Actually, According to the CRTC the service cannot be sold in Canada, allowing the Bell Expressvue a near monopoly on Canadian satalite tv.

OT: Late food [Was Re:Best barbeque in bay area] (1)

skullY (23384) | more than 13 years ago | (#445188)

I couldn't have made it through school without Doug's Barbeque, open until 3:00 AM most nights, 3600 San Pablo Blvd, Oakland. Not recommended for pasty white solitary geeks at 3:00 AM, due to its location under the freeway on the north edge of the seedier part of Oaktown. But worth it for the best ribs, fried chicken, roast lamb and slabs o'beef around.
Are you sure that's still there? I live at 48th and San Pablo in Emeryville, and I don't recall seeing anything to eat around 30th, nor does yp.yahoo.com list them. I'd love it if there was something more than giant burger open at 2am. Despite being the bay area, we have a severe lack of anything open late-night. Even the grocery stores and gas stations close by 11pm.

For anyone else in the east bay, where do you go late at night? I've spent two years in the area and still have yet to find anything decent/close open late at night (And you can forget about food.com, everything they list closed at 9pm).

And for anyone worried about how seedy oakland looks, it's really not that seedy. Sure, you have no troubles finding someone to sell you crack in a church's chicken box, or a hooker about any time of the night, but it's still a safe neighborhood. I've never had any qualms about walking through about any neighborhood at night, even when my skin is pasty white after 3 days of sitting in front of a terminal with the shades drawn.

Re:DirecTV (1)

ChrisGoodwin (24375) | more than 13 years ago | (#445189)

A question, though. If the airwaves are public, what's illegal about using a signal that you didn't permit someone to send onto your property? I think that DirecTV is spending far too much money trying to stop the fraction of a percent of their viewers from stealing service. Is it really cost effective?

I don't think you can make an argument that you are not permitting the signal onto your property if you're making use of the signal.

All your base are belong to us.

Re:DSS is back! (1)

gimpboy (34912) | more than 13 years ago | (#445191)

its nice that you compare the loss of cable tv to the bombing of perl harbor. this really makes a statement about how screwed up our society is. it like when seinfeld was canceled... it felt like the holocaust.

use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that

Re:God Bless the CRTC! (1)

gimpboy (34912) | more than 13 years ago | (#445192)

Why should it be illegal to decrypt something that is physically passing through me as I write this? I never asked them to broadcast their signal through me. Same with cellphones and all that. If the signal is passing through my body, then IMO I have every right to do what I want with that signal.

lets extend this a bit...
i'm a company who uses river water in a process. hey the company didnt ask the river to flow through the earth and if they want to take that water and add polutants to it then who are we to stop them.

well until we pass laws they can do whatever they want. i realize you live in canada and our laws dont apply, hell i'm surprised that canada doesnt declare direct tv a natural resource. they could harvest it and resell it to the people in the us at a lower rate. they could even use nafta to strongarm the us govt into letting them do it. what a tangent... until laws are passed you can continue to live off of the direct tv tit if you will. just dont pretend you are doing something your not. you are taking advantage of service oriented buisness and not paying for the product you are consuming. the arguments here are mainly justification for taking something...

the truth of the matter is that people in the us are breaking the dmca i believe when they use these cards to decrypt the signals. do i agree with the dmca? not really. do i break the law? yes. am i going to pretend that it's ok to steal software, tv signals, etc because the people i am stealing from are wealthy? NO! people stop trying to justify what you are doing and admit that it is stealing. at the very least admit you are taking advantage of a company.

use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that

Re:why? (1)

gimpboy (34912) | more than 13 years ago | (#445193)

i agree with you on this. i believe the government is the place to go to bitch about these issues. i would think the corporations that produce the content do so based on laws (copyright). it's no secret that they are here to make money. if people are dissatisfied they should turn to the government and not the companies. wether or not i agree with the companies, they are just trying to protect their interests. this is to be expected-they are businesses.

i realize that the dmca was passed by lobbying by companies. if our sheep like population is happy to sit back and let their rights be taken away, what can we do?

my point is not to blame the companies. they are operating in their interests within the law. if you want to blame someone look at the corruption in washington (i like to imagine a huge fire personally). smile and feel that warm fuzzy feeling your senators leave in your belly when they pass bills in the wee hours of the night. dont say "i have the right to do..." you lost that right at 3:40 in the morning.

use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that

why? (1)

gimpboy (34912) | more than 13 years ago | (#445194)

They should either broadcast their stuff in the clear, and rely on the law to protect them, or they should rely on technology, and have no copyright apply to their work. They shouldn't be able to have both, especially not when the law portion is as draconian as the DMCA.

lets apply this to your property: either you should lock your door and protect your property or rely on the law and not bother with the lock.

but wait this is information... its different than physical property...

really thought. whos to tell a person/company what they can and cannot do with their copyrighted information?

use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that

Re:God Bless the CRTC! (1)

gimpboy (34912) | more than 13 years ago | (#445195)

actually consider this: until laws were passed companies could (and did) do whatever they wanted to the environment. was it right? no, but they didnt care. i think you are right about confusing what is correct with what is lawful. i dont believe intercepting and decoding signals is right-there really isnt a way to justify it in my mind.

i also agree with you the dmca is seriously flawed, and i also believe it is unconstitutional. if it is repealed does it make intercepting and decoding tv signals right? i dont believe so. i still feel you are using a service that you havent paid for. alot of people think that just because you are screwing over a big corporation it is ok. it would be nice to see people protesting by not watching tv instead of stealing it.

kinda off topic: there really isnt that much on tv thats worth watching-imagine what would happen if people started reading again instead of watching tv. you would see nike sending books out with their swoosh surrounding the page numbers. people have turned into walking billboards. it's sad when people will pay more for clothing with advertisements.

use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that

Re:why? (1)

gimpboy (34912) | more than 13 years ago | (#445196)

i pretty much agree with you totally. i think the beef we have is not with the companies, but with the government. people need to start bitching to the senators and reps for their state. i think the companies are just playing the game better at this point-they have alot more to gain in the short term, but we have alot more to loose in the long term.

use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that

Re:God Bless the CRTC! (1)

gimpboy (34912) | more than 13 years ago | (#445197)

sorry for the confusion. i was lumping all who use hacked boxes to get direct tv. no offense intended.

use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that

Re:DSS is back! (1)

gimpboy (34912) | more than 13 years ago | (#445198)

i didnt know until i looked it up on google. really thought godwins law aside-compareing the loss of your stolen cable to the bombing of perl harbor is pathethic. it really devalues those who lost their lives.

use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that

Re:God Bless the CRTC! (1)

look (36902) | more than 13 years ago | (#445200)

Your analogy is flawed, because using the river changes the river in a way detremental to others. However, intercepting the satellite signals has absolutely no affect on the ability for others to intercept (use) the same satellite signal, nor on the ability for DirecTV to broadcast the signal.

I think it is foolish for the DirecTV people to stop a fringe minority of people from enjoying free service, but it is their right. I'm fine with it as long as they don't use the law as a heavy blunt instrument, like the DVD CCA did. Then, it's just a war of brains against brains, hackers versus DirecTV programmers. No one gets hurt, and it's fun.

Re:Confession. (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 13 years ago | (#445201)

Agreed: we should have the right to decrypt anything that is broadcast. There might be issues more complex with what we then do/i? with what we've decrypted, but the act of breaking their encryption should not be a crime.

Re:Best barbeque in bay area (1)

Custard (45810) | more than 13 years ago | (#445202)

I used to go to Flints back when old man Flint was there. I think it has gone downhill since he sold it to his kids.

Have you tried:

Rudy's Bar-B-Que Pit
4712 3rd St
San Francisco, CA 94124
(415) 282-4539

Best BBQ I've had in California.

The usual warnings about the neighborhood. This one makes me a little nervous, but I haven't had a problem beyond things getting thrown at my car. Probably because of the amount of foot traffic.

I'll be sure to try Bobby's. What makes BBQ Cajun?

Dan

Re:DirecTV (1)

Amokscience (86909) | more than 13 years ago | (#445204)

Great, then I can just hack wireless networks at will. They shouldn't be broadcasting right? Those pagers and cell phones too.

Re:DMCA? (1)

devjoe (88696) | more than 13 years ago | (#445205)

I don't know about Canada's laws, but Canada isn't "enforcing" anything here.

The story (better to read the earlier stories referenced in several comments) is about the DirecTV company sending out signals in their broadcast stream that mess with hacked receivers. They have done this several times, but shortly before the Super Bowl, they sent out a signal which was physically damaging to hacked receivers. The "smart cards" these systems use to decode the signals have a write-once area on them, and if this area contains certain coding, the card just won't work.

The current story is about the users of hacked systems finding a way to use some sort of emulation intermediate to make their otherwise damaged-broken-dead cards work anyway.

This particular thread points out that a large number of the hackers using hacked receivers/cards to get DirecTV are in Canada, where Canadian laws (probably the "Canadian content" laws) prohibit DirecTV from selling the service. The signal reaches into parts of Canada near the border, but DirecTV is prohibited from providing legit systems for decoding and viewing it. So these people are taking things into their own hand, and we have a bit of a hack war.

Re:DirecTV (1)

Kreeblah (95092) | more than 13 years ago | (#445207)

> (If) DirectTV figures out a way to send a signal that will prevent them from working, that shouldn't be illegal either.

It's not, at least according to them. On each card it states that it is owned by someone else (I forgot who) and is merely loaned to you, subject to recall at any time. It's not illegal to destroy property you own. I don't know how this would stand up to a court challenge, but that's the way things stand right now.

Re:Going back to Cali (1)

bubbasatan (99237) | more than 13 years ago | (#445208)

1.5 hrs? I had a 15 minute drive. Sad, sad, sad. Yes, it really does constitute a swift kick to the nads to all of us in the area who appreciated having some good regional Linux action. Apart from the LWE that showed up in Raleign, NC (RedHat country) one year, the ALS (ATLANTA Linux Showcase) was one of the best thing Southern Linux users had going. I say it's time we band together and start our own Linux show in the southeast. Atlanta's a good city, but then so are Charlotte, Raleigh, Nashville, Birmingham, etc, etc, ad nauseum. I mean, the most popular distro in the US is headquarted in the southeast. Why must everything cater to the f***ing left coast or NYC? Surely there are craploads of Linux users who don't reside in either of those two areas. Is there anyone else out there who thinks that the southeast still needs a good Linux expo? Enough griping, I guess I'll hop down from my soap box...but I'm still pretty pissed off at those bastards for making our ALS go away...

Re:DSS hacking makes my head hurt (1)

evildogeye (106313) | more than 13 years ago | (#445209)

The DSS broadcasters are not allowed to do business in Canada. The signal reaches them just fine. So there is a *huge* motivation to unscramble the signal. I believe if it hits your house, you own it, whether it's an orange from the neighbor's tree, or a tv signal from another country. One thing I don't get about people with this attitude: You dont seem to thing it is right to own airwaves, yet you think it is perfectly natural for people to own land and property. Do you honestly believe that land is inherently more ownable than airwaves or anything else?

DirecTV vs. Canuck hackers (1)

RestiffBard (110729) | more than 13 years ago | (#445210)

I only hope that the hackers at DirecTV are having as much fun defeating the (supposedly mostly)canuck hackers efforts as the canucks are at defeating the DirecTV hackers.

I like to imagine some DirecTV technicians and engineers in a dark corner of DirecTV headquarters watching and waiting thinking "damn they got that one qucik. what should we do now." and someone suggesting death rays to peals of laughter.

Re:God Bless the CRTC! (1)

kilrogg (119108) | more than 13 years ago | (#445211)

just a bunch of whores to Bell Canada and Shaw Cable

Don't forget Microsoft too [crtc.gc.ca]. That's right, if you want to listen to CRTC hearings over the net, you'll need to have a WiMP supported OS. So much for a commision who's mandate [crtc.gc.ca] includes evaluating and approving open standards (NTSC, FM, etc) to "ensure that all Canadians have access to a wide variety of high quality Canadian programming."

I guess that doesn't include their programming and the internet (ok, hearings aren't "high quality", but still, there some hypocrisy here, no? ).

Because we sold it to them. (1)

miniwookie (131560) | more than 13 years ago | (#445213)

This only applies in the United States, but here is the simple explanation. Some years ago we decided through our bicameral national legislature that the electromagnetic spectrum within our borders was sole property of the US. So they passed a law saying, we own it and you have to pay us to use it. Shortly thereafter radio stations, then later TV stations began paying fees to the government so they could use frequencies on the broadcast medium. At the time no one was sure what the business model would be for recouping the costs of purchasing the license. Ultimately TV and radio became supported through advertising, and so they never got to charge a fee. Then one day people got tired of bad reception and someone said, maybe I can make money by launching a couple of billion dollars in satelights into orbit and then charging customers a monthly fee to get hundreds of channels. But to do this I'll need to use that electromagneticthingamajiggy, so they went to the governmnet and bought a big chunk of it. now they can sell their service and make money. If you don't like it you can call up your congressman and ask them to change the law so that no-one can buy a frequency. Just be prepared to give back the billions of dollars cell phone companies, directTV, TV stations, and everyone else has paid you government for it. Also lacking an economic incentive Hughes will probably stop broadcasting anything to their satalights and deorbit, hopefully right into your living room. Frankly I think people who steal cable or DSS are the worst kind of theives. At least if you steal money you could reasonably say that you might need it to eat, or clothe yourself. If you're stealing so you can have 600+ channels and wack off at 3am to the Spice channel; well thats just the kind of self-centered hedonism that makes me fevently wish some barbarian hordes would come and kill the whole fuckin lot of us.

Re:DirecTV (1)

egburr (141740) | more than 13 years ago | (#445214)

I don't think you can make an argument that you are not permitting the signal onto your property if you're making use of the signal.

Why not? "I am giving no permission for or even acceptance of their sending this signal onto my property, but since they did it anyway, I am going to use it as I wish. Whatever use I make of the signal, my top preference is that they keep their signal off of my property." What is so hard to understand about that?

Edward Burr

i cant wait for an ALS in redmond ,WA (1)

drfrog (145882) | more than 13 years ago | (#445215)

you know right in the back yard
you think Bill would come out w the shot gun and start bussin'?

DSS is what? (1)

EraseEraseMe (167638) | more than 13 years ago | (#445216)

The whole DSS submission makes little to no sense. I'm not quite sure what the meaning is behind it but I'll assume that DirecTV is doing something to prevent viewing of stuff during the Superbowl and hackers found a way of circumventing this anti-circumvention. Maybe someone could clear this up a bit as the link in the story seems to just go to a pay-for-hardware site or an overly technical page.

Re:DSS is back! (1)

MrBogus (173033) | more than 13 years ago | (#445217)

December 7, 1995, the day Microsoft announced it's Internet strategy, should live in Infamy far more than the launch of Windows 95. At last report, Netscape is still working on that A-Bomb comeback.

Re:Confession. (1)

tdandh (191232) | more than 13 years ago | (#445218)

Even if you DO have the right to decode radio waves that come through your property, why do so many people here feel that that right includes using DirecTV's equipment? If you built your own satellite receiver and decoder, I would agree that you have the right to use that equipment to decode signals that are being broadcast through your property.

Congrats to DirecTV (1)

vukicevic (199951) | more than 13 years ago | (#445219)

I for one am glad to see that DirecTV is fighting back not with threats and lawyers, but with some pretty clever hacking on their part. I'm actually quite impressed that they pulled off what they did -- slowly building up the necessary code, piece by seeminly innocuous piece, until they struck. (Having it occur a week before the superbowl was a masterful stroke as well.) Many hackers consider what they do a sort of game, and DirecTV decided to actively participate.

This is in contrast to most other companies and organizations, such as the Microsoft and the RIAA/MPAA... even companies such as Rambus, Apple, Fraunhoffer, etc. who attempt to enforce what they feel is 'their' property not by any technical means, but by patents and lawsuits.

Now, I'm disgusted by, for example, what the MPAA is trying to do with DeCSS; however, I would have a lot more respect for them if they took a more DirecTV-type approach, and tried to figure out technical means to 'throw a wrench in the works'. If they think some of their.. property (? content? data? I'm not even sure exactly...) is being violated, they should be able to protect it themselves. They don't have the luxury of being able to update the embedded software on all existing DVD players; maybe they could just declare that they screwed up, and that DVDs can't offer the kind of content control that they want. (Of course, it's a bit late to propose any kind of alternative, but still.)

In any case, DirecTV's being a good guy throughout this, I would think -- and I might even be buying their systems in the future. (This in contrast to other satellite networks that will be locking out some HD content from being viewed with HDTV equipment that doesn't have media access control capabilities!)

DSS is back! (1)

Alatar (227876) | more than 13 years ago | (#445221)

Hurrah for the hackers! Black Sunday will not take its place alongside Halloween 1998; August 24, 1995; December 7, 1941; and other famous disastrous dates.

Do you ever suspect that some people code Perl... (1)

FreeMath (230584) | more than 13 years ago | (#445222)

Do you ever suspect that some people code Perl strictly for the interesting conferences?

I dunno why not ask Taco.

Re:DMCA? (1)

litui (231192) | more than 13 years ago | (#445224)

Just one quickie question for anyone who can answer this, how does the DMCA directly affect Canadians? I realize the US does have alot of power but the DMCA was passed in the US, not here in Canada to my knowledge. Are there similar laws in Canada preventing us from descrambling dss signals from a US company's transmissions or is this another example of Canada enforcing something because of American pressure?

Re:Congrats to DirecTV (1)

MarkLR (236125) | more than 13 years ago | (#445225)

Personally I hope that DSS not only uses their own hackers to stop the people stealing their signal but lawsuits, and criminal legal action. It's simple, if you want to use something as noncrucial as satellite tv, pay for it. Those movies don't shoot themselves nor does the sports signals appear without alot of teams and players expecting to get paid.

Re:DSS hacking makes my head hurt (1)

ConsumedByTV (243497) | more than 13 years ago | (#445226)

Can you link me to some information as to why they cant get it legaly?

I am interested to see why they cant, perhaps its an excuse to pirate it?


Fight censors!

Re:DirecTV (1)

eXtro (258933) | more than 13 years ago | (#445227)

Nope, satellite broadcast companies did this about 10 years ago (maybe more) to the big dish owners. The decryption boards had been hacked, they sent out a magic bullet which disabled them prior to some big event.

When VideoCypher was the technology used to protect content, which had been hacked so you could install keys for whatever channel you wanted, they also started changing the keys more often. First weekly, then daily, then several times a day. Since you had to manually enter those keys if you had a hacked board it helped improve their sales ;)

Re:Because we sold it to them. (1)

Fat Casper (260409) | more than 13 years ago | (#445229)

Congress can sell them the right to transmit all day long. I am recieving their transmissions with my body. Unless you are the worst kind of DMCA whore, you will recognize my right to recieve their transmissions with electronics as well, so that I can at least get some entertainment value out of the fact that my body is forced to be an EMP sink.

When I can opt out of being hit with their radiation, I'll recognize their right to charge for it. Until then, they're only charging for the convenience, not the right.

Re:Confession. (1)

onepoint (301486) | more than 13 years ago | (#445230)

"I highly doubt that there is much of, if any, marginal return on every dollar they spend trying to defeat pirates."

Well look at it like this:
If direct tv made a special offering:
3 DTV people @ 50k per year = $150,000
4000 new subscriptions @7.95 per month for 3 month = $ 95,400 ( the very special offer )
keep 400 for the rest of the year $ 28,620

nets out to a loss of $ 25,980

the results only lead to a small loss but manybe long term gain. I have those engineers paid for most of the year to do normal work. I have a new 3600 user database to mail stuff to.

ONEPOINT



spambait e-mail
my web site artistcorner.tv hip-hop music news
please help me make it better

Re:why? (1)

b0r1s_7h3_h4x0r (307790) | more than 13 years ago | (#445232)

whos to tell a person/company what they can and cannot do with their copyrighted information?

The government. Copyright is not a God given right, nor a natural right, nor terribly well supported in common law before the 18th century, nor even terribly logical. Government created copyright, and government can take it away.

Unfortunatly, the schmucks in Washington just gave them the DMCA, so now they can ignore any and all of the laws governing how they charge for and sell content, not to mention what the consumer may do with his/her purchased content, merely by claiming that any technology required to access the content is unlawful circumvention and therefore covered under it.

3v1l_b0r1s at d4rkr0ck d0t c0 d0t uk

Re:God Bless the CRTC! (1)

Spunk Junkie (310106) | more than 13 years ago | (#445234)

until laws are passed you can continue to live off of the direct tv tit if you will. just dont pretend you are doing something your not. you are taking advantage of service oriented buisness and not paying for the product you are consuming.

Erm... Where did I say I was doing this? I, unfortunately, have Starchoice (for lack of a decent cable company), and I haven't even SEEN any DirecTV let alone hacked it myself... Not sure if you're using "You" to refer to those who do or "You" to refer specifically to me, but I just wanted to point out that I'm innocent of all charges:) Just merely commenting.

Re:God Bless the CRTC! (1)

Spunk Junkie (310106) | more than 13 years ago | (#445235)

kinda off topic: there really isnt that much on tv thats worth watching-imagine what would happen if people started reading again instead of watching tv. you would see nike sending books out with their swoosh surrounding the page numbers. people have turned into walking billboards. it's sad when people will pay more for clothing with advertisements.

Likewise on the off topic, but it deserves comment: I agree about there being nothing of interest on TV. Alas I am mad addicted to F1 racing and since the only way to see that is through TV I'm kinda screwed. I watch that, re-runs of Babylon 5, Iron Chef and that's about it. Oh yeah, and Buffy:) And Charmed, though only because of my perverse desires to do naughty things to those girls...:) As for people paying more for clothing with logos on, right on! They did a piece on TV the other day, comparing skateboarding clothes. The logo'ed stuff with the non logo'ed. For a full outfit (hat, pants, shirt etc...), the logo'ed came to about $269 CDN, the non logo'ed version which, aside from the logo, looked identical, was $89 or thereabouts.

There is actually a group, can't remember their name but they give away stickers and the like to post over the logos that say "This space not for sale". It's insane. Sure, promote a TV show or show your musical preference with a Manson shirt or whatever (Gotta get the shirt that says "I am the god of fuck!"), but paying $50 for a Hilfiger shirt... Well, anyone who does that and thinks they're getting a good deal, I have a nice plot of land to sell you. No, honestly, it's perfectly stable, the ground is just a little soft... No... No... Whoever said it was swamp was wrong... Sign here...

Re:Best barbeque in bay area (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#445236)

There's also Flint's Bar-B-Q [yahoo.com]. Also in a seedy part of town (there are lots of those in Oakland).

Re:Best barbeque in bay area (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#445237)

Re: oakland BBQ:

There's also Everett and Jones.

If you want excellent Korean wood-charcoal BBQ, try Koryo.

bbq (2)

jk (29) | more than 13 years ago | (#445238)

> Hey, is there good barbeque in Oakland?

flint's barbecue

Ugh. (2)

Ranger Rick (197) | more than 13 years ago | (#445239)

Hey, is there good barbeque in Oakland? In a clever move which might have caused Sherman some consternation, one of the coolest things about the city of Atlanta will shortly be appearing in Oakland, CA. A notice sent out by Usenix announces that November 6-10th of this year will be the next manifestation of ALS.

Yeah, and those of us on the east coast are jumping for joy that there are now 141 Linux shows on the other side of the continent instead of 140; we can rest easy knowing California finally has a Linux expo, at the expense of Georgia. I felt bad they were being left out. Now I can rest easy.


1st Law Of Networking: Loose ends are bad, termination is good.

In California, it *is* legal. (2)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 13 years ago | (#445240)

A satellite company in CA tried to sue someone a few years back for "stealing" their signal, too. The judge's ruling echoed your reasoning.

Unfortunately, by the tenets of the DMCA, decrypting the DirecTV signal is illegal, at least for now.

- A.P.

--
* CmdrTaco is an idiot.

Going back to Cali (2)

Sabalon (1684) | more than 13 years ago | (#445242)

"Oh...Oh...we've had a good conference in Atlanta for 4 years - lets say screw you to all the locals that helped us out and supported us and run it to California to kiss up."

Just a we bit bitter that ALS is moving and it's no longer just a 1.5hr drive.

Re:DSS hacking makes my head hurt (2)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 13 years ago | (#445244)

It's not Joe 6-Pack who is behind all this.

It's Pierre Litre in Canada who cannot possibly
get the service any other way.
The DSS broadcasters are not allowed to do business in Canada. The signal reaches them
just fine. So there is a *huge* motivation
to unscramble the signal. I believe if it hits
your house, you own it, whether it's an orange from the neighbor's tree, or a tv signal from
another country.

Re:No Room (2)

SoftwareJanitor (15983) | more than 13 years ago | (#445246)

NYC

I'd agree that a lot of people are turned off by NYC. My personal opinion is that it is a noisy, crowded, filth ridden cesspool with an overabundance of rude and/or dangerous people.

My favorite city for big shows is Las Vegas. San Francisco is also most excellent. Other places that have had a pretty good track record include Chicago and Atlanta. Other places I'd rather visit than NYC... just about any other large US City... San Diego, Orlando, Dallas, Denver... Heck I think even Los Angeles would rank higher in my view than NYC.

Re:DSS Hacking (2)

Osty (16825) | more than 13 years ago | (#445247)

I'm not advocating theft in any way, but I found this to be amazing, that rogue codewarriors had enough diligence to be able to figure a way around what everyone (Hughes included) thought was permanent.

That's not amazing. If anything, it's extremely sad. Would these same people expend as much effort getting and retaining a job as they do stealing DSS, they'd have more than enough money to be able to PAY for DSS. People like this make me sick.

Re:DirecTV (2)

Tam-Lin (17972) | more than 13 years ago | (#445248)

I agree. In fact, in this new digital age we're in, I think companies should have to make a choice when it comes to protecting their "intellectual property," or, more accurately, their recently produced IP. They should either broadcast their stuff in the clear, and rely on the law to protect them, or they should rely on technology, and have no copyright apply to their work. They shouldn't be able to have both, especially not when the law portion is as draconian as the DMCA.

Re:why? (2)

Tam-Lin (17972) | more than 13 years ago | (#445249)

Sorry, I should have expanded earlier. Digital property is a different beast than physical property; me "stealing" something doesn't deprive the original buyer of anything, though it does deprive the content producer of revenue (assuming I would have bought the property had I not "stolen" it).

In order to address this problem, we, as a society, have made a deal with content producers: we created a concept of ownership for imaginary things, like novels, and movies, and songs, and so on, that allow the content producers to profit from their creation. In return, though, the content producer agrees that society retains certain rights, like the rule of first sale (after someone buys a book, they can do what they will with it), various sorts of fair use, and the idea that copyrights expire.

Until now, the content producers had to agree to the deal, as they really couldn't effectively limit any of the rights society kept for itself, and they had to take what they were given from a legal point of view. Now, though, they want the protection of copyright without upholding their side of the deal; in fact, they want to set things up so that there's no way for society to make them agree to the deal we had before. I think they should be forced to choose: make the deal, and we'll protect your works under law (and remember that anything digital can be copied; CSS doesn't stop copying, just viewing), or protect your works with technology, and you don't have to accept the fair use provisions you would otherwise, but if your technology is broken, well, we're sorry, but you chose not to accept the deal. Content producers shouldn't be able to have it both ways.

In fact, we already have such a distinction when it comes to ideas. There's patents, where a company agrees to reveal the invention to the world, and for some period of time, no other company can use said invention, even if they come up with the idea on their own, and then there's trade secrets, where they can keep something secret for as long as they wish, and competitors can't do unfair things to learn about the invention, but if a competitor discovers the idea independantly, well, too bad. A company isn't allowed to claim exclusive use of ideas they won't reveal to everyone else.

My apologies for the quotes, incidentally. Words in quotes usually annoy me, but words like property, theft, steal, and so on don't mean the same thing when used in reference to IP as opposed to physical property, but we have no substitutes, so I use the quotes to emphasize that they need to be looked at differently.

Re:Best barbeque in bay area (2)

anticypher (48312) | more than 13 years ago | (#445250)

Goat. Gaaaahhhhhh. I grew up eating goat, and so I've always had an aversion to it, although Doug's was edible. The turkey was excellent, I'd forgotten their menu since its been quite a while since I was there. I don't even know what E&J is, but Flints was great until it got sold off a few years ago. La plus ca change....

OnTopicPost: Is anyone going to this linux conference? Here in europe, we've just had a couple back to back, in Paris and Brussels. Good stuff, but no late night barbeque :-)

the AC

No Room (2)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 13 years ago | (#445252)

Someone that helps with ALS said they could not get a spot in Atlanta this year. Everything is just full. I'd be happy to see them bring it to Raleigh, but we don't have enough room.

As for NYC...I was at LWE and it was *DEAD*. People don't like to go there for shows..maybe it's better in the summer but it was about 1/3 as busy as LWE in San Jose.

They're transmitting bits. You're interpreting. (2)

billstewart (78916) | more than 13 years ago | (#445253)

They're transmitting bits. You're interpreting them. Get used to it. If you don't like the bits they're sending, because they're too confusing for your bootleg-hacked not-smart-enough-card,
buy the real thing (ok, smuggle it from your US Mailboxes Etc. box :-) or find some better reverse engineers.

Re:Sheesh (2)

Airline_Sickness_Bag (111686) | more than 13 years ago | (#445254)

> For all the time and effort spent into developing a hack for DSS, they could buy a thousand subscriptions to the service

When I first saw this, my mind translated it into this:

For all the time and effort spent into developing Linux, they could buy a thousand copies of Windows.

Re:DSS Hacking (2)

MajroMax (112652) | more than 13 years ago | (#445255)

That's not amazing. If anything, it's extremely sad. Would these same people expend as much effort getting and retaining a job as they do stealing DSS, they'd have more than enough money to be able to PAY for DSS. People like this make me sick.

Aw, come on. Even presuming that all the people that were using hacked cards were doing so in the US, where it is illegal, as opposed to some/most being in Canada, where it's (according to previous comments) perfectly legal, your argument is still flawed.

Why do you climb a mountain? Because it's there. Half of the purpose of hacking like this [and it is hacking, not cracking, when you actually develop a new workaround like this] is the fun. Sure, these people are probably spending more in development than they'd spend on a full subscription, but that's like driving around the mountain.

Re:Confession. (2)

donpardo (128815) | more than 13 years ago | (#445257)

I highly doubt that there is much of, if any, marginal return on every dollar they spend trying to defeat pirates.

There is one huge return: they get to keep broadcasting high demand content.

The contracts that they sign with their content providers no doubt stipulate that DirecTV has to make every effort to keep the signal from being viewed by anyone who is not paying the subscription fee.

If they don't try to stop the hackers (and succeded every once in a while), one of two things will happen - CNN won't license the feed to them anymore (reducing the quality of the service they offer, losing them subscribers and reducing their profits) or CNN will charge them more to make up for the extra viewers who aren't paying the fee, (reducing their profits outright, or losing them future subscribers who go to a cheaper system).

Should you have the right to decode radio waves that come through your property? IMO, yes. But there's nothing that says that they have to make it easy.

You cant buy the service you can get (2)

elegant7x (142766) | more than 13 years ago | (#445259)

For one thing, canadians can't buy the service at all, it's more illegal there then it is to 'steal' it. And in the US, the amout of channels you get by 'stealing' the signal is far greater then any of the packages, especialy when you figure in pay per view movies and porn

Amber Yuan 2k A.D

Re:DSS hacking makes my head hurt (2)

brad3378 (155304) | more than 13 years ago | (#445260)


Here's a Related Link [freshmeat.net] For "learning" about watching illegal Cable TV on your linux box. Haven't tried it yet mostly because My TV tuner card sucks.

Also, I could be wrong, but suppose a guy (not me I swear!) wanted to steal cable signals. If they wanted to go with the DSS method, they wouldn't have to pay ANY monthly service fee. The guy stealing Signals from his local cable company would likely have to pay for the "basic" package while his little black box would be considered the "upgrade".

Sheesh (2)

proxima (165692) | more than 13 years ago | (#445261)

For all the time and effort spent into developing a hack for DSS, they could buy a thousand subscriptions to the service...that said, I always find the disclaimers on these sites amusing:

You understand that www.HackHu.com does not promote nor condone signal theft of any kind and you do not hold www.HackHu.com responsible for the actions of any of their users as it is the users' responsibility to comply with all local and State laws of their territory and country.

This site is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not our intention to assist you in committing fraud or performing any illegal acts


The news page [hackhu.com] mentions how much traffic the site will be getting this month. I'm sure everyone who's downloading these programs are using them completely lawfully. Yeah, right. Ah well, I bet the site just loves these /.s they've been getting recently. I'm a bit surprised they don't make enough in advertising to have to ask for PayPal donations (or maybe they really don't need them, and are just looking to feed themselves).

Re:why? (2)

MrBogus (173033) | more than 13 years ago | (#445262)

Well, it's easy to point at corruption and wag your finger, but you have to understand in the case of the DMCA the general opinion was that it was the right thing to do. This wasn't your average porkbarrel project or individualized tax loophole - the bill passed unanomiously or nearly so.

You could just imagine the conversation at some Washington bar:

Entertainment Type: Senator, let me ask you a hypothetical question. If we were to offer some service, that people were supposed to pay for, and someone invented a device that allowed them to recieve the service for free, should that be illegal in someway?

Senator: Well, of course.

ET: Well, let me tell you something. It isn't under current law.

Senator:
[Should be asking why, but isn't, and ET wouldn't exactly want to explain Fair Use law anyway] Well, we could do something about that, what do you have in mind.

ET: In the new "Digital Millenium", our goal is to protect content with access devices blah blah blah blah.

Senator: Huh? OK. I need another drink.

(Some time later) Senator 2: But wouldn't this bill abridge people's fair use rights? My constituants like to record things of the TeeVee with the VeeCeeArr. Those things are really a wonder.

Senator 1: Well we'll just put a provision in there saying this bill doesn't do that
(possibly never aware that that was the entire point of the bill to begin with...)

Re:DirecTV (2)

TJamieson (218336) | more than 13 years ago | (#445263)

IANAL (as usual) but as far as I know, the law states that receiving airwaves is legal, but receiving encrypted airwaves then decrypting them isn't.

YAPC: Who needs a room? (2)

los furtive (232491) | more than 13 years ago | (#445264)

I've got 2 futons and 120 ft of CAT-5 waiting for anyone coming to my home town of Montreal for the YAPC!

Click here [mailto] to become buddies with a budding perl lover up north! (yes Cam, you can come too!)

Re:DirecTV (2)

eXtro (258933) | more than 13 years ago | (#445266)

You're receiving encrypted signals, you've got to go through an extra step to decrypt them. This should be legal (and probably isn't, but I don't write laws). In my opinion its also in the companies rights (and good judgement) to try to use technology to prevent this. That's what DirectTV did. They could've easily done a sting operation but they didn't. Wait till the dumb SOB's call in and complain they can't see the SuperBowl, give them a choice, a five year fully loaded DirectTV contract or a visit from the police. This has been done before.

Was it cost effective? Probably, most of the people with affected boxes probably weren't 'hackers', they just bought hacked boxes. A lot of them would gladly purchase a DirecTV to get their football fix.

I still think the DirectTV hack was beautiful, even if I would've been pissed off (sort of, but laughing) had I been one of the ones affected by it.

DirecTV (2)

xDe (264660) | more than 13 years ago | (#445267)

There was a good securityfocus article on the original hacked card shutdown - copy in The Register's archive at

www.theregister.co.uk/content/archive/16377.html

Interestingly, DirecTV's method of defeating the hackers seems at least as ingenious as the hacker's methods of circumvention.

On the matters of royalty (2)

screwballicus (313964) | more than 13 years ago | (#445268)

So nice to be reminded that his royal highness, Linus, selected his subjects, the Queen and her family, to use his OS. It's good to know that someone of such great stature as Linus was gracious enough to let his lesser rival, the Queen use his system. Maybe he'll knight her, one day.

Re:DirecTV (3)

Phroggy (441) | more than 13 years ago | (#445269)

If the airwaves are public, what's illegal about using a signal that you didn't permit someone to send onto your property?

Even if it weren't illegal, if you're using one of these unlicensed SmartCards, and DirectTV figures out a way to send a signal that will prevent them from working, that shouldn't be illegal either.

--

Re:DSS is back! (3)

Ian Schmidt (6899) | more than 13 years ago | (#445270)

Huh? My DSS system never went anywhere.

Oh wait, I *pay* for mine. When exactly did Slashdot become "Elite Script Kiddie Central"?

Re:DirecTV (3)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 13 years ago | (#445271)

One thing that I recently became aware of was the fact that it is largely a Canadian effort to decrypt DSS signals. The directtv people are not allowed to sell service to Canada. (I thought NAFTA was supposed to mean something, dammit). The signal, however, DOES reach Canada. Now, the broadcast is reaching them, but there is no way they can possibly use the service because of an arbit$rary rule forced upon Directv by uncle Charlie. So of course the H-Card phenomenon happened.

ultimate object (3)

Barbarian (9467) | more than 13 years ago | (#445272)

I think that the DSS people knew that the ECM wouldn't work forever, but, a lot of people would subscribe legitimately to watch the superbowl in frustration.

Here, in Calgary, AB, Canada, dealers offered credits for turning in your grey market system (dish, receiver, AND smart card) towards a locally sold system.

Re:Best barbeque in bay area (3)

td (46763) | more than 13 years ago | (#445273)

Doug's, Flint's and Everett & Jones are all good, but if you're willing to go up San Pablo to Richmond, Bobby's Backdoor Cajun BBQ is unparalleled. Another local Southern highlight is Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles (only 2 things on the menu!) near Lake Merritt. (Roscoe's was better before they moved, but still first rate.)

anticypher didn't mention the BBQ goat and turkey at Doug's, both of which are excellent.

Best barbeque in bay area (3)

anticypher (48312) | more than 13 years ago | (#445274)

Hey, is there good barbeque in Oakland?

I couldn't have made it through school without Doug's Barbeque, open until 3:00 AM most nights, 3600 San Pablo Blvd, Oakland. Not recommended for pasty white solitary geeks at 3:00 AM, due to its location under the freeway on the north edge of the seedier part of Oaktown. But worth it for the best ribs, fried chicken, roast lamb and slabs o'beef around.

the AC

Re:God Bless the CRTC! (3)

norton_I (64015) | more than 13 years ago | (#445275)

You analogy is seriously flawed. You can look at the river all you like. Within certain boundaries, you can do whatever you want with a river flowing through your property. What you cannot do is dump polution in the river that travles downstream, or divert the river, or dam it up. Likewise, my braodcast of radio waves is regulated by the FCC. But as far as I know, there is no government regulation on radio receivers.

The DMCA makes it illegal to make devices to decrypt these transmissions. So yes, dss cards are illegal under the DMCA.

Now, I personally believe that the DMCA is *wrong* (never confuse the law with what is right), and possibly unconstitutional (which would mean it was not merely unjust, but illegal as well). But until it is demonstrated unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, or otherwise repealed, descrambling
dss signals is illegal.

Someone mentioned wireless LANs. This falls into the same category. It is NOT illegal to intercept wireless LAN traffic on your own property. However, what you do with the information gained may or may not be illegal.

Re:DSS is what? (3)

Smitty825 (114634) | more than 13 years ago | (#445276)

What happened is DirecTV basically destroyed the smartcards that people were using to pirate cable by destroying some bits in the PROM. If a certain bit isn't 1, then the card is unable to boot up.

Some hackers then created a boot-strap-loader, which mimics the normal boot process of a normal card, then once the boot-up process gets past the point where it checks for that 1 in the PROM, it then hands over the remainder of the boot-up sequence to the DirecTV smartcard, and it can be used again to steal signals.

Note: This is very watered down version of what happend, so don't flame me :-)

Re:If they wanted to be bastards (3)

Smitty825 (114634) | more than 13 years ago | (#445277)

There would be huge risks if DirecTV accidentally destoryed several subscribers cards an hour before the Superbowl. With it happening a week beforehand, it's soon enough so that the pirate community didn't get free Superbowl coverage, and long enough to replace accidentally destoryed cards. Also, the goal was to get those people that were pirating to subscribe, and a week allows DTV to send a new card to those people.

If they wanted to be bastards (3)

vinnythenose (214595) | more than 13 years ago | (#445278)

If DirecTV wanted to be bastards they would have done the infinite loop thing an hour before Super Bowl. A few people would have been pissed of and hacking faster than you can believe :)

DSS Hacking (3)

TJamieson (218336) | more than 13 years ago | (#445279)

Actually, another advancement has been made that some view better than DPBB boards. By flashing a card unlooper device with some new code, it can be turned into a card programmer that can bypass said area on the card.

I'm not advocating theft in any way, but I found this to be amazing, that rogue codewarriors had enough diligence to be able to figure a way around what everyone (Hughes included) thought was permanent.

If you ask me, the main goal of wiping out the H cards was because it simply became too easy to pirate the service - my estimate is at least 100,000+ people were pirating DirecTV this way. It is still impossible to use these cards as they were before, but they can now be used in emulation set-ups. Most people don't want to be bothered to do that though, and the population of people who will do that is a small enough number for Hughes to be able to call their H card strike a success, because at most there will be 5,000-10,000 people using said emulation setups.

Re:DirecTV (3)

zhensel (228891) | more than 13 years ago | (#445280)

DirectTV actually does this kind of thing all the time, it was just really effective this time because everyone was watching the Super Bowl. I think you are thinking about the cable company trick with your example there. Cable companies have the ability to send out specific signals to specific boxes (they can tell all of the boxes registered, for example, to switch frequencies). During an expensive event like a boxing match or pro wrestling tournament they'll switch the paying customers over to a different channel and show the "pirates" something like "Call 1-800-We-Got-U for a free Super Crazy Macho Mega Man T-Shirt!" Of course, calling the number elicits the response hinted at in your message.

Yes, Minister! (4)

fm6 (162816) | more than 13 years ago | (#445281)

I will keep you informed of progress on a regular basis and keep open channels of communications to ensure that you are able to contribute fully to the ongoing process over the coming months.

I assume that's British Civil Service Speak for "You're Out of the Loop, Sucker!" One of my favorite TV characters is Sir Humpherey Applebee, who once said:

Well Minister, if you asked me for a straight answer then I shall say that, as far as we can see, looking at it by and large, taking one time with another, in terms of the average of departments, then in the final analysis it is probably true to say that, at the end of the day, in general terms, you would find, that, not to put too fine a point on it, there probably wasn't very much in it one way or the other, as far as one can see, at this stage.
Why can't American bureaucrats be that entertaining?

__________________

God Bless the CRTC! (4)

Spunk Junkie (310106) | more than 13 years ago | (#445282)

The CRTC, the regulating body who are responsible for the debacle that is Canadian TV, are just a bunch of whores to Bell Canada and Shaw Cable. Bell owns half the TV stations, and Shaw owns practically all the cable AND the Starchoice satellite network in Canada. Who owns the only other viable satellite service? Bell. We are forced to have Canadian stations along with our US stations due to the Canadian Content laws that state X% of output must be Canadian. The stupid thing is, having checked, every single channel I watch is actually Canadian so they're forcing US content onto me and making me pay for it. Like the premium movies channels, I have get 5 US "premium" networks as well.

The whole DirecTV thing, I say more power to the hackers out there. The broadcast monopoly in Canada is ridiculous, and anyone who circumvents the absolute garbage CRTC regulations deserves a pat on the back, a hearty handshake, and a nice beer.

BTW, the signals that are broadcast are penetrating my body and passing through me with no permission. Why should it be illegal to decrypt something that is physically passing through me as I write this? I never asked them to broadcast their signal through me. Same with cellphones and all that. If the signal is passing through my body, then IMO I have every right to do what I want with that signal.

DSS hacking makes my head hurt (5)

JoeShmoe (90109) | more than 13 years ago | (#445283)

I consider myself fairly literate when it comes to technical matters, but the sheer volume of information on the subject of DSS hacking makes me wonder how Joe 6-pack could ever commit $300-$400 to purchase something that could become unusable literally overnight, unless he is willing to keep on top of updates and patches and unloopers and reprogrammers.

Compare that to cable theft...you buy a box and it works and it always works. Cable companies can't change encryption schemes overnight. In truth, in the five years I've been in my home location we are still using the same Jerrold/GE boxes. A one time fee of $200 for five years of unlimited cable seems like a worthy temptation.

I am honestly surprised that there isn't a bigger market for these digital cable black boxes. Almost as many channels as DSS plus the local stuff plus many people feel they can rationalize it by paying for the basic cable connection.

So I think that part of the effort that goes into the DSS hacking scene must truly be the hacking spirit, the doing something difficult to see if it can be done. I can see that modivation but at best that could only be a couple thousand dedicated souls. Where the other 98,000 customers are coming from I just can't understand.

-JoeShmoe

DirecTV (5)

Kreeblah (95092) | more than 13 years ago | (#445284)

You know, it's things like this that make me question what exactly we own. The airwaves are public property, at least, they were the last time I checked. Yet, I think a company has a right to reclaim its investment in some satellites. Launching those things isn't cheap.

A question, though. If the airwaves are public, what's illegal about using a signal that you didn't permit someone to send onto your property? I think that DirecTV is spending far too much money trying to stop the fraction of a percent of their viewers from stealing service. Is it really cost effective?
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