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Testing Microsoft And The DMCA

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the gosh-that-sounds-like-freedom-of-speech dept.

Books 395

sproketboy writes "I found a great piece about an MIT student and his XBox hacking over at news.com. Apparently he can't get his how-to book published do to fears with DMCA. I hope he at least can get it publish in China or Russia where people have some freedoms left. ;)." The student is doctoral candidate Andrew "Bunnie" Huang, the same hacker Microsoft declined to stop last August from presenting a paper on insecurities in the Xbox hardware.

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Spelling (4, Funny)

Mengoxon (303399) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742557)

You know, you shouldn't get your works published DUE TO horrible and confusing spelling mistakes.

Re:Spelling (0)

fodi (452415) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742561)

Or maybe it's got to do with the number of freedoms available to an individual in China.

Re:Spelling (-1, Troll)

Golias (176380) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742741)

That was just my thought.

China may grant you the "freedom" to make 3-disk bootlegs of the 7-disk Cowboy Bebop anime, [amazon.com] but I'll take the right to speak critically of the government, freely assemble, bear arms, and not have my property searched and seized without cause over the right to be a DVD-pirating weasel any day, thank you.

The DMCA is a bad law. We get it. What have you done about it lately besides whine about it on forums like Slashdot, where everybody already knows this? Quit using this as an excuse to bash America and get involved in the effort to make America better. [eff.org]

Wait... (4, Insightful)

borgdows (599861) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742558)

I hope he at least can get it publish in China or Russia where people have some freedoms left.

You could say almost anywhere but USA! DMCA/Patriot/Patriot2 are US laws! not *world* laws!

Re:Wait... (1)

spacefight (577141) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742570)

Right, almost anywhere [slashdot.org] :(

I KISS^H^HLL You! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742579)

http://www.welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com/

You forget. We ARE the world. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742692)

Contrevening our laws would be terrorism, which would force us to invade, take control and install DCMA/Patriot/Patriot2 for their own protection and ours.

Re:You forget. We ARE the world. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742705)

Not trying to troll (at least not much), but as a non-US-citizen I would like to point out an interesting fact;

I can name two nations in the world today that has weapons of mass desctruction, that frequently ignores the UN and supports / has supported / commits acts that are easily defined as terrorism (well, I know of more than two nations, but keep with me). Those two nations are Israel and the United States of America.

Did anyone mention double standards?

Re:You forget. We ARE the world. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742734)


And I can name at least one individual who posts while hiding his identity............

but if you dont agree.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742702)

you are harboring terrorists and hiding weapons of mass destruction!(hey, who cares if _EVERY_ nation old enough to have proper, thought of, defenses has them)

No... (-1, Flamebait)

wing.app (601127) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742562)

You don't have freedoms just because you can do something illegal and not get caught.

Re:No... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742595)

It's called censorship. There's also Freedom of speech in other countries even though americans don't seem to think so. Come on, you have to realize that you live in a country where the companies and the government run you, not the other way around. And there's not much freedom in that. The government just makes you focus on your Freedom of speech when your freedom gets restricted more and more every. And what about a law. An unethical law doesn't make it more correct. Does it?

Free Speech? WTF?? (-1, Troll)

goldspider (445116) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742749)

OK, I know I'm going to be modded down, but at this point I don't give a shit. At least a few people will read this.

HOW THE FUCK IS HACKING AN X-BOX A RIGHT PROTECTED BY THE FIRST AMENDMENT??? Why do people who do something illegal always try to defend their act by claiming their actions are protected SPEECH!

Now I know that this issue is more about the book than the act of hacking the X-Box itself, but the author of the book himself acknowledges that publishing the book (and more to the point, admitting the crime he'd committed) could get him in trouble.

This is NOT censorship, and this is NOT a free speech issue! He's free to publish his book, but should be prepared to deal with any legal trouble he finds himself in as a result of what he admits to in that book.

Please stop manipulating our rights to defend your illegal actions.

...and I haven't even had my morning coffee yet.

Re:Free Speech? WTF?? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742775)

HOW THE FUCK IS HACKING AN X-BOX A RIGHT PROTECTED BY THE FIRST AMENDMENT??? Why do people who do something illegal always try to defend their act by claiming their actions are protected SPEECH!


If I own the damn hardware, I should get to do what I want with it. Including hacking it. It shouldn't be illegal - that's rather the point...

Re:Free Speech? WTF?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742786)

OK, perhaps I should be more clear. How is modifying the machine to run illegally-copied games an exercise in free speech?

And don't hand me the bullshit line of "fair use, running linux on it". You and I know damn well that 99% of people 'modifying' their X-Boxes and PS2s are doing so for the purpose of playing copied games.

Re:Free Speech? WTF?? (4, Insightful)

AgTiger (458268) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742798)

Talking or writing about what you chose to do with your X-Box is the right that's supposed to be protected by the First Amendment.

Doing what you want with your purchase is a long established practice under the doctrine of first sale.

It should only be a problem if you use your purchased item in the commission of a crime against another person or their property.

Posessing knowledge, or the dissemination of knowledge should never be a crime. If the information is that important, safeguard the information in the first place.

Re:Free Speech? WTF?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742808)

Please read my other comment [slashdot.org] .

That said, he still has the right to publish his book; I'm not saying he doesn't. However if said book contains incriminating admissions, perhaps it's not a real good idea to publish it.

... where people have some freedoms left (1, Insightful)

jhayworth (459947) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742563)

I'm not neccesarily the paragon of legal knowledge. That being said, the last time that I checked China was a communist country.

What kind of "freedom" does a citizen have in a communist country?

Obviously this wouldn't apply to Russia, being a recent convert from communism.

Re:... where people have some freedoms left (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742603)

What kind of "freedom" does a citizen have in a communist country?

The freedom to write books of dubious utility or worth that trample Godzilla-style all over the "intellectual property" rights of rich people from western nations, apparently, as long as you don't critisise or otherwise cause a percieved threat to the PRC. [bbc.co.uk]

So China's publishing industry should be right up this X-box guy's alley.

"Harry doesn't know how long it will take to wash the sticky cream cake off his face. For a civilised young man it is disgusting to have dirt on any part of his body. He lies in the high-quality china bathtub, keeps wiping his face, and thinks about Dali's face, which is as fat as the bottom of Aunt Penny."

-- opening paragraph, "Harry Potter and Leopard-Walk-Up-To-Dragon".

Re:... where people have some freedoms left (5, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742607)

"What kind of "freedom" does a citizen have in a communist country?"

The same freedoms that citizens enjoy in every other country: everything, except those things forbidden by the laws made by your government. We citizens of democratic countries can choose our own governments and thus have some influence over what laws are passed, but that influence is very limited. Politicians do not necessarily always have our interests at heart, or your individual interests may be different to those of the voting mob.

The US is an excellent example of a country where laws are being passed (DMCA etc.) that seem to benefit a small special interest rather than the general public. You have the freedom to choose your own government, a freedom that the Chinese lack. But I bet that in China you are free to publish any paper on Xbox modding that you can come up with. The Chinese government could forbid it and there would be little that their citizens could do about it, but they haven't done so.

Re:... where people have some freedoms left (4, Insightful)

Associate (317603) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742632)

I hope this doesn't sound like one of those In Soviet Russia jokes.

In Soviet Russia,
anything not specifically allowed by the state is forbidden.

In the US Republic,
anything not specifically forbidden is allowed.

Re:... where people have some freedoms left (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742639)

In Soviet Russia, YOU are not specifically allowed by the state!

In the US Republic, the only thing that is not specifically forbidden is YOU.

Re:... where people have some freedoms left (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742641)

That nonsense doesn't really make a difference when everything is forbidden, now does it?

Re:... where people have some freedoms left (1)

the gnat (153162) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742776)

The same freedoms that citizens enjoy in every other country: everything, except those things forbidden by the laws made by your government.

Wrong. A communist country explicitly subordinates the economic interests of an individual to the economic interests of the people as a whole. It also places extreme limits of freedom of expression that are vastly worse than anything we've ever had in the US. There is no real concept of personal independence. You ever seen Star Trek: TNG? You remember the Borg? After I read "The Communist Manifesto" for the first time, I decided Karl Marx would have loved those guys.

China has become much better in recent years, but they're still a police state.

Re:... where people have some freedoms left (1)

radish (98371) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742608)

Freedom from the DMCA and corporate lawmakers, that's for sure...

Re:... where people have some freedoms left (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742623)

So a non-communist country is free?

there never has been a communist country (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742634)

There never has been a true communist country - Russia was Stalinist. There have been many attempts at socialism, but they all turned out to be very totalitarian, mostly due to a highly centralized government.

And by the way, the USA may not be communist, but it certainly looks more and more fascist every day. It certainly isn't free.

erm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742656)

i think the dude was trying 2 be sarcastic...
i know that text isnt exactly the best medium for sarcasm but i think the ";)" helped a bit there...
just my R0.02 (yes other countries also have cents!!!!!!!!!!)

Re:... where people have some freedoms left (5, Interesting)

paja (610441) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742666)

>What kind of "freedom" does a citizen have in a communist country?

I have lived in communist country (unwillingly) for 20 years. You could be arrested for no reason, but laws presented a lot of freedom (which was not guranteed and people were arrested).

To get back to Your question - it looks like communist countries have the same kind of "freedom" as U. S. citizens:

* neither can tell the world what they want
* neither of them could go wherever they want - try to go for a trip to Syria and we'll see how long You will stay at customs when You will return.
* noth of them are forced to conform to a ton of stupid laws like alcohol in paperbags and right to work (this meant You have to be employee, kind of commie law).

That's from theoretical point of view. Practically citizens in any country have the amount of freedom granted by their leaders/government. These leaders and governments are as stupid, as the majority of citizens in given country.

Re:... where people have some freedoms left (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742669)

Good lord, people here have no sense of priorities. You admit that you lived unwillingly in a country where you could be arrested for no reason, but still say the US is the same. Well, I hope you never come here then.

Re:... where people have some freedoms left (2, Insightful)

paja (610441) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742684)

No I will not come to the country, where aircraft captain is fired and arrested, when he tells security on the airport, that there is no need to search him, because if he wants to crash the plane, he could do it with his bare hands. This seems to look exactly like arresting for no reason.

Re:... where people have some freedoms left (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742755)

uh... That pilot was not jailed. He was simply not allowed to get on the plane.

By not being willing to accept a search of his bag (the same search I am subjected to every fucking time I fly) leads me to think that he was probably a real asshole about it as well, and was mainly hauled off for making a dick of himself.

Re:... where people have some freedoms left (4, Insightful)

DarkZero (516460) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742697)

I'm not neccesarily the paragon of legal knowledge. That being said, the last time that I checked China was a communist country.
What kind of "freedom" does a citizen have in a communist country?


China is a very oppressive country and Russia is still very oppressive as well. I think the idea behind the "where people still have some freedoms left" comment was to point out that the people in two much more oppressive countries than the US have a freedom that we do not. Even worse, it's an intellectual freedom governing knowledge and free speech, which is something that countries like China are usually much more restrictive about than the United States.

In other words, it's like pointing out something that some black power/racial pride/anti-defamation group does and saying, "Wow! Even the Klan doesn't do that!"

Re:... where people have some freedoms left (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742761)

The current government of Russia is not "still very oppressive." It's actually relatively free over there. (When I say "relatively", I mean if you stack it up against the rest of Europe.)

People living in Moscow today are much more afraid of the mafia than they are of Putin's administration.

Re:... where people have some freedoms left (5, Insightful)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742807)

China and Russia have been seen as the epitomy of opressive totalitarian states in the twentieth century. The author was just being ironic.

But anyway, both communism and capiltalism are simply alternatives, industry in communist countries is owned and controlled by the government, in capitalist countries it is controlled by the corperations. In communist countries the laws are tightly controlled to benifit the governement, and, not suprisingly, the laws in capitalist countries are beginning to be tightly controled to benifit the corperations.

It is true that capitalism had allways been seen as connected tightly with freedom, but we must remember that during the early USSR, the people had unprecedented freedom, it just seems that capitalism takes a little longer to degenerate into a dictatorship.

PhD candidate taking a break?! (5, Funny)

October_30th (531777) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742564)

Taking a break from working on his doctoral thesis

I'm appalled. Since when have PhD students had the luxury of "taking a break"?

When I was working on my thesis, PhD students would work 6 days a week without vacation for 4 years straight and, as far as I can see, at least the physics PhD candidates are still working like this. Is "taking a break" something that computer science people can afford?

Re:PhD candidate taking a break?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742569)

Yeah, God forbid a doctoral candidate should spend time on something interesting or worthwhile that isn't directly related to his thesis.

What exactly is the guy's thesis? Anyone know?

And incidentally, i am not a doctoral candidate, but as far as i can tell from what i've heard, graduate students these days mostly do rediculously complicated problem sets and read webcomics. [stanford.edu]

Re:PhD candidate taking a break?! (3, Interesting)

bunnie (536976) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742678)

Aw come on now :-) when you're spending 80 hours a week writing code and papers, you're entitled to a couple of weeks to dink around with hardware. Besides, my advisor encouraged all of us to look at existing hardware for examples of how to do (or not to do) things. e.g., video game consoles represent the best performance/price point on the market, and the architecture of some of the machines, such as the Gamecube, is actually quite impressive (the Gamecube's main memory is composed of 10ns random-access latency devices--in other words, the Gamecube's main memory was as fast as the L2 caches on some mainstream processors back when the Gamecube was released. Processors that cost more than an entire Gamecube did, incidentally).

My thesis was on supercomputer architecture.
http://www.xenatera.com/bunnie/phdt hesis.pdf if you care to read about it...abstract below.

The furious pace of Moore's Law is driving computer architecture into
a realm where the the speed of light is the dominant factor in system
latencies. The number of clock cycles to span a chip are increasing,
while the number of bits that can be accessed within a clock cycle is
decreasing. Hence, it is becoming more difficult to hide latency. One
alternative solution is to reduce latency by migrating threads
and data, but the overhead of existing implementations has previously
made migration an unserviceable solution so far.

I present an architecture, implementation, and mechanisms that reduces
the overhead of migration to the point where migration is a viable
supplement to other latency hiding mechanisms, such as
multithreading. The architecture is abstract, and presents programmers
with a simple, uniform fine-grained multithreaded parallel programming
model with implicit memory management. In other words, the spatial
nature and implementation details (such as the number of processors)
of a parallel machine are entirely hidden from the
programmer. Compiler writers are encouraged to devise programming
languages for the machine that guide a programmer to express their
ideas in terms of objects, since objects exhibit an inherent physical
locality of data and code. The machine implementation can then
leverage this locality to automatically distribute data and threads
across the physical machine by using a set of high performance
migration mechanisms.

An implementation of this architecture could migrate a null thread in
66~cycles -- over a factor of 1000 improvement over previous
work. Performance also scales well; the time required to move a
typical thread is only 4 to 5 times that of a null thread. Data
migration performance is similar, and scales linearly with data block
size. Since the performance of the migration mechanism is on par with
that of an L2 cache, the implementation simulated in my work has no
data caches and relies instead on multithreading and the migration
mechanism to hide and reduce access latencies.

Re:PhD candidate taking a break?! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742745)

Thats nice, but couldn;t you focus on something more meaningful like increasing my framerates in Quake?

Re:PhD candidate taking a break?! (1)

ErikJson (27997) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742668)

Well, I suppose so. If you can finance your break with some other income it should be possible. Like writing a book about hacking the X-Box.

Re:PhD candidate taking a break?! (1)

flokemon (578389) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742735)

Sheesh, in my time it involved working 18 hours a day, 7 days a week without vacation for 4 years straight...

Re:PhD candidate taking a break?! (4, Funny)

Flounder (42112) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742758)

Sheesh, in my time it involved working 18 hours a day, 7 days a week without vacation for 4 years straight...

in five feet of snow! Both ways!

Re:PhD candidate taking a break?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742773)

Sheesh, in my time it involved working 18 hours a day, 7 days a week without vacation for 4 years straight...

Luxury.

China? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742571)

Russia -- MAYBE

China -- NO WAY

If you seriously think you're worse off than the average chinese person because you can't legally make a backup copy of your DVDs, then you seriously need to rethink your priorities. At least in the US we have the RIGHT to speak out against the DMCA while if it were enacted in China, anyone speaking out against it would be lucky ever to be able to speak again.

Yes, the DMCA is a bad law, but it is in no way comparable to the conditions the average Chinese person faces on a daily basis.

GET SOME PRIORITIES!

Re:China? (4, Insightful)

Tensor (102132) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742625)

Disclamer: I am not trying to defend China's regime by this.

The big difference is that China is consistent in its image and its actions, you expect them to be repressive and they are, no surprise there, its not a democracy nor any kind of representative gov so your rights mean squat.

OTOH the US has been traditionally portrayed as the world's bastion for freedom, civil liberties and rights, etc ... and lo and behold they are starting to pass laws to "circumvent" due process and send ppl to jail without trial, DMCA to prevent tinkering with just about anything, extending copyrights ad eternum.

There used to be a time where opening up an Xbox or a cell phone, or a computer was not only encouraged in the us but subsidized, the US had (still has?) the largest gov tech research grants in the world. ALL those techs grew up breaking things apart looking inside them and putting them back together, and this is now illegal. Its like LEGO selling kits where its illegal to build anything else but what its portrayed on the box (stupid).

Not only is the DMCA a bad thing but in the long run will hamper US tech developement. its these guys breaking up xboxes today that build the X2020 boxes in 20 years.

Re:China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742667)

"its these guys breaking up xboxes today that build the X2020 boxes in 20 years."

Wouldn't that be the X2023 box?

Man, I can't wait for that. I saw a demo of the graphics.. Jeebus, it's got better resolution than real life!

Re:China? (4, Insightful)

the gnat (153162) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742787)

The big difference is that China is consistent in its image and its actions

Nope. This is the country that's starting to allow *gasp* capitalists into its government, and has been allowing more and more limited free enterprise within its borders (particularly within Hong Kong) and whose economic health depends to a great degree on the continued relationship with the evil bourgeoise imperialists over in the USA. There's a great deal of hypocrisy there - I doubt more than a few of the leaders still believe in Communism; they're just trying to stay in power as long as possible.

I asked a Chinese friend of mine why they didn't dump their government, since they knew it was corrupt and oppressive. He told me, "As long as things keep improving, we deal with it. Nobody wants to dump the Communists when the economy keeps getting better."

Re:China? (2, Interesting)

HBI (604924) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742793)

It's just another example of how, while the US' system of government was perfectly feasible and perhaps sufficient in the 19th century, the onslaught of modern technology and new thinking have rendered it obsolete and inefficient.

Consider this: despite the opinions offered regarding Scalia, Thomas, et al., I have a hard time imagining them finding Patriot constitutional. Unfortunately, they consider it their responsibility to neither offer the theory by which it would be rendered void, nor allow an incorrect argument to suffice in a case presented to them.

It's a maddening situation that takes _years_ to sort out. All the while, bad law is allowed to impede people's lives. US 2.0 would cure that, one would hope.

You could blame the politicians but we elected them.

You wouldn't even be thinking about this in China. You'd just accept it and move on. That is the difference.

Russia does nowdays (5, Insightful)

maedls.at (663045) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742573)

less spying on ther citizens than USA do. Look on the development since 9/11... I just say: Developing brainscans on Airports... great idea.

Your Rights Online (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742574)

Twenty Additional Women I'd Like to Pork
by Anonymous Coward

Find the previous list of twenty women I'd like to pork here [slashdot.org] .

NOTE: I still would like to pork all twenty women on the previous list. This list is simply twent additional women I would like to pork.

(1) Natalie Portman
(2) Heidi Klum (ok, this is a dupe, but my desire to pork her is very strong)
(3) Teri Hatcher
(4) The project manager from up the hill thats a total bitch but always wears short skirts and has huge knockers
(5) Rebecca Gayheart
(6) Jennifer Eccleston from FoxNews
(7) Elizabeth Hurley
(8) My apartment manager
(9) Eliza Dushku (she was "Faith" in Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
(10) Tia Carrere
(11) The flirty checkout girl at SunFresh (grocery store)
(12) Mimi Miyagi (porn queen)
(13) Alicia Silverstone
(14) Charisma Carpenter (she was Cordelia in Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
(15) That girl in 8th grade that kicked me in the nuts
(16) Angelina Jolie
(17) Christina Aguilera (can't resist the skenk)
(18) Meg Ryan
(19) Aailyah (while she lived)
(20) Downtown Julie Brown

To all those that get to have sex with actual women - what is your secret?

For some reason, I get lots of offers to get poked in the poot by Slashdot men, but I'm pretty sure they are just trolls.

I would really prefer a woman anyway.

Re:Your Rights Online (-1, Offtopic)

October_30th (531777) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742578)

Christina Aguilera (can't resist the skenk)

How about Shakira?

Re:Your Rights Online (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742585)

To all those that get to have sex with actual women - what is your secret?


Don't you think you are asking this question in the totally wrong place?

MIT (5, Funny)

lingqi (577227) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742577)

man the guy certainly has a lot of time to meddle with the XBOX...

Talk about a great school...

* Diploma that will get you LARGE amount of cash later
* Research topic is to fiddle around with game console
* Appear to be victim and popularized as sort of a martyr on /.

Now if you add a dash of sex (point one - mass quantity of money, can usually bring this to realization), it would be the perfect life.

Well, if he move to china, where there's still some freedom left. heh.

(note to self: why does my sarcastic jokes always come out like troll posts? Maybe a MIT education would help?)

Implications. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742583)

The X-box has been accused by many of being a test run for DRM technologies; i.e., it's a completely locked-down, intellectually hermetically sealed box on which Microsoft has Power Absolute.

This guy is now pushing out a book on x-box hacking and MS is not doing anything. While his problems publishing it is speaking volumes as a concrete example of how real and present the whole "chilling effect" meme is on defeating free speech, the point remains that he is refusing to be deterred and forcing this book through come hell or high water.

And MS, realizing if they try to get a book banned because it talks about their video game system, they'll face public backlash, they'll have the EFF go "holy shit this is the big one", and they'll lose after years in the supreme court after having being hurt more by the case than the PHD student... is not taking action.

So, here's my question: in six or seven years, someone is going to write a book about Palladium, and all known ways to hack it. And either it will end any use of Palladium as a security technology (though probably preseving its use as a monopoly prolonger)... or MS will try to have this book banned.

Is there going to be any difficulty for MS, if they try to stop the book on palladium hacking then, considering that they didn't stop the book on x-box hacking now? Are they setting any kind of precedents that people can point at in the future and say "look, if XYZ is illegal, then why wasn't that x box book in 2003 illegal?"

Re:Implications. (5, Interesting)

bunnie (536976) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742665)

The book does contain a section about possible attacks against Palladium and TCPA, as well as a discussion of non-cryptographic alternatives to Trusted Computing that provide good security without the bitter taste of DRM.

The hope is in part to establish some kind of precedent about fair use, whether or not it sticks around long enough to matter when Trusted Computing hits full stride. At least, it will provide a solid starting point for arguments ;-) ...these days, it seems public opinion is guided mostly by speculation and FUD...

Let me get this straight... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742587)

The worst terrorist attack in recorded history occurred in September 2001, followed by a WAR against Islam in Afghanistan and and then ANOTHER war against Islam in Iraq, which will likely be followed by MORE wars against Islam in Syria, Iran, followed by a possible NUCLEAR war with North Korea, and you people have the gall to be discussing testing Microsoft and the DMCA???? My *god*, people, GET SOME PRIORITIES!

The bodies of the thousands of innocent civilians who died (and will die) in these unprecedented events could give a good god damn about obscure science fiction, your childish Lego models, your nerf toy guns and whining about the lack of a "fun" workplace, your Everquest/Diablo/D&D fixation, the latest Cowboy Bebop rerun, or any of the other ways you are "getting on with your life" (here's a hint: watching Cowboy Bebop in your jammies and eating a bowl of Shreddies is *not* "getting on with your life"). The souls of the victims are watching in horror as you people squander your finite, precious time on this earth playing video games!

You people disgust me!

Re:Let me get this straight... (-1, Offtopic)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742719)

You sir are a visionary and I am honoured to burn my karma to add my non-AC voice to yours.

Really? (-1, Redundant)

labratuk (204918) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742592)

...published do to fears...

Due to.

I know that's not what it sounds like, but that's how it's spelt.

It's like "Could care less" instead of "Couldn't care less". Incredibly annoying.

Re:Really? (1)

hplasm (576983) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742690)

It's like "Could care less" instead of "Couldn't care less"

Not quite. "Could care less", indicates that you do care a bit, that you could care less. "Couldn't care less" - you have no care left. The first one has grown up to be more annoying to it's target, ie- "I could care less about (you), but I can't be bothered"

/Grammar NaziRant ;)

I'm wondering... (5, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742601)

This whole affair about XBox, Security, DMCA, Linux-on-the-XBox and stories about how MS is losing money n the XBox.... is this all a big ploy by MS to somehow generate interest on the XBox? I mean, is the XBox not selling well as a gaming platform, which is what it's supposed to be anyway?

Why fiddle around with a $200 XBox and load Linux on it after circumventing a 100 security holes, when a Linux PC can be had for the same price on Walmart?

How many of us can afford an XBox but not a separate PC? Even if somehow it's possible to load Linux on an XBox and attach a CD writer, USB mouse, kbd etc., is it still worth the trouble?

The more I read such articles, the more I get the feeling MS is DESPARATE to sell these XBoxen. Does the /. crowd think that anything done against the DMCA is a worthy pursuit? Sharing files maybe, reverse engineering maybe, but Linux on the XBox - certainly not for me.

Re:I'm wondering... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742680)

This whole affair about XBox, Security, DMCA, Linux-on-the-XBox and stories about how MS is losing money n the XBox.... is this all a big ploy by MS to somehow generate interest on the XBox? I mean, is the XBox not selling well as a gaming platform, which is what it's supposed to be anyway?

Now the MS paranoia is getting thick. MS is specifically doing NOTHING in this matter, yet it is all an MS ploy to sell more XBox consoles. Here's a clue for all Linux on XBox hackers: When you buy an XBox, you are giving money to MS. If you hate MS so much, why are you buying an MS product?

Re:I'm wondering... (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742718)

" MS is specifically doing NOTHING in this matter, yet it is all an MS ploy to sell more XBox consoles"

Why is this difficult to u'stand? A company which threatens and files lawsuits against 'perceived' competitors such as Lindows, a co. that uses its monopoly all it can to expand it's server markets, a co. which promotes it's proprietary Media Player with draconian licensing terms is DOING NOTHING TO STOP XBox LINUX!!

Why? Let MS come clean and say, we will NEVER use DMCA against the XBox hackers - on record. Recently, there was a story of a student Lance getting CDs of Visual Studio .Net, with a warning message that using it w/o license was illegal! Subsequently, MS wrote him a letter saying the license was a click-thru on the install screen!

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/04/05/2146 21 0&mode=nested&tid=109

Why this subterfuge? What about all the other students then? They did't get any letters from MS, did they? IMHO, until MS goes on record and says they wouldn't use DMCA against XBox hackers/reverse-engineers/modders, this whole exercise is fruitless.

As I said above, you can get a decent PC for $200 with Linux, and these hackers can put their skills to better use over there.

Re:I'm wondering... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742683)

Why fiddle around with a $200 XBox and load Linux on it after circumventing a 100 security holes, when a Linux PC can be had for the same price on Walmart?

Simple: because you can.

Re:I'm wondering... (2, Insightful)

JimDabell (42870) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742710)

Why fiddle around with a $200 XBox and load Linux on it after circumventing a 100 security holes, when a Linux PC can be had for the same price on Walmart?

Apart from the fact that people who already own xboxes don't have to fork out for a new computer, the big thing is third-party software, as far as I can see. If there was an easy, fully functioning Linux port to the xbox, you could write a game, or any other kind of application, and have it run on an xbox without any kind of licensing from Microsoft. You wouldn't need to use directx or any of their other non-portable libraries either.

Re:I'm wondering... (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742743)

"you could write a game, or any other kind of application, and have it run on an xbox without any kind of licensing from Microsoft."

If I had that much intelligence, I wouldn't be playing those games myself, I'd probably do it for fun on my own XBox (DMCA and MS don't apply) or for money. How many good programmers do you know who spend their time on frivolous things like games? People who write code, including game code, are generally introvert and their primary motivation is to sell the code for money.

With the DMCA around, selling games written for the XBox isn't an easy task, and I don't see it as a big motivation - MS threats or silence notwithstanding.

Re:I'm wondering... (1)

JimDabell (42870) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742760)

People who write code, including game code, are generally introvert and their primary motivation is to sell the code for money.

Apart from the fact that this is a blanket statement with nothing to back it up, there seems to be plenty of people who share code freely without any expectation of getting paid. And you seem to have missed the "or any other kind of application" bit of my post, despite quoting it. Think of webtv-type applications, for example.

Re:I'm wondering... (4, Informative)

DarkZero (516460) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742713)

Geeks that hate Microsoft and put Linux on their XBox are not likely to buy XBox games and play them. Microsoft loses money on every XBox sold and only makes a profit from you if you buy more than four or five games over the life of the system.

So no, this isn't a ploy by Microsoft to sell XBoxes to people that aren't going to buy games with them. That doesn't make sense.

As for the price of a modded XBox, check the last story on XBox modding. We went over it with a fine tooth comb and found that modding a used XBox is somewhat cheaper than buying a fresh, weak Linux PC, but only if you don't need more functionality than a modded XBox can offer (games, server, media player, Xbox game machine, fun toy, and nothing else).

Re:I'm wondering... (4, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742766)

"Microsoft loses money on every XBox sold and only makes a profit from you if you buy more than four or five games over the life of the system."

I find this assumption highly questionable. Profit and Loss are complex to determine, especially with intangible commodities around. Consider the foll. items under profit and loss for the XBox:

Profits:
1. Every XBox sold adds to the installed base and is a potential for upgrades and service.
2. Free testing of the security and robustness of the system by the user-base.
3. Access to workarounds, cracks, mod-chips and 'other' games on the XBox - avbl in the market.
4. Time lost by /.ers, OpenSousce folks and others debating about the XBox - priceless! :-)
5. Delays to Open Source projects caused by distracted and otherwise talented gamers :-)

Losses (dubious):
1. A questionable and meagre loss on the sale of the hardware.

The profits far outweigh the losses, IMO.

Saddam Hussein, leader, dead at 54 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742602)

Saddam Hussein, leader, dead at 54

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Iraqi president (holder of the popular vote) Saddam Hussein, was found dead in his Baghdad presidential palace this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an Iraqi icon.

Re:Saddam Hussein, leader, dead at 54 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742613)

Dubya certainly enjoyed his work.... ...gave him reason to redirect billions of taxpayers' dollars to his defense industry hubbies.

ill publish it! (0, Funny)

daveatwork (655626) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742610)

send it to moi, and ill sort out the publishing in the UK no probs :-) Also, whats that post goin on about that Saddam is dead?

Not Saddam... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742640)

It's Stephen King! Wait, no it is BSD...
Any long-time /. reader should know that.

Re:Not Saddam... (-1)

daveatwork (655626) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742691)

aye, furry muff... Was just gettin a little excited, work is a bit quiet at the mo :-)

china's freedom (1, Funny)

StrifeCX (589172) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742618)

I hope he at least can get it publish in China or Russia where people have some freedoms left.

Becuase everyone knows how much
freedom [slashdot.org]
people [slashdot.org]
in [slashdot.org]
china [slashdot.org]
have! [slashdot.org]

Re:china's freedom (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742633)

I'm sorry, this person spent way too much time to get a score of 1.

Re:china's freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742671)

China is not a free country. About as far from it as possible. Parent points out slashdot stories about the lack of freedoms, and it gets modded as funny. People here need to get a grip. Despite the DMCA, the US is a much better place to live than China. If you are an American and really believe China is better, please move to China and find out what freedom really is.

Georges W. Bush, our great Fuhrer, dead! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742624)

Georges W. Bush, our great Fuhrer, dead !

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - American Great Fuhrer (holder of the popular vote of Florida ubermensh) Georges W. BUsg, was found dead in his Camp David sionist Kommandatur palace this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his fantastic work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture and popular wars. Truly an American icon.

Long live the Pretzel! (-1, Offtopic)

TheMidget (512188) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742661)

(n/t)

Spelling lessons long overdo ... (-1, Redundant)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742631)

"his how-to book published do to fears with DMCA"

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742635)

What good would this do?

Publish in Europe... (4, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742643)


Just like Michael Moore has done with Stupid White Men, he moved to Penguin because they gave him the support against the corporate heavyweights.

And of course he could just publish it as an ebook on the internet.

Re:Publish in Europe... (4, Insightful)

PerryMason (535019) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742754)

Unfortunately with the DMCA, you can be arrested wherever it is that you disseminated the breach as long as you set foot on American soil. Just ask Dmitry Sklyarov. He published his work while living in Russia and only got arrested when visiting the States.

I'd imagine that Andrew Huang would rather not leave the US never to return. He seems to have a pretty sweet deal with MIT atm, which I'm sure he doesnt want to give up and he also seems to be a pretty clued in guy. I can't see him pushing it if MS come down heavy.

Cool Article (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742655)

The xbox is slightly changed around a bit from version to version. Not really sophisticated stuff but they do shuffle the pcb layout a little to keep chippers guessing for a couple of minutes. Mostly to cut costs I would suspect.

The reality is, that if they closed up the D0 line on the bios chips they would be quite a large step closer to removing the ability for modchips to be used. Most of the chips implicitly rely on pulling D0 to ground.

Even though this MIT guy is cool and talks about some decent things you can hardly blame microsoft for trying to shut the guy up. At the end of the day every person that has ever wanted a modchip from me has wanted it for piracy - not so he can have a fabulous webserver etc.

Ironic... (5, Insightful)

blincoln (592401) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742662)

...that US publishers now feel like they can't distribute books on hacking hardware, despite the array of them on other topics like:

- Building unlicensed automatic weapons and explosive devices [firequest.com]

- Converting post-ban assault rifles for fully-automatic operation [firequest.com]

- Breaking and entering [paladin-press.com]

- Creating a counterfeit identity [paladin-press.com]

I guess it's like the view that violence in a film is more appropriate for a wide audience than sexual content.

Re:Ironic... (1)

flokemon (578389) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742730)

Superb. Those are 2 publishers that he may consider contacting now!

And the best in this, is that courtesy of them he might be able get advice on getting a new identity to protect himself in case he gets sued.

Re:Ironic... (0, Funny)

Filik (578890) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742737)

Oh, finally someone who understands that hacking is like sex for the geeks 8)

Learn English (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742664)


"...he can't get his how-to book published do to fears with DMCA."

There's been quite a few posts about the "do to" and "due to" spelling mistake. I'd like to point out that in should, in fact, be "owing to". It's a bit like going into a supermarket and seeing the "10 items or less" queue - It should be "10 items or fewer". Sort it out people.

Re:Learn English (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742783)

Are you sure that shouldn't be "Ten items or fewer?". pedantry n : a ostentatious and inappropriate display of learning Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University

Re:Learn English (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742795)

- you need to 'sort it out,' bonehead...

"There's been quite a few posts..."???

- how about "There have been quite a few posts..."

Looking back... (4, Interesting)

WegianWarrior (649800) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742695)

..this reminds me - for no clear reason - on the controversy surrounding PGP when it was first written. While it was illegal to export the code in binary form (ie as a file) as it was considered a mution, it was quite allright to print out a stack of paper and send it abroad, letting some poor sod punch it all back in.

No, I know this isn't like that, but I'm reminded of it, that's all. Possible because the information already is 'out in the wild', but can't be 'officialy' published.

Re:Looking back... (4, Informative)

PerryMason (535019) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742771)

The poor sod was actually OCR (or Optical Character Recognition for those acronymically challenged). The book, PGP Internals (which interestingly enough was published by MIT along with Phil Zimmerman) contained the source code in an OCR friendly font.

Profiting from cracking. (2, Insightful)

Trillan (597339) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742699)

If this was about the information getting out there, it could (for instance) be put up on GNUtella or somesuch anonymously.

No, this is about profiting from the adventure. Even pre-DMCA, this was a no-no.

Obligatory OOP rights (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742720)

Int User.Rights=0
Int Corporate.Rights=-100

if(User.Location=="USA" || User.Assets.Cash.Value<1000000){
while(Goverment.People.Representation<Goverment.Pe ople.Representation)
User.Rights -=1;
Corporate.Rights +=10;
}
else {
User.Rights+=1;
Corporate.Rights = Corporate.Rights;
}

it's typical (1, Funny)

toddhunter (659837) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742724)

They won't publish my book about the sassy h@>0r robot either. Bastards

USA.Freedom = (Corp.Rights> People.Rights)?1:0; (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742731)

Int User.Rights=0;
Int Corporate.Rights=-100;

if(User.Location=="USA" || User.Assets.Cash.Value<1000000){
while(Goverment.People.Representation<Goverment.Co rporate.Representation)
User.Rights -=1;
Corporate.Rights +=10;
}
else {
User.Rights+=1;
Corporate.Rights = Corporate.Rights;
}

is slashdot hiring? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5742784)

- can i get a job with slashdot?

- i can help ensure poor grammar won't show up in editor postings...

- really though, i can't believe that slashdot doesn't have a clearance desk... the repeated dupe stories, combined with the grammar errors makes the site look amateurish..
- f u cn rd ths u cn b a cmptr pgmr!

U can pre order the book from Bunnie's website (4, Informative)

abhikhurana (325468) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742792)

A quick googling reveals that even though Wiley has refused to publish the book, you can still pre order it at Bunnie's website[http://www.xenatera.com/hackingthexbox/ind ex.html]. You can even see a sample of the chapters on the site. Whats more, he is even using the rejection by Wiley as a plank to sell the book.
To quote from his site:
"A book so controversial that publishers are afraid to print it!"
"Hurry and get "Hacking the Xbox" before Microsoft does!"
According to the site, the book is shipping in May ( year not specified though :-) )

Let me be the first to say (1, Funny)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742799)

In Soviet America, DMCA violates you!

here is the perfect way to sell XBOX chips... (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 11 years ago | (#5742814)

1.make a special BIOS that will load an appropriate boot-loader or kernel somehow (something like that XBOX linux bios). Then sell all mod chips with this BIOS pre-loaded. If it detects that the disk in the drive is a bootable kernel or etc it will boot from there else it will boot from the XBOX hard disk. This can be used as-is for XBOX linux. But for those that want a BIOS to play "unsigned xbox software" (such as import titles or some of the xbox emulators floating around), what there would be is a small program that gets put onto a disk & fed into the XBOX which boots & runs it. This program would copy another bootable program to the XBOX HD. The program on the XBOX HD would basicly contain the equivilant of an existing mod BIOS. So, if someone wants to play unsigned crap (such as imports or emulators), they can:
buy this mod chip (which doesnt have any M$ code on it nor does it allow the playing of XBOX games, signed or unsigned, therefore M$ has a lot less chance of sucess if they try to sue)
then either A.re-flash it with some pirate bios from the net (the person selling the chips in the first place would only offer them with this bios)
or B.grab the program that installs the "boot-loader" onto the XBOX hard disk. That "boot-loader" would then substitute for the real XBOX bios & load the appropriate XBE file or whatever.

That way, M$ has less avenues to sue the mod-chip sellers. The person making & distributing the "boot-loader" can do so anonymously or something so that they cant be caught by M$.
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