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High Definition TiVo Bash Software Hack Claimed

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the shell-shocked dept.

Television 154

crazyray writes "Fresh on the heels of Sunday's Washington Post's article about TiVo and the broadcast flag, a group calling themselves the 'HD TeAm' is claiming to have discovered a software-only exploit to enable bash on the new $1000 High Definition DirecTiVo. Prior to this announcement, it was thought that this was only possible by desoldering and reflashing the PROM. Perhaps most interestingly, 'HD TeAm' is offering to release the code to the world if enough donations are given to the Electronic Frontier Foundation."

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154 comments

This sucks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863444)

The end.

You suck. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863686)

The cock.

Smart plan (4, Insightful)

irving47 (73147) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863453)

Maybe that's a good way of doing it. Make sure you don't have any money to be sued for by the MPAA, but have money going to someone who might arrange your legal defense.

Re:Smart plan (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863481)

The conglomorates haven't exactly cared whether you have money or not. If we all had enough money to support an effective legal defense against the monopolies or enough power to end their money-backed lawmaking schemes we wouldn't be trying grassroots campaigns to end their stranglehold.

Now would we?

Re:Smart plan (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863754)

what does it mater, I'm betting they will release the code in an anonomous way so the corperate Gestapo cant target anyone. And be on the lookout that this will be the way code will be released in the future. it's nice to get credit, but screw it I'll attach nothing of me to code that helps humankind take back their rights.

I hope they are smart enough to not leave any traces of their identity in it so they cant get harassed like the DECSS debacle.

I can hear it now... (2, Interesting)

ControlFreal (661231) | more than 9 years ago | (#9864361)

(Tell-Sell mode)

The latest TiVo hack... Soon coming to a Freenet [freenetproject.org] or MUTE [sourceforge.net] node near you... It's amazing!

(/Tell-Sell mode)

A little later, it'll be all over the general file-sharing networks, without ever having left a trace to its origin. At that stage, the cat is irrevocably out of the bag.

The point you raise is interesting: it doesn't matter that anonymous networks like Freenet or MUTE are not currently used by a lot of users; they _are_ used by ~1000-~10000 users. When more than a view of those start sharing it at high-usage filesharing networks, the cat is out of the bag. I can indeed imagine really high-profile hacks (say: like the utopical patch that'll break DRMS and/of TCPA in a few years, or so ;) to be "released" in either the two-stage way I just described, or by using virusses (as a last resort).

Interesting...

Re:Smart plan (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 9 years ago | (#9864398)

Heh.

You assume that there's "code".

Have you read anything at DealDatabase? The "developers" there are mostly people who hack together a collection of real work done by other people. I bet this hack is some one-liner exploit that gets just enough data past the Tivo boot-time checks to make one of the existing hacks feasible. Those existing hacks are mainly pasted together work from people you've all heard of like Andrew Tridgell and Donald Becker that was done and dumped after they had what they wanted, or was written for other purposes entirely.

Then they say smug shit like this:

HD TeAm doesn't need the $ and if anybody else were smart/experienced enough something similiar would allready be public

What they really mean is that if anybody else cared enough, or had as much free time on their hands as they do, something like this would already be public.

off like a dress... (4, Funny)

zoloto (586738) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863470)

...on PROM night!

and reflashing the PROM

well I have to say that brings back fond memories of prom night. ... oh wait, this is about a PROM?? uhhh... nothing to see here, move along!

Re:off like a dress... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863697)

OMG TEH FUNNEY

Bullshit. (1)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 9 years ago | (#9864046)

I didn't even get my dress off on prom night, I had to peel it off 18 hours later when I woke up underneath a volkswagon jetta that somehow made it into my garage. And there were opened boxes from undercarriage lighting kits... I felt so... dirty.

Away to Jail with Ye (5, Funny)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863476)

Today the US Senate announced pending legislation designed to curb the growing problem of Tivo hacking. The House is expected to take up a similar bill next week.

Senator Orrin Hatch, chief sponsor of the bill, was quoted as saying "This issue is of extreme importance to the future of America. What kind of message would we be sending to our children if we allowed this kind of wanton hacking activity to go on unchecked? I ask all politicians who value protecting our intellectual property laws to join me in support of this legislation."

Re:Away to Jail with Ye (2, Funny)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863608)

He has also opened a Paypal account to accept donations to help fund the mounting legal costs in persecuting attempts at allowing that evil Communist "freedom of information" idea that has been infiltrating our great fascist state.

Yes, this is the proper usage of Fascist. We are allowing our country to be opened to the control of the corporations.

Re:Away to Jail with Ye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9864096)

why are we getting 503 Service Unavailable? I cannot get to any other slashdot.org page unless I use a specific article's link.

Re:Away to Jail with Ye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9864227)

Heh,

You must be new here. Slashdot is much like the NSA (Never Say Anything) when it comes to explaining site issues.

Re:Away to Jail with Ye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9864358)

Better yet, I get 503 in IE while I can connect in Mozilla. Another note: I dont have cookies on in Mozilla, but I do in IE, so it may be the login portion of their service.

Re:Away to Jail with Ye (2, Insightful)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863708)

"This issue is of extreme importance to the future of America. What kind of message would we be sending to our children if we allowed this kind of
wanton hacking activity to go on unchecked? I ask all politicians who value protecting our intellectual property laws to join me in support of this legislation." - italics added for emphasis
wanton - Audio pronunciation of "wanton" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (wntn) adj.

1. Gratuitously cruel; merciless.
2. Marked by unprovoked, gratuitous maliciousness; capricious and unjust: wanton destruction.
3. Unrestrainedly excessive: wanton extravagance; wanton depletion of oil reserves.
4. Luxuriant; overabundant: wanton tresses.
5. Frolicsome; playful.
6. Undisciplined; spoiled.
7. Obsolete. Rebellious; refractory.

OK, I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but how does this type of activity merit the use of the word wanton. Genghis Kahn merits that kind of description, but not a bunch of people who want to make the hard drives bigger on their TiVos. Exactly how are women and children being slaughtered by this activity? How can Orrin Hatch say something stupid like that and face no backlash from the mainstream media? This pisses me off to no end! These people are demonizing those of us that just want to upgrade the TiVos that WE OWN.
I BOUGHT THE TiVo, I PAY THE SUBSCRIPTION FEE, I ABIDE BY THE LAW. WHY CAN'T I OPEN IT UP AND PUT IN A BIGGER HARD DRIVE IF I WANT TO?

Sorry for the yelling. This makes my blood boil.

Re:Away to Jail with Ye (1)

Lawbeefaroni (246892) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863870)

OK, I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but how does this type of activity merit the use of the word wanton.


Well, if it's Senator Hatch trying to sell it to a clueless public and his even more clueless coleages, it's the perfect work. Oh, and I'm pretty sure he never actually said that. Calm down, it was satire.

Re:Away to Jail with Ye (2, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#9864140)

Didn't you read the definition you pasted? 5. Frolicsome, playful. Wanton is also defined on occasion as "with abandon", which is the sense in which I most commonly see it (in pornography) :)

Blackmail? (2, Insightful)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863480)

"is offering to release the code to the world if enough donations are given to the Electronic Frontier Foundation"

Uh, why? Just release the code.

Re:Blackmail? (3, Informative)

jaaron (551839) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863555)

Apparently a contest was made available first before a software exploit could be found. The HD TeAM group just happens to be the first to claim success. If their post [dealdatabase.com]:

"HD TeAm has a solution prepared and authorizes it's distribution via ddb once $1,000 has been collected. We request that all proceeds be donated to the EFF so that research of this nature remains legal in the future."

"It is our position that if the community, particularly the minority with the disposable income for hd-units, is unwilling to come together & donate this token sum to a worthy organization the hack is probably better kept private"

Re:Blackmail? (5, Insightful)

MooseGuy529 (578473) | more than 9 years ago | (#9864055)

Why? This should be obvious.

The music, movie, and TV industries in the U.S. still haven't opened up to the idea of sharing things. It was one thing back when TV was analog, and music was on tapes (yeah, they complained back then, but it *was* less of a problem), but now they're scared shitless because they're broadcasting a digital stream, and, although it is compressed, any duplication, recording, or sharing of it would be at exactly the same quality.

So, they try to manipulate laws (DMCA, Broadcast Flag, etc...) their way so that nobody can copy their stuff illegally or legally. The end result is that we need organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation to stand up to them and preserve our rights to use media legally.

A lot of these laws fall into a category which I particularly find disturbing: laws that cure the symptom instead of the disease. Instead of just cracking down on true copyright violation (large groups of people selling pirated movies and such, not some guy who copies a few movies for a friend), they crack down on ways to violate copyrights, or they crack down on ways to create ways to violate copyrights, or they crack down on uses of copyrighted material more broad than what is truly illegal, or they crack down on anything that could eventually lead to copyright infringement.

Now, for some analogies. (I warned you, so don't complain they suck!) People are allowed to have knives, for normal uses such as chopping vegetables. Knives, however, can also be used for violence. If knives were regulated the same way copyright law is looking, we wouldn't be able to have knives because they *could* be used to hurt people. Furthermore, most recipies involving chopping would be illegal, due to the fact that they could induce someone to create a knife for that purpose.

But look at it another way: guns--something whose purpose is solely violence--are regulated. Think about DeCSS--it is used only to decode DVD data to view it; pirates don't even need to decode DVD data to make pirated discs. If the movie industry wanted to crack down on something, it should have been DVD burners (yeah, I know, they shouldn't be regulated either... maybe they should have required a special code on consumer discs, so players won't play DeCSS-encrypted discs [presumably a copyrighted movie] when they are on a consumer disc [presumably because it is a pirated copy]), not DeCSS. That's like cracking down on knives, because they can be used to hurt people, even though they have plenty of harmless uses, while leaving guns unregulated.

Okay, shred apart my analogies. Have fun. But that is the reason we need the EFF--to protect us from corporations that would otherwise crack down on lawful acts.

So why not just release it? As the thread says, the people who have enough money to buy an HD TiVo certainly have enough money to contribute to the EFF, and their very use of the TiVo is an act protected by the EFF. Asking for donations to a good group in exchange for a donation is perfectly valid. If you don't like it, don't give money... someone else will... or maybe not, and we'll never see the code...

Is this the opposite of digital terrorism?? (2, Insightful)

dgrgich (179442) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863482)

I remember a while back the gang of folks threatening to release hacks for the Xbox unless MS paid up - don't remember hearing what happened there. This seems to be similar but completely different - :)

I have to say that I'm against anything that might harm Tivo as a company; I'm a rabid fan who sees signs on the wall that Tivo may be in trouble within the next few years as the cable companies produce low-grade DVRs that do not give the database-powered juicy goodness that Tivo provides.

Just my two cents.

Re:Is this the opposite of digital terrorism?? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863547)

They were threatening to release the software hack unless MS were to allow a signed version of Linux to be released on the XBox. Of course MS didn't, and the hack (which allowed the user to load an unsigned linux loader without a hardware mod) was released.

Later that hack was modified by other people to run *any* unsigned executable on the XBox. It was this very possibility that the original hacker wanted MS to avoid by allowing a signed Linux loader.

Re:Is this the opposite of digital terrorism?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863581)

um most of those DVRs the cable companies produce are rebranded licensed software of Tivo to begin with

totally false (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863931)

idiot

Re:Is this the opposite of digital terrorism?? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863765)

,i>I have to say that I'm against anything that might harm Tivo as a company; I'm a rabid fan who sees signs on the wall that Tivo may be in trouble within the next few years as the cable companies produce low-grade DVRs that do not give the database-powered juicy goodness that Tivo provides.

too late. WE've had them here in comcast that also record HD for over a year now. an additional $5.00 a month and you get a HD PVR that can never break because you dont own it, something that Tivo cant offer.. .as well as significantly lower subscription rates ($5.00 versus $12.95)

tiVo is doomed. and the only reason I have a replayTV is that it's effortless to get DVD ready mpeg2 files off it to my PC... no hacking anything required, otherwise I'd have the Comcast PVR HD box.

Re:Is this the opposite of digital terrorism?? (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#9864038)

Comcast charges me $9.95/mo for their HD PVR, so the price difference isn't that great. I still have TiVo and it beats the Comcast PVR like a little bitch in terms of usability and functionality. As soon as TiVo comes out with an affordable HD PVR (preferably with Cable Card technology) I'm dumping the Comcast box.

Re:Is this the opposite of digital terrorism?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9864384)

paying $5 a month in NC for 40 hours worth of hard drive with Time Warner Cable.

Re:Is this the opposite of digital terrorism?? (1)

Kyaphas (30519) | more than 9 years ago | (#9864333)

I know this is off-topic, but what's up with the Magellan Meridian?

I looked for a way to contact you, but not too much luck.

Software-only hacks rule! (4, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863485)

Let me be one of the first (today) to say that software-only hacks rule! There are a lot more people that can use that type of hack, then there are that would open the box and do stuff in order to get BASH, or what have you, to work. Having witnessed hardware xBox/TiVo hacks myself, I can attest that if you don't have nerves of steel, you could bump that soldering iron into something important.. and whoops! There goes the system.

Re:Software-only hacks rule! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863821)

I once left a big chunk of soldering stuff splash on a xbox board. needless to say it askted jerky, opening and checking, subsequently removing the stuff fixed it.

my xbox board has a couple of traces ripped open and fixed using some carefully applied soldering iron.

How about a hack for the Series 2? (1)

jocknerd (29758) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863496)

Still waiting for my bash shell.

Re:How about a hack for the Series 2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863523)

Series 2 software-only shell hacks have been around for at least a year.

Re:How about a hack for the Series 2? (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863634)

I beleive the series 2 were software hacked last year via the 3 card monty method. There are downloadable ISOs to prep the drives. It does stop updates from working though. Even hacks the Directivo.

Fishy! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863512)

Instead of claiming to have a software-only exploit, the referenced web site offers a reward for such an exploit.

Something smells fishy!

Re:Fishy! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863558)

Something smells fishy!

Of course. It's penguin powered, after all.

(Actually, good point there.)

Re:Fishy! (5, Interesting)

thedude13 (457454) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863596)

read a little further down, specifically message #6:
first submission (maybe the last?) "HD TeAm" has submitted a sw only exploit for evaluation the license is restricted distribution - but only to prevent resale / hero abuse the HD TeAm position: "HD TeAm has a solution prepared and authorizes it's distribution via ddb once $1,000 has been collected. We request that all proceeds be donated to the EFF so that research of this nature remains legal in the future." "It is our position that if the community, particularly the minority with the disposable income for hd-units, is unwilling to come together & donate this token sum to a worthy organization the hack is probably better kept private" OK, lets open the floor to discussion
i personally hope it is real because i believe once i purchase the hardware, then i should be able to do whatever i want with it.

Re:Fishy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863695)

not if it means getting service for FREE and TiVo losing money. hacks like this can allow this alteration, and it's just not good for the company and it's investors

Re:Fishy! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863873)


not if it means getting service for FREE and TiVo losing money. hacks like this can allow this alteration, and it's just not good for the company and it's investors


NO! This is especially true in this case. Corporate America needs to be taught that "we will make money as long as we contol the use of our product after we sell it" is a bogus business plan.

Capatalism demands that any company that tries this be run out of business. Darwin tells us that any investor that supports a company with such a business plan will have their money taken away (and this is a good thing)

I'm sick and tired of the "companies and investors DESERVE to make mony no matter how lame their business plans are" crowd. FSCK that. If a company can't figure out how to make money w/o inventing new limitations on what consumers can do with their product then it is VITALLY IMPORTANT that that company be allowed to fail. It may hurt in the short term, but we are all better for it in the long term.

Re:Fishy! (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 9 years ago | (#9864225)

From the first message:
to be eligible for the bounty the exploit must be freely available to ddb members for personal noncommercial use. redistribution / resale license restrictions to prevent ebay / hero abuse are acceptable
Uh... make it GPL or BSD licensed please? I mean, I'm never going to get cable, let alone an HD Tivo, but wouldn't HD TeAm want the code to get integrated into other projects?

Re:Fishy! (1)

htmlboy (31265) | more than 9 years ago | (#9864257)

i personally hope it is real because i believe once i purchase the hardware, then i should be able to do whatever i want with it.

i think there's a subtle difference between doing what you want with your hardware and requiring the system they put on that hardware to allow you to do so. i really don't know much about the details of the tivo hardware, but my impression is that it's possible to run your own linux install on it (though not very useful). as such, while you're free to do what you want with the hardware you've bought, it's the service running on it that's limited, and given the nature of tivo's business, i don't fault them for that.

OK, dumb question (4, Insightful)

GojiraDeMonstah (588432) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863525)

What would you be able to do with a TiVo hacked in this way that you can't do now? Hook it up to a different hard drive and store more shows?

Re:OK, dumb question (5, Funny)

Radak (126696) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863536)

Run a web server on it for remote programming, extract digital video from it, and most important, IRC from it.

Re:Still #2 And A Very Cool System (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863671)

It's not a dumb question. The primary reason is to extract shows. The secondary reasons are to add features and disk space.

Re:Still #2 And A Very Cool System (3, Informative)

Radak (126696) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863693)

> The secondary reasons are to add features and disk space.

Disk space can be added to TiVos without shell access. Many people have already upgraded their HD TiVos' hard drives, while only a handfull have shell access to them.

Re:OK, dumb question (1)

onyx00 (145532) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863959)

Well on the DirecTV units you can do quite a bit; noZKT hack, stuff dealing with the P4. That is all I will say; there is a quite a bit that can be done. Steal service I guess if you are in to that and stuff ;)

Re:OK, dumb question (1)

RedX (71326) | more than 9 years ago | (#9864089)

The 3 big things that I'm waiting on for my HDTivo that can be done with non-HD models: networking for TiVoWeb capabilities, adding the 4.0 software for folders in Now Playing, and "HMO superpatch" to finally add HMO to DirecTV receivers.

License? (1)

Meostro (788797) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863532)

I wonder what the license will be, and why it wouldn't just be straight GPL'd.

"HD TeAm" has submitted a sw only exploit for evaluation

the license is restricted distribution - but only to prevent resale / hero abuse

the HD TeAm position:

"HD TeAm has a solution prepared and authorizes it's distribution via ddb once $1,000 has been collected. We request that all proceeds be donated to the EFF so that research of this nature remains legal in the future."

"It is our position that if the community, particularly the minority with the disposable income for hd-units, is unwilling to come together & donate this token sum to a worthy organization the hack is probably better kept private"

Opening Narration (4, Funny)

irving47 (73147) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863554)

In 2004, a crack hacker unit will be sent to prison by a civilian court, for crimes they just barely understood themselves. These hackers promptly escaped from the maximum security MPAA holding room to their mothers' basements. Today, still wanted by Jack Valenti, they survive as coders of fortune. If you have an encrypted video stream, nobody else will touch it, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the HD TeAm!
click click click click...

Re:Opening Narration (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863633)

B.A.: "You know I hate to code assembly, Hannibal!"

*snickers* Great reference!

Re:Opening Narration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9864181)

Mr. T: Then suck this solder!

Re:Opening Narration (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863639)

Their crime would be "Interfering with a megacorp's right to profit."

In Other shocking news... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863559)

the members of HD teAm are all virgins

I have a question....... (1)

theJerk242 (778433) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863572)

Perhaps most interestingly, 'HD TeAm' is offering to release the code to the world if enough donations are given to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Why are they waiting for the EFF to get more donations in order to show the code to the world? Please go easy on me.

Re:I have a question....... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863599)

because at this time, this type of hack is supposed to be legal. in reality it is a bunch of legal troubles waiting to happen. (not necessarily that tivo will pursue it, but a lot of companies would) so they are trying to get people involved in ensuring that it does remain legal and stop companies from trying to stomp those that do.

Re:I have a question....... (2, Interesting)

Not_Wiggins (686627) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863868)

An idea from the Devil's Advocate side of the world: perhaps they don't *actually* have the code and are just trying to drum up donations using a hoax of sorts.

You'd be just as wise to put your money down on a "pre-release" copy of Duke Nuke'em Forever without doing more homework. ;)

Re:I have a question....... (1)

Jahf (21968) | more than 9 years ago | (#9864287)

Doubtful ... no incentive except for stupid kicks.

Seriously, they're not the ones getting the moolah, the EFF is. Therefore they obviously want the EFF to do well.

Move to your theory ... sure, the EFF gets $1000 ... but hereafter no one will ever participate in such a fund raiser since the first one was a burn. Which means in the end the EFF probably suffers more damage than good.

Unless this were perpetrated by people who -want- to hurt the EFF or the TiVo community, there is just no reason for them to bother.

So yes, in the end the contributors are doing this on the assumption of good faith, but it seems a fair assumption (especially since you can set your own donation level).

Remember, they are only trying to avoid modifying the hardware ... they can do all the low-level changes, hex editing and other tricks they want. And the BASH binary is already there with working IO interfaces. It is not as much of a trick as it would seem. Similar things have been done on earlier TiVos since the TiVo first came out.

Re:I have a question....... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9864336)

Yes but earlier S1 units had a flashable prom. The newer units do not. This is a highly coveted hack and for the doubters out there whether this is legit or not. If you spent any time at all on ddb and know the people involved you would know it is real. RC3105 is a reliable guy and if he says he has the source in hand you can take it to the bank.

Re:I have a question....... (3, Informative)

josecanuc (91) | more than 9 years ago | (#9864036)

There was a contest: The contest organizers would collect a bounty from folks. If some group met the challenge (bash shell in Tivo) before the deadline, then they would get the collected money.

There is a group now that claims to have a working solution to the challenge, but they are saying they will not release it until the collected bounty is at least $1000 and with a promise that the contest organizers will not send it to the winners, but to the EFF instead.

Reading between the lines... (4, Funny)

rdewalt (13105) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863614)

"... Perhaps most interestingly, 'HD TeAm' is offering to release the code to the world if enough donations are given to the Electronic Frontier Foundation."

In other words, "We'd like our defense fund paid in advance before we release That-Which-Will-Get-Us-Sued-Out-Of-Our-Lives.

I heard of this before... (-1, Flamebait)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863626)

Perhaps most interestingly, 'HD TeAm' is offering to release the code to the world if enough donations are given to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

I hear a buncha guys tried this in some foreign country. Something about slitting throats unless buddies were taken out of jail.
It didn't end up pretty.

This 'digital blackmail/digital terrorism' leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I hope the EFF does the right thing and encourages people not to donate for this cause. Or perhaps not give out how much money they've been donated. This should not be encouraged at all.

Re:I heard of this before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863654)

how is this blackmail?

they are trying to ensure what they did remains legal

Re:I heard of this before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863677)

This 'digital blackmail/digital terrorism' leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I hope the EFF does the right thing and encourages people not to donate for this cause. Or perhaps not give out how much money they've been donated. This should not be encouraged at all.

Wow, do you people even know how to read? ("you people" referring to the idiots equating this to some type of blackmail)

For the reading impaired, there was a collection being taken to offer as a reward for anyone who could hack (crack, whatever) the HD Tivo. The HD Team merely offered to donate their reward to the EFF if it reached $1000. If it didn't, they'd keep the hack to themselves, and the reward money would be returned.

How the hell is that blackmail?

Re:I heard of this before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863696)

You ignorant Troll. Intelligent creativity by finding a unique solution to a problem is part of free speech (much to the chagrin of Bushies). These hackers are not threatening death of a human life form. Get your perspectives straight.

What is wrong with your brain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863707)

How do you see a connection between "we'll do something nasty and evil if you don't do what we want" and "we'll do something nice if you choose to do what we want"?

Think more along the lines of Stephen King's experiment with online publishing, where he released the chapters for free but if he didn't get paid enough money, he'd stop writing them.

Re:I heard of this before... (5, Insightful)

Spaceman40 (565797) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863738)

[quote] This 'digital blackmail/digital terrorism' leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I hope the EFF does the right thing and encourages people not to donate for this cause. Or perhaps not give out how much money they've been donated. This should not be encouraged at all. [/quote]

If you've RTFA, you'd realize:

The forum offered a bounty for a software hack.

The bounty was funded by donations.

The TeAm just asked for the bounty to be redirected to the EFF instead of to themselves.
So basically, the big deal is that the bounty needs to reach $1000 before they'll release the code, but when it does, they're just going to give the bounty to the EFF anyway. What's wrong with that?
This isn't terrorism, you idiot - write the code yourself if you want it. The comparison "leaves a sour taste in my mouth".

Argh. Mod parent: flamebait.

Re:I heard of this before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863914)

What exactly do you consider flamebait? Comments that you disagree with? This is why I meta mod all flamebait mods as unfair.

Re:I heard of this before... (1)

fikx (704101) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863942)

So they took a bounty from the forum, and turned it into a political statemnet. They changed it form a friendly wager into a form of blackmail: "Buy our hack by supporting some cause" the direction TURNED it into something less than good. That's just geat eh?
The better way would have been collect the bounty, and THEN donte it to EFF. same result, just they would have been showing support instead of forcing support. Lot more up-and-up

Re:I heard of this before... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 9 years ago | (#9864283)

The better way would have been collect the bounty, and THEN donte it to EFF. same result, just they would have been showing support instead of forcing support. Lot more up-and-up

Maybe. But the original comment was that it was "digital blackmail/digital terrorism." It is not blackmail to offer to release something for free once enough donations are received by a 3rd party. It is not terrorism to to release one's own work, once someone else meets certain conditions.

If that were the case, then I just had a terroristic plumber that, get this, demanded that I agree to pay him before he'd fix a leaky pipe. Horror of horrors, he didn't give away his work for free without conditions. How evil can you get.

But I will agree that they didn't handle their wish that people would donate the EFF for using the code in a manner that calcualted for good PR.

bounties don't involve extortion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9864441)

A bounty was offered. They developed a hack. Then they said they wouldn't release it unless they got a larger bounty.

This isn't a simple "we're donating our bounty to charity", it's a "pay more or else" situation. It's extortion, plain and simple.

I would have contributed to a bounty (I have an HDTiVo), but I don't pay extortion money. So they get nothing from me.

Definition of blackmail (4, Interesting)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863963)

This 'digital blackmail/digital terrorism' leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Blackmail involves the withholding of information in return for a fee. If providing information in return for a fee is blackmail, then we'll have to jail all the programmers and scientists.

Oh, just freaking great (1, Interesting)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863628)

Great. Now the EFF is going to be linked to the terrorists and get a visit from Ashcroft and the gang.

The hack I'd like to see (5, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863631)

Skipping commercials is nice, but I'd like a hack to allow a TiVo to record and show good programs. "I wish my television had a control to adjust the intelligence level. I tried the control marked 'brightness', but it didn't help at all."

Re:The hack I'd like to see (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863840)


Skipping commercials is nice, but I'd like a hack to allow a TiVo to record and show good programs. "I wish my television had a control to adjust the intelligence level. I tried the control marked 'brightness', but it didn't help at all."


I can't help much with the good program side, but there is a simple hack to keep it from recording bad programs. Just unplug it.

We'll let you know when Ken is back on Jeopardy so you can plug it back in for 30 minutes a day.

Problem solved.

Re:The hack I'd like to see (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#9864126)

Is Jeopardy one of those islands that people get kicked off of each week?

Re:The hack I'd like to see (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 9 years ago | (#9864353)

No.... Jeopardy is the one where they continually try to kick one guy off, but he stays there for like 38 episodes, and even past the end of the season.

Re:The hack I'd like to see (2, Interesting)

Burianski11 (554142) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863930)

TiVo is cool as hell, but it's not a miracle worker. First, the good programs have to be broadcast .

Re:The hack I'd like to see (3, Informative)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#9864008)

That's what Thumbs Up/Down is for, in conjunction with watching your viewing patterns. Never failed me yet! I have more stuff that I watch in the "Suggestions" box than programs I picked myself. Just brace yourself the day your SO finds "G String Divas" in the suggestions box :-).

Only $1,000? - so cheap! (0, Redundant)

SendBot (29932) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863679)

I bet they hit that mark easily by tomorrow.

"HD TeAm has a solution prepared and authorizes it's distribution via ddb once $1,000 has been collected. We request that all proceeds be donated to the EFF so that research of this nature remains legal in the future."

"It is our position that if the community, particularly the minority with the disposable income for hd-units, is unwilling to come together & donate this token sum to a worthy organization the hack is probably better kept private"

What's bash? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863727)

what is this bashing method? And why is there no mention of the preferred bat or sledgehammer to do so?

This is not a good thing (2, Insightful)

codefungus (463647) | more than 9 years ago | (#9863827)

We don't need people associating the EFF with blackmail.

I wish they wouldn't do this.

Re:This is not a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863864)

how is it blackmail?

Re:This is not a good thing (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863955)

I agree with the question - how is this blackmail?

It would be blackmail IF the team publicly said "we'll release this code UNLESS Tivo(/the broadcast industry/MPAA/whoever) pays the EFF $X"... this is more of a "we want an acknowledgement that this is useful, and people are interested in it, but legally we obviously can't get paid ourselves for it"

Re:This is not a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863871)

as a consultant how is it any different from when i tell my clients they have to pay me before i release the code.

well i guess the difference is that these people are not getting paid for it.

Let's hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863867)

The EFF gets the money before Tivo has a change to patch the exploit.

ITS NOT BLACKMAIL (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9863880)

They are asking for donations (to a non-profit organization!) and in return they will release a hack that THEY CREATED into the public domain.

How is offering to release something that you created in exchange for donations, blackmail?

If it is, then I guess every business that sells goods or services is guilty of blackmail too *roll eyes*

obligatory Orrin Hatch is a fucktard post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9864239)

Orrin Hatch is a fucktard post
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