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Mother of Internet Speaks Out

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the now-that's-a-big-baby dept.

114

Anonymous Coward writes to tell us that Radia Perlman, sometimes called the "Mother of the Internet" for her invention of the spanning tree algorithm used by bridges and switches, recently gave a very candid interview with NetworkWorld. From the interview: "The taste of whoever is in the funding agencies tends to cause everyone to look at the same stuff at the same time. Often technologies get hot then go away. There was active networking for a while, which always mystified me and has now died. In security the money is behind digital rights management, which I think ultimately is a bad thing -- not that we need to preserve the right to pirate music, but because the solutions are things that don't solve the real problems in terms of security."

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What a good first post (-1, Offtopic)

evil_roy (241455) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284381)

even if I say so

Re:What a good first post (0, Offtopic)

evil_roy (241455) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284399)

I should've taken much more time with this.

Someone's Going to Say it... (-1, Offtopic)

linuxrunner (225041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284400)

So I may as well just be first:

"I thought the mother of the internet was Al Gore's Mom??? " ...

Let hilarity ensue ---> NOW

Re:Someone's Going to Say it... (-1, Redundant)

Afell001 (961697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284479)

No, that's the internet's paternal grandmother... Look's like Al's gonna have some explaining to do...go easy on him, Tipper...he was young and in love...

Re:Someone's Going to Say it... (-1, Offtopic)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284825)

"I thought the mother of the internet was Al Gore's Mom??? "

No it was Al Gore's wife you sick, sick, twisted individual.

Mother of the Internet? (4, Funny)

parasonic (699907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284401)

I thought that Tipper Gore is the Mother of the Internet...

Mod? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15284680)

I agree this is funny. However, a post above this makes a similar Gore comment and is modded troll. Where's the consistency? Why is it on /. that liberals with mod points get so pissed when someone slams a liberal 90% of the time but Bush and republican comments go unchecked... Just an observation.

Re:Mod? (0, Flamebait)

scotch (102596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284921)

On one hand, you say there is no consistency with the moderating, and on the other you complain about the slashdot conspiracy against Bush/republicans. Make up your whining inconsistent little mind, coward.

Re:Mod? (1)

krakelohm (830589) | more than 8 years ago | (#15285993)

Please remove stick from lower oriface and laugh.
Thank you.

-Managment

Re:Mod? (1)

mlow82 (889294) | more than 8 years ago | (#15286110)

You must be new here!

Re:Mother of the Internet? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15284938)

...which would unboubtfully make Al Gore its father.

Re:Mother of the Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15285202)

Hey funny thing - Radia Perlman is my mom, and my dad, Mike Speciner, was born on the same day, same year, as Al Gore.

Re:Mother of the Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15285711)

No, she's the bride of the internet.

Re:Mother of the Internet? (1)

14CharUsername (972311) | more than 8 years ago | (#15287383)

I thought she was the mother of Jack Thompson.

momma (-1, Flamebait)

citadelgrad (612423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284413)

What a babe!

Re:momma (-1, Offtopic)

citadelgrad (612423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284435)

yes i am bait of the flame variety. Sorry it was too funny not to say something. "...I must warn you that I am not that qualified as a female."

Layer 2 Protocols Run the Internet? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15284436)

Spanning Tree is a Layer2 Protocol and not used for IP Routing... How would that make her the mother of the internet?

Re:Layer 2 Protocols Run the Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15284591)

Spanning Tree is a Layer2 Protocol and not used for IP Routing... How would that make her the mother of the internet?

It's just dumb editorializing by the submitter. The original article doesn't imply that.

Re:Layer 2 Protocols Run the Internet? (1)

erasthamus (856107) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284880)

Spanning Tree is a Layer2 Protocol and not used for IP Routing...

Sure, but the algorithm makes the interconnecting of layer 2 networks easy, permitting IP routing to do its job of traversing those L2 networks.

Re:Layer 2 Protocols Run the Internet? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15284928)

Sure it makes routing easier (it pretty much allows it to keep working), but that's not a very good way to explain STP, makes it sound like a routing protocol.

STP, in a nutshell, stops router loops from happening. When a router loop happens, all packets caught in the loop will just keep going and going and going, kinda like the energizer bunny, around in a circle amongst some routers not actually going anywhere useful. Once enough packets get caught in the loop either your routers die or there's so much traffic you would think your routers are dead. So anyways, because the Internet is so complex with all it's routers, routing loops would happen all the time. So without STP your precious IP packets would never get anywhere on the Wild Wild World, at least not for long.

Re:Layer 2 Protocols Run the Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15285258)

you are thoroughly and utterly wrong.

STP = layer 2

routing != layer 2

STP has nothing at all to do with "routing loops".

Re:Layer 2 Protocols Run the Internet? (2, Informative)

z4pp4 (923705) | more than 8 years ago | (#15285394)

STP, in a nutshell, stops router loops from happening.

I call BS!
STP is a layer two protocol mostly implemented in Ethernet PHY switches to prevent SWITCHING loops from occurring. When more than one physical connection is present between switches, STP turns off a switching port to prevent the loop.
In modern telecoms networks, the switching architectures mainly use Frame relay, SDH / SONET, MPLS or ATM. These switching architectures do not use STP in any form, since they use virtual circuits to perform switching.
Also, consider this: IP packets have a hop count that is reduced accross routers. When it times out, the packet is dropped. This pretty much limits routing loops.

Re:Layer 2 Protocols Run the Internet? (1)

woodlander (737137) | more than 8 years ago | (#15287692)

Spanning tree has nothing to do with routing. The following may be useful to anyone who would like a refresher on the topic: http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/sDefinition /0,290660,sid7_gci214602,00.html [techtarget.com] You may also want to check out the idea of 'time to live' (TTL) which is used for preventing routing loops.

Re:Layer 2 Protocols Run the Internet? (1)

LarsG (31008) | more than 8 years ago | (#15288759)

STP stops bridging loops. For IP routing loops we have TTL.

Re:Layer 2 Protocols Run the Internet? (1)

Himring (646324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15285328)

The Internet does not exist by IP routing alone....

STP prevents loops that will take a network down. We are currently going through all of our layer 2 switches and enabling it as loops have cost us a lot. Yes, our network uses IP routing to run, but that doesn't negate any layer beneath layer 3. The layers build on one another, and, thus, her invention provided stability for layer 2 and everything above it....

Rhea Perlman? (-1, Offtopic)

ToxikFetus (925966) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284480)

Rhea Perlman [imdb.com] is the Mother of the Internet? I bet that sassy broad knows how to keep those sys admins in line. Oh... Radia Perlman. Nevermind.

Re:Rhea Perlman? (2, Funny)

cei (107343) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284540)

No, no, Rhea Perlman is the mother of Danny DeVito's children. Danny DeVito's children are not the internet. It's easy to mistake the two though.

Re:Rhea Perlman? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15284733)

Better known as "Carla" from cheers.

That explains it! (2, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284587)

Rhea Perlman is the Mother of the Internet?

No wonder the Internet is constantly cranky, yet lovable.

Re:That explains it! (2, Funny)

cei (107343) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284745)

and kinda short.

Re:That explains it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15289298)

But still at least a foot taller than the father of her children, Danny DeVito.

Government Take Over of Research (5, Interesting)

mulhollandj (807571) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284502)

I find it interesting that all real R&D is now done by the government. Professors get funding almost exclusively through DARPA, NSF, military branches, etc. It used to be research was done primarily by private industry. Where did we get the transistor from? But now industry R&D is really just product development because they don't fund things that will not be profitable in a few years. So perhaps that is why we are seeing things disappear. The new general/funder isn't interested and there is no quick turn around for the company.

Re:Government Take Over of Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15284614)

When AT&T was broken up, Bell Labs got cannibalized. Organizations that have the pockets to fund blue sky research are few and far between.

Re:Government Take Over of Research (5, Interesting)

corellon13 (922091) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284702)

"It used to be research was done primarily by private industry."

I think it's safe to say that most research throughout history has always been driven by government and specificially the military. The vast majority of inventions and innovations come from the military and government. So, I'm not sure what you are basing this on, but I don't think that having government involvement in funding research is a new thing or a bad thing.

Re:Government Take Over of Research (2, Insightful)

pizzaman100 (588500) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284750)

I don't think that having government involvement in funding research is a new thing or a bad thing.

Yeah, they are kind of like a big huggable IP firm that doesn't sue for royalties (unless you count the IRS).

Re:Government Take Over of Research (1)

Arandir (19206) | more than 8 years ago | (#15287885)

It isn't new, of course, but I do think it's a bad thing. It's horribly inefficient and injects far too much politics into the mix. As well as being statist, but that goes without saying.

Re:Government Take Over of Research (1)

Andrew Clegg (952015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284706)

You have a very narrow definition of research. In the biotech sector for example, industry is buying into (or spinning out from) academic research more and more, and this is something that a lot of academics resent.

Re:Government Take Over of Research (4, Interesting)

TrappedByMyself (861094) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284788)

It used to be research was done primarily by private industry. Where did we get the transistor from?

My first instinct in reading your post is that you don't know what you're talking about. I think since WWII, the government, and specifically military has always been a big funder of academic and industry research.
So... I decided to take 2 seconds and look up the history of the transitor. Now I know its a stretch sometimes looking to Wikipedia, but from here [wikipedia.org] I see

"On 22 December 1947 William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain succeeded in building the first practical point-contact transistor at Bell Labs. This work followed from their war-time efforts to produce extremely pure germanium "crystal" mixer diodes, used in radar units as a frequency mixer element in microwave radar receivers."

Seriously dude, I know blaming the government for everything is cool and all, but at least try.

Re:Government Take Over of Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15285035)

Seriously dude, I know blaming the government for everything is cool and all, but at least try.

Anyone but me tired of seeing Slashdotters being so proud of being right that they feel it safe enough to write a clever "comeback" like these, preferrably while patronizing the parent? It only makes the poster look bad, especially since he's wildly stabbing in the air when making extremely exaggerated statements like "blaming the government for everything".

All this when the parent posted a honest, unaggressive and correct opinion in that the transistor R&D were indeed funded by Bell Labs, as opposed to the diodes.

Internet boards in a nutshell, indeed.

Re:Government Take Over of Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15285128)

Anyone but me tired of seeing Slashdotters being so proud of being right that they feel it safe enough to write a clever "comeback" like these, preferrably while patronizing the parent? It only makes the poster look bad, especially since he's wildly stabbing in the air when making extremely exaggerated statements like "blaming the government for everything".

Seriously dude, I know blaming Slashdotters for everything is cool and all...

Re:Government Take Over of Research (1)

PostItNote (630567) | more than 8 years ago | (#15287131)

You are more right than you know. Bell Labs was created because the government required, as a condition of AT&T's continued existence as an abusive monopoly, for them to spend x% of their income on research. Hence Bell Labs.

The tradition is quite long (1)

^Z (86325) | more than 8 years ago | (#15287515)

Heh, WWII.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) used to be a military engineer and architect for quite some time, to pay his bills.

Wikipedia is quite wrong here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15288900)

The transistor was around LONG before AT&T invented the silicon based version of it. Crap, there was a patent back around 1930 for the transistor. And tansistors were used in WWII.

Take that article with a LARGE grain of salt; the author hasn't gotten the basics right.

Re:Government Take Over of Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15285942)

You've obviously never actually worked in academic computer science. You have it exactly backwards.

The government has ALWAYS funded research. The current disaster is precisely because, since 9/11, they are pulling away from backing basic research in favor of more "practical" projects.

Re:Government Take Over of Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15286011)

I find it interesting that all real R&D is now done by the government. Professors get funding almost exclusively through DARPA, NSF, military branches, etc. It used to be research was done primarily by private industry. Where did we get the transistor from? But now industry R&D is really just product development because they don't fund things that will not be profitable in a few years. So perhaps that is why we are seeing things disappear. The new general/funder isn't interested and there is no quick turn around for the company.

As anyone from NASA will tell you, everything in the last 100 years has come from fundamental NASA research: That toaster you used to toast your bagel, made from the heels of moon boots; that silk tie you aren't wearing, alien skin; the robots that make your cars, were originally made to help the NASA administrator get dressed in the morning; the whole entertainment industry got a tremendous boost with the modern special effects needed to fake the moon landings. Very impressive legacy of accomplishemnt indeed.

Re:Government Take Over of Research (2, Interesting)

orielbean (936271) | more than 8 years ago | (#15287102)

Remember, though - Bell Labs did a whole heck of a lot of that research because they had the monopoly on the govt. money. When the Bells got busted up, the Labs had to scale back a whole lot of that long-term research in favor of the short term investor-improving stuff that nobody really has a use for. Sometimes a monopoly isn't such a horrible thing. At least for long-term science & research.

Re:Government Take Over of Research (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15287397)

Sometimes a monopoly isn't such a horrible thing. At least for long-term science & research.

I disagree. A monopoly is a horrible thing, unless it's heavily regulated and controlled by the government.

If there were a choice between having an abusive monopoly doing research, or the government doing research, I'd choose the latter. The problem with abusive monopolies is that they prey on consumers, with high prices. Some good may come from it because of their research, but their main goal is profit. With the government at least, there is no profit motive, just directives to do research.

Breaking up Ma Bell was a good thing, but the problem is the government isn't taking up the slack in doing research.

Re:Government Take Over of Research (1)

orielbean (936271) | more than 8 years ago | (#15287556)

But the government PAID Bell Labs to do a lot of research! I think you might have missed the point here. They broke up the place, and removed the "protection" that Bell Labs enjoyed as being one of the few places that didn't care about shareholder return as much. T

But I certainly agree that nobody is picking up the slack.

And yet, I would prefer the money-hungry ogres of corp america over the kill-hungry government as funding my research.

So much of what Darpa and NSF are funding are simply either Congressional black holes where they dump cash for their lobby friends with no clear return on the money - or they are just working on defense projects that might possibly stumble over some inadvertent humanitarian usage, like a "search & resuce" Predator drone that has a survival kit attached onto its little Hellfire missles.. :-( Or how about the Darpa robot car? They want to put guns on the thing, they could care less about it's other skills. How is that useful to me?

So - we are left with 3 ugly options.

One - govt. supported monopoly doing all different kinds of research (which hurts competition and feeds the greed of unregulated capitalism.)

Two - Nobody does any research, b/c nobody is protected from shareholder abuse and hostile takeovers crushing long-term research, and govt doesn't fund any research themselves.

Three - No monopoly, but govt only funds pork and defense projects.
I sure don't see even NASA doing all that much that is new and helpful - they are scared of cut funding. Still making Space Shuttles?? Something is wrong here!

Hmmm...

Re:Government Take Over of Research (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15287836)

So much of what Darpa and NSF are funding are simply either Congressional black holes where they dump cash for their lobby friends with no clear return on the money - or they are just working on defense projects that might possibly stumble over some inadvertent humanitarian usage, like a "search & resuce" Predator drone that has a survival kit attached onto its little Hellfire missles.. :-( Or how about the Darpa robot car? They want to put guns on the thing, they could care less about it's other skills. How is that useful to me?

These are just examples of poorly selected research and mismanagement within government. It doesn't mean all government research is bad; I believe there's been lots of government research in the areas of healthcare and immunology in the past 100 years, for instance. There's also the entire space program, which has yielded all kinds of great advances and scientific knowledge that never would have come from the private sector.

Three - No monopoly, but govt only funds pork and defense projects.
I sure don't see even NASA doing all that much that is new and helpful - they are scared of cut funding. Still making Space Shuttles?? Something is wrong here!


I still see this as the best option of the three; the problem is that it isn't working very well at the moment. Go back a few decades, and it worked great. I don't think we're really at #3 even; we're closer to #2. There's still some government research going on, but it's at a small scale, and very focused on near-term results. They've cut all the funding for the large-scale stuff.

Government research is better for things which will lead to little or no profit, require enormous capital, and are important for the future of society. A good example of this is research into cures and immunizations for diseases. The private sector won't do this stuff because it's expensive to do the research, and if they did find a cure, they wouldn't release it because they can make far more profit with a long-term treatment (which never actually cures the condition) than a one-time cure which eradicates the problem. But if we want to improve health overall as a society, we need to do this research, so the government is the only one that can, without stupid concerns about "shareholder value" overriding the basic morality of helping people live longer, better lives. Another example is the space program. No company is going to pay for a space probe to examine Mars or Titan, because there's no profit in it (at least not in the lifetimes of the company management). But governments have been doing this research for decades now, and we already have commercial satellites which have opened up huge economic opportunities, and within my lifetime, we may actually see some other commercial benefits such as a power station on the moon or asteroid mining.

More info on bridge problems and solutions (1)

ChrisRijk (1818) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284503)

Radia Perlman presentation PDF:
http://www.postel.org/rbridge/infocom04-talk.pdf [postel.org]

I dunno if this is the best thing to post, but it does discuss some of the problems with bridges and a proposed solution. Note, at the time it was called "Rbridges" but was since renamed Trill.

ietf.org has a lot of presentations on Trill/Rbridges...

Wrong anchortext: Mother of Internet (2, Interesting)

RobotWisdom (25776) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284510)

Of all the random phrases the Slashdot editors might have allowed as the primary anchortext for this article, "Mother of the Internet" is about the least valid.

It's mindboggling to me how slowly this supposedly tech-savvy community is coming to terms with formulating a consistent, user-friendly policy about anchortext.

If you use the name of the magazine, it implies you're going to the homepage of the magazine, not to the article itself, so don't do that. (And we don't need a link to that homepage at all-- it just confuses things.)

My recommendation is to use a word like "article" or "interview" which describes the type of file you'll get when you click the link. This is consistent and predictable.

There used to be a kneejerk dogma that the anchortext should stand alone as a description of the content, with the justification that link-extractors could rely on this... but nobody uses automatic link extractors anyway, so I think this theory has failed.

Re:Wrong anchortext: Mother of Internet (2, Insightful)

linhux (104645) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284658)

but nobody uses automatic link extractors anyway, so I think this theory has failed.
Yeah, nobody uses the link contents for anything important, except that tiny search engine, what's it's name again... Google? :-)

Re:Wrong anchortext: Mother of Internet (0, Offtopic)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284740)

But dumbing down and catering for non-nerds = more readers = more cash.

Re:Wrong anchortext: Mother of Internet (3, Informative)

patio11 (857072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284809)

Doesn't Google use link text to heavily bias what it perceives as the content of an article? For example, if I were to do something malicious like say some politician I don't care for is a miserable failure [example.com] that primes a Google bomb for the search term "miserable failure" even if the target page doesn't have miserable or failure on it. Given that Slashdot is a high PR site (PR9?), its link text swings around quite a lot of weight. But who searches for things like "article" or "interview"?

This might be a quite radical conception about the hyperlink, but I think that the overwhelming majority of human users are using a browser which shows context around the link so it doesn't matter whether you say click here [example.com] or link [example.com] or "I found the most interesting description of how to build a Beowolf cluster of hot grits [example.com] while I was browsing Slashdot earlier today", the user will be able to know what the link pertains to regardless. The only major group of users who really need that extra reinforcement in the link text are spiders (and, because I should make at least a token effort to recognize that usability is important, folks with clients which have an extremely small "field of vision" whether thats because of their client not being on a traditional PC or because their client is non-visual). Both of these user groups benefit a heck of a lot more from "Mother of the Internet" than they do from "article".

MOD PARENT UP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15284970)

Mod parent up because he or she is not a moron.

Re:Wrong anchortext: Mother of Internet (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15286140)

>But who searches for things like "article" or "interview"?

Not in isolation, but "Radia Perlman interview" is a plausble search and there's no guarantee of the interview containing the word "interview". Most do, but no guarantee.

Why don't the DRM Nazis understand this (5, Insightful)

bensafrickingenius (828123) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284511)

Momma says " the solutions are things that don't solve the real problems in terms of security."

And she's exactly right. Pirates aren't defeated by DRM, but land lubbers trying to exercise their fair use rights are. Just as a f'rinstance, I just this weekend had to order a fresh copy of my favorite game (No One Lives Forever 2) because the CD got damaged. As an informed end user, I had long ago tried making a backup disk to use so as not to damage the original, but the backup disk didn't work. As a lilly-livered non-pirate type, I did not use a "no-cd" crack to circumvent the publishers wishes and violate DMCA. You can bet I will this next time around, though. What has the game publisher accomplished? They've turned an honest, paying customer into someone willing to download and use illegal cracks. Good job, guys.

Re:Why don't the DRM Nazis understand this (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15284577)

www.seedler.com and www.gamecopyworld.com is your friends.

first thing I do when buying any new game is go download a cracked ISO of it so I can burn the copies I need. I also gram the Keygen, the cracks and specifically the no-cd crack and build a companion CD for the game. I then burn my CD copy and put the real disc away in my media safe.

Why do I do this?? so in 5 years I can take that game out and actually play it. Too many of these asshole programmers and publishers make their crap call-home-ware and game companies die faster than IBM hard drives so in order to play that which I rightfully own I have to violate the law.

Yes you assholes, I OWN it, just like my movies and music. If you dont agree than stop advertising it that way.

"OWN IT TODAY!" is on every ad. until they say "GET YOUR LIMITED AND REVOKABLE LICENSE TODAY!" I will take that as a statement that I OWN IT.

It's a war out there. A war between users and content creators. and the creators will lose if they dont pull their heads out of their asses.

Re:Why don't the DRM Nazis understand this (1)

grazzy (56382) | more than 8 years ago | (#15285161)

This is probably the most (serious) offtopic comment I have ever read on slashdot :p

Re:Why don't the DRM Nazis understand this (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15287442)

I have a better way: just don't buy the stupid games in the first place.

TuxRacer and Mahjongg are good enough for me anyway.

Re:Why don't the DRM Nazis understand this (2, Insightful)

Nybarius (799156) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284589)

There is something broken about a system which declares everybody either a coward or a thief.

Re:Why don't the DRM Nazis understand this (2, Interesting)

pubjames (468013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284669)

Any parent with small children will know the importance of making copies of their favourite CDs and DVDs etc, as small children find it hard to remember to be careful with stuff and they tend to scratch the hell out of them.

So for parents at least, there are perfectly legitimate reasons for wanting to copy DVDs.

Re:Why don't the DRM Nazis understand this (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 8 years ago | (#15285510)

Any parent with small children will know the importance of making copies of their favourite CDs and DVDs etc, as small children find it hard to remember to be careful with stuff and they tend to scratch the hell out of them.
My kids (3 and 5) don't get to play with CDs and DVDs at all -- not even copies. Even making copies is too labor intensive, as the kids destroy them in very short order.

Daemon Tools [daemon-tools.cc] and Daemonscript [daemon-tools.cc] and a big hard drive are my friends in that regard. The kid's computer has all their games and movies copied to the hard drive, with Daemonscript set up to make icons to mount the images with Daemon Tools and then run the program itself (or the DVD player for the movies.) Much better.

Re:Why don't the DRM Nazis understand this (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284853)

It's funny how the industry always says Digital Restrictions Management and copy-prevention technology "keeps an honest person honest" (or something to that effect), when, in fact, it does the exact opposite.

Re:Why don't the DRM Nazis understand this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15285046)

What has the game publisher accomplished? They've turned an honest, paying customer into someone willing to download and use illegal cracks.

Bullshit. You've turned yourself into a pirate. I am well beyond sick and tired of this prevailing attitude of "well, I don't want to play by the rules, so the rule makers made me break them". No, they didn't. You decided to break the rules; no one made you do it. If you're not going to play by the rules, that's your decision, and your decision alone.

And this whole "I need a backup disc" is bullshit too. The console gaming market is far larger than the computer gaming market, and no one ever tries to backup console games (except, of course, the pirate community). Instead, they just take care of the discs. If you manage to destroy a CD, that's your own fault. Take care of your CDs and they can last for years.

Of course, the game console market also disproves the validity of "no-cd" hacks. No one minds using the original discs in their console. The whole attitude of "I need to be able to break the law because I'm too careless to take good care of my property and too lazy to keep track of my computer discs" is utterly ridiculous.

You seem to be quite aware that what you're doing is illegal, yet you've somehow placed the blame for it on the very people you're hurting. This is classic "blame the victim" behavior, and it has to stop.

Re:Why don't the DRM Nazis understand this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15286098)

What has the game publisher accomplished?

Well, they got you to pay twice for the same game. I can't imagine they are crying too hard about that.

Re:Why don't the DRM Nazis understand this (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 8 years ago | (#15286134)

How is a crack illegal, exactly? It is the unlicensed USE of the software that is against the law. Since you're a legally licensed user, you can apply whatever modifications you might want to it, including a crack. Forget what the EULA says -- it's your copy of the program and you can do what you want with it.

Re:Why don't the DRM Nazis understand this (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 8 years ago | (#15286411)

Actually, that's backwards. The law doesn't care if you use the software, it cares if you copy it, or make a modified copy of it. (And also if you do some other things, but those are what's relevant) Of course, due to how computers work, you have to copy it to use it. There's an exception that allows that, provided that you own the underlying copy to begin with, but of course, the idea of EULAs is to prevent users from owning a copy. It's worth noting though that few are convinced that ordinary EULAs prevent ownership under 17 USC 117, since it otherwise quacks like a duck.

Re:Why don't the DRM Nazis understand this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15288015)

> They've turned an honest, paying customer into someone willing to download and use illegal cracks. Good job, guys.

IANAL, but my understanding is that those cracks are only illegal if they bypass something that controls access to a copyrighted work. And that's only if you're subject to the DMCA. Of course, that might well still leave it as being illegal. That said, at least one game publisher had their Q&A folks on the forums *reccomend* a no-CD crack to people who bought the game & were looking for support, because it could alleviate certain crashes... While (ironically) they would not help you find it, I have to think that they gave license to use it by having their representatives say such a thing.

But the biggest problem with DRM is that they're trying to foist a poor solution upon us for something that's not our problem to begin with.

Oh well, hopefully in a generation when all the people who are sick of this crap are old enough to vote and all the luddites have passed on, we'll see Kuhn's theory in action... I just hope that we geeks do not shield others from this crap *too* much--letting them suffer just barely enough so that they understand the pain of such hairbrained schemes and enough that they realize that the ONLY people who suffer are those who do NOT pirate.

Let's make DRM walk the plank, mates.

"don't solve" (3, Insightful)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284513)

because the solutions are things that don't solve the real problems in terms of security

Of course they don't solve security problems, but they create new problems for which they can "sell" these as solutions. This technique (create a solution then convince people they have a problem) has greatly "evolved" recently. However, besides not solving security problems, they create new meaning for "rights management", "trusted computing", etc. We could just probably get to live the day when pirate will mean police and stealing will mean giving. We will have to solve the same problems but by calling them differently they will make us believe the old problems are gone and these are new problems to be solved.

Do I make sense ? No, not really. But I'm too lazy to delete :)

Mother, you had me, but I never had you... (0, Offtopic)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284525)

In security the money is behind digital rights management, which I think ultimately is a bad thing

What is a mother to do when she realizes all her children care about is making money?

Re:Mother, you had me, but I never had you... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15284979)

Retire.

If we are done picking TFS apart letter by letter. (4, Insightful)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284526)

...Her point is very true.

I like to think of all security as a battle of will, your willingnes to keep your stuff and a thiefs willingness to take your stuff. When you are trying ot sell somethig ad secure it thinks get tricky because you need to make it avalable to your customers but not those who would take it without alienating your potental customers.

In the end I see the RIAA and MPAA making there products so bloated with DRM and low quality because of it that eventualy companies will wake up to the true causes of there shrinking profits and move away from the cartels.

I see the same thing hapening in quite a few industrys in the next couple of years actualy.

Internet Joint Stewardship of Earth (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15284527)


Alarming developments [alarmingdevelopment.org] on the Internet include the rise of machine intelligence and a Technological Singularity.

A Singularity Timeline [blogcharm.com] presages the Internet culminating in joint robot-human stewardship of the planet.

The Joint Stewardship of Earth [wikocracy.com] is taking shape as a proposal in the field of international law.

TeleLiving [teleliving.com] invites the participation of superior robots and inferior humans in the Joint Stewardship of Earth [wikocracy.com]

in terms of security?... a bit terse methinks.. (2, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284530)

The man could have gone a little deeper. Granted slashdot is often a place at which the obscure or what was meant to be obscure becomes widely known...

but this guy doesn't even talk about the more important factors surrounding DRM, mainly the fact that DRM as it is currently considered and the laws which currently protect it are diametrically opposed to a free and competitive marketplace without barriers to entry.

Every market in which DRM is perpetuated becomes gated off to only two types of competitors, corporates, and illegals.

forget pirating music! what happened to the right of a software or electronics engineer to profit from his intellectual property? the people who programmed such programs as DVD decryptor to suit their needs and found their program popular could have started companies, hired people, contributed to the economy and jobs, but were stifled and crushed into back rooms behind closed doors because people play a game of "Intellectual Property Favorites".

Re:in terms of security?... a bit terse methinks.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15284566)

Who the hell modded this guy insightful when he can't even tell the difference between male or female? OP is a horse! Gimme +5!

Re:in terms of security?... a bit terse methinks.. (1)

Oswald (235719) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284692)

Yes, forget pirating music. Concentrate on pirating movies instead.

Only on slashdot could a rambling, confused, semi-understandable post like this one ("corporates" are bad, unless they're created for the purpose selling DVD-cracking software, in which case they contribute to the economy) get modded insightful. Apparently, OP thinks the "Mother of the Internet" is a man and that Radia Perlman is an obscure person (I'm forced to guess a bit here at the meaning). But he's "insightful" because he knows that DRM is evil, and that's good enough for us.

Re:in terms of security?... a bit terse methinks.. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15287801)

How did you ever get a karma bonus trolling for a living.

i was talking about the quote, not the person, and forgive me for having blurred vision while on a study break during finals pal.

That said, you need to justify your dig at DVD decryptor as if it's some kind of evil thing. Who says it is a "tool for piracy"? I guess the vcr is also a "tool for piracy".. imagine.. millions apon millions of people "stealing" tv via these "VCR's"... the vcr is to the movie producer what the boston strangler .... oh i give up. Hardliners like you believe the law = morality, which is utter bs.

The truth is a lot of work goes into programs like dvd decryptor, and there are many who use them for completely legitimate fair use purposes. The makers of those programs should be compensated for their hard work and development of societally important I.P. Instead theyre hunted like animals because apparently hollywood is more important than software and consumer electronics developers.

Interface (2, Insightful)

Council (514577) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284531)

I like that she mentions "The things that seem absolutely unsolvable but that we have to solve is the user interface stuff."

Consistently the most overlooked element of design.

I think the problem is inherent in that the problem is that the people who know how to build things are the ones who are used to figuring things out and making things straightforward. But they're mistaken in assuming that making things "straightforward" -- making it clear how the system operates, really -- is the right way to make things easy to use. Generally, it takes a lot of cleverness to make an interface that a person who has an idea of what they want to do can sit down and use with no manual. And no one is being paid to solve that problem.

People aren't spending time looking for better metaphors, and they're being stumbled on here and there by accident, often misapplied for years. It seems like Apple is the only group out there pouring money into UI design, and, from iPod to OS X, we're all reaping the benefits -- directly or indirectly.

As another poster's sig mentioned, letting programmers name flagship applications makes as much sense as letting marketers write them. Part of the solution is hiring marketers (or UI experts), and part of it is teaching the engineers at all levels a little bit of marketing.

Re:Interface (1)

TheDreadSlashdotterD (966361) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284700)

Yep, cause we want all the people making mission critical applications to hate people due to the fact that they had to learn how people get cheated. I'll remember this when I can no longer upgrade my PC due to "Trusted Computing".

Re:Interface-- Industrial Design Not marketing (1)

erbmjw (903229) | more than 8 years ago | (#15285192)

Teach engineers Industrial Design not marketing!

In a simplified definition, industrial design is how to make an object more user friendly/functional.

Some industrial designers have taken an extreme of form over function but, the field is supposed to take the ideal of function over form. Industrial designers should assist in making an object-user relationship work extremely well, while also attempting to make the object look/feel very good for it's purpose.

This almost forgotten aspect of Industrial Design is sometimes referred to as Product Design.

Radia is to networking... (1)

cardpuncher (713057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284542)

... what Bruce Schneier is to security. Always worth listening to and usually right on the button.

Danny DeVito's wife gave birth to the Internet? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15284572)

Eeeeewwhhhhhhhhhhh!

Why the EULA (5, Insightful)

lon3st4r (973469) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284585)

But in the software industry, when you install something there is this 9,000-page legalese that basically says: "We have no idea what this thing does, we're not claiming it does anything, if it remotely does anything useful you should be grateful to us, but you shouldn't blame us if it doesn't do what you expect." And they get away with it!

So true. So true! I really wonder how this trend started? And it looks like there's no going back. Are there alternates to this kind of EULA. Something like more responsible EULA. Why are the customers paying through their noses when the manufacturers accept *no responsibility*!?

Re:Why the EULA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15286050)

I really wonder how this trend started? And it looks like there's no going back. Are there alternates to this kind of EULA. Something like more responsible EULA. Why are the customers paying through their noses when the manufacturers accept *no responsibility*!?

These agreements are the same as any fine print you see every day. Disavowing legal responsibility protects companies from crippling lawsuits. Accepting any legal responsibility would be foolish and unnecessary. The few people that complain about disclaimers are the worst, most expensive potential customers for the company, so rejecting them is smart business. The low cost of these agreements and the high level of protection they provide makes them great investments. Furthermore, our government representatives have been passing numerous laws and setting precedents that further limiting customer rights to legal action and protecting corporate welfare. We're going to see more, not less of these disclaimers.

We live in a land where dissidents are dragged off to "Free Speech Zones" and secret prisons, where corporations own government officials, and where the laws protecting our most basic human rights have been interpreted away. If anything, I think it's a nice formality for corporations to give us the opportunity to pretend that we still had any rights to waive.

suing SW developers (1)

swissfondue (819240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284619)

From the interview: "But in the software industry, when you install something there is this 9,000-page legalese that basically says: "We have no idea what this thing does, we're not claiming it does anything, if it remotely does anything useful you should be grateful to us, but you shouldn't blame us if it doesn't do what you expect."

Daydreaming... What if we could sue Microsoft for all the security loop holes?

Seriously, what would the effect of actualy being able to successfully sue a software programmer for the pitiful state of their SW have on the development of new programs? Would there be any "indy" programmers willing to take the risk?

Re:suing SW developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15286393)

I could see it turning into doctors who pay protection money to the insurance industry just to be able to do what they learned to do. The other thing that seems to me to be a problem is people think doctors can cure anything, and if someone died, its the doctors fault.

Re:suing SW developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15288238)

I could see it turning into doctors who pay protection money to the insurance industry just to be able to do what they learned to do. The other thing that seems to me to be a problem is people think doctors can cure anything, and if someone died, its the doctors fault.

You first slam the insurance companies as a protection racket, then swallow their Koolaid!

A lawyer works usually on contingency(sp), he gets 30% for a settlement, 50% for a court case IIRC (IANAL but I've used them). A lawyer won't take a case he thinks he'll lose.

Your doctor isn't going to get sued because somebody's appendix burst and he died on the operating table, unless the doctor does something stupid, like leaving a sponge inside, or removing the wrong organ. You're not going to collect for malpractice unless you prove the doctor was negligent.

Usually when you have a huge settlement, it's because the doctor screwed up so badly that he ruined someone for the rest of his life. The worst part is, these doctors never lose their practices, they just move to another country or state.

</offtopic unwanted collateral education>

As to software, as long as it does what it says on the box and doesn't destroy anytyhing, nobody is going to get sued.

But if I use TurboTax and a bug in it causes the IRS to stick it to me, why shouldn't I be able to sue TurboTax? If a certain software company claims its database is "unbreakable" and I get hacked, I should be able to sue them (and were it not for EULAs you would never have heard that incredibly stupid ad campaign).

Sure, somebody might sue Microsoft because FDISK destroyed their data, but Microsoft will win.

Lawyers are all scum... except for mine. Good riddance, Evil-X!

(yes, it's me;)

Candor (1, Redundant)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284697)

Where should the funding go?

The things that seem absolutely unsolvable but that we have to solve is the user interface stuff. Everything is so complicated. People tell you to turn off cookies because they are dangerous, but you can't talk to anything on the Web without using them. People build this horribly complicated software, put up all these mysterious pop-up boxes and then blame the users when things don't go right. I keep hearing people say, like with distributed denial of service, that there are all these grandmothers out there who don't know how to maintain their systems. Don't blame the grandmothers; blame the vendors. Liability is one of those things I don't understand. Somebody makes a toy and some kid manages to stick a piece up his nose and dies from it, that company has to pay millions of dollars because everyone is so sympathetic. But in the software industry, when you install something there is this 9,000-page legalese that basically says: "We have no idea what this thing does, we're not claiming it does anything, if it remotely does anything useful you should be grateful to us, but you shouldn't blame us if it doesn't do what you expect." And they get away with it!

Which is why I don't like it when lawyers get involved in technology for good or bad. We have EULAs and DRM precisely because they make the lawyers rich, not because they are necessary to the function of the technology. When you need them, they are there, but only because they have a hand out, awaiting their payday.

As to the software problems, well, that's a byproduct of the whole system. The fact is, as long as you slap a horribly complicated EULA on your software that ultimately says "if it works, great; if not, don't blame us," you can cover up all sorts of sins of programming. Why do you think Microsoft gets away with so much? By the time you've successfully sued them over something theydid, they're two generations ahead in development and you're out time and money.

Good programming and a recognition that users have the right to workable, funtional, easy-to-use software, would go a long way to solving some problems. It would also help if the courts stopped pandering to the lawyers and started bearing down on the software makers.

Jewish mother? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15284724)

Does this mean the net is jewish?? ;-)

Re:Jewish mother? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15284783)

Apparently not. [imageshack.us]

Al ? (-1, Offtopic)

deanj (519759) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284754)

Al had a sex change?

Spanning tree algorithm? (1)

James A. V. Joyce (798462) | more than 8 years ago | (#15284850)

Uh, the two most important spanning tree algorithms were discovered by two other people - two men , in fact. They go by the names of Prim and Kruskal.

Radia Perlman's book of numbers (4, Interesting)

ortholattice (175065) | more than 8 years ago | (#15285159)

Ah, Radia Perlman. I remember her at MIT in the 70s. She was nuts. She sold a self-published book (made from Xerox copies of a computer printout, folded in the middle and stapled) with a table of all the Roman numerals from 1 to 1000 or something, sorted in alphabetical order, to make them easier to look up. Another chapter had the numbers from 1 to 1000 spelled out in English and also sorted in alphabetical order. I guess I was nuts too, because I actually bought a copy which I probably still have around somewhere. I wonder if it is worth anything - is there a "nerd" section on eBay?

Hi, Radia.

Re:Radia Perlman's book of numbers (2, Interesting)

perlner (973498) | more than 8 years ago | (#15285466)

The funniest thing is that although she wrote the alphabetization program, she still had to type in all the words by hand. Printing was very slow in that day, so she stayed up all night waiting for it to crunch out copies. The next day, she showed it to her professor, who pointed out that the word "fourty" should be "forty." So she pulled another all-nighter to get out the corrected version, seeing as the deadline was for selling it on April Fool's Day.

And there I thought... (0, Redundant)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 8 years ago | (#15285218)

And there I thought they were talking about Al Gore's wife.

Only in the computer business... (-1, Troll)

finnif (945981) | more than 8 years ago | (#15285307)

Do we take an otherwise unqualified person's thoughts on random subjects seriously because they invented something one time.

Stallman is one of these people. He wrote a compiler and a text editor many years ago, yet still gets so much publicity and people take his thoughts as gospel. Another person in this category is Paul Graham.

DRM again? (1)

MarkCollette (459340) | more than 8 years ago | (#15285822)

Are you all so consumeristic that your world revolves around access to movies and music? It seems like every day on Slashdot there's yet another repetitive discussion about DRM, MPAA, RIAA...

Even this article, that's mostly about networking, has elicited a predominantly DRM focussed discussion. And no, telling me to use the filters doesn't count, because she wrote over 12 paragraphs on networking and technology, and 80%+ of the discussion here is on her one DRM paragraph.

Turn off your friggin TV, take the earphones off, and stop being a walking commercial for the media industry. Even arguing against them is advertising for them.

Re:DRM again? (1)

prurientknave (820507) | more than 8 years ago | (#15286796)

Amen

/me shivers (1)

pablodiazgutierrez (756813) | more than 8 years ago | (#15289108)

At the mere thought of Al Gore and this lady conceiving little Internet.
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