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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

stoatwblr Re:From another OEM fighting couterfeit copies (543 comments)

"It's a little strange, though, because if you buy something somewhere and it ends up being a stolen item, you're obligated to give it back to the original owner."

If you buy a fake Picasso, you get to keep it even once identified as fake.

Picasso's estate don't have the right to come along and take it off you or splash it with paint.

They DO have the right to go after the forger.

13 hours ago
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

stoatwblr Re:It's in the license! (543 comments)

"The FTDI driver license states"

It didn't state anything at all when the new driver went in via windows update.

13 hours ago
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

stoatwblr Re:Yes we're going to keep using FTDI chips (543 comments)

"By "pissed" I mean we would charge them with the costs of removing all of the hardware from the field and doing the board reworks. You don't get these kinds of guarantees at the hobby level, but you do at the higher end. We've never had to do it for "clones" but we have for parts that didn't meet spec in other ways. "

How much did that cost (including intangible losses) vs the cost of installing chiptesters on the tape dispenser of the pick and place machines?

13 hours ago
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

stoatwblr Re:Yes we're going to keep using FTDI chips (543 comments)

" it costs money to test the validity of every chip on the production line"

It costs money to install a chip tester on the line for every device before it's planted on the board and adds nothing to the line time, as it's in the chip chute or tape-path. The actual monetary cost is small beer if correctly implemented.

It saves money if that means you reduce your return rate by 1-2% and it might save you from a bad batch of manufacturer chips too.

Not that it will help if you're buying your components from a mall in downtown Shenzen.

13 hours ago
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

stoatwblr Re:Not a chance (543 comments)

See other postings about Prolific.

There are a dozen USB-serial devices out there, quite a few are pin-compatible and most of them are cheaper than FTDI's F232R

yesterday
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

stoatwblr Re:No, it's not bricked. (543 comments)

> "Bricked" means that it is no longer useful, ever, under any circumstances. It's dead, and not recoverable.

OK, "soft bricked"

The legality of this is still unquestionable. if the enduser has to expend energy undoing the damage then what's happened is a crime in many countries, EULA or no EULA (None is presented when you do a Windows update so a judge will not only toss out any attempt to point to that as a defence, but likely find any such attempt to be in contempt of court)

I would not like to be a FTDI exec at the moment.

yesterday
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

stoatwblr Re:Alternatives? Same problem.. (543 comments)

"there is next to zero ways to punish china based sellers and 99% of them are engaged in selling fakes (of anything, not just chips)."

Incorrect and incorrect.

Chinese copyright, trademark and patent law exists and is enforced. If companies are too bone-arsed lazy to register their trademarks/patents in china then they can't defend them there.

Chinese authorities regularly shut down and arrest counterfeiters - where the IP is registered in china.

Before the americans in this thread pile in, I'll remind you that until the start of the 20th century, european copyrights, patents and trademarks had zero validity in the USA unless explicitly registered there - something which Thomas Edison took advantage of to steal not only the inventions of the Lumiere Bothers (the movie projector), but also their creative works (Their movies) - something which the Lumieres found out the hard way when they tried to move to the USA and were found guilty of copyright infringement for displaying works they had made, but which Edison had registered copyrights on.

Amongst other things the result of this was the global book distribution cartels, which exist to this day, where parts of the world are carved up and a book authored and printed in the USA can be seized as copyright violation if sold in Australia without going through the "correct" distribution channels - which in some cases increase the cover price by a factor of 20 compared to direct imports.

Even now, a EU-registered patent has no validity in the USA unless explicitly registered there too (and vice-versa).

Copyrights/trademarks are a good idea for protecting intellectual property, but not such a good idea when attempts are made to use them as a license to print money, especially in this new era of widely available and rapidly circulating knowledge.

yesterday
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

stoatwblr Re:Alternatives? Same problem.. (543 comments)

It's counterfeited because it's more expensive than the other pin-compatible devices out there.

FTDI is making quite a profit margin on their devices.

They were effectively faced with a choice of reducing their margin a little on a device which has repaid its R&D costs many times over (which will stop the counterfeiting of their logo) or protecting it by defending against trademark forgery.

The choice they took to protect it amounts to criminal overreach which affects the wrong parties.

"screwed the pooch" doesn't even come close to describing this mess. It may well result in FTDI having to exit the USB-serial market entirely.

yesterday
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

stoatwblr Re:Computer Missues Act 1990 (543 comments)

"Again (as per previous posts) :) FTDI didn't break anything - they moved the USB ID off their allocated(and payed for/licensed range) and that was that"

According to the computer misuse act in the UK, they performed a criminal act by making unauthorised modifications to devices they didn't own.

The fact that utilities exist to reprogram the soft-bricked devices is irrelevant to the law at hand.

There _will_ be legal fallout from this. In the UK the unfair terms in consumer contracts act will wipe outthe clauses that FTDI are relying on and I wouldn't be at all surprised if whoever signed off on it in the UK (it's a scottish company) ends up in court on criminal charges.

yesterday
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

stoatwblr Not clones. (543 comments)

These aren't clones.

The devices in question are internally completely different, but mimic the FTDI command set. They're workalikes, not clones, nightshift runs or factory rejects.

The "sin" comes from marking device packages as FTDI (trademark violation) and presenting a USB Vendor ID of FTDI (unlicensed use of the ID)

Analysis shows that the IP which went into creating the workalikes is at least as expensive as the FTDI devices and the die costs are about the same. What this really exposes is how much FTDI is making from their brand name for what is a generic serial device and what lengths they will go to to protect that brand name.

It's because the profit margin exists over generic, that unscrupulous vendors badge the workalines as FTDI - and the fakes are so good that they're hard to detect visually. The price differential on fake branding is almost nonexistant - 3-5% or less (sometimes no difference), which is within the margin of error on supply chains, so it's no wonder these appeared in production runs.

As others have said, FTDI has burned a shedload of goodwill in a mantter of days. If they wanted to flag attention to the fakes they could have done so in a far less destructive manner (which amounts to arbitrary seizure and destruction of property, something which requires a court order in most countries even for trademark piracy)

Thankfully, there are a bunch of pin-compatible replacements for the device from various makers The FTDI device itself was a pin-compatible replacement for first-generation usb-serial chips.

Workalike makers now know how to make their devices even better mimics of FTDI - plus how to resist VID reprogramming - and a lot of people in the design and build sphere now know that many of the pin-compatible devices are significantly cheaper, use less power and run faster.

The ironic thing out of all this is that the workalikes are significantly faster devices which draw less power and could easily stand on their own 2 feet as a properly branded item. They were sold as FTDI because of resistance to buying other brands by western designers.

End result: Own Goal by FTDI. Did they do this as a prelude to getting out of the serial chip market?

yesterday
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Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

stoatwblr Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (398 comments)

"One is the lights are normally timed based on the road's speed limit, so if traffic is going a lot slower for some reason, then the time to cross the intersection may be greater than the yellow light interval."

There's enough cpu in even a simple traffic light controller these days that slower traffic can be equated with longer yellows if need be.

I'm minded of a 4 lane road in a city I lived as a kid which didn't actually allow enough green time from sidestreets for pedestrians to cross. It used to terrify me when I was 7-8 and there was no pedestrian refuge on the median.

3 days ago
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Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

stoatwblr Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (398 comments)

"But then again there are junctions in the UK where you can get trapped into either stopping in a box junction or running a red light - either of which gets you a fine. "

The UK road rules are very clear: "Do not enter an intersection unless the way is clear to exit it"

Technically, if you stop _at any time_ whilst in an intersection, you can be ticketed for careless driving.

Yellow crosshatching in junctions is merely a reminder of the rule on roads which are more prone to blockage and therefore more likely to have active enforcement.

3 days ago
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Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

stoatwblr Re:Proper yellow timing. (398 comments)

"increase yellows to NHTSA or similar standards"

Make them a legal standard and a state/federal crime to go below the standard. Manglement may want $$$ but they don't like the idea of going to jail.

3 days ago
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Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

stoatwblr Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (398 comments)

EU lights go from red to red+orange to green. That's AFTER the opposing lights go red. There are minimum dual-red dwell-times, but the transition means you're ready to go when the light goes green and anyone running a red in the other direction is doing so when it's already been red for at least 2 seconds.

I always thought it was odd to have the red+orange before I lived in the EU but it does make for smoother traffic flow (red+orange is still "red" for legal purposes. It's a warning to be ready to move off and you'll get ticketed if you move onto the intersection before a green light)

3 days ago
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Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

stoatwblr Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (398 comments)

Simple solution: Set federal minimum amber times, modify by intersection widths and make it a federal crime to set timers shorter than this, with personal as well as corporate liabilities.

A few city managers cooling their heels in jail will have the rest deciding between safety and jailtime, instead of safety and revenue.

I'm surprised that the USA's notorious unlimited liability laws haven't been used to knock the practice on the head. All it would really take is to make it a liability-insurance-voiding action and I bet you'd see managers not take the risk.

3 days ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

stoatwblr Re:Hoax (986 comments)

Edison was first and foremost a marketer and secondly a highly predatory intellectual property thief.

Ask the Lumiere Brothers - they found he'd not only stolen their moving project equipment and patented it the USA, but he'd also stolen one of their movies and copyrighted it as his own in the USA.

Even his lightbulb R&D stole large amounts of data from Swan - which was legal in the USA, but when he tried to expand into europe, Swan's prior patents forced Edison to back down.

He may have done a lot of stuff himself but for the most part he hired an army of assistants who never received credit for their work or research.

4 days ago
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Researchers Scrambling To Build Ebola-Fighting Robots

stoatwblr Re:Modern Monty Python (87 comments)

"But I'm not dead yet"

about a week ago
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NSA CTO Patrick Dowd Moonlighting For Private Security Firm

stoatwblr Re:Why is this not illegal? (83 comments)

In the 21st century USA, any such laws would immediately be annulled if it suits those in power.

about a week ago
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NSA CTO Patrick Dowd Moonlighting For Private Security Firm

stoatwblr Re:Resigned (83 comments)

"This should outrage you, a public official at the top of the NSA has taken on another (very high) paying private section job"

As a non-citizen, non-usa resident, it just underscores my perception that the USA is at least as corrupt a place as India, China, Russia, or Nigeria or (add another 20-30 countries in here).

The only difference over the last 20 years is that it's coming more and more into the open with virtually no punishments meted out, whilst other countries are mostly undertaking efforts to stamp corruption out because it's damaging to their economies.

about a week ago
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NSA CTO Patrick Dowd Moonlighting For Private Security Firm

stoatwblr Re: Conflict of interest is just what they do (83 comments)

"he was off shift and thought as a private person he could get away with it but was sentenced harsher because as a cop he should have known better."

That was 1978.

In 2014 he'd have been exonerated and the householder convicted of resisting arrest or some other trumped up charge (or dead, with the cop patted on the back and given a bonus).

about a week ago

Submissions

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Spamhaus subjected to BGP routing attack on 21st March

stoatwblr stoatwblr writes  |  about a year and a half ago

stoatwblr (2650359) writes "At the same time Spamhaus website was being DDoS attacked, AS34109 (C3rob/Cyberbunker) were propagating BGP routes for Spamhaus' namservers, according to the blog at https://greenhost.nl/2013/03/21/spam-not-spam-tracking-hijacked-spamhaus-ip/

It's surprising this hasn't been more widely reported, to say the least.

C3rob have posted a number of ranting followups to the blog."

Link to Original Source

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