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View Full Version : Lessons in writing good software - part 1



Salem
10-10-2003, 02:32 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3180212.stm
When you deliver your software, make sure that all your users are so totally dumb that they haven't figured out how to turn off auto-play.

damonbrinkley
10-10-2003, 02:59 PM
Wow, how lame. Suing someone because you create bad software...what's this freaking world coming to? After working for a medium sized hospital doing desktop support, I've come to realize that about half the software created for businesses is...well....pretty crappy.

JaWiB
10-10-2003, 03:07 PM
I don't think he should have told people how to do that...It's one thing if they know how to defeat anti-piracy stuff by figuring it out themselves, but now thousands of idiots will be making copies of cds and perhaps even selling them to bigger idiots...A friend of a friend downloads songs and software off of Kazaa and then burns and sells them for slightly cheaper than they are in stores...Apparently he had enough money from that to buy a car (although used, I would assume)

Fountain
10-10-2003, 03:12 PM
Originally posted by Salem
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3180212.stm
When you deliver your software, make sure that all your users are so totally dumb that they haven't figured out how to turn off auto-play.

That really is funny.

Are people really that dumb? Like not knowing about autoplay? Well, looking around at none PC users, I guess they are.


edit-Jawib, people make so much money from piracy that they have a fleet of new cars, and houses :) It is big business.

-KEN-
10-10-2003, 08:47 PM
They're not suing him.

VirtualAce
10-10-2003, 10:08 PM
Major oversight on the part of the programmer's. Not the guy's fault for finding the obvious.

Shiro
10-11-2003, 03:50 AM
The programmers probably have written good software, but those who are involved in analysis and design of the system (requirements managers, architects, ...) have overseen the possibility the student has used to defeat the protection. Also those involved with testing (test engineers, testmanagers, ...) could have found this possibility to defeat the protection.

Probably the company has invested lots of dollars in doing research, developing the system and probably also other things and now a student shows that their system can be defeated by a simple key press. :-)

Salem
10-11-2003, 04:19 AM
> have overseen the possibility the student has used to defeat the protection
If this really is the case, then they're incompetent. I can't believe that in a group of windows programmers and users, that none of them had ever known how to disable autoplay.

If they knew (like google finds 30K+ references to windows autoplay), then they're negligent, or worse, sellers of snake oil.

Either way, if I were a customer of these cowboys, I think I'd be looking long and hard at the contract with them and formulating my own lawsuit against them for selling something totally unfit for purpose.

kermit
10-11-2003, 06:18 PM
It was a simple way to disable the autoplay, but how many average people would figure it out that you could do that? Of course, in the Mp3 business it seems that word does get around quickly enough regarding matters of how to negotiate around 'resistance' from the record companys and such

novacain
10-12-2003, 10:46 PM
If I find a flaw in the Windows OS that can be used to attack the users computer.
Or if I find a flaw that causes your banking details to be distrubuted online.

Do you want me to tell or remain silent from fear I will get sued?

Try a search for Thalidomide. What if the manufacturer sued the person who discovered it was not good for pregnant users.

These guys have produced a product that does not work.
They created a padlock but left the key under the mat.
Now they wanted to sue the person who told the companies customers (not users) that it was there.

Fahrenheit
10-13-2003, 12:27 AM
The RIAA needs to evolve or die. Sad thing is, some day if a bad precedent is set in court it may be illegal to hold shift or turn autorun off when running one of these cds. Sounds silly to put in law? Look at the DMCA, it passed.

Hammer
10-13-2003, 05:46 AM
Update (case dropped):
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3186592.stm



The company behind the software, SunnComm Technologies, said it did not want to hamper academic research
Wow, academic research into holding down the shift key, that must be a tough one.

Salem
10-13-2003, 06:47 AM
> academic research into holding down the shift key
Heh, I always wondered what PhD stood for, and now I know

It's "Press and Hold Down" :D

> it may be illegal to hold shift or turn autorun off when running one of these cds
And if windows isn't your OS, what do you do then?

Dissata
10-13-2003, 08:04 AM
> it may be illegal to hold shift or turn autorun off when running one of these cds

free music!;)

frenchfry164
10-13-2003, 08:16 AM
The software is stupid anyway, because not everyone uses Windows. Mac and *nix users can copy as much as they want.

Fahrenheit
10-13-2003, 11:22 AM
Originally posted by Salem
And if windows isn't your OS, what do you do then?

It's not like politicians or lawyers give a crap about the minority. The RIAA has already sued their customers for using Kazaa (with a few errors...) so what's going to stop them from alienating Linux/Mac users? Either way, if they would drop the DRM it would lower production costs and not accuse the customer of wrongdoing. Now they just need to drop the piracy inflation on CDs... Universal lowered a bit, I believe.

Waldo2k2
10-13-2003, 04:06 PM
Did the have a disclaimer on the cd that said something like "purchasing this cd and placing it in a computer means you agree to let us put our lame software on your pc..."? If not then he should be suing them for hacking his computer.

novacain
10-13-2003, 09:59 PM
>>"purchasing this cd and placing it in a computer means you agree to let us put our lame software on your pc..."

Yes they have a EULA.

I have 'invented' a copy protection scheme called 'ENCP'. (Emperors New Copy Protection)
We stick a label on all CD's saying 'don't copy me, please'.
All honest users will comply, as we asked nicely.
Anyone that points out my protection is non existant (apart from the label) will get a lawsuit. Which these academics will deserve for helping the pirating bastards who don't want to pay top $ for mass marketed crap, sorry popular, music.

I'm off to make a few million from Sony.

PS Look at the 8 year legal battle of Henry Ford and how they sued his customers for buying Ford cars.
Bet we don't see Kazzar supplying indemity insurance with their software (as Ford did).