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Thread: Future of computers ?

  1. #1
    Whistle Tip pimpJ's Avatar
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    Future of computers ?

    I got to thinking about this today when I was playing Half Life 2.

    I know of at least 5 people who have the game. none of which payed for it. That led me to think about music downloading, downloading entire seasons of shows, games...

    I'm just wondering what the views of some people in the industry are. What's gonna be the future of this. Obviously expensive software can't continually be pirated, but how does it stop ?

    The 2 solutions I see are :
    1.) Hardware based security. I know on some newer programs you have to have a USB key to use the program. It still seems like it wouldn't be that hard to emulate, but maybe more advanced versions of those ?

    2.) Increased governmental control on our computers. It's possible that we're in the glory days of all things digital being free. It seems like this would be a huge step towards having a 1984 style government. Do you think something like this could be accepted by the public ?

    Just thinking
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  2. #2
    Raw Wave wizardPC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpJ
    1.) Hardware based security. I know on some newer programs you have to have a USB key to use the program. It still seems like it wouldn't be that hard to emulate, but maybe more advanced versions of those ?
    Dongles have been around for a long long time. Bloomberg, for example, has had dongles that connect to the LPT port out for years now. They're great for programs that cost a thousand dollars because the customer won't really notice the price increase associated with the new hardware, but with things like $49 games going to $79 people would just buy less. And by buy less I mean the people that don't download cracked software to begin with.


    Quote Originally Posted by pimpJ
    2.) Increased governmental control on our computers. It's possible that we're in the glory days of all things digital being free. It seems like this would be a huge step towards having a 1984 style government. Do you think something like this could be accepted by the public ?
    M$ and Intel were going to try and do something like that with longhorn, so that only software signed and approved by "trusted vendors" (read: "companies that pay M$ and Intel a fee in order for thier software to run on a Wintel machine"). Well, CNET and some other news organizations got ahold of this info and within 3 or 4 months M$ came out and said something like "it's gonna be a lot harder than we thought from a technical standpoint." Yeah right, they just didnt want everyone switching to Macs so they could code their own stuff.
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  3. #3
    Bowel movement jjh221's Avatar
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    free it up, then deal with it.
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  4. #4
    Raw Wave god_of_cpu's Avatar
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    They already tried the hardware control thing. Dongles are still in use on many $1000 plus program. Problem is there too expensive (around $30 in quantities in the 1000s) to use for ordinary commercial programs and if you use them for widely distributed programs, somebody will crack it and make your dongles useless then theres also the support nightmare of having your paying customers jump through hoops to get your program to work.

    Intel tried embedding a unique hardware key in thier processors for control like this, but too many people complained thier privacy would be violated, so nix to that too. Really I don't see any physical controls over software above and beyond the current serial number methods in use today being any more effective then whats currently available. You can crack pretty much any software control if you know what your doing and you have full access to the binary all that physical controls do is delay the inevitable and hassle the end user's.

    I really don't think piracy is a major problem in this country. Sure all of your friends might have pirated half-life and thats wrong no matter how you look at it, but I have no doubts that the program will still make gobs of money, in part because of so many people who pirate it play it and tell thier friends about it, a number of which no doubt will buy it. It would be better if everyone who played the game bought it, but it would be alot worse if nobody bought the game cause they didn't know about it.

    Free software is a very very hard thing to do both well and profitably for most industries. Linux and some other apps can afford to develop things for free since they can sell to a consumer that is willing to pay gobs of money to have that software supported, but that doesn't work as well or at all for most non-corporate level apps, i.e. games.

    Really the only real way your going to stop piracy is to just change people's morals. Get them to embrace your program and make them feel good about thier purchase and they will buy even if they can illegally get it for free. Treat your customers like criminals and they will become just that. People will always find a way around whatever controls you put in place, the harder it is to crack, the more of a challege and the more reward there is for hackers and the more you will alienate your user base.
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  5. #5
    Bowel movement jjh221's Avatar
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    well said guys. Id have no problem buying things that are worth the money. Im tired of watching the richer get richer and ther poorer get broke because they have to keep up. We live off money not the land. There are just to many people in the world. Changing morals is a good thing. But finding out how to do it will take time. I hate watching fake artists and sports players make a lot of money when a lot of it should be free. If i was to make music or something id make it free and allow those that want to pay me pay me. Its hard world to survive with out the desire for money. But when it comes to control and greed I just wont allow it. Tired of watching those make millions spend it like they forgot where it came from. This will be a constant battle.

    Edit: Until we figure it out.
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  6. #6
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    live now worry about it later

  7. #7
    Whistle Tip pimpJ's Avatar
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    I suppose that's true. It just seems like more and more people are just downloading whatever they want instead of buying. I dunno if that's a trend that's up and coming or if I'm just noticing it more. if it does become more popular, it seems like eventually, profits would decline for these programs, possibly to the point where it just wouldn't be worth the time to make them.
    I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

    www.neoterikos.com

  8. #8
    FLAC PatO's Avatar
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    Yep.
    Piracy in quantities = software in fewer quantities.

    The government may impose stricter fines on piracy, but would that really stop anything?
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