June 19, 2024

Introducing All-Request Friday

Adapting an idea from Tyler Cowen, I’m going to try a new feature, where on Fridays I post about topics suggested by readers. Please post your suggested topics in the comments.


  1. Someone wrote: “How about ideas for, as regards HD disks that are playable on pc’s, a copy protection system that actually achieves the purpose of stopping copying.”

    It’s funny how there’s a small handful of impossible machines and devices that are easily proven unworkable, generally violate both laws of thermodynamics, and that nonetheless people keep a) asking for and b) claiming to have found or invented. The three biggies seem to be a) perpetual motion machines, b) effective copy protection, and c) financial pyramid schemes that actually work. (Oddly, two of these could be done in the infinite Cantor Hotel, at least if there were infinitely deep elevator shafts in the place to dangle and drop various heavy objects down. Guess which of the three is the odd one out, and can’t be made to work even there?)

  2. Sven Lilienthal says

    Do you have any insight on the Estonian online-voting-process? In Estonia it was possible to vote via internet last week. How where possible double-votes via internet and via ballot sorted out? How secure was the internet-voting used?

  3. Per Jonsson says

    Peter Payne Says:
    Hmm, I’ve just upgraded my TV to an HDMI setup

    I just wish that everyone had this kind of trouble turn the TV back. Money talks.

    To not get to OT I have two suggestions:

    1. More about the devicekey the guys/girls? on the doom9.org have been found and the impact of that.
    2. I red on slashdot the other day ( http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/07/03/03/237211.shtml ) that the Lawyer had got a lot of help from the slashdot community to get questions for the RIAA ‘s expert witness. It’s a very interessting aproach getting help from the community. Is this a method wich will be used moreover in the future. Like public trials where you could help in different trials.

  4. Tomer Chachamu says

    Congratulations, Peter Payne! The next thing to do is throw away your amplifier and get one with HDMI and HDCP support. This will pass through HDCP content (including sound). This also means your amplifier manufacturer will be paying license fees to Intel over — not any sound processing technology — just HDCP. The world certainly has gone mad.

  5. I would be interested in hearing what you know about what kind of access the FSU group was finally given to the Sarasota County iVotronics machines. Specifically, did anyone do any ad hoc testing of the machines in an attempt to replicate the reported bug that allegedly removed votes for Christine Jennings from the review screen before the voters made their selections final?

  6. Hmm, I’ve just upgraded my TV to an HDMI setup, which has some copy protection in it. Among other things, my TV refuses to output incoming HDMI based sound to its outgoing optical source, probably to stop some form of piracy. End result, I cannot make it easy for my wife to watch TV, and now she must have two remotes, one for the TV and one for the separate, expensive audio tuner that controls just the sound. Thanks a lot, guys.

    Just wanted to rant.

  7. I like David’s question. I’d like to tack on a follow on to it: what role do you think your blog has had in contributing to your success in impacting public policy?

  8. David Molnar says

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on how your work has come to have significant interface with public policy questions. Was this a conscious decision, did it “just happen,” or somewhere in between? Is this the kind of work you thought you’d be doing when you first set out to do research? What would you do differently, if you could do it again, and what in retrospect were the really good decisions you made?

  9. If I had a request, I’d request that we have a post on a topic ;-), since it is past EOD Friday on the East Coast now.

  10. I’d like to see a post on the use of copyrights and the DMCA to stifle criticism. I’ve seen some articles suggesting some companies and organizations are using copyright law to go after people who find flaws in their products. How pervasive is this practice and does the law provide any remedies?

  11. Telemaster says

    i2p, freenet etc.

  12. I second the request for comments on the RIAA going after college students,
    and addressing questions such as:

    -At what point would their probing student computers constitute trespass?
    (What if others probed them as they probe others?)
    -Why don’t more schools protect their networks (and their students) with firewalls
    that would keep these probes from reaching inside?

  13. How about:

    1) The volume key release and possible steps of AACS LA, MPAA from this point? (Legal and technical.) Also, what part of doom9 is DMCA infringement? They’ve sent the takedown notice specifically about muslix64’s program which requires a title key.

    2) p2plawsuits.com

  14. How about ideas for, as regards HD disks that are playable on pc’s, a copy protection system that actually achieves the purpose of stopping copying.

  15. Perhaps a post about the newest round of sparring between the publishing industry and Google/Amazon?

  16. How about your thoughts on Open-access publishing of peer-reviewed scientific literature and what impact you think this might have on technology and business.

  17. Roastbeef says

    It appears that the hackers have actually discovered a set of device keys now. Where does this play out from here? How quickly can those keys be made worthless, and what are the economics of it?

  18. I thought it might be interesting to look at the new RIAA campaign that leverages colleges. It sounds an awful lot like textbook extortion. They’re applying intimidation and fiscal threats to obtain a good or service. It’s interesting to see the copyright laws they’re leaning on and your perspective about the legal and business issues surrounding the pre-lawsuit and lawsuit action might be interesting.

  19. HID.

  20. Todd Jonz says

    From time to time you write about (or, rather, *don’t* write about) things you can’t write about (is this sentence complicated enough yet?!) due to your participation as an expert witness is some litigation or other. If you’re now at liberty do discuss some of these topics, I would enjoy hearing about the nature of your testimony and how it affected these trials.

  21. How about something on OpenID?

  22. As a continuation of your posts on AACS, could you describe what secret information the AACSLA retains for use in calculating keys to distribute to device and disk makers? Is there some sort of “master key” which, if leaked, would bring down the entire system?

    Hypothetically, in the absence of the DMCA’s ban on circumvention, could a large commercial enterprise, with plenty of resources, break the encryption? Or is AACS robust even without a ban on circumvention?

  23. Please consider a comparison of Australia’s Open Source system to proprietary systems, and emphasize what, if any, fraud and/or manipulation of the vote count is protected against by Austalia’s approach to electronic voting systems. For example, does their system identify attempts to enter the system during election?

  24. My suggestion?

    A solar panel that will charge ANY DC ITEM (any voltage, polarity, plug, etc) including laptops.

  25. Popular topics, or reader-interest topics? (assuming there’s a conflict)

    I personally would be very interested in having you write more about some of the “behind-the-scenes” stuff in the various tech policy battles, such as the incident where you couldn’t get clearance in time to be first with the Sony rootkit expose.

    This is more specialist material than general punditry, and of course some of it may be sensitive, but it’s what came to mind right now.