One early problem was that of the format of their firmware updates. While the code contained within might be released under the GPL, Linksys is under no obligation to release the details of this file format. And yes, I asked them directly, but to date have gotten no reply.Update: Rob sez, "I might have spoken too soon. I have been gently reminded that it is possible (in fact, trivial) to change config file locations without modifying the source. It also turns out that they are releasing some changes, but there is still some question about kernel modifications. I've posted an update on my original blog." Link Discuss (via /.)
No matter, with the help of many interested people around the globe, we have been able to decipher the (relatively simple) firmware file format, and even make a little utility that will generate a valid firmware for you. (Note that it's really easy to kill your AP with "bad" firmware, but that's another story altogether...)
Now that we are able to execute arbitrary commands on the WRT54G, it is obvious that Linksys is running modified software covered by the GPL. One perfect example of this is Zebra, the advanced dynamic routing software package. By opening the firmware file directly, as well as by making queries through the makeshift ping interface mentioned earlier, we noticed that the zebra running on the WRT54G doesn't use the standard configuration file locations. This means that it must certainly be a modified binary.
Why do corporations want your personal data? The simple answer, according to Andrew Odlyzko, the director of the University of Minnesota's Digital Technology Center, is that such information is the key to a holy grail of capitalism: discriminatory pricing. Economic theory posits that price discrimination -- where companies charge individuals based on their ability to pay and their value as a customer -- is desirable since it makes trade more efficient. Yet it rankles consumers, who perceive differential pricing as unfair. The fact that business travelers, whose corporations can arguably afford it, pay more for airline seats than a vacationer has made air travel more popular and routine. At the same time, the price discrimination that charges two people different prices for the same class of service infuriates those who pay more.Link to Odlyzko's paper, Link to BW story, Discuss, (Thanks, ESC)
In a paper to be presented at the Fifth Annual Conference on E-Commerce this fall, Odlyzko, a Bell Labs researcher for 26 years, doesn't argue for or against discriminatory pricing. He focuses on how technology can bring it to new levels of sophistication and prevalence.
Special early bird extension: Save $100 (25%) on conference admission until August 4th, for Accelerating Change Conference 2003, Stanford University, September 12-14. PLUS: BoingBoing readers will receive an additional 5% discount by using the discount code "ACC2003-BoingBoing" (no quotations).Link Discuss (Thanks, Tyler)
The Accelerating Change Conference will be a forum to explore the paradise of resources, as well as the risks and responsibilities, represented by cascading breakthroughs in computational technologies. Ray Kurzweil, K. Eric Drexler, Steve Jurvetson, Tim O'Reilly, William H. Calvin, Howard Bloom, Robert Wright, and 17 other world-class minds will present to 300 attendees.
An omnivore, yet selective, a sort of filter-feeder, I will extract intellectual nutrients from the articles as I extract nutrients from my dinner," Sacks writes in the introduction. "Every so often, however, I am arrested by an article because it contains not just new information but a highly individual point of view, a personal perspective, a voice that compels my interest, raising what would otherwise be a report or a review to the level of an essay marked by clarity, individuality, and beauty of writing..."Link Discuss
"Crows and their cousins in the corvid family, ravens, jays and magpies, have spent hundreds of thousands of years taking advantage of our inventions," Nijhuis writes. "They've been known to perform pitch-perfect imitations of explosions, revving motorcycles and flushing urinals."
The crow population in and around Seattle has increased tenfold over the last two decades, encouraged by a growing food supply as the area's human population has grown. University of Washington wildlife biologist John Marzluff has moved his studies to the suburbs to glean lessons from counting crows.
A California-based Internet service provider jumped into the contentious music-downloading fray late Wednesday, filing a lawsuit against the recording industry and questioning the constitutionality of the industry's effort to track down online music sharers. Pacific Bell Internet Services, based in San Francisco, is seeking a declaration that the subpoenas served against it by the Recording Industry Association of America are overly broad in scope and should have been issued from a California district court, not the District of Columbia. The complaint also seeks a jury trial to have the constitutional issues addressed.Link, Discuss
Call it a liquid cigarette because this drink comes complete with the nicotine rush and tobacco aftertaste found in a pack of Camels. These tobacco-spiked martinis are being served up for die-hard smokers who don't want to leave their barstools and go outside to light up.Link Discuss (via FARK)
Marriott International Inc. (NYSE:MAR - news) will roll out free high-speed Internet access at a number of midrange hotels in the next year and a half, but guests at many top hotels will still have to pay, the company said on Tuesday.Hrm -- I love this dynamic about hotels: the cheaper the hotel, the less likely it is that they'll screw you on telecommunications. Link Discuss (Thanks, Tobias!)
how did you find out you were on the list? did your isp turn you over or did your school protect you? what are you planning on doing now? talk about it all and let people know what is happening. help others that are finding themselves in a similar jam, and let the rest of us know the effects of what's going on.Link Discuss