Author Topic: FTDIgate 2.0?  (Read 232246 times)

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Offline suicidaleggroll

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #475 on: February 06, 2016, 02:53:43 am »
Whatever happened to engineering ethics? Here's a good example. Lots of stuff about not endangering life or property. Nothing about "when you can blame someone else for endangerment of life or property, have at it". Nothing about "don't worry about endangering life or property until you've actually seen it happen once, hypothetical hazards aren't real". I seriously hope I never end up owning a device made by some of the people here.

"Endangering life or property"...here we go again.

Let's think about this for a second.  We're talking about a device, which is INTENDED to be plugged into a Windows machine during operation.  Your entire argument is that there is a product out there (not just one, but apparently enough for this to be a serious ethical violation), which if, during it's NORMAL AND INTENDED operation, a user were to open up HyperTerminal and type the wrong character, the device would be permanently destroyed, and/or would injure or kill somebody.

That is an extraordinary claim, and just like with that nutter in the free energy thread, I'd like to see some proof that such a device actually exists.  Until you can provide such proof, these are just baseless suspicious that merit no further discussion.

In the absence of such a ridiculously, criminally buggy piece of hardware, the result is no different than simply refusing to communicate.  The device doesn't work, it provides a message that says why, and the user should take it up with the manufacturer.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2016, 02:56:01 am by suicidaleggroll »
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #476 on: February 06, 2016, 02:55:28 am »
FTDI distribute their driver through the official mechanism on Windows, it's essentially part of the operating system. What the hell is wrong with using it? If they don't want people using their driver they shouldn't give it away.

Let's think about this for a second.  We're talking about a device, which is INTENDED to be plugged into a Windows machine during operation.  Your entire argument is that there is a product out there (not just one, but apparently enough for this to be a serious ethical violation), which if, during it's NORMAL AND INTENDED operation, a user were to open up HyperTerminal and type the wrong character, the device would be permanently destroyed, and/or would injure or kill somebody.

This isn't my claim, can't you read? I don't know if there is such a device, or if there is, how many there are - and neither do FTDI's engineers.
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Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #477 on: February 06, 2016, 02:56:34 am »
Perhaps clone chip makers should just write their own driver and start marketing their chips as a cheaper, better, FTDI pin compatible alternative?  They could  brand them FDTI (at least that would be more honest and not illegal)....

They should have done that in the first place.

But probably they are not capable to write a (stable) driver, or writing it costs too much money,
or probably both...

I find it strange that a company that has the resources and money to create a counterfeit chip doesn't just write their own driver. I'd imagine that writing a driver costs a lot less than developing and testing a chip. Mask sets and proto fabs alone for a chip are ~1M$, which will pay the salaries of ten driver engineers for a year (more in Asia). Surely they could cook up a driver in that period of time.
 

Offline suicidaleggroll

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #478 on: February 06, 2016, 02:58:27 am »
This isn't my claim, can't you read?

That is your claim.  You keep talking about damage to property or endangering life, the only way that's possible is if such a device exists.  Prove it, or stop bringing up ethical violations, property damage, endangerment of life, etc.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2016, 03:00:06 am by suicidaleggroll »
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #479 on: February 06, 2016, 02:59:15 am »
FTDI already went to the trouble of getting it into the distribution system, why should they bother writing a driver? Just like if you're building a USB mouse, you use the existing USB HID standard rather than writing your own driver because the driver for that is already on the operating system.
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Offline suicidaleggroll

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #480 on: February 06, 2016, 03:01:25 am »
FTDI already went to the trouble of getting it into the distribution system, why should they bother writing a driver? Just like if you're building a USB mouse, you use the existing USB HID standard rather than writing your own driver because the driver for that is already on the operating system.

Because that driver is not open for everyone to use.  It's FTDI's driver.  The reason it's so well integrated is because of the time and effort FTDI put into doing so.  If FTDI doesn't want their competition to use it, they have every right to not let them.
 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #481 on: February 06, 2016, 03:01:50 am »
FTDI distribute their driver through the official mechanism on Windows, it's essentially part of the operating system. What the hell is wrong with using it? If they don't want people using their driver they shouldn't give it away.

So let's say that someone cloned Nvidia's graphics chipset and made their own board--should they just piggyback on Nvidia's drivers (which are part of Windows) rather than writing their own? Nvidia has invested millions in writing these drivers and it's a key part of their IP. Where do you draw the line?
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #482 on: February 06, 2016, 03:02:16 am »
This isn't my claim, can't you read?

That is your claim.  You keep talking about damage to property or endangering life, the only way that's possible is if such a device exists.  Prove it.

Part of engineering something to be safe is guarding against hypothetical hazards. It doesn't matter if such a device exists. When you intentionally create a driver to send faulty data, you're making the assumption that no safety-critical devices will malfunction, and frankly I do not trust FTDI's engineers with my own safety any farther than I can throw them.

It's not like making the safe choice here was expensive and difficult, and the engineers had to balance theoretical danger against real cost. It would have cost them nothing extra to just refuse to work.

Because that driver is not open for everyone to use.  It's FTDI's driver.  The reason it's so well integrated is because of the time and effort FTDI put into doing so.  If FTDI doesn't want their competition to use it, they have every right to not let them.

Who says? It's on my computer.
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Offline c4757p

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #483 on: February 06, 2016, 03:03:42 am »
FTDI distribute their driver through the official mechanism on Windows, it's essentially part of the operating system. What the hell is wrong with using it? If they don't want people using their driver they shouldn't give it away.

So let's say that someone cloned Nvidia's graphics chipset and made their own board--should they just piggyback on Nvidia's drivers (which are part of Windows) rather than writing their own? Nvidia has invested millions in writing these drivers and it's a key part of their IP. Where do you draw the line?

Absolutely, why not? The driver is part of the operating system. If they wanted their IP protected they shouldn't have given it away.

Now, whether they should clone the chipset itself is a separate question entirely, and depends on whether they just mimic its behavior or actually went and copied the chip itself.
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Offline suicidaleggroll

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #484 on: February 06, 2016, 03:04:00 am »
Perhaps clone chip makers should just write their own driver and start marketing their chips as a cheaper, better, FTDI pin compatible alternative?  They could  brand them FDTI (at least that would be more honest and not illegal)....

They should have done that in the first place.

But probably they are not capable to write a (stable) driver, or writing it costs too much money,
or probably both...

I find it strange that a company that has the resources and money to create a counterfeit chip doesn't just write their own driver. I'd imagine that writing a driver costs a lot less than developing and testing a chip. Mask sets and proto fabs alone for a chip are ~1M$, which will pay the salaries of ten driver engineers for a year (more in Asia). Surely they could cook up a driver in that period of time.

It makes perfect sense.  They don't want to compete, they want to impersonate.  They want to steal some of FTDI's market share without having to build up their own name and reputation.  So they stick FTDI's logo on the chip, fake the VID/PID, and make under-the-table deals with corrupt suppliers to get them into the system.
 

Offline suicidaleggroll

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #485 on: February 06, 2016, 03:09:43 am »
Part of engineering something to be safe is guarding against hypothetical hazards. It doesn't matter if such a device exists

Yes it does, because your entire argument is based around it.  If such a device does not exist, which I am certain of (just like I'm certain there are no operational over-unity devices), then your argument has no merit.  Printing a message that says it's not genuine accomplishes the same thing as refusing to work with the chip, with the addition of reduced debugging time.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2016, 03:11:28 am by suicidaleggroll »
 

Offline AlxDroidDev

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #486 on: February 06, 2016, 03:10:16 am »
Because that driver is not open for everyone to use.

Well, it is freely available for download on their website!

Quote
The reason it's so well integrated is because of the time and effort FTDI put into doing so.  If FTDI doesn't want their competition to use it, they have every right to not let them.

Really? How much money EXACTLY, has FTDI invested in building the drivers? How many man-hours were spent? How can you tell FTDI has spent so much time and effort writing the drivers?

Actually, writing Windows drivers isn't exactly rocket science, and the examples in the Windows DDK (Driver Development Kit) already take care of a great part of such task.

Unless you have real, factual data, please stop saying that FTDI has invest a lot of time and effort into writing their crappy drivers.
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Offline c4757p

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #487 on: February 06, 2016, 03:13:20 am »
Yes it does, because your entire argument is based around it.  If such a device does not exist, which I am certain of (just like I'm certain there are no operational over-unity devices), then your argument has no merit.

You're as sure that no devices malfunction when receiving the wrong data as you are that no devices violate basic laws of physics? Damn, you have a lot of faith in engineers. Also never actually used any real-world devices, as far as I can tell.
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Offline suicidaleggroll

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #488 on: February 06, 2016, 03:14:41 am »
Because that driver is not open for everyone to use.

Well, it is freely available for download on their website!
By "everyone" I was clearly referring to competitors trying to impersonate FTDI devices, not end-users of legitimate FTDI devices.

Quote
The reason it's so well integrated is because of the time and effort FTDI put into doing so.  If FTDI doesn't want their competition to use it, they have every right to not let them.

Really? How much money EXACTLY, has FTDI invested in building the drivers? How many man-hours were spent? How can you tell FTDI has spent so much time and effort writing the drivers?

Actually, writing Windows drivers isn't exactly rocket science, and the examples in the Windows DDK (Driver Development Kit) already take care of a great part of such task.

Unless you have real, factual data, please stop saying that FTDI has invest a lot of time and effort into writing their crappy drivers.

Who cares how much?  They invested their money in it, they are allowed to say who can use it.  If it's so trivially easy and cheap to make a driver for FTDI chips, get it signed, and integrated into the Windows Update ecosystem so transparently that end-users don't even notice, then why don't you do it?  Seriously.  Make your own, advertise it as a universal driver for all FTDI-compatible devices (clones, counterfeits, or legitimate), and sell it or give it away for free as you like.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2016, 03:19:21 am by suicidaleggroll »
 

Offline suicidaleggroll

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #489 on: February 06, 2016, 03:16:23 am »
Yes it does, because your entire argument is based around it.  If such a device does not exist, which I am certain of (just like I'm certain there are no operational over-unity devices), then your argument has no merit.

You're as sure that no devices malfunction when receiving the wrong data as you are that no devices violate basic laws of physics? Damn, you have a lot of faith in engineers. Also never actually used any real-world devices, as far as I can tell.

Malfunction?  I'm sure there are many that would.  Endanger life?  No.
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #490 on: February 06, 2016, 03:18:08 am »
Who cares how much?  They invested their money in it, they are allowed to say who can use it.

Horseshit. They put it on my computer, I can use it for anything I damn well please, including with counterfeit devices. Of course, that's a separate question from whether they should or should not mess with those devices, I'm not sure why we're even asking that.

Malfunction?  I'm sure there are many that would.  Endanger life?  No.

Hilariously naive, or frighteningly, if you're actually an engineer.

(Though, also note how you're making hyperbole out of my statements by removing the phrase "or property", which I was careful to include. Endangering property is much more likely.)
« Last Edit: February 06, 2016, 03:21:05 am by c4757p »
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Offline suicidaleggroll

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #491 on: February 06, 2016, 03:23:00 am »
Who cares how much?  They invested their money in it, they are allowed to say who can use it.

Horseshit. They put it on my computer, I can use it for anything I damn well please, including with counterfeit devices. Of course, that's a separate question from whether they should or should not mess with those devices, I'm not sure why we're even asking that.
You can try, but FTDI is under no obligation to deliver a driver that will work properly with them.

Malfunction?  I'm sure there are many that would.  Endanger life?  No.

Hilariously naive, or frighteningly, if you're actually an engineer.
Why?  Because I don't believe that a device that was developed with such gross incompetence that if during normal, intended operation, a single out of place character or some EMI would result in death, could or would ever make it into a SOL application?  How is that belief frightening to you?
 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #492 on: February 06, 2016, 03:26:50 am »
Yes it does, because your entire argument is based around it.  If such a device does not exist, which I am certain of (just like I'm certain there are no operational over-unity devices), then your argument has no merit.

You're as sure that no devices malfunction when receiving the wrong data as you are that no devices violate basic laws of physics? Damn, you have a lot of faith in engineers. Also never actually used any real-world devices, as far as I can tell.
And you probably have never worked on the development of a device where bad data could create a hazardous condition. I have, and believe me, it's not something you take lightly (if you're competent, that is). You do whatever you can to ensure that nothing bad happens no matter what data is thrown at you. You validate the data, using checksums, CRCs, or whatever it takes to ensure that you reject bad data. You put hardware interlocks into the design as an additional fail-safe. And after you do all that you test, test, and do more testing throwing all sorts of bad crap at the device to ensure that you covered all of the pathological cases.

Any engineer designing a safety-critical device that cannot detect and reject "NON GENUINE DEVICE FOUND!" coming in on a serial port deserves to be fired and perhaps even prosecuted.
 

Offline suicidaleggroll

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #493 on: February 06, 2016, 03:28:16 am »
And you probably have never worked on the development of a device where bad data could create a hazardous condition. I have, and believe me, it's not something you take lightly (if you're competent, that is). You do whatever you can to ensure that nothing bad happens no matter what data is thrown at you. You validate the data, using checksums, CRCs, or whatever it takes to ensure that you reject bad data. You put hardware interlocks into the design as an additional fail-safe. And after you do all that you test, test, and do more testing throwing all sorts of bad crap at the device to ensure that you covered all of the pathological cases.

Exactly
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #494 on: February 06, 2016, 03:35:21 am »
Yes, we've all heard the argument that competent engineers do things competently. Congratulations, the tautology club meets when the tautology club meets, I'm sure they'd love to have you as a member if they want you. I can only imagine you're trying to distract people from the real argument, which is whether FTDI engineers should go messing with the ones who aren't competent.

Of course, we've all heard your answer already, which is screw people who bought something from incompetent engineers, they should have known better and deserve what they get. I can only hope that bites you someday when you have something designed by an incompetent engineer in a field you didn't have the experience to evaluate properly.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2016, 03:37:12 am by c4757p »
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Offline janoc

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #495 on: February 06, 2016, 03:47:50 am »
It seems that there is another company here that has decided to screw their customers by bricking their devices:

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/feb/05/error-53-apple-iphone-software-update-handset-worthless-third-party-repair?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

I want to see how many here will try to defend their actions - they have all the right to refuse work with non-original and potentially counterfeit components, right?!

 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #496 on: February 06, 2016, 03:51:32 am »
Of course, we've all heard your answer already, which is screw people who bought something from incompetent engineers, they should have known better and deserve what they get. I can only hope that bites you someday when you have something designed by an incompetent engineer in a field you didn't have the experience to evaluate properly.

This happens all the time. People are conditioned to buy the cheapest crap products they can find and therefore shouldn't be surprised when it stops working in a few months. I personally find this irritating not because I feel for these cheapskates, but because it's forcing quality products off the market since they can't compete on price alone. The marketplace has spoken and we're all in a spiral to the bottom.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #497 on: February 06, 2016, 03:53:37 am »
Sine everyone enjoys using what ifs.

What if FTDI decided to optimize the driver to bring new functionality to their ftd2xx.dll library and for whatever reason some clones would act erratically midstream after the device and the program have already established a handshake.

It's in their best interest (FTDI's) to detect and refuse to work with cloned chips at initialization, otherwise they might be liable if they attempt to communicate with devices not designed by them and that might not be up to spec for the driver's features.

So yeah, you can turn the whole thing around legally and FTDI can be firm to state that they don't want to be liable for talking with unknown chips with unknown characteristics.
 

Offline Karel

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #498 on: February 06, 2016, 03:59:35 am »
Malfunction?  I'm sure there are many that would.  Endanger life?  No.
Hilariously naive, or frighteningly, if you're actually an engineer.

Please refrain from commenting when you are out of arguments.
Insulting somebody doesn't make you look more smart, on the contrary.
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the difference between theory and practice in practice.
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Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #499 on: February 06, 2016, 04:00:52 am »
It seems that there is another company here that has decided to screw their customers by bricking their devices:

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/feb/05/error-53-apple-iphone-software-update-handset-worthless-third-party-repair?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

I want to see how many here will try to defend their actions - they have all the right to refuse work with non-original and potentially counterfeit components, right?!

I'll bite. What Apple is doing here is bricking phones that have potentially been stolen and the button (which is also the fingerprint sensor) replaced to gain access to the stolen phone.

Stolen phones are a big problem and I fully support any efforts on the part of the manufacturers to render stolen phones useless to the thieves. That's the only way to solve the theft problem. If a few innocent people inadvertently get their phones bricked as a result, then that's probably the price we have to pay to solve the greater problem of phone theft.
 


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