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Products => Test Equipment => Topic started by: jixe on March 18, 2016, 03:22:18 pm

Title: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: jixe on March 18, 2016, 03:22:18 pm
Hi,

There seem to be a lot of people hacking DSOs. I was interested to find out why. Why do you do it?
I mean both from a technical requirement point of view and any other reasons come to that. Do you have a specific requirement for high bandwidth? What sort of hobby project would need 300MHz B/W investigation more than once in a year?

I had considered hacking my Rigol 70MHz up to 300MHz, but am having second thoughts. My previous plan was to probe my basic 74HC circuits with a simple LED " in/out/shake it all about " logic probe , just a monostable really. That would have told me all I needed to know maybe 95% of the time. But then I got fascinated by the idea of (a) getting something for nothing and (b) enabling some future extreme high tech project. But what extreme high tech project?

I guess some people have a need for regular fixing of complex digital circuitry that is prone to random ghost glitches, but that would more than likely be a work environment. And similarly expensive serial decoding / triggering would be more in a work environment too, I guess. But why would the everyday hobbyist need more than 70MHz and basic triggering functions?

I had considered putting this in the beginners forum, since I am obviously missing the point here somewhere. Do people have specific projects or kinds of work in mind when they hack scopes, or is my motivation of " if it can be hacked, it should be hacked " the order of the day? If you hack your scope are you also a PC overclocker?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Philfreeze on March 18, 2016, 04:10:19 pm
For me it isn't really about needing it but more about being able to do it. There isn't really a downside to doing it so why not?


Oh and yes, I am a PC overclocker. Same reason.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: grouchobyte on March 18, 2016, 04:52:12 pm
In order to really understand the nature of engineering, you have to understand what makes an engineer tick. Its his or her natural curiosity about the way things in our world work and why. We are problem solvers. We see a problem and we want to fix it. It gives us the same joy that a care giver obtains from helping others.....they get a smile, we get a blinking led, so to speak.

Its all about learning and the facination with technology around us. Even though we are bound by morals and dont wish to harm others, the curiosity factor in an engineer is huge. This is why hacking is a favorite engineering activity. It has little to do with need, more like hacking is something you do because you can. I am very sucessful but I love hacking because there is an instant reward and its fun. True, company revenues are compromised when one does that and everybody pays in the end for such activity. I have a very high end Agilent, er Keysight MSOX scope that I wrote a check for with many options enabled. Totally legit. However, I hacked a Rigol DSA815 spec analyzer for 10 hz resolution BW because I thought it should be included in the selling price of the instrument. I dont feel guilty.

Dont listen to the nay-sayers of hacking. Be true to your principles and follow your engineering instincts. The accountants will get their money and the hacking community will continue to find leaks and vulnerabilities as they have always done. Remember Steve Job and Steve Wozniack got their start with the blue box dialer that used access codes to hack long distance phone calls. I made one in the seventies and it was the most fun I had ever had with hacking.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: jixe on March 18, 2016, 05:08:19 pm
Thanks for the replies guys, it's as I thought, people do it because it's there - very much my motivation. But I guess I feel it would be nice after hacking, to put the new capabilities to work. Maybe it's true, hacking has to be enjoyed for its's own sake.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: cio74 on March 18, 2016, 05:25:23 pm
Most people do not 'hack' their scope, they don't have the skills to do that. A few smart guys are doing that and the rest are just copying the process.

If you're talking about hacking serial numbers or/and unlocking features on your scope, that's plain stealing  >:D
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on March 18, 2016, 05:32:26 pm
From my viewpoint, it's about both. I'm looking into one of the hackable cheapies; I need some of the features for my primary hobby and I can't afford to buy the features on a hobbyist budget unless I buy used or hack.

My primary hobby right now is Model Aviation; in particular, I mostly build and fly FPV acrobatic quads. The ones that do this:

http://qz.com/638661/a-teenager-just-won-drone-racings-biggest-ever-prize/ (http://qz.com/638661/a-teenager-just-won-drone-racings-biggest-ever-prize/)

I'm no where NEAR as good a pilot as these guys; I enjoy the building as much or more than the flying.

When building the quad, you get the fun of assembling the mechanical frame, then laying out and wiring the motors, ESCs and flight controller hardware. You have oodles of options regarding the radio control and camera and wireless video equipment; you can even add Telemetry and OSD/HUD to your setup. This ALL requires extensive learning and working in wiring, component selection, mechanical design and programming. You have to connect to and update both the ESCs and flight controllers and even the OSD units; they're all Atmel (Arduino) or similar Silabs CPUs.

In essence, you build a flying blender with telepresence and aerial photography gear, all controlled by a radio link to a scratch-built Beowulf cluster. ;)

Does that sound like fun to you? (http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x462/mnemennth/propellerhead_gif_by_dorklikeme808-d7pdrnr.gif)


mnem
Electrons may be tiny, but when they gang up on you they always win.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: jixe on March 18, 2016, 05:38:52 pm
Most people do not 'hack' their scope, they don't have the skills to do that. A few smart guys are doing that and the rest are just copying the process.

If you're talking about hacking serial numbers or/and unlocking features on your scope, that's plain stealing  >:D


I see your point of view cio74, but I can't help wondering what most people would do if they bought a bottle of water and found that the vendor had included a bottle of brandy in the pack, on the understanding that, although he didn't want it returned, you should keep it but not drink it. That seems to me to be similar to the keygen hack on the Rigol.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: jixe on March 18, 2016, 05:47:50 pm

Does that sound like fun to you? (http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x462/mnemennth/propellerhead_gif_by_dorklikeme808-d7pdrnr.gif)

It certainly does sound like fun. Maybe I'll look into it.
I'm starting fairly basic and trying to produce a propeller clock and finding there's more to it than I thought.
Hmm
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: theirishscion on March 18, 2016, 05:48:23 pm
Most people do not 'hack' their scope, they don't have the skills to do that. A few smart guys are doing that and the rest are just copying the process.
Agreed, most of the folks running the keygen against their Rigol gear (myself included) are being the EE equivalent of script-kiddies, not that there's anything fundamentally wrong with that in this context.
If you're talking about hacking serial numbers or/and unlocking features on your scope, that's plain stealing  >:D
With all due respect, I think you're mistaken, again at least in terms of Rigol. Their decision not to close any of their licensing security holes, either with firmware updates or new designs for new equipment, fairly clearly illustrate the reality that 'hacking' their equipment is a marketing/segmentation exercise for them. They've done what so many companies long to do, they've worked out how to charge different prices for the same product, dependent on the individual customer's willingness (and possibly ability) to pay. If Rigol _didn't_ offer the ultra-hackable DS1000Z and DS2K series scopes, I'd be furiously trying to decide between all the low-cost scope options in the marketplace. But since they do, the decision becomes easy, I'll buy theirs and feel like I'm getting a ton more for my money. I wasn't going to spend more than $500 for the scope anyway, the question is solely one of which company gets my money. And it costs Rigol _nothing_ for me to hack, assuming that I wasn't going to pay for the feature in the first place. And I wasn't; as a hobbyist, if I need to decode I2C and I don't have a scope that'll do it, I'm going to spend $30 on a USB dongle to do the job, not $120 on a license for my scope. But they do get the sale, and more important than a piddly little sale, they get me using their products, getting used to their interfaces, making happy memories showing my kids what music looks like as a waveform, all on my Rigol Brand Digital Storage Oscilloscope™

And that could be priceless (or at least worth a lot more than a $400 scope).

Same with the DP832 I'm also about to buy. Feels like a bargain, even if it's not really. It absolutely does feel like it to me. Bloody genius.
If anyone is interested in the topic, this is an _excellent_ Joel on Software article, well worth the read if you have any interest in marketing; http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/CamelsandRubberDuckies.html (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/CamelsandRubberDuckies.html)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: c4757p on March 18, 2016, 05:51:22 pm
The notion that unlocking something that's already in the scope you bought is "stealing" is frankly hilarious and not really worth the energy behind a serious response...
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: theirishscion on March 18, 2016, 06:23:42 pm
The notion that unlocking something that's already in the scope you bought is "stealing" is frankly hilarious and not really worth the energy behind a serious response...
I wouldn't go that far. It's easier to make that argument for the frequency unlock, which is very obviously handicapping a device for the sole purposes of market segmentation and future revenue stream. It's clever, effective, but it feels a bit skeevy. Charging for decoding modules and other software features is a different matter, you're adding functionality, not just de-restricting. As someone who writes software for a living, I'd be in real trouble if my work product could be taken so lightly. Without some reasonable acknowledgement of pure intellectual property rights, we would have a very different society. However, with that said I'll refer to my earlier comment about Rigol and positioning/market segmentation. If they actually wanted to stop the privateer unlocking their cheaper scopes, they would have stopped us years ago.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on March 18, 2016, 06:27:14 pm
Most people do not 'hack' their scope, they don't have the skills to do that. A few smart guys are doing that and the rest are just copying the process.
Agreed, most of the folks running the keygen against their Rigol gear (myself included) are being the EE equivalent of script-kiddies, not that there's anything fundamentally wrong with that in this context.
If you're talking about hacking serial numbers or/and unlocking features on your scope, that's plain stealing  >:D
With all due respect, I think you're mistaken, again at least in terms of Rigol. Their decision not to close any of their licensing security holes, either with firmware updates or new designs for new equipment, fairly clearly illustrate the reality that 'hacking' their equipment is a marketing/segmentation exercise for them. They've done what so many companies long to do, they've worked out how to charge different prices for the same product, dependent on the individual customer's willingness (and possibly ability) to pay. If Rigol _didn't_ offer the ultra-hackable DS1000Z and DS2K series scopes, I'd be furiously trying to decide between all the low-cost scope options in the marketplace. But since they do, the decision becomes easy, I'll buy theirs and feel like I'm getting a ton more for my money. I wasn't going to spend more than $500 for the scope anyway, the question is solely one of which company gets my money. And it costs Rigol _nothing_ for me to hack, assuming that I wasn't going to pay for the feature in the first place. And I wasn't; as a hobbyist, if I need to decode I2C and I don't have a scope that'll do it, I'm going to spend $30 on a USB dongle to do the job, not $120 on a license for my scope. But they do get the sale, and more important than a piddly little sale, they get me using their products, getting used to their interfaces, making happy memories showing my kids what music looks like as a waveform, all on my Rigol Brand Digital Storage Oscilloscope™

And that could be priceless (or at least worth a lot more than a $400 scope).

Same with the DP832 I'm also about to buy. Feels like a bargain, even if it's not really. It absolutely does feel like it to me. Bloody genius.
If anyone is interested in the topic, this is an _excellent_ Joel on Software article, well worth the read if you have any interest in marketing; http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/CamelsandRubberDuckies.html (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/CamelsandRubberDuckies.html)

That is a flipping awesome article, and it reminds me of what I learned in two semesters pursuing an MBA before switching over to Network Administration so I could feel my brain cells working again:

Most of big business is complete and utter bullshit; what is most important is APPEARING to know what you're talking about and that you know correct usage of all the current buzzwords for the same old bullshit phenomena that hasn't changed for centuries.

As an aside; since you've used some (at least one) of the scopes in question... I think I'd like your opinion on my recent post here: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/hantek-dso5102-vs-rigol-ds1102-vs-rigol-ds1054/ (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/hantek-dso5102-vs-rigol-ds1102-vs-rigol-ds1054/)


Cheers!


mnem
This is where I usually put some pithy remark.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: cio74 on March 18, 2016, 06:49:42 pm
The notion that unlocking something that's already in the scope you bought is "stealing" is frankly hilarious and not really worth the energy behind a serious response...

I write software for a living, I can't agree with you, I want to get paid for writing commercial software.

I think we shall all agree to disagree and carry on, this topic is a flame buster.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 18, 2016, 06:53:10 pm
The notion that unlocking something that's already in the scope you bought is "stealing" is frankly hilarious and not really worth the energy behind a serious response...
I wouldn't go that far. It's easier to make that argument for the frequency unlock, which is very obviously handicapping a device for the sole purposes of market segmentation and future revenue stream. It's clever, effective, but it feels a bit skeevy.

Whoosh.

That's not the marketing plan. The marketing plan is  that people make a shortlist of oscilloscopes, google each one for reviews, then notice that only one of them can be "unlocked" for free. That usually instantly closes the deal for Rigol, I've seen it happen several times in these forums.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 18, 2016, 06:55:25 pm
The notion that unlocking something that's already in the scope you bought is "stealing" is frankly hilarious and not really worth the energy behind a serious response...
I write software for a living, I can't agree with you, I want to get paid for writing commercial software.

I think I'd be happy if a lot of people were buying my basic version instead of the competition, even if they were hacking it to get the "pro version" features.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: theirishscion on March 18, 2016, 07:02:33 pm
Whoosh.

That's not the marketing plan. The marketing plan is  that people make a shortlist of oscilloscopes, google each one for reviews, then notice that only one of them can be "unlocked" for free. That usually instantly closes the deal for Rigol, I've seen it happen several times in these forums.

Did you perhaps 'whoosh' my earlier post? ;-)
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/msg898318/#msg898318 (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/msg898318/#msg898318)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: grouchobyte on March 18, 2016, 07:45:32 pm
With all due respect to the various opinions, especially those who write sorftware or develop these kinds of configurable technologies, I must maintain that hacking is purely an activity that can have two very opposing views.

On one hand, you can make the case that hacking is stealing. Pure and simple.

On the other hand, if you own the hardware that has a lock on features and you use a key ( legal or not) to unlock a feature that was not part of your orginal purchase agreement, you may not be stealing if you consider it to not be a breach to that original agreement by just trying it and then returning it to its original state.

Unfortunately many hackers do not just hack for the pure challenge. They want something for free and have a sense of entitlement....like "I  paid for this box and what I do with it is my business" These people do not understand nor respect the law.

If you are a honest person that respects the law then you should not hack. If you are a maverick like me who has no respect for rules written by corporate lawyers that are trying to squeeze every dime they can from you, then hack away to your hearts content.

We have an expression in french. It goes like this: chacun à son goût.....to each his own

The engineering and business  community will remain divided on this issue until the end of time

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: PA0PBZ on March 18, 2016, 07:59:09 pm
It's easier to make that argument for the frequency unlock, which is very obviously handicapping a device for the sole purposes of market segmentation and future revenue stream. It's clever, effective, but it feels a bit skeevy. Charging for decoding modules and other software features is a different matter, you're adding functionality, not just de-restricting.

I happily disagree with you. The decoding modules are, like the frequency capabilities, already there, they are just turned off without the correct key. I don't see that being different from the frequency unlock.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: RGB255_0_0 on March 18, 2016, 08:07:16 pm
People have been unlocking features since forever. Unlocking cores on processors or graphics chips or modifying them so they run on hardware supposedly not designed for it. These are things "you haven't paid for" but no company has turned round and said that you cannot do it. Intel recently turned round and told motherboard manufacturers to stop allowing non-K SKUs from being unlocked, but this is to the manufacturer of the boards and not to end users. Qualcomm ARM processors that now come with an eFuse when you unlock the bootloader; AMD etching out silicon to stop users unlocking cache and cores via a simple BIOS flash or BIOS unlock.

If Rigol and others want to stop users from unlocking features, they are well within their right to, but if they don't stop us from doing it, we will still do it. The fact Rigol haven't done so screams that theirishscion's viewpoint is spot on. Once Rigol have accomplished this, though, don't expect any easy hacks.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 18, 2016, 08:49:30 pm
Why do you need a scope with more than 70MHz bandwidth when observing logic signals?

Simple. Because a 70MHz measurement system (i.e. scope+probes) will have a risetime of 5ns, and modern digital signals are much faster than that. Even jellybean logic can have risetimes ~600ps, i.e. almost 10 times faster. Note that there is no mention of a signal's period/frequency, since that is completely irrelevant.

Why is that important? Because a 70MHz scope can miss things that will cause a digital system to malfunction either quickly or, worse, eventually. A primary use-case for a scope is to ensure the "signal integrity" of digital signals: verifying that the analogue waveforms (that are interpreted by the logic as being digital) are clean, so that they will be interpreted correctly.

What can cause signal integrity problems? Poor grounding, incorrect termination, stubs, crosstalk, and many other things.

And then of course, there are simple logic errors. Even 40 year old logic families can have "runt pulses" than can be missed by a 70MHz scope.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: theirishscion on March 18, 2016, 09:10:22 pm
Once Rigol have accomplished this, though, don't expect any easy hacks.

This is the interesting question though isn't it? As Rigol becomes more successful, will their competitors be inclined to try copying their methods? If Rigol stops doing it because they don't feel they need to any more, will someone else pick up the mantle? Is there enough of a worldwide market for low end DSOs and other electronic test and development equipment to support that level of competition? As hardware and processing power gets ever cheaper, what is the justification for charging so much for the hardware itself?

I suspect that Rigol are to test equipment as Dell and Compaq were to the PC back in the early days. They're shaking the hegemony up and it's quite hard to say where the chips will ultimately fall.

My prediction (and I'm not prepared to argue the point, just my hunch) is that they've opened Pandora's Box (nice girl, Pandora) and things will never quite return to the way they were. There's no technical _requirement_ that a $400 scope be limited in the way an un-hacked DS1054Z comes from the factory, that's simply something that the market would bear at the time. I suspect that rather than Rigol giving up the practice, other manufacturers will instead start. Keep an eye out for a random noob signing up on EEVBlog and starting a thread to document their unexpectedly successful attempts to hack whatever the latest OWON low end offering is (or whatever, you get the point. A Challenger Will Appear, is the point, there'll be a ringer.)

Or if there's a truly _wise_ company out there that will realize that R&D equipment is these days much less about hardware than it is about software, and start selling the hardware for a reasonable margin, and the software in commercial and non-commercial/education/hobby licenses. Let the hobbyist pay $10 for the CAN bus decode option (or give it away for free), and the professional $100. Give no support with the hobby license and write it up as single user/educational/non-commercial use only. Large organizations will pay the $100 (or $1000, these costs are mostly financial noise for a large company, a competent engineer/developer/architect costs them over $100/hour) happily to keep in licensing compliance, and for good support.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: RGB255_0_0 on March 18, 2016, 09:33:30 pm
Normally these companies want to build a reputation and do it cheaply. They can only do it cheaply by having as few SKUs as possible and with as few hands and hours spent on it. So Rigol need a quick and dirty way to have "high end" products along with their core.

My feeling is that once Rigol's sales mean they can spend more on the dirty side they will just slowly remove the ability to hack.

The problem with likening Rigol to Compaq/Dell is really the opposite: Dell and Compaq removed people's ability to hack. No DIP switches or jumpers to change bus or multiplier speeds on them; no BIOS options either compared to off the shelf parts.

Hobbyists will always tinker. Business-centric companies like Keysight and Dell don't care for the enthusiasts so that's what Rigol and ASUS are there for. If Rigol wants to be consumer and enthusiast focused they will keep these Easter eggs but should they become successful, I'd be surprised if they kept them in because these hackable scopes just scream of lazy design.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: theirishscion on March 18, 2016, 10:22:41 pm
The problem with likening Rigol to Compaq/Dell is really the opposite: Dell and Compaq removed people's ability to hack. No DIP switches or jumpers to change bus or multiplier speeds on them; no BIOS options either compared to off the shelf parts.

Well, I'm likening Rigol to Compaq and Dell because those two companies were disruptors who stole the PC business from IBM. Compaq created and sold the first ever PC Compatibles (IBM didn't think to pay to exclusively license DOS from MS, and Compaq clean-room reverse engineered their BIOS, if memory serves, and most everything else was off the shelf), and very quickly started selling better/faster computers than IBM themselves were. And Dell stacked 'em high and sold 'em cheap. There was a _long_ time during which "Business Computer" meant "IBM" for many companies, just like HP/Agilent/WhateverItIsThisMonth, Tek, etc. They seemed unassailable. They were not.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: TheSteve on March 18, 2016, 10:33:06 pm
Hi,

There seem to be a lot of people hacking DSOs. I was interested to find out why. Why do you do it?


It's fun, it can be educational(if you're doing the actual hacking), and of course it can be useful to have the extra features/bandwidth/memory etc. I know my spectrum analyzer is way more useful now that it works to 6 GHz instead of the original 3 GHz.
And it isn't just DSO's. It is also spectrum analyzers, power supplies, signal generators, DMMs etc.

The crowd here at the eevblog don't just use electronics, we often take it apart just to see what is inside. Many of us also take a look at the firmware/software too, you never know what you might find.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: hamdi.tn on March 18, 2016, 11:14:16 pm
you own what you buy , that's why it's called buying not borrowing. Standardizing hardware and software over a full range of products make it less expensive for manufacturer than to make different hardware and software for each product. but it's stupid to buy high end dso only to use a part of it just because the user manual say so, and will be unfair to the one who buy the high end product knowing that he basically paid the price for all those who bought the low end devices and hacked it ... imagine you buy a closet with one door locked just because you payed less than an other customer who payed full price for the same closet and can use two doors. that's stupid.
If a manufacturer want to offer multiple version of a product that he have to do what it take to make them different, either by taking out the additional hardware or the additional software.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: c4757p on March 18, 2016, 11:37:39 pm
The notion that unlocking something that's already in the scope you bought is "stealing" is frankly hilarious and not really worth the energy behind a serious response...

I write software for a living, I can't agree with you, I want to get paid for writing commercial software.

I think we shall all agree to disagree and carry on, this topic is a flame buster.

The software is already on the scope. I'm well within my rights to "steal" what I have already bought, screw your paycheck. If you want to get paid separately for it, don't give it to me with my scope and try to hide it away.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 19, 2016, 12:23:18 am
Quote
The software is already on the scope. I'm well within my rights to "steal" what I have already bought, screw your paycheck. If you want to get paid separately for it, don't give it to me with my scope and try to hide it away.
Uhh, you haven't already "bought it." You wouldn't have to illegally unlock it, if you had paid for it. They sell that version, too, but you didn't want to actually pay for it.

Some people want the one with the higher numbers on the stat sheet, period. Even if they don't need it. This is why capitalism works and the peons still have nice things. :) Thank the 5% that pay a crazy premium on the top end gear so you can buy a basic scope at a very good price. (One that you can even hack, and no one is going to stop you; but you did not "already pay for it.")

Are the 5% stupid for paying vs hacking? No. They just have lots of money.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: grouchobyte on March 19, 2016, 12:23:45 am
Relax. Rigol, Agilent and others hide features for convenience and can easily unlock them for money. Thats what they want, a simple unlock code and you give them money for something they already developed and spent money on. They are hoping you will be honest and pay them for their cleverness.

If an OEM assumes you are dumb and wont spend the effort to thwart their lame attempts to circumvent you then they are just plain stupid. Typical Marketing wanks( as dave calls em......LOL) need to be a little more inventive and do more of this in hardware.....but that costs more money.

Weight that against letting a few hackers unlock thieir boxes. Trust me, the beancounters win every time and the software dudes get a full paycheck. No worries.


Been in those meetings and know the tradeoffs. Its always about revenue.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: ovnr on March 19, 2016, 12:29:20 am
On feature unlocking: Honestly, if $MFG doesn't want someone to unlock their shiny math functions or trigger modes by entering the magic code, stop shipping the instrument with said functionality built-in but disabled! I can understand copyright, but if all you're doing is take a key generated by the instrument, apply ~math~, and enter a new key? Totally 100% fine with me. Just like removing the BW limiting components from the hardware if it can't be turned off by software - the instrument is mine, regardless of what your fancy EULA says.


Yes, I'm well aware that it's "more convenient" than having the user flash new firmware/stick a module in/return it. So what? Either keep the convenience and deal with people "stealing" your precious $1500 options, or protect it better. Expecting me to honor a sleazy agreement to Not Do The Naughty Thing just so you can make a buck more is bound to lead to disappointment.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: c4757p on March 19, 2016, 12:32:08 am
Quote
The software is already on the scope. I'm well within my rights to "steal" what I have already bought, screw your paycheck. If you want to get paid separately for it, don't give it to me with my scope and try to hide it away.
Uhh, you haven't already "bought it." You wouldn't have to illegally unlock it, if you had paid for it. They sell that version, too, but you didn't want to actually pay for it.

Yes I have, it's on a memory chip inside a device I paid money for, that's how buying works. No, I didn't buy it on the terms they wanted me to, but I don't care what they want.

It'd be different if they didn't preload the software onto the device - if I had to download it from somewhere and load it on, that'd be piracy. But it's already there, all I have to do is say the right thing to it to make it work.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 19, 2016, 12:35:13 am
The reason most people would need certain features is because combined with their $80,000 education it gives them the ability to make money at their 6 figure job/company. And hacking it illegally would create a liability. If you need $1500 features and you can't afford it, then you might be an idiot.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: c4757p on March 19, 2016, 12:37:45 am
What does whether or not you think I'm an idiot who can't make use of the features have to do with whether using something I bought is theft?

Bloody hell there are some stupid, stupid people on this forum.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 19, 2016, 12:42:07 am
I'm not calling you an idiot. Those features have a cost. And you are not paying for them by buying the base unit and hacking it. Therefore it is theft. The only reason you can buy your scope at the price you paid IS because other people are buying the top end stuff at a premium. And ACTUALLY PAYING FOR IT. If you want to hack your scope, then do it. But don't insinuate that the manufacturer is greedy and is "locking" features that you "paid for." That is not true.

The cost of those features is insignificant to those who need them. If you have the knowledge and expertise to need them, someone will GIVE you a scope with those features and a nice paycheck, if you actually apply your knowledge in a way that is productive to them. I.e. get off your couch and work.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: c4757p on March 19, 2016, 12:47:17 am
Those features have a price that the vendor wants to sell them to me for - but they also sell them to me for much less, just with an inconvenient lock attached. What part of "they're already loaded onto my oscilloscope" don't you understand?

It's not my problem that they've chosen to give them away for less than they probably should. I don't owe them charity. They're offering me a choice: pay $X to get these features ready to use, or pay $Y to get these features (but you'll have to break into them, because we're giving them to you but putting a lock on them). If $X-$Y is more than what my time doing that is worth, then of course I'm going with the latter.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: CustomEngineerer on March 19, 2016, 01:29:12 am
Well, I'm likening Rigol to Compaq and Dell because those two companies were disruptors who stole the PC business from IBM. Compaq created and sold the first ever PC Compatibles (IBM didn't think to pay to exclusively license DOS from MS, and Compaq clean-room reverse engineered their BIOS, if memory serves, and most everything else was off the shelf), and very quickly started selling better/faster computers than IBM themselves were. And Dell stacked 'em high and sold 'em cheap. There was a _long_ time during which "Business Computer" meant "IBM" for many companies, just like HP/Agilent/WhateverItIsThisMonth, Tek, etc. They seemed unassailable. They were not.

Except thats not even close to whats happening. Rigol's not a threat to the big boys, and hasn't really taken anything away from them. They may be doing very well at the bottom of the bottom, but thats not a place the big boys really even care about or try to compete in. Even Rigol's higher DS4000 and DS6000 models are no where near a threat to the established companies because they suffer from the same issues as the lower end models yet Rigol charges similar prices to the competition. If you are going to pay that much for a scope wouldn't you rather have something thats proven to work well?

The reason I unlocked my scope even though I don't need all the functionality that gets me is because Rigol doesn't seem to care and hopefully that will get me further into the future before I need to upgrade.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: ovnr on March 19, 2016, 03:22:48 am
The reason most people would need certain features is because combined with their $80,000 education it gives them the ability to make money at their 6 figure job/company. And hacking it illegally would create a liability. If you need $1500 features and you can't afford it, then you might be an idiot.

Need and want are different things. I don't need a serial protocol analyzer; it's still convenient to not have to do it by hand.

As for affording it: There is also a difference between being able to afford something, and being willing to pay through the nose to unlock something you already own. And the whole argument that there would be no cheap scopes if there weren't unlockable features is frankly laughable. How many people actually shell out for the extras? How much extra development time does it take? Frankly it'd appear that most of the unlockables would recoup their dev cost with only a handful sales, which would leave a rather sour taste in my mouth if I were to pay the going rate.

Also, my general policy is that I spend more money on things (and companies) I like or approve of, and avoid spending money on things I don't like. And since I think the "everything is an optional extra" school of business is fucking stupid, I'm not going to support it by spending money on it. I'd rather buy a product that the manufacturer can proudly proclaim to have done their very best work on, and that is complete - not sold piece-meal to appease the beancounters. This also means that while I happily spend money on independent music, the big labels will never see a single cent from me. A fact that does not preclude me from enjoying big-label music, something I'm sure horrifies your sense of morality. I keep mine locked in a box; it's made both our lives easier.


In any event, your argument would hold more water if the cheap scopes market was slowly dying and the manufacturers were circling the drain. But the opposite is true. Food for thought, isn't it?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Keysight DanielBogdanoff on March 19, 2016, 04:19:39 am
There's some interesting legislation on this in the USA, mostly around unlocking cell phones.

Of course, Keysight doesn't encourage, support, or aid "hacking" our scopes.  But, don't try to by a cheap scope, hack it, and sell it as an upgraded scope. In my personal opinion, that's when it becomes stealing.

Why do it? Because it's there...
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 19, 2016, 04:25:57 am
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And the whole argument that there would be no cheap scopes if there weren't unlockable features is frankly laughable. How many people actually shell out for the extras?
This is not laughable. This is capitalism. This is how we all eat. Giving consumer options. Without this, we live in a boring efficient society where everyone gets the same thing... the minimum that is needed for their government job, lol.

Capitalism creates a crazy wealthy minority. Must give them something to spend their money on. Am I sad because I don't have a Borghatti in my driveway? Sure. Yeah. I hate Borghotti for not selling me a car for the same cost as a Ford Focus. How dare they!
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And since I think the "everything is an optional extra" school of business is fucking stupid, I'm not going to support it by spending money on it.
I don't care about this too much. When I shopped my scope, I really jonesed for the latest 4 channel lower-end Siglent, phosphor tech. I passed because because it was too expensive. Not because the other 2 channels has to be unlocked for 250.00.. Because the TOTAL cost of the scope plus upgrade was too much.

So I bought a Hantek. And no, I don't care at all that it can be hacked to a higher bandwidth. It does not bother me. I don't feel cheated. It has the specs I wanted for the price I wanted. That's WHY I bought it in the first place.

If I have a job that calls for a $10,000 scope (and if the job will net me more than $10,000) I will buy it. If will get $10,000 worth of enjoyment out of a scope just to look at it on my bench and know it's the best, I will buy it.

If I enjoy hacking stuff, maybe I will hack a scope for the sheer fun of it. Maybe I will torrent movies and music, too, while I'm at it. But I won't claim I "bought and paid for and own" this stuff, already.

When the guy paying me to write firmware asks me to lock certain features, I do it. He's paying. I'm making. No big deal.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: rx8pilot on March 19, 2016, 06:01:19 am
When you buy software, you are purchasing the license to utilize the bits that make the software. I have licenses for SolidWorks, MasterCAM and other high-end software licenses. They send my media with all possible options, but only give me a key for the modules I pay for. The difference is about $10k from basic to loaded. Am I allowed to hack and use what I did not pay for just because I have the program on my computer but have no key? It is explicitly illegal and it should be.

Sent from mobile device.... Keeping it short and mis-spelled

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Kilrah on March 19, 2016, 07:51:26 am
I write software for a living, I can't agree with you, I want to get paid for writing commercial software.
You got paid when you wrote the software for the high end device. The way the company finances that and how it reflects on its customers doesn't directly affect you.

It's easier to make that argument for the frequency unlock, which is very obviously handicapping a device for the sole purposes of market segmentation and future revenue stream. It's clever, effective, but it feels a bit skeevy. Charging for decoding modules and other software features is a different matter, you're adding functionality, not just de-restricting.

I happily disagree with you. The decoding modules are, like the frequency capabilities, already there, they are just turned off without the correct key. I don't see that being different from the frequency unlock.

This depends a bit on the options, let's see what Rigol offers.
Frequency capability is determined 100% by hardware, there is no additional software work involved to make use of it. So if the hardware I bought is capable of a certain frequency but the manufacturer tries to make me pay extra for it then I clearly feel robbed. Same for memory, it's there in the machine, I've paid for it, but they lock it out for no good reason.

Advanced trigger, serial decoding are software-only features, so there it makes more sense to ask for extra payment - BUT it should be reasonable, and the problem is that it usually isn't. If you can build an entire scope and its huge firmware and sell it for $400, then the comparatively tiny amount of work your engineers had to do to add decoding of 4 serial protocols to the existing firmware base certainly isn't worth $174.
I mean, I can buy a full-fledged product that includes hardware and dedicated software that did not have a base developed for another already marketed application and does much more than that for $100... so that pricing simply makes no sense and can't appear in any other way than price gouging.
Another way to see it is that by having serial decoding as an option it is obvious only a fraction of users will buy it, say 10%. It means that had they shipped it by default and priced it for same income on that feature each scope would be only $17.4 more. That's the real price of the feature. I'd happily pay $17.4 more for it even if I didn't use it, and I doubt anybody would complain about it being an excessively expensive feature they don't want. They'd do more good by selling the scope for a mere 4% more and allowing everybody to make use of a tool rather than restrict its access by asking for a disproportionate amount to a small number of users. Given that decision of theirs that appear excessievely stupid to me, I won't feel bad hacking the $17.4 feature that should have been built-in in the first place.

I certainly understand the ways a company might use to attract customers, offer devices cheaper than they can be made for and recouping costs somewhere else etc, but ultimately it is their decision of how much they deviate from "reasonable" pricing and how it affects their customers' perception. If they want to go with it even if it feels so wrong, so be it, and the consequence is that people will try to "correct" that if they can. It is totally avoidable, but in the end it makes people talk, and as previously said there is a gain from that as well that they are certainly factoring in.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: ovnr on March 19, 2016, 10:18:29 am
Of course, Keysight doesn't encourage, support, or aid "hacking" our scopes.  But, don't try to by a cheap scope, hack it, and sell it as an upgraded scope. In my personal opinion, that's when it becomes stealing.

This is something I agree with. Don't try to make a profit on hacking stuff, unless you yourself have invested a substantial amount of work in it - for instance, if you've repaired your Rigol scope (*rolls eyes*). And never try to pass it off as something it isn't - my hacked Flir E4 is still a hacked E4, not an E8. I'd happily describe it as having "E8-like performance", but that's where the buck stops.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Wuerstchenhund on March 19, 2016, 10:51:12 am
There's some interesting legislation on this in the USA, mostly around unlocking cell phones.

US law is also different to European law as to how it treats software. As an end user, if you buy some software then you're pretty much just buying a right-to-use license as stipulated in EULAs and similar licensing conditions. In the EU, software sales in general are treated as sales of goods, i.e. you "own" the copy of your software and are free to do with it as you please as long as it doesn't violate other laws (i.e. copyright, which of course remains with the rights holder).

Quote
Of course, Keysight doesn't encourage, support, or aid "hacking" our scopes.  But, don't try to by a cheap scope, hack it, and sell it as an upgraded scope. In my personal opinion, that's when it becomes stealing.

I agree, and I'd go as far as saying that hacking should be limited to non-commercial use only.

However, I also have to say that I think the manufacturers like Keysight carry a large part of blame for the increase in hacking, which could have easily avoided by offering cheap genuine licenses without any support for non-commercial use, and by offering a way for owners of obsolete kit to unlock the once locked features (which in most cases are obsolete technology anyways) for little money or even for free.

Pretty much the only manufacturer I'm aware of that has done something like that is LeCroy. If you own any of their old high-end scopes (9300 Series, LC Series) then you can get the GALs that unlock all the advanced functionality in these scopes for $40 or so (or just download the images and burn the GALs yourself), with full approval from LeCroy.

It's a real shame that other manufacturers (like Keysight) can't offer something similar for their obsolete kit.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: RGB255_0_0 on March 19, 2016, 11:00:49 am
There's some interesting legislation on this in the USA, mostly around unlocking cell phones.

US law is also different to European law as to how it treats software. As an end user, if you buy some software then you're pretty much just buying a right-to-use license as stipulated in EULAs and similar licensing conditions. In the EU, software sales in general are treated as sales of goods, i.e. you "own" the copy of your software and are free to do with it as you please as long as it doesn't violate other laws (i.e. copyright, which of course remains with the rights holder).
Can you cite a reputable reference for this? Something from the EC.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: wraper on March 19, 2016, 11:04:10 am
There's some interesting legislation on this in the USA, mostly around unlocking cell phones.

US law is also different to European law as to how it treats software. As an end user, if you buy some software then you're pretty much just buying a right-to-use license as stipulated in EULAs and similar licensing conditions. In the EU, software sales in general are treated as sales of goods, i.e. you "own" the copy of your software and are free to do with it as you please as long as it doesn't violate other laws (i.e. copyright, which of course remains with the rights holder).
Can you cite a reputable reference for this? Something from the EC.
IIRC the legal precedent was set in the case about jailbraking the iphones.
Here it is: http://www.wired.com/2010/07/feds-ok-iphone-jailbreaking/ (http://www.wired.com/2010/07/feds-ok-iphone-jailbreaking/)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Kilrah on March 19, 2016, 11:11:27 am
Quote
Of course, Keysight doesn't encourage, support, or aid "hacking" our scopes.  But, don't try to by a cheap scope, hack it, and sell it as an upgraded scope. In my personal opinion, that's when it becomes stealing.

I agree, and I'd go as far as saying that hacking should be limited to non-commercial use only.

However, I also have to say that I think the manufacturers like Keysight carry a large part of blame for the increase in hacking, which could have easily avoided by offering cheap genuine licenses without any support for non-commercial use, and by offering a way for owners of obsolete kit to unlock the once locked features (which in most cases are obsolete technology anyways) for little money or even for free.

It's a real shame that other manufacturers (like Keysight) can't offer something similar for their obsolete kit.
+1000!
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: meeder on March 19, 2016, 11:36:46 am
The notion that unlocking something that's already in the scope you bought is "stealing" is frankly hilarious and not really worth the energy behind a serious response...

I write software for a living, I can't agree with you, I want to get paid for writing commercial software.

I think we shall all agree to disagree and carry on, this topic is a flame buster.
Was the practice of unlocking a CPU multiplier with a pencil stealing as well? AMD surely didn't mind because they sold shitloads of CPU's once it became common knowledge.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: nctnico on March 19, 2016, 12:56:25 pm
I'm not calling you an idiot. Those features have a cost. And you are not paying for them by buying the base unit and hacking it. Therefore it is theft. The only reason you can buy your scope at the price you paid IS because other people are buying the top end stuff at a premium. And ACTUALLY PAYING FOR IT.
If that where true then Rigol would have been long gone. It is extremely foolish to structurally sell products at a loss!
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Jwalling on March 19, 2016, 02:20:03 pm
Pretty much the only manufacturer I'm aware of that has done something like that is LeCroy. If you own any of their old high-end scopes (9300 Series, LC Series) then you can get the GALs that unlock all the advanced functionality in these scopes for $40 or so (or just download the images and burn the GALs yourself), with full approval from LeCroy.

It's a real shame that other manufacturers (like Keysight) can't offer something similar for their obsolete kit.

Actually, Tektronix did with the TDS3000 series. With a firmware update, they enabled TDS3TRG and TDS3FFT.
That's the only one I know of other than the Lecroy GALS.

Jay
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Howardlong on March 19, 2016, 03:03:13 pm
ISTR Agilent increased the deep memory on the 5000/6000/7000 series to 8Mpt in a firmware upgrade at some point.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: rx8pilot on March 19, 2016, 08:10:22 pm
By the letter of the law - unlocking a feature that explicitly requires a paid license is stealing. The law doesn't care about your feelings, it only cares about the rules on the paper. With that said, any manufacturer will balance the ease of manufacturing/support with threat of hacking based loss of revenue. If a bunch of hobbyists spend a ton of time figuring out how to circumvent a lecinse so they can get an extra feature - it's not really lost revenue so it's not worth pursuing any legal action. Technically illegal, but in the noise floor of issues that need to be dealt with.

On the other hand, if those hacks are being used by commercial companies that are making money off the hacked features - another story may unfold. This argument:
I write software for a living, I can't agree with you, I want to get paid for writing commercial software.
You got paid when you wrote the software for the high end device. The way the company finances that and how it reflects on its customers doesn't directly affect you.

Yes, it does. Or at least it can. If the company is not making money off the software add-ons because they are being hacked and not paid for. They will no longer offer those and the software team will be thinned out. While I care about today's paycheck - I don't want it to be my last one.

I would hazard a guess that the target customer of Keysight is not likely to bother with hacking software features. It is generally less expensive to just pay the money and have the features you need to do your job. My milling machines had all kinds of software locks that ranged from $500 to a few $k but with a 200 hours 'demo' mode. You could turn them on and see if they help you. After 200 hours you have to pay up if you want to keep them.  A number of people tried to hack the clock, but the software/hardware had some tamper monitor and it would brick the machine controller. I did not want that so I wrote a check, got my options, and milled parts.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: jixe on March 19, 2016, 08:42:59 pm
Why do you need a scope with more than 70MHz bandwidth when observing logic signals?

Simple. Because a 70MHz measurement system (i.e. scope+probes) will have a risetime of 5ns, and modern digital signals are much faster than that. Even jellybean logic can have risetimes ~600ps, i.e. almost 10 times faster. Note that there is no mention of a signal's period/frequency, since that is completely irrelevant.

Why is that important? Because a 70MHz scope can miss things that will cause a digital system to malfunction either quickly or, worse, eventually. A primary use-case for a scope is to ensure the "signal integrity" of digital signals: verifying that the analogue waveforms (that are interpreted by the logic as being digital) are clean, so that they will be interpreted correctly.

What can cause signal integrity problems? Poor grounding, incorrect termination, stubs, crosstalk, and many other things.

And then of course, there are simple logic errors. Even 40 year old logic families can have "runt pulses" than can be missed by a 70MHz scope.


Thanks for the info tggzz, et al.
So I guess a lot of hobbyists - even ones like me using 8Mhz Arduinos and 74HC595 etc chips would benefit from a faster scope than 5ns ( or 5.1ns with the 350MHz probes) regardless of the fact that the 74HC chips are only clocked per 125ns. It's the rise time that counts.
There's good reason to suppose then that a  bit of the motivation I asked about in my original post is from genuine need (even for hobbyists) , but I have to take away the impression that "because it's there" is paramount.
You learn something every day !
I honestly didn't expect to start an argument - I should take more care.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: nctnico on March 19, 2016, 08:44:13 pm
Some options prices are rather insane though. For example a Tektronix TLA7AA4 acquisition module. AFAIK the base price was $22000 but with the full options (memory depth and state sampling speed) enabled it cost $79000. That is a lot of money for 2 limits in the software!
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 19, 2016, 10:02:18 pm
Some options prices are rather insane though. For example a Tektronix TLA7AA4 acquisition module. AFAIK the base price was $22000 but with the full options (memory depth and state sampling speed) enabled it cost $79000. That is a lot of money for 2 limits in the software!

So what?

IBM used to increase their computers performance by removing a wire on the backplane. Since their pricing structure was that price was the square of the performance, that was a very lucrative upgrade.

If you don't like the price, vote with your feet. Suppliers can change anything they like for their product.

BTW I've seen a company destroyed by idiot marketing department that treated software as free - and since they didn't make money from it, they didn't invest in it. The product was, of course software; go figure!
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: c4757p on March 19, 2016, 10:14:20 pm
By the letter of the law - unlocking a feature that explicitly requires a paid license is stealing.

No, by the letter of the law certain penalties are attached to the action. The law defines neither ethics nor meanings of words outside legal situations. It's not relevant to whether something is theft, only to whether legal professionals are to treat it as such when performing the duties of their positions.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: rx8pilot on March 19, 2016, 10:26:25 pm
By the letter of the law - unlocking a feature that explicitly requires a paid license is stealing.

No, by the letter of the law certain penalties are attached to the action. The law defines neither ethics nor meanings of words outside legal situations. It's not relevant to whether something is theft, only to whether legal professionals are to treat it as such when performing the duties of their positions.

WTF?

I am not a lawyer or legal scholar, but I am pretty sure that a software license is considered a valuable product and that if it is used without the proper permission - it's stealing. Not really an ethics thing, but rather black and white. Software companies sell licenses, that is their revenue stream. That is what pays the engineers. Period. It costs a boat load of cash to develop even minor pieces of software.

Lawyers have to determine if the loss is worth the expensive legal chase but that has nothing with whether or not the use of the software was stolen by illegal means. Go read a few of the exciting software terms of use. It's pretty clear.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: c4757p on March 19, 2016, 10:33:43 pm
Go read the rest of the thread, because I've addressed everything you said already.

- No, the law doesn't make it "stealing". The law makes it illegal. The law doesn't get to dictate what words mean.
- I don't care if that's where their money comes from, they chose to give me the software, so I'm going to use it. If you sell me something, I'm going to do whatever I want with it. Don't like it, don't sell it to me. That simple. I'm not playing your stupid lawyer licensing games. I have an object, I use the object.

If you don't like that your money comes from a place that makes it hard to get money, that's your problem, not mine.

In other words: if you have to legislate or license away my right as a consumer to use the product I bought as I see fit just to make your chosen profession profitable, get another profession.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: RGB255_0_0 on March 19, 2016, 10:35:52 pm
EULAs aren't necessarily legally binding, even if they proclaim to. You can argue copyright though.

But the fact hardware can be "legally" hacked while software "can't" is likely an issue of semantics rather than actual law.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Howardlong on March 19, 2016, 10:49:05 pm
EULAs aren't necessarily legally binding, even if they proclaim to. You can argue copyright though.

But the fact hardware can be "legally" hacked while software "can't" is likely an issue of semantics rather than actual law.

Actually that's a good point. Say, as in the DS1000Z, the bandwidth is controlled by a couple of resistors and a CMOS switch, you could fairly easily alter circuit physically. Or you could fiddle the firmware. The end result is the same, but fiddling the firmware is easier.

Are both illegal, or are they different, and if so what is the difference?

Now let's take it a stage further. Say you have some trial options that you haven't had chance to use yet but are about to disappear. You figure out a way to stop the trial clock without modifying any software or entering any keys. Is that illegal, or is it different, and if so what is the difference?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: nctnico on March 19, 2016, 11:10:15 pm
Some options prices are rather insane though. For example a Tektronix TLA7AA4 acquisition module. AFAIK the base price was $22000 but with the full options (memory depth and state sampling speed) enabled it cost $79000. That is a lot of money for 2 limits in the software!
IBM used to increase their computers performance by removing a wire on the backplane. Since their pricing structure was that price was the square of the performance, that was a very lucrative upgrade.
IBM wasn't the only one doing that. Certain Harris computers had similar straps. That could lead to problems though when somehow during the lifetime of the system the jumper got removed (replacement). When the customer wanted the upgrade to get more performance they sometimes didn't get the extra performance they expected because they already got it. Very tough to explain...
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If you don't like the price, vote with your feet. Suppliers can change anything they like for their product.
Software isn't free but IMHO paying for options in test equipment can be a dissapointment. It seems that TE manufacturers are giving away their options (almost) for free as package deals or during clearout sales. I definitely feel cheated when I pay full price and a couple of months later others pay 30% less. What do I get for being a loyal customer? For the last two oscilloscopes I bought I decided not to buy from Lecroy and R&S due to their insanely priced options.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 20, 2016, 12:09:52 am
If you think about them, you make pretty silly points...

Software isn't free
Well, as I noted not charging for software can be just as bad, viz "I've seen a company destroyed by idiot marketing department that treated software as free - and since they didn't make money from it, they didn't invest in it. The product was, of course software; go figure!"

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but IMHO paying for options in test equipment can be a dissapointment. It seems that TE manufacturers are giving away their options (almost) for free as package deals or during clearout sales.
Don't you realise that "package deals" are what happens when customers aren't indicating the prices are unaffordable? Sounds good to me.

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I definitely feel cheated when I pay full price and a couple of months later others pay 30% less.
I suggest you never buy any electronics, since in six months time there will be a cheaper equivalent. Deal with it.

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What do I get for being a loyal customer? For the last two oscilloscopes I bought I decided not to buy from Lecroy and R&S due to their insanely priced options.
As for "loyal customers", for a couple of decades companies of all sorts have regarded them as sheep ready to be slaughtered. Nowadays you get discounts for disloyalty! Deal with it. Welcome to tomorrow.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 20, 2016, 12:19:15 am
Oh, good grief...

I don't care if that's where their money comes from, they chose to give me the software, so I'm going to use it. If you sell me something, I'm going to do whatever I want with it. Don't like it, don't sell it to me. That simple.
They didn't give anything to you, they only sold a licence to use it. You should be able to do anything reasonable with the things you have licenced but not the things you haven't licenced. In particular there should, of course, be a secondhand market in selling such licences, and the EU is attempting to enforce that concept.

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I'm not playing your stupid lawyer licensing games. I have an object, I use the object.
... and the toys exit the pram and end up on the floor.

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In other words: if you have to legislate or license away my right as a consumer to use the product I bought as I see fit just to make your chosen profession profitable, get another profession.
True, where the product is a licence just as for atoms. But not for products you haven't bought.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: c4757p on March 20, 2016, 12:28:56 am
No, they gave me an oscilloscope and it contained software. At no point did I sign a license agreement. The idea that software is only "licensed" even when you give me a copy and I don't agree to anything is a lawyer fantasy. If I don't specifically agree to give up my rights to the thing you gave me, I still bloody have them.

The number of profit-worshippers here is fascinating. You people all seem to think that anything is inherently unethical if it results in someone making less money. How many of you are in business rather than actually making things, I wonder?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: nctnico on March 20, 2016, 01:10:40 am
but IMHO paying for options in test equipment can be a dissapointment. It seems that TE manufacturers are giving away their options (almost) for free as package deals or during clearout sales.
Don't you realise that "package deals" are what happens when customers aren't indicating the prices are unaffordable? Sounds good to me.
You are missing the point: some test equipment manufacturers don't seem to place any value on options other than being some random bargaining chip to lure customers in when business is slow or potential customers may have money to spend. So to get back on topic: how can you hurt test equipment manufacturers by getting for free what they hand out for free by hacking?

There is also the advantage the competition can get over you. If you are paying $2000 for a bunch of options but your direct competitor gets it for free it means he has to make $2000 less on his product to make the same profit as you do!
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 20, 2016, 01:25:23 am
but IMHO paying for options in test equipment can be a dissapointment. It seems that TE manufacturers are giving away their options (almost) for free as package deals or during clearout sales.
Don't you realise that "package deals" are what happens when customers aren't indicating the prices are unaffordable? Sounds good to me.
You are missing the point: some test equipment manufacturers don't seem to place any value on options other than being some random bargaining chip to lure customers in when business is slow or potential customers may have money to spend.

So that's their perfectly rational reasonable legal business choice. Tough luck if you don't like it.

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So to get back on topic: how can you hurt test equipment manufacturers by getting for free what they hand out for free by hacking?

Don't buy their product, or wait until they want to drum up more sales, e.g. if they a have unsold products they want to shift, or if they want to buy market share. (The latter was an invalid business strategy according to Dave Packard :) )

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There is also the advantage the competition can get over you. If you are paying $2000 for a bunch of options but your direct competitor gets it for free it means he has to make $2000 less on his product to make the same profit as you do!

So they are better at business than you, or just got lucky. That's life.

What would you say if you got something $2000 cheaper than your direct competitor? Would you feel bad or happy?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Someone on March 20, 2016, 02:08:14 am
Most people do not 'hack' their scope, they don't have the skills to do that. A few smart guys are doing that and the rest are just copying the process.
Agreed, most of the folks running the keygen against their Rigol gear (myself included) are being the EE equivalent of script-kiddies, not that there's anything fundamentally wrong with that in this context.
If you're talking about hacking serial numbers or/and unlocking features on your scope, that's plain stealing  >:D
With all due respect, I think you're mistaken, again at least in terms of Rigol. Their decision not to close any of their licensing security holes, either with firmware updates or new designs for new equipment, fairly clearly illustrate the reality that 'hacking' their equipment is a marketing/segmentation exercise for them. They've done what so many companies long to do, they've worked out how to charge different prices for the same product, dependent on the individual customer's willingness (and possibly ability) to pay. If Rigol _didn't_ offer the ultra-hackable DS1000Z and DS2K series scopes, I'd be furiously trying to decide between all the low-cost scope options in the marketplace. But since they do, the decision becomes easy, I'll buy theirs and feel like I'm getting a ton more for my money. I wasn't going to spend more than $500 for the scope anyway, the question is solely one of which company gets my money. And it costs Rigol _nothing_ for me to hack, assuming that I wasn't going to pay for the feature in the first place. And I wasn't; as a hobbyist, if I need to decode I2C and I don't have a scope that'll do it, I'm going to spend $30 on a USB dongle to do the job, not $120 on a license for my scope. But they do get the sale, and more important than a piddly little sale, they get me using their products, getting used to their interfaces, making happy memories showing my kids what music looks like as a waveform, all on my Rigol Brand Digital Storage Oscilloscope™

And that could be priceless (or at least worth a lot more than a $400 scope).

Same with the DP832 I'm also about to buy. Feels like a bargain, even if it's not really. It absolutely does feel like it to me. Bloody genius.
If anyone is interested in the topic, this is an _excellent_ Joel on Software article, well worth the read if you have any interest in marketing; http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/CamelsandRubberDuckies.html (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/CamelsandRubberDuckies.html)
Great post and link out to further interesting discussion. But I'll disagree with:
it costs Rigol _nothing_ for me to hack, assuming that I wasn't going to pay for the feature in the first place
If your decision to buy the scope was biased by the presence of the additional possible features then they did pay by developing the features, if they had not invested the money in developing all those juicy features then they would not have sold the scope to you. This is probably all very carefully accounted for as we all say they're not closing the loopholes or hacks like some other brands are. It may be a fixed cost rather than a variable cost, but it is a cost.

The pricing of "unlockable features" is driven heavily by the cost of sales, in a huge multinational like Keysight they will probably lose money on selling a single licence at a time for the lower cost ?$300 options, their profit on selling the middle priced options for the low end scopes $500-$1000 will be very small. They've dug themselves a hole for these sorts of features through their deep and complex sales channel. Until the manufacturers offer an automated way of selling the licenses to you by credit card (no human interaction required) it will continue to be expensive. We all hoped Altium would see the light with incremental options for a free version, but they killed that off and the only option remains a fully optioned out and high barrier for entry $3000+subscription.

Delivering copyright material to the end user and asking they don't use it by licensing does not work in all jurisdictions around the world, and will receive more and more scrutiny in coming years as "everyday" products like cars become a mess of licensed software you're not "allowed" to repair or modify. I work for a company that handles this simply where a software product has multiple tiers or options, you hand the customer the code only for the version they purchased, completely different downloads that require different hardware activation. The option is there for companies to send a clear message but they choose not to.

Why big companies are not offering anything for free came back to the Sarbanes–Oxley debacle, and frightening the American accountants into worrying they might not be capturing the underlying value for the books if any customer was ever offered a free update that added additional functions. As ridiculous as it sounds these abstract ideas of recognising revenue are still constraining what is offered, accountants ruin everything.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 20, 2016, 06:04:49 am
Quote
I definitely feel cheated when I pay full price and a couple of months later others pay 30% less.


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I suggest you never buy any electronics, since in six months time there will be a cheaper equivalent. Deal with it.
Eggzzactly.
4 months after I bought my 4 channel Hantek, I can buy a 4 channel Rigol for ~25% less. So how much do you think I care?
....
None. I didn't buy my Hantek to look at it for 4 months. I bought it because I needed it at the time. (And I haven't used more than 2 channels at a time in the year+, since!). It made possible a specific task/job. If I wanted a shiny new Rigol just for the sake of "what if I need it in the future," I would buy one, too. But I'm more inclined to wait... because as you have noticed, prices on DSO's seem to come down over time, and features go up. Because people are working to make better machines for cheaper. Because there's competition. Because a lot of people actually pay for things. If you're concerned about costs coming down, then wait to buy a scope until you need it. You will not be sad when prices drop, later.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 20, 2016, 09:36:34 am
With all due respect, I think you're mistaken, again at least in terms of Rigol. Their decision not to close any of their licensing security holes, either with firmware updates or new designs for new equipment, fairly clearly illustrate the reality that 'hacking' their equipment is a marketing/segmentation exercise for them.

Or the segment is so small that it is lost in the noise. Or they are technically incompetent to do that, perish the thought. Or doing it would cost more than the extra income, i.e. negative profit.

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If Rigol _didn't_ offer the ultra-hackable DS1000Z and DS2K series scopes, I'd be furiously trying to decide between all the low-cost scope options in the marketplace. But since they do, the decision becomes easy, I'll buy theirs and feel like I'm getting a ton more for my money.

A reasonable point.

It also reduces their post-sales costs: "you hacked it, you are on your own" :)

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And I wasn't; as a hobbyist, if I need to decode I2C and I don't have a scope that'll do it, I'm going to spend $30 on a USB dongle to do the job, not $120 on a license for my scope.

Which is probably the right decision for technical reasons as well! When debugging in the digital domain, use digital debuggers not analogue debuggers that infer a digital signal.

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If anyone is interested in the topic, this is an _excellent_ Joel on Software article, well worth the read if you have any interest in marketing; http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/CamelsandRubberDuckies.html (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/CamelsandRubberDuckies.html)

Yes, a good literate article.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Helix70 on March 20, 2016, 11:18:58 am
It's easier to make that argument for the frequency unlock, which is very obviously handicapping a device for the sole purposes of market segmentation and future revenue stream. It's clever, effective, but it feels a bit skeevy. Charging for decoding modules and other software features is a different matter, you're adding functionality, not just de-restricting.

I happily disagree with you. The decoding modules are, like the frequency capabilities, already there, they are just turned off without the correct key. I don't see that being different from the frequency unlock.

That is just wrong.

Many computers ship with a demo copy of Microsoft Office. Its only bits, they are already there, so customers replacing the demo with a pirate copy is ok, right? My mobile phone can connect to other carriers cell towers too, but they might agree that I should pay for access to the network, despite the infrastructure already being there. The bus goes right past my house, the gall of them to ask me to pay for something that is already there!

The key is for simplicity. You don't own the license, but it is conveniently in place and available. The DSO company spent good money developing serial decoding into the scope, it is fair they can ask for compensation. You get to choose if the price is worth it, and if not, go to the competition, or get your notebook out.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Kilrah on March 20, 2016, 12:30:30 pm
I don't care if that's where their money comes from, they chose to give me the software, so I'm going to use it. If you sell me something, I'm going to do whatever I want with it. Don't like it, don't sell it to me. That simple.
They didn't give anything to you, they only sold a licence to use it.
Yes they did, because you're "physically" in possession of the actual code for the feature, it's just locked.

I work for a company that handles this simply where a software product has multiple tiers or options, you hand the customer the code only for the version they purchased, completely different downloads that require different hardware activation. The option is there for companies to send a clear message but they choose not to.

That. The whole issue here revolves about hardware and software with a given set of capabilities and characteristics that has been physically created AND delivered to you, but some of it you can't use, it's silly and is what causes the perception issues we see here.

We wouldn't see people feeling robbed if the software or hardware was not included at all in the first place. Back in the day when upgrades meant physically buying and installing an actual hardware module with better capabilities that uses a more expensive component than what they already have to provide them (i.e. there was a real difference in cost between the parts providing the limited or advanced capabilities and their choice of going with the limited ones to save was deliberate, and you know what you're paying for when you buy the upgrade), or purchasing a separate software package that you install next to the existing one or replacing it things were clear and nobody was complaining. The thing is an actual, "physical" product (counting downloads as such) that is clearly stolen if you get it in your possession without paying for it.
Technically there is no difference with the unlocking key, but perceptually the difference is huge. The licensing scheme is only "legal BS" that nobody in the general public actually can relate to. Music, movies, software have been working on that scheme "forever" but you never hear someone say "I licenced XYZ's new album", they'll say "I bought...". They physically got something, whether a vinyl, cassette, CD or download in return for their money, now they can use it. Breaking the link between payment and an actual physical thing in people's minds would take decades to change. I occasionally work in the production industry, and when the managers get to a licensing agreement that they can use "2 minutes from that 15min video" we still don't give them the whole 15min file which would of course be easier, but we'll extract and physically only give them the 2 minutes they chose. If we had given them the 15 min file ourselves we'd expect them to try to use more if we didn't do that because that's just how people work. The fact we did the effort to make a cut for them will burn in their mind the fact that we don't mess about this, and even if it's a piece of cake to download the 15 min version from Youtube they know doing this would be very wrong, so they don't.

So in the meantime as Someone (hah) says the solution is simple, if you don't want me to use something then don't give it to me. If you do, don't complain if I do whatever I can to use it. Don't load the device with software that is perfectly capable of performing some functions but are disabled if a bit isn't flipped. Don't put a 64MB RAM chip or fast ADC and let me use only 8MB / part of the ADC's capabilities. I've bought it, I have it in my hands and want to use it. If you want to sell a scope with a slower ADC or less memory then build one, the fact you can save some money by making all the units identical is not my problem. At most, it says something about how much a scope with only 8MB RAM is worth on the market - nothing given you decided it was not worth making. If you decided making a scope with 64MB was less expensive than making one with 8MB then great! But then give me all 64MB at that price, don't try to make me pay extra for something that obviously didn't cost you, or you even saved on.

Screw the "product is worth what people are ready to pay for it, not how much it actually costs to make" paradigm. This marketing scheme is a pain for users and nobody really wants it, it's unfortunately imposed by pretty much every test equipment manufacturer so that you pretty much have no other option as a buyer, but they're the only ones thinking it's good. There are industries where artificial market segmentation was also heavy, but some manufacturer has tried going the opposite way... and their success no doubt proves buyers are really tired of the old scheme. Their products are segmented only based on actual hardware features, cheaper or more high end contruction, different form factors, hardware components that allow for new features on newer models etc but the cheapest model can already do 90% of what the top end one can, and most importantly getting those capabilities from other manufacturers would require you to buy their top end model at 5x the price or more, anything cheaper while technically just as capable is artificially crippled. In the new market segment mnementh talks of the artificial crippling caused features that are useful for that new segment to only be found in the higher end models, but nobody's ready to pay the price they ask for it, so... guess who's got 50% market share in the now most active and insanely fast growing segment of the industry.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: hamdi.tn on March 20, 2016, 12:47:16 pm
Let's take it a bit too far and say that someone with enough time and knowledge rewrite the entire software that run on a specific oscilloscope model, and by doing that he actually now capable of using what ever hardware feature available of the scope.
does this count as stealing !! does this void any licence agreement of not using that equipment as sold !!
not if it's not stealing, can he sell it for anyone who think that his software is better than what OEM did, knowing he did invest money and time on it and didn't use any bit of the original software :box:
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Kilrah on March 20, 2016, 01:03:28 pm
Let's take it a bit too far and say that someone with enough time and knowledge rewrite the entire software that run on a specific oscilloscope model, and by doing that he actually now capable of using what ever hardware feature available of the scope.

Heh it's not too far, that's exactly what happened in the case of my previous post's last paragraph. Someone was tired of the stupid marketing-driven limitations of existing products, took a cheap Chinese device that was technically simple but appropriate, and started writing an alternative open source software for it that was obviously free of any artificial restrictions and as flexible as possible. It grew a lot over the years, dedicated replacement boards with more capability were developed for the existing casing (PCBs are cheap, a whole product with the related mechanical design was out of reach), and now that this manufacturer who was eager to join the market teamed up with the appropriate resources there are several fully dedicated complete products.

Many industry segments and the individuals they "serve" would benefit from it. I put "serve" in quote marks because while the original goal of a business was to make appropriate tools for people to use and create things with, they're nowadays mostly looking at themselves and their profits rather than what the users need or want. Initiatives like the above hopefully can do a bit to bring things back towards where they belong.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: meeder on March 20, 2016, 02:01:06 pm
You that happening quite often, take DD-WRT for example.
DD-WRT is an open source alternative firmware for a lot of wireless routers which greatly enhances the functionality and performance of those devices.

Another example is OpenPLi, a project that provides software for satellite and cable receivers. It has gone so far as that most of the target receivers are now shipped with this software from the manufacturer.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Kilrah on March 20, 2016, 03:15:41 pm
Indeed, and if you upscale that a lot you can actually consider Linux and the GNU ecosystem as being the same kind of thing - even if it dates much further back they also started as alternatives to existing proprietary solutions, and have replaced them in a vast number of cases. Ironic that the vendors who create the things we're complaining about right here often use it as a foundation by the way - the movement simply hasn't reached their field just yet ;)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: hamdi.tn on March 20, 2016, 03:53:30 pm
but does this make it OK but the same legal, ethical rules that say that you not allowed to modify "hack" and unlock a software in order to use the existing hardware in a different way than is meant to be. Following this logic the answer is No, neither making it profitable business. But it happen and if anyone follow this rules Linux and all freeware open source things will never be on the market. and what happen is company sell linux distribution embedded in it's hardware and once again it's locked and not free to use and by definition is against the raison why such software as linux exists in the first place. And now am confused ...
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on March 20, 2016, 03:59:13 pm
And I think that is the main reason a lot of folks do this... In the case Kilrah is talking about, a cheap, closed-source RC Transmitter with an utterly craptacular UI was the base "guinea pig"; smart programming folks found that it used a common Atmel CPU and could be relatively easily flashed with a new sketch containing much more straightforward and flexible Open-Source UI.

This UI has grown over a decade and is now really the De Facto standard of the industry; new features are released constantly and the original manufacturer of the guinea pig released models specifically deisgned to be easily flashed to this FW. Another Chinese manufacturer has become one of the most popular brands worldwide because they developed a family of inexpensive but decent quality RC Transmitters specifically to work with the firmware.

These TX have become so popular, in fact, that in order to keep up with the Open-Source UI, the established big names in the industry have been forced to release whole new entry-level product lines with much greater feature set than their previous top-tier products used to have.

At the core, THIS is why we hack. To upset the prevailing paradigm and bring about one we like better.


mnem
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Kilrah on March 20, 2016, 05:29:01 pm
but does this make it OK but the same legal, ethical rules that say that you not allowed to modify "hack" and unlock a software in order to use the existing hardware in a different way than is meant to be. Following this logic the answer is No, neither making it profitable business.
It's different because in the "replacement software" case there is typically no loss of gain involved for the manufacturer. After all, if you buy $device only to throw the supplied software away you've still paid the manufacturer for both the hardware and the software you don't use, so they've got nothing to complain about. I've never read about someone explicitely restricting someone from doing such a thing with their hardware, nor if they'd have the right to in the first place. Kinda doubt this would be done. For example Apple clearly forbids in the OSX licensing agreement to run it on non-Apple hardware, but if you buy Apple hardware they couldn't care less about what other OS you run on it.

You'd probably want to open your scope's manual and read what nobody usually ever reads, where there would typically be a license agreement for the software and something stating that "by using the product you agree to it", and see if that includes something about the hardware as well. If there isn't then you're free to do whatever you want, otherwise you'd be bound to those as well providing they're legal. Whether they are is another matter, and whether variations like buying a bare scope (without $option that manufacturer sells) then replacing the firmware with something that implements the functionality $option provides (i.e. involving loss of gain) could be considered a breach etc is something that I believe has never been debated despite it happening many times in history, and if it was to be it probably would become a matter of an army of lawyers spending a couple of years to decide on, not something we can figure out here (and is why it's unknown at this point, the investment needed to find out would probably be bigger than what anyone could afford and more than what anyone would ever risk losing due to the practice).
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 20, 2016, 05:30:01 pm
I don't care if that's where their money comes from, they chose to give me the software, so I'm going to use it. If you sell me something, I'm going to do whatever I want with it. Don't like it, don't sell it to me. That simple.
They didn't give anything to you, they only sold a licence to use it.
Yes they did, because you're "physically" in possession of the actual code for the feature, it's just locked.

No. You have bought and are in possession of a very large finite state machine (the executable code). You are modifying that FSM to do something you haven't bought.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Kilrah on March 20, 2016, 05:46:49 pm
You are modifying that FSM to do something you haven't bought.
No, only inputting a bit of data to one of that state machine's inputs that has precisely been provided to modify its behavior, with nothing being put in place to prevent me from doing so other than not documenting it.
If it involved breaking encryption or other non-trivial measures that have been actively implemented to prevent such a thing, which I believe DMCA is about then it could be a problem, but it's far from being a "black or white" scenario and isn't really the case here.
For example Tektronix giving unlock modules as EEPROMS containing plaintext... Come on, 99% of your customers are EEs for which it's absolutely trivial and who might nearly even find that by accident without even looking to hack due to their inherent curiosity... it's obvious they either had no intention to protect their system, or were absolutely stupid to the level where they should be ashamed of themselves and deserve to eat it.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on March 20, 2016, 06:40:27 pm
It used to be a manufacturer made different actual hardware to produce various models with more or less capability, thereby making market segmentation. Once software-based control systems became sophisticated enough, then they were able to restrict hardware capabilities by not including the control software to make it work. This was the beginning of crippleware. Now, instead of even bothering to produce different software for the different models, they've taken the ultimate lazy-ass and made the crippleware simple toggles they can turn on and off.

There are STILL ongoing litigation that have been fought for decades over whether it is legal to SELL a hardware product yet still hold the software required for that hardware to work as a separate entity that you don't relinquish rights to; in essence SELLING something but STILL demanding that you STILL OWN some part of it. In other parts of the civilized world these arguments have been shut down in favor of the consumer, and it has been decided that you can't do that. SELL means SELL, RENT means RENT. Microsoft has gotten spanked dozens of times by these proceedings, and it is why they're moving to a services-for-hire business model.

The batshit crazy pro-corporation political climate of the US has allowed these battles to continue, and to keep common sense from obtaining scenarios like this. Even the very legality of "break-seal licensing" and "click-through" licensing is still up in the air over here.  ::)

That said... given how much real concern these very same Chinese manufacturers have for US Copyright and CopyLeft laws, and knowing that the very code in these machines is probably a mix of both stolen copyrighted code and LINUX, which license expressly requires that all such code modifications, even even that forked to use for profit, much be released back to the open-source source pool, I have very little compunction regards using the digital equivalent of a bent paper clip to "unlock" code that is probably illegally locked away to begin with, and is locked under the equivalent of a novelty pair of fuzzy handcuffs.

Bottom line is if they're too damned lazy to even make different versions of the code, but instead deliver the hardware with ALL the software fully functional on it but deliberately crippled, they DESERVE to have folks unlock their hardware once they take physical possession of it. And they deserve to have folks who know how to code release their "unlocked" source code back to the LINUX code pool, thereby fulfilling the terms of that license as the CopyLeft of that base code explicitly states.


mnem
Food for thought; thought from food.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: XynxNet on March 20, 2016, 06:54:54 pm
I think optimizing things is part of the "engineering dna".
Having this mindset it's only natural if you want to optimize your test equipment too.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 20, 2016, 09:55:52 pm
You are modifying that FSM to do something you haven't bought.
No, only inputting a bit of data to one of that state machine's inputs that has precisely been provided to modify its behavior, with nothing being put in place to prevent me from doing so other than not documenting it.
If it involved breaking encryption or other non-trivial measures that have been actively implemented to prevent such a thing, which I believe DMCA is about then it could be a problem, but it's far from being a "black or white" scenario and isn't really the case here.
For example Tektronix giving unlock modules as EEPROMS containing plaintext... Come on, 99% of your customers are EEs for which it's absolutely trivial and who might nearly even find that by accident without even looking to hack due to their inherent curiosity... it's obvious they either had no intention to protect their system, or were absolutely stupid to the level where they should be ashamed of themselves and deserve to eat it.

By that "argument" you think it is acceptable if someone took things from your home because you didn't have the most secure  known locks on the front door.

Or do you think that is acceptable?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: ruffy91 on March 20, 2016, 10:03:29 pm
It's more like someone sells you a house but wants 50% extra for the keys to the rooms. So you decide to buy the house and break open the room doors.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: rx8pilot on March 20, 2016, 10:30:06 pm
It's more like someone sells you a house but wants 50% extra for the keys to the rooms. So you decide to buy the house and break open the room doors.

No, it's more like your purchased a condo and you broke into the adjacent condos because they are all connected. Or maybe you wanted a deal on the house so you purchased a portion of it, with the option to buy the other rooms at a later time. Without payment, you decide to use those rooms anyway because you figured out how to pick the lock.

The arguments here are kind of funny to me, justified stealing. Because no one is getting in trouble for it, it's no longer stealing. If a manufacturer, for whatever reason they choose, writes software that is intended for sale and someone uses it without buying it by circumventing a lock system - its stealing. The magnitude and the reason does not matter. If the manufacturer chooses, they can give you the key or sell it to you but that is the decision of the IP owner. You own the physical hardware but you do NOT own the intellectual property. That means that you could, if you wanted, write your own code from scratch to make the hardware do what you want, but you cannot break a lock to use a feature that the company sells.

Like I said earlier - I have various expensive software packages on my computer that are sold in modules. The entire program is installed on the computer but only the modules I paid for will work. If I break the lock (which I know how to do), I will be treated like a murderer. I should not get the benefit of something that I was unwilling to pay for. I am not entitled to use it just because the bits and bytes are on my system drive.

Imagine if every single user of modern scopes purchased the cheapest model and hacked all the features. Now imagine you own the scope business and just spent $10mil on on options that allow you to offer a wider range of solutions to your customers. Your $10million will not be coming back to you.

Now, if the manufacturers did not include any of this on the scopes and required owners to send the scoped in for any update or add-on - that is SHITTY for everyone. I really like the idea of paying for what I need and only needing to apply a key to unlock the option. Software is essentially a rental license since no-one sells the software they only the sell you a license to benefit from it.

So when the manufacturers decide to make the options a total pain in the ass difficult - I will have many of you hackers to thank for that. Thanks in advance for pushing the industry into a defensive position where we all suffer. You people can justify all day long - but the end result is that we all suffer the consequence eventually. You cannot justify it because you think the manufacturer has made enough money, or the option is ridiculously expensive - that is their choice and there are a LOT of competitors that keep that in check.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: ruffy91 on March 20, 2016, 10:54:03 pm
No it's not like breaking in another condo. It doesn't belong to anyone else. You bought the house with all the rooms. The business model is just not the best when you decide to build all the houses the same and differentiate between them with the keys you give the buyer.
They had exactly the same expenses, if you bought it with or without options. They sent you all the software and hardware. It's yours! You can do with it whatever you want.
If you don't have the right to do with it what you want you haven't bought it but rented/leased/licensed it.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: rx8pilot on March 20, 2016, 11:03:58 pm
If you don't have the right to do with it what you want you haven't bought it but rented/leased/licensed it.

Correct. You have not licensed it.

The manufacturer chooses to offer options and those options are easily accessible should you need them. Or you can steal them and say fuck you to the manufacturer. You don't own the license or the right to use the software. Period end of story. You choose to and it is relatively easy, but you are still stealing no matter what.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 21, 2016, 12:14:20 am
Quote
Screw the "product is worth what people are ready to pay for it, not how much it actually costs to make" paradigm. This marketing scheme is a pain for users and nobody really wants it,
If you think Agilent/Rigol/Keysight et al are simply "making extra money for nothing," with this sales model, you're not thinking it thru all the way. If the profit margin is this huge, why the hell don't you go into the oscilloscope business for yourself, lol. Or start buying stock. You're not paying for just the hardware. You're paying for the marketing, the shipping department, the R&D... and the exective's fat salary.

It's a competitive market. They have these strategies in order to STAY in business. To continue providing us with the tools we need. If profits go down, or negative, do you think the CEO is going to cut his salary first? Or are there a lot of other people like you and me that are going to be out of a job, first? The fat cats at the top are going to get paid, either way.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 21, 2016, 12:20:39 am
It's more like someone sells you a house but wants 50% extra for the keys to the rooms. So you decide to buy the house and break open the room doors.

It is considered polite to quote what you are responding to. If we presume it it https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/msg899888/#msg899888 (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/msg899888/#msg899888)
then your note is not addressing that message.

In addition, your response is not a good point. If you want to argue by analogy, which is always weak and dangerous, then you have chosen not to buy the whole building when it was offered to you, but you have chosen to only buy part of the building. That doesn't entitle you to take possession of the rest of the building.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 21, 2016, 12:23:59 am
Quote
Screw the "product is worth what people are ready to pay for it, not how much it actually costs to make" paradigm. This marketing scheme is a pain for users and nobody really wants it,
If you think Agilent/Rigol/Keysight et al are simply "making extra money for nothing," with this sales model, you're not thinking it thru all the way. If the profit margin is this huge, why the hell don't you go into the oscilloscope business for yourself, lol. Or start buying stock.
It's a competitive market. They have these strategies in order to STAY in business. To continue providing us with the tools we need.

Precisely. TANSTAAFL.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 21, 2016, 12:29:09 am
Selling someone a piece of hardware but only allowing them to use half of the memory/bandwidth is stealing.

Hacking the firmware is not stealing. It may be considered to be copyright violation but it isn't stealing because the person who wrote the software still has the code. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO STEAL SOFTWARE!
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 21, 2016, 12:36:46 am
If you want to buy just the hardware with no firmware on it, they can probably sell you that, too. You're not buying "hardware" when you buy a scope.

I'll give you a pile of ADC's and RAM and an LCD and CPU for $200.00. All the stuff you need to make a top end $2,000 scope. You'll have it 10 years and $30 million dollars, later. Let's see how "free" it feels when you have design the circuitry and write the firmware, yourself.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: rx8pilot on March 21, 2016, 12:41:48 am
A machinst that I know got hacked SolidWorks and MasterCAM so that he could save money. Total value is over $20k. That isn't stealing because the software developers still have the source code?

Wow, that is an interesting argument. You can steal intangible property, and that is what this guy did. He is legally forbidden from using these two pieces if software without a license. If I reported it, do you think a lawyer will struggle to put him in jail?

Sent from my horrible mobile....

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: nctnico on March 21, 2016, 01:01:16 am
There are several open source oscilloscope software packages. The biggest problem is getting the hardware cheap enough. One of the projects I'm working on is a distributed oscilloscope which are synchronised down to a few ps over a network (albeit with special switches). This is to be released as open hardware/software at some point.

Anyway, hacking isn't always about unlocking features. Hacking is also very usefull to extend and enhance features. For example: the Tektronix logic analyser I have allows to load plugins for dissambly and protocol decoding. Someone figured out what the plugin DLL should look like and I created some useful decoder packages for it. Other hacks I did in the past was putting a higher resolution screen in a logic analyser or replace CRT screens with TFT screens.

@rx8pilot: putting people in jail doesn't help software manufacturers. The usual way is to make people pay for the software IF a lawsuit to do so has any chance of succes. The number of people going to jail for copyright infringement (yes, you really can't steal software!) is in the sub-ppm range but those cases usually involve mass scale distribution and making loads of money in the process.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Nerull on March 21, 2016, 01:05:12 am
I don't care if that's where their money comes from, they chose to give me the software, so I'm going to use it. If you sell me something, I'm going to do whatever I want with it. Don't like it, don't sell it to me. That simple.
They didn't give anything to you, they only sold a licence to use it.
Yes they did, because you're "physically" in possession of the actual code for the feature, it's just locked.

No. You have bought and are in possession of a very large finite state machine (the executable code). You are modifying that FSM to do something you haven't bought.

Now imagine someone that proposed that changing parts in a machine to make it do something else was illegal. Completely ridiculous, right? That would never hold up - you own a machine, you can do what you want with it.

Some devices use resistors to select hardware capabilities. Is moving that resistor illegal?

These cases are far from as settled as some would like them to be. Courts are still divided over the general enforcibility of software licenses, but several have found that a paper license included in the box, but with no "I agree" prompt required to use the software, is unenforceable. Rigol does not prompt for license agreements, and under these rulings the software on the scope is sold, and not licensed.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: rx8pilot on March 21, 2016, 01:19:15 am
I did not literally mean jail time. However a fine plus a demand for immediate payment is not at all ridiculous if they have the appropriate legal requirements to do so. The point was to say that using licensed software without a license is indeed illegal and having the bits on your computer or scope does not give you a license.



Sent from my horrible mobile....

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: rx8pilot on March 21, 2016, 01:23:01 am
Some quick reading revealed some interesting numbers.

Copyright owner can go after $150k and the government can independently prosecute for $250k AND 5 years in jail.

http://www.bsa.org/anti-piracy/tools-page/software-piracy-and-the-law/?sc_lang=en-US


Sent from my horrible mobile....

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Nerull on March 21, 2016, 01:27:45 am
Entering numbers into a screen isn't a copyright violation. Its maybe a DMCA violation, possibly a license violation if you're in a court where it happens to be enforceable that week. To violate copyright you must distribute something. Copying someone elses artwork and redistributing it is a copyright violation, downloading that work in your browser and viewing it is not.

Good thing too, or opening your eyes would be illegal.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: nctnico on March 21, 2016, 01:28:28 am
Some quick reading revealed some interesting numbers.

http://www.bsa.org/anti-piracy/tools-page/software-piracy-and-the-law/?sc_lang=en-US (http://www.bsa.org/anti-piracy/tools-page/software-piracy-and-the-law/?sc_lang=en-US)
I wouldn't quote the BSA for any reliable information on the subject! The information provided by these kind of organisations is very coloured and opiniated to say the least.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: rx8pilot on March 21, 2016, 01:38:44 am
I guess this is why im not a lawyer,  lol.

Sent from my horrible mobile....

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: ovnr on March 21, 2016, 02:23:34 am
Quote from: rx8pilot
Words in general.

A) Not everyone is in the US and bound by US laws. Thank god.

B) I quite honestly do not give a shit about whether the law (or the EULA) says something is right or wrong or purple or tastes like oranges. I consider certain actions to be morally valid (helping old ladies across the road, paying taxes, unlocking options), and certain to be immoral (killing people, stealing someone's car, being involved in politics). In situations where my morals differ from the letter of the law, my main consideration is the likelihood of being prosecuted for breaking them. If it's low - and it really generally is low! - I do whatever I damn well please.


People like yourself who prance around with the idea that they're somehow superior because they obliviously - and obsessively - obey every single tenet of the law without consideration for common sense amuse me greatly. How in the world do you think things have progressed - by everyone blindly following our beloved leaders at all times? I think a rather large number of minorities would disagree with you there.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Teneyes on March 21, 2016, 02:47:40 am
My $0.25.    I bought the Rigol DS2000 for the features, and felt strongly that a hack may happen.
I feel Rigol knew the marketing benefits,  as the news of a hack was spread to public from the past sales of the DS1052.  And the results of new FW on sales.    Rigol setup  for large sales . Institutions would buy any options needed .Rigol setup to maximize profits. Cover manufacturing costs and get profits.  Rigol knew fully that the first DS2000 FW releases were open text and people could see BW and all options were in the FW.  And the assemble code was easy to disassemble . It would have been So easy to encrypt the FW.  Setting up some cheese to catch many sales. Look how much Rigol has become a popular Test equipment.

 On another side ,  I have tested  many features of The Rigol and report bugs in options to Rigol, with fixes occurring in new FW.
I have also recieved Beta FW to test, and token gifts . They know I have hacked the DSO.

I feel I have developed a cooperative relationship with Rigol , to Everyone's benefit.

I Love the investigation and develope of the hack as a mystery story :)
I have 4 Rigol Equipment.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: hamster_nz on March 21, 2016, 03:47:34 am
My moral compass points this way:

To hack a scope I own - I'm fine with that, might be annoyed if I (rightfully) get denied after sale support, but that is the price I pay for being cheep.

To hack a scope for somebody else - Nope, not worth the hassle. They can do it themselves

To hack a scope just so you can sell it on for a premium - Not happy with that at all. That is just wrong

It is a bit like using chips from a slower speed grade or overclocking... yeah, it might work for me but I'm not going to inflict it on others.

But then I am left with one troubling scenario - If I was to hack a scope I own, and then later sell it on... ohhh that gets tricky! Full disclosure would be the way I roll, I guess.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 21, 2016, 06:07:29 am
Quote
Bottom line is if they're too damned lazy to even make different versions of the code, but instead deliver the hardware with ALL the software fully functional on it but deliberately crippled, they DESERVE to have folks unlock their hardware once they take physical possession of it. And they deserve to have folks who know how to code release their "unlocked" source code back to the LINUX code pool, thereby fulfilling the terms of that license as the CopyLeft of that base code explicitly states.
There are a lot of legal and moral reasons that have been posted, already. I believe I have read every post, so apologies if this has already been addressed:

There's another reason, and that is security.

If you write a completely different firmware, you have to have the customer send his scope in for an upgrade. This will cost way more, due to handling time and shipping. And it will cause significant downtime.

Or, you have to send every customer who orders an upgrade a copy of this firmware upgrade. How do you do this, securely?

Sure, you can use an encrypted bootloader. But a bootloader can be cracked. Now instead of the keys to an upgrade, the hacker has your entire firmware. (And even if it is not cracked, now this dishonest person can use the same firmware to upgrade other scope for free.... or a unique ID must be placed on each device and recorded in a database and accessed by a service rep for a unique firmware to be sent to each customer - adding cost. And there will STILL remain the possibility that someone will hack and possess your entire firmware.)

It is much more desirable (for a product like this) to protect your firmware from such a threat. Even if it means a lesser security to hacking the upgrade.

As others have said, the code locked upgrade is like a car key. It's enough to keep honest people honest. At least you're not giving them the chance to steal the whole kit and caboodle. (Yeah, I know some IC's can be physically hacked either electrically or by decapping and selectively flipping bits with focused UV light. But some chips are made so this is basically impossible without destroying the chip. Even if possible it would be pretty expensive to do this and could take a lot of examples that will be destroyed just for the chance.)
 
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 21, 2016, 06:14:06 am
But then I am left with one troubling scenario - If I was to hack a scope I own, and then later sell it on... ohhh that gets tricky! Full disclosure would be the way I roll, I guess.

Rigols can be de-hacked.  :)

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tautech on March 21, 2016, 06:47:28 am
My moral compass points this way:

To hack a scope I own - I'm fine with that, might be annoyed if I (rightfully) get denied after sale support, but that is the price I pay for being cheep.

To hack a scope for somebody else - Nope, not worth the hassle. They can do it themselves

To hack a scope just so you can sell it on for a premium - Not happy with that at all. That is just wrong

It is a bit like using chips from a slower speed grade or overclocking... yeah, it might work for me but I'm not going to inflict it on others.

But then I am left with one troubling scenario - If I was to hack a scope I own, and then later sell it on... ohhh that gets tricky! Full disclosure would be the way I roll, I guess.
Yep honesty is always the best policy, like member Bud did:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/buysellwanted/fs-rigol-ds2072a-oscilloscope-300mhz/ (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/buysellwanted/fs-rigol-ds2072a-oscilloscope-300mhz/)

And documented his repairs so it's now better than ex factory:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/project-yaigol-fixing-rigol-scope-design-problems/ (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/project-yaigol-fixing-rigol-scope-design-problems/)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Simon on March 21, 2016, 08:39:43 am
sometimes it may make sense to supply more software than required. where I work we developed a system that came in two parts but used one ECU, the first part was the basic they would always buy. The second part may or may not be required. We shipped the software to control a complete system and to recognise the extra stuff if connected. So in a way when we sell the second part we are also selling the software that they already have in the ECU they already bought. Except in this case they need the hardware and the software is to run the hardware, not provide additional software funtionality.

Supplying software with a unit but dissabling it works both ways. I bet if you had to buy a memory stick with the additional software on it and have it shipped you would be whinging about why they don't just put it in the unit and lock it off so that you buy it when you want it and get "instant" access.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tautech on March 21, 2016, 09:05:34 am
sometimes it may make sense to supply more software ........


Supplying software with a unit but dissabling it works both ways. I bet if you had to buy a memory stick with the additional software on it and have it shipped you would be whinging about why they don't just put it in the unit and lock it off so that you buy it when you want it and get "instant" access.
In much the same way a Cummins 425 hp engine doesn't know it's a 550 hp until it told to be such.

It's the world we live in these days and you'd be surprised what can't be hacked if time and inclination is applied.
The trick is preserve one's code.....or in the case of some marketing strategies make it easy to break.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Someone on March 21, 2016, 09:40:50 am
If you don't have the right to do with it what you want you haven't bought it but rented/leased/licensed it.
This is where the legal battles end up, for consumers its simple that a sale is a sale, but for business to business it suddenly becomes "normal" for a complex contract to be part of any transaction and that contract includes that you haven't bought a product but instead purchased a license to use the produce. Remember when certain companies would only sell to you if you were a company? This was to avoid all the customer friendly mandates that go along with selling to consumers.

It gets very murky when the contract says you cannot transfer the license to another person/entity, and shinkwrapping that type of contract lacking consideration (license) is and has been argued in court with results falling both ways. Applying licensing to software in my opinion is a ridiculous restriction as you do not reproduce the work for profit, but utilise its function as a tool, there is no competition with the original creator of the software (in the vast majority of cases) by using it as there is by performing or showing licensed media. Copyright is important to protect the creator of the software from others distributing it and them losing income, but the lawyers have continued to extend licensing out into obscene lengths.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Someone on March 21, 2016, 09:50:48 am
sometimes it may make sense to supply more software ........


Supplying software with a unit but dissabling it works both ways. I bet if you had to buy a memory stick with the additional software on it and have it shipped you would be whinging about why they don't just put it in the unit and lock it off so that you buy it when you want it and get "instant" access.
In much the same way a Cummins 425 hp engine doesn't know it's a 550 hp until it told to be such.

It's the world we live in these days and you'd be surprised what can't be hacked if time and inclination is applied.
The trick is preserve one's code.....or in the case of some marketing strategies make it easy to break.
Cars are tricky, most "chip tuning" replaces the factory lookup tables with a higher performance set, no problems there unless the seller of the "chip" is also selling a copy of the ECU firmware on the chip at the same time. Most modern engines are running well below their capability and the same block could be used in variations across a factor of 3 or more in power, but they are tuned back to match other components of the driveline and meet warranty expectations rather than segmenting the market while using the same underlying parts.

For more car fun, note that some ABS implementations use identical physical parts to the traction control option, just a change of firmware...
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on March 21, 2016, 12:16:52 pm
Perhaps I'm being simplistic - but here's my take.

1. In today's environment, the practice of 'unlocking' features is quite simply an effective way to ship a product with stable, properly configured FW/SW.
2. It is clear extra features were designed to made available after obtaining the appropriate licence/key through certain channels - eg purchase.  Market segmentation is not evil - it is pragmatic and it is transparent.
3. Accessing these features outside the spirit of the licensing schema is wrong.  Call it what you want - theft, stealing, or whatever.  The bleating about the exact words used is simply SEMANTICS.  Get over it.
4. Saying that a programmer has already been paid for the software on a device is simply short-sighted and a vain attempt to justify wrong actions.  There's a lot of attempting to justify wrong actions.
5. If you want to rewrite the FW/SW yourself to do all sorts of cool stuff, then you aren't benefiting from someone else's work - so, go for it.

In a nutshell - if you want to benefit from using a paid feature without paying, then try and justify it all you want - but it is wrong.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 21, 2016, 12:44:55 pm
A machinst that I know got hacked SolidWorks and MasterCAM so that he could save money. Total value is over $20k. That isn't stealing because the software developers still have the source code?

Wow, that is an interesting argument. You can steal intangible property, and that is what this guy did. He is legally forbidden from using these two pieces if software without a license. If I reported it, do you think a lawyer will struggle to put him in jail?
There's a huge difference in copyright violation, which is more like breach of contract than theft of physical property.

If a jeweler has $20k worth of stock stolen, then that's $20k of stock they can no longer sell to anyone else.

In the case of the machinist violating copyright law, by using a $20k piece of software, when they don't have the license (permission of the developer) to do so, the developer has not physically lost anything. They are still free to sell a license to someone else, who will pay for it. It's quite likely the machinist wouldn't pay for the software anyway.

This is why all the analogies comparing hacking software to breaking into people's houses are very silly.

I'm sure if you reported someone who stole $20k of jewelry to the police, they'd take it far more seriously, than someone who's using $20k worth of software, when they don't have the license to do so.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on March 21, 2016, 01:06:02 pm
In the case of the machinist violating copyright law, by using a $20k piece of software, when they don't have the license (permission of the developer) to do so, the developer has not physically lost anything.

The developer certainly HAS lost something - $20k cash!  Do you not see that?  Without the benefit of being rewarded for his work, how will he be able to support this software - and/or be able to create his next one?


Quote
They are still free to sell a license to someone else, who will pay for it.

A developer has 100 widgets for sale and misses out on selling one - but he still has 100 widgets to sell and somebody is benefiting from his work, without having paid for it.  Pity he has to live on bread and water for a couple of months and sell the car to pay the rent.


Again, this is a simplistic view - but the principles still apply however you scale them.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 21, 2016, 01:17:39 pm
In the case of the machinist violating copyright law, by using a $20k piece of software, when they don't have the license (permission of the developer) to do so, the developer has not physically lost anything.

If the machinist is selling the stuff he makes using that software then he ought to pay.

This is the crux of the matter.

If you're just messing about at home for a hobby then I say "fair enough" but if you're making money using the hacked oscilloscope (or whatever) then really you ought to be paying for it. End of story.

In the case of the machinist violating copyright law, by using a $20k piece of software, when they don't have the license (permission of the developer) to do so, the developer has not physically lost anything.
The developer certainly HAS lost something - $20k cash!  Do you not see that?

Yep. Developers have to eat, they have bills to pay, they like to have something left over to go on holiday every now and again, etc.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on March 21, 2016, 01:56:04 pm
Quote
Bottom line is if they're too damned lazy to even make different versions of the code, but instead deliver the hardware with ALL the software fully functional on it but deliberately crippled, they DESERVE to have folks unlock their hardware once they take physical possession of it. And they deserve to have folks who know how to code release their "unlocked" source code back to the LINUX code pool, thereby fulfilling the terms of that license as the CopyLeft of that base code explicitly states.
There are a lot of legal and moral reasons that have been posted, already. I believe I have read every post, so apologies if this has already been addressed:

There's another reason, and that is security.

If you write a completely different firmware, you have to have the customer send his scope in for an upgrade. This will cost way more, due to handling time and shipping. And it will cause significant downtime.

Or, you have to send every customer who orders an upgrade a copy of this firmware upgrade. How do you do this, securely?

Sure, you can use an encrypted bootloader. But a bootloader can be cracked. Now instead of the keys to an upgrade, the hacker has your entire firmware. (And even if it is not cracked, now this dishonest person can use the same firmware to upgrade other scope for free.... or a unique ID must be placed on each device and recorded in a database and accessed by a service rep for a unique firmware to be sent to each customer - adding cost. And there will STILL remain the possibility that someone will hack and possess your entire firmware.)

It is much more desirable (for a product like this) to protect your firmware from such a threat. Even if it means a lesser security to hacking the upgrade.

As others have said, the code locked upgrade is like a car key. It's enough to keep honest people honest. At least you're not giving them the chance to steal the whole kit and caboodle. (Yeah, I know some IC's can be physically hacked either electrically or by decapping and selectively flipping bits with focused UV light. But some chips are made so this is basically impossible without destroying the chip. Even if possible it would be pretty expensive to do this and could take a lot of examples that will be destroyed just for the chance.)

Yeah... call me old fashioned, but all this points to is how entrenched the lazy has become; that we now EXPECT it.

When I need a more powerful 1/2" drive impact wrench, I don't expect to be able to call Snap-On and have them send me a passkey to enable an extra 100 Ft/lbs from my existing impact wrench; I expect to either replace said impact, send it back for rebuilding with a healthy/more powerful motor, or as most tool vendors will do, trade up to a more powerful tool.

I see this much the same way. Marketing weenies and lawyers have used technology to pervert the normal course of business here; it IS laziness, it IS being cheap to try and sell the SAME EXACT PRODUCT to a dozen different market segments. It IS BS to try and SELL something "but not really; we still own the software" that makes the thing not a paperweight. BUY means BUY... RENT means RENT.

Other nations have already decided this in the consumers' favor; the TPP notwithstanding, eventually it will happen here as well.


mnem
Pants are just a diversion.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Mechatrommer on March 21, 2016, 02:25:37 pm
by using a $20k piece of software, when they don't have the license (permission of the developer) to do so
people tend to treat "software" less seriously to a point they think its ok to violate or ignore an agreement.

the developer has not physically lost anything. They are still free to sell a license to someone else, who will pay for it.
if we only want to talk about "physical" then.. all "software" should be free. the developer has certainly lost the potential of one paying customer.

It's quite likely the machinist wouldn't pay for the software anyway.
two situations:
1) he doesnt pay, he doesnt get to use it (this is the normal "physical" purchase like)
2) he doesnt pay, but he got the chance to use it through some unclever hack attempt. (most happening in softwares)

if he wants to be in position of not paying it, he should not use/violate it. thats plain simple. using it without paying it, is just plain wrong. no one with a right mind will say otherwise. he violate it? he should keep it to himself, he should not say to public it is ok to do so. but...

but there are circumtances thats special, like rigol hack. if rigol doesnt want people to further hack resulting loss of sell, then they can easily block it in newer firmware update. but they probably realized if they do that, potential customers will divert their money to other brands, this is tight, physical and real competition matter. so this "hack" is one of marketing strategy to boost sales. we all should aware this by now, rigol just happily let us to do that with every firmware revisions.

in software, if you want to compete, you make it as cheap as possible and as more features as possible. letting it lose, people hack it easily and use for free resulting in closing down of major competitors, not only the one whose software got hacked.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 21, 2016, 02:27:58 pm
it IS laziness, it IS being cheap to try and sell the SAME EXACT PRODUCT to a dozen different market segments.

No it isn't.  :palm:

It's all about reducing costs in the supply chain. These cost savings are passed on to the consumers, ie. you. You get cheaper tools as a result.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Mechatrommer on March 21, 2016, 02:31:48 pm
it IS laziness, it IS being cheap to try and sell the SAME EXACT PRODUCT to a dozen different market segments.
easily said than done. its easier to talk if one is in position of a "customer" instead of the "maker" who want to make a living.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 21, 2016, 02:41:43 pm
but there are circumtances thats special, like rigol hack. if rigol doesnt want people to further hack resulting loss of sell, then they can easily block it in newer firmware update. but they probably realized if they do that, potential customers will divert their money to other brands, this is tight, physical and real competition matter. so this "hack" is one of marketing strategy to boost sales. we all should aware this by now, rigol just happily let us to do that with every firmware revisions.

More or less.

Going back to the software analogy: If the person had paid $100,000 for some of my software then used a hack to unlock a $20,000 option then I'm not sure I'd be too angry. I made $100,000 and that hack might be the difference between buying my software or buying a competitors.

The problem appears when somebody buys a cheap machine from China and uses $120,000 of my software on it without paying me a single cent. That really hurts me as a developer even if I didn't physically lose anything.

(This really happens, it's exactly what people do with, eg., Saleae logic analysers...buy the cheap clones then run Saleae's software on them)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Bud on March 21, 2016, 02:47:11 pm
Jee.., What type of software you writing??  :o
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Bud on March 21, 2016, 02:56:45 pm
I am not in software business but just like other types of products producing one-fit-all product may be because of pragmatic reasons, i.e. It is easier to develop and maintain. It is also more convenient to the customers. Any percieved loss in revenue because of hacking is easily offset by the benefits of the method.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Kilrah on March 21, 2016, 03:24:11 pm
In the case of the machinist violating copyright law, by using a $20k piece of software, when they don't have the license (permission of the developer) to do so, the developer has not physically lost anything.
The developer certainly HAS lost something - $20k cash!  Do you not see that?
No he hasn't, he would never have seen those $20k. If the machinist has decided that was too much he was never going to pay them and would have gone to a competitor or found a different solution. That doesn't make it right of course, but the loss isn't a tangible one.
Actually now that the guy is getting used to the software by using a cracked copy he's more likely to end up paying for it at some point rather than moving to a completely different solution and relearning everything. That's definitely a thing, I've seen it done and done it myself on more than one occasion. As a student or for hobby uses I've used cracked versions of several popular and expensive software packages for some time, but then once I could afford to pay for them and/or had more serious use cases for them than just playing around I've licensed them correctly. See it as an extension for the free trial that's always too short, and the more it's extended the more the person is likely to shell out one day.

What I can't condone and I've seen some guys do is purchase cracked software from "hacker groups", in quote marks because those aren't real hackers.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 21, 2016, 07:58:55 pm
by using a $20k piece of software, when they don't have the license (permission of the developer) to do so
people tend to treat "software" less seriously to a point they think its ok to violate or ignore an agreement.

the developer has not physically lost anything. They are still free to sell a license to someone else, who will pay for it.
if we only want to talk about "physical" then.. all "software" should be free. the developer has certainly lost the potential of one paying customer.

It's quite likely the machinist wouldn't pay for the software anyway.
two situations:
1) he doesnt pay, he doesnt get to use it (this is the normal "physical" purchase like)
2) he doesnt pay, but he got the chance to use it through some unclever hack attempt. (most happening in softwares)

if he wants to be in position of not paying it, he should not use/violate it. thats plain simple. using it without paying it, is just plain wrong. no one with a right mind will say otherwise. he violate it? he should keep it to himself, he should not say to public it is ok to do so.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying it's OK to use software without the agreement of the developer or that is shouldn't be illegal, just that it isn't stealing.


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but there are circumtances thats special, like rigol hack. if rigol doesnt want people to further hack resulting loss of sell, then they can easily block it in newer firmware update. but they probably realized if they do that, potential customers will divert their money to other brands, this is tight, physical and real competition matter. so this "hack" is one of marketing strategy to boost sales. we all should aware this by now, rigol just happily let us to do that with every firmware revisions.
In the case of the Rigol hack, where the reason is to unlock hardware which one has already paid for, then it's perfectly morally right as far as I'm concerned. It's my hardware, which I paid good money for and I have the right to use it. Asking for more money to allow me to use something I already own is like demanding a ransom.

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in software, if you want to compete, you make it as cheap as possible and as more features as possible. letting it lose, people hack it easily and use for free resulting in closing down of major competitors, not only the one whose software got hacked.
Then, when you have market dominance, you can crack down on the crackers and raise the price. This sort of tactic was used by Microsoft in the early days and they're still doing it in developing countries.

In the case of the machinist violating copyright law, by using a $20k piece of software, when they don't have the license (permission of the developer) to do so, the developer has not physically lost anything.
The developer certainly HAS lost something - $20k cash!  Do you not see that?
No he hasn't, he would never have seen those $20k. If the machinist has decided that was too much he was never going to pay them and would have gone to a competitor or found a different solution. That doesn't make it right of course, but the loss isn't a tangible one.
Actually now that the guy is getting used to the software by using a cracked copy he's more likely to end up paying for it at some point rather than moving to a completely different solution and relearning everything. That's definitely a thing, I've seen it done and done it myself on more than one occasion. As a student or for hobby uses I've used cracked versions of several popular and expensive software packages for some time, but then once I could afford to pay for them and/or had more serious use cases for them than just playing around I've licensed them correctly. See it as an extension for the free trial that's always too short, and the more it's extended the more the person is likely to shell out one day.

What I can't condone and I've seen some guys do is purchase cracked software from "hacker groups", in quote marks because those aren't real hackers.

Exactly.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 21, 2016, 08:21:14 pm
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but there are circumtances thats special, like rigol hack. if rigol doesnt want people to further hack resulting loss of sell, then they can easily block it in newer firmware update. but they probably realized if they do that, potential customers will divert their money to other brands, this is tight, physical and real competition matter. so this "hack" is one of marketing strategy to boost sales. we all should aware this by now, rigol just happily let us to do that with every firmware revisions.
In the case of the Rigol hack, where the reason is to unlock hardware which one has already paid for, then it's perfectly morally right as far as I'm concerned. It's my hardware, which I paid good money for and I have the right to use it. Asking for more money to allow me to use something I already own is like demanding a ransom.

Simple solution: use the hardware but not the software.

I don't see any problem if you use the hardware you have paid for. I do see a problem if you use software you haven't paid for.

I do see problems if a manufacturer prevents you using software you have paid for - as Microsoft did with WinXP on one of my machines when the disk died.
I do see problems if a manufacturer prevents you from playing music you have paid for - as Microsoft did with PlaysForSure(TM) [sic].
But neither of those are the case here.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 21, 2016, 08:54:32 pm
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but there are circumtances thats special, like rigol hack. if rigol doesnt want people to further hack resulting loss of sell, then they can easily block it in newer firmware update. but they probably realized if they do that, potential customers will divert their money to other brands, this is tight, physical and real competition matter. so this "hack" is one of marketing strategy to boost sales. we all should aware this by now, rigol just happily let us to do that with every firmware revisions.
In the case of the Rigol hack, where the reason is to unlock hardware which one has already paid for, then it's perfectly morally right as far as I'm concerned. It's my hardware, which I paid good money for and I have the right to use it. Asking for more money to allow me to use something I already own is like demanding a ransom.

Simple solution: use the hardware but not the software.

I don't see any problem if you use the hardware you have paid for.
And that's exactly what I've done. I hacked my Rigol to so I can use the full bandwidth and memory I rightly own. I don't need the extra software features such as I2C decoding and what not. Rigol has received a fair price for their oscilloscope. They haven't sold me the oscilloscope at a loss. They've made a nice profit.


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I do see a problem if you use software you haven't paid for.

I do see problems if a manufacturer prevents you using software you have paid for - as Microsoft did with WinXP on one of my machines when the disk died.
I do see problems if a manufacturer prevents you from playing music you have paid for - as Microsoft did with PlaysForSure(TM) [sic].
But neither of those are the case here.

I agree with that but it's hardware locking which is immoral and could even be illegal in some jurisdictions.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 21, 2016, 09:18:47 pm
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1. In today's environment, the practice of 'unlocking' features is quite simply an effective way to ship a product with stable, properly configured FW/SW.
2. It is clear extra features were designed to made available after obtaining the appropriate licence/key through certain channels - eg purchase.  Market segmentation is not evil - it is pragmatic and it is transparent.
3. Accessing these features outside the spirit of the licensing schema is wrong.  Call it what you want - theft, stealing, or whatever.  The bleating about the exact words used is simply SEMANTICS.  Get over it.
4. Saying that a programmer has already been paid for the software on a device is simply short-sighted and a vain attempt to justify wrong actions.  There's a lot of attempting to justify wrong actions.
5. If you want to rewrite the FW/SW yourself to do all sorts of cool stuff, then you aren't benefiting from someone else's work - so, go for it.
I hate to repeat myself, but I don't see anyone else commenting on this.

6. Security of the firmware.

Having been asked to make unlockable features in firmware for a client, I have thought on it and given the following "secure" options, of which they all include flashing the entire firmware onto the chip.
1. Have a simple code to unlock. Just email the code. But once the cat is out of the bag, everyone will have it.
2. Have a mathematic algorhythm query/response for an unlock. Same deal, but at least it might hold up longer.
3. Have a unique random chip ID for each device. Adds expense, and you have to track each product serial number and this must be looked up for each customer requesting an upgrade.

AFAIC, sending customers firmware as an upgrade is not secure. Once the firmware is decrypted or the bootloader is cracked, it's game over. Rather than an unlock code being public, now your entire firmware is available to any cloner in china who can reverse engineer your hardware and use your own (very slightly modified, so now it's not a copy) firmware to make a clone product with only a minimal time and effort... completely bypassing the R&D that you put into your product.

So all this "they put the entire software on the device, because they're lazy and it deserves to be hacked" is nonsense. The software/firmware is the majority of the dev cost on these new DSO's and a very valuable part of the IP, and sending it out to thousands of people, encrypted or not, would be lunacy. Code-protection on the chip is still one of the most secure ways to protect this IP; hence, delivering the product with the full firmware burned on it is very practical from a security standpoint. Forget morality and laziness... this is common sense. Sending a firmware for an upgrade produces all of the same problems as an unlock code, but now you're adding vulnerability of your actual firmware.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: rx8pilot on March 21, 2016, 09:40:18 pm
I agree with that but it's hardware locking which is immoral and could even be illegal in some jurisdictions.

That is hard to agree with. PC hardware is completely useless without hardware. It needs the software to accomplish anything useful. If you buy bare PC hardware, you can design and code your own operating system to make it do whatever you want, however you want. If, however, you want an operating system that is already done and ready to go, you may have to pay for that (Windows for example). With most modern equipment, you are buying the hardware as a platform to run software - neither one on it's own is worth anything. Because both have value together - they both have value and that is what you pay for.

Software allows anyone (including myself) to have a scalable hardware system that can meet the needs of many. The lowest cost offering is enough to cover the cost of the hardware and the development of the basic software. The extra capacity or the capability of the hardware is totally free to use how you see fit - BUT using the software that you illegally circumvented a security scheme  for is not yours to use. If you write your own code - it's yours. If you spend 30 minutes circumventing a key system so that you can have the benefit of the 100's or 1000's of hours of paid efforts of others is not right.

Just because the manufacturers have not yet become aggressive about enforcement does not make it right. You are counting on others to pay for your software so that you can buy cheap and hack it. If a company NEVER sold a single software option it would either never be made or it would be bundled into the initial  cost - eliminating the entry level scopes with options to upgrade.

I am not high-and-mighty Mr. Morality, I just believe that I should treat others the way I want to be treated. I don't expect everyone to do the same - I live in Los Angeles where 99% of the people are morally absent. Since I sell a product that the food on my table comes from, I want it to remain viable. I have built in various options that add features and performance for a cost. It allows me to capture the customers looking for a lower cost of entry and also be interesting to the higher-end with only a single manufacturing configuration - everyone wins. If a base model needs to be upgraded, there is no downtime. The customer pays for the option, I send a key and they have the feature they wanted. It would be such a disappointment if someone started hacking my product and posting the hack on the internet claiming that it is totally fair because they own the hardware. The option software took me months to work out. The only reason I offer a lower cost is for the benefit of the entry level customers that don't need it or want to get it upgraded later. I will admit, the key system is not very secure since security is not my specialty and I don't have the time to make it better. To some extent, it is on the honor system. I am positive that my customers are smart enough to break my little system, and I have to balance my response with the offense. If a few people do it per year, whatever - if 30-40% are doing it I will start forcing upgrades to come back to us.

No company gives anything away for free. The cost goes somewhere. I see scope manufactures using options to level the peaks and valleys of the sales cycles and I have no problem with that. If I am not in a hurry, I just wait for a promo to surface and buy then. If I need it now, I pay what I have to pay that day and get back to work.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 21, 2016, 09:57:40 pm
AFAIC, sending customers firmware as an upgrade is not secure. Once the firmware is decrypted or the bootloader is cracked, it's game over. Rather than an unlock code being public, now your entire firmware is available to any cloner in china who can reverse engineer your hardware and use your own (very slightly modified, so now it's not a copy) firmware to make a clone product with only a minimal time and effort... completely bypassing the R&D that you put into your product.
Total nonsense. Every oscilloscope has the complete firmware already loaded into its flash memory, which can easily be hacked at low cost in China.

It would be more secure to only put the basic firmware on the instrument and allow the user to download additional apps to improve the functionality of the software. The downloads can be encrypted with the unique key hidden away in a flash IC somewhere and the user only gets the software they have purchased the licence for.

Software allows anyone (including myself) to have a scalable hardware system that can meet the needs of many. The lowest cost offering is enough to cover the cost of the hardware and the development of the basic software. The extra capacity or the capability of the hardware is totally free to use how you see fit - BUT using the software that you illegally circumvented a security scheme  for is not yours to use. If you write your own code - it's yours. If you spend 30 minutes circumventing a key system so that you can have the benefit of the 100's or 1000's of hours of paid efforts of others is not right.
That's total nonsense. I paid for the all the hardware, therefore the software should enable me to be able to use all of it. It costs the developer no extra time to give me the full bandwidth, that was already in the 'scope in the first place. Fair enough, writing a routine to decode I2C does ensure an additional software development costs but the extra bandwidth does not. In fact it's more likely the developer has spent additional time crippling the hardware in the first place!

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Since I sell a product that the food on my table comes from, I want it to remain viable. I have built in various options that add features and performance for a cost. It allows me to capture the customers looking for a lower cost of entry and also be interesting to the higher-end with only a single manufacturing configuration - everyone wins. If a base model needs to be upgraded, there is no downtime. The customer pays for the option, I send a key and they have the feature they wanted. It would be such a disappointment if someone started hacking my product and posting the hack on the internet claiming that it is totally fair because they own the hardware. The option software took me months to work out.
I don't mind paying for additional software options but if you start charging me to use extra memory, bandwidth, speed, etc. which I already have, then you can get lost.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: rx8pilot on March 21, 2016, 10:08:24 pm
You are exactly the wrong customer for us I guess.

We could, as an alternative, offer 4 or 5 different hardware variants each with it's own fixed features and pricing. When you buy it you are stuck with it forever. If you want another small feature, you have to buy a whole new system for a few $k or so. Your original unit will still work of course, but now you have 99% feature overlap that you do not need. The cost of which one would be higher since we now have to manage 4-5 different designs instead of one. Or, I could simply sell the bare hardware and a good luck charm necklace. Good luck figuring out the software entirely on your own.

I will continue down my road. Being thankful that you are in the minority enough that it is not a real business problem - yet.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 21, 2016, 10:50:23 pm
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loaded into its flash memory, which can easily be hacked at low cost in China.
Hmm. I'm not too sure on that. Yeah, I guess it's different when scopes runs on Unix and the code is on separate EEPROMS.

The other thing that I just thought about is the cost of manufacturing. Say you have 3 different upgrades/options. If you load a different firmware/software for each model you have potentially eight different assembly lines and inventory of parts. Or at least you have to switch over your assembly line(s) to make different models and still have to stock 8 different variants. (I believe in most large scale manufacturing the IC's are flashed before the boards are even assembled; not done through ICSP.... that's how I do it, anyway, lol).

Using the same firmware for each model gives you one assembly line and stock of inventory and 8 different labels/housings. In the final step of QA, the device is set to w/e is needed by a tech who doesn't need to have access to the naked firmware.

In a competitive market, increasing profit for the manufacturer is the same thing as reducing cost for the consumer. Is good for all.

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I paid for the all the hardware
I don't know how many times this has been written by other people. This is complete and utter nonsense. When you buy a DSO you are not paying for the hardware! If you want hardware, you can go to mouser and buy the high speed ADCs and BNC connectors and processor and LCD... and you will have nothing.

BTW, as I understand it, a scope that is say 70MHz that can be hacked to 200MHz is not like the manufacturer is locking out the functionality beyond 70MHz. It's just the signal becomes attenuated (more than the minimum 3dB spec or w/e) past 70MHz. It will still work at 71MHz, and even up to 200MHz. I am not familiar with scope design, but perhaps it is possible that in this specific case, the scope is using software to boost/correct the signal to actually get beyond 70MHz?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: hamster_nz on March 21, 2016, 11:02:23 pm
Saleae Logic is a good case in point - AFAIK, the hardware is a Cypress FX2 chip with a PID:VID.

$15 for a 'compatible' clone or $109 for the original (in a far nicer case).

Both work just as well, but only one actually supports the team that write the "free to download" software.

I shamefully admit that I have a $15 compatible from a friend that I use quite a bit, but have a real one on my Christmas/Birthday wishlist.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 21, 2016, 11:03:58 pm
I bought the real Logic, first. I ordered a clone when I heard about them on the forum, just to play with.... was thinking of doing some hardware hacking on it add some features.

But I think customs maybe destroyed it, lol. It never arrived. This clone had the gall to actually put "Seleae" on the label.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 21, 2016, 11:14:09 pm
The other thing that I just thought about is the cost of manufacturing. Say you have 3 different upgrades/options. If you load a different firmware/software for each model you have potentially eight different assembly lines and inventory of parts. Or at least you have to switch over your assembly line(s) to make different models and still have to stock 8 different variants. (I believe in most large scale manufacturing the IC's are flashed before the boards are even assembled; not done through ICSP.... that's how I do it, anyway, lol).

Using the same firmware for each model gives you one assembly line and stock of inventory and 8 different labels/housings. In the final step of QA, the device is set to w/e is needed by a tech who doesn't need to have access to the naked firmware.
No, forget the 8 firmware options. Just ship them all with exactly the same basic firmware and even the same labels/housings. No crippling the hardware. Additional software can be supplied on a cheap USB stick which the user can install on purchase.


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I paid for the all the hardware
I don't know how many times this has been written by other people. This is complete and utter nonsense. When you buy a DSO you are not paying for the hardware! If you want hardware, you can go to mouser and buy the high speed ADCs and BNC connectors and processor and LCD... and you will have nothing.
No, it's not nonsense. When I buy a 'scope I do own the hardware. Not only have I paid for all of the parts but I've paid for them to be assembled on to a PCB and packaged in a box, including a good fair share of it towards non-recurring engineering costs, which I accept is probably the lion share of the cost. When I buy a 'scope with 24MB, I've paid for every single MB of that memory, including all of the design costs of getting it to work, irrespective of whether only half of the memory is enabled or not. Demanding a ransom to unlock half of the memory is a clearly a con.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 21, 2016, 11:22:10 pm
Ok. You win. :wtf:
You own the hardware. You can write your own software to run it.
And we can all buy only top end oscilloscopes, even when we don't need them.

Anyhow, I was responding to the post that said the manufacturers are lazy for not making a different firmware for each model... so your idea of just having one model is a little different and just revolving that initial argument.

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BTW, as I understand it, a scope that is say 70MHz that can be hacked to 200MHz is not like the manufacturer is locking out the functionality beyond 70MHz. It's just the signal becomes attenuated (more than the minimum 3dB spec or w/e) past 70MHz. It will still work at 71MHz, and even up to 200MHz. I am not familiar with scope design, but perhaps it is possible that in this specific case, the scope is using software to boost/correct the signal to actually get beyond 70MHz?
Any thoughts on this? It's not like when you turn your function generator to 71MHz, the screen says "please see your local dealer for an upgrade."
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 21, 2016, 11:32:04 pm
Ok. You win. :wtf:
You own the hardware. You can write your own software to run it.
That's not my point. I accept that the firmware costs money to write and am happy to fund it. My only demand is that the software doesn't deliberately cripple the hardware I've purchased and I don't have to pay a ransom to use it.

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BTW, as I understand it, a scope that is say 70MHz that can be hacked to 200MHz is not like the manufacturer is locking out the functionality beyond 70MHz. It's just the signal becomes attenuated (more than the minimum 3dB spec or w/e) past 70MHz. It will still work at 71MHz, and even up to 200MHz. I am not familiar with scope design, but perhaps it is possible that in this specific case, the scope is using software to boost/correct the signal to actually get beyond 70MHz?
Any thoughts on this? It's not like when you turn your function generator to 71MHz, the screen says "please see your local dealer for an upgrade."
I haven't done any tests to confirm this. I bought my Rigol 1054z knowing it's really a 100MHz 'scope with 24MB or memory, not 12MB. Had it not being so trivial to unlock those things I've paid for, I wouldn't have bought it.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 21, 2016, 11:39:55 pm
Perfectly fine, except when you says things like this:
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unlock those things I've paid for

So can you just buy another handful of EEPROMS and boost your memory to 48MB? It's that easy, right?  :-DD It doesn't take any design work to get that much information on an EEPROM that fast? No possibility that there is some software trickery through data compression, etc? That maybe took some work? That maybe cost someone some money?

They probably just downloaded 99% of their firmware from the Arduino library, right? :)

I can buy a 128 GB thumb drive for $40.00.. I'm sure I can boost my scope, no problem.

Beside, offering increased memory has been a staple "scam" of our economy for decades. Whether it's physical or just a code unlock... meh. I don't care. This shit is what makes the economy go round. It's how we get to keep borrowing money from China. It's how we continue to live the American dream. It's fully necessary. Without this kind of thing, we have the Great Depression all over again. Give people something to buy... Make them want it... and we all have roofs and AC and food. Without the want, without the dangling carrot, without the push to spend... half of us are out of jobs and this carousel doesn't work anymore. :)

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I haven't done any tests to confirm this.
So you don't even know what your bandwidth hack actually did, other than giving you a warm fuzzy feeling of accomplishment? :)

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 21, 2016, 11:57:03 pm
That's total nonsense. I paid for the all the hardware, therefore the software should enable me to be able to use all of it.

By that reasoning, and I use the term loosely, once you have bought the PC hardware all software on it should be free. Or maybe you think it is immoral for Microsoft to charge more for Win*Pro than Win*Home?

A more accurate statement would be that you bought the hardware and you bought low-end software. If you want high end software, you have to pay extra to get it.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: rx8pilot on March 22, 2016, 12:12:10 am
HAAS does this kind of thing on CNC milling machines.

There response is that you did not buy the inactive hardware, but they were kind enough to put their property in the machine in the event you choose to pay for it in the future. When you pay the option price, you now own the hardware too. Legally, I doubt that has even a pinch of good standing, but it illustrates the concept reasonably well.

They charge $1000 for an ethernet port and people pay for it. Why? Because they can't get it any other way and their are still many people that are willing to work with RS-232 or USB sticks. The only thing you get for the $1k is the pigtailed RJ-45 on a custom sheet metal plate along with a software key. Done.

If you don't like it, you can buy a Mori, Okuma, etc that cost 3x the price (extra $200k) and have ethernet included. You could hack it and risk bricking your $100k machines while voiding the warranty.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Someone on March 22, 2016, 12:25:33 am
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1. In today's environment, the practice of 'unlocking' features is quite simply an effective way to ship a product with stable, properly configured FW/SW.
2. It is clear extra features were designed to made available after obtaining the appropriate licence/key through certain channels - eg purchase.  Market segmentation is not evil - it is pragmatic and it is transparent.
3. Accessing these features outside the spirit of the licensing schema is wrong.  Call it what you want - theft, stealing, or whatever.  The bleating about the exact words used is simply SEMANTICS.  Get over it.
4. Saying that a programmer has already been paid for the software on a device is simply short-sighted and a vain attempt to justify wrong actions.  There's a lot of attempting to justify wrong actions.
5. If you want to rewrite the FW/SW yourself to do all sorts of cool stuff, then you aren't benefiting from someone else's work - so, go for it.
I hate to repeat myself, but I don't see anyone else commenting on this.

6. Security of the firmware.

Having been asked to make unlockable features in firmware for a client, I have thought on it and given the following "secure" options, of which they all include flashing the entire firmware onto the chip.
1. Have a simple code to unlock. Just email the code. But once the cat is out of the bag, everyone will have it.
2. Have a mathematic algorhythm query/response for an unlock. Same deal, but at least it might hold up longer.
3. Have a unique random chip ID for each device. Adds expense, and you have to track each product serial number and this must be looked up for each customer requesting an upgrade.

AFAIC, sending customers firmware as an upgrade is not secure. Once the firmware is decrypted or the bootloader is cracked, it's game over. Rather than an unlock code being public, now your entire firmware is available to any cloner in china who can reverse engineer your hardware and use your own (very slightly modified, so now it's not a copy) firmware to make a clone product with only a minimal time and effort... completely bypassing the R&D that you put into your product.

So all this "they put the entire software on the device, because they're lazy and it deserves to be hacked" is nonsense. The software/firmware is the majority of the dev cost on these new DSO's and a very valuable part of the IP, and sending it out to thousands of people, encrypted or not, would be lunacy. Code-protection on the chip is still one of the most secure ways to protect this IP; hence, delivering the product with the full firmware burned on it is very practical from a security standpoint. Forget morality and laziness... this is common sense. Sending a firmware for an upgrade produces all of the same problems as an unlock code, but now you're adding vulnerability of your actual firmware.
And providing the entire firmware/software with all the options inside it is somehow more secure? Copyright very explicitly protects the distribution of the software without the right holders permission, the grey area is these "licenses" that are growing to cover more and more software, they don't have a strong track record in courts but keep getting pushed as legitimate ways to protect the copyright owner when they aren't as strong as the alternatives.

You've chosen one model, and others will choose other models. If I buy software from a seller second hand, I'll use it, the shrink-wrap license should not apply to me. It gets more entertaining when you do these transactions cross border.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 22, 2016, 01:01:43 am
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And providing the entire firmware/software with all the options inside it is somehow more secure?

Yes. In my case. (I'm sure there are differences in a modern DSO running unix, though, and sometimes the manufacturer has to issue firmware patches updates etc, anyway... but....) The security of the "upgrade/unlock" is secondary in this case. I'm talking about the ability to clone the entire device. Not to unlock devices I purchase from the manufacturer to get an extra feature. Handing out firmware with an installer is one step closer to posting your source code online. And it doesn't solve any problem.

What's to stop you from buying the upgrade, getting this new firmware, then sharing it? Code locks/registration keys, of course. So why not just use the code lock by itself? As I have shown there are a lot of practical reasons, not just security, why doing separate firmwares is costly. Single firmware is not lazy, it's practical.

To touch base with the OP, I bet most of the hackers are just hobbyists. And most of them probably do it just because other people are doing it. And because higher numbers are better. And just in case they need it in the future. Etc.

As for 24MB vs 12MB.... that is going to make what difference, exactly, in practice? A factor of 10 or 100, yeah, I can imagine some things that tool could do which the lower version could not. A factor of 2?... same thing except for the 1 in 1000 borderline cases where it matters. 12MB is going to be WAY more than enough in most cases. And in most cases where it is not, 24MB is still going to be WAYYY too small.  In 999 out of 1000 cases it does matter... as a selling point. Because bigger numbers are better, and we all want what's better. And that's why it was offered that way in the first place.   :-DD Seriously ironic. That someone would take issue that he's not getting what he "paid for." In a case where the issue at stake is just fluff for the guy that has to have bigger and better (and is willing to pay for it.)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Someone on March 22, 2016, 02:28:48 am
Quote
And providing the entire firmware/software with all the options inside it is somehow more secure?

Yes. In my case. (I'm sure there are differences in a modern DSO running unix, though, and sometimes the manufacturer has to issue firmware patches updates etc, anyway... but....) The security of the "upgrade/unlock" is secondary in this case. I'm talking about the ability to clone the entire device. Not to unlock devices I purchase from the manufacturer to get an extra feature. Handing out firmware with an installer is one step closer to posting your source code online. And it doesn't solve any problem.

What's to stop you from buying the upgrade, getting this new firmware, then sharing it? Code locks/registration keys, of course. So why not just use the code lock by itself? As I have shown there are a lot of practical reasons, not just security, why doing separate firmwares is costly. Single firmware is not lazy, it's practical.
I've made it very clear, sharing the code is a copyright infringement, while breaking a license is a contractual issue. Different legal protections, one of which is harmonised worldwide while one is not and requires localisation (and may not be possible in some jurisdictions).

Handing over the entire codebase in a product, with an update, etc, is relying on the contract to keep it from being used. Less protection than copyright, and you can combine both with copyright and licensing for more protection if you do not distribute the entire package to all customers. Handing out the entire software/firmware is cheaper/easier/convenient but offers less legal protection. How can you say it offers more protection?

If you want to discuss cloning and counterfeit products, this really isn't the discussion to derail.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 22, 2016, 02:33:52 am
I didn't know that was a derailment. It seemed pertinent, at the time. I guess legal protection is all that matters. Proprietary IP and trade secrets, who cares?  :-//

We all know you can patent code. Oh wait, you can't. So you should just rely on copyright and law to protect your code. Yep. Surely there is no novel code that was written in the pushing of the speed and resolution and refresh rate and fidelity envelope. Nope. Nothing new in recreating phospur brightness and dwell time. That was probably perfected years ago by some dude on an Arduino.  ;D And they can't steal our version/agorythms, because it's copyrighted. ALL they could do is to take this work and improve it to make it better! And who'd want to do that?! (Considering the belief that these companies have license to print money for nothing, I think we ALL would! But I'd be more worried about competing companies. :))

OK, I'm going to get back on my medication. Sorry for the interruption.  >:D :-[
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: vk6zgo on March 22, 2016, 02:46:45 am
Even though it is seldom done,you can make the same argument for "hardware hacks".

Many years ago,(1988),I was heavily involved in a project to convert a TV Transmitting site,designed for full-time attended operation into one which would  normally operate in an,automatic,unattended mode.

This entailed getting access to the relay/contactor control system of the 1959 vintage Marconi Transmitters,setting up a Programmable Logic Controller to switch these controls in the required sequence,plus add emergency shutdowns in case of failure.

Another necessity,was to provide automatic program source changeover in case of the loss of the active Studio to Transmitter Link.
The installed  (1974 vintage) Marconi video switcher didn't have the ability to also switch audio,so we "reverse-engineered" it to add that facility.
Upon the receipt of the correct relay closure from the PLC,it would switch the Transmitter's video & audio from one source to another as required.

There were many other things that had to be done,but  I can ask the question re the two above ones.

(1)Was there an "implied" facility of automatic operation in the Transmitters,simply from the sequence of control operations used?

(2)Were we "stealing" functionality from the video switcher manufacturer,knowing that they did produce a combined unit?

(1)In this,case,it is unlikely such an argument would hold water,as we designed our controller to duplicate the operations which a Human would perform.
In any case,if we had replaced the Transmitters with new ones it would have almost certainly been from another source,so no loss to Marconi

(2)Maybe,but again there was no loss of sale to Marconi,as replacements would probably have been "Grass Valley' not Marconi.

Of course,Management would have laughed in my face if I had suggested spending several million dollars to assuage my conscience!


Another,"sort of" related thing--

Some years back,I bought an "e-Machines" W7 desktop computer,for $A400--quite a good deal.
It turned out the rotten thing would "crash' at any pretext.

"OK,let's look at the Microsoft pages to find out how to fix this."

Alas,none of the fixes worked,as the computer was shipped with a "dumbed down" version of Windows 7,with some of the more useful functions replaced with proprietary "e-Machines" crap.

Eventually,I could stand it no more,so I bought a proper Windows 7 disc,& did a "clean install".
The thing has run like a dream,ever since!
Of course.it has now cost me $600!

Maybe I should have lived with the dumbed down version,as that is how I bought it!

 



Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tautech on March 22, 2016, 08:44:17 am
Quote
1. In today's environment, the practice of 'unlocking' features is quite simply an effective way to ship a product with stable, properly configured FW/SW.
2. It is clear extra features were designed to made available after obtaining the appropriate licence/key through certain channels - eg purchase.  Market segmentation is not evil - it is pragmatic and it is transparent.
3. Accessing these features outside the spirit of the licensing schema is wrong.  Call it what you want - theft, stealing, or whatever.  The bleating about the exact words used is simply SEMANTICS.  Get over it.
4. Saying that a programmer has already been paid for the software on a device is simply short-sighted and a vain attempt to justify wrong actions.  There's a lot of attempting to justify wrong actions.
5. If you want to rewrite the FW/SW yourself to do all sorts of cool stuff, then you aren't benefiting from someone else's work - so, go for it.
I hate to repeat myself, but I don't see anyone else commenting on this.

6. Security of the firmware.

Having been asked to make unlockable features in firmware for a client, I have thought on it and given the following "secure" options, of which they all include flashing the entire firmware onto the chip.
1. Have a simple code to unlock. Just email the code. But once the cat is out of the bag, everyone will have it.
2. Have a mathematic algorhythm query/response for an unlock. Same deal, but at least it might hold up longer.
3. Have a unique random chip ID for each device. Adds expense, and you have to track each product serial number and this must be looked up for each customer requesting an upgrade.


That's pretty much the Siglent model for their IP protection and thus far it's been robust.

Enabling options and factory set BW's use SN #'s and unique unit ID hexadecimal codes for generation of activation codes and to date AFAIK this method has not been cracked.

However leaving Telnet access open on their SDG2000X series AWG's must have been an oversight.  :palm:
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 22, 2016, 08:59:47 am
Perfectly fine, except when you says things like this:
Quote
unlock those things I've paid for

So can you just buy another handful of EEPROMS and boost your memory to 48MB? It's that easy, right?  :-DD It doesn't take any design work to get that much information on an EEPROM that fast? No possibility that there is some software trickery through data compression, etc? That maybe took some work? That maybe cost someone some money?

Of course it costs money. I've already paid for the RAM and development costs of writing the software to transfer the data to it quickly. Whether it's unlocked or not I've still paid good money for it.

Quote
Beside, offering increased memory has been a staple "scam" of our economy for decades. Whether it's physical or just a code unlock... meh. I don't care. This shit is what makes the economy go round. It's how we get to keep borrowing money from China. It's how we continue to live the American dream. It's fully necessary. Without this kind of thing, we have the Great Depression all over again. Give people something to buy... Make them want it... and we all have roofs and AC and food. Without the want, without the dangling carrot, without the push to spend... half of us are out of jobs and this carousel doesn't work anymore.
You Americans keep forgetting that not everyone lives in a place with all the BS and get along quite fine. This kind of rubbish is holding the economy back, rather than advancing it.

Quote
We all know you can patent code.
And the result is not people being rewarded for their development costs but patent trolls who make it difficult for everyone else to innovate.

That's total nonsense. I paid for the all the hardware, therefore the software should enable me to be able to use all of it.

By that reasoning, and I use the term loosely, once you have bought the PC hardware all software on it should be free. Or maybe you think it is immoral for Microsoft to charge more for Win*Pro than Win*Home?

A more accurate statement would be that you bought the hardware and you bought low-end software. If you want high end software, you have to pay extra to get it.
That's totally different since, apart from a small amount of firmware, the software is purchased separately. The hardware is fully operational and the means to use it fully documented. You could install another operating system than Windows free of charge if you wish. The practice of bundling Windows has caused Microsoft problems with those who disagree with the EULA and demand to be refunded for the software.
That's pretty much the Siglent model for their IP protection and thus far it's been robust.

Enabling options and factory set BW's use SN #'s and unique unit ID hexadecimal codes for generation of activation codes and to date AFAIK this method has not been cracked.

However leaving Telnet access open on their SDG2000X series AWG's must have been an oversight.  :palm:
And as a result, they've lost numerous customers to Rigol.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Warhawk on March 22, 2016, 09:22:01 am
What does whether or not you think I'm an idiot who can't make use of the features have to do with whether using something I bought is theft?

Bloody hell there are some stupid, stupid people on this forum.

Some of them don't even understand that manufacturing a device with the same binary file is milion times cheaper and faster than having customer-specific binaries for every single customer....
You're buying a scope, not a car. Deal with it.  8)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 22, 2016, 09:31:07 am
Start addressing, not avoiding, the point being made.

Stop making false statements. Start making arguments based on correct facts and coherent reasoning.

That's total nonsense. I paid for the all the hardware, therefore the software should enable me to be able to use all of it.

By that reasoning, and I use the term loosely, once you have bought the PC hardware all software on it should be free. Or maybe you think it is immoral for Microsoft to charge more for Win*Pro than Win*Home?

A more accurate statement would be that you bought the hardware and you bought low-end software. If you want high end software, you have to pay extra to get it.
That's totally different since, apart from a small amount of firmware, the software is purchased separately.

False, in most cases. Most people buy a software+hardware bundle.

Quote
The hardware is fully operational and the means to use it fully documented. You could install another operating system than Windows free of charge if you wish.

False in many cases: see UEFI.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: XynxNet on March 22, 2016, 09:36:15 am
For me morally it comes down to:
Do you believe the manufacturers claimed cost for the upgrade?
In some cases, like the resolution crippled thermo cams, I really doubt that.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Warhawk on March 22, 2016, 09:36:44 am
Selling someone a piece of hardware but only allowing them to use half of the memory/bandwidth is stealing.

Hacking the firmware is not stealing. It may be considered to be copyright violation but it isn't stealing because the person who wrote the software still has the code. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO STEAL SOFTWARE!

I am wondering what kind of coffee you're drinking ? ;)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tautech on March 22, 2016, 09:38:12 am
That's pretty much the Siglent model for their IP protection and thus far it's been robust.

Enabling options and factory set BW's use SN #'s and unique unit ID hexadecimal codes for generation of activation codes and to date AFAIK this method has not been cracked.

However leaving Telnet access open on their SDG2000X series AWG's must have been an oversight.  :palm:
And as a result, they've lost numerous customers to Rigol.
It might appear that way on this forum, but I don't have the sales stats to confirm or deny, do you?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 22, 2016, 10:55:01 am
For me morally it comes down to:
Do you believe the manufacturers claimed cost for the upgrade?

If you want to pursue your argument further, start by stating what you mean by "cost". Cost including the very significant amortised NRE costs? Marginal production cost? Including/excluding sales and support costs? Most engineers haven't got a clue as to the order of magnitude of those costs.

Even apart from that: no, it shouldn't. Vendors can choose any price they want when selling you something. You can choose to pay that price or not. If too few people pay the manufacturer will either reduce the price or stop selling it.

The only exception is, and should be, where the state controls prices to prevent dangerous profiteering - but obviously that's irreelvant in this case.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on March 22, 2016, 11:05:54 am
Selling someone a piece of hardware but only allowing them to use half of the memory/bandwidth is stealing.

How can denying access to something that they never had be stealing?  How can selling someone exactly what was on the spec. sheet for the stated price a problem?

Jumping into a straw man argument, methinks.


Quote
Hacking the firmware is not stealing. It may be considered to be copyright violation but it isn't stealing because the person who wrote the software still has the code. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO STEAL SOFTWARE!
Semantics.  The action is still wrong.


So - the next time you take a flight somewhere, you buy your economy ticket and when you get on the plane decide you want to occupy a business class seat - or maybe first class ... and your argument is 'I bought a seat on this plane - and I want that one!'

No different to advanced software features.

You didn't pay for the feature, so you aren't entitled to make use of it.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Mechatrommer on March 22, 2016, 12:16:24 pm
Quote
The hardware is fully operational and the means to use it fully documented. You could install another operating system than Windows free of charge if you wish.
False in many cases: see UEFI.
well this is new? i'll sure avoid those kind of hardware that wont let me install any OS version that i like. unless i can quite happily live with the bundled OS.

anybody agree to this can buy the hardware and agree to the limitation outlined, even though the hardware is capable of running more than that (other OSes). this is just a matter of agreeing to the term or not, simple. you agree, you buy, dont mourn. you dont agree, you dont buy. you agree, you buy, and then you hack. you are violating the term thats it, the seller has the right to sue you, and they can take any necessary action to avoid further hack. if they lose sale because of that, its their problem. our problem is violating the term. most problem when people buy and mourn, is when the buyer failed to read the T&C, or the seller tend to keep the T&C hidden or didnt warn the buyer, in this later case i prefer to call them cheating.

Selling someone a piece of hardware but only allowing them to use half of the memory/bandwidth is stealing.
no. the manufacturer/seller specifically told you, you only can use some of it with the price you pay. if you want all of it, you have to pay for the "license key". so "in agreeing" with that "agreement", you give your money to the seller. there is no who stealing who, both party agreed to the terms. and then the hacking, the "copyright violation", this is a clear, "who's right who's wrong".

this is not 18th century anymore where we can only think about "hardware" to be judged as stealing. "software" can be duplicated, the original is kept with the MAKER, correct, but... any duplicate you possess without permission or in violation with the T&C, is just as equally wrong as "stealing a tangible matter", imho. but depending on how the manufacturer sees this as risking their business or well-beingness. if someone steal your old shoe that you dont use anymore, you see this as not so serious stealing and we tend to apologize the theft, but not so if the stolen item is priced so much that really meant something to us. so the seriousness is also depending how it will affect the manufacturer/seller side. ymmv.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 22, 2016, 12:21:38 pm
Selling someone a piece of hardware but only allowing them to use half of the memory/bandwidth is stealing.

They should be paying you to take away this useless piece of equipment, right? :palm:

Quote
So - the next time you take a flight somewhere, you buy your economy ticket and when you get on the plane decide you want to occupy a business class seat - or maybe first class ... and your argument is 'I bought a seat on this plane - and I want that one!'

Exactly.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 22, 2016, 12:55:05 pm
False, in most cases. Most people buy a software+hardware bundle.
Which could be in violation of many consumer laws. Google Windows refund.

Quote
False in many cases: see UEFI.
Thanks for making me aware of this, so I can avoid it.

Selling someone a piece of hardware but only allowing them to use half of the memory/bandwidth is stealing.

How can denying access to something that they never had be stealing?  How can selling someone exactly what was on the spec. sheet for the stated price a problem?

You're right. Selling someone some hardware with half of it disabled, is not stealing but it's still wrong, just as using unlicensed  software is. Still I suppose two wrongs, don't make a right.

So - the next time you take a flight somewhere, you buy your economy ticket and when you get on the plane decide you want to occupy a business class seat - or maybe first class ... and your argument is 'I bought a seat on this plane - and I want that one!'

No different to advanced software features.

You didn't pay for the feature, so you aren't entitled to make use of it.
Another silly and completely invalid analogy.

By taking the business class seat, you're occupying a space, which could go to a passenger who would pay for it. That seat is no longer available to someone else, who may pay for the upgrade. Even that seat is free anyway, it still needs to be cleaned and there will be consumables used such as food and drink. The extra cost to the airline is real.

This is not the case with using software without the license or firmware hacking. There could be a 1000s of extra unlicensed users of the product, who'll never ever pay to use it. Those 1000s of extra unlicensed users incur no extra cost to the developer. If anything those extra users could be: finding bugs, providing free technical support, by helping people on bulletin boards on the Internet and increasing awareness of the software, so will benefit the developer anyway, even if they've not paid them any money.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 22, 2016, 01:02:14 pm
Selling someone some hardware with half of it disabled, is not stealing but it's still wrong

You'd rather they build a special model with the exact feature set and sell it to you for more money?

If they do that you won't feel 'wronged' when they sell it to you?

 :palm:

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Kilrah on March 22, 2016, 03:00:17 pm
So all this "they put the entire software on the device, because they're lazy and it deserves to be hacked" is nonsense. The software/firmware is the majority of the dev cost on these new DSO's and a very valuable part of the IP, and sending it out to thousands of people, encrypted or not, would be lunacy.
Then don't. Require service center upgrades.

That is hard to agree with. PC hardware is completely useless without software. It needs the software to accomplish anything useful. If you buy bare PC hardware, you can design and code your own operating system to make it do whatever you want, however you want. If, however, you want an operating system that is already done and ready to go, you may have to pay for that (Windows for example).

By that reasoning, and I use the term loosely, once you have bought the PC hardware all software on it should be free. Or maybe you think it is immoral for Microsoft to charge more for Win*Pro than Win*Home?

Not at all. But I have never seen any PC supplied with software that would limit you to using half the RAM you have installed. That's the entire difference. 100% of the hardware you bought is available to whatever software you want to run on it, and the supplied software platform is there to enable it, not restrict it. Again there is a big distinction between software functionality like protocol decoding, and limiting your access to the hardware you are in possession of to be able to provide unlocks later.

Sensible options are OK, but many of those currently offered by manufacturers aren't. Choose the right ones and you won't have issues.

We could, as an alternative, offer 4 or 5 different hardware variants each with it's own fixed features and pricing. When you buy it you are stuck with it forever.
Again, require service center upgrades. Customers have an upgrade path and you're covered against hacks.
Whoever chooses to distribute all the capability exposes themselves to it being accessed without authorization regardless of how right or wrong it is.

As for 24MB vs 12MB.... that is going to make what difference, exactly, in practice?
So you're confirming that the $200 memory upgrade for the Rigol scopes is pointless, thanks for agreeing! I that case it wouldn't hurt them to make it available by default.

You Americans keep forgetting that not everyone lives in a place with all the BS and get along quite fine. This kind of rubbish is holding the economy back, rather than advancing it.
And the result is not people being rewarded for their development costs but patent trolls who make it difficult for everyone else to innovate.
+1.

False in many cases: see UEFI.
UEFI allows you to install whatever you want. If you're not careful you may lose the keys that auto-activate the bundled software which could cause a loss if you wanted to put it back on later,  but you can back them up. No problem.

It allows me to capture the customers looking for a lower cost of entry and also be interesting to the higher-end with only a single manufacturing configuration - everyone wins.
No, everyone (from your customers) loses. By making feature X a $100 option that 10% of people will buy those who do will be ripped off, and those who don't won't have access to a tool that if it had been included by default for $10 extra could have worthy for them.

Another silly and completely invalid analogy.

By taking the business class seat, you're occupying a space, which could go to a passenger who would pay for it. That seat is no longer available to someone else, who may pay for the upgrade. Even that seat is free anyway, it still needs to be cleaned and there will be consumables used such as food and drink. The extra cost to the airline is real.

This is not the case with using software without the license or firmware hacking. There could be a 1000s of extra unlicensed users of the product, who'll never ever pay to use it. Those 1000s of extra unlicensed users incur no extra cost to the developer. If anything those extra users could be: finding bugs, providing free technical support, by helping people on bulletin boards on the Internet and increasing awareness of the software, so will benefit the developer anyway, even if they've not paid them any money.
+1.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 22, 2016, 03:17:26 pm
Another silly and completely invalid analogy.

By taking the business class seat, you're occupying a space, which could go to a passenger who would pay for it. That seat is no longer available to someone else, who may pay for the upgrade. Even that seat is free anyway, it still needs to be cleaned and there will be consumables used such as food and drink. The extra cost to the airline is real.

Nitpicking the details to make the analogy invalid? Really?  :palm:

What if they didn't include any of the first class perks? What if you only asked to sit there because it's a better chair? It doesn't cost them anything extra. Should they let you?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 22, 2016, 03:21:42 pm
I have never seen any PC supplied with software that would limit you to using half the RAM you have installed.

Just because they haven't done it with RAM yet doesn't mean it would be wrong to do so.

What about CPUs? I bet you've owned a CPU that could easily go faster if they took off the limiter. That happens all the time.

The majority of CPUs out there are artificially limited. How do you feel about that? Should we be starting a class action lawsuit because we're all being "wronged"? Let's see if you can find a lawyer who'll take on that cause for you.



Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 22, 2016, 03:25:31 pm
By that reasoning, and I use the term loosely, once you have bought the PC hardware all software on it should be free. Or maybe you think it is immoral for Microsoft to charge more for Win*Pro than Win*Home?

Not at all. But I have never seen any PC supplied with software that would limit you to using half the RAM you have installed. That's the entire difference. 100% of the hardware you bought is available to whatever software you want to run on it, and the supplied software platform is there to enable it, not restrict it. Again there is a big distinction between software functionality like protocol decoding, and limiting your access to the hardware you are in possession of to be able to provide unlocks later.

Wrong again. Microsoft limited my WinXP Home to only use half my hardware: one processor core out of two.

Quote
Sensible options are OK, but many of those currently offered by manufacturers aren't. Choose the right ones and you won't have issues.

And I suppose you think you are the authority on what it sensible or not? Twit. The manufacturer is free to choose and you are free to use them or to go elsewhere.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Kilrah on March 22, 2016, 03:45:57 pm
Just because they haven't done it with RAM yet doesn't mean it would be wrong to do so.
They of course could do it, but there likely would be a massive uproar. It's much smaller with scopes from the few-but-yet-half of those voicing their opinion on this thread and so far scope manufacturers have been able to get away with it, but it's the same thing.

What about CPUs? I bet you've owned a CPU that could easily go faster if they took off the limiter. That happens all the time.
Can't find an analogy that is more wrong - It isn't illegal to overclock my CPU, and once it's in my hands I can very well and totally legally get the performance of a part that would have cost double (and incidentally I do, but I tend to rather get the expensive part and push it to the level of one that doesn't exist). If you want to put that as an analogy then we can turn it over and all software limitations can be legally broken without issue.

Wrong again. Microsoft limited my WinXP Home to only use half my hardware: one processor core out of two.
Unless you have a machine with 2 sockets you're not limited at all. And I wouldn't believe any machine with 2 sockets would ever have been sold with XP Home. Or if it had then a compaint with the seller (or a switch to another one as he'd be highly stupid) would have been in order.


And I suppose you think you are the authority on what it sensible or not?
Myself? No. But just see the others who have the same view, then extrapolate. I'm certainly not alone.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Helix70 on March 22, 2016, 03:57:52 pm
Comparing to the PC is ridiculous, it is a low margin product, unlike high end test gear. The facts are simple, if you use the software/firmware supplied with the unit, and it imposes a licence for certain features, then circumventing those constitutes a breach of the licence agreement, and invalidates your contract with the supplier. You do not have the right to enable features that you have not paid for.

All of this "it is my hardware" rubbish is exactly that. By all means write your own software for your oscilloscope, and liberate the hardware, but if you use the supplied software/firmware, you do not own the right to use it in a way that you have not licenced.

My pay TV set top box has the ability to stream movies on demand. Unless I pay for the movie, it will be disabled. The hardware is all there, but it s of no use unless I pay for the pay per view. When I am done, they turn it off again. If you want segmented memory, you pay for it, and they will enable it. Sure, the memory is in there, but you haven't payed for the licence to use it with the software.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 22, 2016, 03:58:38 pm
Just because they haven't done it with RAM yet doesn't mean it would be wrong to do so.
They of course could do it, but there likely would be a massive uproar. It's much smaller with scopes from the few-but-yet-half of those voicing their opinion on this thread and so far scope manufacturers have been able to get away with it, but it's the same thing.

What about CPUs? I bet you've owned a CPU that could easily go faster if they took off the limiter. That happens all the time.
Can't find an analogy that is more wrong - It isn't illegal to overclock my CPU, and once it's in my hands I can very well and totally legally get the performance of a part that would have cost double (and incidentally I do, but I tend to rather get the expensive part and push it to the level of one that doesn't exist). If you want to put that as an analogy then we can turn it over and all software limitations can be legally broken without issue.

Wrong again. Microsoft limited my WinXP Home to only use half my hardware: one processor core out of two.
Unless you have a machine with 2 sockets you're not limited at all. And I wouldn't believe any machine with 2 sockets would ever have been sold with XP Home. Or if it had then a compaint with the seller (or a switch to another one as he'd be highly stupid) would have been in order.

The point is that you are wrong: MS did limit me to only using half my hardware. Your beliefs and argument is fallacious.

(Not that it is relevant to the point and your avoidance of the point, but at that time there were only opteron systems with two sockets. What do you suggest in that case?)

Quote
And I suppose you think you are the authority on what it sensible or not?
Myself? No. But just see the others who have the same view, then extrapolate. I'm certainly not alone.

Ah. The old "proof by numbers of believers" argument. Always was unimpressive, remains unimpressive, and clearly indicates that you know your chain of "reasoning" has run out of steam.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Kilrah on March 22, 2016, 04:07:12 pm
Wrong again. Microsoft limited my WinXP Home to only use half my hardware: one processor core out of two.
Both my use of a quad-core PC on XP and Microsoft's documentation are wrong then...  ::)
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_xp-hardware/multi-core-processor-and-multiprocessor-limit-for/abd0a0ce-4ac2-484b-88cb-fbf93beb54e0?auth=1 (http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_xp-hardware/multi-core-processor-and-multiprocessor-limit-for/abd0a0ce-4ac2-484b-88cb-fbf93beb54e0?auth=1)

Most likely you're confused:
Quote
Dual-Core

Microsoft's licensing policy limits the number of processors Windows supports for its Home and Professional versions, as outlined below. It's important to understand, however, that this is on a per-processor basis, not a per-core basis. This means that, under the licensing policy, a dual- or even quad-core processor counts as a single processor---something that confused many people in the early days of dual-core technology.

Or seeing the below, not using proper terminology:
at that time there were only opteron systems with two sockets. What do you suggest in that case?)
What I said, complain to your vendor as they should never have supplied you that machine with a copy of XP Home. Microsoft has nothing to do with that.

Ah. The old "proof by numbers of believers" argument. Always was unimpressive
Well... it's people's actions that make things change, and usually the bigger the number the higher the chances. The old "dismissing them as unimpressive" argument is your last resort at trying to discourage them from starting the revolution  ;D
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 22, 2016, 04:16:22 pm
Most likely you're confused:
Quote
Dual-Core

Microsoft's licensing policy limits the number of processors Windows supports for its Home and Professional versions, as outlined below. It's important to understand, however, that this is on a per-processor basis, not a per-core basis. This means that, under the licensing policy, a dual- or even quad-core processor counts as a single processor---something that confused many people in the early days of dual-core technology.

More nit-picking to try to avoid the real argument.  :palm:

(Which is: Microsoft DID artificially limit the number of CPUs people were allowed to use via software )

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Kilrah on March 22, 2016, 04:18:30 pm
Buuuut nobody in their right mind would have shipped PC hardware with a version of Windows that limited usage of that hardware, as is with the scopes and is what people complain about. That's where the comparison ends, beyond that the 2 platforms are too different to compare.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 22, 2016, 04:27:38 pm
What about CPUs? I bet you've owned a CPU that could easily go faster if they took off the limiter. That happens all the time.
It isn't illegal to overclock my CPU, and once it's in my hands I

But ... is it wrong to sell an "underclocked" cpu?

The claim being made is that Rigol is doing something bad, eg:

Selling someone some hardware with half of it disabled, is not stealing but it's still wrong

The question I actually asked in my original post (which you neatly trimmed) was:

"The majority of CPUs out there are artificially limited. Should we be starting a class action lawsuit because we're all being "wronged"?"
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Wuerstchenhund on March 22, 2016, 04:53:11 pm
Most likely you're confused:
Quote
Dual-Core

Microsoft's licensing policy limits the number of processors Windows supports for its Home and Professional versions, as outlined below. It's important to understand, however, that this is on a per-processor basis, not a per-core basis. This means that, under the licensing policy, a dual- or even quad-core processor counts as a single processor---something that confused many people in the early days of dual-core technology.

More nit-picking to try to avoid the real argument.  :palm:

(Which is: Microsoft DID artificially limit the number of CPUs people were allowed to use via software )

It's only nitpicking if you don't understand the difference between a CPU core and a physical CPU. Until now MS has licensed operating systems on the number of physical CPUs, not CPU cores:

Windows 95/98/ME only supported one CPU with a single core.

Windows NT 3.x Workstation, Windows NT 4 Workstation1, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista Business/Enterprise/Ultimate, Windows 7 Professional/Enterprise/Ultimate and Windows 8.x Pro all support two physical processors and an unlimited number of cores per CPU.

Windows XP Home, Windows Vista Home, Windows 7 Home and Windows 8.x (non-Pro) support one CPU with an unlimited number of cores.

If I remember right Windows XP MCE supported the same number of CPUs as XP Home.

Windows Server supports from 2 CPUs/unlimited cores to 128 CPUs/unlimited cores depending on version and edition. That will apparently change with Server 2016 where MS has now reverted to 'per core' licensing  :palm:

Don't know Windows 10 (urgh!) but I assume the CPU/core limits are the same as for Windows 8. For a desktop OS it's unlikely to change, though.


1 Windows NT 4 Workstation on a SGI Visual Workstation 540 supports four physical processors
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 22, 2016, 05:08:57 pm
It's only nitpicking if...

No, it's nitpicking, period.

Windows 95/98/ME only supported one CPU with a single core.

Windows NT 3.x Workstation, Windows NT 4 Workstation1, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista Business/Enterprise/Ultimate, Windows 7 Professional/Enterprise/Ultimate and Windows 8.x Pro all support two physical processors and an unlimited number of cores per CPU.

Windows XP Home, Windows Vista Home, Windows 7 Home and Windows 8.x (non-Pro) support one CPU with an unlimited number of cores.

If I remember right Windows XP MCE supported the same number of CPUs as XP Home.

Windows Server supports from 2 CPUs/unlimited cores to 128 CPUs/unlimited cores depending on version and edition. That will apparently change with Server 2016 where MS has now reverted to 'per core' licensing  :palm:

Don't know Windows 10 (urgh!) but I assume the CPU/core limits are the same as for Windows 8. For a desktop OS it's unlikely to change, though.


1 Windows NT 4 Workstation on a SGI Visual Workstation 540 supports four physical processors

ie. It's possible to own a machine where not all the CPUs are used because the Microsoft license doesn't let you, and that yaying more money to Microsoft will magically "unlock" those CPUs (without needing to alter the hardware).
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Kilrah on March 22, 2016, 05:19:42 pm
The question I actually asked in my original post (which you neatly trimmed) was:
"The majority of CPUs out there are artificially limited. Should we be starting a class action lawsuit because we're all being "wronged"?"
I trimmed it because it was obviously irrelevant, we're NOT being "wronged".

The CPU manufacturer sells me a "locked" CPU. I bring it home and can promptly overclock (or "unlock") it for free perfectly legally.
The scope manufacturer sells me a scope with some memory disabled, I bring it home and can NOT unlock that memory for free as that would be illegal.

See the difference? That's why the PC example goes the exact other way you claim it does. If you take the CPU as reference there would be no issue hacking the scope.

It's possible to own a machine where not all the CPUs are used because the Microsoft license doesn't let you, and that yaying more money to Microsoft will magically "unlock" those CPUs (without needing to alter the hardware).
Again irrelevant, because such a machine DOES NOT come bundled with a version of Windows that limits it, while the scope does.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 22, 2016, 05:34:38 pm
If you take the CPU as reference there would be no issue hacking the scope.

OK, there's no written law against overclocking at the moment, does that make it right?

What would you say if a such a law was passed tomorrow? Would you stop overclocking?

What about this?

http://wccftech.com/intel-forcing-ban-nonk-oc-feature-skylake-motherboards-bios-rolling/ (http://wccftech.com/intel-forcing-ban-nonk-oc-feature-skylake-motherboards-bios-rolling/)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Mechatrommer on March 22, 2016, 05:56:31 pm
The scope manufacturer sells me a scope with some memory disabled, I bring it home and can NOT unlock that memory for free as that would be illegal.
if we are talking about rigol actually... where it is written that it is illegal to do so? afaik, from their site... it can be unlocked using the right "key", not the "purchased key", and the key is available in riglol for free... heck where you are going to purchase the key? legally?. afaics, rigol silence to this matter is not hurting them, and i can safely bet this is somewhat legal or condoned by them.

OK, there's no written law against overclocking at the moment, does that make it right?
in the sense if one can do or cannot do? it is right. in the sense of the cpu longevity? it is not.

What would you say if a such a law was passed tomorrow? Would you stop overclocking?
the rationale behind the "man made" law need to be considered. if its involving other's life, then he should. if not then its complicated. (actually i hate to type long text about this).
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 22, 2016, 06:02:53 pm
What would you say if a such a law was passed tomorrow? Would you stop overclocking?
the rationale behind the "man made" law need to be considered. if its involving other's life, then he should. if not then its complicated. (actually i hate to type long text about this).

It's a "yes" or "no" answer.

Is Intel harmed by overclocking? Is Rigol harmed by hacking?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Wuerstchenhund on March 22, 2016, 07:10:22 pm
It's only nitpicking if...

No, it's nitpicking, period.

It is. Seriously, it is.

ie. It's possible to own a machine where not all the CPUs are used because the Microsoft license doesn't let you, and that yaying more money to Microsoft will magically "unlock" those CPUs (without needing to alter the hardware).

Yes, if you buy a dual processor workstation and try to use Windows 9x/ME or one of the Home (XP/Vista/W7) or non/Pro (Win8.x) editions on it, which would be plain stupid.

No, if you buy a standard PC with a single processor (no matter how many cores!) or build one yourself.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 22, 2016, 07:32:46 pm
Yes, if you buy a dual processor workstation and try to use Windows 9x/ME or one of the Home (XP/Vista/W7) or non/Pro (Win8.x) editions on it, which would be plain stupid.

Nobody's asking if it would be sensible or not.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 22, 2016, 08:01:50 pm
Buuuut nobody in their right mind would have shipped PC hardware with a version of Windows that limited usage of that hardware, as is with the scopes and is what people complain about. That's where the comparison ends, beyond that the 2 platforms are too different to compare.

Stop trying to avoid the issue: MS did limit the proportion of my hardware that could be used. You may wriggle and squirm, but MS did it.

As an irrelevant aside, what makes you think a company did ship Windows with the hardware? It was principally a linux box, with Windows on it for occasional use.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 22, 2016, 08:11:54 pm
Buuuut nobody in their right mind would have shipped PC hardware with a version of Windows that limited usage of that hardware, as is with the scopes and is what people complain about. That's where the comparison ends, beyond that the 2 platforms are too different to compare.

Stop trying to avoid the issue: MS did limit the proportion of my hardware that could be used. You may wriggle and squirm, but MS did it.

As an irrelevant aside, what makes you think a company did ship Windows with the hardware? It was principally a linux box, with Windows on it for occasional use.
So what? There are plenty of other operating systems you can use to unlock your hardware's full functionality, which isn't the case with an oscilloscope. Microsoft didn't provide you with the hardware, only the software. If you bought them as a bundle, then it's the stupid seller's fault for providing inadequate software for the hardware. Install a new OS or complain to the seller and get a refund.


Another silly and completely invalid analogy.

By taking the business class seat, you're occupying a space, which could go to a passenger who would pay for it. That seat is no longer available to someone else, who may pay for the upgrade. Even that seat is free anyway, it still needs to be cleaned and there will be consumables used such as food and drink. The extra cost to the airline is real.

Nitpicking the details to make the analogy invalid? Really?  :palm:

What if they didn't include any of the first class perks? What if you only asked to sit there because it's a better chair? It doesn't cost them anything extra. Should they let you?
There was absolutely no nitpicking whatsoever. They are totally different things.

The number of first class seats is physically limited. It is a finite resource. Irrespective of the cost or lack of thereof to the airline.

The number of users of a piece of software has no upper limit. It's just information and can be copied infinitely.

Analogies comparing software to physical space or material items are inherently flawed.

It's a "yes" or "no" answer.

Is Intel harmed by overclocking? Is Rigol harmed by hacking?
The answer is no. Intel benefits from overclocking and Rigol from firmware hacking.

And while we're on the subject of overclocking. Is it right to overclock a part, then sell it on? Rigol has done exactly that!
http://www.eevblog.com/2009/10/12/eevblog-37-rigol-ds1052e-oscilloscope-teardown/ (http://www.eevblog.com/2009/10/12/eevblog-37-rigol-ds1052e-oscilloscope-teardown/)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Wuerstchenhund on March 22, 2016, 08:17:27 pm
Yes, if you buy a dual processor workstation and try to use Windows 9x/ME or one of the Home (XP/Vista/W7) or non/Pro (Win8.x) editions on it, which would be plain stupid.

Nobody's asking if it would be sensible or not.

Sure, but if you buy a piece of hardware (PC) and try to use it with a piece of software (Windows Home Edition) that does not fully support your piece of hardware then you have only yourself to blame. Simple as that.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 22, 2016, 08:23:13 pm
Quote
Quote
As for 24MB vs 12MB.... that is going to make what difference, exactly, in practice?

So you're confirming that the $200 memory upgrade for the Rigol scopes is pointless, thanks for agreeing! I that case it wouldn't hurt them to make it available by default.
You are completely missing the point, here. I'm saying (that in my barely informed opinion which doesn't matter, but since you're biting...) this 24MB of memory is an add-on created almost solely for the purpose of upselling to those folks that must have bigger/better. In order to offer more options and make more money. Suggesting that EVERYONE get this upgrade (and presumably pay for it)... OK, just think about it. Now you want everyone to equally pay the cost for this silly piece of faff.

If you want deep memory, buy an Owon. They have some of the deepest memory machines. And then please tell me what it's good for. Maybe one day when we are making analog computers this will come in handy. After you build the analog logic analyzer to go with it.

Quote
You Americans keep forgetting that not everyone lives in a place with all the BS and get along quite fine. This kind of rubbish is holding the economy back, rather than advancing it.
And the result is not people being rewarded for their development costs but patent trolls who make it difficult for everyone else to innovate.
Sorry. I sometimes forget my internet isn't America. This wasn't meant to be an americentric comment. It applies to the global economy, anyway. Europe is not exempt. Or Finland. Or w/e you are from.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 22, 2016, 08:31:09 pm
Quote from: fungus

What if they didn't include any of the first class perks? What if you only asked to sit there because it's a better chair? It doesn't cost them anything extra. Should they let you?
There was absolutely no nitpicking whatsoever. They are totally different things.

The number of first class seats is physically limited. It is a finite resource. Irrespective of the cost or lack of thereof to the airline.
Please stop nitpicking and trying to avoid the question. You know perfectly well is being asked here.

Assuming:
a) There's some free seats in first class,
b) The plane has already left the ground and the fasten-seatbelt sign has been turned off,
c) They they just sit quietly in the seat and don't ask for first-class perks

Should tourist-class passengers be allowed to go up to first class and sit there in the nicer seats?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 22, 2016, 08:39:40 pm
Buuuut nobody in their right mind would have shipped PC hardware with a version of Windows that limited usage of that hardware, as is with the scopes and is what people complain about. That's where the comparison ends, beyond that the 2 platforms are too different to compare.

Stop trying to avoid the issue: MS did limit the proportion of my hardware that could be used. You may wriggle and squirm, but MS did it.

As an irrelevant aside, what makes you think a company did ship Windows with the hardware? It was principally a linux box, with Windows on it for occasional use.
So what? There are plenty of other operating systems you can use to unlock your hardware's full functionality, which isn't the case with an oscilloscope. Microsoft didn't provide you with the hardware, only the software. If you bought them as a bundle, then it's the stupid seller's fault for providing inadequate software for the hardware. Install a new OS or complain to the seller and get a refund.


Another silly and completely invalid analogy.

By taking the business class seat, you're occupying a space, which could go to a passenger who would pay for it. That seat is no longer available to someone else, who may pay for the upgrade. Even that seat is free anyway, it still needs to be cleaned and there will be consumables used such as food and drink. The extra cost to the airline is real.

Nitpicking the details to make the analogy invalid? Really?  :palm:

What if they didn't include any of the first class perks? What if you only asked to sit there because it's a better chair? It doesn't cost them anything extra. Should they let you?
There was absolutely no nitpicking whatsoever. They are totally different things.

The number of first class seats is physically limited. It is a finite resource. Irrespective of the cost or lack of thereof to the airline.

The number of users of a piece of software has no upper limit. It's just information and can be copied infinitely.

Analogies comparing software to physical space or material items are inherently flawed.

It's a "yes" or "no" answer.

Is Intel harmed by overclocking? Is Rigol harmed by hacking?
The answer is no. Intel benefits from overclocking and Rigol from firmware hacking.

And while we're on the subject of overclocking. Is it right to overclock a part, then sell it on? Rigol has done exactly that!
http://www.eevblog.com/2009/10/12/eevblog-37-rigol-ds1052e-oscilloscope-teardown/ (http://www.eevblog.com/2009/10/12/eevblog-37-rigol-ds1052e-oscilloscope-teardown/)

I'm having difficulty distinguising your posts from trolling. Why? Because one trolls' technique is to continually avoid the point being made, and try to get other people's attention diverted onto irrelevancies.

How would you suggest I distinguish your posts from trolling?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 22, 2016, 08:40:36 pm
Quote
Quote
As for 24MB vs 12MB.... that is going to make what difference, exactly, in practice?

So you're confirming that the $200 memory upgrade for the Rigol scopes is pointless, thanks for agreeing! I that case it wouldn't hurt them to make it available by default.
You are completely missing the point, here. I'm saying (that in my barely informed opinion which doesn't matter, but since you're biting...) this 24MB of memory is an add-on created almost solely for the purpose of upselling to those folks that must have bigger/better. In order to offer more options and make more money. Suggesting that EVERYONE get this upgrade (and presumably pay for it)... OK, just think about it. Now you want everyone to equally pay the cost for this silly piece of faff.
Well, everyone does pay for the 24MB option, whether it's enabled or not because the memory is in the machine, along with the firmware to use it. A select few just decide to give Rigol a bit of extra money to use it because they find it useful and still want the warranty.

It's quite likely the Rigol hacks are just a marketing ploy and a very effective one at that.

Quote
If you want deep memory, buy an Owon. They have some of the deepest memory machines. And then please tell me what it's good for. Maybe one day when we are making analog computers this will come in handy. After you build the analog logic analyzer to go with it.
I agree. My main 'scope is a two channel 100MHz Owon (can't remember the exact model). I like it because it's compact, has a big display and a battery, rather memory. My Rigol doesn't get much use.

Please stop nitpicking and trying to avoid the question. You know perfectly well is being asked here.

Assuming:
a) There's some free seats in first class,
b) The plane has already left the ground and the fasten-seatbelt sign has been turned off,
c) They they just sit quietly in the seat and don't ask for first-class perks

Should tourist-class passengers be allowed to go up to first class and sit there in the nicer seats?

Of course the airline could allow them to use the nicer seats, at no extra cost but of course they're not obliged to. The trouble then is, when word gets round, everyone will want the seats and trouble could ensue.

Still, the question is of no relevance to the debate because you're referring to a finite resource.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 22, 2016, 08:45:09 pm
se.
Please stop nitpicking and trying to avoid the question. You know perfectly well is being asked here.

Assuming:
a) There's some free seats in first class,
b) The plane has already left the ground and the fasten-seatbelt sign has been turned off,
c) They they just sit quietly in the seat and don't ask for first-class perks

Should tourist-class passengers be allowed to go up to first class and sit there in the nicer seats?

Of course the airline could allow them to use the nicer seats, at no extra cost but of course they're not obliged to. The trouble then is, when word gets round, everyone will want the seats and trouble could ensue.

And what should happen and could happen if the airline said "no", and the tourist passengers did it anyway?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 22, 2016, 08:57:31 pm
to continually avoid the point being made, and try to get other people's attention diverted onto irrelevancies.
I did address the point you made about Microsoft limiting access to the hardware. You just didn't notice it.

To reiterate. Although you might have purchased Windows home and the hardware as a bundle, they are still two distinct items. Microsoft are not preventing you from using your hardware. For example, you are free to dual boot with GNU/Linux and access all of the hardware.

The point you made was off topic. It is completely irrelevant to the hacking oscilloscopes debate because it referred to a generic operating system, running on generic hardware, rather than specially tailored firmware, running on specialised hardware.

se.
Please stop nitpicking and trying to avoid the question. You know perfectly well is being asked here.

Assuming:
a) There's some free seats in first class,
b) The plane has already left the ground and the fasten-seatbelt sign has been turned off,
c) They they just sit quietly in the seat and don't ask for first-class perks

Should tourist-class passengers be allowed to go up to first class and sit there in the nicer seats?

Of course the airline could allow them to use the nicer seats, at no extra cost but of course they're not obliged to. The trouble then is, when word gets round, everyone will want the seats and trouble could ensue.

And what should happen and could happen if the airline said "no", and the tourist passengers did it anyway?
The easiest solution is to lock the door and physically stop them from gaining access. If they're there already and aren't causing any trouble, there's little point in forcing them to leave, if they refuse to do so when asked politely, as it could cause trouble.

Still, this is way off topic. . .
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 22, 2016, 09:08:07 pm
Quote
Copyright very explicitly protects the distribution of the software without the right holders permission, the grey area is these "licenses" that are growing to cover more and more software, they don't have a strong track record in courts but keep getting pushed as legitimate ways to protect the copyright owner when they aren't as strong as the alternatives.
So you're saying,

1. Because a license is not as legally binding, you have no problem hacking a software to circumvent this license fee. This is not stealing.
2. The better solution would be to not give you the software until after you pay for it. After you pay, the software has to be distributed to you.
    A. you can download it. Since you recognize the significance of copyright law, you would hack a license. But you will not redistribute this software to other parties, because you recognize the distinction between licensing and copyright law. As do most of the other folks who would hack a license. This is some sort of common sense between thieves?

or B. have to send the device in to a service center in order to install the upgrade. Increasing cost and adding inconvenience to the consumer.
or C. maintain a serial number database with random individual device ID of each unit, increasing cost.

Furthermore, if you were not going to buy it, anyway, then it isn't stealing. If I would have never paid the money to see the new Star Trek movie, it isn't stealing if I torrent it. Yeah... see how this relies on the honor system? And can you even be honest with YOURSELF? Now the new Star Wars movie is out. But you will remember how you could watch it for free....  And you can convince yourself you wouldn't have paid to see this movie, either.  :-//
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 22, 2016, 09:09:22 pm
Well, everyone does pay for the 24MB option, whether it's enabled or not because the memory is in the machine, along with the firmware to use it. A select few just decide to give Rigol a bit of extra money to use it because they find it useful and still want the warranty.

As mentioned: The cost of the extra 12Mb of memory is probably less than the logistical cost of of manufacturing two separate pieces of hardware.

Of course the airline could allow them to use the nicer seats, at no extra cost but of course they're not obliged to. The trouble then is, when word gets round, everyone will want the seats and trouble could ensue.

The problem is that people in this thread seem to be telling the airline they have every right to sit there because the seats are free and it doesn't cost the airline anything.

Technically they're correct: It doesn't cost the airline anything.

It's a finite resource
Nitpicking. There IS a way to allocate those seats fairly.

Nope. The reason nobody goes up and sits there is because they have a built-in sense that they're not entitled to that, that they're only entitled to the seat they paid for.

Funny how that same sense of entitlement changes when it comes to hacking/copyright infringement, eh?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 22, 2016, 09:27:35 pm
Quote
No, everyone (from your customers) loses. By making feature X a $100 option that 10% of people will buy those who do will be ripped off, and those who don't won't have access to a tool that if it had been included by default for $10 extra could have worthy for them.
Quote
if it had been included by default for $10 extra could have worthy for them
.

Huh... Ok, due to a huge group buy, we can all go to zoot.com and buy a $20.00 socket wrench for only $10.00. But only if we all buy it. This is a great deal, because for some of us, this might come in handy. The 10% of people who actually needed one are going to by happy. The rest of us are going to get a great deal on a socket wrench. Everyone happy, right?

In reality, the guy that needs these scope features. The guy who KNOWS he needs these features. He doen't mind paying. It's the guys that think they might possibly ever use it and they simply WANT it that complain that it isn't included for free.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Someone on March 22, 2016, 09:35:19 pm
Quote
Copyright very explicitly protects the distribution of the software without the right holders permission, the grey area is these "licenses" that are growing to cover more and more software, they don't have a strong track record in courts but keep getting pushed as legitimate ways to protect the copyright owner when they aren't as strong as the alternatives.
So you're saying,

1. Because a license is not as legally binding, you have no problem hacking a software to circumvent this license fee. This is not stealing.
No, I never said that. As a manufacturer you get more protection by relying on the easily enforceable copyright laws, instead of just licensing. Yes it adds more cost to the business, but you get more protection. The default licenses businesses are relying on have been proven ineffective in court, you can go down that path if you like but it is not better protection than never handing over the copyright material to begin with.

Copyright covers PCB layouts just as it covers software, but only the software world decided they wanted additional contracts to further limit the end users application of their work.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: G0HZU on March 22, 2016, 10:22:50 pm
That's pretty much the Siglent model for their IP protection and thus far it's been robust.

Enabling options and factory set BW's use SN #'s and unique unit ID hexadecimal codes for generation of activation codes and to date AFAIK this method has not been cracked.

Agilent use a basic S/N and keycode system for their test gear. I'm an RF engineer and only dabble in programming but I managed to reverse engineer their system in a few hours. I wanted to unlock options in an E5071 VNA I have here at home. I can probably hack a whole load of their test gear now just with access to a serial number. Note that I'm not going to release this hack into the wild or give out any free licence options :)

I did this a few months ago as you can see in post #64 in this thread here:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/buysellwanted/auction-(uk)-test-gear-from-nvidia/50/ (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/buysellwanted/auction-(uk)-test-gear-from-nvidia/50/)

So it's probably only a matter of time before someone (who has enough motivation) hacks the Siglent system even if it is a bit more complex than the Agilent system. I'm not volunteering to do it BTW ;D

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on March 22, 2016, 11:03:49 pm
So - the next time you take a flight somewhere, you buy your economy ticket and when you get on the plane decide you want to occupy a business class seat - or maybe first class ... and your argument is 'I bought a seat on this plane - and I want that one!'

No different to advanced software features.

You didn't pay for the feature, so you aren't entitled to make use of it.
Another silly and completely invalid analogy.

By taking the business class seat, you're occupying a space, which could go to a passenger who would pay for it. That seat is no longer available to someone else, who may pay for the upgrade. Even that seat is free anyway, it still needs to be cleaned and there will be consumables used such as food and drink. The extra cost to the airline is real.

Thank you for that response.  I won a bet on you taking that line of argument.  Predictable.

And my response has already been presented.....

Quote from: fungus

What if they didn't include any of the first class perks? What if you only asked to sit there because it's a better chair? It doesn't cost them anything extra. Should they let you?
There was absolutely no nitpicking whatsoever. They are totally different things.

The number of first class seats is physically limited. It is a finite resource. Irrespective of the cost or lack of thereof to the airline.
Please stop nitpicking and trying to avoid the question. You know perfectly well is being asked here.

Assuming:
a) There's some free seats in first class,
b) The plane has already left the ground and the fasten-seatbelt sign has been turned off,
c) They they just sit quietly in the seat and don't ask for first-class perks

Should tourist-class passengers be allowed to go up to first class and sit there in the nicer seats?


As for cleaning costs (I'm only guessing here) but I don't think an airline will say "Nobody sat in that seat - so it doesn't have to be cleaned."

You have been given a scenario where the constraints offer a neutral impact on the airline at that time.  (Subsequent issues arising from a precedent might be less so.)

Just answer the question.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 22, 2016, 11:21:00 pm
It's a finite resource
Nitpicking. There IS a way to allocate those seats fairly.

Nope. The reason nobody goes up and sits there is because they have a built-in sense that they're not entitled to that, that they're only entitled to the seat they paid for.

Funny how that same sense of entitlement changes when it comes to hacking/copyright infringement, eh?
You could try to apply the same analogy to anything be it seats at a cinema, on a bus, train etc. but it completely ignores the fact that there are not limitless seats. Deciding on the ratio of premium vs standard seats on an aeroplane is not a simple matter. It depends on how many people are willing to pay the premium. Get the ratio wrong and the airliner loses money.

When you take into account that software can be distributed to limitless numbers of users, the analogy totally breaks down. The development cost purely depends on the complexity of the software. It is a fixed overhead, which remains the same, irrespective of how many users there maybe. Of course those development costs need to be recouped and I'm not saying it's right that everyone should get it for free but it's totally different to physical property, space, seats etc.

A bit off-topic I know. If you're very lucky or just down right manipulative and there is room in business class, you may get a free upgrade. Plenty of people do get those nice seats, they're not entitled to. Some people are cleaver.
http://www.skyscanner.net/news/how-get-flight-upgrade-15-ways-get-bumped-business (http://www.skyscanner.net/news/how-get-flight-upgrade-15-ways-get-bumped-business)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 22, 2016, 11:41:14 pm
Quote
Of course those development costs need to be recouped and I'm not saying it's right that everyone should get it for free
No, you have been saying EVERYONE should get the same suite. And everyone should pay the same cost. And there should be only ONE model scope. One model DMM. One kind of turkey dinner. That way "I" don't have to be jealous that someone else has a higher model, because he was willing to pay for it and I wasn't.... I mean I was wiling for everyone to pay a little more so we can ALL have "deluxe"... which is now just standard....   But I don't like the fact that some people will pay more than I will, because they actually need a feature where I just want to have as good a device as everyone else. lol. lol.   lol. lol.   


lol.

It's a competitive market. There are options. A manufacturer can't use a business model that doesn't work, because they will go out of business.
If you think people don't like and pay for options, you are wrong. I have been paid to make options that are meaningless... simply because people want to buy things with better numbers. I tell my client it's pointless. He says. "I know, but the other guys have it, and I need something to put on the spec sheet."

Half your customers might not even know what the hell these stats mean, but they sure as hell want what's "better."  In some cases these options are created for such ego/clueless buyers with fat wallets in the first place.


 

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 22, 2016, 11:46:19 pm
Quote
Of course those development costs need to be recouped and I'm not saying it's right that everyone should get it for free
No, you have been saying EVERYONE should get the same suite. And everyone should pay the same cost. And there should be only ONE model scope. One model DMM. One kind of turkey dinner. That way "I" don't have to be jealous that someone else has a higher model, because he was willing to pay for it and I wasn't.... I mean I was wiling for everyone to pay a little more so we can ALL have "deluxe"... which is now just standard....   But I don't like the fact that some people will pay more than I will, because they actually need a feature where I just want to have as good a device as everyone else. lol. lol.   lol. lol.   


lol.
No, I didn't say any of that. You've clearly not read any of my posts properly.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 22, 2016, 11:47:47 pm
I may have confused some other posts for yours. I'm not going to go back and check. This thread has kinda become a beast. Apologies if this is the case.

Wait, here it is. Hero999 says:
Quote
No, forget the 8 firmware options. Just ship them all with exactly the same basic firmware and even the same labels/housings. [then sell additional features, sending FIRMWARE rather than UNLOCK CODES]
... err, what the hell is the difference to the average end user... not your sophisticated hacker-cum-laywer/social activist which is only 0.1% of your customers?

Also, do you know even if/how the bandwidth is actively limited by firmware? You never even responded to this other than "I don't know." But you still insist on calling it intentional crippling of the hardware (which you paid for your precious hardware, yeh I know).
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 22, 2016, 11:59:48 pm
The development cost purely depends on the complexity of the software. It is a fixed overhead, which remains the same, irrespective of how many users there maybe. Of course those development costs need to be recouped and I'm not saying it's right that everyone should get it for free

Good. Progress towards sense.

Now take the next steps... If you were a manufacturer, how would ensure you recouped the costs? Then how would you ensure you made a sufficient profit?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 23, 2016, 12:16:47 am
If I am reading Hero999's posts, correctly:

Apparently, sending out firmware upgrades is different than sending out unlock codes. Because of copyright law. So Hero thinks the manufacturer making that change is important. Because if I were a manufacturer, I would definitely consider these outlier customers in my business plan. :)  The potential for a firmware update to brick the scope vs an unlock code that will guarantee the user is up and running (because he's buying the upgrade for a reason, usually!?)... meh, who cares about the functionality of a TOOL.

Also, he feels that putting in hardware that is not functional by default is a crime, even if that hardware is NOT NECESSARY for complete functionality of the device, and if physicaly NOT including it and adding it later would cost more than just putting it in (talking the memory thing). Even if this "feature" is just a barely meaningful "upgrade" only conceived to offer an idiot with a fat wallet more to spend on. (Or that 1 in 1000 customer who has a specific problem where this is needed.... who is GRATEFUL to overpay for this upgrade (and fatten the bill to his client!), even though he knows he is also subsidizing the cost so that EVERYONE ELSE can also have that OPTION.) So now, because of the practicality of this physical memory cost and assembly/design, Hero would rather EVERYONE should get and pay for this meaningless upgrade. Or NO one should get the option. Ok, pesto soup for everyone.

Also, he feels like bandwidth of these scopes is actively crippled by firmware in order to extort money from people, but he does not even know if this is actually the case, versus firmware changes that actually enhance the image of the trace through software algorhithms, and he can't be bothered by this possibility. I mean, today's scopes don't deflect a beam of subatomic particles onto a phosphor screen, anymore. The signals are read with ADC and converted into digital data. Which can be manipulated. By software. When frequency exceeds the limitations of the ADC/circuitry, it could be possible to extrapolate a closer approximation of how the actual signal should look by using frequency, known rise/fall curves, and other various data, perhaps?

My favorite whine is "if someone else needs it, I MIGHT need it, too. Let's ALL have it!" Some of these options are not going to do anything for you, anyway. 95% of these hackers will never see a difference in their hacked scope. If and when you DO need a feature, you will more than likely be happy and grateful to actually pay for this feature. And it will be as easy as pie. Money for unlock code. Instant. The words that come to mind are "thank" and "you!" Everyone happy but the conspiracy theorists.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: hamster_nz on March 23, 2016, 01:35:55 am
Doesn't this argument avoid the point why the hack is possible? For Rigol, it is more profitable to engineer a 100MHz scope, and sell a 'locked' version as a 50MHz model, than it is to engineer, manufacture, sell and support a different 50MHz and 100MHz models

I assume product development went something like this...

A long long time ago
Sales : 100MHz is the new 50MHz - we need a low-end 100MHz model.

Engineer : Well, we can't upgrade the 50MHz model, we will need to R&D a 100 MHz model. It'll cost - big $.

Sales : Just do it!

A long ago
Sales : That old 50MHz model is really tired, and not selling - can you give it a refresh

Engineer : Can't we just sell the 100MHz model at the current 50MHz price point?

Sales : No! 100MHz is still a compelling feature - people pay for twice the bandwidth!

Engineer : Well, we can either design a completely new model for lots of $$$, or we can just software lock the 100MHz down to 50MHz, and the per-unit R&D cost is zero.

Sales: I like your thinking - that would give a lowest-end product refresh for almost free. Time to market - zero! Do it!

A short time later...
Sales : People are hacking our 50MHz model into a 100MHz model! It's costing us money!

Engineer : Um, but the hardware is the same? They can't afford a 100MHz model, so they by the 50MHz model. It isn't actually costing us anything (as long as we still make money on the 50MHz model for it to be economically viable, that is)

Sales : But but but... they are stealing from us! It is hurting our bottom line.

Engineer : No they aren't. It wasn't viable for us to engineer a 50MHz model, so you have already made that money by not having to pay all that R&D for a new low margin model. And it only took a week to change the sticker on the front.

Sales : But but but... if they use 100MHz, they should pay the premium - we aren't a charity!

Engineer : If the can't or won't buy a 100MHz model in the first place, what would you like our customers to do? If they 'need' 100MHz they will go and buy a knock-off 100MHz scope from Ali Express, or worse buy one from our competitor. Let them buy our 50MHz, at maybe a slight premium other other 50MHz scopes, upgrade it for free, and then feel happy that they have got something for nothing, and we made the sale while our competitors didn't. Our competitors who did engineer a new low-end product will feel the burn as they can't make back the money for their R&D costs - you know, the costs we never paid because we used an existing design?

Sales: but but but...




Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on March 23, 2016, 03:02:37 am
It's a finite resource
Nitpicking. There IS a way to allocate those seats fairly.

Nope. The reason nobody goes up and sits there is because they have a built-in sense that they're not entitled to that, that they're only entitled to the seat they paid for.

Funny how that same sense of entitlement changes when it comes to hacking/copyright infringement, eh?
You could try to apply the same analogy to anything be it seats at a cinema, on a bus, train etc. but it completely ignores the fact that there are not limitless seats. Deciding on the ratio of premium vs standard seats on an aeroplane is not a simple matter. It depends on how many people are willing to pay the premium. Get the ratio wrong and the airliner loses money.

When you take into account that software can be distributed to limitless numbers of users, the analogy totally breaks down. The development cost purely depends on the complexity of the software. It is a fixed overhead, which remains the same, irrespective of how many users there maybe. Of course those development costs need to be recouped and I'm not saying it's right that everyone should get it for free but it's totally different to physical property, space, seats etc.

You are missing the whole point of the analogy.  You are doing it deliberately.  You are nitpicking the shortcomings of the analogy that are - in the scenario specified - totally irrelevant ... and ignoring the fundamental question.  All analogies fall down at some point, so relying on using those aspects to dismiss the analogy entirely is simply weak.


Quote
A bit off-topic I know. If you're very lucky or just down right manipulative and there is room in business class, you may get a free upgrade. Plenty of people do get those nice seats, they're not entitled to. Some people are cleaver.
http://www.skyscanner.net/news/how-get-flight-upgrade-15-ways-get-bumped-business (http://www.skyscanner.net/news/how-get-flight-upgrade-15-ways-get-bumped-business)

Now you are using the analogy (for which you seem to hold such contempt) to make an argument.  Can we try and be consistent?

But, to address the point being made - the fact that the airline gives the upgrade (for whatever reason) IS sufficient entitlement.  It is the airline's decision - not the passenger's.  The morality of whatever shenanigans were employed to gain that is a different question.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on March 23, 2016, 03:04:53 am
The pragmatist in me suggests arguments such as this are futile.

People who want to do the wrong thing will justify it every which way until the cows come home.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 23, 2016, 03:15:39 am
Quote
Engineer : Um, but the hardware is the same? They can't afford a 100MHz model, so they by the 50MHz model. It isn't actually costing us anything (as long as we still make money on the 50MHz model for it to be economically viable, that is)

I know this is all hypothetical. But did you forget this part of your hypothetical story?
Quote
Engineer : Well, we can't upgrade the 50MHz model, we will need to R&D a 100 MHz model. It'll cost - big $.
And to fill in the blanks: 100MHz is the new 50MHz. Every day we don't have one, we are losing business to our competitors. Projections estimate we are millions of dollars in the red in 10 years and the company will be sold for parts.

It's a mistake to assume people/companies can sit on their laurels and continue to make what they have. And that they only do things to make MORE money. It takes work just to keep what you have.

And let's take a quick peek at reality. A $400.00 Rigol has 50MHz and 4 channels. 6 years ago, the cheapest 25MHz 2 channel DSO was close to that price. Even two years ago, this would be incredible news. These greedy scope manufacturers.... they're so greedy they are trying to put each other out of business by undercutting each other and throwing scopes at us for peanuts. How awful.

Quote
People who want to do the wrong thing will justify it every which way until the cows come home.
Yes. I guess this is the reason why we have to explicitly make murder illegal and actually enforce it.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on March 23, 2016, 04:51:04 am
Doesn't this argument avoid the point why the hack is possible? For Rigol, it is more profitable to engineer a 100MHz scope, and sell a 'locked' version as a 50MHz model, than it is to engineer, manufacture, sell and support a different 50MHz and 100MHz models

I assume product development went something like this...

A long long time ago
Sales : 100MHz is the new 50MHz - we need a low-end 100MHz model.

Engineer : Well, we can't upgrade the 50MHz model, we will need to R&D a 100 MHz model. It'll cost - big $.

Sales : Just do it!

A long ago
Sales : That old 50MHz model is really tired, and not selling - can you give it a refresh

Engineer : Can't we just sell the 100MHz model at the current 50MHz price point?

Sales : No! 100MHz is still a compelling feature - people pay for twice the bandwidth!

Engineer : Well, we can either design a completely new model for lots of $$$, or we can just software lock the 100MHz down to 50MHz, and the per-unit R&D cost is zero.

Sales: I like your thinking - that would give a lowest-end product refresh for almost free. Time to market - zero! Do it!

A short time later...
Sales : People are hacking our 50MHz model into a 100MHz model! It's costing us money!

Engineer : Um, but the hardware is the same? They can't afford a 100MHz model, so they by the 50MHz model. It isn't actually costing us anything (as long as we still make money on the 50MHz model for it to be economically viable, that is)

Sales : But but but... they are stealing from us! It is hurting our bottom line.

Engineer : No they aren't. It wasn't viable for us to engineer a 50MHz model, so you have already made that money by not having to pay all that R&D for a new low margin model. And it only took a week to change the sticker on the front.

Sales : But but but... if they use 100MHz, they should pay the premium - we aren't a charity!

Engineer : If the can't or won't buy a 100MHz model in the first place, what would you like our customers to do? If they 'need' 100MHz they will go and buy a knock-off 100MHz scope from Ali Express, or worse buy one from our competitor. Let them buy our 50MHz, at maybe a slight premium other other 50MHz scopes, upgrade it for free, and then feel happy that they have got something for nothing, and we made the sale while our competitors didn't. Our competitors who did engineer a new low-end product will feel the burn as they can't make back the money for their R&D costs - you know, the costs we never paid because we used an existing design?

Sales: but but but...

And this is the point I was making with my statement that it was just plain LAZY to NOT make an actual DIFFERENT Firmware for each model. Even if all you do is comment out the disabled modules in the version with less features, it's STILL reasonably small R&D. But NO... they want to make it even CHEAPER and LAZIER.

Bottom line is this FW is *NIX based, and their code base is ALREADY 3/4 written by other folks before they even started. They never returned their code base (The apps are a grey area; but the hardware extensions are SPECIFICALLY included in the CopyLeft) to the common repository as per the GPL, so they're already in violation of CopyLeft law... but hey, who gives a SHIT about that?!?

Yes, they DID have to develop some plugins for the *NIX HAL, and the GUI must have taken all of a week to come up with... that is real and unique R&D that should be recouped. And it IS... in the base price of the cheapest models. As is the cost of the extra RAM, and the cost of the special switching hardware they use to attenuate the scope above the "Paid For" feature level.

Bottom line is, the Marketing Folks are wanting to have it both ways... cheap and quick release of the lower-end product, while NOT paying for the cost of actually MAKING a different product, or even differentiating the products in any reasonably secure manner. Or at least, so say those who keep taking the side of the Stef Murky set. My personal opinion is that those are IMAGINED profits, and one cannot hold someone responsible for IMAGINED losses, only REAL ones.

Probably, much more likely, Rigol, et al are deliberately looking the other way because they know that their bottom of the line scopes' popularity are largely derived from this VERY STATE of HACKABILITY... just as MicroSoft has admitted that they deliberately look the other way while their software is "Pirated" by the Chinese Government (which does not recognize about 3/4 of the Copyright and Licensing BS law that corporations have saddled us poor fools in the US with) because it is still better to them than letting.... BING! BING! BING! *NIX get a foothold.

They consider it better to gain market penetration via "Piracy" than not at all.

And guess what?

That "hackability" is a LARGE part of what makes the Rigol, for example, WORTH MORE. In another thread, I ask about a Hantek 100mHZ scope "hackable" to 200 MHz for $240 vs the Rigol 50Mhz "hackable" to 100MHz for $400.

By and large, the response is that the Rigol is a much better value BECAUSE OF THE HACKABLE SOFTWARE.

Half the bandwidth, 2/3 ($160) MORE EXPENSIVE, yet STILL a better deal.

The BOM Between the two machines is very similar. So, in truth, are the specs. The difference is the software. They ARE getting it both ways already; Rigol is selling the "extra" software for $160 on EVERY 50MHz machine.

THIS is what is REALLY happening:

The scopes that sell to clients who need to maintain factory service with them are making them lots of money in upgrades and added software modules, and service contracts on top of that. SOME of the general everyday users are buying the higher end scopes and paying full price as well; this is historically where the "profit margin" is.

Meanwhile, the bottom-end scopes, the ones that "keep the doors open", are selling for WHAT THE MARKET WILL BEAR. Right now, they are getting an extra $160 for that software. Whether the customer USES IT OR NOT.

And Rigol gets to do this ALL with ONE product across a dozen different market segments, just by "looking the other way" when some of us "hack" our scopes, knowing full well they'll NEVER have to provide warranty on at least half of the entry-level scopes they sell as a result. Overclocked ADC... Who cares? Effed-up master clock PLL circuit... DILLIGAF? MORE profit margin.

And they're doing this with base code that THEY are using in violation of the GPL. And PROBABLY, also stolen COPYRIGHTED code as well. In CHINA... which laws don't support 3/4 of the CopyRight and Licensing BS laws WE do in the US; and you can see what they think of CopyLeft.

I can tell you this... if any of them see this thread, they're going to be laughing their ASSES OFF at you guys defending their Licensing Rights. SERIOUSLY.


mnem
Everybody needs something to believe in... I believe I'm going to bed.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 23, 2016, 05:00:47 am
Please stop nitpicking and trying to avoid the question. You know perfectly well is being asked here.

Assuming:
a) There's some free seats in first class,
b) The plane has already left the ground and the fasten-seatbelt sign has been turned off,
c) They they just sit quietly in the seat and don't ask for first-class perks

Should tourist-class passengers be allowed to go up to first class and sit there in the nicer seats?


As for cleaning costs (I'm only guessing here) but I don't think an airline will say "Nobody sat in that seat - so it doesn't have to be cleaned."

Please stop avoiding the question. You know perfectly well is being asked here.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on March 23, 2016, 06:08:57 am
Bottom line is, the Marketing Folks are wanting to have it both ways... cheap and quick release of the lower-end product, while NOT paying for the cost of actually MAKING a different product, or even differentiating the products in any reasonably secure manner.

For starters, it's the customer that pays.  The customer is the one who wants the world in a product for a penny price - and the manufacturers are merely adapting production processes to deliver.  The customer is also demanding convenience and immediacy in addressing after sales matters, such as support, warranty, repairs and upgrades.

But I smell hypocrisy...

While the marketing folks, bean counters, management, designers, developers and warehouse might want to have it both ways - it is the customer who is DEMANDING to have it both ways.

You use the word 'lazy' - but that is not what is being described.  The correct word is efficient - producing the maximum result for the minimum expenditure of resources.  If you honestly want manufacturers to make truly differentiated products - will you be willing to pay for it?  (I can hear the screams of outrage already...)


Quote
My personal opinion is that those are IMAGINED profits, and one cannot hold someone responsible for IMAGINED losses, only REAL ones.
Oh, the losses are real, alright.  It's just that they are not easy to measure.  Doesn't make them any less relevant.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 23, 2016, 06:50:00 am
Quote
Yes, they DID have to develop some plugins for the *NIX HAL, and the GUI must have taken all of a week to come up with... that is real and unique R&D that should be recouped. And it IS... in the base price of the cheapest models. As is the cost of the extra RAM, and the cost of the special switching hardware they use to attenuate the scope above the "Paid For" feature level.

Bottom line is, the Marketing Folks are wanting to have it both ways... cheap and quick release of the lower-end product, while NOT paying for the cost of actually MAKING a different product, or even differentiating the products in any reasonably secure manner. Or at least, so say those who keep taking the side of the Stef Murky set. My personal opinion is that those are IMAGINED profits, and one cannot hold someone responsible for IMAGINED losses, only REAL ones.
Wow, what a load of BS. How you do know if, say, Rigol makes a profit at all, currently? Do you do their books? Do you know their payroll? Taxes? Leases? Loan/interest payments? All their costs of operation? Any given company at any given time can be losing huge money on any given product. Huge.

Xbox... huge loser for Microsoft.

Amazon... years and years of huge losses, buying market share.

Any given year, some scope company may go out of business. At any given time, competing companies may be waging a war of attrition on each other. Or they may be selling some of their product line at a huge loss (at least for the foreseeable future) in order to gain market share while making a bigger profit on other products... Anyhow, the long development cycle being what it is for a scope, the actual profit/loss on any given model is really not applicable. It's more like social security. The current sales are paying dev for today's payroll, marketing, support, and others costs of operation, and hopefully some left for R&D future product... Sale is sale. Money is money.  It could be many thousands of units before they will turn a book profit on a scope. They may NEVER make a profit. There will be some winners and some losers. A company might have spent a couple years designing a sweet 4 channel 50MHz scope for the bargain price of only $600.00 range.... only to find out they're up against Rigols latest bargain scope at 50% less. Again, not that it even matters if THIS specific product makes profit or not.

In business you are either making money or losing money. There's no in between. There's nothing wrong with maximizing profit on a particular product (if there is even any to begin with).

Scopes are so cheap and quick to design, this is why Tek is now selling rebranded scopes instead of making their own, of course... No, they're doing whatever it takes to remain relevant and in business.

As for your real vs imagined profits? I was never going to pay for this music and movies, anyway, right? So I can watch it on a torrent and I'm not hurting anyone?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 23, 2016, 09:59:57 am
People who want to do the wrong thing will justify it every which way until the cows come home.

And the justifications will be difficult to distinguish from trolling.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on March 23, 2016, 01:59:52 pm
People who want to do the wrong thing will justify it every which way until the cows come home.

And the justifications will be difficult to distinguish from trolling.

Quite true.  More than once I've done a double-take on some of these before deciding to respond or ignore...
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on March 23, 2016, 02:17:06 pm
Bottom line is, the Marketing Folks are wanting to have it both ways... cheap and quick release of the lower-end product, while NOT paying for the cost of actually MAKING a different product, or even differentiating the products in any reasonably secure manner.

For starters, it's the customer that pays.  The customer is the one who wants the world in a product for a penny price - and the manufacturers are merely adapting production processes to deliver.  The customer is also demanding convenience and immediacy in addressing after sales matters, such as support, warranty, repairs and upgrades.

But I smell hypocrisy...

While the marketing folks, bean counters, management, designers, developers and warehouse might want to have it both ways - it is the customer who is DEMANDING to have it both ways.

You use the word 'lazy' - but that is not what is being described.  The correct word is efficient - producing the maximum result for the minimum expenditure of resources.  If you honestly want manufacturers to make truly differentiated products - will you be willing to pay for it?  (I can hear the screams of outrage already...)


Quote
My personal opinion is that those are IMAGINED profits, and one cannot hold someone responsible for IMAGINED losses, only REAL ones.
Oh, the losses are real, alright.  It's just that they are not easy to measure.  Doesn't make them any less relevant.

EVERYTHING you've stated here is a matter of opinion or conjecture, no less than you claim MY statements to be.

On the flip side, they could, and probably are, making money hand over fist... enough to drive Tek and HP out of the business with substandard gear that leaves the end-user to do their own quality control and bug-fix.

YES, I WILL pay for it... or I WILL buy the less expensive, lower featured product... or I will buy USED Tek gear to do what I want to do. The ONLY reason to buy the Rigol is BECAUSE it has this readily "hackable software". PERIOD.

Yes, those profits ARE imagined. But that extra $160 / scope whether the customer USES that software or not is NOT imagined. I JUST SHOWED IT in black and white.

Quote
Yes, they DID have to develop some plugins for the *NIX HAL, and the GUI must have taken all of a week to come up with... that is real and unique R&D that should be recouped. And it IS... in the base price of the cheapest models. As is the cost of the extra RAM, and the cost of the special switching hardware they use to attenuate the scope above the "Paid For" feature level.

Bottom line is, the Marketing Folks are wanting to have it both ways... cheap and quick release of the lower-end product, while NOT paying for the cost of actually MAKING a different product, or even differentiating the products in any reasonably secure manner. Or at least, so say those who keep taking the side of the Stef Murky set. My personal opinion is that those are IMAGINED profits, and one cannot hold someone responsible for IMAGINED losses, only REAL ones.
Wow, what a load of BS. How you do know if, say, Rigol makes a profit at all, currently? Do you do their books? Do you know their payroll? Taxes? Leases? Loan/interest payments? All their costs of operation? Any given company at any given time can be losing huge money on any given product. Huge.

Xbox... huge loser for Microsoft.

Amazon... years and years of huge losses, buying market share.

Any given year, some scope company may go out of business. At any given time, competing companies may be waging a war of attrition on each other. Or they may be selling some of their product line at a huge loss (at least for the foreseeable future) in order to gain market share while making a bigger profit on other products... Anyhow, the long development cycle being what it is for a scope, the actual profit/loss on any given model is really not applicable. It's more like social security. The current sales are paying dev for today's payroll, marketing, support, and others costs of operation, and hopefully some left for R&D future product... Sale is sale. Money is money.  It could be many thousands of units before they will turn a book profit on a scope. They may NEVER make a profit. There will be some winners and some losers. A company might have spent a couple years designing a sweet 4 channel 50MHz scope for the bargain price of only $600.00 range.... only to find out they're up against Rigols latest bargain scope at 50% less. Again, not that it even matters if THIS specific product makes profit or not.

In business you are either making money or losing money. There's no in between. There's nothing wrong with maximizing profit on a particular product (if there is even any to begin with).

Scopes are so cheap and quick to design, this is why Tek is now selling rebranded scopes instead of making their own, of course... No, they're doing whatever it takes to remain relevant and in business.

As for your real vs imagined profits? I was never going to pay for this music and movies, anyway, right? So I can watch it on a torrent and I'm not hurting anyone?

Lets not even get STARTED on the RIAA and their socially, economically and ethically retarded stance that even in the age where the CUSTOMER provides and pays for the production and DELIVERY of their product, THEY still have the right to DEMAND to get paid on the antiquated "Pay for Play" business model. They keep trying to pervert the law to the point that they can essentially have the deal they USED to have in the '40-60s; where somebody ELSE paid for a jukebox, paid THEM for the media, and then paid them AGAIN for every damned time that media got played. And THEN did everything they could to pay the artist ONCE, hourly. As cheaply as possible.

GOOD Scopes are expensive... but not everybody NEEDS a good scope. We're only having this conversation because Rigol And Hantek, et al have put together some "good enough" scopes... and have sold  them cheaply enough, long enough to drive Tek and Agilent out of everything but the domestic Lab and Engineering markets.

Yes, those losses ARE imagined. As is their "Right" to set multiple prices for the same damned product.

In America, the LAW is that you have to "aggressively defend your IP" or you by default you lose the right to it. THIS is why you constantly see Apple, et al suing over EVERY LITTLE THING that the Chinese knock-offs steal from their products; this is why we have such a thing as specialists in "Trade Dress".

These manufacturers have EXPLOITED that law to their benefit; EVERYTHING about their product is a copy of designs created by companies like HP and Tek, who actually did the R&D, figured out WHAT TOOLS WE NEEDED, and then FIGURED OUT how to make a usable tool to DO THOSE THINGS, and figured out HOW that tool needed to work to be usable. They CREATED and DEFINED the market, AND the tools that were needed.

HP and Tek did NOT "aggressively defend their IP", and now they're essentially only niche manufacturers in a market THEY CREATED.

And you're RIGHT... there's nothing wrong with maximizing profits... as long as you're willing to accept the COSTS of YOUR CHOSEN METHOD of maximizing those profits. In this case, the COST of that maximization is that a certain percent of Rigol's product is going to be hacked, because they DID NOT bother to pay the initial costs of effectively differentiating their base product from their upscale product. In FACT, they have continued to grow BECAUSE of that fact.

You try to paint them as losers in this deal; they are not. They are WINNING to the tune of $160/unit. EVERY. SINGLE. UNIT.

The law of supply and demand is fulfilled; they win, we relative few who can "hack" our scopes win, and they gain market share BECAUSE their scopes can be "hacked". That "Hackability" IS A FEATURE. It is one they've used to take away market share from the big names. And CLEARLY they've been making a profit at it; they've been doing it for 2 decades.

When and if they do implement security measures to prevent that hackage, we will vote with our feet. We will buy what we can afford that meets our needs; we will buy from another manufacturer who offers more features, or whose product is still "hackable" for more features, or we will buy used product from Tek or HP that DOES meet our needs. Up till now, my own hobbyists needs have been met by a Tek 2465 and 2230 that I bought when I was in the industry and could afford them. Even NOW, a decent, calibrated 2465 from a reputable vendor sells in the range of $600-800 on eBay.

THAT says a lot about the relative values of these products, and who REALLY is losing every time we buy one of these "good enough" scopes.

You are trying to paint "hacking" as a "Black vs White" issue... when like everything in business, it is all shades of grey. And Rigol, Hantek, et al have carved a niche for themselves in this market BASED ON PLAYING those shades of grey against each other; as has every damned corporation that has EVER existed. In business, illegal or not doesn't matter unless you get caught; and even if you DO get caught, it doesn't matter unless it costs you REAL MONEY, and enough of it to outweigh the profits you're making breaking the law. Rigol, Hantek, et al... even the big names are playing this game.

Why should we end-users be the only ones who DON'T benefit from the game they're already playing against US?

YES, those losses ARE imagined. Especially since Rigol is WINNING to the tune of $160/unit, while Tek's best value lies in used gear that has changed hands a dozen times. Shall we now consider every scope that sells to anybody but Tek and HP/Agilent and Le Croy and Fluke and Rodhe & Schwarz, to be REAL losses to them? Shall we feel sorry for Tek and HP and all the others who've defined what a modern scope is; shall we defend THEIR IP the way you expect us to defend that of Hantek, Rigol et al? ESPECIALLY since the basic nuts and bolts of ANY modern scope is essentially THEIR IP?

Of course not. This is BUSINESS. And real profits trump imagined losses EVERY. DAMNED. TIME. And Rigol, et al are taking those real profits directly to the bank.


mnem
Gimme a fu**ing break.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Kilrah on March 23, 2016, 02:34:30 pm
As an irrelevant aside, what makes you think a company did ship Windows with the hardware? It was principally a linux box, with Windows on it for occasional use.
So what? There are plenty of other operating systems you can use to unlock your hardware's full functionality, which isn't the case with an oscilloscope. Microsoft didn't provide you with the hardware, only the software. If you bought them as a bundle, then it's the stupid seller's fault for providing inadequate software for the hardware. Install a new OS or complain to the seller and get a refund.
That. The comparison doesn't hold. It would if you could buy a scope without an OS and choose your scope OS from a few existing options, and you deliberately installed one that can't make use of all the hardware's capabilities. But you're the only one to blame then, it wasn't something that was forced on you by the manufacturer.

I'm having difficulty distinguising your posts from trolling. Why? Because one trolls' technique is to continually avoid the point being made, and try to get other people's attention diverted onto irrelevancies.

How would you suggest I distinguish your posts from trolling?
I'll return the question since you just as well continuously avoid, ignore or "misunderstand" the point we make.

Huh... Ok, due to a huge group buy, we can all go to zoot.com and buy a $20.00 socket wrench for only $10.00. But only if we all buy it. This is a great deal, because for some of us, this might come in handy. The 10% of people who actually needed one are going to by happy. The rest of us are going to get a great deal on a socket wrench. Everyone happy, right?
No. You're buying a $100 toolbox and you could have one more tool for an extra $1. Who'd complain now? Even those who don't need it would say "meh OK, who knows I'll probably need it one day" Then be super happy the day they do.

No, you have been saying EVERYONE should get the same suite. And everyone should pay the same cost. And there should be only ONE model scope. One model DMM.
No. But decline your products sensibly, i.e. through hardware or software capabilities - just don't artificially cripple.

While the marketing folks, bean counters, management, designers, developers and warehouse might want to have it both ways - it is the customer who is DEMANDING to have it both ways.
Any talk that the customer is demanding is absolute BS markerting "justification". Like at your grocery store you can now find seasonal goods all year round, which is ecologically ridiculous, but when questioned they'd say "but the customer demands!" Total BS, if you didn't offer it in the first place nobody would come and ask you to add that to your assortment. Now it's there in front of them of course they won't ask themselves the question and take it. There was no demand, you created an artificial one.

The potential for a firmware update to brick the scope
That's close to 0 if you do it right. If only people took the time to do it right though, but that's another problem...

Sales: but but but...
Exact!
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 23, 2016, 03:17:52 pm
I'm having difficulty distinguising your posts from trolling. Why? Because one trolls' technique is to continually avoid the point being made, and try to get other people's attention diverted onto irrelevancies.

How would you suggest I distinguish your posts from trolling?
I'll return the question since you just as well continuously avoid, ignore or "misunderstand" the point we make.

Troll => Plonk.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 23, 2016, 05:16:07 pm
First off I must clarify, I never took this thread as pertaining to Rigol, specifically. A lot of good points have been made pertaining specifically to Rigol.

W/e is your opinion of that company, I do not share. I have no opinion on Rigol of their business practices. I have never used one of their scopes.

Agilent and Siglent are major players for a long time. They also piecemeal their scope and have upgradeable features. If locking your memory is annoying, you would be really annoyed buying a 4 channel scope, 4 sets of BNC, 4 sets of position and voltage control... and 2 of them don't work by default! Also, tgzzz and others have shown similar cases regarding CNC milling equipment.

I'm not sure how this is a poor Tek, bad Rigol issue. But if you're so sympathetic, why are you buying Rigol in the first place? Apparently, you can't even screw them out of any money by hacking their scope, since there is no loss of profit to them using your math? BTW, in Tek's heyday, do you ever supposed they said.. Hmmm, we can manufacture this scope for $2,000.00, now. Maybe we should lower the selling price to $2,001.00? If we well 3 million of them this year without any sales personnel and marketing, and if all the extra sales don't result in any support calls, we will break even?

And can you give me a post number where you figured out Rigol's profit of $160 per unit????

The cost of the product is set to maximize profit. OR to minimize loss. You do not know what is the case. Just because they are making money on each unit doesn't mean they will actually recoup their initial investment. They already made a huge investment and took a huge gamble. Now they're lying in that bed. Selling at significantly less than other brands might be the best way to recoup most of their investment. This is why I'm curious how you can know what is their profit to the dollar per unit and how many people in the chain must share a cut of this? And how does this relate to their operating profit? And how do you know their upfront investment in the circuit design, firmware, software, assembly and testing plant, website, support and dealer chain, plastics/molds, et al?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on March 23, 2016, 06:25:33 pm
First off I must clarify, I never took this thread as pertaining to Rigol, specifically. A lot of good points have been made pertaining specifically to Rigol.

W/e is your opinion of that company, I do not share. I have no opinion on Rigol of their business practices. I have never used one of their scopes.

Agilent and Siglent are major players for a long time. They also piecemeal their scope and have upgradeable features. If locking your memory is annoying, you would be really annoyed buying a 4 channel scope, 4 sets of BNC, 4 sets of position and voltage control... and 2 of them don't work by default! Also, tgzzz and others have shown similar cases regarding CNC milling equipment.

I'm not sure how this is a poor Tek, bad Rigol issue. But if you're so sympathetic, why are you buying Rigol in the first place? Apparently, you can't even screw them out of any money by hacking their scope, since there is no loss of profit to them using your math? BTW, in Tek's heyday, do you ever supposed they said.. Hmmm, we can manufacture this scope for $2,000.00, now. Maybe we should lower the selling price to $2,001.00? If we well 3 million of them this year without any sales personnel and marketing, and if all the extra sales don't result in any support calls, we will break even?

And can you give me a post number where you figured out Rigol's profit of $160 per unit????

The cost of the product is set to maximize profit. OR to minimize loss. You do not know what is the case. Just because they are making money on each unit doesn't mean they will actually recoup their initial investment. They already made a huge investment and took a huge gamble. Now they're lying in that bed. Selling at significantly less than other brands might be the best way to recoup most of their investment. This is why I'm curious how you can know what is their profit to the dollar per unit and how many people in the chain must share a cut of this? And how does this relate to their operating profit? And how do you know their upfront investment in the circuit design, firmware, software, assembly and testing plant, website, support and dealer chain, plastics/molds, et al?

I didn't say Rigol's net profit is $160... I said that the price the market will bear for those additional features is $160 right now. They are getting $160 MORE for this unit than the closest competitor, when their base specs are actually 1/2 what the Hantek lists at.

The 100MHz Hantek DSO5102 and the 50Mhz Rigol DS1054 have very similar featureset, very similar BOM and are manufactured In China, so actual tooling and supply chain are very similar. If these costs are NOT very nearly identical, then they are DOING SOMETHING WRONG and the customer should NOT be expected to pay the difference.

The current market value difference between the two, from reputable vendors, is $160. And yet, I've been told repeatedly in this very forum that the Rigol, rated at 1/2 the bandwidth, is a better value at $160 more BECAUSE of this additional software that can easily be unlocked.

That is $160 per unit, MINIMUM, plus free advertising due to brand loyalty, that they get for all their R&D on that additional software. Not too shabby, really. And the best part is that they STILL get to sell the same exact scope for more, at a dozen different prices in a dozen different market segments. And the law of Supply & Demand is still fulfilled, unlike here in the US, where a corporation is now rewarded for attempting to gain Monopoly power to circumvent that law.

Yes, most manufacturers DO sell upgrade/unlock. The difference is that they ALSO spend the time & money to actually put a LOCK on stuff rather than just zip-tie it down and say "You haven't paid for this; now don't cut that zip-tie or we'll stop liking you and refuse you warranty!!!"

THAT, IMO, is deliberately encouraging you to whip out the ol' MacGyver knife. ;) This is no different in principle from the dozen or so upgrades I've done myself on my own Tek gear from used parts and softwares bought on fleaBay. I'm not afraid to void warranties; that is part of the price I pay for modding my stuff.

Cheers!


mnem
Do these pants make my ass?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 23, 2016, 08:13:53 pm
Quote
Yes, most manufacturers DO sell upgrade/unlock. The difference is that they ALSO spend the time & money to actually put a LOCK on stuff rather than just zip-tie it down and say "You haven't paid for this; now don't cut that zip-tie or we'll stop liking you and refuse you warranty!!!"
Ok, this is different from a lot of people saying something to the effect of:

"I paid for the hardware, hence I already paid for the features. It's mine to unlock." These are the comments that drew myself and tgzzz and some others into the thread, and the defense of this stance is still a little shabby, IMO. (Other than some EU laws, maybe, lol.) In reality, the honest fellas who purchased the upgrade are the ones who paid (the extremely trivial cost in the case of this memory deal) for your additional hardware! And don't cry for them, because they were happy to do it. No one forced them to buy a particular scope.

You are saying, if you want people to pay for the upgrade, you should make it more difficult to get for free. Morality and legality is not a part of this "better lock" argument, at all, then. So that's fine. I can't argue with that. Although I still see a lot of valid reasons why they would choose to use a single firmware and a simple code unlock, even if their goal is to actually encourage people to pay. If you want to sell a cheaper door, you put a cheaper lock on it. And the end users benefits from a cheaper price... whether they leave it alone or they break the lock. I'm sure there are a lot of buyers who do not break this lock. Whether morality reasons, or they can't be bothered, or they don't even care what's on the other side of the door. And there are still a lot of buyers that just pay for the higher model without a second thought. So Rigol will probably continue using the cheap lock as long as it works enough of the time. Nothing immoral or lazy or stupid on the part of Rigol, there. Whether this is actually a marketing ploy and they are subliminally encouraging people to unlock their scope... uhhmm, yeah I agree it's not beyond the realm of possibility, but why go to such lengths to make a crazy theory strung together with unproveable assumptions to justify what you are doing?

In your specific case, if you would have purchased the Hantek, then I suppose it IS a win-win. This isn't the same page I was writing on.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Helix70 on March 23, 2016, 10:59:18 pm
First off I must clarify, I never took this thread as pertaining to Rigol, specifically. A lot of good points have been made pertaining specifically to Rigol.

W/e is your opinion of that company, I do not share. I have no opinion on Rigol of their business practices. I have never used one of their scopes.

Agilent and Siglent are major players for a long time. They also piecemeal their scope and have upgradeable features. If locking your memory is annoying, you would be really annoyed buying a 4 channel scope, 4 sets of BNC, 4 sets of position and voltage control... and 2 of them don't work by default! Also, tgzzz and others have shown similar cases regarding CNC milling equipment.

I'm not sure how this is a poor Tek, bad Rigol issue. But if you're so sympathetic, why are you buying Rigol in the first place? Apparently, you can't even screw them out of any money by hacking their scope, since there is no loss of profit to them using your math? BTW, in Tek's heyday, do you ever supposed they said.. Hmmm, we can manufacture this scope for $2,000.00, now. Maybe we should lower the selling price to $2,001.00? If we well 3 million of them this year without any sales personnel and marketing, and if all the extra sales don't result in any support calls, we will break even?

And can you give me a post number where you figured out Rigol's profit of $160 per unit????

The cost of the product is set to maximize profit. OR to minimize loss. You do not know what is the case. Just because they are making money on each unit doesn't mean they will actually recoup their initial investment. They already made a huge investment and took a huge gamble. Now they're lying in that bed. Selling at significantly less than other brands might be the best way to recoup most of their investment. This is why I'm curious how you can know what is their profit to the dollar per unit and how many people in the chain must share a cut of this? And how does this relate to their operating profit? And how do you know their upfront investment in the circuit design, firmware, software, assembly and testing plant, website, support and dealer chain, plastics/molds, et al?

I didn't say Rigol's net profit is $160... I said that the price the market will bear for those additional features is $160 right now. They are getting $160 MORE for this unit than the closest competitor, when their base specs are actually 1/2 what the Hantek lists at.

The 100MHz Hantek DSO5102 and the 50Mhz Rigol DS1054 have very similar featureset, very similar BOM and are manufactured In China, so actual tooling and supply chain are very similar. If these costs are NOT very nearly identical, then they are DOING SOMETHING WRONG and the customer should NOT be expected to pay the difference.

The current market value difference between the two, from reputable vendors, is $160. And yet, I've been told repeatedly in this very forum that the Rigol, rated at 1/2 the bandwidth, is a better value at $160 more BECAUSE of this additional software that can easily be unlocked.

That is $160 per unit, MINIMUM, plus free advertising due to brand loyalty, that they get for all their R&D on that additional software. Not too shabby, really. And the best part is that they STILL get to sell the same exact scope for more, at a dozen different prices in a dozen different market segments. And the law of Supply & Demand is still fulfilled, unlike here in the US, where a corporation is now rewarded for attempting to gain Monopoly power to circumvent that law.

Yes, most manufacturers DO sell upgrade/unlock. The difference is that they ALSO spend the time & money to actually put a LOCK on stuff rather than just zip-tie it down and say "You haven't paid for this; now don't cut that zip-tie or we'll stop liking you and refuse you warranty!!!"

THAT, IMO, is deliberately encouraging you to whip out the ol' MacGyver knife. ;) This is no different in principle from the dozen or so upgrades I've done myself on my own Tek gear from used parts and softwares bought on fleaBay. I'm not afraid to void warranties; that is part of the price I pay for modding my stuff.

Cheers!


mnem
Do these pants make my ass?

Rigol is 4 channel, Hantek is 2 channel. There is at least $160 right there.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: bson on March 23, 2016, 11:17:39 pm

I am not a lawyer or legal scholar, but I am pretty sure that a software license is considered a valuable product and that if it is used without the proper permission - it's stealing.
This assumes there is a license.  I've never seen an scope or any other instrument that requires agreeing to a license before using it.  This means plain vanilla copyright and patent law applies - you can't make copies of the software, and you can't reimplement patented functionality and sell it.  You can of course make copies for your own use and reimplement patented functionality in your lab to your heart's content.  Without explicitly agreeing not to, you can also reverse engineer to your heart's content.

A software license is a contract.  If you haven't agreed to a contract then one doesn't exist and you're purely bound by the letter of the law, which in no way prevents you from modifying the software in your scope in any which way you like.  Maybe you think that's immoral and should be illegal, but that doesn't make it so.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 24, 2016, 04:44:07 am
That is a good point. And I think we have a winner. :)

FTR, I am one of those guys that would probably (try to) hack my scope if I ever needed to. But I am also one of those guys that would have bought a XXXMHz scope to begin with if I thought I needed it; and I probably won't ever need more than 10MHz. :-DD. If my scope is already working and doing what I need, the last thing I'm going to do is screw around with it for no reason. Every now and then I NEED it to work. And being an early adopter of a new Hantek model, I do not take that for granted.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: robert_ on March 24, 2016, 08:42:43 pm
Just wondering why that discussion pops up now, and is fought out so fierce...
20 years ago, when somebody unsoldered some SRAM and soldered in 500eur worth of larger capacity SRAM to get 10k worth of extra memory, nobody complained it might be "bad". After all, you did supply the components and did the work.
10 years ago, one moved 4 solder bridge to connect those 4 extra adress lines resulting in exactly the same outcome, also nobody thought its "bad".
You did some work after all, and well, the RAM is there, so lets use it.

Now, you use some software to do it, and suddenly its the end of the world...
Manufacturers would have the option of actually securing their stuff, just like its done on game consoles etc. They decide not to. If FLIR, Rigol or Tek would actually want to discourage "hacking", they would have implemented actual security by now, as the whole "hacking" is ecactly as old as the whole industry. Tek used their 24C02 "security modules" for over 10 years, in at least 3 different product lines, AFTER it was well known (which happened the moment the first customer popped one open and stopped laughing off his ass) how to copy these.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: G0HZU on March 24, 2016, 09:05:04 pm
I'm not sure how the 'hack' I did on my Agilent E5071 VNA would be categorised (other than cheating the system). I reverse engineered the main VNA program code and worked out that the VNA options could be added by other means when compared to the usual keypad entry. i.e. I worked out the file format for a text based licence file and then debugged the running VNA code to get the licence key code to include in the file.
So to hack it I ended up placing a text file with the right filename and right contents with the right keycodes in it to unlock the options permanently. The VNA looks for this file and then releases the options if the key is valid for each option and expiry date listed in the file.

So I didn't change any software and I didn't change any hardware in the VNA unless you class the addition of a simple text file as a change.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: rx8pilot on March 24, 2016, 09:13:39 pm
This assumes there is a license.  I've never seen an scope or any other instrument that requires agreeing to a license before using it.  This means plain vanilla copyright and patent law applies - you can't make copies of the software, and you can't reimplement patented functionality and sell it.  You can of course make copies for your own use and reimplement patented functionality in your lab to your heart's content.  Without explicitly agreeing not to, you can also reverse engineer to your heart's content.

A software license is a contract.  If you haven't agreed to a contract then one doesn't exist and you're purely bound by the letter of the law, which in no way prevents you from modifying the software in your scope in any which way you like.  Maybe you think that's immoral and should be illegal, but that doesn't make it so.

This is a good point and one that has clearly been pushed in this thread. It appears that there is no real effort on the part of the manufactures to wrap the software components in any legal protections. This is most likely because they don't think anyone would bother, at least not enough to dent the bottom line. If that remains true, it will never be a problem legal or otherwise.

I am somewhat worried about what will happen when they do decide they need protection. it will probably be a lot of PITA efforts to prevent hacking which will add to the initial cost and add more process and procedure to the ownership experience.

Like a long time ago when you purchased a record to listen to music. Then people started copying to cassettes for profit or just sharing with a potential customer. As we progressed into the digital age - we have extremely complicated systems to slow down music sharing but it's a PITA for anyone that buys music. For example, I purchased a ton of music on iTunes when I had MACs and iPhone's. Now my MACs are gone and I am on Android - it is such a pain to deal with the various DRM efforts. Far more difficult than a CD anyway.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: G0HZU on March 24, 2016, 09:28:42 pm
Quote
I am somewhat worried about what will happen when they do decide they need protection. it will probably be a lot of PITA efforts to prevent hacking which will add to the initial cost and add more process and procedure to the ownership experience.

For various reasons I think that medium to large companies would prefer to pay the extra for features rather than hack for them. This probably explains why the feature unlock system only needs to be basic. Therefore, the majority of customers will simply pay up for the options they need.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: rx8pilot on March 24, 2016, 09:34:11 pm
Quote
I am somewhat worried about what will happen when they do decide they need protection. it will probably be a lot of PITA efforts to prevent hacking which will add to the initial cost and add more process and procedure to the ownership experience.

For various reasons I think that medium to large companies would prefer to pay the extra for features rather than hack for them. This probably explains why the feature unlock system only needs to be basic. Therefore, the majority of customers will simply pay up for the options they need.

Speaking for my own business - I will pay for the features because I want it right then and I want it to be supported if anything in not right. In general, hacking is slow and expensive for a business environment and most biz owners don't want the risk on top of that.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 24, 2016, 11:40:33 pm
Quote
I'm not sure how the 'hack' I did on my Agilent E5071 VNA would be categorised (other than cheating the system). I reverse engineered the main VNA program code and worked out that the VNA options could be added by other means when compared to the usual keypad entry. i.e. I worked out the file format for a text based licence file and then debugged the running VNA code to get the licence key code to include in the file.
So to hack it I ended up placing a text file with the right filename and right contents with the right keycodes in it to unlock the options permanently. The VNA looks for this file and then releases the options if the key is valid for each option and expiry date listed in the file.
I would say that probably no one cares as long as you're not selling this information and/or making money off it.

The thing is for most people who can do these types of things, I would imagine they have better things to spend their time on. Things what will make them real money. This time you spent figuring this out is not going to be reuseable. It's specific to this unique device. And you're not going to do it again. So in a way it's a waste of your time. But it's very cool that you know how to do this, BTW.

The manufacturers probably don't care too much about the (very small) percentage of people who have the knowledge and tools and inclination to do such a thing with their spare time for their personal scope.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: G0HZU on March 25, 2016, 01:26:59 am
Quote
This time you spent figuring this out is not going to be reuseable. It's specific to this unique device. And you're not going to do it again. So in a way it's a waste of your time. 

I think you are mistaken... The system they use is generic and not limited to Agilent test gear. I already knew the system very well from my time looking at other things not associated with Agilent. I knew where to look in system memory to find the keycode merely by disassembling the main program code and looking for sections of familiar code. This familiar (third party) code is buried/hidden deep within Agilent's code inside a 12Mb file. This part of the process only took a minute or so because I know this system so well in its various guises. The tricky bit was getting the VNA system code to run on a PC so I could debug it and halt the program at the critical spot where it is vulnerable to attack. I probably could have done this with the VNA itself but I didn't want to risk damaging any hardware if I messed up and caused crashes etc.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on March 25, 2016, 02:22:26 am
Woosh.  :-/O
Thanks for the explanation. Lol.

That sounds really awesome.  :-DD

I'd say you deserve to use those features and someone should call you up for a job in software security.   ;D
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: G0HZU on March 25, 2016, 02:41:27 am
It is a fairly trivial system in terms of security and there will be a lot of people out there who could do the same thing in even less time than it took me. Probably enough people to fill a football stadium :)

I'm not a programmer, my main skills are in RF design.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on March 25, 2016, 07:00:34 am

Rigol is 4 channel, Hantek is 2 channel. There is at least $160 right there.

You're right, and I did forget to mention that in my thumbnail comparison. But the Rigol is still rated 50MHz, unlockable to 100 MHz while the Hantek is rated 100MHz, unlockable to 200 MHz. I'd call that a wash.

-

I am not a lawyer or legal scholar, but I am pretty sure that a software license is considered a valuable product and that if it is used without the proper permission - it's stealing.
This assumes there is a license.  I've never seen an scope or any other instrument that requires agreeing to a license before using it.  This means plain vanilla copyright and patent law applies - you can't make copies of the software, and you can't reimplement patented functionality and sell it.  You can of course make copies for your own use and reimplement patented functionality in your lab to your heart's content.  Without explicitly agreeing not to, you can also reverse engineer to your heart's content.

A software license is a contract.  If you haven't agreed to a contract then one doesn't exist and you're purely bound by the letter of the law, which in no way prevents you from modifying the software in your scope in any which way you like.  Maybe you think that's immoral and should be illegal, but that doesn't make it so.

Well, this is one of those "grey areas" that modern litigious society has made for us, and it is one of the points I made a while back. Most of the civilized world has already outlawed "Break-seal" license contracts as a violation of consumer rights. It's mostly only here in the US that they've been able to keep that turd of legalese alive.

Patenting software is another controversial legal principle, though the argument is still heavily contested on both sides in most of the tech-savvy world. Personally, I consider it similarly absurd as trying to patent the human genome. :rolleyes:


mnem
*Toddles off to ded*
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: bozidarms on March 25, 2016, 07:36:07 am
Since every „big“ manufacturer produce in China, interesting has happened-
what  have we get:

1.products from mostly lower quality,
2.products with higher prices, despite the fact of significantly cheaper working environment!

On the end, the costumer is pulled over the barrel, and pay more for less, which is bitter truth!
In such one constellation, only manufacturer is winner, and he earn extra profit on count of cheap manufacturing!
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on March 25, 2016, 07:53:40 am
Quote
Yes, most manufacturers DO sell upgrade/unlock. The difference is that they ALSO spend the time & money to actually put a LOCK on stuff rather than just zip-tie it down and say "You haven't paid for this; now don't cut that zip-tie or we'll stop liking you and refuse you warranty!!!"
Ok, this is different from a lot of people saying something to the effect of:

"I paid for the hardware, hence I already paid for the features. It's mine to unlock." These are the comments that drew myself and tgzzz and some others into the thread, and the defense of this stance is still a little shabby, IMO. (Other than some EU laws, maybe, lol.) In reality, the honest fellas who purchased the upgrade are the ones who paid (the extremely trivial cost in the case of this memory deal) for your additional hardware! And don't cry for them, because they were happy to do it. No one forced them to buy a particular scope.

You are saying, if you want people to pay for the upgrade, you should make it more difficult to get for free. Morality and legality is not a part of this "better lock" argument, at all, then. So that's fine. I can't argue with that. Although I still see a lot of valid reasons why they would choose to use a single firmware and a simple code unlock, even if their goal is to actually encourage people to pay. If you want to sell a cheaper door, you put a cheaper lock on it. And the end users benefits from a cheaper price... whether they leave it alone or they break the lock. I'm sure there are a lot of buyers who do not break this lock. Whether morality reasons, or they can't be bothered, or they don't even care what's on the other side of the door. And there are still a lot of buyers that just pay for the higher model without a second thought. So Rigol will probably continue using the cheap lock as long as it works enough of the time. Nothing immoral or lazy or stupid on the part of Rigol, there. Whether this is actually a marketing ploy and they are subliminally encouraging people to unlock their scope... uhhmm, yeah I agree it's not beyond the realm of possibility, but why go to such lengths to make a crazy theory strung together with unproveable assumptions to justify what you are doing?

In your specific case, if you would have purchased the Hantek, then I suppose it IS a win-win. This isn't the same page I was writing on.

Yeah, that IS kindof what I meant when I said they were being lazy.

I feel that if they don't want me to have those extra features on the cheaper scope, they shouldn't put them on there AT ALL. Then I don't have the option of hacking them into functionality. Anything less than that is just them being lazy and not wanting to pay the REAL price of differentiating their product for different markets. It USED to be we had no choice; it was ALL hardware and you HAD TO add or remove parts to add or delete functionality. And EVEN THEN, some of us STILL hacked our gear. ;)

Making it software makes it all so much easier; you only have to write the software once and copy it a thousand or 100,000 times. It ENCOURAGES the Stef Murky set to try and invent new ridiculous means of making a single product fit multiple markets; even to the point of NOW altering the HARDWARE so it can be mechanically crippled by the software.

THIS I think is really that one step over the line; because EVERYBODY has to pay for all their R&D and the additional technology that goes into CRIPPLING the product. The bottom end customer shouldn't have to pay for the features put on his scope for the high-end customer that he can't use, and neither he nor the high-end customer should have to pay for the technology used to cripple the product.

Again, most of the civilized world has decided this in the customers' favor; that SELLING a hardware product while trying to hold control over the software required to make it work amounts to not selling it at all. "Buy" means "Buy"; "Rent" means "Rent". You buy a device, you own the copy of the software that makes it work, and you have the right to reverse-engineer that software to understand how it works. If in the course of that investigation you discover that they left additional software on it, YOU OWN THAT COPY OF THAT SOFTWARE TOO; "break-seal" license BS be damned.

On top of that, these scopes all operate on *NIX, which license specifically stipulates that you have to release your code back to the the public repository. Apps that run on it are not necessarily subject to this, but for sure any hardware extensions... the stuff that lets the OS control the scope... MUST be released back to the originating code base.

If I were a programmer capable of understanding and dismantling the code on my machine, I would be well within my rights, actually arguably bound by the GNU license, to release that code back to public code base.

And I think that too may be part of why these manufacturers don't get too oppressive with their security... they don't want to have to spend the money rewriting EVERYTHING because they pissed off the wrong hacker and s/he did exactly THAT with their entire firmware.


mnem
ZZZzzzZZZzzz...
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 25, 2016, 08:18:05 am
I feel that if they don't want me to have those extra features on the cheaper scope, they shouldn't put them on there AT ALL. Then I don't have the option of hacking them into functionality. Anything less than that is just them being lazy and not wanting to pay the REAL price of differentiating their product for different markets. It USED to be we had no choice; it was ALL hardware and you HAD TO add or remove parts to add or delete functionality. And EVEN THEN, some of us STILL hacked our gear. ;)

The airline seats analogy is illuminating. You prefer the SouthWest Airlines business model where everybody is in cattle class. That's reasonable. But if you choose to fly, I don't know, cattle class in United then you feel entitled to barge into first class and sit there. There are epithets for people like that, none of them complementary.

Quote
Making it software makes it all so much easier; you only have to write the software once and copy it a thousand or 100,000 times. It ENCOURAGES the Stef Murky set to try and invent new ridiculous means of making a single product fit multiple markets; even to the point of NOW altering the HARDWARE so it can be mechanically crippled by the software.

This is standard practice in the corporate world. For example Oracle and IBM are famous for suing their customers if they catch them using more processors/cores that they have paid for.

Quote
Again, most of the civilized world has decided this in the customers' favor; that SELLING a hardware product while trying to hold control over the software required to make it work amounts to not selling it at all. "Buy" means "Buy"; "Rent" means "Rent". You buy a device, you own the copy of the software that makes it work, and you have the right to reverse-engineer that software to understand how it works. If in the course of that investigation you discover that they left additional software on it, YOU OWN THAT COPY OF THAT SOFTWARE TOO; "break-seal" license BS be damned.

That is an entirely different case, and it is either ignorant or disingenuous to conflate it with your other points above.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on March 25, 2016, 08:52:42 am
THIS I think is really that one step over the line; because EVERYBODY has to pay for all their R&D and the additional technology that goes into CRIPPLING the product. The bottom end customer shouldn't have to pay for the features put on his scope for the high-end customer that he can't use, and neither he nor the high-end customer should have to pay for the technology used to cripple the product.

You really need to have a closer look at development costing.  Your model will make it more expensive for EVERYBODY.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 25, 2016, 11:29:35 am
You're right, and I did forget to mention that in my thumbnail comparison. But the Rigol is still rated 50MHz, unlockable to 100 MHz while the Hantek is rated 100MHz, unlockable to 200 MHz. I'd call that a wash.

Depends on what you use it for.


Since every „big“ manufacturer produce in China, interesting has happened-
what  have we get:

1.products from mostly lower quality,
2.products with higher prices, despite the fact of significantly cheaper working environment!

"Higher prices?"   :-//

Go back a couple of years and make a list of 'scopes for under $500. Compare it to today.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: bozidarms on March 25, 2016, 08:19:06 pm
Scopes for under $500 come not from "big" manufacturer, rather Chinese.
I have completely clear sad what is all about  - if you don't or won't realise  "it's your own fault" :box:
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on March 25, 2016, 08:20:28 pm
I feel that if they don't want me to have those extra features on the cheaper scope, they shouldn't put them on there AT ALL. Then I don't have the option of hacking them into functionality. Anything less than that is just them being lazy and not wanting to pay the REAL price of differentiating their product for different markets. It USED to be we had no choice; it was ALL hardware and you HAD TO add or remove parts to add or delete functionality. And EVEN THEN, some of us STILL hacked our gear. ;)

The airline seats analogy is illuminating. You prefer the SouthWest Airlines business model where everybody is in cattle class. That's reasonable. But if you choose to fly, I don't know, cattle class in United then you feel entitled to barge into first class and sit there. There are epithets for people like that, none of them complementary.
Quote

Making it software makes it all so much easier; you only have to write the software once and copy it a thousand or 100,000 times. It ENCOURAGES the Stef Murky set to try and invent new ridiculous means of making a single product fit multiple markets; even to the point of NOW altering the HARDWARE so it can be mechanically crippled by the software.

This is standard practice in the corporate world. For example Oracle and IBM are famous for suing their customers if they catch them using more processors/cores that they have paid for.

Quote
Again, most of the civilized world has decided this in the customers' favor; that SELLING a hardware product while trying to hold control over the software required to make it work amounts to not selling it at all. "Buy" means "Buy"; "Rent" means "Rent". You buy a device, you own the copy of the software that makes it work, and you have the right to reverse-engineer that software to understand how it works. If in the course of that investigation you discover that they left additional software on it, YOU OWN THAT COPY OF THAT SOFTWARE TOO; "break-seal" license BS be damned.

That is an entirely different case, and it is either ignorant or disingenuous to conflate it with your other points above.


The Airline Seat analogy is completely irrelevant to this scenario. They HAVE security and bulkheads between the classes of seat, and the stewards won't serve you if you do move to the 1st class section, they'll send you back to cattle class.

This would be more like if all the classes were in the same single cabin, and the only thing stopping you from moving to an empty 1st class seat is a line of tape on the floor and the disapproving glances of other cattle class passengers. And when you DO step across the line, the stewards serve you as if you belonged there, because they don't have security to escort you back to cattle class, and because the Arline decided it was more efficient to serve a few brazen advantage-takers than to pay for Security and bulkheads that cost them 2 rows of seats apiece.

There. NOW your stupid Airline example is comparable.



I don't GIVE A DAMN if it is "Standard Practice in the Corporate World".

Standard practice in the corporate world nowadays is essentially to assrape EVERYBODY but the few who have the money to afford their OWN bodyguards and armies of lawyers, and to buy whatever laws they like to make it legal to continue assraping everybody. This is EXACTLY the kind of idiotic "Corporations Know Best" attitude that has turned the whole South of the US into a stinking cesspit of corruption, fracking and pollution. The entirety of Texas is turning into an episode of "The Oblongs"; and you KNOW where everybody but the CEOs are living... downstream.



No, it is NOT an entirely different case. You WISH it were, but it is NOT. It is actually the CORE of the problem, and it is a GLOBAL problem. The only people anybody actually expects to play fair anymore are those at the bottom of the economic pyramid.

SOME of the world has caught on to this and are changing their laws to level the playing field to SOME EXTENT. It is supremely arrogant to assume that the laws of the US are or should be applicable to the rest of the world; quite the opposite, really, in this age of batshit crazy litigation created out of whole cloth entirely by the American corporate culture of rampant greed and political corruption.

The GPL is just such an attempt at leveling the playing field. It is ENTIRELY relevant here, and it will continue to be until corporations actually lose enough cases in costly enough fashion that they stop treating the *NIX code base like it's their private property to raid for free at will. It is YOU who is being disingenuous to claim otherwise.



THIS I think is really that one step over the line; because EVERYBODY has to pay for all their R&D and the additional technology that goes into CRIPPLING the product. The bottom end customer shouldn't have to pay for the features put on his scope for the high-end customer that he can't use, and neither he nor the high-end customer should have to pay for the technology used to cripple the product.

You really need to have a closer look at development costing.  Your model will make it more expensive for EVERYBODY.

I know quite a bit about development costing, particularly in hardware. And I know that things have gotten MUCH cheaper since we've been able to make drastic changes in a product's fundamental architecture just by punching a few keys. Software development isn't free either, but it is exponentially cheaper than hardware development. And the final deployment cost is essentially free. THIS is why it is now the means of choice for Marketers  for just this kind of BS; they've come to expect to be able to do it for EVERYTHING. The bar has been LOWERED exponentially as a result.

Yeah... playing fair does cost more. Sucks, don't it?


You're right, and I did forget to mention that in my thumbnail comparison. But the Rigol is still rated 50MHz, unlockable to 100 MHz while the Hantek is rated 100MHz, unlockable to 200 MHz. I'd call that a wash.

Depends on what you use it for.


Since every „big“ manufacturer produce in China, interesting has happened-
what  have we get:

1.products from mostly lower quality,
2.products with higher prices, despite the fact of significantly cheaper working environment!

"Higher prices?"   :-//

Go back a couple of years and make a list of 'scopes for under $500. Compare it to today.

I agree with you on both counts.


mnem
*FLUP!*
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 25, 2016, 08:26:27 pm
I've omitted your rants that deliberately create strawman arguments and ignore the points being made. That leaves us with...

*FLUP!*

Your moniker, a fictional dragon from young adult SF, is appropriate.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: nctnico on March 25, 2016, 09:32:38 pm
I feel that if they don't want me to have those extra features on the cheaper scope, they shouldn't put them on there AT ALL. Then I don't have the option of hacking them into functionality. Anything less than that is just them being lazy and not wanting to pay the REAL price of differentiating their product for different markets. It USED to be we had no choice; it was ALL hardware and you HAD TO add or remove parts to add or delete functionality. And EVEN THEN, some of us STILL hacked our gear. ;)
The airline seats analogy is illuminating. You prefer the SouthWest Airlines business model where everybody is in cattle class. That's reasonable. But if you choose to fly, I don't know, cattle class in United then you feel entitled to barge into first class and sit there. There are epithets for people like that, none of them complementary.
Perhaps but if you hack your scope nobody is going to say anything about it so that makes it a lot more OK than barging into first class on an airplane after which the flight attendant (and perhaps some security guy) will put you in your place.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on March 25, 2016, 10:07:50 pm
I've omitted your rants that deliberately create strawman arguments and ignore the points being made. That leaves us with...

*FLUP!*

Your moniker, a fictional dragon from young adult SF, is appropriate.


And you have been identified before as a self-important blowhard :blah:, who continually ignores all refutation of your own  BS arguments.  :bullshit:

How appropriate that you yourself deleted everything but your own wardrobe malfunction.

Kilrah was right, you're a troll; I've deleted your entire existence from my own paradigm. Thanks for playing!

I feel that if they don't want me to have those extra features on the cheaper scope, they shouldn't put them on there AT ALL. Then I don't have the option of hacking them into functionality. Anything less than that is just them being lazy and not wanting to pay the REAL price of differentiating their product for different markets. It USED to be we had no choice; it was ALL hardware and you HAD TO add or remove parts to add or delete functionality. And EVEN THEN, some of us STILL hacked our gear. ;)

Perhaps but if you hack your scope nobody is going to say anything about it so that makes it a lot more OK than barging into first class on an airplane after which the flight attendant (and perhaps some security guy) will put you in your place.

Umm... We have 10 pages of people saying something about it right here.  :-DD

The Airline analogy is not mine, it appears to be a fixture of the internet. I've seen it more times than I can count, and as here, applied entirely inappropriately. All I did what put it in the wastebin where it belongs. You're welcome!  :-+


mnem
 :-BROKE

[EDITED: Incorrect Attribution]
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 25, 2016, 10:19:03 pm

I feel that if they don't want me to have those extra features on the cheaper scope, they shouldn't put them on there AT ALL. Then I don't have the option of hacking them into functionality. Anything less than that is just them being lazy and not wanting to pay the REAL price of differentiating their product for different markets. It USED to be we had no choice; it was ALL hardware and you HAD TO add or remove parts to add or delete functionality. And EVEN THEN, some of us STILL hacked our gear. ;)

Perhaps but if you hack your scope nobody is going to say anything about it so that makes it a lot more OK than barging into first class on an airplane after which the flight attendant (and perhaps some security guy) will put you in your place.

Umm... We have 10 pages of people saying something about it right here.  :-DD

The Airline analogy is not mine, it appears to be a fixture of the internet. I've seen it more times than I can count, and as here, applied entirely inappropriately. All I did what put it in the wastebin where it belongs. You're welcome!  :-+


mnem
 :-BROKE
mnementh, please ensure your replies don't misattribute quotes.  Follow the link in your post and you will see your mistake.

I'm perfectly happy for others to see what else I've posted in this forum and make their own judgement of me - as they will also do of you.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: nctnico on March 25, 2016, 11:59:09 pm
Yeah don't make it look like tggzzz contributed something sensible for a change   >:D  Sorry I couldn't resist... :popcorn:
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on March 26, 2016, 03:00:53 am
Yeah don't make it look like tggzzz contributed something sensible for a change   >:D  Sorry I couldn't resist... :popcorn:

Please accept my most humble apologies for the unintended slight; I promise it was a typo.  :palm: [EDIT] When I quoted you I quoted him as well, which I tried to delete but screwed up the formatting of my post. I overlooked the fact that I deleted the wrong lines when I previewed.[/EDIT]

OP (Offending Post ;) ) edited and annotated. :D


mnem
This entire thread is an exercise in series-parallel resistance.


Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on March 26, 2016, 04:10:04 am

The Airline analogy is not mine, it appears to be a fixture of the internet. I've seen it more times than I can count, and as here, applied entirely inappropriately. All I did what put it in the wastebin where it belongs. You're welcome!  :-+


I believe I am responsible for introducing the airline analogy in this thread - and those who understand the concept I was trying to illustrate seemed to have done so without much hesitation.

The problem with all analogies is that they will never perfectly reflect the original subject matter and the limitations may be many.  Your continued dismissal of the airline analogy as inappropriate sounds more like decree than debate.  It is founded on a number of incidental factors that really have very little (if anything) to do with the question put.

Then, there's the matter of consistency.  You bag the analogy - and then come up with a variation which you declare as 'comparable' and STILL don't answer the question.



 |O
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 26, 2016, 07:36:33 am
OP (Offending Post ;) ) edited and annotated. :D

But still visible in https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/msg903979/#msg903979 (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/msg903979/#msg903979)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 26, 2016, 07:41:05 am

The Airline analogy is not mine, it appears to be a fixture of the internet. I've seen it more times than I can count, and as here, applied entirely inappropriately. All I did what put it in the wastebin where it belongs. You're welcome!  :-+


I believe I am responsible for introducing the airline analogy in this thread - and those who understand the concept I was trying to illustrate seemed to have done so without much hesitation.

The problem with all analogies is that they will never perfectly reflect the original subject matter and the limitations may be many.  Your continued dismissal of the airline analogy as inappropriate sounds more like decree than debate.  It is founded on a number of incidental factors that really have very little (if anything) to do with the question put.

Then, there's the matter of consistency.  You bag the analogy - and then come up with a variation which you declare as 'comparable' and STILL don't answer the question.
 |O

Precisely.

I wonder if such posters realise they are doing that kind of thing, and how badly it reflects on them and their argument.

The tone of some of their replies is also revealing. Now I know that the unit of discourse on usenet isn't "the posting" but is  "the flame" - but fortunately on this forum the discourse is usually pretty civil.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 26, 2016, 10:16:04 am
I believe I am responsible for introducing the airline analogy in this thread - and those who understand the concept I was trying to illustrate seemed to have done so without much hesitation.

The problem with all analogies is that they will never perfectly reflect the original subject matter and the limitations may be many.  Your continued dismissal of the airline analogy as inappropriate sounds more like decree than debate.  It is founded on a number of incidental factors that really have very little (if anything) to do with the question put.

Then, there's the matter of consistency.  You bag the analogy - and then come up with a variation which you declare as 'comparable' and STILL don't answer the question.
You're confusing not understanding with not agreeing with you.

I understood the point you were trying to make the first time. Whether I agreed with it or not, or think your argument is a good one, is another thing.

The same could be said about a bus. If a bus drives past with lots of empty seats and I'd like to travel but don't have any money, should I be entitled to travel for free? After all I'm not costing the driver or bus company any more money by sitting on the bus. Of course not. I'm not entitled to travel for free!

A developer could write some software and charge each user for a licence, but does that mean everyone is entitled to visit pirate bay and use it, without paying?

Both running the bus and writing software incur costs to the company, which need to be recouped by paying users. But you're not comparing like with like. The bus has only a limited number of seats, when an unlimited number of people could use the software, paying or otherwise.

What would a software developer prefer: 1000 000 users, with only 10% of them paying or 100 000 users?

The developer would be foolish if they'd really prefer 100 000 users, over 1000 000 users. Those extra 900 000 users won't pay anyway, are not costing them anything and are spreading awareness of the product, attracting more paying users.

Yeah, that IS kindof what I meant when I said they were being lazy.

I feel that if they don't want me to have those extra features on the cheaper scope, they shouldn't put them on there AT ALL. Then I don't have the option of hacking them into functionality. Anything less than that is just them being lazy and not wanting to pay the REAL price of differentiating their product for different markets. It USED to be we had no choice; it was ALL hardware and you HAD TO add or remove parts to add or delete functionality. And EVEN THEN, some of us STILL hacked our gear. ;)

Making it software makes it all so much easier; you only have to write the software once and copy it a thousand or 100,000 times. It ENCOURAGES the Stef Murky set to try and invent new ridiculous means of making a single product fit multiple markets; even to the point of NOW altering the HARDWARE so it can be mechanically crippled by the software.

THIS I think is really that one step over the line; because EVERYBODY has to pay for all their R&D and the additional technology that goes into CRIPPLING the product. The bottom end customer shouldn't have to pay for the features put on his scope for the high-end customer that he can't use, and neither he nor the high-end customer should have to pay for the technology used to cripple the product.

Again, most of the civilized world has decided this in the customers' favor; that SELLING a hardware product while trying to hold control over the software required to make it work amounts to not selling it at all. "Buy" means "Buy"; "Rent" means "Rent". You buy a device, you own the copy of the software that makes it work, and you have the right to reverse-engineer that software to understand how it works. If in the course of that investigation you discover that they left additional software on it, YOU OWN THAT COPY OF THAT SOFTWARE TOO; "break-seal" license BS be damned.

On top of that, these scopes all operate on *NIX, which license specifically stipulates that you have to release your code back to the the public repository. Apps that run on it are not necessarily subject to this, but for sure any hardware extensions... the stuff that lets the OS control the scope... MUST be released back to the originating code base.

If I were a programmer capable of understanding and dismantling the code on my machine, I would be well within my rights, actually arguably bound by the GNU license, to release that code back to public code base.

And I think that too may be part of why these manufacturers don't get too oppressive with their security... they don't want to have to spend the money rewriting EVERYTHING because they pissed off the wrong hacker and s/he did exactly THAT with their entire firmware.
This represents my point of view quite well, with the most prominent bit highlighted. Of course companies will maximise profits but when they start violating the rights of the consumer, the line is crossed.

Another one is crappy licensing schemes which inconvenience the paying user and someone who has cracked it and not paid doesn't have to deal with. Worry about the paying customers for goodness sake. You're not going to encourage then with this BS. Those who want to use your product without paying will find a way. Your legitimate users shouldn't have to pay!

This is one of the things I consider when purchasing software. If has this sort of retarded BS then it counts against it. If it's easy to crack then I may do that, even if I do pay for the licence!
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on March 26, 2016, 10:48:22 am

The developer would be foolish if they'd really prefer 100 000 users, over 1000 000 users. Those extra 900 000 users won't pay anyway, are not costing them anything and are spreading awareness of the product, attracting more paying users.


Herein lies the weakness of that argument....

If 900,000 users get to use the software for free, then the 100,000 who would pay for it, will ask "Why should I pay?".  You end up with everybody expecting to use it for free - and the developer gets nothing.  The knife cuts both ways.  You can't claim one and ignore the other.


Quote
Both running the bus and writing software incur costs to the company, which need to be recouped by paying users. But you're not comparing like with like. The bus has only a limited number of seats, when an unlimited number of people could use the software, paying or otherwise.

This is exactly what I mean by leaning on the weaknesses of an analogy and avoiding the question.  Also, that particular weakness has been covered by establishing conditions of the scenario where it is no longer relevant.  This is best demonstrated with the airline analogy, where the limited number of seats is not a consideration in the scope of the question.  If I can re-phrase the question it might go something like this:  IF you were to buy an economy class ticket for a flight and after it has taken off you notice there are no doors or guards to prevent you from walking up to first class and taking an empty seat - do you feel 'entitled' to take advantage of the opportunity?

There's no 'limited resource' argument here - the conditions have been specified so that that argument does not apply in this example.  So please don't try it on ... and just answer the question.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 26, 2016, 01:39:04 pm

The developer would be foolish if they'd really prefer 100 000 users, over 1000 000 users. Those extra 900 000 users won't pay anyway, are not costing them anything and are spreading awareness of the product, attracting more paying users.


Herein lies the weakness of that argument....

If 900,000 users get to use the software for free, then the 100,000 who would pay for it, will ask "Why should I pay?".  You end up with everybody expecting to use it for free - and the developer gets nothing.  The knife cuts both ways.  You can't claim one and ignore the other.

That clearly hasn't happened. People do widely use software without the licence to do so, yet the software developers have not gone out of business. Many software companies make a fair profit from selling their software and Microsoft even admit that they gain in other ways from unlicensed users.
http://www.informationweek.com/if-youre-going-to-steal-software-steal-from-us-microsoft-exec/d/d-id/1052865?cid=rssfeed_iwk_all (http://www.informationweek.com/if-youre-going-to-steal-software-steal-from-us-microsoft-exec/d/d-id/1052865?cid=rssfeed_iwk_all)

At some point people will pay for the software: there are other ways of making money, such as technical support and as long as it's just easier to buy it, then people will.

Quote
Quote
Both running the bus and writing software incur costs to the company, which need to be recouped by paying users. But you're not comparing like with like. The bus has only a limited number of seats, when an unlimited number of people could use the software, paying or otherwise.

This is exactly what I mean by leaning on the weaknesses of an analogy and avoiding the question.  Also, that particular weakness has been covered by establishing conditions of the scenario where it is no longer relevant.  This is best demonstrated with the airline analogy, where the limited number of seats is not a consideration in the scope of the question.  If I can re-phrase the question it might go something like this:  IF you were to buy an economy class ticket for a flight and after it has taken off you notice there are no doors or guards to prevent you from walking up to first class and taking an empty seat - do you feel 'entitled' to take advantage of the opportunity?

There's no 'limited resource' argument here - the conditions have been specified so that that argument does not apply in this example.  So please don't try it on ... and just answer the question.
Hell, I'd certainly do that, without a shred of guilt whatsoever.

The allocation of which seats are premium and which aren't is a complex decision and if the situation is as you've described, the airline got it wrong.

EDIT:
Come to think of it, I've done that kind of thing before. I often used to go to the cinema with a few people, late at night. The theatre was mostly empty so we just picked the best seats, rather than the ones the ticket was for. Technically a member of staff could have insisted we sat in the correct seats, but they were glad to have the business and we were happy we got the best seats, at no extra cost.

While the marketing folks, bean counters, management, designers, developers and warehouse might want to have it both ways - it is the customer who is DEMANDING to have it both ways.
Awhile ago the customer either purchased something, whether it be a radio or a piece of test equipment, or rented it.

If customer purchased the item outright, that meant it became their personal property. It meant they became responsible for insuring the item and any repairs, after the warranty period expired. It also gave them the right to modify it and improve its performance and accept that it would no longer be covered by the manufacturer's warranty.

If you rented the item, it still remained the vendor's property, which meant the customer could no longer modify the item. However, the vendor still had to insure the item and pay for any repairs, including spare parts, other than consumables.

Now the manufacturer wants it both ways. They want to customer to pay for the overall cost of the item but still own parts of it and forbid any modification to it. In some cases (Siglent, possibly Rigol, but we can't be sure about the latter) they've attempted to go further, by preventing resale of the (unmodified, not hacked item) in violation of the consumer law in most countries. It's this sort of crap which is immoral.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: nctnico on March 26, 2016, 02:53:28 pm
The developer would be foolish if they'd really prefer 100 000 users, over 1000 000 users. Those extra 900 000 users won't pay anyway, are not costing them anything and are spreading awareness of the product, attracting more paying users.
Herein lies the weakness of that argument....

If 900,000 users get to use the software for free, then the 100,000 who would pay for it, will ask "Why should I pay?".  You end up with everybody expecting to use it for free - and the developer gets nothing.  The knife cuts both ways.  You can't claim one and ignore the other.
So one way or the other you have to give all the users the feeling they should pay for the software which is why organisations like the BSA exist.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on March 26, 2016, 07:11:31 pm
The Airline Seat analogy is completely irrelevant to this scenario. They HAVE security and bulkheads between the classes of seat, and the stewards won't serve you if you do move to the 1st class section, they'll send you back to cattle class.

This would be more like if all the classes were in the same single cabin, and the only thing stopping you from moving to an empty 1st class seat is a line of tape on the floor and the disapproving glances of other cattle class passengers. And when you DO step across the line, the stewards serve you as if you belonged there, because they don't have security to escort you back to cattle class, and because the Arline decided it was more efficient to serve a few brazen advantage-takers than to pay for Security and bulkheads that cost them 2 rows of seats apiece.
There. NOW your stupid Airline example is comparable.

Quote from: mnementh
The Airline analogy is not mine, it appears to be a fixture of the internet. I've seen it more times than I can count, and as here, applied entirely inappropriately. All I did what put it in the wastebin where it belongs. You're welcome!  :-+
I believe I am responsible for introducing the airline analogy in this thread - and those who understand the concept I was trying to illustrate seemed to have done so without much hesitation.

The problem with all analogies is that they will never perfectly reflect the original subject matter and the limitations may be many.  Your continued dismissal of the airline analogy as inappropriate sounds more like decree than debate.  It is founded on a number of incidental factors that really have very little (if anything) to do with the question put.

Then, there's the matter of consistency.  You bag the analogy - and then come up with a variation which you declare as 'comparable' and STILL don't answer the question.

 |O

No, only the folks who agree with your position. The rest of us see it for the aardvark in a punchbowl it is; that is to say, completely inappropriate to the conversation at hand.

As for whether I would feel "entitled"... don't try to drag me into THAT recursive sophistry.  ::)

WOULD I move to the 1st class seating, given my scenario above? Hells yes. I, like the universe itself, loathe a vacuum and will rush to fill it, and maybe I can bring something more to the equation than merely "Doing the disapproved of thing just because I can." I am willing to accept THOSE consequences of my actions, just as I am willing to accept the present consequences of hacking my 'scope.

If the consequences of jumping to 1st class were more severe; say I'd have to fight with a security guard and probably get arrested at the ends of the flight, then probably not. Just as if they started making the consequences of hacking my scope more severe; like having it check home with mommynet and disable itself if it discovers that it has been tampered with. Of course, I'd probably try and find a hack for THAT as well.  ;)

In short, you are conflating "Legal\Illegal" with "Right\Wrong".

Personally, I STILL think it's ridiculous to try and apply American mores and Licensing Law to a product made and sold in China. Their Laws are not the same as ours, and their ideas of "Right & Wrong" most certainly are not the same.


mnem
Was/Not Was.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on March 27, 2016, 07:19:45 am
As for whether I would feel "entitled"... don't try to drag me into THAT recursive sophistry.  ::)

Interesting - since that sense of 'entitlement' is fundamental to this argument.

Still - if you say the analogy is irrelevant, then it must be so.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on March 27, 2016, 08:25:58 am
They didn't give anything to you, they only sold a licence to use it. You should be able to do anything reasonable with the things you have licenced but not the things you haven't licenced. In particular there should, of course, be a secondhand market in selling such licences, and the EU is attempting to enforce that concept.

If they sold me a license, then there must have been some point at which I agreed to that license.  At what point did I agree to such a thing when I purchased my piece of test gear?  Nothing appeared on the screen indicating any such thing.

Let's get something out of the way: firstly, do you agree that manufacturers are free to implement features however they want, and are perfectly free to implement them in such a way that they cannot be "hacked" if they so desired?

Secondly, do you agree that if something is in your lawful possession, that you should be able to do anything you want with it (excluding obvious things, of course, like intentionally using it to harm someone else)? 

Which is to say, do you believe the market should be free?

A free market depends on freedom of the players involved.  The sellers have to be free to build what they want in whatever way they want.  The buyers have to be free to buy what they want and do what they want with it once they have it.  Both entities have to be free to enter into binding agreements with each other as to who will do what.  And buyers and sellers both have to be free to do whatever they wish, absent the restrictions they agree to.  There are some basic limitations on that (e.g., warranties, right of return, etc.  And yes, even copyright.  See below) which have been imposed for the purpose of general improvement of the market, but aside from those things, markets are generally free.   Is that something you have a problem with?

In the United States, at least, copyright law exists for one reason only: to promote the progress of the sciences and the useful arts.  This is the explicitly stated purpose in the United States Constitution for which the power to impose copyright laws was granted to Congress, and the reason copyrights have term limits in the United States is because the Constitution explicitly states that the terms are to be limited.  Keep this in mind when you make claims about software copyright and its purpose.


Sellers generally have the right to build their products however they want.  But implicit in that liberty is the recognition that they must also bear the cost of doing so.  Obviously, that cost will be reflected in their prices.  Similarly, buyers are free to do whatever they want with the products they purchase, but implicit in that is the recognition that sellers might take steps to limit that through various means.

How does all this relate to "hacking" DSOs?  Simple: "hacking" the DSO is simply an action that the purchaser is physically able to take.  There isn't anything that physically constrains the purchaser from doing so.  Copyright law does not forbid the purchaser from doing so, either, at least with respect to the "unlock codes" we're talking about.  The DMCA covers mechanisms that prevent "access to a work protected under this title", but as applied to software, that "access" is with respect to the code, not the features implemented by that code.  This interpretation makes sense because copyright protects against unauthorized copies.  It does not govern use, at least in the United States, thanks to the exemption in 17 U.S.C. 117 (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/117).   If use of the software/firmware during normal operation were covered by copyright law, then a license agreement would be necessary in order to legally use any computing device at all, including special purpose ones such as oscilloscopes


So: at least as regards United States law, it appears that "hacking" these scopes is perfectly legal, at least if we're talking about the type that involves entering an unlock key.  But, of course, manufacturers are free to implement measures that protect against that.  The kind of hacking that some refer to here (decrypting the code in the ROMs, for instance) is illegal per copyright law, as that does involve making copies.  But entering a magic key that unlocks a feature is not.

A manufacturer who is concerned about the kind of unlocking that we're primarily discussing here can easily implement a system that would make it impossible for the end user to determine what key he should enter into the scope to unlock a feature.  The manufacturer need only cryptographically sign with its private key a packet that contains both the feature descriptor and the scope's serial number, generating a blob that contains the signature and the feature descriptor.  Uploading the resulting blob to the scope would cause the scope to store the blob in its database.  The bootloader would have on file the public key of the manufacturer.  When the scope boots, the bootloader would go through the signed blobs and activate the features for which it is able to cryptographically verify the signature.


In light of the ease with which manufacturers can make unlocking features impossible without their explicit permission, and do so on a per-device basis, the ones that fail to do so anyway clearly are intentionally making it possible to "hack" their scopes.  That is a business decision on their part, just like purchasing the scope is a business decision on the part of the buyer.  If the scope can be "hacked" in that fashion, and the manufacturer fails to take steps to prevent it, who are we to say that "hacking" it is "wrong", when it's clear that the manufacturer clearly prefers that their scopes be "hackable"?

No, in this case, if someone has reservations about "hacking" these scopes, that's on them and them alone. 

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 27, 2016, 12:51:18 pm
Perhaps but if you hack your scope nobody is going to say anything about it so that makes it a lot more OK than barging into first class on an airplane after which the flight attendant (and perhaps some security guy) will put you in your place.

This is the point: People choose different standards of right/wrong when it comes to oscilloscopes, copying music, etc.

They do things that they wouldn't do in other circumstances and justify it to themselves as "harmless, I wasn't going to buy it anyway".

Sitting in first class is harmless to the airline, you were never going to pay for a first class ticket, the seats are unoccupied ... so why is nobody here arguing that they are entitled to sit there or that the airline is wronging passengers by leaving the seats empty? Interesting psychology, n'est pas?  :popcorn:


Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: nctnico on March 27, 2016, 01:12:39 pm
They probably hire more or less staff and order more or less food depending on whether first class is nearly full or nearly empty so again the airplane analogy doesn't really fit well.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: G0HZU on March 27, 2016, 01:34:45 pm
Quote
A manufacturer who is concerned about the kind of unlocking that we're primarily discussing here can easily implement a system that would make it impossible for the end user to determine what key he should enter into the scope to unlock a feature.  The manufacturer need only cryptographically sign with its private key a packet that contains both the feature descriptor and the scope's serial number, generating a blob that contains the signature and the feature descriptor.  Uploading the resulting blob to the scope would cause the scope to store the blob in its database.  The bootloader would have on file the public key of the manufacturer.  When the scope boots, the bootloader would go through the signed blobs and activate the features for which it is able to cryptographically verify the signature.
You make it sound really easy but the system you describe above would be prone to a patch (or a clone?) based attack.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 27, 2016, 01:46:56 pm
They probably hire more or less staff and order more or less food depending on whether first class is nearly full or nearly empty so again the airplane analogy doesn't really fit well.

Well obviously you don't get the extra attention, free first class food, etc.

(As has been mentioned several times already...)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: nctnico on March 27, 2016, 02:26:21 pm
They probably hire more or less staff and order more or less food depending on whether first class is nearly full or nearly empty so again the airplane analogy doesn't really fit well.
Well obviously you don't get the extra attention, free first class food, etc.
It will still be extra hassle for the flight attendants to figure out who gets economy food and who gets the first class food (including porcelain plates, real dinnerware, etc). So either way it is going to cost the airline extra if they fill those chairs with economy class passengers.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 27, 2016, 03:21:35 pm
They probably hire more or less staff and order more or less food depending on whether first class is nearly full or nearly empty so again the airplane analogy doesn't really fit well.
Well obviously you don't get the extra attention, free first class food, etc.
It will still be extra hassle for the flight attendants to figure out who gets economy food and who gets the first class food (including porcelain plates, real dinnerware, etc). So either way it is going to cost the airline extra if they fill those chairs with economy class passengers.

:palm:

For the sake of argument: Let's make it a condition that they wear a bunny suit so the attendants know who the cattle-class passengers are and to make sure they don't dirty the nice leather seats, OK?

Point is: Stop avoiding the point by nitpicking the details.

People in aircraft have no expectation of being allowed to sit up front if the seats are empty. None. Zero. It doesn't even cross their minds that they might be allowed to because they instinctively feel they don't have that right. THAT's the point being made.

Contrast that with the people who say they're being wronged by Rigol selling them an oscilloscope with a couple of features disabled ('wronged' was the actual word used if you're new to the thread).

Why the dissonance? Where on earth does that come from.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: SeanB on March 27, 2016, 03:55:37 pm
I have been bumped up to first class once on a flight, was travelling standby, and economy was full, so they started doing upgraded standby and by the time I got to the front of the line they were full in business so I got a free first class upgrade at business rate. Real cutlery (not plastic anywhere), real ceramic plates, glassware and a decent enough wine with the meal, which was superlative.

Funny thing about airlines is that they tend to take a full set of meals for first class, irrespective of the number of passengers travelling first class, as they always might sell those seats just before the gate closes, or bump standby up to first class if coach or business is oversubscribed.

Of course these days there is no more first class, just cattle class and slightly less cattle class, unless you travel on some top branded airlines.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 27, 2016, 04:20:06 pm
I have been bumped up to first class once on a flight

Me too.

Funny thing about airlines is that they tend to take a full set of meals for first class, irrespective of the number of passengers travelling first class, as they always might sell those seats just before the gate closes

Makes sense (sorta).

First class also has a menu to choose from so they don't know what people will pick. They'll have to take at a few extra of each menu along in case everybody chooses the same thing.


Title: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on March 27, 2016, 06:48:36 pm
Quote
A manufacturer who is concerned about the kind of unlocking that we're primarily discussing here can easily implement a system that would make it impossible for the end user to determine what key he should enter into the scope to unlock a feature.  The manufacturer need only cryptographically sign with its private key a packet that contains both the feature descriptor and the scope's serial number, generating a blob that contains the signature and the feature descriptor.  Uploading the resulting blob to the scope would cause the scope to store the blob in its database.  The bootloader would have on file the public key of the manufacturer.  When the scope boots, the bootloader would go through the signed blobs and activate the features for which it is able to cryptographically verify the signature.
You make it sound really easy but the system you describe above would be prone to a patch (or a clone?) based attack.

Not if the entirety of the firmware (save for the basic bootstrapper, which, if the manufacturer was determined to prevent what we're talking about, could be cryptographically signed and its contents verified and enforced in hardware) is also encrypted with the same private key as the individual features.  Attacking that would require a violation of copyright law, because the manufacturer could claim copyright on the public key.

Again, this isn't hard.  Indeed, even the hardware cryptographic verification bit I referred to (which isn't strictly necessary to prevent someone from legally hacking the scope in such a way that they can use the vendor-provided firmware in an unencumbered manner) is something that is widely available and inexpensive (one of the Atmel chips that does this, the AT97SC3205T, is about $3 from Mouser in quantity).


I must stress again: what people are doing when they "hack" a Rigol scope is not illegal!   If the manufacturer aims to prevent illegal manipulation of their firmware (which, here, means copying the firmware or parts of it), or use of firmware acquired through illegal means, then they must take steps over and beyond those that would be required to prevent certain types of legal manipulation.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on March 27, 2016, 06:49:59 pm
Perhaps but if you hack your scope nobody is going to say anything about it so that makes it a lot more OK than barging into first class on an airplane after which the flight attendant (and perhaps some security guy) will put you in your place.

This is the point: People choose different standards of right/wrong when it comes to oscilloscopes, copying music, etc.

They do things that they wouldn't do in other circumstances and justify it to themselves as "harmless, I wasn't going to buy it anyway".

Sitting in first class is harmless to the airline, you were never going to pay for a first class ticket, the seats are unoccupied ... so why is nobody here arguing that they are entitled to sit there or that the airline is wronging passengers by leaving the seats empty? Interesting psychology, n'est pas?  :popcorn:

Because the airline owns the seat, not the passenger.  This means the airline gets to dictate what happens with the seat, not the passenger.

The person who bought the oscilloscope owns the copy of the software that's running on his device, as well as the device itself.  Copyright law restricts the ability of that person to lawfully copy the software, but the person nevertheless owns the copy of the software that exists in his oscilloscope.  It is his to do with as he pleases, provided he doesn't violate copyright law (or any other law for that matter) in the process.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: G0HZU on March 27, 2016, 09:00:36 pm
Quote
Not if the entirety of the firmware (save for the basic bootstrapper, which, if the manufacturer was determined to prevent what we're talking about, could be cryptographically signed its contents verified and enforced in hardware) is also encrypted with the same private key as the individual features.  Attacking that would require a violation of copyright law, because the manufacturer could claim copyright on the public key.

I agree you can make things a lot harder, but you also have to factor in that the supplier needs to introduce a lot of versatility into the system allowing stuff like time trials, licence transfer etc etc. This would not be so simple to develop and manage so a common solution is to approach a third party company that specialise in this stuff and let them 'protect' the system using their own licensing system. That's where the problems start because it becomes much harder to keep it all secure.

I'm getting old and very rusty on stuff like this but in the past I've successfully attacked systems (these were not TEqpt systems) that came in an encrypted shell or wrapper  that could also detect debugging and could self check itself and the protected code for signs of tampering.

A lot depends on how accessible the system is in terms of debug tools and if it runs a bloated OS. I've had success in some extreme cases by writing programs that run alongside the main app and the little side program can search and wait for vulnerable (or anti tamper) code in system RAM and modify or dump it to a file. At some point it has to decrypt and store and run the application code. So an attacker can exploit this and dump out code and analyse it. I'm getting too old and slow to do this stuff now and the VNA was the first thing I've looked at in quite a while. So I think I'm more pleased that I still managed to hack it than I am with the options I unlocked!. I'm unlikely to do much with the time domain option in my VNA other than learn how to use it. I'll probably never use the other option I unlocked :)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 27, 2016, 10:27:48 pm
Perhaps but if you hack your scope nobody is going to say anything about it so that makes it a lot more OK than barging into first class on an airplane after which the flight attendant (and perhaps some security guy) will put you in your place.

This is the point: People choose different standards of right/wrong when it comes to oscilloscopes, copying music, etc.

They do things that they wouldn't do in other circumstances and justify it to themselves as "harmless, I wasn't going to buy it anyway".

Sitting in first class is harmless to the airline, you were never going to pay for a first class ticket, the seats are unoccupied ... so why is nobody here arguing that they are entitled to sit there or that the airline is wronging passengers by leaving the seats empty? Interesting psychology, n'est pas?  :popcorn:

Because the airline owns the seat, not the passenger.  This means the airline gets to dictate what happens with the seat, not the passenger.

The person who bought the oscilloscope owns the copy of the software that's running on his device, as well as the device itself.  Copyright law restricts the ability of that person to lawfully copy the software, but the person nevertheless owns the copy of the software that exists in his oscilloscope.  It is his to do with as he pleases, provided he doesn't violate copyright law (or any other law for that matter) in the process.
Yes, I agree. The airline owns the seat and the passenger rents it.

When one buys an oscilloscope, they own it and are free to do anything they like with it.

No one is nitpicking. Comparing this with travelling on an airline, is as silly as saying driving a car and travelling on the bus are the same.

If the manufacture wants you to not hack your oscilloscope. They need to make you sign a contract with them, agreeing you won't hack it, before you buy it. Even then, the contract may not be legally binding in some jurisdictions, especially if the customer is a private individual, rather than a business, as the laws often differ between the two.

The kind of hacking that some refer to here (decrypting the code in the ROMs, for instance) is illegal per copyright law, as that does involve making copies.
Are you sure that would violate copyright law?

I don't know about the US but in most jurisdictions, copying copyrighted material is allowed for back up and archival purposes, so as long as the code you've ripped of your device is not transferred to a third party or used simlutaniously on another device i.e. it just sits on your hard drive, then it should be allowed.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on March 27, 2016, 11:04:09 pm
The kind of hacking that some refer to here (decrypting the code in the ROMs, for instance) is illegal per copyright law, as that does involve making copies.
Are you sure that would violate copyright law?

It would have to be a specific exemption in the law for it to not be a violation of it.  Copyright forbids all unauthorized copies, with specific exceptions (such as the one I pointed out that exempts the copying required for normal operation of a computer).


Quote
I don't know about the US but in most jurisdictions, copying copyrighted material is allowed for back up and archival purposes, so as long as the code you've ripped of your device is not transferred to a third party or used simlutaniously on another device i.e. it just sits on your hard drive, then it should be allowed.

I believe the U.S. doesn't have that kind of exemption, else allowances for archival purposes wouldn't be needed in license agreements and thus wouldn't be present within them.

In any case, while making a copy of the software strictly for archival purposes might be allowed by copyright law, modification of the copy and then transference of the modified copy back to the machine would not be allowed by it, as the end result would be a "derivative work".
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on March 27, 2016, 11:30:45 pm
Quote
Not if the entirety of the firmware (save for the basic bootstrapper, which, if the manufacturer was determined to prevent what we're talking about, could be cryptographically signed its contents verified and enforced in hardware) is also encrypted with the same private key as the individual features.  Attacking that would require a violation of copyright law, because the manufacturer could claim copyright on the public key.

I agree you can make things a lot harder, but you also have to factor in that the supplier needs to introduce a lot of versatility into the system allowing stuff like time trials, licence transfer etc etc. This would not be so simple to develop and manage so a common solution is to approach a third party company that specialise in this stuff and let them 'protect' the system using their own licensing system. That's where the problems start because it becomes much harder to keep it all secure.

Those things are important for general purpose computer systems, of course, but aside from time trials, really aren't terribly relevant for special purpose devices such as oscilloscopes.

Implementation of time trials in the framework I described would be trivial: the various attributes of the time trial could be encoded along with the serial number and feature name, and included in the packet that is cryptographically signed.


Quote
I'm getting old and very rusty on stuff like this but in the past I've successfully attacked systems (these were not TEqpt systems) that came in an encrypted shell or wrapper  that could also detect debugging and could self check itself and the protected code for signs of tampering.

Tampering, reverse engineering, etc., is becoming much more difficult with the advent of "system on a chip" technology.  An architecture that is nearly tamperproof is quite trivial with such a system: you store the bootloader and decryption key in PROM inside the SOC (note: not EPROM!  It has to be write-once), and the bootloader can load the encrypted code from flash into the SOC's RAM for execution.  As long as the decryption key remains undiscovered, the entire system is essentially hack-proof, since hacking would then require that one gain access to the chip's internals -- a step that only the most well-heeled organizations might be able to pull off.

Of course, if the decryption key is discovered, it could be used to decrypt the firmware.  But even that doesn't help you if the decryption key is half of an asymmetric key pair, because you'd need the other half in order to encrypt a modified version of the firmware for execution in the SOC.


You'd have to replace the SOC itself with your own in order to go any further with the above.  At that point, you've probably hit the point of diminishing returns.  A company that is selling the device will, of course, be much more concerned about someone learning the techniques they used in their code, but that's what patents are for.  And someone who considers such examination of the code to be "wrong" had better think carefully about whether their stance is consistent with their stance on reverse engineering, since they're really the same thing.


In the end, everything depends on just how concerned the manufacturer is about these things.  The system I described above easily takes care of all but the most determined hackers.  The more determined a hacker is, the smaller his impact will be on the marketplace, as long as he is unable to share his hacks with others in such a way as to make them easy to deploy.  Replacing the SOC with one that someone has programmed their own bootloader into is a relatively involved thing, something that most people here wouldn't bother with.


In any case, the real point of all of this is that a manufacturer that is concerned about people "hacking" their products so as to enable features that are otherwise disabled is easily capable of preventing that.  It's not like we're talking about some technologically ignorant company here, we're talking about a company that does hardware and software design as its business.  It will deploy the kind of measures I'm talking about if it really wants to prevent its customers from easily enabling features.  Otherwise, it will do as Rigol has done: make it relatively easy to "hack" the product to enable features, but difficult enough to maintain the illusion that someone who buys a higher end model of the line is getting something for their money (in reality, they are getting something for their money: support, such as it may be, for the features they purchased).  Such easy hackability is not without its business benefits, as has already been pointed out, so to insist that "hacking" such a scope is "wrong" is amusing, to say the least, seeing how the manufacturer wants the scope to be "hackable" in that way.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: G0HZU on March 27, 2016, 11:57:37 pm
Quote
Tampering, reverse engineering, etc., is becoming much more difficult with the advent of "system on a chip" technology.
True, but I'm not sure how many TE manufacturers would try and cram a 'system' in a chip. Maybe they do this already, I don't know... I'm out of touch, mainly because I only take an interest in stuff like this if it is relevant to my situation.

However, experience has taught me that the people who produce 'protection systems' are often lazy or incompetent and often over confident about the robustness of their elaborate system. What could/should be secure is often woefully insecure.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: G0HZU on March 28, 2016, 12:31:52 am
Quote
In any case, the real point of all of this is that a manufacturer that is concerned about people "hacking" their products so as to enable features that are otherwise disabled is easily capable of preventing that.  It's not like we're talking about some technologically ignorant company here, we're talking about a company that does hardware and software design as its business.  It will deploy the kind of measures I'm talking about if it really wants to prevent its customers from easily enabling features.

I agree that they could try and make things a lot harder but I suspect that the decision on how to adopt such a system is based on NRE dev costs and management costs...  At a guess the big players will prefer to choose a generic third party system that they simply staple into their system. This will be useable across a wide variation of hardware (and software) platforms and will be very versatile in terms of management. With this choice, they don't have to develop and manage numerous bespoke protection systems for various platforms.

They will know it isn't the most secure option but it is probably the best all round 'business' option and they probably don't care too much about the impact of hacking. A hack released into the wild has the same impact if it was trivial to discover or if it took the work of a genius to discover  :)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on March 28, 2016, 03:08:52 am
Quote
Tampering, reverse engineering, etc., is becoming much more difficult with the advent of "system on a chip" technology.
True, but I'm not sure how many TE manufacturers would try and cram a 'system' in a chip. Maybe they do this already, I don't know... I'm out of touch, mainly because I only take an interest in stuff like this if it is relevant to my situation.

There's actually a great deal of incentive for manufacturers to use SOC units when possible.  It reduces cost, increases reliability, reduces board space requirements, and (as explained previously) makes tampering more difficult.  Indeed, the only reason to not use a SOC is lack of capability, e.g. if you need more RAM than the SOC can provide.  That's becoming less of an issue over time, though everything ultimately depends on improvements in transistor density.

I'm sure you've heard of the Raspberry Pi, right?  That's a SOC implementation.  Current versions have a gigabyte of RAM.  It happens to be that the RAM is a separate chip in the current models, but the model B+ had 512M of memory in the form of a "package on package" construction, where the two chips are soldered directly to each other.  With respect to immunity from hacking, that's clearly not going to be as good as a complete SOC if the two can somehow be separated afterwards, but it's apparently quite a bit less expensive to produce.  A manufacturer that is concerned with tampering might easily be able to produce a hybrid package that contains both the RAM and the SOC in such a way as to make gaining access to the memory bus a difficult proposition.


Quote
However, experience has taught me that the people who produce 'protection systems' are often lazy or incompetent and often over confident about the robustness of their elaborate system. What could/should be secure is often woefully insecure.

Manufacturers only have to get it right once.  And the more capable a manufacturer is, the more likely they'll get it right.  Obviously, a manufacturer that doesn't really care about getting it right probably won't, but the market will tend to reveal whether or not that was a good business decision.   The point here is that it's not hard to get it right, so a manufacturer that really cares about this stuff will be perfectly capable of preventing the kind of easy hacks we've been discussing.


Quote
In any case, the real point of all of this is that a manufacturer that is concerned about people "hacking" their products so as to enable features that are otherwise disabled is easily capable of preventing that.  It's not like we're talking about some technologically ignorant company here, we're talking about a company that does hardware and software design as its business.  It will deploy the kind of measures I'm talking about if it really wants to prevent its customers from easily enabling features.

I agree that they could try and make things a lot harder but I suspect that the decision on how to adopt such a system is based on NRE dev costs and management costs...  At a guess the big players will prefer to choose a generic third party system that they simply staple into their system. This will be useable across a wide variation of hardware (and software) platforms and will be very versatile in terms of management. With this choice, they don't have to develop and manage numerous bespoke protection systems for various platforms.

That could be, of course, and if they go that route, they'll likely be able to evaluate ahead of time whether or not the third party's solution is an effective one.


Quote
They will know it isn't the most secure option but it is probably the best all round 'business' option and they probably don't care too much about the impact of hacking. A hack released into the wild has the same impact if it was trivial to discover or if it took the work of a genius to discover  :)

Well, it might actually be the most secure option!  It depends on the quality of the third party solution.  That said, if they don't care too much about the impact of hacking, then that's a legitimate business decision on their part.  Those here shouldn't then complain about the "immorality" of hacking the resulting devices, particularly when the "hacks" aren't even violations of law.  The plain fact is that prevention of the kind of "hacking" that is mainly being discussed here is straightforward and easy to implement, so manufacturers that fail to do so anyway clearly have no real desire to prevent it (only perhaps a token desire, if that).
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on March 28, 2016, 04:01:51 am
As for whether I would feel "entitled"... don't try to drag me into THAT recursive sophistry.  ::)

Interesting - since that sense of 'entitlement' is fundamental to this argument.

Still - if you say the analogy is irrelevant, then it must be so.

Common sense says that it is so.

We are all free to do whatever we choose to do. You are free to live by a narrow, rigid set of rules. I am free to ignore them.

If I disagree with a set of rules that the society of a region considers to be just and lawful, I am still free to do AS I FEEL; I may encounter some resistance to that, however, as others of that society are also free to attempt to stop me, or to lock me away as a danger to their beliefs, or to ignore me as a pest, or also to ignore the same laws.

If I fear those consequences of my actions, I am free to go somewhere those laws don't exist, or work to get them changed, or to violate them as I see fit and hope nobody catches me who can do something about it.

This is what FREE WILL means. "Entitlement" is a lie that power-merchants and lawyers use to rob you of your free will.


As I said; a recursive sophistry... and a sophomoric one at that.  ::)


mnem
My shoes disagree with that.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: NiHaoMike on March 29, 2016, 04:21:46 am
What about the case of hacking the hardware to increase the bandwidth limit? Not a single byte of the firmware is changed.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 29, 2016, 08:52:26 am
What about the case of hacking the hardware to increase the bandwidth limit? Not a single byte of the firmware is changed.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/msg899219/#msg899219 (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/msg899219/#msg899219)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: m98 on March 29, 2016, 10:39:28 am
Didn't read the whole discussion, but how can pressing some keys in a special order on my own property be illegal? I haven't licensed any software, service, or SAAS, nor have I agreed with any contract other than the purchase contract with the equipment distributor. I just got the "black box" hardware product, where I can feel free to press any key in any order I want and solder anything out or in of it as I like.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: NANDBlog on March 29, 2016, 01:04:28 pm
So here is my opinion:
Options exist, not to segment the market, but to lure companies to buying the product. Big companies, the purchasing goes on several levels. If you sell a scope for 10001 EUR, you need a chief senior vice president of manager's signature on the purchase order. If it costs 9999 EUR, a lower lever manager can sign it, who may understand that you need the scope. So the scope maker will not sell a scope for 10001 EUR because that will yield less sales. They will sell it for 4999 and the options will cost 499 each (ask a quote, mention how much can you sign. It will be that much, unless big difference). If you need CAN analysing, it will cost 499. The company saves few hours of enginers time, the manufacturer gets 499, the manager doesn't need to make a powerpoint presentation with ROI calculations. Screw shareholders, screw corporate politics, it is evil.
Why are there chinese scopes come with unlock software? Because, as always, Chinese copied the west. It works the same way at Agilent, lets do the same. 150 USD for bandwidth update, are you kidding me?
It is ultimately a flawed model, because there are no big companies buying BK-Segirol sold as Tenma scopes paying with paypal. So it is stealing to unlock it? Not really. You are probably not going to use it to make money anyway. If you do make money with it, then pay for it.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 29, 2016, 01:59:37 pm
We are all free to do whatever we choose to do. You are free to live by a narrow, rigid set of rules. I am free to ignore them.

This is what FREE WILL means.

Grown-ups can recognize that if you live in a society then you have a moral debt to that society. That society is what made you who you are and allows you to live freely.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 29, 2016, 04:02:15 pm
We are all free to do whatever we choose to do. You are free to live by a narrow, rigid set of rules. I am free to ignore them.

This is what FREE WILL means.

Grown-ups can recognize that if you live in a society then you have a moral debt to that society. That society is what made you who you are and allows you to live freely.

Just so.

And of course mnementh's next sentence (viz: "Entitlement" is a lie that power-merchants and lawyers use to rob you of your free will) might be re-cast as "entitlement is a lie used by selfish young adults in an attempt to justify their antisocial behaviour"
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 29, 2016, 07:21:19 pm
Quite right. I believe in the freedom to do what I want with my own personal property, which includes modifying/hacking it to gain better performance.

As I said before if the manufacturer doesn't want me to hack it, then they need to get me to sign a contract on purchase of said equipment but if they do that, I'll go elsewhere.

Why are there chinese scopes come with unlock software? Because, as always, Chinese copied the west. It works the same way at Agilent, lets do the same. 150 USD for bandwidth update, are you kidding me?
It is ultimately a flawed model, because there are no big companies buying BK-Segirol sold as Tenma scopes paying with paypal. So it is stealing to unlock it? Not really. You are probably not going to use it to make money anyway. If you do make money with it, then pay for it.
I think it's fine to hack an oscilloscope for commercial purposes. I know someone who has done it and good on them too. I wonder if the fact that they do a crappy day job, are just doing extra part time work at home and can't afford to pay the unlock ransom, influence your judgement of them? I don't care either way. I've taken my hacked Rigol 1054Z into work before and used it commercially, without a shred of guilt.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Howardlong on March 29, 2016, 10:34:32 pm
What about the case of hacking the hardware to increase the bandwidth limit? Not a single byte of the firmware is changed.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/msg899219/#msg899219 (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/msg899219/#msg899219)

I may have missed it, but I haven't seen anyone answer that question, ie what is the difference between lifting a resistor and fiddling the code.



Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 29, 2016, 10:46:41 pm
What about the case of hacking the hardware to increase the bandwidth limit? Not a single byte of the firmware is changed.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/msg899219/#msg899219 (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/msg899219/#msg899219)

I may have missed it, but I haven't seen anyone answer that question, ie what is the difference between lifting a resistor and fiddling the code.

I don't see any difference, morally, ethically or legally. If the manufacturer is also selling and supporting an equivalent to the modified device, then in neither case is there a valid entitlement to the modification.

If it is abandonware, then the argument is probably still legally valid but, IMHO, much less morally and ethically clearcut. I would have little compunction about ensuring what I had already purchased continued to operate. Examples: Microsoft's PlaysForSure(TM) [sic], or attempting to reinstal WinXP on my laptop after a disk failure.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on March 29, 2016, 11:07:24 pm
A side question....

Would you consider any modification to the hardware and/or software (incl. firmware) as actions that would void warranty?

Would you include 'cracking' unpurchased software keys in this?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 30, 2016, 12:38:05 am
A side question....

Would you consider any modification to the hardware and/or software (incl. firmware) as actions that would void warranty?

Would you include 'cracking' unpurchased software keys in this?

People make false warranty claims all the time; the legal profession is well versed in sniffing that out. It would be more difficult to disguise a hardware modification, since software modifications can, potentially, be invisibly reversed.

In the event of a warranty claim, if the manufacturer accepts the liability there is no practical issue. If the manufacturer claims your actions voided the warranty then either you drop the claim or it will end up in the courts. If it ends up in the courts, then the judgement will depend on the law of the land and the quality of the legal presentations.

In the UK consumer items have to be "of merchandable quality" and without design flaws that have contributed to the claim. If you have modified the equipment then the manufacturer can easily claim your modification damaged the equipment, and you will have difficulty persuading the court that isn't the case.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: rx8pilot on March 30, 2016, 12:41:33 am
If a warranty claim end up in court - everyone has lost. The time and money for even the smallest of legal actions is more than a nice scope.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on March 30, 2016, 02:01:19 am
Again, my question was not answered directly.

While an answer was given, it was in the third person - whereas my question was presented in the second person.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on March 30, 2016, 02:20:23 am
What about the case of hacking the hardware to increase the bandwidth limit? Not a single byte of the firmware is changed.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/msg899219/#msg899219 (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/msg899219/#msg899219)

I may have missed it, but I haven't seen anyone answer that question, ie what is the difference between lifting a resistor and fiddling the code.

The difference is that fiddling with the code of necessity requires making copies of the code, whether it be for the purpose of getting your code onto the computer for modification, or for inspection, or whatever, and certainly requires making a copy when flashing the firmware.

That lands you straight into the middle of copyright law.  You don't have that problem when hacking the hardware.

Now, if your question is whether or not there's an ethical difference, well, I can't reasonably say that there is.  In both cases, you'd be making changes to something that is rightfully in your possession (because you paid money in exchange for it).  It's not like you'd be distributing copies of the manufacturer's firmware to the world or anything like that (even in that case, one can reasonably argue that the because the code being modified is simultaneously not in source form and sufficiently specific to the hardware, the normal concerns of copyright do not arise).
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on March 30, 2016, 02:29:43 am
A side question....

Would you consider any modification to the hardware and/or software (incl. firmware) as actions that would void warranty?

Would you include 'cracking' unpurchased software keys in this?

I'd have to say that, in the general case, I would consider both to give the manufacturer proper justification to void the warranty, depending on the circumstances.  The warranty's purpose is to ensure that you are provided with a properly functioning product that meets the specifications and feature set that was advertised for the product you specifically purchased.  To expect the manufacturer to adhere to the warranty after you've made changes to the hardware is plainly unreasonable in the general case, since to do so would be to insist that the manufacturer guarantee functionality in the face of your changes, which are arbitrary in nature.   Now, if you can prove that the malfunction in question is unrelated to the change you made and cannot arise from the change you made, then you'd have a reasonable warranty claim, but in the absence of that, the manufacturer would be perfectly justified in denying the claim.

So: what about cracking the software keys?  Well, in that case, I'd say that your warranty claim would be valid as long as it is with respect to functionality that exists in the absence of the keys.  If you attempt to make a warranty claim that depends on the functionality that you unlocked, then the manufacturer is perfectly within its rights to either deny the warranty claim, or to "satisfy" the warranty claim by deactivating the functionality you activated, thus restoring the device to its as-manufactured state.  After all, the purpose of the warranty is to ensure that you possess a product with the attributes advertised for what you purchased.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on March 30, 2016, 05:47:22 am
We are all free to do whatever we choose to do. You are free to live by a narrow, rigid set of rules. I am free to ignore them.

This is what FREE WILL means.

Grown-ups can recognize that if you live in a society then you have a moral debt to that society. That society is what made you who you are and allows you to live freely.

Moral debt?!? You bring this infantile "Philosophy 101" BS and call me immature?  If you understood the Social Contract, you'd understand that the fact we're having this conversation means you've already violated it. ::)

You do not have the right to go ANYWHERE and expect ANYTHING. Once you realize THAT, THEN you can start building a meaningful Social Contract.

You can start by pulling your head out of your entitlement and realize you also don't have any right to expect me to adhere to your narcissistic judgmental bunk, either.

We WERE discussing legal and licensing issues around hacking a piece of equipment after one buys it; a tenuous argument at best. Once you try to bring morality into play, then you really are just shouting up your own posterior; as I've said before, it's ridiculous to attempt to apply American mores and licensing law to a product made and sold in China.

"Entitlement" and Moral Debt" are both aspects of the same lie and you know it; the latter is the one you tell yourself to justify telling others how they should live.


mnem
No.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 30, 2016, 06:26:49 am
You can start by pulling your head out of your entitlement and realize you also don't have any right to expect me to adhere to your narcissistic judgmental bunk, either.

You deserve it because you're smarter than the rest! Got it.

it's ridiculous to attempt to apply American mores and licensing law to a product made and sold in China.

It's OK because they're foreigners! Noted.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 30, 2016, 07:27:34 am
as I've said before, it's ridiculous to attempt to apply American mores and licensing law to a product made and sold in China.

The Chinese use exactly that argument when cloning foreign companies' (e.g. US) products and selling them for a fraction of the price.

Do you support them doing that?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on March 30, 2016, 10:31:29 am
We are all free to do whatever we choose to do. You are free to live by a narrow, rigid set of rules. I am free to ignore them.

This is what FREE WILL means.

Grown-ups can recognize that if you live in a society then you have a moral debt to that society. That society is what made you who you are and allows you to live freely.

And if the society in question is one that does not allow you to live freely?  Do you then still have a debt to that society because you live in it?

Do the citizens of North Korea have a debt to the authoritarian society that has arisen there merely by the fact that they live there and, in most cases, grew up there?

I'd wager you believe not, but I'll let you answer that one yourself.


The "debt" you speak of is a mutually beneficial implicit agreement.  It applies as long as the benefit remains mutually beneficial and well-balanced.  It is nullified the moment it becomes substantially one-sided.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on March 30, 2016, 11:06:40 am
OK - let me take the warranty issue a little further....

Let's say we have a scope - advertised and sold as a 50MHz unit - that's been modified to run as a 100MHz scope and it fails under warranty.
Upon return to the manufacturer, the fault is located in a particular chip, which has an upgraded replacement - however this chip is only capable of operating at a maximum of 50MHz.
The manufacturer replaces the chip and returns the scope, which now operates perfectly under it's original specifications - but cannot handle any frequencies between 50MHz and 100MHz.

Question: Has the manufacturer done anything wrong?


Extension: The same chip is used in the manufacturer's 100MHz version, but lower performance chips are tested and binned as 50MHz units.  Each chip is to be used according to the matching specification of the scope, so you would not expect a 100MHz capable chip to be fitted to a 50MHz scope.

Again the question - Is there anything wrong with that?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 30, 2016, 12:14:21 pm
The manufacturer replaces the chip and returns the scope, which now operates perfectly under it's original specifications - but cannot handle any frequencies between 50MHz and 100MHz.

Again the question - Is there anything wrong with that?

Nope. The owner has no right to anything more than they paid for. The manufacturer is even doing them a favor by honoring the warranty.

When the DS1054Z was released there was some discussion about whether or not the 50MHz units were binned versions of the 100MHz units.

There's no evidence that they are ... OTOH there's no proof that they aren't.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on March 30, 2016, 02:38:36 pm
OK - let me take the warranty issue a little further....

Let's say we have a scope - advertised and sold as a 50MHz unit - that's been modified to run as a 100MHz scope and it fails under warranty.
Upon return to the manufacturer, the fault is located in a particular chip, which has an upgraded replacement - however this chip is only capable of operating at a maximum of 50MHz.
The manufacturer replaces the chip and returns the scope, which now operates perfectly under it's original specifications - but cannot handle any frequencies between 50MHz and 100MHz.

Question: Has the manufacturer done anything wrong?


Extension: The same chip is used in the manufacturer's 100MHz version, but lower performance chips are tested and binned as 50MHz units.  Each chip is to be used according to the matching specification of the scope, so you would not expect a 100MHz capable chip to be fitted to a 50MHz scope.

Again the question - Is there anything wrong with that?
The manufacturer replaces the chip and returns the scope, which now operates perfectly under it's original specifications - but cannot handle any frequencies between 50MHz and 100MHz.

Again the question - Is there anything wrong with that?

Nope. The owner has no right to anything more than they paid for. The manufacturer is even doing them a favor by honoring the warranty.

When the DS1054Z was released there was some discussion about whether or not the 50MHz units were binned versions of the 100MHz units.

There's no evidence that they are ... OTOH there's no proof that they aren't.


Absolutely right, Fungus. In all honesty, the moment you open up the enclosure or the FW and start tinkering inside, you no longer have a warranty. This is pretty much universal under both US and Chinese Export laws. They COULD charge you Parts & Labor for OOW Service PLUS return shipping; anything more than that which you receive is them doing you a favor. It is entirely reasonable for them to assume that your meddling is what caused the failure in the first place; it constitutes abuse of the product.

Taking on responsibility for the repair and maintenance of the unit is part of the cost of modding ANYTHING; if it breaks in half after you hack it, you now own two pieces. By returning a modded product for warranty service, you are in essence attempting to commit fraud.


mnem
No, I do NOT feel entitled to Warranty Service on a hacked 'scope. ;)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 30, 2016, 02:46:07 pm
OK - let me take the warranty issue a little further....

Let's say we have a scope - advertised and sold as a 50MHz unit - that's been modified to run as a 100MHz scope and it fails under warranty.
Upon return to the manufacturer, the fault is located in a particular chip, which has an upgraded replacement - however this chip is only capable of operating at a maximum of 50MHz.
The manufacturer replaces the chip and returns the scope, which now operates perfectly under it's original specifications - but cannot handle any frequencies between 50MHz and 100MHz.

Question: Has the manufacturer done anything wrong?


Extension: The same chip is used in the manufacturer's 100MHz version, but lower performance chips are tested and binned as 50MHz units.  Each chip is to be used according to the matching specification of the scope, so you would not expect a 100MHz capable chip to be fitted to a 50MHz scope.

Again the question - Is there anything wrong with that?
The manufacturer replaces the chip and returns the scope, which now operates perfectly under it's original specifications - but cannot handle any frequencies between 50MHz and 100MHz.

Again the question - Is there anything wrong with that?

Nope. The owner has no right to anything more than they paid for. The manufacturer is even doing them a favor by honoring the warranty.

When the DS1054Z was released there was some discussion about whether or not the 50MHz units were binned versions of the 100MHz units.

There's no evidence that they are ... OTOH there's no proof that they aren't.


Absolutely right, Fungus. In all honesty, the moment you open up the enclosure or the FW and start tinkering inside, you no longer have a warranty. This is pretty much universal under both US and Chinese Export laws. They COULD charge you Parts & Labor for OOW Service PLUS return shipping; anything more than that which you receive is them doing you a favor. It is entirely reasonable for them to assume that your meddling is what caused the failure in the first place; it constitutes abuse of the product.

Taking on responsibility for the repair and maintenance of the unit is part of the cost of modding ANYTHING; if it breaks in half after you hack it, you now own two pieces. By returning a modded product for warranty service, you are in essence attempting to commit fraud.


mnem
No, I do NOT feel entitled to Warranty Service on a hacked 'scope. ;)
I agree with that, unless the failure was obviously nothing to do with the hack, such as the LCD failing. In that case, the manufacture should replace the LCD for me but even then, they're perfectly within their rights to reset the firmware to its unhacked state.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on March 30, 2016, 03:14:43 pm
No, I do NOT feel entitled to Warranty Service on a hacked 'scope. ;)

And this is why I wouldn't hack anything until I've owned/used it for a few weeks.

I recall a few people on here posting about how they hacked the bandwidth of their DS1054Z as soon as they got it out of the box then noticed a problem on channel 4 a few hours later (or whatever). Yes, I enjoyed a little schadenfreude ...

(and yes, we know you can un-hack them)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on March 30, 2016, 06:38:13 pm
No, I do NOT feel entitled to Warranty Service on a hacked 'scope. ;)

And this is why I wouldn't hack anything until I've owned/used it for a few weeks.

I recall a few people on here posting about how they hacked the bandwidth of their DS1054Z as soon as they got it out of the box then noticed a problem on channel 4 a few hours later (or whatever). Yes, I enjoyed a little schadenfreude ...

(and yes, we know you can un-hack them)

Yes, but that is NOT the same. When you hack, you take responsibility for your actions. Or at least you SHOULD. One of the consequences of those actions is that you no longer have a Manufacturer's Warranty.

I agree with that, unless the failure was obviously nothing to do with the hack, such as the LCD failing. In that case, the manufacture should replace the LCD for me but even then, they're perfectly within their rights to reset the firmware to its unhacked state.

Really? How do you know the hacked FW didn't alter the scan frequency, causing the LCD to fail because it was being incorrectly driven? Aside from a VERY few individuals, most folks using the "updating tools" are effectively little more than script kiddies, with no idea what the tool is actually changing in the brains of their 'scope.

If you opened up the scope to hack it, how do you KNOW you didn't accidentally short something to ground which ultimately caused the fault?

So yeah... I think it's fair for them to refuse ANY warranty service on ANY modded scope. Once it's modded, it is no longer THEIR scope.


mnem
In other news... (http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x462/mnemennth/smiley_spinning.gif)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Howardlong on March 30, 2016, 06:55:19 pm
What about the case of hacking the hardware to increase the bandwidth limit? Not a single byte of the firmware is changed.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/msg899219/#msg899219 (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/msg899219/#msg899219)

I may have missed it, but I haven't seen anyone answer that question, ie what is the difference between lifting a resistor and fiddling the code.

The difference is that fiddling with the code of necessity requires making copies of the code, whether it be for the purpose of getting your code onto the computer for modification, or for inspection, or whatever, and certainly requires making a copy when flashing the firmware.

And if you don't copy any code? For example, you start the scope with a different set of boot parameters?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Howardlong on March 30, 2016, 07:05:24 pm
What about the case of hacking the hardware to increase the bandwidth limit? Not a single byte of the firmware is changed.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/msg899219/#msg899219 (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/msg899219/#msg899219)

I may have missed it, but I haven't seen anyone answer that question, ie what is the difference between lifting a resistor and fiddling the code.

I don't see any difference, morally, ethically or legally. If the manufacturer is also selling and supporting an equivalent to the modified device, then in neither case is there a valid entitlement to the modification.

What is your view if you were to discover that your scope operates beyond its specified bandwidth without you doing any modification?

For example, you discovered it's twice its specified bandwidth in certain (non-contrived or fiddled) scenarios?

Would it be morally, ethically or legally wrong to use the scope in a way that benefitted from this additional bandwidth that you didn't pay for?

The specific case I am referring to is that I have a 600MHz scope that runs at 840MHz bandwidth in real time, and when running in equivalent time has a bandwidth of over 1.2GHz.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on March 30, 2016, 07:56:33 pm
The difference is that fiddling with the code of necessity requires making copies of the code, whether it be for the purpose of getting your code onto the computer for modification, or for inspection, or whatever, and certainly requires making a copy when flashing the firmware.

And if you don't copy any code? For example, you start the scope with a different set of boot parameters?

It depends on how you managed that.

If you managed that by changing the parameters through an interface on the scope itself (e.g., by giving it a different set of boot parameters through a SCPI command or something), then no copying of the firmware or any other copyrighted work occurred, and you're free and clear of copyright law.

But if you managed it by copying the firmware (be it the whole thing or a portion of it) off the scope, then modifying it, then uploading it back to the scope, then that would be copyright infringement.  But that doesn't mean it's unethical.

You'll find that law and ethics rarely overlap.  The law is an expression of what people with power think you shouldn't do.  It is an expression of control, not of ethics.  People with power tend to be more ethically challenged than most people, and tend to want to control others for their own (direct or indirect) gain rather than for some more noble purpose, which is why the law and ethics are so divergent.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 30, 2016, 08:04:24 pm
What about the case of hacking the hardware to increase the bandwidth limit? Not a single byte of the firmware is changed.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/msg899219/#msg899219 (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/msg899219/#msg899219)

I may have missed it, but I haven't seen anyone answer that question, ie what is the difference between lifting a resistor and fiddling the code.

I don't see any difference, morally, ethically or legally. If the manufacturer is also selling and supporting an equivalent to the modified device, then in neither case is there a valid entitlement to the modification.

What is your view if you were to discover that your scope operates beyond its specified bandwidth without you doing any modification?

For example, you discovered it's twice its specified bandwidth in certain (non-contrived or fiddled) scenarios?

Would it be morally, ethically or legally wrong to use the scope in a way that benefitted from this additional bandwidth that you didn't pay for?

The specific case I am referring to is that I have a 600MHz scope that runs at 840MHz bandwidth in real time, and when running in equivalent time has a bandwidth of over 1.2GHz.

No problem, of course. The manufacturer exceed their specification; good for them. HP used to do that kind of thing all the time with their instruments.

As an engineer I would, of course, be a fool to order such a scope in the expectation that the particular one delivered to me would exceed the specification. Ditto ordering 1% resistors in the expectation that they would be 0.1%, because I once had a 1% resistor that was only 0.1% away from its nominal value.

Here's a more interesting and less contrived example of this...

In the late 70s when digital was being introduced between exchanges and before optical fibres were widespread, the PCM was carried by existing paper insulated quad pairs. These were specified and guaranteed at 1.6kHz, but they were being used for 2Mb/s PCM - or at least the subset of pairs in a cable that were sufficiently good were being pressed into service.

The GPO, because it was before BT, would have liked to agree test specifications with the cable manufacturer for 2Mb/s operation, which wouldn't have changed the cable's manufacture. But the GPO didn't dare do that because it would have given the cable manufatrures the opportunity to hike prices. Instead the GPO developed a test set to measure which pairs would work in any give cable.

The cable company delivered cables tested at 1.6kHz, and the client used bits at 2Mb/s. Everybody knew what was happening, none had any grounds for complaint.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 30, 2016, 08:05:25 pm
You'll find that law and ethics rarely overlap.  The law is an expression of what people with power think you shouldn't do.  It is an expression of control, not of ethics.  People with power tend to be more ethically challenged than most people, and tend to want to control others for their own (direct or indirect) gain rather than for some more noble purpose, which is why the law and ethics are so divergent.

Simple observation: we have courts of law, not courts of justice nor courts of ethical behaviour.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on March 30, 2016, 10:00:51 pm
No, I do NOT feel entitled to Warranty Service on a hacked 'scope. ;)

And this is why I wouldn't hack anything until I've owned/used it for a few weeks.

I recall a few people on here posting about how they hacked the bandwidth of their DS1054Z as soon as they got it out of the box then noticed a problem on channel 4 a few hours later (or whatever). Yes, I enjoyed a little schadenfreude ...

(and yes, we know you can un-hack them)

Yes, but that is NOT the same. When you hack, you take responsibility for your actions. Or at least you SHOULD. One of the consequences of those actions is that you no longer have a Manufacturer's Warranty.

I agree with that, unless the failure was obviously nothing to do with the hack, such as the LCD failing. In that case, the manufacture should replace the LCD for me but even then, they're perfectly within their rights to reset the firmware to its unhacked state.

Really? How do you know the hacked FW didn't alter the scan frequency, causing the LCD to fail because it was being incorrectly driven? Aside from a VERY few individuals, most folks using the "updating tools" are effectively little more than script kiddies, with no idea what the tool is actually changing in the brains of their 'scope.

If you opened up the scope to hack it, how do you KNOW you didn't accidentally short something to ground which ultimately caused the fault?

So yeah... I think it's fair for them to refuse ANY warranty service on ANY modded scope. Once it's modded, it is no longer THEIR scope.


mnem
In other news... (http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x462/mnemennth/smiley_spinning.gif)
I had a feeling you'd say something like that and yes, if you actually modified the firmware, there's a slim chance something like that could happen but it's BS that simply entering a key to unlock more bandwidth or memory would damage the LCD. A better example would be something like a switch or encoder (used for the standard non-hacked feature set of course) failing, which is obviously nothing to do with the firmware.
as I've said before, it's ridiculous to attempt to apply American mores and licensing law to a product made and sold in China.

The Chinese use exactly that argument when cloning foreign companies' (e.g. US) products and selling them for a fraction of the price.

Do you support them doing that?

That's not a straightforward question.

The laws and whether they're enforced or not differ greatly between the US and China. Many people in the US would say it's wrong that the Chinese can simply copy US products at low cost and not have to pay for the design. They may say China has an unfair competitive advantage, being able to use pirate copies of US software, while the US companies have to pay for the licence.

In reality China will not change any time soon. The opposite argument could be made. If people feel China's lax copyright/patent laws put them at an unfair competitive advantage then perhaps the US could change their laws, so American companies can copy one another?

It works the other way round too. Is it fair that US companies can operate in China, polluting the environment, dumping their waste over there, poisoning the villages and making a profit?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 30, 2016, 11:18:47 pm
as I've said before, it's ridiculous to attempt to apply American mores and licensing law to a product made and sold in China.

The Chinese use exactly that argument when cloning foreign companies' (e.g. US) products and selling them for a fraction of the price.

Do you support them doing that?

That's not a straightforward question.

It is both a straightforward question, and one which reflects real problems and attitudes. You may find it awkward to answer; I understand that.

I repeat: do you support the Chinese copying and selling products without compensating the original manufacturers?

(The rest of your points are irrelevant flack about entirely different subjects.)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on March 31, 2016, 12:23:28 am
as I've said before, it's ridiculous to attempt to apply American mores and licensing law to a product made and sold in China.

The Chinese use exactly that argument when cloning foreign companies' (e.g. US) products and selling them for a fraction of the price.

Do you support them doing that?

Do you support reverse engineering?

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on March 31, 2016, 12:37:18 am
as I've said before, it's ridiculous to attempt to apply American mores and licensing law to a product made and sold in China.

The Chinese use exactly that argument when cloning foreign companies' (e.g. US) products and selling them for a fraction of the price.

Do you support them doing that?

Do you support reverse engineering?

Depends on the objectives, and what use is made of the info gathered. Yes to enable me to continue using what I've already purchased and the manufacturer has abandoned. No to steal and/or profit from trade secrets that I have not purchased. There are many grey areas, which are outside the scope of this discussion.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on March 31, 2016, 12:39:08 am
From the previous post of mine, namely:
OK - let me take the warranty issue a little further....

Let's say we have a scope - advertised and sold as a 50MHz unit - that's been modified to run as a 100MHz scope and it fails under warranty.
Upon return to the manufacturer, the fault is located in a particular chip, which has an upgraded replacement - however this chip is only capable of operating at a maximum of 50MHz.
The manufacturer replaces the chip and returns the scope, which now operates perfectly under it's original specifications - but cannot handle any frequencies between 50MHz and 100MHz.

Question: Has the manufacturer done anything wrong?


Extension: The same chip is used in the manufacturer's 100MHz version, but lower performance chips are tested and binned as 50MHz units.  Each chip is to be used according to the matching specification of the scope, so you would not expect a 100MHz capable chip to be fitted to a 50MHz scope.

Again the question - Is there anything wrong with that?

The question I was asking was NOT a matter of whether a warranty should be honoured or not.

The scenario I proposed is one where the manufacturer DID honour the warranty because, let's say, the failed chip had a history of failure in the field whether the firmware had been hacked or not.  Maybe they decided it was a good PR move and wasn't worth the pain of arguing - but they did honour the warranty.

IN THAT SITUATION, an 'upgraded' 50MHz chip was fitted to the 50MHz scope thus making it physically incapable of operating at the higher frequency.

Is that a problem?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on March 31, 2016, 01:24:06 am
Do you support reverse engineering?

Depends on the objectives, and what use is made of the info gathered. Yes to enable me to continue using what I've already purchased and the manufacturer has abandoned. No to steal and/or profit from trade secrets that I have not purchased. There are many grey areas, which are outside the scope of this discussion.

So your belief, then, is that the patent system should be redundant (after all, why patent something if you can simply make it a trade secret, knowing that nobody will be able to make use of it)?  That there is ownership of ideas in perpetuity?  That the only valid use of an idea you get from someone else without their explicit permission is that which would not benefit you or anyone else except in the narrowest of circumstances?

With such rules in place, the progress of man would grind to a halt.  There is a reason the United States Constitution patent/copyright clause was written the way it was.


Your (apparent) stance puts you at odds with a substantial amount (if not the majority) of what happens on this very site.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on March 31, 2016, 02:04:55 am
Do you support reverse engineering?

Depends on the objectives, and what use is made of the info gathered. Yes to enable me to continue using what I've already purchased and the manufacturer has abandoned. No to steal and/or profit from trade secrets that I have not purchased. There are many grey areas, which are outside the scope of this discussion.

Also, I would argue that this stance is internally inconsistent.  It's likely that the foundation of your position is that of reduced ability to profit from one's ideas (since ideas are not conserved entities the way physical objects are, and thus the unauthorized discovery of an idea by another does not diminish its originator of the idea itself).  Which is to say, as applied to electronic devices (for instance), your stance hinges on the notion that a reduction in sales is roughly equivalent to a theft of assets.  Or, put another way, a reduction in potential profit is equivalent to an actual theft of assets.

But if loss of potential profit is the metric by which you measure the unauthorized use of ideas, then your use of reverse engineering to enable your continued use of your device is no different than your use of reverse engineering to enable you to produce a good for sale, since the former represents a potential reduction of profit for the producing company as your ability to continue to use your abandoned product means the company will not be able to sell you a replacement.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: vk6zgo on March 31, 2016, 04:08:27 am
OK - let me take the warranty issue a little further....

Let's say we have a scope - advertised and sold as a 50MHz unit - that's been modified to run as a 100MHz scope and it fails under warranty.
Upon return to the manufacturer, the fault is located in a particular chip, which has an upgraded replacement - however this chip is only capable of operating at a maximum of 50MHz.
The manufacturer replaces the chip and returns the scope, which now operates perfectly under it's original specifications - but cannot handle any frequencies between 50MHz and 100MHz.

Question: Has the manufacturer done anything wrong?


Extension: The same chip is used in the manufacturer's 100MHz version, but lower performance chips are tested and binned as 50MHz units.  Each chip is to be used according to the matching specification of the scope, so you would not expect a 100MHz capable chip to be fitted to a 50MHz scope.

Again the question - Is there anything wrong with that?
The manufacturer replaces the chip and returns the scope, which now operates perfectly under it's original specifications - but cannot handle any frequencies between 50MHz and 100MHz.

Again the question - Is there anything wrong with that?

Nope. The owner has no right to anything more than they paid for. The manufacturer is even doing them a favor by honoring the warranty.

When the DS1054Z was released there was some discussion about whether or not the 50MHz units were binned versions of the 100MHz units.

There's no evidence that they are ... OTOH there's no proof that they aren't.


Absolutely right, Fungus. In all honesty, the moment you open up the enclosure or the FW and start tinkering inside, you no longer have a warranty.

Out in the real world,purchasers of large amounts of equipment have an implied dispensation from this.

On quite a number of occasions over many years,my various Employers have received equipment which is non-functional.
The obvious reaction is to open the thing up-------if it is an easily fixable or even moderately difficult problem,it is fixed there & then with no cost to the manufacturer.
If it isn't,it is returned for warranty.

I've never seen  a "knockbacK' in such situations,or even if a locally repaired device fails later for some reason unrelated to the original fault.
Even equipment which is modified in such a way as to not affect its normal operation has,in my experience been covered.

Of course,this has the caveat "purchasers of large amounts of equipment"
You,or I,would not be indulged to the same extent as,say, the Channel 7 Network,who just might decide to buy all its gear from someone else!
Quote

 This is pretty much universal under both US and Chinese Export laws. They COULD charge you Parts & Labor for OOW Service PLUS return shipping; anything more than that which you receive is them doing you a favor. It is entirely reasonable for them to assume that your meddling is what caused the failure in the first place; it constitutes abuse of the product.

Taking on responsibility for the repair and maintenance of the unit is part of the cost of modding ANYTHING; if it breaks in half after you hack it, you now own two pieces. By returning a modded product for warranty service, you are in essence attempting to commit fraud.

So,Tektronix,HP,Ampex,Sony,& many others have been defrauded over the years by large customers?



Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on March 31, 2016, 05:33:38 am
OK - let me take the warranty issue a little further....

Let's say we have a scope - advertised and sold as a 50MHz unit - that's been modified to run as a 100MHz scope and it fails under warranty.
Upon return to the manufacturer, the fault is located in a particular chip, which has an upgraded replacement - however this chip is only capable of operating at a maximum of 50MHz.
The manufacturer replaces the chip and returns the scope, which now operates perfectly under it's original specifications - but cannot handle any frequencies between 50MHz and 100MHz.

Question: Has the manufacturer done anything wrong?


Extension: The same chip is used in the manufacturer's 100MHz version, but lower performance chips are tested and binned as 50MHz units.  Each chip is to be used according to the matching specification of the scope, so you would not expect a 100MHz capable chip to be fitted to a 50MHz scope.

Again the question - Is there anything wrong with that?
The manufacturer replaces the chip and returns the scope, which now operates perfectly under it's original specifications - but cannot handle any frequencies between 50MHz and 100MHz.

Again the question - Is there anything wrong with that?

Nope. The owner has no right to anything more than they paid for. The manufacturer is even doing them a favor by honoring the warranty.

When the DS1054Z was released there was some discussion about whether or not the 50MHz units were binned versions of the 100MHz units.

There's no evidence that they are ... OTOH there's no proof that they aren't.


Absolutely right, Fungus. In all honesty, the moment you open up the enclosure or the FW and start tinkering inside, you no longer have a warranty.

Out in the real world,purchasers of large amounts of equipment have an implied dispensation from this.

On quite a number of occasions over many years,my various Employers have received equipment which is non-functional.
The obvious reaction is to open the thing up-------if it is an easily fixable or even moderately difficult problem,it is fixed there & then with no cost to the manufacturer.
If it isn't,it is returned for warranty.

I've never seen  a "knockbacK' in such situations,or even if a locally repaired device fails later for some reason unrelated to the original fault.
Even equipment which is modified in such a way as to not affect its normal operation has,in my experience been covered.

Of course,this has the caveat "purchasers of large amounts of equipment"
You,or I,would not be indulged to the same extent as,say, the Channel 7 Network,who just might decide to buy all its gear from someone else!
Quote

 This is pretty much universal under both US and Chinese Export laws. They COULD charge you Parts & Labor for OOW Service PLUS return shipping; anything more than that which you receive is them doing you a favor. It is entirely reasonable for them to assume that your meddling is what caused the failure in the first place; it constitutes abuse of the product.

Taking on responsibility for the repair and maintenance of the unit is part of the cost of modding ANYTHING; if it breaks in half after you hack it, you now own two pieces. By returning a modded product for warranty service, you are in essence attempting to commit fraud.

So,Tektronix,HP,Ampex,Sony,& many others have been defrauded over the years by large customers?

You've asked and answered your own question; your company enjoys a "working arrangement" that exceeds the letter of any applicable warranty. Many equipment suppliers operate this way with large corporate accounts. Speaking as an ASP for dozens of different brands over the decades, I can tell you there's a lot of latitude given in these situations, and I can't count the number of times I've been directed to do repairs on equipment that was clearly damaged by accident or long OOW and bill the WO out as if it were still active warranty.

Often, such latitude is given in the interest of keeping corporate buyers' loyalty, or to grease the wheels as your company attempt to transition them to more lucrative "as a service" contracts.

as I've said before, it's ridiculous to attempt to apply American mores and licensing law to a product made and sold in China.

The Chinese use exactly that argument when cloning foreign companies' (e.g. US) products and selling them for a fraction of the price.

Do you support them doing that?

Do you support reverse engineering?



Their laws regarding IP are not the same as ours; just as their laws regarding slave labor are not. American companies have long taken advantage of the disparity between the two coda.

Do I believe these things are right or just? In my personal opinion, no. However, it is not my place to judge their laws, just as I feel they have no right to judge our effed-up laws. OTOH, I also feel our laws regarding IP are ridiculously specific and granular; deliberately open to interpretation such that the client with the best lawyers can almost always buy a win. I don't see this as any form of justice either.

As for reverse-engineering... Yes, absolutely. Fair use is one of the few IP law principles I agree with, and it demands that you have the right to reverse-engineer pretty much anything you purchase short of some very specialized crypto tech kept privileged for very sound reasons. For your own use, and even for profit; under US law you have the right to take it apart  and figure out how to make something that does the same thing. If you can make something similar without violating applicable Patents and their laws, you have the right to sell THAT for profit.

How close you skirt those boundaries vs what you can defend in court... THAT is where you run afoul of all those shades of grey; there is where it can get downright nauseating.


mnem
*Toddles off to ded*
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Howardlong on March 31, 2016, 01:40:05 pm
The difference is that fiddling with the code of necessity requires making copies of the code, whether it be for the purpose of getting your code onto the computer for modification, or for inspection, or whatever, and certainly requires making a copy when flashing the firmware.

And if you don't copy any code? For example, you start the scope with a different set of boot parameters?

It depends on how you managed that.

If you managed that by changing the parameters through an interface on the scope itself (e.g., by giving it a different set of boot parameters through a SCPI command or something), then no copying of the firmware or any other copyrighted work occurred, and you're free and clear of copyright law.

But if you managed it by copying the firmware (be it the whole thing or a portion of it) off the scope, then modifying it, then uploading it back to the scope, then that would be copyright infringement.  But that doesn't mean it's unethical.

It's not uncommon for manufacturers to provide a vendor documented boot-from-USB method often used for firmware upgrades or firmware recovery where they provide a bootable image that you put on a USB stick, so, at the explicit direction of the vendor, you are copying their code.

It sounds like we're now in the realms of semantics!
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on March 31, 2016, 05:41:56 pm
It depends on how you managed that.

If you managed that by changing the parameters through an interface on the scope itself (e.g., by giving it a different set of boot parameters through a SCPI command or something), then no copying of the firmware or any other copyrighted work occurred, and you're free and clear of copyright law.

But if you managed it by copying the firmware (be it the whole thing or a portion of it) off the scope, then modifying it, then uploading it back to the scope, then that would be copyright infringement.  But that doesn't mean it's unethical.

It's not uncommon for manufacturers to provide a vendor documented boot-from-USB method often used for firmware upgrades or firmware recovery where they provide a bootable image that you put on a USB stick, so, at the explicit direction of the vendor, you are copying their code.

It sounds like we're now in the realms of semantics!

Sort of.  If the manufacturer provides a documented boot-from-USB method and they provide a bootable image, chances are they also provide a legal statement of some kind that authorizes you to copy the boot image for the purpose of creating a bootable USB stick.  That's not a semantic quibble of some kind, it's a necessary authorization to make it possible for you to legally do what the manufacturer intends that you be able to do.

But the important thing in that case is that the authorization determines your legal abilities in that case.  If it contains no provision for modification, i.e. creation of derivative works, then you simply don't have the authorization under copyright law to modify the boot parameters.  You could legitimately get that authorization by contacting the company and explaining what you're attempting to do and why, but until you get it, you can't legally make the modifications you're talking about.

Again, that's just how copyright law works, and it is wholly independent of whether or not performing those operations is ethical.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on March 31, 2016, 10:44:17 pm
Their laws regarding IP are not the same as ours; just as their laws regarding slave labor are not. American companies have long taken advantage of the disparity between the two coda.

True as that may be, a stance is either internally consistent or it's not.  His stance is internally inconsistent unless it is founded on something other than a reduction in profit potential.  An internally inconsistent position is logically invalid regardless of what the law actually says, which means that one cannot justifiably adhere to it.  Of course, people can, and do, adhere to internally inconsistent positions despite that, but the very internal inconsistency of the position takes reason off the table as the justification for adhering to it, which leaves only emotion as the impetus.  Emotional reasons for adhering to a position, particularly when those reasons contradict logic, are reasons that most engineers will rightly be dismissive of, because engineers have to deal with the real world, which doesn't respond one whit to what people feel, only what they do.  And there is good reason for engineers to be dismissive in that way: logic is well-tested to be a reliable predictor of the real world, while emotion is a highly unreliable (and often incorrect) one, which makes logic vastly more useful for engineering than emotion is.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: hamster_nz on April 01, 2016, 01:14:19 am
Emotional reasons for adhering to a position, particularly when those reasons contradict logic, are reasons that most engineers will rightly be dismissive of, because engineers have to deal with the real world, which doesn't respond one whit to what people feel, only what they do.  And there is good reason for engineers to be dismissive in that way: logic is well-tested to be a reliable predictor of the real world, while emotion is a highly unreliable (and often incorrect) one, which makes logic vastly more useful for engineering than emotion is.

It is part of being human to be able to hold internally inconsistent positions. E.g.

A) Nuclear & wind power is good, but I don't want one near me

B) I believe in Open Source ideals, except for when others make money off of my source. That's not fair.

C) I'm honest - I would never steal anything from anybody, but I will hack a scope

D) I sit in my car and wonder what I can do to reduce CO2 emissions

E) I would never want to interfere in another countries politics,  but we have to do something about XYZ

F) There is only one true god, and it is the one I believe in

Politicians are exceptionally good at it.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 01, 2016, 01:32:38 am
It is part of being human to be able to hold internally inconsistent positions. E.g.

...

C) I'm honest - I would never steal anything from anybody, but I will hack a scope

The above suggests that hacking a scope and not stealing are mutually contradictory.  Which requires that hacking a scope be a form of stealing (which has a specific meaning, i.e. that one is improperly deprived of something one previously legitimately possessed).

What is being stolen via the act of hacking a scope?   

If hacking a scope is not stealing, then what, specifically, is dishonest (i.e., someone agreeing to something and then failing to adhere to that agreement, or someone saying something that is false) about hacking a scope?


Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: hamster_nz on April 01, 2016, 01:58:15 am
It is part of being human to be able to hold internally inconsistent positions. E.g.

...

C) I'm honest - I would never steal anything from anybody, but I will hack a scope

The above suggests that hacking a scope and not stealing is a mutually contradictory position to take.  Which suggests that hacking a scope is a form of stealing.

What is being stolen via the act of hacking a scope?   

If hacking a scope is not stealing (which has a specific meaning, i.e. that one is improperly deprived of something one previously possessed), then what, specifically, is dishonest (i.e., someone agreeing to something and then failing to adhere to that agreement, or someone saying something that is false) about hacking a scope?

When somebody hacks the scope they usually mean gain access to features and/or function that they haven't paid for, and the manufacture clearly did not intend for them to be able to use.

A squeaky clean honest person would call that out as being dishonest, and tell them that they should have paid more for these extra features if they need to use them.

If it wasn't, it would just be called "using the scope", instructions would be in the manual, and it would be normal practice without any of these tricky moral and ethical dilemmas to solve. :)



Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on April 01, 2016, 02:02:10 am
If hacking a scope is not stealing, then what, specifically, is dishonest (i.e., someone agreeing to something and then failing to adhere to that agreement, or someone saying something that is false) about hacking a scope?

The upgrade options for oscilloscopes are sold in stores and have a price.

Going online and using a key generator instead of buying the code is the same sort of dishonesty as downloading mp3s instead of buying the CD. Technically nobody was deprived of anything (except profit), but that doesn't make it honest.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 01, 2016, 02:10:28 am
The upgrade options for oscilloscopes are sold in stores and have a price.

Going online and using a key generator instead of buying the code is the same sort of dishonesty as downloading mp3s instead of buying the CD. Technically nobody was deprived of anything (except profit), but that doesn't make it honest.

What agreement was made by the purchaser, save for the agreement on the part of the purchaser to pay a certain price for the unit they received and all it contains?

Downloading MP3s is a violation of copyright.  Honesty doesn't enter into that picture, either, unless a person who does so insists that they are adhering to the law despite doing so.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 01, 2016, 02:28:24 am
When somebody hacks the scope they usually mean gain access to features and/or function that they haven't paid for, and the manufacture clearly did not intend for them to be able to use.

How do you explain that the manufacturer "clearly did not intend for them to be able to use" the features in question when the features in question exist in what they received?  That is a contradictory position to take.

You cannot give someone something and simultaneously say you're not giving it to them.   That is "dishonest".


Quote
A squeaky clean honest person would call that out as being dishonest, and tell them that they should have paid more for these extra features if they need to use them.

Honesty is an attribute that measures adherence to truth.  What did the person who gained access to features that existed in the scope that was willfully transferred to him do that resulted in him failing to adhere to truth?


Quote
If it wasn't, it would just be called "using the scope", instructions would be in the manual, and it would be normal practice without any of these tricky moral and ethical dilemmas to solve. :)

People have a remarkable ability to turn nothingness into a moral/ethical dilemma.  That they label something a moral/ethical dilemma doesn't make it one, except perhaps to them.

Ethics is about harm.  But implicit in it is the notion that one will not do something so as to intentionally put himself in harm's way.  Here, the manufacturers are clearly intentionally putting themselves in harm's way.  We know this because we know (because I have shown how) that the manufacturers can trivially avoid any "harm" that may come from the actions we're discussing.

Not once has anyone made the argument that the manufacturer has any ownership over that which the customer possesses.  In the absence of ownership on the part of the manufacturer, there is no legitimate claim of "harm" arising from the actions in question of the customers with respect to that which they own, especially when the manufacturer can trivially avoid the "harm".
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: hamster_nz on April 01, 2016, 02:47:47 am
Downloading MP3s is a violation of copyright.

That is just wrong.

 I can honestly download MP3s and not violate copyright. I do that with The Amp Hour podcasts, and plenty of BBC World programs.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 01, 2016, 02:50:57 am
By the way, there is a way that a manufacturer can invoke copyright law in order to get around some of what we're discussing: place terms in a license that comes with a firmware update, that forbids the use of any keys that the customer has not obtained through a manufacturer-approved transaction with the manufacturer or one of the manufacturer's official distributors, and that forbids installation of the firmware onto a device on which keys which have not been obtained in the above way are active.

The end result would be that the owner of the scope would have to disable the keys in question on his scope before applying the firmware update, and would from that point forward be unable to activate any such keys without violating the license, in order to install any firmware updates.

But I've seen no such terms anywhere, certainly not with any of the firmware that is available for download.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 01, 2016, 02:54:19 am
Downloading MP3s is a violation of copyright.

That is just wrong.

 I can honestly download MP3s and not violate copyright. I do that with The Amp Hour podcasts, and plenty of BBC World programs.

Apologies.  I was insufficiently specific, because I (apparently incorrectly) presumed that my statement would be taken to be made in the same context you were implying by yours.

Downloading MP3s that one does not have explicit authorization from the copyright owner to download is a violation of copyright.

Regardless, honesty doesn't enter into that picture.  And the ethical question is dependent upon circumstances (for instance, what if you own the CD?  Download of an MP3 of the same contents would be a violation of copyright when it's not explicitly authorized, but how would doing so be unethical?).
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: hamster_nz on April 01, 2016, 02:58:18 am
How do you explain that the manufacturer "clearly did not intend for them to be able to use" the features in question when the features in question exist in what they received?  That is a contradictory position to take.
I did not intend my washing machine to be used to brew beer, but it is a feature that does exist in it. Will they honor the warranty?


You cannot give someone something and simultaneously say you're not giving it to them.   That is "dishonest".
Said like a man who has never purchased software :)

Honesty is an attribute that measures adherence to truth.  What did the person who gained access to features that existed in the scope that was willfully transferred to him do that resulted in him failing to adhere to truth?
Honesty is also being free from deceit. Paying for a feature-limited product, then unlocking features could be called deceitful.

People have a remarkable ability to turn nothingness into a moral/ethical dilemma.  That they label something a moral/ethical dilemma doesn't make it one, except perhaps to them.
People have a remarkable ability to avoid seeing a bit of sarcasm in a reply. :)

Ethics is about harm.  But implicit in it is the notion that one will not do something so as to intentionally put himself in harm's way.  Here, the manufacturers are clearly intentionally putting themselves in harm's way.  We know this because we know (because I have shown how) that the manufacturers can trivially avoid any "harm" that may come from the actions we're discussing.
I though ethics was more about "a complex of moral precepts held or rules of conduct followed by an individual" (at least according to my dictionary). Harm doesn't make a mention, when did harm come into it?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: hamster_nz on April 01, 2016, 03:04:19 am
I can honestly download MP3s and not violate copyright. I do that with The Amp Hour podcasts, and plenty of BBC World programs.

Apologies.  I was insufficiently specific, because I (apparently incorrectly) presumed that my statement would be taken to be made in the same context you were implying by yours.

Downloading MP3s that one does not have explicit authorization from the copyright owner to download is a violation of copyright.

Regardless, honesty doesn't enter into that picture.  And the ethical question is dependent upon circumstances (for instance, what if you own the CD?  Download of an MP3 of the same contents would be a violation of copyright when it's not explicitly authorized, but how would doing so be unethical?).

Wow - that must be one really mucked up dictionary you have there.

In mine, honesty is defined as "the quality or fact of being honest; uprightness and fairness". Obtaining an artist's work for free, when they have asked that it be paid for, seems unfair (and therefore dishonest) to me. If you do so, then your honesty is in question.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 01, 2016, 03:51:04 am
How do you explain that the manufacturer "clearly did not intend for them to be able to use" the features in question when the features in question exist in what they received?  That is a contradictory position to take.
I did not intend my washing machine to be used to brew beer, but it is a feature that does exist in it. Will they honor the warranty?

The question of warranty is independent of the question of ethics as applied to the use of the product.

The warranty is an offer from the manufacturer that has terms and conditions associated with it.  Some of those terms are required by law, and some terms are forbidden by law.  Nevertheless, the terms of the warranty are what govern whether or not the product will be covered by a warranty claim.

If the terms are not met by the purchaser, the manufacturer then has the option to decline the warranty claim, but that doesn't mean they must.

So, the answer to your question is that the manufacturer might honor their warranty under those circumstances, but if your use of the product violates the terms of the warranty, then they don't have to cover you.


Quote
You cannot give someone something and simultaneously say you're not giving it to them.   That is "dishonest".
Said like a man who has never purchased software :)

My sarcasm detector is going off.  :)

I have purchased software.  The purchase of the software gives me two things: a copy of the software that I own (and, like any other copyrighted work, is covered by copyright law), and an authorization license to make copies of it under specific terms.

The installation of software onto a computer system is governed by copyright law, because installation of software onto a computer requires making a copy of the software, and there is no exemption in copyright law for that particular copy operation (there is an exemption in the law for actual operation of the software on the computer once it's there, even though normal operation also involves the computer making copies of the software as it operates), which means that it is forbidden except when explicitly authorized by the copyright holder.  The aforementioned license is the exemption to copyright law's prohibitions, which would otherwise be in effect.  That is what gives the license its power.

So in that case, I have not been given something while the copyright owner claims to not be giving it to me.  What I have been given is very specific.


Quote
Honesty is an attribute that measures adherence to truth.  What did the person who gained access to features that existed in the scope that was willfully transferred to him do that resulted in him failing to adhere to truth?
Honesty is also being free from deceit. Paying for a feature-limited product, then unlocking features could be called deceitful.

Deceitful how?  What claim or guarantee did the customer make when purchasing the product, and when, and how?  Honesty means doing what you say you will do, and not doing what you say you will not.  It doesn't cover what you don't say!

If someone believes I will behave in a certain way, but I have made no statements to indicate that I will behave in that way, is it my fault that the other person is wrong when I don't behave in the way they believe I will?  In what way?   Can you imagine the amount of abuse such an expectation would eventually get if it were legitimized?


Quote
People have a remarkable ability to turn nothingness into a moral/ethical dilemma.  That they label something a moral/ethical dilemma doesn't make it one, except perhaps to them.
People have a remarkable ability to avoid seeing a bit of sarcasm in a reply. :)

Well, yes, that is certainly true.    :D


Quote
Ethics is about harm.  But implicit in it is the notion that one will not do something so as to intentionally put himself in harm's way.  Here, the manufacturers are clearly intentionally putting themselves in harm's way.  We know this because we know (because I have shown how) that the manufacturers can trivially avoid any "harm" that may come from the actions we're discussing.
I though ethics was more about "a complex of moral precepts held or rules of conduct followed by an individual" (at least according to my dictionary). Harm doesn't make a mention, when did harm come into it?

If avoidance of harm to others isn't a necessary component of a code of ethics, then one can insist that any set of rules that one follows is a "code of ethics", up to and including the most harmful.  And that would make the term devoid of any meaning that would set it apart from a random set of rules.  One could say, then, that those who participated in the Holocaust were acting "ethically" because they were adhering to "rules of conduct", even though those rules were the most abhorrent.

If that's how you want to treat the term, then fine, I'll see if I can find a different term to use here.  But as regards this discussion, that seems a necessary component of the term for it to be meaningful here.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 01, 2016, 03:53:39 am
Wow - that must be one really mucked up dictionary you have there.

In mine, honesty is defined as "the quality or fact of being honest; uprightness and fairness". Obtaining an artist's work for free, when they have asked that it be paid for, seems unfair (and therefore dishonest) to me. If you do so, then your honesty is in question.

And "honest" means "free from fraud or deception".    So honesty is the "quality or fact of being free from fraud or deception".

In what way does that differ from how I have been interpreting the term here?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on April 01, 2016, 04:00:49 am
An thought on the aspect of Copyright...

As I understand it, Copyright is not fundamentally about third parties benefitting from the work of the author - but of the author being deprived of the benefit of their work.

These are all examples of copyright infringement:
* You sell a copyrighted MP3 track (for which you do not hold distribution rights)
* You give away a copyrighted MP3 track (for which you do not hold distribution rights)
* You download a copyrighted MP3 track for your own use - where you have not provided the benefit required by the copyright holder

As such, if you benefit from someone's copyrighted work without providing them with the benefit they require, then you are infringing copyright.

Not paying for the benefit of software that you gained access to (by whatever means) is denying the copyright holder of income.  That's copyright infringement in my book.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 01, 2016, 04:21:23 am
An thought on the aspect of Copyright...

As I understand it, Copyright is not fundamentally about third parties benefitting from the work of the author - but of the author being deprived of the benefit of their work.

These are all examples of copyright infringement:
* You sell a copyrighted MP3 track (for which you do not hold distribution rights)
* You give away a copyrighted MP3 track (for which you do not hold distribution rights)
* You download a copyrighted MP3 track for your own use - where you have not provided the benefit required by the copyright holder

As such, if you benefit from someone's copyrighted work without providing them with the benefit they require, then you are infringing copyright.

Not paying for the benefit of software that you gained access to (by whatever means) is denying the copyright holder of income.  That's copyright infringement in my book.

But copying is a necessary component of copyright infringement.  One cannot be in violation of copyright if one is not actually copying the work in question.

There are other mechanisms, such as patents, which protect against other types of actions which can deprive creators of the benefits of their works.


OK, look.  Are you guys going to insist that the manufacturer of a product can rightfully dictate to you everything you can and cannot do with the product they manufacture and which you subsequently purchase?  After all, any action you might take with it could "deprive them of the benefits of their creative efforts".  For instance, a competitor could purchase your products for the purpose of competing with you.  Would that not "deprive" you of the benefits of your efforts that would exist were it not for the competition from them?  You could, after all, charge a higher price if you were, say, the only manufacturer of oscilloscopes.

Where in the world do you stop with this?


If you're not going to insist that the manufacturer of a product can rightfully dictate to you everything you can and cannot do with the product they manufacture and which you subsequently purchase, then we're just quibbling over details, not over fundamental principles.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: hamster_nz on April 01, 2016, 04:40:42 am
blah blah blah.... One could say, then, that those who participated in the Holocaust were acting "ethically" because they were adhering to "rules of conduct", even though those rules were the most abhorrent.

I really think your talent is wasted here and you should move on to politics. Your ability to recast and deflect what is trivial bit of dishonesty as a god-given right by recursively splitting hairs, and then redefining any word that gets in your way is without doubt the strongest I have seen in recent history.....

...but.....

.... now you are comparing the act of hacking a scope to the Holocaust.

So by the unwritten rules of the Internet I declare that I win!

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 01, 2016, 04:42:41 am
I should point out something critical, because I get the impression that some here don't understand this.

The purpose of copyrights, patents, etc., is not to maximize the benefit that creators get for creating.  Improving their ability to derive benefit from their works is the mechanism, not the goal.

No, the goal is to, as so eloquently put in the United States Constitution, promote progress in the sciences and useful arts.   This is why copyright and patent terms are limited in length!

The way you guys are talking, you would have copyright and patent terms be unending, would have manufacturers be able to dictate terms to any and all purchasers of their products, and would have customers be subservient to those who manufacture the products they buy, at least as regards how those products are used.

No, that way lies madness.



You may disagree with the above, and that is of course your right.  But if you do, then I'd be interested in what specifically in the above you disagree with, and why.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 01, 2016, 04:44:49 am
I really think your talent is wasted here and you should move on to politics. Your ability to recast and deflect what is trivial bit of dishonesty as a god-given right by recursively splitting hairs, and then redefining any word that gets in your way is without doubt the strongest I have seen in recent history.....

...but.....

.... now you are comparing the act of hacking a scope to the Holocaust.

So by the unwritten rules of the Internet I declare that I win!

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

 :-DD

I knew I should have used a different example for that one reason alone.  :D

No, I am not comparing an act of hacking a scope to the Holocaust.  I am using the Holocaust as an extreme illustration of why the term "ethics" embodies the notion of avoiding harm to others, at least in the context of this discussion.  Nothing more.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 01, 2016, 04:51:33 am
blah blah blah.... One could say, then, that those who participated in the Holocaust were acting "ethically" because they were adhering to "rules of conduct", even though those rules were the most abhorrent.

I really think your talent is wasted here and you should move on to politics. Your ability to recast and deflect what is trivial bit of dishonesty as a god-given right by recursively splitting hairs, and then redefining any word that gets in your way is without doubt the strongest I have seen in recent history.....

The specific meaning of words is important.  Vagueness and misunderstanding is the result otherwise.

If we are to use your definition of "honest", then you must be specific in what you mean by "honest", and your meaning must make objective assessment possible.  It will not do for that to be vague or subjective.   So if your definition differs from mine, then you must be specific in saying how it differs, so that we can discuss the question without ambiguity or subjectivity.

I used the definition I did because it is specific and measurable.  It is possible to objectively determine, using my definition, whether or not someone is "honest".  Can you truly say the same of your definition?

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on April 01, 2016, 04:52:12 am
The way you guys are talking, you would have copyright and patent terms be unending...

That has never been said or implied.  Maybe you want it to be so, but saying it doesn't make it so.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 01, 2016, 04:54:27 am
The way you guys are talking, you would have copyright and patent terms be unending...

That has never been said or implied.  Maybe you want it to be so, but saying it doesn't make it so.

No? 

Is it not your desire to make it possible for a creator to maximize the benefit he receives from his works?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on April 01, 2016, 06:15:59 am
The way you guys are talking, you would have copyright and patent terms be unending...

That has never been said or implied.  Maybe you want it to be so, but saying it doesn't make it so.

No? 

Is it not your desire to make it possible for a creator to maximize the benefit he receives from his works?

Now you're adding inference into statements that was never made.

There has been no reference to time limits - you've just added that to try and bolster your argument.  Come on - you're getting desperate.

While we're at it - no mention has been made of the consequences of taking out patents for the purpose of preventing development from others by blocking access to essential technology.  Do we want to add that to the bonfire?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 01, 2016, 06:35:07 am
No? 

Is it not your desire to make it possible for a creator to maximize the benefit he receives from his works?

Now you're adding inference into statements that was never made.

Statements have implications whether you like it or not, and whether you intend it or not.  I cannot help that.  I will add inferences where those inferences exist, because to do so is not only a valid thing to do, it's the proper way to fully explore the implications of an argument.  One cannot know which argument has the greatest validity without also knowing the full implications of all the arguments being considered.


Quote
There has been no reference to time limits - you've just added that to try and bolster your argument.  Come on - you're getting desperate.

Not really.  Profit is something that accumulates over time, so time itself is actually highly relevant here (and unavoidable, actually).  Were this not the case, the length of time of patents and copyrights would be irrelevant, and a copyright term that's only good for a day would thus be just as good as a copyright term that's good for 95 years.


Quote
While we're at it - no mention has been made of the consequences of taking out patents for the purpose of preventing development from others by blocking access to essential technology.  Do we want to add that to the bonfire?

I don't have a problem with adding that if it'll add clarity to the discussion.  If all it will do is reduce clarity, then I see little point in considering patents.

I'm attempting to argue at a more fundamental level than patents or copyrights specifically (though copyrights and patents are the mechanisms that have been chosen for implementing the fundamental purposes behind them).  I think you guys are trying to do that, too, actually, so I don't think we're really talking at cross-purposes here or anything.


In any case, I reiterate my question: Is it not your desire to make it possible for a creator to maximize the benefit he receives from his works?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on April 01, 2016, 07:51:47 am
The purpose of copyrights, patents, etc., is not to maximize the benefit that creators get for creating.  Improving their ability to derive benefit from their works is the mechanism, not the goal.
No, the goal is to, as so eloquently put in the United States Constitution, promote progress in the sciences and useful arts.   This is why copyright and patent terms are limited in length!

Wrong.

Why are you referring to johnny-come-lately document? Especially as your statements are historically wrong!

Patents were introduced so that people would share information, techniques and advances. The background is that key information was kept secret within medieval guilds, because if the secret escaped then the guild members would suffer financially. Patents were designed as a means of encouraging and enabling people to make their discoveries more widely known and available.

The first modern UK patent was issued 150 years before the document you mention, in 1624. There were forerunners for a few centuries before that across Europe.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on April 01, 2016, 08:12:57 am
When somebody hacks the scope they usually mean gain access to features and/or function that they haven't paid for, and the manufacture clearly did not intend for them to be able to use.

A squeaky clean honest person would call that out as being dishonest, and tell them that they should have paid more for these extra features if they need to use them.
The thing is about morals and ethics is not everyone thinks the same way. I suppose it's universal that killing people and taking someone's property, without their permission, is wrong. However, there will be circumstances when the aforementioned will be justified my the majority of people, i.e. killing someone to defend one's family or seizure of illicit goods such as a pedophile's computer containing child abuse material.

Then there are other things such as abortion, adultery, contraception etc. which people have widely differing views on.

As far as hacking an oscilloscope is concerned. I believe it is perfectly ethical to do so. It is not stealing. On purchase of the item, the manufacture has surrendered all their rights to the new owner, who can do as they please with it, including unlocking hidden features. I think it's unethical for a manufacture to sell something, which is deliberately crippled and charge a ransom to unlock extra features. If the manufacture doesn't want you to unlock hidden features, without paying extra for them, then they should insist you agree to this before purchase of the item.

I believe hacking an oscilloscope is totally different to downloading music, software etc. without permission of the content creator, which I normally consider to be unethical, although may be circumstances when I think it's fair, even though it would be in breach of copyright.

Of course you're free to stick with your stance but don't expect others to change theirs.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on April 01, 2016, 08:21:18 am
On purchase of the item, the manufacture has surrendered all their rights to the new owner, who can do as they please with it,...

Which country and legal system are you referring to in that statement?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 01, 2016, 08:31:40 am
The purpose of copyrights, patents, etc., is not to maximize the benefit that creators get for creating.  Improving their ability to derive benefit from their works is the mechanism, not the goal.
No, the goal is to, as so eloquently put in the United States Constitution, promote progress in the sciences and useful arts.   This is why copyright and patent terms are limited in length!

Wrong.

Why are you referring to johnny-come-lately document? Especially as your statements are historically wrong!

Patents were introduced so that people would share information, techniques and advances.

Yes.  And what purpose do you believe such sharing serves?   Do you believe it has no purpose other than itself?  If the sharing alone is the end purpose, then an unlimited patent term serves just as well as a limited patent term.  Better, even, because it would mean that there would no longer be much, if any, tradeoff between sharing and not sharing, no longer much, if any, justification for not sharing, since anyone who ever attempted to use that which was found in a patent without the patent holder's permission would be doing so illegally.


Quote
The first modern UK patent was issued 150 years before the document you mention, in 1624. There were forerunners for a few centuries before that across Europe.

I never said that patents or copyright originate with the United States Constitution, and that you believe I did means that I wasn't sufficiently clear (though I'm at a loss to see how I wasn't sufficiently clear).

No, I'm only stating that the United States Constitution captures the purpose of patents, copyrights, and other such instruments very well.

Do you disagree with the purpose it states?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 01, 2016, 08:36:00 am
On purchase of the item, the manufacture has surrendered all their rights to the new owner, who can do as they please with it,...

Which country and legal system are you referring to in that statement?

Are you going to use the law itself as the axiomatic basis for your arguments here?

Or do you subscribe to some other more fundamental set of axioms from which the law that you agree with is a derivative of?

If the latter, then the country and legal system is irrelevant except for illustrative purposes.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on April 01, 2016, 09:07:07 am
On purchase of the item, the manufacture has surrendered all their rights to the new owner, who can do as they please with it,...

Which country and legal system are you referring to in that statement?
None. My post wasn't about the law but ethics so your comment is irrelevant.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: hammy on April 01, 2016, 09:49:16 am
The upgrade options for oscilloscopes are sold in stores and have a price.
Going online and using a key generator instead of buying the code is the same sort of dishonesty as [...]

What if this upgrade option is a piece of additional hardware? And what if this circuitry is easy to build by yourself and you can get the upgrade barely for free?

A lot of us are EE's and we are always happy to enhance circuitry or pimp whole devices. Sometimes to fix problems, sometimes to enhance the functionality.
In the hardware circuitry of such a scope are several possibilities included to enhance the functionality. On another thread a guy showed us how to build a Ethernet connector for the oscilloscope to get the network capabilities. Was this stealing? Or good engineering?

Where is the difference? The device is sold to me and I own it. I went to a shop, put money on the tabled, got a unopened box in my hand.

It is not a rented/leased device, I didn't signed extra paperwork. I didn't agreed in special terms.

If we talk in this forum about hacking hardware, everyone agrees and congratulates the ingenious work.
If we talk about software hacking, a lot of people start to talk about EULA and other paperwork.

EULA's are not the law. They are printed by a company, not the government. They are not legal binding in the most states of this world.

And people arguing they are developers and do this for their living ... they also know how easy it is to compile different versions of firmware with different sets of options.

tl;dr: EE's are fine to modify hardware, but are discussing a lot about software. But both we own inside the same device!

Cheers
hammy
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on April 01, 2016, 09:49:28 am
Downloading MP3s is a violation of copyright.
I can honestly download MP3s and not violate copyright. I do that with The Amp Hour podcasts, and plenty of BBC World programs.

Apologies.  I was insufficiently specific, because I (apparently incorrectly) presumed that my statement would be taken to be made in the same context you were implying by yours.

That would be a logical presumption anywhere but here, but nooooooo.

I've given up trying to argue morality with these people. It's pointless.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on April 01, 2016, 10:10:42 am
I've given up trying to argue morality with these people. It's pointless.
You're right. If your reason for engaging in this debate was to change other people's ethical position on hacking oscilloscopes, then you've wasted your time. All you can do is state your personal opinion but don't expect to convert others with the opposing view.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on April 01, 2016, 10:57:15 am
On purchase of the item, the manufacture has surrendered all their rights to the new owner, who can do as they please with it,...

Which country and legal system are you referring to in that statement?
None. My post wasn't about the law but ethics so your comment is irrelevant.

So you live in Erewhon, and your ethics are derived from 999oreh. I wish you had said so earlier, then those of us that live on Planet Earth and have ethical systems with a long pedigree could have ignored you.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 01, 2016, 11:09:32 am
So you live in Erewhon, and your ethics are derived from 999oreh. I wish you had said so earlier, then those of us that live on Planet Earth and have ethical systems with a long pedigree could have ignored you.

What consistent and objective metric do you propose to measure a system of ethics by, hmm?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on April 01, 2016, 12:31:51 pm
I've given up trying to argue morality with these people. It's pointless.
You're right. If your reason for engaging in this debate was to change other people's ethical position on hacking oscilloscopes, then you've wasted your time. All you can do is state your personal opinion but don't expect to convert others with the opposing view.

I'm not attempting to convert anybody but when you write two whole page of well reasoned, thoughtful argument but accidentally write "download mp3s" instead of "download copyrighted mp3s" and the only replies you get are along the lines of "you're wrong because there's lots of mp3s I can download legally", then...  :-//

A detailed instruction manual and schematic for morality isn't possible, sorry.

Which of these is morally right?

a) A home hobbyist unlocking the extra bandwidth/features of his DS1054Z
b) A small company buying 10 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
c) A government department buying 1,000 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
d) A corporation buying 10,000 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all

((c) Is obviously OK because Rigols are Chinese and we shouldn't be sending any taxpayer money to China...)

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on April 01, 2016, 12:47:51 pm
Which of these is morally right?

a) A home hobbyist unlocking the extra bandwidth/features of his DS1054Z
b) A small company buying 10 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
c) A government department buying 1,000 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
d) A corporation buying 10,000 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
All of the above are morally right as far as I am concerned. The individual/organisation has purchased the item and are completely within their rights to enter a code to unlock all the features.

You may disagree with me and you're completely within your rights to do so.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on April 01, 2016, 12:51:20 pm
Which of these is morally right?

a) A home hobbyist unlocking the extra bandwidth/features of his DS1054Z
b) A small company buying 10 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
c) A government department buying 1,000 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
d) A corporation buying 10,000 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
All of the above are morally right as far as I am concerned. The individual/organisation has purchased the item and are completely within their rights to enter a code to unlock all the features.

And if you ever manufacture anything similar, you'll be totally OK with people doing stuff like that?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on April 01, 2016, 01:04:33 pm
Which of these is morally right?

a) A home hobbyist unlocking the extra bandwidth/features of his DS1054Z
b) A small company buying 10 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
c) A government department buying 1,000 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
d) A corporation buying 10,000 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
All of the above are morally right as far as I am concerned. The individual/organisation has purchased the item and are completely within their rights to enter a code to unlock all the features.

And if you ever manufacture anything similar, you'll be totally OK with people doing stuff like that?
Yes.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on April 01, 2016, 01:28:49 pm
Quote
There has been no reference to time limits - you've just added that to try and bolster your argument.  Come on - you're getting desperate.

Not really.  Profit is something that accumulates over time, so time itself is actually highly relevant here (and unavoidable, actually).  Were this not the case, the length of time of patents and copyrights would be irrelevant, and a copyright term that's only good for a day would thus be just as good as a copyright term that's good for 95 years.


GIVE IT A REST!

At no time has anyone said that IP should last indefinitely - not have they inferred anything of the sort.  I, certainly, have no objections, concerns or reservations on that score.  The time periods (in whatever jurisdiction) are part of law - and have been deliberated upon with fair opportunity for the creator to capitalise on their work.

This angle on your argument is nothing short of invention.  If you wanted to introduce the time element into discussions, you would have been better off asking first, rather than just launching into an assumption as wide as the Gulf of Mexico.

Your continued stance on this thin ice simply underlines your lack of interest in an objective discussion.  I can't take much of what you say as having merit when you lean on a point that simply doesn't support you - and yet you refuse to fall down.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 01, 2016, 06:26:15 pm
Quote
There has been no reference to time limits - you've just added that to try and bolster your argument.  Come on - you're getting desperate.

Not really.  Profit is something that accumulates over time, so time itself is actually highly relevant here (and unavoidable, actually).  Were this not the case, the length of time of patents and copyrights would be irrelevant, and a copyright term that's only good for a day would thus be just as good as a copyright term that's good for 95 years.


GIVE IT A REST!

At no time has anyone said that IP should last indefinitely - not have they inferred anything of the sort.  I, certainly, have no objections, concerns or reservations on that score.  The time periods (in whatever jurisdiction) are part of law - and have been deliberated upon with fair opportunity for the creator to capitalise on their work.

This angle on your argument is nothing short of invention.  If you wanted to introduce the time element into discussions, you would have been better off asking first, rather than just launching into an assumption as wide as the Gulf of Mexico.

Your continued stance on this thin ice simply underlines your lack of interest in an objective discussion.  I can't take much of what you say as having merit when you lean on a point that simply doesn't support you - and yet you refuse to fall down.

You are completely missing the point of the time element.

It is the litmus test of whether or not you truly believe the profit to the creator should be maximized.

If you believe the profit to the creator should be maximized, then it follows that you must also believe that the protections in question should not have a time limit.  Conversely, if you believe the protections in question should have a time limit, then it follows that you cannot believe that profit to the creator should be maximized (though that doesn't prevent you from believing that it should be maximized within the time period in question).

Each stance has logical implications.

Since you've made your stance on the time period question plain, then my next question is: do you believe profit to the creator should be maximized during the period of time of the allowed protection?


Perhaps, rather than get at the end goal through a series of questions, I should go for it directly: what is the root set of axioms from which your beliefs about a creator's control over his created works are logically derived?

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on April 01, 2016, 07:07:47 pm
Copyright is moving towards an infinite period of time. It's already longer than the average human lifespan. In my opinion this is wrong, especially for things such as computer software which becomes outdated very quickly. For software, a copyright period of 25 years after creation of the work, is more than enough as far as I'm concerned.

Which of these is morally right?

a) A home hobbyist unlocking the extra bandwidth/features of his DS1054Z
b) A small company buying 10 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
c) A government department buying 1,000 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
d) A corporation buying 10,000 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
All of the above are morally right as far as I am concerned. The individual/organisation has purchased the item and are completely within their rights to enter a code to unlock all the features.

And if you ever manufacture anything similar, you'll be totally OK with people doing stuff like that?
Yes.

To expand further, as I believe the practise of crippling hardware, until the user pays a random, is inherently unethical, I wouldn't do it in the first place.

Of course this is an ethical position, not the law.

I don't work in the manufacturing sector at the moment. At my last job I designed powder filling machines and my employer was respectable enough not to practise such shady business tactics as crippleware. In fact, when they sold a machine, they gave the customer, a full schematic diagram, along with a copy of the source code, to help them repair and maintain it. Occasionally we'd encounter cheap Chinese copies of our machines but it didn't bother us, since they were inferior and we didn't attempt to compete on price. This model worked very well for us and we got a lot of repeat orders.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on April 01, 2016, 11:05:06 pm
Downloading MP3s is a violation of copyright.
I can honestly download MP3s and not violate copyright. I do that with The Amp Hour podcasts, and plenty of BBC World programs.

Apologies.  I was insufficiently specific, because I (apparently incorrectly) presumed that my statement would be taken to be made in the same context you were implying by yours.

That would be a logical presumption anywhere but here, but nooooooo.

I've given up trying to argue morality with these people. It's pointless.

FINALLY!!! The light dawns!!! Arguing morality on the internet is like trying to have sex with an alligator; a whole mess of thrashing about, and no good can come of it.* ;)

I've given up trying to argue morality with these people. It's pointless.
You're right. If your reason for engaging in this debate was to change other people's ethical position on hacking oscilloscopes, then you've wasted your time. All you can do is state your personal opinion but don't expect to convert others with the opposing view.

I'm not attempting to convert anybody but when you write two whole page of well reasoned, thoughtful argument but accidentally write "download mp3s" instead of "download copyrighted mp3s" and the only replies you get are along the lines of "you're wrong because there's lots of mp3s I can download legally", then...  :-//

A detailed instruction manual and schematic for morality isn't possible, sorry.

Which of these is morally right?

a) A home hobbyist unlocking the extra bandwidth/features of his DS1054Z
b) A small company buying 10 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
c) A government department buying 1,000 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
d) A corporation buying 10,000 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all

((c) Is obviously OK because Rigols are Chinese and we shouldn't be sending any taxpayer money to China...)

All of the above. There is no licensing agreement on the hardware in question, not even a punch-through on first turn on. Not even a real lock; just obfuscation of the location of the switch in the software. The rest of what y'all have been arguing the last couple days is just arguing over a line in the fog.

And why should we not be sending any Taxpayer Money to China? They own the vast majority of the loans that are funding our "Neverending War" over oil in the Mideast. Sooner or later we need to start paying them back. I certainly don't want to have to teach my children to speak Mandarin because they finally got tired of waiting and just took ownership of the USA.  ::)


mnem
* Unless you're an alligator. :p
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on April 02, 2016, 12:32:41 am
You are completely missing the point of the time element.

It is the litmus test of whether or not you truly believe the profit to the creator should be maximized.

If you believe the profit to the creator should be maximized, then it follows that you must also believe that the protections in question should not have a time limit.  Conversely, if you believe the protections in question should have a time limit, then it follows that you cannot believe that profit to the creator should be maximized (though that doesn't prevent you from believing that it should be maximized within the time period in question).

Seriously?

Obfuscation, tangents, ignorance, irrelevance and invention are not legitimate discussion practices.  These are the stuff of politicians, used car salesmen and trolls.

You accuse me of not 'getting' the point when it is you, yourself, who is travelling in directions that are less relevant than you make them out to be.  If I were to refrain from further debate, you may want to claim victory - but that would only be a fabrication.  You haven't convinced me.

Give my regards to the straw man.  Sounds like an old friend of yours.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 02, 2016, 12:55:25 am
You are completely missing the point of the time element.

It is the litmus test of whether or not you truly believe the profit to the creator should be maximized.

If you believe the profit to the creator should be maximized, then it follows that you must also believe that the protections in question should not have a time limit.  Conversely, if you believe the protections in question should have a time limit, then it follows that you cannot believe that profit to the creator should be maximized (though that doesn't prevent you from believing that it should be maximized within the time period in question).

Seriously?

Obfuscation,

What obfuscation?   Where have I refused to define the terms I've been using?  Where have I used one meaning of a word and then used a different meaning within the same discussion?  Where have I been inconsistent in the use of terms?  You've made the accusation, so it's on you to back your accusation with substance.


Quote
tangents,

These are necessary to explore the branches that inevitably occur during a discussion.  Those branches occur precisely because not everything is clear from the beginning.


Quote
ignorance,

If I am failing to account for some set of facts, or have gotten some set of facts wrong, please point it out.


Quote
irrelevance

Which parts of what I have raised have been irrelevant to the discussion of intellectual property?


Quote
and invention

Logical consequence and invention are not the same thing.  It is the former, not the latter, that I am invoking.  If I "invent" anything here, it is inadvertent, not intended.  So again, because you raise the accusation, it's on you to back it with evidence.


Quote
You accuse me of not 'getting' the point when it is you, yourself, who is travelling in directions that are less relevant than you make them out to be.  If I were to refrain from further debate, you may want to claim victory - but that would only be a fabrication.  You haven't convinced me.

I realize I haven't convinced you, nor did I expect that I had.  If I fail to do so, then so be it.   I am limited in what I can do.



So, back to the topic at hand.  Are you going to answer my question about axioms or not?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on April 02, 2016, 02:31:30 am
Interesting.

I recognise the above technique - and know full well you are never going to concede any point I (or several others for that matter) make, no matter how well defined and demonstrated.  At the risk of being tautological, in your world, I doubt any axioms can exist that are not congruent with your established thinking.

Here's an axiom for you: Arguing with a brick is pointless.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 02, 2016, 03:03:48 am
Interesting.

I recognise the above technique - and know full well you are never going to concede any point I (or several others for that matter) make, no matter how well defined and demonstrated. 

You do not know that, and I flatly deny that such is the case.

Make a point backed by airtight logical argument (backed by solid evidence, where evidence is necessary), and I must concede the point.


Quote
At the risk of being tautological, in your world, I doubt any axioms can exist that are not congruent with your established thinking.

There are plenty such axioms.  Axioms are something that people can disagree about, and because they are axioms, there is no way to resolve that kind of disagreement (well, except perhaps through demonstration of internal inconsistency, but that only works if the internal inconsistency is actually there).

For instance, the axiom of the existence of a divine creator is one I do not subscribe to.  There are obviously many who do, however.


Quote
Here's an axiom for you: Arguing with a brick is pointless.

I agree with that.  But a brick I am not.  Difficult to convince, perhaps.  But as long as the disagreement is not axiomatic in nature, then it will not be impossible if it can be shown, through evidence and logic, that I am incorrect.  Indeed, flaws in my arguments, facts, etc., are things I want to know about because I do not tolerate incorrectness in myself.  While perfect correctness is (I expect) impossible for me to achieve, that doesn't keep me from trying.


The subject we're talking about might be a rather poor one for demonstration of all that.   :(



So, for the second time: are you going to answer my question about axioms or not?   If not, would you at least answer the question I asked about maximizing profit during the limited time window afforded by law?

I can either attempt to determine the axiomatic basis for your views through a series of questions, or I can ask for it directly.  I'm willing to go either way.  You're probably wondering why I'm doing this.  The answer is that I detect a potential internal inconsistency in your position, and wish to determine if it is there or not.  If it is not there, then we must either disagree at an axiomatic level, or my position is somehow in error.  And I cannot determine that without knowing what the axiomatic basis of your position is.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on April 02, 2016, 03:18:44 am
Which of these is morally right?

a) A home hobbyist unlocking the extra bandwidth/features of his DS1054Z
b) A small company buying 10 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
c) A government department buying 1,000 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
d) A corporation buying 10,000 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all

All of the above. There is no licensing agreement on the hardware in question, not even a punch-through on first turn on. Not even a real lock; just obfuscation of the location of the switch in the software.

Who said anything about licensing agreements or how difficult it is to do?  :-//


FINALLY!!! The light dawns!!! Arguing morality on the internet is like trying to have sex with an alligator; a whole mess of thrashing about, and no good can come of it.

Let me guess: You're the alligator and we're the humans, right?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 02, 2016, 03:33:12 am
Which of these is morally right?

a) A home hobbyist unlocking the extra bandwidth/features of his DS1054Z
b) A small company buying 10 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
c) A government department buying 1,000 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
d) A corporation buying 10,000 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all

All of the above. There is no licensing agreement on the hardware in question, not even a punch-through on first turn on. Not even a real lock; just obfuscation of the location of the switch in the software.

Who said anything about licensing agreements or how difficult it is to do?  :-//

Suppose license agreements are not in the mix at all.

What is the practical difference between hacking your scope by way of supplying a magic key to the firmware, and hacking your scope by way of modifying the hardware to make it more capable than it came from the factory?

Take the Siglent SDS2000X series scopes, for instance.  Dave Jones' recent teardown strongly suggests that one can modify the bandwidth capabilities of the frontend simply by replacing a capacitor and a diode (if I'm remembering rightly).  Suppose for the moment that one can modify it in that way in order to increase the bandwidth of the scope.  If one does so, how is that any different than supplying a magic key to the firmware to achieve the same thing?


If they are no different from each other, then you must believe that hacking the hardware of your scope to improve its capabilities is just as unethical as supplying a magic key to the firmware.  In both cases, you are turning the scope into something more capable than what you paid for.   Therefore, what in the world justifies any ethical difference between the two?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on April 02, 2016, 04:49:59 am
Therefore, what in the world justifies any ethical difference between the two?

One of them requires breaking the "warranty void if removed" sticker.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on April 02, 2016, 06:23:55 am
Therefore, what in the world justifies any ethical difference between the two?

One of them requires breaking the "warranty void if removed" sticker.




I void warranties with extreme prejudice.


Which of these is morally right?

a) A home hobbyist unlocking the extra bandwidth/features of his DS1054Z
b) A small company buying 10 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
c) A government department buying 1,000 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all
d) A corporation buying 10,000 DS1054Zs and unlocking them all

All of the above. There is no licensing agreement on the hardware in question, not even a punch-through on first turn on. Not even a real lock; just obfuscation of the location of the switch in the software.

Who said anything about licensing agreements or how difficult it is to do?  :-//


FINALLY!!! The light dawns!!! Arguing morality on the internet is like trying to have sex with an alligator; a whole mess of thrashing about, and no good can come of it.

Let me guess: You're the alligator and we're the humans, right?

Is that a proposition? Because, quite frankly, I don't think you're the alligator's type. ;)


The "licensing" and how it's locked down have everything to do with this because I BOUGHT the damned thing, I DID NOT RENT IT.

I OWN IT. Even under US Law, if it were applicable, I have the right to disassemble it, EVEN THE COPY OF SOFTWARE THAT IS ON IT, to see how it works and if I have the skills, I have the right to modify that hardware or software. If I can figure out HOW, I have the right to make an archive copy of that software to protect the functionality of my investment in that hardware. If I have the technical capability to reverse engineer the hardware and create my own schematic, I legally have the right to duplicate the entire device for my own use.

As this device is manufactured and sold in China, which protections are even less stringent than here, I could also probably go into business SELLING that reverse-engineered hardware/software product.

MORALITY has nothing to do with it. I OWN the fu**ing thing, because that is my minimum right under any applicable law, and because the ONLY protection that MIGHT apply is a "break-seal" or "punch-through" license on the software, and the manufacturer didn't care enough about preventing me from using those "un-paid-for features" to protect the device with these most elemental safeguards, so why should I hold myself to some mythic higher standard than even the company who made and sold it to me?

Even Superman would laugh in your face over this... and I'm not talking Zack Snyder's "SuperAssholeMan", I'm talking full-tilt "Last Boy Scout" Christopher Reeve Superman here.

Jeezus H. Christ A-Hoppin' on a pogo stick; some folks are thick.


mnem
That's one bouncy Jeezus.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 02, 2016, 06:44:33 am

Therefore, what in the world justifies any ethical difference between the two?

One of them requires breaking the "warranty void if removed" sticker.

In the absence of a warranty claim, on what grounds is there any ethical difference?



(Sent with Tapatalk, so apologies for the lackluster formatting)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on April 02, 2016, 07:41:55 am
I OWN IT. Even under US Law, if it were applicable, I have the right to disassemble it, EVEN THE COPY OF SOFTWARE THAT IS ON IT, to see how it works and if I have the skills, I have the right to modify that hardware or software. If I can figure out HOW, I have the right to make an archive copy of that software to protect the functionality of my investment in that hardware. If I have the technical capability to reverse engineer the hardware and create my own schematic, I legally have the right to duplicate the entire device for my own use.

Have you ever heard of the DMCA? N.B. it doesn't matter a pig's whistle whether or not you like or agree with the DMCA. - it still applies to you. And, if the b*****s negotiating the TPP and TTIP get their way, everybody else.

Quote
I OWN the fu**ing thing,

Before you "own" something, you have to buy it. When you <expletive deleted> buy anything, you enter into a contract with a supplier, in which they offer and supply "something" in exchange for your "monetary consideration". The "something" is defined in advance, as is the "monetary consideration". Added into that mix is whatever is stated in the local laws. N.B. not, as the naive presume, local justice (and not even the naive consider morality/ethics in that context).

If the manufacturer wasn't offering "something", you cannot have bought "something" and therefore cannot "own" "something".

So, if you don't like what is offered for sale, don't buy it.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 02, 2016, 09:30:15 am
Have you ever heard of the DMCA? N.B. it doesn't matter a pig's whistle whether or not you like or agree with the DMCA. - it still applies to you. And, if the b*****s negotiating the TPP and TTIP get their way, everybody else.

Yes, the DMCA applies.

The DMCA has a reverse engineering exception built into it, but it's pretty limited.

Even so, the basis of the DMCA is copyright.  It protects copying of the work.  Since reverse engineering of software generally involves copying of some form, that means that you generally can't perform reverse engineering of it without violating copyright.

Such is not true of hardware.

And such is not true when one enters a magic key into an oscilloscope, either.  No copying of the software in the oscilloscope takes place.

However, having read up on some case law on the subject, it does appear that the DMCA comes into play with respect to "access to the work".  While Congress did not define what it meant, a number of cases have interpreted that to include access to functionality, which means that an interpretation that says "entering keys into the oscilloscope without getting the prior permission of the manufacturer is a violation of the DMCA" is apparently a reasonable one in the eyes of at least some of the courts.


Quote
Before you "own" something, you have to buy it. When you <expletive deleted> buy anything, you enter into a contract with a supplier, in which they offer and supply "something" in exchange for your "monetary consideration". The "something" is defined in advance, as is the "monetary consideration".

Usually the "something" is defined by the thing itself.  Which is to say, you're buying the object you receive and everything it contains, whatever that might be.  It happens to come configured by the manufacturer in the way the manufacturer intends, but that does not make configuration changes by the purchaser "wrong".  Such changes would be "wrong" if the purchaser agrees in advance to not make such changes, but absent such an agreement, what exactly is the justification for the claim that making those changes is "wrong"?


Quote
So, if you don't like what is offered for sale, don't buy it.

What is offered for sale is often perceived by the buyer as not just what he's receiving at the time of purchase, but what it can become after he modifies it to suit his tastes.  Which is to say, it is not uncommon for someone to buy something with the intention of changing it to make it more capable.  What is wrong with that?

If you insist that it is wrong for someone to modify, alter the configuration of, etc., something that he buys without the explicit permission of the manufacturer, then all I can say is that such an opinion may not be as widely shared as you think.  There are multitudes of people who modify their cars to make them substantially more capable than how they come from the manufacturer.  Those people would be amused to hear that what they've done is "wrong".
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on April 02, 2016, 10:08:05 am
There are multitudes of people who modify their cars to make them substantially more capable than how they come from the manufacturer.  Those people would be amused to hear that what they've done is "wrong".

What they do costs them time and money. They're not just cutting open the secret compartment under the car and pressing a magic button. This car analogy doesn't work, does it?

Let's try a different tack. Suppose Rigol sold upgrade keys that worked on any oscilloscope, not locked to serial numbers.

a) If you bought an unlock code would you be happy to give it to your friends?
b) Should a company buy 1,000 DS1054Zs from Rigol and one unlock code then apply the code to all of them?

(Yes, we get that Mr rootin-tootin-crocodile would give his license away - it don't cost him nuthin' to do that, so why not...?)

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 02, 2016, 11:15:03 am
There are multitudes of people who modify their cars to make them substantially more capable than how they come from the manufacturer.  Those people would be amused to hear that what they've done is "wrong".

What they do costs them time and money. They're not just cutting open the secret compartment under the car and pressing a magic button. This car analogy doesn't work, does it?

It doesn't always work, certainly, but all modifications require time, even if minimal.

For instance, if I remove an air restrictor from my engine, that could take a minimal amount of time and yield a larger amount of power.  That would qualify as the sort of modification that some here seem to think is "wrong", would it not?

In any case, if time and/or money is the litmus test, then reverse engineering software and modifying it to make it more capable, which can take quite a lot of time and may even take a decent amount of money for the necessary software tools, hardware interface tools, etc., would certainly be more equivalent to the sorts of car modifications that you're probably thinking of, no?  And yet, do you not regard such efforts as "wrong"?

Note that I am not arguing that such reverse engineering is not a violation of copyright law!  It almost certainly is.  But as long as the person in question does not distribute his modifications, the analogy would be sound, no?

Where do you draw the line as regards time, effort, and/or money, and why?  How is that line, if you draw it at all, not arbitrary?


Furthermore, the modification you make to your car may well give it the same capabilities as a more expensive model from the same manufacturer, but for a substantially smaller cash outlay (example: 2014 Mustang GT with supercharger modifications versus 2014 GT500).  Since the manufacturer in that case has made it clear that they intend you to pay a certain amount for the larger amount of capability, is it not wrong for you to modify your car to achieve that capability at a substantially lower price?


Quote
Let's try a different tack. Suppose Rigol sold upgrade keys that worked on any oscilloscope, not locked to serial numbers.

a) If you bought an unlock code would you be happy to give it to your friends?

That is actually a great question.

If there was no stipulation in the transaction that the code was to be used on only one oscilloscope, and absent the below consideration, then sure.  That which is not forbidden is allowed.  But that presumes that the code isn't covered under copyright (it probably is, under the DMCA if nothing else).


If your question is whether or not I would consider it wrong to give the resulting code away, well, that would depend on whether or not it is something that could be discovered independently.  If it is something that is not discoverable (e.g., it is generated from the private key half of a public/private key pair), then I would consider it wrong to give it away -- because it would mean that the manufacturer has done its due diligence to ensure that the functionality it wishes to protect is protected by the mechanism it chose to use.  If it is something that is independently discoverable, then I would not consider it wrong to give it away -- because it would mean that the manufacturer chose to use an independently discoverable code despite the ease with which an undiscoverable code could have been used.  The latter means that I would have to presume that the manufacturer intended to gain a marketing edge through the use of such a means, in which case who am I to argue with them on that?


Quote
b) Should a company buy 1,000 DS1054Zs from Rigol and one unlock code then apply the code to all of them?

I'd say my reply above covers this as well, though there are likely additional legal considerations which change the balance in favor of buying one code per device.  That said, we both know that many companies generally act as if the only thing that matters is their profits, so I would expect Rigol to explicitly state the terms of use of the unlock code in that case, simply because they're not naive enough to expect a company to act in any sort of ethical fashion.


Now it's my turn.

If you discover that your scope's bandwidth can be tripled simply by changing out a few capacitors and resistors, is it wrong for you to make that modification?  After all, in doing so, you have spent much less money and time to acquire a scope with capabilities that command a much higher price in the form of a higher bandwidth model in the same line, which means that the manufacturer clearly intends you to spend much more than you did in order to acquire a scope with the bandwidth you achieved.  Therefore, have you not deprived the manufacturer of deserved profits?  Have you not thwarted the manufacturer's market segmentation intent?

Is it wrong for you to describe the details of that modification on a public forum like this one?  How about to supply parts kits with instructions?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on April 02, 2016, 11:52:57 am
There are multitudes of people who modify their cars to make them substantially more capable than how they come from the manufacturer.  Those people would be amused to hear that what they've done is "wrong".

What they do costs them time and money. They're not just cutting open the secret compartment under the car and pressing a magic button.
Not necessarily. Sometimes upgrading the performance of a car is as simple as changing the ECU settings. Warranty aside, I believe the only legal issues are insurance as the car is now faster, so may require a higher premium and liability i.e. if such a modification makes the vehicle dangerous but that should be covered under insurance and if it still passes the emissions tests. Other than that, it's not much different to hacking one's oscilloscope.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on April 02, 2016, 12:31:31 pm
Furthermore, the modification you make to your car may well give it the same capabilities as a more expensive model from the same manufacturer, but for a substantially smaller cash outlay (example: 2014 Mustang GT with supercharger modifications versus 2014 GT500).  Since the manufacturer in that case has made it clear that they intend you to pay a certain amount for the larger amount of capability, is it not wrong for you to modify your car to achieve that capability at a substantially lower price?

Normally the more expensive model has more stuff - better brakes, better steering, better interior, more gadgets. I don't think there's any cars where the only difference is the engine.

But let's suppose the only difference is the engine power.

Take a look around at the sort of person who actually remaps their ECU. What personality type are they? I think the answer is in there somewhere.

Quote
b) Should a company buy 1,000 DS1054Zs from Rigol and one unlock code then apply the code to all of them?

I'd say my reply above covers this as well, though there are likely additional legal considerations which change the balance in favor of buying one code per device. 

Legal/technical considerations aside, would anybody here feel totally comfortable walking into a Rigol sales office and asking for a quote for 1000 DS1054Zs plus an upgrade key for one of them.

If you discover that your scope's bandwidth can be tripled simply by changing out a few capacitors and resistors, is it wrong for you to make that modification?

If it requires rescinding your warranty, then... at least you're giving something back.

Plus: This one is a sliding scale. What if there were aftermarket motherboards that could give you then times the bandwidth? Is it OK to use the DS1054Z case/screen/power supply with those boards? I'd say "yes".
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: G0HZU on April 02, 2016, 12:52:06 pm
Quote
Take a look around at the sort of person who actually remaps their ECU. What personality type are they? I think the answer is in there somewhere.

Not sure what you mean here but about 12+ years ago I bought a spare ECU for my car and took it apart and reverse engineered it.
I went on to reverse engineer a few more and I got down as far as producing block diagrams for how the fuelling and timing and knock sensor system worked in the more advanced ECUs. eg how it measured and stored data from the knock sensor and how it used this data to modify the fuelling and timing. I basically reverse engineered all of the code in the ECU and knew how every map was used with respect to incoming sensor data. I even modified the code (and the hardware) to allow the car to be remapped in real time on a rolling road with a PC by exploiting hidden functionality within the ECU. i.e. stuff I found in the code that was left there in the ROM by the original ECU developers.

I'm not sure how legal this was but I really don't care. It was my car, my property. I learned a lot about how to write efficient code (especially wrt 3D mapping)  and how to put failsafe measures into a system.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on April 02, 2016, 01:24:10 pm
Quote
Take a look around at the sort of person who actually remaps their ECU. What personality type are they? I think the answer is in there somewhere.

Not sure what you mean here but about 12+ years ago I bought a spare ECU for my car and took it apart and reverse engineered it.
I went on to reverse engineer a few more and I got down as far as producing block diagrams for how the fuelling and timing and knock sensor system worked in the more advanced ECUs. eg how it measured and stored data from the knock sensor and how it used this data to modify the fuelling and timing. I basically reverse engineered all of the code in the ECU and knew how every map was used with respect to incoming sensor data. I even modified the code (and the hardware) to allow the car to be remapped in real time on a rolling road with a PC by exploiting hidden functionality within the ECU. i.e. stuff I found in the code that was left there in the ROM by the original ECU developers.

I'm not sure how legal this was but I really don't care. It was my car, my property. I learned a lot about how to write efficient code (especially wrt 3D mapping)  and how to put failsafe measures into a system.

OK, you;re the hacker. I'm referring to the script-kiddies.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 02, 2016, 01:40:15 pm
Furthermore, the modification you make to your car may well give it the same capabilities as a more expensive model from the same manufacturer, but for a substantially smaller cash outlay (example: 2014 Mustang GT with supercharger modifications versus 2014 GT500).  Since the manufacturer in that case has made it clear that they intend you to pay a certain amount for the larger amount of capability, is it not wrong for you to modify your car to achieve that capability at a substantially lower price?

Normally the more expensive model has more stuff - better brakes, better steering, better interior, more gadgets. I don't think there's any cars where the only difference is the engine.

True as that may be, it doesn't have to be.  It's up to the manufacturer, right?

Regardless, the aftermarket supplies much more than just engine improvements.  On top of that, it is possible to purchase replacement parts from the manufacturer for the upscale model.  If you then put those parts on your lower end model, is that unethical, since the manufacturer didn't explicitly authorize that?

The Mustang GT versus GT500 example is an excellent one because all of the GT500 parts will fit on the GT (as far as I know).  It's the same platform.


Quote
But let's suppose the only difference is the engine power.

Take a look around at the sort of person who actually remaps their ECU. What personality type are they? I think the answer is in there somewhere.

It's not clear to me where you're going with that.  The personality type of someone who remaps their ECU is that of someone who wants to maximize the performance of what they have without necessarily spending a whole lot of effort doing so.   Why should it matter to them whether or not the manufacturer "intended" them to do so, as long as they're willing to give up warranty coverage?


Quote
Legal/technical considerations aside, would anybody here feel totally comfortable walking into a Rigol sales office and asking for a quote for 1000 DS1054Zs plus an upgrade key for one of them.

Why not?  That can be easily justified even if one has no intention of using the upgrade key on more than one unit.


Quote
If you discover that your scope's bandwidth can be tripled simply by changing out a few capacitors and resistors, is it wrong for you to make that modification?

If it requires rescinding your warranty, then... at least you're giving something back.

What if you intend in both cases (firmware code and hardware modification) to give up warranty protection?  Indeed, what says that the manufacturer has to honor the warranty of a scope that's been hacked with a firmware code?

If the warranty question is the only issue, then eliminating that as a concern should ethically green light modification of the scope via a firmware code if modification through hardware is okay under the same conditions, right?


Quote
Plus: This one is a sliding scale. What if there were aftermarket motherboards that could give you then times the bandwidth? Is it OK to use the DS1054Z case/screen/power supply with those boards? I'd say "yes".

Does that mean, then, that you believe it would be wrong to modify your scope to give it more bandwidth if the only modification necessary involved replacement of a few capacitors and resistors?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: G0HZU on April 02, 2016, 01:44:48 pm
My take on this subject is that it is too complicated to ever hope to reach agreement on a forum like this.

I'm not a legal expert so I don't pretend to understand the legal implications. However, I think that within a modern, large company there will be internal ethical rules/reasons why this sort of thing wouldn't be tolerated anyway. So there's no way TE would be hacked at my place of work for example. It would cause an internal shitstorm (to the delight of certain corporate types within the company) and a fair bit of fallout.

But for home/hobby use I offer this youtube video link as a guide as to how I see things. I hope you can all see the funny side of it  :)



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbWg-mozGsU (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbWg-mozGsU)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on April 02, 2016, 03:56:43 pm
Have you ever heard of the DMCA? N.B. it doesn't matter a pig's whistle whether or not you like or agree with the DMCA. - it still applies to you. And, if the b*****s negotiating the TPP and TTIP get their way, everybody else.

Yes, the DMCA applies.

The DMCA has a reverse engineering exception built into it, but it's pretty limited.

Even so, the basis of the DMCA is copyright.  It protects copying of the work.  Since reverse engineering of software generally involves copying of some form, that means that you generally can't perform reverse engineering of it without violating copyright.

Such is not true of hardware.

And such is not true when one enters a magic key into an oscilloscope, either.  No copying of the software in the oscilloscope takes place.

However, having read up on some case law on the subject, it does appear that the DMCA comes into play with respect to "access to the work".  While Congress did not define what it meant, a number of cases have interpreted that to include access to functionality, which means that an interpretation that says "entering keys into the oscilloscope without getting the prior permission of the manufacturer is a violation of the DMCA" is apparently a reasonable one in the eyes of at least some of the courts.


Quote
Before you "own" something, you have to buy it. When you <expletive deleted> buy anything, you enter into a contract with a supplier, in which they offer and supply "something" in exchange for your "monetary consideration". The "something" is defined in advance, as is the "monetary consideration".

Usually the "something" is defined by the thing itself.  Which is to say, you're buying the object you receive and everything it contains, whatever that might be.  It happens to come configured by the manufacturer in the way the manufacturer intends, but that does not make configuration changes by the purchaser "wrong".  Such changes would be "wrong" if the purchaser agrees in advance to not make such changes, but absent such an agreement, what exactly is the justification for the claim that making those changes is "wrong"?


Quote
So, if you don't like what is offered for sale, don't buy it.

What is offered for sale is often perceived by the buyer as not just what he's receiving at the time of purchase, but what it can become after he modifies it to suit his tastes.  Which is to say, it is not uncommon for someone to buy something with the intention of changing it to make it more capable.  What is wrong with that?

If you insist that it is wrong for someone to modify, alter the configuration of, etc., something that he buys without the explicit permission of the manufacturer, then all I can say is that such an opinion may not be as widely shared as you think.  There are multitudes of people who modify their cars to make them substantially more capable than how they come from the manufacturer.  Those people would be amused to hear that what they've done is "wrong".

The DMCA is limited JUST EXACTLY as I described it. Where did you get the idea that it removes the right to COPY software? It only removes the right to share a copy with someone ELSE.

EVEN UNDER THE DMCA, aside from certain crypto software, I STILL have the right to make an archive copy FOR MY OWN USE of ANY SOFTWARE that comes as part of a HARDWARE device that I purchase, and I STILL have the right to dismantle that code if I can figure out how. I just cannot SHARE that SOFTWARE with anybody. I CAN share the knowledge I discover about HOW the software works, and even share instructions on how to dismantle it.

THIS is what had everybody up in arms about DVD playback; the dingdongs who created the CODEC weren't prepared for it to be dismantled literally months after it was released. TOO EFFING BAD. VLC is still around, and MicroSuck DVD CODEC is an amusing footnote in history.

The licensing BS y'all are talking about DOES NOT EXIST. For licensing to be in effect, THERE HAS TO BE A LICENSING AGREEMENT, even here in the US there has to be a "break-seal" or "punch-through" licensing agreement somewhere in the course of the purchase. There is none here, and even if there were it wouldn't apply to an item made and sold in China, whose laws DO NOT SUPPORT such licensing.


mnem
 |O
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on April 02, 2016, 05:32:16 pm
However, I think that within a modern, large company there will be internal ethical rules/reasons why this sort of thing wouldn't be tolerated anyway. So there's no way TE would be hacked at my place of work for example. It would cause an internal shitstorm (to the delight of certain corporate types within the company) and a fair bit of fallout.
It's funny you should mention this.

We're looking to buy a new low cost oscilloscope where I work. I mentioned the DS1054Z, along with the hack and my manager liked my thinking :) , although I think we'll probably go for the OWON SDS7102V with the battery option because it's more portable and costs the same. Some of the other managers where I work might not like the idea of using hacked test equipment, but they'll never know about it and probably wouldn't understand what it really means if they did.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 02, 2016, 11:57:58 pm
The DMCA is limited JUST EXACTLY as I described it. Where did you get the idea that it removes the right to COPY software? It only removes the right to share a copy with someone ELSE.

I wish that were the case.  It's not.  You need to read the actual text of the law.

If copyright law did not (with some specific exemptions) remove the right to copy software, and only covered sharing, then there would not need to be an exemption in it for the purpose of execution of the code on the computer, or anything else for that matter.

The DMCA is an addition to general copyright law.  It imposes additional prohibitions with respect to measures that control access and/or copying.


Quote
EVEN UNDER THE DMCA, aside from certain crypto software, I STILL have the right to make an archive copy FOR MY OWN USE of ANY SOFTWARE that comes as part of a HARDWARE device that I purchase, and I STILL have the right to dismantle that code if I can figure out how.

The exemption for making an archival copy is correct.  As for reverse engineering, see below.


Quote
I just cannot SHARE that SOFTWARE with anybody. I CAN share the knowledge I discover about HOW the software works, and even share instructions on how to dismantle it.

That is true, but you will be in violation of the law with respect to the reverse engineering required to acquire that knowledge unless:



The 9th Circuit is one such jurisdiction that considers reverse engineering to be "fair use", but I don't see anything where the Supreme Court has weighed in on the subject, which is why jurisdiction matters.

I strongly suggest you read this: https://www.eff.org/issues/coders/reverse-engineering-faq (https://www.eff.org/issues/coders/reverse-engineering-faq)


As applied to the Rigol oscilloscope's firmware, if you live in the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit, then you'll be able to reverse engineer the firmware without running afoul of copyright law because the firmware isn't guarded by a "technological measure" which controls copying or access, and there is no license associated with the firmware.


Quote
The licensing BS y'all are talking about DOES NOT EXIST. For licensing to be in effect, THERE HAS TO BE A LICENSING AGREEMENT, even here in the US there has to be a "break-seal" or "punch-through" licensing agreement somewhere in the course of the purchase. There is none here, and even if there were it wouldn't apply to an item made and sold in China, whose laws DO NOT SUPPORT such licensing.

Yes.  Do you realize why there's no license agreement here?  It's simple: because there is no software installation step.  There is no step that requires copying of the software/firmware that is not covered by the exemption in 17 USC 117(a) (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/117), which is:

Quote
(a)Making of Additional Copy or Adaptation by Owner of Copy.—Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided:
  (1) that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner, or
  (2) that such new copy or adaptation is for archival purposes only and that all archival copies are destroyed in the event that continued possession of the computer program should cease to be rightful.

Now, you could say that you should be able to do whatever you want with the software once it's in your possession, provided that you do not share it or derivatives of it with others, and I would agree with you on that, but as regards the law, it goes much further than to cover mere sharing.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on April 03, 2016, 12:36:31 am
The DMCA is limited JUST EXACTLY as I described it. Where did you get the idea that it removes the right to COPY software? It only removes the right to share a copy with someone ELSE.

I wish that were the case.  It's not.  You need to read the actual text of the law.

If copyright law did not (with some specific exemptions) remove the right to copy software, and only covered sharing, then there would not need to be an exemption in it for the purpose of execution of the code on the computer, or anything else for that matter.

The DMCA is an addition to general copyright law.  It imposes additional prohibitions with respect to measures that control access and/or copying.


Quote
EVEN UNDER THE DMCA, aside from certain crypto software, I STILL have the right to make an archive copy FOR MY OWN USE of ANY SOFTWARE that comes as part of a HARDWARE device that I purchase, and I STILL have the right to dismantle that code if I can figure out how.

The exemption for making an archival copy is correct.  As for reverse engineering, see below.


Quote
I just cannot SHARE that SOFTWARE with anybody. I CAN share the knowledge I discover about HOW the software works, and even share instructions on how to dismantle it.

That is true, but you will be in violation of the law with respect to the reverse engineering required to acquire that knowledge unless:

  • you have permission from the copyright holder to perform it, or
  • there is no "technological measure" controlling access, and the software is not controlled by a license agreement that you have (implicitly or explicitly) agreed to, and you live in a jurisdiction where reverse engineering is regarded as "fair use", or
  • there is a "technological measure" controlling access, and the software is not controlled by a license agreement that you have (implicitly or explicitly) agreed to, and you live in a jurisdiction where reverse engineering is regarded as "fair use", and your reverse engineering effort is for the purposes of interoperability.


The 9th Circuit is one such jurisdiction that considers reverse engineering to be "fair use", but I don't see anything where the Supreme Court has weighed in on the subject, which is why jurisdiction matters.

I strongly suggest you read this: https://www.eff.org/issues/coders/reverse-engineering-faq (https://www.eff.org/issues/coders/reverse-engineering-faq)


As applied to the Rigol oscilloscope's firmware, if you live in the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit, then you'll be able to reverse engineer the firmware without running afoul of copyright law because the firmware isn't guarded by a "technological measure" which controls copying or access, and there is no license associated with the firmware.


Quote
The licensing BS y'all are talking about DOES NOT EXIST. For licensing to be in effect, THERE HAS TO BE A LICENSING AGREEMENT, even here in the US there has to be a "break-seal" or "punch-through" licensing agreement somewhere in the course of the purchase. There is none here, and even if there were it wouldn't apply to an item made and sold in China, whose laws DO NOT SUPPORT such licensing.

Yes.  Do you realize why there's no license agreement here?  It's simple: because there is no software installation step.  There is no step that requires copying of the software/firmware that is not covered by the exemption in 17 USC 117(a) (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/117), which is:

Quote
(a)Making of Additional Copy or Adaptation by Owner of Copy.—Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided:
  (1) that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner, or
  (2) that such new copy or adaptation is for archival purposes only and that all archival copies are destroyed in the event that continued possession of the computer program should cease to be rightful.

Now, you could say that you should be able to do whatever you want with the software once it's in your possession, provided that you do not share it or derivatives of it with others, and I would agree with you on that, but as regards the law, it goes much further than to cover mere sharing.

It doesn't matter where I live. It matters where the sale was made, and if any portion of the sales agreement includes a software license. The software installation has to include a "punch-through" licensing agreement, or there's no licensing THERE, either. Even if it did, I could buy the item used at a flea market and do any damned thing I want with it, aside from those very special "crypto" softwares I was talking about.

NONE OF THIS APPLIES HERE. PERIOD. It is a tool made and sold in China. THEIR laws at the time of the sale apply. PERIOD.


mnem
Not without my crundoscope!

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 03, 2016, 12:51:08 am
It may be bad form to reply to my own message, but even so, this is one of those cases where it makes sense to do so.

However, having read up on some case law on the subject, it does appear that the DMCA comes into play with respect to "access to the work".  While Congress did not define what it meant, a number of cases have interpreted that to include access to functionality, which means that an interpretation that says "entering keys into the oscilloscope without getting the prior permission of the manufacturer is a violation of the DMCA" is apparently a reasonable one in the eyes of at least some of the courts.

There's a very interesting case, LEXMARK INTERNATIONAL, INC. v. Static Control Components, Inc. (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=16859592332175262551), which bears directly on the above question.  And it indicates that the codes we've been discussing do not fall under the DMCA's prohibitions, that for it to do so, what is protected must itself be copyrightable expression, not merely function.  See for yourself:

Quote from: LEXMARK INTERNATIONAL, INC. v. Static Control Components, Inc., No. 03-5400 (6th Cir. Oct. 26, 2004).
In the essential setting where the DMCA applies, the copyright protection operates on two planes: in the literal code governing the work and in the visual or audio manifestation generated by the code's execution. For example, the encoded data on CDs translates into music and on DVDs into motion pictures, while the program commands in software for video games or computers translate into some other visual and audio manifestation. In the cases upon which Lexmark relies, restricting "use" of the work means restricting consumers from making use of the copyrightable expression in the work. See 321 Studios, 307 F. Supp. 2d at 1095 (movies contained on DVDs protected by an encryption algorithm cannot be watched without a player that contains an access key); Reimerdes, 111 F. Supp. 2d at 303 (same); Gamemasters, 87 F. Supp. 2d at 981 (Sony's game console prevented operation of unauthorized video games). As shown above, the DMCA applies in these settings when the product manufacturer prevents all access to the copyrightable material and the alleged infringer responds by marketing a device that circumvents the technological measure designed to guard access to the copyrightable material.

The copyrightable expression in the Printer Engine Program, by contrast, operates on only one plane: in the literal elements of the program, its source and object code. Unlike the code underlying video games or DVDs, "using" or executing the Printer Engine Program does not in turn create any protected expression. Instead, the program's output is purely functional: the Printer Engine Program "controls a number of operations" in the Lexmark printer such as "paper feed[,] paper movement[,] [and] motor control." Lexmark Br. at 9; cf. Lotus Dev., 49 F.3d at 815 (determining that menu command hierarchy is an "uncopyrightable method of operation"). And unlike the code underlying video games or DVDs, no encryption or other technological measure prevents access to the Printer Engine Program. Presumably, it is precisely because the Printer Engine Program is not a conduit to protectable expression that explains why Lexmark (or any other printer company) would not block access to the computer software that makes the printer work. Because Lexmark's authentication sequence does not restrict access to this literal code, the DMCA does not apply.

(emphasis mine in the above)

It is not functionality that the DMCA protects, it is copyrightable material.  Copyrightable material is expression, not function.

Importantly, Lexmark did not appeal the above decision, which almost certainly means they believed they wouldn't be able to prevail on the merits at the Supreme Court.

So it appears that my prior assessment is likely incorrect, that the use of the magic codes in conjunction with the scope's firmware is not a violation of copyright or of the DMCA, precisely because the magic codes do not protect copyrightable material, but only function, and do not result in any unauthorized copying of or access to copyrighted works.


So: ethical or not, using these magic codes to unlock the functionality in these scopes is not illegal in the United States.  Those of you who use the law itself as the basis for ethical judgments would do well to think on that.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 03, 2016, 01:03:07 am
It doesn't matter where I live. It matters where the sale was made, and if any portion of the sales agreement includes a software license. The software installation has to include a "punch-through" licensing agreement, or there's no licensing THERE, either. Even if it did, I could buy the item used at a flea market and do any damned thing I want with it, aside from those very special "crypto" softwares I was talking about.

NONE OF THIS APPLIES HERE. PERIOD. It is a tool made and sold in China. THEIR laws at the time of the sale apply. PERIOD.

No.  If that were the case, you'd be able to legally purchase a DVD copy of a movie in, say, Afghanistan, then bring it back here to the United States, then make an arbitrary number of copies of it and distribute those copies to whomever you like, and not run afoul of U.S. copyright law.

Law governs actions that are taken while under the jurisdiction of the law in question.  Copyright limits copying and access to copyrighted expression.  If you make a copy of a copyrighted work while in the United States, then United States copyright law is controlling.  The origination point of the sale of the work is meaningless with respect to actions you later take with what you purchased.


But because there is no license agreement involved ("click through" or otherwise), the firmware was legally obtained through the sale, and the exemptions in U.S. copyright law are applicable (those exemptions include "fair use" and copying necessary for operation of the software), you would be in the clear with respect to reverse engineering.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on April 03, 2016, 01:41:18 am
It doesn't matter where I live. It matters where the sale was made, and if any portion of the sales agreement includes a software license. The software installation has to include a "punch-through" licensing agreement, or there's no licensing THERE, either. Even if it did, I could buy the item used at a flea market and do any damned thing I want with it, aside from those very special "crypto" softwares I was talking about.

NONE OF THIS APPLIES HERE. PERIOD. It is a tool made and sold in China. THEIR laws at the time of the sale apply. PERIOD.

No.  If that were the case, you'd be able to legally purchase a DVD copy of a movie in, say, Afghanistan, then bring it back here to the United States, then make an arbitrary number of copies of it and distribute those copies to whomever you like, and not run afoul of U.S. copyright law.

Law governs actions that are taken while under the jurisdiction of the law in question.  Copyright limits copying and access to copyrighted expression.  If you make a copy of a copyrighted work while in the United States, then United States copyright law is controlling.  The origination point of the sale of the work is meaningless with respect to actions you later take with what you purchased.


But because there is no license agreement involved ("click through" or otherwise), the firmware was legally obtained through the sale, and the exemptions in U.S. copyright law are applicable (those exemptions include "fair use" and copying necessary for operation of the software), you would be in the clear with respect to reverse engineering.

This is precisely what I've been saying... that BECAUSE THE SOFTWARE IS INTEGRAL to the function of the machine, I OWN it. THAT is also why the laws at the time of sale also are the only ones that apply.

ONLY in America do we pervert this simple concept with stupidity such as "break-seal" licensing, which the rest of the world considers to be a legal atrocity.

And you can still make as many archive copies of that Afghani-sourced movie as you like, as long as you keep them locked away and out of the hands of others. It is the DISTRIBUTION of said copyrighted materials that will land you in jail. And the fact that they have treaties with us regarding reciprocal CopyRight. So far, to my knowledge, China has no such treaties with us. There is even ongoing litigation RIGHT NOW in the US that will probably win, and will effectively legalize downloading of copyrighted materials PROVIDED you already own that material on some read-only media that paid royalties to the copyright holder.

Pirate Bay will be back, stronger than ever. ;)


mnem
Frabjous.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 03, 2016, 02:14:09 am
This is precisely what I've been saying... that BECAUSE THE SOFTWARE IS INTEGRAL to the function of the machine, I OWN it. THAT is also why the laws at the time of sale also are the only ones that apply.

No.  Again, the law which governs an action is determined by where the action was taken, not where the object involved in the action was purchased.  Were this not the case, then you'd end up with absurd results, such as being able to purchase a weapon while abroad, use it to kill someone while in the United States, and be subject to the law of the country you purchased the weapon in as opposed to the law in the United States.


Quote
ONLY in America do we pervert this simple concept with stupidity such as "break-seal" licensing, which the rest of the world considers to be a legal atrocity.

Oh, I agree with you that such licensing is absurd.  But neither logic nor ethics governs what the law says or means.  Why else do you think I attempt to make a clear distinction between those in these discussions?


Quote
And you can still make as many archive copies of that Afghani-sourced movie as you like, as long as you keep them locked away and out of the hands of others. It is the DISTRIBUTION of said copyrighted materials that will land you in jail.

Distribution will land you in jail, certainly, but it is not the only right that is exclusively held by the copyright owner.  Right alongside that is the right to copy.  Don't believe me?   See for yourself:

Quote from: 17 U.S. Code § 106 - Exclusive rights in copyrighted works
Subject to sections 107 through 122, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:
(1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;
(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;
(3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
(4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;
(5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and
(6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

(emphasis mine)

Were this not the case, format shifting of copyrighted works you own copies of would automatically be legal.  Additionally, it would be perfectly legal for you to modify the contents of the click-through license agreement by copying the bits off the installation medium, modifying them so as to change the license agreement to whatever you want, then invoking the modified installer to install the software, thus causing you to agree to the modified agreement.  Right?  Do you really think doing that is legal if you can legally copy and modify whatever you acquire as long as you don't distribute?


Quote
And the fact that they have treaties with us regarding reciprocal CopyRight. So far, to my knowledge, China has no such treaties with us.

I picked Afghanistan for a reason (though in looking at the actual laws, it appears that Ethiopia might have been a better pick as its law doesn't appear to cover computer programs at all).  It doesn't have any such treaty with the United States, but from what I can tell, China does (degree of enforcement within the country in question is another matter altogether, however).


Quote
There is even ongoing litigation RIGHT NOW in the US that will probably win, and will effectively legalize downloading of copyrighted materials PROVIDED you already own that material on some read-only media that paid royalties to the copyright holder.

Interesting.  That would be a nice outcome.  Which case is that?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on April 03, 2016, 02:43:25 am
And you can still make as many archive copies of that Afghani-sourced movie as you like, as long as you keep them locked away and out of the hands of others. It is the DISTRIBUTION of said copyrighted materials that will land you in jail.

Distribution will land you in jail, certainly, but it is not the only right that is exclusively held by the copyright owner.  Right alongside that is the right to copy.

Herein lies a fundamental problem with interpretation of the law - separating observation from legislation.

As it has been pointed out, merely copying copyrighted material (outside of any provisions, such as archival copy) IS illegal.  The issue of going to jail or not is a matter of DISCOVERY.  The copyright owner won't prosecute if they don't know it's happening.  If you distribute, you attract their attention - but if a nosey neighbour dobs you in, you are still eligible for a change of wardrobe - something in a bright orange, perhaps.

As for throwing in Afghanistan as a qualifier for the argument, that is a rather weak tactic.  You know why - so don't plead ignorance.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 03, 2016, 02:59:09 am
As for throwing in Afghanistan as a qualifier for the argument, that is a rather weak tactic.  You know why - so don't plead ignorance.

I used Afghanistan in order to satisfy mnementh's conditions, to illustrate that even if the copyrighted work is initially obtained in a country with the most lax copyright laws, it is the laws of the country in which the copying is taking place that count.

Which is to say, I did that in order to give his side of the argument the maximum strength possible, since if his argument cannot prevail when it is under conditions most favorable to him, then it clearly cannot prevail under any weaker conditions.


I did not use it as a means to justify any claims of legality of copying.   :palm:


If you were talking to mnementh in the above, then my apologies for the confusion on my part.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on April 03, 2016, 03:16:46 am
And you can still make as many archive copies of that Afghani-sourced movie as you like, as long as you keep them locked away and out of the hands of others. It is the DISTRIBUTION of said copyrighted materials that will land you in jail.

Distribution will land you in jail, certainly, but it is not the only right that is exclusively held by the copyright owner.  Right alongside that is the right to copy.

Herein lies a fundamental problem with interpretation of the law - separating observation from legislation.

As it has been pointed out, merely copying copyrighted material (outside of any provisions, such as archival copy) IS illegal.  The issue of going to jail or not is a matter of DISCOVERY.  The copyright owner won't prosecute if they don't know it's happening.  If you distribute, you attract their attention - but if a nosey neighbour dobs you in, you are still eligible for a change of wardrobe - something in a bright orange, perhaps.

As for throwing in Afghanistan as a qualifier for the argument, that is a rather weak tactic.  You know why - so don't plead ignorance.

Umm, NO. You STILL have the right to make an archive copy for your own use, even of Copyrighted material, under the Fair Use act. The DMCA does NOT take that away. That is what I'm saying. If you like to play your DVDs and smash them on the floor afterwards, you have the right to make two dozen copies and smash one every night for a fortnight to protect your original, as long as you keep them all safely out of the hands of others. It is DISTRIBUTION that turns your "Fair Use" into "Copyright Infringement". You've been listening to too much RIAA/MPAA propaganda. SERIOUSLY.

MicroSpunk fought this for over a decade before getting spanked in nearly every court on 7 continents. THAT is why they stopped making controlled media their primary means of copyright protection, rather delivering digitally and actually making it  the end-user's responsibility to make archive copies of install media for archive. They turned a money sucking product weakness into the customers' problem.

There is even more; you have the right to copy AND DISTRIBUTE "Excerpts" of a copyrighted property for review and parody purposers. If you are an educator, you can copy entire properties and distribute them to your students as part of your instruction; my wife is an educator and does this all the time.

I'll agree that throwing the Afghan-sourced movie was a bit skewed, but it was relevant given my prior argument that copyright didn't apply as these 'scopes were made and sold in China. My argument revolves around understanding that these are NOT "Copyrightable" softwares, as they are INTRINSIC to the function of a hard good sold for a particular purpose. This is ALSO why you have the right to copy and dismantle that code; no licensing agreement is present, because that kind of licensing right has to be EXPRESS, as opposed to IMPLIED or INTRINSIC rights in the case of CopyRight. And in this case, no such licensing has been made express in the purchase agreement or the use of the device.

DMCA does NOT invalidate Fair Use, no matter how much the music and movie industries wish it could.


mnem
ZZZzzZZZzzz...



Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 03, 2016, 04:00:49 am
Umm, NO. You STILL have the right to make an archive copy for your own use, even of Copyrighted material, under the Fair Use act. The DMCA does NOT take that away.

That is correct.  However, the DMCA might end up preventing you from being able to legally make that archival copy if the original software is protected by an access/copy control measure.   


Quote
That is what I'm saying. If you like to play your DVDs and smash them on the floor afterwards, you have the right to make two dozen copies and smash one every night for a fortnight to protect your original, as long as you keep them all safely out of the hands of others. It is DISTRIBUTION that turns your "Fair Use" into "Copyright Infringement". You've been listening to too much RIAA/MPAA propaganda. SERIOUSLY.

Look, you keep making these claims about the law.  Why don't you actually cite the exemptions you claim exist here?   DVDs fall under the DMCA because they are protected by an access control mechanism.

The DMCA contains no exemption in its text for archival copies, nor does the Library of Congress exemption mechanism cover it, because the Library of Congress has not seen fit to include archival copies in its list of exemptions.  Here's the latest list of LoC exemptions: http://copyright.gov/1201/2015/fedreg-publicinspectionFR.pdf (http://copyright.gov/1201/2015/fedreg-publicinspectionFR.pdf)


Quote
There is even more; you have the right to copy AND DISTRIBUTE "Excerpts" of a copyrighted property for review and parody purposers. If you are an educator, you can copy entire properties and distribute them to your students as part of your instruction; my wife is an educator and does this all the time.

Yes, and through the Library of Congress exemption mechanism, your wife is exempt from the DMCA for that.


Quote
I'll agree that throwing the Afghan-sourced movie was a bit skewed, but it was relevant given my prior argument that copyright didn't apply as these 'scopes were made and sold in China. My argument revolves around understanding that these are NOT "Copyrightable" softwares, as they are INTRINSIC to the function of a hard good sold for a particular purpose.

Really?   Where in the law is an exemption to copyright law made for that kind of software?  Indeed, if such software were exempt from copyright law, then cases such as LEXMARK INTERNATIONAL, INC. v. Static Control Components, Inc. would have been lost on the basis that the software itself was not a copyrightable work, and the court there wouldn't have even had to reach to the question of DMCA protection.

No, you're flat wrong on this.  The firmware is just as copyrightable as any other piece of software.

Where in the world do you get these ideas from???



Quote
This is ALSO why you have the right to copy and dismantle that code; no licensing agreement is present, because that kind of licensing right has to be EXPRESS, as opposed to IMPLIED or INTRINSIC rights in the case of CopyRight. And in this case, no such licensing has been made express in the purchase agreement or the use of the device.

Right.  Which means that standard copyright law controls.  And standard copyright law has a Fair Use exemption which the courts have interpreted to include reverse engineering!

In the absence of a license agreement, or an explicit statement from the copyright holder placing the work into the public domain, it is copyright law that determines what circumstances you can make copies.   It forbids all copies except those made under one or more of the exempting provisions.


Quote
DMCA does NOT invalidate Fair Use, no matter how much the music and movie industries wish it could.

I think you may be confused about what the DMCA is.

The DMCA is legislation that makes circumvention of access and copy control mechanisms illegal, as well as making illegal distribution, etc., of tools that have such circumvention as their primary purpose.   It does not address copying directly at all.

The DMCA's provisions do not contain a fair use exemption, which means that even though you may be able to copy excerpts of a copyrighted work for fair use purposes, if you must circumvent an access or copy protection mechanism in order to do that, you cannot legally accomplish that -- unless you happen to fall into one of the DMCA's exemptions.  Those are a separate set of exemptions.  Were that not the case, then the fair use doctrine would control DMCA as well as normal copyright, but it doesn't.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on April 03, 2016, 04:37:34 am
And you can still make as many archive copies of that Afghani-sourced movie as you like, as long as you keep them locked away and out of the hands of others. It is the DISTRIBUTION of said copyrighted materials that will land you in jail.

Distribution will land you in jail, certainly, but it is not the only right that is exclusively held by the copyright owner.  Right alongside that is the right to copy.

Herein lies a fundamental problem with interpretation of the law - separating observation from legislation.

As it has been pointed out, merely copying copyrighted material (outside of any provisions, such as archival copy) IS illegal.  The issue of going to jail or not is a matter of DISCOVERY.  The copyright owner won't prosecute if they don't know it's happening.  If you distribute, you attract their attention - but if a nosey neighbour dobs you in, you are still eligible for a change of wardrobe - something in a bright orange, perhaps.

As for throwing in Afghanistan as a qualifier for the argument, that is a rather weak tactic.  You know why - so don't plead ignorance.

Umm, NO. You STILL have the right to make an archive copy for your own use, even of Copyrighted material, under the Fair Use act.
ZZZzzZZZzzz...

Seriously ... I mean SERIOUSLY?

You can't even read what's right there in front of you.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on April 03, 2016, 04:41:21 am
As for throwing in Afghanistan as a qualifier for the argument, that is a rather weak tactic.  You know why - so don't plead ignorance.

I used Afghanistan in order to satisfy mnementh's conditions, to illustrate that even if the copyrighted work is initially obtained in a country with the most lax copyright laws, it is the laws of the country in which the copying is taking place that count.

Which is to say, I did that in order to give his side of the argument the maximum strength possible, since if his argument cannot prevail when it is under conditions most favorable to him, then it clearly cannot prevail under any weaker conditions.


I did not use it as a means to justify any claims of legality of copying.   :palm:


If you were talking to mnementh in the above, then my apologies for the confusion on my part.

I must accept responsibility for the confusion and for that I do apologise.  My comment was not phrased clearly - but considering the lack of comprehension skills exhibited by another party, I can't see a clarification being worth the effort.  For that, too, I apologise.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 03, 2016, 04:49:27 am
If you were talking to mnementh in the above, then my apologies for the confusion on my part.

I must accept responsibility for the confusion and for that I do apologise.  My comment was not phrased clearly - but considering the lack of comprehension skills exhibited by another party, I can't see a clarification being worth the effort.  For that, too, I apologise.

No worries!

Since my discussion with mnementh has centered around U.S. law, I'm curious what the law in your part of the world is like.  Here in the U.S., the DMCA clearly has a disconnect from copyright law, in that even copies that are authorized by copyright law itself might be forbidden if they hide behind an access control mechanism.

Are the laws in your country disconnected in that way?  You'd think that if the law authorizes a copy, it would also authorize circumvention of access/copy control mechanisms for the purpose of making those copies.  But that would be expecting the law to actually be logical, which is probably too much to ask for.  :)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Brumby on April 03, 2016, 05:56:40 am
I'm not aware of the exact state of affairs at this point in time, but I do believe we got the DMCA stick - without the carrot.  Something that came out of the 2004 FTA.  Our position is one where our limitations have become more concrete, but things like 'fair use' that the US enjoys still elude us.

I've no doubt oversimplified, but I don't have my finger on the pulse.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: NF6X on April 03, 2016, 07:06:22 am
You'd think that if the law authorizes a copy, it would also authorize circumvention of access/copy control mechanisms for the purpose of making those copies.  But that would be expecting the law to actually be logical, which is probably too much to ask for.  :)

"Making the copy is fine, but circumventing the copy protection is not" seems comparable to "It's not the volts that kill you; it's the amps."
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on April 03, 2016, 09:36:44 am
I'm not aware of the exact state of affairs at this point in time, but I do believe we got the DMCA stick - without the carrot.  Something that came out of the 2004 FTA.  Our position is one where our limitations have become more concrete, but things like 'fair use' that the US enjoys still elude us.

I've no doubt oversimplified, but I don't have my finger on the pulse.
Australia has fair dealing.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_dealing
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: vk6zgo on April 03, 2016, 02:04:22 pm
Originally Patents & copyright were different,if related,ideas.

Patents were in the realm of real hardware,in that  you couldn't Patent an idea,like,say,Ohm's Law.
It had to be a way to create a real product.

Copyright,on the other hand,dealt with products of the creator's imagination,such as literature,music,works of Art,& similar things.

In the early days of Electronics strenuous efforts were made by some large manufacturers to tie up new developments  by Patent litigation.
Oddly enough,sometimes companies were on both sides of the divide,claiming Patent infringement,whilst at the same time,publishing "application notes" on the use of new devices.

Ultimately,this form of restriction  was unsuccessful,due to the wide publication of details of any new circuitry via "Radio" magazines which sprung up like weeds throughout the world.

Hardware folk have,thus,grown up in a world where hardware circuitry,was defacto,if not de jure--"open source".

Software,because it is "sort of " written,fell roughly into the copyright category.

Literary works supposedly are made of "full cloth" by the writer's imagination,with no prior use.
It wouldn't be hard to question this-----how many writers use the "Necronomicon" in Fantasy works?
Do they licence this use from HP Lovecraft's heirs & successors?

Poor old HP's Copyright has probably expired.though!

We can also question Software/Firmware.
Is this the sole product of the creator's mental processes?
Are there any precursors?

To be completely free of outside influences,surely the creator would have to devise their own programming language,use alternative "short cuts " within the program,& so on.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on April 03, 2016, 08:29:11 pm
Umm, NO. You STILL have the right to make an archive copy for your own use, even of Copyrighted material, under the Fair Use act. The DMCA does NOT take that away.

That is correct.  However, the DMCA might end up preventing you from being able to legally make that archival copy if the original software is protected by an access/copy control measure.   


Quote
That is what I'm saying. If you like to play your DVDs and smash them on the floor afterwards, you have the right to make two dozen copies and smash one every night for a fortnight to protect your original, as long as you keep them all safely out of the hands of others. It is DISTRIBUTION that turns your "Fair Use" into "Copyright Infringement". You've been listening to too much RIAA/MPAA propaganda. SERIOUSLY.

Look, you keep making these claims about the law.  Why don't you actually cite the exemptions you claim exist here?   DVDs fall under the DMCA because they are protected by an access control mechanism.

The DMCA contains no exemption in its text for archival copies, nor does the Library of Congress exemption mechanism cover it, because the Library of Congress has not seen fit to include archival copies in its list of exemptions.  Here's the latest list of LoC exemptions: http://copyright.gov/1201/2015/fedreg-publicinspectionFR.pdf (http://copyright.gov/1201/2015/fedreg-publicinspectionFR.pdf)


Quote
There is even more; you have the right to copy AND DISTRIBUTE "Excerpts" of a copyrighted property for review and parody purposers. If you are an educator, you can copy entire properties and distribute them to your students as part of your instruction; my wife is an educator and does this all the time.

Yes, and through the Library of Congress exemption mechanism, your wife is exempt from the DMCA for that.


Quote
I'll agree that throwing the Afghan-sourced movie was a bit skewed, but it was relevant given my prior argument that copyright didn't apply as these 'scopes were made and sold in China. My argument revolves around understanding that these are NOT "Copyrightable" softwares, as they are INTRINSIC to the function of a hard good sold for a particular purpose.

Really?   Where in the law is an exemption to copyright law made for that kind of software?  Indeed, if such software were exempt from copyright law, then cases such as LEXMARK INTERNATIONAL, INC. v. Static Control Components, Inc. would have been lost on the basis that the software itself was not a copyrightable work, and the court there wouldn't have even had to reach to the question of DMCA protection.

No, you're flat wrong on this.  The firmware is just as copyrightable as any other piece of software.

Where in the world do you get these ideas from???



Quote
This is ALSO why you have the right to copy and dismantle that code; no licensing agreement is present, because that kind of licensing right has to be EXPRESS, as opposed to IMPLIED or INTRINSIC rights in the case of CopyRight. And in this case, no such licensing has been made express in the purchase agreement or the use of the device.

Right.  Which means that standard copyright law controls.  And standard copyright law has a Fair Use exemption which the courts have interpreted to include reverse engineering!

In the absence of a license agreement, or an explicit statement from the copyright holder placing the work into the public domain, it is copyright law that determines what circumstances you can make copies.   It forbids all copies except those made under one or more of the exempting provisions.


Quote
DMCA does NOT invalidate Fair Use, no matter how much the music and movie industries wish it could.

I think you may be confused about what the DMCA is.

The DMCA is legislation that makes circumvention of access and copy control mechanisms illegal, as well as making illegal distribution, etc., of tools that have such circumvention as their primary purpose.   It does not address copying directly at all.

The DMCA's provisions do not contain a fair use exemption, which means that even though you may be able to copy excerpts of a copyrighted work for fair use purposes, if you must circumvent an access or copy protection mechanism in order to do that, you cannot legally accomplish that -- unless you happen to fall into one of the DMCA's exemptions.  Those are a separate set of exemptions.  Were that not the case, then the fair use doctrine would control DMCA as well as normal copyright, but it doesn't.

The only reason there was any question was because of the use of "Shrinkwrap" or "break-seal" licensure in the product. This is one of those really over-reaching legal concepts that I referred to earlier, and that pretty much the entire rest of the civilized world has already killed and buried. There is no such licensure in the case of these scopes, therefore no copyright infringement. For something to be protected under copyright law, one HAS to make reasonable efforts to ensure that the general public... anybody who might be considered an end-user... is aware that one holds a property as copyrighted. One has to make a legal effort to RESERVE those rights; one does NOT have them automatically.

Also... even Scalia, that black-hearted corporate-owned SOB, admitted this was a case that could go on forever under a number of different guises, even though it was eventually decided in favor of SCC.

I find your interpretation of the DMCA interesting; there are a number of open-source programs available that allow one to record any video playing on your screen and whatever audio is also playing at the time to an H264 video file in user-defined level of resolution. Do you suppose this is legally considered "circumventing" that anti-copy process? If I actually watch the movie while recording it, I wonder if my First Amendment rights to chronicle my own experiences apply here?

Probably not... but an interesting tangent.


mnem
I didn't see that.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 03, 2016, 09:28:19 pm
The only reason there was any question was because of the use of "Shrinkwrap" or "break-seal" licensure in the product. This is one of those really over-reaching legal concepts that I referred to earlier, and that pretty much the entire rest of the civilized world has already killed and buried.

True as that may be, it still has force here in the United States.  The law is not what either of us would like it to be (indeed, I doubt you'll find but perhaps a few who think that all of the law is as it should be).


Quote
There is no such licensure in the case of these scopes, therefore no copyright infringement.

The first is true.  The second is true only if nothing is copied in violation of copyright law.

Copyright law remains in effect unless a license supersedes it.  Indeed, it is because of copyright law that licenses can be imposed in the first place!  Licenses are authorization from the copyright holder to do things with the copyrighted content that otherwise would be forbidden by copyright law, plus other terms and conditions of that use.

Were that not the case, then people could simply modify the text of the click-through license agreement itself before "agreeing" to it, and be in the clear.  But because the agreement itself is a copyrighted work, or is embedded within a copyrighted work, copyright is in force there as well, and one thus cannot legally modify the license agreement before agreeing to it.

Additionally, it is because copyright law is in effect by default that one has to explicitly say that their work is being placed in the public domain for it to actually land there.   The default state of a work is that it is copyrighted at the time of creation (works for hire and anonymous/pseudonymous works can begin at time of publication).  Copyright is something you get automatically and by default on every expressive work you create unless you explicitly disclaim it.


Has it occurred to you to ask why the Free Software Foundation's license, and other free software licenses, exist?  Why the BSD license exists?  It's precisely because of things like the above.


Quote
For something to be protected under copyright law, one HAS to make reasonable efforts to ensure that the general public... anybody who might be considered an end-user... is aware that one holds a property as copyrighted. One has to make a legal effort to RESERVE those rights; one does NOT have them automatically.

This is incorrect.  You're confusing copyright and trademark.  With trademarks, one has to make a reasonable effort to enforce them, at the risk of otherwise losing them.  There is no such requirement for copyright.  Again, were this not the case, then there would be no need to explicitly say that one is placing a work in the public domain.  One would need only to release the work, and that would be that.

I can see how you can be confused about these things.  Many people think of all of these things in terms of a single overarching "intellectual property" law, when the law is not nearly as coherent as all that.


Quote
I find your interpretation of the DMCA interesting;

My interpretation of the DMCA is based on a plain reading of the law itself, combined with what relevant case law I can find.  The same is true of copyright law.

I strongly encourage you to actually read the law for yourself, plus statements made by organizations, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which are active in the arena of copyright.


Quote
there are a number of open-source programs available that allow one to record any video playing on your screen and whatever audio is also playing at the time to an H264 video file in user-defined level of resolution. Do you suppose this is legally considered "circumventing" that anti-copy process?

If you're doing that while, say, watching a DVD on your computer, and the copyright holder hasn't given permission to do that, then yes, that is a violation of copyright.  How could it not be, when there is no format shifting exemption in copyright law?  And that goes for any other copying that isn't explicitly authorized by the copyright holder, save for copying that is explicitly exempted by copyright law.  And remember: the archival copy exemption is for computer programs only.  It is not a general exemption.

Look, just because you don't get caught at something doesn't make that something legal.  And just because something is illegal doesn't mean it's wrong.  Law and ethics are entirely different.


I am entirely in agreement with you that copyright law is far too draconian, especially with respect to durations.  But few value liberty the way I do.


Quote
If I actually watch the movie while recording it, I wonder if my First Amendment rights to chronicle my own experiences apply here?

A more interesting case would be if you use a video recorder to record your reactions and the screen and sound contents simultaneously.  That might be covered under fair use.  And because you're playing the DVD in an authorized manner, you wouldn't be running afoul of the DMCA, either.  However, it would most certainly be classified a derivative work, as it would incorporate the copyrighted work of another, so a fair use exemption would be your only hope.

There have been First Amendment challenges to some portions of copyright law, but they have failed, so I wouldn't count on that saving you, or for fair use to save you, either.  See, e.g., Harper & Row Publishers, Inc. v. Nation Enterprises, as a case that may well be relevant here.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on April 04, 2016, 02:44:47 pm
The problem here is that we're arguing laws that are even now in a state of flux, and that have different meaning depending on where you are. These laws even now are being argued up and down and in a week or a month or a year or two, they may mean something completely different, and really... here it's a moot point anyways.

Bottom line is we CAN do it, we ARE doing it, and if we are evil bastards for doing it, we are the least of the evil bastards on the planet right now AND we have the manufacturer's tacit approval TO do it.

I have IRL to get back to, where I was just given a 3D printer to play with. When I get a good-enough paying job (or when I need it to troubleshoot this flipping printer) I'll buy one of the 'scopes in question and hack it. Then I'll get on with my life. :D


mnem
Because I can.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on April 04, 2016, 03:00:05 pm
Bottom line is we CAN do it, we ARE doing it, and if we are evil bastards for doing it, we are the least of the evil bastards on the planet right now AND we have the manufacturer's tacit approval TO do it.

Strawman points, of course, since nobody is saying that. Multiple people do, however, think any arguments to the effect of "I can do it, They haven't prevented me, therefore it is right" are fallacious self-serving hypocritical nonsense.

Quote
When I get a good-enough paying job ... I'll buy one of the 'scopes in question and hack it.

Why am I not surprised by what that reveals.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Teneyes on April 04, 2016, 03:12:04 pm
AND we have the manufacturer's tacit approval TO do it.

Yes We can.
For Rigol it was a little more than Tacit!
After Dave showed everyone how to Hack the DS1052 , Rigol(distributor) sends  Dave all new DSOs to demo.
It is all part of marketing.

Not so with Agilent.

ps . I enjoyed the legal points

a token approval received as shown in picture
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: rsjsouza on April 04, 2016, 06:22:39 pm
Same here; the legal aspects were very interesting. 
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on April 04, 2016, 09:10:53 pm
Strawman points, of course, since nobody is saying that. Multiple people do, however, think any arguments to the effect of "I can do it, They haven't prevented me, therefore it is right" are fallacious self-serving hypocritical nonsense.
The same could be said for the argument that lots of companies deliberately cripple their customer's hardware and charge them a ransom to unlock it, so it makes it right.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on April 04, 2016, 09:13:56 pm
The same could be said for the argument that lots of companies deliberately cripple their customer's hardware and charge them a ransom to unlock it, so it makes it right.

I'm not sure if you're trolling or genuinely confused.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on April 04, 2016, 09:18:28 pm
The same could be said for the argument that lots of companies deliberately cripple their customer's hardware and charge them a ransom to unlock it, so it makes it right.

I'm not sure if you're trolling or genuinely confused.
Perhaps I'm confused. Do you know what he meant by they statement which just seemed trollish to me?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on April 04, 2016, 09:45:52 pm
The same could be said for the argument that lots of companies deliberately cripple their customer's hardware and charge them a ransom to unlock it, so it makes it right.

I'm not sure if you're trolling or genuinely confused.
Perhaps I'm confused. Do you know what he meant by they statement which just seemed trollish to me?

Perhaps you would understand if you hadn't snipped the context in which I made the remaining.

That type of misdirection is a typical tactic employed by trolls that want heat and don't want light.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on April 04, 2016, 09:47:37 pm
The same could be said for the argument that lots of companies deliberately cripple their customer's hardware and charge them a ransom to unlock it, so it makes it right.

I'm not sure if you're trolling or genuinely confused.
Perhaps I'm confused. Do you know what he meant by they statement which just seemed trollish to me?

Perhaps you would understand if you hadn't snipped the context in which I made the remaining.

That type of misdirection is a typical tactic employed by trolls that want heat and don't want light.
I still don't know what you were going on about?  After all isn't that what you did? Taking snippets of posts out of context.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 04, 2016, 09:54:01 pm
Multiple people do, however, think any arguments to the effect of "I can do it, They haven't prevented me, therefore it is right" are fallacious self-serving hypocritical nonsense.

I'll raise the same point I think Hero999 is attempting to raise, but in a slightly different way.

Don't the companies that deliberately cripple their customer's hardware and charge them a ransom to unlock it adopt precisely the same argument as the one you reference above?

Companies are generally amoral actors.  Many seem to find that acceptable (even going so far as to justify it on the basis that "companies only have a responsibility to maximize the profits of their shareholders") while simultaneously not finding it acceptable for individuals to act in the same amoral fashion.  Isn't that latter a hypocritical stance to take?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on April 04, 2016, 10:27:58 pm
Now, let's go back. There are differing opinions here regarding morality of hacking oscilloscopes.

There are two parties:

The manufacturer:

1) Manufactures have the right to lock parts of the hardware they sell and charge customers any price they like to unlock them.

2) It is immoral for manufactures to lock parts of their customer's hardware and expect them to pay extra to unlock them.

And the consumer:

1) A customer who buys a product unlocks a feature they've not paid for is immoral because it deprives the manufacture of revenue.

2) When a customer buys a product, they can do with it what they please, including modify it to improve the performance and unlock whatever features they like.

Personally I side with the consumer on both accounts (they can modify and unlock features and crippleware is immoral) because the manufacturer wouldn't exist without them. If you want to disagree with me, that's fine but if you start accusing me of stealing or whatever because of my point of view then you're trolling.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: G0HZU on April 04, 2016, 11:07:23 pm
Quote
1) A customer who buys a product unlocks a feature they've not paid for is immoral because it deprives the manufacture of revenue.

I would suggest that this kind of hacking activity is 'priced in' to the business model for the product by the manufacturer anyway.

If the hacking got to the point where the business model breaks down then they would change the way they control hardware and software features. But the business model may reveal that moderate levels of hacking may actually be of benefit to the business. Who here really knows?

Quote
2) When a customer buys a product, they can do with it what they please, including modify it to improve the performance and unlock whatever features they like.
For home/hobby use that's the way I see things.


Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 05, 2016, 05:20:34 am
Quote
1) A customer who buys a product unlocks a feature they've not paid for is immoral because it deprives the manufacture of revenue.

I would suggest that this kind of hacking activity is 'priced in' to the business model for the product by the manufacturer anyway.

It has to be priced in regardless of whether or not they do so explicitly.  If it isn't, then they end up undercharging or overcharging for their products, and will eventually go out of business unless they first strike the right price versus sales balance.  Put another way, the market automatically takes care of this one way or another.


Quote
If the hacking got to the point where the business model breaks down then they would change the way they control hardware and software features. But the business model may reveal that moderate levels of hacking may actually be of benefit to the business. Who here really knows?

It is logical that hacking on the part of hobbyists would be of benefit to the manufacturer, especially if that isn't available with other brands, because it would make the hackable products more desirable than those of the competitors (since the capability to price ratio of the hackable brand ends up being higher than that of the nonhackable brand).  And since most businesses won't hack their instruments because those instruments are mission critical to the business and therefore the business can't risk loss of support for them, the end result is that the hackability of an instrument only really makes a difference in the hobbyist market -- and the difference there is a positive one for the manufacturer.

Quote
Quote
2) When a customer buys a product, they can do with it what they please, including modify it to improve the performance and unlock whatever features they like.
For home/hobby use that's the way I see things.

I don't see why it would (or should) be any different when the customer is a business.  Whether it's a home/hobby user or a business, as long as the customer isn't actively harming someone else with what they purchased, why should they be restricted in what they do with what they purchased?

I think vk6zgo has it right on: people are used to the notion of being able to do what they please with hardware, but have grown up in a culture where doing what you please with software has rarely been allowed.  So they automatically come to view the two as completely different things, when they are exactly the same save for one thing: hardware cannot be copied at will and at no cost, while software can.  Supply and demand automatically applies to hardware, so the standard economic mechanisms (along with patents) provide sufficient incentive for people to build hardware devices for sale.  But because software can be copied at will at no cost, the standard economic mechanisms are insufficient to maintain a healthy software market.

This is why copyright applies to software, and why unilateral contractual terms and conditions arising from it should be no more acceptable than the same would be when applied to hardware.   Most people here would be outraged if the manufacturers of the hardware they buy forbade them from reverse engineering it or modifying it, and would be up in arms if they were forbidden from opening that hardware up at all, but they not only have no problem with those things as regards software, they support it!!   That is hypocrisy, pure and simple.  And I haven't even touched on the additional contractual terms and conditions those people will support on the software side of things (look at this thread!), when they almost certainly wouldn't support any such thing on the hardware side of things.

Software is already covered by patents as well.  That and simple prohibitions on distributing copies (be it of the original or of derivatives) would be sufficient to make software identical to hardware as regards the health of the market.  At that point, it would operate in the same way.  But software vendors (e.g., Microsoft) got greedy and used their influence to warp the law, and the end result is the ultra-restrictive software market we have today, where even reverse engineering is generally forbidden by unilaterally-imposed contract.


Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on April 05, 2016, 07:46:53 am
The manufacturer:

1) Manufactures have the right to lock parts of the hardware they sell and charge customers any price they like to unlock them.

a) Manufacturers have the right to make different models at different price points.

If they choose to do it via firmware instead of manufacturing different PCBs, that's up to them. The reason they usually do it that way is that it simplifies manufacturing/distribution and that makes it cheaper for the customer.

The is the the complete opposite of "ripping them off".

b) Rigol do not sell bandwidth upgrades. You can't go to Rigol and ask for an upgrade because the don't sell them. The only upgrades they sell are for advanced triggering, serial decoders, etc. NOT bandwidth. Bandwidth is fixed.

So ... how can they be "ransoming" you when they don't actually sell the thing you're complaining they're ransoming you over?  :-//
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on April 05, 2016, 12:03:20 pm
The manufacturer:

1) Manufactures have the right to lock parts of the hardware they sell and charge customers any price they like to unlock them.

a) Manufacturers have the right to make different models at different price points.

If they choose to do it via firmware instead of manufacturing different PCBs, that's up to them. The reason they usually do it that way is that it simplifies manufacturing/distribution and that makes it cheaper for the customer.

The is the the complete opposite of "ripping them off".

b) Rigol do not sell bandwidth upgrades. You can't go to Rigol and ask for an upgrade because the don't sell them. The only upgrades they sell are for advanced triggering, serial decoders, etc. NOT bandwidth. Bandwidth is fixed.

So ... how can they be "ransoming" you when they don't actually sell the thing you're complaining they're ransoming you over?  :-//
Incorrect Rigol do sell bandwidth upgrades and if charging the customer over £3000 to unlock something they already have is not ripping them off, I don't know what is.
https://www.rigol-uk.co.uk/Rigol-BW2T5-MSO-DS4000-Bandwidth-Upgrade-p/bw2t5-mso-ds4000.htm (https://www.rigol-uk.co.uk/Rigol-BW2T5-MSO-DS4000-Bandwidth-Upgrade-p/bw2t5-mso-ds4000.htm)

Of course if you disagree and believe it's good value for money you're entitled to your opinion, just don't expect persuade others.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Fungus on April 05, 2016, 02:03:06 pm
Incorrect Rigol do sell bandwidth upgrades

Oh, for one model (MSO4000) they do. Pardon me for not knowing the entire Rigol product range in detail.

 :palm:
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on April 05, 2016, 02:14:00 pm
The manufacturer:

1) Manufactures have the right to lock parts of the hardware they sell and charge customers any price they like to unlock them.

a) Manufacturers have the right to make different models at different price points.

If they choose to do it via firmware instead of manufacturing different PCBs, that's up to them. The reason they usually do it that way is that it simplifies manufacturing/distribution and that makes it cheaper for the customer.

The is the the complete opposite of "ripping them off".

b) Rigol do not sell bandwidth upgrades. You can't go to Rigol and ask for an upgrade because the don't sell them. The only upgrades they sell are for advanced triggering, serial decoders, etc. NOT bandwidth. Bandwidth is fixed.

So ... how can they be "ransoming" you when they don't actually sell the thing you're complaining they're ransoming you over?  :-//
Incorrect Rigol do sell bandwidth upgrades and if charging the customer over £3000 to unlock something they already have is not ripping them off, I don't know what is.

When that is an accurate reflection of reality, I agree with you.

In this case, your point is internally inconsistent and therefore valueless. It isn't that difficult... If a customer needs a bandwidth upgrade, then they don't already possess it - in which case they aren't charging the customer for something they already have. They are charging for an upgrade to something the customer already has.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on April 05, 2016, 04:22:41 pm
Quote
1) A customer who buys a product unlocks a feature they've not paid for is immoral because it deprives the manufacture of revenue.

I would suggest that this kind of hacking activity is 'priced in' to the business model for the product by the manufacturer anyway.

It has to be priced in regardless of whether or not they do so explicitly.  If it isn't, then they end up undercharging or overcharging for their products, and will eventually go out of business until they strike the right price versus sales balance.  Put another way, the market automatically takes care of this one way or another.


Quote
If the hacking got to the point where the business model breaks down then they would change the way they control hardware and software features. But the business model may reveal that moderate levels of hacking may actually be of benefit to the business. Who here really knows?

It is logical that hacking on the part of hobbyists would be of benefit to the manufacturer, especially if that isn't available with other brands, because it would make the hackable products more desirable than those of the competitors (since the capability to price ratio of the hackable brand ends up being higher than that of the nonhackable brand).  And since most businesses won't hack their instruments because those instruments are mission critical to the business and therefore the business can't risk loss of support for them, the end result is that the hackability of an instrument only really makes a difference in the hobbyist market -- and the difference there is a positive one for the manufacturer.

Quote
Quote
2) When a customer buys a product, they can do with it what they please, including modify it to improve the performance and unlock whatever features they like.
For home/hobby use that's the way I see things.

I don't see why it would (or should) be any different when the customer is a business.  Whether it's a home/hobby user or a business, as long as the customer isn't actively harming someone else with what they purchased, why should they be restricted in what they do with what they purchased?

I think vk6zgo has it right on: people are used to the notion of being able to do what they please with hardware, but have grown up in a culture where doing what you please with software has rarely been allowed.  So they automatically come to view the two as completely different things, when they are exactly the same save for one thing: hardware cannot be copied at will and at no cost, while software can.  Supply and demand automatically applies to hardware, so the standard economic mechanisms (along with patents) provide sufficient incentive for people to build hardware devices for sale.  But because software can be copied at will at no cost, the standard economic mechanisms are insufficient to maintain a healthy software market.

This is why copyright applies to software, and why unilateral contractual terms and conditions arising from it should be no more acceptable than the same would be when applied to hardware.   Most people here would be outraged if the manufacturers of the hardware they buy forbade them from reverse engineering it or modifying it, and would be up in arms if they were forbidden from opening that hardware up at all, but they not only have no problem with those things as regards software, they support it!!   That is hypocrisy, pure and simple.  And I haven't even touched on the additional contractual terms and conditions those people will support on the software side of things (look at this thread!), when they almost certainly wouldn't support any such thing on the hardware side of things.

Software is already covered by patents as well.  That and simple prohibitions on distributing copies (be it of the original or of derivatives) would be sufficient to make software identical to hardware as regards the health of the market.  At that point, it would operate in the same way.  But software vendors (e.g., Microsoft) got greedy and used their influence to warp the law, and the end result is the ultra-restrictive software market we have today, where even reverse engineering is generally forbidden by unilaterally-imposed contract.

This is almost precisely what I was arguing earlier... the only thing we disagree upon is interpretation of the law as it now. I based my arguments on what I knew the law to be last time I looked into it, and upon how the relevant law is evolving in the rest of the world, which I see as inevitable here as well, just taking longer because of the socially retarded Calvinist pro-corporate culture that is prevalent in the USA. I too agree that the law here is in general ridiculously warped in favor of corporate greed rather than any real interest in protecting IP rights in any way.


That said... I think the whole moral and legal debate is only tangentially relevant to the original point of this thread, which was "WHY do we choose to hack these 'scopes?"

The base premise of the question is that we DID or DO or WOULD... and the actual question was "WHY?"

Don't get me wrong; I've enjoyed the spirited debates on both angles... and I'd be a fool to imagine anybody could get us all to stop. But I think we've beaten this particular (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/reasons-for-hacking-dsos/?action=dlattach;attach=214980;image) into a fine paste, and I'd really like to see SOME time... a few posts at least... spent on the ORIGINAL question TOO, which I've already answered from my own perspective.

Anybody?


Bueller...?

Bueller...?

Bueller...?


mnem
Not gonna say it... nope, nope, nope... ya cain't make me...
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: rsjsouza on April 05, 2016, 06:04:07 pm
1) A customer who buys a product unlocks a feature they've not paid for is immoral because it deprives the manufacture of revenue.

I would suggest that this kind of hacking activity is 'priced in' to the business model for the product by the manufacturer anyway.

It has to be priced in regardless of whether or not they do so explicitly.  If it isn't, then they end up undercharging or overcharging for their products, and will eventually go out of business until they strike the right price versus sales balance.  Put another way, the market automatically takes care of this one way or another.
As you said, in the early days this was most probably not factored into the product price, but nowadays I would expect Rigol, Keysight, Tek to be already doing that while LeCroy, Siglent, Hantek, Owon are not - but we can only guess.

In any case, in my experience the hackability will certainly have consequences for further product development given the lower margins to be spent in R&D.

If the hacking got to the point where the business model breaks down then they would change the way they control hardware and software features. But the business model may reveal that moderate levels of hacking may actually be of benefit to the business. Who here really knows?

It is logical that hacking on the part of hobbyists would be of benefit to the manufacturer, especially if that isn't available with other brands, because it would make the hackable products more desirable than those of the competitors (since the capability to price ratio of the hackable brand ends up being higher than that of the nonhackable brand).  And since most businesses won't hack their instruments because those instruments are mission critical to the business and therefore the business can't risk loss of support for them, the end result is that the hackability of an instrument only really makes a difference in the hobbyist market -- and the difference there is a positive one for the manufacturer.
In my experience desirability on itself is an aspect that goes further than hobbyists, but it probably has the hardest influence on this market as well as small businesses that don't have much capital expenditure. In general desirability can come in several different ways: Rigol with the possibility for "free" upgrades, Keysight with their scopemonth or LeCroy with the lavish posts by Wuerstchenhund :) For larger corporations the desirability is lowered as "free" upgrades are sometimes already incorporated into the negotiations (ask Wuerstchenhund about it).

2) When a customer buys a product, they can do with it what they please, including modify it to improve the performance and unlock whatever features they like.
For home/hobby use that's the way I see things.

I don't see why it would (or should) be any different when the customer is a business.  Whether it's a home/hobby user or a business, as long as the customer isn't actively harming someone else with what they purchased, why should they be restricted in what they do with what they purchased?
People don't see businesses completely "amoral": the perception is they have at least a minimum code of honor: I am making money with your product and expect my customers don't try to torpedo my business strategy. In turn, I will not torpedo your business strategy by circumventing your offers.

I think vk6zgo has it right on: people are used to the notion of being able to do what they please with hardware, but have grown up in a culture where doing what you please with software has rarely been allowed.  So they automatically come to view the two as completely different things, when they are exactly the same save for one thing: hardware cannot be copied at will and at no cost, while software can.  Supply and demand automatically applies to hardware, so the standard economic mechanisms (along with patents) provide sufficient incentive for people to build hardware devices for sale.  But because software can be copied at will at no cost, the standard economic mechanisms are insufficient to maintain a healthy software market.

This is why copyright applies to software, and why unilateral contractual terms and conditions arising from it should be no more acceptable than the same would be when applied to hardware.   Most people here would be outraged if the manufacturers of the hardware they buy forbade them from reverse engineering it or modifying it, and would be up in arms if they were forbidden from opening that hardware up at all, but they not only have no problem with those things as regards software, they support it!!   That is hypocrisy, pure and simple.  And I haven't even touched on the additional contractual terms and conditions those people will support on the software side of things (look at this thread!), when they almost certainly wouldn't support any such thing on the hardware side of things.
And that is precisely why there is a strong differentiation between the HW and SW: you may consider hypocritical, but the influence the hacking activity imposes on each is widely different. Modified SW has orders of magnitude more potential for financial damage to a business when compared to HW given the speed and ease of distribution. Is greed the sole reason why the laws were created or modified? Not sure, but stay afloat in a pure SW company is a tough business. 

Software is already covered by patents as well.  That and simple prohibitions on distributing copies (be it of the original or of derivatives) would be sufficient to make software identical to hardware as regards the health of the market.  At that point, it would operate in the same way.  But software vendors (e.g., Microsoft) got greedy and used their influence to warp the law, and the end result is the ultra-restrictive software market we have today, where even reverse engineering is generally forbidden by unilaterally-imposed contract.
I disagree. Again, the SW market is more sensitive to enforcement gaps. To clone a HW product it takes quite some investment and time but SW is orders of magnitude more easier to modify and replicate, thus the system is easier to circumvent regarding pure patents. Also, prohibiting copy is something that never worked.

All that said, my stance on "why" people hack scopes? In my opinion it is because they can, because they are not willing to afford a larger sum of money for a non-profit activity (hobbyists) or they are struggling to keep their business and decide to take this route with minimum expenditure. 
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on April 05, 2016, 06:50:10 pm
The manufacturer:

1) Manufactures have the right to lock parts of the hardware they sell and charge customers any price they like to unlock them.

a) Manufacturers have the right to make different models at different price points.

If they choose to do it via firmware instead of manufacturing different PCBs, that's up to them. The reason they usually do it that way is that it simplifies manufacturing/distribution and that makes it cheaper for the customer.

The is the the complete opposite of "ripping them off".

b) Rigol do not sell bandwidth upgrades. You can't go to Rigol and ask for an upgrade because the don't sell them. The only upgrades they sell are for advanced triggering, serial decoders, etc. NOT bandwidth. Bandwidth is fixed.

So ... how can they be "ransoming" you when they don't actually sell the thing you're complaining they're ransoming you over?  :-//
Incorrect Rigol do sell bandwidth upgrades and if charging the customer over £3000 to unlock something they already have is not ripping them off, I don't know what is.

When that is an accurate reflection of reality, I agree with you.

In this case, your point is internally inconsistent and therefore valueless. It isn't that difficult... If a customer needs a bandwidth upgrade, then they don't already possess it - in which case they aren't charging the customer for something they already have. They are charging for an upgrade to something the customer already has.
Incorrect. The customer already has both the hardware and software to increase the bandwidth of their oscilloscope and the manufacture is demanding money to provide a code to unlock it. Again if you think this is right/fair/good value for the customer, then that's your opinion but don't expect others to agree.

To those who believe it is immoral to hack an oscilloscope: Do you think it's right for someone have a website, along with videos showing people how hack Rigol oscilloscopes and gain advertising revenue from it?

If it's that bad, then why not stop visiting this site?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on April 05, 2016, 07:26:29 pm
The manufacturer:

1) Manufactures have the right to lock parts of the hardware they sell and charge customers any price they like to unlock them.

a) Manufacturers have the right to make different models at different price points.

If they choose to do it via firmware instead of manufacturing different PCBs, that's up to them. The reason they usually do it that way is that it simplifies manufacturing/distribution and that makes it cheaper for the customer.

The is the the complete opposite of "ripping them off".

b) Rigol do not sell bandwidth upgrades. You can't go to Rigol and ask for an upgrade because the don't sell them. The only upgrades they sell are for advanced triggering, serial decoders, etc. NOT bandwidth. Bandwidth is fixed.

So ... how can they be "ransoming" you when they don't actually sell the thing you're complaining they're ransoming you over?  :-//
Incorrect Rigol do sell bandwidth upgrades and if charging the customer over £3000 to unlock something they already have is not ripping them off, I don't know what is.

When that is an accurate reflection of reality, I agree with you.

In this case, your point is internally inconsistent and therefore valueless. It isn't that difficult... If a customer needs a bandwidth upgrade, then they don't already possess it - in which case they aren't charging the customer for something they already have. They are charging for an upgrade to something the customer already has.
Incorrect. The customer already has both the hardware and software to increase the bandwidth of their oscilloscope and the manufacture is demanding money to provide a code to unlock it. Again if you think this is right/fair/good value for the customer, then that's your opinion but don't expect others to agree.

No, they don't. They have different software. Now it may be that there are only a few bytes difference, but that is sufficient. After all, in most processors it is only necessary to have a single bit difference in order to completely change the operation of the computer - just think what you can achieve by changing a JNZ instruction into a JZ instruction.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on April 05, 2016, 07:44:54 pm
The manufacturer:

1) Manufactures have the right to lock parts of the hardware they sell and charge customers any price they like to unlock them.

a) Manufacturers have the right to make different models at different price points.

If they choose to do it via firmware instead of manufacturing different PCBs, that's up to them. The reason they usually do it that way is that it simplifies manufacturing/distribution and that makes it cheaper for the customer.

The is the the complete opposite of "ripping them off".

b) Rigol do not sell bandwidth upgrades. You can't go to Rigol and ask for an upgrade because the don't sell them. The only upgrades they sell are for advanced triggering, serial decoders, etc. NOT bandwidth. Bandwidth is fixed.

So ... how can they be "ransoming" you when they don't actually sell the thing you're complaining they're ransoming you over?  :-//
Incorrect Rigol do sell bandwidth upgrades and if charging the customer over £3000 to unlock something they already have is not ripping them off, I don't know what is.

When that is an accurate reflection of reality, I agree with you.

In this case, your point is internally inconsistent and therefore valueless. It isn't that difficult... If a customer needs a bandwidth upgrade, then they don't already possess it - in which case they aren't charging the customer for something they already have. They are charging for an upgrade to something the customer already has.
Incorrect. The customer already has both the hardware and software to increase the bandwidth of their oscilloscope and the manufacture is demanding money to provide a code to unlock it. Again if you think this is right/fair/good value for the customer, then that's your opinion but don't expect others to agree.

No, they don't. They have different software. Now it may be that there are only a few bytes difference, but that is sufficient. After all, in most processors it is only necessary to have a single bit difference in order to completely change the operation of the computer - just think what you can achieve by changing a JNZ instruction into a JZ instruction.
No they do not. They have exactly the same software. No code has changed. Only a variable which the user enters and are able to easily do so, with or without paying the manufacturer.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: hamster_nz on April 05, 2016, 08:58:23 pm
No they do not. They have exactly the same software. No code has changed. Only a variable which the user enters and are able to easily do so, with or without paying the manufacturer.
I can't believe I am bothering to post on this thread again, but....

So are you also saying that you have the right to 'unlock' Microsoft Office trials that ship on a new PC or Laptop? or the right to upgrade from Windows Home for free, or to 'unlock' anything else that is controlled by license keys? After all, it is after all it is only a bit of data, and the manufacture provides the feature.

Oh, and how about entering forged prepay vouchers into your cell phone?, or use a cloned pay-TV smartcard - where does your "it is only data" rule of thumb stop?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on April 05, 2016, 09:24:44 pm
The manufacturer:

1) Manufactures have the right to lock parts of the hardware they sell and charge customers any price they like to unlock them.

a) Manufacturers have the right to make different models at different price points.

If they choose to do it via firmware instead of manufacturing different PCBs, that's up to them. The reason they usually do it that way is that it simplifies manufacturing/distribution and that makes it cheaper for the customer.

The is the the complete opposite of "ripping them off".

b) Rigol do not sell bandwidth upgrades. You can't go to Rigol and ask for an upgrade because the don't sell them. The only upgrades they sell are for advanced triggering, serial decoders, etc. NOT bandwidth. Bandwidth is fixed.

So ... how can they be "ransoming" you when they don't actually sell the thing you're complaining they're ransoming you over?  :-//
Incorrect Rigol do sell bandwidth upgrades and if charging the customer over £3000 to unlock something they already have is not ripping them off, I don't know what is.

When that is an accurate reflection of reality, I agree with you.

In this case, your point is internally inconsistent and therefore valueless. It isn't that difficult... If a customer needs a bandwidth upgrade, then they don't already possess it - in which case they aren't charging the customer for something they already have. They are charging for an upgrade to something the customer already has.
Incorrect. The customer already has both the hardware and software to increase the bandwidth of their oscilloscope and the manufacture is demanding money to provide a code to unlock it. Again if you think this is right/fair/good value for the customer, then that's your opinion but don't expect others to agree.

No, they don't. They have different software. Now it may be that there are only a few bytes difference, but that is sufficient. After all, in most processors it is only necessary to have a single bit difference in order to completely change the operation of the computer - just think what you can achieve by changing a JNZ instruction into a JZ instruction.
No they do not. They have exactly the same software. No code has changed. Only a variable which the user enters and are able to easily do so, with or without paying the manufacturer.

Nonsense.

There are no "variables" in the customer's purchase - there are only bit patterns in a EPROM. Those bit patterns are interpreted by a hardware "universal machine" to perform a function. There might have been concepts that could be identifed as "variables" in the source code, but that is irrelevant since the customer has not bought the source code.

There is no difference between changing a few of the bits in the EPROM (which are interpreted as a JNZ or a JZ instruction) or a few other bits in the EPROM (which are interpreted by the hardware as input to a JNZ or JZ instruction).

The key is instructions that determines the machines function. The source code is an instruction that determines the source code instruction.

The machines' operation is the interpretation of bits, all the way down (with apologies to Terry Pratchett).
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on April 05, 2016, 09:48:20 pm
Quote
I don't see why it would (or should) be any different when the customer is a business.  Whether it's a home/hobby user or a business, as long as the customer isn't actively harming someone else with what they purchased, why should they be restricted in what they do with what they purchased?
I feel like there is a difference. Not that it's based on ethics or law. The distinction here is that an oscilloscope is essentially a tool. Now music and movies and video games are often "consumed" by the end-user for their own sole pleasure. Unless that music or movie is played in a place of business or illegally shared/sold to other parties, it is simply a consumption item, not a tool.

Very few people (outside of say the members of this forum, which is a very small and unique demographic) purchase an oscilloscope for fun or hobby use. The vast majority of purchasers use a scope as a tool. To make money. 99.9 percent of the world wouldn't buy a scope as a "comsumption item" anymore than they would buy a colonoscope.

It's like if you use a free version of a software for your own personal use... because you don't make money/living with it, that's fine. They distributed the software for free so you could SEE if it helped you before paying. And if you are making money with it (using it for business purposes), you could maybe pay back to the guy who made your work easier? I mean it's your own call.

There are many "free" softwares that are supported by essentially "donations." Such as, say, WinZip. Sure, you can just keep on clicking that tab to make it continue working for free. But once I started to use it for business, it struck me that this software is very useful. And now that I have a business and am using it for said business, it is in fact helping me to make money.  And someone spent a lot of time and resources to make it. The price was reasonable. So I bought it. Does anyone at WinZip know me? Do I get "credit" in some way? No, I'm just happy to have this program and I like the fact that I could fully evaluate it before I bought it. And I want to support that business model.

If the retail cost of a scope with the specs you require is priced reasonably for one's business, a lot of people will buy it. If it's "expensive" for you, you probably don't need it. Because it's a competitive market, and the market sets the correct price. But your circumstances might be unique, of course.

 
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on April 05, 2016, 10:07:17 pm
The manufacturer:

1) Manufactures have the right to lock parts of the hardware they sell and charge customers any price they like to unlock them.

a) Manufacturers have the right to make different models at different price points.

If they choose to do it via firmware instead of manufacturing different PCBs, that's up to them. The reason they usually do it that way is that it simplifies manufacturing/distribution and that makes it cheaper for the customer.

The is the the complete opposite of "ripping them off".

b) Rigol do not sell bandwidth upgrades. You can't go to Rigol and ask for an upgrade because the don't sell them. The only upgrades they sell are for advanced triggering, serial decoders, etc. NOT bandwidth. Bandwidth is fixed.

So ... how can they be "ransoming" you when they don't actually sell the thing you're complaining they're ransoming you over?  :-//
Incorrect Rigol do sell bandwidth upgrades and if charging the customer over £3000 to unlock something they already have is not ripping them off, I don't know what is.

When that is an accurate reflection of reality, I agree with you.

In this case, your point is internally inconsistent and therefore valueless. It isn't that difficult... If a customer needs a bandwidth upgrade, then they don't already possess it - in which case they aren't charging the customer for something they already have. They are charging for an upgrade to something the customer already has.
Incorrect. The customer already has both the hardware and software to increase the bandwidth of their oscilloscope and the manufacture is demanding money to provide a code to unlock it. Again if you think this is right/fair/good value for the customer, then that's your opinion but don't expect others to agree.

No, they don't. They have different software. Now it may be that there are only a few bytes difference, but that is sufficient. After all, in most processors it is only necessary to have a single bit difference in order to completely change the operation of the computer - just think what you can achieve by changing a JNZ instruction into a JZ instruction.
No they do not. They have exactly the same software. No code has changed. Only a variable which the user enters and are able to easily do so, with or without paying the manufacturer.

Nonsense.

There are no "variables" in the customer's purchase - there are only bit patterns in a EPROM. Those bit patterns are interpreted by a hardware "universal machine" to perform a function. There might have been concepts that could be identifed as "variables" in the source code, but that is irrelevant since the customer has not bought the source code.

There is no difference between changing a few of the bits in the EPROM (which are interpreted as a JNZ or a JZ instruction) or a few other bits in the EPROM (which are interpreted by the hardware as input to a JNZ or JZ instruction).

The key is instructions that determines the machines function. The source code is an instruction that determines the source code instruction.

The machines' operation is the interpretation of bits, all the way down (with apologies to Terry Pratchett).
No there is a big difference. Changing an instruction would require modification of the software. Entering a code to unlock features which both the software and hardware are already capable of does not. It just needs the correct code to be entered, via the user interface. From the firmware's point of view it is no different to changing any other setting on the oscilloscope.

When you unlock more bandwidth on your oscilloscope, you're just enabling functionality which already exists within it.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on April 05, 2016, 10:21:48 pm
Quote
Entering a code to unlock features which both the software and hardware are already capable of does not. It just needs the correct code to be entered, via the user interface
Please add some context here. Because to unlock any software (Windows, games, et al) that is distributed through CD's or downloads (and doesn't require constant internet connection/verification, anyway), all you need to do is enter the right code.... it's just a hell of a lot harder to crack in most cases.
Quote
you're just enabling functionality which already exists within it.
This might be true in one way of looking at it. But it's overly simplistic.

I'll give an example of, say, healthcare equipment. There are a lot of instances where a machine's cost is charged by number of uses. The number of uses are recorded electronically. When you "run out," you have to buy more. The intrinsic functionality of the machine is locked. And punching in the right "code" (or in some cases simply resetting a fuse!) will make the machine work again. It has nothing to do with "wear and tear" or operating costs. It's purely a business model.But if you make MONEY using the machine, you will probably just continue to pay. Because if you are caught tampering with the machine, maybe you will lose your support. Or maybe you will continue to pay, simply because this business went out of their way to find you and sell you something that is paying for itself plus more. And you're happy with the arrangement.  I'm sure there's a difference in EULA and contract and all, but you do make some broad sweeping statements like they're fact.

Now that company probably won't care at all if you buy the machine for $30,000.00 and hack it for personal use. They do care if you are billing a patient or insurance company $500.00 per use and not paying your tribute. So if you hack your scope because it gets your jollies off, then that's fine to me. IMO. But if you are using it for business, I think you're in some way biting the hand that feeds you.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: Zero999 on April 05, 2016, 10:31:28 pm
Quote
Entering a code to unlock features which both the software and hardware are already capable of does not. It just needs the correct code to be entered, via the user interface
Please add some context here. Because to unlock any software (Windows, games, et al) that is distributed through CD's or downloads (and doesn't require constant internet connection/verification, anyway), all you need to do is enter the right code.... it's just a hell of a lot harder to crack in most cases.
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Rigol+hack (http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Rigol+hack)
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on April 05, 2016, 10:41:14 pm
So if I stumble on the right unlock code, I'm good? If I stumble on the right combination on someone else's locker, I guess I can take their stuff. I'm just unlocking the feautures that were already in there. :)

If I put my key in another person's car and it happens to fit, I can take it?

Locks are there to prevent deter theft. If you bypass the lock, no matter how simple, what does that make you?

Sure, if you bought the scope because you KNEW how to unlock it, and that's the only reason you bought it, and the only reason you are unlocking it is for personal use, then I see no problem. Again not legal or ethical. Just common sense. This is a small minority of customers, and it won't make a difference to anyone. I wonder if this discussion would be different if the company in question were HP or Tek.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: tggzzz on April 05, 2016, 11:07:13 pm
The manufacturer:

1) Manufactures have the right to lock parts of the hardware they sell and charge customers any price they like to unlock them.

a) Manufacturers have the right to make different models at different price points.

If they choose to do it via firmware instead of manufacturing different PCBs, that's up to them. The reason they usually do it that way is that it simplifies manufacturing/distribution and that makes it cheaper for the customer.

The is the the complete opposite of "ripping them off".

b) Rigol do not sell bandwidth upgrades. You can't go to Rigol and ask for an upgrade because the don't sell them. The only upgrades they sell are for advanced triggering, serial decoders, etc. NOT bandwidth. Bandwidth is fixed.

So ... how can they be "ransoming" you when they don't actually sell the thing you're complaining they're ransoming you over?  :-//
Incorrect Rigol do sell bandwidth upgrades and if charging the customer over £3000 to unlock something they already have is not ripping them off, I don't know what is.

When that is an accurate reflection of reality, I agree with you.

In this case, your point is internally inconsistent and therefore valueless. It isn't that difficult... If a customer needs a bandwidth upgrade, then they don't already possess it - in which case they aren't charging the customer for something they already have. They are charging for an upgrade to something the customer already has.
Incorrect. The customer already has both the hardware and software to increase the bandwidth of their oscilloscope and the manufacture is demanding money to provide a code to unlock it. Again if you think this is right/fair/good value for the customer, then that's your opinion but don't expect others to agree.

No, they don't. They have different software. Now it may be that there are only a few bytes difference, but that is sufficient. After all, in most processors it is only necessary to have a single bit difference in order to completely change the operation of the computer - just think what you can achieve by changing a JNZ instruction into a JZ instruction.
No they do not. They have exactly the same software. No code has changed. Only a variable which the user enters and are able to easily do so, with or without paying the manufacturer.

Nonsense.

There are no "variables" in the customer's purchase - there are only bit patterns in a EPROM. Those bit patterns are interpreted by a hardware "universal machine" to perform a function. There might have been concepts that could be identifed as "variables" in the source code, but that is irrelevant since the customer has not bought the source code.

There is no difference between changing a few of the bits in the EPROM (which are interpreted as a JNZ or a JZ instruction) or a few other bits in the EPROM (which are interpreted by the hardware as input to a JNZ or JZ instruction).

The key is instructions that determines the machines function. The source code is an instruction that determines the source code instruction.

The machines' operation is the interpretation of bits, all the way down (with apologies to Terry Pratchett).
No there is a big difference. Changing an instruction would require modification of the software. Entering a code to unlock features which both the software and hardware are already capable of does not. It just needs the correct code to be entered, via the user interface. From the firmware's point of view it is no different to changing any other setting on the oscilloscope.

When you unlock more bandwidth on your oscilloscope, you're just enabling functionality which already exists within it.

It is all software! it is all bits. The two are, in very very deep philosophical and practical ways, completely identical.

What's the difference between
Answer: in very deep practical ways, absolutely none.

There are no "special" bits. There are only bits. And any of those bits can be changed by an editor.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: vk6zgo on April 06, 2016, 01:56:37 am
So if I stumble on the right unlock code, I'm good? If I stumble on the right combination on someone else's locker, I guess I can take their stuff. I'm just unlocking the feautures that were already in there. :)

If I put my key in another person's car and it happens to fit, I can take it?

Locks are there to prevent deter theft. If you bypass the lock, no matter how simple, what does that make you?

Sure, if you bought the scope because you KNEW how to unlock it, and that's the only reason you bought it, and the only reason you are unlocking it is for personal use, then I see no problem. Again not legal or ethical. Just common sense. This is a small minority of customers, and it won't make a difference to anyone. I wonder if this discussion would be different if the company in question were HP or Tek.

Sorry,that doesn't quite work!

It would be more like:-

I buy a car in which for some reason the seller has locked the glovebox.
I discover that I really need the glovebox,& also that the same glovebox key fits all of that model.
I borrow my neighbour's key,unlock the glovebox & leave it unlocked.

Have I unlocked functionality?
Of course I have,but seeing I own the car,is it still the manufacturer's glovebox?

If the Manufacturer is a drug addict & has left his paraphernalia in the locked  glovebox,is that a defence in law if the cops search my car?
Can I charge the Manufacturer rent for keeping "his" glovebox in my car?

See how quickly  these things become silly?

The number of corporate users who unlock their Oscilloscopes is likely to be vanishingly small.
If they want a 100MHz Rigol,they'll buy the thing---the manhours used to unlock them would have been used for much more productive things.

Hobbyists & "quasi-hobbyists" will spend the time,but they probably are too poor to buy the full-featured one anyway.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 06, 2016, 02:03:35 am
Quote
I don't see why it would (or should) be any different when the customer is a business.  Whether it's a home/hobby user or a business, as long as the customer isn't actively harming someone else with what they purchased, why should they be restricted in what they do with what they purchased?

I feel like there is a difference. Not that it's based on ethics or law. The distinction here is that an oscilloscope is essentially a tool. Now music and movies and video games are often "consumed" by the end-user for their own sole pleasure. Unless that music or movie is played in a place of business or illegally shared/sold to other parties, it is simply a consumption item, not a tool.

I think you misunderstood my meaning.  I wasn't referring to the difference between a tool (something used for productivity) and a toy (something used for fun).  I was referring to the difference between a business customer and a home/hobby customer.   While it is true that the former is using the tool strictly for business productivity while the latter is using the tool for education or entertainment, that doesn't change the fundamental point that, aside from the fact that creators of easily-copied works could not survive in a marketplace that allowed unfettered and immediate copying of those works, the only truly legitimate justification for preventing either of them from doing what they want with what they purchased is active harm that may result from that use.   Put another way, there is no justification for treating the two differently that isn't arbitrary.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 06, 2016, 02:08:32 am
So if I stumble on the right unlock code, I'm good? If I stumble on the right combination on someone else's locker, I guess I can take their stuff. I'm just unlocking the feautures that were already in there. :)

If I put my key in another person's car and it happens to fit, I can take it?

Locks are there to prevent deter theft. If you bypass the lock, no matter how simple, what does that make you?

This logic is unsound.  "A purpose of a lock is to prevent/deter theft, therefore all uses of a lock are for the purpose of preventing/deterring theft, and therefore to bypass the lock indicates intent to steal".

No.  Locks are tools.  Like anything else, they serve multiple purposes.  At their heart, they control access.  Whether the access is desired by someone who has a right to it or not is an independent variable.  And whether or not the person who lacks the access is one who should lack the access is yet another variable.


Quote
Sure, if you bought the scope because you KNEW how to unlock it, and that's the only reason you bought it, and the only reason you are unlocking it is for personal use, then I see no problem. Again not legal or ethical. Just common sense. This is a small minority of customers, and it won't make a difference to anyone. I wonder if this discussion would be different if the company in question were HP or Tek.

So the question is: why is that particular set of circumstances one you do not object to?

Why does it matter whether you are unlocking it for personal use or for business use?  Sure, it may matter as regards the support you can expect afterwards, but whether or not that serves as sufficient reason to refrain is dependent solely on the circumstances of the individual.

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 06, 2016, 02:29:08 am
It is all software! it is all bits. The two are, in very very deep philosophical and practical ways, completely identical.

Well, strictly speaking, that's not true.  It depends on the architecture of the machine.

On most modern personal computer class hardware, code executes in regions of memory that are protected from writes, while data lives in regions of memory that are not protected from writes.  Of course, the operating system arranges things so that the hardware is configured in that way.

 >:D


At the end of the day, what the computer executes is instructions.  The gating control we're talking about can be implemented either through instructions or through data.  The important thing isn't how that gating control is implemented, it's that it's a gating control we're talking about, not actual functionality beyond that.


Quote
What's the difference between
  • changing one EPROM location from 0x1234 to 0xabcd - where 0x1234 is the key that causes the lower bandwidth parameters to be poked into the hardware and 0xabcd is the key that causes the higher bandwidth parameters to be poked into the hardware
  • changing another EPROM location from 0x1234 to 0xabcd - where 0x1234 is a JZ opcode that causes the lower bandwidth parameters to be poked into the hardware and 0xabcd is the JNZ opcode that causes the higher bandwidth parameters to be poked into the hardware
Answer: in very deep practical ways, absolutely none.

Perhaps so, but what we're talking about here isn't that.  What we're talking about is the difference between changing an EEPROM location and an NVRAM location.  But as I mentioned above, in the end, that's not what really matters.


Quote
There are no "special" bits. There are only bits. And any of those bits can be changed by an editor.

Oh, this is most definitely not the case.  The "specialness" of the bit isn't (necessarily) defined by where it lives during execution of the code, but (if anything at all) where it lives when the machine is turned off.  But that is only an indicator, really.

That line will continue to blur, however, as nonvolatile storage improves and continues to gain the desirable attributes of volatile storage.



Regardless, what we're talking about is whether or not the system is configured to execute the code that implements the functionality in question.


Tell me something.  If you had an oscilloscope that had a jumper on it, and that jumper controlled whether or not the oscilloscope's MSO functionality was enabled, and the scope you purchased had it set so that the functionality was disabled, would you believe it to be unethical to open the scope up and change the jumper to enable the functionality?  If so, on what basis?


At the end of the day, the fundamental justification you're using for supporting such arbitrary constraints on the purchaser is to make it possible for the manufacturer to employ arbitrary schemes to control what functionality is available so that the manufacturer may profit from those schemes, and to fully control the conditions under which that functionality is made available even when what is supplied to the customer is fully capable of performing the functions in question.  That is the same as insisting that a car manufacturer should be able to dictate to you how fast you can drive your car, with the only thing preventing you from going any faster is a switch that you can flip.  You are insisting that it would be wrong for the purchaser to flip that switch.   In essence, you are insisting that the manufacturer reserves every right to unilaterally tell you what to do with what you purchase from them, as long as that control results in greater profit for them.   On what basis do you claim that my characterization here is incorrect?
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on April 06, 2016, 02:45:30 am
Quote
Why does it matter whether you are unlocking it for personal use or for business use?  Sure, it may matter as regards the support you can expect afterwards, but whether or not that serves as sufficient reason to refrain is dependent solely on the circumstances of the individual.
Like I said, it's just an opinion. Not based on law or ethics. Maybe it's based on the fact that when your business is reliant on other businesses, and your business also relies on respect of IP, then you might be more inclined to respect the IP of those other businesses on which you are reliant?


Quote
I think you misunderstood my meaning.  I wasn't referring to the difference between a tool (something used for productivity) and a toy (something used for fun).  I was referring to the difference between a business customer and a home/hobby customer.
Well, I made this connection myself. Home/hobby = fun/entertainment. Learning. Experimenting/playing. Fixing the occasional thing. Designing the occasional thing (for personal use). Whereas business customer is earning money through the use of the tool.

Music and movies can be a business tool, too... whether you are charging people or playing media in a place of business for the enjoyment of your customers.

Quote
This logic is unsound.  "A purpose of a lock is to prevent/deter theft, therefore all uses of a lock are for the purpose of preventing/deterring theft, and therefore to bypass the lock indicates intent to steal".
:-// :-// :-// :-//
I don't think this is a great leap at all. If the code on the Rigol was not there to deter theft of IP, why not just have a menu setting "Press 1 for 50MHz. Press 2 for 100MHz."

Quote
Whether the access is desired by someone who has a right to it or not is an independent variable.
I think this ties in somehow, as well. I mean, if a lock pick hobbyist buys a lock, of course he can pick it if he wants to. In this scenario, I see no problem with a hobbyist to unlock a scope for no other reason that simply because he wants to. But to pick a lock to get what's on the other side, something which the manufacturer charges money for (in the case of Rigol, they DO sell a higher bandwidth model, but this can easily apply to Agilent or Siglent or Keysight or Lecroi, or w/e company you want to insert there, which sells upgraded features, including locking out scope input channels, entirely!), for commercial use, then I personally feel that's different.

Quote
the only truly legitimate justification for preventing either of them from doing what they want with what they purchased is active harm that may result from that use.
Ok, now I'm picturing a scope that is booby trapped to permanently brick itself if the wrong code is entered, lol. Yeah, I know you meant legal/financial consequences.

Quote
Why does it matter whether you are unlocking it for personal use or for business use?  Sure, it may matter as regards the support you can expect afterwards, but whether or not that serves as sufficient reason to refrain is dependent solely on the circumstances of the individual.
I brought up the example of WinZip. I wonder what you think of it. Do you think anyone who pays for WinZip is a dickhead, because there are no consequences for not paying? On the one hand, you have casual users who open their email and someone sent them a zipped file full of funny cat pictures. OTOH, a law firm regularly zips large documents to organize and distribute large documents. Maybe look at the reverse? On the one hand, if WinZip takes away your cat pictures, you don't lose anything. If they take away an important tool from a business, they hurt them financially.

Another example is free student versions of software. Or free device samples. The entire point of giving away this free stuff is so that if/when that 1 in 1000 people who get this free stuff actually starts to use this stuff in a commercial/business enterprise, then they will start to pay for it! 

I am not making a legal/ethical argument. This is just my own feeling.

Quote
I buy a car in which for some reason the seller has locked the glovebox.
I discover that I really need the glovebox,& also that the same glovebox key fits all of that model.
I borrow my neighbour's key,unlock the glovebox & leave it unlocked.
No one here is so dense that they cannot understand this. This has been repeated in varying forms many times in the thread. This is not a clear cut analogy to me. If you write software for a living, you might see this differently. (And besides, you did not "discover" that the seller locked the glovebox. You purchased the car knowing it did not come with a glovebox; you were also offered a car WITH a glovebox, but you were too cheap to buy it.:))

You can make a case that Kim Dot Com didn't do anything illegal. He only profited on a system (allegedly) designed to allow other people to break the law. And oddly, the FBI went after HIM, and not the people who were breaking the law with the help of his severs and website. (Business/profiter vs hobbyist/consumer). I'm not a lawyer, but I am not too concerned with the potentially wrongful shutting down of his business. For no other reason than I would rather the global economy remain healthy for my own personal benefit. And for the fact I rather the future of movies not be low budget crap because no one can get paid for their investment. :)

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: vk6zgo on April 06, 2016, 03:38:55 am

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I think you misunderstood my meaning.  I wasn't referring to the difference between a tool (something used for productivity) and a toy (something used for fun).  I was referring to the difference between a business customer and a home/hobby customer.
Well, I made this connection myself. Home/hobby = fun/entertainment. Learning. Experimenting/playing. Fixing the occasional thing. Designing the occasional thing (for personal use). Whereas business customer is earning money through the use of the tool.
Indeed!---see my comments on the likelihood of a corporate customer bothering to "buy a bit cheaper & unlock".
This might happen with office software,where it would be a "do it once,then use everywhere" situation,but to have to mess with every instrument--Nah!
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I buy a car in which for some reason the seller has locked the glovebox.
I discover that I really need the glovebox,& also that the same glovebox key fits all of that model.
I borrow my neighbour's key,unlock the glovebox & leave it unlocked.
No one here is so dense that they cannot understand this. This has been repeated in varying forms many times in the thread. This is not a clear cut analogy to me. If you write software for a living, you might see this differently. (And besides, you did not "discover" that the seller locked the glovebox. You purchased the car knowing it did not come with a glovebox; you were also offered a car WITH a glovebox, but you were too cheap to buy it.:))

You have missed my point:-
I was commenting on your analogy.
"If I put my key in another person's car and it happens to fit, I can take it?"


And,I did not "discover" the glove box was locked--I knew that from the start.
What I said was: "I discover that I really need the glovebox," ,which you will agree is something else,again---perhaps I should have said "realise",or "found" instead of "discover".
I was sold a car with a glovebox,otherwise there would be a big hole in the dash!

My whole comment was really to point out how easy it is for analogies to go astray---like the drug stuff & rent bit!



Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: KL27x on April 06, 2016, 04:07:27 am
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At the end of the day, the fundamental justification you're using for supporting such arbitrary constraints on the purchaser is to make it possible for the manufacturer to employ arbitrary schemes to control what functionality is available so that the manufacturer may profit from those schemes, and to fully control the conditions under which that functionality is made available even when what is supplied to the customer is fully capable of performing the functions in question.  That is the same as insisting that a car manufacturer should be able to dictate to you how fast you can drive your car, with the only thing preventing you from going any faster is a switch that you can flip.  You are insisting that it would be wrong for the purchaser to flip that switch.   In essence, you are insisting that the manufacturer reserves every right to unilaterally tell you what to do with what you purchase from them, as long as that control results in greater profit for them.   On what basis do you claim that my characterization here is incorrect?

Why you only look at the consumer end? Are you born with the right that someone creates and delivers an oscilloscope you to with the features you desire and at the price you want? Nope. Eventually someone WILL do that.... as long as it is profitable to do so.
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employ arbitrary schemes to control what functionality is available
What functions are even available to begin with are somewhat arbitrary. While developing this product, they invested capital to create features that they figured might be desired and profitable to specific segments of the market (and tech nerds), but which were not necessarily highly desirable or must-have features for a broader market. But these features required an initial investment AND ONGOING MAINTENANCE COST (i.e. debugging/support). But you desire they should give these features to everyone....   Why? Does that not increase the cost for those guys that just want "a basic wrench" in order to do their job? In order to earn their income and pay for the roof over their head? Now these customers need to buy the top of the line product, so that the evil company doesn't profit as much????

Why do you think "higher profits" for the company means a lower cost to you? This is not the same thing. Unless you happen to specifically need all the features that they arbitrarily chose to develop. If you can independently develop as good a scope with all the features and profitably sell it for the cost of a base model Rigol, then you would do it, and Rigol would be forced to change their pricing structure and/or go out of business. No one needs to stop them from their evil ways. The market will do that.

There are approximately 69,000 arbitrary decisions that had to be made to even create the product. Why do most people prefer the firmware/hardware/layout of Rigol over Owon? Is their an unlock code to make the Owon interface less shitty?

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car manufacturer should be able to dictate to you how fast you can drive your car, with the only thing preventing you from going any faster is a switch that you can flip.   
And yet, this is exactly the case. Car manufacturers routinely "detune" motors for lower end model cars and motorcycles. In addition, In the US, the government can and does also limit the top speed of vehicles that operate on US streets. That top speed is 189 miles per hour, IIRC.* (How arbitrary does that sound? :)) This arbitrary limit must be put on a vehicle by the manufacturer for any vehicle that needs to be street legal, but which could otherwise exceed this limit. It seems silly that this is even necessary, since we have speed limits. Who needs a car to go faster than 120mph? (a little more than the average speed of some or our highways, lol.) Same can be said for a scope that goes to 100MHz. I fail to see a big market for that vs 50MHz. High speed video signals, maybe? What else will fit in that bandwidth? Anything higher than a couple MHz is exotic territory for a switching PSU. 5x 2MHz is 10MHz.. which is going to cover a lot of peoples' needs for an oscilloscope. Need more, you probably need a lot more.

You can also complain that evil companies are making things that break in 3 years in order to increase their own profit. And you'd be right. But look at it from a wider perspective, and you will see that this is in fact necessary in today's economy. If you try to break that mold, you are welcome to try... and go broke. Making one great product that lasts for generations is fine, but you won't have any repeat customers. You won't have a next product cycle to design. You won't be able to keep your workforce employed. You'll sell out your one hit wonder, then sit on your ass with your money. And no one will have a job, lol, so you will have nothing to buy with your profits. You'll be the only person that can afford bread, though, so there's that. If people in your country are healthy and not starving, you have nothing to complain about regarding evil corporations trying to make profit. If you are concerned for the quality of life for the laborers in third world countries, then you have somewhere to start, at least. You and I, spending leisure time debating stuff on the internet, on our personal computers, under our (bank-owned) roofs, we are the ones benefiting from the system. :)

*I think it might be some manufacturers that are arbitrarily limiting top speeds, rather than the government, actually.
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 06, 2016, 04:53:42 am
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Why does it matter whether you are unlocking it for personal use or for business use?  Sure, it may matter as regards the support you can expect afterwards, but whether or not that serves as sufficient reason to refrain is dependent solely on the circumstances of the individual.
Like I said, it's just an opinion. Not based on law or ethics. Maybe it's based on the fact that when your business is reliant on other businesses, and your business also relies on respect of IP, then you might be more inclined to respect the IP of those other businesses on which you are reliant?

That may be true, but we're talking about what justifies restrictions on their actions, not what actions they would refrain from of their own volition.

I agree: a business is much more likely to simply leave the device as it is, and there's good reason for that: the desire for maximized after-the-sale support.  They depend on the instruments in question for their business, after all, so after-the-sale support is much more important to them than it would be to a hobbyist who would not be affected by the unavailability of such support to nearly the same degree.


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This logic is unsound.  "A purpose of a lock is to prevent/deter theft, therefore all uses of a lock are for the purpose of preventing/deterring theft, and therefore to bypass the lock indicates intent to steal".
:-// :-// :-// :-//
I don't think this is a great leap at all. If the code on the Rigol was not there to deter theft of IP, why not just have a menu setting "Press 1 for 50MHz. Press 2 for 100MHz."

"Theft" is not the same as "doing something that someone else doesn't want you to".  "Theft" has a very specific meaning: taking something that belongs to someone else without that other person's authorization.

Here, the copy of the code in question belongs to the owner of the device (to insist otherwise is to insist that the DVD you purchased is not owned by you, that you do not have the right to experience its contents even though you purchased those contents, and that the originator of the work therein has the right to unilaterally dictate to you everything you can and cannot do with that copy even though copyright law has already imposed scarcity).  The original code belongs to the manufacturer.  Copyright laws prevent lawful copying of the code without the authorization of the copyright holder, but that is not in play here at all, because no unauthorized copying of a copyrighted work is taking place when someone enters a magic key into their scope.  Nor is there any theft of "intellectual property", because "intellectual property" is a person's creative expression, not the forms it is fixed in.  Patents and copyrights exist not to protect from theft, but to provide greater incentive for creative people to release their creations to the world.  They do this by imposing artificial scarcity on things that otherwise would be freely available to all.  That's a necessary imposition in order to give creators sufficient ability to survive on the basis of the sale of their works, but it is also a sufficient imposition, as it makes the world of "intellectual property" roughly equivalent to the world of physical goods.  To go any further than that is to taint the market in favor of "intellectual property" holders in the same way it would taint the market for physical goods.  Few here argue that manufacturers of purely physical goods should be able to dictate arbitrary terms of use to purchasers, but that is precisely what they are arguing in favor of here with respect to anything else.

The term "theft" has been usurped by people who insist on treating everything that could possibly derive in any way from "intellectual property" as if it had the same scarcity properties as real property.  It's one thing to insist that the arena of "intellectual property" be governed so as to give it the scarcity properties of physical objects.    But as this thread illustrates, some go far beyond that in their insistence of how "intellectual property" should be treated.  They act as if "intellectual property" is some sacrosanct thing that would not exist at all if we didn't simply give creators whatever they wanted in exchange for use of instantiations of their "intellectual property".  The history of the world shows how incorrect that is -- people have been creating, inventing, etc., for far longer than "intellectual property" laws have been around, which proves that intellectual property laws do not exist to make creating, inventing, etc., possible, they exist to make it easier.


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Whether the access is desired by someone who has a right to it or not is an independent variable.
I think this ties in somehow, as well. I mean, if a lock pick hobbyist buys a lock, of course he can pick it if he wants to. In this scenario, I see no problem with a hobbyist to unlock a scope for no other reason that simply because he wants to. But to pick a lock to get what's on the other side, something which the manufacturer charges money for (in the case of Rigol, they DO sell a higher bandwidth model, but this can easily apply to Agilent or Siglent or Keysight or Lecroi, or w/e company you want to insert there, which sells upgraded features, including locking out scope input channels, entirely!), for commercial use, then I personally feel that's different.

Then the question becomes: why do you believe the manufacturer should be free to implement whatever mechanisms they choose to control how the device is used, while simultaneously insisting that the purchaser is not entitled to do what they will with the device they purchased with their hard earned money?  More precisely, why do some insist on eliminating market forces for the former, while insisting that market forces must control the latter?  To insist that the purchaser buy something else instead of maximizing what they have is to insist that the manufacturer should control the market.  But markets operate best when the controls placed on them are minimized, when actors on both sides are free to choose what to do and are forced by the nature of the market to deal with the consequences of their choices.


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the only truly legitimate justification for preventing either of them from doing what they want with what they purchased is active harm that may result from that use.
Ok, now I'm picturing a scope that is booby trapped to permanently brick itself if the wrong code is entered, lol. Yeah, I know you meant legal/financial consequences.

Well, actually, I had intent on physical harm (which includes things like theft of physical items) in mind with that.

A scope that is booby trapped to permanently brick itself would not last long in the marketplace.  The market nicely takes care of things like that.  Indeed, it is the reasoning of some of those here that would allow such a thing to survive in the marketplace.


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Why does it matter whether you are unlocking it for personal use or for business use?  Sure, it may matter as regards the support you can expect afterwards, but whether or not that serves as sufficient reason to refrain is dependent solely on the circumstances of the individual.
I brought up the example of WinZip. I wonder what you think of it. Do you think anyone who pays for WinZip is a dickhead, because there are no consequences for not paying?

I've no problem with "donate-ware" or anything else.  Look, I'm not arguing against copyright law itself.  I'm arguing against unilaterally imposed contracts.  And I'm arguing that they are just as ethically unsound in the world of copyright as they are in the world of physical objects.  Not one person here has raised a logically consistent, non-arbitrary defense of them in the arena of copyrights that would not be equally applicable in the arena of physical objects.


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Another example is free student versions of software. Or free device samples. The entire point of giving away this free stuff is so that if/when that 1 in 1000 people who get this free stuff actually starts to use this stuff in a commercial/business enterprise, then they will start to pay for it! 

Right.  Again, I do not argue against copyright.  I do not argue against right of refusal of sale.  As a vendor, you can choose whom you sell to, and what you sell to them.  Other vendors can choose differently.  The market ends up taking care of the inefficiencies that might otherwise arise.   But that is not what is being argued here.  What is being argued here is that the right to choose what you sell extends to the right to unilaterally, without prior agreement of the buyer, dictate to the buyer what they may and may not do with what they purchase from you.  And that requires the assent of the buyer when what is being sold is a physical good.  Somehow, non-physical goods, or even physical goods that operate with a non-physical component (firmware), are being treated as magically exempt from the expectations we impose on the sale of physical goods.

All I'm doing is calling people out on their hypocrisy.


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I am not making a legal/ethical argument. This is just my own feeling.

Fair enough.  We're all entitled to our own opinions.  I'm entitled to my opinion that an opinion isn't valid unless it is logically internally consistent.   :D


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If you write software for a living, you might see this differently. (And besides, you did not "discover" that the seller locked the glovebox. You purchased the car knowing it did not come with a glovebox; you were also offered a car WITH a glovebox, but you were too cheap to buy it.:))

For the record, I have written software for a living, and the company I work for does software as its sole business.  And my stance is what it is in large part because I have been in the software industry in one way or another for 30 years.  I've seen the damage caused by overzealousness in the use of the power of copyright to unilaterally impose contracts.  It took people working for years for free to even begin to unseat Microsoft from their position, a position that wouldn't exist were it not for the power to unilaterally impose contract terms due to copyright.

I've also seen some of the consequences of going entirely in the other direction.

It is not an accident that our general understanding of what it means to "own" an item is what it is.  That understanding is the result of hundreds (if not thousands) of years of development of the laws and culture surrounding property and the markets that function for its supply and transfer.  History repeatedly shows that control over the actions of others is a power to be given away sparingly, because it will inevitably be horribly abused otherwise.  As regards physical goods, the general market has shown itself to be quite good at providing for the needs of buyers and sellers alike.  Why in the world would anyone in their right mind want to throw away those characteristics for things which the law already imposes the same sort of scarcity as physical goods?

Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: kcbrown on April 06, 2016, 05:25:20 am
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At the end of the day, the fundamental justification you're using for supporting such arbitrary constraints on the purchaser is to make it possible for the manufacturer to employ arbitrary schemes to control what functionality is available so that the manufacturer may profit from those schemes, and to fully control the conditions under which that functionality is made available even when what is supplied to the customer is fully capable of performing the functions in question.  That is the same as insisting that a car manufacturer should be able to dictate to you how fast you can drive your car, with the only thing preventing you from going any faster is a switch that you can flip.  You are insisting that it would be wrong for the purchaser to flip that switch.   In essence, you are insisting that the manufacturer reserves every right to unilaterally tell you what to do with what you purchase from them, as long as that control results in greater profit for them.   On what basis do you claim that my characterization here is incorrect?

Why you only look at the consumer end? Are you born with the right that someone creates and delivers an oscilloscope you to with the features you desire and at the price you want? Nope. Eventually someone WILL do that.... as long as it is profitable to do so.

I'm not looking at this strictly from the point of view of the buyer.  I'm looking at it from the point of view of both.  The seller is already free to build his goods any way he chooses.  I am not arguing that the seller isn't free to do that.  What I am arguing is that the buyer must have no less liberty than the seller.  Just as the seller can build whatever he wants in whatever way he wants, the buyer must be able to do whatever he wants with what he purchases.  Neither should be able to unilaterally dictate to the other what he may and may not do after the sale.

What people are arguing here, however, is that the seller should be able to unilaterally dictate to the buyer what he may and may not do with what he purchased, while the buyer has no equivalent power.  I am challenging the entire basis of that notion.  It is a corrupt and evil notion, for it unnecessarily gives control over others to entities that have proven they do not deserve it (if you think they do, then you'd better read up on the history of monopolies and the abuses that have occurred at their hands.  A monopoly inherently gives the seller the ability to dictate terms).


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employ arbitrary schemes to control what functionality is available
What functions are even available to begin with are somewhat arbitrary. While developing this product, they invested capital to create features that they figured might be desired and profitable to specific segments of the market (and tech nerds), but which were not necessarily highly desirable or must-have features for a broader market. But these features required an initial investment AND ONGOING MAINTENANCE COST (i.e. debugging/support). But you desire they should give these features to everyone....   Why?

I don't desire that they should give those features to everyone.  Whether they do or not is their choice.  What I do insist on is that they not demand that the customer artificially limit his actions in order to satisfy the manufacturer's desire to do things a certain way.

All of these things must be subject to the marketplace.  If the manufacturer insists on building his product in a certain way, he takes full responsibility for the consequences of doing so.  What people are insisting on here is that the manufacturer should be artificially shielded from the consequences of being lazy, of putting the same capabilities into all of their products, "protecting" that in any arbitrary way they wish, and then making up for doing that sloppily by imposing artificial limits on the actions of the buyer.


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Does that not increase the cost for those guys that just want "a basic wrench" in order to do their job? In order to earn their income and pay for the roof over their head? Now these customers need to buy the top of the line product, so that the evil company doesn't profit as much????

Well, seeing how I've already outlined exactly how the manufacturers can do what they want without imposing artificial limits on the actions of their customers, this objection doesn't fly.

Put another way, just because a customer can attempt to take actions to bypass a lock doesn't mean he has the right to succeed in that.  I do not argue that customers have the right to succeed in their attempts, only that they have the right to make the attempt.


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car manufacturer should be able to dictate to you how fast you can drive your car, with the only thing preventing you from going any faster is a switch that you can flip.   
And yet, this is exactly the case. Car manufacturers routinely "detune" motors for lower end model cars and motorcycles.

Yes, they do.  But importantly, customers of those cars and motorcycles aren't forbidden by unilaterally imposed contract from altering the tune of those engines.

What we're talking about here, on the other hand, is the notion that the manufacturer has the right to dictate to the purchaser that they not modify the tune of the car.  I'm not talking about something where the purchaser would lose warranty support if they were to take that action.  I'm talking about something where the purchaser would be in breach of law for doing so.


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In addition, In the US, the government can and does also limit the top speed of vehicles that operate on US streets. That top speed is 189 miles per hour, IIRC. (How arbitrary does that sound? :))

I don't believe purchasers are prevented from removing those limits.  In fact, I know they're not prevented in that way.  The cars that run the Texas Mile go far faster than that, and are still street legal.


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This arbitrary limit must be put on a vehicle by the manufacturer for any vehicle that needs to be street legal, but which could otherwise exceed this limit. It seems silly that this is even necessary, since we have speed limits. Who needs a car to go faster than 120mph? (a little more than the average speed of some or our highways, lol.)

If that arbitrary government-imposed limit really is there, then yes, I agree it's utterly silly and worthless.



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Same can be said for a scope that goes to 100MHz. I fail to see a big market for that vs 50MHz. High speed video signals, maybe? What else will fit in that bandwidth? Anything higher than a couple MHz is exotic territory for a switching PSU. 5x 2MHz is 10MHz.. which is going to cover a lot of peoples' needs for an oscilloscope. Need more, you probably need a lot more.

What about software defined radio?  Or radio in general?   What about microcontrollers running with 50 MHz crystal oscillators as their timebase?

Keep in mind, the bandwidth of a scope defines the maximum visible frequency in a waveform.  But waveforms are generally composed of a conglomerate of frequencies.  That square wave will have (as a practical matter) Fourier components at least an order of magnitude higher than its base frequency.



Much of your message assumes that I have some fundamental disagreement with the free market.  Far from it.  I'm actually arguing in favor of a freer market than what some her would have us operate under.  A free market requires free actors (both before and after the sale) and a balance of power between them.  Someone is not free in the use of that which they purchase when the person they are executing a transaction with has the power of unilateral imposition of terms. 
Title: Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
Post by: mnementh on April 06, 2016, 0