Design Con 2015
Breaking News
Comments
betajet
User Rank
CEO
Great Interview
betajet   1/14/2014 2:01:46 PM
NO RATINGS
IMO, the GPU is one of two annoyingly-closed components.  The second is the FPGA, which can only be programmed using proprietary tools.  Maybe there's an open book about the Spartan 6 in Shenzhen :-)

Caleb Kraft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Great Interview
Caleb Kraft   1/14/2014 2:09:22 PM
NO RATINGS
What do you think about Bunnie's assertion that not every single component has to be completely open? Or rather that the definition of open hardware is hard to tack down.

betajet
User Rank
CEO
Re: Great Interview
betajet   1/14/2014 2:41:31 PM
NO RATINGS
One of the fun parts of OSHW is that since it's pretty new there are many opinions of what words should mean.  Dr. Huang does a great job of pointing out how the definition of "open source" can go to extremes.

Now, when you look at something like a capacitor, it has a simple, non-programmable function and you don't expect to be able to change that function.  That's pretty much the case for every non-programmable component: they have fixed functions.  However, you do expect all those components to have complete data sheets that define exactly how to use those components.  OSHW proponents are careful to select components that are well documented.

In contrast, the CPU, GPU, and FPGA are all programmable components.  As the person who bought those components, you should be able to program them however you wish: "if you can't hack it, you don't own it".  Unfortunately, only one of those three components is hackable.  The other two are "on loan" -- you are paying to use them in vendor-defined ways using closed, vendor-supplied software.  Since you don't have the documentation needed to program them yourself, you don't own them.

OTOH, in my opinion the closed nature of a few chips does not mean one should throw away the excellent progress people like Dr. Huang are making in OSHW: we are making steady progress in the right direction.  It does mean there's still plenty of advocacy work to be done to get the rest of the way.

Paul A. Clayton
User Rank
CEO
Bootstrapping open systems
Paul A. Clayton   1/15/2014 12:46:45 PM
NO RATINGS
Even Richard Stallman used closed systems to develop GNU, so even an idealist can recognize the practical benefit of bootstrapping with less open components.

(The more layers removed from the component, the smaller the practical difference between a commodity component with thorough behavioral documentation and a fully open component. Even single, non-discriminatory vendor [merchant] products with behavioral documentation can have much of the benefits of open products. Of course, if one has an unexpected use or if one wants to know how practical certain low-layer improvements would be [or invest in making such improvements], then piercing the abstraction layers may be important.)

Jack.L
User Rank
CEO
Re: Great Interview
Jack.L   1/18/2014 9:48:33 PM
NO RATINGS
Is it just me or do people like "Bunnie" redefine terms like intellectual property , "downloading", etc. as they see fit for their own purposes. The reality is there is not much of an intellectual property model at all in China so to make a comparison with anyone else's model is rather false. Knowing many Chinese business people and engineers who have had their work stolen locally I know many of them would also prefer more protection for IP. They have no comfort investing in anything long term due to this. IP is about respective the value of others ... Their idea and their time. When you dont have IP protection then you start to lose innovation. Listened to the radio lately? Only way to make money now is to tour ... Which few can justify. Yes there are some interesting new avenues being developed but overall no. No IP for product development and everything becomes derivative .... Progress stops.

selinz
User Rank
Manager
Interesting quote
selinz   1/14/2014 2:36:36 PM
NO RATINGS
"If I can hack it, I own it!?" Really? To me that's crazy. Trust me, I'm not judging Mr. Bunnie, but where do you draw the line? Take a car engine. Easy to take apart and copy. AKA Hack. Does that make the design mine? So that's different, you say. Is it?

I can make arguments on both side of the paper. But if there is in fact such a thing as intellectual property, how then do you define it?

betajet
User Rank
CEO
Re: Interesting quote
betajet   1/14/2014 2:55:14 PM
NO RATINGS
According to the links in the article, the OSHW Laptop is copyrighted and licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.  This means it's still owned by Dr. Huang (and perhaps others), but you are free to use that design and make products from it as allowed by the license.  If you distribute those products you must also publish the design -- including any changes you've made -- under the same license and acknowledge the owners of the original design.  This is similar to the General Public License used by GNU/Linux.  The effect is that bug fixes and other improvements come back to the community so that the design keeps getting better.

When you buy a car, its design is not licensed to you, so you have no right to redistribute engines based on that design.

JMO/IANAL

Caleb Kraft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Interesting quote
Caleb Kraft   1/16/2014 9:57:36 AM
NO RATINGS
I think maybe you're misunderstanding the common saying. It is usually worded "you don't own it unless you can hack it".


So, for your car example, you CAN hack the engine because it is your property. If someone made it illegal for you to bore out your cylinders on an engine you own, then it could be argued that you don't really own it.

 

an overly simplified description would be "this is my property, you can't tell my not to modify it".

lister1
User Rank
Rookie
better book title...
lister1   1/18/2014 1:22:44 PM
NO RATINGS
Wording 'Hacking the Xbox' in bold before the subscript 'An Introduction to Reverse Engineering' actually limits your audience, IMO.  People who could understand the information presented normally have engineering backgrounds, so they wouldn't be afraid of a book the 'engineering' word in the title.

Moreover, not everyone interested in Reverse Engineering have an Xbox, or even care for one.  So your book title with the Xbox word up front might immedately turn away some potential readers.

Just my two cents... :)

Susan Rambo
User Rank
Blogger
Re: better book title...
Susan Rambo   1/18/2014 2:51:26 PM
NO RATINGS
@lister1, I agree. Plus a Xbox in the title doesn't make for much longevity. Xbox is hot this year but all the hype will fade soon. A book about "reverse engineering" would have more lasting power for engineering. The book would seem relevant for longer -- maybe.

Caleb Kraft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: better book title...
Caleb Kraft   1/21/2014 9:18:32 AM
NO RATINGS
In retrospect, your statement is spot on. However, when this book was published, there was actually a lot in the news about the legality of hacking the X-box. I'm sure, at the time, it seemed quite relevant considering Bunnie was a big part of that case.



Most Recent Comments
Susan Rambo
 
AZskibum
 
AZskibum
 
alex_m1
 
alex_m1
 
AZskibum
 
AZskibum
 
_hm
 
_hm
Top Comments of the Week
Flash Poll
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Life
Frankenstein's Fix, Teardowns, Sideshows, Design Contests, Reader Content & More
<b><a href=Betajet">

The Circle – The Future's Imperfect in the Present Tense
Betajet
5 comments
The Circle, a satirical, dystopian novel published in 2013 by San Francisco-based writer Dave Eggers, is about a large, very powerful technology company that combines aspects of Google, ...

Max Maxfield

Recommended Reads From the Engineer's Bookshelf
Max Maxfield
27 comments
I'm not sure if I read more than most folks or not, but I do I know that I spend quite a lot of time reading. I hate to be idle, so I always have a book or two somewhere about my person -- ...

Martin Rowe

Make This Engineering Museum a Reality
Martin Rowe
Post a comment
Vincent Valentine is a man on a mission. He wants to make the first house to ever have a telephone into a telephone museum. Without help, it may not happen.

Rich Quinnell

Making the Grade in Industrial Design
Rich Quinnell
16 comments
As every developer knows, there are the paper specifications for a product design, and then there are the real requirements. The paper specs are dry, bland, and rigidly numeric, making ...

Special Video Section
The LT8640 is a 42V, 5A synchronous step-down regulator ...
The LTC2000 high-speed DAC has low noise and excellent ...
How do you protect the load and ensure output continues to ...
General-purpose DACs have applications in instrumentation, ...
Linear Technology demonstrates its latest measurement ...
10:29
Demos from Maxim Integrated at Electronica 2014 show ...
Bosch CEO Stefan Finkbeiner shows off latest combo and ...
STMicroelectronics demoed this simple gesture control ...
Keysight shows you what signals lurk in real-time at 510MHz ...
TE Connectivity's clear-plastic, full-size model car shows ...
Why culture makes Linear Tech a winner.
Recently formed Architects of Modern Power consortium ...
Specially modified Corvette C7 Stingray responds to ex Indy ...
Avago’s ACPL-K30T is the first solid-state driver qualified ...
NXP launches its line of multi-gate, multifunction, ...
Doug Bailey, VP of marketing at Power Integrations, gives a ...
See how to ease software bring-up with DesignWare IP ...
DesignWare IP Prototyping Kits enable fast software ...
This video explores the LT3086, a new member of our LDO+ ...
In today’s modern electronic systems, the need for power ...