Pirates (Sort Of) Beware

As reported on BoingBoing, the developer of Display Eater for Mac OS X apparently configured the app to delete the user’s home directory if a pirated serial number were entered. However, it appears to have been a scare campaign instead of a genuine threat to the serial trading community. I sent in an email to BoingBoing letting them know about the developer’s public letter regarding the fiasco as well as telling them about a real instance of a program doing this back in 2004.

Microsoft has already done as much or more than this by locking users out of their computers if they don’t activate Windows. I wonder if we’re beginning to enter an era of Cold War application development. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to see if an app is packing heat under compiled code.

Photo above: Ardy berates the warez kiddies.

Published by Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I direct the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program and coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.