One aspect of software piracy that’s always interested me is the way protection schemes always seem to end up causing nothing but trouble for legitimate users — while pirates happily release 0-day cracks to use the software trouble-tree (albeit illegally). The issue’s been around since at least the early 1980s, and continues to spread into other forms of IP, like DRM. This has all been discussed endlessly elsewhere.
But an article today caught my eye, and reminded me of how absurd the problem can become:
“Yuri Malenchenko, a veteran cosmonaut and flight engineer aboard the International Space Station, had the unenviable job this week of wrestling with a glitchy computer laptop in the outpost’s Russian segment. […] ‘It says software license warning,’ Yuri told Mission Control.”
Nice. Given the, err, sky-high costs of a space program, I can only assume that astronaut/cosmonaut time is worth millions per hour. I wonder if they’ll send that software vendor a bill? :-)