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Re: Re: Boycott O'Reilly

by Wassercrats
on Jan 23, 2004 at 04:11 UTC ( #323434=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Boycott O'Reilly
in thread Boycott O'Reilly

The book I'm complaining about isn't Spidering Hacks, but I'm not sure if you assumed it was.

One measure that could be taken to help keep such books out of the hands of the bad guys is to title them as crack prevention books rather than cracker helper books. That's not the case with the book from O'Reilly's catalog. O'Reilly's description of it also shouldn't make it sound like it will help crackers, but it does. O'Reilly is making it more attractive to the scumbag variety of hackers (the term I used in my original post, which seems to have been misunderstood by several monks) than to decent computer security people. The title and content should make it as clear as possible that it is a book for crack prevention, if such a book is published at all.


Comment on Re: Re: Boycott O'Reilly
Re: Re: Re: Boycott O'Reilly
by davido (Archbishop) on Jan 23, 2004 at 04:26 UTC
    But however you feel about this book, you're attacking the wrong group. O'Reilly didn't even publish it. It's simply available through their catalogue. It's also available from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Powells Books. If you boycot every bookseller that sells a book you disagree with, you have to abandon reading books.

    Have you made any attempt to contact these booksellers, or the book's publisher to voice your disapproval, or is this simply a lot of hullabaloo over nothing, confined to the obscure corners of the Monastery? Though I consider the quest you're on to be misguided, that's secondary in significance to the fact that you're going about your protest in one of the least effective ways possible. Nobody outside of a few hundred Monasterians even care about a lone opinion expressed in some highly specialized website. If you're going to lead the siege against every bookseller that carries a book you disapprove of, at least do it in a way that gets some positively reinforced attention... and have the gumption to contact those groups you're protesting against so they'll know where you're coming from. Amazon.com probably doesn't read Perlmonks.


    Dave

      Have you made any attempt to contact these booksellers, or the book's publisher to voice your disapproval, or is this simply a lot of hullabaloo over nothing, confined to the obscure corners of the Monastery?

      I'm a busy monk. I'm not sure what else I'll do about the book.

      I think I have a better chance to get a publisher to stop advertising some other publisher's book than to get the book to go out of print. I haven't planned the best book killing strategy. As I said, I'm a busy monk with other monkfish to fry.

      The combo of the copyright thing and this also made me concentrate on O'Reilly.

Re: Re: Re: Boycott O'Reilly
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Jan 23, 2004 at 05:35 UTC

    The reason we publish security information is to help people be more secure. Sometimes that includes information that could help bad people do bad things.

    My point is very simple.

    It's naive to think that hiding information that could help people be safe will prevent danger.

    That's why I publish articles on security, alerts on bugs and possible exploits in programs, and techniques for writing secure code.

    Now I'm not naive enough to think that no one will use this information for harmful purposes — hey, some people spider Safari, bundle up books into PDF collections, and sell them — but I'm going to encourage people to do the right thing. I'm going to help them find the information they need to protect their information and equipment. If they choose to do bad things with it, that's their problem. Hopefully enough people will have learned and applied the lessons that the bad people won't do much damage.

    You don't know what kind of disclaimers this book has. (Spidering Hacks has a big disclaimer that says "Do the right thing. Ask first. Be polite. Be smart.") You don't know what's in it. You haven't read any sample chapters. You're making wild accusations without facts. You're misinformed about the copyright issue and you're tilting at a windmill here.

    Hey, that's your choice. Have at it.

    If you want to be morally consistent, though, you should probably also boycott everything O'Reilly's ever touched. It's a long list, though, and it includes this site.

      Do you agree that it would be better if fewer of the bad-guy hackers learn how to do their bad-guy things? If so, then you should agree with me that at the very least, the title of a hacking type book that could teach someone how to crack computers shouldn't make it sound like it could teach that--rather, it should make it sound like it teaches how to prevent that from happening, so fewer bad-guy hackers would buy it. But I think I'm getting repetitive.
      If you want to be morally consistent, though, you should probably also boycott everything O'Reilly's ever touched. It's a long list, though, and it includes this site.

      I will be taking whatever action I deem reasonable to hurt O'Reilly. I'm not limiting it to not buying their books.

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