FBI Half-Life 2 Raids

A weblog post mentioned in a Slashdot story apparently gives the account of a San Francisco native's encounter with the FBI as the fed's raided his home looking for evidence in connection with the theft of the Half-Life 2 source code (story). According to Slashdot (since the site has been, naturally enough, Slashdotted), the blog includes a scan of the FBI's search warrant. Thanks Captain Trips.
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97.
 
Too Funny...
Jan 20, 2004, 08:56
97.
Too Funny... Jan 20, 2004, 08:56
Jan 20, 2004, 08:56
 
I am glad that some progress if being made on this matter, but you know what's funny? Probably at least 1/3 of those on this board that are commenting about how horrible this is and how the guy should "end up in a cell with Bubba" will probably end up playing pirated copies of the game when/if it ships.

"You delayed the release of the game I was looking forward to playing for free?! To the boiling oil with you!"

Parallax Abstraction
Parallax Abstraction
Podcast | YouTube | Twitch
Avatar 13614
96.
 
Re: Awesome.
Jan 20, 2004, 08:07
96.
Re: Awesome. Jan 20, 2004, 08:07
Jan 20, 2004, 08:07
 
Who cares???
H-L sucked bigtime, CS is like a brain-mailfunction....

I´m just happy it was prosponed, prospone the thing until the developers are dead...



95.
 
Re: No subject
Jan 20, 2004, 06:52
J/K
95.
Re: No subject Jan 20, 2004, 06:52
Jan 20, 2004, 06:52
J/K
 
he looks guilty in a blurry photo is good enough for you??
hello?? what's next? lynch him? why wait for mre investigation or even a trial, since the photo already proves him guilty.

This comment was edited on Jan 20, 06:56.
94.
 
Re: No subject
Jan 20, 2004, 06:15
94.
Re: No subject Jan 20, 2004, 06:15
Jan 20, 2004, 06:15
 
If you tax corporations heavily they go elsewhere.

Good lord, you're dense! Did you not read anything I wrote? The corps are leaving anyway! They're STILL shifting work overseas. Example: Today IBM announces 15,000 jobs for 2004. 10,500 in India and China and 4500 in America. But wait! IBM is also cutting 3000 more jobs here, so the net is 1500 jobs for America and 10,5000 for India and China. You clearly know ZERO about even economics.

Why you start here and see if you can't get a grasp on rudimentary economics, because the nonsense you're spewing now is just plain embarrassing for you.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Economics:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0028644921/ref=pd_sxp_f/103-9906961-0119023?v=glance&s=books

It's the sheeple like you that just make it so easy for guys like them implement the new corporate feudalism. Socialist systems work far better than capitalist ones. If you think America isn't horribly broken right now, you're even dumber than I imagine.

This comment was edited on Jan 20, 06:16.
"And then, suddenly and without warning, it turned into a real-life case of hungry, hungry hippos."
- Stephen Colbert
93.
 
Re: Quick observation
Jan 20, 2004, 06:15
93.
Re: Quick observation Jan 20, 2004, 06:15
Jan 20, 2004, 06:15
 
Uh, I'm a programmer, and I'm not much impressed with steam. In fact, it's just the sort of app one could easily code in visual basic.

What does steam do that's so great?

Steam has some encryption stuff.
It has a list of games.
It can launch said games.
It can download games that it doesn't have yet with trickling downloads.
It can display simple gif ads.
It can connect to a central server, check that your key is valid, and then give you a list of all servers currently connected.

This is SIMPLE. It is a few weeks worth of work.

It is much harder to code the networking code for a game. That has to handle packet loss, high pings, and low bandwidth.

Steam on the other hand uses TCP, does not need to worry about lost packets, and high pings have no effect on it.

Wheoever wrote steam did not need to worry about converting floating point vlaues into fixed point bytes and ints to save bandwidth, they didn't need to worry about which data should be run via simulation and which should be manually controlled by the server, and he sure as hell didn't have to deal with trying to make a server handle 16 players simultaneously over a modem without getting bogged down by bandwidth usage.

92.
 
Re: Quick observation
Jan 20, 2004, 06:04
92.
Re: Quick observation Jan 20, 2004, 06:04
Jan 20, 2004, 06:04
 
Swiffer, the most damaging loss was the theft of the Steam code, not the rendering tech. The rendering tech is valuable to be sure but Steam is the core of their new business model which they planned to liscense as well. That value has dimished a LOT. Valve can't recover the sheer amount of man-hours that was put into its coding and has to toss much of it out and start again.


----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Perhaps the answer to the perennial problem of delinquent teenagers dropping bricks from motorway and railway bridges is to sue the creators of Tetris."- unknown author
This comment was edited on Jan 20, 06:04.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Both the “left” and the “right” pretend they have the answer, but they are mere flippers on the same thalidomide baby, and the truth is that neither side has a clue."

- Jim Goad
Avatar 10137
91.
 
Re: Quick observation
Jan 20, 2004, 05:58
91.
Re: Quick observation Jan 20, 2004, 05:58
Jan 20, 2004, 05:58
 
"But VU Games had one, big glorious selling point: Half-Life 2. That one game was going to rescue Vivendi by either boost its earnings for 4Q03 or giving it a much bigger selling price for the unit than it was really worth.

Then came the break-in."


So you blame the break in for that?

Wrap your head around this. What if Valve hadn't USED the break in as an excuse to get a much needed six more months of development time, and instead had kept COMPLETELY QUIET ABOUT IT.

I'll tell you what if.

Valve could have quietly dealt with the breakin. They could have fixed up the Steam code in a couple days so that hacked keys would not work, and so that the values in the netcode were mixed up from what was expected, and still pushed the game out on time. Simple.

As a result of BEING QUIET, they would NOT have had the story on every news website on the planet instantly, and far fewer people would know about the code being out there as a result. With this FBI thing, a ton more people now know that the code is out there.

And the stock price of VU would not have plummeted. Because the game would have gone out on time.

I DARE Valve to offer a detailed explanation of what they had to change in the code base and how this translated to a six month delay. There is just NO DAMN WAY that they needed SIX MONTHS to change the netplay and steam code so that it was incompatable with the hacked version. Do you know how much code a team of programmers can write in six months? The game High Octane was made in SIX WEEKS. There's just no way that moving some data around took them six months. They are blatantly lying just to get themselves more time they needed because they were behind schedule and could not meet their contractual obligations.


90.
 
Re: Quick observation
Jan 20, 2004, 05:46
90.
Re: Quick observation Jan 20, 2004, 05:46
Jan 20, 2004, 05:46
 
"Coincidentally, How would you like it if someone stole the work you'd been doing for the past 5 years?"


Unlike Valve, I believe that it's more important to produce a quality product than to try to profit from "trade secrets".

I produce a shadow system for games which I sell.

While I obviously don't want the source code distributed, if it was, it wouldn't hurt my business much. Most people who want to use it would pay the nominal fee I charge.

In addition, when someone asks me how to make a shadow system like the one I've made, I give them a full and complete description of all the various optimizations I've done, explaining exactly how it works, and how sophiticated an algorthim it uses.

At which point, they realise that my system is so good that they'd have to spend months writing their own, and they choose to license mine for the nominal fee.

I even give away source code to major portions of my games for free. The only thing I don't really do is give away complete compileable versions of my game code, because I don't want someone producing a game which is 75% identical to mine.

I also share my art, and sound effects, if people ask for them. I am not particularly concerned about people competing with me. The market is big enough for everyone, and nobody is very likely to take my stuff and produce a game which is near identical to my own.

So, to answer your question, if someone stole what I'd worked on the past 5 years and used it, it wouldn't have much effect at all. The chances of them being stupid enough to release an exact copy of my games and attempt to sell them is slim to none. Worst that would happen is they'd have nice shadows and heads up displays and particle effects in their game.

And graphics do NOT game a game. So if Valve is so concerned about some pixel shaders, then maybe they've stopped concentrating on gameplay. And if they fail because of that, that's their own fault, and not the fault of someone getting ahold of their pixel shaders.

89.
 
Source code =/= beta
Jan 20, 2004, 05:32
89.
Source code =/= beta Jan 20, 2004, 05:32
Jan 20, 2004, 05:32
 
This is pretty obvious, to most, but...
The source code is NOT the beta. In an extreme example, country A could sell an ICBM (a big bad missle that can carry nukes) to country B, and country B would only be able to use ths missle as a weapon. Or country B could use spies, steal the blueprints, and build it's own missles, or develop a system to counter these. This would give country B the abilty to build and sell a product that, or parts of it, that could ruin country A, and all countries that sold tecnollogy to country A.

Would someone care to tell me why this guy would have 9 computers, all supossedly in working condition? I mean, hell, I've got 4, but 9, plus an xbox? What's this guy's job?

88.
 
Re: No subject
Jan 20, 2004, 05:16
88.
Re: No subject Jan 20, 2004, 05:16
Jan 20, 2004, 05:16
 
@ hump - that's the best quote i've read on here in a long time. lol

87.
 
Re: No subject
Jan 20, 2004, 05:14
87.
Re: No subject Jan 20, 2004, 05:14
Jan 20, 2004, 05:14
 
He looks guilty in his blog photo. That's good enough for me. The FBI wouldn't have raided him specifically if they weren't damn sure he had something to do with it.
Hope he gets jail time.

my God, that has to be the laziest attempt at a troll I've read in quite awhile. keep trying though, you'll get there eventually.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Perhaps the answer to the perennial problem of delinquent teenagers dropping bricks from motorway and railway bridges is to sue the creators of Tetris."- unknown author
----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Both the “left” and the “right” pretend they have the answer, but they are mere flippers on the same thalidomide baby, and the truth is that neither side has a clue."

- Jim Goad
Avatar 10137
86.
 
No subject
Jan 20, 2004, 04:15
86.
No subject Jan 20, 2004, 04:15
Jan 20, 2004, 04:15
 
Don't most developers just use recruitment agencies to hire staff ?

I mean, it really smacks of Valves desperation to use the valuable resources of the FBI to ask the perps of the source code theft if they wouldn't mind finishing the game for them...


_________________
http://www.coopertempleclause.co.uk
===
B: Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?

P: I think so, Brain, but where are we going to find a duck and a hose at this hour?
85.
 
Re: No subject
Jan 20, 2004, 03:38
85.
Re: No subject Jan 20, 2004, 03:38
Jan 20, 2004, 03:38
 
Halsy, do you have an alternative to the "corporation" system? If you tax corporations heavily they go elsewhere. Then you'll be going to Mexico to look for jobs in Capitalist Mexico. Good luck with that. While most people would like to be richer, and baulk at the fat cat stories, the truth is they're living off the back of the corporate greed. Without the majority of the working people riding the coat tails of the robber barons there would be far more poverty and lower standards of living. If you want to try out a non-corporate system, look to the old style USSR. There was a regime that lasted around a whole half century before falling apart. The fall-out from their failed economic system has damaged modern Russias economy to this day and probably for decades to come. You seen those Russian Brides 4 U web links? That's what you get when a civilization loses sight of the fact that greed is and always has been good, and it's no sin to turn a buck.

Socialists don't even have a valid role model anymore.


84.
 
Re: Not JUST a video game...
Jan 20, 2004, 03:33
84.
Re: Not JUST a video game... Jan 20, 2004, 03:33
Jan 20, 2004, 03:33
 
A well thought out and interesting post, Bob.

Here's another little nugget of wisdom pertaining to the concept of globalization (mind you, I did not write this myself):

"What is Globalization?

Answer: An English princess with an Egyptian boyfriend crashes in a French tunnel, riding in a German car with a Dutch engine, driven by a Belgian who was drunk on Scottish whiskey, followed closely by Italian Paparazzi, on Japanese motorcycles, treated by an American doctor, using Brazilian medicines. And this is sent to you by an Australian, using Bill Gates' technology, and you're probably reading this on one of many IBM clones, that use Taiwanese-made chips, and a Korean-made monitor, assembled by Bangladeshi workers in a Singapore plant, transported by lorries driven by Indians, hijacked by Indonesians, unloaded by Sicilian longshoremen, trucked by Mexican illegals.

That, my friend, is Globalization."

This comment was edited on Jan 20, 03:36.
83.
 
Re: Not JUST a video game...
Jan 20, 2004, 03:02
83.
Re: Not JUST a video game... Jan 20, 2004, 03:02
Jan 20, 2004, 03:02
 
me and you both brotha

------------
Love,
Mayor Dan
ExcessDan
82.
 
Re: Not JUST a video game...
Jan 20, 2004, 02:58
82.
Re: Not JUST a video game... Jan 20, 2004, 02:58
Jan 20, 2004, 02:58
 
so when is this POS game due out, anyhow?

I am SO ready to be let-down by it.

81.
 
Re: Not JUST a video game...
Jan 20, 2004, 02:52
81.
Re: Not JUST a video game... Jan 20, 2004, 02:52
Jan 20, 2004, 02:52
 
Thank you for that Bob.

This comment was edited on Jan 20, 02:52.
80.
 
Not JUST a video game...
Jan 20, 2004, 02:44
80.
Not JUST a video game... Jan 20, 2004, 02:44
Jan 20, 2004, 02:44
 
To Yuzzem (who thinks the gov't should waste their time on tracking down video game code thiefs) and other posters who debate whether or not theft should be prosecuted, it should be pointed out that this case is not JUSt about a video game or just about theft for that matter.

Think this is not important outside of the game community or the computer industry or even think it's just a large grand theft case? Wrong.

Half-Life 2 is being developed by Valve and published by Sierra. Sierra is part of VU Games, which itself is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a French company. Vivendi, a former waterworks utility, grew far faster and was managed far worse than it should have been. The company has been gushing red ink for many years and Vivendi was despterately trying to sell off its entertainment assets including VU Games.

Finally, Vivendi did manage to find a buyer for most of it's entertainment parts -- NBC, which is itself a unit of General Electric. NBC, however, did not buy VU Games and Vivendi put it back on the block. The division publishes some truly awful games and if it wasn't for Bilizzard (Diablo II / Starcraft / Warcraft) would not be worrth crap. (Unless you think The Hulk and the latest Jurassic Park games were really good, valuable games...)

But VU Games had one, big glorious selling point: Half-Life 2. That one game was going to rescue Vivendi by either boost its earnings for 4Q03 or giving it a much bigger selling price for the unit than it was really worth.

Then came the break-in.

Vu Games now is worth squat for the foreseeable future, no suiter is going to buy it and people around the world are losting their jobs over it. The parent company's stock continues to lose value and shareholders worldwide take the loss.

From Silicon Valley to Wall Street to Paris, this one little breakin is having a big impact.

Let's not forget we live in a global economy. No hack attack or computer crime is small anymore. It affects everyone, from the game programmer to waterworks repairman in france to the soccer mom whose college IRA takes a hit.
Bob James
HALF-PRICE SOFTWARE

PC Games at up to Half-Off List Price
http://www.stores.ebay.com/halfpricesoftware/
79.
 
Re: Quick observation
Jan 20, 2004, 02:38
79.
Re: Quick observation Jan 20, 2004, 02:38
Jan 20, 2004, 02:38
 
Prosecuting your mom's murderer will not bring your mom back to life.
More often than not, it won't even make you feel any better.
So, is pressing charges only "revenge"...? No. It's justice.

Killing someone's mom is, as you mentioned, an extreme example, but there is no denying that these individuals stole valuable intellectual property, flagrantly violated many individuals' privacy (including a full email log), and illegally compromised an innocent company's systems. These actions are criminal, and not in any trivial way. Though Valve does not stand to gain much or perhaps, any, from possible legal proceedings, that does not mean these criminals should not be brought to justice.

It's not like someone stole your TV, and you want it back because your insurance doesn't cover it. Nothing was stolen. Data was copied. People may have gotten a hold of some of their "secrets", but the cat's out of the bag.

So many people think this way, and it is the reason people who would never try to sneak out of a music store with a few CDs tucked in their jacket, would unhesitatingly pirate a computer game worth much more.

The truth of the information age is that data, which is inherently easily reproducible, has just as much value as tangible goods and that intellectual property can be worth much more than the computer that houses it.

Additionally, the general attitude that hacking and other cyber-crime should go lightly punished (and the reality that it frequently does), have made the internet into a lawless, dangerous place. A casual computer owner, who doesn't always keep every bit of software on his computer patched, runs a very high risk of becoming a victim. Perhaps with more enforcement (like this raid) hackers will think twice before maliciously compromising some stranger's system.


A police officer who tickets a motorist who ran a red light is not compensating the city for any damages, neither is he out for "revenge". The deed is done and nothing can change the motorist's past transgression. So why give the ticket? Simple. Police enforce traffic violations to keep the roads safe. People know traffic regulations are enforced, and so they follow them. Hopefully, cyber-crime will soon be well policed enough to make the internet at least reasonable safe.


78.
 
Re: Quick observation
Jan 20, 2004, 02:35
78.
Re: Quick observation Jan 20, 2004, 02:35
Jan 20, 2004, 02:35
 

And by your logic, revenge so important to you that it is worth risking the death, or lifelong incarceration, of an innocent man.

Of course, I don't expect someone to not report a murder. I'm just playing devils advocate, because your examples are extreme.

Are you joking? If you're playing devil's advocate you're doing a poor job of it. Your arguments are laughably ill-conceived.

~Steve

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