back to article Disney sitcom says open source is insecure

Shake it Up, a Disney sitcom that screens on The Disney Channel around the world, has slipped in an insult to open source software. The show, which tracks the activities of a group of aspiring dancers on a TV show called "Shake it Up, Chicago", appears to be aimed at tweens. We make that assertion based on the age of comments …

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "“Did you use open source code to save time, and the virus was hidden in it?”"

Stallman would have, if they hadn't have nicked his rather cool MIPS-based chinese netbook! ;)

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: "“Did you use open source code to save time, and the virus was hidden in it?”"

Let's not forget that the girl knew "the virus was hidden in it" and installed it anyway. To top it all off, even having the code to fix it she needs the help of this abradant argyle clad toady child with a correctable visual impairment?

Now then, what's up with the reversed logo in the lower right of that picture or was this filmed from inside the TV?

Messed keyboard because there isn't a "vomit" or "kill me now" icon.

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FAIL

Sounds more likely that some idiot strung together a series of words that he/she didn't understand to make a "technical" line... happens all the time.

Just watch NCIS...

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or better yet, just don't

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That reminds me of some dumb programme...

whose name I have mercifully forgotten where two techs are conversing over hacking into some companies network?

Ist techie: Did they receive the anonymous e-mail?

2nd techie: Yes. Now there network is wide open.

You can't make this sh1te up. Oh wait, you can.

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Re: That reminds me of some dumb programme...

Was "companies" and "there" part of the original "dumb programme", something you added to enhance the effect, or just unintentional irony?

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Re: That reminds me of some dumb programme...

Who remembers Hackers?

"It has a bus!"

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WTF?

As with the CSI classic

"I'll create a GUI interface with Visual Basic, see if I can track an IP address"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygB0ZviqXac

Oh dear.

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Headmaster

Re: That reminds me of some dumb programme...

Not just a bus....

it's a PCI Bus they are going on about. (They also harp on about RISC architecture changing everything...)

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Re: That reminds me of some dumb programme...

I was hoping to lure a grammar nazi. looks like I caught one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: That reminds me of some dumb programme...

It "may" be unwise to assume that people who spell or punctuate English badly, or have bad English grammar, are in fact more dumb than you. I'm sure people from small countries who have a unique language sometimes make this mistake also about "foreigners" who can't speak or write their "special language" - you know, the rest of the world- Baka Gaijin, Gringos, call them what you will ;) Regardless of the fact that any schoolkid will always learn their own native language.

Yeah, I know that in terms of probabilities, all else being equal with people from the same country as yourself , this may tend to be true, but El Reg readers aren't generally dumb Sun readers... although some might just be doing that to wind you or others up.

I've also known people that had dreadful social skills, terrible language (at least written language), and were gauche to the point of being hilariously offensive accidentally, but were also clearly very far indeed from being stupid.

It's also hypothetically possibly they may be hyper-intelligent beings from another galaxy that have the intergalactic equivalent of the "Hungarian Phrase Book" and have a thirst for fresh pureed brains? ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: That reminds me of some dumb programme...

Well, RISC did change everything, in 1994 or so ;)

I mean PA-RISC, bless it's semi-retired soul. I had a manager once tell me that my CV had a fake part in it because HP clearly never made an HP9000, and that I must have made that up, yes, he was actually an IT manager, possibly ex-forces, he liked zip-tying everything, maybe Navy then ;)

Does ARM count I wonder?

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"I was hoping to lure a grammar nazi"

Unintentional irony it was, then.

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Headmaster

More important

Why is there a clown with a pseudo-military jacket behind the little cunt destroyer? Does Disney want to entice people to sign up to serve as cannon fodder in the wars-of-choice?

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Black Helicopters

Re: More important

Even more worryingly, the clown appears to be the result of some hideous tie-up between the US Army and the Scots Guards.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: More important

You might want to rephrase that, it sounds very bad if you read it too quickly ;) Perhaps more words so it's not so open to interpretation like a hyper-condensed newpaper headline.... made me laugh tho ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: More important

Like the fat bugger they put in Austin Powers? I blame the actor Robert Carlisle myself ever since he did his extreme role in Cracker, well, that and Robbie Coltrane and Hugh Laurie in a kind of a way (OK, not Scottish per se, but that accent!) but we got our own back with the lovely and very much Scottish Lindsay Duncan as the rather less pleasant Mrs T ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: More important

This is the company that was nicknamed by it's "own" employees as "Mauschwitz" or, more hilariously "Duckau".

(Ok, not so funny to some, understandably)

I'd say they are a large corporate entity that will do anything to survive, including bolstering prevailing political ideas and memes ;) Plus, they make billions out of selling animation merchandise based on the art in English childrens' books.

Hang on, it wasn't actually them, this time? ;)

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Go

The lemings were pushed!

Really, by a guy off camera with a big broom!

...

Wouldn't it be delicious if the open source that was downloaded to save time were Squeak/Smalltalk. :-D

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Joke

Copyright Ronnie Corbett?

Disgraceful jumper? Check

Oversized glasses? Check

Funny voice? Check

Either the producers have a time machine which allows them to use a very young Mr Corbett in their shows or they will be hearing from his lawyer!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Copyright Ronnie Corbett?

At least he had a kind of cultural reason for wearing Argyll patterns ;)

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money

seems pretty obvious that some large commercial company dumped some cash in the right bank account to make that happen to try and get in to the minds of the youth. Doesnt matter though, it wont work. Real geeks dont learn their skillz from shows like that, and the wanna bes that do wont end up being technology go to people, private or comercial.

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Re: money

let's hope you're right, notwithstanding the abysmal spelling

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Ignorance

Never ascribe malice where incompetence or lack of time will suffice. There is more than enough ignorance in the world to explain why a script writer does not understand a thing about programming. The author of the article does not even know the difference between a freetard and a penguinista, and he writes for a tech journal, not childrens' television.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: money

True. Unfortunately, they'll be CFOs or CEOs after a stint as purchasing manager...

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe the kid was using

Horde?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Maybe the kid was using

No! Open source is completely immune to blackhat code submissions! That has never happened!

Every line in every patch in every open source project is closely checked by an expert team of code reviewers before entering the walled garden of the code repository.

Kill the heretic!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Maybe the kid was using

Interesting link, I wasn't aware of that. The article does state that the malicious code was placed through an FTP server hack rather than being missed by code review. In that sense, the fact that it was found is a testament to open source software.

Had that happened on closed source software, it likely would not be noticed until the specific code branch needed work to fix a bug or add a feature.

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe...

..people are reading far to much into this. You somehow think that writers and producers actually know what they are talking about. Granted it missed out "cloud computing" in there, but plenty of other keyword bingo to keep people happy.

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Facepalm

Who says he attacked open source?

I think you guys are seeing waaay too much in this. Worse; you're looking at it from the wrong angle too IMO.

We all know what "open source" means, right (to be honest I'm starting to have some doubts)?

And hopefully we also know that there are plenty of people out there who "program" by merely grabbing bits and pieces of existing code and string these together. Of course in the end claiming that they wrote the entire program (always amazing; one program and a dozen different coding styles). I've seen this happening just way too many times myself. Doesn't matter if this concerns Java or Max (multimedia programming language) or C#...

SO quite frankly, all I see here is the 'nerd kid' berating the other kid for /using/ open source code which apparently had some virus sitting in it. In my opinion he only "attacked" the other kid for doing something utterly stupid such as using source code without even understanding what it does. Thus overlooking that it actually contained a virus.

Its not something totally impossible, its based on stuff which happens all the time (see above wrt people 'using' pre-made code), and of course you'd need open source to get access to the actual source code.

Sorry, but I don't see this as an attack on open source code in any way.

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73N

Re: Who says he attacked open source?

Grabbing bits and pieces of existing code is fine (as long as you have the right to do so), why reinvent the wheel?

It's picking the right code and using it to maximum effect that is important; although I would agree that a few developers take this approach to the extreme and use just about anything they can find even if the code isn't fit for purpose.

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Mushroom

Guys, I think you're missing the point...

...the show mentioned is FICTION; it's not 'real'.

Get a grip for Christ's sake!!

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Re: Guys, I think you're missing the point...

"it's just fiction" is all good and well but it does rather miss the point itself. Fiction is a very large part of our culture. An incredibly large part of it. As such fiction forms a large part of our worldview by influencing both our value structures and how we perceive the world.

A culture is the social mores, beliefs and opinions and behaviours of a group, who learned those social artefacts while they were children.

This is a show aimed at children. Remember that for a moment.

Consider: if you want to influence a culture, where's the best place to start? At the top, with its leaders? They're already inculcated with a particular worldview. They can be nudged but, by and large, they've settled on their opinions and are unlikely to be shifted, and any change in the underlying culture often threatens their powerbase.

In the middle with the general adult population? Again, they've already absorbed their culture. Again, they are unlikely to be shifted from it because it would require reanalysis of their core beliefs. One or two may have an "epiphany" and change their behaviour when presented with an alternative culture but even they are still innately linked to the prevailing culture in which they were raised. It's burrowed deep into their brain and forms the primary motivations for their behaviour.

The children? They are young and malleable. They are still absorbing the cultural mores of their parents. They are equally open to any concept presented to them.

There's a reason why political movements always focus on children. They know that children, above all others, are easy to impress upon with new ideas, new claims, motivations completely alien to the culture they were born in. The quickest way to create a sea-change in a culture is to capture the next generation and introduce the ideas of that change within them.

Which brings us back to fiction (which forms, as I asserted, the majority of our culture). A child watching this will soak up the idea unconsciously and it will become part of his belief structure in some way. One instance won't do much, but if there are more instances, more pieces of fiction (especially television which, for a variety of physiological reasons, is an extremely potent way to influence the way people think) containing similar ideas, a cultural imperative will be crafted within the child to view open source with suspicion.

So "it's just fiction" is a bit of a red herring. It's presented as fact.

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Re: Guys, I think you're missing the point...

Disney does know this. They made an episode of The Proud Family dedicated to telling children that if you download music illegally you ruin artists, collapse the economy and will end up with a SWAT team smashing your door down and arresting you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eP_i2ZBqYo <-- Here's the proof, if you can stand to watch the horror that is Disney's idea of children's programming.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Guys, I think you're missing the point...

"is FICTION; it's not 'real'."

So is FUD but it's malign

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Pint

@Graham

You make a valid point IMO, except for one thing...

If the show would have changed the approach from "source code with a virus" to "windows executable with a virus" then I'm pretty sure no one would have considered it a problem anymore. Even though the situation would basically have been completely the same: "$kid downloading and using stuff she doesn't understand thus getting her laptop infected with a virus".

But because she picked up an open source program in order to use (parts?) of its source code it suddenly became a problem.

I honestly don't understand the commotion. Because its a given fact that if you visit certain technical fora (for example Slashdot; "news for nerds...") a lot of people will favour open source software over closed source. So how strange is it that a TV producer picked this up, and chose an "open source approach" within the context of a nerdy character?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Guys, I think you're missing the point...

Well, theoretically, they're right, but I don't suppose they have the manpower to do everyone ;)

Or doesi t work kinda like Santa and his Reindeer on Xmas eve? I eventually gave that idea up when I started to realise just how fast the buggers would have to fly ;)

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Mushroom

Re: Guys, I think you're missing the point...

Hmmm!! 6 down-votes (as of 21st August). I am guessing that some of you guys really do have a problem differentiating between reality and fiction. You're not all American are you by any chance?

Dumbo and Robin Hood must have been a real disappointment for you what with all those hidden political agendas contained therein.

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Facepalm

Hands on?

The article says:

"In a company the size of Disney it is understandable that the left hand sometimes scarcely knows the other even exists ..."

But we all know what Disney's other hand was doing :-)

Anyway, when I posted my little rant in response to Greg Preece's comment, I thought I'd gone a bit too far. Further down the page, however, there seem to have been several other posters who made the same point. I'm glad to be on the right side (for once).

Colin

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Anonymous Coward

the best bollox i ever saw was:

on an episode of 'Bones' this guy in prison,

he had no computer,

and i forget exactly how of the top of my head, but manually manipulated a picture,

and when the shows computer scanned the image, the image had been hand crafted

so there was code embeded into it, (by hand in prison remember)

and that was the virus that took out the whole gov system,

changing peoples data, records, and was practically sentient

it was so overly bollox it was farcical. i dont mind SF/Fiction but sometimes there is a point when you should say, this is just to far.

but the point is, i know Fiction is just that, but some things are wrapped up as 'plausable' and there should be some kind of check in place for this, because one mans fiction, is another idiots source of truth, and before you know it these pieces of 'fiction' have warped another generation.(disney here in point), Disney in our house *(junior currently) is actually quite educatyional, and i generally trust the content they shovel at my kids (mostly)

in short, even fiction should have a reality check, and if you cant be bothered, dont create it. and disney, wll, come on, you are like the BBC of kids stuff, you have a responsibility to be not crap....

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Re: the best bollox i ever saw was:

I've seen similar stunts pulled in an anime, Battle Programmer Shirase. Except they knew it was utterly ridiculous, and played all their hacking as comedy.

My personal favorate is from Sliders, because it shows the writers actually admit that they know how silly this is. In the episode, a political scandal is broken by taking an image from a TV broadcast. The hacker character then does the 'enhance' thing by zooming in on a wine glass and attempting to process the hidden reflection into a view of the room behind the camera. So far, so standard. But then another character points out that they 'are limited by the resolution of the image.' Our hacker responds: "Only if it's a bitmap. If it's a JPEG, we're only limited by how lossy the compression is." A few seconds later up pops the behind-camera image, crystal clear. Even the writers felt they need to offer some excuse as to how that would be possible. A poor excuse, but an excuse.

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Anonymous Coward

Bollocks indeed! although...

People have been known to use QR codes (e.g. pasted over the real QR code in an advert) in attempts to direct unsuspecting muppets to a website of their choice, which may serve up malware etc. It's unlikely to be done manually and there's an enormous difference between encoding a web address and writing a whole program which magically executes itself. However, I think we can allow a little bit of imagination/fantasy to creep into a work of fiction.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: the best bollox i ever saw was:

Wasn't it also not reversed?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: the best bollox i ever saw was:

That reminds me of a hilarious and pretty clever and nice guy once asking me if I could literally reverse-engineer his Govt Grants+Company Income minus Expenditure -> Operating Balance spreadsheet so that it did the opposite, with monthly inputs as far as I remember.

It was quite a complex spreadsheet with a lot of macros. I gave it a good deal of thought and then politely refused! I still feel bad about that ;)

He used to use his dictaphone on the loo, and then submit it to his secretaries for typing, they could hear the "splashes" ;)

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Attributable to incompetance.

Disney is certainly not above using it's childrens' programs for political or social campaigning - there is a somewhat infamous episode of The Proud Family which starts with a character being lured into a pirate music site called 'E Z Jackster' (this was back during the Napster days) by a shady dealer and ends with a SWAT team smashing the house door down to arrest her for copyright infringement.

However, in this case, any attempt at attacking open source was so ineptly done that I can only conclude it was unintentional. Lazy writer with no idea what he was talking about. It's also a mixed message, because aside from the Pixar release the begining of Tron Legacy contains some elements of open-source idealism, with our noble protagonist breaking into a transparent Microsoft substitute to steal the code to their latest OS and release it free onto the internet (With the required action movie breaking-and-entering and absailing off a building involved).

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Disney

I was stuck on Tenerife where the terrestrial TV's only English channel was Disney Spain which had English audio tracks for most shows.

All these teen Disney shows are insipid drivel, set in high schools with obligatory stereotypes - nerds, jocks, sassy girl, insecure friend, bitches who get their comeuppance, a token minority who exists only for insipid subplots involving racism, annoying street smart younger brother. Episodes cycled through the same stories - running for class president, school dance, hurting someone's feelings etc. It was basically the same damned show over and over with canned laughter and everyone learning an important lesson which seemed to be forgotten the next episode.

Needless to say these shows were HILARIOUS and I didn't wish death upon everyone involved with making them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Disney

"I was stuck on Tenerife ..."

What glue was used ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Disney

Perhaps if he uses a lot of glue, then he can avert the rock-slide tsunami when half of the volcano falls into the sea ;)

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Reg still allowing childish abusive words.

If opensouce users are Freetards does that make proprietory software users Retards?

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Holmes

Re: Reg still allowing childish abusive words.

The official term is "Paytards". Used mostly on people who buy ... errr license.. the same song over and over again on different media.

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