We Speculate About A

By Brett Glass  |  Posted 2003-02-10 Print this article Print

Plausible Explanation"> After much more head-scratching, we developed a theory that might explain what happened. Suppose that, early in the production cycle, Intuit produced a few truckloads of products with the same key. The company couldnt just honor the first product to register that key – then all the tens, hundreds, or thousands of legitimate users to follow would be denied! Intuit may have just decided to allow those specific keys unlimited activation. You can imagine why they wouldnt want us to know about this. Anyone could leak these early keys, and let zillions of unauthorized users get free activation. This theory would also explain why our copy of TurboTax appeared to be completely unused and unopened; maybe it really was.
Of course this is just conjecture, and well probably never know what really happened… In any event, to complete our testing, we needed a copy of the product with an operational DRM. Intuit sent us one, and we continued our tests.

Brett Glass has more than 20 years of experience designing, building,writing about, and crash-testing computer hardware and software. (A born'power user,' he often stresses products beyond their limits simply bytrying to use them.) A consultant, author, and programmer based inLaramie, Wyoming, Brett obtained his Bachelor of Science degree inElectrical Engineering from the Case Institute of Technology and his MSEEfrom Stanford. He plans networks, builds and configures servers, outlinestechnical strategies, designs embedded systems, hacks UNIX, and writeshighly optimized assembly language.

During his rather eclectic career, Brett has written portions of the codeand/or documentation for such widely varied products as Borland's Pascal'toolboxes' and compilers, Living Videotext's ThinkTank, Cisco Systemsrouters and terminal servers, Earthstation diskless workstations, andTexas Instruments' TMS380 Token Ring networking chipset. His articleshave appeared in nearly every major computer industry publication.

When he's not writing, consulting, speaking, or cruising the Web insearch of adventure, he may be playing the Ashbory bass, teachingInternet courses for LARIAT (Laramie's community network and Internetusers' group), cooking up a storm, or enjoying 'extreme'-ly spicy ethnicfood.

To mail Brett, visit his Web form.


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel