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Programmer Arrested For Logic Bombing 'Whac-A-Mole'

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  • when the moles don't have bombs. Especially logic bombs.

  • Kinda like having a 100000 mile warranty, and your cars engine dies at 103000 miles.
    • Kinda like having a 100000 mile warranty, and your cars engine dies at 103000 miles.

      Exactly what I was thinking. My parents had a lightbulb in their garage that was there when they bought the house and never burned out in the subsequent 40 years and still hasn't burned out. Yet every incandescent bulb I've ever bought was only good for a couple hundred hours.

      I hope his jury remembers what the corporations have been doing to them for decades and decades.

      • To be fair, how many hours of operation does a garage bulb experience? Even despite the trauma of off-on cycles on an incandescent bulb, the short duration of the on-time really seems to offset.
        • by adolf (21054)

          It depends on the garage: My garage lamps, if I had a garage currently, would be used quite a bit since I would be spending a fair bit of time out there. Other folks, not so much: The garage might just be where they park their cars, and/or have some infrequently-accessed storage. Either way, "garage" by itself doesn't indicate much about the usage of the bulb, but only that the space it is installed in was at one point intended to park a car in.

          And it depends on the bulb.

          Perhaps some forward-thinking bl

      • by Joce640k (829181) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @07:48AM (#35322746) Homepage

        Long lasting bulbs use more electricity. ie. It costs you more at the meter than the replacement bulbs.

        • by Smallpond (221300)

          Eh? You pay for watts (actually VA) so you pay the same for a bulb of the same wattage.

          • by Alex Belits (437) *

            It uses the same amount of energy, producing less visible light/more infrared and heat. Sometimes this is a part of the bulb's purpose, but usually it's undesirable.

            • by Smallpond (221300)

              True, but it still doesn't mean that long life bulbs use more electricity.

              100W, 750 hour bulb -- 1710 lumens
              100W, 1500 hour bulb -- 1580 lumens

              so not a bad tradeoff

      • by khallow (566160)
        If you hadn't of told us, I'd never of figured out that Bob's Speed Racers was responsible for all that corporatist stuff. Next time I deep six an economy, I'll remember to pass the blame on to some arcade dealer in Florida.

        "Senator, while a reasonable person might think the failure of our 15 trillion dollar company and complete collapse of the world economy was due to criminal incompetence, coke and hookers, and a 0.3% reserve, I must place blame wholly where it is deserved. Bob's Speed Racers did it."
    • by sumdumass (711423)

      Not really.

      The warranty covers material defects and workmanship. It generally lasts as long as the weakest part needed to keep the engine running will last within the normal use cycle that wouldn't void the warranty.

      In the case of your engine dieing at 103000 miles, it would be a mechanical fault from wear and tear or perhaps some other failure due explicitly to the normal operation of the engine. If the car company programmed a the car's computer to stop running after 103000 miles, then it would be a malic

      • by Smallpond (221300)

        Two words:: "printer cartridges"

        Good luck with the criminal lawsuit..

        • by Renraku (518261)

          Bbbbbut printer cartridges have a set life span for your own good! Else the ink coagulates and you have to buy a new printer cartridge!

    • by corbettw (214229)

      You're confusing someone maliciously causing an equipment failure to churn profits for himself with an actuarially-derived lifetime for your car. Yes, most cars make it past 100,000 miles, and half start to fail at 150,000, therefore giving a warranty to 100,000 miles is less risky than giving one to 150,000 miles. It's just math.

  • by Auroch (1403671) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @03:50AM (#35322046)
    Mostly because any good software engineer could put a hard-to-find bug in the code. Thank goodness it takes a good social engineer to make money off it - and the two skills don't often overlap in real life (as much as software engineers seem to think they do).

    The other reason programmers will never rule the world - eventually the whack-a-person machines will require Marvin to come fix them.
    • many just rely on hard to find code in lots of bugs to keep their jobs.....

    • by ArAgost (853804)

      Mostly because any good software engineer could put a hard-to-find bug in the code.

      Yeah, I do it all the time without even concentrating. I'm that good.

    • by rvw (755107) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @07:50AM (#35322748)

      Mostly because any good software engineer could put a hard-to-find bug in the code. Thank goodness it takes a good social engineer to make money off it - and the two skills don't often overlap in real life (as much as software engineers seem to think they do).

      The other reason programmers will never rule the world - eventually the whack-a-person machines will require Marvin to come fix them.

      Programmers will never rule the world, because by then they have been promoted to software engineers, managers, etc. It's the same with toddlers.

    • by aeoo (568706)

      Programmers already rule the world.

      "The Code Is the Law" --Lessig

      Some programmers know that they rule the world. Some don't. That's the only difference.

    • hmm... I think software engineers were socially engineered into believing the marketing hype that they were actually engineers and not just mere mortal programmers or computer scientists. Where are the mathematical engineers? The slashdot comment engineers? My thin point is the word 'engineer' is losing it's meaning, much to the heartbreak of civil, mechanical, industrial, electrical and computer engineers.
      • Where are the mathematical engineers?

        The answer is all Engineers are "Mathematical Engineers" and all Engineers are "Science Engineers". There is nothing beyond engineering other than the application of those two things to solve real world techinical problems. If you think building bridges is more prestigious then designing airplanes or designing the software and algorithms to make missiles hit other missiles that's fine and dandy but you don't get to redefine engineering into "only the specific disciplines states bother to license". The fa

  • by underqualified (1318035) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @03:51AM (#35322058)

    Each game, after turning on and off a certain number of times, sometimes 50, sometimes 500, would fail. Wimberly would be paid to fix it, and police reports say, he would insert a new virus with a new countdown.

    Does it really qualify as a virus?

  • by Konster (252488)

    He's going to have to tell all the other inmates he's in for murder because he'll surely get his ass kicked for telling them he rigged Whack-A-Mole.

    There are a lot of preposterous ways of winding up in the clink, and this is in the top 100.

    • Re:Lies (Score:4, Funny)

      by Auroch (1403671) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @03:56AM (#35322080)

      He's going to have to tell all the other inmates he's in for murder because he'll surely get his ass kicked for telling them he rigged Whack-A-Mole.

      There are a lot of preposterous ways of winding up in the clink, and this is in the top 100.

      Can you imagine, that in some states, he'll be sitting next to a guy in prison, who was busted for smoking marijuana.

      Marvin: So, what are you in for?
      Prisoner B: Smoking a joint while trying to relax at the carnival. You?
      Marvin: Rigging whack-a-mole so it'll fail. on purpose.

      And suddenly prisoner B is in jail for manslaughter.

  • The Caddyshack quotes would be endless...

  • by Scarletdown (886459) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @04:00AM (#35322110) Journal

    Imagine the hilarity that would have ensued had it been Boon-Ga Boon-Ga [wikipedia.org] that was rigged instead of Whack A Mole.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I've said it before but I'll say it again...

      What the FUCK, Japan...

    • by ShakaUVM (157947)

      >>Imagine the hilarity that would have ensued had it been Boon-Ga Boon-Ga that was rigged instead of Whack A Mole.

      Berlusconi loves that game!!

  • by 517714 (762276) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @04:00AM (#35322114)
    At least when you defraud the government you don't have to worry about being prosecuted: http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/02/20/0228236/Feds-Pay-Millions-For-Bogus-Spy-Software [slashdot.org]
  • by SpaghettiPattern (609814) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @04:20AM (#35322172)
    Nice code reviews. Way to go whac-a-mole!!!

    When you have a tiny bit of quality, these things couldn't really happen and certainly the programmer could never be blamed.

    But any which way I put it, the programmer in this case is a truly sorry character.
    • by Dahamma (304068) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @04:49AM (#35322252)

      Eh, "whac-a-mole" and "code reviews" are probably stretching the realm of probability. I'm pretty sure the "programming staff" required to implement "mole pops up, detect if whacked" could be done by a single programmer in this mostly mechanical-game-oriented company, making useful code reviews a bit tough. Sounds like it really was a mom-and-pop company, and they just put way too much trust in a real douche bag of an employee...

      • by Pharmboy (216950)

        He was worried about being laid off as a programmer, so they obviously had more than one programmer. Once you start noticing that the machines are breaking down twice as often as normal, and no physical parts are needed to fix them, its gets obvious that it is a software issue. Assuming they pay attention to the breakage rate, which any normal company would. Might have been how they figured it out.

        I've seen "computer administrators" that work out for small companies do very similar things. It is typical

    • by pnewhook (788591)

      Nice code reviews. Way to go whac-a-mole!!!

      Code review for whac a mole?? Are you serious?

      The only way for companies that make thinks like whac a mole to make money is to contract hire the programmer, probably the lowest bidder for the job. They would not have a programmer on staff. They would then hire back the programmer when they needed someone to diagnose the issue. Hence the situation where they had to hire him back to figure out what was wrong with the machines. There is no point to having a single full time programmer let alone a team tha

    • Run the software fine for 30 days
    • After 30 days, discover previously unknown hidden countdown timer/activation requirement having made software useless after 30 days requiring exhorbitant charge to clear
    • ???
    • Fail
  • by localman (111171) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @06:58AM (#35322628) Homepage

    15 years prison time? In comparison to other crimes that's pretty insane. This guy is a bigger danger to society than the numerous fraudsters that pushed the financial crisis? Bah.

    • by MysteriousPreacher (702266) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @09:48AM (#35323140) Journal

      Presumably whack-a-mole is too big to fail. This guy will be a good scapegoat, but it won't solve the problems inherent in an economy that depends so much on whack-a-mole.

      Yeah. Through incompetence or malice, people can leave a national debt that will take generations to deal with, and economic ruin, yet I'd be surprised if any of them end-up doing more than five years. They'll get out even earlier if they're fortunate enough to be struck with a unique form of alzheimer's that mysteriously vanishes shortly after they're released from prison on medical grounds - as experienced by the Earnest Saunders.

      • He was committing fraud against honest people for his own benefit. He wasnt doing it as a joke, he was doing it to defraud.

        Would you be saying the same thing if someone did the same thing to your laptop or your car.

        15 years in prison is excessive but 5 years in prison would be about right.

        • In answer to your question, if bankers, property developers and financial regulators came together in a mixture of fraud and reckless hubris, leaving the economy of my laptop or car in tatters, I'd be quite annoyed. Thankfully though my laptop doesn't use a fiat currency - thus rendering it immune to the machinations of international financiers and whack-a-mole.

          Don't be naive. Everything is about whack-a-mole. This guy just tried to break the hold that whack-a-mole has on us, and for his trouble he'll spend

    • by PRMan (959735)
      Seriously. If this guy gets more than a couple years it's not justice. This should in no way exceed any penalty for raping or killing anyone.
      • by surmak (1238244)

        Why is this even a criminal matter? The guy should be fired, and possibly sued by his employer, but that's it. There is no reason to get the police involved.

    • ...You want to win elections, you bang on the jailable class. You build prisons and fill them with people for selling dime bags and stealing CD players. But for stealing a billion dollars? For fraud that puts a million people into foreclosure? Pass. It's not a crime. Prison is too harsh. Get them to say they're sorry, and move on. Oh, wait — let's not even make them say they're sorry. -- Rolling Stones

      .

    • by Hartree (191324) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @11:38AM (#35323680)

      The key is "up to" 15 years. Unless it has a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge has a lot of leeway in what is handed down. A lot of other crimes have pretty broad sentencing guidelines as well.

      In this case, Whac-A-Mole isn't that big of a deal. If an arcade game fails, it's rare someone gets hurt. He'll get off lightly.

      If he'd done this with something more mission critical (and it somehow made it past QC) that might warrant more.

      Imagine if he'd put a logic bomb in a system controlling a radiation therapy machine for cancer. Even if it hadn't hurt anyone, the potential for harm would be much greater, and the judge would take that into account in setting the sentence.

    • by PMuse (320639)

      Did he even commit this crime [justia.com]? Wasn't he authorized to be in that system altering code? What are the police doing involved? Shouldn't this just be a civil suit in which the company sues him for damages?

  • by Legion303 (97901) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @07:29AM (#35322702) Homepage

    FTFA:

    " 'If they hadn't of discovered [...]' "

    and:

    " 'The real key is they need a piece of equipment that works from the Fourth of July, on the busiest day of the year, and it's consistent and they can depend on it,' Mike Lane, Bob's Space Racers."

    Are media outlets contracting journalism work to illiterate morons now, or has it always been that way and I'm just now noticing it?

    • FTFA:

      " 'If they hadn't of discovered [...]' "

      and:

      " 'The real key is they need a piece of equipment that works from the Fourth of July, on the busiest day of the year, and it's consistent and they can depend on it,' Mike Lane, Bob's Space Racers."

      Are media outlets contracting journalism work to illiterate morons now, or has it always been that way and I'm just now noticing it?

      I you hadn't of discovered this I am pretty sure that on some point of the future, probably on the busiest day of the year, you'd have the mormons knocking at your door and would of discovered this your self. This thus has always be the way. The journalism writers are correct in there.

      • by PRMan (959735)
        It's the frog in the pot. It has slowly been degrading over the past 30 years. It's hard to notice when it becomes unreadable...
  • by davidbrit2 (775091) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @10:15AM (#35323266) Homepage

    It looks like the mole...

    (sunglasses)

    ...got whacked.

    YEEEAAAAAHHHHHHH!

  • Pay your programmers sensible rates and show them that they are not just some hire and fire goon to you, so they don't have to resort to shady practices to ensure their job security.

    • by El Royo (907295)
      No, the moral of the story is to not hire criminals. If he didn't like the wages/working conditions he should get another job, not find ways to criminally bilk his current employer.
  • Why not do a Ronald Harris? and make it pay out with a hidden code / make it payout way more then it should.

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