Thursday, March 16, 2006

Lessons in Code

Here's a short article that gives a really interesting look into practicality vs. intellectual property and security vs. cooperation. The U.K. isn't interested in the U.S.'s Joint Strike Fighter if they don't also have a copy of the computer code that runs the fighter. There is a huge amount of money at stake, not to mention that the two parties are traditionally very close. I suspect something can be worked out.

Still, the issue is a real one. Car manufacturers already protect the diagnostic codes in their vehicles' on-board systems. This prevents you and me from plugging in our own diagnostic system to see what's what. That allows for the potential of price fixing. Imagine how much more complicated a plane's systems are than consumer car electronics. It is interesting that the U.K. is savvy enough to consider a time when the U.S. isn't as friendly as we are now.

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