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Analyzing Palladium

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the looking-glass dept.

Microsoft 481

apeir0 writes "The Register has a story which proposes an ulterior motive to Microsoft's new Palladium: a GPL-killer. 'It's the very fact that this appears insoluble to me that helps me realize that MS has put tremendous, careful thought into it. To make the commons Linux-hostile, MS is taking dramatic steps to make it GPL-hostile. Very clever and admirably diabolical.' Is this a valid point or just paranoia?" Ross Anderson has been writing about this recently; we covered his paper a few days ago, and he's now got a Palladium FAQ up. Another submitter sent in this interview with the Microsoft manager in charge of Palladium. The Washington Post has a column. Update: 06/27 22:43 GMT by T : Bob Cringely also has a column on Palladium up, in which he says that several of his fears have been realized by it.

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propztoalldeadgplz (-1, Offtopic)

ObitMan (550793) | more than 12 years ago | (#3777977)

peace

Re:propztoalldeadgplz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778023)

The Register has a story which proposes an ulterior motive to Microsoft's new Palladium: a GPL-killer.

I believe that comment was on topic.
MOC alert. (Moderator On Crack)

Re:propztoalldeadgplz (-1)

Yr0 (224662) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778025)

Netcraft confirms, the GPL is dying.

Re:propztoalldeadgplz (-1)

News For Turds (580751) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778027)

Hey.. I saw your comment about your boys beating up on Warner. Not quite. I don't think so. The Rams will only lose two games this year. The first will be a horrible upset. We will lose to the Cardinals in our own house. I don't know why, but we will. The second loss will be the last game of the season when we have only our second- and third-stringers playing.

:)

Movin' High-Tech to India! (-1, Offtopic)

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Re:propztoalldeadgplz (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778113)

2 slashbots enter, 1 troll leaves.

Wow... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3777989)

Deja vu. [slashdot.org]

Re:Wow... (-1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778200)

yep but it seems that they weren't able to conclude that they should use their communication infrastructure to convince people to boycott ms.

Instead of this, they prefer whining about their iPod/windows connectivity.

I guess they desserve what's happening to their MS addiction.

Ignore them. (4, Informative)

IQ (14453) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778000)

Our business runs Linux. We have depricated M$ and their products. We are fast. Our expenses went down hugely. Our services are reliable. We buy the best commodity components and build all our own machines. Life is good.

Re:Ignore them. (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778098)

well I am sure you and the 4 hippies that work at your comic book store are making plenty of money to buy all the anime you could ever want. The rest of us in serious businesses need a legitimate product and don't have time to keep a group of fat pedophiles in the basement to build new computers when we need them.

Re:Ignore them. (-1)

l33t j03 (222209) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778180)

Top

Notch

Post

Re:Ignore them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778108)

What happens when you buy a new pc and it has this `fritz` snoop chip on it, checking what you can/cant run?

Re:Ignore them. (5, Interesting)

warpSpeed (67927) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778121)

Congradulations!

However I can't ignore this. It does worry me since most of my clients only know MS. It is very difficult to get your avarage joe user to break the MS habit, and some clients believe the FUD being spewed/parroted by media.

We can't ignore it, MS have a monopoly and they are going to leverage to its fullest extent until it is (if ever) taken away.

I cheer on your use of linux, but we are a minority, a well informed minority, but a minority non the less.

definitions of Security (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778143)

Note that propaganda can be accomplished by redefining terms to your advantadge.

Thus we can get an internal Microsoft definiition of Security:

making the world safe for Microsoft or a means by which competition to Microsoft can be locked out.

yeh, this is cynical. don't know where I would get such an attitude. maybe I should change my brand of coffee.

being able to trace the source on something means responsibility can be assigned.

Probably the features should be availble with the default setting of these features turned off.

I also imagine that such features would be spoofable, somehow.

[shrug]

Move along please... (0, Redundant)

goodEvans (112958) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778001)

nothing new to see here. This discussion has already been had [slashdot.org] .

Score -1: Troll (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778004)

Until we fully know what Palladium encompasses, why are we jumping to these hasty conclusions? This is no better than when people believed that Windows XP would deny you the ability to play your mp3s, or play them at a much lower quality, because they weren't 'certified'.

on a more serious note (1, Interesting)

ObitMan (550793) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778007)

Ok so they do this, Does this "fritz" thingy get installed on all motherboards or just Dells, Hpaq's, Ibm's...
It seems to me that if the hardware isn't forced we end up with 2 distinct branches of the computing world. those that will still bow to the MS gods and those who do what the hell they want.
Basically nothing changes???

Re:on a more serious note (2, Interesting)

justsomebody (525308) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778133)

Yes, and as it seems based on the article, Intel is making another mistake (AMD is in MS posession (or influence) already so AMD is forced).

Let's say, in my case Intel will lost 200-300 (all what's possible Intel) PCs yearly. but then again I'm only one. I will just move my bussines to first quality non-DRM platform (and if that's Apple than Apple it will be (god I'm proud I wanted my bussines as platform independant as possible)).

But to state my case more clearly, if there is 1000 resellers as I am, it will be a significant market loss. Anyone remember CPU number?

Re:on a more serious note (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778260)

Hm, I wonder if you just could program a VM and get that certified. Then you could run any software on that VM >:)

SUN to the rescue ;D

Damn Him (1, Informative)

Niksie3 (222515) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778014)

9. Why call the monitor chip a `Fritz' chip?

In honour of Senator Fritz Hollings of North Carolina, who is working tirelessly in Congress to make TCPA a mandatory part of all consumer electronics.

Between a valid point and paranoia (5, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778019)

He makes quite a valid run through his logic. It's not impossible, so I wouldn't call it simple paranoia. However I still don't think MS finds the GPL or Linux that much of a threat to its entire business. They're putting way too much effort into Palladium if it were only to make the GPL useless. It's really all about control, as a lot of people said in previous /. articles. It's somewhat about money, but at this point it's about growing an empire and making it even stronger.

The MS sales drones sure think its a threat... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778194)

I work for an SI company. A large one. With a huge degree of MS-related work. The MS reps tell *us* that they can commit MS resources (i.e. spend MS money) to help us win projects IF Linux or Apache are involved.

We're talking about people's time at many thousands of dollars per day. However much we need. They won't do it for almost any other project... So I'd say yes, they see it as a threat.

Re:Between a valid point and paranoia (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778213)

It is about money first, then control.

The requirement of Palladium for online content viewing makes a lot of sense, mainly because it forces a hardware upgrade. And Microsoft sells a huge amount of software on an OEM basis, so this forced obsolescence works well for them. Hardware makers love to hear that everyone needs a new computer.

But it won't work. People upgraded hardware a lot when computers were evolving. 'Puters haven't changed a lot in the last 5 years, from the consumer's perspective. Why should I buy a new computer when my current one(s) do what I want them to do ? And, anything they don't do (that I would like them to do) I can get in software. Lack of upgrades is killing Microsoft's revenue, so they are squirming. Palladium is but one fork of the attack - another is subscription software. Prolly others coming too.

It is the sign of a really really rich company looking really hard towards a new business model in the future.

Lots of problems ahead for MS (5, Insightful)

tony_gardner (533494) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778024)

Look, lets not get our knickers in a knot. It may happen, but it's never going to be the only,
or even a high-level verification method. Obviously not, it's embedded in hardware.

I would think that an identification code embedded in hardware is going to be cracked, and in short order. What happens to Charlie consumer when he finds that his version of Word no longer works because some cracker has a hold of his unique
identifier? And that he can't change that identifier without a new MOBO? Or that Microsoft is giving away his credit card number to anyone who can spoof his identity?

It's a common failing of software manufacurers to think that new hardware can solve problems that software cannot (CF pretty much every dongle ever made) Just let MS run with the ball until they realise that the same thing can be done in software at a fraction of the cost.

In addition, I think it would die in Anitrust. Just wait until those computers start being returned, because they won't play nice with my operating system of choice, and watch Intel turn on a dime.

Re:Lots of problems ahead for MS (-1)

Yr0 (224662) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778073)

blah blah blah io diuf biud6 c8id7c pidzr cfnjsr9p8c fudoipy v 89p hjdzr.k chzrpd ousdrt7cg ghi7 ffi9g
pffffrt

If I were an MS employee (3, Interesting)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778216)

If I thought this was a good idea and I worked as head of this project, I would compensate for the points your making. This plan is so large that they must have thought this through. I would get the manufacturing companies on my side, get the hardware and write the software, but only activate a small portion, probably just multimedia DRM. That could be used as the initial focus. If this were pulled off well and accepted, then I'd start to turn on everything else, like only running "authorized code" and such.

So if they want to get this adopted and in use - below the radar if possible - they have to do it very slowly. Get the stuff out there and then launch BigBrother.exe (or actually, bigbro~1.exe).

Re:If I were an MS employee (3, Interesting)

tony_gardner (533494) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778272)

It's like the security scheme for credit cards though. If one person compromises Palladium on your computer, you need to change all your identifiers. Otherwise you have the problem of identifying falsely authourised code amongst the legitimately authorised code already there. Then you're exactly back to where we are now, running virus scanners and firewalls, except the user has forked out money for a security scheme which doesn't work.

Re:Lots of problems ahead for MS (3, Interesting)

Tripman (88428) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778248)

It will go the same way as DVD players.

All the manufacturers will be nodding their heads at MS while producing security free boards in the background. The market always follows what people want, and many consumers won't want to be tracked and stamped by MS.

Where trust comes from (4, Interesting)

PMuse (320639) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778028)

Call me crazy, but I think M$ just said that opening (some of) its source was the way to achieve trust.

Juarez: ... As a side note, we will publish the source code on that Trusted Operating Root. We will make sure that people have the opportunity to really go deep on that and kick the tires and know that what we're doing in there is what we say we are doing.

No big shocker here. (4, Interesting)

NetRanger (5584) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778031)

I can see this kind of technology being abused to the 1,000th degree. Imagine software that would automatically use your previous usage data to force you to buy individual features that you use the most, the next time your annual subscription fee comes around? Or deleting all your home movies because they didn't carry a copyright tag, and thus could be illegal? Or finding the cops at your door because little Timmy downloaded his favorite song on MP3 or Ogg?

It seems that we, the mass public, are expected to give up the idea than when we buy something, it's ours. Now that even seems to include our hardware, not just our software.

How long would it take... (0)

DocSnyder (10755) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778040)

...for Palladium to get h4x0r3d and become as worthless as any existing DRM technologies?

Re:How long would it take... (1)

Zzootnik (179922) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778251)

Well- Probably not long.

But then again, look at the Cable modem serices many of us have...If people abuse them- HaXor33n their Modems to try to get more bandwidth- as soon as that gets noticed----

WHAM! YOU ARE CUT OFF!

All they need is a big enough Ugly stick, and that will stop 99.99999 percent of all the crackin... Crap this does not sound good at all....I seriously hope people somehow get a very good idea of how shitty this could get BEFORE it becomes that way...

Devices hostile to 3rd party peripherals (5, Interesting)

AgTiger (458268) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778041)

From the article:

> For example, some mobile phone vendors use challenge-response
> authentication to check that the phone battery is a genuine part
> rather than a clone - in which case, the phone will refuse to recharge
> it, and may even drain it as quickly as possible. Some
> printers authenticate their toner cartridges electronically;
> if you use a cheap substitute, the printer silently downgrades
> from 1200 dpi to 300 dpi.

I wonder if there's a list of printers and/or phones that perform in such a manner. I'm not sure if the law would deem such behavior as "anti-competitive", but I as a customer certainly find it so, as well as offensive.

Olympus SmartMedia (2)

_|()|\| (159991) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778247)

I've heard that some Olympus cameras only enable certain features (QuickTime flipbook, maybe?) if the SmartMedia card has an Olympus ID.

MS is Silly (5, Insightful)

YanceyAI (192279) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778045)

The notion of hard-wired authentication rings alarms for conspiracists who sense a plot by which Microsoft might exert even more control over what kind of software could run on future computers. The Redmond behemoth dismisses such talk as silly.

Apparently the US government does not think it's silly. Nor did the judge in the case who ruled against them.

Masters at work (5, Insightful)

rant-mode-on (512772) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778050)

Whilst Microsoft does not produce the most robust software in the world, they have repeatedly proven that they are masters of strategy and marketing. Getting into games consoles, PVRs and just about every other major electronic device that you use is just a prerequisit to being able to make this successful. Palladium is something to be feared.

Flattening (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778056)

Many of the sources ignore the possiblity to "flatten" or serialize the data to plain ascii. I assume no software can restrict taking stuff out of binary documents, and then sending that flat data to a friend. How stupid do they think we are?

And there ought to be equally flat formats for video and audio. Making things just "hard to do" won't help much. The physical/logical realities of the universe make all of this DRM thing a futile effort.

Re:Flattening (3, Insightful)

tshoppa (513863) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778253)

serialize the data to plain ascii. I assume no software can restrict taking stuff out of binary documents, and then sending that flat data to a friend

The Fritz chip will prevent any non-[MS|RIAA|MPAA]-approved software from accessing a protected document. And in the Palladium/Fritz scheme, to get [MS|RIAA|MPAA] approval the application will not be allowed to have a useful "save" option.

Of course, maybe all you need is a single "buggy" but approved application to get around all this.

Another way would be to digitize the video or audio coming out of your PC, but after the MPAA makes owning or building unrestricted A/D converters illegal [eff.org] this won't be an option. (Except to those of us who know how to build A/D converters out of stone knives and bearskins and live in the underground economy).

No, it still won't work. (5, Interesting)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778057)

I can add at least one more reason this darn Palladium thingie won't work (for the previous reasons I mentioned, see the previous discussion on Palladium):

  • Economics & the rule of profit.


Think about it for a second: a lot of people, though not the [MP|RI]AA, are going to be royally pissed off about this.

Therefore, they will be tempted to do something about it. So, we'll see one of these solutions:

  • Clever hacks, designed to completely fool the Palladium/DRM solution into thinking some software/hardware combination is legit and acceptable. This is highly possible, given the fact that no secuity is foolproof, and the abysmal track record of Microsoftin security and stability.
  • The appearance of "GNU Hardware": open designs, based on a strict "No Palladium" clause, along with an explosion of small, customized hardware shop based on these designs. For instance: small computers, based on accepted -- and fairly open -- industry standards such as IDE, PCI, USB and ARM processors.
  • The fact that somebody, somewhere is bound to remark that this whole Palladium thingie hurt sales, profits and image. When enough PC builders realize their mistakes, they'll backtrack faster than you can say "GNU/Linux kernel" back to non-DRM, non-Palladium (non-MS?) machines.
  • All of the above!!


Finally, I think the US .gov could go along with this hare-brained scheme, but do you think the EU will? And what about most third-world countries who, even as we speak, are flocking to open-source solutions in droves?

Again: I believe M$ is just testing the waters here. It's probably either a marketing test balloon or vaporware, designed to please the US government in these post-9/11 times.

Remember: Palladium can only work if every company joins the conspiracy. Some, maybe even a lot, won't.

YMMV, IANAL, Standard::Disclaimer and so on and so forth.

Re:No, it still won't work. (3, Interesting)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778094)

In this case, I would hope that XESS [xess.com] makes a PCI version of their nice little FPGA boards in which to put this GNU hardware [opencores.org] .

Re:No, it still won't work. (1)

des09 (263929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778233)

And, having been reminded of General Dynamics and John Nash, I think this will be an interesting test of his theories at the boundary conditions. If the good of the group is not served, Paladium should fail,

The Cartel Problem (4, Interesting)

xtal (49134) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778124)

Remember: Palladium can only work if every company joins the conspiracy. Some, maybe even a lot, won't.

This, IMHO, is why it won't succeed for the same reason cartels designed to artificially restrict supply sooner or later all fall appart. Initially, people might go for it. When an economic disadvantage is passed on to consumers - designing this, after all, isn't free, and developers who can't or won't pay the fees required to have their code "Certified" will be unable to develop for that market - and consumers of Palladium PC's will be unable to use their wares.

This will result in a incentive for a manufacturer of CPUs or motherboards to produce a non-Palladium product. People will move to those platforms for a variety of reasons, producing an incentive to produce non-palladium products, springing up a non-MS taxed industry. It probably would motivate a lot of busy people like me to start working on GPL products to fight against the mark of the beast. Sooner or later though, a hardware manufacturer will spring up to produce hardware to meet the demand. That's inevitable.

This, frankly, sickens me to think about. I'll become physically ill if Apple announces they're going to soil their OS X and Powerbooks with this platform.

Re:The Cartel Problem (4, Insightful)

slow_flight (518010) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778254)

This, IMHO, is why it won't succeed for the same reason cartels designed to artificially restrict supply sooner or later all fall appart.

Cartels like the diamond industry? That was has been going strong for ages! Cartels like OPEC? It may not have the strength it used to, but it still has a tremendous amount of control over oil pricing. I hope you're right on this one, but it's not a given.

its the SSSCA (1)

nervlord1 (529523) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778060)

its the SSSCA dressed up to look like something consumers would want, the entire thing reeks of "ca-ching" by the copyright holders (MPAA and RIAA respectively). Move along, nothing to see here.

Anyone notice the inherent similarities (5, Insightful)

tony_gardner (533494) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778061)

between this and biometric security methods. Very strong security. When the single layer is cracked, there is no backup mechanism, and resecuring and reverification of user are almost impossible.

Although, I guess if I had to choose between getting a new MOBO and new eyeball I'd pick the MOBO. Maybe this is Microsoft's attempt to be least-worst.

Paranoia and Microsoft (1)

Locke!Erasmus (588304) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778063)

I don't think one can be too paranoid about Microsoft and their self-serving interests. It would be incredibly naive to assume that they are working on Palladium because of their altruistic and generous motives.

Personally, all I see here is more of the same anti-competitive behavior that got them into hot water in the first place.

I can't wait until their "accounting discrepancy" scandal leaks!

Palladium, Microsofts future? (5, Insightful)

JonathanTWilson (588645) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778071)

Palladium, Microsoft's future?

Palladium if it ever actually comes to pass is probably the biggest and most profitable enterprise Microsoft could ever possibly have imagined. Why? Secure software running on a secure platform. But what steps do you take to make this idea a reality?

A trusted hardware base. All hardware must meet certain operational standards that are set out by a central organization. For hardware to be "compatible" it must live up to the minimum of these standards. Similar to government regulated health and safety standards on all current hardware, but in this case software regulated. While this might not appear in Palladium version 1.00 it will definitely feature in its future, as all the big media companies want hardware copy protection.

All software needs to be certified by the above central organization. It wouldn't be out of the question for Microsoft to create an "external sub-company" to administer this side of the business and not seem like it's trying to be a monopoly. This new company would deal with Sun, Linux, Oracle, etc, in the same way it would deal with Microsoft. Why this might happen I'll explain later.

How will this software be certified? If a software company just uses any old computer language to create a binary, what will get certified the source code or the binary? This is an important question, how do you check that the software that's certified has no backdoors? As backdoors are the single biggest problem within a closed "secure" system.

Here is what I think Microsoft is making a play for:

The answer is a trusted programming language a.k.a .NET framework. Microsoft's new byte-code compilers (look's like Java might just have missed the boat). With a trusted compiler creating trusted byte-code running on a trusted computer. It now becomes possible to create different levels of certificates for different levels of access to computer hardware and personal data. In this way Microsoft will have completed their "finial software solution".

Microsoft is predominantly still a software-based company. While the IBM PC compatible hardware is Microsoft strong hold it's not the only hardware option. To a large extent Microsoft has won the desktop market. The only way they will lose it is if there's a change in the Client/Server (Desktop/Internet) relationship. Microsoft saw with Java how this relationship could change and Windows could become no more then a footstool for Java applications. If Java had become the programming language of choice for creating Desktop/Internet applications Windows would have become a very easily removed part of the equation. Enter all the dreams of the Net-PCs, a slimed down computer running cheap to free operating systems with a Java run-time on-top. Here's the twist. Microsoft liked the idea and with its power in the desktop arena knew it could succeed where Sun failed. Microsoft Windows might not be the flagship of Microsoft for much longer, as Palladium could become the software platform of the future. Two reason why I think this: 1) They could create a more "open" version of Windows knowing this would help them in their antitrust cases. But really knowing that all software by default will have to run under Palladium anyways. 2) Palladium will be run on all trusted hardware footprints (PC, Apple, etc). But Microsoft will use its power over the desktop market to implement Palladium through Windows. Once it has been accept as the standard that Microsoft believes it will be, demand from users of other hardware platforms to support Palladium will create the need for all client operating systems / hardware to support an implementation and because its all based on .NET byte-code this will not be a problem.

With this move Windows steps back becoming primarily a desktop only environment running Palladium for all import tasks. Windows users will still be able to play all their games and fun applications, which might not be trusted but Internet access and important data can only be accessed through Palladium. Windows would sandbox trusted and untrusted software apart. So at an operating system kernel level trusted and untrusted software runs differently. Plus with Microsoft changing its file system from FAT/NTFS to a Database system untrusted software wouldn't be able to get access to this partition, both at hardware and software levels.

Now the "external sub-company" suggested above would be used as follows: This company would be "external" from Microsoft, and Microsoft would sell its MS-Palladium investment to said new company, which just happens to have Bill Gates as its CEO and many other big shots involved. This new company (which for ease of reference will be called "New$oft") will be now responsible for managing all the NS-Palladium implementation with all hardware / software companies. This implementation will required backroom access to all operating systems source code, to double check that there are no loopholes in the security of an implementation. Companies like Sun and Apple to an extent will have to allow Newsoft access to their primary intellectual property. Newsoft will check that the operating system cannot do any damage to the secure Palladium.NET network. As for Linux, Newsoft will create its own GPL distribution and modified Kernel, which it obviously has control over. This is all perfectly legal as Newsoft gives away all the source code for NS-Linux free. But when purchasing NS-Linux a license fee is paid for the NS-Palladium subsystem. All Linux updates will have to come through Newsoft before becoming part of NS-Linux. This will hi-jack Linux and removing control of the Kernel from Mr. T to Newsoft. Linux will still be as popular as ever but the distribution of choice will be Newsoft's because of market compatible pressures.

Now to the finial piece of the puzzle. Palladium will control access to different data and software features through certificates. Companies creating software that will run on Palladium.Net will have to get certified for developing different types of software. Meaning, not only will the source code be certified the companies that create the code will also have to be certified if they want their application have access to certain user data. This way only trusted companies will be allowed on the trusted Palladium.Net network. But the only way to create the byte-code is by using the Microsoft's Studio.Net tools. The byte-code that is created will have to adhere to standards that can easily be parsed for backdoors or loopholes. This way the certification of the binary process becomes a simple automated matter of checking the company's certificate permissions against what the binary byte-code is programmed to do. If the binary byte-code operates within the limits of the company's certificate we have a trusted program. This could even be applied to things like Palladium-Word macros, Palladium-emails to stop spam, the list of possibility is endless.

So to recap. All computer hardware is updated to have a Palladium microchip. The operating system has been updated to run Palladium's run-time byte-code. All software and software companies have been certified by Newsoft to be trusted. Linux is just another pawn in Newsoft's game of secure chess. Call this farfetched if you wish, but in Bill Gates wallet beside the picture of his children is a copy of this plan which he looks at daily, and smiles :)

a million times: no. (5, Funny)

denttford (579202) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778075)

"Palladium is all about deciding what's trustworthy. It not only lets your computer know that you're you..."

I refuse to have my computer settle any existential problems before I do.

Especially when running software sold by the pasty white guy with a red light on his head.

Re:a million times: no. (1)

fdisk3hs (513270) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778244)

Exactly. And if it doesn't know I'm me, I'll make it submit. It's better than letting MS climb on for some grab-ass...

Apple anyone? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778081)

I'm with Apple, and as far as I know they fully respect my privacy. Hell, they even make it easy to share my MP3 stuff and software, thanks iPod!,br.Besides, Apple is commited with the OpenSource movement and it even use GPL'd software as EMACS in MacOSX. Apple hardware may cost more, even more if you live in a 3rd World piece of country like me (I'm from Brazil), but at least you can keep your freedom and privacy!

Victor Hogemann - hogemann@mac.com

If if changes the Unix/Linux security model, fine (2)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778088)

The whole concept of having a "root" super-user who can so anything and everything erases whatever security models we erect.

If this Palladium project encourages general-purpose Unix to move towards a more trusted model with ACLs and other features, then it is a good thing for all of us.

Re:If if changes the Unix/Linux security model, fi (0, Offtopic)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778130)

What the hell does local root access have to do with network security?

Especially since just about everything under Windows runs at or about what would be root level? Access control lists just dumb down the control panels. At least in Unix when I say that something is running in user space IT REALLY RUNS IN USER SPACE.

Re:If if changes the Unix/Linux security model, fi (2)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778169)

That is simply wrong.

In Windows you want to read a file whose access is denied to only a limited group of people, even having administrative access doesn't allow that. You must take ownership of the file, and generally admins are not given that privledge.

In the non-trusted Unix world, root can do anything anytime. It has alot to to with network security because any sysadmin or anyone with access to a sysadmin has the ability to usurup the security model and do whatever they wish.

Re:If if changes the Unix/Linux security model, fi (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778174)

You don't have to enable root. There are ways to just set up enough accounts that share the various powers of root, to never need root to be enabled anymore.

Re:If if changes the Unix/Linux security model, fi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778250)

It's also possible to hang-glide to work.

You're not going to do it though.

Hardware based security is bunk (2, Insightful)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778091)

So how preciesly are are supposed to know, across a network, that the signals you are recieving come from a chip or come from a piece of software emulating a chip?

And how do you patch hardware when you find, 6 months in, that there is a flaw? This is a giant step backward in technology, designed to make people go out an buy yet more useless crap for their computers.

Re:Hardware based security is bunk (2)

AcidDan (150672) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778197)

This is a giant step backward in technology, designed to make people go out an buy yet more useless crap for their computers.

I remember a motto from years ago by the Pompey Pirates (gotta love the Atari ST):

"Dongles won't beat us!"

-- Dan =)

DRM similar to P3 ID? (1, Interesting)

Organic_Info (208739) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778092)

Will hardware DRM functionality go the way that the Pentium 3 CPU ID fiasco did. There was a lot of attention about the invasion of privacy and in the end it never got used. Will hardware DRM go the same way. Present but not used.

Lets face it for the H/W manufacturers to implement this it's going to cost them money. How will MS get everyone to co-operate? Lets face it Big businesses don't play nicely together very often - why this time. What will be their incentive.

If this is an MS ploy to rein in the renegade Linux lovers its very subtle and very clever - it definately needs to be watched. MS is very good at thinking about the long run when it comes to competition.

Then again it could be bollocks and we're all wasting our time :)
.

guess (2)

jukal (523582) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778109)

Something like this takes place,but:

1. The PKI spec and reference implementantion is public.
2. PKI chips are manufactured my multiple 3rd parties.
3. The validation to get your keys will be done by trusted third parties.
4. Nothing changes. In the beginning, things might be easier for those running Windows.

The world is not dumb enough anymore to be fooled by MS, it does not have ultimate control anymore, they are under pressure from many directions in which an OS is used(mobile terminals, embedded devices, consoles, desktop computers, servers) - all of these have multiple serious contenders now with differing interests. No one is strong enough to kill everyone else.

Why Slashdot annoys me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778110)

Gratuitous linking in the headline summaries.... if I am looking for the story, how am I supposed to know that 'GPL-Killer' is the link I'm looking for, when there are 5 more in the paragraph and each looks as appropriate as the others?

The best place for the link is "has a story"... link directly to the content and be consistent. This one isn't too bad as some I've seen...

Erm... wake up people (-1, Flamebait)

TrXtR (588648) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778117)

Yes, microsoft rips us off of for marketing information, and yeah, most people do.

My mother is who microsoft thinks of when she is busy using here computer at home. Microsoft is trying to prevent her from accidently running virusses, milicious code and things like that. I think that's great. And if she didnt like that she probably would be running linux.

Microsoft gives everything an average user needs. Ofcourse, yes, they steal some private information on the side to see what you are searching for and, who knows what else, but for my mother's computer being protected that is brilliant. I think this new idea of microsoft is wonderfull.

Everyone is so worried about privacy of information, but ofcourse ... let 40,000 people rather die than our privacy taken away.

Anyways ... go right ahead and flame this, since it is incomplete. But yeah, in the end... the part of this that I know I'm not wrong on,
is that my opinion... Microsoft is making a good choice. Slashdot readers are a minority.

Invisible hand (3, Interesting)

Dilbert_ (17488) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778118)

I think the market is silently going to take care of this. Would you rather buy an intentionally crippled product, or an 'open' competing product? Yeah, they might make those illegal in the US, but the rest of the world won't follow, so there will always be a steady supply of 'open' hardware (which will probably be cheaper, too). After which the American industry will scream bloody murder because of the unfair competitive advantage of foreign corporations using all this open stuff. Then they will buy some senators to overturn this initiative, and all wil be well...

Or so I hope.

Re:Invisible hand (3)

big.ears (136789) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778275)

Would you rather buy an intentionally crippled product, or an 'open' competing product?

Well, when one of them will run my operating system of choice, and the other one won't, it is an easy decision.

Luckily, my operating system of choice runs on the open product. Unluckily, the silent hand is wielded by the 95% of people whose OS of choice will probably only run on the closed hardware.

What about a 'FAQ' for dummies? (2, Insightful)

Man Eating Duck (534479) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778131)

The FAQ is a good effort which I appreciated a lot, but if I show it to my less-techie friends, they won't want (or be able) to read and understand all of it.
Anyone know where one could encounter a well written introduction to the problem, and a summary of the main points in the FAQ?
This would be good for people who's not technically oriented, but still use computers for variuos tasks. Those are the ones that must know about the implications of Palladium, to be able to protest against it with their wallets...

I'd write one myself if I posessed the insight and eloquence, but I suspect that many others could do a far better job than I.

The Parable of Free Air (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778139)

If you missed it earlier, read the satire/allegory The Parable of Free Air [slashdot.org] . I think there might be some scary prophecy hidden in there...

Teh FAQ is wRong (-1)

Whistler's Mother (539004) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778140)

Fritz Hollings [senate.gov] is not a senator from North Carolina. He is a senator from South Carolina

Transmeta to the rescue? (1)

blackholebrain (90909) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778141)

I don't know what's up with Transmeta lately, but doesn't their code-morphing architecture [transmeta.com] *theoretically* allow for a possible entry point through which [serious] hackers might be able to deceive or disable such technology?

of course it's valid (2)

Erris (531066) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778150)

Have we been sleeping, or is this the same microsoft that has forbiden linking to GPL code by EULA and has wasted so much money and time attacking the GPL? Anyone who has so much as owned a computer with any non M$ software on it in the last ten years knows that M$ is hostile to all other software writers, including their own Studio trained writers, VB etc.

Microsoft will redefine free as "without reward".

More Register FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778152)

It has been my experience that most anything that comes from the register is completely yellowed and unreliable.

is this the intel hardware key in another wrapper? (1)

fenux (193823) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778153)

Remember intels hardware key? no one wanted it. it could meam more security but most customers were against it, and besides, dotnet is the attempt(failed?) to get control of linux users, if they cant control our os, they try to put an extra level between the os and the apps. either way, i do like the "this email will self destruct in 20 minutes and take your entire computer with it" idea

Won't work (2)

corebreech (469871) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778157)

Even if it is expensive to crack the Fritz, someone will do it and then turn themselves into a fountain for copyrighted content.

They'll rip the latest Hollywood blockbusters and Britney Spears' album and put it on something like FreeNet [freenetproject.org] and everybody will take to downloading it and more importantly, we'll all feel really good doing it.

Ditto running something like Microsoft Word. Once it gets hacked so that it is Palladium-neutered it can be transmitted to everybody in a flash and we all get to run it and feel good about doing so.

Fuck Intel and fuck Microsoft.

Fritz from NC? (1)

sailor420 (515914) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778162)

From the FAQ:

9. Why call the monitor chip a `Fritz' chip?


In honour of Senator Fritz Hollings of North Carolina, who is working tirelessly in Congress to make TCPA a mandatory part of all consumer electronics.


Please, don't get it mixed up. Fritz Hollings is from South Carolina, not North Carolina.

What if I stop paying my "license fee"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778171)

If MS is now going to require modified computer hardware to run their trusted system, Palladium, what happens when I decide that the monthly payment to run Windows XP+ is too much and decide to try something else. Would MS have the ability to also halt the usage of my hardware in addition to the software I've been renting? Are we moving towards renting hardware in addition to the software?

C: A Dead Language? by pwpbot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778172)

Gentlemen the time has come for a serious discussion on whether or not to continue using C for serious programming projects As I will explain I feel that C needs to be retired much the same way that Fortran Cobol and Perl have been Furthermore allow me to be so bold as to suggest a superior replacement to this outdated languageTo give you a little background on this subject I was recently asked to develop a clientserver project on a Unix platform for a Fortune 500 company While Ive never coded in C before I have coded in VB for fifteen years and in Java for over ten I was stunned to see how poorly C fared compared to these two more lowlevel languagesCs biggest difficulty as we all know is the fact that it is by far one of the slowest languages in existance especially when compared to more modern languages such as Java and C Although the reasons for this are varied the main reasons seems to be the way C requires a programmer to laboriously work with chunks of memoryRequiring a programmer to manipulate blocks of memory is a tedious way to program This was satisfactory back in the early days of coding but then again so were punchcards By using what are called pointers a C programmer is basically requiring the computer to do three sets of work rather than one The first time requires the computer to duplicate whatever is stored in the memory space pointed to by the pointer The second time requires it to perform the needed operation on this space Finally the computer must delete the duplicate set and set the values of the original accordinglyClearly this is a horrendous use of resources and the chief reason why C is so slow When one looks at a more modern and a more serious programming language like Java C or even better Visual Basic that lacks such archaic coding styles one will also note a serious speed increase over CSo what does this mean for the programming community I think clearly that C needs to be abandonded There are two candidates that would be a suitable replacement for it Those are Java and Visual BasicHaving programmed in both for many years I believe that VB has the edge Not only is it slightly faster than Java its also much easier to code in I found C to be confusing frightening and intimidating with its nonGUIbased coding style Furthermore I like to see the source code of the projects I work with Javas source seems to be under the monopolistic thumb of Sun much the way that GCC is obscured from us by the marketing people at the FSF Microsofts shared source under which Visual Basic is released definately seems to be the most fair and reasonable of all the licenses in existance with none of the harsh restrictions of the BSD license It also lacks the GPLs requirement that anything coded with its tools becomes property of the FSFI hope to see a switch to VB very soon Ive already spoken with various luminaries in the nix coding world and most are eager to begin to transition Having just gotten off the phone with Mr Alan Cox I can say that he is quite thrilled with the speed increases that will occur when the Linux kernel is completely rewritten in Visual Basic Richard Stallman plans to support this and hopes that the great Swede himself Linux Torvaldis wont object to renaming Linux to VBLinux Although not a C coder himself Im told that Slashdots very own Admiral Taco will support this on his web site Finally Dennis Ritchie is excited about the switchThank you for your time Happy coding

-pwpbot

Palladium Isnt Evil.... (1)

LordMyren (15499) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778173)

The DMCA that backs it is. No DMCA, no problems.

Another brilliant strategy by Microsoft (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778176)

Another brilliant strategy by Microsoft to discourage me from buying any products or hardware from them or their partners. Way to go, such a strategy. More neanderthal thinking to bolt some awful junk into a system and make it less flexible (and ultimately more vulnerable) and probably be further used as a method to encourage me to upgrade hardware more often..

"Here's a latest version, buy it!"

"Oops we left out a feather which will be in the next release for your buying pleasure."

"The bug which has been reported was very dangerous and those who reported it should be tried as terrorists, by the way, the fix will be out in 2 months only costs $$$ to have an authorized technician take care of."

"Completely new design, as we Listen to You, expect it as soon as our current anti-trust trial is resolved."

"Bill Gates and Hillary Rosen deny tryst even as users find all CD's placed within 10 feet of PC's suffer damage from XPQ radaition (thanks to that special new chipset!)"

And of course, cattle will just wallow into stores and buy it without giving more thought than whether it comes with a shiny, candy-like button.

so... 20 years late? (3, Insightful)

Multics (45254) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778177)

It sure begins to look like George Orwell was only 20-21 years early in his estimate.

Fritz H. needs to be un-elected. Anyone got good pointers on how to do that?

-- Multics

Call me paranoid... (2, Interesting)

Elledan (582730) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778181)

It almost seems like the big companies are doing everything they can to make Orwell's book "[i]Nineteen Eigthy-Four[/i]" come true. They want to total control over what everyone does with their copy of some software, music or a movie. It'll be only a matter of time before some big company proposes tracking every single individual in a country. Hang on, I seem to recall this already having been proposed in a similar form...

So, what are we going to decide? Will we allow the big companies (the 'Party') to take away all of our freedoms one by one? Today fair-use, tomorrow anonymity?

It sounds to me like this would be the ideal time to use the united force of all people around the world who value their freedom to fight the sickening proposals being made by those who stand above the possible effects of their ideas.

Certainly, this technology might be useful in certain situations, but it should never be used to limit the freedom of the individual.
Are we willing to sacrifice our freedom for the sake of the profits of the 'entertainment' industry? It would hardly surprise me if after a successful introduction of TCPA, the number of sold CDs/movies and the profits made on movies in theatres would rapidly decrease, instead of rise, like they did before the introduction of TCPA (profits made by the entertainment industry has continued to rise in the past few years, despite the doubling of the number of sold illegal CDs and the exponentially growth of P2P software over 2001).

I propose that we, the people, make our final stand here and let utter defeat be the fate of our opponent(s).

Monopoly.. (1)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778182)

Isnt this going to be the 'Ultimate Computing Monopoly' ever?

Palladium is all about deciding what's trustworthy

Microsoft control Palladium.. MS control what is and isnt trustworthy..

Yippee!

And the Antitrust trial is even over yet. (2)

crovira (10242) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778183)

That takes "cojones". Does he think everybody's an idiot?

I hope CKK kicks Gates in the "cojones." :-)

Does this mean (0)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778191)

that MAME [mame.net] will be eradicated too? That's my only other reason for owning a computer.

Uh-oh... (1)

Zzootnik (179922) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778206)

You know, We've all seen the little things..processor serial numbers and Wank-XP and the like....

...but this scares me....

A new version of the GPL (1)

flonker (526111) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778207)

Perhaps we need a new version of the GPL that says "you can't have signatures of the executable be required by the hardware" or something along those lines.

Interesting piece of FUD (2)

bertok (226922) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778222)

I've noticed one particularly transparent piece of FUD in the propoganda released by Microsoft: They claim that Palladium will eliminate SPAM. This is totally false, it cannot possibly prevent SPAM any better than existing technological solutions. The press release doesn't give a lot of technical details, but based on the wording and the nature of DRM/Crypto technology, it seems that Palladium can do one of two things:
  • Automatically drop incoming mail not cryptographically signed by a user in the address book of the recipient.
  • Only allow mail from users in Microsoft's Passport database. Spammers are simply removed from the database, preventing them sending mail to Palladium protected machines.

The first method is similar to what ICQ-like programs do, but ICQ was not designed to facilitate one-off messages from unexpected people. For example, all businesses have to have "open" email addresses, as do a lot of other people, including students and faculty, and so forth.

The second method might seem superior at first glance, but requires perfect security in both the central database and every client machine that stores a digital ID locally. I think that that is going to be most unlikely. We all know that spammers will find it all too easy to create fake IDs, steal the IDs of innocent home users who think a firewall is a sheet of insulation used to stop a fire in a building, and generally make a mockery of Palladium.

How hard is the authorization to hack? (2)

MongooseCN (139203) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778226)

It says Palladium will only run "authorized" applications. How hard is it going to be to hack the authorization code into any Open Source program? Maybe someone can make an authorization library anyone can include in their project.

I'm sure some hacker will figure it out.

disobey the law! (2)

kipple (244681) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778227)

palladium CAN definitively be circumvented. Maybe a mod chip will be required to avoid querying the palladium chip, but it's just hardware. A few days ago I posted a comment [slashdot.org] here on slashdot, which generated a nice amount of discussion about that.

I understand now that if it's about public key cryptography on the chip it will definitively be a tough job to circumvent it. But it has to be done, no matter if it's illegal under the DMCA.

Some 30 years ago it was illegal for people with skin color different from white to sit in front of a bus. It was the law. Was it right to obey that law?

Mod me down as a troll, mod me down as useless. But I say that it is time to embrace our cyber weapons, our mind, our smartness, and fight out all those absurd laws - by disobeying it. No reason to fight back, definitively not in a court. The best ways to do that are:

  • don't buy motherboards with palladium chips on it
  • advise your company not to buy any more microsoft products; instead, to donate a tenth of what they would pay microsoft to open source developers to improve GPL-based software.
  • boycott Microsoft: don't buy their products, or if they are required, give them away for free. USE COPIES, make them loss revenue on that. Yes it's illegal. But they cannot be stopped legally.
  • use your brain to find new, better ways to circumvent their protections: being that an 'activation code' or any authoritative chip itself

I know I do sound trollish, but I do firmly think it's time to fight back against that. A law is supposed to protect the people - not the corporations!

last thought - if Palladium gets introduced in the US, and all vendors apply it, and the DMCA makes it illegal to circumvent it... do you, GNU users in the United States of America, really want those laws to block your creativity and your freedom? Do you know that other countries will probably not introduce anything like the DMCA, nor implement Palladium? Do you really want to be left alone in a world that will improve GNU systems, stuck on stupid law questions?

Now flame me.

The obvious hole (2, Interesting)

Shillo (64681) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778228)

The entire system, even with Fritz in the CPU, absolutely depends on the single private key: The one required by Fritz to boot the machine. And there is another key, the one used to sign the trusted software.

Frankly, I think it HIGHLY unlikely that one of these keys won't be uncovered, either by an insider or by a large distributted cracking project. And once a key is out, ALL THE MACHINES CAN USE IT TO BYPASS PALLADIUM.

Nuff said.

--

Am I missing something? (2)

mark-t (151149) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778230)

MS is taking dramatic steps to make it GPL-hostile. Very clever and admirably diabolical.
... and emminently unprogrammable, in the common meaning of the word that it has had since the dawn of computer science. It appears Microsoft has completely forgotten what actually has made computers as powerful as they are. My gut tells me that this too shall pass.

Palladium=Anti-trust violation (1)

doghouse41 (140537) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778232)

It seems to me that Palladium is essentially trying to create an illegal monopoly in something.

There must be enormous scope for an enterprising lawyer to tie this up in the courts in an anti-trust suit for years.

Where did you say you wanted to go today? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778234)

Sorry, you can't get there from here.

Megalomania (1, Funny)

DiscoBiscuit (585436) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778238)

I for one am worried by this, as a previous poster said...very 1984 like...

Despite all the DOJ stuff Microsoft continues to try and rule the world. Where will the madness end. The megalomania shown by M$ is terrifying. Maybe bill has issues with his penis size or something and this is some kind of release..

Duplicate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778241)

Come on people it was only Yesterday [slashdot.org]

Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778246)

Don't worry about Microsoft. They're on their way to being a footnote. I chuckle that they think that when forced to choose between MS and GPL, people will go with MS. That's not a safe assumption to make... not a safe one at all.

Just keep coding. Millions of happy hackers > politics and license agreements.

Microsoft has done it before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778252)

I thought I was paranoid when I tried to figure out WHY microsoft wanted to bail out apple a few years ago. Ofcourse no one could have guessed at microsoft's audacity in that microsoft saved apple since apple was its only seeming 'competitor' at the time. Pure diabolical genious, dont put anything past them.

nigel.

Lithuanian genius (1)

Anonymous Custard (587661) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778255)

As long as there are administrators of a security technology, the security can be compromised. Any sysadmin in the world knows that with all the security they may put in place, revealing the root password means the front door's wide open.

There will always be measures available to circumvent security; as hard as the corporations are at work developing security, there's some 15-year old Lithuanian genius breaking it in a week. Still, I hope there will be alternatives (AMD to the rescue?) available to users who prefer to administer their own hardware.

Palladium System (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778257)

I love the Palladium System. You could really do anytime anywhere with one rule book. And I also loved the concept of buying abilities by taking on disads.

MS just happens to be one big disad. The most serious mystery hunted you could ask for.

The Sky Isn't Falling Yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778261)

The general thrust of the article is that under the new security system, GPL programs will not be able to be "trusted" by MS' hardware/software security system, so GPL based systems (like Apache web servers) will become unusable with mainstream computers.

I doubt this will happen.

Because, frankly, the invisible success of opensource is too widespread. I haven't looked at server statistics recently, but a significant percentage of webservers run on some manner of opensource program. Microsoft isn't going to be able to force half of the web servers in the world to switch over, and if people know that buying this new board from MS/Intel (which has few tangible benefits) will render half of the internet unusable, nobody is going to go for it. I'm not even beginning to think about the various governments that have begun to standardize around Linux, the opensource core of Apple's OS X, etc. etc.

Frankly opensource is too big. If Microsoft renders its systems incompatible with the GPL, then it will be Microsoft, and not the OS community, that suffers.

I say, let 'em try.

I'll stop using windows. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778265)

MS is getting more and more annoying. The reason to use windows to begin with is that not all software supports Linux/BSD/Solaris etc. But now, with XP/2k there is again problems.

I will remove my windows programs and stick with only a unix OS. When it comes to games, there is Gamecube, ps2 etc which now are being so cheap that it's no point buying a graphic card more expensive than the console itself.

I've also, for the first time in my life, seriously considered buying a Mac. The only reason I don't have a new pc at home is that I think they consume to much power and are far to noisy. New PCs sound and consumes almost as much power as a good vacuum cleaner.

Staroffice/etc are good enough.
Mozilla is too.
The Linux kernal is stable.
There are games for linux and there exists cheap consoles.
Not that many programs work in w2k/XP anyway.

MS makes a, nowdays, very good OS. No argue there, but I'm not going to put up with all the annoying things that goes with being a windows user.

Why take shit from them?

M$ & Linux/GPL comments... (1)

GeckoFood (585211) | more than 12 years ago | (#3778277)

I would imagine that a good number of those that hang out at this website remember the infamous "Halloween" memo that was an internal M$ document (it came to light during the big Nestcape/M$ trial back around 1998) that described what to do to keep Linux from rising like a fiery phoenix. The gist of it was, if my source was accurate, to change the standards every few months and force the hardware people to keep up. That way, Linux would constantly be trailing Windows on current hardware support. Of course, M$ said it was only an engineering whitepaper that was designed to be "information only" and no plans to implement said ideas were in the works. Umm...Yeah...Right. You say it, I'll believe it, Mr. Ballmer... This article describes a situation that eerily looks and smells like the Halloween document. Not good.

who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3778281)

Let MS, et. al. implement this. The net, applications and computers will divide into 2 camps that which is easily accessible and open to everyone and that which requires proprietary equipment to access and not open to everyone.

When has something proprietary won in the market place in the long run? Other than very specialized limited market items, there are very few that have succeeded compared to the open market.

We need more capitalism not more authoritarism.

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