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DRM Tinkering with Intel's PXA270?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the don't-refuse-me dept.

Intel 412

putko asks: "Intel has a new line of chips with DRM built in. This appears to be the very first DRM-enabled chip to hit the streets. This microprocessor is unlike others available, because the user doesn't have complete control over the thing, and your computer can (theoretically) betray you. For a while now, there have been computers (IBM ThinkPad) that won't boot unless you give the password, but you could always rip out the hard drive and read it, right? With this chip, the keys and RAM are on the chip, and the flash is encrypted, so this really looks locked up tight. Has anyone worked with this chip, and is possible to build your own device that uses the Intel Trusted Wireless Platform to protect your secrets (like your software, perhaps)?""I'm reminded of this due to Slashdot's recent story on the iPAQ, which uses the chip (and has some neat security features too). Somewhat surprisingly, nobody brought up the Doomsday scenarios, there. It should also be mentioned that there are companies selling incredibly tiny boards for it. Maybe you can run Linux on them?

Wouldn't it suck if the chip had the capabilities and you couldn't use them in your own projects -- e.g. if that was just reserved to big companies like Microsoft? On the other hand, if you can use the features, you might see some neat applications. Assuming you can program the DRM stuff, how do you avoid locking yourself out of the chip while developing? What extra pitfalls may developers run into using it?"

cancel ×

412 comments

Welcome to hell boys! (4, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290560)

I have been writing/ranting on this topic for quite sometime on Slashdot (see here [slashdot.org] , here [slashdot.org] , and here [slashdot.org] ). My worst predictions are coming true. In order for DRM to work it needs to be embedded in the OS, the BIOS, and various pieces of hardware.

Yeah, there is a possibility that non-DRM'd pieces of hardware (including LinuxBIOS) will have a market but the vast majority of people want stuff to work and work w/o problems. Microsoft, Intel, Phoenix, etc, will all tell everyone that they will end viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, etc if they just use their hardware solutions.

Yeah, well, that's great and all but you won't be doing anything on the net unless you are running trusted hardware. People's arguments that an "alternative" network will show up to solve that is bullshit. Just wait till your online banking, your taxes, and your foo are all on the "secure" Internet.

Nevermind that, but it may become illegal (through creative lobby) to own and operate an unlicensed/unprotected piece of hardware. Enjoy finding an ISP that will let you connect.

While this particular CPU might only find a niche market and may very well flop completely, I have a feeling that we will start seeing more and more of this sort of product coming out of the hardware giants. Who knows, maybe my paranoia will be justified?

Re:Welcome to hell boys! (2, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290633)

Do you really tink IBM will let the PowerPC chips fail because of Intel phoenix and Microsoft working together?

Do you think AMD will roll over and die?.

Sorry but this stuff will only be for corporate users. Home users will complain that things don't work correctly. Becuase MSFT has never made a large profit on a project that wasn't OS or Office.

It's the only reason why I am not overly scared. That and if you can't load other OS's without paying Large fees. the antitrust trials will come back and quickly. We might even get a real judge too.

Re:Welcome to hell boys! (1)

iocat (572367) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290715)

Microsoft has done pretty well on Flight Simulator [simflight.com] over the years too.

Re:Welcome to hell boys! (4, Informative)

el_gordo101 (643167) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290739)

Do you really tink IBM will let the PowerPC chips fail because of Intel phoenix and Microsoft working together? Do you think AMD will roll over and die?.

IBM and AMD are also part of the whole Trusted Computing "initiative". From TFA: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/users/rja14/tcpa-faq.html [cam.ac.uk]

Re:Welcome to hell boys! (5, Interesting)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290779)

Home users will complain that things don't work correctly.

Home users might find that this will be the first "computer" that does work correctly out of the box. This will be the computer appliance that they're looking for. The "hood will be welded shut", and that will be just fine with most users. Real computers will become the hobbyist's toy, just like short wave radio. Just as we have less people that know morse code, we will have less people that can work a keyboard. It will look like a McDonalds cash register with lots of pretty buttons(or more likely a touch screen), and will probably only connect to shopping sites.

Re:Welcome to hell boys! (1)

ValiantSoul (801152) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290983)

Real computers will become the hobbyist's toy

For the people who really want to use good programs (such as the BSDs or linux and the applications run on them), if an ISP won't let us connect we just need to take a TC and set it up as a router and connect our real computer to it. TC won't stop anyone who actually cares not to use it IMHO.

Plus the idea that it will only run programs allowed to be run will kill off developers and only leave coorporations willing to spend the extra money to get a license. It will once again fail.

Re:Welcome to hell boys! (4, Funny)

savagedome (742194) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290658)

Who knows, maybe my paranoia will be justified?

Is it paranoia if they are really after you?

Re:Welcome to hell boys! (5, Informative)

Beltendu (786604) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290660)

Thing is, it's already showing up. I've seen the PXA270 as the processor in a number of PDAs already, including ones I was showing some interest in. And yet there's NO mention of any special DRM functionality in the processor in the advertising or even during the process of purchasing one (examples include Dell's new x50 and x30 series, and a number of HP's iPAQs). I haven't seen mention of DRM functionality in any reviews yet either, which makes this the first I've heard of it.

Good to know, though. Time to go look into it a little closer and see if anyone plans on putting out a PDA with a VGA screen and a different processor. Today, AFAIK, the only VGA capable models all use the PXA270.

Re:Welcome to hell boys! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290773)

Zaurus. Or Toshiba e805. Discontinued, but still available on ebay an such.

cell phones too (2, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290782)

How many reading this want to make a bet that their phone is drm crippled? If its a really nice one my guess is 90% that everything is encrypted and locked.

After all why should the cell phone companies give up their monopoly as being the gatekeeper to all software including pim's and games?

Re:cell phones too (1)

plover (150551) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290947)

I imagine the cell phone companies would be all over this.

They're already selling their phones "locked" (tied to a particular service provider), and some people are making a few bucks by offering an "unlock" service (they know the magic sequence of buttons to press to cancel this lock.)

With DRM on board, a locked phone will stay locked. And a $4.95 java game, well, you only get it for the month. Seeing as how people are "selling" ringtones and "screensavers" and making a boatload of money off of the sheeple, public acceptance is not even likely to be an issue.

Re:Welcome to hell boys! (1)

fisheye1969 (842355) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290707)

Good point - they only have to win once, whereas the opponents of this have to win *every* time.

Used computer anyone? Going cheap?

Re:Welcome to hell boys! (1)

oscrmyer (568874) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290802)

I can't see how this would NOT flop. I would never buy anything like that. And if all the big boys produce these types of products, then guess who the next big boy will be. The company that does not.

Re:Welcome to hell boys! (1)

killbill! (154539) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290815)

Yeah, well, that's great and all but you won't be doing anything on the net unless you are running trusted hardware.

You do know there are other countries than the US on the net, right?
I for one have a hard time imagining China letting its citizen use such a DRM'ed computer. Or will the DHS? It could be used by terrorists!
Hence, governments will ask for loopholes to be added into it. Hence, hackers will find a nice hack around this. The very minute a loophole is built in, it becomes worthless as far as DRM go.

Re:Welcome to hell boys! (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290852)

You do know there are other countries than the US on the net, right?

What does that have to do with me? I live in the US. I think I covered what will happen in the US above (quoting in case you were too lazy to read the whole thing):

Nevermind that, but it may become illegal (through creative lobby) to own and operate an unlicensed/unprotected piece of hardware. Enjoy finding an ISP that will let you connect.

I for one have a hard time imagining China letting its citizen use such a DRM'ed computer.

Of all examples to give you used China? I'm modding you +5 Funny.

Disagreement (2, Insightful)

dsginter (104154) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290854)

I disagree with the assessment that "all DRM is bad". While it can and most certainly cause a lot of hell for many people, it can be used for A Good Thing.

Here is my vision (discussed previously [slashdot.org] ):

Someone takes a chip like this and builds a set top box. This box plugs into a broadband connection. It contains unbreakable DRM. The box is provided to consumers at no cost and does not cost them anything if they do not use it. The box checks for content on the internet. It finds popular content and downloads it. This content is available to the end user for a nominal fee (say, $0.12 per hour).

Since Big Media does not want to relinquish their stranglehold, they do not participate at first. But the little, independent producers from all over the world come up with very creative content and many end users purchase it. The popularity of the little guys starts displacing Big Media. So Big Media starts participating. Because people no longer need a cable or satellite provider, they discontinue service.

Because Big Media is now competing with potentially millions of other talented independent studios, the cream rises to the top. Big Media is no longer as big. The little guys are no longer as small. The Evil Cable and Satellite Monopolies are no more.

It sounds like a good story to me.

Re:Disagreement (1)

dsginter (104154) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290873)

FWIW, I used the $0.12 per hour figure because that is about what an hour of content will yield for a Big Media provider on a per user basis. But I'm sure users would be willing to pay much more to watch the best of the best.

When you have tens of millions of viewers, it doesn't take much to bring fortunes to those that deserve it.

Re:Disagreement (2, Informative)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290927)

Akimbo already sells this, although it's not as cheap as you'd like. (Can you serve ~1GB of data for 24 cents? What about transaction costs?)

Re:Disagreement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290982)

This all works up to a point. The point at which the conglomerates get onboard and put the little guys out of business and then raise all the prices again, and by then your locked in to the system, and there are no other conduits for media left without THEIR DRM. The own all your media you purchased and can deny it anytime they wish. Didn't buy enough this month? WELL, we won't let you watch anything this week then! Pay up!

Re:Welcome to hell boys! (1)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290980)

I don't think the pure, unadulterated paranoia is justified. Ultimately "trusted computing" will probably catch on for mainstream 'computers' running Tivo-like devices and refrigerators and home networking appliances, but I doubt the core computer can ever go away now. That would be like trying to take the rifle away from the frontiersman in early America, or the printing press away from the one man shop in colonial times. It just won't happen because computing has already spread like wildfire and is fueling serious economic growth around the world.

*sits back* (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290562)

*awaits rampant whinyness that is bound to ensue*

How date you?! (0, Troll)

brouski (827510) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290566)

How dare you try to protect your own secrets??!!?!? Information wants to be free, you...you...capitalist!!!

Re:How date you?! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290799)

Being a capitalist isn't a licence to do anything you want.

Capitalism will die eventually, as it gives to much power to the corporation, who are destroying the very systems that keep them and us alive.

Re:How date you?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290954)

Yeah, evil Capitalists like Jimbo Wales [wikipedia.org] sure don't want people to have information.

Bad Intel... Bad... Bad... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290567)

One more reason to not buy an Intel chip.

Re:Bad Intel... Bad... Bad... (2, Insightful)

zalbag (740408) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290616)

I'm sure AMD isn't going to be too far behind with this.

Re:Bad Intel... Bad... Bad... (2, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290728)

If that the case, I'll find another "free" CPU to use or leave the country.

Seriously, it's bad enough when Windows XP locks you out for adding a memory module and you have to re-install the entire computer. I don't want my CPU locking me out if my roommate checks his email on the web browser and plays a bootleg MP3 file that someone sent him. If you own the hardware, it should be yours entirely.

Re:Bad Intel... Bad... Bad... (2, Insightful)

astrokid (779104) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290733)

I'm not so sure about that as they are part of the group that is fighting for TC.
source [cam.ac.uk]
1. What is TC - this `trusted computing' business? The Trusted Computing Group (TCG) is an alliance of Microsoft, Intel, IBM, HP and AMD which promotes a standard for a `more secure' PC.

Re:Bad Intel... Bad... Bad... (1)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290796)

Prompting a motoralla/cyrix comeback!

Who'd have thunk it?

Re:Bad Intel... Bad... Bad... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290987)

Prompting a motoralla/cyrix comeback!

A Motoralla 68000-based CPU, maybe. A Cyrix garbage CPU... uh, no.

FIRST :P (1)

Godboy_g (794101) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290575)

I've never worked with this chip yst, however I have used the IBM version. Actually their next round of laptops will have A fingerprint reader as well, so you don't need to remember any passwords

What happened to..... (2, Insightful)

Cycline3 (678496) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290576)

Whatever happened to being able to do whatever you wanted to with the computer you bought? If it's locked up for the media companies - the media companies need to provide them for free - cause I WILL NEVER buy something like this.

Re:What happened to..... (1)

Lodragandraoidh (639696) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290612)

And you, too will be marginalized as the cows are herded into the new pasture...

Re:What happened to..... (1)

SilverspurG (844751) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290666)

Whatever happened to being able to do whatever you wanted to with the computer you bought?

Being able to use your own legitimately purchased items in whatever manner you desire is a dangerous idea, citizen.

Gads. If the thought patterns of the media industry become legally enforced, soon there'll be whole new meanings for things like:

soup spoon
tea spoon
coffee mug
dixie cup (only dixies allowed inside)
salad fork
crowbar (good luck changing a tire.. that'll be illegal unless you have a tirebar)
etc.

Welcome to an era where the producer has a legal right to sit on your shoulder the moment you purchase a product.

Re:What happened to..... (2, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290692)

Unfortunately, one billion other people WILL buy something like this. Put the right spin on it, and they'll demand that you buy one too. Let's hope the hardware hackers and hobbyists(?) are working on alternatives and uh..workarounds.

Re:What happened to..... (1)

nkh (750837) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290745)

I'm thinking of countries like China or Taiwan who want to work on their own and refuse to rely on foreign technology. They'll still produce their own machines without any form of DRM. Let's hope buying a chinese computer won't be forbidden by our governments in the future... (but it will be for our own protection ;)

Re:What happened to..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290818)

I'm thinking of countries like China or Taiwan who want to work on their own and refuse to rely on foreign technology. They'll still produce their own machines without any form of DRM

Yeah, and they'll come preloaded with pirated versions of windows, a whole bunch of pirated movies and whatever pirated music you want. I bet when they post the story on Slashdot, they're sales will spike.

Re:What happened to..... (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290885)

If they want to "work" with the WTO(or the World Bank or whoever is running the world these days), they put in all the DRM required. If they don't, the gov't is likely to ban it, just like full spectrum scanners and various other electronic devices.

Re:What happened to..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290973)

But China doesn't care about the WTO, in the same way our governments don't care about what's happening in North Korea. They still have fun together...

Obligatory 2001 reference... (5, Funny)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290584)

Joe Blow: Open warez site please
PXA270: I am sorry Joe, but I am afraid I can't do that...

Re:Obligatory 2001 reference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290672)

It's 2005, get with the times you clod!

Re:Obligatory 2001 reference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290874)

Pffft. That's SO 4 years ago.

Take a deep breath and relax... (4, Interesting)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290632)

... because this is nothing new.

First of all, this is an *EMBEDDED* processor, not an x86-class CPU. It may be used in PDAs and the like, but it is not going to be running your desktop anytime soon.

Secondly, embedded devices with encrypted onboard flash are nothing new - they've been around for years.

How to cook a toad (4, Insightful)

Sanity (1431) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290774)

You throw the toad straight into the pot of boiling water and it will jump straight out, but put it in a pot of cold water and slowly increase the heat, and the toad will be boiled to death.

We should be wary of *any* move towards turning computers from our servants into our prison guards.

this is untrue (1)

Perianwyr Stormcrow (157913) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290910)

Actually, ask any herpetologist, the toad will quite readily jump out of the pot when it gets hot enough.

Cool (2, Funny)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290960)

Maybe, but not if I stick the lid on.

I love vague analogies!

Re:How to cook a toad (0, Offtopic)

scribblej (195445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290981)

Okay, first off, no one cooks toads. All toads are poisonous to some extent or another. It's their natural defense system (along with peeing on you when you pick them up.)

Some people do, however, cook *FROGS*. And when they do, they'll typically kill them and cook just the legs.

Now I've never tried tossing a live frog into a pot of cold or hot water, but I'd assume they'd jump out either way. The frogs I've tossed into puddles and ponds hop off immediately.

Oh, sorry... you were making some other point, weren't you? Nevermind then.

Re:Take a deep breath and relax... (1)

tji (74570) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290886)

But, the point is that this is an example of what is to come in the general purpose computing arena. There are a number of initiatives already well along on the PC side that will look an awful lot like this.

BIOS manufacturers are implementing several DRM security mechanisms, which will work with the OS DRM mechanisms that microsoft is putting into the OS. These will be required components for HD-DVDs to work in PCs, or for Digital TV tuners which support the broadcast flag.

Basically, the content producer will decide how your PC is going to operate, not you. Your Digital TV tuner will not pass the HDTV Transport Stream to the host PC unless it is encrypted. So, any modification of the content (downscaling to resolution for smaller files, cutting out commercials, or just taking samples of the video) will not be allowed.

So, no.. don't just bury your head and say it's not a big deal, or claim that someone will just crack the security anyway. If people are complacent, they will end up with what Bill Gates and Disney think are reasonable usage rights, and hobbyists or small startups will be locked out of any innovation in this space.

Re:Take a deep breath and relax... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290979)

Actually this could cause "problems" for GPL software.
Lets say I use Linux for the os on a device using this chip.
I make changes to the kernel. How would you ever know? No way to check what is loaded in the rom. Even if I gave you all the source but not the keys there is no way you could hack this device to make it work better or to do things I never intended.
From a companies point of view this could be great. No need to worry about someone hacking the device and trashing it then calling for support. You can have different models that do different things and have different price points but the only difference would be the code loaded.
Oh if you try to outlaw Linux on these devices people will just go to WindowsCE or hopefully BSD.
I for one hate to see this. But I fear it will do well.

If you don't approve... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290639)

...don't buy it. If you feel your personal liberties being threatened vote with your wallet and just stop bitching about it.

Re:If you don't approve... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290812)

Bitching about it encourages others not to buy it either, thus speeding its demise in the market.

Re:If you don't approve... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290836)

...don't buy it.

That's great, until all of the big banks "require" Trusted Hardware(tm) before they let you access your account online. Or until vendor sites, newly upgraded with new hardware in response to increased sales, refuse to authenticate a connection between your "insecure" hardware and their server. Or...

Re:If you don't approve... (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290913)

until all of the big banks "require" Trusted Hardware(tm) before they let you access your account online

Right, now why exactly would any banks require all of their customers to use it when none of their customers have it? Sounds like a good reason to switch to another bank to me, or another vendor as well.

Re:If you don't approve... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290876)

YOUR choice is not really important (Intel can live without YOUR money or without all of slashtotters' money)..

Negative publicity however is much more important
(as is letter writing, etc)

So yes, loud complaining is much better than just not buying it

Besides, there is a good chance that if something is not done then you will have no choice at all in a not so distant future...

Re:If you don't approve... (1)

northcat (827059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290901)

Yeah, the small number of people who read slashdot will not buy it, but everyone else will blindly buy it. That's why we need to bitch. Not everyone is aware of these things.

Re:If you don't approve... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290945)

Yeah, the small number of people who read slashdot will not buy it, but everyone else will blindly buy it. That's why we need to bitch. Not everyone is aware of these things.

Hear that sound? That's the sound of the public not listening to the rants of Slashbots.

Re:If you don't approve... (1)

log0n (18224) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290938)

True, but the only way others may find out about this is thru someone else communicating their point.

Oops. (4, Funny)

Darth Muffin (781947) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290650)

"Has anyone worked with this chip, and is possible to build your own device that uses the Intel Trusted Wireless Platform to protect your secrets (like your software, perhaps)?"

Yeah, I had all of that info you're looking for... but I forgot the password on that system ;)

Re:Oops. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290888)

Yeah, I had all of that info you're looking for... but I forgot the password on that system ;)

Well, let's see if a few years in a cage at Guantanamo Bay helps you to remember it.

Face it dude, when they ask, you'll 'remember' it real fast.

Your own trusted platform wtf?? (3, Funny)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290652)

More to the point.. how do you hack this good for nothing piece of shit?

Re:Your own trusted platform wtf?? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290841)

Actually, I was wondering the same thing. For now, let's totally forget whether it is legal to reverse engineer this product or not (DMCA, future acts of Congress, blah blah blah). Theoretically, what equipment and expertise would be necessary to do so? What attacks is this susceptible to (software, hardware, or physical)?

Are the encrypted contents unique to each chip or line or pretty much the same? iow, beat one, beat them all; or beat one, you're screwed since you just destroyed the one chip the contents pertained to reverse engineering it?

Would an AFM (atomic force microscope) or similar technique (shearing variant of AFM), several chips, and very carefully lapping or some sort of careful acid eroding (to get to that layer) do? I perused the pdf article (now a book I think) by "Bunny" Huang re his reverse engineering the Xbox. Would like to know what would seriously be possible.

Give it up people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290661)

Didn't Howard Dean teach you once and again that dirty hippies, whether they be just plain dirty hippies, or enhanced dirty techno-hippies, have absoulutely no lobbying power and are always going to be laughed at and ignored?

Lesson from Howard Dean (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290899)

The only lesson I learned from Howard Dean is to not give a political speech during a full moon.

Two words.... (4, Interesting)

Lodragandraoidh (639696) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290664)

Can anyone say 'Clipper Chip'?

Remember what happened to that brilliant idea? This is it in a new guise, this time reborn to lock-in traditional media.

Never fear, either too many objections will be raised to make it viable in the marketplace, or some smart person will figure out how it tics...

Re:Two words.... (1)

nkh (750837) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290918)

It is the Clippy Chip:

It looks like you're trying to boot Linux.
Would you like me to help you call Microsoft?


No, go away...*grumble*

It looks like you're trying not to pay your Windows tax, mandatory on all computers and electronic devices (infrared controller included). I'm calling the FBI, have a nice day!

Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290668)

Purchase AMD chips

Re:Solution (1)

northcat (827059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290928)

As if AMD is going to just let Intel conquer the market.

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290984)

Uh, AMD was one of the people listed that were DEVELOPING this...

Like this DRM less AMD chip! (2, Interesting)

Red Herring (47817) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290985)

AMD Alchemy(TM) Au1200(TM) Processor
http://www.amd.com/us-en/ConnectivitySolutions/Pro ductInformation/0,,50_2330_6625_12409%5E12410,00.h tml?redir=PCAU04 [amd.com]

Oh, wait...
Built-in decryption hardware for digital rights management (DRM)

Does that mean you won't buy AMD chips either???

The customer is always right? (2, Insightful)

yorkpaddy (830859) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290674)

Intel just doesn't get it. Someone at intel must have heavily invested in AMD.

Jerry Sienfeld (1)

yorkpaddy (830859) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290711)

This reminds me of when Jerry Sienfeld's comments towards the end of the Sienfield tv show. Something along the lines of "the public is like childeren, sometimes you have to say, no you can't have any more cake". The public doesn't want DRM on their chips. They don't want to pay itanium prices for 64 bit. Intel didn't realize this and thought and apparently still thinks that people will buy it just because intel says they should.

iPod ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290729)

Take a look at the popularity of iPods. The public loves DRMed devices.

Re:iPod ??? (1)

SoTuA (683507) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290909)

Take a look at the popularity of iPods. The public loves DRMed devices.

Get real. If the iPod worked with DRM'd media ONLY it would not have even half the popularity it enjoys now.

Re:Jerry Sienfeld (1)

Shut the fuck up! (572058) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290764)

The public doesn't want DRM on their chips.

Hey, jackass: Slashdot is not "the public." For every one asshole like you there 1 million people who do not give a shit about DRM. And "the public" does not buy itanium processors, corporations do. So why don't you just shut the fuck up.

Re:Jerry Sienfeld (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290847)

Regardless of anyone else, I bet the guy can't wait to get his hands on an iPod and a TiVo, so he can buy DRM'ed songs from Apple, and (eventually) have a limited ability to copy his recorded TV shows to trusted computers on his local LAN. /. geeks *love* DRM in their consumer electronics, unless they're from Microsoft or Intel.

Re:The customer is always right? - But who's that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290875)

The customer, in this case, is the mobile operators like Vodafone / AT&T / Cingular and so on. Competition means they chose to subsidise your phone to get your monthly fee (illegal in countries with strong anti monopoly laws). Now they feel that they should own that phone you are paying for and should be sure you can't use it without paying them. They have specified this to the phone manufacturers and to Intel and now they plan to get you.

Things they don't want

- Voice over IP programs running on the mobile which bypass them (phones limited to Java only; no Symbian or Windows programs)

- WLAN phones which don't use their billing.

What to do? Choose operators who provide proper smart phones. Buy SIM-less phones. Complain to the anti-competition commissions about using a monopoly on radio waves to build a monopoly on content.

From Intel's White Paper (4, Informative)

acvh (120205) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290694)

Trusted Boot ROM - will ensure that the OS being booted is the one that the manufacturer installed. No more installing NetBSD on your pocketsized wireless gizmo.

Media DRM - files can be created to work only with the OS, ROM and disk in the unit, and only for a specifed length of time.

The features seem to be directed at wireless carriers and content providers, to prevent unauthorized use of their networks and content. So, if you don't like it, use other vendors.

Re:From Intel's White Paper (3, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290838)

There are really no other vendors in the cell phone area.

Think about it?

If you were the CEO of some cellular company you could make a fortune if you had money from every single app written for your phone. Worse you could charge your users fees if they ever want to install software and you can make even more money!

Why do you think the Xbox is drm locked and encrypted? Its so Microsoft can make more money at the expense of the market.

RMS may be a little off the wall with proprietary software taking away freedoms but proprietary hardware is the real threat.

We should put our efforts to fight this.

Just the other day here on slashdot there was a story on DRM being added to dvd standards. Why? Broadcast flags are now requried for the FCC by June. Its insane and our whole openess and ingeuinity of the internet itself is in danger.

We have to do something in orde to protect ourselves. Perhaps a NRA for computer hobbiests might be in order. We have no lobbiests on our side.

Re:From Intel's White Paper (1)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290917)

No, no, no.

If this is based on the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) specified by the TCG, then the security features have to be enabled first.

Even if the TPM is enabled, it shouldn't interfere with the boot process at all. The TPM is a passive device. In fact, the TPM won't be used without explicit OS support. So you can load anything you want and it will boot.

Second, assuming this is based on the TCG TPM, individual host indentification should not be possible (there are cases where it may be possible) but in general, not.

See here for more details about the TPM: Design Principles [trustedcom...ggroup.org]

Now the danger is with application vendors abusing the TPM functionality to limit computer use such as requiring the TPM to be active or storing identitfying information in the TPM.

Just Use Apple Products. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290706)

Apple doesn't use Intel chips. Apple doesn't make products with DRM.

Time to dump the Wintel monopoly !

iTunes and the iPod would respectfully disagree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290804)

Apple doesn't make products with DRM? Wake up and smell the iPod, fanboy.

I will (1)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290759)

NOT buy or use such trash. Buh bye Intel!

La Grande Technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290771)

This is a part of Intel and Microsoft's "Trustworthy Computing Initiative", and Intel's "LaGrande Technology" (LT).

I don't think there's anything "grand" about it.

Even an hour of presentation at Intel couldn't help me understand how this technology can be beneficial in any way, and how it does not pose more security and privacy concerns and issues rather than resolve them!

When pigs win the X Prize (3, Insightful)

mikebelrose (192357) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290777)

I wouldn't get too worked up, it's just another exercise in futility from the DRM people. You think they'd have learned by now that any programmable computer is inherently hackable. Any DRM can be removed or forged, the system would have no way to tell the difference between my home movies and a pirated copy of Pirates of Silicon Valley. Just as an example, what is to stop me from running an emulator or virtual machine, and then playing my DRM free media on such a system? How would it know it was running untrusted code if all it saw was javaw.exe?

Inaccurate statement about the Thinkpad (3, Interesting)

xplosiv (129880) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290797)

"For a while now, there have been computers (IBM ThinkPad) that won't boot unless you give the password, but you could always rip out the hard drive and read it, right?"

If the password for the hard drive is set, you won't be able to move the drive to another system or it will look like the drive is dead. If you do know the master password and try it in another system, I believe it will wipe out the drive, it's pretty secure, and the main reason I use ThinkPads.

Re:Inaccurate statement about the Thinkpad (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290934)

Serious question:

So what happens if the computer dies and you need to do data recovery?

Boycott Intel - enjoy the performance of AMD! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290828)

With this there is another big reason to boycott Intel. Other reasons are:

- Most AMD processors give you quite a bit more performance than Intel CPUs

- Intel continues to pollute the environment with chemicals from chip production while AMD has invested alot to reclaim and/or properly dispose chemicals, not just at their Dresden fab, and is focusing on energy efficient processes as well as buildings.

- Intel is in bed with Microsoft whereas AMD is much more neutral and supports open-source projects e.g. development of gcc.

It happens that I am supposed to get quotes and purchase PCs and workstations for several labs at a well known Massachusetts research institution, over 380 machines total. So far AMD looks much better in almost all aspects and Intel's involvement in dubious DRM technologies now helps me to make the final decision. AMD simply rules!

My prediction (3, Insightful)

mrjatsun (543322) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290830)

Microsoft requires all PC sold with Windows XYZ to use a Trusted Boot ROM. The Trusted Boot ROM verifies the Windows license is valid before booting. Whoops, you mean your PC won't boot Linux because it doesn't have a valid Windows license. What a unforseen side effect!

Re:My prediction (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290871)

It doesn't work that way. Go do some real reading, not just the propoganda from "the sky is falling" types.

The Boot ROM has nothing to do with the windows license. It's the same as the boot ROM you have now, it's just encrypted with a key that lives in the CPU.

What you can't do is hack or modify the boot ROM without that key.

Someone could choose to sell a PC that will only boot windows. You can just as easily choose not to buy it.

Re:My prediction (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290943)

Then any such PC would have to be marked as a "Windows Only" PC or some similar label that clearly states that Windows XYZ is the only OS that will run on it. I'm perfectly OK with that.

You couldn't rip out the hd and read it! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290853)

You can activate hardware encryption of the hd's in the bios of a Thinkpad.
You can rip out the hd, yes, and you can read data, yes, but I don't think you will find the data very usefull since everything is encrypted.

Doesn't DRM by definition (2, Insightful)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290872)

mean YOU can't program it? That wouldn't make sense to those who want hackers to keep their grubby hands off the low level hardware. Or the software makers who'd like to move to a subscription service. Or the **IAs who would like to charge you every time you watch a movie, or listen to a song. (Not to mention all these companies wanting to prevent you from recording, writing, coding, releasing and distributing your own 'content'. Most Important.)

DRM - big brother's kid sister.

China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290879)

Does anyone really think that the government of China (fastest growing market in the world) will actually allow it's citizens to use computer hardware controlled by U.S. based companies?

I don't think so. This won't get very far.

Re:China (1)

pauls2272 (580109) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290907)

Didn't a chinese company just buy the IBM PC business?

I think it is the other way around: Will the US actually allow it's citizens to use computer hardware controlled by China?

DRM: Digital RESTRICTIONS Management (5, Insightful)

MCRocker (461060) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290932)

I was amused to see that in a recent interview with Richard M. Stallman [kerneltrap.org] he referred to DRM as Digital RESTRICTIONS Management.

Although I'm not a big fan of spin, the current political climate makes renaming things with misleading names a necessity. When you say "Digital RESTRICTIONS Management", it makes it fairly clear that it's a technology aimed at limiting personal liberties.

P.S. Yes, I know this is a repost, but...

Re:DRM: Digital RESTRICTIONS Management (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11290976)

lol, GNU/what?

Password protected BIOS is old news (1)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290958)

For a while now, there have been computers (IBM ThinkPad) that won't boot unless you give the password, but you could always rip out the hard drive and read it, right?

This is old news. That functionality has been available in BIOS's for at least 10 years.

What you may be referring to is the TPM 1.1 chip in some Thinkpads. But I believe that TPM has to be manually enabled. Could be wrong.

1984? We've had that for years! (1)

mmell (832646) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290965)

(With apologies to Yakov Smirnov).

Does anybody here hear shades of the Millenium Digital Protection Act? (Forgive me if I've misnamed it -- I'm afraid I don't).

So far, my interpretation is that it is illegal to override/circumvent the sort of "protection" which DRM technologies provide. I can readily foresee a time when it will be illegal to use/operate an old AMD 2.2GHz/LINUX based system because it doesn't incorporate hardware DRM. What does this mean?

It means the ultimate death of the Open Source movement, for starters. Who wants to run an OS which not only is incapable of performing anything more than the most basic functions but can get you arrested and jailed to boot?

Nyet to fear, tvarisch -- will never be comink to that, eh? Have a care, friend . . . those who will not fight to defent their freedom may well find themselves without freedoms to defend.

Finally! (2, Funny)

katsiris (779774) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290971)

My computer will stop being a yes man. Who wants a computer that obeys its master all the time? That's no way to have a relationship.
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