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Virtualization May Break Vista DRM

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the couldn't-they-have-just-said-that dept.

Microsoft 294

Nom du Keyboard writes "An article in Computerworld posits that the reason Microsoft has flip-flopped on allowing all versions of Vista to be run in virtual machines, is that it breaks the Vista DRM beyond detection, or repair. So is every future advance in computer security and/or usability going to be held hostage to the gods of Hollywood and Digital Restrictions Management? 'Will encouraging consumer virtualization result in a major uptick in piracy? Not anytime soon, say analysts. One of the main obstacles is the massive size of VMs. Because they include the operating system, the simulated hardware, as well as the software and/or multimedia files, VMs can easily run in the tens of gigabytes, making them hard to exchange over the Internet. But DeGroot says that problem can be partly overcome with .zip and compression tools -- some, ironically, even supplied by Microsoft itself.'"

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294 comments

devil's advocate (2, Interesting)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625297)

It would be possible for Vista's DRM to be (relatively) secure if the virtualization software also supported DRM; this potentially opens the way for Microsoft to specify some virtual environments as "acceptable" for use with the Vista home versions.

Re:devil's advocate (4, Insightful)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625565)

Well the problem is that with virtualization. A guest OS is only as secure as its host OS. Which is why I presume that they don't want any WinXP or other machines that are lacking in the DRM department to be running Windows Vista virtual machines.

Another potentially real problem would be that vista as an actual OS in a computer runs slow as hell. People using virtual machines to 'test' Vista would end up with an even slower crummier machine and thus taint their perceptions for the negative. Nothing kills a product faster than the good old 'Word of Mouth' and there has been plenty badmouthing of Vista by all levels of tech support (not sales people though they gotta sell those Vista pieces of crap any way they can.

In short, the only 'acceptable' virtual environment for Vista would probably be Vista itself. They want to lock you into this crappy and crazy DRM scheme that they probably cooked up with Hollywood and hardware vendors to keep people on the upgrade treadmill indefinitely. (since if you cant watch the latest movies you need to upgrade to a computer that can run Vista, which means probably buying a whole new computer which means whole new hardware...)

Re:devil's advocate (2, Funny)

Darundal (891860) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625739)

Correction: The only acceptable virtual environment is the one in which Vista itself isn't an overdone load of junk, ATI has totally open source drivers that have full support for all of the built in features of their cards, Steve-O Ballmer wins the US a gold Olympic medal for chair tossing, a car with a built in label saying "Kia" isn't a mistake (in every sense of the word), George Bush actually decides to place partisanship aside and actually work with congress, and pigs fly. In that order.

Re:devil's advocate (1, Offtopic)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#19626075)

George Bush actually decides to place partisanship aside and actually work with congress

Like illegal immigrant amnesty? George Bush want it. Congressional leadership want it. If that's bipartisanship, I don't want it.

Re:devil's advocate (5, Informative)

Yaztromo (655250) | more than 6 years ago | (#19626095)

Another potentially real problem would be that vista as an actual OS in a computer runs slow as hell. People using virtual machines to 'test' Vista would end up with an even slower crummier machine and thus taint their perceptions for the negative. Nothing kills a product faster than the good old 'Word of Mouth' and there has been plenty badmouthing of Vista by all levels of tech support (not sales people though they gotta sell those Vista pieces of crap any way they can.

I have as much reason to hate MS's operating systems as the next guy. No, scratch that, I have vastly more reason to hate MS's OS's than the next guy, having watched them attempt to undermine and destroy OS/2 back in the early 90's, back before it become fashionable to hate MS OS's. I remember having to put up with the constantly shifting Win32s extensions for Windows 3.1, which were modified for the sole purpose of breaking OS/2 compatibility. Or their (then new) "per-processor license agreements". I haven't run a Windows machine as my desktop since 1992, having run OS/2, Linux, and Mac OS X (in that order) since that time.

As such, it really pains me greatly to say -- Vista under virtualization is surprisingly decent and well behaved. I've been running the 64-bit Business Edition of Vista inside VMware Fusion on a new 2.16Ghz Core 2 Duo MacBook with 2GB of RAM, and it's surprisingly quick and agile. Sure, I don't get Aero (which just looks bad to me anyhow -- honestly, how is an alpha-blended window title a good thing?), and I'm not using it to play games, and I don't use it to browse the web or do e-mail or digital media, but overall it has been very well behaved, and has been surprisingly quick to boot and run. I've even experimented with it running digital video, and the performance has been very good.

Now of course, I can see why they'd be worried about their DRM stance. As the VMware audio and video go through a virtualized driver/device to the Mac's hardware, it would be easy to use readily available tools to hijack the stream (like Rogue Amoeba's excellent Audio Hijack Pro [rogueamoeba.com] .

Now there is no way in hell I'd ever run Windows as my primary OS -- still think their UI scheme is garbage, and don't like the fact they have both systematically loaded their systems with crap to appease other corporations while punishing their own end-users (DRM), and that they've frequently promised features they've never delivered (anyone else remember when they promised a stand-alone MS-DOS v7? Or when they promised an OODBMS-based filesystem for Cairo starting back in 1996? That same filesystem they didn't deliver with Vista? Or how about when they finally decided it was time to introduce a new filesystem for the 9X line that instead of using a well-designed FS they owned all the rights to, like HPFS or NTFS, they instead exacerbated the problem with a band-aid solution and invented FAT32?). It's still not what I look for in a desktop OS, but as much as it pains me to say it, on a modern machine (and the latest MacBook is hardly top-of-the-line, although it's certainly quite a capable system), under virtualization, Vista actually runs pretty acceptably. If I had to use it as my day-to-day system (and I don't use it much at all -- it's there to support a development toolset for some embedded programming I'm peripherally involved in), it certainly wouldn't be slow or painful to use -- it's instantly responsive, and has so far behaved very well (i.e.: it hasn't crashed yet).

Strange but true.

Yaz.

Re:devil's advocate (2)

legallyillegal (889865) | more than 6 years ago | (#19626213)

I've been running the 64-bit Business Edition of Vista inside VMware Fusion on a new 2.16Ghz Core 2 Duo MacBook with 2GB of RAM, and it's surprisingly quick and agile. Sure, I don't get Aero (which just looks bad to me anyhow -- honestly, how is an alpha-blended window title a good thing?), and I'm not using it to play games, and I don't use it to browse the web or do e-mail or digital media, but overall it has been very well behaved, and has been surprisingly quick to boot and run.

So, basically, you don't do anything with it except stare at a classic interface. Wait, what was the purpose again?

Re:devil's advocate (5, Funny)

eonlabs (921625) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625791)

Clearly, all these problems would be solved if the RIAA and MPAA sued Microsoft over their use of zip compression and its aiding in the piracy of audio... :D
Damn that's hard to say with a straight face.

Nesting VMs (1)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | more than 6 years ago | (#19626133)

"It would be possible for Vista's DRM to be (relatively) secure if the virtualization software also supported DRM; this potentially opens the way for Microsoft to specify some virtual environments as "acceptable" for use with the Vista home versions."

Most likely, this could be defeated by simply adding an additional layer of virtualization beyond the said "approved" virtual machine hosting the OS in question. This is actually not unlike some theoretical viruses proposed a while back that would install themselves between the bootloader and the primary OS on a computer and then host the OS within their own VM while they execute whatever malicious tasks they're designed for, completely transparent from the hosted OS and the end user.

wow (1)

superphreak (785821) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625329)

Analysts say what probably happened behind the scenes is that Microsoft or one of its media partners decided at the last moment that encouraging consumers to use virtualization would, at least symbolically, be at odds with its attempts to enforce DRM.

"Microsoft doesn't want the music labels, TV networks and movie studios to come back to them and say that you are enabling this ability to move content around," said Mike McGuire, an analyst at Gartner Inc.


Not allowing virtualization because someone can share a multi-GB VM via Bittorrent and "break" DRM? Uh, I think there are easier ways to break it, but I stay away from DRM, so I could be wrong...

Re:wow (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625603)

Quick solution: Distribute a "base-line" VM consisting of nothing but the OS. Then distribute diffs between that baseline and any application. Each diff should be the same size as the installed app/game.

Re:wow (1)

tor528 (896250) | more than 6 years ago | (#19626185)

Maybe it's because you could play a DRM'd movie in Vista running in a virtual machine on a Linux host while capturing it using XVidCap or recordMyDesktop.

Huh?? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625333)

Since when is .zip going to be usefull *at all* in compressing a fucking multi-gigabyte VM??

Re:Huh?? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625405)

A remedial lesson in file compression is in order for you.

Re:Huh?? (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625593)

Or for you- he has a point, it would be absolutely ridiculous to add 5GB onto a 5MB song or 700MB movie just to defeat DRM.. nobody would have enough space for a collection, and it would be prohibitive to try to make a "mix" VM. Host-VM file transfer is notoriously difficult to set up for windows.

Re:Huh?? (2, Insightful)

neomunk (913773) | more than 6 years ago | (#19626273)

You don't need a 5GB VM for every song (hell, the 5GB number is twink anyways, but whatever) you need ONE VM for your whole library, to run the OS that'll let you play the video while the OS that's actually on the bottom REALLY running the show does all those dirty things the boys at the RIAA and MPAA have nightmares about.

Re:Huh?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625641)

What moron modded this a troll? File compression does exactly that - it compresses files. If someone doesn't get that, then it is clear they need a lesson in what exactly file compression is.

Re:Huh?? (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625579)

You're probably right, but "zip" might do a stellar job on the patch file which is the binary difference of the VM vs. a vanilla VM immediately before installing the media.

bsdiff [daemonology.net] (yes, that is the correct link, I didn't pick the domain name, just Google "binary diff" to check) doesn't seem quite right for creating the patch file, considering its memory requirements, but I'm sure it wouldn't be that hard to work something up...

What next? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625337)

How long will it be until no one is allowed to run any executable at all that hasn't been signed by Microsoft, incase it's a DRM-breaking program?

Re:What next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625457)

a long, long time

unless you're on a windows box, i guess

Said before (5, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625355)

Encryption allows Alice to send a message to Bob that can't be viewed by Jack. The problem with DRM is it uses encryption such that Bob and Jack are the same person.

Think about it.

Alice (the publisher of the song) is using encryption to ensure that you and only you (Bob) can recieve the message. But Jack (also you) is being prevented from viewing the message.

The only reason that DRM is making any kind of headway is because of the hand-waving around terms like "dual key cryptography" and "license management". When you get right down to it, the content producers exist to deliver content to me. Once I get it, the only thing limiting my distribution of that content is legal in nature - I'm afraid of getting sued or prosecuted, so I don't.

Speakers can be recorded, screens can be videotaped. DRM can make it more difficult to copy content, but it will NEVER make it impossible. And the sad part is, DRM frequently makes it more difficult to VIEW content legitimately.

As a good example, I just set up a Windows XP laptop for one of my sales associates. I spent an ungodly amount of time going thru "Genuine Advantage" this and "Genuine" that, along with some dozen or more reboots. It's riduculously annoying, especially when updating a new CentOS system takes a single line:


yum -y update; shutdown -r now;


Microsoft has it wrong, and it may well be their undoing to find this out.

Re:Said before (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625543)

"Encryption allows Alice to send a message to Bob that can't be viewed by Jack."

Wait, "Jack"? Who uses Jack? It's usually Alice and Bob communicating with each other and Eve (short for Evesdropper) that wants to listen in. I've also occasionally seen people use Chris, but never Jack.

Re:Said before (3, Insightful)

Workaphobia (931620) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625573)

> "Encryption allows Alice to send a message to Bob that can't be viewed by Jack. The problem with DRM is it uses encryption such that Bob and Jack are the same person."

That's an extremely common view (as said in your comment title), but it's not true. Bob is your television, and you are Jack. I don't care how much cybernetics has progressed, we're not televisions yet, and we as human beings can't assimilate, store, and regurgitate digital content with any kind of quality.

> "Speakers can be recorded, screens can be videotaped."

Both are analog holes. If it's not a digital copy, it's not a quality copy, and thus not in a position to compete with the real thing. Do you want to pirate an mpeg of some guy taping his television screen, or do you want to bittorrent the actual dvd contents? In the absense of the availablity of the dvd on bittorrent, would you be more inclined to buy the material? (For this paragraph, forget that you are a geek when I use words such as "quality" and when I presume you're a pirate - I'm talking about average users).

> "DRM can make it more difficult to copy content, but it will NEVER make it impossible."

Doesn't need to.

Or to frame the absurdity of that argument in an analogy that I feel works well: "Police can make it difficult to commit crimes (and not get caught), but they'll never make it impossible. Therefore we police are futile. When will they learn?"

> "And the sad part is, DRM frequently makes it more difficult to VIEW content legitimately."

No argument. We should be thankful that they have as difficult a time picking a DRM standard as they do. Fragmentation impedes their progress in locking everything down: CDs versus DVDs for instance.

Re:Said before (3, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625623)

That's an extremely common view (as said in your comment title), but it's not true. Bob is your television, and you are Jack. I don't care how much cybernetics has progressed, we're not televisions yet, and we as human beings can't assimilate, store, and regurgitate digital content with any kind of quality.

But it's not hard to create a rig that does.

Both are analog holes. If it's not a digital copy, it's not a quality copy,

Many audiophiles would disagree with you, and would argue that analog presents the best "true" copy. Anyway, we're talking about the grey/black market, in which quality matters much less than price.

Do you want to pirate an mpeg of some guy taping his television screen, or do you want to bittorrent the actual dvd contents?

See above points - it's not some guy with a camcorder of his TV, it's the "pro-sumer" guy who has good quality equipment that can kill DRM.

Police can make it difficult to commit crimes (and not get caught), but they'll never make it impossible. Therefore we police are futile. When will they learn?"

You are completely missing the point. For 200 years, merely PRINTING "Copyright NNNN - all rights reserved" has resulted in a reasonable protection for copyright holders. So why is it that all of a sudden, new technology is needed to enforce what is, at its core, a human problem?

Look at copyright laws circa 1975, when the Xerox copier was really starting to take hold for an EXCELLENT parallel.


No argument. We should be thankful that they have as difficult a time picking a DRM standard as they do. Fragmentation impedes their progress in locking everything down: CDs versus DVDs for instance.


A statement which largely undermines the rest of your post. Are you arguing that DRM is effective? Are you arguing that it's effective but bad? Are you arguing that it's good? Your point suddenly becomes unclear.

I simply argue that it's ineffective. Some DRM can be useful to discourage blatant piracy, but relying on it excessively is just dumb.

Re:Said before (2, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625875)

Wow, are you secretly trying to *promote* DRM by making the anti-DRM argument look retarded?

But it's not hard to create a rig that does [capture DRM limited digital data].
Then where is all this hardware? How do you plan to capture HDCP content with a "not hard to create rig"? The whole point is that DRMing the whole system leaves only analog methods, or exploiting flaws.

Many audiophiles would disagree with you, and would argue that analog presents the best "true" copy.
So an analog copy of a digital file is superior to a *perfect*digital*copy*? How did that make enough sense to you for you to type this?

See above points - it's not some guy with a camcorder of his TV, it's the "pro-sumer" guy who has good quality equipment that can kill DRM.
How? Ok, you get your HD cam out and record a plasma screen viewing of a Blu-ray disc. This is going to "kill drm"? No, this is going to result in poorer quality. This poorer copy is not going to kill drm. It gets around DRM, but people will still want the superior DRMed version.

You are completely missing the point. For 200 years, merely PRINTING "Copyright NNNN - all rights reserved" has resulted in a reasonable protection for copyright holders. So why is it that all of a sudden, new technology is needed to enforce what is, at its core, a human problem?
Because for the first time, virtually any copyrighted work can be perfectly copied at the click of a button, and distributed with close to zero effort. Without DRM, you could make a fully perfect copy of an HD movie in less than an hour. Prior to mass-market digital technology, it took a lot of time and/or a lot of money to make a copy of something, and that copy was almost certainly going to be of lesser quality, and distribution beyond people you have physical contact with was quite expensive and/or time consuming.

Look at copyright laws circa 1975, when the Xerox copier was really starting to take hold for an EXCELLENT parallel.
No, it makes an extremely poor parallel. You could not copy a film or recording with a Xerox machine. You could not make a perfect copy of *anything* with a Xerox machine. Operating a Xerox machine is timely and significantly more expensive than copying a digital file.

A statement which largely undermines the rest of your post. Are you arguing that DRM is effective? Are you arguing that it's effective but bad? Are you arguing that it's good? Your point suddenly becomes unclear.
He's arguing that it's effective but not being fully utilized. And no, his point was not unclear at all.

I simply argue that it's ineffective.
DRM makes piracy *harder*. Not impossible, just harder, and that's all it takes to be effective.

The problem with DRM is that it's not only effective at slowing piracy, it's effective at locking consumers out of their own content.

Some DRM can be useful to discourage blatant piracy
Wait a minute! Didn't you just say, *in the preceding sentence* that DRM is ineffective? If it discourages some piracy, it's effective. That's the only reason it still exists. The various labels and studios (except EMI) do not yet realize that DRM hurts more than it helps.

but relying on it excessively is just dumb.
That is, in fact, 100% true.

Re:Said before (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 6 years ago | (#19626019)

Many audiophiles may disagree, but they'd be demonstrating abject stupidity to do so. An analog copy of digital content cannot in any universe match the quality of a given digital representation of said content.

Now, I know there are still a few crackpots who think their vinyl sounds better, but this is a different proposition from saying that an analog copy of an existing digital performance can match the quality of the digital.

Re:Said before (0, Redundant)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625645)

your an idiot and fail to understand the classic bob and alice encryption example. bob and alice are 2 seperate people divided over the internet, your TV is right there in your living room for you to disassemble. THAT is why drm fails, because you have both keys at hand.

also your police vs crime analogy is a moronic over simplification of the situation - police prevent many many different crimes, which one are you reffering to that we should give up on? ok i'll pick for you - someone carrying a small amount of cannabis, we won't ever stop it and it's very low impact (just like copying a movie) so yes police should stop worrying about pety crap like that.

Re:Said before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625741)

"your an idiot"

Apparently he isn't the only one. For future reference, if you intend to call someone moronic and an idiot, try not to lose all credibility in the first three words of your post.

Re:Said before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625807)

try not to lose all credibility in the first three words of your post.

The first three words? The guy can't even spell his own name.

Re:Said before (3, Insightful)

taniwha (70410) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625865)

I think his point is that it doesn't matter, breaking the crypto is hard, there are easier ways - I can pull apart my LCD TV - oooh looky here 2000 odd wires along the top, 100 odd along the bottom, that and 3 8-bit A/Ds and I can recover an HD signal good enough to play back at full quality on another TV - doesn't even break and access method in the dmca sense since it's just sample data as it is - that's a fun weekend project for a bored hardware hacker, and a business proposition for a pirate

Point is it's not hard, IMHO crypto as a means to avoid piracy is a joke, there's no point until we DO get that encrypted tap straight into the brain - the reason it's there is to piss off and control the customer

Re:Said before (2, Informative)

physicsnick (1031656) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625915)

Both are analog holes. If it's not a digital copy, it's not a quality copy, and thus not in a position to compete with the real thing. Do you want to pirate an mpeg of some guy taping his television screen, or do you want to bittorrent the actual dvd contents?
Hi, I live in Canada. Recently, the MPAA has banned pre-screenings in theaters across *our entire country* because they think they lose too much business to camrips done in Canada.

Take a look at this: http://www.torrentspy.com/search?query=cam [torrentspy.com]

There are thousands upon thousands of people pirating some guy taping the movie theater screen. Yes, people really do want to watch camrips. If DVDs couldn't be digitally ripped, then people would just tape their TVs, and pirates would absolutely download that; the only reason you don't see camrips still being downloaded for movies about to be released on DVD is because DRM DOESN'T WORK!

Apt analogy (2, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 6 years ago | (#19626025)

The police analogy is more apt than I think you realize. Like all victimless crimes, it's nearly impossible to enforce, because there's no one to complain to police.

Re:Said before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625651)

yum -y update; shutdown -r now;

Don't you mean:
yum -y update && shutdown -r now

Re:Said before (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625703)

Don't you mean:
yum -y update && shutdown -r now


Other than the fact that your way turns both into a single return (for error checking) is there any particular difference? Both get the job done, both result in a fully updated CentOS. (or RHEL or Scientific Linux or Fedora Core) And, what kind of error-checking are you going to meaningfully get on a system reboot?

Pedanticism for its own sake is wasteful. There are many, many, MANY ways to skin a cat. But in the end, the only thing that matters is whether the cat has skin on it when you are done. And, a cat-skinner gets paid based on how many cats get skinned, not on how he goes about it.

Re:Said before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625751)

Unless its Schrödinger's cat. The cat could be both skinned & unskinned at the same time.

Re:Said before (2, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625881)

Big difference. The shell doesn't evaluate additional arguments of an "and" directive if the first argument evaluates to false. Thus, using && guarantees that the shutdown will not occur if the update fails. That's a good thing for any command in which a failure could potentially leave your system in an unbootable state (e.g. an OS update).

Re:Said before (1)

Gogo0 (877020) | more than 6 years ago | (#19626011)

Iv always been under the impression that ; means the second command will run no matter what happens during the first command, and && will not execute anything further unless the first command exited without errors.

Using &&, if yum errored out because your internet is down, you dont reboot your system needlessly.

And I agree, the original "correction" was completely unnecessary.

Re:Said before (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 6 years ago | (#19626231)

Using &&, if yum errored out because your internet is down, you dont reboot your system needlessly.

More importantly, if yum crashed and you ended up with a corrupted RPM database or half-installed package that might render the system unbootable, you won't shutdown your system in a potentially unrestartable (or otherwise broken) state.

The correction is not only unnecessary, it is demonstrably a poorer method.

Ridiculously annoying, and sometimes impossible (5, Interesting)

lullabud (679893) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625835)

As a good example, I just set up a Windows XP laptop for one of my sales associates. I spent an ungodly amount of time going thru "Genuine Advantage" this and "Genuine" that, along with some dozen or more reboots. It's ridiculously annoying...

Being a generous IT worker, when an employee's machine goes bad I'll sometimes give them my own machine if they need something fast. Last time I did this, a copy of Vista which I purchased directly from Microsoft's website suddenly became "not genuine". Not wanting to fuss with it, hoping I'd be able to get my machine back and make my copy of Vista genuine again, I ended up passing the time frame (30 days?) allotted for using the OS, then was locked out with a red screen saying "this copy of Microsoft Windows Vista Business is not genuine". This statement was clearly a lie if taken literally, but discussing vocabulary destruction through marketing would be quite a digression.

So, I went back to using my dual-boot linux partition and another spare PC for my day-to-day work.

Fast forward a few weeks...

Last Friday I got my laptop back, put the hard disk back in, and what's this? Vista still said it was not genuine. I tried to re-activate online but it said I couldn't do that because that key had already been activated. (Gee, you think? Maybe when I bought it?) So, taking the only course left, I called Microsoft on the phone and entered a series of numbers about 30 digits long. When the computer couldn't validate my install it forwarded me to some Indian call center, a place I'm familiar with because I've had to do this process more than a few times.

But this time was different... (Don't get your hopes up, it wasn't different in a good way. I was on the phone with a Microsoft offshore call center, remember?) Not only was my personal system down, but apparently their whole call center system was down. They were unable to validate my install and told me I'd need to call back later after they got their system back up and running. Apparently there was no other backup call center online, I simply had to hang up and call back another time when their system was back up.

Back to my trusty dual-boot Linux partition with its `sudo bash -c 'apt-get update && apt-get upgrade && reboot'`, or my Mac with its `sudo bash -c 'softwareupdate -i -a && reboot'`

Oh, and Jim Allchin can kiss my ass. "It's rock solid and we're ready to ship." Rock solid as in paper weight. What good is a stable OS that won't let you use it?

Re:Said before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625909)

Speakers can be recorded, screens can be videotaped.
Well, the next step will be that you won't be able to play the song or video at all.

Oh wait... that's already the case.

Re:Said before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625923)

For decades, we Mac users haven't really given a shit what was happening off in PC land. Every few years we'd hear about a new version of Windows, and we'd glance into the abyss just long enough to remind ourselves of Microsoft's eternal cluelessness. Other than that, I think our closest brush with Windows was Word 6, and that was a decade and a half ago.

So what makes Windows suddenly relevant to us now? Who are all these "Mac users" clamoring for aberrations like "Macintosh Explorer" [ragesw.com] ? Are these the same "Mac users" on VersionTracker writing glowing reviews of Firefox and Azureus? Who let them in, anyway?

If you're some sort of tragic square who needs to run Windows, maybe you should have thought of that before you bought a Mac. Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn't be better to just round up these so-called "Mac users" and send them all on trains to Redmond.

Re:Said before (2)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625941)

yum -y update; shutdown -r now;

Slightly off-topic, but I'd suggest changing that to yum -y update && shutdown -r now. Using "&&" in leiu of ";" will prevent the system from rebooting if the call to yum isn't successful (can't contact a server, whatever). On many systems you can even replace "shutdown -r now" with simply "reboot".

Whats more likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625359)

Gee, what is more likely: The DRM boogeyman has struck again, or computerworld is trolling slashdot with rediculous reasoning to drum up hits and ad revenue?

Seriously, there's a lot of real reasons to hate DRM, but it's not to blame for everything wrong in the world. DRM does not kill babies. DRM was not responsible for the holocaust, and DRM was not the second gunman on the grassy knoll.

Re:Whats more likely (2, Funny)

SEMW (967629) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625555)

computerworld is trolling slashdot with rediculous reasoning to drum up hits and ad revenue [...] DRM does not kill babies. DRM was not responsible for the holocaust
Personally, I thought the bit about the Holocaust and the baby-killing was the best part of TFA.

Re:Whats more likely (5, Informative)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625665)

no, but DRM is the reason my $7000 has a broken hdmi port - firmware error because of an errornous signal sent by a digital TV channel and hdcp shit itself and disabled my port. so i've got 7000 reasons to be pissed off over having to wait 2 months for a new board to be sent from japan to fix it.

JVC hdtv, name and shame.

Re:Whats more likely (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625899)

What happened to your tv sucks, but I think blaming it on DRM is a bit dumb. HDCP cannot "shit itself and disable an hdmi port", at least not permanently. That's not how HDCP works if it is correctly implemented. The HDCP should reset itself when something is plugged into the HDMI port; if it doesnt, then there is a either a hardware problem, or a problem with how the HDCP was implemented. Both would be JVC's fault.

On a separate note, if you paid $7000 for an JVC tv (in US, Canadian or Austrailian dolars, anyway) then you probably spent way, way too much.

Re:Whats more likely (1)

beyondkaoru (1008447) | more than 6 years ago | (#19626083)

if it is correctly implemented
some protocols are easy to implement, some aren't. drm is likely to be by far the most complicated component in the raw video transfer. it's too bad hdmi couldn't just be, you know, a data stream plus little headers describing aspect ratio or whatever. you'd think people wouldn't have too much difficulty making a secure channel though these days... but they do.

Re:Whats more likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19626105)

Not if a signal is sent that the TV or other device interprets as a signal to permanently revoke (brick) the device's HDCP capability. The same thing could happen if a corrupted HD-DVD or Blu-Ray disc is played, assuming revocation lists aren't checksummed and signed.

Re:Whats more likely (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19626223)

This is incorrect. The HDCP spec DOES NOT include the capability to permanently disable a device, period.

It is possible that content providers can blacklist/revoke the encryption key for a HD-DVD or Bluray player, but this would only brick the disc player, not a TV.

In short, no signal - either junk or deliberate - can permanently disable the hdmi port on a tv unless there is something wrong/faulty with the tv design itself.

Why should this be opposed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625385)

Microsoft clamping down on virtualization and DRM limiting Vista's usefulness... why are these conditions we want to remedy?

More market share for everyone else. Everyone wins. I mean, except Microsoft.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625459)

Because people are sheep, and will take this blatant invasion square up their ASS as they always do. C'mon! Don't be such a naive retard! :(

Tens of Gigs? No way. Try 10kilobytes. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625387)

Why would the file have to be so large? There's no need to exchange the entire VM file... just swap the key file which is produced after authentication. To explain, if two VMs are set up as identical (e.g. same HDD size, same virtual processor, same virtual RAM, same video card, etc.) they will produce the same hardware "hash". Once an authentic software ID has been used to unlock the first file, a file will be written to disk which contains an encrypted signature which authenticates the software and thus "unlocks" it. That same key, copied elsewhere to an otherwise identical environment, will also authenticate the other environment. Put another way, one key will unlock them both.

I'm sure there's a legal use for this. I just can't think of one...

What are they even pirating? (1)

Foktip (736679) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625437)

Thats what i dont get. They talk about it like people are going to copy and spread a Vista VM, thats 10Gigs, and would let people run the VM (use Vista) without paying for Vista.

Then somehow, magically, this has something to do with Music/Movie DRM? Are they talking about cracking the DRM on media files from within the VM (which would give you the normal file-size minus the DRM part)? Or are they talking about distributing the Vista-VM (which would apparently be really huge for unknown reasons)?

Re:What are they even pirating? (2, Interesting)

Yaztromo (655250) | more than 6 years ago | (#19626177)

Then somehow, magically, this has something to do with Music/Movie DRM? Are they talking about cracking the DRM on media files from within the VM (which would give you the normal file-size minus the DRM part)? Or are they talking about distributing the Vista-VM (which would apparently be really huge for unknown reasons)?

It sounds like there is a lot of confusion, and admittedly, I'm not going to read the article, because it seems to come from there.

Vista apparently requires an authenticated path from the digital media all the way through the audio and video output devices to play a DRM data file. The kernel and system drivers are configured so as to prevent hooks form intercepting the data once it has been decrypted, making it difficult to get around the DRM on a Vista-installed system, short of a brute-force key cracking (all of this is theoretical, of course -- knowing MS the system is probably filled with more holes than swiss cheese, but I'll ignore that for a moment).

In a VM environment, however, the OS doesn't have direct access to the hardware -- th software VM environment emulates all of the hardware including the display and audio hardware. If you run Vista inside a VM on an OS that doesn't restrict digital data capturing (like say Linux or Mac OS X), you can easily capture the data Vista is decoding within th host OS layer.

I'll give you an example. On my MacBook I'm running VMware Fusion beta 4.1, with a 64-bit Windows Vista Business Edition virtual machine (an an Ubuntu, Debian, and Solaris VMs -- I'm a bit of a VM junkie). Under Vista, I can play Microsoft DRM'ed audio files without an problems -- they go through MS's protected media player and the protected Vista kernel, through the properly signed audio driver, to VMware's virtualized audio device (I believe it emulates one of the Sound Blaster series cards), which simply outputs the audio through Mac OS X's audio subsystem.

OS X's audio subsystem can be easily hijacked using third-party tools, which simply grab the digital audio stream from the specified application, optionally cruns it through a user-specified codec, and writes it to disk. Presto -- I can take MS DRM'd audio files and strip them of their DRM quickly and painlessly, in full digital quality.

The same can conceptually be done for video, although with certain added complexity (as I'd need to capture just a region of the display, and not the entire display itself. I'm not sure if the hardware could handle both decoding and re-encoding a digital video stream simultaneously in real-time, along with the audio that accompanies it -- but that's something easily solved by either storing everything temporarily in uncompressed form (if the HDD can keep up), or by waiting a few years for faster/more parallelized hardware which can do these task simultaneously).

Of course, if MS had any backbone they'd stand up for their end-users and say no to the media conglomerates, and remove DRM limitations from their products, but the likelihood of that happening appears to be virtually zilch. But that's no skin off my nose, and just gives Linux yet another way to gain a foothold into the enterprise.

Yaz.

Re:Tens of Gigs? No way. Try 10kilobytes. (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625649)

Well you'd still have to distribute the actual file that's encrypted, but you're absolutely right in that you don't have to send around gigantic files. And isn't an 80,000 bit license key a little overkill? :) Authenticating based on the hardware is a stupid idea anyway, the only way to somewhat reliably control access is to keep all files on the server and stream them only to a trusted program that authenticates with a user account/pass tied to what songs they own.

Re:Tens of Gigs? No way. Try 10kilobytes. (1)

Keeper (56691) | more than 6 years ago | (#19626069)

Virtualization software isn't an emulator. Software running in a VM can "observe" the processor changing between different machines (which is one of the reasons why VM save states can't be "shared" between Intel and AMD processors, for example...).

No way (3, Funny)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625399)

Will encouraging consumer virtualization result in a major uptick in piracy?

No way. I told my mom and my aunt not to trade those VMs and they listen to me.

I don't want to see them in jail.

you don't have to see them in jail (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625831)

Why would you? I never visit my mom or aunt.

Re:you don't have to see them in jail (0, Redundant)

beyondkaoru (1008447) | more than 6 years ago | (#19626091)

Why would you? I never visit my mom or aunt.
remember where you are. there is a large basement representation here. :)

Yeah? And?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625403)

Why the fuck should it be OUR problem?

Re:Yeah? And?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625461)

Because people continue to run this crap. Nobody forced them, most told them "oh god no, not vista!". While Bill Gates and his wife fight disease and malady of the helpless afar, on the homefront; well, you know... business is business.

Man just the blurb drives me nuts (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625407)

Want DRM free computing???

www.ubuntu.com

Re:Man just the blurb drives me nuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625449)

Ubuntu is great for lots of things, but since it doesnt have any DRM the odds that I'll be able to play my bluray movies through linux anytime soon are slim.

On the other hand my Sony laptop with vista plays bluray movies just fine. And contrary to what I hear on slashdot, the DRM hasnt tried to burn down my house or kill my first born (yet).

Re:Man just the blurb drives me nuts (1)

Workaphobia (931620) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625631)

> "the DRM hasnt tried to burn down my house or kill my first born (yet)."

Very well. But just in case that changes, remember that you can temporarily stun it by uttering 09 f9.

(Note: I didn't include the full number above because I felt it would not have helped the rhythm of the sentence at all, and that the joke itself of inserting it everywhere was by now overdone. But since I care whether people question my geekdom ("I care! I care plenty! I just don't know how to make them stop!"), here it is for google cache and the others.
09f911029d74e35bd84156c5635688c0
Is that what you wanted? Is that what I had to spend 5x the content of my post explaining?)

Re:Man just the blurb drives me nuts (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625635)

You completely missed the point of my comment. The article is all about the *potential* of PITA work arounds to escape DRM. Why put up with that crap?

Re:Man just the blurb drives me nuts (1)

zcat_NZ (267672) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625921)

But not as slim as you might think.. the first decryption key was posted before most people had even heard of blueray, and only revoked months later. The new key was made public afaik before they had even got the next batch of disks out to the stores.

Not the whole story (5, Insightful)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625489)

I believe that there's more to Microsoft's dislike of VM than simply DRM, and I think that they're hoping to be shielded by a bit of DRM FUD.

Last year I was in Taiwan running WinXP under VirtualPC - with the appropriate upgrades after Microsoft had bought the product from its creators - and I had zero trouble.

This year, I'm in Taiwan again, but this time I'm running WinXP under Parallels. Shortly after my use of the machine here on the internet, I got this message telling me that my hardware had significantly changed since the original installation and that I needed to re-validate - I don't recall the rest of the message, but it involved Genuine Advantage and suggestions of unusability. So, even though I'm not carrying my original box around with the keycode (would you??), I decided to be brave and tapped on the warning from the tray as instructed. Took me right to an MS page at what appeared to be Microsoft-Taiwan, and it was quite persistent that I should continue to be routed to some Chinese language page. Long story short, I got some embedded wizard launched, got the MS phone number for the USA (Bangalore notwithstanding), called in, got re-validated and woot, woot, woot.

It seems - very strongly to me - that the only thing that Microsoft could have detected was my location in a way that didn't make sense to them, and I think I triggered something that decided I had a pirated copy. I really haven't had any use of my machine or anything change in any other way to cause me to suspect anything else.

So, how long before business travellers - and we fill a lot of 747s, virtually all running Windows - picking up VM for one reason or another start pitching fits when they discover that they can go into a full-screen presentation and be tagged publicly as potential software pirates?

I couldn't understand why MS had a real problem with Vista under VM, but if the cause I posited is in fact true, then the problem Microsoft is worried about goes back to the XP codebase. Say anything about Vista's new codebase, but it's all from the same company..... so, I think DRM is a specious explanation but it allows them to hide behind something where they can try to claim some innocence regarding VM - when in fact the OS may be more seriously broken w.r.t. VM than they're admitting.

Re:Not the whole story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625691)

Probably very few business men run virtualization. So, non-issue in that context.

Re:Not the whole story (2, Interesting)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625813)

You may be right. But for many semiconductor dudes (like me), the reasons are many and varied. To name a few:

* use OS X and need Windows
* use Linux/laptop and need Windows
* need or desire to partition an entire OS so that during a presentation, if casually called away from laptop, fewer worries about "innocent" snooping

Business guys adopt tomorrow what the propellerheads did yesterday. Last time I had trouble w/ a net connection for Windows in a hotel in the Bay Area and the drogue started to give me dos-window instructions, I sighed - and got the immediate response: "My apologies. From your reaction you're obviously running VMWare - may I ask if you're on Linux or some other 'nix?"

I think that VM is coming in a big way. ymmv

Re:Not the whole story (3, Informative)

Keeper (56691) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625983)

Virtual machines are not emulators, and the non-virtualized "hardware" is not the same across VM software. Windows activation keys off of a number of hardware components, and it shouldn't come as a shock when different VMs running on different pieces of hardware "look" like completely different pieces of hardware to the software running in it.

Re:Not the whole story (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 6 years ago | (#19626245)

OK, sorry for the confusion in my post. I'll clarify.

The VirtualPC WinXP I spoke of was separately purchased and licensed and is still in use on that previous laptop.

The WinXP under Parallels was a completely separate purchase at full retail (US $300 or so afair for the XP alone) - and has been performing very nicely on my MacBook Pro (Intel-based) for a number of months. Nothing on this system has materially changed in these months of being just okey dokey - until I met the trouble mentioned.

I hate retail prices, I hate paying that kind of freight, I hate paying Microsoft - but I hate software piracy a whole lot more, and don't even wade into the gray areas, lest I find myself over my head. So a few hundred clams was a good investment - and certainly was instrumental in my WinXP still running here - or so I believe - as I got okey dokey support (I have had to call MS a number of times for machine rebuilds and so forth, and I'm under the impression that they have some record of me having had to re-install..... (maybe)) - but new install or re-install wasn't involved here. As I said, the other thing I can tie to the transient was going onto the net from Asia.....

I don't do anything but security upgrades to either the host or the VM OS when on travel - when it's your livelihood on the line, an unrecoverable "upgrade" puts too much at stake. So, nothing in this laptop's profile should have been at play.

Re:Not the whole story (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19626003)

And this is why I don't use windows if I can help it. When I want to work, I want to work, and when I give money for a work machine, I expect it to work, and not tell me that I can work until I give it more money, either in real monies or opportunity costs.

I have had to use windows again lately, and have come to the conclusion that MS has made the work situation worse, not better.

I hope *IAA keeps wasting thier money on DRM (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625529)

These jerks think they define popular culture. They don't.

DRM doesn't work. [freshdv.com] People steal the stuff before it's encoded with the DRM. The key is always distributed with the content or recoverable.

DRM can't work. [wikipedia.org] Their attempts are hilarious. In order to be perceived by a human it has to be rendered in analog format, at which point capturing and encoding it in an open format is trivial in all cases.

DRM shouldn't work. [blogspot.com] If they won't sell me the content for the device I want to play it on when I want to play it where I want to play it, I'll convert it [blogspot.com] and to hell with what they think I should be allowed to do. Fair use.

DRM is a security risk. [slashdot.org] I will not surrender control of my PC to render your content.

The more they annoy people, the more visibility worthy indie acts [harveydanger.com] get. People will listen to their popmart derivative garbage less [magnatune.com] .

I am personally opposed to straight pirating the stuff but I have to admit my conviction on the subject is wavering at this point.

Re:I hope *IAA keeps wasting thier money on DRM (2, Interesting)

fade-in (839519) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625669)

Doesn't it strike you as interesting the way these fat white CEOs address piracy the same way the Bush administration addresses terrorism?

Did I say interesting? I meant scary.

Re:I hope *IAA keeps wasting thier money on DRM (1)

trimbo (127919) | more than 6 years ago | (#19626035)

The more they annoy people, the more visibility worthy indie acts [Harvey Danger] get.

I don't mean to burst your bubble, but Harvey Danger got big while they were signed with Sire records, which is part of Warner-Electra-Atlantic last I checked. It's easy for you to say they're "indie" now, but they can swing that because they had a top 25 hit in 2000 when they released "King James Version" on a major label owned by WEA. And let's be honest here, they're just not that great and weren't even when they were on Sire.

Granted, some indie bands can still make a go of it [sayhitoyourmom.com] completely on their own, but Harvey Danger is the norm, rather than the exception. Most bands get signed to major labels, THEN go off and create their own label once they have gotten the exposure. The record companies still control the ability of bands to get airtime. That's just how it continues to be today.

You want irony? (5, Funny)

Mr Jazzizle (896331) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625551)

I use "Microsoft Plus! Analog Recorder" to record albums from Yahoo! Unlimited with the cable from line-out to line-in trick, effectively ignoring Microsoft DRM with their own software.

Hazards of monopoly (1)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625575)

Microsoft feels it has covered its baases. It owns the user base and it must move forward locking out any possible competitor. So they chase the chimera of secure distribution. At some point we can only hope linux's usability and market share provides a real challenge.

Re:Hazards of monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625937)

Microsoft feels it has covered its baases. It owns the user base and it must move forward locking out any possible competitor.
What the fuck is a baase?

Microsoft has nothing to do with Hollywood (4, Interesting)

gig (78408) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625587)

> So is every future advance in computer security and/or usability going to be held hostage to the gods of Hollywood
> and Digital Restrictions Management?

Microsoft has nothing to do with Hollywood. There are waiters in Hollywood who have forgotten more about movies than anyone at Microsoft will ever know. Even the accountants use Macs here in California.

Microsoft does not even make a movie player that plays the standard format. Calling Windows Media Player or Zune a movie player is like saying Microsoft Word is a Web browser because it can also display text and images. That is a very unsophisticated view that you can't sell to someone who actually knows how the Web works. Well, in Hollywood, they know how movies work. MPEG-4 was coming for many years, then it was standardized, then it became the format in iTunes+iPod, then the iPod took off. MPEG-4 is also HD DVD and Blu-Ray and AppleTV and iPhone and PSP. MPEG-4 is also the standardization of the QuickTime format which all the content creation tools are built around, even those like Avid that compete with Apple, so it arrived already having mature development tools. One day there was a QuickTime update and all of my tools could now generate MPEG-4 H.264 as if they had always known what it was. Further there is a free open source MPEG-4 streaming server that runs on every Unix and also Windows, it also has no streaming tax. Finally, most of all, MPEG-4 has no "content tax" while Microsoft's Windows Media business model depends on a content tax and everybody in both music and movie industry already knows better than that. All this happened already with sheet music and player pianos 100 years ago. Nobody is going to use an encoder that spits out a file which you can't copy or share without paying a tax to Microsoft, because everybody wants their movie or album to sell 100 million copies (even if it actually has no chance) so when Microsoft says aw it's only a penny per copy, people do the math and say no you are raping me with that, I can buy an MPEG-4 encoder for $20 and use it to make all the copies I want and not owe anybody anything why don't I just do that? And MPEG-4 just happens to already be integrated into all my tools and integrated into the hardware of consumer video playback so there was never any there there with Microsoft and movies. Even if they built a technically sound system or one that had a cost advantage, they would have to overcome the fact that nobody wants to work with the evil typewriter company.

All you are seeing here is another way that Windows sucks. Core computing functionality that customers use and want and even need to stabilize their Windows software on a real operating system is falling victim to Microsoft's lack of focus and hopeless star fucking. Why isn't Windows ready to be a good typewriter today? Because of its magic DRM.

Re:Microsoft has nothing to do with Hollywood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625615)

Another Microsoft tightening of the grip. The sand still flows.

Re:Microsoft has nothing to do with Hollywood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625945)

I live under a rock.

...there is a free open source MPEG-4 streaming server that runs on every Unix and also Windows, it also has no streaming tax.

And it's name is ... ?

Re:Microsoft has nothing to do with Hollywood (2, Informative)

Gallech (804178) | more than 6 years ago | (#19626077)

Well, I'm not a waiter in Hollywood, but I do have a few firing neurons, so...

> MPEG-4 has no "content tax"

Really? How about that licensing fee that all MPEG-4 use requires [wikipedia.org] ? The folks who own the MPEG-4 patents fully intend to make you pay for their use. Personally, I'd call that a "content tax", since anyone who sells an encoder or any device that embeds an MPEG-4 decoder (E.G.: a BluRay player) has to pay it.

> there is a free open source MPEG-4 streaming server

Really? I'd love to know what it's called. And does it do live streaming from real-time encodes?

Digital Rights Management is in Windows, in BluRay, and in iTunes because the copyright owners (MPAA/RIAA, but more importantly the mega-studios) won't allow their content on a box that doesn't have it. Microsoft can be blamed for bowing to the pressure from these copyright holders more willingly than they should have. But don't blame Microsoft for DRM itself- that's all the fault of Hollywood and the lawyers that slither there.

Microsoft's decision to reverse releasing their updated virtualization licensing may or may not have anything to do with DRM. Saying that the decision was DRM related is, at least for the moment, pure speculation.

Re:Microsoft has nothing to do with Hollywood (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#19626079)

The windows machines as typewriter is an interesting analogy. Certainly for the majority or the population, it is a best a typewriter, while in reality it has become a way to download pron, either pictures of cats or pictures of naked people, depending on what floats your boat. But for business, mostly it just types memos, or enter sales orders, or the like. A few people use a vertical application like Autocad or some other historical MS only tool.

What I find most interesting about the analogy though, is how much more accessible a typewriter was. I could go to the library and for a few quarters type a paper. Ray Bradbury say he wrote a book on the library typewriter. Now, you can go to the library and use a computer for free, for a limited amount of time, if you find one that is not being used to download cat pictures, but where is the typewriter? If the machine is so useful, why can't we have dedicated computers that can be used for $1 an hour, for the purpose of real research and writing. Where is todays creative person going to get their start. Surely video cameras and the like are more accessible than ever, but are we going to be doomed to a world full of reality shows and cookie cutter books because no one will know how to write?

BZZZT! (2, Interesting)

superbus1929 (1069292) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625611)

Saying it's because of what the MAFIAA will say is a fucking cop-out. Why would you want anyone to virtualize your $100 - $400 operating system when they can just buy a new one? Especially with their Draconian licensing agreements. They want to pass the buck, plain and simple, and the MPAA/RIAA are more than willing to take that buck and run with it.

"Content provider revolt" is a pitiful excuse that no one with a brain really buys.

What about Vista Business or Vista Ultimate? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625621)

Apparently Vista Business and Vista Ultimate are immune to DRM issue, as their EULA does allow them to be run under VM. I smell a fish here.

Why would this matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625659)

I mean, the pirates that would trade in VMs would probably have no qualms of pirating a virtualization-capable copy of vista

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT WITH A TROLL, PLEASE!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19625715)



   

Re:REPLY TO THIS COMMENT WITH A TROLL, PLEASE!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19626007)

Ron Paul.

AH HAH! More hardware (3, Interesting)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625747)

I was originally floored by the amount of hardware required to run Vista. So now with all the eye candy brought on in Vista, I was wondering...

"What could MSFT do next to require me to once again throw out my computer and buy the latest and greatest hardware in 2008 or 2009?"

Virtualization. MSFT Vista 4.0 or 3.51 or 95/98 or 2009... Would require:

Min of 1GB of RAM.
1TB HD (supplied by FibreChannel disk).
Quad Core CPU
Dual Core GPU.

All I wanted was to be able to surf the web and play Civ. I now require the computational power of an IBM p590.

Disappointing (1)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625777)

I thought the article might have something to do with virtualizing HDCP to fool Vista-VM into thinking the DVR connected to it was a proper protected video path. Now that would have been interesting.

Come On... (1, Insightful)

Kennego (963972) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625785)

Ok, I know we bash Microsoft all the time, but...

"that problem can be partly overcome with .zip and compression tools -- some, ironically, even supplied by Microsoft itself" ???

Come on, that's the most worthless statement I've heard in like a month. What the fuck was the point of that little jab? Microsoft makes compression tools... that can be used to compress something that Microsoft doesn't like! And some compression tools... run on WINDOWS, a Microsoft PRODUCT even! Holy crap they must be so pissed at themselves right now for going along with that whole compression thing. How blind could they have been!?

In other news, people can use their brains to think of shit they don't wanna think about! They don't want to think about it and yet their brains are being used to think of it anyway! That's just so ironic...

Re:Come On... (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625829)

I think it's mostly a matter of being amused at the idea of using Microsoft tools to pirate Microsoft media. Not some kind of attack on Microsoft itself.

DeGroot? (1)

azav (469988) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625851)

Who is DeGroot? His name appeared in the article without ever mentioning who he was.

Choose something else (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625859)

Ok, you've got many PCs most of which run Windows XP [nytimes.com] . They've been crashing every Exploit Wednesday [windowsitpro.com] since October. Every one has a license that was paid for three times (six times under Software Assurance [microsoft.com] ). You have seventeen core apps. Some of them are paid for several times. Some have a licensing server so that some people can use them when other people aren't, and come with a utility so that priority users can kick off nonpriority users. A couple of them are free. Four of them are nagware that came with your PCs or that you thought were a good idea at the time. One is an in-house app that only runs in a DOS box and accesses dBase files stored on your server. Every month a couple get pwned [theregister.co.uk] for no detectable reason.

Even if they don't run Windows [theregister.co.uk] you've paid over and over. You have to because they've made it happen what "enforcement" will happen if you don't. [microsoft.com]

Every software vendor you buy from makes it clear the software you bought is being split [symantecstore.com] into "basic" versions that include most of the features you use, and an "Enterprise" version that includes must have features you can't live without. Both new versions will be annual subscriptions instead of purchases. Naturally, the Premium version you require will cost many times what you already paid and the cost will be annual rather than once each. Of course they're entitled to this conversion of your purchase into a "revenue stream" because they've upgraded their product from an application to a "platform framework" that "optimizes" your "TCO".

You're thinking about investigating this multicore thing that people are talking about, but it seems impossible to reconcile the software licenses with multiple "cores" on one or more CPUs. You want to do server consolidation, but every server app has to be evaluated both by a professional enginner and by a hideously expensive team of lawyers who also want to audit every piece of software you've purchased since 1974. Your CPA wants to know why you licensed the same software 3-6 times for each PC, and why you're buying licenses for software that won't run on the PCs they're purchased for. And what's this entry for "SCO Linux licenses"? You live in dread of being audited [com.com] by jack-booted thugs, [bsa.org] not because you're pirating but because the danger of a paperwork snafu that destroys your budget is nearly certain and the slightest discrepancy is going to get you canned.

I have one question: What the hell are you thinking? Get off the train to crazy town. The free stuff [ubuntu.com] isn't just good, it's better. So much better that you're not going to believe you put up with this crap. If it's truly free you don't have to account for each copy/user/use/year/processor/incidence. It's not free because it's less worthy: it's free because you're not the first person to be disgusted by the experience you're having. Pay for support. Nobody ever got sued for terminating their support contract. Figure it out. The world has changed. The future is open.

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