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Motor (104119) writes "Doubtless most of slashdot is familar with Trusted Computing — a package of anti-consumer hardware measures that allow software makers to ensure that you are only running approved code that has been digitally signed by them (along with remotely attesting to that fact), and also encrypt their code so that it is only decoded and run within the processor itself. Ross Anderson's FAQ from 2003 still applies, even if the code names are now a little out of date.
Motor writes "A UK judge has jailed a man for 56 days after he posted offensive comments on twitter about a footballer who had a heart attack during a game. He's also been thrown out of his university degree course weeks from graduating. His comments may have been offensive... but do they really justify a prison sentence and ruining his life?" Link to Original Source top
Motor (104119) writes "As has long been expected — we are now beginning to see governments pushing for the use of so-called 'trusted computing'. Chips installed in all computers that effectively remove control of the PC from its owner. While there may be security advantages to some of the ideas — few can doubt that it represents a fundamental shift in the IT world. A radical move away from an open technology landscape and towards a system that denies all access unless you have the right credentials. Governments will demand the right credentials to access their services — meaning approved software stacks (i.e Windows) with the right digital signatures. Vernor Vinge had it right ." Link to Original Source top
Motor (104119) writes "Boing boing has a post about Apple possibly dropping the use of TPMs in their newest Intel Macs. I'm skeptical given Apple's refusal to discuss the secretive TPM hardware at all in the past... and IMO, it's too soon to start recommending Apple hardware again... but if it is is true, it could be a small victory for the forces of openness.
Trusted Computing hardware is controversial given its strong links with DRM technology (and indeed its birth by Intel/Microsoft/Compaq specifically to bring anti-piracy hardware to the PC), and also its ability to make previously Free software non-Free through the use of code signing and not trusting anything that has been modified (without allowing the user control over that process). So this move by Apple, if true, would seem to be a good thing." top
Motor (104119) writes "According to The Inquirer, the BBC has gone Microsoft, which will effectively end any legal use of Free software to listen to their publicly-funded content. One wonders whether the gutting of the BBC technical divisions and the sell off to commercial operators is partly behind this. Whatever the reason, the BBC is a major player in the streaming market... and the move to Microsoft is bad news if you happen to be a license payer who doesn't also pay the Microsoft tax." top