CNet reports that Windows next operating system, "Vista" (that's what Longhorn is called this week), will be designed with extensive countermeasures to prevent the owners of computers from using them in the ways that they want. These computers will be designed to break compatibility with current monitors, analog outputs, and currently shipping software, all to ensure that the restrictions dictated by enterainment companies are obeyed by Windows.
Microsoft is cutting its throat here. There isn't a single Windows user who wants a version of Windows that lets her do less with her music and movies.
Microsoft is also subverting copyright. Fair use and other public rights in copyright hinge on factors that can't be modelled in software. For example, people engaged in parody have a lot more flexibility in terms of how they use copyrighted works than people who are engaged in satire. The difference between parody and satire is pretty fine -- it's the kind of thing courts rule on, not the kind of thing that you get a computer to detect.
DRM apologists claim that DRM can be used to model the preponderance of fair uses, but this is completely untrue. Fair use almost always hinges on intention -- there isn't any software that is capable of reading a user's mind and determining intention.
So here come Microsoft, the great defenders of copyright, selling out both their business and copyright: creating devices that no one wants that models a copyright law that doesn't exist.
What's the use of having a swaggering bully of a monopolist if it can't muster the intestinal fortitude that Sony displayed from 1976-1984 when it battled in Congress and all the way to the Supreme Court for the right to manufacture VCRs despite Hollywood's insistence that these were tools of piracy?
In short, the company is bending over backward--and investing considerable technological resources--to make sure Hollywood studios are happy with the next version of Windows, which is expected to ship on new PCs by late 2006. Microsoft believes it has to make nice with the entertainment industry if the PC is going to form the center of new digital home networks, which could allow such new features as streaming high-definition movies around the home.
PCs won't be the only ones with reinforced pirate-proofing. Other new consumer electronics devices will have to play by a similar set of rules in order to play back the studios' most valuable content, Microsoft executives say. Indeed, assuring studios that content will have extremely strong protection is the only way any device will be able to support the studios' planned high-definition content, the software company says.
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]