Vista, the new version of Windows, has tightened the Trusted Computing screws, putting hardware companies on notice that they will have to get their drivers approved by Microsoft before shipping them. Microsoft had previously designed Vista to simply warn users if their drivers were "unsigned" -- that is, not approved by Microsoft -- but in a new announcement, the company pledged to make it impossible to load any unapproved drivers under Vista.
This has been positioned as an anti-spyware measure, but it will also have the effect of making copy- and use-restriction systems more restrictive. You won't, for example, be able to install alternative drivers for a video-capture card that lets you ignore anti-copying watermarks in your videos, effectively taking control away from you, the owner of the computer, and indiscriminately giving it over to anyone who can insert a watermark (no-copying watermarks have already been illegally inserted into many Fox programs, resulting in their not being stored by TiVo video recorders).
Another effect of this will be to raise the cost of developing drivers, since developers will be required by Microsoft to buy a VeriSign Class 3 Commercial Software Publisher Certificate, at an unknown cost.
Still, what is this going to stop? SONY screwed up majorly, but nothing bad has really happened to them. Do you think that a $500 fee is going to deter spyware companies?
Spyware/adware authors aren't some teenagers... they're million-dollar businesses (or larger). Do you think they care if they have to get a new $500 certificate every few months? They probably spend twice as much on lunch during that time.
Do you think Verisign is going to selectively refuse to grant certificates to paying customers just because they're suspicious? They'd be sued immediately by the first rich "victim" company, and would probably settle quickly to avoid the bad press.
It's not like Verisign will magically prevent the bad guys from doing harm. Remember, this is Verisign we're talking about - not exactly a model for ethics.
Neglected public payphones in New York City are being turned into “GuyFi” stations: a place where one can rub one out for the sake of “stress relief.” Annalee Newitz reports on the wank booths from a company named “Hot Octopus”… The company reported that at least 100 men used the booth on its opening day […]
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
A leaked Comcast memo discloses that the company’s consumer data caps have nothing to do with network congestion, contrary to its public claims. The internet service provider has often complained (such as when lobbying against net neutrality) that it must impose limits on service to prevent network congestion. The argument suggests that these measures are […]
If you’ve been blessed enough to avoid them yourself, you’ve definitely heard the horror stories. Late night, crushing out a ton of work, writing, coding, anything, then boom – your computer crashes. The battery blows, you spill water or coffee all over the place, or it just shuts down with no explanation, and you’re screwed. […]
You travel around a lot. It might be that jet set life from New York to LA to London to Tokyo, or it might be back and forth from the coffee shop to the office, or from the kitchen to the couch. Any which way, you’re mobile and that’s the way to live. When you […]
It’s 2016 and we like our technology really small. Our phones fit in our pockets, our remotes are lighter than ever, and even our cars seem to be shrinking. So your new drone shouldn’t be an exception. This Axis VIDIUS Drone is 21% off right now and it’s so little, your biggest problem won’t be […]