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.
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 […]