Buying an Apple computer? Get ready to throw away your monitor, over and over again. New Apple hardware is shipping with "HDCP" anti-copying technology that prevents showing some video on "non-compliant" monitors. Best part: the list of "compliant" monitors will change over time: the monitor you buy today can be "revoked" tomorrow and stop working.
Slashdot says that Apple's added "copyright protection" to its video. But copyright law isn't violated when you watch a movie on an "unapproved" monitor. This isn't about enforcing copyright law, it's about giving a small handful of movie companies a veto over hardware designs.
Yesterday, our buddy David Chartier at Ars and Sam Oliver at AppleInsider both publicized an issue that's been burning up the support boards for a while now: iTunes video rentals and purchases in HD are flagged for HDCP control, and in cooperation with the new Mini DisplayPort connector on the MacBook and MacBook Pro unibody models, those movies and TV shows are refusing to play back on non-compliant external displays.
In this case, 'compliant' means HDMI or recent-vintage DVI, but even monitors or TVs that support HDCP may not properly negotiate with the DisplayPort connector to give iTunes and QuickTime the all-clear signal (if so, quitting and relaunching iTunes once the display is hooked up may clear the playback hold).
Equally annoying: HDCP is only supposed to apply to 'high-value' digital streams, meaning standard-def purchases and rentals on the iTunes store should be out of scope... but some reports indicate that both the HD and SD instances are flagged, blocking playback on anything but the laptop's internal display or a straight-thru HDMI connection. Argh!
MacBook Pro users getting bitten by HDCP
(Thanks, Denver Jewelry Guy!)
Peter Biddle writes, “I get I myself into trouble. I don’t claim that bad stuff happens to me more often than others – it’s more that I find more ways to happen to bad stuff. I actually found a way to get severe hypothermia in 105°F heat.”
Looking for a tiny PC that still has space for a gaming-quality video card? SFF PC Cases is a remarkably detailed spreadsheet listing dozens of models, complete with cost, dimensions, volume and even important build tips. The very smallest are not practical for powerful builds, but the critical “Maximum GPU length” field is right there […]
Benji Edwards’s guide to preserving vintage electronics is a fascinating look into all the ways that even solid-state gear can go off in long-term storage: a lot of stuff (batteries, capacitors and even rubber) can leak viscous, electronics-destroying liquids; plastics break down in UV light; mold and corrosion eat your gear from within; spiders, crickets […]
Toaster ovens are the perfect appliance for small things like toasted sandwiches and roasted garlic (try it!), but anything more involved usually requires a full-sized conventional oven.However, despite its small size, the Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven can handle anything from baked pastries to broiled meats. This kitchen appliance has a minimal countertop footprint, and cooks […]
The Pry.Me Bottle Opener holds tens of thousands of times its own weight, and you can pick one up now from the Boing Boing Store.This remarkable keychain is considerably smaller than any of your keys, but don’t let that fool you: it can easily open any bottle, and could even tow a trailer full of […]