The work at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) on adding DRM to HTML5 is one of the most disturbing developments in the recent history of technology. The W3C's mailing lists have been full of controversy about this ever since the decision was announced.
Most recently, a thread in the restricted media list asked about the requirements for DRM from the studios -- who have pushed for DRM, largely through their partner Netflix -- and discoverd that these requirements are secret.
It's hard to overstate how weird this is.
Standardization is the process by which all the parties in a technical subject agree on how things should be done. It starts with a gathering of requirements -- literally, "What is the standard required to do?" Without these requirements, it's hard to see how standardization can take place. If you don't know what you're standardizing for, how can you standardize at all?
DRM, by its nature, has secret requirements. That's why attempts to standardize it always end up with unworkable garbage, like the DVB's CPCM. DRM relies on me installing software on your computer that stops you from running other software. For example, you install a browser that plays video in such a way that another program on your computer can't grab the video as the browser shows it on the screen.
This is silly. It's your computer. Whatever steps the browser takes to obscure how it is playing the video back can be unpicked by you, at your leisure, so you can make a tool that gets around it.
Standards are, by their nature, public: they say, "This is what you are expected to do." But if you make DRM's workings public ("here's how we hide the keys from you"), you provide a roadmap for defeating it. Standardized DRM is an oxymoron, like a secret law.
The ensuing Hacker News thread is well worth a read on this.
Re: Watermarking [Re: Campaign for position of chair and mandate to close this community group]
(Image: Shh--Daily Image 2011--April 2, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from tinfoilraccoon's photostream)
The Dirty Cow vulnerability dates back to code included in the Linux kernel in 2007, and it can be trivially weaponized into an easy-to-run exploit that allows user-space programs to execute as root, meaning that attackers can take over the entire device by getting their targets to run apps without administrator privileges.
In 1967, Philippa Foot posed the “Trolley Problem,” an ethical conundrum about whether a bystander should be sacrificed to rescue the passengers of a speeding, out-of-control trolley; as self-driving cars have inched toward reality, this has been repurposed as a misleadingly chin-stroking question about autonomous vehicles: when faced with the choice of killing their owners […]
Researcher Yarden Katz scraped the database of Intellectual Ventures, a giant business that buys up patents, but produces nothing but lawsuits (previously), and discovered that IV claims ownership of nearly 500 patents that were created at public expense by researchers employed by public universities, and another 100 or so patents filed by the US Navy.
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]
This week’s top deals from the Boing Boing Store range from lobster to wine to desk organization. 1. Get Maine Lobster (50% Off)With these discounted packages from Get Maine Lobster, you can experience the sweet, fresh flavor of world-renowned Maine lobster right at your own dinner table. There are four options to choose from, each at […]