Will the W3C strike a bargain to save the Web from DRM?

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The World Wide Web Consortium, which makes the standards the Web runs on, continues to pursue work on DRM -- technology that you can't connect to without explicit permission, and whose bugs can't be reported without legal jeopardy lest you weaken it. Read the rest

Breaking the DRM on the 1982 Apple ][+ port of Burger Time

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4AM is a prolific computer historian whose practice involves cracking the copy protection on neglected Apple ][+ floppy disks, producing not just games, but voluminous logs that reveal the secret history of the cat-and-mouse between crackers and publishers. Read the rest

If you think self-driving cars have a Trolley Problem, you're asking the wrong questions

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In my latest Guardian column, The problem with self-driving cars: who controls the code?, I take issue with the "Trolley Problem" as applied to autonomous vehicles, which asks, if your car has to choose between a maneuver that kills you and one that kills other people, which one should it be programmed to do? Read the rest

Philips pushes lightbulb firmware update that locks out third-party bulbs

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Philips makes a line of "smart" LED lightbulbs and controllers called Hue, that run the Zigbee networking protocol, allowing third-party devices to control their brightness and color. Read the rest

Ecuador's draft copyright law: legal to break DRM to achieve fair use

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All over the world, laws promulgated by the US Trade Representative ban breaking digital locks -- the "Digital Rights Management" technologies that lock up our TVs, tablets, phones, games consoles, cars, insulin pumps, tractors, coffee makers, etc -- even if you're breaking them to do something legal, for example, making "fair use" (like parodies, critiques, and new, transformative works like mashups). Read the rest

Springer Nature to release 100,000 titles as DRM-free bundles

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Peter from Shelfie writes, "In a press release on Digital Book World, Springer Nature has announced a partnership with Vancouver start-up Shelfie (BitLit) to offer digital bundles on over 100,000 titles from their catalog." Read the rest

Mesopotamian boundary stones: the DRM of pre-history

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Sarah Jeong had me standing up and cheering with her comparison of kudurrus -- the ancient Mesopotamian boundary stones used to mark out territorial land-grants -- and the way that laws like the US DMCA protect digital rights management systems. Read the rest

DRM in TIG welders

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Some of Miller's TIG welding power supplies come intentionally crippled, locking out many useful functions until you buy a $400 SD card. Read the rest

SRSLY, they want to put DRM in JPEGs

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The Joint Photographic Expert Group, which oversees the JPEG format, met in Brussels today to discuss adding DRM to its format, so that there would be images that would be able to force your computer to stop you from uploading pictures to Pintrest or social media. Read the rest

Apple won't let me read the ebooks I bought from them

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I apparently made a mistake somewhere down the line when I was setting up my family accounts on iCloud. (It's confusing, at least to me.) Now Apple is punishing me by locking me out of my purchased iBooks for 90 days. Read the rest

It's been ten years since Sony Music infected the world with its rootkit

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Oct 31 2005: Security researcher Mark Russinovich blows the whistle on Sony-BMG, whose latest "audio CDs" were actually multi-session data-discs, deliberately designed to covertly infect Windows computers when inserted into their optical drives. Read the rest

Internet of Things That Lie: the future of regulation is demonology

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Volkswagen's cars didn't have a fault in their diesel motors -- they were designed to lie to regulators, and that matters, because regulation is based on the idea that people lie, but things tell the truth. Read the rest

Dieselgate for TVs: Samsung accused of programming TVs to cheat energy efficiency ratings

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The European Commission is probing whether Samsung televisions' sensed when they were being tested for energy efficiency and changed their power consumption to get better ratings than they deserved. Read the rest

Theoretical "auto-brothel" attack on mechanics' computers could infect millions of cars

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Companies like GM have engineered their cars so that it's a felony to make independent diagnostic tools for them, or to investigate the official diagnostic tools rented to mechanics in exchange for a promise to only buy GM's hyper-inflated replacement parts. Read the rest

Not just emissions: manufacturers' dirty tricks fake everything about cars

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VW's diesel firmware detected when it was undergoing emissions testing and changed the engine tuning to produce 1/40 of its normal toxic output, fooling regulators. But though they're the only ones who've been caught using firmware to game emissions testing, they're not the only ones with something to hide. Read the rest

VW's car DRM let it get away with cheating on its diesel emissions testing

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The EPA has accused Volkswagen of rigging its software to cheat the agency's diesel emissions standards so that its cars could be on the road while spewing 40 times the legal limit for diesel emissions. Read the rest

Report: Xerox is now region-coding some DRMed ink cartridges

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German tech pub c't magazin reports that Xerox is now requiring customers not only to use their toner cartridges, but they even have to be from a specific region to work.

Reporter Georg Schnurer tells the story of Mattias, who bought a Xerox WorkCentre 6505DN for his small business only to learn that the device would not accept Xerox toner cartridges that could be bought cheaper in other countries. The device locked in on whatever region it detected on the first cartridge installed. Trying any kind of workaround or installing the "wrong" region-encoded cartridge will brick the device. (via Techdirt)

Image: CC by Isaac Bowen In B4 pedants... That's right, that image is not a Xerox toner cartridge, but it's a lovely CC-BY-SA image that is not DRMed by region. Read the rest

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