Joi Ito on DRM, the World Wide Web Consortium, Net Neutrality and other tech policy

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Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab and former CEO of Creative Commons, founder of the first ISP in Japan, has penned an outstanding editorial describing the ways in which narrow corporate interests and legislative capture produce bad tech policies that threaten the net. Read the rest

Open Source Initiative says standards aren't open unless they protect security researchers and interoperability

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The Open Source Initiative, a nonprofit that certifies open source licenses, has made an important policy statement about open standards. Read the rest

Math denialism: crypto backdoors and DRM are the alternative medicine of computer science

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My latest Guardian column, The FBI wants a backdoor only it can use – but wanting it doesn’t make it possible, draws a connection between vaccine denial, climate denial, and the demand for backdoors in secure systems, as well as the call for technologies that prevent copyright infringement, like DRM. Read the rest

The Internet of Things in Your Butt: smart rectal thermometer

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Ha-ha-yes, it's true, there's an IoT rectal thermometer, which is about as irrationally exuberant as you can get about a technology bubble, bu(t)t... Read the rest

3D Systems abandons its Cube printers, but DRM means you can't buy filament from anyone else

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3D printing giant 3D Systems has experienced a terrible year and a change in leadership, and seems to be backing away from consumer products, meaning that it's orphaned its Cube home 3D printers. Read the rest

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

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