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more on That's probably right - they must have forgotten about that ...
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2006 18:13:10 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Wes Felter <wesley () felter org>
Date: April 10, 2006 4:37:32 PM EDT
To: dave () farber net
Subject: Re: That's probably right - they must have forgotten about that ...

> Monday, April 10, 2006 at 11:24 AM EDT
> Did Intel Forget to Mention that Palladium/Trusted Computing DRM is
> Embedded in New Intel Macs?
> April 8, 2006
> By Alice Hill
> RealTechNews

> http://www.realtechnews.com/posts/2915

Dr. Farber,

Along with many people, I am mostly opposed to trusted computing because it promotes the idea that computer owners should not be in control. But if this article is the best reporting we can get, we have no hope of even understanding the situation, let alone having a discussion about it.

Just a few examples:

"Did Intel Forget to Mention...": Macs are designed by Apple, not Intel. It's Apple's responsibility to tell their customers what is inside their machines, not Intel's.

"Palladium/Trusted Computing DRM": These are three different things. Palladium is a Windows-specific technology that is not shipping and will not be shipped any time soon (if ever). Macs don't contain Palladium. The TPM is indeed part of trusted computing, but actually using a TPM to implement strong DRM is very difficult - it requires the OS to be redesigned to provide mandatory security.

"Intel has embedded “Trusted Computing” DRM protection in its Infineon chip": Obviously the author is not aware that Infineon is the name of a chip manufacturer; an Infineon TPM has nothing to do with Intel.

Apparently Apple is trying to use the TPM to lock OS X to Apple hardware, but it doesn't work and can't work. This is not surprising when you consider that the TPM was never designed to do that. In the real world I've seen no evidence that the TPM is useful for evil purposes - I see it as yet another "security theater" boondoggle that will waste money without benefiting Apple or its customers. But at least it won't be any worse than software-only DRM.

Wes Felter - wesley () felter org

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