Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The True Cost Of Vista

Required reading. I know it's long and there's more paranoia and spin than there has to be, but the basic points made are very relevant.

These days there are far too many words without actions. Sony rip their customers off and shred companies like Lik-Sang and people bitch and moan about it, but then they go out the next day and buy Sony products. Linksys ship buggy and incompatible wireless router products and they get bad reviews, but you can guarantee they still ship in the hundreds of thousands. When did we become a race of people who are so desperate to spend our money that we are willing to have any piece of sh*t shoved down our throats? Somewhere it has to end, and I for one am willing to at least make the effort.

Right now I'm making this vow: I will not buy any HD-DVD or Blu-Ray discs, I will not use Vista, and I will prioritise my PC hardware purchases such that if it employs the frankly retarded measures noted then it will be at the very bottom of my list.

So there you have it. MS can be assured I will not be paying anything for their new flagship product. The film companies can be assured I will not be buying the content that is so precious as to require a complete removal of common (and business) sense. The hardware companies can be assured that if they allow MS to dictate to them what they are and aren't allowed to make then I will most certainly not be giving them my cash (after all, that's what the whole world revolves around isn't it?).

Just in case MS didn't see this one coming, a suitable quote:
The HDCP scheme will serve to make the illegal product the most full featured and least restrictive, and thus the most attractive to the consumer. Add in the expense of buying new equipment to view the legal content (when existing equipment is perfectly capable) and the performance drain imposed by in-line encryption/decryption and they've put out the biggest incentive to piracy yet.

On an (almost) lighter note, I can so see this happening:
An interesting potential security threat, suggested by Karl Siegemund, occurs when Vista is being used to run a security monitoring system such as a video surveillance system. If it's possible to convince Vista that what it's communicating is premium content, the video (and/or audio) surveillance content will become unavailable, since it's unlikely that a surveillance center will be using DRM-enabled recording devices or monitors. I can just see this as a plot element in Ocean's Fifteen or Mission Impossible Six, "It's OK, their surveillance system is running Vista, we can shut it down with spoofed premium content."

How about this scenario? A tech support employee at a cable tv company gets fired for browsing porn on company time. Before leaving he leaves a program running on one of the servers that streams out a key revocation list to every device listening to the broadcasts. This list is composed of random keys being generated and sent as fast as the network allows. Before it gets discovered and removed a huge portion of people lose the ability to view premium content on their devices (or even have the devices completely disabled).

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