On the flip side… this

On the flip side… this sickens me… The next step in both hardware and software is TCPA. Read this to understand how encompassing this is. Here are exsurps for those who don’t have enough time to read.

2. What does TCPA / Palladium do, in ordinary English?

Its obvious application is to embed digital rights management (DRM) technology in the PC. The less obvious implications include making it easier for application software vendors to lock in their users.

4. How does it work?

TCPA provides for a monitoring component to be mounted in future PCs. The likely implementation in the first phase of TCPA is a `Fritz’ chip – a smartcard chip or dongle soldered to the motherboard. When you boot up your PC, Fritz takes charge. He checks that the boot ROM is as expected, executes it, measures the state of the machine; then checks the first part of the operating system, loads and executes it, checks the state of the machine; and so on. The trust boundary, of hardware and software considered to be known and verified, is steadily expanded. A table is maintained of the hardware (audio card, video card etc) and the software (O/S, drivers, etc); if there are significant changes, the machine must be re-certified. The result is a PC booted into a known state with an approved combination of hardware and software. Control is then handed over to enforcement software in the operating system

11. How can TCPA be abused?

One of the worries is censorship. An application enabled for TCPA, such as a media player or word processor, will typically have its security policy administered remotely by a server. This is so that content owners can react to new piracy techniques. However, the mechanisms might also be used for censorship.

15. So can’t TCPA be broken?

The early versions will be vulnerable to anyone with the tools and patience to crack the hardware (e.g., get clear data on the bus between the CPU and the Fritz chip). However, from phase 2, the Fritz chip will disappear inside the main processor – let’s call it the `Hexium’ – and things will get a lot harder. Really serious, well funded opponents will still be able to crack it. However, it’s likely to go on getting more difficult and expensive. Also, in many countries, cracking Fritz will be illegal. In the USA the Digital Millennium Copyright Act already does this, while in the EU the situation may vary from one country to another, depending on the way national regulations implement the EU Copyright Directive. Also, in many products, compatibility control is already being mixed quite deliberately with copyright control. The Sony Playstation’s authentication chips also contain the encryption algorithm for DVD, so that reverse engineers can be accused of circumventing a copyright protection mechanism and hounded under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The situation is likely to be messy – and that will favour large firms with big legal budgets.

Won’t this be a fun ride…

Oh, I almost forgot to

Oh, I almost forgot to mention… it’s new CD day 🙂

Since I was going into Nashua to pick up a keyboard, I figured I’d check and see if X-Press 2’s new CD “Musikizm” was at Newbury Comics. I know the import was released last month in England and that the US release was sometime soon. Well, I was right and so now I’m the proud owner of that little piece of musical perfection. Also, in an odd twist of luck, my parents had decided to buy some CD’s for their trip this weekend. Asking their friendly music store associate “what’s good” they were pointed in the direction of Bruce Hornsby’s “Big Swing Face” and the Oh Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack. They of course completely hated Bruce Honsby and so now I own it. It’s actually an odd CD. Apparently he’s a jazz/piano/funk guy who’s trying something very different with the album. According to all the reviews on Amazon, this CD sounds nothing like anything he’s ever done. Very ambiant with a little trance and a smidge of eclectic dance-pop. Kind of like Dirty Vegas or Underworld. Very good though. I’ve never really heard of the artist but I’m definatly going to be giving it a listen later tonight. So, I got two CD’s for the price of one today. Huzah.

Well, game night was fun.

Well, game night was fun. We played some CS, WarCraft III, tried to play Jedi II (but we forgot CDs) and that’s about all I can remember. We got some pizza at some point and it was tasty.

Today, when putting my computer back upstairs I stepped on my keyboard on accident which facilitated my purchase of a new one this afternoon. It’s actually the same keyboard I’ve been borrowing to play games at Simpro. It’s the Logitech “Internet Navigator” which basically means it has a few useless buttons around the top that I’m sure I’ll never use. It’s also being a pain in the ass with my USB ports. It refuses to recognise itself and only appears as “Unknown USB device.” I’ve tried installing the drivers from Logitech about 30 times and no go. When I plug it into the PS2 port however, it works perfectly. Kind of disappointing considering I used the exact same keyboard, in a USB slot, last night and it worked fine. I’ll figure it out later.

I guess it’s dinner time. After that I think Die Hard is on TV, maybe I’ll watch that. Then I’ll just relax a bit and wait for Lauren to call tonight.


Once more into the breach,

Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead!
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger…
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot!

Shakespeare — Henry V

Tonight, there shall be game. Huzah.