Vista, threat to Linux, *nix ?

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This is as much for information as it is for feedback or discussion,
though both are appreciated.  I abandoned Win for *nix years ago for
security reasons that are still valid.  Each new threat to *nix threatens
my own personal and financial security.

From what I gather, M$ is making a new (?) push to force third party
hardware manufacturers to _only_ allow proprietary, remotely disable-able
drivers (if I said that at all coherently).  And the upshot is that
current hardware, from now on, may not be usable with OSS, Free licensed
drivers.  Looks like a gathering storm.

(a list of articles)

["Connecting systems to displays with DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort: What we got
here is failure to communicate"]

[Vista Crippled by Content Protection]

[Making the upgrade

I have no need to replace anything on my computer until it physically
breaks, so why on earth would I want to switch to Microsoft Vista?]

(Blog with comments.  See especially comment from StevenJerome

Comment No. 360518

January 2 19:12)

In non-tech speak, this means few or no Linux drivers for new
Vista-compatible hardware. MacOS drivers will have to be licensed,
probably by Apple at your expense, and so will have a smaller selection.

But a year from now, when it's nearly impossible to by a Peecee without
Vista, it will also be getting harder and harder to get an up-to-date
Linux box to work with its own display and other drivers. If Microsoft
gets their way.

[A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection]

(This is really good, with lots of background and references.)

July 25, 2005

From our faithful friends at EFF.


Re: Vista, threat to Linux, *nix ?

So what else is new??

This was done many years ago, by the same company, when OS/2 was
perceived as a threat to market dominance. Manufacturers were enticed to
produce peripherals that had some functionality removed from the device
and replaced by software included in the operating system. This
(theoretically) gave the (first) manufacturer to do this a manufacturing
cost advantage when compared to competitors. This was rapidly adopted by
printer and modem manufacturers, giving rise to the (infamous) Win
peripherals which worked only with a single operating system.

Unfortunately, the regulatory climate today in the US does not consider
this to be an issue. It appears to be more important to figure out how
to develop hardware that will stop working if you attempt to use it to
do something (ie copy a DVD) that someone else finds offensive and has
succeeded in having legal penalties attached to.

The best current example of this I know is the HDTV/HDDVD problem that a
a certain manufacturer of both devices faces. The first couple of years
production of HDTVs will be unable to play DVDs (in HD mode) using the
manufacturer's DVD player. This was caused by changes to the hardware
security interface and the older TVs don't pass the "I'm an approved HD
display device" signal to the player.

I've already seen one review of a basic PC component that has a function
that is (presently) usable only by Vista. It appears that this disk
drive, with an onboard static memory, will be used by Vista's hibernate
function to make the process almost instantaneous. Other operating
systems get other benefits from this cache memory but don't (yet) have
access to the hibernate function.

I believe that our best hope is that the European governments will take
the lead to discourage this myopic view of hardware - especially for
computers. They've already forced some changes into Vista and it's my
hope that, especially where governments have adopted *ix as the desktop
operating system, there will be a big enough outcry to prevent this

Phil Sherman

responder wrote:
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