Welcome to France where insulting the president can land you in jail.
So true! When will CS conferences will require an open source demonstrator?
Oh, it is a big deal.
There are two technologies for touch screens:
- Resistive: It means adding an extra layer on top of the screen, reducing the brightness of the screen or increasing the backlight resulting in a lower battery life.
- Capacitive: As far I know, it is only possible on current screen's surface. It would need some sort of glass like on smartphones. This increases the price of the laptop and makes it more susceptible to breaking if the glass is of poor quality.
The end result in both cases is a higher price
I find Gattaca's plot more likely than creating humans by mixing genes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_nkVmRSpfE
I was familiar with clean room because I was once part of such a project. I was aware nVidia drivers had parts that they considered to be "secret sauce" algorithms (and ATI didn't?). From what you said, I'm assuming it was the firmware which must be loaded onto the card?
I'm only vaguely familiar with the requirements for HDCP compliance, but I'm guessing that safeguarding keys is part of it. So, my assumption is that nVidia needed to do that, in general, rather than to specifically make it difficult for the nouveau project.
Perhaps, the libdvdcss approach by players will work. The players don't have de-CSS capabilities themselves, but they do look around for the lib. If it "happens to be around" (e.g. liability is shifted to the end user who downloaded it separately), they will use it.
In other words, you always need the card, so everything else is protected without needing specific protection of its own.
My answer to all that is that nVidia cards are mostly software nowadays (except for the real rendering/computing core). Nvidia uses a common ISA for most engines. It was reversed engineered when Fermi was out and took more than a year before we wrote our core firmwares by ourselves. I'm currently writing the hardware monitoring firmware as a first experience with this ISA.
These firmwares execute on harvard "microcontrolers" and all have some special capabilities depending on the engine they run on.
The firmwares themselves aren't secure at all and aren't meant to be anyway. However, some "memory pages" can be marked as secret so as you can't access them from the host unless you know the "password". I never studied this part, if you are interested, you can read what has already been documented: https://github.com/pathscale/envytools/blob/master/hwdocs/fuc-vm.txt
In the end, the card itself isn't particularly needed since it is mostly software and we should be able to fake many things. But what's the point of hdcp anyway?
Another assurance for nVidia is that they know how slow going the RE is, compared to what they can do. They'll always be several steps ahead, no matter what. So, nouveau is no "threat" to them. The only people they're really concerned about are competitors like AMD/ATI and Intel that make HW.
Right, by the time the hw is shipped, nVidia doesn't worry anymore about their secrets. Nouveau is thus not a problem for them. However, yesterday, the 3d driver for Kepler was released, less than a month after the release of the first Kepler GPU. Some people in the Nouveau really are in-human
Be thankful you're in Europe. In the US, the RIAA has been known to sue widows and orphans
Yeah, the US is always crazy about IP. Can't wait for the whole damn thing be to reformed to be friendlier with those who really do make the country go forward.
Ok, I created an account. It will be simpler for others to follow. Comparing me to Linus or Eric Raymond is really over-the-top. I'm just a PhD student who has been working on power management in nouveau for little more than 1.5 years.
Anyway, the answers to your post are right, clean-room REing is legal. The shady part is for the firmwares that you have to decode in order to re-implement them. Fortunately, we know nvidia used a compiler to compile them. As we write them in asm only and don't use the same interface, I guess we are pretty covered.
As for video decoding, nVidia though about us and added a "safe" for the encryption keys. So yes, we can re-implement video decoding (it is an on-going work, but it's ugly) but the compliance with hdcp will never come.
As for software patents, we do our best not to do things covered by them but sometimes we have to. In this case, we think about the sane countries that could benefit our code (most of them are "sane"
Lastly, nVidia said they would neither help nor hinder the project. If there is something they don't like, I'm sure they will let us know before going to court. If they wanted to go to the court, that would be one hell of a pain since they would have to sue individuals from many countries, mostly european.
Most of us are students, that would be bad PR to sue us