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Transmeta

Transmeta to Incorporate DRM in TM5800 Processor 255

smiff writes "Silicon Valley is reporting that Transmeta will embed 'security' features in its TM5800 Crusoe processor. 'Transmeta said its Crusoe processors...would be slightly altered to tackle security and address requirements for securing sensitive data and intellectual property.' With everyone looking out for security, why don't I feel all warm and fuzzy inside?"
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Transmeta to Incorporate DRM in TM5800 Processor

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  • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SomeoneGotMyNick ( 200685 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @01:41PM (#5082018) Journal
    Why does this kind of stuff happen right in front of our eyes, yet behind our backs?
    • Because... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @01:51PM (#5082087)
      "Evil thrives when Good Men do nothing"

      Of course I forgot who said that....
    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by swordboy ( 472941 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @01:55PM (#5082119) Journal
      Why does this kind of stuff happen right in front of our eyes, yet behind our backs?

      Because it makes sense to a lot of people. Say, for example, that I want to write a book. While I could write the book, the odds of a publisher picking it up are incredibly small. Even if it did get picked up, an author only gets a small fraction of each sale. Then there is the Self Publishing [spannet.org] route, but this requires that I put significant time and effort into developing my own publishing methods. Lastly, I could simply sub-contract the actual creation of the book, but I've got to have significant cash up front in order to buy in the quantity required in order for this to work. And then you've got to manage inventory (storage and accounting thereof).

      Or I could simply publish an eBook under the context of secure DRM. If the book is successful, then I've got some capital to work with in order to bring the book to the bookshelf.

      It isn't all evil, people. But this is slashdot so I'd better go screw myself, eh?
      • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by lunenburg ( 37393 )
        Or I could simply publish an eBook under the context of secure DRM. If the book is successful, then I've got some capital to work with in order to bring the book to the bookshelf.

        It isn't all evil, people. But this is slashdot so I'd better go screw myself, eh?


        And, by using this "secure DRM", you feel that you also have the right to dictate to the purchaser the exact terms and conditions that they are allowed to use your book under? Things like not being able to print the book, not being able to copy it from device to device, the book becoming unavailable after X days?

        Normal publishers don't get to dictate these terms - why should you? That's the problem with DRM.
        • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by swordboy ( 472941 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @03:15PM (#5082538) Journal
          And, by using this "secure DRM", you feel that you also have the right to dictate to the purchaser the exact terms and conditions that they are allowed to use your book under? Things like not being able to print the book, not being able to copy it from device to device, the book becoming unavailable after X days?

          Normal publishers don't get to dictate these terms - why should you? That's the problem with DRM.


          Consumers have a right not to buy something if they do not like the terms. If Joe Consumer does not want to buy an eBook because he can't copy it to multiple devices, then there is nobody forcing him to do so. If Joe Consumer wants to buy a real, hard copy book, then his rights have been restricted as well.

          For the record - I *am* writing a book. And my work will be released only in hard copy format because an unsecure digital work would quickly remove the need for most people to actually *purchase* the book (I realize that there are a few honest people out there but not in the demographic that I will be targeting).

          What you are not realizing is that secure DRM *creates a new market* rather than restricting the current one. Everyone associates the term with the MPAA and RIAA. And yes - these companies would like to remove some of our fair use rights with this technology. What they don't realize is that it will remove the need for many authors and artists to require the terms of the MPAA, RIAA, and other associated Big Corporate Evil.

          If a proven secure DRM makes an inroad, then I would consider releasing my work at this level. And if Joe Consumer wants to pay a few bucks to preview it for X number of days, then he will. But realize that this is a new market and not a restriction on an existing one.

          As a side note, Linux will lose bigtime if it doesn't adopt a fair DRM system. Otherwise, Microsoft will be the only player in this new market.
          • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by MSZ ( 26307 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @04:22PM (#5082859)
            But realize that this is a new market and not a restriction on an existing one.

            The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, they say.

            DRM as a concept isn't evil. It might be even good. Problem is in the details, namely in the way it is implemented. And I bet it will be implemented in a way that will benefit only the big evil corporations.

            Assuming that I would like to buy an ebook, I'd like to be able to use it in a way no more restrictive than a dead-tree edition. Which means ability to tranfer to laptop, PDA, smartphone or whatever device I would carry - just like I can carry the normal book in my bag or in my pocket and don't need to pay for separate bag and pocket editions. I could even agree with some form of deactivating other copies so only one is accesible at a time. Current approach however is that I would have to pay for new copy for each device I want to have the book on. Which suddenly makes ebook more expensive than normal one even though the production cost is much less... Guess what, I won't be buying one.
          • Re:Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @04:29PM (#5082913)
            Consumers have a right not to buy something if they do not like the terms.

            Of course, if they do not understand the terms that's a different matter. When Joe Consumer finds out the eBook he paid for can't be used under basic fair use terms this will all end up in court faster than falling down a mineshaft with a tailwind.

            Problem is that DRM tries to imply a license for use rather than an actual product purchase. Most punters won't get the difference (and others will disagree with it) so that will create problems.

            And my work will be released only in hard copy format because an unsecure digital work would quickly remove the need for most people to actually *purchase* the book

            Every one wants it so bad they'll steal it! Wow. It's that good is it? How about if it's any good, they'll pay for it. I've paid for PDF documents and I'll do it again, but not if they come with strings attached IN ADDITION to those of the existing law.

            What they don't realize is that it will remove the need for many authors and artists to require the terms of the MPAA, RIAA, and other associated Big Corporate Evil.

            So where do you think you will get your DRM authorization from? Yep, Big Corporate Evil - aka Microsoft or Verisign or Adobe or similar.

            As a side note, Linux will lose bigtime if it doesn't adopt a fair DRM system. Otherwise, Microsoft will be the only player in this new market.

            Ya reckon? I think you'll find that Linux users will be those against DRM in general, and hence will not be in the DRM "market" anyway. Linux (and other OS) were developed for free use, not to be part of any "market".

          • As a side note, Linux will lose bigtime if it doesn't adopt a fair DRM system. Otherwise, Microsoft will be the only player in this new market.

            The problem is that with ??AA dictating what DRM is with MS as their accomplice, this is unlikely to be allowed.

            I was thinking further about the discussion about how "trusted" is understood in the phrase "trusted computing". The essence of what is being proposed is being able to trust the computer when you can't, or more correctly won't trust the operator (user/admin) of that computer.

            Trusting the user is fundamental to the philosophy behind Open/Free Source. There is no practical way to keep the admin of a Linux system from being able to defeat any DRM system that Linux implements. You have the source, so you can always hack up a version that strips it out and lets you do whatevery you want.

            That being said, it is completely possible to implement a fair DRM scheme in Linux, and since you are trusting the operator anyway, any special support in the HW/BIOS isn't really needed. Since we are now back in control, we can design it to be fair, and have the 'R' in DRM stand for rights, not restrictions. In other words, we would empower the user in excercising fair-use rights to back-up, change formats, share with friends (within fair use bounds, of course).

            This probably won't satisfy DRM proponents, but I think it is important that the community respond to them with a true willingness to protect the copyright holders rights as well. If all the standard distros make good faith efforts to produce a system that respects both DRM and fair use, the average user will leave all the controls in place and when they make copies, they will know that there are fair use limits to be respected. Some may still choose to cross the line, and others will go further to circumvent controls completely. But the community will be demonstrating their stand for the rights of all parties involved.

            Still, the ugly head of the DMCA rears its head. At least in the US, this law gives all the power to the DRM proponents to just deny Linux access to protected content. It would be bold, but not unreasonable to assert the right to implement the program outlined above even in the face of the DMCA. After all, you are making a good faith effort to implement the controls (sans fair use restictions), not trying to "break" the controls. Now, I wouldn't do this on my own and risk the legal attention of a number of large companies, but this would require a lot of coordination in the community to pull it off anyway.

          • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

            by voodoo1man ( 594237 )
            Consumers have a right not to buy something if they do not like the terms. If Joe Consumer does not want to buy an eBook because he can't copy it to multiple devices, then there is nobody forcing him to do so. If Joe Consumer wants to buy a real, hard copy book, then his rights have been restricted as well.

            You obviously haven't no idea who a "consumer" is. Yes, some of us are forced to buy your books and their restrictions. Medical, law and engineering professionals are forced to buy books to practice their trade. Scholars and researches are forced to subscribe to journals and periodicals to do their job. Students are forced to buy books to pass their courses.

            Don't believe that last one? I didn't, until that exact thing happened to me only (literally) yesterday. The professor for the course (without any prior notification in the course description) demanded that we purchase a certain copy of a book that comes with a software license, and that the only way for us to hand in assignments (and therefore pass the course) is to use the software*. I didn't agree with the licensing restrictions of the software (non-transferrable, and the license key expires at the end of the term), I don't run Windows, and I had already purchased a used copy of the book (thankfully the copy I had was only $20, and the book itself seems ok). When I raised this objection, the instructor basically told me to piss off and take another class. Although the course is required for the program I'm pursuing, I won't be able to take it this semester.

            What you are not realising is that DRM will significantly affect the current market and anyone involved. There will be absolutely no new markets created by DRM. Consumables and consumers determine a market - you are neither creating new types of consumables, nor drawing new consumers. What you are doing is placing trade restrictions on the current markets with absolutely no economic justification or historical precedence.

            * For the record, it was a logic course offered by the department of philosophy under the faculty of humanities - there was absolutely no reason why the particular (or any, for that matter) software had to be used to complete the coursework.

          • As an author of an intellectual work, you realize that your work serves to enrich culture. You are not producing a product, such as a chair. You're producing an expression of thought.

            The market for thought, such as it is, will not expand beyond those that are ready to pursue it. E-media only serve as another distribution channel, with considerable downsides that can only be enhanced by DRM.

            Copyright is granted to you as a financial incentive for you to enrich the bodies of work and the cultures they affect.

            I think this is the crux of the Product vs Progress debate: Those who support DRM believe in the right of restraint; "I have produced a product, and you have a right not to purchase it." Those who distain it understand the unyeilding power of Copyright. An expression can not be aquired by another means, from another source, or be duplicated outside the scope of the law. You may never experience Minority Report within your lifetime, or possibly your children's lifetime, if you have any problem with the defective DVD.

            Now, you can disarm the arguement I've presented -- the basic presumption which placed copy rights in the Consitution -- with bashings of greed, and regexing "s/I/society/g". I hope you present it in original language, at least.
        • And, by using this "secure DRM", you feel that you also have the right to dictate to the purchaser the exact terms and conditions that they are allowed to use your book under? Things like not being able to print the book, not being able to copy it from device to device, the book becoming unavailable after X days?

          Or how about not being able to make a copy identical to the original to give to all your friends for free?

          Remember, copying a real book for someone else is still illegal, and justifiably so, IMHO. The only reason you don't get special designs of book that are intentionally difficult to copy is because books are already difficult to copy! Ripping apart a book and photocopying every page is time-consuming and hard work, and the copy ends up nothing like the original - and you deface the original in the process.

          Non-DRM e-books, unlike real books, are amazingly easy to copy, just a couple of clicks will send an identical copy winging its way to your friends, and the original is untouched. If you really wanted to copy a DRM e-book, you probably could, crackers are usually on the ball with these things, however, it's time-consuming and hard work... just like trying to copy a real book! This is why DRM is needed - to make it just as difficult to make an illegal copy of digital data as it is for hard copy data.

          • This is why DRM is needed - to make it just as difficult to make an illegal copy of digital data as it is for hard copy data


            And I have no objections at all if publishers want to release DRM-crippled products. The problem comes when said publishers subsequently demand laws to make criminals out of people who use tools that *could* be used to violate copyright, even though they have entirely legitimate uses (such as restoring the fair use rights that DRM schemes invariably remove).

      • Re:Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @03:19PM (#5082564) Homepage Journal
        Or I could simply publish an eBook under the context of secure DRM.
        What does publishing a DRMed eBook get you, that publishing a non-DRM eBook wouldn't?

        It seems to me, like all it gets you is a smaller market for your book (and thereby, lower sales), combined with some additional fees and contractual obligations from you to whatever organization is in charge of the DRM "technology."

      • Or I could simply publish an eBook under the context of secure DRM. If the book is successful, then I've got some capital to work with in order to bring the book to the bookshelf.

        This is Digital Rights Denial, implimented at the hardware level. You will not be able to publish in the new format, only a few existing publishers get they keys. They will continue to have all the power they enjoy under a dead tree economy without any of the costs. You will loose the ability to make any kind of publication at all, including paper, and will recieve even less that you might currently.

        ... so I'd better go screw myself, eh?

        Don't waste your effort, many dedicated people are working hard to screw you and everyone else. Just sit back and relax.

      • Or I could simply publish an eBook under the context of secure DRM. If the book is successful, then I've got some capital to work with in order to bring the book to the bookshelf.

        It isn't all evil, people. But this is slashdot so I'd better go screw myself, eh?

        Sounds like exactly what you're planning to do. I certainly don't want to stop you if you want to give yourself the shaft.

        Chances are, if your eBook goes nowhere, it'll be at least as much to do with the fact that nobody likes DRM formats as whether or not the content is crap, and since you wrote means you don't even know what's going on around you it probably will be.

        DRM-broken E-books are not selling.

        Didn't you learn anything from the recent discussion of the Baen Free Library? They are giving away earlier works of name authors with their permission, and the publisher and the authors are suddenly drastically more profitable than they ever have been before.

        Baen makes it's ebooks available in non-protected formats.

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by blamanj ( 253811 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @02:00PM (#5082154)
      I gotta believe that part of the problem is the current economy. The chipmakers are desparate to find someone to buy the chips. The feel if the suck up to the music and video industry behemoths, that there'll be a new market.

      I bet if the economy hadn't tanked, we wouldn't be seeing so much of this.
      • I gotta believe that part of the problem is the current economy. The chipmakers are desparate to find someone to buy the chips. The feel if the suck up to the music and video industry behemoths, that there'll be a new market.

        Except it won't be the music and video industry buying these chips. It will be you and me. We all know that most tech-savy crowds (Ars, Slashdot, etc) will NOT be buying this crap. So they are doing this to alienate their potential market?

        • Face the facts. The vast majority of the population does NOT read Ars, Slashdot, etc. Computer manufacturers, who want to save some money picking Transmeta over Intel or AMD are the primary consumers of these chips. They then pass their new line of cheaper computers to the 90% of the unwashed masses who don't know the difference between the CPU and the Monitor. Potential market my ass. Only the geeks who read this site and others like it are the ones booing DRM, but the rest of the public could care less.

          Personally, I think DRM has a valid place in society and is inevitable, however the current iteration is quite flawed. Information is no longer free...those who won't accept that will be the ones banging their heads against the wall in the end wishing for the good `ole days of Napster.
  • by I'm a racist. ( 631537 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @01:42PM (#5082025) Homepage Journal
    I feel like I speak for most people here, when I say " Oh, shit ."
    • The company, which sells its chips to notebook computer makers like Sony, Toshiba and Fujitsu, said the providing of secure storage of certificates and keys for authentication and encryption of confidential data was a "critical challenge facing the computer industry and end users."

      I definately would feel challenged if other people start storing certificates and keys on my computer without allowing me access to them.

    • Noooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!

      But that's just me.

  • Why... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Paul Neubauer ( 86753 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @01:43PM (#5082035)

    With everyone looking out for security, why don't I feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

    Because it is not security for you, but security from you.

    DRM seems to be more DRRM: Digital Rights Removal Mechanism.

    • It is security for anybody that wants to use it- including you. DRM gives software an unprecidented ability to store secrets- whether those secrets are your latest tax return or a Hollywood movie is invisible to the hardware. It can help you just as much as it can help Hollywood.

      DRM will be a boon to corporate security, which is the first target market for the technology anyway. DRM systems are going to sell like crazy to corporate IT whether /. likes it or not.
      • DRM gives software an unprecidented ability to store secrets- whether those secrets are your latest tax return


        You mean I'll be able to "encrypt" my private documents so that nobody can see them without some sort of "password"? I can't wait!


        It can help you just as much as it can help Hollywood.


        I've yet to hear of any alleged benefit that DRM gives consumers that isn't easily attainable with non-DRM systems.

  • Boycott? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Junior J. Junior III ( 192702 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @01:46PM (#5082051) Homepage
    I thought Transmeta had Linus, and were therefore good guys. Now we're going to have to design and fabricate our own OSH chips so we can code and compile our own OSS. Maybe I'll just take up fishing instead...
    • I'm sure he likes his job so don't expect much from him.
    • A boycott is an inappropriate response to this. Putting support for DRM into the hardware or BIOS is not the problem, and nobody should be punished for putting in the required features at this level. Besides, what are you going to do, buy Intel or AMD chips instead? In case you haven't noticed, they are going along too.

      Yes, do boycott companies that actually release content with objectionable DRM technology. A simple rule of thumb is if you can't view it under Linux (assuming there has been time and information necessary to create drivers, etc.), then it is unreasonably restrictive. Apple may be a good benchmark too, but they might cave at some point. It's really not possible for Linux to cave on this (well, maybe in an embedded box, but I doubt it).

  • by MrJerryNormandinSir ( 197432 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @01:47PM (#5082055)
    The market drives the economy.
    If all DRM hardware don't sell then the technology
    will be abandoned.

    I believe that a true open design for open hardware
    will result out of this. And we will be running
    Linux or FreeBSD.

    Apple I believe is fighting to stay out of this.
    Who knows, maybe Apple will get a surge of new business.

    I do not want a nutered computer.
    • by debrain ( 29228 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @01:55PM (#5082116) Journal
      If all DRM hardware [doesn't] sell then the technology
      will be abandoned.


      Not entirely true. If the cost of selling DRM technology exceeds the benefit, then it will be reduced in market share, perhaps to oblivion. On the other hand, if the benefits, which may include demands, or more precisely protection from, from entertainment and media conglomerates, exceed the costs of creating DRM, it will expand in use.

      If it becomes standard, through de facto expansion, or mandate, then it will have marginal extra cost to manufacturers. This may enable market players to created added value in non-DRM technology, but the value-proposition, in lieu of wanted protections from aforementioned conglomerates, is exceedingly small. (ie. make something non-DRM and get sued.)
    • by nagora ( 177841 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @01:55PM (#5082123)
      Boycott any hardware that supports "DRM"

      It it the clear intention of Hollywood and the Whitehouse that this would mean doing without a computer of any kind. Sounds like a fun future, doesn't it. This is the reality of consummer capitalism: the public is free to choose from the options the plutocrats set out for them, whether it is computer chips or presidents. In the later case, of course, they sometime have to fiddle the figures a bit if you're tedious enough to pick the wrong one but the reality is that a choice of two nobodies suits them much more than a real choice of people that might actually try to do a good job.

      TWW

      • by John Whitley ( 6067 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @03:18PM (#5082558) Homepage
        Boycott any hardware that supports "DRM"

        NO, NO, NO! As someone who works in the consumer digital media industry, this is not the right idea. The B2B (that's business-to-business) companies, e.g. Transmeta and many others, who produce hardware, firmware, and software support are bound to do what their customers (consumer electronics companies) want them to produce. If they don't, someone else gets the contract, period. The failure of Transmeta or TI or ARM does *nothing* to stop DRM. But there is a means that will work:

        Boycott end-user products that use unacceptable DRM technologies. A few good market failures will send a loud message to the CE companies that no one wants DRM products. They stop asking for it, and companies like Transmeta will be more than happy to no longer waste development effort on a feature their customers will no longer pay for. Then the CE and the B2B hardware companies become your allies in the fight against DRM -- because you've taught them that to do otherwise limits their bottom lines.
        • I think you should have been replying to the orginal poster; I don't think there's any point in boycotting any DRM stuff: chips or consumer items. We're going to get DRM whether we want it or not and the suppliers (MPAA, RIAA etc) will make damn sure that the only options are DRM or no digital content/DVD/Music/whatever at all.

          No one is asking us.

          TWW


        • Ok so if I'm to metaphorically interpret your solution:

          We shouldn't boycott toaster ovens, we should boycott toast/bread, until they start making toaster ovens the right way?

          That probably won't work for music/dvds etc..
          People NEED to watch new movies and listen to the latest CDs.

          Otherwise the american population will quickly realise how boring life is, stop being good consumers, and throw the nation deeper into an economic slide until we become part of the axis of evil :)

          But seriously.... you tell me. Could you go a year without rending/buying/listening to a new album/dvd/movie ? Think about it... we are engineered consumers. We are trained.

          -Zuchini

          --If suicide bombers don't value their own life, why should we place value on the life of their people?
        • That means the content (DVDs, CDs, Ebooks and downloads of same) and the devices that won't support fair use. For the content stuff it should be very clear, but it will be more murky with devices because more that one component will often be involved. You can't cut a CD or DVD on a player, but they are trying to also protect the play signal so only a DRM writer is compatible, so you have to consider the whole system.

          For computers, the critical DRM component is the system software. Palladium does constitute a core DRM technology. If you must use Windows, disable palladium, and don't use programs and content that require it to be enabled. If this makes Windows useless to you, then boycott windows. As long as putting the hardware support there doesn't interfere with running Linux, I would not hold the HW vendor responsible.

    • Boycott any hardware!? HA HA HA!

      AMD, Intel and Transmeta have all gone DRM. What are you going to use, IBM Power4? Apple will follow suit next, I assure you.

      Again, we've been fukked by lobbyists and a greedy congress. Free market my ass.
    • If all new chips incorporate DRM, and all current chips are phased out, then the market won't have any say at all. This is particularly true if DRM-enabled technologies are mandated by legislation. Even nastier will be when they make it illegal to own any legacy hardware that's capable of circumventing DRM.

      They can pry it out of my cold, dead hands I suppose. But more likely they'll just infect legacy equipment with some kind of hardware-destroying worm that overwrites the BIOS with something that fries mobos and procs. The anti-virus companies will be forced to ignore this virus by the Dept. of Homeland Security in the interest of protecting the information based economy from "economic terrorists".
    • Doubt it. Security is a good thing, isn't it?
      For example, some Eftpos terminals contain a "secure chip" alongside the CPU, which you can write 3DES keys in, and do 3DES on any data, but it is physically impossible to extract the keys. I think few people would call this a bad thing (except people who want to rip off banks...)

      Having the Transmeta CPU support this, as the article suggests, would mean that PCs, laptops and other devices could do secure banking and other tasks without their keys being discovered.

      Security isn't bad. Rights removal is bad. Don't mix them up..
    • The biggest danger I see in the DRM battle is the OSS movement putting their utopian obsessions before everything else. Whether DRM is adopted or not is out of our hands. If it is adopted, there's nothing we can do about it. But one thing's for sure -- if we go stomping out of the room in disgust, like a bunch of dumbass college sophomores, we can forget about having any control over the standards that do develop, and we concede all control to the Big Evil Corporations.

      But if we embrace DRM, we can at least help foster the development of open standards.
  • linux/s (Score:2, Interesting)

    doesn't linus work for these guys, or at least he did when they were getting started? what does he have to say about all this jazz?
  • by rebelcool ( 247749 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @01:48PM (#5082064)
    The technology required to make computing actually secure can easily be turned into such things as protecting intellectual property.

    Personally, I think the whole DRM thing is just FUD. There are so many agendas at work, the true nature of it is only known to the designers at work. And knowing how hardware architects work, I don't think theres much to fear.

  • Now the list of companies for Slashdot to simultaneously love and hate grows again. Step aside Sony, Disney, and Adobe...make rook for one more.
  • Chinese (Score:4, Insightful)

    by xombo ( 628858 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @01:49PM (#5082072)
    Perhaps this is the time when we should take into consideration buying processors from the Chinese government (since they're making them now). I realize they may be slow, but if this DRM thing gets out of hand this sort of threat to the US chipmakers could be in order.
    • Remeber kids, when you buy cheap DRM-less Chinese processors, you're funding TERRORISM!
    • ...and then you'll be marked as a "terrorist".
      Sorry man :)
    • Perhaps this is the time when we should take into consideration buying processors from the Chinese government

      Yeah, we all know the Chinese would never stoop to censorship or other Digital Rights Denial. Give me a break, Commie talk about the evils of IP is self serving at best.

  • Is there a list (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sweetooth ( 21075 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @01:50PM (#5082084) Homepage
    of vendors not planning on making chips with DRM? So far we know that Intel, AMD, and now Transmeta will be incorporating DRM. What about Cyrix/Winchip? Has anyone heard about IBM adding this to ther PowerX series of chips? Or Motorola for thier upcoming lines? I would have no problem moving to PowerPC if it meant I wouldn't have to deal with DRM.

    While there are very valid and good reasons for this technology to exist, I don't ever want to see it on my desktop/laptop. Server side makes sense to me, but I only see potential for abuse on the desktop side.
    • Re:Is there a list (Score:3, Interesting)

      by _fuzz_ ( 111591 )
      Has anyone heard about IBM adding this to ther PowerX series of chips?

      Why would IBM put DRM in a POWER4 chip? The RIAA doesn't care about AS/400s.

      • IBM is working on a scaled down Power4 chip (speculation says for Apple) which could potentially end up in desktop computers. Hence over what IBM is doing with the Power4 line.
  • by JemalCole ( 222845 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @01:54PM (#5082105) Homepage
    Hey, with Linus working for TM, maybe Linux can be the first OS with support for DRM! Woohooo!

    Oh, wait... Dangit.
  • Non-Story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by reynolds_john ( 242657 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @01:54PM (#5082108)
    You're a struggling company. You:

    A. Ignore DRM solutions and the coming tidal wave of hollywood support and cash and apps that will work with Palladium-type processor hacks.

    B. Make your chip support and embrace DRM.

    As an investor, I can guess "B" might be your answer...
    • Re:Non-Story (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lokinator ( 181216 )
      Option A & B are all good, but you neglect option C -

      C. Remembering the Intel PIII serial number debacle, launch paralell lines of production for DRM and non-DRM chips...and watch which one actually sells, killing the other.
  • In other [bbc] news (Score:5, Informative)

    by oliverthered ( 187439 ) <olivertheredNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @01:54PM (#5082112) Journal
    The RIAA and technology companies have aggreed a deal, that will be anounced in washington on wednesday.

    Basicly the RIAA are going to stop lobying for imposed DRM and the tech companies are going to put DRM inplace.

    BBC News Story [bbc.co.uk]
    • Basicly the RIAA are going to stop lobying for imposed DRM

      Right, there's a trusted source of information. I goes like this:

      RIAA: Look Mr. Tech, I've used my vast propaganda power to push "trusted computing" and could make horrible laws. If you just give me what I want on your terms I won't have to beat you with legislation.

      Mr. Tech: Ahhh! I give up, your monopoly on Britinay Spears and control of Radio in general are too powerful to resist. -Asside: If we do it our way, we can squeeze everyone for money! If things are regulated we won't make nearly as much.

      RIAA: Great, we thought you would see it our way. -Asside: sucker once you start abusing everyone they will scream for government assistance and we own those bitches.

  • Didn't Intel put a serial number on every processor a few years ago, allegedly to allow for this? Didn't they catch all nature of flack about it?
    • The PIII UID was not a "security" feature per se. It was a simple identifier. Sort of like being able to get the CPU serial number through the hardware. I never did understand why Intel added that.

      In any case, you could turn it off.

  • Don't worry, it's not like it's AMD or Intel doing this....

    (whisper whisper...)

    THEY'RE DOING WHAT?!?!!? HOLY MOTHER OF @#$@#!!! THE SKY IS FALLING, THE SKY IS FRICKIN' FALLING!!!!!!!!

    We only have one option to stop these guys: Don't buy it.

    But here's the problem with that: What if they're only interested in huge commercial bulk orders anyway? I'm afraid my company and many others would buy them without even considering future repercussions.

    Sooner or later, how are we going to get a relatively high-performance CPU without DRM? Someone here must have alternatives. THINK, NERDS! THINK!!!!
  • "Et tu, Linus?" (Score:2, Insightful)

    "Then fall, Geekdom!"

    Seriously, one wonders what Mr. Torvalds thinks about working for a company who's implamenting a policy that's anathama to most of Open Source community.
  • Not quite DRM? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @02:01PM (#5082162)
    This doesn't look like full Paladium-style DRM. It just looks like various implementations of DES, AES, etc. It is mentioned that these features are to speed up these commonly used encryption schemes

    Though it does have "secure" storage for "confidential information." The article also mentions that it that the architecture can be extended to support new "features." So don't panic (yet), but it looks like this is a start towards full on-chip DRM.
    • Re:Not quite DRM? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Buskaatt ( 124333 )
      You're right, and I'm actually really stoked about this decision. Read this [theinquirer.net] to see another take on the situation.

      I like the idea of users being able to encrypt all their stuff without having to install additional software. Am I reading this right?
    • Yes, it is DRM. (Score:3, Informative)

      This sure does look like full-on DRM. I really like the hardware accelerated encryption; it would be great for VPN, IPSec, ssh, etc. It would also be great for DRM. The secure storage for confidential information is a vague way of saying user-inaccessible storage for DRM cryptographic keys. While it does have other uses, DRM is most likely their primary intention. Transmeta probably worded the press release vaguely to hide the fact.

      I'd like to have one of these processors, or any processor with encryption acceleration, and secure storage, to be honest, but only if I could access the secure storage myself. In fact, this would be an excellent CPU if the end user and developer could read and modify the secure area... But then, of course, it's not truly a secure area.

      • I was under the impression that most encryption algorithms (ie DES) are almost always software based is for security. Having it hardware based makes it faster, which is bad because it allows for faster attacks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @02:01PM (#5082165)
    If you actually read what Transmeta is adding the talk about security like in SHA, DES and AES. The accelerate the ciphers and MAC calculations. They probably will have a hardware based random number generator. Which is a great thing in itself. Those will probably be the best chips for IPSec gateways and SSH servers. This does not in any way forces certain signed OS to be booted or anything like this.

    They say DRM because it sells, but you can use it for signature checking your executables against troyaned versions (and you calculate the signatures when you install from a know, secure media), accelerating your encrypted FS, chat and web traffic. So if you install MS system you get an accelerated DRM PC. You install Linux/xBSD and get an accelerated privacy protected PC. I'd rather have this choice.
    • you say, This does not in any way forces certain signed OS to be booted or anything like this. ... you can use it for signature checking your executables against troyaned versions

      I say the whole chip is a trojan. Witness the "hidden" stuff on the site:

      The new security technologies include secure hidden storage of confidential information...

      So it's got stuff you can't see or write to, but others can. That makes others root and you are not.

  • Linus (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nrvous6 ( 590059 )
    I doubt highly that Linus has any say either way on this thing. They didn't hire him for his outstanding management ability, but because he codes better than most, and at the hardware level (which, if I recall correctly, they are a hardware company *note sarcasm*). I don't like it either, but let's get of his back just because management took a direction we don't like.
  • Transmeta Sold Out (Score:4, Interesting)

    by syntap ( 242090 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @02:03PM (#5082181)
    They're probably embedding DRM to break into the handheld / portable music player market. It won't take long before Sony and others, who create hardware as well as have RIAA-linked music divisions, begin to streamline their products on DRM.

    I wouldn't panic because Transmeta has a miniscule market share. When Intel announces they will incorporate DRM into all current and future Intel chips and AMD follows suit, THEN panic.
  • Beforee it plummets form lack of sales.
  • If only we had a man on the inside!
  • and nothing to gain.

    What are the benefits of producing this kind of DRM hardware?

    On the other hand, they could drive millions of people like us running. And guess who buy/advise what kind of hardware to buy?

    It's a risky proposition.
    • What are the benefits of producing this kind of DRM hardware?

      That your processor will be picked for use in embedded technology, or that studios, etc. won't whine and cry about your CPU because, in theory, it supports DRM?

      In otherwords, have DRM and you can either use it or not. Don't have DRM and there may be an entire field of applications that you cannot sell to.

      On the other hand, they could drive millions of people like us running. And guess who buy/advise what kind of hardware to buy?

      Running to where? Intel? Nope. AMD? Nope. VIA? Maybe, but I doubt it. Cyrix? Don't make me laugh. Motorola/MIPS/IBM? So utterly different it's an absurd concept, especially on cost.

      Once one company agreed to include DRM on chip it became a risky proposition not to include it on your competing chip.

      Consider it from the company's point of view - it's just another bulletpoint feature. You don't have to use it, anymore than you need to use MMX, or the FPU, or whatever. But if you don't have that bulletpoint then it can be used against you. Sure, you can argue that it's a good "feature" not to have, but that's not how it'll get marketed and you know it.
  • All they are doing (Score:4, Informative)

    by mocm ( 141920 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @02:21PM (#5082237) Homepage
    is adding DES hardware support, which can be used for all kinds of stuff, but doesn't mean that they built in TCPA (see also this article [theinquirer.net]. I think the DES hardware can be very useful, especially for brute forcing keys ;).
  • Useful Features (Score:3, Interesting)

    by seaan ( 184422 ) <seaan@co[ ]ntric.net ['nce' in gap]> on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @02:30PM (#5082258)
    Does everything have to be political, what ever happened to good technilogical discussions? I've done my fair share of ranting against DRM, but the Transmeta features have other uses too.

    Much like the Intel P3 features, it is quite useful to have a good random number generation and increased speed for software cryptography. Even the hidden storage registers have non-DRM uses (although I suspect they won't make the FIPS 140-1 level 3 or 4 that I'm used to).

    Here are some non-DRM uses to consider:

    * Increased crypto speed helps servers (don't forget Transmeta sells chips for dense servers).
    * Network identification and IPSEC support (increasingly important in these wireless days)
    * Local encryption options (protect data on vunerable computers, like laptops).

    My point is that not all cryptography is bad.
  • by NiteHaqr ( 29663 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @02:34PM (#5082270) Homepage
    Been said before on this thread, but just to see if different words will encourage understanding.....

    The title of the piece is "Transmeta Embeds Security in TM5800 Chips", it does not mention DRM or Palladium.

    The 1st paragraph comments that there will be a Crusoe that has "embedded technologies for securing sensitive data and delivering tamper-resistant x86 storage environments", now it seems to me that they are making it possible for me to protect MY data.

    The next paragraph is slightly less clear in their intentions, with "for securing sensitive data and intellectual property", as it doesn't mention who's intelectual property we are talking about.

    I will put the next paragraph in in ts entirety as is says quite a bit "The new security technologies include secure hidden storage of confidential information, encryption acceleration and a processor architecture that can be extended to support new features and industry standards, such as the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)"

    I am going to stop quoting now as the link to the story is available in the initial posting.

    Lets look at my current config on my web server to see where this new chip could benefit me.

    The server is running SSL versions of Courier MTA, Courier IMAP server, and Apache. Then there is the fact that the only way to log onto the box is via SSH.

    Do I see rather a lot of encryption going on there - I think I do.

    So if my processor can accelerate that then its a bonus not a problem.

    Add stuff like tunnelling X through SSH tunnels and I would be a happy person.

    So this is a rather useful tool, rather than the thin edge of the wedge, at least as it looks to me from the available info, I could be wrong, but at least I am not just seeing Palladium/DRM lurking around every corner.

    And no, I am not pro-Palladium, in fact I have posted previously about my fears of Palladium, and its possible negative impact on my ability to do what I want with the computers that I own.

    But lets not get hysterical people
  • First if all, hardware acceleration for the DES variants is great.

    The other stuff, well, with Linus working there and all, I think that there's good change that these will not be features one can only know about by signing a crazy NDA.

    And quite honestly, there's nothing wrong with having support for key management in hardware. It is, if implemented correctly, a big step in making it harder for malicous code to get a hold of private keys for example.

    Note also that nowhere in the article the term 'DRM' is used. DRM has become a disgusting word, probably because it is seen as the RIAA and MPAA's whore. But those are not the only parties that will benefit from good encryption, which is what this article is about. (in fact I think it will turn out that the RIAA & MPAA will not benefit from this, but that's a whole nother story)

    I think there's a lot of FUD about security being implemented in our PC hardware, mainly because it seems like those features are maybe not going to be accessible to 'us'. But there's no reason why the workings of such features would be hidden, after all security by obscurity is not security.

    In the end we may all benefit, this kind of stuff is long overdue; in fact I personally think it's nutts what's going with all this 'homeland security' bullshit, but the need for better security in our PCs was much needed, even pre 9-11.

    Anyways, if you are worried about not being able to get the latest tunes off a P2P, well, maybe not, but most likely these things will not have any influence. After all, _most_ current CDs are very rippable and the new stuff isn't worth listening to in the first place ;-) Seriously though, so long as we don't have encryption built into our brain, we will always be able to record whatever we hear and see.
  • by briancnorton ( 586947 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @02:38PM (#5082280) Homepage
    You are forgetting who this is. This is transmeta. They work almost entirely in the mobile sector. When you have a computer that can be stolen, data security becomes VERY important. They probabally dont give a crap about people stealing MP3s, but are responding to a need to increase security for users of sensitive information on mobile devices. The main feature is a actually a DES accellerator that is meant to allow entire contents of drives to be dynamically encrypted and decrypted on usage. The processors arent fast enough to do it in software.

    I have a lifebook P 2000, and I can tell you that watching movies and listening to music are two things that just dont happen on it. I would LOVE to be able to lock it down, but it isnt really possible past PGP/Zonealarm/NAV/etc.

  • In 1997 when Intel first announced the CPU serial number, opposition was never ending. By the looks of current slashdot comments, 6 years and billions of layoffs later have changed consumer sentiment dramatically. Now consumers clearly are ambivalent about CPU-based copy protection if not supportive of it.

    #1 They don't want to give up the high priced feature sets that copy protection brings them.

    #2 The boost in technology stocks brought by copy protection outweighs the loss of freedom.

    Most of today's opinions use financial conditions as reason for imposing CPU copy protection where yesterday's opposition was entirely based on pure computer science.

  • Why does it seem like everyone is missing the point of the story. Built in cryptographic hardware engines on the CPU! Transmeta doesn't give any performance numbers, so I wonder how they compare to other hardware implementations...

    IBM did this first, and announced last year at the Hot Chips conference. See here [hotchips.org].

    Integrated Cryptographic Hardware Engines on the zSeries Microprocessor

    The presentation [hotchips.org] gives an overview of how IBM did it, and predicted that other platforms would have to adopt this class of features in the future.

    The future is now.

  • Linus works at Transmeta, so we are supposed to love Transmeta and everything they do.

    Transmeta are implementing DRM, so we are supposed to hate Transmeta and everything they do.

    Oh no! Simultaneous yet mutually exclusive conditions.

    What do we do?

    Do we like Transmeta or do we hate them?

    TELL ME WHAT TO THINK, SLASHDOT!
  • I read the posting from transmeta. they didn't say anything about DRM. Just security.

    Of course, since Linus works there, it can't be all bad, right?

  • The old addage of "You can't have your cake and eat it too." really applies to this and other discussions on this board.

    If all information wants to be free, then you need to include all information. That has the requisite implication that your personal information is public domain, and privacy statements are irrelevant. If you believe all information wants to be free, then as soon as you put your name, address, or any other personal informatin into the wind, you should expect anyone has it.

    If, however, you believe that you have some inherent right to privacy, and that your name, address, sexual preference, etc. are not, and should not be public domain, then nothing you produce should be public domain. If you have the right to decide who should know your address, then you should be able to decide who reads your thoughts, who can copy your thoughts, and who can listen to the musical implimentation of those thoughts. If you want your best friend to hear your music, but no one else, then that should be your right. If you only want people that pay you for the emotional energy you put into that music, book, or code, that should be your right.

    You can't have it both ways. All information is free, or no information is free.
    • Unfortunately, despite the fact that you've put a lot of effort into your post, what you wrote is idiotic.

      Suppose I confide in a friend by email about some problem I'm having. On the same day, I post the latest version of some open source/free software somewhere on the internet. I then send out an email to interested parties that there is a new version available. You are suggesting that because I distribute some software and news about that software, other people should be allowed to re-distribute my private email. I'm afraid that is idiotic.

  • --yet again another car analogy. Remember when the transition from no pollution crap to totally space shuttled out plumbing on cars happened? Eventually within some time certain aspects of it became mandatory, then emissions tests, etc. It's now illegal to alter change or modify any of that stuff *technically* and some places are now considering retrofiting your cars as another mandate if they don't "pass" their inspections. I'll go out on a limb here and predict it (DRM STUFF)will become law all over sooner or later, nation wide, both in hardware and a lot of software. You certainly can't purchase new anything in the vehicle world that isn't a plumbing nightmare anymore, that's for sure. And the computer world moves a lot faster than the car world, that's just reality.

    I am expecting the same with computers. DRM will become mandated, it's about inevitable. So, word to the wise, stock up on non crippled hardware if that's what you want, and send missives to the major manufacturers you won't be using their products and will "make do" with the older stuff. Here's a place that the "gamer community" (one of several examples but a large one demographically) can make an impact, if they would just stop buying "new and improved" once it's universally crippled, and let the chip makers and game developers know they intend to follow through with this so they need to be told "don't go there". Along with all that other normal activism lobbying. But will it happen, or will the lure of faster and faster and faster and more realistic 3-D blood and gore get these chips and software sold? yes, I know there's a lot more uses for faster and better, etc, just looking at where the general big interests are. the big companies that tote the note on buying mass quantitites of hardware will probably want 'security' features. the mass media guys obviously do. the games shippers want to make a buck or two, most of them anyway. So there ya go, the "golden rule" will result in "for the childrenz!" crippled hardware and software eventually, at least on most platforms, and even more likely mandated by various laws on "new" stuff.

    wall>handwriting
  • you don't change the devil, the devil changes you.

    Transmeta is whoring themselves out to MS because they need the cash.
  • Can someone explain to me why exactly TCPA is bad? No one disputes the consumer-unfriendly motivations behind the people pushing TCPA but quite frankly I don't see anything fundamentally wrong with the concept of it. We're bascially taking about secureing the machine so that programs can operate in a well defined state and nodes can communicate securely. What is wrong with that? Yes, you will not be able to rip that audio stream. Yes, you will not be able to boot that bootleg copy of Windows. So what? If you want to get into a philosophical argument about that you will loose. I think TCPA would be GOOD for users because you will have the option to do much more significant things. Do you feel confortable buying things on-line? I cringe every time I punch in my credit card number. You're whole VPN is compermised if one node is cracked. All of the negative arguments assume that activating TCPA would be *mandatory*. This is NOT true. It's CBDTPA that mandates securing devices capable of playing or recording copyrighted material. So what are the real dangers of TCPA then? Is the potential for censorship the only argument? Really, educate me.
    • It's CBDTPA that mandates securing devices capable of playing or recording copyrighted material.
      Every PC is capable of playing, recording, creating, and altering copyrighted material. That's the purpose of the company -- to manipulate information. By reversing the capability of the computer, corporate america is stealing your computer from you. I do not make a distinction between DRM and armed robbery, besides the robber being honest. There is no defence, redeaming value, or excuse for any DRM whatsoever. Period.
  • Whatever encryption support Transmeta is planning to include will have to be in CMS (which is firmware) until they can add hardware support to the design, which would probably take about a year before they'd have anything in silicon.

    Y'see, the Crusoe isn't just a drop-in replacement for the processor. No! It's a whole subsystem, capable of including the functionality of several peripheral chips as their most recently announced product does. Why not crypto too? It's better than having another chip sapping battery power.

    So what Transmeta's announcement amounts to is, "Our processor will be able to do that crypto stuff (DRM or not) without adding another chip to your design." That's all.

    -Rick

  • I got 17 pieces of spyware that's called part of WinXP, spyware in the programs that I use to share files, people snooping my ass while I surf the internet, and shady places selling my email address so they can offer me both penis enlargement AND breast enlargement. ...so what has security done for me lately?
  • The hardware features proposed by Transmeta, as well as Intel and AMD, could vastly improve the security of linux. Yet everyone here keeps talking about boycotting this type of hardware. These features do not restrict anything if you trust your software (e.g. open source). They only enable more features.
  • I would love to be at one of the meetings (say, at AMD) where the executives decide that adding DRM support to the processor is a good idea, and that every processor they produce is going to have it built in. I honestly don't see the logic in this decision. How is adding this technology going to sell more PCs (and hence more processors)? Who are AMD's biggest customers, and why are they asking for DRM? And if they're not, why is AMD bothering with the extra development costs?

  • I realize that DRM CPU's are a "Bad Thing" (TM) but just how bad is it anyway?

    As long as we can boot our nonDRM OS on this stuff, and communicate with other nonDRM machine's, we can still hack, create, enjoy. Most non-mainstream (i.e. not Windows or Mac) OS's haven't had access to the full range of data/hardware/software for years now anyway. How exactly will this be any different?

    The only other thing we should be worried about/working on is that it remains illegal to circumvent whatever technological silliness the content/hardware companies dream up. Just like watching DVD's (that you have legally purchased) on Linux was doable, so will everything else.

    Support the EFF (www.eff.org), support the ACLU, (www.aclu.org), support EPIC (www.epic.org), and get aquatinted with DigitalConsumer.org (I'm not going to bother giving you their address). Get off your arse and contact your senators, and representatives, Get your friends, relatives, mailman to understand what they are about to loose and have them contact their representatives as well.

    As long as it isn't illegal to "fix" what you've purchased so that it works, we will win out in the end. It may be along hard road, but if we persevere it's inevitable.

    Remember hard to photocopy manuals that held bits of text you had to enter at inopportune times? Or floppy disks that were written in such bizarre ways that they damaged your drive, all in the name of "copy protection"? Where are they now? Those that cared bypassed them, for everyone else they were more of a pain to the legitimate user than they were a hindrance to the criminal.

    Don't forget, your local librarian, and "reading a bedtime story to the grandchildren" grandmother is on your side in this one. Make sure that those in power (and those that aren't) realize this.

    • The problem is this - Palladium. While stock standard DRM might not be so bad its the nasty little features that MS wants to build into it, such as MS being the ones who control what can and can't run on a Palladium enabled box. The other problem I have with it is the concept of letting someone else determine what I can and can't run on my machine.

  • (AP) Across the United States, emergency services have been overwhelmed by calls about weird looking young males running around in circle screaming "Linus and the RIAA" while ripping out their hair and flagellating themselves. According to San Jose fire chief Elppa Letni: "We a currently stretched very thin with over 500 cases in the last hour. Thankfully, most of the victims are so out of shape that it is fairly easy to catch them. Claming them down is another matter, but a mixture of Ritalin and Code Red seems to do the trick."
  • Where shall we allow YOU to go today?

    And Clippy says... "I don't think so Tim..."

In every hierarchy the cream rises until it sours. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter

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