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Boycott Against Pentium III Expanded 86

Absolutely Nobody writes "The Intel boycott is still on, even though they've backed off enabling identifier IDs by default, and has now been expanded to include any computer manufacturer that ships the PIII with the IDs, enabled OR disabled. "
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Boycott Against Pentium III Expanded

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  • I wouldnt touch a pentium anyways. Everyone should just get an Ultraspac instead and stop whineing about how much Intel sucks
  • Why do I keep hearing the media say that the chip transmits its ID to the net? The only way for the chip to do that would be if it implemented a TCP/IP stack in hardware. Otherwise, it's just the software running on the chip that's doing the transmitting.

    That said, my next machine still won't be an x86 box.
  • This is about setting things up so E-commerce, programs and information can be made PIII-only. It has very little to do with privacy, and everything to do with monopoly. The serial number is Intel Only, and even PIII only. Intel are desperate to sell more highend Pentiums, and they're setting up to bribe vendors heavily to do this. You surely don't think that, for instance, the Dilbert Comic Explorer is just something Scott Adams thought would be cool and set up one day? That bit of web tech brought the site payoffs from Intel. The only problem is, you can't _require_ people to use it, and I'm not sure it's really PII only like it strongly implies. So the next attempt is a CPU dongle, so that only PIIIs can even pretend to work with the new sites and programs and content- and then Intel busily sets about paying off other vendors to help the lock-in. Who says people have to _want_ to cooperate with Intel? They can be bribed.
    It's exasperating to see how few people are recognizing this. The problem is, people are assuming content providers care most about their visitors. If it's possible to get paid off by Intel for putting closed content up, some people will choose to do so. Even when it's a CPU dongle that very few people currently have.
  • I'm assuming that Linux programmers will be ethical enough not to have their programs transmit the PID everywhere, so whether it's on or off isn't really an issue. The only advantage to turning it off would be to prevent a program from broadcasting your PID somewhere, but if your programs don't broadcast it int he first place, it's irrelevant.
  • Posted by SmashPHASE:

    Intel is just awaiting another mediahype about
    their xth bugged processor release.
    This is just to solve their logistic problems
    at that time. ;-)
  • Posted by Shawn Bayern:

    Just some food for thought... Did you realize that web sites can theoretically already track the (unique) Ethernet hardware addresses of Windows users? Windows exports the MAC address over the NBT (NetBIOS-over-TCP/IP) protocol, letting others on the Internet (not just the local network) figure it out.

    Granted, this doesn't affect dialup users, but in principle, it doesn't seem all that different (in at least the network-related senses) from a unique processor-based serial number. (This isn't to say I support Intel here; I'm just providing info.)
  • Gateway has already announced that they will be using AMD chips instead of Intel. I believe that cost was the determining factor but the whole PSN fiasco with Intel makes their decision appear to be very timely.
  • Well, if anyone has ever looked at the info produced outa this nifty program you can see serial numbers run rampant. A serial number in the processor would mean jack. As all this type of information is readily available to begin with in some form or another. Plus you do have to have software reading this information in the first place. (on a side note it would be easier to do this with the CPU probably since access to the other types of hardware probably need special permission [root or as a function of the drivers], and access to the CPU ID may be a valid instruction. But, since I don't know that much about that low of a level of the workings of the CPU don't take my word for it.

  • ...and it's been used on SUN machines forever. It's actually tied to the BIOS of the system, not the CPU, so it doesn't change. And the copy protection based on it works very well, since licence keys are generated off of the hostname, the HostID, and a random string that the company generates.
  • OK -

    so Intel embeds an ID into their chip. BFD. There are a whole bunch of other IDs in your system that software can get at in various ways. I merely see this as a way to help restrict the deployment of software. Example:

    You call up some vendor and ask them to send you a copy of their software (or via the web) - and they ask for your CPU ID, they then ship you a copy, or email it, and only you can run it.

    It's sort of like a PGP key.

    Now - if you think that this ID could then somehow be tied to you, and your personal information, that's silly. More PCs are bought by businesses than homes. So - at a business, they'll get a lot of systems based on PIIIs. The system is not yours (even if you're sitting there using it) - it could be moved to someone elses desk tomorrow. Or, someone else could be sitting at your desk tomorrow. This thing in no way ties you to a machine and vis-versa.

    I guess it was a bad idea to ever encode your bank acct on that plastic card?

    When they were talking about on-line commerce - I really don't think they were talking about something as trivial as you making credit card purchases from some porn site!

    What we're talking about is yet another ID that physically allows the decryption, or enables the running of something on that system and that system only.

    - Porter

    PS: I use an AMD chip because I support the underdog, and I wanted to save some $$. I won't be getting a PIII anytime soon, because I'd have to get a whole new MB, etc.
  • Yeah, serial number seem spooky.
    And Scott says, "get used to no privacy."
    But I'm not gonna give up the fight that easy.
  • Time to fire up your mail programs again..
    and prepare to share your thoughts with


    Founder of Intel, a man who I would hope reads his e-mail. If your decision to purchase Intel has been swayed by this less than informed PSN mistake, please inform him.

    I've already sent him a quick note expressing my concerns. (hint "Can't see myself buying a buggy chip like this.." seems to be effective)

    If you do choose to write, please keep it professional, a well written letter is a lot more effective than a poorly written rant.


    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.
    Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

    - Margaret Mead

  • -hmm ok ya got me there.. ^_^
  • It seems to me that Intel's ID number scheme would be a great way to sell Linux. "We disable the Intel PID automatically!"

    The idea is to write a kernel module that you can compile to disable the PID at boot. Or, perhaps with compile option -D__PIDSPOOF__, have it substitute a random PID for the original PID. If even a small fraction of users do this, it would make collecting PID data absolutely useless.

  • Personally I feel this boycott is getting a bit out of hand. I can see reason for not purchesing a Pentium III which has the identifier enabled by default, but on the *new* Pentium IIIs where you have to enable it by hand, let it be. There's nothing wrong with a serialized processor any more than there is somthing wrong with a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on your car. As you all (hopefully) know, TCP/IP has no provisions in it for transmitting the CPU identifier. Therefore it always will require external software to transmit it. And because of all the people who run older or non-Intel processors, I don't see vendors requiring a CPU identifier except in the most extreme cases, probebly those which currently require dongles (or hardware keys). I guess this could potentially be bad for the dongle vendors, though.
  • What the hell is wrong with these people! Give it up! This will in no way hinder the Linux way of life, period. End of story.

    "Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow 'er."
  • One critic who was appeased by Intel's new plan to ship the PSNs in the off position was Steve May, a Republican member of the Arizona House of Representatives. He said that he won't submit a bill banning the production or sale of Pentium IIIs, which are manufactured in his state, because Intel is taking steps to address the security and privacy concerns.

    I hope Rep. May is just as vocal about the government's habit of abusing the privacy of unsuspecting citizens, lest he be a complete hypocrite. Oh wait...politician...hypocrite...is it possible???
  • If MS embeds that shit in Windows 95 or Office, who's gonna boycott THEM (exept for the few who know better than to use MS in the first place). Of course i'm set, 'cause i only use OSS, so if someone puts ID shit in thier software i'll just take it back out.
  • My browsers asks me before accepting cookies, and I can count on one hand the number of sights I have allowed it to store cookies for.

    My IP number is shared with 50 (at work) and 2000 (at home) other people. They can't track who *I* am throught the IP number.

    The idea of selling software per machine is brain dead anyway. Suppose I want to upgrade my processor, does than mean I need to buy a new license?
  • Did someone stop and think how this "security" would work with SMP (multi-processor) systems?
    If each Pentium III will have its own PSN which one would be transmitted to as a security check?
    What if the order that the processors are installed on the motherboard are changed?
    I think INTeL didn't do their homework too well (not that they ever did). Either that or they had something other than "security" on their mind when they came up with this idea.


    Big brother watching? Well, poke his eye out!

  • Folks must not remember the read-only VAX CPUID register which was used to track software usage. The concept is not new.
  • I fear this may lead to more sites where you've to download ActiveX components that transfer the ID. Because most web publishers would ignore other OS, this would be a real pain for me.
  • And some computers have two or more. And ethernet cards are much more likely to move from one machine to another. They would not be an effective way to identify a given machine, or user.
  • I realize some people think that having an embedded serial number would be good, But would you realy want to trust everything you own on a number that you have NO control over?

    What if someone did find out your serial number?
    You couldn't just change it like your logon password. You would have to buy a NEW processor to be able to get a new serial number.

    But then no-one will recognize you because they will be looking for your old serial number.

    Boy wouldn't that be fun.

    I build computers for a living. Not only do I think it is a bad Idea from the End-Users stand point, But the Government would also be able to track everything the computer manufacturers are doing also.

    I don't beleive that embedded serial numbers would benefit anyone but those that would use the information for their own gain.

    I will not use any processor that has an embedded number, code, etc..

    Thank You Very Much.
  • You say "The average user won't need to know or worry about what the ID is for."

    Does that mean that you support manufacturers who enable the ID so they can track customers and collect info that they want without telling the Customer about it?
  • If software vendors put IDs in their programs, You can choose not to use their software.

    If Chip Makers do it, How do you even know unless they tell you.

    Just because Intel says the chips will ship Disabled doesn't mean that is what you get when you buy the computers.

    Intel said themselves, they will ship them disabled and give you the software to Enable the ID yourself.

    What's keeping the computer companies that want it enabled from doing it when they build the systems?

  • And how many customers have you lost because of your stupid protection? And how many customers never found out about your program, because they never saw a copy?

    I know I routinely avoid all software that use copy protection schemes. I also know that I more than once have seen software because it pirated copies of it were widely available, and bought it as a result. It's been a few years, though, since I don't have a single commercial program on my Linux box :-)

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.