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Comment Dispelling some myths (Score 1) 399

This comment might be irrelevant since it's so far down the stack, but here are some facts about this technology (I work for PGP (now Symantec), and we just released software to support it):
  • This isn't stealth technology - it's the opposite of stealth. Not only is it completely opt-in, you have to pay for it.
  • This isn't in the processor, it's in support chips - they've added a "manageability engine" ("ME") to the chipset, not the processor.
  • The SMS capability requires an integrated 3G modem from another vendor. There are specs that let the modem be connected to the ME, but I only know of one modem vendor that supports this today. If you don't have the SMS support, it still works over TCP/IP when the laptop connects to the Internet (assuming your management server has a leg in the DMZ)
  • To support Anti-Theft, the laptop needs to go through an "activation" process that binds the laptop to a corporate, on-premises management server. Only this server can disable a laptop, and only via a command issued at the server. In other words, you call IT, you say your machine's been stolen, they shut it down.
  • It's recoverable. You realize your brother just borrowed it, you call IT, they reactivate it.
  • We're tying it to our whole disk encryption product, so all user credentials are also locked up when the kill pill is sent. This way, (a) your data is safe, and (b) even a weak password can't be brute forced. An attacker now needs to break a recovery token with 256 bits of entropy to get your data. We don't even let you buy anti-theft unless you already have WDE.
  • It's not just about anti-theft. If you're taking your machine through customs, into a hostile area, or even shipping it across the country, you can now have it completely locked and cryptographically secure (even from insiders). If it gets "lost" in shipment, then you recover the laptop cost from insurance - but don't worry about the data loss.
  • The idea is that if you slap an Anti-Theft sticker on the laptop, then a thief will move on to another system instead of stealing yours (expect a robust aftermarket in stickers ;-) )
  • You can use the same thing for decommissioning. You can send a "data kill pill" that lets you remotely wipe the user credentials, but leave the machine operational. This way you can sell a fleet of old laptops without worrying about all your (or your employees) data being sold on the open market.
  • You can also set up a set of timers, so a laptop can be disabled if it doesn't check into your server for a configurable period of time or there are too many failed password tries. (This is a management server on your corporate network that also lets your admin set policy, see encryption state, last seen date, etc. so you know if a machine was encrypted when it was stolen.)
  • No government, **AA, or third party can remotely disable the machine without access to the management server. This isn't about big brother, it's about trying to keep your data safe.

None of this is nearly as much fun as some of the comments I've read, but it happens to be true.

Comment Re:Wow, my clock must be broken (Score 1) 227

Dave, programming the Amiga was a formative experience for me. The elegance of the underlying OS, the hardware cleverness, the graphics primitives, and so on just entranced me. Like many said, it was just a fun computer to work with.

Even now, I still remember the names of a few of the Amiga group, just from reading the developer docs so many times: Jay Miner (of course), RJ Mical, Carl Sassenthrass, Dave Haynie... (probably butchered the spelling of half the names, but I'm too lazy to look them up).

So first, thanks for that...

Second, do you recommend a book (or web site) that best tells the stories from those days and ideally continues through the ups and downs of Amiga Technology? I've always wanted to hear the first person tales from the darkness of Commodore management to the passion of building something new -- you know, a bit more insider-y than "where did the guru meditation come from?"

Any thoughts?

First Person Shooters (Games)

First Doom 4 Production Shots Revealed 136

An anonymous reader writes "Actor Brad Hawkins has been tapped to do motion-capture work for Doom 4, and revealed that the game features the military and civilians fighting side by side. Does this mean the game is set on Earth for sure? GGL Wire has an interview with Hawkins and a selection of production shots. '[Filmmaker Mark Bristol] was very specific on the civilians having a certain personality and the military characters having a separate one as well. The body language of the civilians is less, well, "trained." They carry their guns in a looser fashion and are a little sloppier when they run, a little more freestyle. The military characters are sharp as razors, with very swift moves, exact hand positioning and can turn on a dime.'" This follows news from last month that British novelist Graham Joyce was brought in to develop the story for the game.

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