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Submission + - Google quietly makes "optional" web DRM mandatory in Chrome 2

JustAnotherOldGuy writes: The World Wide Web Consortium's Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) is a DRM system for web video, being pushed by Netflix, movie studios, and a few broadcasters. It's been hugely controversial within the W3C and outside of it, but one argument that DRM defenders have made throughout the debate is that the DRM is optional, and if you don't like it, you don't have to use it. That's not true any more. Some time in the past few days, Google quietly updated Chrome (and derivative browsers like Chromium) so that Widevine (Google's version of EME) can no longer be disabled; it comes switched on and installed in every Chrome instance. Because of laws like section 1201 of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (and Canada's Bill C11, and EU implementations of Article 6 of the EUCD), browsers that have DRM in them are risky for security researchers to audit. These laws provide both criminal and civil penalties for those who tamper with DRM, even for legal, legitimate purposes, and courts and companies have interpreted this to mean that companies can punish security researchers who reveal defects in their products.
Music

Vinyl Record Production Gets a Much-Needed Tech Upgrade (engadget.com) 303

Ever wondered why you sometimes have to wait months after an album's launch to get the music on vinyl? It's not necessarily because the label hates vinyl -- in many cases, it's because the decades-old manufacturing process can't keep up with the format's resurgence. From a report on Engadget: Relief may be in sight for turntable fans, though. Viryl Technologies is producing a pressing machine system, WarmTone, that should drag vinyl production into the modern era. Much of WarmTone's improvement rests in its use of modern engineering. It's more reliable when producing the "pucks" that become records, makes it easier to switch out stampers (the negatives that press records) and sports a trimming/stacking system that can better handle large-scale production. Also, there's a raft of sensors -- the machine checks everything from pressure to temperature to timing, so companies will immediately know if something goes wrong.

Comment Re:No and no (Score 1) 501

If you knew you were going to be transcoding, you should have went with an Intel CPU. AMDs offerings suck at it, and have sucked at it forever. They just suck at multi-threaded tasks in general, almost like they are missing something in their instruction set or in the CPU design itself that cripples the performance in a way not unlike the Intel P4 Netburst architecture.That being said, your CPU would beat the equivalent Intel CPU in quite a few single thread tasks, which even lower bin AMD CPUs tend to excel at.

Comment Re:Who cares (Score 1) 397

I can already do that, and have been able to do that since the 1980's (although back then I spent much more time with a soldering iron to achieve this effect), which leads back to my original point. I can get wanting to make it an easier process via software, but it will never trump being able to block a rewrite/flash via a local hardware method and may unintentionally just open a few extra doors that you weren't expecting to be open (as is the case in any software based solution).

If it offers pairing with a read-only keyfob to verify encryption keys and file integrity of the ROMs at boot as a layer on top of the physical one, then it would indeed prove useful in the case of a workstation.

Then again, this software might be very useful for microsystems such as servers built using Raspberry Pis or roll-your-own routers that don't always inherently offer hardware jumpers to protect the flashable BIOS and other ROM areas.

One thing I have noticed though, is that some hardware makers have been moving towards implementing EFI/BIOS that the end-user has no control over whatsoever outside of changing some limited set of internal settings. It has signed updates pushed to it by them, and some of them have been following the examples of mobile chipset developers by including fuses that they blow to prevent tampering, meaning you are stuck with whatever version they put on the machine before blowing those fuses.

Comment Yahoo! gone, and good riddance. (Score 1) 401

It should have happened over a decade ago. This company was a case study in stagnation and mismanagement. They had no real vision for ages, and it showed in everything from their product (non-offerings) to their janky back-end systems that could barely cope with basic email functionality.

Honestly, if I were in the market to buy, it would be to take the entire thing apart for scrap value to the highest bidder piecemeal.

Comment Re: most vulnerabilities != most vulnerable (Score 1) 147

The only patches I get are to GAPPs themselves (sometimes, currently several refuse to update, my guess is because they require at least Marshmallow or Nougat now) and Webview. I've had no other security patches period from either Google nor the vendor, and this device is on 5.0.1 running kernel build 3.10.49. Google Play hasn't even updated on my device since prior to the Stagefright and Heartbleed releases, let alone much of the underlying Android system.

Comment Re:When will it end (Score 1) 265

It doesn't do this automatically, but I am wondering if you could use app metadata and some clever Powershell scripting to accomplish this on Win 8.1 and Win10 much in the way one would tag and sort downloads of various files/archives/pictures, etc into appropriate folders

TBH this sort of thing should be submitted as a feature request not just for Windows, but pretty much every OS.

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