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Re: Broken dream of mine :(

From: Sam Mason
Subject: Re: Broken dream of mine :(
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 2009 23:43:35 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)

On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 05:57:37PM +0200, Arne Babenhauserheide wrote:
> Am Montag, 21. September 2009 16:57:26 schrieb Sam Mason:
> > I personally think that the media's perverted use of TPM has colored
> > most peoples' viewpoint of it.  There was a lot of good research that
> > went into it and it seems like a waste to throw it all away just because
> > the use that people initially heard about is particularly horrible.
> Just because much work went into something doesn't mean we shouldn't throw it 
> away (though many people try to avoid it "I paid good money for that, now I 
> will use it, even if it costs me the same money again!"). 

Of course not, but if there are valid uses then it seems strange not
to exploit them.  Just because other system can use some technology in
abusive ways doesn't mean all uses are abusive.

> That research showed us a grave danger - especially to free           
> software. It showed us that it is in fact possible to completely lock 
> a computer - including all its in- and outputs - with but a tiny      
> chip on the processor (and a truckload of changes to programs and     
> peripherals).                                                         

But that danger exists whether "we" do anything about it not; Microsoft
and other commercial software people can do pretty much what ever they
want, even laws can be changed when they get in the way.

> But its only real effect is to take away control from people who      
> have physical access to the machine - as long as we can install the   
> original hardware and they can't meddle with the chip.                

Then the default install shouldn't go certifying that it's really the
default install, this isn't very difficult.

> But since the goal of the GNU Hurd (going back on topic :) ) is to    
> "create a general-purpose kernel suitable for the GNU operating       
> system, which is viable for everyday use" the main target group are   
> normal users who do have physical access to their machines, and we    
> don't want them to be locked out or prevented from hacking on their   
> Hurd.                                                                 

Yes, which is why I don't understand the worry.  TC couldn't work with
this sort of system because there are too many variants to keep track
of.  Even the paranoid sounding cries of "you won't be able to access
your bank's web site" sound silly, how many devices are there that have
a web browser on.  Nobody is going to get around to certifying them
all---what's the point?  And until somebody does, people aren't going to
deliberately break things and keep their customers away.

The computer world honestly isn't becoming more homogeneous.

  Sam  http://samason.me.uk/

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