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posted by janrinok on Saturday March 15 2014, @11:47PM   Printer-friendly
from the more-lock-in-is-just-what-we-needed dept.

FuckBeta writes:

"Guido Stepko reports - In an GOLEM interview at CEBIT 2014 fair, Frank Kuypers, technical account manager at INTEL corp., proudly presented a new feature in INTEL processors, called "hooks", beginning with the new 2014 "Merrifield" 64 bit SoC chip generation.

In the Intel network only mobiles with certain Android versions are allowed to use certain functionalities. If you then replace your Android version, e.g. by a free Cyanogenmod Android kernel, not only some chips would stop working, e.g. LTE/UMTS, but also mails from your employer would be blinded out, because now the processor itself would 'classify' the new software as 'risk'.

Now, beginning with the new 2014 power efficient mobile "Merrifield" processor generation, this functionality will be used to lock the processor for certain OS'es or OS versions. Whether there will be a SDK or use of this 'functionality' will be kept a secret, still is undecided, Kuypers said.

Ryan O'Dell sees a potential abuse of the technology: "You'll buy a computer from a shop with Windows OS and not be able to change to Linux or another OS in the future. You may be able to buy the processor unlocked for a sum. With mobile phones/tablets it can be worse with phone networks also potentially have a lock-in. It's a disaster for the consumer"

Google translation from German: (Google)

 
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by BsAtHome on Sunday March 16 2014, @12:09AM

    by BsAtHome (889) on Sunday March 16 2014, @12:09AM (#17004)

    If a CPU is not capable of executing any program, then it is not a CPU anymore as we've known it. It'll be a paperweight and planned obsolescence device. You lose all flexibility by artificially limiting the processor to executing one program/OS. Even an update of the OS may give you "I cannot allow you to do that Dave" problems (besides the obvious hack-ability). A Bad Thing(TM). It is not up to the chip/CPU vendor to tell us what me may or may not run on it.

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by GungnirSniper on Sunday March 16 2014, @12:17AM

    by GungnirSniper (1671) on Sunday March 16 2014, @12:17AM (#17006) Journal

    Odd that we're passing laws restricting auto sales and mobile chargers, but this planned obsolescence offering makes only a blip on the radar. Intel's market isn't us, but the hardware makers who will do anything to keep us from doing unintended things. Their thinking is 'if you're happy with your device now, we will stop updates so you upgrade'. Sad that now 'Intel Inside' may eventually mean something like 'Sony Designed'.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 16 2014, @12:25AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 16 2014, @12:25AM (#17010)

      Intel isn't pushing beta, it's not even pushing alpha. This is worse than Dice! FuCK InTEL!

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Sunday March 16 2014, @09:04AM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 16 2014, @09:04AM (#17131) Homepage Journal

        You are late to the game. Many of us said "Fuck Intel" years ago.
        http://www.lawandliberty.org/P_3.htm [lawandliberty.org]

        Intel has never catered to the consumer, they cater to the government and authoritarian regimes. That doesn't even begin to address their anti-competetive business ethics.

        --
        There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday March 16 2014, @12:36AM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Sunday March 16 2014, @12:36AM (#17021) Homepage

      Fuck 'em. Existing hardware is more than good enough for everything we need to do. And if this is implemented in common PCs, used PC sales and AMD stock will skyrocket. People won't just guzzle this down, even the more stupid computer users like their shit to "just work" and have often used pirated OS media after losing the original restore CDs and documentation.

      Another aspect mentioned in the article but not yet mentioned here is the overhead on the processor. While I like the idea of a virus scanner running on the CPU itself, I don't like how they've traditionally been resource hogs. A competent user could do without virus scanners on even XP, but what if you had no choice in the matter because the code is required to run on the CPU? Sure, the system could be usable, but think about how much more powerful it could be without that overhead. Alternately, there's the problem with shovelware on retail PCs and phones -- so imagine what it would be like to have mandatory shovelware running on the CPU itself! Inline ads in your own pictures and documents, pop-ups, and of course an even bigger potentially gaping backdoor.

      And how would the OS be enforced? Surely somebody will reverse-engineer the magic word or encryption used by the OS verification mechanism. The idea stinks of buttnuggets.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by edIII on Sunday March 16 2014, @02:07AM

        by edIII (791) on Sunday March 16 2014, @02:07AM (#17039)

        As described though the technology sounds awesome. Only needs 1 extra thing: User control

        Imagine a processor where it did implement a hardware level lower OS that did nothing but filter and block programs from running. That would be quite awesome actually and be a much safer system. Not even rootkits could get into this thing.

        If the processor required physical access and programming that anyone could do the manufacturer could not lock us out that way. It could work under the consumers control.

        Of course I want a unicorn and a pony. Intel will have finally sold out completely by doing this and nobody will trust them the moment this hits market.

        I'll order chips from North Korea before I order Intel again.

        --
        Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 5, Funny) by juggs on Sunday March 16 2014, @02:51AM

        by juggs (63) on Sunday March 16 2014, @02:51AM (#17048) Journal

        ..after losing the original restore CDs and documentation..

        Which century did you last buy a "device" in?

        If you're lucky you get a "recovery" partition from which if everything is aligned correctly, it is a solstice and nubile maidens are sacrificed at some unannounced stone circle, will be capable of restoring the "device" to something like it was when you bought it (not much help if it's the disk that pegs out of course).

        If you are doubly lucky your new "device" will have some preloaded funky "restore DVD creator wizard" application that will nag you incessantly to burn your own restore media, despite in most cases the "device" not actually having any optical burning capabality. Should you be trebly lucky and have been granted the privelege of an optical writer the "wizard" will instruct you that you need 20 DVDs - so you obediently buy a 20 or 30 drum of writeable DVDs and begin the process of creation. During which process, between the "device" going to sleep because it is idle, needing more updates (and automatically rebooting "for your safety"), being generally distracted by nagging you to do other "vital" things to sustain it's existence it royally fucks up writing said DVDs and spews a torrent of "verification of media failed" errors, leading you to purchase at least double the originally required number of blank DVDs.

        Should you have the patience of a lobotomised saint, whose sainthood happened to be granted to be saint of all that is patient in the most patient society in the whole of patience eternal - maybe a couple of weeks later you can smugly look at the stack of "successfully" burnt DVDs, neatly etched in your finest marker prose - "Disc1", "Disc2" etc.

        Being a concientious, obedient and patient chap - you think OK, well now they are burnt, I should test them - it's only been a couple of weeks and I've done nothing yet with this device other than some updates and burn these DVDs, now would be the time to test my backup. After a day or so of searching for the cunningly disguised online manual for your "device" (no you don't get that on paper) you find the magic incantation to commence the restore process at reboot - seems straight forward enough - "Place 'Disc1' in the drive and hold the magic incantation buttons whilst booting". OK.

        "Device" boots up and magic words appear - "Restore initiated - Disc1 found. Proceeding with restore - initial format of drive... ... .."

        After a couple of days another message - "Drive format complete... commencing restore... !ERROR Disc1 failed - please insert other media or try again Y-N-Maybe-LOLUnicorns?! ~Bieber~ _ "

        By this point delerium is starting to set in and you think perhaps 'LOLUnicorns?!' might be the best option, but quickly dismiss that as nonsense and realise there is no sane answer to the question posed (and damned if you are letting a default Bieber rum amok), surely the guy who programmed this recovery routine was sensible and thought to provide a failsafe - so you hit the only option - the power off, can't make things any worse right?.

        Once the beautiful purple LEDS have stopped winking and things have gone dark, you rescue 'Disc1' from the drive and restore it to it's rightful place on top of the DVD pile. Then hit power...
        "No trusted boot media or OS found Y-N-Maybe-LOLUnicorns?! ~Bieber~ _ "

        At this point your only hope is the manufacturer's hell-desk.... and how has that ever worked out for anyone? You know it's game over, you have a paperweight, can't even summon the strength to pick up the telephone receiver to dial the premium rate "support" number that will route you through 50 different menu options before helpfully placing you in a queue where "your call is important to us" for roughly the next 3 millenia before then conecting you to a service engaged tone briefly and then promptly disconnecting you with an amazingly irksome yet chirpy "Please try later.".

        ~~~

        HOW the fuck did it come to this?
        TRUST a hardware manufacturer to have OUR interests at heart and allow them to decide what may or may not run? Sure, that will work out all fine and dandy I'm sure.

        This crap just keeps resurfacing over and over again, it's like the unflushable turd - a fucking turd made of expanded polystyrene then quickly spray painted brown to make it look like a turd, then given an even quicker blast of gold paint to make it look good and briefly shown a polishing rag.

        No, no and thrice no. Just fuck off and make some fast hardware - that's what you're good at (alledgedly, although your continual need to be messing about in someone else's space might suggest otherwise).

        ~~~
        Well I sure hope no-one actually managed to read right through that all, it feels better having waffled it all off anyway. My apologies to those who did wade through it all now feel an absolute sense of gloom about there lives, I would stop to help, but I'm on hold to Intel suuport... apparently my call is important to them! :D

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by Nerdfest on Sunday March 16 2014, @03:20AM

          by Nerdfest (80) on Sunday March 16 2014, @03:20AM (#17053)

          The last laptop I bought was from System 76. No troubles of this sort at all. I think people need to start paying attention to buying from suppliers that have at least some of their customers interests in mind.

          • (Score: 2) by juggs on Sunday March 16 2014, @05:00AM

            by juggs (63) on Sunday March 16 2014, @05:00AM (#17086) Journal

            Or just not bothering to buy at all.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by clone141166 on Sunday March 16 2014, @04:37AM

          by clone141166 (59) on Sunday March 16 2014, @04:37AM (#17078)

          Can't stop laughing at that comment. It's scary how many parts of it align with reality though.

        • (Score: 4, Funny) by Runaway1956 on Sunday March 16 2014, @09:18AM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 16 2014, @09:18AM (#17133) Homepage Journal

          ROFLMAO

          You err though. "before helpfully placing you in a queue where "your call is important to us" for roughly the next 3 millenia" India has reduced those call waiting times to less than 2.5 millenia, and they are working to reduce them further. The world is following suit, as quickly as technology permits!

          --
          There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
        • (Score: 5, Informative) by marcello_dl on Sunday March 16 2014, @11:53AM

          by marcello_dl (2685) on Sunday March 16 2014, @11:53AM (#17155)

          That is why you usb boot into clonezilla before even registering your windows installation, get rid of unwanted documents and image your entire hard drive. Of course this is not possible with secure boot, in that case return the faulty PC as it is a faulty PC as it does not do PERSONAL COMPUTING.

        • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday March 17 2014, @03:35PM

          by tangomargarine (667) on Monday March 17 2014, @03:35PM (#17659)

          +1 Simultaneously Laughing And Crying

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17 2014, @05:38PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17 2014, @05:38PM (#17716)

          That.. That was beautiful.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17 2014, @11:45PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17 2014, @11:45PM (#17843)

          I LOLUnicorned hard at this

      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday March 17 2014, @03:27PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Monday March 17 2014, @03:27PM (#17650)

        While I like the idea of a virus scanner running on the CPU itself,

        I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. (Although I agree with all your other points.)

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by gmby on Sunday March 16 2014, @12:30AM

    by gmby (83) on Sunday March 16 2014, @12:30AM (#17016)

    Agreed, but it'll be hacked in due time. This just adds one more bug/feature obstical for the kernel programers to overcome. I thought Intel was being more open to OSS? Time to reevaluate my upcoming purchase of six Intel servers.

    Sorry Intel, Hello AMD!

    --
    Bye /. and thanks for all the fish.
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Nerdfest on Sunday March 16 2014, @02:10AM

      by Nerdfest (80) on Sunday March 16 2014, @02:10AM (#17040)

      Hacked is irrelevant. Giving them money for this sort of this is funding the loss of your own freedom to an even greater degree than buying an iPhone and then jail-breaking it. Intel should face a boycott for even mentioning this.

  • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday March 17 2014, @03:22PM

    by tangomargarine (667) on Monday March 17 2014, @03:22PM (#17646)

    This sounds like a similar thing to the SecureBoot wankery, which also fills me with rage at the profanation of the computing spirit driven by market reasoning it is.

    Bits don't care about your IP and ownership. Bits just do what they say. Or at least, until they roll this processor out, they do :(

    --
    "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"