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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, Informative) by AnythingGoes on Sunday March 16 2014, @03:54AM

    by AnythingGoes (3345) on Sunday March 16 2014, @03:54AM (#17066)
    Atom Z2760 No Linux Support [h-online.com]
    Because even the graphics unit is not documented, so Linux developers have to reverse engineer it (worse than Nvidia since the entire component is on the chip and has no hardware snooping/breakout box). You will notice that for this specific processor, a lot of documentation is missing, as compared to the Core iX series.

    What I am saying here is that this is a departure from traditional Intel support, and it does not bode well for the future of any open society.

    As consumers, if you don't demand openness (or buy only from vendors that support it), then don't blame anyone if in future, all this openness is gone, and you can only buy special Windows CPU, with Windows Certified RAM, and Windows Certified storage that will not boot linux or work in other OSes.

    Just remember what the computing marketplace was like before the rise of commodity CPUs, RAM, storage where every company would want to extend their own "standard" to support special stuff...

    Just based on the rise of Apple and its closed ecosystem, this will be a bad sign for hobbyists/tinkerers/enthusiasts everywhere..
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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Magic Oddball on Sunday March 16 2014, @11:28AM

    by Magic Oddball (3847) on Sunday March 16 2014, @11:28AM (#17152) Journal

    The problem is that as consumers, we're vastly outnumbered by the people that use their devices in a way that makes alternative OSes non-beneficial, and that therefore don't *care* whether they can do it or not. Our community is at the point where "we" have two real options:

    1. Hope that AMD remains profitable enough to keep going, committed to the cause, and isn't offered an ultimatum of "lock down your hardware or we won't use it" by the phone & laptop companies. (Those of us that aren't affluent also can only hope they won't offer the unlocked chips only for premium can't-afford-until-obsolete prices.)

    Frankly, I can't really trust AMD for long: I've seen far too many thriving companies be tripped up by poor management, supply issues, superior ad campaigns from the competition, etc. and fold, betray its old values or be bought out by a company that doesn't share them.

    2. Drum up easy-to-use, must-have amazing software & abilities for open hardware/software to offer that closed lacks, make sure it stays better than any proprietary copycats. We'd also need to make sure users seeking help or requesting improvements would be able to get friendly/helpful reactions, not the hostile "go code it yourself, luser" or dismissive "wontfix" that is common today.

    Given we'd need the cooperation of a huge chunk of people at every level of ability within the community... Well, I think that anyone that hangs out on Slashdot long enough to see the amount of vitriol aimed at non-technical people & non-STEM talents/fields to have much faith in that option. :-/

  • (Score: 1) by rev0lt on Sunday March 16 2014, @09:19PM

    by rev0lt (3125) on Sunday March 16 2014, @09:19PM (#17281)

    then don't blame anyone if in future, all this openness is gone, and you can only buy special Windows CPU, with Windows Certified RAM, and Windows Certified storage that will not boot linux or work in other OSes.

    This is so 2001. What you just described sounds like an Apple device. Or some Android devices.

    Just remember what the computing marketplace was like before the rise of commodity CPUs, RAM, storage where every company would want to extend their own "standard" to support special stuff

    You mean, before IBM PC? There were some custom extensions for ZX Spectrum, as well for C64, as an example.

    I get your point, but in the end the consumer has freedom of choice. And for the majority of consumers, they could care less about Linux support.