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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: 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. :-/

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