Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft Operating Systems Software Windows

Microsoft Answers Vista DRM Critics' Claims 627

Posted by Zonk
from the don't-believe-everything-you-read-on-the-interwebs dept.
skepsis writes "Recently there have been some stories on Slashdot claiming that Vista would downgrade the quality of audio and video for every application in a machine where protected content was running. One of the stories painted a scary scenario where a 'medical IT worker who's using a medical imaging PC while listening to audio/video played back by the computer' would have his medical images 'deliberately degraded.' A post has been put up on the Vista team blog explaining exactly how the content protection works, and it turns out the medical IT staff and audio pros can relax. From the post: 'It's important to emphasize that while Windows Vista has the necessary infrastructure to support commercial content scenarios, this infrastructure is designed to minimize impact on other types of content and other activities on the same PC. For example, if a user were viewing medical imagery concurrently with playback of video which required image constraint, only the commercial video would be constrained -- not the medical image or other things on the user's desktop.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Answers Vista DRM Critics' Claims

Comments Filter:
  • No way! (Score:5, Funny)

    by EvanED (569694) <evaned@ g m a i l.com> on Saturday January 20, 2007 @09:32PM (#17698356)
    Recently have been some recent stories on Slashdot claiming that Vista would downgrade the quality of audio and video for every application in a machine where protected content was running. One of the stories painted a scary scenario where a 'medical IT worker who's using a medical imaging PC while listening to audio/video played back by the computer' would have his medical images 'deliberately degraded'.

    Slashdot posting anti-MS stories with only speculation to their correctness? Say it isn't so!
    • Re:No way! (Score:5, Informative)

      by saltydogdesign (811417) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @10:22PM (#17698658)
      Point of fact: the source for that claim was not Slashdot, but New Zealand computer scientist Peter Gutmann. See http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_c ost.html [auckland.ac.nz].
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Sad Loser (625938) *
        As a medical doctor who uses computer terminals to view my images, my medico-legal/ Quality Assurance framework will clearly reject any computer capable of degrading image quality, esp without informing the viewer.

        We have enough problem with the lusers having the resolution of the TFTs set wrong. This is a no-brainer - we cannot afford the risks of a doctor missing a fracture because someone has viewed something on a computer and the output has been downgraded to VGA.

        Interestingly, apple seems to be doing v
  • by Le Marteau (206396) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @09:35PM (#17698380) Journal
    such as newly released HD-DVD or Blu-Ray discs, can be enjoyed on Windows Vista PCs.

    Arrrr. I despise the use of 'enjoy' in that way. When you see the word used that way, you know the writer is selling something.

  • by Prysorra (1040518) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @09:35PM (#17698382)
    "the content protection mechanisms ...... will lead to better driver quality control."

    Less freedom = better quality?

    Might as well say it.

    War is Peace.

    Freedom is Slavery.....
    • by Cheapy (809643)
      "Less freedom = better quality?"

      What's so new about that? Apple has been saying doing just that for quite some time with their hardware lock-in. Only recently has it started to slip.
    • by jez9999 (618189) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @07:30AM (#17701054) Homepage Journal
      Right. And there are a few silly things said in that rebuttal that I picked up from even a cursory glance...

      "If the policies required protections that Windows Vista couldn't support, then the content would not be able to play at all on Windows Vista PCs."

      No, the PCs would display a message along the lines of, 'This media cannot be played by Windows Vista because of the overly-restrictive policies of content providers with millions of dollars, mainly based in Hollywood. If you don't like this, please contact your local senator/representative and tell them you'd like to see this sort of content being released without silly anti-fair use restrictions.' See how much that would sting.

      "In fact, much of the functionality discussed in the paper has been part of previous versions of Windows, and hasn't resulted in significant consumer problems"

      The existing 'functionality' for restriction of content playback is chickenfeed compared to the 'encryption-all-the-way' attitude taken by Vista's premium content protection mechanism.

      "In the case of HD optical media formats such as HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, the constraint requirement is 520K pixels per frame (i.e., roughly 960x540), which is still higher than the native resolution of content distributed in the DVD-Video format. We feel that this is still yields a great user experience, even when using a high definition screen."

      So, pirated content will still deliver a 'great user experience'! Just not-quite-as-great as HD. I think people who are pirating stuff will generally be happy with that, especially given that ultra-high quality content would require way larger files to download.

      "Will the Windows Vista content protection board robustness recommendations increase the cost of graphics cards and reduce the number of build options?

      Everything was moving to be integrated on the one chip anyway"


      Whose ass was this assertion pulled out of?

      "Will Windows Vista content protection features increase CPU resource consumption?

      Yes."


      Teh sux.

      "However, the use of additional CPU cycles is inevitable, as the PC provides consumers with additional functionality."

      This isn't additional functionality, it's reduced functionality against the user's wishes.

      "In this case, additional complexity is added to the graphics driver, but that complexity comes with the direct consumer benefit of new scenarios such as HD-DVD or Blu-Ray playback."

      Wouldn't be needed if HD-DVD/Blu-Ray content weren't laden with unnecessary DRM. Should've tried to force (or preferably, break) Hollywood's hand.
  • Translation needed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 20, 2007 @09:38PM (#17698396)
    Windows Vista has the necessary infrastructure to support commercial content scenarios

    WTF?
    • by sentientbeing (688713) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @10:24PM (#17698668)
      It means it proactively leverages the synergies of blue sky entertainment by thinking outside the box and innovating front-end methodologies for consumer satisfaction. It also empowers cross-platform deliverables by maximizing mission critical schemas.

      and plays teh new moviez!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by JorDan Clock (664877)
      It supports all sorts of new DRM, specifically HDCP and similar methods that prevent or degrade playback for non-authorized devices. It's a poor attempt to close the analog hole, I guess.
  • Even if we accept Microsoft's word that Vista really is designed to affect only commercial content, how reassuring is that? Given the number of bugs in Microsoft's software, the only way we should honestly feel at all reassured is if the capability simply isn't present. Even if Microsoft does their absolute best to ensure the munging happens only when it should, experience indicates that their best simply isn't good enough.
  • by ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @09:41PM (#17698416)

    At best, this will prevent point and click piracy. With HD-DVD already compromised and Blu Ray on its way, I hate the idea of losing CPU cycles for a copy protection scheme that doesn't even work. If it comes to a point that everyone and their grandmother can pirate high defintion content with the click of an icon, can Microsoft make a Windows Update that removes this "feature".

    • I think we both know that they'll never let go. The more control over our computers they have, the more they want. Sadly, too few people realize that they intend to tighten their grip slowly and ensure that there *are* no alternatives to turn to via software patents, "trusted" hardware, and all that other crap.

      All I can say is that I, for one, have no intention of putting up with DRM, "reasonable" or otherwise.
    • by Gazzonyx (982402) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @11:14PM (#17698946)

      I hate the idea of losing CPU cycles for a copy protection scheme that doesn't even work.

      No worries - you'll be losing many more to Aero, which, most likely, won't work all that much better. Not to mention the new tcp/ip stack chugging away with QOS processing that will likely be nullified as soon as the packet hits your ISP's first server's kernel. Enjoy.

      • by brentrad (1013501) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @05:08AM (#17700566)

        Not to mention the new tcp/ip stack chugging away with QOS processing that will likely be nullified as soon as the packet hits your ISP's first server's kernel.
        My download speeds have *tripled* since installing Vista.

        I have Vista installed as my primary OS at home (dual-booting with my previous installation of XP SP2.) I was quite shocked when I first fired up my usenet newsreader and discovered that I could download at sustained speeds of *24 MBit/sec* over my *8 MBit/sec* Comcast cable modem connection.

        After happily shouting "Holy crap! What the hell?" I verified this download speed on several speed test sites on the web. In addition, my wife's XP computer on the same network seems to be unaffected; she can surf the web with no slowdown, as if I'm not even downloading at all. When I used XP, my download speed would affect her download speed considerably, so that I had to throttle my downloads whenever she was at her computer. I tested my speed by booting back into XP, and my speeds top out at 8 Mbit/sec, as expected.

        I have no explanation as to how Vista accomplishes this "magic" speed boost that exceeds the rated speeds of my cable modem line by three times. Something about IPv6? Does Comcast have a separate IPv6 network built for future use that I'm tapping into? I don't know enough about networking to know. I can download a GB of data in about 5 minutes, so I'm definitely not complaining.

        Don't discount the new tcp/ip stack in Vista so quickly without trying it yourself. It's the best feature in the OS. I don't like everything about Vista, in fact there's a lot NOT to like about it, but the enhanced tcp/ip performance is reason enough for me to keep it. I do a lot of downloading that would probably not be condoned by the RIAA/MPAA, but so far Vista hasn't stopped me from playing anything, the way I want to play it...including HD video. I don't intend to use HD-DVD or Blu-Ray any time soon...neither my HD-resolution monitor nor my video card have HDCP anyway. But who needs that when you can download DRM-free HD video TODAY?

        I'm just waiting for Comcast to discover this "bug" and throttle my connection, as soon as new Vista-preinstalled computers start to appear at the the end of the month, and Comcast sees their bandwidth usage triple. I've been downloading daily, almost 24/7, at 24 MBit/Sec, for over a month now, and have yet to receive a letter from Comcast informing me I'm using too much bandwidth. (However, since I download at 24 MBit/sec, I don't NEED to download 24/7, my downloads finish so quickly!) It might be the fact that I live in a fairly poor area of my community (the poor side of Hillsboro, OR), where the computer and broadband penetration is probably not that great...so I'm not likely impacting many others' cable performance with my downloads.

        I'd like to hear from other Vista users, to see if I'm just an anomaly, or if others have experienced the same download speedups. I could find nothing on google to explain this, except the following link, an in-depth interview with the Microsoft team that wrote the new Vista network stack:

        http://channel9.msdn.com/Showpost.aspx?postid=1163 49 [msdn.com]

        Quite a long video (40 minutes), but very interesting. They say at one point in the video that they were able to realize drastic speedups using a Vista computer on some of their data lines...with no change on the server side, the only change being using a Vista computer as a client.

        Speaking of the QoS on Vista...while I was watching that video, Vista automatically throttled the bandwidth allotted to my newsreader, allowing that high-bandwidth streaming video to play without a hitch. As soon as the video completed, my newsreader's full data bandwidth was restored. No, I have no complaints about the new network stack in Vista. :) Only time will tell if it is more secure and robust than XP's network stack, but it is certainly drastically faster!
  • by Teun (17872) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @09:43PM (#17698420) Homepage

    if a user were viewing medical imagery concurrently with playback of video which required image constraint

    Who decides if it requires image constraint?
    Who else except me has such a call to make on my private property?
    • by Khuffie (818093)
      The people you buy the video from? Not happy? Don't buy it. I know I won't be.
      • by Rix (54095)
        It will still be embedded, even if you never buy one of these disks. How long do you really think it'll take for a worm to start activating this stuff?
    • by drsmithy (35869)

      Who decides if it requires image constraint?

      The copyright holder.

      Who else except me has such a call to make on my private property?

      The person who actually owns the content (hint: it's not you).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tkrotchko (124118) *
        I don't think copyright gives anyone the ability to dictate a video resolution; I think copyright is about the ability to legally control copying a creative work.

        The DRM controls technical aspects (such as the how/when/why the work can be viewed/heard), and that aspect is protected by DMCA, not copyright.

        The problems with making DRM a concern of government is apparent to everyone with the exception of our lawmakers. I can only hope enlightenment comes to future lawmakers.
  • mildly flawed (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Original Replica (908688) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @09:46PM (#17698434) Journal
    'medical IT worker who's using a medical imaging PC while listening to audio/video played back by the computer' would have his medical images 'deliberately degraded'

    For the $400 per hour I get charged, that PhD can focus his whole attention on my MRI. If you job is important enough to complain about possibly degraded video, it's also important enough to not multitask. Listen to MP3's on your own dime.
    • LOL. Like the PhD sees 10% of that.
    • Or the person may had a high quality video of MRI of test cases. So they have a reference. So the Reference is messed up and you get extra tests because their computer showed their test cases crappy while your MRI is as clear as a button.
      • Why would the high quality video of test cases engage the DRM? Did my hospital pirate their research off of BitTorrent?
    • by dsanfte (443781)
      Usually it's just a community-college trained tech who takes the actual MRI, and the Ph.D/MD reviews it at some later point (immediately or a few weeks later if it's forwarded to a specialist). That guy is getting paid maybe $15/hr, not $400, though the hospital itself might be charging that to the government / your insurance (if you live in the US).
      • actually, at least in cali, MRI techs make about $25/hr, but otherwise you're right, it's the radiologist who reads them, who most likely makes 200+k/year if he is any good.
      • I don't care who's getting paid what. I care that they actually focus on their craft, not gloss over my info while lip syncing to their favorite song. You don't need to be entertained at your job, you need to do your job.
        • Re:mildly flawed (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Dunbal (464142) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @02:47AM (#17700054)
          You don't need to be entertained at your job, you need to do your job.

                Something that would seem extremely complicated to you, because of your lack of training, becomes merely routine for someone else after a while. Do you drive a car? Is it as tough as it was the first day you drove? Have you ever listened to the radio while driving? Do you think your driving has suffered because of the radio?
    • Already stated this once before:

      Surgeons multi-task all the time in the O.R. including eating and playing loud music. Just because you can't multi-task doesn't mean they cannot.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by bluemonq (812827) *
        And the well-known corollary: just because somebody *can* doesn't mean they *should*.
  • by melikamp (631205) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @09:46PM (#17698436) Homepage Journal

    a

    Will the Windows Vista content protection board robustness recommendations increase the cost of graphics cards and reduce the number of build options?

    Everything was moving to be integrated on the one chip anyway and this is independent of content protection recommendations. Given that cost (particularly chip cost) is most heavily influenced by volume, it is actually better to avoid making things optional through the use of external chips. It is a happy side effect that this technology trend also reduces the number of vulnerable tracks on the board.

    Am I hearing a resounding yes?

    Will Windows Vista content protection features increase CPU resource consumption?

    Yes. However, the use of additional CPU cycles is inevitable, as the PC provides consumers with additional functionality. [...]

    Yes, we know that what we call DRM they call "an additional functionality".

    Will the 'tilt bit' mechanism cause problems even when the driver is not under attack from a hacker, e.g., when there are voltage spikes?

    It is pure speculation to say that things like voltage fluctuations might cause a driver to think it is under attack from a hacker. It is up to a graphics IHV to determine what they regard as an attack.

    How can one say "yes" that will sound mostly like "no"? See above.

    All in all, the article is a great read. There are useful details about the bricking mechanism (it's actually more forgiving than was suspected), and a general consensus with the costs identified by Gutmann.

  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by strider44 (650833) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @09:54PM (#17698486)
    Just Wow. That's the biggest piece of bullshit response I think I've ever seen. Look closely and compare that and the original article. For example, the original article says that the component and S/PDIF can be disabled by the disc you put in the drive, and this article says that "Similar to S/PDIF, Windows Vista does not require component video outputs to be disabled, but rather enables the enforcement of the usage policy set by content owners or service providers, including with respect to output restrictions and image constraint" which sidesteps the point that a disc can disable the current standard connection from a normal computer to a normal TV you fucks!!! Of course they also go on about how the degraded image is still DVD quality, which is a great help to the people who spent an extra few grand to set up HD DVDs when they could have just gone to the shop and bought a DVD. They then also point out that you don't actually need a dedicated decoder, even though the original article pointed out that CPUs simply aren't strong enough for the task.

    So all this Microsoft article has done is only confirmed my conclusion that they're trying to give the movie studios every opportunity to rape the people who try to watch their stuff. This is just bullshit marketing spin.
    • by ChronosWS (706209)
      Your point about S/PDIF may be correct, but it was not exactly clear to me that it was the connector output itself which was disabled or if it was the internal audio path to the S/PDIF output which was disabled. WOuld you be less affronted if that were the case?

      Secondly, while the loss of all of those extra pixels of HD-DVD is certainly a tragedy, I would point out that HD-DVD and Blu-Ray have not only higher resolutions but also better compression algorithms which yield a better picture even with the same
      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MobyDisk (75490) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @11:59PM (#17699214) Homepage

        Finally, it's not like MS actually has a choice here. The movie studios can and will use their lawyers to rape any commercial entity that gets in their way right now.
        The biggest monopoly in the world, the largest company in the biggest country in the world, run by the richest person on earth, that controls 90% of the desktop computers on the planet, and has the highest cash reserves of any commercial entity --- is being strong armed!?!?!
        • Re:Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Artifakt (700173) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @03:46AM (#17700310)
          Quite possibly. Microsoft is dealing with a monopolistic cartel, that has considerable influence over the legislature. As monopolies go, the RIAA and MPAA have levels of market saturation similar to MS, in the 90% range, and while their members are run by a few hundred major stockholders, adding just the top hundred or so together gives a picture of financial clout far exceeding Bill Gates'.
                  Almost nobody in the houses of congress has shown any public sign of personally hating any RIAA spokesman since a few criticized Jack Valetti 20 years ago, while according to beltway insiders there are some congressmen who have publicly expressed great dissapointment that Microsoft didn't get more penalties from the justice dept., and a few that will still publicly say that the company should flat have been busted up.
                  Notice that that cartel members make much less per year than the hardware manufacturers collectively do (by some estimates, the hardware companies are about 8x-10x as big as all the commercial media conglomerates put together), but their representitive group seems to be strong arming the hardware makers just fine. Notice too that Sony, for just one example, makes a lot more money on hardware than media, but the media division has steered the company into several stupid decisions in a row and still seems to have plenty of clout, at least internally.
                      The **AAs have whole groups of the most charismatic spokesmen possible willing to speak for them, and that greatly amplifies the effects of their campaign contributions. One appearance by the right movie star endorsing a particular candidate can be worth millions in an election year, while few voters would change their minds simply because Gates or Balmer endorsed anyone. (In other words, Microsoft has to do just about everything with money, while big media has other tools that sometimes work better).
                     
      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tkrotchko (124118) * on Sunday January 21, 2007 @01:50AM (#17699768) Homepage
        "Microsoft does not see this as being their battle to fight, they just want their customers to have a good experience"

        Nonsense. Doesn't sell to the end customer; we don't buy Vista. That battle was fought 12 years ago and it's over. All the OEM's must have Windows on their PC, and they must have whatever Vista MS tells them to have.

        The customers of MS are the content producers. These new content restrictions are music to the ears of Hollywood. The more we see articles like this, the better, because it reaffirms to the MPAA members that their content is "safe" when it plays through MS.

        You didn't think trusted computing was for your or my benefit did you?
    • by mobby_6kl (668092)
      Well, the original article they're respodning to was also bullshit, so what did you expect? Of course they're trying to sugar-coat every response, but the point is, the sky is not falling, it's exactly where it was with XP. Macrovision has been on PC since forever, I remember trying to copy a rented 6th Day DVD to a VHS (that was a long time ago, my harddrive was the size of a DVD9) through an AIW card, only for the result to be unwatchable becasue of horrible contrast and noise, added by Macrovision.
    • Was it me did every answer was double-speak? The questions were rather simple and the answers were so convoluted, I swear I needed a lawyer to decipher every response because every response was written by a lawyer. For example, the question was whether Vista will disable S/PDIF on content. The answer is:

      Yes, if the content provider mandates it, but for the most part they are not enforced today.

      The answer that we got was:

      Windows Vista does not require S/PDIF to be turned off, but Windows Vista contin

  • What About Hardware? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ctwxman (589366) <me@@@geofffox...com> on Saturday January 20, 2007 @10:12PM (#17698588) Homepage
    To me, the scarier implication of the original posting is, Vista forces manufacturers to lock down hardware and drivers - making them, in essence, impenetrable black boxes. As I read it, once hardware is designed to operate in a Vista environment, it will never be usable in Linux or other open source situations. Can someone expand on this, please?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jesboat (64736)
      See [[Wikipedia:Trusted Computing]] [wikipedia.org].

      It's worth noting that much current hardware should be Vista-compatible, and is perfectly capable of running Linux. FOSS isn't fundamentally incompatible with Trusted Computing-- it's just incompatible with things which use Trusted Computing to secure against other things (e.g. using a Free OS with content which uses TC-based DRM. You'd have to pick either your ability to modify the OS or the content.)
  • by cooldev (204270) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @10:18PM (#17698634)

    I can't help but think that you guys are missing the point.

    Anyone building hardware and/or software to play back modern media currently has two choices:

    1) Implement the restrictions and allow the content to be viewable.

    2) Don't allow the content to be viewable at all. (i.e. No HD-DVD or Blu-Ray playback, period.)

    Microsoft doesn't create movies or music. Their only interest in implementing these things is so that users have a way of playing content on their operating system. Apple and Linux vendors will also have to bend over for the RIAA and MPAA if they want to be able to support viewing the content. There's a chance that Steve Jobs will bend the universe to his will on this and avoid it, but it's doubtful. Linux users will probably just find ways hack around it, and ignore the fact they're breaking the law (no matter how ill-conceived that law may be; the point is that if Microsoft breaks the same law they would be sued into oblivion. It's simply not an option.).

    Blaming Microsoft for this DRM fiasco is lame. If you don't like DRM, focus your blame on those that deserve it and buy your media from sources that don't promote it.

    That said, one thing that could be argued is that Microsoft wields enough money/power that they could fight back against the RIAA, MPAA, etc. and block the media industry's attempts to create such lame DRM policies. Personally I don't believe they have this amount of clout, especially with the antitrust thing still hanging over their head.

    • If Microsoft doesn't write its own DRM software for Windows, the media companies will do it themselves or hire a third party to. We've seen what great things [eweek.com] have come out of that arrangement in the past.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      ---I can't help but think that you guys are missing the point.

      Complex problems require complex answers. Simply, DRM is NOT the answer, but what is?

      ----Anyone building hardware and/or software to play back modern media currently has two choices:

      ---1) Implement the restrictions and allow the content to be viewable.

      ---2) Don't allow the content to be viewable at all. (i.e. No HD-DVD or Blu-Ray playback, period.)

      Or 3) MS Should tell ALL media companies that this is not for thier customers, and refuse to play AN
    • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Saturday January 20, 2007 @10:55PM (#17698836)
      Apple and Linux vendors will also have to bend over for the RIAA and MPAA if they want to be able to support viewing the content.

      If it weren't for Microsoft handing over our rights to the them on a silver platter, it would be the RIAA and MPAA bending over to the people instead!

      There's a chance that Steve Jobs will bend the universe to his will on this and avoid it, but it's doubtful. Linux users will probably just find ways hack around it, and ignore the fact they're breaking the law (no matter how ill-conceived that law may be; the point is that if Microsoft breaks the same law they would be sued into oblivion. It's simply not an option.).

      If Microsoft had refused to support this bullshit, Steve Jobs and Linux users would have had a hell of an easier time of it.

      That said, one thing that could be argued is that Microsoft wields enough money/power that they could fight back against the RIAA, MPAA, etc. and block the media industry's attempts to create such lame DRM policies.

      No kidding.

  • Pay with DRM Money (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bratwiz (635601) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @10:27PM (#17698682)

    I think people should just pay Microsoft (and Apple and the others) with Money that has restrictions on it... Here, you can have this money but you can't use it to sue anybody with it, or buy a ferrari. If you do decide to sue, the lawyer will show up late and sleep through the trial, and the ferrari will have a bum paint job and break down conspicuously on the side of the highway every 15 minutes.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Deliveranc3 (629997)
      "Cannot be stored in a banking system which uses "Free Software"".

      Why is it fair for Microsoft to discriminate against people without $200 for VISTA but OSS developers can't descriminate against people who don't share and are evil.
  • The answers to Nick White's twenty questions are so far beyond useless that they actually inspire rather than calm fears about the potential and likelihood of Windows Vista's DRM technology being abused and/or abusive.

    Tell ya what, Nicky. When my customers start calling me about why their computers are performing exactly as you and Microsoft designed [defectivebydesign.org], contrary to what they (the consumers) wanted, I'm going to lay it all out for them, straight and level.

    I'm going to tell them who it was who sold them a wind
  • by Cap'n Crax (313292) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @10:41PM (#17698758) Homepage
    They want to turn it into a toaster, an "appliance." They want control over what you can and cannot do, and they are slowly gaining it too, from region codes (RPC II) in DVD drives, encryption (in EVERYTHING) like HD DVD and BluRay, HDCP, HDMI, etc... "trusted computing." All of this stuff is creeping into hardware daily, and it's getting to where you can't buy computer hardware WITHOUT this shit.

    Of course, this is all necessary so you can "enjoy" all of the great "premium content." This is not normal 'content' mind you, this is Gee-Whiz Shazzamo "PREMIUM" awesome content that just requires all of this new DRM-out-the-wazoo hardware.

    And here I thought it was the same crap they have been peddling for years in slightly higher resolution... Guess what, my computer can ALREADY play 1920x1080 AVI's perfectly fine (Elephant's Dream [blender.org]). And I don't have any of that DRM crap on MY system...
  • it's still.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zogger (617870) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @10:46PM (#17698782) Homepage Journal
    ...deliberate sabotage, any way you slice it, designed on purpose to perpetuate a business model developed when duplicating content was hugely more expensive than it is now from a strictly technological viewpoint. It is (very generally speaking of course) the work of those already rich and powerful to stay that way, and to seek to lock away technological advances only to themselves as much as possible, through obvious and unchecked wide scale cartel market manipulation actions and also through extensive lobbying to make the laws reflect the profiteer's paranoid-and elitist- neoluddism.

    It's Ok for the rich and powerful to have any advances and advantages from modern technology-but don't let those slavering "masses" folk have the same, even when it becomes technically and economically possible. Cuts into that "bottom line" thing, or at least that is their paranoid theory.

      Enforcing artificial scarcity combined with the broken-windows economic model is the height of their intellectual business acumen.

    No one disputes this is immensely profitable for them, given our current social and economic infrastructure. It remains to be seen if this will always be the case.

    We left the caves a long time ago, seems like maybe it might be nice to leave the medieval period some time soon. But I guess the aristocracy isn't quite willing to give that up yet.
  • Users != Customers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by atcurtis (191512) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @10:46PM (#17698792) Homepage Journal

    I think people are forgetting who are Microsoft's customers.

    The end users are not Microsoft's customers. The end users who purchase Windows are very much in the minority - the overwhelming majority of users get their Windows bundled with their PCs. Microsoft's customers are the computer vendors and big media. Microsoft's customers are demanding that content be controlled and that users are given an incentive to buy new hardware.

    The customer always gets what they want.

  • Kind of like when I put my tv card in my windows xp box and it informed me that since I didn't have drm crap enabled, my picture would be downgraded. Obviously Windows folks do everything possible for our safety and enjoyment and in order to provide the 'best windows experience possible' Yeah, right. Like I would believe these guys if they said anything. Like a previous poster who mentioned the Orwellian way of speaking, war is peace and other fun ways to confuse reality with words meaning something else.
  • Will Windows Vista content protection features increase CPU resource consumption?
    Yes. However, the use of additional CPU cycles is inevitable, as the PC provides consumers with additional functionality. Windows Vista's content protection features were developed to carefully balance the need to provide robust protection from commercial content while still enabling great new experiences such as HD-DVD or Blu-Ray playback.

    Ohhhh....
    I see... Now it makes perfect sense. So the "additional functionality" i
  • by zerofoo (262795) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @12:12AM (#17699292)
    OK, so Vista gives content providers a way to lock-down and restrict their products. Microsoft has "added value" to a product for a segment of people that are not their customers.

    So as a paying customer (I buy operating systems for personal use, and oh...by the way, I am responsible for IT purchasing for my ENTIRE company), what does Vista give me and my users, that should make me cut a check?

    From what I understand, Vista works pretty much like XP, and now thanks to Volume Activation 2.0 Vista corporate copies will now all REQUIRE activation.....every time we re-image a machine. Activation now requires me to either run a key management server (and baby-sit all my roaming users making sure they connect to my network twice per year) OR use multiple activation keys....that means phone calls to Microsoft when eventually the keys stop working.

    So microsoft, tell me, why should I fork over my (or my company's) cash?

    -ted
  • by BoRegardless (721219) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @01:22AM (#17699648)
    Wait until China starts importing something other than the Cherry (Chevy) to the U.S.

    Next it will be the ChiPC computer line, and I'll bet the OS does not have DRM on it, and I'll bet it undercuts HP & Dell.

    No special graphics card.
    No special chips.
    No VISTA

    Microsoft has a LOT to LOSE by aceeding to the demand/acquescence to load the whole system to protect media companies from common consumers. Again, I think Warren Buffet said it right when he said he would not invest in Microsoft because he didn't understand the business model for the long term.
  • Vista is DRM (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JRHelgeson (576325) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @02:06AM (#17699850) Homepage Journal
    Vista is NOTHING but a DRM platform that also happens to run Windows applications.
    I am currently running Vista Ultimate on my laptop, a closed system with an integrated nvidia video card running Microsoft Certified drivers... I cannot play videos that *I* have created of screen recordings at full screen, I have to play them back in a window. Running full screen in Windows Media Player causes the playback to simply pause. I also cannot play videos that I have created from scratch and integrated into newly created powerpoint 2007 slides. When playing back on my laptop screen, the video plays fine, but when feeding the signal to the projector screen through the analog video output, the video plays for 1 second then pauses for 1/4 second repeatedly.

    This is not protected content.

    Sure, it isn't *supposed* to be applying DRM "features" to *MY* content, but it is.

    This is horseshit, horseshit, horseshit! And for any of those who don't know what I'm talking about, its the shit that comes from a horse.

    You cannot build restrictions into every device, every driver and expect it not to have unintended consequences in everyday usage.

    Vista is completely defective by design.
    • Re:Vista is DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

      by omicronish (750174) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @05:28AM (#17700626)
      Ever consider that it might be a driver issue? I can play both DRMed and non-DRMed videos fullscreen without problems on my Radeon 9800 Pro, including those that I've created myself. It sounds like you're blaming the most obvious target without providing much justification.
  • by Technician (215283) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @03:35AM (#17700260)
    For example, if a user were viewing medical imagery concurrently with playback of video which required image constraint, only the commercial video would be constrained -- not the medical image or other things on the user's desktop.'"

    I wonder how they do the mixed content when the degradation is done at the hardware driver level. It must make for a pretty complicated driver to degrade only part of a screen. Maybe the driver is able to do video overlays and degrade just one overlay.

    Audio must have the same multipath drivers, one for each application. The phone will work fine while the online subscription radio station is disabled due to the lack of a fully secure audio path to the speakers.
  • TFA, unspun (Score:4, Informative)

    by mgiuca (1040724) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @06:43AM (#17700888)

    OK let's go through this. To be clear: I'm not going to talk about whether MS were forced to implement this stuff or not (I think it's pretty clear that a) they were, but b) it's in their best interests to anyway, and they were probably part of the driving force behind it).

    It's just sufficient for us to determine whether this is bad or not.

    Sorry to have replied to so much of TFA... there was just a lot to comment on. It's hard to tell whether this was written by a program manager or a politician, with all the spin going on.

    Over the holidays, a paper was distributed that raised questions about the content protection features in Windows Vista.

    These guys were on holidays?

    Associating usage policies with commercial content is not new to Windows Vista, or to the industry. In fact, much of the functionality discussed in the paper has been part of previous versions of Windows, and hasn't resulted in significant consumer problems - as evidenced by the widespread consumer use of digital media in Windows XP. For example:

    • Standard definition DVD playback has required selective use of Macrovision ACP on analog television outputs since it was introduced in the 1990s. DVD playback on and in Windows has always supported this.
    • The ability to restrict audio outputs (e.g., S/PDIF) for certain types of content has been available since Windows Millennium Edition (ME) and has been available in all subsequent versions of Windows.
    • The Certified Output Protection Protocol (COPP) was released over 2 years ago for Windows XP, and provides applications with the ability to detect output types and enable certain protections on video outputs such as HDCP, CGMS-A, and Macrovision ACP.

    So... what you're saying is, you've been doing this stuff all along without us knowing, which logically makes it OK to keep doing it.

    Would it be ironic if I pointed out that making copies of digital media is not new to the content industry. In fact, at one time it was quite possible to make copies of your own data, and hasn't resulted in significant problems to their business models - as evidenced by the increasing sales of physical and downloadable content over the past decade. Therefore there is no reason to prevent it.

    the content protection mechanisms do not make Windows Vista PCs less reliable than they would be otherwise -- if anything they will have the opposite effect, for example because they will lead to better driver quality control.

    What? Are we just stabbing at straws here for a reason why they might have the opposite effect?

    The paper implies that Microsoft decides which protections should be active at any given time. This is not the case. The content protection infrastructure in Windows Vista provides a range of à la carte options that allows applications playing back protected content to properly enable the protections required by the policies established for such content by the content owner or service provider. In this way, the PC functions the same as any other consumer electronics device.

    In an unprecedented move, the people of the free world may now choose the manner in which their freedoms shall be crushed!

    Will the Windows Vista content protection board robustness recommendations increase the cost of graphics cards and reduce the number of build options?

    Everything was moving to be integrated on the one chip anyway...

    1. No, STFU and stop limiting my options. 2. Answer the question about cost.

    Will Windows Vista content protection features increase CPU resource consumption?

    Yes. However, the use of additional CPU cycles is inevitable, as the PC provides consumers with additional functionality.

    In other words, "Yes". I don't consider

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hhawk (26580)
      re: "...Windows Vista provides a range of à la carte options that allows applications playing back protected content to properly enable the protections required by the policies established for such content by the content owner or service provider."

      What happens when the content owner is also the owner of the machine. Can this person actually set DRM controls on the video of his kids birthday party, the sex he had video tapped with his wife, etc?
  • by StikyPad (445176) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @07:36PM (#17705940) Homepage
    Drivers, DON'T WORRY! If an unauthorized steering wheel is detected, ONLY THE STEERING will be affected, and ONLY FOR THE ROAD YOU ARE ON. The brakes, accelerator, and "oh shit" handles will still function 100%.

If it's worth doing, it's worth doing for money.

Working...