In Ten Years, Will You Own a PC, or Vice-versa?

This article, though a little more than three years old, still paints a frightening picture.

It seems that Micro$oft, Intel, IBM, HP and AMD are collaboratively intent on undermining individual authority over, and control of, digital content on your computer and other electronic devices. The bottom line of the article is that mechanisms are being put in place that will allow suppliers and vendors to administer your PC-based information.

I always thought that Bill Gates, in particular, had something of the mad despot in him.


Or even worse…

(Methinks this should be moved to conspiracies? ???)

Taken from…

The microchip proof of potential mind control

MY EXTREMELY importatn messege!!!

This is VERY important information that pertains to EVERYONE. PLEASE take a bit of your time or take a look at some important issues that REALLY matter We need to be aware of what is going on with this technology NOW and decide your position on it and how you will respond. Below I HAVE irrefutable PROFF MOSTLY SHORT Videos of news clips etc and some text in between with references. Big corporations like the tobacco companies , wal-mart etc are up to some things we need to be concerned about for ALL our safety and well being! Take a look below! Decide where you stand… It’s pretty cut and dry if you are for human right and human decency please show you care by reposting this important issue.

brain computer interface

Scientists have built a device that lets you control a computer with your mind


While only a nascent field, the director of the
prestigious US National Science Foundation, Rita
Colwell, stated in 2003 that “the interface between
nano, bio, info and cognotechnology is where the
exciting discoveries are occurring.”[1]

According to Yonas, nanotechnology makes it feasible
to use brain implants to moderate behavior or brain
functioning, allowing brains with disorders or brains
that have been damaged to function normally.[2]

Another developing field of cognotechnology focuses on
remote sensing brain function. Sensed brain function
will include the intention to commit deception, and
according to Yonas, is likely to be used for more
efficient identifying of potential terrorists at, for
example, airports.

Some fields of cognotechnology have the potential to
be used in possibly controversial ways, such as
modifying the behavior of criminals or pacifying enemy

Yonas gave an address on cognotechnology and these
areas currently being researched at a 2001 daylong
symposium sponsored by the American Association for
the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest
general science organization and the publisher of the
prestigious academic journal Science.

REFRENCE to the above text

biological implants in general and neural prosthetic
devices in particular



the microchip


Microchip - Just say no!

IBM, Verichip, and the Fourth Reich

Mark of the Beasts: Ian Brown “No I.D.”

TEXT reference

No, I don’t agree that this is a case of conspiracy paranoia. Micro$oft’s own words don’t contradict anything in the earlier article I linked to, although the downsides to the TC initiative are not described. Also, there is nothing in the innards of RSA and other PK cryptographic systems - which systems I know very well indeed - that can prevent anything mentioned in that earlier article.


I wasn’t able to read the whole of your quote, qrios. The grammar - it burns us. But I got the feeling it related somehow to a brain-computer interface. That’s real - in the lab, not commercialised. Although I didn’t know nanotechnology had anything to do with it.

But as for the OP, yes, MS and others are putting a lot of effort into controlling our computers. It’s already here in many specifics: Windows Automatic Updates, Digital Rights Mgt on software and video, and errm probably other things. Technologically it can be done, sociologically it can be resisted. Which will win? What’s the balance of forces?

The forces that push big companies to do this are not really a desire for control (that they do with lockin via not publishing APIs, bundling of “free” software to kill competitors, etc). What they’re afraid of is lawsuits: for insecure systems, from copyright holders, etc.

But there is a big constituency that will never allow unrestricted access: business users. And although they’d like to try to separate business and other customers completely, they won’t be able to. Business users have laptops they use at home; individual consultants like myself work in big businesses; and techies in corporates will share their knowledge.

You might argue that a lot of digital content, like music and movies, has no interest to business. But the “hacker” community provides another force against it: freeware software to play unrestricted music and video, and tools to remove restrictions from restricted music and video.

And more (the more I think about this the more forces in support of the consumer I think of): the continual rise of malicious hackers, phishers and other unsavoury types has the effect of making even naive users aware of risks - and making them see attempts at control by big organisations in the same way - consider the recent Sony “rootkit” debacle. Firewalls and antispyware products will help to protect people - both directly and by causing a rash of naive consumers who say “I can’t play the DVD I bought from you” or “I downloaded this track and it says ‘cannot connect to server’”. All the providers will say “you have to stop your firewalls and antivirus and antispyware software to play our content, since they are badly written.” But eventually people will stop trusting this.

Meanwhile …

Microsoft Brothel. Please remove your condom.

I never doubted the ability to manipulate etc, I doubt the plausibility and feasibility to do it.
In Africa, most people cannot read, nevermind own or work with or on a computer, so I think it is irrelevant.

In my experience, programs, and even hardware protected software has been cracked or hacked before it is even available in South Africa.
So… the PC might be capable of “owning” but it will only be to the extend that we let it.

When has such an opposing fact ever stopped a large consortium? Look at worldwide IBM PC sales, versus any other hardware architecture. The non-IBM compatible PC market, most of which is Apple (Motorola) and some TransMeta, accounts for about ten per cent of the total PC market. If the developed countries adopt the TC initiative as set forth, the rest of the world will have no choice but to follow.

That is true, and an indication of how insecure computing currently is. However, the full-fledged TC initiative will make cracking totally impractical, even infeasible. If you think otherwise, then you don’t understand this new technology - see below.

No. You won’t be able to install any software, let alone a different OS like BeOS or Linux because the hardware won’t let you proceed without a correct vendor-supplied key that is matched to your hardware. Such keys can only be produced by the TC hardware OEM, which will most likely be Intel, AMD, or IBM. Any hacker who thinks it is feasible to break 1,024-bit PK encryption in a reasonable amount of time is totally and completely deluded. It took almost three years to break RSA Labs’ 576-bit factoring challenge (for a prize of US $10,000.-) using multiple arrays of supercomputers. Now 1,024-bit is 2448 times as strong, i.e. about 10135 times, which is a one followed by 135 zeroes. The estimated number of elementary particles in the universe is a one followed by 80 zeroes.

So faking the keys is a non-starter. And disabling the TC hardware won’t work either because without it the software, including the OS, simply won’t run.

It does, however, open an opportunity for another computing concern to get started. But note that the established one will invariably lock out any new upstart that doesn’t play along their rules. All they need do is simply withhold compatibility from them. Micro$oft has done this a few times in the past.

Regarding the plausibility, starting with Windows XP, Micro$oft had implemented Automatic Updates via the Internet. Part of that protocol is a complete hardware and software inventory of your computer. What for? After all, the deployment of any updates doesn’t require this. In addition, your WinXP/2003 installation key is verified each time Automatic Update connects to Micro$oft’s servers. Also, if you make too many hardware changes to your WinXP PC, you’ll have to re-license it, and your key is only good for three re-licensings. Thereafter, you’ll have to pay Micro$oft for a new key. All of this shows that at least some of the basic strategies are already in place.

It seems then that it’s bad news all 'round in the long run.


I don’t think it’s all bad news. I think the main reason it is not implemented widely yet, is because consumers simply will not let it. Who in his right mind would buy hardware that won’t allow you to do what you want with it. You will have to have control over all hardware manufacturers to force this on consumers which is unlikely.

Take mp3’s for instance. Since before napster companies have tried to restrict sharing. New formats with DRM was supposed to do this. But mp3’s are still widely available and popular - because it is still useful. DRM restricts your freedom and becomes less useful.

Please don’t get me wrong: I don’t think so either. For businesses and people using computers for mundane tasks, who are paranoid about security and are diligent about paying for digital rights, this is excellent news. It is obviously also great news for the TC purveyors.

Have you ever programmed, no matter which language? With TC this pleasure will be taken from you. If, in the first place, you can even obtain a development suite that will run on the TC platform, the programmes you write won’t run, at least not on any other PC. You’ll have to get those dreaded keys from the OEM (or a Trust Provider’s digital certificate) for any distribution of your work. Of course, you’ll have to pay for this privilege, possibly by way of a royalty. Ditto if you’re a musician or painter, wanting to distribute the equivalent of MP3s or JPEGs.

See, one of the main reasons that computing technology grew so enormous so quickly (less than 20 years) is that there were no DRM issues, and information could be freely exchanged. TC is an attempt to seal that hole and to milk it. Micro$oft in particular has a history of such attempts: making Internet Explorer inseparable from Windows, incomplete or inadequate API documentation, the fallout with Sun Microsystems over Java and the resulting emergence of .NET, and so on. Also, you may wish to check out Tom’s Hardware page, and read about some of Intel’s misdeeds with the P4. Yet, today people have simply accepted most of these things.

In principle I agree with you on the last part, but not entirely on the first. The reason it hasn’t yet been put in place completely is because there are still many legal and international trade issues that need to be ironed out - the EU has already agreed to the basics. Once full agreement is reached on these issues, the TC technology will be phased in over a period of time, simply by the sheer weight of its main proponents. It is I think unreasonable to expect that, say, the entirety of SA’s business will resist TC, and even if we did so concertedly, that it would succeed. The ordinary home user’s only real choice will be to avoid PCs altogether, something I don’t see happening either.

My main objection isn’t the basic philosophy of TC per se - I’d even call it basically admirable. It is the restrictions the technology enables that concerns me. But I also don’t think that anyone can predict exactly how this thing is going to work out.

This is not true at all. The three big ones (Intel, AMD and IBM) are already part of the deal. It doesn’t matter what peripheral hardware some small silicon shop in Malaysia or Korea produces because these devices simply won’t work at all with the new hardware if they aren’t TC compliant. Remember also that cloning ICs, e.g. CPUs and BIOSes, is very, very difficult without the appropriate schematics and/or dies. This last is the reason that Intel and AMD don’t patent their CPU designs anymore, and haven’t done so for more than ten years. By the time a competitor has managed to reverse-engineer your current state-of-the-art IC, you’ve already taken it forward a generation or two.

Whereas in the past the hardware-software interaction was one in which the technological needs of each spurred on development of the other, TC is not like that at all: the hardware, though capable of doing so, won’t accept non-compliant software, and vice versa.

DRM failed largely because it was the first attempt to exercise control over digital content, and no one had any experience in this area. Also, the technology wasn’t secure to begin with, and consequently couldn’t be properly administered and controlled in practice. In addition, the MPAA’s technical competence is questionable. TC doesn’t have a single limitation that is in any way similar. Trying to circumvent a TC platform will be akin to robbing a bank without removing anything from the vault.


I don’t see this happening. With the whole free software movement doing quite well and people getting used to be in control of the software they want, it will have to be forced on everyone which I think is unlikely.

Maybe, and it would not be the first time ‘they’ have tried, but they will fail again.

Agreed. As I said, if it remains usable, people will use it. If it becomes too restrictive, people won’t use it.

If there is a market, someone will find a way to exploit it.

I’m not talking about circumventing or hacking the code, most users don’t know how to do it anyway. My point was that it is too restrictive, and that people will simply use something more usable if they have the choice.

Then I’m afraid you still don’t understand the full implications and abilities inherent in the technology. The choices are essentially to stay with what we have at present, or to follow the lead of Micro$oft et al. into the future. The companies that are promoting TC dictate that future because they control the dominant sources of hardware and software together, as well as developing new tchnologies in these areas. Free software, open source, Linux, etc. will quickly become a non-issue to those companies because such products cannot be used on the TC hardware without OEM keys. Like the majority of other computing initiatives, TC will probably at first start getting a hold inside large companies, certainly those pushing it. Sooner or later, everyone will have to follow for simple knock-on reasons of digital information exchange, just like the CD almost completely replaced vinyl. You can’t just take, say, a M$ Word document from a TC computer and open it on a non-TC computer, or vice versa, and back in the 80s, it was often said (by the local Warner agents, and even Phillips who in conjunction with Sony developed the CD) that vinyl would never die.

This time, however, Micro$oft is not going against any law - quite the opposite, in fact. As I indicated earlier, controlling digital rights, of which the basic ideas have more than sufficient support in the US Senate, previously failed mainly because the technology was dodgy and the infrastructure and experience inadequate. Besides which, TC generically nips any hardware and software alternatives in the proverbial bud.

Well, that’s how it should work. I would call Zimbabwe’s government “restrictive” but I don’t see any mass exodus from there.

I disagree in this particular instance because it would be similar to the expectation that Malawi can design and build a craft capable of competing with the space shuttle. The current hardware and software suppliers have such an enormous technological edge over any possible challenger as to virtually eliminate such a possibility occurring in the near future.

That only a very small number of people can hack or bypass security is not the issue. The issue is that TC makes it totally impractical, so that no one can. Moreover, the world does need (a small number of) such hackers because they are the source of many new ideas and often the ones who blow the whistle on any shady antics that large software corporations get up to. TC will also stifle that.

And my point was, and still remains, that there won’t be any choice.

You may well be right in thinking that I’m overstating my fears. Obviously, I don’t think I am.


Me starting to think so too :wink:

Me sorry, but me not sure what to make of this now. ::slight_smile:

The discussion so far has mostly centred on the TC technology (hence this sub-forum) and what it can facilitate for those who command it, one of whom is Micro$oft, a company that has shown itself to be not entirely trustworthy a few times in the past. These last are readily verifiable facts, as are those I mentioned in respect of the TC technology itself. Thus far, there have been offered no equally factual counterarguments that undermine what I have written in this regard.

Sure, it is speculation on my part that it is highly unlikely a viable alternative to TC will become available soon enough, if ever, for the ordinary PC user to avoid TC, but I also gave what I think are compelling technical reasons for my reservations, which reasons at present also remain essentially unchallenged. Arguing that an unknown something will present itself can’t successfully diminish my contention, unless that proposed something is at the very least realistically conceivable, or, better yet, at least as likely a scenario as the one I am painting. Nor, of course, does it mean that I am right - only that I have solid reasons for thinking as I do.

Finally, please point out where malicious objectives, which would turn this into a de facto conspiracy, are attributed to the TC proponents. Saying that so-and-so allows them to do such-and-such is not the same thing as saying that they will do such-and-such, although history again suggests that temptation is quite hard to resist. Consider also that very few companies do things out of altruism or a sense of civic duty, and the question why Micro$oft and partners are pursuing TC so fervently becomes a bit more urgent.

The only “conspiracy” I’m proposing here is that these companies are collaborating towards greater control of the hardware and software markets, which effort makes perfect business sense, but such control will ultimately be got at the expense of some of our individual liberties. I’m hardly suggesting anything like a grandiose masterplan whereby M$ consciously wants to turn you into a computer literate but functional zombie.

If that makes me an alarmist or a conspiracy theorist, then I plead guilty.


This might just be a borderline case as far as I’m concerned. I think that I f you (Luthon) would want to categorize the whole Big Brother phenomenon, or the “666 Antichrist ruling the world” hypotheses as conspiracy, then surely an attempt of Micro$oft trying to control or own us by means of the PC should be categorised accordingly?



How does a desire to exercise control over the digital content of your PC suddenly become “trying to control or own us by means of the PC?”

That’s like saying Koo is “trying to control or own [you] by means of” their baked beans recipe.


No I understand the implications. But that will only happen if TC is taken to the extremes that you are talking about. Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I don’t think people are going to let that happen.

And vinyl is still not dead. A lot of albums are still released on vinyl for DJ’s and collectors. It is still with us because there is a market for it.

How many illegal Zimbabweans are there in surrounding countries?

Why do they have to keep up with the latest technology? All they need is something that is usable.

Yes I agree, my point was that even though TC will be infinitely more difficult to crack, even today it is not that easy. A normal user will either put up with the restrictions or switch to something without the restrictions. Only a few people will try to crack it.

It will come down to choice - whether we have it or not. Whatever happened to ‘the customer is always right’ ???
We will just have to wait and see.
I’m sure that without any opposition it could very well happen.

You’ll notice that it is still not in conspiracy section. Also note the little smiley face that was supposed to be an indication that I was joking.

Another good page to read about TC:

Let’s just change the thread name then. :-X

Being owned by a PC still sounds like a conspiracy. Stays an interesting thread though.

There are no extremes for TC to be taken to. Either a piece of hardware or software is TC compliant, or it is not. If it isn’t, it will be rejected by a TC platform. If it is, you can’t use it on anything other than a TC platform, and then only with the proper authorisation via a set of keys. That’s the whole point of TC.

I know, I’m a collector. But it’s a very tiny specialist market, not one frequented by the general listener.

Compared to how many people remain in Zimbabwe? Negligible.

Because anything much less has a profound effect on the viability of data exchange and processing. You wouldn’t attempt to play Doom on a 386, even though in theory you could. Another example: at the office you have a shiny new Hexium P9-64 QuadCore TC machine and you want to send your friends a brief e-mail reminder at their homes about your upcoming birthday braai. Problem is, they’ve all got dodgy old October 2006 vintage AMD 64-bit games machines sitting at home. They can’t receive, let alone open or read, your e-mail because it was composed on a TC platform running a TC e-mail client. That’s the reality.



Okay, yes, it was a poor choice of title.


Good link, thanks. I’ll just quote the conclusion:

[b]Conclusion[/b] We recognize that hardware enhancements might be one way to improve computer security. But treating computer owners as adversaries is not progress in computer security. The interoperability, competition, owner control, and similar problems inherent in the TCG and NCSCB approach are serious enough that we recommend against adoption of these trusted computing technologies until these problems have been addressed. Fortunately, we believe these problems are not insurmountable, and we look forward to working with the industry to resolve them