Best of Talkback: Content lockdown, end of print stirs

InfoWorld Chief Technologist Tom Yager is not new to stirring the pot on hot topics, and his recent "Content in lockdown" column, which looks at how new ATI technology aims to make DRM a thing of the past by taking the fight to the GPU, is no less rattling.

This week, the column has risen to near the top of Most-Commented articles, a new feature on the InfoWorld.com homepage (under the tab next to Top Stories) where you can see what's hot Talkback-wise (in real-time).

But this new Best of Talkback round-up is not just about the most comments -- it highlights the best, from you, our reader. And with that brief intro to this new weekly highlighting, here is the best of Talkback this week:

Content in lockdown

It's a Print-Free (Info)World

Content in lockdown Talkback highlights

Tom opens the debate with this intriguing look at the issue: I'm increasingly aghast at the erosion of the traditional freedom we've enjoyed to do whatever we please with our personal computers -- but intrigued by the science behind it.

You said:

aahauck 2007-03-29 12:15:44

If you can view it or hear it, you can copy it. These technologies are really about preventing high- or perfect-fidelity copies ... I mostly avoid all this nonsense by avoiding their "entertainment" all together, but I suppose there aren't many people who subscribe to that practice.

RBROOKU 2007-03-29 14:43:17

Hmmm, would consumers buy "open" computers instead of "closed" computers, given a choice? Certainly, a significant number would... But AMD must be asleep at the wheel if they think they can foist this on the market without repercussions to their long range profitability.

vdelong 2007-04-01 10:42:20

How would GPLv3 affect the content providers' ability to apply DRM? As you note, they regard it as crucial. During the v3 drafting process, a high level of hostility to "Tivo-ization" led me to believe that the intent was to totally prevent the use of GPLv3 code with any form of DRM. But a recent article by Bruce Perens says that this is FUD, and that v3 is fully compatible. The discussion boards are largely silent. Have you any enlightenment?

madsailor 2007-04-05 12:06:51

Does anyone remember when Intel supplied Pentiums with the reportable serial number switched on? Remember the brouhaha? Have we become so blase about Big Brother's control of our personal devices that we'd willingly allow Microsoft, Intel, Apple, and the rest of them to tell us what content we can and cannot use with our computers? What happens when the government decides that for our own security (aka War Powers Act) they will be monitoring our content usage so that we are protected from ourselves? I, personally, am very nervous about large corporations' and governments' ability to respect my rights. So far neither corporate America (Sony rootkit) nor the government (warrantless phone taps) has shown any particular restraint. There is no reason to expect they will in the future either.

malachiconstant 2007-04-12 11:07:47

Keep in mind this has nothing to do with what AMD wants, other than the desire to stay in business. Blu-Ray is developed so that it will not work without this kind of copy-protection technology, so you will see exactly the same thing happen with Intel, Nvidia, and anyone else who wants to make next-generation graphics chips that will play the latest media. The reaction to this article is unnecessarily negative toward AMD. People should be blaming the media giants that force not only AMD but everyone else in the market to conform to their standards if they want to keep selling chips that support the latest technology. In short, I agree with Azchjack, disagree with Meme.

BorealisMeme 2007-04-12 11:20:31

Fair enough malachic, I just feel that caving to the industry to support their wacky doomed proprietary formats is shortsighted. Hardware vendors should keep in mind that they sell to the consumer and that the consumer will demand computers that can do what *they* want. This just further ensures that I will never watch a blew-ray (misspelling intentional) movie.

phillfri 2007-04-13 07:43:41 flag as inappropriate

At the rate hackers have been able to break DRM methods to date, AMD would be mad to try this. You can bet as soon as such a chip came to market, some far eastern manufacturer(s) would jump in with a chip(s) that wouldn't play by DRM rules. Its like asking for more competition while simultaneously shrinking your target market. And a lot of the business world outside of the U.S. is not necessarily so hot on DRM as U.S. corporations are. And if "control" of, say, a GPU is limited to "corporations" and not the computer owner, then you have a real legal battle over who should be paying for that GPU - since its nothing more than an extension of the corporations' product, a way to transfer their costs of production to all end users, whether end users want it or not. I just can't see this idea getting any serious traction except perhaps as an OEM chip for special product builds.

It's a Print-Free (Info)World Talkback highlights

Editor-in-chief Steve Fox writes, "The personal e-mails I received [about our shift to Web only at InfoWorld], however, were almost uniformly negative, sprinkled liberally with words like "shocked," "saddened," and even "appalled." As a reader noted, "It will take a tremendous amount of personal value add to convince me to spend more, instead of less, time online." I hear you loud and clear, and we'll be working hard to provide that "value add" in the coming months.

You said:

MakoShark 2007-04-09 10:53:57

I for one congratulate you! If this is the end of the annoying subscription survey calls, I appaud it...

sxw123 2007-04-10 07:51:29

...I am so disappointed at this move. My time with My freshly minted copy of infoworld, over lunch, on a plane etc. is a welcome break .. I will not be making the switch, and I [a CTO at a software company] am now at a loss for where to look to feed my reading need.

crichman 2007-04-10 09:03:20

I'm a government agency CIO and found the hard copy edition perfect for my 25-minute train ride. I'll miss that convenience, and I'm afraid that means I'll miss most of your content as well...

jayvee 2007-04-10 10:46:36

PS: To improve the on-line user experience, you might start by removing the ad that keeps folding a page over the reading space. That is absolutely annoying.

ElRomano 2007-04-11 10:03:27

This online Idea will fail miserably. I do my readings online and on paper I always prefer paper and pay more attention to the paper content.

Jeff 2007-04-11 10:23:16

[Why] not script up a weekly summary of all of the columns, across multiple pages in an easy-to-read format, combine it in to a PDF that could be printed on a duplex printer, and let people subscribe and/or download it...

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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