Philips just released firmware for the Philips Hue bridge that may permanently sever access to any “non-approved” ZigBee bulbs. We previously covered third party support in January 2015, when Philips indicated it was not blocked – and have since benefited.
Source: Philips Hue Excludes 3rd Party Bulbs With Firmware Update
Sometimes it’s better never to upgrade firmware. Don’t fix what isn’t broke. As a general rule firmware should never need upgrading.
Manufacturers have every legal right to put a password or an encryption over the tECU. Owners, on the other hand, don’t have the legal right to break the digital lock over their own equipment. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act—a 1998 copyright law designed to prevent digital piracy—classifies breaking a technological protection measure over a device’s programming as a breach of copyright. So, it’s entirely possible that changing the engine timing on his own tractor makes a farmer a criminal.
via New High-Tech Farm Equipment Is a Nightmare for Farmers | WIRED.
Last week, US District Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers gave the green light (PDF) to sending a long-running antitrust lawsuit against Apple to trial. Plaintiffs in the case say that Apple used its FairPlay DRM system to “lock in” its customers and make it costly to switch to technology built by competitors, like Real Networks. They describe how Apple kept updating iTunes to make sure songs bought from Real’s competing digital music store couldn’t be used on iPods. As a result of this lock-in, Apple was able to overcharge its customers to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.
via Apple will face $350M trial over iPod DRM | Ars Technica.
An increase in the security of the companies you buy your media from means a decrease in your own security. When your computer is designed to treat you as an untrusted party, you are at serious risk: anyone who can put malicious software on your computer has only to take advantage of your computer’s intentional capacity to disguise its operation from you in order to make it much harder for you to know when and how you’ve been compromised.
via What happens with digital rights management in the real world? | Technology | theguardian.com.
Here is where DRM and your security work at cross-purposes. The DMCA’s injunction against publishing weaknesses in DRM means that its vulnerabilities remain unpatched for longer than in comparable systems that are not covered by the DMCA. That means that any system with DRM will on average be more dangerous for its users than one without DRM.
The tl;dr version is that Adobe is going to start pushing for ebook vendors to provide support for the new DRM in March, and when July rolls Adobe is going to force the ebook vendors to stop supporting the older DRM. (Hadrien Gardeur, Paul Durrant, and Martyn Daniels concur on this interpretation.)
This means that any app or device which still uses the older Adobe DRM will be cut off.
via Adobe to Require New Epub DRM in July, Expects to Abandon Existing Users – The Digital Reader.
People have to WANT to buy your software, people have to WANT to support you. People need to care about your employees and your company’s well being. There is no better way to achieve that than making sure what you put out there is the best you can do and you treat your customers with respect.
via VA==65731089732bGl2ZXMh – Apathy and refunds are more dangerous than Piracy..
This article is in response to the current SimCity fiasco; one of the most revered gaming franchises that had its recent product launch botched.
The patent application, filed under the heading “Content Distribution Regulation by Viewing User,” proposes to use cameras and sensors like those in the Xbox 360 Kinect controller to monitor, count and in some cases identify the people in a room watching television, movies and other content. The filing refers to the technology as a “consumer detector.”
via Xbox team’s ‘consumer detector’ would dis-Kinect freeloading TV viewers – GeekWire.
If you buy e-books from Amazon, and want to engage in a bit of digital civil disobedience—by stripping the files’ DRM and making sure that Amazon can’t deny you access—we’re about to show you how. Yes, many parts of the Internet have known about this technique for some time now, but we feel that it bears mentioning again here..
via DRM be damned: how to protect your Amazon e-books from being deleted | Ars Technica.
Now, as West himself noted, these files are for your personal use only—they’re not meant to be distributed anywhere. Enjoy!