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Re: the ghost of UEFI and Micr0$0ft

On 06/06/12 22:14, Nate Bargmann wrote:
> * On 2012 05 Jun 23:04 -0500, Christofer C. Bell wrote:
>> Please articulate what freedoms, exactly, you're losing through the
>> availability of UEFI secure boot (a feature you are in no way
>> compelled to use).
> Let's not  blindly assume that all hardware manufacturers will follow
> the spec and *allow* disabling of secure boot.  

I'd agree that not all manufacturers will follow UEFI specs.... or MS
requirements as to what UEFI *must* support for the device to carry the
"W7 approved" sticker. That's two separate issues.

Intel, MS, Apple and other players share your concern that not all UEFI
BIOS will be equal.

For W7 MS require that x86 UEFI to allow disabling secure boot - so if a
UEFI BIOS doesn't but carries the W7 sticker, it's a MS problem.

> It's obvious from the
> discussion that they will have the option of not enabling a non secure
> boot. 

Not immediately it's not (W7).  Perhaps >W7. How about Apple?

> The point I and others are making is that MSFT has a long record
> of engaging the hardware manufacturers in contracts whose terms are
> apparently rather interesting.  

...as has everyone of the UEFI players.

> There is no guarantee that being able to
> disable secure boot will be available in future products.  I'm sure it
> will be available at first just to quell the fear, but the manufacturers
> will discover some "sound reasoning" a few years hence as to why
> eliminating the BIOS option is necessary.

I don't have a problem with that. But then I don't think MS is a viable
long term business, and I'd prefer people bought open hardware (even if
it costs more ie Golden Delicious) instead of settling for second prize
(buying a device with another OS on it).

> It's quite possible that everyone in this endeavor is working with the
> best interests of the users in mind.  It would be a first, but given the
> long track record of this industry, I'm not holding my breath.

Please don't (hold your breath).

UEFI could be good - but if the corporations get their way it could also
be bad. It's just too easy for the lowlifes to use UEFI as a way to
shift responsibility from the company that benefits to the consumer.
Likewise "user" training under the guise of certification


> I'm only concerned about being able to continue to enjoy general purpose
> computing and programming on my terms.  

And hopefully some manufacturers will realise that you are not alone.
And I'd agree with a need for a choice - but I still want UEFI for many

> I can see this leading to a
> "secure" certificate being required to sign everything from boot to
> logging onto the Internet where only "approved secure" software may be
> used, to a place where compilers and interpreters--anything that can be
> used to write executable/interpreted code--must be likewise signed and
> part of a verified chain of "trust".  All to prevent "malware", you see.

Yes. And various other similar scenarios (for the children,
anti-terrorism, anti-piracy, preserve the bandwidth). I don't believe
UEFI will enable or make that scenario more likely - because I don't
believe the corporate players would agree on the division of spoils.

> Hobbyists and Free Software as we've known it will have no place in this
> brave new world.  

Certainly the corporations would like that - it's what they wanted with
the first motor vehicles, wireless, movies, recorded music.
I'm told "hacker" was a derisory term first employed by owners of the
new steam powered factories, to describe craftsmen who handcrafted
furniture. I don't expect much will change - appliances will continue to
be hacked (modified) with limitations imposed by manufacturers trying to
increase their margins, while other manufacturers cater to hacking.
There will always be Audrino/Rasberry Pi/PIC and autopart stores, but
we'll no more force all computer manufacturers to support "hobbyists"
than car manufacturers - at least until the next Communist Empire.

> This strikes me as much like DRM the content studios
> have been pushing for several years.

And possibly just as effective.

> - Nate >>

Kind regards

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