Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing wrote this alarming post regarding the possibility of the new MacTel machines using Trusted Computing (TC) hardware for the new kernel. Doctorow, a devoted Mac user since 1979, reports that if Apple moves toward TC, the Macintosh will no longer be his primary machine. And I’d have to agree, as it will be the same situation for me. Here’s a good passage that helps to explain just what TC hardware does.
The point of Trusted Computing is to make it hard — impossible, if you believe the snake-oil salesmen from the Trusted Computing world — to open a document in a player other than the one that wrote it in the first place, unless the application vendor authorizes it. It’s like a blender that will only chop the food that Cuisinart says you’re allowed to chop. It’s like a car that will only take the brand of gas that Ford will let you fill it with. It’s like a web-site that you can only load in the browser that the author intended it to be seen in.
Yes, even more reason for people to seriously consider adopting Linux and other open source software.
For more information on Trusted Computing, check out the Wikipedia definition.