New PCs Likely to Cede Some Control

To thwart hackers and foster online commerce, the next generation of computers will almost certainly cede some control to software firms, Hollywood and other outsiders.

That could break a long-standing tenet of computing: that PC owners ultimately control data on their own machines.

Microsoft calls its technology "Palladium." Intel dubs it "LaGrande." An industry group that includes these companies, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and 170 others terms it "trusted computing."

Though the initiatives have technical differences, they share the goal of hardwiring security into silicon and related software — a leap beyond today's less-secure mechanisms, which are coded into programs to protect data.

"This is a fundamentally new approach as opposed to taking a software-only, Band-Aid approach," said Narendar Sahgal, a software planning manager at Intel.

The efforts would help protect movies and other digital content from piracy and even personal copying, and critics see few benefits for consumers.

"I don't think the kind of trustworthiness they seek to deliver is at all desirable," said Ross Anderson, a security researcher at Cambridge University. "It's not security for me. It's security for them."

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News source: Yahoo Tech News

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