Cory Doctorow, over at boingboing links to a potential scoop about Apple to add Trusted Computing to the new kernel from a slashdot posting and commentary that references www.osx86.classicbeta.com (which I don’t see a story about on the main page).
Like, Cory – I’ve been an on-off Macintosh user for a long time (1985 for me, but Cory since 1979? you must have been 6 year old hacking on that Apple II!). If Apple Computer Inc. adds “trusted” computing, even in iTunes (wait, it’s not already in iTunes?), or in any other part of the OS, it would push me away from from the Macintosh as a computing platform I would use or recommend. I have been running GNU/Linux (but I usually just say “Linux” or in this case Ubuntu) on a PC/Intel machine now and it is pretty respectable and easy to use. I suspect many people are moving towards Linux-based systems and this would surely push them (or their companies) over the edge.
I would miss a few applications on the Mac, such as Salling Clicker, NetNewsWire and Quicksilver, but that’s a sacrifice I’d make to know that I can use my data whenever and in whatever application I like. I encourage these software developers to make their case known to Apple that choosing to enable a DRM system inside the OS (at the kernel level even) would impact the sales of their applications.
I also happen to work for a place that buys a huge number of Macs (let’s say 10,000 a year as a guess) and I would do my best to persuade them to stop purchasing all Apple equipment. I encourage anyone else with a dog in this fight to make a declaration about this too.
If I were the rabble-rousing, organizing type – I would recommend someone start an online petition to communicate mine (and your) opinions on trusted computing to Apple. Steve Jobs has managed to reinvograte Apple in the past few years, but I can think of nothing that would kill the Macintosh buzz and cachet quicker than locking owners out of their own data.
Update: It looks like myself and others didn’t have the whole story (but who does?) in that there do not seem to be any current plans to enable this technology into the core of the Mac OS. Some have mentioned that it could be used to ensure that the intel-flavored OS will only run on Apple hardware. As an Apple Computer, Inc. shareholder I can understand this, as a Macintosh user I do not want this as an extra thing to have to worry about when using the system, as a OS X developer I do not want this as an extra set of functions or libraries to have to work with or be concerned in conflicting with.
I do have to ask myself, is there any situation or clever use of “Trusted” Computing or DRM that is actually useful for a user? One comes to mind – version control – but there are a number of non-restrictive ways to solve that problem as we know. Let’s discuss it.