CPU as a service // MINIX in Intel ME

Timothy Pearson tpearson at raptorengineering.com
Tue Nov 28 21:49:52 UTC 2017

Hash: SHA1

I was using "unlicensed" somewhat facetiously from a large content
provider perspective; specifically, in the common usage of "not paying a
license fee back to the vendor on a continuous basis".  The general idea
was that the machine vendor wants to see a financial kickback after sale
in return for leasing the hardware to the end user at or near cost --
this is what motivates the preinstalled bloatware and things like SuperFish.

Sorry for the confusion!

On 11/28/2017 03:45 PM, Adonay Felipe Nogueira wrote:
> Jost to note that not all copies of Linux are unlicensed.
> The unlicensed ones are those shipped or provided by non-free system
> distributions that happen to break the terms of the license (currently:
> 99%).
> Besides, the Linux project itself seems to currently put non-free parts
> inside it so, one always has to do some cleanup even if getting a copy
> from Linux project itself.
> 2017-11-28T15:33:06-0600 Timothy Pearson wrote:
>> On 11/28/2017 03:23 PM, Jann KRUSE wrote:
>>> In short:
>>> We are essentially being forced, without even being told, to run buggy
>>> proprietary code in a very powerful and very capable hyper-hyper-visor
>>> of our OS, which can (benign or maliciously) control both the (free)
>>> software we run and the hardware we "own", without our knowledge.
>>> (See also in-line comment below..)
>>> Greetings,
>>> Jann
>>> PGP 0xE7A47A578A30148A
>> As before, though, you're only forced into this you need to stay on x86.
>> IMHO part of the reasoning for this lockdown is that the majority of x86
>> sales by volume are still to consumers. Therefore, there is strong call
>> to prevent the machine lessee (hesitate to call anyone bound by an EULA
>> an "owner") from doing anything that might be considered unacceptable
>> (e.g. breaking DRM, posting restricted content, using unlicensed
>> software like Linux, possibly even depending on region criticising the
>> authorities).  We're already seeing some of this in the wild in that the
>> 4k streaming services require the ME and its DRM in order to run.
>> It's still early enough to at least forcibly split "production",
>> owner-controlled hardware from the "consumption" leased hardware.
>> However this only happens if people support the vendors that are still
>> making owner controlled hardware by selecting their products over the
>> competing leased x86 systems.
>> Anecdotally, I have personally seen way too many people supposedly
>> interested in libre software that are literally locking themselves into
>> the x86 walled garden over games.  Think about that: *games*.  Giving up
>> privacy and control to waste time in front of a *game*.  This is the
>> mentality that needs to be fixed, that somehow consuming content is more
>> important than being able to create it.  No idea how to do that right now.
>> As always, just my $0.02.

- -- 
Timothy Pearson
Raptor Engineering
+1 (415) 727-8645 (direct line)
+1 (512) 690-0200 (switchboard)
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