The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'hewlett-packard'
Looks like comb-licking neocon arch-villain Paul Wolfowitz isn't the only high profile candidate for head of the World Bank; looks like former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is in the running. She's the marketing type who changed the motto to "Invent" whilst slashing R&D funding and shedding jobs, turning the company that once pioneered everything from the computers the internet ran on to inkjet printers to calculators so good that they fetch TB-303-like prices on eBay to this day into something more akin to the outfit that sells Commodore-brand flash drives; apparently, when she got sacked, champagne corks were popped throughout the company.
Meanwhile, that hotbed of liberalism, the LA Times, wants Bono to get the job, because he'd be "the most eloquent and passionate spokesman for African aid in the Western world". I imagine Bob Geldof and Geri Halliwell already declined.
In the Digital Rights Millennium, region-coding is not just for DVDs anymore; region-coded printer cartridges and other gadgets which only work in their intended target market: (via bOING bOING)
U.S. multinational companies want Europeans to continue to buy their goods in Europe, however, rather than seeking out bargains in the U.S. The companies make more money if Europeans pay in euros for their goods at current exchange rates.
H-P has quietly begun implementing "region coding" for its highly lucrative print cartridges for some of its newest printers sold in Europe. Try putting a printer cartridge bought in the U.S. into a new H-P printer configured to use cartridges purchased in Europe and it won't work. Software in the printer determines the origin of the ink cartridge and whether it will accept it. The company introduced region-coding on several printers in the summer so it won't have to keep altering prices to keep pace with currency movements, says Kim Holm, vice president for H-P's supplies business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. H-P eventually plans to introduce the concept across its entire line of inkjet printers, he adds.
Hewlett-Packard currently appears to be one of the most enthusiastic advocates of "rights management" and similar forms of policeware to keep no-good thieving customers in line. If, as the 21st century unfolds, we find all our data in a digital black iron prison, where every movement is micromanaged by the stern rules of profit-motivated corporate overlords, enforced by their digital prison guards in every machine, we can thank Ms. Fiorina for helping to bring this about.
Hewlett-Packard declare war on copyright violation, commit to integrated policeware in all HP products. Perhaps they're hoping that this gets them the sort of legal protection from cheap, usable imports that Microsoft has; since MS have embraced "trusted computing", the Microsoft OS monopoly has gone from being a problem to being an essential part of global economic stability (in fact, it's only slightly far-fetched to believe that, if it crashes down and the world goes open-source, the powers that be will declare capitalism to be irrecoverably wounded and bring out the cobalt-tipped fireworks). Could HP be angling for legal restrictions on non-compliant computers to stem the flow of customers to cheaper no-brand Asian imports?
Meanwhile, new versions of Photoshop have filters that detect images of US currency and refuse to load them; this CPU-intensive operation is performed every time image information is imported from outside the application. However, honest, patriotic citizens won't mind their CPU cycles being used in this way, as we all must put in to fight terrorism; don't you agree, Citizen?
Apparently Paint Shop Pro does this too, or so I heard. Mind you, The GIMP doesn't, and even if it did, you could change the source code to bypass this check and compile it yourself. Though, if Adobe and the Paint Shop Pro people put this "feature" in because of government pressure, it's not unlikely that there will be attempts to criminalise the distribution of source code that could be compiled to make a non-compliant image processing application. (There are precedents, in the FCC Broadcast Flag amendment, which effectively outlaws entire classes of software-radio applications that could be used to access copyrighted HDTV content.)