Archive for the ‘DRM’ Category

Sony and US judge gone mad

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Just when you think things can’t get any more idiotic, something like this comes along;

A federal magistrate is granting Sony the right to acquire the internet IP addresses of anybody who has visited PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz’s website from January of 2009 to the present.

Nothing new, we already knew Sony are nazis and the US is a 3rd world country, but if anything, this only encourages people even more to actively persuade their friends not to buy Sony crap. Personally I’m grabbing a glass of good whisky to celebrate on the day Sony finally goes up in flames.

While we’re at it. Here’s another scary story… Am I the only one who finds it strange they track down content sharing this hard, but when Wall Street and the likes screw up the entire worldwide economy, almost nothing happens… oh wait, Bush is also still at large… You know what’s going on in Libya? Bit harsh comparison, but similar battles and international judgments are in order against content providers and friends.

Should ATI still burn in hell? Very likely so!

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

There’s probably a week’s worth of ranting about ATI’s and NVIDIA’s proprietary gfx card drivers, but for now I’m keeping it short. A short introduction is in order. Years ago I knew exactly which card was needed to get the best performance. It took time reading up and keeping up-to-date with all the latest developments. Since then my interests changed from knowing the exact details to something along these lines: I don’t care how it works as long as it works as you can reasonably expect (and I expect a lot by default. If you can’t deliver a decent piece of hardware, software or service, please do the world a favor and burn down your company as quickly as you can. Stopping myself here, as this is also one of those subjects I can go on about for days).

Anywaaaay… all those years ago I bought ATI gfx cards for the simple reason that they were the fastest. Not that you’d ever notice this in a real life usage, but synthetic benchmarks ruled. But as you know a decent piece of hardware is only half the story. So imagine you’ve got this sexy (the nerdy kind of sexy, not the erotic variant) piece of hardware lying in front of you, you wipe the drool of you chin, you plug it in and boot the latest Linux kernel. Next is installing ATI’s latest driver only to discover you’ve ended up in hell. It may have been years ago, but my mind still bears the scars of agony and frustration… hours on end. For this alone ATI deserves to burn in hell for all eternity (which is a pretty pointless thought if you don’t believe in heaven and hell (but the creation of an artificial hell would be most welcome. We could stuff all those greedy corporate bastards there. Maybe even a webcam and some running man style show for our entertainment to watch (which in turn we would watch via networks run by the same corporate bastards and thus negating the entire idea… anywaaaaay :)))).

Long story short I swore never to use ATI again. Since that time I’ve switched to NVIDIA on systems that required high performance 3D and embedded Intel for everything else. While NVIDIA cards also come with a proprietary driver, their installation process was (or is) much less frustrating. Intel on the other hand sucks for 3D, but just works for everything else. For non-gaming purposes, Intel is a blessing and I can highly recommend it if you don’t want to fiddle around. Now fast forward to 2 weeks ago when I ordered the MicroServer. Never thought of the ATI horror and focused on a card that fit and satisfies the max power limitation (25W for the PCIe x16 slot). And from what I’ve read ATI’s Linux support is still something to cry about. Don’t care about 3D, but for HTPC usage hardware decoding support is more or less mandatory.

So when all components have arrived I’ll be attempting to get a Radeon HD 5450 GPU up and running. This GPU has an UVD2 video engine (UVD = Unified Video Decoder) and uses the XvBA (X-Video Bitstream Acceleration) API. The UVD 2 engine features full bitstream decoding of H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, VC-1 and MPEG2 video streams. If rumours are correct it sucks balls compared to NVIDIA’s Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (VDPAU). Rumour also has it that this proprietary crap has to do with DRM. Just as you think your hatred of a certain technology can’t get any deeper, it does. In any case I’m already preparing for some torture and if all else fails I’m just gonna get a GeForce G 210 or GT 220 card (only realistic options considering the 25W PCIe limitation).

Btw, anyone else thinks writing your entire company name in capital letters makes you think of sad 16 year olds screaming for attention on the net?

HDCP master key confirmed

Friday, September 17th, 2010

The news was indeed as good as I hoped it to be, Intel confirmed today the key was real. What I want to know is where it came from. There are a couple of ways this could have been done. Apparently it only requires around 50 devices with unique keys to extract/calculate the master key. Given the sheer number of devices out there worldwide, this would be the most likely scenario.
Another option is someone at Intel is going to be sacked, but I think this is unlikely. Rumour has it only 2 people have access and you can bet this kind of information is in a vault and permanently monitored in the form of various access control systems, including ‘simple’ things such as a video camera. Don’t see this happening, unless someone was really pissed and fled the country before the key went public ;)
Or maybe they got (intentionally) hacked. No idea if the system is hooked up to a network though. If it is and the key was not stored securely it deserved to be ‘freed’. But again I think this is unlikely as I would expect a master key to be either in a HSM or stored on a smartcard that’s only inserted if new keys need to be derived (or maybe someone at Intel stole the smartcard, also a possibility).

Anyway, enough talk about where it came from. How can this be of service to those who want to get rid of HDCP encryption? Just capturing the HDMI stream would require a sweet setup. A quick calculation yields 149 MB/s (1920×1080 pixels x 24-bit x 24 fps). Note that HDMI v1.3 goes upto 16-bit per colour making the number even higher.
What about capturing frame by frame, bringing the required bandwidth down? Tricky, but probably very doable. Stream can be encrypted end decrypted later on when you have all the time in the world.
Or go the hardware route and plug a custom FPGA board holding the decryption key. A decent FPGA would be able to keep up with the stream a do some realtime decryption. Then all you’d have to worry about is what to do with the decrypted data.

HDCP master key?

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

What’s this? Could it be the HDCP master key? I sure hope so. Although the impact of this key is relatively small in real life (long live mkv and torrents!), anything that punches holes in DRM is highly appreciated.

Hmmm, how hard would it be to dump the encrypted digital output to disk and run it through a decrypter stripping HDCP. Then you’d have a perfect copy without having to wait for Slysoft to update their software.

Come on monitor manufacturers, just drop HDCP (and HDMI) and knock 40 euro off of the price.