We're providing this lighthearted and irreverent rebuttal to prove it.
Palladium Not in Apple Dev Kits
By Timothy R. Butler
Editor-in-Chief, Open for Business
August 03, 2005, 22:38:05 EDT
EXCLUSIVE. Earlier reports circulating around the Internet concerning Apple's inclusion of a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip in Intel-based Macs were incorrect, OfB has learned. News of the inclusion of the chip, based on the technology formerly known as Palladium, had spread across the Internet as wildfire in recent days and many news outlets, including Open for Business, had published commentary on the dramatic revelation of the technology’s inclusion.
The alleged digital rights management chip was said to be included in Apple Developer Transition Kits. These kits are early Intel-based Macintosh systems Apple has been providing for lease to Apple developers at a price of $995 since company CEO Steve Jobs announced the transition away from PowerPC in June.
- All very true so far, except that The TCG's specifications are not based on Palladium. Palladium was a Microsoft-internal specification for Trusted Computing and DRM implementations. It has since been renamed the Next Generation Secure Computing Base. The TCG specs, however, are separate (although Microsoft is a member of the TCG consortium), and much narrower in featureset. The TCG specifications expand upon the original specifications published by the now-defunct Trusted Computing Platform Alliance. It may well be truthful to say that Intel Macs have no Palladium chips in them - because what's in them are TCG TPMs
The Trusted Computing Group’s technology has been surrounded by controversy since word first broke out about it in 2002. The Trusted Computing Group is an industry consortium sponsored by Microsoft, Intel, AMD, Hewlett-Packard Sun Microsystems and IBM. Macintosh aficionados had been pleased in the past that their platform was isolated from the technology, making the claims released this week all the more disconcerting to many.
- Such claims are disconcerting because the evidence supports them. Visit our Knowledge Base for more support.
Commenting on earlier reports, a reliable source who requested anonymity told OfB, “While many rumors are being circulated on the web about Apple's future direction on Intel processors with DRM, the majority of them are just that - rumors.” The source, a registered Apple developer, continued, “Reality is that these boxes are production PC's in an Apple case, not DRM or TCPA protected, and none of these boxes will remain in circulation after their purpose has been served - they must be returned to Apple.
- This is just poor journalism. They base their entire story on the word of one anonymous source. The "a registered Apple developer" phrase intends to provide credibility, but gives none as it's simply a membership to the ADC. It's doesn't give him the credentials to be an expert on the TPM. Also, did they try to confirm anything with a second source? Apparently not. Unless this guy is Deep Throat, a second source is required.
As to why those with access to the kits have been quiet concerning the claims, our source said, “you can rest assured that Apple is keeping very close tabs on those of us who have them.” The kits are only available to those who accept a non-disclosure agreement.
- Hmm... it looks like their anonymous source is as law abiding as he is accurate.
The Open for Business source also cautioned against trying to predict too much about the future Intel-based Macs from the developer kits. “Because they are developer kits only, future functionality of boot protection that prevents OS X x86 from booting on compatible non-Apple hardware, graphical interface, and other underlying technologies are emulated and do not reflect a production environment.” The source emphasized that “they [are not] indicative of the future production release of Mac OS X for Intel.”
- While this is partially true, Apple has repeatedly stated that OS X will be restricted to their hardware, most likely by a method such as TPM. Also, it seems unlikely that Apple would go to such great lengths to protect the Transition Kits if it didn't in some way reflect their plans for future Macs.
- For more information and evidence on this subject, visit our TPM Resource Center and Knowledge Base.
-Mashugly, OSx86 Administrator
August 4, 2005
Update: After a nice discussion with the author of this article, it seems that there is a possibility that some of the Dev Kits are different than others. Maybe. We can trust that his source is very reliable, at least. I'm still waiting to hear from other developers to determine what the situation is. As I learn more, I'll let you know!
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