Last week I linked to Cory Doctorow’s rant against Apple supporting and utilizing the Trusted Computing platform in the version of Mac OS X for Intel processors. I’d be a fool not to link to John Gruber’s response as well.
Cory’s rant was a visceral shot across the bow, warning Apple away from a worst case scenario. John’s response takes a look at where Apple really is and how they’ve behaved historically. To me, both pieces are important.
As Cory points out, Trusted Computing is a loaded gun. He believes that if Apple leaves it laying around, computer users are going to get hurt. Gruber’s response is that right now, Apple is only using it to make sure that you don’t install and run Mac OS X on your Dell. Apple is going to use hardware to solve this problem, and Trusted Computing is the path of least resistance right now.
The question for any user is what action on Apple’s part ends the relationship? Do you buy a Mac if Apple provides an API to developers that enables them to use the Trusted Computing hardware in any way that they choose? Do you buy one if the iTunes Music Store uses Trusted Computing for its DRM? Do you buy one if the movies you make with iMovie can only be played if the computer you’re playing them on has a license purchased from Apple? Cory is giving Apple feedback in this regard and his position is zero tolerance.
Despite the hyperbole in Cory’s rant, he’s still providing important, useful feedback to Apple, and a starting point for us to think about where they stand on this issue. That’s useful. Don’t miss John’s response, either, because it’ll help you reach an informed conclusion.