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  The Windows 8 Kill Switch: A Hacker's Dream Come True 
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angryhippy Mar 10, 2012, 07:48pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Mar 10, 2012, 08:16pm EST

Replies: 1 - Views: 1751
A number of stories about a Windows 8 kill switch have appeared on the Web, each with its own odd and ominous tone. The blogosphere has gone berserk with all sorts of menacing commentary, such as the following from the Vigilent Citizen:

The very anticipated operating system Windows 8 will have a feature that was never found on PC's before: A kill switch that can remotely delete software and edit code without the user's permission. Although Microsoft claims the switch would only be used for software that is downloaded from its app store, no official policies clearly define the actual purpose of the kill switch... nothing is truly considered "illegal" and that includes issues regarding spying, censorship and free speech.

Pretty scary, kids. Less-than-totally-freaked-out Computerworld has this to say:

Kill switches -- so called because a simple command can deactivate or delete an app -- are common in mobile app stores. Both Apple and Google can flip such a switch for apps distributed by the iOS App Store and Android Market, respectively.

In the Windows Store terms of use, Microsoft made it clear that it can pull the kill switch at its discretion.

Continued here:

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john albrich Mar 11, 2012, 12:39am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Mar 11, 2012, 01:35am EST

>> Re: The Windows 8 Kill Switch: A Hacker's Dream Come True
Not. A. Surprise.

And, it's not only a hacker's dream come true, but any government's dream come true as well. And...any political organization's dream come true as well if that organization or it's principals have controlling ties to Microsoft (or other similar software distributor).

By the way, eBooks are now called "software" by some ePublishers...which I believe really is intended to try to get around the long-standing legal protections of Fair Use of copyrighted materials in the United States. Fair Use has been and continues to be aggressively eroded by **IA lobbying and legislation.

Remember that Microsoft/Windows already has had the WGA program in place for years, which has had the (liability-free) ability to shutdown Windows itself, and iTunes and similar have had this ability to delete/edit discrete content for awhile now...but it is only recently becoming better understood by users just what that really means.

Even so, I bet a huge percentage of consumers just don't and won't give a damn...and the industries and government are counting on that complacency.

ePublishers can already without your knowledge EDIT the content of eBooks you've previously downloaded. It's a "great" way to re-write (aka censor aka "spin") history for political and PC reasons, and according to reports has already been used for that purpose.

The end-goal (as I've predicted for years) used to be simply to achieve the ultimate business model of "making the consumer pay for every bit of data 'consumed' every time each bit is accessed". Unchallenged, absolute discrete content control is just one of the steps on that path.

Personally, I now think it's revenue enhancement AND political control.

Apple's reportedly less than openly announced plans for proprietary education textbook distribution (while publicly operating under the guise of eBook open-standards banner) seems to be involved in raising some concerns in the political/historical arenas. Among them are price-fixing, censoring content, and effectively bypassing STATE textbook selection boards (providing the means to back-door impose federal control over textbook selection).

Here are some cogent links. I couldn't find the two I really was hoping to locate...they said things very clearly. The CNET article is a good overview.
6 things we don't know about Apple's e-textbooks strategy
by David Carnoy and Scott Stein January 19, 2012
"There have been reports that Steve Jobs wanted to circumvent the state certification process...."

DOJ targets Apple and publishers for e-book price fixing
By Julianne Pepitone @CNNMoneyTech March 9, 2012

Do we want textbooks to live in Apple’s walled garden?
By Mathew Ingram Jan. 19, 2012
(note that one person commenting on the article seemed to drool over the ability to edit the content of textbooks after they'd been approved in Texas. If that's not a huge warning flag about likely political misuse of the sheer behind-the-curtain POWER over the minds of our children that this capability provides...I don't know what is.)

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