What is Trusted Computing

I saw a neat video today about trusted computing. I hope at least one reader learns something new about this scary new technology. I admit the video is short, and as a result, shallow.

In summary,

The long term result will be that it will be impossible to use hardware and software that’s not approved by the TCPA. Presumably there will be high costs to get this certification and that these would be too much for little and mid-range companies. Therefore open-source and freeware would be condemned to die, because without such a certification the software will simply not work. In the long term only the big companies would survive and could control the market as they would like.

There’s a lot more to trusted computing. It makes anonymous web-surfing much more difficult since who you are is directly linked to your computer. People speculate this issue could interfere with free speech. Everything on your computer is essentially married to that PC, making it very difficult to move data between machines (DRM on all data). And of course, if used for “evil,” it could be responsible for some of the most devastating viruses/malware ever written (by abusing the death grip it has on your system). More here.

.htaccess, Notepad, and Windows

When trying to name a file with an “invalid” name, notepad can come to your rescue! Ever try to create a .htaccess file on Windows? You’ll get the following error message:

You must type in a filename

Windows doesn’t like files with only a suffix. However, an .htaccess file is a special, and an often necessary component in many web applications. If you happen to be running a web server on your Windows box, this presents a problem.

You can get around this problem by using notepad. Simply open notepad and save the file. During the save dialog type do the following:

When you hit “Save,” the file will appear and everything will be dandy.