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Restart Radio: The age of the remote kill switch

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So last week we aired our podcast about updates. While we did definitely address “bad updates” and how they cause anxiety and annoyance, the general gist of the podcast was why updates should be good and why they are so often necessary.

We got a comment from a volunteer taking us to task. Toshi wrote

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” [Only if] a security update applies to broke, you should do it.

We are not as default anti-upgrade as Toshi. But there is wisdom in his caution.

Increasingly everything in our lives is powered by software – much of it designed and owned by manufacturers. From cars to coffee machines. This week a couple of stories came to light that had us considering more deeply the age we live in, and how software can be used to “kill” hardware or enforce obsolescence at scale.

This week, with Restarter Dave Lukes we went into a “journey” into a possible age of “the remote kill switch”. If that sounds too sci-fi or too obscure, we started with the examples that came to our attention in recent weeks.

Links of stuff we discussed:

One response

  1. Daniel Morse

    There is actually a very good reason Cannon turned a blind eye on MagicLantern and it’s all down to tax. The EU common external tariff says that video cameras are taxed at a higher rate than photo camera, and a camera is only considered a video camera if it can take a video longer than 1/2 an hour. Cannon cameras do not have this out of the box but MagicLantern gives the camera the ability to take video longer than 1/2 an hour.

    The rumor is that the only time Cannon has tacitly acknowledged MagicLantern was at a press conference when one of their engineers, having been asked about the 1/2 an hour limit and if it would be ever increased said “No, but there is a way to get it already and that’s all I’m allowed to say on the matter”.

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