Intel’s Defective New Chip and Your Lovely Machine

Digital Rights ManagementThe recent $300+ million Intel chip recall has an interesting sideline. Apparently the chips have a design flaw that will cause data streaming to your hard drives to slow down over time, eventually resulting in only a trickle.

Interestingly, the Sandy Bridge chipset on board have Digital Rights Management (DRM) hard-wired into the Intel chips. The chips are designed to allow movie studios and television providers to command your computer not to record video.

Of course, Intel claims they have not built DRM into the chipsets, but that their chipset “gives PCs the level of trust that the studio needs to make their content available.”

Personally, I don’t like the idea of my computer’s capabilities being controlled by outside companies or entities.

The Free Software Foundation considers DRM technology to be inherently defective by design, and there is a long, ongoing campaign against DRM with some very good information available at

Here is a little letter I wrote the president of Intel, Mr. Paul Otellini:

Subject: No DRM in Sandybridge Please

Dear Mr. Otellini,

Please do not build DRM technology into your Sandybridge chipsets, or any other.

In fact, please do not build any technology into your hardware that monitors in any way the data I am processing. I will not purchase such products, and will encourage others not to do so.

I very much like your chip products. But not irrevocably so.

Thank you,
Mark Rushing