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Hardware restrictions: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hardware restrictions (sometimes called Hardware DRM) refers to restrictions in any device that places technical restrictions on what content can run/play on said device or what users can do with certain content. Hardware restrictions can be used with software DRM and digital signatures. Hardware restrictions are common on video game consoles (PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Wii and many others) and other devices like Macintosh computers[1], the iPhone[2][3] and the Amazon Kindle. Devices with hardware restrictions are usually "closed" devices, with undocumented hardware, unlike open source hardware.



High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection

SIM lock

The SIM lock in mobile phones might be a form of hardware restriction.

Benefits for users

While users usually do not like restrictions/protections on their hardware, "restrictions" can be used for the purpose of securing the users data on the devices, or to ensure the machine is not infected with malicious software, an example is "verified boot"[4] in the upcoming Google netbooks with Google Chrome OS. Other possible "benefical" uses can also be the case of the OLPC (see bellow).

One Laptop Per Child

The One Laptop per Child XO laptop is shipped with hardware restrictions; it will only boot from software signed by a private crypto key known only to the OLPC nonprofit. However, the laptop and the nonprofit provide a way to disable the restrictions, by requesting a "developer key" unique to your laptop over the Internet, waiting 24 hours to receive it, installing it, and running the firmware command- "disable-security". The stated goal is to deter mass theft of laptops from children or via distribution channels, by making the laptops refuse to boot, making it hard to reprogram them so they will boot, and delaying the issuance of developer keys to allow time to check whether a key-requesting laptop had been stolen. See more at


See also

External links



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