New Pyra pre-order - General questions


pyrat

Very Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
200
I mean with widevine extracted from a chromebook image and SW decoding, it has worked for 4 years on my pi.

Only breaking chrome images would prevent it.

And literally as long as there is a kodi build on the Pyra, it WILL work.

Here is the addon github

Seems like there is FREEDOM! There and use cases met.
That's Netflix's freedom to decide when they want to break their service in some devices.
Google can update their devices to use remote attestation or some equivalent to protected media path. Or it can simply say users should buy new devices to continue playing Netflix.
Neither that new Chrome image nor the Kodi in your Pyra (or in any of the ever fewer devices really under user control)
will be able to prove to Netflix servers that the software stack is under Netflix control, and Netflix server could refuse the key exchange, so you cannot play Netflix content.

I'm not stating what any company will do, I'm just saying that they have the technical means to do it. I guess they may also have some legal means too, because legislation is so broken in many places...
I guess they'll chose to do it or not based on the market.

You forecast the market will continue as in the last 4 years. I only say that past market performance does not guarantee future decisions.
The market trend is fewer devices under user control, not more, that cheapens the Netflix cost when strengthening DRM. Some similar companies are doing it.
The delay is likely due to infighting between companies on which should control user devices, and so on.

But @HelenF is right that any network service may stop working at any time. Somebody might buy Netflix to shut it down, for instance.
So maybe it makes more sense to just look at what works now.

So, just to try to sound more positive, and without intent to throw commercial publicity at you.
There are content providers without DRM you could consider instead of netflix:
- Resource collection from Defective By Design
- Resource collection from FramaLibre
- Proprietary music without DRM from Magnatune (you can get gratis CC - BY-ND-NC tracks with adverts but you're not allowed to redistribute the paid advs-free files)
- Gratis streaming and download of music (at least when you create an account or something) at Jamendo
- Libre and not so libre music chez Dogmazic
- Peertube. I don't use this, I don't know, but might be good too
- etc.

Those I hope to work on the Pyra (and keep working and growing). Maybe better when there're better codecs (does the video decoding hardware require blobs?)
 

Swordfish II

Advanced Member
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
1,041
Yes I think it will continue to work.

- Authentication of software stack is through widevine, which comes from a chromebook image
- If Netflix decided to change it it would effect millions of users
- It would also piss off Google

There are a lot of "coulds" in your post.

Aliens "could" invade tomorrow also.

Speculation is just that, whereas past performance is rooted in fact and much more likely to continue.
Post automatically merged:

does the video decoding hardware require blobs?)
Likely
 

Grench

Forum Addict!
Joined
Oct 3, 2008
Messages
6,619
That's Netflix's freedom to decide when they want to break their service in some devices.
Google can update their devices to use remote attestation or some equivalent to protected media path. Or it can simply say users should buy new devices to continue playing Netflix.
Neither that new Chrome image nor the Kodi in your Pyra (or in any of the ever fewer devices really under user control)
will be able to prove to Netflix servers that the software stack is under Netflix control, and Netflix server could refuse the key exchange, so you cannot play Netflix content.
And consumers who dislike those hypothetical or maybe someday real scenarios can choose to not subscribe to Netflix. The balance is maintained.

Examples:
I chose not to subscribe to HBO anymore because HBO MAX is not available on Roku.
I stopped my Hulu subscription for now because I just wasn't watching much on it and thought I could take a year off from there while I exhaust whatever interest I have in Netflix content.
I have Amazon Prime mostly for the free shipping and see their streaming service as an okay bonus to it. However, Amazon having purposely destroyed their product search engine to promote whatever makes them more money instead of surfacing items actually related to my attempted search has me looking for an alternative - I haven't found one yet.

A relevant example of Amazon's broken search; try to find, and limit search results to only display, "microUSB 3.0".
Next, try to get a nice collection of, and only of, "9' patio umbrellas" to choose from - sorted by least to most expensive - without having to manually sift and shift through every other umbrella they sell.
In this day and age, such an epic fail in search capabilities can only be deliberate. Unfortunately, finding alternatives to Amazon is freaking difficult.

And yes, I have gone off topic. But - if you have issues with a company's decision to protect their content with DRM, feel free to vote with your feet, or at least try to.
 

λ the β-Redex Reducer

β-Redex Reducing Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
689
Age
50
Location
Lambda Centre
There are a lot of "coulds" in your post.

Aliens "could" invade tomorrow also.

Speculation is just that, whereas past performance is rooted in fact and much more likely to continue.
You're looking at it too narrowly. A company changing the interface of their service has often happened, that's past performance too. It's a fact that Netflix can change it's interface, it's your speculation that they won't.
 

MTPDA

Still Fresh
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
51
Location
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Thank you again for your responses again, after checking more stuff about debian/linux I can see a lot of interesting packages I'd love to use. It is also very interesting to read your discussions about DRM, I am also very dissapointed with the current mainstream technological industry, that was one of the reasons I pre-ordered a Pyra (to have an upgradeable computer/phone with replazable batteries). I also work in research and companies talk now about green transition, circular economy and all that bullshit, and then in the end they just want to keep earning and grow as before, just having a better corporate image and not really promoting less consumption, more reparation etc. * anti-capitalist mode = off *



Thanks! And yes, regarding 2 I meant automatic sync, but it is not vital having sd cards/usb memories.



Hahah it's pretty simple to create your own windows keyboard using Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator, just add the characters you want to assign to each key and that's it. I'm bad with computers and have little patience, but I am not that terrible, after all I use them every day :)



Regarding TV I referred more to accessing their website and watch stuff there (example Norwegian public TV: https://tv.nrk.no/). I actually almost never watch TV, but from time to time I like to watch some series to practise languages and to watch interesting documentaries, so it would be great to just connect the Pyra to a TV or screen and enjoy those :)
In regards to automatic sync a quick search for "Google Drive" on my Ubuntu machine in Synaptic Package Manager shows several libraries as well as a utility called rclone that's description talks about syncing to Google Drive among other services. Even if it's not automatic you can always automate it with a cron job or something, assuming it actually does what I think it does.
 

Cralex

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2014
Messages
37
You may want to check out Insync ( https://www.insynchq.com ) for synchronization with Google Drive. It’s been some time since I used it, but it supports Linux and looks fairly beginner-friendly.

There’s also Rclone ( https://rclone.org ) which is quite flexible and supports multiple clouds, although it might be a bit more involved to get going. I use it on my Pinebook Pro to browse the contents of my Dropbox account straight from the file explorer.
 

λ the β-Redex Reducer

β-Redex Reducing Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
689
Age
50
Location
Lambda Centre
It's also a fact that they haven't.
Actually, it looks like they have retired a public API in the past. Either way, few Pyra users will have time machines so for most users Netflix working in the past provides no guarantee that it will continue to work in the future. So the answer remains the same regardless: Even if Netflix will work on the Pyra then it could still stop working at any time. So if Netflix works on Pyra then users who care about that will have to decide for themselves how much faith they have in Netflix not strengthening it's DRM beyond the point where the Pyra can break it.
 

ible

professional vim user
Joined
Mar 24, 2014
Messages
2,397
Location
Seattle, WA
Either way, few Pyra users will have time machines so for most users Netflix working in the past provides no guarantee that it will continue to work in the future.
netflix is already on a subscription model. if it stops working on your device presumably you can "vote with your money" and stop paying for it.

other services (e.g. Amazon or Youtube for purchased movies/books) might make more sense to rail against... they typically read these forums to get product roadmaps and customer insight.
 

λ the β-Redex Reducer

β-Redex Reducing Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
689
Age
50
Location
Lambda Centre
if it stops working on your device presumably you can "vote with your money" and stop paying for it.
That's unlikely to work. You would probably just end up without Netflix if you would take that course of action. So the point stays the same: there's no guarantee that Netflix will keep working on the Pyra even if someone gets Netflix to work on the Pyra someday.

other services (e.g. Amazon or Youtube for purchased movies/books) might make more sense to rail against... they typically read these forums to get product roadmaps and customer insight.
Actually, for me it would make no sense to rail against any of those services because I care about them as much as I care about Netflix i.e. nothing at all.
 

pyrat

Very Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
200
I don't know if it's worth it but I'll give it one last try. My intention is not to change anybody opinions, but to clarify how strong DRM works, in case someone still doesn't understand (which is just as likely as that I didn't understand someone).

- Authentication of software stack is through widevine, which comes from a chromebook image
Currently it may be so. In the case of strong authentication, widevine (or similar userspace software) would only be a small
piece of the authenthication. Strong DRM woks with a device that sets up some privileged software on boot up that has access
to public and private keys the rest of the system doesn't. The hardware needs to have this backed in. At the very minimum it needs to
be able to load something in a "secure world" only if it can verify that something's signature with a backed in public key (on CPU ROM, wired ROM, fused in from device factory...).
If the signature fails verification it can stop the system booting or it can let it boot without access to the secure world.

Then this secure world can verify the signatures of the bootloader, the bootloader can verify the signatures of kernel, the kernel verify the modules, and the applications
and so on. The entity controlling the private key that signs the first signature can decide what other entities are recognized as valid signers, and so they can
impose what they consider acceptable at any level.

Then remote servers can ask the browser to present a certificate signed by a secret key that's in the secure world, unaccessible to normal software. The browser can
ask widevine or friends and they can ask the secure world to sign a certificate saying that the software running is acceptable (for instance it's signed by software publlshers that signed
a contract ensuring their software won't leak the protected content). If the browser obtains that certificate it presents it to the server and the server gives it a key to decrypt the
protected content.

If the hardware does not ensure the authenticity of the secure world, the secure world won't have the key it needs to sign that and the server will reject the browser.
So any hardware that doesn't require the secure world to be signed by an entity with the right contract with the content producer, won't be able to play the content.

The authenthication is not some software-only mechanism that can be emulated in a virtual machine, because then the DRM would be ineffective, the only thing
stopping someone from copying protected content would be the the doubt of whether the content is good enough for the effort, not any engineering impossibility.
The hardware needs to be backdored from someone that the content provider trusts (typically the hardware vendor) in order for strong DRM to work. Software-only schemes
are fundamentally not strong enough.

Almost all mobiles, Intel CPUs since 15 years ago, AMD cpus since 10-12 years ago, and many ARM systems have the hardware to play this game.
Netflix may not be requiring this hardware to be there today, but the hardware is there for most of their users already.

The Pyra and a few select other computers are too honest to play this game. They are designed to be owned by the user, not the vendor. So they won't be
able to access content protected with a strong DRM.

- If Netflix decided to change it it would effect millions of users
Millions or not that'll be a tiny part of their users.
Many will be able to see the content thanks to software updates to browsers and/or OS because their hardware is already verifying the authenticity of their Secure software,
so they'll be able to update to software that will be signed with the proper keys trusted from the content providers. They won't realise there's been a change when the content
provider server starts requiring their software stack to be verified.

Those not seeing the change will be users of
- a PC with Intel or AMD processor
- an Android or iOS mobile phone or tablet updated to some version I don't know
- a smarttv
- ...

The only affected users (pissed off users) will be:
- those using user controlled hardware, like the Pyra, RockPro64, Wandboard, Talos II, Blackbird, and some others (that's a random list, not even trying to be complete).
- those using more mainstream hardware but refusing to change their software to some signed version if they still have the option.
- those with old hardware without OTAs which will probably just add this to a list of other things that no longer work or buy something new when the list grows too long.

so tinkerers and dontcarers.

- It would also piss off Google
Google, Apple, Microsoft, Intel, AMD, Nvidia and friends will be in the loop, will know of the change before you or me and will have informed Netflix and friends that they've updated their users to signed versions of DRM friendly software,
before Netflix or the major content providers enforce that.
If Google would piss off because of DRM they could be offering hardware that doesn't enforce it. But they've designed quite sophisticated systems that ensure the capability is there.
They didn't spend that money to never use the capability. And I don't think Google is the worst in that list, last time I checked chromebooks were half sane in their verified boot.

Aliens "could" invade tomorrow also.
Aliens would hesitate to invade because they would feel themselves not so alien as the current invaders.
Veni, vidi, ploravi, ii (which transletes to "realy? they built this crap ? I'm not taking this world, I won't touch it with a parsec-long pole")

You can believe this is too complex to deploy or the public is smart enough not to give their computing away just for the privilege of paying for being able to bore in front of a turned on TV instead of a turned off TV, and I wish you were right,
but I only say this is a plan, workable, competent, published and understandable. I only say when there's a plan it can be followed, not that it will be. I can't tell the future.

And that's it. I won't reply anymore on this. I'll let you rest.
 
Last edited:

levi

Still fresh, damnit!
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
12,842
Location
Somewhere off the coast of the EU
Strong DRM woks with a device that sets up some privileged software on boot up that has access to public and private keys the rest of the system doesn't. The hardware needs to have this backed in. At the very minimum it needs to be able to load something in a "secure world" only if it can verify that something's signature with a backed in public key (on CPU ROM, wired ROM, fused in from device factory...). If the signature fails verification it can stop the system booting or it can let it boot without access to the secure world.

..snip..
The authenthication is not some software-only mechanism that can be emulated in a virtual machine, because then the DRM would be ineffective, the only thing stopping someone from copying protected content would be the the doubt of whether the content is good enough for the effort, not any engineering impossibility.
I'm not sure how a secure element operating at the end of an internet link looks any different to a carefully crafted message by the remote end entirely in software to be honest. Perhaps the private keys need to sign stuff haven't been leaked yet, that's the only thing that could make a difference I think.
 

Swordfish II

Advanced Member
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
1,041
Even if Netflix will work on the Pyra then it could still stop working at any time.
This thinking is pointless.

"At some time in the future the internet could not be usable on the pyra"

That statement is basically the same as yours.

"At some point in the future there won't be updated ports for the Pyra"

You can take that pessimistic view for anything.

It literally works NOW.
Post automatically merged:

So the point stays the same: there's no guarantee that Netflix will keep working on the Pyra even if someone gets Netflix to work on the Pyra someday.
And it's a worthless point. There is no guarantee of anything being permanent ever. You are simply saying nothing lasts forever....which is known when the quantity you are measuring against is forever.
 
Last edited:

λ the β-Redex Reducer

β-Redex Reducing Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
689
Age
50
Location
Lambda Centre
This thinking is pointless.

"At some time in the future the internet could not be usable on the pyra"

That statement is basically the same as yours.

"At some point in the future there won't be updated ports for the Pyra"

You can take that pessimistic view for anything.

It literally works NOW.
Post automatically merged:



And it's a worthless point. There is no guarantee of anything being permanent ever. You are simply saying nothing lasts forever....which is known when the quantity you are measuring against is forever.
You're missing the point. I'm saying that new users should be aware that even if Netflix works on the Pyra now it could stop working when Netflix improves their DRM even if Netflix continues to exist. This is relevant because if you guarantee to new users that Netflix will keep working on the Pyra, and then Netflix improves it's DRM so that it won't work on the Pyra anymore but works on other devices, then new users will be rightfully pissed. So I'm suggesting that we explain the complete situation so that new users can decide for themselves how likely they think it is that Netflix will never use good DRM.

With the internet there is no such problem. The Pyra does not use special exploits to connect to the internet so there is no special reason why that should ever stop working. Obviously anyone knows that if the internet would disappear or change in a backwards-incompatible way that it would stop working on the Pyra, but that's obvious so no warning is needed for that. If the Pyra did rely on exploits that could be fixed any day on the whim of one company in order to connect to the internet then I would want to warn users for that as well.

Speculation is just that, whereas past performance is rooted in fact and much more likely to continue.
Past Performance
 

ClockworkCoder

Chaotic Neutral
Joined
Jan 21, 2016
Messages
1,707
Location
Menzoberranzan
You're missing the point. I'm saying that new users should be aware that even if Netflix works on the Pyra now it could stop working when Netflix improves their DRM even if Netflix continues to exist.
Did I miss something? Since when was the Pyra "Netflix certified"?

People get pissed off about all kinds of random and silly things. I don't think that's anything to be particularly concerned about - most people are aware that Linux doesn't exactly have bullet-proof support for any proprietary / DRM software that exists, if it has it at all.
 

λ the β-Redex Reducer

β-Redex Reducing Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
689
Age
50
Location
Lambda Centre
Did I miss something? Since when was the Pyra "Netflix certified"?
Seems like you did miss something. I never implied that the Pyra is "Netflix certified" or anything like that.

People get pissed off about all kinds of random and silly things. I don't think that's anything to be particularly concerned about - most people are aware that Linux doesn't exactly have bullet-proof support for any proprietary / DRM software that exists, if it has it at all.
Yet we have people asking about it and saying that we can count on Netflix support on the Pyra, if it happens, being stable.
 

Swordfish II

Advanced Member
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
1,041
I'm saying that new users should be aware that even if Netflix works on the Pyra now it could stop working when Netflix improves their DRM even if Netflix continues to exist.
I'm saying that new users should be aware that even if things are ported to the Pyra now that could stop when ptitseb moves on even if debian continues to exist.
Post automatically merged:

The Pyra does not use special exploits to connect to the internet so there is no special reason why that should ever stop working.
The Pandora doesn't either...try using that extensively.

I do understand what you are saying, but that argument could literally be made for anything, and the source you provided doesn't really make your argument compelling either.

The original wii for instance only stopped working with Netflix this year in 2020.

Netflix on Pandoras super old android build still works.

Netflix slowly phases things out once user load is almost zero. They aren't going to break millions of chromebooks overnight.
 
Last edited:
Top