economic scene; new chips can keep a tight rein on consumers, even after they buy a product. - metalized plastic
By HAL R.
The chips are cheaper and the products are smarter.
Sometimes they become too smart for their own benefit.
Consider the following example of a product that can limit how it is used: * some ink jet printers have chips in their cartridges that block operations if they have been refilled.
* If the battery is not the right brand, the phone sometimes adds chips to the battery to prevent operation.
* Discs can be copied-
Protect the system to prevent them from playing in a personal computer drive.
Until recently, afterwards.
The purchase and use of the product has been rudely controlled by contract, license or mechanical design, but can now be easily controlled by Chip and password technology.
Microsoft recently announced a plan to create a secure computing platform.
The Palladium architecture creates an operating environment that allows the execution of digital signature software only.
In principle, this should help to eliminate computer viruses and various other security issues.
But palladium can also be used for digital advertising.
Rights management on PC.
This means that only certified programs can be run and only certified content can be displayed.
At the bit, review, and digital level
Rights Management is technically the same.
University of Cambridge computer security expert Ross Anderson described some of the effects of palladium at a recent meeting in Toulouse, France.
What is the economic impact of technology that can be controlled afterpurchase use?
The answer depends on the competitive power of the market.
Take the inkjet printer market as an example.
If the profit margin of the cartridges is high but the printer market is competitive, competition will drive down the price of the printer to make up for the high profit
Ink cartridges for pricing.
The purchase and use make the monopoly of the ink cartridge stronger (
Because it suppressed recharge)
But this will only allow sellers to compete more aggressively in order to sell printers, resulting in lower prices in the market.
This is just the old story of "giving the razor away and selling the Blade.
"But if the industry that supplies the product is not very competitive, then control after-sales service
Buying behavior can be used to extend a monopoly from one market to another.
The market for software operating systems, as well as music and video content, is highly concentrated, so there should be doubts about the partnership between the two industries.
He noted that such partnerships could easily be used to benefit incumbents and limit potential entrants. Anderson.
But there's another set of problems after control.
These technologies can reduce innovation.
Eric von shipel, professor at the Sloan School of Management at MIT, recorded the importance of "user innovation" in different industries such as integrated circuits and mountain bikes.
According to a survey by Professor von shipel, about 25 computer usersaided-
Design software reports develop innovations for their own use. One-
The fifth mountain bike user did the same.
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Manufacturers invest heavily in research and development to discover new uses for their products.
But users are often better innovators.
After all, the problem that users are closer to is: in a variety of environments, they rely on products every day to complete various tasks, so it's not surprising that they come up with uses that manufacturers never thought.
Feng shipel, an advertising professor, believes that user innovation is a powerful force and companies should provide kits that allow users to try products.
If the manufacturer can control, this innovation may be greatly reduced. purchase use.
Consider the three examples mentioned earlier.
Popular areas of computers
Chip design includes takeoff. the-
Shelf inkjet printer, load the ink cartridge with magnetic ink and spray the integrated circuit onto the metal plastic.
This technology may completely change the production of integrated circuits. -
However, it certainly requires the use of the product in a way that the manufacturer does not intend.
What about cell phone batteries?
Now there is a hand pump that allows you to produce enough juice to charge your battery.
The inventor is trying to put such a pump in your shoes so you can charge your phone just by walking around.
This will be great for users, but if you can only use certain power supplies in your phone, it's hard to try this technology. Digital-
Rights Management can also reduce innovation. The No.
A Song in England today is 30-year-old Elvis B-
Side list, "a little less dialogue.
Nike commissioned the Dutch record jockey JXL to mix for its World Cup advertising campaign.
He adjusted the balance of the instrument and added a technical beat to create a new sound.
If digital copyright management becomes commonplace, such a thing will not be possible at all.
One might argue that negotiations can overcome barriers to user innovation.
After all, Nike is licensed by Elvis real estate to mix.
Companies will definitely see that it is in their interest to encourage customer innovation? Maybe not.
Typically, innovators need to experiment before they reach the manufacturer or rights owner.
But once they make an investment to determine if there is hope for innovation, their bargaining power will be reduced.
At this point, the owner of the right holds all the cards and they can choose the license fee to get most of the benefits of innovation.
Of course, this first reduces the incentives for user innovation.
Can Innovators approach the rights owner before the experiment?
Anyone can claim to be an innovator.
How does the rights owner know who should get permission to circumvent the technology?
Innovation is hampered in either way, not only by consumers but also by producers.
Too much control can be a bad thing, especially when innovation is a key source of competitive advantage.
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A version of this article was printed on page C00002 of the National edition on July 4, 2002, with the title: economic scenario;
Even if consumers buy products, the new chips can keep strict control over them.