Physical access to the device is 9/10ths of control

On Friday (Sept. 14, 2007), many sites were reporting that newer versions of Apple's famous iPod could not be used with free software (actually, any non-iTunes software). It appears that Apple introduced what appear to be cryptographic hashes in the database stored on it's newer models of iPods. Most critics have assumed this is a form of DRM designed to protect Apple's market share in the guise of protecting the media on the device.

In a classic example of how physical access to these devices gives developers the upper hand, the hashes have been cracked over the week-end.

When will manufacturers begin to understand that these DRM tactics are futile? There is a veritable mob of programmers/rabid fans/customers, in contact 24/7, who totally committed to hacking apart these devices. They will always be able to bring more intellectual resources to bear on the problem.