New technologies introduced last year by Intel could allow a computer repairman to connect to your machine remotely to make repairs, even if the computer is powered down. The technology allows for a networking chip to be active in the computer all the time, allowing for someone to connect remotely, power on the machine, and repair the computer. The technology is tailor made for the corporate market, which does not have privacy concerns, since the company owns the IT assets. However, the PC chipmaking giant is hoping that consumers will feel like the privacy tradeoff is worth having a "round the clock watchdog."
New Intel chips let managers turn on powered-off PCs for repairs (San Francisco Chronicle)
Remote support options are not new — Microsoft integrated remote assistance software in its operating system years ago. There are also several products that allow a user to connect to technical support and give control of their computer so that the technician can run diagnostics or make repairs. However, technology that allows a repairman to remotely power on a computer, make repairs, and shut the computer down regardless of the operating system has until now been relegated to expensive add-on cards for servers. This type of remote assistance could reduce repair costs to consumers as most repair services charge less for troubleshooting or repairing problems remotely.
Remote interest in bottom line (Brisbane Times)
I personally prefer remote assistance, whether I am giving or receiving technical support. I don't want to have to pay an expensive engineer to visit my location (at my expense) when they can more easily use Microsoft's remote assistance, Citrix GoToAssist, or any of the other products out there. We have had this option available to us at my workplace for a while with ScriptLogic's Desktop Authority product. I have the ability to connect to a remote PC, look at its setup and configuration, or even take control of the desktop at any time.
What do you use for remote assistance (either giving or receiving)? How significant are the privacy concerns of consumers, given the technology that could allow someone to remotely power on and take control of your computer? Will you disable this chipset on your home machines or allow the remote control technology to stay active? Will this technology help you to diagnose issues at work? Join the discussion.
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