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US Air Force To Suffer From PS3 Update 349

Posted by Soulskill
from the sounds-like-an-act-of-terrorism-to-me dept.
tlhIngan writes "The US Air Force, having purchased PS3s for supercomputing research, is now the latest victim of Sony's removal of the Install Other OS feature. It turns out that while their PS3s don't need the firmware update, it will be impossible to replace PS3s that fail. PS3s with the Other OS feature are no longer produced since the Slim was introduced, so replacements will have to come from the existing stock of used PS3s. However, as most gamers have probably updated their PS3s, that used stock is no longer suitable for the USAF's research. In addition, smaller educational clusters using PS3s will share the same fate — unable to replace machines that die in their clusters." In related news, Sony has been hit with two more lawsuits over this issue.
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US Air Force To Suffer From PS3 Update

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @06:49AM (#32191026)

    Bomb them to hell if they don't bring back this feature, vital for national security.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:14AM (#32191166)

      Benjamin Franklin said it best. "Anyone who would trade money for something produced by Sony deserves neither, and will lose both."

      • by The Hatchet (1766306) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @10:02AM (#32192732)

        To sell a product with a promise of certain features, and then to act as if it is your own and disable everything you don't want the real owner to have. Disabling the otherOS feature was totally unnecessary. It was just some kind of cruel bullshit, limiting your freedoms on a device that belongs to you. That is the modern way.

        Buy a kindle? Have YOUR PAID FOR books removed at amazons will.

        Buy a PS3 for clustering? Have your PAID FOR CLUSTER disabled, unrepairable, and suddenly worth its weight in crap as soon as the machines start to die off.

        Buy an apple product? well, might as well put your head in a plaster garbage bag and die, they own everything that touches the screen of that device, hell, likely they even own the device, just 'licence' it out to you in some peculiar way.

        If sony's terms of service said something about taking away features at their own will, it is not a valid part of the contract. Here in america, we have laws that prevent mega-corporations from making insanely complicated contracts and inserting clauses about how they own your soul and can harvest your body parts whenever they please. This modern pattern of bullshit is why I avoid buying anything that follows that pattern. Unfortunately every day there are fewer options. And soon enough they will all be gone.

        • by tekrat (242117) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @10:13AM (#32192878) Homepage Journal

          "Here in america, we have laws that prevent mega-corporations from making insanely complicated contracts and inserting clauses about how they own your soul and can harvest your body parts whenever they please. This modern pattern of bullshit is why I avoid buying anything that follows that pattern."
          --- === ---

          So,... you have no credit cards, don't own a house or a car either, as far as I can tell, because all these things have insanely complicated contracts that the banks can change willy-nilly if they please.

            I'd also have to say that you don't own a cell-phone either, as most phone contracts are bigger than the phone book. And I'll bet you don't have cable-TV either. Or Health Insurance.

          In fact, here in America, almost everything comes with an insanely complicated contract that grants all kinds of rights to the giant-mega-corp, and almost nothing to you. And you're paying them for that priviledge. Ain't capitalism grand?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by dissy (172727)

            So,... you have no credit cards, don't own a house or a car either, as far as I can tell, because all these things have insanely complicated contracts that the banks can change willy-nilly if they please.

            I'd also have to say that you don't own a cell-phone either, as most phone contracts are bigger than the phone book. And I'll bet you don't have cable-TV either. Or Health Insurance.

            In fact, here in America, almost everything comes with an insanely complicated contract that grants all kinds of rights to the giant-mega-corp, and almost nothing to you. And you're paying them for that priviledge. Ain't capitalism grand?

            To be fair it isn't ALL that bad. I'm not the GP, but I live a similar life style (or try to)

            Credit cards: nope (Debit though, through a checking account used just for that purpose)
            Own a house: nope, though that one is a downside IMHO. I rent a house now.
            Own a car: Yes, I've owned all my cars. Never had a bank loan to do so however thankfully.
            Cell Phone: Only lately did I go with an at&t contract (I was prepaid prior to that, which has a 30 day contract, so any evil changes can not possibly last pa

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          This is why I have no qualms about stealing from corporations..... they have no qualms about stealing from us. They do it daily - it's part of their business plan. They even lobby Congress for the right to steal from the People's Treasury.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:47AM (#32191380) Homepage Journal

      Bomb them to hell if they don't bring back this feature, vital for national security.

      This was their plan all along.

      It's payback for Hiroshima.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Bomb them to hell if they don't bring back this feature, vital for national security.

        This was their plan all along.

        It's payback for Hiroshima.

        Someone better tell them that it was Cow and Chicken that's been responsible for Hiroshima all along.

    • by JamesP (688957) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:53AM (#32191426)

      How about this:

      Ban them forever from selling to the US Gov.

      You know, the whole "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me"

      • by smooth wombat (796938) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @08:35AM (#32191800) Homepage Journal
        You know, the whole "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me"

        No, no. You have it all wrong. Here's the actual quote:

        There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- [pauses] - shame on you. Fool me -- You can't get fooled again. - George Bush, September 17, 2002.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Richy_T (111409)

          You know, this is often trotted out as an indictment of Bush but I think he actually made a very narrow escape from something much worse. Can you imagine what people would have done with a clip of Bush saying "Shame on me"?

          Whenever I see him saying what he did say, I kind of imagine a smart adviser's voice screaming through his earpiece "DONT SAY 'SHAME ON ME'. DO NOT SAY 'SHAME ON ME'!".

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        I don't think the government buys anything from Sony, other than a few consumer electronics for conference room. Most of the time the government purchases from dedicated contractors like Lockheed, Northrop, Raytheon, et cetera.

        BTW:

        A number of those contractors have discovered that dicking with the U.S. Military (example: employees mischarging time) leads to serious consequences. Like millions of dollars in fines. I hope the USAF makes an example of Sony and drags them through the court system, for their

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          I spent many years first as Fedral Sales Manager and then Vice President of Sales dealing almost exclusively with the US Government and its affiliated agencies and contractors. Your statement "I don't think the government buys anything from Sony, other than a few consumer electronics for conference room. Most of the time the government purchases from dedicated contractors like Lockheed, Northrop, Raytheon, et cetera." is simply untrue. The US Government purchases a great deal from Sony, see http://pro.sony. [sony.com]
  • COTS = COST (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @06:54AM (#32191048)

    There's been a big push in recent years to move to "COTS" (Commercial Off The Shelf) solutions in the government - the military in particular. And while this may be find for things like holsters, backpacks, and office chairs, I think this highlights for EVERYONE, not just bright young aquisitions officers, that sometimes taking COTS technology and using it for your highly specific and critical application is not the best choice. Unfortunately, sometimes (sometimes!) big, expensive, and proprietary in-house solutions really are the best.

    (heh. captcha is 'acquire')

    • Levenshtein disagrees.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        I don't agree. On my project it was a lot cheaper to use the existing Windows NT 4 OS than to develop our own from scratch. It was also cheaper to buy mass-produced parts for a few pennies, rather than build our own for around $1000 each. It also saved space - instead of a giant box we used the latest tech to shrink the unit down to a small cube.

    • Re:COTS = COST (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Brad Eleven (165911) <brad.eleven@gmail.com> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:07AM (#32191114) Homepage Journal
      Meh. Big, expensive, proprietary in-house solutions are rarely the best IMHO. The USAF could have made a deal with Sony.
      • Re:COTS = COST (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice@nOSPam.gmail.com> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:11AM (#32191132)
        Or just bought a PS3 commercial developers kit and bypassed all of this.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by MadnessASAP (1052274)

          But those are expensive, defeating the purpose of using PS3s in the first place. They could have gone to IBM and bulk ordered a pile of CELL equipped blade servers but its cheaper to buy the PS3 which Sony, like every other console manufacturer, sells below cost and make up the difference with game sales.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            You only need a small number of them, to compile and package for the other units.
            • by Fulg (138866)

              Devkits can run unsigned code - retail PS3s cannot (except in Other OS mode). Having just a few won't help you.

          • Re:COTS = COST (Score:5, Informative)

            by quacking duck (607555) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @09:18AM (#32192222)

            [...] but its cheaper to buy the PS3 which Sony, like every other console manufacturer, sells below cost and make up the difference with game sales.

            USAF buys literally tons of loss-leading PS3s but no games? I think you just hit on why Sony doesn't care about the problem the Air Force faces now.

            • by MBGMorden (803437)

              That's beside the point. It's certainly not ILLEGAL (or even unethical IMHO) to buy a product the manufacturer is selling at a loss. If it doesn't work out for them then that's their short sightedness.

              The question is whether or not they can legally pull back that functionality. Maybe, maybe not, but I can guarantee you, if a pissed off USAF researcher presents his case then the standard "Only pirates use it anyways." defense simply isn't going to work this time.

        • Not sure that the GameOS would support the necessary software stack, such as MPI.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There was no need to assume Sony would pull a stunt like this. After all, you can't buy a PS3 with otherOS support. Why? Selling at a loss? Hardly. Sont were more than happy to sell the PS3 as a blu-ray player and there are a hell of a lot more of them as players only than there are research clusters. Piracy? There is no piracy, Geohot got a memory dump, or so he claimed. He's failed to deliver an exploit, data, code, examples, he's only shown a very fake looking video. Sony dropped otherOS from the slim, s

    • Re:COTS = COST (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:16AM (#32191180) Journal

      Not really. It should highlight the fact that you should always require a second source for any off the shelf products that you're buying. If you go for a single-vendor solution, you are totally at the mercy of their whims, when it comes to pricing and availability. A big in-house proprietary system would have cost more, in this case, than simply buying twice as many PS/3s as they required. The Cell is now starting to look dated, and by the time they actually need to replace this system they could just throw it away and build a new one based on whatever the latest GPGPU design is at the time.

      Do you really think that replacement nodes in a big SGI machine cost less than a couple of PS/3s? Or that the price doesn't shoot up rapidly once SGI moves on to the next design? Or that there's a large second-hand market for them?

    • Re:COTS = COST (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:18AM (#32191194) Journal
      Proprietary in-house solutions aren't even always the more expensive choice. It's too bad these decisions are often made poorly.

      Outsourcing is good, focus on core business, buy-not-build, standardise, 80-20 solutions... all of these make sense, but I am dealing too often with the mess made by people turning these good pieces of advise into thoughtless mantras and moronic MBA one-liners, as a replacement for thoughtful and informed decision making. A lot of todays leadership doesn't want to make decisions; they look for rules to make their decisions for them.
    • Re:COTS = COST (Score:5, Insightful)

      by teg (97890) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:25AM (#32191242) Homepage
      Systems like these have a very limited lifespan. The military saved a lot of money upfront. The consequence of this is that the number of active nodes in the cluster might go down slightly during the system's remaining lifespan (a couple of years, not more). Negative impact? Yes. But enough so that spending many times the amount on getting custom built hardware would be worth it? Very unlikely. And if you go a couple of levels up the hierarchy, risks like this - and cost savings - are averaged out over many acquisitions and projects. I think your conclusion is extremely unlikely.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bemenaker (852000)
        For some reason, I don't think it SONY would have a problem of selling directly to USAF slim's with an older ROM on them specifically for this purpose.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sockatume (732728)

      And a lesson for the consumer: no matter what you're told about super-computer nonsense, the product is just a games console, and will always just be a games console in Sony's eyes.

    • by JamesP (688957)

      Or they could have gone with nVidia/ATI or something similar

      Or Cell PCI-X boards for PC (IIRC there are some)

    • by FreeUser (11483) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:56AM (#32191452)

      There's been a big push in recent years to move to "COTS" (Commercial Off The Shelf) solutions in the government - the military in particular. And while this may be find for things like holsters, backpacks, and office chairs, I think this highlights for EVERYONE, not just bright young aquisitions officers, that sometimes taking COTS technology and using it for your highly specific and critical application is not the best choice. Unfortunately, sometimes (sometimes!) big, expensive, and proprietary in-house solutions really are the best.

      No, what it drives home is that, when you purchase a piece of hardware, it belongs to you, and no vendor should have the legal right to modify what you have purchased without your consent, nor to coerce consent for modifications that reduce or cripple the capabilities of something you have purchased.

      Maybe now that military and commercial interests are being impacted, we can get the barest modicum of consumer protection to outlaw this shit (and similar, retroactive software modifications as well, such as Steve Jobs foists upon his hapless iPhone slaves ... it all eventually amounts to the same thing, and puts a lot more than the military at risk).

      I know for our trading platforms we would never tolerate this kind of thing from a vendor (and Apple has lost out on this on more than one occasion for exactly this reason). I'm amazed the military hasn't come down on Sony like a ton of bricks -- a large investment bank certainly would have.

      • I'm amazed the military hasn't come down on Sony like a ton of bricks -- a large investment bank certainly would have.

        What recourse does the Air force have? Sony didn't reach into their data center and push the update to their cluster. From the Air Forces perspective, all Sony has done is modify their product so that future purchases will not fill their needs. All the Air Force can do is to not make future purchases of PS3's, which is something that they probably have no plans of doing in bulk anyway (except of course as the TFA states to replace dead units).

        Sony is probably burning a bridge with the USAF, it was prob

    • I think you are absolutely correct. That "sometimes" is something that people miss out on. Program keep in mind that each application requires its own careful consideration. I work on a program that uses a lot of different hardware, which is a mix of COTS and in-house tech. It is a BIG selling point that our program makes use of COTS hardware. It can make the initial design and development a bear, but once you have software and systems in place to integrate the various pieces of hardware it offers some

    • by Reemi (142518)

      COTS != EOL != availability.

      Going to COTS is in general a good thing, but any respectable company will focus on End of Life, Availability and MTBF when going for COTS. Those are not mutual exclusive.

      Seems management approving the PS3 solution without having a solid contract with Sony should be fired on the spot.

    • by drolli (522659)

      Well. The point is simpler, no matter who you are and for what purpose you buy:

      Either you have a contract which include the option to buy identical replacement parts with your supplier or not. Either you have a support contract for a certain feature guaranteeing this feature to you for some time or not. Either your feature is important enough for you supplier to make it a problem for his reputation or not (And honestly: in my view this does not damage Sony reputation significantly. In the main-stream all Li

  • What, the USAF was the only buyer of PS3s, and now suddenly that they can't use them, nobody wants them... the market will be flooded with $0.10 used PS3s nobody can actually use for anything useful.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:06AM (#32191112)
    It turns out that while their PS3s don't need the firmware update, it will be impossible to replace PS3s that fail.

    Unless they, y'know, get directly in touch with Sony and tell them what they're trying to do. I'm sure in a case like this that something can be worked out. Instead of actual reporting and checking up on the situation, we instead get people using words like "impossible". There are many things that happen every single day that fall into this same category of "impossible", and yet they happen...
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by gsmalleus (886346)
      Agreed. There are many companies out there that do business with the government. Just because Sony discontinued a feature, doesn't mean they won't let a large customer, such as the Army, not have access to a way of configuring their hardware the way they need it configured.
  • by Chrisq (894406) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:12AM (#32191144)
    Well they have the bargaining power. Like, if you don't supply us with an OS install feature you better get nervous when you see an aircraft flying towards your headquarters. Or maybe you won't see a thing. Accidents happen you know
    • the problem is that area of japan has a rather large number of embassies in the same area

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Not a problem. US missiles have a highly accurate targeting system. Its calculations are powered by a cluster of PS3s.

  • The Sony PS4 will not come with a Linux option *at all*
    • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:23AM (#32191232) Homepage

      I don't care about that and I doubt many others do either. What I do care about is that Sony is getting the recognition it deserves on this matter. You simply cannot do this to consumers and expect to get away with it. Sony is building a history of such behaviors including lobbying for law that excludes them from prosecution when accessing computers across the internet searching for infringing copyrighted content, the installation of their rootkits and this removal of features debacle. While people continue to chant "well, don't buy from Sony!" I have to say I am glad to see that more and more people are taking notice and are saying the same thing -- Don't buy from Sony!

      Law suits and criminal charges aren't enough to stop Sony. People have to stop buying from Sony to make Sony care. I'm just one guy... I won't buy another VAIO, another Walkman, another Clie', another camcorder, another TV, a PS(X), another DVD or CD with Sony/BMG on the label. Nothing. Not another penny. And the more attention this draws, during a time when people are still a bit more cautious and thoughtful where they spend their pennies than ever before, more people will be joining me in my boycott of anything Sony.

      And this message isn't just for Sony. It is a message for any other company out there who would try the same thing.

      • by Znork (31774)

        I won't buy another VAIO

        Personally I recently refrained from buying a $2k+ Sony projector due to their behaviour. It probably performed a bit better than my second choice, but buy from Sony and you get screwed one way or another. The company is not getting another cent from me.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jer (18391)

      You think the backlash is going to cause Sony to not put the capability of using Linux on the next gen of Playstations?

      News flash - once Sony decided to remove the option from devices that already had it installed, they committed themselves to not having Linux boot as an option on any of their future PS models. There's no way in hell you can use that as a marketing point when everyone knows that Sony can revoke it any time they feel like it and there's not a damn thing you as a customer can do about it.

      If

  • Opportunity? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vodevil (856500) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:16AM (#32191182)
    This will be a good opportunity for the government to see how good hacking/jailbreaking/etc. is, and they can install geohot's fix so they don't lose linux support.
    • by VMaN (164134)

      The problem isn't that the ps3s are getting upgraded, they're not connected. The problem is that any node that needs replacement will end up with a newer unusable FW when bought or repaired.

  • Oops! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by number17 (952777) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:20AM (#32191210)
    According to those news article dates, they aren't even half way thought the hardware refresh schedule. Looks like this little oversight by project planners is going to cost them. If they don't get sued, the cheapest way coulde be the manpower to break the DMCA and hack the things. Not sure if Sony's license allows you to flash the firmware with an older version. Otherwise, ebay for old models or start looking for replacement hardware. Although, perhaps doing nothing and letting them die out, its a cluster remember, won't have much of an impact beyond RAM and HD problems.
    • by Jaysyn (203771)

      Pretty sure the USAF is exempt from the DMCA for purposes of interoperability.

      • by Rogerborg (306625)

        Pretty sure the USAF is exempt from the DMCA for purposes of interoperability.

        Oh, I see: "When the President^W USAF does it, that means it is not illegal [youtube.com]", right?

        [citation needed]

        • Re:Oops! (Score:4, Informative)

          by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot@@@gmail...com> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @09:15AM (#32192190) Homepage Journal

          [Citation]

          17 U.S.C. 1201(e) (1998)

          Exception for Law Enforcement and Intelligence Activities. The DMCA permits circumvention for any lawfully authorized investigative, protective, or intelligence activity by or at the direction of a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency, or of an intelligence agency of the United States.

          • by Rogerborg (306625)

            17 U.S.C. 1201(e) (1998)
            Exception for Law Enforcement and Intelligence Activities. The DMCA permits circumvention for any lawfully authorized investigative, protective, or intelligence activity by or at the direction of a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency, or of an intelligence agency of the United States.

            Oh, facts? You can use them to prove anything that's even remotely true.

            [loc.gov]

            (e) LAW ENFORCEMENT, INTELLIGENCE, AND OTHER GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES- This section does not prohibit any lawfully a

    • The USAF's issue has nothing to do with the firmware update - its to do with the fact that the new PS3's do not support the Other OS feature at all, and the older PS3's that do support it (before the firmware update) are becoming hard to get hold of. The only link between the two issues (firmware and new hardware versions) are the lawsuit links at the bottom of the summary.
  • by MikeRT (947531) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:20AM (#32191216) Homepage

    The XBox 360 has already been successfully used [gizmag.com] for scientific computing. Microsoft should move in for the kill with a modified 360 that includes a complete tool chain and a new clustering API.

    • by jank1887 (815982)

      xbox 360 is x86 based right? cell processor rips x86 a new one for the types of computations being performed by the AF. They could make the API as nice as they want, it'll still underperform.

      • Xbox360 is PowerPC based, and uses modified versions of the PPE used in the Cell.
      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        No as someone already posted it is not. It uses Power. I believe three cores each supporting two threads but I could be wrong on that.
        Odds are that they are only using the Power cores to feed the GPU and using the GPU to do the heavy lifting.
        Honestly that would be a benifit of using the dev kit for the PS3 as well. They would have access to not just the cores but also the GPU.

  • by Jizato (1536125) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:22AM (#32191230)
    The slim PS3s didn't support the Other OS feature from launch, and when they started making the slim models they stopped producing the older ones that did support it. This has been an issue since Sept 2009.
    • by hedwards (940851)
      Previously you had a choice as to whether or not to update the firmware and they weren't doing it to previous models that shipped with the ability. Now they aren't giving you a meaningful choice and their patching the older machines to remove functionality. Hence why people are just now being so upset about it. Personally I think it was a dick move to not include it on the slim models without putting it very clearly on the packaging that it was a crippled machine, and not a real PS3.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by tophermeyer (1573841)

        Personally I think it was a dick move to not include it on the slim models without putting it very clearly on the packaging that it was a crippled machine, and not a real PS3.

        I don't mean to be rude, but I think you might need to adjust your definition of crippled. It is still a 'real' PS3, still plays Blu-Rays, PS3 games, connects to PSN, etc. They removed a theoretically popular feature that very few people actually took advantage, and that posed a mild security/piracy risk to Sony. They didn't send killbots out to peoples homes to force the update. They simply stopped offering this completely extraneous feature, and stopped supporting it.

        For what its worth, I agree that

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:25AM (#32191246)

    In the 90's, when I needed any electronic stuff, I used to look at Sony first. I bought most of my stuff from them, never had any problems, and was always satisfied with the product. Call it the highest level of brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.

    Then I fell asleep. I woke up about ten years later.

    The Sony I knew then, was suddenly very, very different. Now, Sony will be the last on my list, when I need to make another electronic purchase. I really feel that Sony doesn't give a damn anymore about product quality and customer satisfaction.

    Sony rootkiting your PC? Maybe I am still asleep, and having a nightmare . . .

    • Agreed, root kiting is a nightmare. I expect superusers to have the balls to engage me in melee directly.

    • by MemoryDragon (544441) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @08:39AM (#32191840)

      The product quality from Sony still is top notch, it is their dreaded, we know better than you attitude. Example, buy a Sony car radio, excellent built quality, top notch production, but then you pull the key, it makes three annoying beeps loud as hell, to remind you to take off the front plate.
      No there is no way to turn that off unless you build a bypass circuit to the speakers or let an amplifier do that.
      Number one complaint about Sony card radios for the last 10 years, Sony knows this, are they going to change anything? No!
      Same goes for Vayo notebooks, you have to get the drivers from sony, if the driver is faulty and the manufacturer has offered a different driver, which fixes it
      you are not allowed to use it (there are hacks though), and Sony often does not deliver the driver anymore because that line of notebooks is discontinued.

      It is their we know better than you attitude why I personally have Sony at the bottom of my hardware purchase list nowadays.
      Others have shoddier hardware but the support and attided is what influences me to 80% on my purchases. For the same reason HTC has become
      bottom provider, my next phone will be an official Google supported one, instead of going for the hardwarewise better HTC model.

    • Maybe you are, since the rootkit issue happened in 2005 and was born of the Sony BMG division, and the subsequent litigation sorted that out then too. The electronics division, the computer entertainment division and the computing devices divisions are in many ways entirely separate in how they go about their business.

      I'm not saying Sony are angels or that there's no cross-divisional chatter by any means, but to tar the whole company with that broad a brush is hardly considering present circumstances. I'll

  • What Suffering? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mc moss (1163007) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:26AM (#32191248)

    "Sony's decision had no immediate impact on the cluster; for obvious reasons, the PS3s are not hooked into the PlayStation Network and don't need Sony's firmware updates. But what happens when a PS3 dies or needs repair? Tough luck."

    The PS3 stopped supporting linux installations when they introduced the PS3 slim and stopped making the original one. Why is this even news?

    • by Aladrin (926209)

      Exactly! Cripes. When Sony stopped making consoles that had this feature, THEN it was an issue for the Air Force. The recent update doesn't change anything at all for them, unless they also want to play games on those consoles. (They don't.)

  • anyone who trusts microsoft, sony, apple dig their own grave.
  • what about folding? (Score:3, Informative)

    by MoFoQ (584566) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:40AM (#32191330)

    makes ya wonder what will happen to the Folding@Home client stats [stanford.edu] as PS3s die off and aren't replaced.

    And who suffers in the end? Sick kids.
    Oh, will someone think of the children!

  • If a branch of the US military wanted updatable PS3's they will be able to get them by paying extra for a large lot. All corporate salesman negotiate. To think otherwise is naive.
  • Idea (Score:5, Funny)

    by kurtis25 (909650) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @08:00AM (#32191488)
    I have an idea... Let's make the PS3 useless, then sell a PS4 with the other OS option, when it's time to sell PS5 (to be nicknamed the piss) we will turn off the other OS option in the PS4. We can do this for 50 years before anyone catches on.
  • You'd have to do this at the hardware level. Are there any JTAG pads on the board? If not, clipping onto the firmware flash chip with the appropriate tool may be necessary. That, or some means to prevent the existing firmware from loading while loading a substitute into RAM, which will then reload the firmware flash.

    First to figure this out might get a little military contract :-)

  • "Really? You want to play this game? We've already nuked Japan once, did you like it that much?"
  • that is, I fail to comprehend. Sony could turn around and sell unlocked machines as "specialized platforms" for many times the price, while imposing restrictive usage conditions, and *still* have it be a bargain. Considering how much the PS3 sales cost them, you'd think they would jump on the opportunity.

Programmers do it bit by bit.

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