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Microsoft Input Devices Open Source XBox (Games) Games

$2,000 Bounty For Open Source Xbox Kinect Drivers 274

Posted by Soulskill
from the helping-everybody-to-look-dumb dept.
ptorrone writes "Open source hardware company Adafruit Industries is offering a $2,000 bounty for the first person or group to upload driver code and examples under an open source license to GitHub for the Xbox Kinect released yesterday. The Kinect sensor outputs video at a frame rate of 30Hz, with the RGB video stream at 32-bit color VGA resolution (640×480 pixels), and the monochrome video stream used for depth sensing at 16-bit QVGA resolution (320×240 pixels with 65,536 levels of sensitivity). The open hardware group would like to see this camera used for education, robotics and fun outside the Xbox." The bounty was originally $1,000, but Microsoft's dour response induced Adafruit to double it. ("With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant.") In addition, the Xbox 360 dashboard update that preceded Kinect's launch contains upgraded anti-piracy restrictions.
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$2,000 Bounty For Open Source Xbox Kinect Drivers

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  • by JonySuede (1908576) on Friday November 05, 2010 @01:46PM (#34138964) Journal

    Is reverse engineering for interoperability purpose still legal ?

    • by hedwards (940851) on Friday November 05, 2010 @01:48PM (#34139000)
      Depends how you do it. It's oddly ironic how now when it hurts MS they don't think reverse engineering is such a good idea. Especially since they made most of their money based upon IBM clones.

      Additionally, I like how they're claiming that this has something to do with product tampering.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        http://www.joystiq.com/2010/11/04/kinect-teardown-two-cameras-four-microphones-12-watts-of-powe/

        "Something with two cameras and 4 microphones is the last thing from Microsoft I would allow in my house"

        Spyware?

        • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Friday November 05, 2010 @02:41PM (#34139840) Homepage Journal

          Winston, Inner Party members can turn it off - those propriety dictates that this be for no more than half-hour intervals.

          Signed, O'Brien.

      • The funny part is that this DOESN'T hurt Microsoft at all. If anything it would encourage more people to buy the kinekt (or whatever stupid ass name they gave it).
        The layman buys the device and doesn't care/know that they can use it in other applications. The geek buys it BECAUSE they can use it in other applications. There's no downside to Microsoft's profit here.... at all.

        Microsoft is just making the assumption that any changes hurt their revenue stream because they're too fucking stupid to think more
    • Well, in this case I'd think it would fall in the same category as jail-breaking your ipod/pad/phone. There is no theft, piracy, resale, or actual profit involved.

      Personally, I dont see why Microsoft would want to block it, considering all the mileage Nintendo got from the various educational and/or open-source wii-mote projects in the past.
    • by jandrese (485)
      Yes, unless the technology contains any form of encryption or obfuscation, then it falls under the DMCA and is illegal.
      • by kimvette (919543) on Friday November 05, 2010 @02:14PM (#34139410) Homepage Journal

        Wrong.

        Reverse engineering (section 1201(f)). This exception permits
        circumvention, and the development of technological means for such
        circumvention, by a person who has lawfully obtained a right to use a
        copy of a computer program for the sole purpose of identifying and
        analyzing elements of the program necessary to achieve interoperability
        with other programs, to the extent that such acts are permitted under
        copyright law.

        Source: http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf [copyright.gov]

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by camperdave (969942)
          Did you miss the "to the extent that such acts are permitted under copyright law" clause in that citation?
      • From the DMCA:

        (2) No person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that— A) is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title; M

        How is an image taken by this device a "protected work"? Is MS claiming to own the copyright on the images captured with this device?

        • How is an image taken by this device a "protected work"? Is MS claiming to own the copyright on the images captured with this device?

          What? No. The image is not the interesting part, the conversion of the image to control data is the interesting part.

          • However, assuming someone decodes the format and meaning of the control data produced by conversion of the image, that data is not covered by copyright, let alone Microsoft's, and therefore not a protected work, and thus not covered by the DMCA. The code that does the conversion is protected, but not the data it inputs and outputs.
        • by jandrese (485)
          No, it's the access controls that are the protected work. Microsoft effectively came out and said so in their response.
    • Reverse engineering is legal if you have deeper pocket than the plaintiff.

    • "reverse engineering for interoperability" is hacker-speak for tampering, right? Well, if tampering isn't illegal, it certainly should be! I don't want to buy a kinect and find out it doesn't work (or does something bad) because a hacker tampered with it!!!!11
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 05, 2010 @01:47PM (#34138984)

    Presumably there is cryptographic authentication here that needs to be broken. Sounds like some student's differential power analysis school project is about to get a bit more lucrative... and legally risky...

  • Kinect for Robotics (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 05, 2010 @01:49PM (#34139020)

    This would actually be excellent for robotics! Those specs are about on par with Point Grey's Bumblebee2 stereoscopic camera (the cheapest standalone stereoscopic camera for robotics), which retails at about $3,000! It would be great to be able to make cheap robots with that kind of stereoscopic imaging power.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BlueRaja (1397333)
      Of course if this happened, sales of Kinect sensors would go up without sales of Kinect video games going up... and since MS is actually *losing* money on these sensors, suddenly the price of Kinect sensors would go up...
    • Hardware-wise, Kinect isn't anything particularly special - basically few mics, simple visible light webcam, two stereoscopically arranged IR ones (take out IR filter from an ordinary webcam, replace it with non-exposed part of photographic film) capturing projected light pattern, very limited tilting.

      Everything very interesting and useful happens on the CPU of X360...

      It's not merely a case of drivers, you'd need highly specific software anyway. Might as well use 2 inexpensive webcams.

      • by coniferous (1058330) on Friday November 05, 2010 @02:31PM (#34139672) Homepage
        Not true at all. Look at the hardware spesification sheets... An arm processor and 512 megs of ram? Thats more then just a webcam and a couple of mics. There is some serious potential for having a hardware device that does some onboard processing.
        • by sznupi (719324)

          But the bulk of the interesting stuff happens on the X360 - ARM cpu and (mostly for large buffer, perhaps?) memory don't have to be very useful with 1 MiB of flash onboard... after all, everything beyond firmware (and still quite basic processing) can be loaded from X360.

          So, at best, there needs to be another machine loading the code anyway (OK, perhaps if one cares about the aesthetics it could be done even by some AVR & USB Flash, AVR acting also as I/O for the body...), and without the access to defi

          • >But the bulk of the interesting stuff happens on the X360 What? That may be true, but you don't know that. Nobody knows that except microsoft. I kinda doubt it anyways. Microsoft has been going on and on about how it will only effect the Xbox 360s cpu in single diget numbers. > mostly for large buffer, perhaps What. 512 megs of memory is MORE then a buffer. That would be incredibly huge and totally useless. There is another purpose for that RAM. > So, at best, there needs to be another machine
          • Argh, Forgot my breaks.

            >But the bulk of the interesting stuff happens on the X360
            What? That may be true, but you don't know that. Nobody knows that except microsoft. I kinda doubt it anyways. Microsoft has been going on and on about how it will only effect the Xbox 360s cpu in single diget numbers.
            > mostly for large buffer, perhaps
            What. 512 megs of memory is MORE then a buffer. That would be incredibly huge and totally useless. There is another purpose for that RAM.
            > So, at best, there ne
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by sznupi (719324)

              MS said they dropped doing the heavy processing on Kinect itself... 1 [gamesindustry.biz], 2 [newscientist.com], 3 [gamesindustry.biz]. What's left does at best "entry stages" of processing, which don't give you much... (especially since MS certainly keeps the juicy details of their approach secret, an approach to which entry stages are adapted).

              512 megabytes of ram would sound big, yes, so I just checked - it's 512 megabits. Nothing too unexpected for a device dealing with lots of images.

              And as I mentioned, the flash is 1 MiB; certainly nothing more than basic fir

              • by coniferous (1058330) on Friday November 05, 2010 @03:25PM (#34140482) Homepage
                >MS said they dropped doing the heavy processing on Kinect itself...

                There is still that arm processor. It's being used for something. It could be used for something different.

                > so I just checked - it's 512 megabits

                Thats still too much for buffer. 512 megabits is 64 megabytes. Still more likely that it's for processing

                We are arguing about symantics. my point is: This is more then just a couple webcams and a couple of mics. We could debate about the symantics till the cows come home, but at the end of the day there are no hardware solutions that quite reproduce what the kinect does. It's worth hacking.
  • Tampering (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shotgun (30919) on Friday November 05, 2010 @01:52PM (#34139072)

    Tamper-resistant? You mean, they're trying to stop me from using it the way I choose. Like how the screwdriver manufacturers add elements to the steel to make it so that I can't sharpen the end and make a pin-punch from it? Jeeesh!! What arrogance.

    • Re:Tampering (Score:4, Insightful)

      by robot256 (1635039) on Friday November 05, 2010 @02:02PM (#34139250)
      I don't think the screwdriver manufacturers are worried about you making a pin-punch from it. I think they're worried about their screwdriver breaking. If you've ever had the tip on a screwdriver crack off you know what I'm talking about.
      • by Mashiki (184564)

        Dunno. I have ex-screwdrivers that were handed down from my father which could be sharpened after they broke to punches. Today, I've broken more "high-quality" screwdrivers than I can shake my hands at, at least they have lifetime warranties on them. So I don't feel so bad getting a replacement for nothing.

        • by robot256 (1635039)
          Not that I don't believe you (it's happened to me too when using them correctly), but you don't happen to use them for chisels and crowbars a lot, do you?
    • Re:Tampering (Score:5, Insightful)

      by countSudoku() (1047544) on Friday November 05, 2010 @02:10PM (#34139356) Homepage

      And what a bad choice of language, not surprisingly from a MS spokesweasel. "Tamper-resistant" comes from the time when people were adding poison and other bad ingredients to Tylenol and other products which lacked the little foil "tamper-proof" seal on the package. Tamper-resistant should be protecting ME from something BAD, and NOT for assholes to lock down my new device to their RROD shitbox. Using this fucking hardware any goddamn way we see fit, even if it makes no sense, is what I demand. Crack open that fucking thing and fuck Microsoft in their stupid asses with a Sony Move stick!

      • Using this fucking hardware any goddamn way we see fit, even if it makes no sense, is what I demand. Crack open that fucking thing and fuck Microsoft in their stupid asses with a Sony Move stick!

        You know somewhere in North Hollywood, they're making that porno right now.

        Of course, it'll be gay porn, but you weren't specific enough (assuming that's not what you're looking for, which I could be totally wrong about).

  • by noidentity (188756) on Friday November 05, 2010 @01:52PM (#34139074)

    But Microsoft isn't taking kindly to the bounty offer. "Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products,"

    Once you sell one to me, it's my product, morons.

    With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant.

    What the hell, are these X-ray machines or something with radioactive material in them that would sicken the user if he opened it up?!? I had better be sure thisn't some strange dream.

    • by sheehaje (240093)

      It is Microsoft using strong language to scare people.

      Reverse Engineering the product to then produce and sell a similar product is one thing, using it as an input device for other things that it was intended for is a totally different ball of wax.

    • by wagnerrp (1305589)

      It's the same business mode as a printer. Consumer printers are so cheap because they are sold at or near cost. They expect to make up the profits in ink sales, so there is motivation to intensely protect those ink sales. The Xbox 360 and PS3 were both sold well under production cost, with the expectation that they would make up for it in video game sales. People who bought Playstations, and ran Linux on them as part of a cluster, got their supercomputer subsidized by Sony.

      Microsoft is losing money on t

      • by spire3661 (1038968) on Friday November 05, 2010 @02:19PM (#34139478) Journal
        Regardless of the business model, there is no place for this aggressive rhetoric. Microsoft needs to understand that when they sell someone a piece of hardware, it is no longer Microsoft's to control outside of allowing it on their network or not.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by greenbird (859670)

          Microsoft needs to understand that when they sell someone a piece of hardware, it is no longer Microsoft's to control outside of allowing it on their network or not.

          That's just not [wikipedia.org] true anymore. [techdirt.com] They've managed to pervert copyright law from the constitutional purpose of "to promote progress" to one of absolute control of anything, including ideas, anyone makes.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bluefoxlucid (723572)

        The razor and blade model works for razors and blades. Even if you want to repurpose them to slit your wrists, you have to buy the more profitable blades rather than the useless loss-leader razor.

        It doesn't work so great for anything actually interesting that people might buy for reasons other than subsidizing your business model.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sznupi (719324)

        Microsoft is losing money on these Kinect units

        ^this one is really one of those [citation needed] cases

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by wagnerrp (1305589)

          Back in June, a 'trusted source' reported that the Kinect cost $150 to manufacture. It seems they're selling at cost, with no profit per unit.

          http://www.develop-online.net/news/35198/Source-pins-Kinect-manufacturing-costs-to-150 [develop-online.net]

          • With that in mind, it seems probable that Microsoft is playing for time.

            It seems pretty well standard that manufacturing costs of just about everything video game hardware related go down over time, for various reasons. If they're selling the Kinect at cost right now, they won't be in a year -- so if they can push off people repurposing the unit a little down the road, they can get to a point in which they're making a profit even if someone buys a Kinect and no 360/games.

          • by sznupi (719324)

            Even if $150 manufacturing cost is the case - don't forget how this "selling at cost" (not actually harmful in itself) will apply only in one market.

          • by rongage (237813)

            OK, so here is how they can solve the problem...

            Since it is presumed that the Kinect will only "work" with Kinect enabled games, sell the Kinect at it's "discounted" price of $150 or whatever it's current sell price is when purchased with a Kinect enabled game. If the Kinect is sold stand alone (no game bought at the same time), then sell it for $50 more. Of course, you then have to make sure that all the Kinect enabled games are at least $50 to make sure that isn't an advantage route to getting just the

      • It's the same business mode as a cheap printer.

        FTFY. You can get printers that are not sold under that business model. Unsurprisingly, they cost more.

        Price the toner/ink and the printer together. If you just buy a cheap printer you’re only looking at half of the equation. Find out what it uses, and how much it costs.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      I'm sure Microsoft put somewhere in the fine print of the EULA they can do whatever they want, and you can't. You can be sure of that.
    • I had better be sure th'isn't some strange dream.

      FTFY

    • You can do what you like with it, but Microsoft still doesn't have to condone your actions or even support them in any way. Their intention with this product is X while your intention is Y, but how you achieve Y is up to you.
    • by Bieeanda (961632)

      What the hell, are these X-ray machines or something with radioactive material in them that would sicken the user if he opened it up?!? I had better be sure thisn't some strange dream.

      If old peripheral commercials taught me anything as a child, it's that the Kinect is probably filled with PURE AWESOME and would cause a person's head to explode and/or melt like they'd been exposed to the opened Ark of the Covenant.

  • by Nursie (632944) on Friday November 05, 2010 @01:53PM (#34139098)

    Whatever happened to people selling devices to other people, so they could use them as they see fit?

    Not providing drivers fro other systems, fine, whatever you like, not your responsibility. Working with law enforcement to prevent 'product tampering?

    Screw you MS, really.

    • by Bourdain (683477)
      I bet the "working with law enforcement part" is not even true
    • by Ogive17 (691899)
      People use product in an unintended manner and get hurt. Then they sue.

      Not that I think it is right, but companies have to cover their ass very carefully these days.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by westlake (615356)

      Whatever happened to people selling devices to other people, so they could use them as they see fit?

      The HPC cluster that took 1,000 PS3s off retail shelves was of no benefit to Sony and a nail in the coffin for the OtherOS.

      As mentioned in an earlier post, the cheapest 3D robotic imaging system with capabilities similar to Kinect lists for $3000. The $150 Kinect is sold as a video game accessory - and it needs video game sales and rentals to be profitable.

      The geek who expects the mega corp to subsidize his

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sjames (1099)

        That's rather silly. If they don't want to subsidize other uses, I guess they should sell the product for a profitable retail price.

        They are free to police their online games as they like. There are even legitimate reasons to do so.

        Yes, tricked up balls and bats are not permitted in a regulation game. However, if you modify a baseball bat for home defense, propping up your hood, or any other purpose including looking really impressive in a non-regulation sandlot game, MLB will not try to stop you.

  • bounty (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DeadDecoy (877617) on Friday November 05, 2010 @01:53PM (#34139100)

    Is it me or is 2000$ kinda cheap to hire someone with the expertise required to extract out kinect's source?

  • law enforcement (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarthVain (724186) on Friday November 05, 2010 @01:55PM (#34139126)

    BS.

    I am not licensing this product. Your not renting it to me. I am not leasing it. I am buying it, and I'll do with it what I damn well please.

    • Re:law enforcement (Score:5, Informative)

      by spire3661 (1038968) on Friday November 05, 2010 @02:23PM (#34139520) Journal
      MPEGLA would beg to differ. They can and DO dictate what is done with hardware after the sale. Even when the buying party has no formal contract with MPEGLA, they can restrict whatever you film with your equipment that you bought. Its wrong, it should be illegal, but so far they have been successful in cowing people.
      • by Mashiki (184564)

        It is illegal just about everywhere, except I think the US. And in Canada it's illegal, and we have tougher copy protection and creation rights than the US.

        • by DarthVain (724186)

          Ye another reason I am happy to live in Canada not the US.

          BTW I had to actually Google who the hell "MPEGLA" was, and upon going to their website, and reading their about page I am no sooner closer to understanding who they are or what they do. However just looking at their website made me feel dirty and used all over. Excuse me while I go take a bleach bath...

    • I can buy a Picasso and then burn it, but no one has to condone that course of action.
      • by DarthVain (724186)

        That's not the point.

        Can Picasso sue you or put you in jail for burning his painting after you paid him 10 million for it?

        Microsoft say yes you can. Which I disagree with. That is the point.

  • My recollection is that it was a 15-bit number with a single-bit used as a "mask" to outline the players in front of the camera. The early demos treated the 15-bit number as RGB, 5 bits per channel.
  • On What Grounds? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by keytoe (91531) on Friday November 05, 2010 @02:08PM (#34139330) Homepage

    On what grounds can Microsoft even begin to claim any sort of right to restrict reverse engineering this product?

    If they are hoping to invoke the DMCA for circumventing a content protection mechanism, I'd like to point out that these things are essentially a couple of cameras and a mic shoved in a plastic housing. Any content captured by these cameras is, in no uncertain terms, mine as it is me 'performing' in front of them.

  • by denobug (753200) on Friday November 05, 2010 @02:09PM (#34139346)

    On one hand, yes, it is a hardware. You are please to use it as you see fit.

    On the other hand, the key to Kinect is not the hardware components itself, rather it is the embedded code that brings everything together, process the data, and make the whole thing work. To that end they do have right to safeguard their code and software design to keep anyone from knowing exactly what they are doing, and how they are doing.

    So I think it is not wrong if someone figured it all out by themselves how to use those components or use Kinet in its entirety in other purpose besides connecting to XBox. But I would venture to guess that whoever attempts to extract the code internal to the device would be subject to legal action, and like it or not, Microsoft's litigation would be legitimate.

    • by wierd_w (1375923) on Friday November 05, 2010 @02:37PM (#34139782)

      While it might smack of 1984 paranoia, we ARE talking about a motion tracking camera, attached to a closed architecture and DMCA protected computing platform, equipped with broadband internet capabilities, communicating in a DMCA protected communication protocol.

      No matter how "OMFG! AWESOME!" this thing is, unless I know for sure what software is being run, I consider it an unsafe product for my privacy.

      Just imagine the "Fun", should Microsoft decide to roll out an update that causes the camera to 'passively' track and analyze images of logos it sees, so they can datamine their gaming public for "enhanced products and services", such as "Value added partnerships with partner companies" to offer "Special product offers" to said people? Suddenly, your XBOX becomes the equivilent of a secret shopper in your home, suggesting more Hostess, Dolly Madison, and Pepsi products.

      Doesnt matter if the resolution is really crappy, grainy, and the framerate is slow-- it only needs to focus on what the person is wearing/doing in front of the TV. Even surreptitiously snapping and sending jpegs of "logo candidates" to microsoft for bulk processing once a week would be of IMMENSE value to advertising fuckwads. (of course, microsoft would make 'every effort' to prevent personally identifiable information, like your face, and to avoid capturing images of naked users of the Kinect motion controller for privacy reasons, and then trumpet these as being 'good faith'-- but they would still happily capture the logos on your shirt and pants, on the can of pop/beer you are sipping, and what bag of deep fried somethings you are snacking on for their "advertising partners")

      But why stop there? This thing has several acoustic microphones too! Just IMAGINE the fun, should this device get co-opted by law enforcement! Why, they wouldnt NEED to "Mandate" cameras be installed in your house-- Why, they stupid sheeple would BUY IT, and INSTALL IT themselves! Just imagine the fun that the security theater types in Great Britain would have with this! The "Full monitor" mode could be activated based on "excessive motion", and or "Highly variable sound input matching XX baseline", and suddenly you are on candid camera while you spank your naughty child's butt. Better have a good explanation when child protective services shows up. (etc.)

      So, simply because I have had my "healthy" distrust of corporations and their use of technology turn into a pathological paranoia, I GREATLY desire to see the ENTIRE kinect data stack and software algorithm tree reverse engineered like a Diebold voting machine. The problem is that I have a hard time convincing myself that this one is paranoia.

      I want to know EVERYTHING this device does, how it does it, when, and why-- before I would even consider buying one.

      • by wierd_w (1375923)

        (sorry to reply to my own post, but I have to add--)

        The REALLY sad part about the potential for use by law enforcement, is that it is practically an eventuality before some "PROTECT THE CHILDREN!" types latch on to a case of domestic child abuse (Most definitely some really raunchy one) in which a Kinect motion controller was scanning the room, but DIDNT record what was going on-- and lobbying/sueing to have that functionality incorporated/activated, so that law enforcement CAN (and will) use it.

        For the chi

      • by sznupi (719324)

        Or you can just, you know, turn the device off instead of going overboard with paranoia. or even better - not buy it.

        • by wierd_w (1375923)

          I think that was the gist of my statement-- that I wont buy one until I know for sure--

          The issue I have here, is that many people will buy one without that consideration, and that in so doing, the expectation of privacy in the home will be greatly eroded.

    • by Thud457 (234763) on Friday November 05, 2010 @02:42PM (#34139844) Homepage Journal
      This kind of situation comes up all the time in the FOSS world.
      Is there some sort of guide on how to structure a reverse-engineering project to ensure it's done properly?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Reverse Engineering is fairly simple. It takes TWO teams completely separated and isolated from each other.

        Team one examines system, and describes all aspects (results) they can, without describing the mechanism for achieving those results.

        Team two takes the results and engineers a system that mimics all aspects described by team one.

        Whatever mechanisms team two creates to achieve are "reversed engineered". One cannot reverse engineer something that is patented, because the patent is supposed to describe t

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        Basically, if the end result is that you can copy something you couldn't copy before, it's probably illegal.

        Otherwise, go for it.

    • No you see, the Kinect Driver would be to access the data coming out of the Kinect hardware. It wouldn't be the Kinect software platform hijacked; it'd be something you plug into your kernel so when you plug in the hardware it exposes an API to userland to talk to the hardware. This is exactly NOT their code, because they didn't write it; they're threatening action against anyone who writes something that does the same thing their code does, not against anyone who copies their code.
    • I would venture to guess that whoever attempts to extract the code internal to the device would be subject to legal action, and like it or not, Microsoft's litigation would be legitimate.

      On what grounds? Copyright and/or DMCA? (probably not.) Trade secret? (definitely not) Contract? (maybe, if these things are only sold with a purchase agreement)

  • Funny, but I was just ranting to a friend about how MS seems to be dropping the fucking ball with Kinect driver support in XNA, too. A console lives or dies based on software titles, and they don't seem to be interested in letting developers write code for their brand new toy. I have asked people in the know who work at MS about timetables for an API or SDK for Kinect, but they give this bullshit line about not being able to discuss future releases (Yeah, like a release date for a Kinect dev kit is really g
  • I guess we should all consider ourselves fortunate to be enable to pay for the privilege of using their products. (Yeah right.) Either MS is truly delusional regarding their "Rights as Vendor" or somebody needs their bottom spanked over a poorly worded press release.
  • by Captain Spam (66120) on Friday November 05, 2010 @02:44PM (#34139874) Homepage

    Okay, I honestly forgot. Did Nintendo flip out when people started developing PC drivers for the Wii remote? I don't seem to recall them raising hell over someone making drivers for their controllers (and Nintendo WOULD be the ones to do so), but Microsoft is doing that for what is effectively a couple cameras?

    • by AndrewNeo (979708)

      PC drivers for the Wii remote? It's exposed as a HID device over Bluetooth, you don't even /need/ drivers. Nintendo literally used the simplest method possible.

  • Imagine this:

    Someone, after the technical details are discovered, builds a very small box and slips it inline between the Kinect and the XBox360 as a kind of bridge. It is used to intercept, record and transmit the video data somewhere.

    Now, this could become "home surveillance" or "a way to spy on your girlfriend" or "how to stalk your hot dream girl who happens to be a gamer but doesn't know you're alive." The possibilities are endless.

    In the end, Microsoft made a thing and tried to lock it down. Proble

  • MS, Sony or Apple products in my house and look at me weird when I tell them I run Linux Mint on my computers and not windows. You don't want me to do as I wish with the hardware I bought and now own, very well then you'd better be leasing it to me for 1/3 the price and you can have it after I'm finished with it.

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