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Operating Systems PlayStation (Games) Sony Games

Hacker Will Try To Restore Linux Support On PS3 468

Many readers have been sending in news of the impending PS3 firmware update that will remove the ability to install other operating systems on the console. (We discussed it here on Sunday.) Over the past few days, legions of PS3 owners have been voicing their anger at Sony's decision, upset that they'll be forced to either lose their custom install or forgo use of the PlayStation Network and be unable to play certain games and movies. Now, hacker George Hotz, known for his iPhone jailbreaks and his PS3 hack earlier this year, has vowed to fight back and restore Linux support on the PS3. He said, "The PlayStation 3 is the only product I know that loses features throughout its lifecycle. Software PS2 emulation, SACD playback, and OtherOS support are all just software switches you can flip. It's unbelievable you would go and flip one, not just on new boxes you are shipping, but on tens of millions already in the field."
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Hacker Will Try To Restore Linux Support On PS3

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  • Re:Its not just sony (Score:4, Informative)

    by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @06:36PM (#31678836)

    No such luck with Vista or Windows 7 thanks to the extra DRM and my non-hdcp monitor.

    That's funny. I watch Blu-Rays just fine on both my Vista and Windows 7 machines which only connect to my monitor via DVI. Or are you one of those idiots who actually uses crappy playback software like PowerDVD to play Blu-Rays?

  • by Bleek II ( 878455 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @06:37PM (#31678848)
    The first Gen PS3s had PS2 hardware in them so that wasn't just a software switch. Though la
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @06:41PM (#31678900)

    You're expecting good treatment from the company that put rootkits on its CDs?

    Since when did SCE put rootkits on CDs? Oh, you're talking about Sony Music which is a completely separate and distinct subsidiary which has absolutely zero ties to SCE.

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @06:50PM (#31679014)

    It's all Sony. If it's a "subsidiary", then there's no such thing as a "separate and distinct"; they're all under the same CEO.

    One of the main reasons Sony was so reluctant to support MP3s in its portable electronics was because its music division saw it as supporting piracy.

  • The so-called "software emulation" was only for the Emotion Engine chip (ps2's CPU). It still required the Graphics Synthesizer chip (video), which was never software-emulated, and is missing in newer PS3s.

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @06:54PM (#31679070)

    It's all Sony. If it's a "subsidiary", then there's no such thing as a "separate and distinct"; they're all under the same CEO.

    No, actually SCE has it's own CEO, Kazuo Hirai. Sony Music has it's own chairman and there is another chairman and CEO of Sony Corporation. You also seem to be profoundly ignorant about how conglomerates are run. They are basically made up of mostly autonomous units.

  • Re:Its not just sony (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @06:56PM (#31679090)

    n that case your monitor must either support HDCP,


    or your not running at full 1080p


    or you've got something like AnyDVD HD installed.


  • by CrashandDie ( 1114135 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:25PM (#31679450)
    Wait, wut [wikipedia.org]? Did I get that wrong [wikipedia.org]?

    Major [google.com] corporations [bmweducation.co.uk] don't [google.com] play [google.com] April's [google.com] fools [google.com]? Seriously [google.com]? Not [google.com.au] even [google.com] a [bmweducation.co.uk] little [blogspot.com] bit [blogspot.com]?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:53PM (#31679842)

    He doesn't want to restore linux. It's all about enabling "homebrew". Which means "backing up my games". Which means "pirating games".

    PS3 linux is shit. Most people haven't tried it, including most people here. But god help you if Sony stops supporting the least useful portion of the PS3, which also happened to be a security hole.

    Why wasn't there this much nerd rage when they announced there was no "other OS" on the slim?

    Why? Because if you didn't want to buy the PS3 without the OtherOS, you could simply choose not to buy it. In this case, people who already have it, will have it deleted and disabled

  • Re:Its not just sony (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:00PM (#31679910)

    or you've got something like AnyDVD HD installed.


    Which makes this entire sub-thread just another internet penis measuring contest.

    The only reason you can run AnyDVD is because Slysoft found a loophole in the DMCA and moved to a country that will let them exploit it.
    It certainly isn't because of MS that you can watch BDs on vista - it is, in fact, in spite of them. Kinda like the way this hacker wants to re-enable linux on the PS3 in spite of Sony's efforts to the contrary.

  • by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:38PM (#31680492)

    XBox 360 lost the subscription feature for demos with the NXE. It also will lose online play for Xbox games when Live for original Xbox in two weeks.

    I can't think of any older consoles that lost features with software updates, although many lost features in new versions, most notably progressive component out removed from Gamecube.

  • Letter to Sony (Score:3, Informative)

    by Vanderhoth ( 1582661 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:49PM (#31680626)

    For anyone who's interested I wrote a letter to Sony Customer Support about this. Here is the letter I received as a response. Names were removed

    Discussion Thread
    Response (xxxxxxxxxxxx) 03/30/2010 04:38 PM
    Hello xxxxxxx,

    Thank you for writing us with your concerns for the upcoming firmware release and it's features.

    The Playstation®User agreement states that we may update the system which may change the operating system.

    From time to time, it may become necessary for SCEA to provide certain content to you to ensure that PlayStation(R)Network and content offered through Playstation®Network, your PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system or other SCEA-authorized hardware is functioning properly in accordance with SCEA guidelines. Some content may be provided automatically without notice when you sign into Playstation®Network. Such content may include automatic updates or upgrades which may change your current operating system, cause a loss of data or content or cause a loss of functionalities or utilities. Such upgrades or updates may be provided for system software for your PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, or other SCEA-authorized hardware. Access or use to any system software is subject to terms and conditions of a separate end user license agreement found at http://www.us.playstation.com/termsofuse [playstation.com]. You authorize SCEA to provide such content and agree that SCEA shall not be liable for any damages arising from provision of such content or maintenance services. It is recommended that you regularly back up any data located on the hard disk that is of a type that can be backed up.

    If you'd like to read the full user agreement, you may do so at the link below:

    Article Title: Terms of Use and User Agreement
    Article Link: http://playstation.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1109 [custhelp.com]


  • by Aphoxema ( 1088507 ) * on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @09:36PM (#31681160) Homepage Journal

    This whole thing would have been less surreal and controversial if instead of saying "3.21 means no more OtherOS Just Because." they had "Here's this feature the community has been absolutely begging for, and this one, and this one, and this one... oh, by the way, it'll probably disable OtherOS so plan around that."

    What they have done is effectively make pre-3.21 fat PS3s high-value items for the people interested in homebrew, backups and "backups". Eventually they'll be cracked, and they'll have cracked firmwares installed on them that will provide all the official features plus the useful things that Sony apparently skipped on doing all this time to release this potentially crippling update.

    Oh, and this all assumes that the OtherOS option will even be necessary to mod the system.

  • PS3 Cluster (Score:5, Informative)

    by J05H ( 5625 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @09:50PM (#31681354) Homepage

    As a member of the PS3Cluster team I would like to say that Sony's cutting off of 3rd party OSes from their platform is going to impact the Air Force, UMass Dartmouth and other organizations using PS3 hardware as massively parallel clusters for scientific computing. This goes far beyond the home-brew market.

    We've been covered here before:

  • Re:First DUH!! (Score:3, Informative)

    by CronoCloud ( 590650 ) <cronocloudauron@NOSpAm.gmail.com> on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @10:18PM (#31681648)

    You're thinking of the EU PS2 version of YaBasic, not Linux on the PS2 or PS3 which came after the special EU tarriff was eliminated.

  • Re:Heh (Score:2, Informative)

    by exomondo ( 1725132 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @10:42PM (#31681908)

    The amount of different organizations buying ps3 for research is staggering. So don't think this won't effect their bottom line. US Army buys them in bulk lots of 1000-2000 at a time.

    And how many games - you know the place where the console maker makes money - are they buying? I don't know how much they are losing now (if any) but on the phat PS3s (the ones that support linux) sony were losing a significant amount on each console sold. So all these research firms using the PS3 cost Sony a shitload of money.

  • by scribblej ( 195445 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @12:12AM (#31682734)

    OK, so we have an ancient BBC thing, Taco Bell, Two BMW ads, and the rest are all google? Seriously, not much of a counterpoint.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @01:41AM (#31683334)

    Huh? They started emulating the GS when they added software upscaling as of firmware 1.8 which was like 3 years ago. I'm not sure what they're left requiring special hardware for, but there's no technical reason that current PS3s can't do backwards compatibility.

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Informative)

    by shaitand ( 626655 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:57AM (#31684570) Journal

    I used to work for Sony Electronics, or rather Sony Customer Information Service Center, a subsidiary of Sony Electronics, which in turn is (or was, they could have restructured) a subsidiary of Sony America, which was in turn a subsidiary of the Sony Corporation.

    The divisions do indeed have their own executives but at the end of the day those lines were drawn for legal and tax reasons. The CISC most definitely did what it was told by Sony Electronics and Sony Electronics heeds the concerns of Sony Pictures and Sony Music on its gadgets when Sony America tells them to.

    In fact, if there were no Sony Pictures or Sony Music, Sony Electronics would give DRM and copy protection mechanisms the finger since it would without question improve sales... At least that's what the CEO told me once at lunch.

    By the way, the CEO's of these major branches are typically trusted individuals from the home corp in Japan.

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard