Sony and PlayStation 3 jailbreaker George Hotz settle out of court

SONY vs Geohotz

After a short but rather storied history, infamous PlayStation 3 jailbreaker George “GeoHot” Hotz and Sony Computer Entertainment of America have settled their legal dispute, with a statement on the PlayStation Blog stating the two parties “reached an agreement in principle” around 10 days ago. According to said agreement, Hotz has “consented to a permanent injunction,” meaning he super swears he won’t do it again (legally speaking, of course), though no other terms are given. We were told by an SCEA rep that the terms of the settlement (beyond what was disclosed) are confidential.

Unsurprisingly, both Hotz’ legal team and Sony’s were excited to resolve the legal dispute so quickly. “It was never my intention to cause any users trouble or to make piracy easier. I’m happy to have the litigation behind me,” Hotz said in the announcement.

Previously, Hotz had strict terms for a potential settlement. “Let’s just say, I want the settlement terms to include OtherOS on all PS3s and an apology on the PlayStation blog for ever removing it,” Hotz wrote on his website during the trial. “It’d be good PR for Sony too, lord knows they could use it,” he continued. “I’m also willing to accept a trade, a legit path to homebrew for knowledge of how to stop new firmwares from being decrypted.” Apparently the case spooked Hotz enough to reconsider.

The settlement announcement also absolves Hotz of any potential wrongdoing associated with recent PlayStation Network attacks. “Hotz was not involved in the recent attacks on Sony’s internet services and websites,” the statement reads.

To fully drive the point of the blog post home, SCEA general counsel Riley Russell said of Hotz, “We appreciate Mr. Hotz’s willingness to address the legal issues involved in this case and work with us to quickly bring this matter to an early resolution.”

For his part, Hotz announced via his blog this morning that he is “joining the Sony boycott,” and that he “will never purchase another Sony product.” It could be that he’s mad after the legal case … or it could just be that he’s broke.

After a short but rather storied history, infamous PlayStation 3 jailbreaker George “GeoHot” Hotz and Sony Computer Entertainment of America have settled their legal dispute, with a statement on the PlayStation Blog stating the two parties “reached an agreement in principle” around 10 days ago. According to said agreement, Hotz has “consented to a permanent injunction,” meaning he super swears he won’t do it again (legally speaking, of course), though no other terms are given. We were told by an SCEA rep that the terms of the settlement (beyond what was disclosed) are confidential.

Unsurprisingly, both Hotz’ legal team and Sony’s were excited to resolve the legal dispute so quickly. “It was never my intention to cause any users trouble or to make piracy easier. I’m happy to have the litigation behind me,” Hotz said in the announcement.

Previously, Hotz had strict terms for a potential settlement. “Let’s just say, I want the settlement terms to include OtherOS on all PS3s and an apology on the PlayStation blog for ever removing it,” Hotz wrote on his website during the trial. “It’d be good PR for Sony too, lord knows they could use it,” he continued. “I’m also willing to accept a trade, a legit path to homebrew for knowledge of how to stop new firmwares from being decrypted.” Apparently the case spooked Hotz enough to reconsider.

The settlement announcement also absolves Hotz of any potential wrongdoing associated with recent PlayStation Network attacks. “Hotz was not involved in the recent attacks on Sony’s internet services and websites,” the statement reads.

To fully drive the point of the blog post home, SCEA general counsel Riley Russell said of Hotz, “We appreciate Mr. Hotz’s willingness to address the legal issues involved in this case and work with us to quickly bring this matter to an early resolution.”

For his part, Hotz announced via his blog this morning that he is “joining the Sony boycott,” and that he “will never purchase another Sony product.” It could be that he’s mad after the legal case … or it could just be that he’s broke.

yeah.. its nice to hear that finally this comes to an end. just put back the OtherOS and most of us would be happy to comply with Sony’s rule. don’t charge us unnecessarily though.. let’s hope everything goes well onwards. article from Joystiq.

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Sony Claims PlayStation 3 Hacker Sabotaged Hard Drive, Skipped Town

George Hotz

Sony is accusing alleged PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz of surrendering two “nonfunctional” hard drives in violation of a court order, and then taking off to South America.

But Hotz’s lawyer said Wednesday that Sony is “crying alligator tears” over the issue.

Sony is suing the 21-year-old Glen Rock, New Jersey, man on charges he violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by publishing an encryption key and software tools in January that allow PlayStation 3 owners to gain complete control of their consoles. As part of the litigation, a San Francisco federal magistrate ordered Hotz to surrender his hard drives to Sony, so files connected to the hack can be extracted and used as evidence in the case.

But Sony notified the judge that, when it got the drives from Hotz, they were no longer working. “Hotz had removed integral components from his impounded hard drives, rendering them completely non-functional.” (.pdf), the company claimed in a filing.

Stewart Kellar, Hotz’s attorney, said the issue is overblown.

“They didn’t have the controller card attached. That’s it,” Kellar said in a telephone interview Wednesday from his San Francisco office.

He said that Hotz has since turned over the cards, solving the problem.

Sony did not respond for comment.

Hotz, who is also well-known in iPhone hacking circles, so far is fighting the case on jurisdictional grounds, and maintains he should be sued in New Jersey instead of California.

As part of that battle, Sony claimed that it uncovered evidence that Hotz maintained an account on Sony’s PlayStation Network, which is based in Northern California. Hotz had denied holding a PSN account.

In its filing, Sony also pointed out that Hotz has left the country.

“Hotz conveniently traveled to South America in the midst of jurisdictional discovery, including his court-ordered deposition,” Sony said.

“I don’t want to comment on that stuff,” Kellar said. “He has done nothing to make himself unavailable.”

Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero has signed off on Sony subpoenas (.pdf) to Twitter, YouTube, Google and PayPal as part of the console-maker’s scorched-earth litigation tactics to win an unspecified amount of monetary damages from Hotz. Spero has also granted Sony the right to acquire the internet IP addresses of anybody who has visited Hotz’s website from January 2009 to the present.

SoftLayer Technologies, which counts psx-scene.com among its hosted sites, is objecting to a records demand seeking server logs and other information related to Hotz’s account on the online PlayStation forum.

The DMCA prohibits the trafficking of so-called “circumvention devices” designed to crack copy-protection schemes. Hotz’s hack provides PlayStation 3 owners the ability to run pirated and home-brewed software or alternative operating systems like Linux. Performing a similar hack on a mobile phone is not unlawful.

funny story though.. sony should’ve been well versed on this electronics stuff. don’t they have experts on HDD? if its not functional as said prove it with technical evidence then.. i still don’t see the benefit of Sony doing this. just ensure your console is good enough and make us users stick with the original instead of jailbreaking it. i must say that a portion of us only wants otherOS. i myself haven’t update it to the latest firmware just so that i can enjoy otherOS. and nope i’ve not jailbreak my PS3. i don’t see the needs yet. hmm.. article from Wired.

PlayStation 3 code signing cracked

Dongle-less jailbreaking

Hardware hackers claim to have uncovered the private key used by Sony to authorise code to run on PlayStation 3 systems.

The hackers uncovered the hack in order to run Linux or PS3 consoles, irrespective of the version of firmware the games console was running. By knowing the private key used by Sony the hackers are able to sign code so that a console can boot directly into Linux. Previous approaches to running the open source OS on a games console were firmware specific and involved messing around with USB sticks.

The same code signing technique might also be used to run pirated or counterfeit games on a console. That isn’t the intention of the hackers even though it might turn out to be the main practical effect of the hack.

The group, fail0verflow, who also run the Wii’s Homebrew Channel, gave more information about the crack and a demo during the annual Chaos Communication Conference hacker congress in Berlin. Sony’s weak implementation of cryptography was exploited by fail0verflow to pull off the hack, as explained in a video on enthusiast site PSGroove. More discussion on the console jailbreaking hack can be found on a PlayStation forum.

lalalalala… seems like the hackers are getting the otheros back on PS3. good job guys. im still waiting and have yet to update my PS3 since otheros was removed from the console. article from The Register.

syafeerul: My 2010 (June-Dec) Game Review

Demon's Souls

Demon’s Souls
Genre: RPG
Gameplay: pure RPG, hit and slash. create a character and develop from time to time to become the best demon slayer. u need to be good with button smashing with this game.
Graphics: old. not as good as i expected.
Worthiness: i must say this depends. if you’re into rpg, this might be very good. im not into pure rpg like this and its tough as hell.
Rating: 1/5
Why not 5?
haha.. have u ever read any reviews on this game? its always like 8 or 9 out of 10. amazingly high for such a game. somehow it was pretty bad for me. the graphic was way below my expectation. the gameplay was seriously tough. if im someone who have like 24-hours for gaming, perhaps i might enjoy this. but im a casual gamer. at times i might need some difficulties in playing but this is simply for the hard-core. bad game for me..  sorry.

Assassin's Creed II

Assassin’s Creed II
Genre: RPG
Gameplay: impressive upgrade from the previous AC. the gameplay was superb. this time we play as Ezio Auditore, descendant of Altair. there’s so much you can do in this game. we can play it high profile or perhaps quieter on certain situations. the word is open for you to play. haven’t really complete the game although the main mission is already done. there’s still templars and feathers to collect. impressive sequel to the previous game.
Graphics: awesome. if AC was excellent, this is even more.
Worthiness: 100% worth buying no doubt.
Rating: 5/5
Why not 5?
its 5..

Modern Warfare 2

Modern Warfare 2
Genre: FPS
Gameplay: strategy shooting. the storyline was awesome. the control was nice and smooth. sound was superb all over.
Graphics: impressive graphics. detailed enough.
Worthiness: worth buying as its very good for online gaming.
Rating: 4/5
Why not 5?
its offline was quite short. despite having such impressive storyline yet it was too short. the online was impressive.

each game was given a rating. that was my rating from my own point of view. i played the game and i judge how i felt about them.

5: best game i’ve played. i’m totally satisfied with gameplay, graphics, in-game control and cut-scenes.
4: a nice game but lacks at least one of the quality mentioned above.
3: considerable game but too much flaw on either of the qualities or maybe lacking at least 2 of that.
2: quite ok game but not up to my expectation in many ways.
1: regret buying the game as it lacks so much of my expectation.

two games completed in the run of 6 months. not bad i guess. the other was dump quarter-way. MW2 and AC2 was awesome buy. DS was too hard for me. then i decided to let it go. so now im left with GT5P which is yet to complete. and i’ve purchased NFS: Shift. GT5P might need few more races before i completely finish it. Shift is already half-way. both game have been impressive so far. with my G25 already in action with a new table setup which is more stable and firm.

my Xbox 360 is now back in action. Microsoft sent out the unban update to all hdd banned earlier. so now im back with gaming on that console. any new games completed? none.. still playing the FIFA11 now. perhaps next 6 months i’ll update on this.

next on my wishlist:

  1. Gran Tourismo 5
  2. Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
  3. Call of Duty: Black Ops

syafeerul: Gran Turismo 5

Officially Official: Gran Turismo 5 on sale Nov. 24 in U.S.

Gran Turismo 5 fans, it’s time to rejoice! On the U.S. Playstation blog, the manger of the public relations team has posted a North American on sale date of Wednesday, November 24. Fingers crossed that this doesn’t get pushed back yet again! We have a feeling this date is going to stick, though, because Kazunori Yamauchi, the President of Polyphony Digital Inc. has added this statement:

“Gran Turismo 5 is an ambitious project, with challenges and complexities which have made it our version of the Apollo Space Program! When we created the original Gran Turismo back in 1997, we wanted to set a completely new precedent for the racing genre.

With the technological leap onto PlayStation 3, our objective with Gran Turismo 5 was to create another great revolution which would not only satisfy our own high expectations, but would meet or even exceed the anticipation of the fans.

Satisfying the loyal Gran Turismo followers is at the heart of all of our efforts, which is why it was such a difficult decision to delay the release of the game, and one which we did not take lightly.

I can only apologize to everyone for making you wait so long, and I hope that when you try out the wealth of driving experiences available in Gran Turismo 5, you will not be disappointed.”

He wasn’t kidding when he says GT5 offers a “wealth of driving experiences.” Even though it’s still two weeks away, we can’t decide if we want to hit the WRC courses or the street courses first. Regardless, our Thanksgiving celebrations just got rearranged. Top tip, Martin!

its a late announcement yet i still want to post this. hm.. its out there already. here in malaysia the launch date was Dec. 3rd. this was the main purpose of me buying the PS3. i guess now is the time. but still after two weeks the game launched, i have not made the purchase yet. waiting for the best price. still considering either to grab the R1 collector’s edition with the keychain fob, and the GTR or the R3 limited edition with sls amg or just get the normal edition which should cost much cheaper. still thinking. perhaps a month would be nice before i decide on anything. soon enough.. anyone wanna give me this as a gift? i’ll act surprise i promise.. 🙂

article from Autoblog.

System Update Re-Enables Hard Drives on Banned Xbox 360 Consoles

A few months ago, Microsoft had disabled hard drive functionality on banned Xbox 360 consoles and corrupted its data (profiles, savegames, achievements) through an Xbox 360 system update. Now, it seems that Microsoft has finally realized that move was both inappropriate and illegal. We have just confirmed that April’s Xbox 360 system update re-enables hard drive functionality on banned Xbox 360 consoles.

To restore your Xbox 360 hard drive functionality without losing your data, just follow the steps below:

  1. Download Xbox 360 April 2010 System Update.
  2. Extract it to a root directory of an empty USB flash drive (FAT32) or burn it onto an optical media device (CD/DVD).
  3. Place the USB flash drive/optical media in the Xbox 360.
  4. Power cycle the Xbox 360.
  5. The update program will start automatically. Select Yes, update now and press A.
  6. Wait for the update to complete.
  7. When the console reboots, you’re done.

Update: It appears that avatars were missing in original update. We have updated the system update link above and included the proper one. If your avatars are missing, just re-download and re-apply the update above.

seriously?? i was browsing on how to make use of my half-dead x360. was planning to re-enable it with some mods but found this. such great news. still downloading the update now. will put it on my x360 right away and will test it very soon. let’s hope this works… please view this at NGOHQ.com.

Latest Sony PlayStation 3 Firmware Blocks PSJailbreak?

Never mind court injunctions that block sales of a hardware-based PS3 hack designed to let users play pirated games, Sony may already be running interference at the source.

The latest firmware update for the PS3 reportedly knocks the infamous PSJailbreak out of commission, or so users claim. That hack, which uses a USB dongle to “trick” the PS3, allows users to play pirated as well as homemade games on the system. Its creators had also claimed it was capable of shrugging off Sony’s “mandatory” firmware updates. Though the new firmware update isn’t technically mandatory–you have to manually accept and install it–ignoring it cripples your ability to access Sony’s PlayStation Network.

The update, which went live yesterday, was barely mentioned on Sony’s PlayStation blog.

“Hi everyone! A minor update to your PS3 system is now available via system software update v3.42 that includes additional security features,” wrote Sony director of hardware marketing John Koller. And that’s about it.

What’s it actually for? Sony’s isn’t saying. Code that blocks PSJailbreak? That recognizes the device and bricks your system? That, and perhaps only that? No one’s certain, but reactions in the comments section of Sony’s PlayStation blog were predictably ambivalent.

“Thanks but no thanks, Sony,” wrote one user, adding “I perfer [sic] Custom Firmware/Jailbreak.”

“Great update…[w]e all know why people were wishing this update wouldn’t happen, and homebrew isn’t it,” countered another. “Homebrew clearly isnt [sic] all that useful if the most wanted psp features still arent [sic] available via homebrew.”

The preliminary hundred-plus comments were mixed, with several simply decrying the need for more frequent system updates.

“You’re going to lose customers this way,” wrote an obviously frustrated user. “This better not turn into the PSP with 5 updates only being for homebrew protection. You will never get ahead of the homebrew community. It’s been proven with everything.”

Another bemoaned the apparent pointlessness of the update: “Come on…useless updates are really annoying, you could at least give us people who dont [sic] mess with our consoles something good in the update.”

“[T]he jailbreak is not gone, geniuses…people who don’t update can still use it,” wrote a third user, convinced the update missed the point. “[B]tw, that hack hasn’t been used in online games so stop blaming them…blame your crappy noobish skills.”

At least one person claimed the update “fixed” the PS3’s internet browser, noting the “font now seems bold and easier to read while browsing.”

The problem with verifying? I don’t use the PS3’s browser enough to say, and Sony isn’t talking.

And wherever you stand on the legitimacy of something like PSJailbreak, it really ought to be.

another firmware update to block the so called piracy.. guess sony won’t stop.. here’s the best comment i’ve read:

nilum says:

If all people were using it for was homebrew then I am sure Sony would not minds. However we all know the majority will use it for illegal purposes of playing pirated games.

I don’t agree with this view.

First, Sony screwed themselves over by removing Linux. Notice that the PS3 scene was fairly silent until this happened. Mainly because the good hackers were content with being able to run code on their PS3 (albeit limited from low-level hardware access). You can argue whether Geohot had anything to do with it, but remember the PS3 Slim came out before Geohot joined the PS3 scene. Also, it’s only speculation so far as to whether or not the PSJailbreak devs used Geohot’s methods for hacking the PS3.

Piracy for games is overblown. For most people it’s too complicated and they won’t bother with it. Also, many people use backups for legitimate purposes. Some people use USBLoaders so they can have a Jukebox like experience or backup games specifically so they can keep the original copy unscratched. Another reason, which I consider to be legitimate, is the ability to try before you buy. DMCA laws are as such that it is very hard to return a game or movie. If you didn’t like it, well you’re stuck with it. Unless, you are exchanging for the same exact product, most stores will not allow you to return a game. Many people use piracy as a way to see if they like a game, and if they do they will go out and buy the game to support the developer. If you’ve ever downloaded a torrent or a rar from a newsgroup, you will see that the community is adamant about supporting developers of good games.

So who is pirating?

Poor people who would not be able to afford the game otherwise.

People who download a game to try it, with the intention of buying it if they like it, but otherwise will not purchase the game. Thus if they don’t buy it they are probably never playing the game again, and they probably would not have bought the game in the first place. And, they would have been stuck with it had they bought the game and then disliked it.

People who are using backups for legitimate purposes, who own an original copy.

The only people who hurt companies by pirating are rich kids who pirate. They enjoy the game, they have money to buy it, and don’t own an original copy. But even they make up a small minority.

It’s funny to see the BS numbers that the IP industry come up with for losses due to piracy. Apparently they believe that every download is equal to one lossed purchase. How many times has someone downloaded the same game more than once because their old copy got corrupt? How many of those people downloading the game would have bought it otherwise? How many of those people downloading it bought the game, but it got scratched and they don’t feel like repurchasing? How many of those people already own a game, but they want to keep it sealed in the original packaging for collecting? How many of these people live in an area where the game won’t be released, or an area where their release was censored?

When these industries claim billions of dollars in losses it’s no wonder why investors lose confidence. They spend money unnecessarily for piracy prevention which does them no good in the end. And every year they claim that piracy is driving them bankrupt because of their faulty logic when determining losses.

If the industry would just acknowledge that it’s just a small percentage of people actually stealing and spend less time on piracy prevention and more time on features that hackers usually have to bring to the table, then you would see the industry doing much better.

sony would never be able to catch up with piracy stuff. one day u do this the next day others overcome u. its just technology. it evolves every second. so stop trying and perhaps make more online gaming way better so that people would want to enjoy more from online gaming. im still disappointed when sony removed otheros functionality. i’ve been using it ever since i bought my ps3. up until now i have not update my ps3 to the latest firmware just to make sure i can still use my linux. now i can either update my firmware and loose my linux or keep my firmware and find out the jailbreaking stuff. perhaps that would let me play those pirate games.. oh please sony.. do us a favor will u. let us use the linux.. huh..

article from PC World.