Feeds

back to article Xbox 180: Microsoft scraps mandatory Kinect policy

In the wake of the NSA spying revelations, Microsoft has said gamers will no longer need to have an all-seeing, always-online eye and ear attached to their Xbox. Another day brings another reversal in Microsoft's summer of U-turns, and this time its the backtracking of Kinect being attached all the time. Microsoft's Xbox Live …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Gold badge

For once, Microsoft actually does the right thing.

Horsemen. I hear horsemen...

5
0
Bronze badge

Re: For once, Microsoft actually does the right thing.

Microsoft doesn't do the right thing...they tolerate it.

19
0

Re: For once, Microsoft actually does the right thing.

I think I remember your name from Usenet.

0
0
Bronze badge
Devil

Re: For once, Microsoft actually does the right thing.

By horsemen do you mean RIngwraiths?

logo - for Xbox One

1
0
Silver badge
Windows

@Trevor

I think it's more likely that they're being forced to do the right thing instead. If they don't comply to the gamers wishes then they can look at yet another major loss in sales, and something tells me that Microsoft is slowly reaching a point where they can't afford losses like that any longer.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: @Trevor

"can't afford losses like that any longer."

on top of their recent record revenues you mean?

0
1
Silver badge

Re: @Trevor

on top of their recent record revenues you mean?

Yes my dear MS shill, but you forget that revenue isn't profit. And in that sense, profit is falling. It seems they're finally getting hit by all that Fisher Price OS kit that isn't selling? It's bound to get worse when the XBoxOne tanks as well. I doubt their 180's are good enough to bring gamers back.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: @Trevor

"And in that sense, profit is falling"

No it isn't: "The company reported net income of $4.97 billion compared with a loss of $492 million in the same period a year ago"

0
0

"You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings,"

It's amazing how I STILL don't trust them.

I was paranoid before, but now the NSA thing has hit I'd consider burying it in concrete *just in case*.

24
1

Re: "You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings,"

Yes, nothing says "offline" like a wirecutter.

...or a pulled plug, due to investment protectional reasons.

13
0
Bronze badge

Re: "You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings,"

HERE HERE!! Have an Up vote!!

1
0
Silver badge

Re: "You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings,"

Or the best selling XBox One accessory would possibly end up being a little bit of cloth to elegantly drape over the Kinect camera when you're not actively using it?

4
0
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: "You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings,"

Would that be enough to kill the Infrared Sensors? The Video CCD sure. But its the Heartbeat ~sensing~ IR that kinda pushed the line on it for me...

1
0
Silver badge

Re: " cloth to elegantly drape over the Kinect camera"

...which won't disable the 'sensitive microphone array' built into Kinect.

Arguably audio surveillance would be more worrying than grabbing video. Depending on exactly how sensitive that array is it could cover much more than the camera sees and it's more likely to disclose genuinely worrying stuff - your bank passwords, security question or details for example. Block video and no embarrassing YouTube posts, audio is where you're life will be fscked over for identity theft or blanket state spying.

The original XBone plan definitely left the microphone array permanently enabled...

6
0
Silver badge

Re: "You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings,"

You need a plastic shield.

Cameras can see through cloth. Put you phone on record in your shirt pocket if you don't believe me.

*puts head in hands * Now try it with the camera facing outwards.

The heat sensors can be stopped by a sheet of plastic or glass. You can only see heat through a window if its glowing hot.

First manufacturer to make a nice moulded clip on cover? Maybe a bit of padding to dampen the mic too.

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: " cloth to elegantly drape over the Kinect camera"

>Arguably audio surveillance would be more worrying than grabbing video.

If you're interesting enough to surveil in such detail, they can just use a laser mic on your window from orbit.

> audio is where you're life will be fscked over for identity theft or blanket state spying

Much easy ways to steal your identity and blanket spying is just about mapping points of contact.

0
1
IT Angle

Re: "You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings,"

No, a switch that sits between the Kinect and Xbox so you can easy connect/dis-connect the Kinect without having to dig around the back of the console.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: "You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings,"

How about you just pull the plug on it when it's not in use? Does anyone switch things off these days? I often go out walking in the early hours ( lose some weight and ponder those coding problems you never get time to mull over during the working day ) and I often see TVs left on in living rooms at 3am that no one is watching, PCs, lights, etc all left blazing away.

Wasting leccy and a big fire risk. The fridge and the landline charger stays on at night, everything else is killed off in our house!

0
0
Bronze badge
Happy

Nothing says "offline" like a wirecutter.

Love. It.

Can I use it (for non-commercial use, of course...)?

1
0
Silver badge
Flame

Re: " cloth to elegantly drape over the Kinect camera" (@AC 13th August 2013 13:33 GMT )

"If you're interesting enough to surveil in such detail, they can just use a laser mic on your window from orbit."

You probably won't believe this :^), but there exist several funny technologies out there, like computerized voice recognition, relational databases and syntactic networks.

Every fucking body is 'interesting' to 'Them'.

And even when I know there's no way I can totally protect myself from snooping, I'll do my best to at least make the process slow and expensive for the spooks. If everybody did the same, the spooks could either select only the really interesting targets -e.g. real criminals, terrorists and spies- or they'll go bankrupt. Both outcomes would suit me, though I would prefer the first one.

0
0
Silver badge
Windows

If they do

"How about you just pull the plug on it when it's not in use?"

How about I don't buy an XBox? Works for me.

1
0
Silver badge

I can just see the impending disaster with this. You have a console that it (well was) always on and a mandatory camera. There is the potential there for a hack and remote video \ picture taking. It's only a matter of time right?

7
1
Silver badge
Big Brother

Why hack when the NSA and Microsoft can supply it as a built-in and pre-installed feature?

4
0
Silver badge
Coat

Let the conspiracies begin

What proves the camera is really turned off when you turn it off in the settings, eh? There should be a little red light which turns on when the camera is on!!1!

4
0
Bronze badge
Pirate

Re: Let the conspiracies begin

And what makes you think turning the camera off won't simply turn off the little red light :)

10
0
Bronze badge
Terminator

Re: Let the conspiracies begin

Yeah cause that's a cold comfort. If you "think" its safe to trust a "Little Red Light"... Then why is it NOT safe... in turn to trust MicroSoft? When they "told you" that we're not monitoring you HONEST!

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Let the conspiracies begin

How do all you guys disable the microphones and cameras in you phones and tablet devices?

4
1

Re: Let the conspiracies begin

Oh look, a rabbithole!

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Let the conspiracies begin

I predict a huge resurgence of interest in the GameBoy.

0
0
Silver badge

Meh

I'll believe it when you can buy an Xbox one *without* a kinect included.

Otherwise, they can always 180 again, can't they?

15
2
A J

Re: Meh

Yeah, they need to offer a bundle without Kinect and with a much lower price. Then they might actually have a desirable product.

6
1

Re: Meh

yep i agree, dont want kinect so why should i pay extra for it

1
1

Off Switch ????

or just unplug from the wall

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Off Switch ????

Not if you want to keep playing the xBox. No Eye of Sauron connected, no playing your games.

2
1

Re: Off Switch ????

Unless the game is a Kinect came, you won't need to have the Kinect connected. But, who wants to dig around the back side of their console all the time?

0
0
Bronze badge
Holmes

This sorta reminds me of..

... when politicians want to raise taxes by 5% - they announce a 20% increase before allowing the persuasive arguments to convice them that a lower tax increase is more appropriate. Then the gullible punters are happy that it's only a 5% increase.

MS announces the 'phone home one a day' policy, the always spying kinnetic, and the 'no reselling of old games', only to allow themselves to be persuaded to back down on all three. So what's the "tax increase" MS is trying to get past the punters?

13
1
Silver badge
Happy

Re: This sorta reminds me of..

As it stands right now, with all the negative press, I'd say they'd just be happy if people buy them. They'll have sneaked one past you just by selling you one.

5
0
Bronze badge

Re: This sorta reminds me of..

Or when a developer announces plans for a 20 story tower block, so they can get away with a 10 story block, 6 stories higher than the usual height it the area.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Fixed that for them ..

"You have the ability to completely turn We let you think you have turned the sensor off in your settings," Whitten says."

We need a new 'panopticon' icon for this sort of thing ..

6
1
Big Brother

George Orwell - Future historian and prognosticator

“Big Brother is Watching You.”

― George Orwell, 1984

====================================

“Winston Smith: Does Big Brother exist?

O'Brien: Of course he exists.

Winston Smith: Does he exist like you or me?

O'Brien: You do not exist.”

― George Orwell, 1984

====================================

“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”

― George Orwell, 1984

====================================

In other words people, don't assume that what is said will be the truth.

"The cake is a lie". (Portal)

12
3
Bronze badge
Black Helicopters

Re: George Orwell - Future historian and prognosticator

This was a triumph.

I’m making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS.

It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction.

Microsoft.

We do what we must

Because we can.

1
0
Silver badge
Joke

Re: George Orwell - Future historian and prognosticator

So I've seen the future, and it is GLaDOS using a Kinect to stamp on a human face, forever.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Too late for me

As a long time Xbox user I have decided on the PS4, the Xbox One strategy was clearly designed by the money men without considering what gamers really wanted. I bet there are loads of Xbox developers inside Microsoft seething at how what is essentially a great device has been dragged through the mud by the money men only to have them to u-turn when they realised people were jumping ship to the PS4.

You can only squeeze your customers so much and they will get fed up with it and walk, especially if there are viable alternatives.

17
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Too late for me

Ditto for 90% of the Xbox fans I know. They all have their PS4 pre-orders in place. Better specs, more desirable exclusives, better hardware, less money, less recurring spend.

The Xbone is being refocused as a DVR that can also play games, and you know everyone outside the US will be a 2nd class citizen as far as Microsoft will be concerned when it comes to the media services. They will also be ripped off left right and centre with adverts and double-dip subscriptions.

Deep down, Xbox360 owners knew they were getting a raw deal when they saw what Playstation Plus was offering for the same money, they kept quiet and sucked it up, but now it's time for a change...

7
3
Anonymous Coward

Re: Too late for me

"Deep down, Xbox360 owners knew they were getting a raw deal"

Disagree with that statement, cheaper initial cost on Xbox 360 then pay for subscription until the novelty wears off (and it worked).

DVR, 2nd class citizen, adverts however I agree with!

1
1

Re: Too late for me

"Xbox One strategy was clearly designed by the money men without considering what gamers really wanted."

That also sounds like the Windows 8 strategy on desktop and laptops, except replace gamers for general users.

2
0

Re: Too late for me

It's funny how people will be running to Sony with there oh so perfect track record when it comes to their customers. Oh wait I forgot Sony are worse than Microsoft when it comes to DRM and screwing customers over.

As for double dipping Sony will be charging to use online services with the PS4 too

3
3
MJI
Silver badge

Re: Too late for me

Actually I am going to mention the other big thing which helped.

Seing Bungie at the PS meeting where the PS4 was announced.

As a PS owner the games I have most wanted to try are Bungie ones.

1
0

@ Babbit55

Problem is, if you want a next gen console you have two choices - Microsoft or Sony. Both have previous when it comes being dicks of the highest order. The difference right now is that Sony at least seem to be aware that they have royally fucked up in the not too distant past, and seem to be making an effort not to make the same mistakes again.

MS, on the other hand, appear to have based the original feature set of the XB1 on the Bumper Book of Things People Don't Want, then used a marketing team that thought the idea was to sell as few units as possible, and are now continuing to backpedal frantically in an effort to recover preorders. I suspect that their biggest problem now is that people have seen what they tried to do, and it's going to take them a long time to recover from that.

As for double dipping Sony will be charging to use online services with the PS4 too

Interesting comment, you know this how? Given that Sony have specifically said the likes of Netflix etc will not require a Plus subscription, and neither will their look-at-me game recording service. They only need to look at MS to see what kind of backlash they will get if they break those promises...

2
0
Silver badge
Meh

Re: Too late for me

Yes that's the issue in that most of the media/TV services will be US only. I bet most of the media services we will get in the UK will be just the existing ones on the 360.

For me a more media orientated box is the way to go (please god spare me from the 2004 nightmare of the HTPC, I don't want to go there again) with some gaming enabled. But really the XBone wont provide that for me in the UK and as for the PS4, I have no idea what that is offering.

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.