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back to article Judge guts suit against Sony for killing Linux in PS3

A federal judge has dismissed all but one of the claims leveled against Sony for dropping Linux support from its PlayStation 3 game console, but gave the plaintiffs permission to refile an amended complaint that fixes the deficiencies. A complaint seeking class-action status on behalf of all PS3 owners was filed in April and …

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WTF?

sounds like the White Star Line

"we never said it was unsinkable"

what about this promotional blurb for the Titanic that you printed?

"yeah, but we didn't really meeeeeeeean it"

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FAIL

What are you afraid of Sony

I just cannot see your logic, and I do not think you have any. Run bye lawyers, I suppose, but then again why such a stupid decision.

What are you afraid of.

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Stop

PC?

Stop buying consoles and pretending they are PC's.

Problem solved..

Games devs will start PROPERLY deving for PCs again, and console kids will have to go back to whining at their moms for some pocket money..

Everybody will be happy, except the soccer moms..

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PC?

Simple. I can't buy a PC for the same price with all those features.

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@Bill Neal

The hardware is subsidised by game sales.. ergo Sony don't want you to use it as a PC and locked out the RSX in OtherOS and made it a "toy computer" from the start. They need you to buy games from licensed publishers that are paying them for the rights to put games on the PS3. If you need something to compare against; Mobile providers lock those "free" phones you get with a new contract to their network exactly that reason. They can't have you paying for the lowest contract and using the phone on a different cheaper network.

...and can you use a PC with only 256MB of ram for anything useful these days?

For a few hundred quid you can get a multicore X86 box with gigs of ram, hundred gigs of storage, a newer Nvidia GPU than what is in the PS3.. oh and its all open and shit so you can use it as a generic computer!! woo

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Grenade

@Daniel Palmer

In the US I use a pay-as-you-go phone which uses several networks and even gives me a choice which one to use for internet. The whole package costs $40/month.

Yes you can do alot if the ram is FAST enough. in the ps3 it is VERY FAST.

and it is basically a single core PPC with an 8 core GPU integrated in 1 chip!! woo

suckit sandy bridge.

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Flame

@Bill Neal

>>The whole package costs $40/month.

Thats fairly expensive for a phone package... maybe your provider aren't subsidising your phone hence the cost. My shiney new 1Ghz Android phone is less than that a month.. but is locked to the providers network.

>>Yes you can do alot if the ram is FAST enough.

Ok,... so how do you load something bigger than 256MB into memory? I mean into memory not into mostly paged out to disk... if its paging all the time RAM bandwidth means nothing, you need IO bandwidth. I have 3GB of data resident in memory on this 1.6Ghz Atom machine, massive disk caches etc.. how do you do that on the PS3?

People built HPC clusters out of PS3's only to find that 256MB of ram isn't enough for their datasets. doh.

>>in the ps3 it is VERY FAST.

The Cell is fast for code that can be parallelised.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amdahl's_law

Can you name a single binary in YellowDog linux that uses all 7 or 8 (I think only 7 are usable by user code with the original OtherOS setup) co processors? They aren't full CPU cores and as such aren't suitable for everything...

>>single core PPC

Yes

>>an 8 core GPU integrated in 1 chip!!

No, it has 8 small vector co processors... imagine a 386 + 8 387's ;) They aren't GPUs.

For standard desktop usage I think you will find a bog standard X86 box is cheaper and works a lot better than a PS3. From the fact that you don't even know what the Cell is except that "It's FAST! AMAZING!!! WOOT! XBOX360 sucks!" I'm guessing you don't write a lot of highly parallel code that fits the Cells architecture.

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Go

PS.

This is a nice topic but the things that happen in North Africa beets any other topic on El Reg this year and perhaps last year too.

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Megaphone

Advertised feature

Removing a feature the owner paid for means decreased value of the machine. Opting out of the update means they can't play online games and possibly can't play future games, decreasing the value of the machine.

In either choice the owner has lost a feature that was part of the machine's price. The only option I can see if Sony refuses to reactivate the OtherOS is refunding part of the purchase price to every console buyer.

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Megaphone

You miss the point entirely

The consumer is not purchasing a product with promises. The consumer is purchasing a product **AND** agreeing to a set of conditions that determine the product's future feature set and functions. This can include reduced functionality too. So in other words, the consumer agrees to pay $600 or whatever for something that might have improved features or less features over time. WHY is it that people just don't understand this simple thing. The price you pay is for the product and the T&Cs, not for a right to use it as you see if. I have a PS3 and I UNDERSTAND that Sony can turn it into a heap of useful plastic and metal if it wanted to; that does not give me the right to ask for my money back BECAUSE I agreed to the terms of the sale. It's so easy to understand. People should stop crying foul and wake up to the real world.

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wim

could not agree more

"Sony can turn it into a heap of useful plastic and metal if it wanted to;"

So what you say is that it has the potential of being useful but it is useless now ?

spot on my friend. Allowing linux on it will make it more useful I guess.

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re: You miss the point entirely

Contracts can't override the law.

If you bought a product that could explode and kill you, that came with an agreement saying the manufacturer had the right to detonate it anytime they liked... it would still be illegal for them to blow you up.

I don't know how strong consumer protection laws are in the US, but certainly in the EU, the same principle would apply to disabling advertised features. Terms and conditions be damned - laws take priority over them.

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Sigh..

When did the customer/buyer agree to the terms and conditions? You go to a shop and hand over cash, deal done. The shop assistant never took me to one side and explained the crap you said in your post.

When you get the machine home you hand it to a 10 year old. He hooks it up and begins to play a game. Even if the child accepted the Sony conditions on screen, how is this enforceable? Minors cannot enter into contracts. If your post contained any truth then Sony and other console makers would ensure that in the box was a paper contract, that had to be signed by an adult, BEFORE they allowed the PS3 to function. But if they did that no body would accept it.

It is Sony's fault if they choose to sell the PS3 at a loss or a cash cow. NOT the customers.

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CON-tract

You can put anything you like in a contract, it doesn't make it either lawful nor legally binding.

I could put a line in that said you'd let me kill your mum. I don't think it would stand up in court if I then killed your mum, and used the contract as my defence... especially if I was a corporate entity.

Of course, if I happened to be a euthanasia clinic then that would be the service you would be expecting, so you'd have a hard time saying that you where forced into accepting that condition.

If I was a car salesman however, and I remotely cut the breaks killing your mum I think you'd have a good case against me.

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good move by the judge if u ask me.

1: cut all the crap to save time and cost and so get it over and done with cheaply and quickly, but sill allow those things to be used in the future (if and give some clarification)

2: pick the one thing that is really gona cut the mustard, can Sony lawfully modify your system in a way in which you didn't give formal consent. that's a very good case to get on the books. if it goes Sony's way expect all hell to break loose. All I'd have to do is slip one line into my EULA saying I own your sole, credit card, hard drive etc... n I own u and your machine and can do what the hell I like with it. And they will.

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Unhappy

Not what I paid for

As an owner of a 3.15 FW PS3, I do feel kind of cheated. Not because I upgraded (because I didn't), but because I cannot access PSN or run any of the latest games because I decided not to upgrade.

It's inconceivable that something you bought for an outrageous sum of money no longer works as intended because you'd rather not have one of the features taken away from you.

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FAIL

Idiot

Why do you expect to be able to connect to PSN with a unsecure system?

Either use it for Linux (why? OtherOS is usless), or update your firmware.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbq_1Wy70rE

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Idiot

The PS3 was sold for BOTH, it should do both. A "security" update for PSN really shouldn't affect the unrelated other OS feature.

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FAIL

not unrelated

The Security issue what OtherOS itself. It was removed because GeoHot was using it to try and crack the PS3 to open Piracy (sometimes called Homebrew).

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not the same

homebrew is home coded apps/games. Piracy is something different.

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Unhappy

Actually, perhaps we can sic Homeland Security on their ass-ets

* ted at

Unhappy

Sony really broke a few Government Defense projects when they locked down their firmware.

Wait a f*, if I had bought that crap you mean Sony still owned it? The hard ware? The parts you get to kick across the room?

Well screw those un-American (and I bet they don't like your lot either) traitors.

I mean with this and the rootkit thing they are beginning to make Microsoft look good.

Sony, why do you hate America?

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Alert

Who actually owns the box?

this is a fundamental question upon which this case and the other one hangs on...

If the customer "owns" the box, then Sony are dead in the water in BOTH cases as they have committed an unauthorised intrusion upon the customer's hardware and also the "hacker" cannot possibly commit unauthorised intrusion upon his own system in order to jailbreak it....

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Headmaster

@paulc

"If the customer "owns" the box, then Sony are dead in the water in BOTH cases as they have committed an unauthorised intrusion "

No they didn't - when you update the firmware from the final version with OtherOS it specificially mentions the loss of the functionality and you have to click a confirm button. Besides which the firmware update is not automatic , you have to make it happen so I don't see how you can possibly claim the update is an unauthorised intrusion. Unfair maybe, but unauthorised? Not a chance.

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Anonymous Coward

Couldn't they just put OtherOS back these days?

Given that the whole root key thing is out of the bag, isn't the potential OtherOS hacking loophole pretty much irrelevant now? Pirates will now go down the root key route, whereas the OtherOS feature would only be used by genuine Linux users.

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FAIL

Stupid Sony

The really dumb thing was offering it in the first place without a clear strategy to cope with the PR fallout when they (inevitably) had to remove the feature.

They should have never offered it, and, if for some reason they felt they had to offer it, they should have shouted from the rooftops what was going to happen when it got hacked...

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Offering Other OS

Gave Sony a tax break. That's why they did it.

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Heres an upgrade for your car

It'll take the left front wheel of mind. And if you don't upgrade the front right will fall off.

Either way this car isn't going down all the roads you thought it would when you bought it you thieving little freebie bastard.

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Also,

After 18 months of use, the PS3 suddenly explodes with tremendous force, killing the user usually by disembowelment, and probably demolishing their home. This is a standard feature and all units are designed to do it. Of course it falls outside the warranty period and therefore no liability arises.

Or perhaps not.

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Incorrect

Standard warranty in Europe is 24 months no matter what the seller or manufacturer says. In the UK it is 5 years under the Sales of Goods Act (always keep the receipt).

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Not quite right

The 24 months is the guarantee period under EU law (which so many people blindly forget about).

The SoGA gives you an expectation that goods should work as described or as you agreed with the seller (you may have discussed what you wanted to do and been told what would do the job you needed, for example), but the time is 6 years in England and Wales and 5 years in Scotland. Further, SoGA is about making sure you got what you paid for and it worked for a reasonable length of time - if it broke after 4 years 6 months, the seller could make a good argument that you'd had a reasonable amount of use from the item and would at most be expected to offer a reduced price on a new one, not a refund or replacement.

In either case a receipt is not necessary - the only difference being that a shop *may* choose to give store credit, rather than a refund, without a receipt.

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Anonymous Coward

So...

What about me? I sold the PS3 as a cheap linux box, gaming machine and blu-ray player. Should I be liable? Should I be forced to cough up? I earn a lot less than Sony.

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Thumb Up

Hello? Users have the option ACCEPT or REJECT

If people are too lazy or stupid to read the text that accompanies the updates, then they only have themselves to blame. What's that? No one reads those you say? Well, that doesn't make the claims of these idiots any more valid. It just means there are a lot of lazy or stupid people in the world.

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FAIL

There are some problems with your post.

Accept and gimp your options, reject and gimp your options. False choices aren't really choices.

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Bugs...

... I think you are named after the wrong WB character - you sound more like Daffy Duck.

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FAIL

Option to update?

I never updated my PS3 for 18 months and when i finally got Fifa 11 i had no choice but to update to latest version or lose £30....

1 main reason i brought a PS3 was for the OtherOS, a nice IBM processor like that runs circles around the crappy intel i was using.

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I really don't understand the law

The PS3 was advertised as having the OtherOS feature. It was on the box in the marketing and was manufacturer sanctioned if not supported as was playing games. Sony have then given users of both features Hobsons choice.

How is this not illegal or an abuse of position. Its not like there is a lot of choice for users who want both a games playing machine and one that can do other things.

P.S. I have none of the current generation of consoles but find the way large companies trample over consumers rights frankly disturbing.

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FAIL

Epic fail

It wasn't advertised on the box, it wasn't promoted either... It was MENTIONED sure, but never promoted.

Clearly some people have problems with this definition.

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Coat

I don't see Sony putting OtherOS back as it was

Sir,

if the judgment does force them to put the feature back-in (in order to escape the fine*), I honestly don't see them putting it back the way it was. The only requirement is that they enable the OtherOS, the support for OtherOS is up to them. They can make the feature more restrictive or they can make it so that it would run _their_ signed OS (which can be a DOS clone). Beyond saying that the PS3 have OtherOS support, they never promised anything... or did they?

* I don't know if that will work or not as INAL

sorry for the multiple posts, I am getting my coat and leaving

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T&C's stupidity

Don't like any of this

If I bought a PS3 and read the terms and conditions. Do I have a right to return for a full refund if I disagree with the T&C's?

Do the T&Cs even come with the PS3 anymore or are you given them first time you switch on the PS3?

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Sony lost my money

bought 2 Wii's for games, would of bought a PS3 or two IF I could run Linux

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FAIL

Sony got nailed

The OtherOS functionality always seemed pretty cool and very non Sony corporate to me. Then I found out they just did it originially to get the lower tariffs by claiming the PS3 was a computer. After this ploy failed they dropped OtherOS quicker than a pregnant girlfriend. Sony is a classic example of a company that does very little goodwill building with their customers and focuses solely on profit. To bad in the long term this tends to reduce your profit (how much has Sony made the last 3 years compared to say Apple?).

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to clarify

Oops girlfriend comment real bad. Oh well OtherOS did linger in a coma for a long time after Sony lost tariff fights but Sony basically showed virtually no interest and obviously thought of the feature as a burden after this point.

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Unhappy

2012 prediction - sony locks Linux off off their laptops and desktops due to hacker...

Hi, Sony don't turn off Other systems, you advertised it, promoted it, now fix the hack, don't just use a quick fix to permanent fix it. What are your software engineers doing? Working on PS4 no doubt. I am so tired of companies dropping support for their 5+ computers that people are using because the are still usable and not obsolete.

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Megaphone

El Reg, can you do this?

Sirs/Madams,

we know that the PS3 reported many things to PSN every time it connected to it. We can assume that PSN have been keeping that data for research purpose.

So can El Reg request a comment from PSN as to the percentage of consoles that connected to PSN and made use of the OtherOS function? Or at the very least, the percentage of fat consoles compared to the slim ones? (the slim console never had the OtherOS function).

the above should be interesting addition to any new article about the PS3 vs OtherOS vs Jailbreak

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Interesting that Microsoft are

apparently encouraging hacking of the Kinect. Maybe Sony have not learned that 'allowing', by some means or another, most of the world to use your stuff the way they want to, or even free, you trash the competition, and get pretty rich anyway.

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