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Sony is jumping into the SDK world and going after all the Kinect hackers out there. After Microsoft’s release of the Kinect, thousands of makers started tinkering on open source drivers/data dumps were released (disclosure, I worked on this with Limor Fried & Johnny Lee). Weeks later, Microsoft announced it would also have an SDK (non-commercial use, commercial use later). Sony has a competing product called the Move and they’re looking to get people hacking with them now (coming soon page). I think it’s unlikely we’ll see much happen with Sony’s efforts, definitely not as much as we’re seeing with the Kinect hacks — Sony is extremely busy suing legitimate makers and innovators. See our previous article(s) – “Sony’s War on Makers, Hackers, and Innovators” & “Meet the DIY iPod Case Sony Killed: The RetroPod…”

Who is Move.me for?
Move.me is designed for academic researchers, university instructors, college students, programming hobbyists, and HCI developers. Show us how you can take the PS Move beyond traditional gaming and into areas such as:

- Games and tools that support kids’ physical fitness and nutrition.
- Kid-friendly programming interfaces for computer/technology classes or individual learning.
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation.
- Sports physiology or fitness training.
- Music and the creative arts.

In my opinion, this list has many of the people Sony completely alienated. Here’s a bold power move for Sony, drop the lawsuit(s) against George Hotz and hire the kid to help cook up an amazing SDK just like Microsoft is going to do for the Kinect. This act alone would likely repair a lot of damage out there and something I think everyone would welcome. We can announce it on stage at Maker Faire in May with someone from Sony and George. They can both give a talk about Sony embracing user innovations — it will be wonderful. Think about it :)

Sony, call me. We’ll do this up right: 707-827-7311.

Update: Nevermind, Sony is completely toxic. Steer clear folks–

A federal magistrate is granting Sony the right to acquire the internet IP addresses of anybody who has visited PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz’s website from January of 2009 to the present.

Thursday’s decision by Magistrate Joseph Spero to allow Sony to subpoena Hotz’s web provider (.pdf) raises a host of web-privacy concerns.

Respected for his iPhone hacks and now the PlayStation 3 jailbreak, Hotz is accused of breaching the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other laws after he published an encryption key and software tools on his website that allow Playstation owners to gain complete control of their consoles from the firmware on up.

I visited George’s site many time for my article, expect to see me and/or MAKE getting sued by Sony shortly I suppose?

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. Forgive me if I am wrong, but didn’t they pretty much say “We don’t like hackers!” I would say the hackers should protest by not even touching the SDK. They don’t want the innovaters..then screw them. Even better, why don’t we examine the SDK and use it to crack the PS3 even wider open.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Interesting….very interesting, and certainly hypocritical.

    I sent Sony an email after last week’s article (Sony’s War on Makers…) from the contact page given there (and looking at the web page source code to find an email address from the broken page that wouldn’t send). Within three hours–yes, hours, someone from Sony tried to get a hold of me by calling an old phone number (my parents’ house) which I assume must be what’s listed on my PSN account. I’ve called back and left a message with my current phone number, but am still awaiting a reply.

    Maybe Sony just needs to hear a lot of real customers telling them “drop this GeoHot business and put Linux back on the PS3″ (as stripping OtherOS off the Slim models is arguably what made the hackers interested in breaking the PS3′s security).

    1. Anonymous says:

      whoa! sony actually called your parents? that’s awesome! please let us know what they eventually say when and if you get a hold of them!

      you’re correct, if everyone who commented on the article(s) over 200+ people emailed or called, we could get sony to change for the good.

      1. Honus says:

        Yep- writing them a nice long email right now. It will certainly be interesting to see if I get a response.

      2. Anonymous says:

        I finally had the opportunity to speak with the guy from Sony yesterday. It was a reasonably pleasant call, just unfortunate that he wasn’t in a high enough position to actually be able to comment on Sony’s corporate mentality toward the PS3 and their customer base. But, he did make it clear that he would be taking notes on my comments to make sure upper management saw them. My main points were:

        -I had been an extremely loyal Sony customer in the past, insisting on buying Sony above other brands, but I am perfectly capable of forcing myself to go elsewhere to buy new gear if there isn’t a change in corporate attitude toward customers
        -I didn’t really have a problem with the PS3 Slim not having Linux support if it was necessary for cost reduction (even though we all now know this isn’t true), but forcefully removing it from my $600 console to give it about the same reduced feature set as the new $300 units is unacceptable
        -I find it hypocritical to be suing someone for tinkering with his PS3, and then at the same time release the Move.me SDK to encourage tinkering
        -My PS3 is still running firmware 3.15, so I’ve been unable to go online for almost the past year
        -As a direct result of stripping Linux off the PS3, I bought a Wii last year, and all money spent on gaming has gone toward that instead of the Playstation universe since

        Obviously, it’s hard to know what his true feelings are, but I’ll give him the credit of at least sounding empathetic about what I had to say. My last point seemed to strike the biggest nerve (for obvious reasons), as his response was “THAT is DEFINITELY something upper management would want to know.”

        After trying to make a complaint with Playstation support last year, and having the technician flat out refuse to even try escalating me to someone higher up that might care about what I had to say, it was quite pleasant to actually have someone listen and acknowledge my concerns. Whether or not it makes a difference will probably just depend on how many customers manage to get in contact with them, as filing complaints last year with both the BBB and FTC clearly didn’t accomplish anything.

  3. Dan Braun says:

    sure… you port it to linux and we’ll hack it… frak them…

  4. Mike says:

    Sony sues hackers. You’d be an idiot to work with them.

  5. Anonymous says:

    ;)

  6. Dan @ G2 says:

    i think this is a little unfair, you blasted them before with good merit but now they are making an effort

    what is behind this effort who knows but it’s a move in the right direction none the less
    and a bit of optimism in this post would have been nice to hear

    1. Anonymous says:

      I don’t think Phil is being unfair as much as he’s being pragmatically cautious. Sure, sony is releasing an SDK, but they’re also continuing with their lawsuits against GeoHot and the fail0verflow guys. They haven’t restored OtherOS functionality either.

      Sony is the neighborhood dog that keeps on biting. Eventually you learn to watch your step around it, even when it’s trying to be your friend.

    2. Anonymous says:

      @dan – “Here’s a bold power move for Sony, drop the lawsuit(s) against George Hotz and hire the kid to help cook up an amazing SDK just like Microsoft is going to do for the Kinect. This act alone would likely repair a lot of damage out there and something I think everyone would welcome. We can announce it on stage at Maker Faire in May with someone from Sony and George. They can both give a talk about Sony embracing user innovations — it will be wonderful. Think about it :)”

      that’s pretty optimistic i think.

  7. Pete Rippe says:

    http://blog.us.playstation.com/2011/03/01/playstation-home-to-add-suite-of-new-developer-tools-and-tech-with-version-1-5/

    from March 1st, new dev tools for games. I believe this is a good thing. Maybe sony got their head out of their butt and are trying to open up. only time will tell

  8. Josh Myer says:

    The best part of Move.Me? It’s a “server” on the PS3: you have to run your PS3 as a gateway to the peripherals. Instead of releasing drivers for their device, they’re releasing a half-baked “interface solution” or some such. Sony Doesn’t Get It.

  9. Thebes says:

    Reminding me once again why I no longer buy Sony’s products. Its not that they are crappy, though many are. Its that the company likes to screw its customers if they don’t follow its marketing departments vision.

  10. Sony: Yum! That’s some tasty hand!

  11. Anonymous says:

    there is human nature and then there is corporate motivation, its a mistake to ever confuse the two…

    1. Anonymous says:

      corporate and corrupt are too close for comfort…

  12. Anonymous says:

    as a matter of fact i propose a new type of creative commons license that barrs corporate entities from using it unless they pay a “support” fee, or make a tangible contribution to progression of the tech, idea. I am subtly aware of the most limited version of cc.. (cc byncnd), but to stipulate specifically the corporate entity, since im sure they have a fast-talking, loophole-widener, staffer. i know some corporations were created with a proper spirit, but i am hugely in disagreement with the treament of corporations as individuals (as if they were human, only with immortal status, unlimited lifespans). i believe the evil unleashed far outweighs the potential good in this case. in the least, a revision that states you must do right by all, or at least the potential most…

  13. Andy Selby says:

    Sony’s bigger problem with this is that Move is just not as interesting as Kinect’s hardware. Even for the people who aren’t pissed off at them.

  14. VRAndy says:

    Why would I need a special SDK to track a glowing sphere?

    Wouldn’t just about any computer-vision library be able to do that without too much trouble?

  15. Looks cool. Ill be trying it out

  16. Anonymous says:

    Although the launch of the completely cracked open a few years after Sony’s PS3, handheld cartridge system is a rope around the challenges of security measures.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Although the launch of the completely cracked open a few years after Sony’s PS3, handheld cartridge system is a rope around the challenges of security measures.