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GeoHot on the Sony and 77 million compromised users…

One of the things I was contemplating back in early January was a PSN alternative, a place for jailbroken consoles to download homebrew and game without messing up anyone else’s experience. Unfortunately events led me off of that path, but gamers, if I had succeeded you would have a place to game online with your PS3 right now. I’m one of the good guys. I used to play games online on PC, I hated cheaters then and I hate them now.

Also, let’s not fault the Sony engineers for this, the same way I do not fault the engineers who designed the BMG rootkit. The fault lies with the executives who declared a war on hackers, laughed at the idea of people penetrating the fortress that once was Sony, whined incessantly about piracy, and kept hiring more lawyers when they really needed to hire good security experts. Alienating the hacker community is not a good idea.

…And let’s talk about Sony’s use of the word illegal. It is illegal, criminally so, to break into someone else’s servers. But when the same word is used to refer to streaming a song from a non RIAA approved website, or to *gasp* playing a homebrew game on your PS3, respect for the word and those who say it is lost.

Weighing in quickly on the whole hacker vs cracker thing. I am a hacker. Whoever did this were hackers also. The media will never start using the word cracker. To me, a hacker is just somebody with a set of skills; hacker is to computer as plumber is to pipes. And the same ethics should apply, if you want to mess with the pipes in your own house, go for it. But don’t go breaking into people’s houses and messing with their pipes. (Note that I do not endorse water piracy).

Good read, all of it.

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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