Selling Used Games? No Way!

4. January, 2013

Sony found a new way to harass customers: They filed a patent for a technology that prevents playing second-hand games.

In a nutshell, the “game playing system” checks whether someone else already played the game on a different system and if so, it refuses to start the game.

Great, isn’t it?

With ideas like that, Sony will surely overcome it’s financial issues, soon – by going bankrupt even faster.

Need more reasons not to buy Sony?

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Another Example for Sony Arrogance

23. May, 2011

The German Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI) isn’t taken serious by Sony, according to heise online.

When the security specialists of the German government wanted to know more about the theft of 100 million customer records, “Sony didn’t want to answer due to ongoing technical analysis.” They are still refusing to agree to a follow-up meeting.

If the German government isn’t important enough for Sony to waste some of their precious time …


When Laziness Gets Expensive

9. May, 2011

According to heise online (German, video in English), Professor Dr. Eugene Spafford estimates the costs Sony‘s EPIC FAIL to secure their PSN servers to be 21 billion dollars.

Wow. 21 … fucking … BILLION … dollars. That’s 70’000’000 PS3s. 70 million PS3s. 36 million iPhone 4s. 700’000 cars at $30’000/each. They must be doing pretty well to be able to afford such a loss.

And it’s not that they didn’t see it coming. Sony knew for months that their servers were outdated and missing crucial security patches. Well, someone decided that it wasn’t worth to fix that. So: EPIC FAIL. Again. And again. Will they ever learn?

That feels like the same arrogance which led to the lawsuit against geohot and graf_chokolo.  Which probably made someone on the Internet so angry that they decided to give Sony this wedgy. Message to Sony: It’s not smart to be arrogant in the face of overwhelming odds.

You have, say, 1’000 people working to protect your assets. The world has a population of 7 billion (and you just lost 3 dollars to every and each of them) and the probability that one of them can kick you where it really hurts is about 1. At least.

Of course, the company is now using all its power to hunt down the little bastard. Sony, if you read this: Don’t be surprised if a 13-year old kid outwitted your whole security team.

Or rather the manager, who told the team not to fix those servers. But no, managers are never wrong. So the team must be punished. Fire them! All of them! Without supper! Serves them right! And don’t forget to sue the kid! Sue him to hell! Make sure he is not allowed to touch an electronic device ever again. EVER! It’s not your fault what happened! Try to create more DMCA-like laws! So you can sue more people! Get your engineering team to build a time traveling device so you can sue in advance! Force parents to divorce so they can’t breed anything threatening your revenue! Show the world who’s boss! Dictatorships never worked before but that should not stop you! It should rather encourage you! Grow by setting challenging goals!

See where the leads and why you can never win?

Making the world-wide security community hate you even more is your best bet! Trust me, I know at least as well as the guy who created this mess. And you trusted him, didn’t you?


Handling FAIL

5. May, 2011

Sony way

Amazon way.

Amazon downtime: Between two and four days.

Sony downtime: Still counting.

Which one do you prefer?


What Sony Cares About

28. April, 2011

So Sony‘s PSN user database was hacked. It seems the credit card data was in a safe place elsewhere. Encrypted.

The user data wasn’t encrypted.

Which leads me to an interesting thought: Apparently, the money was more important to Sony than the gamers.

Or maybe the credit card companies told Sony in very clear terms how to handle the precious credit card numbers, so Sony complied to those rules and when it came to passwords, age, place where you live, they were economical. As with how they handled the situation. At least, we didn’t have to tell them that they were hacked.

Unlike, say, Apple, they did tell us that something was wrong and they apologized for what happened. We’re just left with the task to clean up the digital mess they created.

How valuable is this data? Well, if you do something sensitive over the phone, say, calling your bank. And they want to make sure it’s you. What do they ask? Well, the simple stuff: Birth date. Where you live.

With data like that, you can open an eBay account and so some online fraud. Good luck proving it wasn’t you. Sure, it won’t be a problem but it will be an ugly hassle.

Make sure you check your next credit card bill; just to make sure Sony didn’t mess that up without noticing.


Sony vs. The World 1:0 …?

13. April, 2011

So Georg Hotz “caved in” and accepted to sign a settlement agreement (good article). Those quotes aren’t accidental; being accused in a law-suit does odd things to your life and most of them are unpleasant. Being famous isn’t as great as MTV wants you to believe. Ever wondered why all those famous persons are either weird, drug addicts or die early? There might be a connection.

As for Georg, one hell is over and now he gets raped by all his supporters. It’ll wash over, trust me.

So did Sony win? No. Win would mean to prove in court that it’s illegal to decrypt and modify the firmware of the PS3. Which they avoided. If you’re a multi-billion dollar company and someone/something is a threat to one of your most valuable products (my impression after reading what SCEA said during the lawsuit), wouldn’t you want to make sure this issue is fixed once and for all? For some reason, Sony didn’t.

It’s probably because they didn’t want to harm poor Georg.

*hilarious laughter*

Oh man, I’m killing myself. So. Sony caved, Georg won: He’s not going to jail, he isn’t fined, he isn’t prosecuted. He’s a free man. Well, mostly.

He isn’t allowed to do illegal things with “any SONY PRODUCT” (their yelling). Oookaaayy… what exactly is illegal? Wasn’t that one important point that the lawsuit should have settled?

I mean in Europe, it’s legal to reverse engineer any software if you need that knowledge to make it cooperate with some other software (“make it interoperable”) and if you can’t get that knowledge some other way (competitor wants to keep you out of the market, producer is no longer around, etc.). You must not spread the reverse engineered code but you could, for example, write a patch or an installer with it.

And Georg isn’t allowed to talk about the settlement which is confidential. I don’t need to understand this, I guess, but I’m sure he would rather forget this sad story and move on.

So. One guy fixed. I’m sure no other smart person on the planet is going to try this again. Ever.

And one prediction: It seems that Georg has some money left. Instead of wasting it on his own case (which Sony might have dragged out for a decade, for example) he might have invested it in the other lawsuit where chances to win might be much higher – especially with all the notes he got from his case.


Why Sony Should Lose

12. March, 2011

Sony sued Hotz for being smarter than them. Georg didn’t steal, he didn’t break anything physical. No one got hurt in the process. No equipment was mishandled. He just satisfied his curiosity. Bad boy. Down.

Somehow, the world has been turned into a legal nightmare by us. So Georg is smarter than the Sony PS3 engineering team. Or the guy who did the encryption part. Or probably his manager – “I don’t care if it’s ready, we ship on Monday!”

LG sues Sony over some obscure abuse of ideas. “Patents” are they called, I hear. An essential weapon in the global economic wars of the 21st century. Laws are passed which turn curios pupils into bad-ass criminals. For the common good.

It’s traditional. No, really. In the 16th century, people got burned on stakes for examining the human body – things like blood system, bacteria, health, were all a big mystery then (at least in Europe). Instead of supporting the few smart people trying to help, they got killed. For violating the Laws of God. I’m sure that quite a few of the victims were aware that most of those Laws were written down and enacted by non-gods.

Today, companies pour billions into new, great products and are offended when a smart guy finds a flaw that topples their dreams of World Domination™. Losing billions due to someones own stupidity hurts a lot. Better share the hurt. Even better hurt someone else. Is that what we really want?

Inaction is a decision, too, and carries the same responsibility.


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