Microsoft continues its surprisingly sensible approach to Windows Phone 7 hacking, offering notorious Sony and Apple hacker George "Geohot" Hotz a free WP7 handset. Hotz had expressed his disillusion with Sony after the company sued him for his work hacking the PS3's copy protection, and suggested that he might look instead to Windows Phone 7; Microsoft "entrepreneur on loan" Brandon Watson promptly tweeted him with the offer of a free phone to "let dev creativity flourish."
Sony has decided to voraciously go after the people that offer up hacks and mods for the PS3 console this week after some hacks have surfaced that render existing Sony security on the PS3 moot. The latest hack of the PS3 came from Geohot and landed him in hot water with Sony suing him for circumventing the security on the console despite the fact that bypassing security doesn’t mean the user is a pirate.
Geohot and the rest of the fail0verflow team are getting a lot of attention from Sony, all of which is focused around the group's creation of a PlayStation 3 jailbreaking utility. George Hotz (Geohot), Sven Peter, Hector Martin Cantero, and the rest of the team behind the jailbreak are now officially being sued by Sony. A step that seemed obvious after the company's movement to acquire a restraining order, to prevent people from obtaining the utility.
The leaked PS3 root key has spawned its first public hack, with instructions surfacing on how owners can create their own custom firmware. The handiwork of KaKaRoTo, the actual usefulness of the hack is questionable at this stage; there's no support for running homebrew apps or backup copies of games, and according to the creator it's all "really meant for future homebrew installation" and "will not allow piracy."
iPhone (and PS3) hacker Geohot has been showing off his freshly jailbroken iPhone 4, but he also apparently has no plans on releasing it. So far the bulk of the jailbreak work has been done by the iPhone Dev Team; Geohot - or George Hotz as he goes in real life - says his reasoning for not releasing the jailbreak isn't technical but motivational, since he believes users will then simply move on to demanding the next step in the unlock chain.
When it comes to the PlayStation 3, the updates are part of a legacy. Whether that legacy is a good or bad thing, well, that's for you to decide. Though, we imagine that this little addition to that torrid affair is going to weigh your decision for the "bad." According to a recent report, while some people are thanking Geohot right now thank to Sony's recent v3.21 update, others are taking a far more legal approach to alleviate their woes. After all, Amazon can't give everyone their money back.
Bad news if you were hoping to milk Sony for a few bucks after hearing they gave at least one person a partial PS3 refund over the "Other OS" debacle. The company has denied that removing the ability to install alternative OSes to the original PS3 hardware contravenes the Sale of Goods Act, describing it as "first and foremost a games console" and insisting that "our marketing materials for the console reflect this." If retailers - like Amazon in the initial case - want to issue a partial refund, the company reckons, that's up to them, but they shouldn't expect any help from the Sony purse.
Has Sony's PS3 update opened an unexpected can of refund worms? According to one member of the NeoGAF forums, Amazon UK paid him £84 after he complained that his original 60GB console - which was well out of both Sony's warranty and Amazon's own 30-day guarantee - was, after firmware v3.21 was installed, in contravention of European Directive 1999/44/EC. The law states that goods must be fit for the purpose that a seller advertises them as suitable for, and in removing the "Other OS" functionality Sony have inadvertently broken it.
After Sony's somewhat bizarre "security" related decision to block Other OS installation on the original PS3 consoles with the next scheduled firmware update, hacker George Hotz - who some believe prompted Sony's move, after he publicly admitted to having hacked the console back in January 2010 - has promised a lifeline for console owners. His advice is to avoid installing the PS3 firmware v3.21 due on April 1st, and instead wait for an alternative flashing app of his own design.