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Anonymous Will Award $200,000 for Xbox Linux

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the that'll-keep-you-in-cereal dept.

Games 530

An anonymous reader writes: "The X-box Linux Project at Sourceforge reports today that an anonymous donor will award nearly a quarter of a million dollars to the individuals responsible for the completion of a two-phased effort to run Linux on the Xbox. One can't help but wonder if this will help or hurt the community. On one hand, it is likely to generate additional interest in the project, on the other, some people may be less inclinded to share their discoveries with money on the line. Then again, getting both Money and Glory sounds pretty good."

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You know what they say about a fool and his money. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804114)

n/t.

Re:You know what they say about a fool and his mon (-1)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804136)

Shut up, asshole.

will they award (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804122)

$2000 for first post?

Linux (5, Funny)

FigBugDeux (257259) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804127)

I pay you $50 to get Linux running on my TRS-80

Is NetBSD acceptable? (1)

SHEENmaster (581283) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804342)

Cause I could probably do that.

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804134)

Seems this is worth my time and development. I could use an extra $200,000. Oh, btw, first post.

M$ will love this (3, Insightful)

RealisticWeb.com (557454) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804135)

The basic goal of the project is to find a simple and completely legal way to run Linux on the Microsoft Xbox.

Yes, and the basic goal of the MS XBox team will be to find any way possible to prevent it.

Re:M$ will love this (2, Funny)

sPaKr (116314) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804250)

Yes this is true. My first Meta bet will be that the Linux hackers beat the MS people. Any takers?

Re:M$ will love this (1)

MyHair (589485) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804300)

My first Meta bet will be that the Linux hackers beat the MS people. Any takers?

I'll bet you all my Slashdot karma.

Re:M$ will love this (2)

Wildcat J (552122) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804318)

I'll bet you all my Slashdot karma.

So, in other words, no? ;)

Wow (2, Funny)

El Pollo Loco (562236) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804137)

Two hundred g's??? if only i could afford the 200 hundred bucks for an xbox.....damn college. :)

weird way of saying $200,00 (1, Offtopic)

martyn s (444964) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804139)

That's a really weird way of saying $200,000: "nearly a quarter of a million dollar"

Re:weird way of saying $200,00 (0, Insightful)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804151)

they should have said "a fifth of a million dollars."

Re:weird way of saying $200,00 (-1, Offtopic)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804264)


ayeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, don't mod me up, i'm a troll. it's like throwing holy water on ?the living dead (or whatever doesn't like that sort of thing.)

Re:weird way of saying $200,00 (-1, Offtopic)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804277)


DAMNIT, now I am posting at 0 instead of -1. you are KILLING ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re:weird way of saying $200,00 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804272)

True, but how about a seventeenth of 3.4 million dollars?

Re:weird way of saying $200,00 (5, Funny)

Bouncings (55215) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804174)

That's a really weird way of saying $200,000: "nearly a quarter of a million dollar"
yes, but then again, this is slashdot. Be glad they didn't say nearly a korter of a mellion" -- besides, it is roughly 25 cents after taxes and Microsoft legal action.

Re:weird way of saying $200,00 (2)

donutz (195717) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804316)

nearly a quarter of a million, or exactly a fifth of a million? you be the judge.

Hmm (2, Interesting)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804142)

/me wonders why they're annonymous?

One word (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804163)

One Word: Taco

Re:Hmm (1)

NASAKnight (588155) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804173)

That's easy. Would you like microsoft's legal team coming after you in full force?

Re:Hmm (2, Interesting)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804194)

There's nothing they could do besides hire a hit man...not that that's out of their legal grasp or anything.

Re:Hmm (1)

hatter3bdev (533135) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804205)

They are likely a big corporate linux distributer who doesn't want to be taken to court over it. Or their just stinkin rich.

Re:Hmm (1)

sPaKr (116314) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804266)

And for my Second Meta bet. I bet the backers are IBM. Any one else have a good target? I doubt any of the linux distributers have 200K to burn on this.. but IBM has more money then god (aka bill gates)

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804329)

Haha, we have you all fooled! It is us Microsoft, we want to know the names of every one who would dare to attempt to use unamerican software on our true blue patriotic, freedom loving, apple pie eating hardware, then sue your asses till you publicly advocate the holy grail of protocols .NET

All hail .NET

Billg (1)

LinuxCumShot (582742) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804143)

I bet its Billy G putting up the money because he knowns it can't be done. Either that or he wants to play xbill on his xbox.

Re:Billg (1)

Memetic (306131) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804172)

Nah...

Either:

1) It's cheaper to get the open source community to do a reliabale port than try and get it done in house.

2) Getting 1000's chasing the $ and sharing info on the project gives more info on how to harden up xbox 2.

Unless of course this is just a plot to get Linux users to buy MS hardware!

Re:Billg (1)

Mad Marlin (96929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804271)

It's cheaper to get the open source community to do a reliabale port than try and get it done in house.

A one-time payout of $200,000 is a lot cheaper than about a dozen capable OS programmers at $150,000 each per year.

Re:Billg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804187)

It could be Microsoft. They would want to know whether the Xbox can be defeated because they use the same ideas in Paladium. That's worth a lot of money to know, and better now than later. Maybe with Linux on the Xbox they can figure out how to stop it.

Re:Billg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804218)

You know you actually have a very good point here. I mean, we all know that running unauthorized stuff on the xbox violates the DMCA or what have you, so I'm sure the doner does too. Plus, $200,000 seems like an awful lot of money for a project like this. Could it really be Microsoft? If so, what would be their motives for putting forth such a prize?

Could it be that they're offering this prize as a way to get Linux/XBox hackers, the people they don't like, to test the breakability of their machine in a real-world situation? I'm sure someone will get Linux running on the XBox sooner or later, so this would be a great way for Microsoft to see how their XBox can be legally hacked so they can correct those holes in future versions of the machine. Plus I'm sure MS would end up spending more than $200k on R&D to do this with their own in-house programmers (who aren't going to be the ones hax0ring the xbox), so spending just $200k to get the real xbox hackers on the case would be a bargain.

Re:Billg (3, Informative)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804221)

Ok, the Xbox-Linux team knows who the donor is. It says that clearly in the site that the donor is known to them.

Do you think they would partner up with Microsoft for it? I don't... but then again, that's just my thoughts..

Re:Nah..read the rules (1)

lugonn (555020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804274)

It can't be Billy becuase you have to make the results public. M$ is TOTALLY against sharing, so that should tell you it is a private party.

Maybe its the Chinese gov, and they want to use Xbox's with Linux. The Chinese invented Linux after all (yes, that was a joke).

hardware changes? (1)

muon1183 (587316) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804148)

Are you allowed to perform hardware modifications or is this merely a software thing. I would think that a mod chip is probably at least needed to get past micro$oft's test of palladium.

.sig, what's that?

Re:hardware changes? (3, Informative)

David Price (1200) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804156)

Reading the press release: a hundred grand is for a distribution of Linux for a modified X-Box, and another hundred grand for doing it to a stock console.

Re:hardware changes? (2)

Kredal (566494) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804308)

even the "Full Software" implementation route allows for the use of a mod chip that will let the XBox read unsigned code.

The hardware modification route goes WAAAY beyond soldering 29 wires or whatever... like replacing the bios and stuff.

legal expenses (3, Insightful)

xavii (92017) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804150)

is $200,000 going to be enough for legal expenses when you accept the prize and Microsoft comes at you with all their legal guns ablazing?

xavii aka bob

Hacking awards (0, Troll)

Wrexen (151642) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804152)

If only I could get $100,000 for breaking into a default Redhat or Win9x install, I'd be a millionaire by now!

Re:Hacking awards (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804236)

you're an idiot.

i love cheese (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804154)

i mean cmon, who doesnt

love cheese?

It's me. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804155)

I was the one who first made the announcement!!!!

must share (1)

kila_m (548924) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804157)

Actually if you read the rules the have the share their findings to get the money.

Bad news for Linux? (5, Funny)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804158)

I can see a few bad outcomes. First, it will splinter the development community. There will be numerous sourceforge [sourceforge.net] projects started, only to be abandoned when no one is skilled enough with GIMP to create themselves an icon. This is development effort that could have been directed towards making KDE themes and Linux will only suffer as a result.

Second, assuming someone succeeds, a large cash infusion has proved to be the downfall of many Linux companies. Roger Stallman was right, money is the "root" (ha!) of all evil, just look at companies like RedHat [redhat.com] and VA Linux Something [whoknows.com] .

Third, even if they succeed and no one is killed in the process, what possible use could Linux be on an XBox? I heard they use some kind of proprietary game format that Linux won't be able to read anyway. "DVD" or something.

Re:Bad news for Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804196)

"I heard they use some kind of proprietary game format that Linux won't be able to read anyway. 'DVD' or something."

I would like to see this done for completely and totally selfish reasons. $200 for arcade game emulation on decent hardware out to a TV. Since Mame-X is illegal, I guess I'd just have to hope that it'll take longer for Microsoft to figure out a way to ban this.

Re:Bad news for Linux? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804208)

"a large cash infusion has proved to be the downfall of many Linux companies ... like RedHat and VA Linux Something"

Cash infusions didn't kill RedHat or VaLinux, bad business models did.

Re:Bad news for Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804255)

who the fuck is roger stallman?

Re:Bad news for Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804294)

who the fuck is roger stallman?

Roger is Richard's evil, um no wait, good, no wait... uh, just twin.

Re:Bad news for Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804301)


Richard's less smelly brother.

Re:Bad news for Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804287)

Oh, I get it. This is a troll.

I am amazed that the bidding for whoknows.com starts at $300, though. That's ridiculous.

LOL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804309)

Nice tps12 [slashdot.org] Impersonation.

Re:Bad news for Linux? (2, Interesting)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804319)

In don't know about Stallman, but the actual phrase is "love of money is the root of all evil".

Just a point

Thanks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804330)

I knew I could count on Slashdot to provide pedantry on a tiny detail in the face of a totally meaning-free post!

Somewhere... (2)

SomeOtherGuy (179082) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804159)

Alan Cox has got to be pondering this...

Re:Somewhere... (0, Redundant)

mackstann (586043) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804202)

now if only greasy-as-a-french-fry-head kernel boy would ponder bathing.

Re:Somewhere... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804320)

yeah, I bet he's taking this seriously.

The Wizard behind the screen is??? (2)

peterdaly (123554) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804164)

If it wasn't anonymous, I would say it was Larry Ellison. He's known for stunts like this, but usually he does everything he can to pull his name into it. Of course, if it wasn't anonymous, we'd know who it was anyway.

I bet's it's just some geek who got lucky and sold his stock before everything went bust.

Although, consider the option of someone looking to take advantage of MS's deep loss on each of these things and build a giant cluster at a fraction of the market price.

-Pete

Re:The Wizard behind the screen is??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804213)

>Of course, if it wasn't anonymous, we'd know who it was anyway.

LOL! Do you ever think, genius ?

A thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804168)

This will be the only Linux implementation with support for DirectX, since I doubt the NV25 graphics chip has any support for OpenGL or its ilk. Won't that be interesting?

Re:A thought... (1)

Kwikymart (90332) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804245)

"Task 1: Replacement BIOS (software/hardware)
Task 2: Kernel and XFree drivers
Task 3: Kernel logic: FATX and miscellaneous
Task 4: XBE bootloader"

XFree86 drivers implies only 2D graphics. I assume the NV25 has 2D capabilities and is not only 3D.

It's all a plot... (2)

Junta (36770) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804169)

the anonymous donor, obviously Bill Gates. Now who is least likely to buy X-Boxes? Linux users/MS haters.... and now who will be snatching them up? Linux users who want 200 thousand dollars. And at the next meeting with game companies, they have a much larger apparent user base.... And it's all pointless, the 'legal' makes it impossible, I'm sure somewhere in the EULA for the X-Box it says 'by purchasing this product you agree to never ever run linux on it or else you will forfeit all your money and your first born child.

Re:It's all a plot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804193)

Is the $200,000 for the persons responsible themselves, or what they have done?

Reminds me of a poster in the post-office of some guys who felt wanted.

Re:It's all a plot... (5, Insightful)

kwishot (453761) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804214)

Microsoft takes a monetary hit on each Xbox sold ($150+ I believe ?), so that would be a really bad idea, because people would be buying them without the intention of using them for games, but rather for porting linux. If people don't buy the games, Microsoft doesn't make back the money it lost on the unit.
I would guess that it's not Bill Gates (at least not for the reasons you gave)
-kwishot

Re:It's all a plot... (1)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804335)

Actually, I think the 'least likely to buy X-Boxes' would be the people who want to play games. The XBOX doesn't particularly stand out the way that PS2 or even GameCube does. Right now, it's mainly a 'me too!' system when it comes to the game lineup.

If Mr. Gates wants to spend $200,000 to get people to buy XBOXes, he'll give it to a game company to make an interesting and unique game.

Linux is Dead (-1)

pwpbot (588025) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804175)

So whatever happened to Linux At tech expo open source software is hard to find By John W SchoenMSNBC NEW YORK June 26 Just a few years ago one of the hottest topics at this annual confluence of PC hardware and software makers was the socalled open source alternative to Microsofts industrydominant Windows operating system Soon open source proponents argued PC users would be liberated from the burden of paying for software The Linux operating system and other open source alternatives written by devoted bands of volunteer programmers would be available to anyone for the cost of a download But today Windows is still running on the vast majority of PCs So what happened LINUX HASNT gone away But after attracting widespread attention and generating several moonshot initial public offerings during the tech boom purveyors of Linux software and support have fallen back to earth along with their stocks Earlier this month Red Hat which sells about half of all Linux software reported a loss of 43 million on an 8 percent drop in revenues in the latest quarter as corporate customers continued to squeeze every penny of their computer budgets Ironically those tight budgets have helped fuel adoption of Linux by managers of large corporate technology departments Created by Finish college student Linus Torvalds and continually updated and improved by a loose confederation of programmers who arent paid for their work Linux is available without the steep licensing fees that come with commercially produced software Companies like Red Hat sell upgraded versions and provide technical support but dont charge licensing fees Those continuing upgrades have begun to generate increased interest from costconscious technology managers A recent survey of 800 companies in North America and Western Europe found that some 40 percent said they were either using or testing Linux according to the research firm IDC With some 27 percent of the market Linux is now the second most popular operating system for servers supplanting the decadesold operating system UNIX Microsoft holds the top spot MSNBC is a MicrosoftNBC joint venture Numbers like those have caught the attention of computer hardware makers Last year as the personal computer slogged through the worst sales crash in its history Linux server sales jumped by more than 50 percent to 400 million with IBM leading the pack Linux used to be just a bunch of geeks trying to change the industry said Elizabeth Phillips a HewlettPackard spokesperson Now Linux is becoming more mainstream every day Linux is also shining brightly on the radar screens of software makers like Oracle which is heavily marketing the latest version of its highend corporate enterprise software which generates mainframelike horsepower using clusters of relatively cheap servers running Linux LINUX BOOT CAMP But Linux has hardly made a dent in the desktop and home user markets At PC conventions like this one Microsofts Windows operating system still rules with some 94 percent of the operating system market for desktops and laptop PCs according to IDC Despite its growing popularity among computer professionals its still not completely user friendly Its for geeks said Faber Fedor a New Jerseybased consultant who helps small businesses upgrade to Linux Near the end of a long hallway in the basement of the Jacob Javits Center at a wellattended conference called Linux Boot Camp Fedor walked a roomful of developers and IT managers through the basics and not so basics of converting to the Linux world Until recently interacting with Linux was almost entirely textdriven much like Windows precursor DOS So converting meant learning an arcane vocabulary of computerese to give the PC even the simplest commands But Linux software is getting better and now more closely mimics the Windows world that the vast majority of PC users are accustomed to A Linuxbased opensource email program called Evolution looks pretty much like a standard Windows desktop OpenOffices provide most key features offered by Microsoft Office including a word processor spreadsheet and mail program Fedor says these alternatives offer more than a familiar look and feel We dont get viruses he said Last year viruses cost the business world billions but every one of those was on Windows WOOING THE HOME USER But adopters of Linux still face hurdles living in a Microsoft world High on the list of headaches is incompatibilities with files created with Microsoft products like Word Small software makers like Lindows are trying to help desktop users bridge that divide Still Linux evangelists like Fedor say that as long as new PCs come preloaded with Windows the open source community faces an uphill battle spreading Linux beyond corporate IT departments into the home Linux partisans point to some small victories WalMart recently began selling a house brand PC at rock bottom prices available with Linux for the thriftiest PC buyersThat thrift among home PC buyers though has further hampered the spread of Linux to home desktops Its another reason software developers like Dave Potter of Fountainville Pa prefer writing programs for corporate users He says he doesnt see much point writing Linux applications for individual PC buyers Home users are cheap he said At 4995 youre going to have to sell a whole lot of copies to make it in the market And as Linux proponents continue to try to enlist desktop PC users Microsoft is busy reinventing that desktop With sales of new PCs in their worst slump in decades Microsoft is hoping to reboot Windows sales by leading the charge toward the Tablet PC a sort of PDA on steroids With new technology to recognize and manipulate handwriting and speech Microsoft and its hardware and software partners are hoping to usher in a whole new platform by giving users all the capabilities of ink according to Microsoft Group Vice President Jeff Raikes Microsoft and the rest of the PC industry are hedging their bets by designing several variations of the device from a standalone tablet about the size of a standard piece of paper to a laptop with a display that flips around and folds flat with the screen facing outward The goal is to replace rather than augment existing PCs according to Leland Rockoff a director of Microsofts table PC project We see this as a primary PC he said Theyre not appliances theyre not companions theyre not secondary But Rockoff says the companys strategy with regard to open source software will be the same as it is with Windows XP

Spare Xbox... (0)

bochdog (586942) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804176)

I have a Xbox ready to hack. Anyone want to join in NorthernCali. Let me know.

The donor could easily recoup his costs... (4, Insightful)

zulux (112259) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804181)

... if he/she purchased 1000 XBoxes and used them for something that would normally require a $400 Intel based computer.

Xboxes are are priced at $200, but really contain the guts of a typical $450 PC.

A cluster of 1000 Xboxes would be mighty cheap computing power.

Odds on who the anonymous donor is? (4, Interesting)

mattbee (17533) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804182)

Okay $200k is a hell of a lot; and we all know that MS loses money on every X-Box sale. A viable alternative development platform would hurt MS. This means it's somebody well-established (rich!) in the industry with a score to settle with Microsoft? Or a games company that wants to open up development for what I understand is a cheap PC platform without paying MS tax? Maybe even a potential coup by Sony or Nintendo? Completely intriguing; maybe we could have a sweepstake on who we think this anonymous donor is...

Re:Odds on who the anonymous donor is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804220)

If they posted this article in hopes of someone revealing the identity of this Anonymous Donor (Coward, if you will), they've got a whole helluva lot to sort through on /.

My conspiracy vote goes to AOL/Time Warner.

Re:Odds on who the anonymous donor is? (2)

T3kno (51315) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804306)

I'm not saying that I believe A. Non Ymous but it's pretty obvious to me why they are doing it anonymously if they really do plan on paying up. If they release their name(s) they will get sued tomorrow, and the only reason I say tomorrow is because the courts are closed for the day. This is not nessecarily cowardly, IMHO, it's safe and smart.

Odds on whether they'll pay? (5, Insightful)

Wanker (17907) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804228)

I'd like to see that cash in escrow before I believed anything this "anonymous" donor said.

competitor (2)

bilbobuggins (535860) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804184)

maybe this is a firmware competitor? maybe next year sony releases an x-box OS based on linux with lots of whiz-bang features to try to get people to switch.

sure, i might be reaching but it's still possible...

And MS will reward.. (3, Insightful)

YahoKa (577942) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804185)

$200,000 from him if you can run linux on it, but them MS will probably pay you $400,000 to keep it hush.

Re:And MS will reward.. (1)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804263)

They probably won't need to. Somebody's going to have to speak up to claim it, and what do you want to bet Microsoft's lawyers will be there to make sure the winner has to spend that $200,000 on legal fees to fight off the DMCA?

Won't matter if it's international, neither. Didn't matter with Dmitri Skylarov, didn't matter with James Sabzali... [globalexchange.org]

Anonymous person says they'll give you money.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804189)

Yeah.. sure they will

I can't wait!! (1)

joestar (225875) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804206)

Having Mandrake 8.2 running on the XBox would be *great* !!

This will hurt Open Source developers (5, Interesting)

kirkb (158552) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804207)

Right now, "underground" work on consoles is fairly open. Whenever "closed" hardware and firmware gets reverse-engineered, the results are typically documented and shared among like-minded developers. Won't the $200K reward encourage greedy developers to hide their work and end up reducing the amount of sharing that goes on? In the end, this would hinder efforts to open up the Xbox. I wouldn't be suprised if MS was behind this "reward" :)

Re:This will hurt Open Source developers (3, Informative)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804270)

Won't the $200K reward encourage greedy developers to hide their work and end up reducing the amount of sharing that goes on?

Read the rules. Results have to be submitted to the sourceforge project, and licensed under GPL . This would be pretty pointless otherwise...

Re:This will hurt Open Source developers (1)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804307)

Yes. The results have to be published. The in-progress research does not.
I think that's kind of the purpose of that comment

marketing lesson (5, Insightful)

lingqi (577227) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804210)

nearly a quarter of a million dollars

sigh... i guess 1/5 of a million dollars just don't have that "zing" or "cha-chin!" to it...
hell... this is why we have enron scandals... 50 grand short and we are calling it "nearly"

This is just a ploy (1)

jw32767 (58363) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804212)


Microsoft is just doing this to flush out all the good console hackers so they can hire/enslave them for their X-Box2 project.

Wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804224)

Can we get this in writing?

Bewolf Cluster (2)

peterdaly (123554) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804233)

With an Xbox at $199 [amazon.com] , a bewolf Linux cluster of a truckload of these could be a huge slap in the face to Microsoft. Forget the cluster, the XBox with custom software I am sure could make some rockin broadcast quality graphics for next to nothing.

This anonymous thing could just be a big ploy to get even more publicity when the generous person or company is revealed. I was posting earier this might be Larry Ellison, if it were not anonymous...it's his style, but I would expect the money to be more. It could be him, and want the more publicity angle.

It could also be to shield the person from legal attack until after the goose is already cooked, so to speak.

-Pete
(above amazon link is an affiliate link...for full discloseure)

Wow (2, Funny)

pr0t3uS (586517) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804234)

And someone wanted to convince me that there is no money to be made with free software.

What a lame attempt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804240)

To Boost XFlop sales. Too bad nobody outside the Mickysoft Xbox FanClub gives a damn about anything XFlop.

I can do it if I remain anonymous & get paid c (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804257)

All it takes are 4 dedicated (laid off?) people,
an assurance of anonymity( for probably the reasons the donor is anonymous) and in that same spirit of anonymity payment in cash.

(Oh, if the IRS is the donor the agreement if void).

Irony of Ironies (1)

Gangis (310282) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804268)

Hmm, Linux on a Microsoft console? Now THAT'S irony at it's finest. I say let's do it. :)

What's next, the Freestyle thingy they've always talked about?

Sheesh, if it would only run on my Dell.... (1)

Bingo Foo (179380) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804276)

If I could get Linux to work on my Dell Inspiron 7500, including the full use of internal+external dual video card, s-video, usb, IR, wireless, etc., I'd be willing to fork up a couple hundred.

Oh well... Guess I'll go buy a PowerBook.

Linux-Box (1)

Vought 28 (584320) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804280)

Just think, a kinder, gentler Halo.

$ currency? (1)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804282)

Is that like... $200,000USD? I'm in Canada! I could be a billionaire!!!!

Re:$ currency? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804337)

You better hurry! At the rate the Canadian dollar is going up right now (it's almost at 67 cents, up from 63 cents like 2 months ago) you'll only be a multi-millionaire.

Not Anti-Linux (0)

raiyu (573147) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804284)

This doesnt seem in any way anti-linux nor an impossible feat. Its most likely MS funded, since who else would care $200,000 worth whether or not Linux can be ported to Xbox. But instead of hoping its not possible, I think its MS hoping it is, so that they can say we can do everything a PS2 could do. Not to mention, $200,000 to a single person or group, for a finished working version of Linux under Xbox is fairly cheap, if they [MS] hired Linux consultants to do that it would probably cost more.

Full details and rules (5, Informative)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804288)

Note that the reward isn't all-or-nothing - it's partitioned into five distinct tasks, in two separate porjects. That also means that different people can claim the prize money for each task. If two groups solve the same problem, the "better" solution gets all the money.

Project A:
Task 1: Replacement BIOS - $55,000
Task 2: Kernel and XFree drivers
- 25,000
Task 3: Kernel logic: FATX and miscellaneous - 10,000
Task 4: XBE bootloader $10,000

Project B:
Run unsigned code on an Xbox without any hardware modification - $100,000

Anonymous Coward Strikes Again.. (1)

evanh23 (584055) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804299)

who is this masked marvel? and where does he get this kind of money? and why is he such a troll?

Re:Anonymous Coward Strikes Again.. (1)

presearch (214913) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804336)

The first day I found Slashdot, many years ago,
I thought that Anonymous Coward was a guy with a cool nick that really posted a lot....

The money will probably be needed for legal fees. (1, Troll)

Brett Glass (98525) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804303)

If it were merely a volunteer, unpaid effort, Microsoft would most likely look the other way. But money attracts Microsoft's interest, and with a $200K purse to be grabbed, you can bet that the software behemoth will go after the developers with guns a-blazing.

So, Mr. Gilmore (I'd say that the odds are pretty good that he's the anonymous donor) will not only have wasted his money but will have hurt the cause of Linux. That's fine by me, since I (like many others) believe that propagating the GPL and GPLed software is a bad idea. But it'll disappoint even advocates of Linux when it happens.

Is Microsoft Behind This? (5, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804304)

So far I've seen comments suggesting Larry Ellison and such, but what about this: could M$ themselves be behind this? Here's my theory:

  • Item: xbox sales have been falling and M$ is losing something like $125 per box (ouch).
  • Significance: There are alot of people out there who would like to help with this and now with this prize, they are probably more likely. This could spurr xbox sales (a little bit). Even if they don't succede, they may now buy games.

  • Item: It's not in the interest of MS to have modchipped xboxes become popular, because that would allow piracy easier. And the people who would want to run Linux on their xbox are some of the most likely to have many of the tools they'd need (DVD-R drive, broadband, etc).
  • Significance: Note that to get the full money, you have to make a copy of Linux that will run on an UNMODIFIED BOX. This would spurr sales, and give them a bigger installed base, but would still MAKR PIRACY HARD because there is no modchip. If Linux was put on the xbox, this would probably be the ideal case for MS.

  • Item: Now with a prize, this likely won't take terribly long, it will definatly speed things up. That's free press for MS if it get's hacked (and they don't act like idiots about this which they wouldn't if they are posting the prize $$$).
  • Significance: While chalenging hackers to port Linux to the PS/2 would have been very hard because of it's architecture, the xbox is made of mostly PC innards. Compilers and such are easily available. Hackers would already know about the CPU, hard drive, etc. inside out, and the grpahics chip/etc couldn't be too far from an nForce, etc.

  • Item: Even if many xboxes get sold to put Linux on, it's still a good thing for MS.
  • Significance: Not only would MS be able to claim a more significant install base to potential developers, but it would also allow them to buy the parts for the xbox cheaper and therefor lower their cost, improving their profitability (or as things are now, CREATING profitability).

This is just some speculation on my part. But let's face it, it does make a little sense.

I know who it is! (2)

zulux (112259) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804310)

The fine folks at Indrema [newbreedsoftware.com] pooled all the VC money they hid in the closet. A set-top Linux-based game console will come at last!

Or somthing. Maby I'm still bitter 'cause I bought an Atari Jaguar.

Seems like a hoax (2, Interesting)

presearch (214913) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804314)

In light of the slick ps2linux kit (which for me, works great) where's the huge market in Xbox Linux?

There's a lot more ps2's out there and I don't see Sony going after what would have to be a $5mil market to make paying $200K worth it.
With the Sony kit, you drop 200 bucks and Akio's your uncle. And it's even without the obvious market delays that the M$ lawyers would bring.
But it's not exactly a hot item for Sony. Very, very niche sales numbers.

Maybe back a few years ago when money didn't care where it went, $200k was no big thing, but today?
Why the fuss? Because it's a x86?

I smell a fish.

Who could it be? (1)

ccady (569355) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804323)

Who stands to make money from Linux being ported to the Xbox?

1) M$ would sell lots more Xboxen,

2) more people are likely to subscribe to the M$ games channel (or whatever you call it).

3) M$ could make money from the XBE developer licenses (I'm afraid I speak from ignorance here--this may not be the case.)

Since the anonymous donor seems to be so worried about the legality of the code, I seriously doubt that it is a hidden ploy by M$, thus I think that the potential downside must be more than that.

Q) Who else stands to gain money by Linux being ported to the Xbox? (Why would somebody be willing to spend $200,000 on this?)

A) Someone who is going to spend the money one way or another anyway, who is interested in some other revenue stream which will come from the Xbox.

Sony comes to mind, but not to the top of the list. They make money on their own hardware. They would really have no interest in making the Xbox a more attractive platform n any way.

A PVR or alternate service provider who want to use the platform for another purpose than gaming is a possibility, but not the top of the list again--why bother to get games going if you're just trying to sell a TV service?

What about a Linux O/S vendor? Red Hat, for example, could benefit from having a consumer platform which could run "their" software. Their recent game plan involves server software and consulting--I think they are not pursuing a mass-market approach.

A game vendor strikes me as being the likely candidate. One that already writes GNU/Linux games, and wants to broaden their reach to the Xbox, but doesn't want to be under M$'s thumb. They would have t write this code anyway, and their own IP would not be compromised. Anyone want to take a guess here? Who is the leader in this arena?

Microsoft prevention? (2)

Alizarin Erythrosin (457981) | more than 12 years ago | (#3804326)

Instead of Microsoft preventing this, they may want to quietly encourage this. If you look at it from the marketing standpoint, once this gets developed, it will most certainly boost Xbox (or as I call it, suXbox) sales to us nerds who want to install Linux on it.

Although if the rumors are true and they lose a buttload of money on it, maybe they'll get extra game sales or even get some new game developers

I can just picture everybody racing to get the first "Web server run from Xbox!" headline on /.

what a waste of time and resources (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3804332)

no one wants this crap. spend your time writing a better GUI for linux and make some decent fonts, learn how to render them CORRECTLY and then port linux to the xbox.

turd wads.
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