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Infinium Labs in Trouble Again

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the over-and-over-again dept.

The Courts 35

sm4kxd writes "Eurogamer is reporting that Infinium Labs is being investigated by the SEC. Apparently the SEC is particularly interested in the dealings of the company under previous CEO Tim Roberts, and are going so far as to file charges against Tim himself. The exact charges have not been revealed; Infinium believes it has to do with a 'recent SEC enquiry into phony fax scams, where penny stocks were illegally advertised to investors. The SEC also claims that Infinium did not keep accurate payroll and tax records during Roberts' reign, and owes fines and interest payments to the tune of USD 1.2 million.' It seems the more that is spoken of the Phantom, the more evidence there is that it is the most appropriately titled console in history."

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35 comments

Expected Reaction to Slashdot Story (-1, Redundant)

Ieshan (409693) | more than 8 years ago | (#13934137)

Infinium Labs Legal Team: "omg you posted teh libelous statements against us and damaged our emotional reputation and possibly our physical reputation!"

Slashdot Legal Team: "..."

Infinium Labs Legal Team: "We cast Jack Thompson lvl 10!"

Slashdot Legal Team: "...he hates you guys, and everything about gaming."

Jack Thompson: "omg you put words in my mouth you infuriating pixelate! Prepare the PR-machine for WAR!"

Re:Expected Reaction to Slashdot Story (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13934221)

I don't know; is that supposed to be funny? If so, then it would be a deliberate waste of a perfectly good fristy psot, and we would have to think you are a fucking fag-cunt.

Re:Expected Reaction to Slashdot Story (0, Offtopic)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#13934249)

I don't understand it either. If it's supposed to be funny, than it's not very.

I'm a bit confused (1)

Namronorman (901664) | more than 8 years ago | (#13934147)

"Evidently, as part of their investigation, the SEC has concluded that Tim [Roberts] has done something wrong. We don't know what it was. I don't know if Tim even knows what it was." SEC doesn't know what it was or Infinium Labs? That's kind of scary if it's SEC.

Re:I'm a bit confused (3, Informative)

chrisbtoo (41029) | more than 8 years ago | (#13935609)

SEC doesn't know what it was or Infinium Labs? That's kind of scary if it's SEC.

It's Infinium Labs. That quote is attributed to Kevin Bachus, their CEO.

Re:I'm a bit confused (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#13937865)

We're talking about the SEC, not the NSA. It's the SEC's job to look busy while being willfully ignorant of what's really going on ("I see nothink!").

Easily Confirmed (1)

boingyzain (739759) | more than 8 years ago | (#13934304)

Not that WIP's continuing work isn't appreciated.

The most telling indicator that this is true is that none of the major retailers will let you pre-order a Phantom through their site. You could preorder a PStwo on the dat it was announced at EBgames.com. However, neither they nor GameStop, Amazon, Best Buy, nor any other site I can find will let you pre-order the Phantom, officially coming out well within the pre-order window of most games & consoles. If the stores don't think it's going to happen, it's not going to happen.

Re:Easily Confirmed (1)

Torgo's Pizza (547926) | more than 8 years ago | (#13935720)

Funny you should mention WIP. There's more to that than you realize. ;-) Sorry, can't say more right now.

It's a classic "legal scam" (1)

boingyzain (739759) | more than 8 years ago | (#13934370)

This has been done before. You start a company with a more or less reasonable business plan requiring millions of start-up capital. You get people on board with the cash. You go public to get even more cash and then you eventually burn up the start-up capital, claim you need millions more to continue, either you get more cash or you then close up shop. The founders/majority shareholders get out of it with a nice big profit.

All the while in order to stay within the boundaries of a legit business so you can't get prosecuted, you DO spend some money on some product development... Just not at the levels you SHOULD be if you fully intended to bring the company into full fruition.

Another strategy for the prime founder(s) is to make yourself such a pain in the ass that the other share-holders buy you out (again, at a huge profit). Wouldn't surprise me if you eventually hear that Bachus buys out Roberts.

By then of course the company is a bleeding shell with no hope of recovery and the original founder is living large.

What's the latest on the Phantom? (4, Funny)

pudding7 (584715) | more than 8 years ago | (#13934371)

I was looking for any recent updates on this extraordinary device, but can't find anything. Last I heard they had a tiny booth at E3 or something. Shouldn't they be launching soon?

Re:What's the latest on the Phantom? (1)

Adam Whisnant (877421) | more than 8 years ago | (#13934540)

Why? Why do I not have any mod points when something this funny is posted?

Re:What's the latest on the Phantom? (1)

Colourspace (563895) | more than 8 years ago | (#13946146)

You're new(ish) here? It took me 6 years of logging in day by day and not meta modding before I even got a sniff of mod points - now mod points are fairly regular 9twice month?) ... clip yourself in and enjoy the ride dude... sorry for the patronising tone I can't help myself sometimes :)

Re:What's the latest on the Phantom? (1)

Adam Whisnant (877421) | more than 8 years ago | (#13946779)

You're apologizing for a patronizing comment and *I'M* the one who's new here? ;p I've had points to distribute once or twice already, but this comment needed it so much more than whatever I used those on.

Perhaps... (2, Funny)

Colourspace (563895) | more than 8 years ago | (#13934511)

... Gizmondo could buy them out? At the very least they appear to have some sort f product..

Obvious (1, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#13934537)

So, /. previously covered Roberts's mob ties.

When someone with mob ties has a crappy business that seems to lose a lot of money, or makes a substandard product with unexplained sales, what do the feds normally think?

Money laundering.

I know it's what I'm thinking.

Re:Obvious (2, Interesting)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13935062)

I remember seeing an article a week or so ago about mob ties for the Gizmodo people. I can't seem to find anything about Tim Roberts and the mob. Do you have a link?

Re:Obvious (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#13935442)

Not enough coffee today...

Dammit, got my crapware confused.

Thanks for correcting me!

Most appropriate? I can top that! (1, Funny)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#13934604)

It seems the more that is spoken of the Phantom, the more evidence there is that it is the most appropriately titled console in history.

Just you wait until I introduce my console...Vapor!

Re:Most appropriate? I can top that! (2, Funny)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13934717)

Just you wait until I introduce my console...Vapor!

That's pretty clever of you. Even if you don't get it to market, there's already a whole ton of software designed for it...

Re:Most appropriate? I can top that! (1)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 8 years ago | (#13939354)

All he has left to do is get someone to design an invisible logo for it!

Infinium what? (1)

Bega (684994) | more than 8 years ago | (#13934723)

Sorry, I've already forgotten all about the whole thing already.

Keep the faith (4, Funny)

SiliconJesus101 (622291) | more than 8 years ago | (#13934986)

Their launch title is going to be Duke Nukem Forever, that's why we haven't seen any hardware yet.

Re:Keep the faith (1)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | more than 8 years ago | (#13937207)

Damn, beat me to it.

this is sad (2, Interesting)

clackerd (797052) | more than 8 years ago | (#13935118)

ok, i'll admit it: i bought an atari lynx and a jaguar when they came out. i root for the underdog, almost to the point of throwing away money on inferior stuff. (i still play the lynx sometimes... i know, i know...) i am always looking for that hidden gem of a game or some advanced feature the other guys hadn't thought about just to expand my horizons. however, those early hard-ocp articles http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NTEy/ [hardocp.com] really drove home the point that i and the rest of the gaming world should stay very far away from this company and their product. this is just more icing on the cake. add to that they probably won't ship the phantom until after the PS3 and revolution come out, and there is no reason to even consider their console. at least their trainwreck story will live on long after the hardware/gaming service is forgotten.

Re:this is sad (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938341)

Impressive. The Phantom box announced 3.0 ghz processing and 7.0 surround sound in 2003. They even run a windows xpe kernel that even Bill Gates didn't know exist.

Re:this is sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13938957)

"They even run a windows xpe kernel that even Bill Gates didn't know exist."

Are you saying they built a custom kernel themselves or that there is a rogue element within Microsoft?
Tell us more about this double secret XP Embedded kernel.

Re:this is sad (1)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 8 years ago | (#13939360)

I'm pretty sure he was being sarcastic when he implied that it actually exists.

Re:this is sad (1)

dynamo (6127) | more than 8 years ago | (#13943503)

I had a lynx also, and it's even more graphically powerful than it's web browser namesake. Seriously though, it's totally underrated. I wish it had beaten the gameboy senseless as it should have.

Re:this is sad (1)

DuncMan (4534) | more than 8 years ago | (#13945300)

Nothing wrong with either the Lynx or the Jaguar. Neither were/ are "inferior". Atari in the late 1980s to mid 1990s were ingenious and inventive, and the Jaguar typifies that. Don't be embarassed about supporting them, Atari may have been the underdog but that had nothing to do with the quality of their products.

If memory serves, the Atari Jaguar was a 64-bit console with custom chips and an unusually versatile controller, released at a time when other consoles were content to be 16-bit and PCs were getting over the initial problems of moving to 32-bit via 80386 and the new 80486. More at http://www.atariage.com/Jaguar/ [atariage.com] .

Anyone suprised? (3, Insightful)

GrandCow (229565) | more than 8 years ago | (#13936406)

It seems the more that is spoken of the Phantom, the more evidence there is that it is the most appropriately titled console in history."
I'm sorry, maybe I missed something but I was under the impression that every single person on /. knew that this product was bogus.

Is there anyone on this forum that honestly believed it would come out?

Re:Anyone suprised? (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 8 years ago | (#13936518)

Is there anyone on this forum that honestly believed it would come out?
No, but I'm sure this forum is home to a number of Devil's Advocates who will take the opposite opinion, either for the sake of debate, or to annoy all others.

Shouldn't PETA be involved too? (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 8 years ago | (#13936993)

I mean, what with all the dog killing going on.

Trusted Computing (3, Informative)

Alsee (515537) | more than 8 years ago | (#13940155)

For anyone not familiar with the Phantom console design, it is (or was?) to be pretty much a standard PC with a network card in a console box locked down with a Trusted Computing chip. The Trusted Computing chip is a boobytrapped self destructing crypto chip to hold the keys and secure the system against the owner. (If the chip detects you trying to get at your keys then it wipes itself.)

Then they get to rent you game downloads over the internet. If you don't pay the monthly / daily / or even per-minute charges then your console securely deletes/deactivates the game. The entire business scheme is founded on the notion of denying people control over their own property.

-

Re:Trusted Computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13943557)

The entire business scheme is founded on the notion of denying people control over their own property

That's crap. That's like saying Blockbuster's business is charging people for videos and then extorting money out of them until the video is given back. You don't own the video; you rent it for a short while.

There's nothing wrong with buying or renting games over the internet. Sure, it's not a model that everyone will like or use. But it is not "a scheme" or some sort of IP affront.

Personally, I don't know why they are bothering to use a console for this. Why not provide the PC version of a cable set-top box? It could be a USB device containing the trusted computing chip and some custom electronics, all sealed in epoxy. With it attached to any PC, you can access and run the games you have rented or purchased. Without it, the games are unusable in some fashion. The box would cost something like $2 to make.

Re:Trusted Computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13959817)

Blockbuster... You don't own the video; you rent it for a short while.

Block Buster owns that disk, and yes you have to pay if you do not return their property.

However you seem to be rather dense and not realizing that we are talking about the computer here. That is indeed your property, and their scheme is to sell you a machine that is boobytrapped to self destruct if it detects you trying to look inside. You can still look inside and read out your key and regain full control of your computer, but you need a well equipped college laboratory to pull it off,and you need to be very carefull not to set off the boobytrap.

Their entire scheme is founded on the notion of denying you control over of own computer.

There's nothing wrong with buying or renting games over the internet.

Go right ahead. Just don't expect to foist boobytrapped self destructing hardware onto people, and don't complain if I rip open my chip and read out my key and get full control of my machine and deactivate any stupid self destruct mechanisms. And don't complain if I set up business providing the exact same service modding these units for anyone and everyone else.
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