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Microsoft Responds To 360 Hackers

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the get-off-my-lawn dept.

170

Microsoft would like to remind you that hacking your console most definitely voids your warranty. From the Eurogamer article: "Modified consoles, Microsoft added, 'will not be eligible for technical support, and the user's warranty will be voided ... the protection of intellectual property rights is a high priority for Microsoft and our partners, one that significantly and positively impacts economic growth, technological innovation, and most importantly, the confidence of customers who count on the integrity and quality of their products.'"

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The Repsonse: (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15362737)

Haw haw!

-Microsoft

well, duh! (3, Insightful)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 8 years ago | (#15362740)

Did some baboon actually call them for technical support after soldering in a mod chip and watching it go boom?

Re:well, duh! (1)

Traiklin (901982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15362834)

more then likely the awnser is yes.
,br> someone probably though "COOL! I can get free games now!" did it incorrectly and could no longer boot regular 360 games, called up Microsoft and asked about it went through the normal questions and found out he would have to send the console in, realizing this he (cause let's face it, only a guy would be THIS stupid) mentioned that he tried to fix it himself and ended up taking the thing apart to try and fix it, they knew right away what he did and let him know thus he freaked out.

Personally, MS should of just put a recording for when people call "If you have opened your system for illegal modification we know who you are and where you live and we WILL be in contact with you", would make for some really funny moments.

Re:well, duh! (1, Funny)

Glonoinha (587375) | more than 8 years ago | (#15362870)

You know this probably wouldn't be happening right now, if it weren't for that damn Sony rootkit.

Re:well, duh! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15363017)

Remember, the reason Draino has "Do not drink" on the label is because someone did. By definition, half of all people are below average intelligence.

Re:well, duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15363347)

By definition, half of all people are below average intelligence.

Care to see which "half" you are?

There is a room of 10 people taking an IQ test. It turns out that nine of them score an IQ of 95, and one person scores 145.
(a) What is the average IQ in this sample of people? _____
(b) What percentage of these people are below the average? _____

Re:well, duh! (4, Funny)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363750)

Half of all people are below average height.

Being in a room with the Harlem Globetrotters doesn't affect this assertion.

You're wrong. (2, Insightful)

LKM (227954) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363776)

Think about it.

Re:You're wrong. (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363805)

My assumption is that height is distributed on a gaussian bell curve.

The average height of the sample in the room will not be.

But that DOESN'T affect the population at large.

So, saying it is not true for 145, 95, 95, 95, 95 is a straw man.

Did I miss something ?

Re:You're wrong. (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363958)

Depends which average you want: mean* {add up and divide by sample size}, median {line everyone up in order and pick the one at the halfway point; halfway along X-axis of ogive} or mode {most frequently occurring value; point on ogive where gradient is steepest}. Half of any population by definition are below the median. The mean, which is what most people think of as "average", may be skewed by a few very large or very small values, particularly if the range is blind. The median is more stable, even in a blind range, as long as the rogue values are few in number.

* OK, there are two means. What I just described is the arithmetical mean. There is also a geometrical mean, where you multiply all the values and then ** by (1 / sample size). If you find yourself needing to do that often, you probably should consider taking the log of your data.

Re:You're wrong. (1)

hector_uk (882132) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364030)

Or you could of just said that the bell curve is likely skewed negatively due to radiation ect (look at IQ drops downwind of bomb test sites *COUGH*TEXAS*COUGH* and that although the mean is about equal to the median in a perfect world it's not going to happen and it's not like their is good radiation making people smarter and to be accurate 100% half of all people are stupider than the median intelligence. (no i'm not one of those anti radiation "omg my wi-fi routers going to give me cancer" nutjobs, my wariness is based on actual risk, not the scariness (note how i did not use the word "statistics" so none of you nit picking math nazi's can say "theirs lies, damn lies and statistics"

Re:You're wrong. (2, Funny)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364054)

Why do people say "could of" when they mean "could have" ?

When I start my own country, I'll make bad grammar and spelling capital offences.

Re:You're wrong. (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364290)

Really? Well, in my country, putting a space character in front of a question mark will be a capital offence.

Re:You're wrong. (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364355)

They're below the median/mean/mode.

Re:You're wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364544)

Might as well make them capitol offenses while you're at it, so you can watch.

Re:You're wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364608)

being a homo.... will that be your country's religion? hmmm?

Re:You're wrong. (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364826)

That's the British way of saying it...

Re:You're wrong. (1)

The-Bavis (855107) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364768)

We're definitely being adversly affected down here by all of the harmful emissions Oklahoma keeps sending our way.

/End of required OK bashing by Texan.

Re:well, duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15363422)

I think you mean median intelligence.

Re:well, duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15363428)

The mean and the median (and the mode) are all "averages". Yes people, there is more than one meaning for the "average" of a set of numbers.

Re:well, duh! (2, Informative)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363519)

By definition, half of all people are below average intelligence.

By definition, no. However, assuming a normal (Gaussian) distribution of intelligences, that's a reasonable approximately.

Re:well, duh! (3, Funny)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363525)

Argh, s/approximately/approximation/

I guess that's a hint at where I fall in the distribution...

Re:well, duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15363615)

Don't be ridiculous. Allowing baboons to use their latest console would undermine customer expectations of a user-centric interactive experience.

Xbox Live (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15362741)

Does this mean they haven't been detected on Xbox live yet? Is there any news of this?

Of course it won't be warrantied...if M$ is trying to scare them now, it's a bit too late as the warranty seal on the console has already been broken. Just a scare tactic for M$, a risk that's already been calculated for the modders.

Re:Xbox Live (2, Insightful)

sdnoob (917382) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363171)

how long until there's an "xbox genuine advantage" program in place that requires a net connection every time you change discs?

Re:Xbox Live (1)

Pulse_Instance (698417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363232)

I would guess that Microsoft implements the same thing they did on the last XBOX, if a mod is detected that XBOX is no longer allowed on Live. Then you get alternatives to live and people have to decide if they want to use live or something else. There wouldn't be something that requires a check everytime you change a disc just everytime you connect to live, I would guess you would need to block the connection to live for a mod to work for the 360.

Re:Xbox Live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364051)

It's a drive firmware hack, maybe the Xbox360 was made in such a way that the rest of the hardware has no direct access to the actual drive firmware, or any interface to check the checksum etc. and therefore CAN'T detect it.

fri-s-t (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15362758)

post

GNAA owns Jeff Merkey

Dear Microsoft (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15362764)

Understand that the last thing I need is your support.

Signed,

Anonymous

Even shorter :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15363405)

Dear Microsoft,

Screw you!

- Anon.

Meaningless (5, Insightful)

Sean0michael (923458) | more than 8 years ago | (#15362775)

I don't know about other /.ers, but I've never had to call tech support for a game console, nor have I ever needed to use the warranty. As far as I can tell, voiding your warranty is only a nominal loss, nothing more. Most people who are thinking about modding their XBox won't care about the warranty--they know full well they are voiding it. They probably have the connections to fix whatever they break. I guarantee MS doesn't.

Re:Meaningless (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15362843)

Eh, some PS2s have notoriously bad spindle motors. Usually they'll last until the warentee runs out though.

Since the mod doesn't involve a soldering iron there's much less chance of permanently wrecking your console. Heck, I think one of the first steps is to take a backup of the firmware so you can fix it if something goes wrong.

Re:Meaningless (1)

acidrain69 (632468) | more than 8 years ago | (#15362889)

As for the PS2, it has usually been the laser in my experience. I have 2 sitting here, with a 3rd untested (was given to me), and they both play CDs fine, just not most DVDs.

Re:Meaningless (1)

NATIK (836405) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363893)

Got exactly the same problem on mine, but once in a while a DVD will boot up and run fine untill I restart the console... It started doing this a few months after the warranty ran out.

Re:Meaningless (5, Informative)

kahanamoku (470295) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363098)

Its not exactly technical support, but I DID actually call them for support on my Xbox360 in an effort to recover the copy of HexicHD that I deleted (as many others have) in an effort to reclaim some space on the HDD (expecting the game to take up the 7 gigs of space that was missing from the 20GB drive).

After giving them my GamerTag, Email Addresses, Phone Numbers and Xbox360 Serial number they gave me a reference number for the call and I am to "expect a return call from them within the next week with the prepaid code" that I need to enter to enable to download from xbox live .... THAT WAS 5 WEEKS AGO!!!

How can they claim they wont give you support if you void your warranty? it's no different than what they provide at the moment with a valid warranty.

Re:Meaningless (5, Informative)

Osty (16825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363276)

Its not exactly technical support, but I DID actually call them for support on my Xbox360 in an effort to recover the copy of HexicHD that I deleted (as many others have) in an effort to reclaim some space on the HDD (expecting the game to take up the 7 gigs of space that was missing from the 20GB drive).

Either you can't read, or you can't do math. :) When you go to delete anything from the hard drive, you can see exactly how much space it takes (in KB or MB, depending on the item). Even if you saw that Hexic is ~30MB and didn't realize that it was accurate, you're never going to get 20GB out of that hard drive. First off, 20GB == 18.6GiB (silly hard drive marketing using the SI definition of GB, while Microsoft displays "GiB" as "GB" on the dashboard). From that, subtract another 4GiB for game buffers (same deal as in the original Xbox, though they never told you the exact size there. Everything was in "blocks"), some amount of space for Xbox emulation, filesystem overhead, and the dashboard, OS, and related resources, and it makes perfect sense that you only get ~13-14GiB of usable space on a 20GB/18.6GiB drive.

Oh, yeah, if you haven't heard back from support, call them again. They're people, too, and it's not unheard of for people to forget things once in a while. You just may be unlucky.

If support people are "forgetting" (2, Insightful)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364453)

then there's a lot more wrong at MS than even slashdotters might normally predict.

Hopefully the support people aren't tracking your call using yellow stickies on the cube wall to remind them "Call Joe, re: code" Usually there's something more sophisticated than that for tracking support. Either there's an automated system for handling this, or at the very least the ticket should be coming up as unresolved. Saying "hey, anyone might forget" is a little silly

Re:If support people are "forgetting" (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364580)

Hopefully the support people aren't tracking your call using yellow stickies on the cube wall to remind them "Call Joe, re: code" Usually there's something more sophisticated than that for tracking support.

Hey, are you knocking my tech support methods? I'm far more likely to call someone back if I have a yellow sticky note taped to my monitor than if I have to remember to check Remedy once in awhile for open tickets.

Re:Meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364535)

Spotted the problem...

you forgot to hand over the rights to your first born... ;^D

Re:Meaningless (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363169)

Actually, the motherboard in my SNES blew when it was brand new. Thankfully it was still a few days till the warranty ran out.

Re:Meaningless (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15363486)

Microsoft actually has very, very good tech support for their consoles.

About a year after purchasing my first Xbox (the first one), it broke down for some reason and simply would not start up. After calling their tech support, they let me know that my warranty was over (it had been over a year) and that she had "some bad news." The bad news was that they would be sending me a box for me to package the Xbox and send to them, for free to fix, for free. Afterwards, they sent the Xbox back to me weekend overnight (Saturday delivery)!

Re:Meaningless (1)

Johannes K. (27905) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363643)

I don't know about other /.ers, but I've never had to call tech support for a game console, nor have I ever needed to use the warranty.

This /.er has. My (original) XBox blew up my home cinema amplifier. Dunno what was wrong with it (voltage spike when turned on?) but after a while the input that the XBox was on would break. (Sound which was identical on both channels was amplified as it should be; sounds which were only on one channel were not amplified at all, so couldn't be heard.) The first time it happened immediately, on an input I'd never used before, so I thought the amplifier was at fault. It happened again with the new amplifier, though, and this time only after a turning the XBox on a number of times.

So then I called M$ XBox Support. The friendly lady I talked with kindly informed my that since the manual only described how to connect the XBox to either a tv or a video, I was not covered by the warranty. I tried to remain civil, but probably didn't quite succeed (to put it mildly).

I went home, read all the small print in the XBox manual (including a phrase about how you could expect the thing to work like machinery of this kind tends to work, or words to that effect), and decided to call back. This time I got a 'Hmm, I've never heard of that happening.', and got passed up the chain of command several times. Before I reached Bill Gates, some middle manager (or some such) decided that they'd send someone over to come and pick up my XBox, and have one of their engineers look at it. A month or so later, your generic UPS-replacement came by with a package from M$.

This package contained an XBox, with a different serial number. Oh, and no save games on the harddrive. No letter of explanation, no phone call to explain, no mail, no nothing. From the serial number I guess they replaced the thing. What was wrong with it, I still don't know.

So I suppose it all ended well. I still spit fire when I think of the initial response I got, though. I wish I'd thought of asking to speak with her boss. (Or should I secretly be happy that M$ has such people working for them, as this will undoubtedly cost them business in the long term?)

Re:Meaningless (1)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364116)

I bought an X-Box, and it died completely while in warranty. Hard drive failed in an unrecoverable manner (you could hear the clicks across the room).

I called tech support, spoke to some guy in the US (I'm in Australia) and after he thoroughly probed me he arranged a pre-paid box to be sent to me so I could have the unit repaired/replaced.

Without the warranty I'd have been down a few hundred dollars. Outside the warranty period, I'd happily hack the X-Box, but inside that time I consider hacking it to be a bit more of a gamble than I'd like to take.

what's new? (1, Insightful)

sk8dork (842313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15362776)

so, pretty much nothing is different or new? same thing went with the original xbox, and i'm pretty sure the same thing goes for any piece of hardware. i'm sure this was also already in place before recent events. so microsoft is reminding everyone? ok.

This should be common sense and not news (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15362795)

Of course. Would you expect anything different from anyone else?

Significant positive impact? (2, Interesting)

TheSB (975807) | more than 8 years ago | (#15362817)

"...the protection of intellectual property rights ... significantly and positively impacts technological innovation..." I'd love to see MS pay an 'independant 3rd party' to determine the truth on that.

so wrong (5, Insightful)

foQ (551575) | more than 8 years ago | (#15362844)

Let's look at the things which Microsoft claims are "significantly and positively impact[ed]" by trying to protect their Intellectual Property:

economic growth
The only economic growth impacted is the upward growth of the modchip makers -- an industry Microsoft can't dominate and bully. What happenned to the economic growh of Netscape when Microsoft integrated IE into Windows -- a design flaw that has not been corrected even in Vista! How about all of the patents illegally used by Microsoft over the years? Why was their "economic growh" and Intellectual Property not worth protecting?

technological innovation
The modchip industry is pretty damn innovative! You have a huge multi-billion dollar company in a huge multi-billion dollar industry designing these consoles to be hackproof, yet a few guys in a garage can hack them in under a year. That is technological innovation, too, it's just not in a way that Microsoft can stifle and control. It is open innovation, published and available to all.

and most importantly, the confidence of customers who count on the integrity and quality of their products.
Integrity like scratching discs to unpreadability? Quality like overheating and frequent crashes? Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it the modders and makers who designed ways to cool the power supplies and devices? From strings to hang the power brick to watercooling for the processors, the hardware hackers have been improving on the designs of the XBOX 360. It seems to me like these problems should have been fixed BEFORE shipping by highly paid designers, not AFTER shipping by fans who didn't want to feel cheated out of their money.

Re:so wrong (1)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 8 years ago | (#15362936)

Hey to be fair when Internet Explorer was first rolled into windows it won because Netscape sucked at the time.

Re:so wrong (1)

cornface (900179) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363003)

Hey to be fair when Internet Explorer was first rolled into windows it won because Netscape sucked at the time.

It's true. The foulness of Communicator is what destroyed Netscape. IE4 was leaps and bounds ahead in the key demographic of "people who don't like horrible browsers."

Re:so wrong (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363060)

Excuse me? I use Vista. IE is NOWHERE NEAR integrated.

Re:so wrong (3, Interesting)

Nos9 (442559) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363120)

Actually I for one, do prefer not to have people cheating when I play them in online games...
    Halo 2 used to be fun, running into a guy who shoots you from his flying warthog (and yes I mean the damn thing flew through the air) through walls with automatic headshots is anything but fun, nor is playing capture the flag with a guy who can run across the map in 1 second, capturing your teams flag about the same time the system tells you it has been taken.

Re:so wrong (1)

NATIK (836405) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363926)

You can cheat protect without making people unable to use their own hardware, how do you think Valve protect against cheats in CS? Not by locking down the game or your system, but by looking for known cheats. It is just a bad excuse to keep the consoles locked down.

Re:so wrong (4, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363191)

The modchip industry is pretty damn innovative! You have a huge multi-billion dollar company in a huge multi-billion dollar industry designing these consoles to be hackproof, yet a few guys in a garage can hack them in under a year. That is technological innovation, too, it's just not in a way that Microsoft can stifle and control. It is open innovation, published and available to all.

This is the classic dilemma of anybody doing anything security-related. If you're defending, you havet o protect the entire system against any possible hole, usually with limited man power (yes, even in the OSS world), and under a time constraint to get the software/hardware out (you may patch it later, but you need "good enough" from the start). If you're attacking, you just need one tiny little hole, and you have all the time in the world to do it. And, you're working with essentially infinite man power (while you're focusing on one hole, another attacker somewhere else is focusing on a different one). Innovation here lies in how long you can keep your system unhackable.

Integrity like scratching discs to unpreadability?

It's your own damned fault if you don't understand the physics of a spinning disk and try to reorient your Xbox 360 while a disk is playing. Maybe Microsoft shouldn't have made the Ring of Light adjust with the orientation of the console, as that would keep the sheeple from screwing up their games because they want to see the pretty lights. Not a design flaw (go try it with a PS2 -- you'll have the same problem. Nobody was ever stupid enough to do it with a PS2 because there is no Ring of Light on the front).

Quality like overheating and frequent crashes?

I can't help but think the overheating issues were way overstated by early adopters and the media. By all accounts, my own 360 is "launch window" (build date of early December, purchased mid-December), and I've yet to run into an overheating issues. Then again, I don't box my 360 up in an enclosed media center, with no airflow around the console or the power supply. You wouldn't put a PC in an enclosure with poor circulation, so why would you do that with an Xbox? There was a verified problem with a bad batch of power supplies, but you could get that replaced under warranty (but not if you modded!). Not to mention the many cases where crashes were attributed to overheating when the real culprit was a poorly-connected power supply (you have to push it in until it clicks and the little clip catches. Otherwise, you're not going to have a solid power connection and could easily crash the box because of it).

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it the modders and makers who designed ways to cool the power supplies and devices?

You're both right and wrong. Modders did design ways to cool the 360, though none of them were particularly innovative (if you can't cool it better than Microsoft did in the same form factor, it's not an innovation). However, those modifications are unnecessary with a little common sense, and potentially a power supply swap.

You want to talk about innovation? Okay. Go build a comparably-powered PC in the same form factor or smaller. I bet you can't do it. No, Mini-ITX.com [mini-itx.com] doesn't count, because those PCs are nowhere near as powerful as a 360 (they make great media centers, though!). Even Sony can't do it. The PS3 is going to be huge. The 360 is no larger than a PS2. Don't believe me? I'll take a picture. I have my PS2 standing right next to my 360, and the 360 is approximately .5 inch taller due to the hard drive, and no wider. It's a little deeper by about 1.5 inches, but that's less than the old Xbox and much less than my cable box or my DVD player.

Re:so wrong (1)

NATIK (836405) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363940)

Integrity like scratching discs to unpreadability?

It's your own damned fault if you don't understand the physics of a spinning disk and try to reorient your Xbox 360 while a disk is playing. Maybe Microsoft shouldn't have made the Ring of Light adjust with the orientation of the console, as that would keep the sheeple from screwing up their games because they want to see the pretty lights. Not a design flaw (go try it with a PS2 -- you'll have the same problem. Nobody was ever stupid enough to do it with a PS2 because there is no Ring of Light on the front).


Call me stupid if you want but I have moved my PS 2 around alot while playing changing orientations a total of 360 degrees with a spinning disc and I would be willing to do it again always. The PS 2 dosnt have this problem, I dont have one scratch in any of the discs I have done this to. It is a design flaw not a normal thing.

Re:so wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15363993)

The 360 is no larger than a PS2. Don't believe me?

No, I don't believe you, and I think you're about to contradict yourself...

I have my PS2 standing right next to my 360, and the 360 is approximately .5 inch taller due to the hard drive, and no wider. It's a little deeper by about 1.5 inches, but that's less than the old Xbox and much less than my cable box or my DVD player.

So you mean to say that the 360 is

  • 0.5 inch taller and
  • 1.5 inch deeper
than the PS2... and yet it's still no bigger?

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Re:so wrong (1)

Kattana (635282) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364102)

0.5inch taller and 1.5inch deeper? Sounds like you have just enough room to stuff the PSU inside. GG.

AAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! (1, Insightful)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 8 years ago | (#15362902)

"...the protection of intellectual property rights...significantly and positively impacts economic growth, technological innovation, and most importantly, the confidence of customers who count on the integrity and quality of their products.'"

+5 Funny

(or, better yet, +5 The Exact Opposite Is True :-P )

free games vs mabey perhaps it might break (1)

good2pets (631187) | more than 8 years ago | (#15362904)

all free games I can play versus mabey perhaps it might break at some point in the future. I dont condone piracy but the threat of not being able to call microsoft for help if it breaks is really dependent upon them actually being helpful in the first place. Remember they didnt want to recall the xbox powercables that were overheating and burning up people's houses, yeah that helpful. Yes I have called them, and yes its that bad, its like they were told at orientation not to answer the phone until the guy has been on hold for at least one hour. Not only are they all in India, but it seems only five of them. Ugh.

Go MS (2, Insightful)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363020)

Microsoft is being pretty good about this. They're just talking about the warrenty. Apple would be cursing the evil hacking pirate terrorists at this point.

I can't wait until my XBox 360 gets repaired. The 3 red light circle started flashing the first time I plugged it into Xbox Live.

Re:Go MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15363775)

Thats not a troll!!!!!

Only voided warranties...? (3, Insightful)

JediLow (831100) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363117)

"will not be eligible for technical support, and the user's warranty will be voided."

Does that mean Microsoft is actually respecting the owner's right to own the console unlike they did with the Xbox? I'm fine with companies saying that its no longer covered by them if you tinker with it, but when they attempt to go beyond that line (ie: claiming DCMA violations, claiming the owner has no right to do what they want with their console) its gone way too far.

Re:Only voided warranties...? (5, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363231)

Does that mean Microsoft is actually respecting the owner's right to own the console unlike they did with the Xbox? I'm fine with companies saying that its no longer covered by them if you tinker with it, but when they attempt to go beyond that line (ie: claiming DCMA violations, claiming the owner has no right to do what they want with their console) its gone way too far.

Can you point to even one case where Microsoft prosecuted an individual for modding his Xbox? Sure, they and Sony went after Lik-Sang for selling mod chips, but not the people who use them. They've attacked sellers who sold modified Xboxes with 100s of pirated games, but that was because of the pirated games, not the modchip. They patched holes in games and the dashboard that allowed for soft-modding, but that's their perogative and your fault for buying a re-release of a game or signing in to Xbox Live (and if it was IE or Windows, you'd be bitching if they didn't patch the holes ...). They banned modified Xboxes from Xbox Live, but they have the right to choose who uses their service and who doesn't (and once you're banned, you no longer have to pay for it). Read the TOS you agreed to when signing up. Microsoft has never stopped anybody from installing a mod chip and running Linux.

Expect all of the same to happen now, too. In fact, I'm surprised that their only response was to remind you that you void your warranty with this hack. The current hack is only useful for playing pirated games. You can't use it for homebrew software or to run Linux, so there's no legitimate justification to shield it. When (not if) a real hack or mod chip appears, expect to get banned from Xbox Live for using a modified console (which will be much worse this time around, since Live is so much more important to the core experience of Xbox 360). Expect Microsoft to continue to go after people selling consoles with pirated games. And expect them to stay out of your business if all you want to do is run Linux and stay the hell off of Live.

Re:Only voided warranties...? (1, Troll)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363623)

> Can you point to even one case where Microsoft prosecuted an individual for modding his Xbox?

Yes, in their internal court. Sentence: Lifetime ban from the Live service.

Re:Only voided warranties...? (2, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363862)

Yes, in their internal court. Sentence: Lifetime ban from the Live service.

Nope. They ban the specific Xbox, perhaps the Live account, and maybe the credit card in extreme cases, but there's nothing stopping you from getting a non-modified Xbox, a new Live account, and using a different credit card if necessary. Anyway, getting banned from Live is nothing even close to legal prosecution.

Oh noes! (1)

Araxen (561411) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363121)

It voids your warranty! And no Tech Support! Well no shit sherlock!

MS Real Response (1)

Psychotext (262644) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363140)

My guess is that we'll see MS issue an update over xbox live soon that stops this particular hack method working and no doubt they'll put the same update into the machines rolling off the production line. Oh, and don't forget that they can put updates into the games too...

Of course, I might be wrong, but I really can't see them being too worried. If they decide to go this way then the likelyhood is (until new methods are found) that the only people this will work for are the owners with older versions of the console that weren't connected to xbox live or used to play new games.

Consumers have important IP rights too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15363142)

So violating the intellectual property rights given to the consumer is considered protecting intellectual property rights? Buh, What?!?

Microsoft hardly cares about piracy (4, Informative)

Myria (562655) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363184)

The hack only allows piracy. As Microsoft said, the rest of the security system isn't broken at all.

That's the sad part. It's very obvious that Microsoft cares much more about preventing Linux, Xbox Media Center and Game Shark much much much much more than they care about preventing piracy.

The 360's security against unauthorized software undoubtedly cost millions of dollars to develop, and an unknown amount to manufacture. Meanwhile, the anti-piracy system of the 360 is almost identical to the Xbox's weak system. They barely changed anything, even though they knew it was already broken.

By the way, the piracy hack for 360 was finished months ago. They probably spent the rest of that time designing their stuff to make it incredibly hard for Microsoft to detect it through Xbox Live.

Expect Microsoft to very soon reflash the drive of anyone connecting to the Internet with a version with no back doors and that checks digital signatures of future flashes. And they'll do this instantly upon detecting a connected network cable without asking for your permission.

Melissa

Re:Microsoft hardly cares about piracy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15363267)

What are you talking about? Of course Microsoft cares about piracy. They lose big $$$ on every console, their only hope of turning a profit is the money get from game licensing. If people are buying the games, Microsoft isn't getting their cut.

Re:Microsoft hardly cares about piracy (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363619)

> The hack only allows piracy. As Microsoft said, the rest of the security system isn't broken at all.

Luckily the hack also allows use of good old-fashioned backup/working copies. Less "omg my disk got scratched fuck help".

No, what they care about is... (2, Informative)

Duds (100634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363856)

Protecting the integrity of the online security. On Xbox live you can be certain the person whacking you constantly isn't doing it with the aid of a patch to increase speed or damage, you just suck.

If that goes, Xbox live's one REALLY good reason to exist does too.

Re:No, what they care about is... (2, Informative)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364172)

Actually the security of the 360 just covers the XEX file. All the other files on the disk can be modified and never checked leaving a huge backdoor for game hackers / game moders. Whats left of the 360s security pretty much keeps people from just writeing custom software at this point. Shouldn't be too much longer before that too is cracked however. Though not likely it'll be as wide open as with the Xbox.

Re:No, what they care about is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364460)

Could you post any more about this? It sounds like a very big security hole.

I understand that the 360 is a "trusted computer" -- do "trusted platforms" in general really only check the signatures of directly executable code, regardless of the fact that parts of applications and games are controlled by data (in the form of interpreted language bytecodes)? If TCPA systems all have this security hole, then it will be trivial to work around the "security" and reclaim your own computer.

Honestly I don't care (4, Interesting)

Psykechan (255694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363220)

Microsoft's warranty for the original Xbox wasn't worth the digital paper it was printed on. I had to send mine back three times with a defective DVD drive before I finally gave up and stopped buying games for the damn thing. It would refuse to play any discs be it movies or games intermittantly. The braindead techs at Microsoft's Xbox repair center would run their diagnostic disc on it once and then send it back with the same defective drive.

I only started using it again when I decided to mod it to run unsigned binaries like XBMC on it. An interesting side effect was that I was able to copy my until recently unusable games to the hard drive to actually get to play them without the system locking up with an "Unable to read disc" message all too often.

I actually bought a few games after I modded the system due to the fact that I was now able to once again use the console for what it was intended to do.

Honestly I'll wait for the hackers to perfect a similar method for the 360 before I'll pick one up. I have no interest in pirating games but I would like to ensure that I will be able to play games that I purchase without being frustrated again. /rant

Re:Honestly I don't care (2, Interesting)

Osty (16825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363315)

I only started using it again when I decided to mod it to run unsigned binaries like XBMC on it. An interesting side effect was that I was able to copy my until recently unusable games to the hard drive to actually get to play them without the system locking up with an "Unable to read disc" message all too often.

Of course, with a modified system you would no longer be able to play on Live. Whether that matters to you or not is a different issue.

The problem with your DVD drive was unfortunately common, and I'm surprised you never got a real repair for it (or at least a refurbished console). That said, the "correct" fix is to replace your crappy DVD drive [llamma.com] (probably a Thomson [llamma.com] ) with one of the better drives from Phillips, Samsung, or Hitachi. Like you, my original Xbox had a piece of crap Thomson, but I fixed it by replacing it with a Phillips and everything was better (the DVD drive doesn't factor in to the identity of the console like the hard drive and motherboard do, so it's not seen as a hack and bannable offense). The Phillips drive did eventually die from natural causes, at which point I replaced the drive again, this time with a Samsung. Since the second replacement was not needed until I could buy a complete used Xbox for the price of a DVD drive at llama.com, I just went down to the local Game Crazy and opened Xboxes until I found one with a drive I wanted. After swapping the drives, my old box with all of my non-transferable saves was back in business. No modchip necessary, though now I have a spare Xbox in which I could put an old flakey Thomson (because the Phillips was really dead, not just flakey) that might be worth modding some day.

Well at least... (2, Funny)

ClickOnThis (137803) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363338)

...Billy-boy didn't take out a full-page ad in a gaming mag that screamed:

YOU ARE ALL THIEVES!

Monopoly? US Congress? Was I Dreaming? (0, Offtopic)

cbnmedia (855539) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363339)

I'm pretty sure the worst way to damage economic growth in a capitalist economy, short of nuking the place, is to have a monopoly industry. If my memory serves me correctly didn't Microsoft get dragged in front of the US Congress for having a monopoly? haha hypocrits...

*GASP!* (2, Funny)

HunterZ (20035) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363742)

Oh noes!!!!1111eleven You mean that if someone mods their XBox360, they won't get a free power cord when their power supply starts a fire?

I really can't think of any other reason that anyone capable of modding a console would want out of Microsoft's tech support.

So why (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363785)

buy an XBox at all? Most games are available for PC as well, and one way to actually stop manufacturers from limiting the options for users is to avoid closed systems like closed game consoles.

Just because you asked. (1)

fujiman (912957) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363914)

I'm buying a 360 because:

1. I Can't afford a PC that will play a game like Gears of War. Both the PS3 (yes, the PS3) and 360 are an incredible value from a PC/hardware point of view. Remember the 6800 Ultras when they came out? Up to 800 dollars!

2. Windows on a PC blows. I'm sick of it. That's why I have a Mac... but Windows is the only PC platform with gaming. Yeah, yeah, I know MS also makes the 360, but they've figured out what Apple has known all along -- you make an end-to-end product and you can improve the quality of the software that runs on it.

3. The future of PC gaming is headed toward the Xbox Live model anyway, why not have the best implementation of that model? Steam and other delivery systems are just catching up to what Live has already accomplished.

And yes, I can get by without a mouse and keyboard. I have been intelligently designed with hands, fingers, and opposable thumbs to accommodate all sorts of tasks. And the 360 controller is heaven.

News read quickly turns out differently for me.. (1)

necromcr (836137) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363833)

Anyone else misread the news like so?

Microsoft would like to remind you that hacking your console most definitely voids your warranty. From the Eurogamer article: "Modified consoles, Microsoft added, 'will not be eligible for technical support, and the user's warranty will be voided ... the protection of buzz buzz rights is a buzz buzz for Microsoft and our buzz, one that buzz and buzz buzz buzz buzz, buzz buzz, and most importantly, the confidence of customers who count on the buzz and buzz of their products.'"

lol (1)

cheaphomemadeacid (881971) | more than 8 years ago | (#15363895)

"[...] and most importantly, the confidence of customers who count on the integrity and quality of their products.'" You mean both of them?

Rubbish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15363965)

the protection of intellectual property rights is a high priority for Microsoft and our partners, one that significantly and positively impacts economic growth, technological innovation, and most importantly, the confidence of customers who count on the integrity and quality of their products.
There's no such thing as 'intellectual property', it is a meaningless phrase that is used to illustrate a complete misunderstanding of patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret law.
s/intellectual property rights/our control over your computer/
Much better.

Warranty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15363972)

It should be noted that the so called warranty period is only 90 days parts / labor...

And BestBuy would exchange it under warranty through their PRP...
Just have to hide the ripped warranty seal...

Trust me ;)

hardware lockdown bad (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364026)

I don't see how Microsoft's {for that matter, any manufacturer's} hardware lockdown can be considered as anything other than anti-competitive behaviour. If a car manufacturer set out deliberately to frustrate attempts to fit extra lights, a better stereo, blind-spot mirrors, fluffy dice &c. not made by them, they would quite rightly be slapped down in the courts. In fact, there's a healthy competitive market in third-party car accessories. A firm of house builders could not legally prevent homeowners from laying new laminate flooring, installing extra power points or fitting new door handles not approved by them.

Due to a little thing called "Exhaustion of Rights" {it goes all the way back to when some bloke signed a piece of paper at a place called Runnymeade}, when you buy an XBox360 using your own hard-earned, anything you do with it {with the possible exception of setting fire to it and throwing it through one of their windows} is none of Microsoft's business anymore.

It was quite legal for Parker Brothers, Activision, Imagic et al to make game cartridges for the Atari 2600. What changed since then? Apart from people getting greedy .....

Re:hardware lockdown bad (1)

DeeDob (966086) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364578)

^ Not true...

If you buy a new car and replaces parts with third partys, most dealers will void your warranty.

I fully support Microsoft in their war against hackers...
- Prevent cheaters online.
- Prevent illegal copying of games. The software designers have to be paid so they can bring me more games.

Re:hardware lockdown bad (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364640)

that is illegal unless the third party part is the cause of the failure. same with printer ink, they can't void your warrantee just for using third party ink, but if third party ink dries or spills all over inside you won't get warantee service from the manufacturer

Wow! That's a Lot of Hackers! (1)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364125)

That was my first thought on seeing the headline. three hundred and sixty hackers, all being responded to by Microsoft. I wonder if they each got letters, or if Microsoft sent out three hundred and sixty lawyers.

"warranty" (4, Informative)

Eivind (15695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364301)

Especially for consumers in countries with non-silly consumer-protection laws this is irrelevant.

In Scandinawia for example, there is a (by law) 2 years of indemnifications from defects in materials or craftmanships on all items marketed to consumers. And even 5 years on items meant to last significantly longer than 2 years.

Now, this doesn't cover normal wear and tear. Nor does it cover consumer misuse (like say dropping the console from 6 feet), but neither does Microsofts "warranty".

If you do mod your console, this affects your rigths under law not at all. The only exception being, offcourse, if you break the console by doing the mod. That is, offcourse, not Microsofts fault.

But if you say mod your console by soldering in a new BIOS, and then half a year later the DVD-drive breaks, MS will have to replace it at their cost, unless they can show that it's likely the DVD-drive broke because of the soldering-in of the new BIOS.

Americans buy expensive "extended warranties" to get what people in other countries have by default. (not that it stops companies from trying to push "extended warranties" here too, it's just even more pointless here.

Re:"warranty" (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364380)

Conversly, Microsoft does not have to maintain the modifications you made to the console during a warranty repair - you submit a modded console for repair of the DVD drive and the MS techs can remove the BIOS modification as well.

Re:"warranty" (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364421)

No they can't. What would be the rationale for this ?

If I buy a new house, then repaint the bedroom green, then half a year later it turns out that one of the windows in the bedroom has a leak, the original builder will have to replace the window. But I don't see what rationaly you'd have for claiming that the builder could then, if he so choose, also repaint your bedroom to the original color.

Modifying things you own is ALLOWED. Not only that -- but it's perfectly common, and when it comes to anything besides electronics the very idea that it could ever be otherwise is pretty ridicolous.

Can your car-dealer remove your custom paint-job when you come in with the car after 4 months complaining about a broken clutsch ? No ? If not, why do you think MS should be allowed to do the same when warranty-repairing an Xbox 360 ?

Re:"warranty" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364678)

Can your car-dealer remove your custom paint-job when you come in with the car after 4 months complaining about a broken clutsch ? No ? If not, why do you think MS should be allowed to do the same when warranty-repairing an Xbox 360 ?

Because your custom paint-job can't interfere with the proper working of the clutch. I doubt MS would complain if you replaced the 360 faceplate.

If instead you'd pissed about with the clutch pedal mechanism then there's a risk you burned out the clutch because your modifications didn't let it close properly. Then they'd tell you where to go.

Re:"warranty" (1)

Pofy (471469) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364546)

>In Scandinawia for example, there is a (by law) 2 years of indemnifications
>from defects in materials or craftmanships on all items marketed to
>consumers.

It was actually increased to 3 years recently.

Re:"warranty" (1)

DeeDob (966086) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364621)

Well you just said it...

"Nor does it cover consumer misuse..."

Opening the 360 to install something (i.e. a mod chip) is not something the 360 was designed for. You're not supposed to open the 360, hence it's a "misuse"

Re:"warranty" (1)

PhoenixFlare (319467) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364747)

Americans buy expensive "extended warranties" to get what people in other countries have by default. (not that it stops companies from trying to push "extended warranties" here too, it's just even more pointless here.

I assume you're talking about places like Best Buy and other electronics retailers, since as an American that's really the only common situation i've run into as far as paying extra for a better warranty - maybe I just don't hang around with the right people, but I don't know anyone who actually pays for the things, and I certainly don't do it myself, even on non-electronics.

Thinking of stuff i've bought lately -

CPU - 3-year
Motherboard - 3-year
Video Card - 3-year
RAM - lifetime
HD - 5-year (yay Seagate)
Gamecube - 1 year, but in my experience Nintendo products are damn near indestructible unless you're actively trying to kill them, so this doesn't matter quite as much.
Console games - 3 months on the GC games, no clue on PS1 or 2. Since the post-SNES, non-cartridge days began, i've never had a bad game that wasn't immediately defective (or my own fault from scratching it) in over 6 years.
Sandals - lifetime
Kitten - 6-month health guarantee from the breeder...Obviously somewhat self-repairing though :)

If I was buying a new car, a multi-thousand dollar TV, or whatnot, I might think about going for some extra coverage....But even then (for example), all the new cars i'm considering come with something like 3-6 years of full warranty and up to 10 years on the powertrain by default.

I can't honestly think of a reason to have a blanket two-year warranty on everything I own...The stuff that isn't already covered is either stuff like food or other consumables, or things that aren't going to break unless you break them yourself and void any possible warranty anyway. Of course you have idiots who will do stuff like buying a $6 warranty on a $10 phone and so on, but don't lump us all along with them.

Modding/Hacking may cost you more than warranty (1)

DeeDob (966086) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364600)

As it has been suggested, Microsoft will probably lock the hacked 360s from Live. Well i got news for you: unlike the original XBOX, a 360 with no Live is a crippled 360, even with only the silver account that is free: - No download service for game patchs; - no Live marketplace (which will exclude Live Arcade games); - no original xbox backward game compatibility; - no achievements, - no leaderboards. So it's not only online gaming that get's cut down...

Re:Modding/Hacking may cost you more than warranty (1)

Sandman1971 (516283) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364829)

As it has been suggested, Microsoft will probably lock the hacked 360s from Live. Well i got news for you: unlike the original XBOX, a 360 with no Live is a crippled 360, even with only the silver account that is free: -

No download service for game patchs Never had it for my Xbox, or PS2, or Dreamcast, or PS1. Never affected my enjoyment. Check (not to mention patches for XBox games are readilly available on the warez scene, same will happen for the 360).

No Live marketplace (which will exclude Live Arcade games) Never used live under Xbox. Never affected my enjoyment. Check

no original xbox backward game compatibility; Still have a fully functional XBox for XBox games. Check

No achievements, - no leaderboards. Never used Live under Xbox. Never affected my enjoyment. Check

So it's not only online gaming that get's cut down... Only 1 out of your 4 arguments didn't involve online gaming, so yeah, it's only online gaming that gets cut down.

So I have news for you. An Xbox 360 without Live capability might be crippled for you, but you don't represent 100% of the market. I know a lot of people who wouldn't be the least bit affected by being locked out or not using the Live component, myself included.

(Sidenote: I'm not encouraging piracy, but I do believe that once you own a product you should be able to do what you want with it if it causes no harm. I don't think me running XBMC on my XBox ever caused anyone any harm)

Warranty was only 90 days anyway (5, Interesting)

techstar25 (556988) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364716)

According to this page [xbox.com] . The warranty is only 90 days on the 360, which means that if you bought it on or around the launch day, in November, your warranty expired 3 months ago.

To be unbiased, the PS2 also had a 90 day warranty [playstation.com] as well. The gamecube has a twelve month [nintendo.com] warranty.

Warranty? (1)

Scigirl451 (974718) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364771)

This a truly flaccid attempt at a warning. Microsoft should be ashamed. People who would actually worry about voiding their warranty are likely far too Joe Citizen to consider (or be capable of) hacking their system. People who would try to finagle their 360 and have the capacity to successfully accomplish the task are likely also smart enough to convince the guy on the other end of the phone that the problems with his system are the result of trying to make toast, blow dry the dog, charge their digital camera and play Halo all at the same time...
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