February 14th, 2011


That's Not What I Meant To Say....

Three items:

1)  Sony's PlayStation 3 used to be sold with an option on the main menu that let you install another OS on the game machine (Yellow Dog Linux, for example), and either completely wipe Sony's OS or dual boot.  Then, they suddenly decided last year they didn't want that anymore and removed the option.  FOSSers cried foul, Sony didn't care.  In fact, Sony has declared war on hackers.  They sued geohot (George Hotz) and the fail0verflow hacking group in January and got an injunction preventing them from releasing the jailbreak code for the PS3 (despite the recent FCC ruling that you have the right to jailbreak you own hardware. --G).  Sony is also planning to subpoena YouTube, PayPal, Facebook, and other sites to learn the identities of PS3 hackers and nail them.

2)  Kevin Butler is a character in ads for the Sony PlayStation 3.  He became so popular, Sony decided to make him "real."  He has his own Twitter account, TheKevinButler.  Posts there are put up by Los Angeles ad agency Deutsche.

3)  Travis La Marr lives in New York City and posts to Twitter under the ID of exiva.  He's one of the people who object to Sony creating the encryption code.  "I'm a huge believer in the fact of if you buy a piece of hardware, it's yours. I posted it to encourage hardware freedom.... I didn't post the key to condone piracy in any way."  He discovered the jailbreak code that enables people to put Linux or other OS's on the PlayStation 3.  So, he's sitting on this piece of code everybody wants, and needs a way to distribute it as far and wide as possible.

La Marr's solution?  He tweets the 40 digit code to TheKevinButler and ends the message with, "Come at me."

TheKevinButler tries to make a joke, but in responding, retweets the jailbreak code to EVERYBODY FOLLOWING THEKEVINBUTLER'S FEED.

* stands and salutes *  La Marr, you are a genius.

Well, it didn't take long for someone at Sony to swallow their gum and have the tweet deleted.  So, for those of you who want proof of this, here ya go.  Proof that this happened, I am not doing this in any way to distribute the jailbreak code.  So just ignore it.  Pretend it isn't there.  Thank you, and God bless.

I suppose technically La Marr isn't a genius.  A 24 year old software developer, he initially tweeted the code just to see what would happen.  The last thing he expected was what went down.  "I did not at all expect a reply from whoever maintains the account.  The fact that they retweeted me, including the key, well, that was just ...unheard of."  La Marr then made a follow up tweet linking to the above screencap and the message, "My life is complete. Sue yourself, Sony."

Or, Sony can just restore the option to put your own OS on the PS3 and everybody will be happy again.

The Clue Phone Is Ringing, And It AIN'T Running Mobile 7

Stephen Elop is a former senior executive at Micro$oft.  Before that, he was an executive at Adobe after they acquired Macrovision and killed revue producers like Director.  Last year, Elop suddenly left M$, didn't even give a two week notice.  He landed as CEO of Nokia.

Longtime techies like me said, "Uh-oh."  M$ sucks with cell phones.  First, they couldn't make a decent phone OS if they copied Android.  Win6.5 was a slow, buggy mess, and companies insisted on using the outdated 5 and 6 instead.  They couldn't figure out how to make Project Pink a reality.  And who could forget the epic disaster that started with buying up Damage and ended with the Sidekick data outage of 2009.

PC sales were dropping badly.  M$ tried to use the netbook market to save sales, but by forcing the prices up, netbook sales are now falling.  Meanwhile, the tablet PC revolution (iPad) and the mobile phone revolution (iPhone, Android) are pulling in major bucks.  M$ wants in on it, and readied Mobile 7.  However, it landed with a splat.  Android is outselling the iPhone by 2 to 1, Blackberry by 3 to 1, and Mobile 7 by 22 to 1.  The strong arm tactics that enabled M$ to take over the PC market don't work here.  Developers refuse to design for Mobile 7 because the user base is so small.  It could be M$' last gasp.

The other major OS for phones is Symbian.  Symbian has a lot of love because of so much open source support.  Nokia sells Symbian.  Or it did.  Elop just announced that Nokia is dumping Symbian for Mobile 7.  The MeeGo project is also shitcanned.  Elop has basically cut a deal that gives M$ all the benefits and Nokia all the risks.  In other words, Nokia is, for all intents and purposes, owned by M$, just without cash changing hands, no government red tape, and, if Nokia goes down, M$ is still in the clear.  Elop is denying he's a Trojan horse for M$.  Unfortunately, this whole thing passes the Duck Test ("If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, then chances are you dealing with a duck.").

Elop wrote a memo saying that Nokia's "platform is burning" because Symbian phones aren't selling as well as Android and the iPhone OS.  So, to be clear, they are replacing a platform that doesn't sell well with one that sells even worse.

Elop and Balmer wrote an open letter spelling out the details.  "Nokia will adopt Windows Phone as its primary smartphone strategy"; "Nokia will help drive and define the future of Windows Phone"; Nokia and Microsoft will closely collaborate on development, joint marketing initiatives"; "Bing will power Nokia's search services across Nokia devices and services"; "Nokia Maps will be a core part of Microsoft's mapping services"; "Microsoft development tools will be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones"; "Nokia's content and application store will be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace."  Now, tell me this isn't a buyout without calling it a buyout.

The first Nokia running Mobile 7 will street (supposedly) in the fourth quarter of 2011.  At that time, the iPhone 5 will have been out for months, a shitload of Android 2.4 phones will be out there, and HP's WebOS phones will be out, the next generation Blackberrys will be out by then, too.  Even when M$ takes shortcuts, they're still behind the pack.  MeeGo is the only thing this will kill, since Nokia was the only supporter other than Intel, and Intel isn't in the mobile phone market (of course, since MeeGo is open source, it could potentially still continue.  But as a viable phone OS, it's history).

I'm starting to look into getting a new mobile phone.  I initially didn't want a Sony because the one I had was just too wonky, while my Nokia's have always been solid performers.  I will never buy another Nokia phone again.  And I know I'm not the only one swearing off of them....