Expensive Beliefs

Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel. – Ambrose Peirce
Posted: April 26th, 2011 | By Bruce Gorton

Sony has taken PSN down for the last five days basically because of an “external intrusion” into it, leading a whole load of gamers feeling a mite bit annoyed.

One of the best defences any large company has to hacking is to be, well, liked. Sony has done its bit to not achieve this.

My advice to Sony right now is this: Consider the difference between Sony and Microsoft.

When the Kinect first came out the technology was hacked within days – and people started creating innovative new stuff with it.

For the most part Microsoft was sending out PR boasting about how nifty and brilliant their users were – well apart from the inevitable crowd who decided to make a porn game. Microsoft made homebrew a part of feeling good about getting a Kinect.

A lot of games have used this form of marketting. Neverwinter Nights sold pretty much solely on its homebrew capabilities, Warcraft and Starcraft are noted for giving players the ability to make their own campaigns. The ability to make and share your own is a big selling point.

Sony took a guy who unlocked that capability within the PS3 (by publishing his hack) and sued him, rousing hacktivist ire. Eventually the case was dropped because Sony coudn’t be sure of a win, and a victory would likely have proven pyrrhic.  

Anonymous has denied responsibility for the PSN intrusion, for them their target was Sony, not its users, but by basically being authoritarian in an anti-authoritarian space Sony has painted a great big target on its back.

Sony, learn from this what you should have learned from the rootkit scandal on your music CDs – your customers are not your enemies. Do not do something unless you are sure it will be seen as fair.

Because like it or not we in a world where being seen to be fair can matter more than being legal.


Okay, I can’t comment below because our server has become a wee bit idiotic and is taking me through to the RSS feed instead of to the comments. I am guessing you are having similar problems. I have approved all but one of the comments (it was a repeat) so if you can get through and they still don’t show – recognise that it may be related.

Anyway, to respond to some criticisms:

James: The hack I am talking about simply allows home-brew applications. My argument is in favour of hacking for the purpose of home-brew applications, NOT in favour of hacking to cheat or to steal. This is why I use the example of the Kinect. What I think Sony needs to do is look at what the hack does before suing over it.

*Not an idiot: Nice catch. Corrected in the title.




Not an idiot like you

April 26, 2011 at 1:47 pm

This is the second article I read published today that says PSN has been down 5 days. Are you people ******* retarded? Can you not count? The outage started Wednesday, April 20. So Wednesday is day 1. Thursday-2. Friday-3. Saturday-4. Sunday-5. Monday-6. Tuesday (today)-7! SEVEN! 7. Not 5. 7, you retards.



April 26, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I still haven’t forgiven Sony for that root kit fiasco.



April 26, 2011 at 8:03 pm

So… Sony should praise the HACKERS for HACKING into their system and ANNYOING thousands of Ps3 players?



April 27, 2011 at 3:18 pm

So do we get compensated in anyway for all the trouble we went through and the games that we love to play online cannot be played?


Strong Bad's the ugly one

April 28, 2011 at 2:54 am

Dude if Sony’s customers read the terms of service they would know that they aren’t supposed to hack it and do that stuff. Anyways in Sony’s defense if people weren’t ignorant and just accommodated the terms of service no one would have any issues.


Dll files

July 27, 2011 at 9:15 pm

No matter how secure a server is, hackers will always find ways to disturb it’s regular functionality. Operating system have flaws that hackers can exploit until the next update. I’m just glad the server was up and running in no time and it’s users weren’t too affected.

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