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263w ago - Although not surprising, today ArsTechnica.com reports that the US Air Force may suffer collateral damage (especially since investing in 300 followed by another 2200 consoles for research) due to Sony's recent decision to remove the OtherOS functionality via PS3 Firmware 3.21 from the PlayStation 3 entertainment system.

However, the Air Force stated they are aware of the recent class action lawsuits against Sony over this matter, to quote:

"We will have to continue to use the systems we already have in hand," a representative told Ars, "but this will make it difficult to replace systems that break or fail.

The refurbished PS3s also have the problem that when they come back from Sony, they have the firmware (gameOS) and it will not allow Other OS, which seems wrong.

We are aware of class-action lawsuits against Sony for taking away this option on systems that use to have it."

Air Force May Suffer Collateral Damage on PS3 OtherOS Removal

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#22 - tragedy - 262w ago
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Back then, though, Sony had an interest in promoting adoptance of cell more widely than just the PS3 as it was a key member of the STI.

Since IBM have dropped the cell as a focus for future development and Sony have sold all their manufacturing rights to Toshiba, there's no real drive behind this anymore, so to Sony it's now just another chip that they source from an external company.

They have no reason to promote that market as they're *still* losing money on each console sold.

#21 - geo442 - 263w ago
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Quote Originally Posted by inginear View Post
the usaf does more than weapons research. there are a multitude of simulations they could be running for finite results. and as the ps3 was not built with applied research in mind, sony would more likely steer any organizations using them for such purposes to their cell based workstations that cost around 5 times as much as a ps3.

A friend of mine works in a large computing lab (run in large part by a university rather than the military), and they run a cluster of PS3's. If I remember his discussion of it correctly, a cluster of 6 PS3's connected to a properly-equipped and -networked Xeon-based server was the cheapest Tflop-capable system available at the time...

And that info isn't THAT old, either. Not sure how many his facility is running... But I know it's more than 6 and I'd guess WELL less than ~2500, but still probably more than a few on site.

Wonder if places such as this will get special firmware for their refurbs when they need them. If they're small enough to be looking for low-budget machines of a specific processing power, they won't have the weight to throw around to demand specific firmware from Sony ob their refurbs.

And Sony might see them as being small enough or not under a stringent enough contract that they feel such groups would be likely to leak firmware to the public, so there's a reasonable chance that any concessions the USAF gets wouldn't be extended to them.

Those of us who just like running our personal PS3 with a linux install of choice to have a basic backup machine available can be angry (and I AM!), but institutions like that could REALLY get the worse end of the bargain.

I think it's places like the one I'm describing that might convince Sony that it's really alienated a part of its customer base (and one that it marketed *HARD* to in 2006-7). Class action suits by individual users might force Sony to somehow compensate those of us who have it in out living room, but I think the best bet for making Sony backpedal on their OtherOS stupidity will be if places like this make their case loud, clear, and hopefully through the courts, be it here in the US or elsewhere...

Just my two cents on the situation.
-George.

#20 - laggmaster - 263w ago
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Quote Originally Posted by mushy409 View Post
We could see the birth of the very first 'Military Mode' PS3 consoles brewed specially by Sony for the USAF.

the military mode ps3 capable of launching and detonating the free worlds tactical nukes... it also can maintain a stable wormhole to another dimention when in its free time before it enslaves humanity... military mode allso comes with pie, for some reason it didnt like the cake..

#19 - mushy409 - 263w ago
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We could see the birth of the very first 'Military Mode' PS3 consoles brewed specially by Sony for the USAF.

#18 - saviour07 - 263w ago
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Quote Originally Posted by xUb3rn00dlEx View Post
Well said. But technically, this firmware is not, at least I believe not, some top secret super weapon being developed to turn humanity into sheep. It's a simple OS option to run the PS3...


Once the ps3 is fully hacked, "it only does everything" may even include turning Kevin Butler into a sheep on the adverts

...and possibly OtherOS.

I do doubt the USAF leaking the jig or even their "special" fw, if sony ever did allow it though

I think it's a simple case of sony and the airforce coming to some sort of organisational agreement of replacing their broken "cluster equipment" (broke ps3's) with one's which satisfactorally meets their requirements (read: has OtherOS enabled).

simples.

#17 - xUb3rn00dlEx - 263w ago
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Quote Originally Posted by inginear View Post
and given the whole area 51 thing, i don't think the air force is in the business of leaking any information.


Well said. But technically, this firmware is not, at least I believe not, some top secret super weapon being developed to turn humanity into sheep. It's a simple OS option to run the PS3, and sure I guess I'm being overly optimistic. I'll be waiting for the chinese to hack into their cluster and release the firmware themselves in this case!

And that was not being discriminatory, I am in awe of the chinese hacking scene they have going on over there. Stealing worldwide blueprints, systems, etc. Quite amazing to know that our nation is pretty powerless as it seems against the whole cyber-war they've got going on!

#16 - inginear - 263w ago
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Quote Originally Posted by xUb3rn00dlEx View Post
The coolest thing that I can think of coming from this (aside from the USAF receiving a special firmware) would be the USAF "leaking" the firmware out haha. That would be pretty sick.

and given the whole area 51 thing, i don't think the air force is in the business of leaking any information.

#15 - laggmaster - 263w ago
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Quote Originally Posted by tragedy View Post
Sony could just sell them test decks as they support downgrading and otheros anyway.

all sony would have to do is give/sell the air force duplicates of the hardware that they have for repairing them and send a tech to train a the people that are working with the cluster (you're not going to tell me that someone that has made a supercomputer out of consumer electronics like the ps3 cant fix a console after a one hour training session)

then there is the conspiracy theory that the air force abducted Geohot and are having him maintain the ps3 super cluster while having him try to unlock the rsx graphics chip to linux so that they could run full fleged 3D environment (StarTreck hollideck type) simulations...

#14 - xUb3rn00dlEx - 263w ago
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The coolest thing that I can think of coming from this (aside from the USAF receiving a special firmware) would be the USAF "leaking" the firmware out haha. That would be pretty sick.

#13 - tragedy - 263w ago
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Quote Originally Posted by gtxboyracer View Post
Agreed, I can see them being able to "request" a specific firmware versions to be flashed on to refurbish/replacement PS3's - something a normal user is unable to request. We know they can do it with a JIG stick "Officially".

Sony could just sell them test decks as they support downgrading and otheros anyway.