Microsoft says Kinect left "open" intentionally

rated by 0 users
This post has 3 Replies | 0 Followers

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 25,826
Points 1,167,410
Joined: Sep 2007
ForumsAdministrator
News Posted: Sun, Nov 21 2010 5:21 PM
If you can't beat 'em, say it was your idea all along. Microsoft has said that the Kinect hacking which allows the Kinect to be used with other devices besides the Xbox 360, wasn't really hacking, and that they left the Kinect open by design.

At least, that's what Microsoft said on NPR's Science Friday. However, earlier, in response to a $3,000 bounty announced for an open source Kinect driver, by the open-source hardware company Adafruit, Microsoft had said it did not "condone" such behavior. In fact, Microsoft went further, mentioning that the company would "work closely with law enforcement."

When the bounty was first announced, Microsoft said,
“Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products. With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant.”
Here's what Alex Kipman and Shannon Loftis said on NPR:
Alex: Kinect was not actually hacked. Hacking would mean that someone got to our algorithms that sit inside of the Xbox and was able to actually use them, which hasn't happened, or it means that you put a device between the sensor and the Xbox for means of cheating, which also has not happened. That's what we call hacking, and that's what we have put a ton of work and effort to make sure it doesn't actually occur. What has happened is someone wrote an open-source driver for PCs that essentially opens the USB connection -- which we didn't protect, by design -- and reads the inputs from the sensor. The sensor again, as I talked earlier, has eyes and ears, and that's a whole lot of noise that someone needs to take and turn into signal.

NPR: You left it open by design, then, so that people could get into it?

Alex: Correct.
You can hear the statements on this podcast, at about 18:00 minutes. Adafruit, of course, feels totally vindicated by all this, and said:
Congrats to everyone in the open source community, in about one week we turned “work closely with law enforcement” to “inspired’ by community finding new uses for Kinect.
  • | Post Points: 50
Top 25 Contributor
Posts 3,772
Points 40,510
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: New York
Inspector replied on Mon, Nov 22 2010 3:00 PM

LOL, of course. If you can't beat them join them... Apple this could mean something :P...

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 8,572
Points 103,130
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
MembershipAdministrator
Moderator
realneil replied on Mon, Nov 22 2010 9:32 PM

They threatened legal action at first. HA HA! (still a little egg on your chin, MS)

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 5,053
Points 60,700
Joined: May 2008
Location: U.S.
Moderator
3vi1 replied on Tue, Nov 23 2010 10:32 PM

>> Hacking would mean that someone got to our algorithms that sit inside of the Xbox and was able to actually use them

*sigh*... It's pretty bad when people at the largest software company in the world don't know what constitutes "hacking". He clearly learned his definition from the mainstream media and not the hacker/technical community.

>> With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering.

This sounded like obvious BS the first time we heard it.  Sure, it could be done easily... but adding DRM to their own device would have increased the CPU power needed to handle the Kinect's input.  DRM is something Microsoft doesn't mind inflicting on users, but they're not going to do it to themselves and make their product appear less capable.

(later...)

>> NPR: You left it open by design, then, so that people could get into it? Alex: Correct.

"Microsoft: Changing our story and rewriting history more than we change and rewrite our OS."

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (4 items) | RSS