Saturday, September 11, 2010

PSGroove unexpected consequences. Guilt by Association?

I participate in several Open Source projects, for example AVR-LibC, gEDA/PCB (mostly PCB), wxWidgets (Even got my name in the wxBook) and LUFA 'Lightweight USB Framework for AVR'.

LUFA is a project of Dean Camera's, which makes a clean API for Atmel USB parts. Dean's code makes it easy to get a Atmel USB project up and going.

I had recently submitted some bug findings and fixes to Dean, for which he acknowledged me by name on his blog in several different places.

What neither of us saw coming was the PSGroove project for the Sony Play Station 3 [TM].

In early PS3 systems Sony allowed "other operating systems", typically meaning Linux, to be booted on the PS3. For reasons known only to Sony, they removed this "other operating system" option to the dismay of many. The PSGroove project was a way to restore the functionality that many had paid for, that Sony removed.

While some code is actually meant to be stolen like this package from Netrino, most code is not. Unfortunately the PSGroove project could be exploited to aid software piracy. So I wanted to be clear that neither Dean nor I support software piracy.

The Business Software Alliance is one of the few independent organization that actively fight software piracy, if you want to help stop what damages us all.

"One of the consequences to all this is that every single bleeding USB AVR in the world (which were already in short supply) have been snapped up, either by board houses trying to pump out some boards to sell to gamers as quickly as possible, or by the gamers themselves as pre-made development boards."

Sony rapidly responded to this vulnerability rendering this attack inert (I'd use an other word here, but it would set off Family Filters).

Now that PSGroove is no longer useful, can I get some Atmel AT90USB1287 again?

Atmel has really been screwing my company over on delivery times, so maybe I'll bump into you at Renesas DevCon Conference 2010?