Air Force Might Be Troubled by PS3 "Other OS" Removal

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Air Force Might Be Troubled by PS3 "Other OS" Removal

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Sony may have ticked off gamers by removing the "Other OS" option from the PS3, but it may have also inadvertently picked a fight with a significantly bigger fish: The United States Air Force.

When Sony removed the option for gamers to install an "Other OS" on the PS3 in March, the hardware giant had to expect it would catch flack from gamers. And sure enough, catch flack it did: Amazon offered one gamer a partial refund after he claimed the product no longer worked as advertised, and another group of gamers have hit Sony with a class-action lawsuit.

But uproar aside, those were still complaints from gamers - and as Ars Technica reports, the removal of Linux-based operating systems from the PS3 could damage research programs that use PS3 clusters in lieu of traditional super computers. Researchers at the Universities of Alabama and Massachusetts used a cluster of PS3s to solve a mystery regarding black holes in 2008, but the console is also used by a significantly more major player: The US Air Force.

In 2009, the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, New York bought 336 PS3 systems to build a 53 teraFLOP processing cluster as a proof of concept. Once they'd seen for themselves how the consoles worked, the USAF scaled the project up enormously, buying 1,700 additional 160GB PS3s from a company called Fixstars for a not-insignificant $663,000.

Though that sounds expensive, off-the-shelf PS3s are actually one of the most cost-effective ways to get powerful processors for research projects. And yet, only months after the Air Force spent days setting its PS3 cluster up and installing all of the necessary software, Sony up and removed the option from further consoles.

While this won't have any effect on the 2,000+ current PS3s in the cluster (they're not hooked up to PSN, after all), it will make replacing them rather difficult. A spokesperson for the laboratory told Ars that the Air Force was disappointed with Sony's action.

"We will have to continue to use the systems we already have in hand," said the lab representative, "... 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 used to have it."

Sony might not listen to gamers, but will they listen to the USAF?

(Ars Technica)

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I'll bet that Sony will make an acception with the USAF and make sure the the ones that went to the USAF stay out of the no other OS zone.
However if Sony couldn't do that I could also see them just making a specific type of PS3 for the USAF to keep that nice (and I'm sure very lucrative) deal with the USAF.

Ohhh! They picked a fight with the wrong people! Well, can see next action

"Sony HQ, Carpet-Bombed!"

Maybe they will listen to them more than us...

Japan got bombed to hell by the USAF with friggin' atomic bombs, I don't approve of it but they should seriously now reconsider implenting it back. Face it, PS3 will be hacked no matter what Sony tries.

I hope they reverse it, some hurts around here are hurt because of the OS-removal. Glad I own a 360? xD

Frank_Sinatra_:

However if Sony couldn't do that I could also see them just making a specific type of PS3 for the USAF to keep that nice (and I'm sure very lucrative) deal with the USAF.

I remember hearing somewhere that Sony is actually losing money by having the USAF buy all the consoles. Probably because they aren't buying any games, peripherals, nothing else to increase profit for Sony.

No games. No OS choices. Soon enough they'll replace the blu-ray player with a VCR.

Hmm, interesting. I bet such users of the PS3 could slap Sony with a much harder hitting lawsuit than gamers can. Sony is basically bricking PS3s to those customers by removing the feature in refurbished replacement consoles.

It'll be interesting to see what happens, at least. I still think Sony was very wrong to release this firmware update in the first place, as it never had the potential to stop piracy or hacking in the first place because all hackers needed to do was NOT update and they get to keep working. And this proved true about a week after their update when the hacker they were trying to stop in the first place made himself custom firmware that still had the Other OS option. So from where I'm sitting, Sony still has egg on their face no matter what happens with any lawsuits or customer backlash.

Hooooooly crap.

Looks like Sony should have done their research before pulling the plug... I do believe the world's most powerful airforce is a little more of a "security risk" than a few hackers... :P

Jaredin:
Ohhh! They picked a fight with the wrong people! Well, can see next action

"Sony HQ, Carpet-Bombed!"

Maybe they will listen to them more than us...

God I hope that happens.

How funny would it be if they just rolled in the jets and absolutely flattened Sony HQ.

I wish the world worked that way.

Lol, considering how popular the PS3 is, I bet about 90% of purchases are for these supercomputer users, better not piss them off.

EDIT: Wait, this means that removing the other OS was an ever BETTER thing for Sony, think about it, they lose money on every PS3 sold, and make it up on games.

These server users buy the systems, but get no games.

Somebody has some splaining to do.

Wow, this means that removing the OS will actually hurt PS3 sales, interesting.

EDIT: Wait, this means that removing the other OS was an ever BETTER thing for Sony, think about it, they lose money on every PS3 sold, and make it up on games.

These server users buy the systems, but get no games.

The amount of research that can be done with the PS3's processor is pretty impressive.

This certainly is an interesting turn of events. I suppose a "whoops we screwed up" won't suffice this time around?

Jaredin:
Ohhh! They picked a fight with the wrong people! Well, can see next action

"Sony HQ, Carpet-Bombed!"

Maybe they will listen to them more than us...

LOL LOL LOL

oh please!! just one little Tomahawk!!

LOL *wipe eyes and continue typing whilst giggling*

it will be very interesting to see how a massive american games and software company will react to the US defence stepping on it (if they make a big deal out of it)

Whoops!

AstorSapolsky:

Frank_Sinatra_:

However if Sony couldn't do that I could also see them just making a specific type of PS3 for the USAF to keep that nice (and I'm sure very lucrative) deal with the USAF.

I remember hearing somewhere that Sony is actually losing money by having the USAF buy all the consoles. Probably because they aren't buying any games, peripherals, nothing else to increase profit for Sony.

No games. No OS choices. Soon enough they'll replace the blu-ray player with a VCR.

And that was probably when PS3s weren't being built for such a decreased amount as they are now.
Even if Sony is loosing money by having the USAF buying their systems do you know how awesome of PR this is?
Seriously if the USAF went to the press with some new development and said "Yeah the tons of PS3s we used helped us out with this, and saved you tax dollars" Sony would be thrilled, and I'll bet you PS3 sales would go up, even if it was just marginally.

USAF declares Sony an enemy of the state ;) We know that the Sony Corporation has OS's of PS3 class weapons grade gaming machines. I am sure the military can find a way to get what they want, after all if the military asks for things it is a courtesy, they are built take things. Sony I suggest you surrender before you get put on the terror watch list.

-2fish

Unless they have a backup of the pre-removal OS that they can specially deploy to the US Air Force, Sony's going to take a real pasting now. Whatever about our regular Joes and our games, something of this magnitude really can't have a blind eye turned towards it.

Wow, talk about not doing their research.
Though, USAF isn't connected to PSN. The replacement of faulty systems like the articles says will become a major bitch :D

Frank_Sinatra_:
I'll bet that Sony will make an acception with the USAF and make sure the the ones that went to the USAF stay out of the no other OS zone.
However if Sony couldn't do that I could also see them just making a specific type of PS3 for the USAF to keep that nice (and I'm sure very lucrative) deal with the USAF.

Ah hell, Carter and McKay can fix this on their own Frank. Rush and Eli would help out as well but they're stuck on Destiny at the moment.

Jokes aside is it really wise to mess around with the Air Force like this? And lastly could someone please tell me what this bloody "Other OS" thing is?

I can see Sony quietly agreeing to sell PS3s to the US military with no operating systems on them. Both sides win, we're none the wiser.

Simalacrum:
Hooooooly crap.

Looks like Sony should have done their research before pulling the plug... I do believe the world's most powerful airforce is a little more of a "security risk" than a few hackers... :P

...Because the United States will declare war on Sony? I could have seen it happening, but luckily Bush isn't in the White House any more. And Labour is out of Number Ten so hopefully we wouldn't be dragged along with you anyway.

Seriously... I don't think Sony cares. Unless they made a PS3 research pack that cost enough to actually get them a profit, they don't have to do shit for America.

dalek sec:
Jokes aside is it really wise to mess around with the Air Force like this? And lastly could someone please tell me what this bloody "Other OS" thing is?

Recently Sony removed the ability to use other Operating Systems on the PlayStation 3. This was all standard by the way, and came included with the latest system update. If you had another OS on your PS3 then updated: Tough shit, Sony removed the OS.

Some gamers are bitching about this like there is no tomorrow, however I'll put money that in the EULA before they updated they mentioned that they reserved the right to remove the OS, and since just about no one reads those I'll bet they just accepted and and now bitching about their own stupidity.

Sony's gonna get nuked, lol.

danpascooch:

Jaredin:
Ohhh! They picked a fight with the wrong people! Well, can see next action

"Sony HQ, Carpet-Bombed!"

Maybe they will listen to them more than us...

God I hope that happens.

How funny would it be if they just rolled in the jets and absolutely flattened Sony HQ.

I didnt know they had Jets and Bombers that could fly into Hell!
http://www.instantrimshot.com/

OT:I hope they figure something out.
How hard would it be to make an exception for USFA?

dalek sec:

Frank_Sinatra_:
I'll bet that Sony will make an acception with the USAF and make sure the the ones that went to the USAF stay out of the no other OS zone.
However if Sony couldn't do that I could also see them just making a specific type of PS3 for the USAF to keep that nice (and I'm sure very lucrative) deal with the USAF.

Ah hell, Carter and McKay can fix this on their own Frank. Rush and Eli would help out as well but they're stuck on Destiny at the moment.

Jokes aside is it really wise to mess around with the Air Force like this? And lastly could someone please tell me what this bloody "Other OS" thing is?

Other OS was an option to install another operating system, I believe Linux based, though I never used it myself, never really saw the point since i only bought the damn thing for games lol, though I do see back alley deal making happening, or it returning in another firmware update lol

Right now, Paul's 3 PS3s seem like nothing compared to the USAF's 2000+

So I guess my infinitely wise and all-powerful employer, the USAF, might, from sheer necessity, become more adept at maintaining and engineering post-Cell technologies than Sony themselves?

I'd laugh my ass off if the USAF ends up co-developing the PS4. Or at least making a few games for the PS3, since they apparently use the damn things more proficiently than any game developers care to.

I mean, yeah, Valve might think that the PS3 is tough to work with, but tell that to an organization with a space program.

Frank_Sinatra_:
I'll bet that Sony will make an acception with the USAF and make sure the the ones that went to the USAF stay out of the no other OS zone.
However if Sony couldn't do that I could also see them just making a specific type of PS3 for the USAF to keep that nice (and I'm sure very lucrative) deal with the USAF.

Nope, sony lose money on every console sold, which is why the price is so low. The make the money back on more expensive games and extras.

Surely they already know the importance of PS3s in current world affairs...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgwNyb80L0s

johnman:

Frank_Sinatra_:
I'll bet that Sony will make an acception with the USAF and make sure the the ones that went to the USAF stay out of the no other OS zone.
However if Sony couldn't do that I could also see them just making a specific type of PS3 for the USAF to keep that nice (and I'm sure very lucrative) deal with the USAF.

Nope, sony lose money on every console sold, which is why the price is so low. The make the money back on more expensive games and extras.

Did you bother to read down further, or did you just hit the quote button?

As I stated earlier:
Even if Sony is loosing money by having the USAF buying their systems (which we established they are) do you know how awesome of PR this is?
Seriously if the USAF went to the press with some new development and said "Yeah the tons of PS3s we used helped us out with this, and saved you tax dollars" Sony would be thrilled, and I'll bet you PS3 sales would go up, even if it was just marginally.

This deal I'm sure isn't so much for making money as it is for some amazing PR. As they say in the business: "Any PR is good PR."

well, they removed the "other OS" option to stop hacking, but it looks like the USAF just got a carpet bomb without a kill streak.

Okay, I'll go in my corner *goes into corner of shame*

Aztek463:
This certainly is an interesting turn of events. I suppose a "whoops we screwed up" won't suffice this time around?

Nope, considering that would open them up to more lawsuits and would have to settle the current ones. Sony is in a corner now, and to maintain their business structure they will have to stand firm. I wouldn't expect a change on the Other OS option for a long time. Even for the Air Force.

Straying Bullet:
Japan got bombed to hell by the USAF with friggin' atomic bombs, I don't approve of it but they should seriously now reconsider implenting it back. Face it, PS3 will be hacked no matter what Sony tries.

I hope they reverse it, some hurts around here are hurt because of the OS-removal. Glad I own a 360? xD

Actually the Army Air Force, as it was at the time, only delivered one bomb to Japan. The Navy delivered the other. Apparently both deliveries were more effecient than Brown and FedEx. Go figure.
Heh, if you ever want to see what happens when a corporation steers Japan to war, just read Debt of Honor by Tom Clancy. Good times.

Wait, so the USA Military is finally useful? Pinch me i must be dreaming.

That's funny because I recall the Vatican getting all up in arms when they took away backwards compatibility. They said something about it being a sacrilege.

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