Top Hacker Rejects Job Offer From Sony Over PS3 Jailbreak Legal Strategy

from the when-you-treat-hackers-badly... dept

It looks like Sony's quixotic strategy of suing George Hotz (Geohot) for jailbreaking the PS3 is starting to cost the company in additional ways as well. Todd McDermid points us to the news of how another hacker, Koushik Dutta, who has quite a strong reputation in various circles, has rejected overtures from Sony PlayStation division for a job specifically because of Sony's attack on Geohot:
It seems likely that the lawyers and execs at Sony who thought this whole legal strategy was a good idea didn't think through some of the consequences of their actions in terms of attracting new talent.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 9:36am

    Good on him!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 9:39am

    IP enforcement bad. Piracy good. Argh. Argh. Caveman Mike say so.

     

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    Donnicton, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 9:40am

    Re:

    Which would be a great point, if what hotz did was for the purposes of piracy.

    Hurpa derp.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 9:42am

    PS3 key only use for good. Argh. Argh. Piracy good. More Kool-Aid. Argh. Argh.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 9:43am

    When do they send him the legal notice to take down that email?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 9:43am

    I think I see a guy cutting off his nose to spite his face.

     

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    Kevin (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 9:44am

    Re:

    (sets down kool-aid), My you are up early this morning. Mike highlights another person who happens to be a programmer that turned down a job with Sony based on his principles, and how Sony has gone after another programmer relentlessly for modifying a piece of hardware the he PURCHASED. I for one think that is admirable as I think that most people are for sale its just a matter of how much they will get paid. Where the piracy argument and IP enforcement come in is anyones guess. I really do not see how this is different then me taking my truck in to get a super charger or have the ECU remapped to squeeze out some more horsepower.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 9:47am

    Now THAT is one of the best "fuck you" responses I've seen in a while.

     

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  9.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 9:48am

    Re:

    I think I see a metaphor trying to be apt but failing

     

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  10.  
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    Donnicton, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 9:49am

    Re: Re:

    Because you could, in theory, use it to more effectively run down your ex? That of course still only means there's the potential to do something illegal with your modification. But there's potential to do something illegal with nearly anything if you use it the wrong way.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 9:49am

    Re:

    Wow... so this is what happens when you hire shills from mechanical turk?

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 9:50am

    Re: Re:

    I think I see a newspaper worker slacking off on the job.

     

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  13.  
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    sehlat (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 9:51am

    Not the first time stupid strategy has cost Sony.

    Remember the Rootkit Incident? My recently-retired Clie turned out to be the last Sony product I will ever buy. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in that attitude.

     

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  14.  
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    Joe Publius (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 9:52am

    Re:

    Not so sure about that. What if his face likes to kitbash and hack consumer electronics? I'm betting that his work contract would either.
    - Prevent him from carrying on that work for Sony products
    or
    -Allow him to do it, but not share it with anyone but some manager who may not appreciate it.

    Maybe, just maybe, he wants to do more than work for a major elctronics company doing only the things they want him to do.

     

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  15.  
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    Joe Publius (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re:

    Gotta put that clone back in the tank. Needs a little more time to cook.

     

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    Call me Al, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re:

    Does anyone else think that this hacker just published that Sony employee's email address on the web for all to see? In theory he has blocked out her name before the @ but you can still see the underscore and considering she then gives her name in the text it likely isn't difficult to work out.

    As for the guy's stance, I'm always impressed by someone standing by their principles. Of course it seems we don't have all that much context for his stand. Could be he already has a perfectly good job and would't move anyway so his "stand" is a freebie.

     

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  17.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re:

    Nah, just another moron who seems to think that the world is black and white, and all power should be in the hands of corporations rather than the public. He can't think of anything substantial, so tries to make a pathetic "joke". Pretty typical, really.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 9:57am

    Re:

    Not everybody is having trouble getting jobs. He's probably already got a good one, or maybe better. Realistically, anybody who has people coming to him or her like that is going to have opportunities to pick and choose from.

     

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  19.  
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    Kevin (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    While true, perhaps he is just another keyboard guy for his current company and the Playstation job could have been a good promotion for him. Working for Sony R&D would be a nice little bullet on a resume for sure.

     

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  20.  
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    Kevin (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:01am

    Re:

    Its already been filed, they are just waiting for the host to act one the notification.

     

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    lrn2postnubs, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:06am

    Re: Not the first time stupid strategy has cost Sony.

    No you are not alone. I have boycotted Sony products for years b4 this GeoHot thing. I knew they were a bastard company a long time ago. I even check movies and if Sony Pictures is involved, the GF has to pay with her own money if she really wants to see it.

     

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  22.  
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    Steven (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:09am

    Re:

    I'm guessing if Sony is reaching out to him he has the talent and portfolio to get a job just about anywhere he wants, which is the point. People with that kind of skill won't want to pick Sony.

     

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    Call me Al, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Very true. Just shows that the impact of his decision is difficult to judge without the context. Its either a courageous decision or a near meaningless one.

     

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  24.  
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    Call me Al, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Not the first time stupid strategy has cost Sony.

    Yeah I added Sony to my boycott list a few years ago. Its been nothing but reinforced recently.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:19am

    This story is so last-week. Try to keep up Mike.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:26am

    Nope your not the only one that won't buy Sony products. Here's another that hasn't bought Sony products after a reneg on a warranty for a big screen tv.

    Before that I thought Sony to be a reputable company. After I learned how well they stood behind their products, I refused to buy anything with the Sony name on it. It's cost them a bundle over time.

     

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  27.  
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    PRMan, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Perhaps. But telling her straight out is a good way to get things changed. If they complain to their VP that the legal strategy is scaring away all the best developers, that's more likely to change it than any boycott.

     

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  28.  
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    Greevar (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re:

    BUT THE HACK INVALIDATES MY BUSINESS MODEL!

     

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  29.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Not the first time stupid strategy has cost Sony.

    But the only thing that can cause lost sales is piracy! The actions taken to counter it are always positive and just!

    /end sarcasm

     

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  30.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:42am

    Re:

    This just in: some talented people will choose jobs based on ethics and morals rather than the chance for higher pay. Shocking, I know.

    Bottom line: Sony reaches out to someone they wanted to hire, apparently based purely on his blog posts. Unless Sony are *really* desperate and are hiring anyone who write tech blogs, I doubt this guy will have much of a problem finding a decent job. Sony lost a talented engineer to a competitor due to their actions.

    The nose cutting is Sony's own.

     

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  31.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:42am

    Re:

    Clearly, everyone should jump at the chance to prostitute themselves out to companies they find morally objectionable.

    Thanks for the lesson in personal ethics, Techdirt Troll!

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:45am

    Re:

    Oh please leave the shills comments...
    we can use it to gauge how much each industry is willing to spend (or not) to try and keep people uninformed of the truth.

     

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  33.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:46am

    Re:

    I think I see a guy cutting off his nose to spite his face.

    Dunno know about that.

    But, it doesn't seem like he would be a good fit at Sony anyways. I think a prerequisite for employment at Sony is having a distinct lack of scruples.

     

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  34.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:54am

    Re: Not the first time stupid strategy has cost Sony.

    Dear Sehlat,

    As you no doubt know, boycotts interfere with Sony's business model. Every product you don't buy from us reduces our profit, and I think it's easy to see that reduced profit is nothing more than stealing by another name. Accordingly, we are sending you this cease-and-desist letter to stop your illegal actions against Sony. To avoid the threat of further legal action, you must immediately:

    (1) Cease your boycott of Sony products.
    (2) Cease discussing boycotts of Sony products.
    (3) Buy three (3) Playstation 3 consoles.

    In addition to our ability to prosecute you for theft, your state senator has also been presented with a proposal to make interference with a business model a felony absent reasonable cause ("reasonable cause" to be determined by Sony Corporation) punishable by up to 30 years in prison and fines of no less than $150,000 per interference. Given that your state senator has worked for Sony in the past, and will no doubt work for us again in the future, his vote on this legislation seems obvious.

    We hope that, given the above, you will come around to see our side of things and we can resolve this situation amicably. Our research on you indicates that you seem to have built a nice life for yourself. Would be a shame if anything were to happen to it.

    Sincerely,
    Sony

     

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  35.  
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    Buckwally (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:03am

    Sony? Another fine product from the people who brought us World war Two...

    I too have not found avoiding buying things with the word "Sony" on them too difficult, except for some movie dvds to watch on the airplane. No music since the root kit compromised my company laptop and got me on IT's sh*t list. Bought a new flatscreen, just walked past the Sony section. What with the defeaturing of the game consols, I bought Xbox 360 instead of PS3. Gota feel for 'em. R9 Earthquake, then a Tusnami, then a melt down, but makes you wonder if it isnt a message of some sort.

     

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  36.  
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    Kaden (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:12am

    Re: Sony? Another fine product from the people who brought us World war Two...

    Let me clear up your confusion: No, it's not.

     

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  37.  
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    byte^me (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Not the first time stupid strategy has cost Sony.

    Add me to the list of Sony boycotters. After the rootkit incident, I have refused to buy any Sony products.

    Overall, I think it was a good choice. I have been extremely happy with my Panasonic LCD TV and JVC and Panasonic camcorders. :)

     

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  38.  
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    johnny canada, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:16am

    Non Sony Products

    Last week bought a new laptop ... NOT SONY

    Three months ago bought a new PC ... NOT SONY

    Eight months ago bought a new cellphone ... NOT SONY

    None moths ago the wife bought a new cellphone ... NOT SONY

    One year ago bought a 24" LCD monitor ... NOT SONY

    Two years ago bought a new 19" LCD monitor ... NOT SONY

    Three years ago bought two mp3 players ... NOT SONY

    Friends ask me what brand should they buy ... NOT SONY

     

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  39.  
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    B, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:19am

    Not smart.

    This guy is an idiot. Who in their right mind would turn down an interview? This guy is probably single with no wife or kids, or at the very least already has a job he loves and feels secure in. Still think he's going to kick himself down the road for making that choice.

    And for the record, they asked him if he was interested.. Not offered him a job. Recruiters dont hire people. They funnel qualified individuals to the people that do the hiring. Lets not get it misconstrued.

     

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  40.  
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    Jeremy7600 (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:28am

    http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/g4e1d/sony_offers_a_job_to_a_hacker_whilst_suing_another/c1k w4y6
    Koush posted comments on Reddit in regards to this, he turned down an interview, not a job, out of principle. And Android app sales "have been more than good" to him.

    Nothing more to it than that, so if you kool-aid drinkers wouldn't mind fucking off now. (Directed at the trolls, and its like they say, if you are looking around and you can't figure out who the trolls are, its you)

     

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  41.  
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    Jeremy7600 (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:29am

    Re: Not smart.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/g4e1d/sony_offers_a_job_to_a_hacker_whilst_suing_another/c1k w4y6

    "For those saying "I'm going to regret being principled", etc. Probably not. Android App sales have been more than good to me."

    What were you saying?

     

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  42.  
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    Kevin (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:32am

    Re:

    Its age does not mitigate its relevancy to the continuing discussion of why Sony is doing themselves more harm than good by perusing this egregious action against its users.

     

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  43.  
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    Kevin (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Where you see slacking, others may see research. Just sayin.

     

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  44.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: Not smart.

    I believe it was along the lines of, "I wish I was offered an interview."

     

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  45.  
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    Another User, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not the first time stupid strategy has cost Sony.

    I am now also Boycotting Sony due to the Geohot issues.

     

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  46.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Not smart.

    "This guy is probably single with no wife or kids, or at the very least already has a job he loves and feels secure in. "

    So, why should he not turn down a potential job with a company whose very business practices he disagrees with?

     

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    Matt (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Not smart.

    I make no guarantee of being in my right mind, but I turn down interviews all the time and have never had occasion (or the flexibility) to kick myself after. They are typically a waste of time if you have no desire to work for the company. I sometimes try to kick myself if I deliberately waste my own time.

    At some point, many people (particularly talented people who can afford to be choosey) learn that while having money is better than not, it is seldom worth giving up one's principles or happiness to get it, if only because it can be had elsewhere at a lower price.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Does anyone else think that this hacker just published that Sony employee's email address on the web for all to see? In theory he has blocked out her name before the @ but you can still see the underscore and considering she then gives her name in the text it likely isn't difficult to work out.



    This is of no importance whatsoever. Anyone equipped with middling intelligence and rudimentary research skills could find it out in five minutes using information readily available on the Internet via this amazing service -- which you really should try sometime because you clearly haven't heard of it -- called "Google".



    Beyond that, anyone who thinks that email addresses are private is living in 2000, before the advent of botnet-creating malware with integrated address harvesters. Yes, there are still people -- delusional people -- who think that attempting to conceal or obfuscate their address will actually work, but they are of course not just wrong, but laughably wrong, and this wrongness is demonstrated on a large scale on a daily and ongoing basis.

     

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  49.  
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    Will Sizemore (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:12pm

    Crap, do any of you even know who Koush is in the Android community? He's got more of a following than Sony does, and he offers his services and software for free, unless you purchase the very inexpensive premium license that unlocks some little-used features that made my Android experience AWESOME.

    Koush, if you get wind of this, I loudly applaud you, ClockworkMod Recovery, and Rom Manager. I have your software installed on all my Android devices, and by the way, all my coworkers' devices if they let me help them.

    I work in IT. Its true, I do. I'm a huge fan of both Koush and Geohot. All the developers I work with are too, in fact.

    And, last time I checked, talent recruiters aren't in the know, regarding legal actions taken by the legal arm of the same company. In fact, had she been in on the whole George Hotz deal, she would have most likely tried to get Sony to hire him to work on a way to meet both his goal of opening PS3 back up to the Other OS option, while also meeting Sony's requirement to prevent pirated software from running on their machines. I hope Sara McRae doesn't get into trouble over this, she was just doing her job, and probably doing it well if she's trying to reach out to Koush, one of the saviors of the Android Community.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not the first time stupid strategy has cost Sony.

    Not only have I boycotted Sony personally since the rootkit incident, but I've made it a point to cost them sales every time the opportunity presents itself. It's hard to say what the total dollar value of that is -- since they wouldn't have made them some of them even WITHOUT my intervention -- but I think a minimum amount would now be into 6 figures.

    I intend to continue this until the chair of Sony publicly apologizes and then commits ritual suicide to show his shame for what his company has done. Given that he clearly has no honor, and has shamed his family and ancestors, I doubt he will have the courage and integrity required to do this, so I expect that I'll just keep costing Sony sales every chance I get.

     

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  51.  
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    1fr3f0g, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:50pm

    If he'd thought about it...

    The best way to change a system is from the inside. (Isn't that what hackers generally do?)

    Trying to beat down the door just makes them get a bigger door. If they open the door for you, leap through before they can close it.

    I can't believe someone so smart was stupid enough to let the chance to get on the inside pass by :(
    If he'd gotten into the R&D team, he might have been able to show them the benefits of having a more open platform.
    Make some friends in the right place, bend a couple of ears in his direction; change comes slow, but the big wheels do turn.
    Loyalty to a cause is not about falling on your sword for the sake of another person. If you find the oppourtunity to advance your cause, take it, even if it means you have to drink the kool-aid.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I could do something illegal with a sausage on a stick.

     

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  53.  
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    Will Sizemore (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:06pm

    @1fr3f0g

    But think about what he'd have to give up to get on the inside. He's too essential to the Android Community. If he were on the inside, he'd most likely have to give up ClockworkMod Recovery and Rom Manager, because all Sony would have to do to shut him up is to begin development of an Anroid powered PSP-Phone. Oh... Wait.

     

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  54.  
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    colecut, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:15pm

    no changing sony

    @ 1fr3f0g:

    I think you're a little to optimistic in the possibility of one newcomer changing the culture of a huge established corporation...

    Sony's only goal is money, and open source is not the road to that.

    They will not be swayed. and I doubt this guy wants to be fired from a company he didn't want to work at in the first place.

     

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  55.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Oh TAM. Not that it's any of your business, but I am a freelance worker. My time is my own, and billed to others based on how I use it. So perhaps we can put this bizarre new little theme of yours to bed now, hmm?

     

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  56.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    When you have no arguments to counter somebody's argument, attack the person! It is standard trolling behavior.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:52pm

    Re:

    Those that are principled will outlast those that aren't. Welcome to the 21st century! It's about time!

     

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  58. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    najem jadrnice, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 3:50pm

    I would definetly take the job. Probably is very good paid job.

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 5:03pm

    Re: Re:

    Sony have been doing themselves more harm for years. Try to keep up too.

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 5:03pm

    Re: Re:

    Sony have been doing themselves more harm for years. Try to keep up too.

     

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  61.  
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    Nom du Clavier (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 5:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You could do that with just the sausage or the stick.

     

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    abc gum, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 5:47pm

    Re: If he'd thought about it...

    Or, you could go do something useful that you enjoy

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 5:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    eww!!!!! doing it with a frozen pork sausage ... cryo-necro-beastiality ... that will get you arrested pretty much any where.

     

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  64.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 6:06pm

    Re: Re:

    This appears to be the same guy who wrote the Clockwork Mod Recovery that is used to install custom ROMS on android devices. I can definitely see how he would have problems working for Sony.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 6:54pm

    Re: If he'd thought about it...

    The problem with your logic is that you don't take account with the fact that most employment contracts of IT companies include clauses with similiar meaning to "we own every computer related creations (softwares, books etc.) you produced during the period of employment".

    Joining the company would practically means he have to give up all the freeware development for a few years if he don't want Sony owns them, which would means huge loss to the community.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    icon
    fattyboombatty (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 7:16pm

    Re:

    You would give up your principles just for a well paid job? Oh wait, it appears you do not have any principles....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 8:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And that's why they have to be anonymous because it's what is said that's the important part and not the person saying it, duh!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Probably not in Arizona.. well Unless you posted about it on Craigslist


    I used to be into Bondage, Bestiality and Necrophilia, but I gave it up as I was only flogging a dead horse...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Captain_Awesome, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 12:55am

    Um...

    Did you lot actually read the email?

    'Happy Friday!' ... 'Talent Acquisition Department' ... four point elipsis...

    It's as fake as a fake thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 1:07am

    Re: Re: Sony? Another fine product from the people who brought us World war Two...

    well, beyond maybe 'yes, shit does, in fact, happen' and 'building stuff that can go boom or fall down on plate boundries is not smart'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 5:42am

    Re: Um...

    "'Happy Friday!' ... 'Talent Acquisition Department' ... four point elipsis... "

    Having an unconventional greeting, an uninspired department name and poor grammar doesn't seem like compelling evidence that something is fake.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 11:39am

    People need to grow a set, I'm sick of all this 'ethical' hacking bs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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