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Kinect Hacked, Adafruit Bounty Won 262

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-took-so-long dept.
scharkalvin writes "Adafruit has announced a winner to their bounty for an open source driver for the MS Kinect. From the article: 'We have verified that it works and have a screenshot from another member in the hacking community (thanks qdot!) who was also able to use the code. Congrats to Hector! He's running all this on a Linux laptop (his code works with OpenGL) and doesn't even have an Xbox!'" We talked about Adafruit's bounty yesterday.

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Kinect Hacked, Adafruit Bounty Won

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  • Tampering! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sloppy (14984) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @07:18PM (#34191470) Homepage Journal

    Making stuff work is a crime.

  • by Master Moose (1243274) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @07:25PM (#34191528) Homepage

    "Using a linux laptop". . Now every geek that has avoided Microsoft and their products like the plaugue will be rushing out and buying Kinect controllers. .

    Step One: Create a toy that will entise the Open Source crowd
    Step Two: Wait for some one to get it to work on their linux box
    Step Three: watch all the geeks and hobyists buy said toy
    Step Four: Profit

    Hacking is good for business.

  • by cobrausn (1915176) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @07:30PM (#34191570)
    And all the sweeter, Microsoft said 'No'. And we all know how we geeks and open source guys are when told 'No'. They will take special joy in paying Microsoft 150 bucks to buy a Kinect and hack it for hobby projects..
  • Re:Tampering! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kell Bengal (711123) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @07:31PM (#34191580)
    The very term Microsoft used, "product tampering", sent chills down my spine. They weren't even talking about replacing aspirin with cyanide, but words like 'tampering' (and implications about getting law enforcement involved) certainly make it sound like that. We're talking about the stuff people themselves actually own. It's astonishing to think that their rhetoric extends so far.
  • by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @07:32PM (#34191584) Homepage

    Step Four: Make a loss on every device sold and not recover it because these people aren't buying the games

    FTFY

  • by xero314 (722674) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @07:33PM (#34191604)
    You forgot an important step:

    ???

    Which in this case happens to be:

    "Sell product with a reasonable margin"

    But it appears that Kinect might actually be sold at a loss (sorry I see mixed reports)
  • Re:Hey, congrats (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @07:36PM (#34191648) Homepage

    Wow, you didn't even watch the video. Well, it apparently knows depth/distance among other sensory data. Robotics applications should be obvious (as also stated in the video) but I'm sure there are pornographic uses as well.

  • Re:Hey, congrats (Score:5, Insightful)

    by marcansoft (727665) <hector@marcan s o f t . c om> on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @07:37PM (#34191650) Homepage

    Measure depth. And capture 4-channel audio with spatial location and echo cancellation (unconfirmed but likely). It also moves up and down and has an accelerometer. People are mostly interested in the depth thing, though.

  • Wrong question. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SharpFang (651121) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @07:38PM (#34191654) Homepage Journal

    The question should be:
    "Now what exactly can this do that any shitty 18-axis joystick can't?"

    That's the kind of data you receive on the cable. Just like with optical mice, you don't have access to raw imaging device output, only processed through the image recognition layer.

  • by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @07:40PM (#34191674)

    Anti-cloning makes more sense than anything really. What does microsoft REALLY care if you use a kinect with your Linux PC? Or even your windows PC.

    They would, however, want to stop people selling knock-off kinect peripherals. (Whether they should be able to even do that is a separate question, but at least one can see why they'd be motivated to.)

  • Re:Tampering! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MoonBuggy (611105) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @07:41PM (#34191682) Journal

    What I find strangest is that the PR people at MS still don't seem to get this: spouting a lot of inflammatory nonsense about the Kinect being "tamper-resistant" and the like will piss off the geeks no end, and the non-geeks don't care either way (unless someone comes out with a nicely packaged piece of software that uses the PC interface, I guess). As it stands, we're triumphantly saying "fuck you, evil corporation" and the company that sponsored this is adding a further donation to the EFF to support the good work they do in keeping this stuff legal. The net result for MS is bad publicity with geeks, no impact with the majority of the market, and an open source driver for their device within a few days of its release. I suppose if they'd had any hope of blocking the production of the driver then the bad blood may have served some purpose, but as it stands I'd say they really, really need to fire some people in marketing if they couldn't predict that chain of events. I'm genuinely a little surprised that MS didn't know better.

    If they'd just looked at pretty much any similar example in history to see that the open driver was inevitable, they could've played it in such a manner that they distanced themselves from supporting or condoning it, but congratulated the community for their innovation.

  • Re:Tampering! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Sylak (1611137) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @07:42PM (#34191688)
    My interpretation was that MS misinterpreted the intent of the contest: to be able to *use* Kinect, not to flash custom firmware or reverse engineer it, therefore somewhere between HR, PR, and the exec board somebody made a mistake.
  • Re:Hey, congrats (Score:3, Insightful)

    by godrik (1287354) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @07:43PM (#34191698)

    marcan, Will we have a wii port ? :)

  • by SharpFang (651121) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @07:45PM (#34191708) Homepage Journal

    I guess the problem might be replacing Kinect with a different device presenting itself as Kinect to XBox. This way you'd gain unfair advantage in online games - where your fitness, physical condition and body momentum would restrict you normally, you could use, say, a key to deliver lightning fast kicks, or duck to the ground faster than gravitational acceleration would normally let you.

  • Re:Tampering! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @07:55PM (#34191784)

    They are likely pissed because Microsoft is likely still in the "We are subsidizing this hardware to ensure a market footprint for the XBox" mode and every Kinetic sold today that isn't used to play Gears of Violence is money out of their pocket with zero 'return'.

  • by camperdave (969942) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:07PM (#34191890) Journal
    Actually, Microsoft tends to make good hardware, or at least they used to.
  • by IKnwThePiecesFt (693955) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:08PM (#34191896) Homepage

    Or Microsoft won't do anything to stop this since they really don't care.

  • Re:Tampering! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Haxamanish (1564673) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:15PM (#34191952)

    By plugging this hardware in you agree to the terms of the license...........

    No: only by signing a license agreement, I agree with the terms of the license.

  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:23PM (#34191996)

    Anti-cloning makes more sense than anything really. What does microsoft REALLY care if you use a kinect with your Linux PC? Or even your windows PC.

    Microsoft probably cares very much if Kinect sales are not perceived in the marketplace as indicative of the Xbox 360 Kinect-using market, since the market penetration of the Xbox360+Kinect combo is a point to use in getting devs to make games for that combo.

    If one person does it, sure, they don't care. But if it is perceived as being widespread, they certainly care. Which means if it is being covered in a public forum with substantial exposure, they have a strong incentive to respond to it.
     

  • Re:Tampering! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:29PM (#34192048)

    Making stuff work is a crime.

          Only in the land of the free. In other "less free" places it's not a crime. Yet.

  • by AuMatar (183847) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:34PM (#34192086)

    Hi, this is the Red Ring of Death calling. Where have you been the last few years?

    Any company that puts out electronics with more than low single digit failure rates, especially a flagship product, does not make good hardware.

  • Re:Tampering! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by retchdog (1319261) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:45PM (#34192166) Journal

    Of course they can't do anything about the amateur hackers, but I don't think that's the point. It's in their interest to make threatening announcements like this so that companies don't make a business out of poaching Kinects and rebadging/repurposing them essentially on Microsoft's dime. The point is to have a chilling effect on markets, not individuals directly. This isn't to say that this is a good or bad thing (let alone whether it's actually effective), but I suspect that amateur hardware hackers don't really significantly change the equation.

    Of course the line between business and individual is blurry. Also, occasionally, a totally-amateur group gets whacked. I'd wager that this is mostly "mission creep", for example some overzealous newly-promoted True Believer looking for brownie points.

  • Re:Tampering! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:47PM (#34192200)

    A license cannot supersede law.

  • Re:Tampering! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by westlake (615356) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:56PM (#34192262)

    They are likely pissed because Microsoft is likely still in the "We are subsidizing this hardware to ensure a market footprint for the XBox" mode and every Kinetic sold today that isn't used to play Gears of Violence is money out of their pocket with zero 'return'.

    The Air Force had plans to build an HPC cluster using about 2,500 PS3s plus spares. Air Force Unhappy With Removal of Linux from PS3 [tomshardware.com]

    That sort of thing takes a lot of product off retail shelves and it cannibalizes sales of your own HPC product.

    Exit the OtherOS.

    That lesson can't have been lost on Microsoft -- or anyone else in this business.

  • Re:Tampering! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by adamofgreyskull (640712) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @09:52PM (#34192604)

    Although the Kinect is apparently not subsidised [lazygamer.net], I completely see your point. They were projecting every Kinect as including $x in additional software sales as well as the $y profit on the hardware, and I totally understand why they're pissed about not getting that $x that they were hoping for.

    If it's not subsidised, then they're fucking retarded...absolutely bat-shit fucking crazy if you're right and they're pissed about that...

    They are making ($y + $x) * 100,000s to owners of xbox360s...

    With the advent of this hack, they are making an additional $y * 100s/1,000s of hackers/indie game developers/indie gamers/performance artists etc. etc. who would not have otherwise bought one.

    If they argue that those hackers/indie gamers would have gone out and bought an xbox360 and 10 games were it not for someone providing an open driver then they are smoking crack.

    For a car analogy, many boy racers like to put Lexus headlight/tail-light clusters on their cars...for...whatever reason. Microsoft's reaction is as stupid as Lexus trying to stop non-Lexus owners from buying their headlight/tail-light clusters because they want them to go out and buy a Lexus.

  • Re:Tampering! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by marcansoft (727665) <hector@marcan s o f t . c om> on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:21PM (#34192748) Homepage

    The box of my Kinect actually said, and I quote: Requires acceptance of software license agreement available in manual and at: www.xbox.com/sla. You accept by using the Kinect Sensor and your Xbox 360.

    It's a good thing I never used my Kinect Sensor with my Xbox 360 since I don't own an Xbox 360 :)

  • Re:Tampering! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:41PM (#34192846) Journal
    There is another possible consideration: the producer of the technology.

    Primesense [primesense.com] created, presumably holds patents on, and did the reference design for, the "Kinect" camera/IR projector range mapping stuff. MS didn't buy them, they just bought/licenced enough of their stuff to produce Kinect hardware.

    It is quite possible that Primesense also sells one or more much expensive motion capture solutions/SDKs/whatever based on the same technology; but agreed to give MS a sweet deal, in $/unit terms, because of the number of units expected to sell.

    If the Kinect becomes generally useful, with independently produced drivers, anybody will be able to buy an instance of PrimeSense's fancy tech for $150 at any gamestop.

    Consider an example from the old days: the first "Airport" cards were actually just rebadged Lucent gear; but with the pins deliberately switched around so that they would be incompatible with a PCMCIA slot. The Lucent branded equivalents were more expensive; but worked with normal PCMCIA slots. Obviously Lucent wasn't taking a loss on the "airport" cards; but they were having it both ways: sell a bunch of units to well-heeled consumers via Apple; but don't cannibalize the deep-pocketed connected enterprise market, thanks to deliberate incompatibility. There could be something similar going on here.
  • Re:Tampering! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nursie (632944) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @11:25PM (#34193014)

    "If the hacker only released a driver that works without altering the Kinect module in any way, MS can say what they want but they don't have much legal standing."

    Why the hell would they have any standing if he did alter it? It belongs to him, not MS!

    Hell, he could pull it apart, rewire it, reflash things...

    What the hell happened to I bought it, it's mine ?? If I want to use it as a doorstop I will, if I figure out a way to cannibalise a sensor in it for some other purpose, I will. If I want to paint it green and shove it up my arse, I will.

    FFS what's wrong with this planet?

  • Re:Tampering! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jaxtherat (1165473) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @11:39PM (#34193092) Homepage

    That's probably why Belgium is such a dominant global power.

  • Re:Tampering! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 11, 2010 @05:09AM (#34194366)

    Isn't PrimeSense more about licensing the technology to other companies (e.g. car industry)? I doubt they are interested in producing end user products.

  • Re:Tampering! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by delinear (991444) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @06:27AM (#34194654)
    The only reason I could see for them caring is if demand was massively outsripping supply, meaning people using these for non-XBOX related purposes are blocking sales of units+games to XBOX gamers. At the moment that seems to be a non-issue, some places are sold out but it looks like it's still pretty easy to get hold of a device. Seriously, though, how big do they expect the uptake to be - I can imagine a handful of interested geeks playing with this in the first few months, at least until/unless some killer apps come along that make the $150 outlay worthwhile. They're no more hurting MS than people who buy this as a Christmas present and leave it in a cupboard for six weeks, or people who get bored with it and don't buy any more games after release - are these the next people on the hit list, who dare to buy a piece of technology and then refuse to buy additional products to use with that piece of technology?

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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