Air Force launches supercomputer made with PS3s

Meanwhile, Sony sues everyone else using PS3's Linux for anything at all

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The idea was to keep customers from jailbreaking the game consoles to use them for other things – like analyzing data from top-secret surveillance missions.

The Air Force managed to get permission to keep using its machines and the "OtherOS" on them.

Sony went to court to try to force others to give up their favorite hacks.

Customers sued, complaining that crippling the Linux functions violated the warranty agreement, amounted to unfair competition and outright fraud.

In February a federal judge deleted all the charges except the one charging that marketing PS3s with Linux functions, then eliminating them constituted fraud.

The plaintiffs are refiling, but as Groklaw points out, the fraud charge against which Sony will be defending itself is almost exactly the one Sony itself is using to sue a hacker who discovered a backdoor into the PS3's system software and used it as a way to run unauthorized software on the box.

The hack was allegedly created by George Hotz( aka geohot) a dongle and modified firmware, plus a private key Sony uses to sign its software.

Hotz posted a description of the suit, his actions and a plea for financial and legal help on this site.

Maybe the Air Force, as the leading PS3 hacker, can offer some help. Now that it has Condor finished it should have a little time and a few bucks to spare to keep its critical systems from end-of-lifing as soon as they go online.

Kevin Fogarty writes about enterprise IT for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @KevinFogarty.

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