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January 14th, 2017

malada: bass guitar (Default)
Saturday, January 14th, 2017 11:36 am
-! Microsoft !-

For it's raw capabilities, the XBox 360 was a pretty decent bit of hardware. When it was released it had exceptional graphics and processing power for the price. However, all of this power was locked under code and intertwined hardware. It was structured and designed to be what Microsoft wanted and now anything else.

Of course, hackers are an ingenious bunch who like to poke at the loop holes in the code. Like the original XBox people started finding ways to get around the blocks to make it do what *they* wanted. In the case of the original XBox there were enough loopholes for people to install custom Linux distros and tie a bunch of them together to create micro super computers.

Not so much with the 360. And with ever successful hack and crack the wonder folks at MS are busy patching them. To really hack a 360 you need external probes, soldering skills and specialized software to crack the system. These cracks will work usually until the next kernel update. It would not surprise me if there were people at MS whose job it is to patrol the hacking community to find the latest attacks and fix them.

Because, well they want you to use their product their way.

To be honest... most of the hacks and cracks are to play either pirated games or games not approved my MS. It keeps all the money flowing to MS. They've lawyered up to protect their games from being copied. Cracked and pirated games may be cheaper - if not free - but my thoughts are that if the pirates are willing to cheat MS they'll have no problems cheating you.

Just like the Big Boys I can easily see pirates putting in back doors and data scrapping code to lift your account and credit card information. Data mining is big business to sell your information to *cough* advertisers (NSA, CIA, FBI, and all those Russia letters too).

Again, you really don't own your hardware that you've bought. I'm betting MS loses money on the hardware - it's the subscriptions and official games, downloadable content, and the money they get from the streaming video services (hello, Amazon) when you rent movies.

More of you get to rent stuff - not own stuff.

It's the back end where they make their money, not in selling game consoles. The original vision was not just to be a game box though, it was to be a media hub where you store your music, rent your movies and play your games on. One box does it all! And we have chat rooms and audio/video conferences so all your social media needs are right here in this one box!

Eh, not... quite.

-m
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malada: bass guitar (Default)
Saturday, January 14th, 2017 11:43 am
- suspicious activity -

At the moment, I'm just casually poking around seeing what I can do with this puppy. Mostly, I'm cruising YouTube and playing a demo game of 'Bejewelled'. It's a nice mindless game but it helps me learn how to use the controller.

I briefly logged into Diablo 3 - the game that was stuck in the box when I found it. I thought I had it set to play locally but I saw other gamers - so it must have dropped me in a game somewhere. I immediately logged off because I didn't want to deal with other players. I may play the game solo but I don't want to join teams and play with 14 year olds.

I notice a lot of the Youtube videos for the XBox sound like teenage males. I'm old enough to be your grandmother, kid.

To get to the meat of the story, I log in and discover I can't log into XBox Live. I get the error code

------

This profile cannot be downloaded right now.

Status Code 8015D000

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To quote from the MS web site:

If Microsoft notices unusual activity on your Outlook.com or Hotmail.com account, we may temporarily block it for your protection.

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Supposedly, this means that there's been suspicious activity on my account and they want me to log in via my email account.

Gee, I've had the account for two weeks, tops?

I go to my computer and jump through hoops to log in because... well, I can't. I finally get the codes from my cellphone (they only send text messages which my land line doesn't do) get confirmation from my other email account, log in and change the password, look around for any suspicious activity. Nope. Nothing. Some promotions from XBox, an email from another one of my accounts, nothing bought.

I still tightened up my security and blocked most things from my account.

Not sure what's going on here. A security glitch? Is the console serial number still attached to somebody else? I did wipe the drive so it should be okay but maybe they're still tracking by the console number. The console suddenly stop playing COD (there was a bunch of saved games for Call of Duty on the drive), all the accounts were deleted and a new one created. That might have twigged some algorithm.

So, trying out streaming movies is still on my bucket list. Maybe sometime this weekend I'll rent 'Tank Girl'. I heard was a movie so bad it was good so why not?

I'll do an 'Iron Man' marathon some other weekend.

-m