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Hacker pledges to re-enable Linux on PS3

Sony anti-hack firmware to be hacked

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Hacker George Hotz, the guy who opened up the Sony PlayStation 3 earlier this year, has vowed to find a way to allow Linux buffs to install their favourite OS on the console after an upcoming firmware update renders this impossible.

Hotz wrote on his blog this week that he will devise a "custom version of 3.21 that doesn't lose Other OS support".

His reference to "Other OS support" is the option in the current PS3 firmware which allows older versions of the console - all those released before the introduction of the PS3 Slim in September 2009 - to be loaded and booted with Linux.

Sony announced this week that tomorrow's Firmware 3.21 will remove this option for security reasons.

Ironically, it's Hotz' hack that may have led Sony to decide to remove Linux support. The PS3 Slim - reviewed here - has never had this option. Undoubtedly, Sony fears the hack being used to play ripped off games.

Hotz, however, says putting Other OS support back "isn't about getting what you didn't pay for, it's about making sure you do get what you did.

"This is about more than this feature right now," he writes. "It's about whether these companies have the right to take away advertised features from a product you purchased. Imagine if an exploit were found in Safari on the iPhone, but instead of fixing it, Apple decides to pull web browsing altogether. Legally, they may be within their right to do so, but we have to show them it's the wrong move for the future of the product and the company." ®

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