CFW, PSN, And DRM

Sony has recently blocked PSP users using the 5.50 GEN custom firmware from accessing the Playstation Store. This affects me, because I recently updated my firmware from GEN-B to GEN-D, which has resulted in all my PSN games no longer being recognized as legitimate, because I can’t log on to the PSN and re-authenticate my system.

I used to really like buying PSX games from the Playstation Store. Why buy a PSP game for $20 and have it locked to just the PSP, when I can buy a PS1 game for $10, and play it on both my PSP and PS3. The Playstation One section of the Playstation Store was a place for great deals, in my opinion, and I spent a lot of money there. For that reason, I’m rather disappointed that I can no longer play any of the PSN versions of those games on the PSP.

However, this would have been a much bigger problem had I not already owned most of those games in other forms. A few hours of experimentation, and I was able to rip a lot of those games from the UMDs and PS1 discs I already had. I bought those games from the Playstation Store for convenience. I didn’t know how to rip games before, but now that I do, I have more games on my PSP’s flash drive than I ever did when I could buy them from the PSN.

John Gilmore has said that the Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it. The same principle behind that statement can be applied to tech geeks and DRM. So long as DRM doesn’t get in my way, I have no problem with it. But if it tries to stop me from doing what I want to do with my own property, I’m going to find a way around it.

Sony has every right to block people who use custom firmware from accessing the PSN. In fact, I think ensuring security on their systems is probably a very good idea (better late than never). But for people like me, the cat is too far out of the bag at this point; I can’t go back to the official firmware anymore. They need to offer more applications and retro games on the store, so people aren’t tempted by the homebrew apps in the first place. Emulators and e-book readers are the gateway to CFW, and if people find out how to rip games themselves (which isn’t all that hard), they won’t have any need for the PSN anymore.

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One thought on “CFW, PSN, And DRM

  1. I own a Kindle 2 and also a Kindle 1 which I have elected to keep for use by my wife. They are both worth having, in my opinion, but is the new model really better? Opinions have varied.

    What is better about Kindle 2:

    >> Better controls, accidental page-turns almost never occur;

    >> Faster page turns;

    >> Far better navigation between articles in periodicals, and easier navigation overall with its five-way controller replacing the K1’s clumsy and time-consuming navigation wheel and cursor;

    >> Ability to clip an entire story in a periodical into “my clippings” file and ability to highlight and clip sections across multiple pages;

    >> Text to speech, though not perfect, is remarkably useful at times, with surprisingly good pronunciation and amazingly loud and clear sound from speakers; there is abolutely no reason to feel this feature will not remain, though in a cagy move, Amazon is giving rights-holders (usually authors, not publishers) the right to disable this feature for a given text. How many do you think will do so? Would you?

    >> Better battery life, FAR better with wireless function on. To me, this is more important than a user-replaceable battery. In a perfect world, I’d want both, but Apple has for years chosen a similar means to maximize power and elegance.

    >> Much more useful graphics because of 16 instead of 4 shades of gray. Both the Kindle 1 with updated software and the K2 now permit zooming most graphics for clearer viewing, but the result is far more attractive on the K2;

    >> Far more useful access to built-in dictionary — BIG improvement! With Kindle 2 moving the cursor (using the 5-way controller) just before a word immediately displays the first two lines of that word’s definition at the bottom of the screen; to see the full definition (only sometimes necessary) you press the enter button (bent arrow). In contrast, getting to a definition in Kindle 1 is laborious. I find myself looking up far more words for curiosity and pleasure without impeding the flow of reading;

    >> Much improved method for attaching covers. The K2 has built-in slots in the metal of its left edge that permit the extra-cost cover sold by Amazon or compatible covers from other manufacturers (e.g. one by M-Edge) to be attached firmly yet detached easily at will without having to resort to velcro patches or annoying leather pockets and straps. The original Kindle cover’s attachment is notariously unreliable, and the sliding back to which it attaches (permitting access to the SD card and battery) prone to slip off the K1 entirely at inconvenient moments. Though it would be nice if the cover was included in the K2 price, it is still worth buying. Morever, reading with the K2, unlike the K1, can be done comfortably without a cover, though it’s prudent to wrap it in something for protection during transport.

    What’s better about Kindle 1:

    >> The text is the blackest shade of the 4 offered, slightly darker than the not quite darkest shade of the Kindle 2 (which does use the darkest shade for menus). Though I’ve NOT found this to interfere with reading, it can give the ILLUSION that the Kindle 2’s background is darker (comparing my K1 and K2 in the same light, it definitely is not); some believe it’s easier to read Kindle 1’s;

    >> It has the option of using separate SD memory cards — though you inconveniently have to remove the back of the device to insert or remove them. For those who back up content on a computer and/or have consistent access to Whispernet (majority of US owners) this is a minor issue;

    >> It has a user-replaceable battery, though this is offset by improved life with the built-in Kindle 2 battery.

    Bottom line:

    >> I’m glad to have bought the Kindle 2 and its accessory Amazon cover, prefer it by far to my Kindle 1, and recommend if you already own and like the Kindle 1, but want and can afford the best, buy a Kindle 2. If money is tight, and especially if SD cards are important to you, you may not find the cost of upgrading worth it — unless the text-to-speech is important or if you’d like to have more than one Kindle in your family (convenient if more than one person is reading the same book at the same time — up to 6 Kindles on one account can download a purchased book at no extra cost — though only one Kindle per periodical subscription);

    >> If you don’t have a Kindle 1 and can’t afford a Kindle 2, consider buying a used Kindle 1, knowing it is fully functional and has at least some features the newer model has dropped;

    >> Those who have no Kindle and are interested in what is currently the best e-reader on the market and can afford it should buy a Kindle 2. The great majority of buyers have been happy, and so probably will you. But, be sure to test page-changing in DIRECT sunlight shortly after you get it; request a free replacement should you see washed-out text, as some K2 units (including my first) have had that problem.

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