Videogame Hacker Faces Federal Charges

A college student who modified his game consoles gets busted.

1 min read

A 27-year-old California State Fullerton student could go to prison for 10 years - for modifying his videogame consoles.  Last week, Matthew Lloyd Crippen was indicted on two counts of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, after getting caught tweaking a number of game machines.  Console hacking is nothing new, and is often done for recreation by obsessive fans who want to play foreign or homebrewed games.  Some even modify old Nintendo GameBoy devices to create their own music.  Of course, hackers are also modifying consoles in order to play bootlegged games, which is where the DMCA comes in.  Apparently, Crippen was modding for profit, though I have yet to read how or why.

To me, the game industry should respect and protect a consumer’s right – wish – to void the copyright on a machine by futzing around under the hood.  Not every console modder is making money on this stuff.   I can’t imagine that console modders have much to do with the estimated $200 billion lost to piracy and counterfeiting each year.

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Deep Learning Could Bring the Concert Experience Home

The century-old quest for truly realistic sound production is finally paying off

12 min read
Image containing multiple aspects such as instruments and left and right open hands.
Stuart Bradford

Now that recorded sound has become ubiquitous, we hardly think about it. From our smartphones, smart speakers, TVs, radios, disc players, and car sound systems, it’s an enduring and enjoyable presence in our lives. In 2017, a survey by the polling firm Nielsen suggested that some 90 percent of the U.S. population listens to music regularly and that, on average, they do so 32 hours per week.

Behind this free-flowing pleasure are enormous industries applying technology to the long-standing goal of reproducing sound with the greatest possible realism. From Edison’s phonograph and the horn speakers of the 1880s, successive generations of engineers in pursuit of this ideal invented and exploited countless technologies: triode vacuum tubes, dynamic loudspeakers, magnetic phonograph cartridges, solid-state amplifier circuits in scores of different topologies, electrostatic speakers, optical discs, stereo, and surround sound. And over the past five decades, digital technologies, like audio compression and streaming, have transformed the music industry.

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