XBox One

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LaserGuy
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XBox One

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:05 am UTC

After tremendous public backlash over their decision to have an always online requirement to XBox One and to severely limit gamer's abilities to resell old games, Microsoft has recently announced that they will be scrapping all of the controversial features.

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Re: XBox One: Microsoft Blinks

Postby Xeio » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:20 am UTC

It's good they're dropping the online 24 connectivity thing but I lament the loss of being able to play without disks, content sharing, and finally a way to trade digitally downloaded content.

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Re: XBox One: Microsoft Blinks

Postby Koa » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:11 am UTC

After the initial shock, the only thing that sticks is how much of a fool people like Don Mattrick and Major Nelson look after sticking their neck out to defend an ultimately indefensible decision. More than they already did, I mean.

I'm sure Microsoft and the XboxOne will bounce back. It's another one of Microsoft's many failed experiments, and who knows how much it will hurt them come release. The majority of consumers probably won't ever know about it.

It has always been troublesome to have games and gamers split across so many different platforms, but in this case it's clear that competition is healthy.

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Re: XBox One: Microsoft Blinks

Postby 3fj » Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:20 am UTC

Xeio wrote:It's good they're dropping the online 24 connectivity thing but I lament the loss of being able to play without disks, content sharing, and finally a way to trade digitally downloaded content.

Having to take away features strikes me as taking their ball and going home. Surely you can have the features as long as you're signed in?
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Re: XBox One: Microsoft Blinks

Postby Jack21222 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:22 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:After tremendous public backlash over their decision to have an always online requirement to XBox One and to severely limit gamer's abilities to resell old games, Microsoft has recently announced that they will be scrapping all of the controversial features.


This isn't quite true. They're only scrapping some of the controversial features. The mandatory spy camera is still in.
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Re: XBox One: Microsoft Blinks

Postby Carlington » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:08 pm UTC

The mandatory spy camera

Can we get past this yet? I'm willing to bet a decent proportion of the people reading about this on the internet are using computers with built-in webcams. If not, they're walking around with a combination camera and microphone in their pocket. Smartphones are always connected to the local 3G network, laptops and computers with webcams are constantly connected to the internet, if somebody wanted to watch you game or walk around your house or whatever then they probably would be already. Besides all of which, the Kinect only has to be connected when you're actually using the console, and I'm not sure why anybody would want to have their console permanently plugged in and switched on.
I mean, yes, sure, it's shitty behaviour, but the majority of the shittiness, in my opinion, comes from the fact that the price of the Kinect is going to have an effect on the price of the console, and most of us don't actually want or have any use for it.
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Re: XBox One: Microsoft Blinks

Postby Xeio » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:26 pm UTC

3fj wrote:
Xeio wrote:It's good they're dropping the online 24 connectivity thing but I lament the loss of being able to play without disks, content sharing, and finally a way to trade digitally downloaded content.

Having to take away features strikes me as taking their ball and going home. Surely you can have the features as long as you're signed in?
Well some of them were based on everything running off of licenses rather than disks, you couldn't go "offline" and play with a disk if one of your family members had the game in your shared library checked out for example. Now that everything is disk based again you need the disk to play short of digital versions of games you download.

Jack21222 wrote:This isn't quite true. They're only scrapping some of the controversial features. The mandatory spy camera is still in.
You can disable it, if that makes you feel better? Most of the Kinect stuff (auto-user recognition, listening for the "Xbox On" command) can be disabled when you first set it up, and you can "pause" the Kinect system at any time.

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Re: XBox One: Microsoft Blinks

Postby Jack21222 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:54 pm UTC

Carlington wrote:
The mandatory spy camera

Can we get past this yet? I'm willing to bet a decent proportion of the people reading about this on the internet are using computers with built-in webcams. If not, they're walking around with a combination camera and microphone in their pocket.


The microphone and camera on my cell phone isn't permanently listening, nor are they taking demographic data for advertising purposes (this and DRM are possible uses for Microsoft). And I actually get functionality out of my cell phone's camera, unlike I would with the Kinect. The difference is that Microsoft, rather than some random hacker, is determining that the system is always listening in. Is it possible that you cannot tell the difference?

Xeio wrote:You can disable it, if that makes you feel better? Most of the Kinect stuff (auto-user recognition, listening for the "Xbox On" command) can be disabled when you first set it up, and you can "pause" the Kinect system at any time.


I would need to know more information about what can be turned off. Can it be completely disabled such that it isn't taking in data at all? If so, why make it mandatory? They're still trying to get an extra $100 out of people who won't use it.
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Re: XBox One: Microsoft Blinks

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:07 pm UTC

Carlington wrote:
The mandatory spy camera

Can we get past this yet? I'm willing to bet a decent proportion of the people reading about this on the internet are using computers with built-in webcams. If not, they're walking around with a combination camera and microphone in their pocket. Smartphones are always connected to the local 3G network, laptops and computers with webcams are constantly connected to the internet, if somebody wanted to watch you game or walk around your house or whatever then they probably would be already. Besides all of which, the Kinect only has to be connected when you're actually using the console, and I'm not sure why anybody would want to have their console permanently plugged in and switched on.
I mean, yes, sure, it's shitty behaviour, but the majority of the shittiness, in my opinion, comes from the fact that the price of the Kinect is going to have an effect on the price of the console, and most of us don't actually want or have any use for it.

The argument in it's stark actuality is this -

Why the fuck would I want a camera active when I'm watching Hairy Pounder and the Deathly Swallows on my DVD player that happens to also be an XBox?

Now, feel free to substitute any non-porn title you'd like, but the argument is basically that. People like to whack it when watching certain films. People like to get together and fuck while watching certain films. I know I've done my share of that. So you're either putting it in a situation where you'll have to turn the camera into "Gametime" and "Sexytime" modes. For something that's going to be used explicitly to record me for advertising purposes.

Which is What The Fuck level of overreach. Which leads me to assume that it's a bit of Internet Freakout over poorly-stated statements. But I'd love to see them clarified.
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Re: XBox One: Microsoft Blinks

Postby Xeio » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:08 pm UTC

Jack21222 wrote:
Xeio wrote:You can disable it, if that makes you feel better? Most of the Kinect stuff (auto-user recognition, listening for the "Xbox On" command) can be disabled when you first set it up, and you can "pause" the Kinect system at any time.


I would need to know more information about what can be turned off. Can it be completely disabled such that it isn't taking in data at all? If so, why make it mandatory? They're still trying to get an extra $100 out of people who won't use it.
This article* has most of the details curently available. They haven't fully detailed all the privacy options yet, but they've noted you can turn it off (at the expense of whatever game functionality may use it).

They're probably making it mandatory because they think every Xbox One having a Kinect will promote developers to use it, rather than just being relegated to just gimmick status. Also they're really pushing the multimedia stuff hard, and want things like automatic sign-in, voice commands, passing-controllers changing profiles, and similar to work out of box.

*I'm assuming this is the right one, I can't see Kotaku at work.

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Re: XBox One: Microsoft Blinks

Postby Jack21222 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:33 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:They're probably making it mandatory because they think every Xbox One having a Kinect will promote developers to use it, rather than just being relegated to just gimmick status.


But it is just a gimmick. Just like the Wii's motion controls.
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Re: XBox One

Postby Xeio » Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:51 pm UTC

Isn't that the point? They're trying to change that perception?

Granted, I'm a bit skeptical it will really work. Some of the Kinect features are neat with how they're integrated with the OS. If you only use consoles for gaming those aren't particularly compelling though. It's real utility will be down to how games manage to use it, but I don't see anything beyond voice commands becoming common. There's not a lot of room for motion controls when a game already uses a controller.

The new Kinect itself is a neat piece of hardware even beyond the original (tracks in the dark, can sense some biometrics like heartbeat, fidelity of the motion detection is massively improved), but it probably won't be much of a value add.

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Re: XBox One: Microsoft Blinks

Postby Xenomortis » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:52 pm UTC

Jack21222 wrote:
Xeio wrote:They're probably making it mandatory because they think every Xbox One having a Kinect will promote developers to use it, rather than just being relegated to just gimmick status.


But it is just a gimmick. Just like the Wii's motion controls.

There's a difference between a gimmick you know everyone has and one you don't.
You can't expect to make much money developing for the latter.

Honestly, I think the world may be tired of motion controls.
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Re: XBox One

Postby Xeio » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:57 pm UTC

Wow, so some details may have leaked about the family "sharing" program. That it would have actually been little more than a timed (<1 hour) demo like thing. If that was the cards they were really holding I think I can take a guess why they dropped the online requirement as quickly as they did. Then again theres not much to substantiate the rumor, so make of it what you will.

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Re: XBox One: Microsoft Blinks

Postby Carlington » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:01 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
Carlington wrote:
The mandatory spy camera

Can we get past this yet? I'm willing to bet a decent proportion of the people reading about this on the internet are using computers with built-in webcams. If not, they're walking around with a combination camera and microphone in their pocket. Smartphones are always connected to the local 3G network, laptops and computers with webcams are constantly connected to the internet, if somebody wanted to watch you game or walk around your house or whatever then they probably would be already. Besides all of which, the Kinect only has to be connected when you're actually using the console, and I'm not sure why anybody would want to have their console permanently plugged in and switched on.
I mean, yes, sure, it's shitty behaviour, but the majority of the shittiness, in my opinion, comes from the fact that the price of the Kinect is going to have an effect on the price of the console, and most of us don't actually want or have any use for it.

The argument in it's stark actuality is this -

Why the fuck would I want a camera active when I'm watching Hairy Pounder and the Deathly Swallows on my DVD player that happens to also be an XBox?

Now, feel free to substitute any non-porn title you'd like, but the argument is basically that. People like to whack it when watching certain films. People like to get together and fuck while watching certain films. I know I've done my share of that. So you're either putting it in a situation where you'll have to turn the camera into "Gametime" and "Sexytime" modes. For something that's going to be used explicitly to record me for advertising purposes.

Which is What The Fuck level of overreach. Which leads me to assume that it's a bit of Internet Freakout over poorly-stated statements. But I'd love to see them clarified.

(I'm not sure whether you're espousing that argument, or playing Devil's Advocate, so I'm going to reply to you directly as though you actually hold this position, with the implicit understanding that you might not actually hold the position.)

But if you're *that* concerned, just watch your DVD on your DVD player that isn't an XBox. Nobody is mandating that you throw away all the other devices you have because your XBox can do it, too. Alternatively, watch it on your computer. Watch it on literally any other device. And if you're going out to buy an XBox just to watch DVDs on it, I'm frankly a little concerned. It'd want to be a gold-plated DVD player if I was going to sink five-hundred bucks into it.

Jack21222 wrote:The microphone and camera on my cell phone isn't permanently listening, nor are they taking demographic data for advertising purposes (this and DRM are possible uses for Microsoft). And I actually get functionality out of my cell phone's camera, unlike I would with the Kinect. The difference is that Microsoft, rather than some random hacker, is determining that the system is always listening in. Is it possible that you cannot tell the difference?

Do you know for absolute certain that the microphone and camera on your phone are listening? PRISM is a thing, we know that the NSA has access to phone and internet data. Is it that much of a stretch to think that they could be actively listening, rather than just passively? I mean, if we're paranoid about some creeper at Microsoft watching us while we play XBox naked or jerk off, why should we be any less paranoid about some creeper at Apple or Samsung or Huawei or Sprint or AT&T or...?
Similarly, most people who are going to get an XBox probably have a laptop or a PC of some description, which probably has a webcam and/or microphone built in. There's a whole bunch more who will have bought one. What operating system do you use? Windows? Then Microsoft can already be watching you if they want to. OS X? Apple can do it too. Even if you use GNU/Linux. Canonical got into some strife recently for reading information out of the Unity Dash and using it to fetch Amazon ads. It's right there in the Privacy Policy for 12.10, that they can and will "send your keystrokes to productsearch.ubuntu.com and selected third parties ... including Facebook, Twitter, BBC and Amazon" What's stopping them from using your webcam to see that you're drinking a Coke, and send ads based on that?
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Re: XBox One: Microsoft Blinks

Postby Koa » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:58 am UTC

Carlington wrote:But if you're *that* concerned, just watch your DVD on your DVD player that isn't an XBox. Nobody is mandating that you throw away all the other devices you have because your XBox can do it, too. Alternatively, watch it on your computer. Watch it on literally any other device. And if you're going out to buy an XBox just to watch DVDs on it, I'm frankly a little concerned. It'd want to be a gold-plated DVD player if I was going to sink five-hundred bucks into it.

Practical advice I suppose, but it ignores that the XboxOne is being marketed and defined as an all-in-one entertainment system, and that the kinect is shoehorned into the package as a mandatory requirement (not just "you have to buy it" but "it must be connected and operational in order for the Xbox to function") for no good reason. Privacy is a concern but I see it as a secondary issue.

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Re: XBox One

Postby Carlington » Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:22 pm UTC

My points have been split up a little bit - the first half of that post was a response to ST, and the second half to Jack21222. In the post ST quoted, a little up the thread, I already said that I feel as though the majority of the problem lies in the fact that the price of the XB1 will have been put up to accommodate the price of bundling the Kinect, which most users of the console don't want, need, or have any use for.
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Re: XBox One

Postby Koa » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:09 pm UTC

Sure, I'm just saying that I find that argument distracting and unnecessary. It's very difficult to dispute your points since they're effectively arguments from ignorance (since you don't know with absolute certainty that you're not being spied upon in other forms, and since you probably don't worry about those other forms and don't want to be a hypocrite, you shouldn't worry about the kinect). With the same logic one could say that there is no point in having non-transparent walls in your home because you don't know that there isn't a satellite that can and does see clearly into your living room regardless. If I accept the premise of that argument I might get confused and argue the minor details about things like "at least my neighbor can't see inside, I think..." or "I trust X but, sort of, not so much Y, I think..." but they wouldn't go anywhere because you've already won the argument due to a fallacy.

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Re: XBox One

Postby Carlington » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:39 pm UTC

Ah, that's not the point I'm trying to make, though. I admit to not having made that clear enough in my posts, on reflection. As regards the privacy concern, the point I am making is that if somebody wanted to be doing this, then they would be already. What I am saying is not that we can't worry about this, but rather, that it's hypocritical to worry about this, but not about other devices that we use in day-to-day life. It seems that you've taken my argument in the opposite direction to the one I was intending to take it - to use your analogy, I'm not saying "We might as well have transparent walls, because we don't know that there's not a satellite that can see us anyway". I'm saying "If you want to believe that Microsoft is going to use the Kinect to spy on you, then you might as well also believe that there is a satellite that can see into your living room, and you should therefore also be reacting this violently to that".
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Re: XBox One

Postby Adam H » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:53 pm UTC

Carlington wrote:Ah, that's not the point I'm trying to make, though. I admit to not having made that clear enough in my posts, on reflection. As regards the privacy concern, the point I am making is that if somebody wanted to be doing this, then they would be already. What I am saying is not that we can't worry about this, but rather, that it's hypocritical to worry about this, but not about other devices that we use in day-to-day life. It seems that you've taken my argument in the opposite direction to the one I was intending to take it - to use your analogy, I'm not saying "We might as well have transparent walls, because we don't know that there's not a satellite that can see us anyway". I'm saying "If you want to believe that Microsoft is going to use the Kinect to spy on you, then you might as well also believe that there is a satellite that can see into your living room, and you should therefore also be reacting this violently to that".

But we can't really choose to get away from some other privacy-invasive devices (examples?), whereas we can easily choose to get the PS4 rather than the Xbox (to pick a random competitor). Basically, if you're trying to convince me to buy this very expensive piece of equipment, the proper way to market it is not "But you can just unplug the camera when you don't want people to watch you, and anyways the government is probably already watching you anyways!"

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Re: XBox One

Postby Koa » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:05 pm UTC

Indeed, you have multiple fallacies in your argument including a red herring and an appeal to hypocrisy. I don't mean to discredit your argument by throwing names around and then failing to back them, but it doesn't interest me enough to explain it further. You're free to look them up and/or ignore me completely.

The concern of privacy is simply a concern. The concern is a flame that is fanned by the vitriol over the other issues of the console.

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Re: XBox One: Microsoft Blinks

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:24 pm UTC

Carlington wrote:(I'm not sure whether you're espousing that argument, or playing Devil's Advocate, so I'm going to reply to you directly as though you actually hold this position, with the implicit understanding that you might not actually hold the position.)

But if you're *that* concerned, just watch your DVD on your DVD player that isn't an XBox. Nobody is mandating that you throw away all the other devices you have because your XBox can do it, too. Alternatively, watch it on your computer. Watch it on literally any other device. And if you're going out to buy an XBox just to watch DVDs on it, I'm frankly a little concerned. It'd want to be a gold-plated DVD player if I was going to sink five-hundred bucks into it.
I actually do hold that position.

And because "Use another device" is a "Fuck you" to the consumer, really. Why not use a DVD player? Because you're moving to college and want to minimize space. Because you're in the military and want to minimize space and weight. Because Pat was a good kid this year and as a reward got to choose between a gaming console OR a 3 disc changer DVD Player in their room and they chose the console. Because your DVD player is in the bedroom and your console in the living room and sometimes people nap. Or sometimes you have friends over and want to watch a movie on the couch and don't want to lug the DVD player around. And sure, DVD players can be had for, like, $20 these days - doesn't mean you want to waste money on something you'll use twice a year when the console that can do it is right there....

.... Unless they're doing something as fucked as running their voice recognition and camera as Always-On. Well, yes, then you would do that. Because Microsoft is saying "Fuck You".
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Re: XBox One

Postby Xanthir » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:56 pm UTC

I'll note that for some of us (me), the ability to say "Xbox, turn on" is a pretty sweet benefit. I'm happy about the mandatory Kinect, because it means that voice commands will actually be supported everywhere.
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Re: XBox One

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:17 pm UTC

Unless they've got rid of the 6' minimum distance requirement for the Kinect to work, my current living arrangements are incompatible with it - it'd be a choice between the Kinect and furniture...

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Re: XBox One

Postby sparkyb » Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:01 am UTC

I was reluctant to throw my opinion into this ring, but what the hell. I think the concern over the "always on" Kinect is overblown. What they're talking about is standby. If Xbox 360 wasn't already basically in standby you wouldn't be able to wake it up from the controller like you currently can. Your TV is doing the same thing if you can turn it on with a remote. The only difference with the Xbox One is that it is a microphone that is always listening for an "Xbox On" command (I'm pretty sure they aren't even doing this with the camera). I think where the panic comes from is that people are equating listening/watching with recording. The camera and microphones won't be recording. They'll just be capturing a frame at a time, some code sees if it contains a command, and if not it is thrown away. This code can't tell if you're jerking off, nor does it care. No person has access to this data. The Kinect is just some circuitry. It has not invaded your living room any more than a TV has. Furthermore, Microsoft has said that you can turn this feature off, then it won't even be listening. The fear that Microsoft could be lying and recording you without telling you or that someone could hack in and do the same thing is irrational IMO. Maybe it could happen, but I see no reason why it is any more likely to happen with the Xbox One than any other computing device with a camera (as others have said). If you're going to boycott the Xbox One for this reason, why aren't you giving up your smartphone and webcam?

I'm not sure how far they're planning to go as far as making you always have it connected. Clearly you could turn it to face the wall, lay it down on its face, or put a box over it, but that does seem kind of ridiculous to have to do. At that point they might as well let you unplug it, as it is no more functional when turned on its face. So hopefully the box won't be as unusable with it as they make it sound. Obviously, some games may require it or not let you play, even if it is just their policy and their use of it is minimal enough to make the game still 100% playable without using any of its features.

If you think you don't want it and would rather spend $100 less to get an Xbox One without it, too bad. Microsoft is under no obligation to make you want you want. A company can make whatever they want; consumers have the option of voting with their wallets and not buying it, or buying a competing product. Calling that a "Fuck you" is just undeserved entitlement. It's the same as if I was happy with 4:3 TV and I didn't think I needed widescreen. I'm going to be out of luck unless I want to buy an older model because the market has changed whether I wanted it to or not. Microsoft thinks there's a future in motion gaming. They know that developers don't develop for optional peripherals because the install base will not be enough to sell enough copies of the game. Sure, there might not be any Kinect games now you want to play. If Microsoft didn't make this bold move by bundling it with every Xbox One, there almost certainly ever would be. Maybe even with this move motion gaming won't catch on or people won't give the Xbox One a chance, but that's Microsoft's risk to take. If you don't like, don't buy it. With these new Kinects out there, a great game that you could like might come along. Even if you know that you'd never been interested in anything that uses the Kinect, then maybe you're just not the target demographic for the Xbox One that you think you ought to be. I suspect a lot of gamers felt the same way about the Wii when it first came out. I don't know how many of those people were won over later and how many just abandoned Nintendo for the 360 and PS3, but with all the new people the Wii brought it, I don't think Nintendo is missing anyone they lost (I think they've made other mistakes with the Wii/WiiU, but that's besides the point).

I personally think it is a little early to write off all of motion gaming. As someone who has been programming camera-based games for more than 10 years, I think there's still a lot yet to come. The Kinect is the first really decent, consumer-focused, camera gaming platform and it has only been out 3 years. It is a new paradigm and it is going to take a while to figure out what is good for. Current Kinect games are no-good, because people just make the same games as before and map it to different controls less suited for those games. But it is always the habit of new media to mimic an older form. Early movies were shot with a single wide camera mimicking watching theater for years before using cuts and close-ups and things. Imagine if video games failed in the 80s because their graphics weren't as good at TV (even animation). Technologies like 3D and VR that were ahead of their time mostly didn't catch on and are just now starting to make a comeback. I think original and fun experiences will be coming that will justify the Kinect, even if it doesn't seem to be worthwhile right now.

Lastly, yes, they did make the field of view wider on the new Kinect so that you can use it in smaller rooms.

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Re: XBox One

Postby Xeio » Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:17 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:Unless they've got rid of the 6' minimum distance requirement for the Kinect to work, my current living arrangements are incompatible with it - it'd be a choice between the Kinect and furniture...

In case you happened to miss it at the bottom of that huge post. As sparkyb said, yup they reduced it. It now has a much wider field of view and the minimum distance is now 3'.

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Re: XBox One

Postby Kulantan » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:40 am UTC

sparkyb wrote:The camera and microphones won't be recording. They'll just be capturing a frame at a time, some code sees if it contains a command, and if not it is thrown away. This code can't tell if you're jerking off, nor does it care. No person has access to this data. The Kinect is just some circuitry.

The NSA doesn't let the companies it co-opts disclose the surveillance. "Some code" could just as easily detect the word "bomb" as "on" (although given it is on a gaming console the false positive might be a bit much). The material provider for sexytalonwanks.com don't tell you that they have hacked your Kinect.

I don't trust permanent networked microphones. I don't tolerated them unless it is very useful (like a phone). If you don't mind them that is fine. But I'd like an option to run my Xbox Two without the Kinect connected. I'd also like to voice that preference without being ridiculed.

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Re: XBox One

Postby Carlington » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:10 am UTC

Koa, I'm afraid I'm really not sure what you're disagreeing with anymore. In one post you said that the potential for invasion of privacy wasn't the main concern, that you saw it as a secondary issue. In that case you would be agreeing with my stated position. In the next post, you said that you found the entire argument over privacy distracting and unnecessary, which doesn't seem relevant to the discussion between the two of us, because you've already said that you agree with me, and in the post after that, you tell me that the entirety of my argument is based on fallacies, and that you had no interest in explaining how or why that was the case - but then finished by reiterating "the privacy concern is simply a concern." I'm afraid you've left me entirely clueless as to what your actual point was. Do you feel as though the privacy issue is secondary, and less important here? If so, why are you arguing with me? I'd appreciate if you could clarify for me.

Adam H, I'm not saying anything about how effective it is to say "Buy this - the government's already probably spying on you anyway." Nor am I trying to say that we shouldn't be worried about the potential invasion of privacy this particular device could lead to. What I am saying is that we seem to have picked a rather arbitrary point to get up in arms about this. People have been carrying mobile phones on their person for quite some time now, and yet, there was no brigade of angry consumers, demanding to know why their iPhone had a camera hard-wired in, and why it couldn't be turned off. Nor was that the case when laptops started shipping with built-in webcams and microphones. As Jack21222 said, they actually get functionality out of mobile phone cameras and webcams, where they won't get functionality from the Kinect. If that is indeed the case, then the issue is not that of privacy, but instead, the fact that Microsoft is charging you more money for something you don't want, need, or have any use for. That is shitty behaviour, and I am not disputing that, but the shittiness comes from the relative usefulness of the respective devices, and not from their relative exhibited potential for invasion of privacy.

ST, all of the examples you provided are perfectly legitimate - and Microsoft is indeed saying a big "fuck you" to the consumer. But that doesn't come from the fact that the Kinect in particular has any more spying potential than literally any of the other examples I've provided. Because it doesn't. The Kinect has the same potential as anything else to spy on people. If I were to extend your argument, Apple was saying "fuck you" when they said "Buy an iPhone with a camera or buy something else". As was every manufacturer of a mobile phone or computer with an inbuilt camera. Hell, every phone has a built-in microphone that's permanently connected to the internet, for all intents and purposes. So, then, I reiterate what I said to Adam earlier in this post - the issue is not the potential for spying, but the trade-off with usefulness. People don't want a Kinect, people don't need a Kinect, people don't want to pay for a Kinect that they won't use - regardless of how much it might or might not be spying on them.
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Re: XBox One

Postby Jack21222 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:44 pm UTC

Carlington wrote: The Kinect has the same potential as anything else to spy on people.


I have to disagree with this. The Kinect WILL be used to collect marketing data, unlike my cell phone. The pictures I take on my cell phone do not get sent to T-Mobile. The pictures the Kinect takes WILL be sent to Microsoft to sell to advertisers. The Kinect will enable things like video DRM. It will enable things like viewer limits on pay per view events. It will give advertisers feedback about when we're smiling during their commercials and when we're not.

The Kinect WILL be sending data to Microsoft, as an intended feature. My cell phone camera does not send pictures anywhere unless there's been some kind of hack.

Either you can see the difference and are just being disingenuous or you can't see the difference and are naive.

The problem is exacerbated by the NSA spying scandal. It has been revealed that the NSA can collect data from phone companies, and can get a rubber stamp warrant to listen in to any conversations. You'd have to be denser than an atomic nucleus to think the NSA won't tap Microsoft for Kinect data.

My girlfriend and I have our Wii U for our home entertainment system, and Microsoft has done a horrible job trying to convince me to switch. They've only justified my Wii U purchase in my mind.
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Re: XBox One

Postby Carlington » Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:02 pm UTC

I'd be absolutely delighted to know where you got that particular bit of insight, that you can tell me with 100% certainty that Microsoft will use their Kinect for gathering demographic info. I haven't seen the announcement anywhere, nor have I seen it alluded to - but I haven't been paying a lot of attention to the entire thing in the first place, other than what I see pop up on my various news feeds. If I'm wrong, and they have said that this is an intended use of the Kinect, this is the time to prove me wrong.
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Re: XBox One

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:16 pm UTC

Jack21222 wrote:My girlfriend and I have our Wii U for our home entertainment system, and Microsoft has done a horrible job trying to convince me to switch. They've only justified my Wii U purchase in my mind.


That's cause the WiiU is awesome piece of underrated sauce. It honestly does everything entertainment-related the next-gen systems can do, except on a convenient mandatory tablet (which seems far more useful than voice commands frankly).

------------

The camera incident is either fully overblown or not, depending on how you look at it. I've seen people secure spaces against Advanced Persistent Threats before (generally considered to be Nation-state level spys), and its not an easy job. After all, APTs are not limited to network only attacks. You do realize that APTs can just pick your locks and place a hidden camera inside of your home or car if they really wanted to, right? Whats the physical security of your house? Do you have cameras recording your own house to mitigate intrusions? Whats the physical security of your car? Do you watch your car when you're at work? Can an APT place a camera / microphone / bug into your car while you're at home? At work?

What are the vantage points around your home? Can some dude with binoculars half-a-mile away look through your windows? Does your APT have a space program? (China, Russia, US)? Do they have allies with a space program? If so, are you prepared to defend yourself against satellite surveillance?

Worrying about some theoretical hack against the XBox One, without first physically securing your space is a major mistake. Physical security trumps theoretical network attacks frankly, and then you build up network security from there. I bet that none of you have a perfectly secure front-door to your house. (and certainly not your apartment). What about your windows, or other alternative entrances? If you're targeted by an APT, they'll just stick a camera / microphone on your car or home, probably connected to 3G or 4G so that it can wirelessly transmit everything back to base. No need for this Kinect always on theoretical super-mastery hacker crap.

The typical person doesn't have to worry about this. APTs do not target the average joe. But if you for some reason need to worry about APTs spying on you... its a tough as hell job. Its James Bond shit you have to worry about defending yourself from.

I have to disagree with this. The Kinect WILL be used to collect marketing data, unlike my cell phone. The pictures I take on my cell phone do not get sent to T-Mobile. The pictures the Kinect takes WILL be sent to Microsoft to sell to advertisers. The Kinect will enable things like video DRM. It will enable things like viewer limits on pay per view events. It will give advertisers feedback about when we're smiling during their commercials and when we're not.

The Kinect WILL be sending data to Microsoft, as an intended feature. My cell phone camera does not send pictures anywhere unless there's been some kind of hack.


If you're so worried about a network attack going through the Kinect, then unplug the Ethernet cable and disable Wireless. XBox One is now an offline device, and will function without phoning home.

Good luck with the lock-picking attack against your front door though. :roll: :roll:

The problem is exacerbated by the NSA spying scandal. It has been revealed that the NSA can collect data from phone companies, and can get a rubber stamp warrant to listen in to any conversations. You'd have to be denser than an atomic nucleus to think the NSA won't tap Microsoft for Kinect data.


https://xkcd.com/538/

Your local police department does not need the NSA to send two plainclothes police officers with binoculars to look into your house, and plant a wire onto your car or window. All this fear from the NSA, when there are far far simpler techniques to be worried about. As Kulantan pointed out, a piece of duct-tape foils the NSA plot. Duct-tape over the Kinect camera, or point it towards the wall. You're done.

A dude placing a wire on a window with a good enough microphone that it can hear the inside of your house? Good luck against that. Have you been checking your windows lately? Do you have a defense against infrared laser microphones?
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Re: XBox One

Postby Koa » Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:48 pm UTC

Just because there are other forms of invasion of privacy, some known or unknown, doesn't justify the kinect to invade your privacy as well. Just because you're not as concerned about said other forms of invasions of privacy as you are over the kinect doesn't mean that your concern over the kinect is unjustified due to hypocrisy. Any concern over invasion of privacy whatsoever would become invalid because of some hypothetical group of super spies that are stalking you. So what if you have a camera overlooking your car? Someone is swapping the tapes. Hire a security guard to watch it? He's on someone else's payroll. This goes on endlessly. I was suggesting we avoid it.

You might think defense against a hypothetical group of super spies is unrealistic, in which case I say "indeed" about having 24/7 surveillance of my home and walls made of lead. I make some compromises over reasonable doubt.

If you were to falsely presume that we positively and knowingly do send the same information that we would to Microsoft as we already do to Sprint, then the argument is about what company we trust with what information. There's not much in the way of preventing Microsoft from invading your privacy so I expect it to at least be a possibility. If Microsoft repeatedly demonstrates that it likes to fuck the consumer I expect it to be a little more of a possibility. I no longer reasonably doubt it. Saying that because I don't actively protest PRISM doesn't mean that it is any less of a possibility that Microsoft is spying on me or that I should be any less concerned about what information Microsoft is potentially gathering from me. I wouldn't call it a spy camera outside of hyperbole (the eye can look nearly HAL9000 evil) but I think the concern is valid in the least.

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Re: XBox One

Postby Jack21222 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:16 pm UTC

Carlington wrote:I'd be absolutely delighted to know where you got that particular bit of insight, that you can tell me with 100% certainty that Microsoft will use their Kinect for gathering demographic info. I haven't seen the announcement anywhere, nor have I seen it alluded to - but I haven't been paying a lot of attention to the entire thing in the first place, other than what I see pop up on my various news feeds. If I'm wrong, and they have said that this is an intended use of the Kinect, this is the time to prove me wrong.


http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013- ... -red-rings

"we don't transmit personal data in any way, shape or form that could be personally identifiable to you, unless you explicitly opt into that."

They have stated it is an intended use, and are claiming it's an opt-in system. We'll see how honest they are about the explicit opt-in requirement, or if they bury that language deep in an EULA. In either case, they have explicitly said that they will transmit personal data if you opt into it. And even if you don't opt into it, they're implying that they will transmit data that isn't personally identifiable to you, but still transmitting data. After all, your gender, approximate age, and whether you're smiling at any given time aren't personally identifiable bits of data.
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Re: XBox One

Postby sparkyb » Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:30 pm UTC

Jack21222 wrote:The pictures the Kinect takes WILL be sent to Microsoft to sell to advertisers. The Kinect will enable things like video DRM. It will enable things like viewer limits on pay per view events. It will give advertisers feedback about when we're smiling during their commercials and when we're not.


Jack21222 wrote:"we don't transmit personal data in any way, shape or form that could be personally identifiable to you, unless you explicitly opt into that."

They have stated it is an intended use, and are claiming it's an opt-in system. We'll see how honest they are about the explicit opt-in requirement, or if they bury that language deep in an EULA. In either case, they have explicitly said that they will transmit personal data if you opt into it. And even if you don't opt into it, they're implying that they will transmit data that isn't personally identifiable to you, but still transmitting data. After all, your gender, approximate age, and whether you're smiling at any given time aren't personally identifiable bits of data.


I don't see how you get from that one quote to all those conclusions you've made. They have NOT explicitly said they plan to transmit personal data if you opt-in, only that they definitely won't if you don't opt for it. That language is most likely only referring to opt-in sharing like when I choose to share a Kinect photo from a game to my Facebook feed via an explicit sharing menu. Nowhere have I seen them say they would be recording you when you were unaware of it, nor have they stated plans to use it to give feedback to advertisers or limit video watching.

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Re: XBox One

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:36 pm UTC

Just because there are other forms of invasion of privacy, some known or unknown, doesn't justify the kinect to invade your privacy as well.


Whether or not the Kinect "invades your privacy" is another issue. But I'm seeing references to "the NSA" and "PRISM" all over this thread. Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb. If you're worried about APT-level threats, then you got some basic issues you need to take care of first... well before you worry about the XBox One.

Again: https://xkcd.com/538/

Secure youself against the $5 wrench before you worry about spies and crap coming in through your XBox One. If you ever come up against an APT-level threat, the "$5 Wrench" approach will be used against you first. (Aka: dudes with binoculars). Its cheaper, more effective, and works nearly all the time. Certainly... it will work more than hacking into an XBox One Kinect sensor that may or may not be behind a NATed Firewall (btw: all that is automatically done by standard routers)
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Re: XBox One

Postby rmsgrey » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:20 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
Just because there are other forms of invasion of privacy, some known or unknown, doesn't justify the kinect to invade your privacy as well.


Whether or not the Kinect "invades your privacy" is another issue. But I'm seeing references to "the NSA" and "PRISM" all over this thread. Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb. If you're worried about APT-level threats, then you got some basic issues you need to take care of first... well before you worry about the XBox One.

Again: https://xkcd.com/538/

Secure youself against the $5 wrench before you worry about spies and crap coming in through your XBox One. If you ever come up against an APT-level threat, the "$5 Wrench" approach will be used against you first. (Aka: dudes with binoculars). Its cheaper, more effective, and works nearly all the time. Certainly... it will work more than hacking into an XBox One Kinect sensor that may or may not be behind a NATed Firewall (btw: all that is automatically done by standard routers)


The difference between an XBox routinely phoning home with collected Kinect data, and someone coming to pay you a visit with a $5 wrench is that you know when someone's broken your kneecaps, while you can't tell when someone's accessed Microsoft's database...
Just because you're vulnerable to a kneecap attack doesn't mean you shouldn't secure your data from people who aren't prepared to resort to a kneecap attack...
Also, there's a difference between someone specifically targeting you to extract data from and you paying someone for the privilege of giving them private data...

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Re: XBox One

Postby Kag » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:23 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:The difference between an XBox routinely phoning home with collected Kinect data, and someone coming to pay you a visit with a $5 wrench is that you know when someone's broken your kneecaps, while you can't tell when someone's accessed Microsoft's database...


Also doesn't distinguish between the example KE actually gave, which is someone watching you with binoculars, or tailing you, or bugging your car.
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Re: XBox One

Postby Xeio » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:51 pm UTC

sparkyb wrote:
Jack21222 wrote:The pictures the Kinect takes WILL be sent to Microsoft to sell to advertisers. The Kinect will enable things like video DRM. It will enable things like viewer limits on pay per view events. It will give advertisers feedback about when we're smiling during their commercials and when we're not.
Jack21222 wrote:"we don't transmit personal data in any way, shape or form that could be personally identifiable to you, unless you explicitly opt into that."

They have stated it is an intended use, and are claiming it's an opt-in system. We'll see how honest they are about the explicit opt-in requirement, or if they bury that language deep in an EULA. In either case, they have explicitly said that they will transmit personal data if you opt into it. And even if you don't opt into it, they're implying that they will transmit data that isn't personally identifiable to you, but still transmitting data. After all, your gender, approximate age, and whether you're smiling at any given time aren't personally identifiable bits of data.
I don't see how you get from that one quote to all those conclusions you've made. They have NOT explicitly said they plan to transmit personal data if you opt-in, only that they definitely won't if you don't opt for it. That language is most likely only referring to opt-in sharing like when I choose to share a Kinect photo from a game to my Facebook feed via an explicit sharing menu. Nowhere have I seen them say they would be recording you when you were unaware of it, nor have they stated plans to use it to give feedback to advertisers or limit video watching.
I linked it above, but they have also since given a bit more details on this. They've claimed that you will on first startup be prompted with all the privacy settings to control what data, if any, is sent to MS. If you turn it all off nothing is sent to MS' servers (Kinect works totally offline, as the previous version did). They also provide details on what kinds of data will be shared if you opt-in.

They've even stated most of these settings came about specifically because of privacy laws in several countries in the EU. So if you think they're lying about the settings then they're in for heaploads of regulatory trouble if it were to ever leak.

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Re: XBox One

Postby Jack21222 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:54 pm UTC

Kag wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:The difference between an XBox routinely phoning home with collected Kinect data, and someone coming to pay you a visit with a $5 wrench is that you know when someone's broken your kneecaps, while you can't tell when someone's accessed Microsoft's database...


Also doesn't distinguish between the example KE actually gave, which is someone watching you with binoculars, or tailing you, or bugging your car.


All of those are MUCH MORE DIFFICULT than somebody tapping into data that is already being sent out. Companies have been shown to be willing to just hand over data.

I really don't understand how I'm the paranoid one, pointing out things that are ALREADY BEING DONE and how it would be trivial to extend it to this new technology. I'm not talking about some kind of weird hypothetical situation. The NSA is already collecting every bit of data it can. Advertisers are already collecting as much data as they can. I'm not being some kind of looney here.

If Microsoft gets a national security letter from the NSA for Kinect data, they will comply. Why would the NSA not want that data?

If advertisers are willing to pay Microsoft money to see whether users are smiling during their commercial, and at what points, why would Microsoft turn down that money? In fact, why else would Microsoft develop the technology specifically to see whether the user is smiling? Does that have some legitimate gameplay purpose?
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Re: XBox One

Postby Menacing Spike » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:25 pm UTC

Jack21222 wrote:Does that have some legitimate gameplay purpose?


You could be ridiculously optimistic and hope for it to be used in moments similar to the Earthbound finale?

also here's a Sony patent, it could get worse guys

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