California man goes to court for modifying Xbox 360

Modifying XboxIn the first trial of its kind, Matthew Crippen, 28, is being taken to court today for modifying Xbox 360s. Crippen was arrested in August 2009 after he was paid to install chips in consoles in order for users to play pirated games.

An undercover agent approached Crippen and offered $80 for the service, and recorded a conversation in which Crippen admitted to modifying three Xbox 360s a week. According to the prosecution, Crippen was running a small business with this operation. He was arrested and released on $5,000 bond. If convicted, Crippen faces a maximum of three years in prison for violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

As the trial starts, Crippen’s defense is already weakening. Last week, a judge declared his team cannot argue “fair use.” The judge determined that “fair use” doesn’t apply seeing as the DMCA makes no mention of it. Crippen’s attorneys wanted to compare modifying a console to jailbreaking an iPhone, which fair use advocates argue have become more similar devices.

And as things couldn’t get worse for Crippen, there’s the possibility that video evidence of Crippen allegedly in the process of modifying a console will be used against him. In his corner, however, is infamous hardware-hacker Andrew “Bunnie” Huang, who (if permitted) will defend Crippen. Huang contends that Crippen’s modification methods did not technically violate the DMCA. However, the federal government does not plan to take Huang’s testimony into account.

What adds an air of controversy to the debacle is the stance Microsoft has recently taken on hacking regarding its new Kinect. A year ago, Microsoft put modifiers on blast, and began banning worked-on machines from Xbox Live. And when a similar situation arose after Kinect’s release, the company initially threatened legal action against users who tampered with the device’s hardware. However, after the “hacks” become more and more innovative and were largely praised by media outlets as revolutionary, Microsoft suddenly changed its tone. Microsoft argues it left the Kinect open source for the very purpose of modifying the device, which strangely contradicts the company’s original accusations — as well as everything else it’s ever said about modification.

Whatever the company’s true feelings on the subject, Crippen is facing extremely dire consequences for his own actions. Something gamers everywhere would be wise to take heed of.


The best free-to-play games you can play right now

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Sharing your best gameplay moments is quick and easy on the Xbox One

The current generation of consoles make it easier than ever to share your gaming highlights with the world. Here's a quick guide on how to record a gameplay video on Xbox One.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?

The best MacBook deals for November 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.

The best iPad deals for November 2018

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for November 2018.

Apple to boost its Amazon presence with listings for iPhones, iPads, and more

Apple is about to start offering more of its kit on Amazon. The tech giant currently only has very limited listings on the shopping site, but the deal will see the arrival of the latest iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and more.

The best iPhone deals for November 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for November 2018.

Google’s Gboard now uses A.I. to recommend GIFs based on your conversation

Google is bringing a new feature to Gboard that should make it better for those that regularly use GIFs and stickers. The feature essentially uses A.I. to recommend GIFs and stickers based on your conversation.

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.

The Mac mini's price has crept into iMac territory. So how do they compare?

Apple announced a long-awaited update to the Mac mini. Thanks to the updated specs and increase in price, it's begun to creep up to the base model iMac. In this guide, we now put up the specs on the newest refreshed Mac mini against the…

Will Chrome remain our favorite web browser with the arrival of newest version?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Product Review

The MacBook Air plays the oldies we love, but the band is getting old

We’ve waited for a long time for an update to the MacBook Air, and Apple finally delivered one. With a lot of features ported over from the MacBook Pro, is this new laptop what Apple fans have always wanted?

Here are the best Apple Watch and Fitbit Versa deals for Black Friday

Apple products are the most sought-after products for Black Friday, the leaked preview ads show what discounts retailers will have for the Apple Watch Series 3 and other smartwatches, such as the Fitbit Versa, this holiday season.