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Microsoft lulls Xbox fans to accept Orwellian surveillance


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By General Maddox.
In a somewhat expected move, Microsoft has backflipped on it’s DRM (Digital Rights Management) position with regards to the upcoming release of Xbox One in November 2013. Xbox’s very vocal fan base has been in an uproar since the unveiling of the new gaming console.

Sadly they have missed the point. This is yet another case of the Hegelian dialectic of problem – reaction – solution in use. Though this one is with a twist.

Instead of being outraged by Microsoft’s blatant disregard for the privacy of their users, the fans are too busy worrying about another problem. That is, how the company was going to screw them over in terms of having to have an active internet connection to play downloaded games and the ability to trade-in, lend, resell, gift and rent disc based games which were not allowed or to be heavily restricted upon the announcement of the new console.

Microsoft knew all too well that their fans would have this reaction and be outraged with the announcement of such restrictions to gamers. That’s a no-brainer. After all i am a gamer and i too was outraged along with friends of mine.

So of course Microsoft offers the logical solution and backflips on this decision. Headlines grace internet forums and websites of the news. Fans are happy again. Then when the “water cooler” conversations start up again about how the new Xbox is going to spy on you, loyalists are quick to jump in to defend their little black box by saying that it’s not the case as their beloved Microsoft has reversed their position. The problem is most people only skim the news, and fail to do their homework and research such claims.

It would seem this was the plan all along by Microsoft so that the rest of the Orwellian measures could sneak through with only minimal resistance.

So what has changed? Not much in terms of surveillance. To recap on a previous post, here’s what’s gamers will be inviting into their homes:
– A device capable of detecting your eye movements and the eye movements of other people in the room. Patent here.
– A device capable of detecting heartbeats allowing it to sense whether people are in the room or not.
– The device requires an Internet connection to be set up if just initially to play games offline. No connection. No play.
– No reassurance whatsoever that Microsoft won’t go back on their word. See this from the Xbox website.

Features and requirements are under development and may change prior to release.

– You cannot power on the console without making sure the Spyware (Kinect sensor) is plugged in.
– A device capable of restricting paid content if the sensor detects more viewers in the room than the licence allows. See patent here.
– A device with a microphone that’s always on. Even when the Xbox is powered down. Apparently to allow users to turn it on with their voice.

Now that you know all this will you still buy one? Sadly many people will.

This marks a new era. We truly have now seen the end of privacy. Facebook takes our entire lives online and now users will allow Microsoft to enter the sanctity of our homes.

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Categories: Australian-news, Home, International-news

Author:General Maddox

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