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No More Cheap Supercomputers? Sony Blocks Linux on PS3

May 04, 2010, 16:02 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andy Patrizio)

"Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) faces a class action lawsuit following a recent an update to its PlayStation 3 console that removes the ability to put alternate operating systems on the console.

"The late March update for the PlayStation 3 restricts the installation of an alternative operating system to the console's native OS. The feature, called 'Install Other OS,' has been removed, three years after the console's introduction, "due to security concerns," the company said in a blog post.

"But that's not sitting well in some quarters because ever since the PS3 hit the market over three years ago, it has been a popular alternative for building a low-cost supercomputer. There have been a number of high profile projects built using clusters of PS3s running Linux including Stanford University's Folding@Home project and the U.S. Air Force.

"IBM (NYSE: IBM), which developed the Cell processor with Sony that's at the heart of the gaming console, attempted to make the Cell a more widely-used supercomputing part, but after two years of failing to gain traction, IBM discontinued Cell development in late 2009."

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