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Kinect Gets Hacked

Kinect Gets Hacked (photo)

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Ol’ Billy Kinect? Those hackers done got ‘im.

There was a bounty on Kinect’s head even before most people had their chance to get Microsoft’s new motion controller back to their homes. Open-source electronics website Adafruit was offering a $2000 reward to the first hacker to crack open the protections Microsoft placed on their revolutionary device and create DIY drivers that would permit it to run on hardware other than the Xbox 360.

Today, proof that said cracking is well under way hit the interwebs. A video surfaced which shows a Kinect unit with its motor responding to commands from a PC and registering accelrometer movement. It’s still a long way from operating codes that would let you do something even so simple as video chat, but this video represents a prying open of a door Microsoft would rather stay closed.

Such curiosity and fiddling is the fate of any latter-day tech product, with everything from iPhones to, most recently, the PS3 having parts of their hardware+software fusion broken up and re-purposed. Despite how commonplace this stuff has become, Microsoft hasn’t let it stop them from sending sternly worded statements that frown on hackery. From CNET:

Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products. With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant.”

So, the dance of hacker and manufacturer continues. It’ll be interesting to track just how long it’ll take for more significant access to be gotten on the device. The secret sauce of Kinect is proprietary technology, though, and even hackers and tinkerers get at the code and components, they simply may not be able to make it obey. Hopefully, this activity just lights a fire under Microsoft to use this same technology in more widespread ways.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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