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Who Hosts X-link?


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#1 blatchy

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 12:04 PM

I posed this question in the X-link tag thread but it really didn't belong there. So here goes....

Hypothetically speaking, if someone was to use a mod with unauthorized software, would there be a concern over using a program linked into your Xbox that was linked through a chat program to hosts usually maintained by MS (MSN Messenger)? I know that we have an enterprise edition of MSN at work and that MSN has no role within our internal communications as we host their MSN on our systems. That might be the same scenario here. But ultimately, the question remains: who hosts X-link?

Just something to mull over...and it should be for a lack of knowing.

Edited by blatchy, 29 April 2003 - 01:14 PM.


#2 blatchy

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 11:38 AM

Personally, until it was known just who is responsible for hosting a MS developed messaging system which has the ability to link to a modified xbox system, I wouldn't use it....if I had anything that I didn't want them to know of course.

Edited by blatchy, 30 April 2003 - 11:41 AM.


#3 fightclub

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 09:21 PM

paranoia runs deep in the moddign community...

#4 bzchi

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 10:35 PM

I'd like to know your source of information for "MS Developed Messaging System". It is not developed by MS it just looks like MSN Messenger.. probably so there are less support issues with people not knowing how to use it. For the record there is no reason this couldn't be used with an unomodified xbox. You've obviously watched way too much x-files. blink.gif

Edited by bzchi, 30 April 2003 - 10:36 PM.


#5 blatchy

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 01:10 AM

QUOTE (bzchi @ Apr 30 2003, 06:35 PM)
I'd like to know your source of information for "MS Developed Messaging System". It is not developed by MS it just looks like MSN Messenger.. probably so there are less support issues with people not knowing how to use it. For the record there is no reason this couldn't be used with an unomodified xbox. You've obviously watched way too much x-files. blink.gif

No, its obviously uses MSN messenger as its platform, not saying that X-link was produced by MS. All I want to know is who controls the server. As far as being paranoid, if you were worried about it, one can never be too cautious. Unless you think that you're safe. Im sure Isonews thought no one would come after them. Im sure the DSS user who bought a programmer legally never thought they would come DSS would serve summons to consumers, even if they used it legally. Or MP3 traders in colleges thought they would get in sued and kicked out of college.

It's not paranoia when these types of things are already happening. And it's never out of place to pose questions...

#6 bzchi

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 01:34 AM

Please validate this information with hard facts

"No, its obviously uses MSN messenger as its platform"

It does not use MSN Messenger as its platform. Thats suggesting that its a plugin or uses an MSN SDK released by MS which is doesn't. It is a standalone application, that from what I can see uses winpcap as the only additional SDK (used for the packet capturing / encapsulation). It uses the same _idea_ as MSN messenger but it in no way uses it as its platform, it is just similar in appearance.

Could YerDaddy please post information about the development of the application (if its not giving too much away) just to verify that this is not based on some form of MSN SDK.

I suggest you install it and take a look for yourself, its not MSN in any way shape or form. Also if you are worried about your xbox being seen by others.. you don't even need to plug it in to test the app and see how it operates.

As for who hosts it, id say the database of users is probably kept on a mysql webserver of xboxlink.co.uk and is accessed through http transactions from the messenger using php scripts to access the information (no direct database connection). The messenger is tied very close to the web services, although im sure it switches to a direct tcp connection when chatting with someone. All game information is exchanged encapsulated in UDP packets.

PLEASE NOTE: I am suggesting that this is how it _may_ work and its from my experience with the application, not from seeing a few screenshots and saying "this is obviously based on messenger". This is an interim answer until YerDaddy posts 100% fact.

On top of your paranoia, last time I checked enapsulating network traffic over IP was not against the law. Infact if you look back through your history books WON did this for Doom and created an entire application around the idea.

At what point using the application is it trading illegal or copyrighted content which you seem to compare it to?

Edited by bzchi, 01 May 2003 - 02:10 AM.


#7 flat235

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 10:12 AM

QUOTE
As for who hosts it, id say the database of users is probably kept on a mysql webserver of xboxlink.co.uk and is accessed through http transactions from the messenger using php scripts to access the information (no direct database connection). The messenger is tied very close to the web services, although im sure it switches to a direct tcp connection when chatting with someone. All game information is exchanged encapsulated in UDP packets.
ENQ QUOTE

Good reasoning.. and almost entirely correct. Encapsulated UDP packets move the game data. Chat is also through UDP. The server does indeed sync the client thru MySQL and an http interface, and PHP is my chosen web language..

Now, the clear up any lingering concerns, I host / write / maintain x-link, and I can tell you that I am not affiliated with MS is any way at all, and x-link does not uses ANY code even remotely connected with the MSN / Windows Messenger client.. it just LOOKS similar so ppl will understand it..


YerDaddy

Edited by flat235, 01 May 2003 - 10:15 AM.


#8 blatchy

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 10:42 AM

And that was the only answer I was looking to get. Thanks for that, YerDaddy.

QUOTE
At what point using the application is it trading illegal or copyrighted content which you seem to compare it to?


From my examples, I never implied that simply using the application was illegal. Kazaa's a legitmate program, people just use it for illegal purposes. I own a DVD-Burner. Am I copying copyrighted material? You and I might use it legitimately, but to think that others (a lot of others) are doing the same is naive.

Yes, it should be used with legitimate software of which fully support. Its great software. But, with your best *wink* and *nudge*, convince me that no one uses it otherwise. And let me know why that wouldn't be a concern (for someone infringing on copyrighted material) if you did not know who controls the content.

But I got my answer...

Edited by blatchy, 01 May 2003 - 11:03 AM.


#9 bzchi

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 11:13 AM

blatchy: At no point is data program data exchanged so there is no way the program can ever accomodate something illegal. If you get an illegal copy of Quake 3 and jump on Gamespy to play it does that make Gamespy illegal? You can draw no parallel to Kazaa, no files are exchanged.
PS. I didn't get my apology for ""No, its obviously uses MSN messenger as its platform" biggrin.gif

flat235: its an excellent system you are using to host the messaging lists etc. I have used a similar system at my last employer for some apps and have created a large amount of code for both client and server for the purpose. The greatest thing is you invest in a good webhost and you have an application server... mmm.. the joys of PHP. Other great thing is all your connection control is handled by Apache (if you're wise) and that takes a lot of the programming overhead away.

One thing I didn't get from your post was what language you were using to write the client? To me its looking like VB, but I can't be sure (and hope not to offend by suggesting its VB *smirk*). smile.gif

Edited by bzchi, 01 May 2003 - 11:15 AM.


#10 blatchy

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 11:57 AM

QUOTE (bzchi @ May 1 2003, 07:13 AM)
blatchy: At no point is data program data exchanged so there is no way the program can ever accomodate something illegal. If you get an illegal copy of Quake 3 and jump on Gamespy to play it does that make Gamespy illegal? You can draw no parallel to Kazaa, no files are exchanged.
PS. I didn't get my apology for ""No, its obviously uses MSN messenger as its platform" biggrin.gif

flat235: its an excellent system you are using to host the messaging lists etc. I have used a similar system at my last employer for some apps and have created a large amount of code for both client and server for the purpose. The greatest thing is you invest in a good webhost and you have an application server... mmm.. the joys of PHP. Other great thing is all your connection control is handled by Apache (if you're wise) and that takes a lot of the programming overhead away.

One thing I didn't get from your post was what language you were using to write the client? To me its looking like VB, but I can't be sure (and hope not to offend by suggesting its VB *smirk*). smile.gif

Ok, how about a 90% apology jester.gif It looks like MSN, it installs a MSN Messenger icon on the desktop, so that's what I based it on.

As far as no data exchange, something has got to be exchanged, doesn't there? And, granted, if that exchange is based on illegal software, it doesn't mean the program is illegal. Grokster was just shown not be liable for users swapping copyrighted material through their program. But, if the MPAA came out with a file sharing system (one based on the Shaq movie called Kazaam!), and someone was thinking of using it to exchange copyrighted movies, can you see where there would be a concern? Even if programs weren't exchanged, I would think that it would leave you vulnerable. Because the mood of late is not to shoot the messenger, but to go straight to the culprit.



#11 PM5K

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 12:11 PM

Nobody would even know if the game being played is an illegal version or a legal one, certainly many people use these third party applications (that have yet to come under fire even though they have been around for quite some time) to play Halo since it's not supported by Live.



#12 blatchy

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 12:25 PM

And its good to have the conversation. Just makes me wiser, so I appreciate that. We're cundela.

Edited by blatchy, 01 May 2003 - 12:25 PM.





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