Yifan Lu’s hardware fundraiser: the scene donation drive that reached its goal in less than 24h
You might have seen YifanLu’s hardware fundraiser on our forums. Yesterday, the famous Vita hacker who gave us native vita homebrew just asked for the community’s help.
His goal: understand the Vita’s security processor in depth.
Although YifanLu couldn’t give too many details on what he’ll use the money for, he explained he needed $1400 to secure a deal with some legit entity that could provide us additional information about the Vita CPU.
Without sharing too many details, I need to emphasize that Yifanlu has insisted on the fact that this approach could lead to nowhere, for many reasons. The seller could decide to not proceed with the deal, or the information we gather could end up being useless for decrypting anything related to the Vita. from what I gathered, there are more reasons this could fail than succeed.
From YifanLu’s post:
- This deal is 100% legal. It is not in the black or gray market. We are not paying a bribe or blackmail or anything shady. The money is not going to Sony (we’re not buying a devkit or registering to be a developer). We are not buying potentially stolen parts from Foxconn factories. Everything is completely clean, or I wouldn’t even be considering it.
- The intentional vagueness comes from the fact that this approach of information gathering (as far as I know) has never been attempted before. If Sony finds out, they might find a way to stop the deal. If the other party sees this as something controversial, they will likely back out to avoid any trouble/press.
- EVEN if I get all the money, they might still back out of the deal. In that case, I will refund everyone in full.
- EVEN if the deal goes through, the information we gather from it may be useless. In that case, we would lose the bet, and the money is gone.
- If the information does turn out to be helpful; because of the sensitive nature of it, we will share it with a small group of vita hackers for the time being. However, I promise that no later than a year from now, any information we get not subject to NDA will be released.
What’s interesting here is how fast YifanLu was able to gather the $1400 from our community. Within less than 24h, the goal was reached. Apparently some big donator has been lurking on the Vita scene 🙂 It also shows that YifanLu has given enough to the scene that we know we can trust him with this kind of thing.
Although there is absolutely no guarantee at this point that this could lead to anything useful, this is overall good news for the scene, let’s see what happens next!