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Hamtitampti Talks About Stolen Xbox360 Dev Kits
>> Hamtitampti (Franz) talked on the smartxx forums about the stolen Xbox XeXDKs story and the article on Spiegel.de. Here's a translation from german to english by Nuendo. *UPDATE* An anonymous reader sent us an updated translation:
Sadly I was unable to get together with Microsoft to coordinate a press-release.
Here's a copy of an E-mail I've received [most likely from a middleman between hamti and Microsoft]:
Hello Mister xxxxx,
Thank you for your e-mail, I forwarded it immediately to Microsoft.
I don't think we will get a reply within the next couple of hours.
I can as well only hardly imagine that Microsoft releases the message in this form. We'll See....
Regards, Josef Niemann (Prevent AG)
While Microsoft is holding their mouth shut on the matter (Which is understandable as they don't want to be associated in such matters) I am being heavily attacked. Here's a quote of the upcoming "Spiegel" (a renowned german magazine) which is available on Monday: "A young man in his late 20's, whom policemen described as "chain-smoking and cola-addicted computer freak" and "The seeming confused man tried to tell the policemen the gullible story that he received the units off a friend in Germany."
The representation from "Spiegel" is insolence and contradicts any good taste. The whole thing then escalated to the extent that, even on TV, entire reports focused on the matter. It would've been funny if this happened in the USA; We would have seen helicopters circling over my house with a live camera... (Just like in the movie "Larry Flynt")
You want to know the Truth?
On Wednesday, the 24th August, 10 XeDK Boxes (Xbox 360 Development Kits) were stolen from the central deposit of Microsoft Europe which is ran by „Bertelsmann LogisticGruppe" in "Düren" (A Town in Germany).
On Friday the 26th August, Team SmartXX(info) received an offer for 7 XeDK boxes. Team SmartXX was shocked, but said: "Yeah we'll take 4 of them". (We didn't believe this offer at first)
We immediately contacted Microsoft with whom we have a long-running (Hate-Love) relationship in various Territories. Together with Microsoft we then decided that on Saturday the 27th August we would unveil [post pictures of] the XedK Boxes with the reasoning to lower the emotional value of the units (in order to prevent future thefts) as well as to create a market based on stolen XeDK Units.
This attempt succeeded. On the 6th September another 14 (!) XeDK Boxes been stolen. But due to an internal mistake (on Microsoft's side) the theft was known to them although the pursuit of the units failed and Microsoft could not track these units down anymore. Of course this case was not brought to the police's attention.
Due to a miss-understanding within Microsoft - Only a few were aware of the whole thing because Microsoft assumed to have a spy/informant within their own employees - 2 of my E-mails been forwarded mistakenly saying "Hey they got something" to the police since there was a report from the Logistic Camp (Bertelsmann). Although this was not the case, Team SmartXX handed out the 4 Boxes to the police to prevent hindering their case.
Out of this reason Microsoft wasn't involved in the case anymore, and thus the company "Prevent AG" (www.prevent.ag) got the case since they are specialized on them.
A raid in your own house on a Sunday evening is something you have to bear with - said the Microsoft Rights Department - And I shouldn't take this so seriously... (Everything can be ironed out with money, not without a reason is MS designated as M$...) But it is truly saddening that one side of such a large company doesn't know what other side does and certain things being done without investigation on higher authorities.
That the police had to investigate for a long time to find the so-called thief (who they thought was me) is also a bloated representation. I think with a mail containing phone number and address it's pretty easy to find the sender.
Team SmartXX and Microsoft tried everything possible in order to stop the whole case at the police. Although an "unknown factor" couldn't help in our covered investigation and unfortunately we didn't succeed in stopping the case. On the other hand it is pretty sensational that the police themselves given interviews about the case yet was telling our lawyers that the case was still open and thus no documents or information could be handed out. As well our confiscated hardware (including a laptop and digital camera) have not yet been returned. (Have fun with my vacation photographs)
After this took place we decided on the 9th October 2005 to showcase 3 Xbox360's on the SmartXX Homepage (but this time final machines with all accessories).
With the idea: "what worked once, works a 2nd time too"
To achieve this, the idea was that we would receive boxes arriving on Monday / Tuesday (10th/11th October).
Which were by then equipped with tracking transmitters from the factory based in China in order to be 100% secure and not leave a loop-hole within shipping anymore. It's not hard to figure out by now that it was impossible to acquire the machines anymore now.
Therefore the whole action was stopped and never taken place.
Team SmartXX wants to send out their apologies to everyone involved in this matter as we didn't play with open Cards.
To Microsoft I only want to say this: Of course you will deny everything, like always. But to tell every reporter at the X05 that the thief has already been caught....... That's wonderful considering you've been proclaimed internally to remain "silent" on the case.
And you can at the same time try to deny why you are paying my lawyer? Bank vouchers are hard to deny or are they forged documents?
In addition we do thank the press for the "outstanding" press release, it was truly pertinent. Thanks again. It really helped clearing up on the case. Although it seems there are a few good reporters left, thanks go out to Golem.de, which gave us a call first and only then posted about it. That's something you'd wish to be the same with other reports, alas, it isn't.
Team SmartXX reserves itself to induce legal steps against the demagogic press. A simple apology will not be enough to dispose this.
The original german text is available on smartxx.com.
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