iPhone Pwnage Tool 2.0 released


Earlier today, the iPhone Dev Team teased that they wouldn’t release their latest Pwnage Tool until Sunday. Since this was yet another in a week long bit of teasing, we were somewhat surprised when a few hours later they posted a rather relaxed Thanks for waiting :) post announcing that Pwnage Tool 2.0 is available. Here’s a direct link to the tool and a mirror courtesy of [_BigBoss_].

According to TUAW, Pwnage Tool 2.0 will activate, jailbreak, and unlock first generation iPhones running any firmware up to and including version 2.0. Unfortunately, it will not unlock an iPhone 3G (at least, not yet). iPhone 3G owners can still use the tool for activation and jailbreaking (so you can run 3rd party apps not supported by Apple and the new iPhone App Store).

So far, skimming through the 1322 comments on their announcement post, I’ve not seen any complaints or death threats about the tool bricking iPhones, but one should still proceed with caution. According to one update to the post, some people either get an error 1600 from iTunes or they notice a “failure to prepare x12220000_4_Recovery.ipsw” in the log. They’ve provided a workaround, however. If this happens to you, simply mkdir ~/Library/iTunes/Device Support or alternately nuke all the files in that already extant folder and re-run Pwnage Tool.

UPDATE: Image is from Engadget’s iPhone review we covered earlier.

Creating web applications for the iPhone

[Dominiek ter Heid] wanted to prototype an application for the iPhone that incorporated GPS. He experimented, and came up with a step-by-step tutorial on how to create a web application that would push GPS information to his iPhone through the use of JavaScript and AJAX. This tutorial will save web hackers who want to play with the iPhone 3G a lot of grief. Using Cocoa Touch, and a CSS/JavaScript pack called IUI, he successfully created a web application that looks native to the iPhone and is able to grab GPS information. The application integrates the GoogleMaps API with the GeoNames database. We look forward to seeing the types of creative applications that this prototype will inspire. What sort of web application would you want to create for the iPhone?

[via digg]

HOPE 2008: Community Fabrication


Today at The Last HOPE, [Far McKon] from Philadelphia’s Hacktory presented on community fabrication. Over the last few years we’ve seen a lot of different accessible rapid prototyping machines created. There’s the RepRap, a fabrication machine that has achieved self replication; our friends at Metalab have gotten their own version of the machine running too. The Hacktory has recently acquired a Fab@home machine. Fab@home hopes to make manufacturing using multiple materials accessible to home users. Multiple materials means people have constructed objects that vary from embedded circuits to hors d’oeuvres. We can’t talk about edible prototyping without bringing up the CandyFab machine, which fuses sugar. The Hacktory has enjoyed their machine so far, but have found the learning curve fairly difficult. While it’s great to see the cost of rapid prototyping dropping, we’ll be much happier when the ease of use improves.

OpenMoko usability review

[Dave Fayram] has put out two videos covering the interface of the FreeRunner from OpenMoko. For those unfamiliar, we’ve covered it a few times before. It is an opensource mobile platform that includes a full X server. They encourage people to make their own software and even release the CAD files for chassis modification.

He points out some glaring faults and compares it to his iPhone. Some of the major faults he has listed and shown are:

  • Bezel around screen makes input difficult.
  • Extremely slow interface
  • Can’t play mp3s.
  • On screen keyboard is tiny.

It is marketed at around $400 so the comparison to an iPhone seems legitimate. We do need to keep in mind, however, that the FreeRunner is opensource. The more support we show to them, the better it will get. The thought of an opensource handheld platform, comparable to an iPhone is quite enticing. At this point though, the comparison is pretty one sided. Hopefully more software development and support from the community will make this device something to get very excited about.

[via Daring Fireball]

SIM card reader


Adafruit Industries just announced their next kit: a SIM card reader. Using the kit, you can read or write any SIM card. You could use this for fun things like recovering deleted contacts and SMS messages. The kit looks like a very straight forward design (based on [Dejan]‘s work); the only chip is a hex inverter and the board is powered by a regulated 9V battery. With all through-hole components, it should be easy to assemble. You can talk to it using the board mounted serial port or connect to the extra pin header using an FTDI USB cable just like the Boarduino. The FTDI option is bus powered, so you won’t need the battery. [ladyada] has collected some resources in case you want to learn more about smart cards.

USB NES controller plus


USB NES controllers are old school these days, but [Jay] put together a nice new take on the project. He shoehorned a USB interface adapter, USB hub and a USB memory stick to store his collection of NES roms and emulators right on the controller. He even dug up a black USB cable to keep the original look of the controller. Now he can just plug in and load his game selection directly from the controller.

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