Kinect open source driver demo and hacking

The competition for the first Open Source driver for the Kinect is heating up.  [Marcan42] has released a driver that does video and depth.  He was able to do this without an Xbox and you can see it in action after the break. [LadyAda] has been hard at work as well, recording and dumping the data, and even writing a “hello world” that utilizes the motors in the Kinect.
We don’t know for sure how [Marcan42] recorded his data, but we can see [Ladyada] is using a high speed Beagle USB 480 to record the data going both ways between the Xbox360 and the Kinect.  That’s the kind of toy we would like to have sitting around. For those who don’t know what all the fuss is about, there’s a contest to see who can get an open source driver out there first. The prize has grown every time Microsoft says something bad about it.

[thanks Rapps]

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Permanent Root exploit found for g2

The g2 has finally been rooted. Even though a temporary root exploit was found shortly after the phones release, a NAND lock prevented modifying the non-volatile RAM for a permanent root. Some controversy surrounded the g2 when it was erroneously thought to have a rootkit protecting the OS.  Supposedly the rootkit would watch for changes to the file system and then reset the phone to default settings when any unauthorized changes were made.  On the other hand a NAND lock functions by fooling the operating system into thinking there isn’t any memory available, essentially “locking” the memory in key areas.  Once it was discovered to have the NAND lock it was only a matter of time before the g2 was permanently rooted.  NAND locks have become a popular (and unsuccessful) deterrent employed by device makers to stop the jailbreaking comunity.  While this exploit is nothing groundbreaking it is another notch in the belt for the jailbreaking community and a welcome benefit to g2 users.

Android Talks Pulsewave

Serial communications are a mainstay of digital computing. They don’t require much physical infrastructure and they exist in variations to fit almost any application. The behaviour of serial communications lines, varying from high to low voltage in a timed pattern, is analogous to a 1-bit DAC. Using a whole DAC for serial communication would be a waste in most cases, but the [RobotsEverywhere] team found an exception which you may have encountered already.

Since the audio output of the Android is accessible and addressable, [RobotsEverywhere] wrote source code to use the left and right channels as separate serial communication lines. This circumvents the need to bust into the device and muck about with the hardware which is great if you want a no-risk hack that allows communications to an RS232 port. Any hardware on which you can write to the DAC (and control the sampling rate) is a potential target.

There are some external electronics required to convert the audio signal to TTL, but it’s not very complicated–a couple of comparators and change. You can see it in action after the break.

As a bonus, when you’re done for the day you can plug in your headphones and listen to the soothing poetry of pulse waves all night long.

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