Kindle DRM cracked

Ding-dong, the DRM is gone. But not in the way we really want. The copy protection scheme that is used for most Kindle books has been cracked. We’d much prefer it hadn’t been there in the first place but then there’d be no challenge for security hackers.

Giving credit for the advancement gets a little messy. Apparently two folks figured this out at approximately the same time. [Labba] posted about his discoveries while [I (heart) Cabbages] wrote about his exploits in a blog entry. Either way, you can now strip the protection and use your legally-purchased books on any device you choose by using this Python script.

This means that both Kindle and Nook have had their DRM broken. Are these companies really trying to prevent copying (fair use) or do they just want to be able to tell the publishers that there are copy protections while turning a blind eye to what happens in the privacy of your personal computer?

[Thanks Sanchoooo via Slashdot]

Ubuntu 9.04 on Kindle 2

kindle2

Having read books on a Palm device for years we were excited when Amazon came up with the Kindle. Our problem is that if you’re going to carry around a portable device it should do a whole lot more than just display text from a few books. [Jesse Vincent] managed to get Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope running on the Kindle 2. This opens up endless possibilities to run whatever you want on this hardware.

The new functionality was presented in a talk at OSCON 2009. Be warned, [Jesse] has a very high geeky-hacker level. Make sure you have a tech dictionary and Google at the ready when you watch the video embedded after the break. His talk starts at about two minutes in and runs for five minutes total. [Read more...]

Laser etched Kindle 2

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After seeing the xkcd comic where they call the Kindle2 the hitchhiker’s guide, [Ladyada] couldn’t help but laser etch the Kindle 2 with “Don’t Panic”. We think it looks pretty good, if a bit bubbly. You can see the video of the entire process after the break. Now that xkcd has infiltrated our interwebs, hearts, and minds, maybe he can put just a tiny bit of effort into learning to draw. If you don’t have access to a laser etcher, you could always make your own. Just be careful you don’t accidentally go full out and cut your kindle to shreds.

[Read more...]

Tethering the Kindle 2

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This is not an article on how to use your Kindle’s internet connection with your computer. We’ll let [Jesse] explain why:

This is not a tutorial about how to use the Kindle 2′s Sprint connection from your computer. I don’t know that it’s possible to do so without making changes to the Linux installation on the Kindle. I do know that abusing the Kindle’s Sprint modem like that would upset Amazon a great deal.  Bear in mind also that Amazon know where you live. They know your Kindle’s serial number and thanks to the built in GPS, they know where you are right now.

What this is, however, is a nice tutorial on how to connect your Kindle to your computer so that it can use your computer’s internet connection. The instructions assume you are using a Mac, so you may have to adapt it if you aren’t. Basically you put the Kindle in Debug mode and tell it to use the USB tether for it’s network connection. This should allow not only a faster connection, but possibly a chance to see what exactly they are transferring back and forth.

Kindle 2 teardown

kindle2

The people at iFixit have shown that they’re still on top of their game by tearing down the new Kindle 2 eBook reader. The main processor is a 532MHz ARM-11 from Freescale. Interestly, there isn’t any significant circuitry behind the large keyboard; it seems its existence is just to hide the battery.

Related: previous teardowns on Hack a Day

[via Make]

Kindle screen transplant


[blakebevin]‘s sister shattered the screen on his Amazon Kindle, so he decided to try replacing it with the screen from a Sony Reader. He disassembled the Sony Reader and used a Dremel to mill down most of the aluminum tabs on the E Ink screen. The screen plugs into the same harness as the original Kindle screen the only problem is fit. The new screen interferes with some of the button movement and without trimming the case will bulge a little. Performance wise the screen ghosts on page turn and [blakebevin] assumes this is due to older technology. We’d hope to never have to do this, but it’s good to know the transplant option is there and not very difficult.

Console on the Kindle (and more)


[Dev] sent in an interesting blog series on hacking Amazon’s kindle. [Igor] has documented getting a console, the bootloader and more. Even if you don’t have a Kindle to hack on, it’s a good overview of hacking similar devices. He used a cell phone cable to build his interface, but I suggest getting familiar with the MAX232 family of semiconductors for cheap rs-232 to ttl converters.