Hackaday AMA happening right now at Reddit.

Our AMA is live right now.  Come ask us questions. You can ask here in our comments too, but frankly the Reddit system is better for at length nested discussion.

Items to be discussed:

-how to submit your story to hackaday

-our new template coming soon

USB Reddit Upvote/Downvote button

reddit_upvote_downvote_button

[Chris] has recently become a self-declared Reddit addict and wanted to build something that would streamline the process of voting on posts. Inspired by the Awesome Button hack featured on Make a little while back, he thought that a physical upvote/downvote button would be the ideal peripheral for all of his Reddit needs.

He was a big fan of using the Reddit Enhancement Suite, which allows you to submit votes with a single keystroke. He combined this browser extension with a Teensy development board, and had his voting button prototyped in no time. Once he fine-tuned the Arduino sketch that he used to emulate the required keypresses, he got busy building a case for his creation.

He busted out his 3D printer and had a custom working project box in about 30 minutes. He printed arrows for the upvote and downvote buttons, snapped everything together, and then gave his quick vote box a spin. Everything worked perfectly, and he’s quite happy with his creation.

We imagine that our resident Reddit addict in chief is pretty jealous right about now…

Stick around if you’d like to see a time lapse video of the button’s creation.

[Read more...]

Hackaday in the social tangle

Like any other organization out there, we’re always trying to find new ways to reach our audience. Admittedly, we’re not the fastest when it comes to adopting a new social communication site. We’re working on it though, trying to be a bit more interactive … or just plain active.

So, if you’re looking for other ways to get your hacking fix, or see some interesting commentary, find us on facebook, twitter, our own forums, and now G+. We just signed up to G+ and our name is “Hackie Smith”. If you need an invite, email us at theofficialhackaday@gmail.com see below.   Sometimes there’s good discussion in those places that doesn’t end up here on the site.

You can also find several of us spattered across the web in sites like Reddit and Slashdot.

[Update: Our g+ page got shut down. Feel free to find any of the writers on g+. I'll give out invites, look for "Caleb Kraft" or 60mango@gmail]

Reddit hacking for votes and profit

Looks like someone figured out how to game the Reddit system. This probably has been done before, but as far as we know nobody’s actually shared the methods in detail. [Esrun] wrote some scripts that allow him to register multiple accounts and use them to up-vote stories.

The hack goes something like this. A script registers a group of accounts. Each uses a different IP and the only part that requires intervention is typing in the Captcha. This doesn’t take long. You can see the script interface above as well as a demonstration video after the break.

Once the accounts have been acquired a story is submitted and the new accounts vote on it. They’re not all up-votes though, as having both up and down votes puts the article into the controversial section of Reddit (which is desirable), and doesn’t rouse as much suspicion from the moderators. He ran a few tests that he shares and it seems that as long as the article is interesting, this can be quite successful.

Great, more spam with our social media please.

[Read more...]

The HDCP master key

Pastebin has the HDCP master key that we talked about in a post last week. This is the encryption protocol used for HDMI content protection on media such as Blu-Ray and High Definition cable television.

The master key array is a 40×40 set of 56-bit hex used to generate the key sets. You get one brief paragraph at the top of the document explaining what to do with this information. If you ask us we’re more interested in how this set was determined. So for some background information read the key selection vector (KSV) Wikipedia page. That points us to an interesting discussion proposing that if 40 unique device-specific KSVs can be captured, they could be used to reverse-engineer the master key. And finally, a bit of insight from a Reddit user (make your own decision on the dependability of this information) commenting on the value of having the master key.

In his comment, [iHelix150] covers the revocation system that HDCP uses to ban devices that are being used to circumvent copy protection. He says that having the master key makes it possible to push your own revocation lists onto devices. Each time a list is written to your device (TV, Blu-ray, etc.) the version number field for the list is updated. If you push an update with nothing on the revocation list, and set the version number to a binary value of all 1’s it will prevent any more rewrites of the list. This means that any previously banned hardware will be allowed back into the chain or trust.

So far this probably means nothing for you. But it’s fun to watch the cat-and-mouse involved in the DRM struggle, isn’t it?

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