Use Droid Bionic as a mobile hotspot without paying extra

Apparently Verizon customers are expected to pay for a second data plan if they want to be allowed to use a cellphone as a mobile hotspot. This means one data plan for the phone, and a second for the tethering. [DroidBionicRoot] thinks this is a little silly since there is already a data cap on the phone’s plan. But he’s found a way around it if you don’t mind rooting the phone to enable free tethering.

Not surprisingly it’s a very simple alteration. The phone is already capable of tethering, to enable the feature without Verizon’s permission just edit one database value. In the video after the break, [DroidBionicRoot] starts the process with a rooted Droid Bionic handset. He purchases an app for $2.99 which allows him to edit SQL databases on the handset. From there he navigates to the ‘Settings Storage’ database and changes the ‘entitlement_check’ key value to 0. Reboot the phone and tethering is now unlocked.

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I am root! – IP camera shell access

[Shawn] emailed us some pictures and a description of his latest hack. He cracked open a Rosewill RXS-3211 IP Camera because the output of the web interface made him certain that it was running Linux and he wanted to unlock some more potential from the device. These cameras are used for security, and offer a browser-based interface via a WiFi connection. After studying the circuit board he started poking around an unpopulated set of four pads and managed to get a serial connection up and running. The device’s serial terminal operates at 115200 baud using eight data bits, one stop bit, and even parity.

He wonder where to go from here and we have a few ideas. You can see in the terminal readout above that it announces when motion is detected. We think this motion detection would be quite useful with a small rover while adding live video broadcasting at the same time. An embedded Linux system should be able to interface with the device and we think that a bit of creative coding would open up the WiFi connection for other use as well. Not bad for a module that can be had for as little as $29. We’ve included all the images [Shawn] sent us after the break and we’d love to hear your thoughts on what you’d use this for in the comments.

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Sony Ericsson promotes Android bootloader unlocking

Sony Ericsson recently added a new section to their developer world portal called Unlocking the boot loader. They provide all the information and tools needed to root some of their newer Android phones.

Of course, this information comes from Sony Ericsson dripping with warnings, disclaimers and warranty-voiding rhetoric. Once you’ve waded through all of that, you’ll have to enter your phone’s IMEI number, your name and email address in order to get your phone’s unique bootloader unlock key. Here’s hoping they don’t use the form information to instantly void warranties.

Unlocking doesn’t come without consequences, but from UI tweaks and performance improvements to custom apps and tethering, there are probably more reasons to unlock your Android device than there are reasons to leave it alone. In an age where people are making a fuss about companies adding stumbling blocks for would-be jailbreakers, it’s good to see that at least one of them is doing what they can to help hackers take the plunge. Anyone want to clear up why Sony Ericsson feels like supporting hackers but Sony sues people for doing similar things on the ps3?

Thanks to [flip] | remixed image credit (cc by-sa 2.0): [taka@p.p.r.s]

Nook Color gets honeycomb

[Deeper-blue] has released all the files necessary to get Android honeycomb working on your nook color. We had a chance to play with the nook color for a bit, but ours was only on Android version 2.1. It seems like they’ve come a long way with the capabilities of this simple e-reader since then.  While he’s built out the majority of the features, it is still lacking some fundamentals, like sound. As you can see in the video after the break, the scrolling is a tiny bit choppy but the applications themselves see to be fairly snappy. We can’t wait to see how this works after a little improvement.

 

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Nook color rooted: Hands on

Nookdevs have released information on how to root your nook color. So naturally, I had to run out and get one.  Who doesn’t want a multitouch android tablet for $250?  The instructions for rooting are extremely simple. You really only need microSD card and a Linux/Windows/Mac computer to connect to.  After rooting, your nook will work exactly as it did before, but you can now install android applications on it.  Many applications are built for a phone that has more physical buttons, so I have run into some issues, but over all, the applications that work tend to work well.

Join me after the break for more thoughts, a video of it in action, and a few pictures.

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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.

New nook says: no root for you!

That is a blurry image of a Barnes & Noble Nook eReader stuck in an infinite reboot loop. This is the result of trying to downgrade the firmware to 1.0 in preparation to soft-root the device. So after a few failures the device will recover itself, right? It doesn’t look that way. No problem, don’t you just pop it open and re-write the OS to the SD card inside to do a hardware root? Nope, it looks like the newest hardware revision has replaced that convenient SD card with a memory chip.

For now it’s a brick, but we’re sure there will soon be a way to fix this. A bit of solder, some wires, and a reflash should work much in the same way an EEPROM recovery does. That is, if you have an original image to work with.

So for now, be careful not to attempt to root your nook if the serial number starts with 1003.

[Thanks Ken]