It’s Almost A New Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. But Not Quite

We know that readers are familiar with the global chip shortage and its effects on product availability. The Raspberry Pi folks haven’t escaped its shadow, for even though they’ve managed to preserve availability of their RP2040 microcontroller, it’s fair to say that some of their flagship Linux-capable boards have been hard to find. All of this has had an unlikely effect in the form of a new Raspberry Pi, but unexpectedly it’s one which few end users are likely to get their hands on.

The Raspberry Pi Compute Module has been part of the range since the early days, and in its earlier versions took a SODIMM form factor. The last SODIMM Compute Module had a Pi 3 processor, and this unexpected new model is reported as having a very similar hardware specification but featuring the Pi 4 processor. It seems that the chip shortage has affected supplies of the earlier SoC, and to keep their many industrial customers for the SODIMM Compute Modules in business they’ve had to produce this upgrade. As yet it’s not surfaced for sale on its own and there’s a possibility it will stay only in the realm of industrial boards, but as the story develops there’s a Raspberry Pi forum topic about it for the latest and you can find the pertinent info in the video below the break.

Of course, the Compute Module of the moment remains the CM4 in its newer form factor, which we see as possibly the most exciting of all the Pi products of the moment. Meanwhile this is not the first custom industrial Raspberry Pi to be seen in the wild.

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This Week In Security: Vulnerable Boxes, Government Responses, And New Tools

The Cyclops Blink botnet is thought to be the work of an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) from Russia, and seems to be limited to Watchguard and Asus devices. The normal three and four letter agencies publicized their findings back in February, and urged everyone with potentially vulnerable devices to go through the steps to verify and disinfect them if needed. About a month later, in March, over half the botnet was still online and functioning, so law enforcement took a drastic step to disrupt the network. After reverse-engineering the malware itself, and getting a judge to sign off on the plan, the FBI remotely broke in to 13 of the Watchguard devices that were working as Command and Control nodes. They disinfected those nodes and closed the vulnerable ports, effectively knocking a very large chunk of the botnet offline.

The vulnerability in WatchGuard devices that facilitated the Botnet was CVE-2022-23176, a problem where an “exposed management access” allowed unprivileged users administrative access to the system. That vague description sounds like either a debugging interface that was accidentally included in production, or a flaw in the permission logic. Regardless, the problem was fixed in a May 2021 update, but not fully disclosed. Attackers apparently reversed engineered the fix, and used it to infect and form the botnet. The FBI informed WatchGuard in November 2021 that about 1% of their devices had been compromised. It took until February to publish remediation steps and get a CVE for the flaw.

This is definitely non-ideal behavior. More details and a CVE should have accompanied the fix back in May. As we’ve observed before, obscurity doesn’t actually prevent sophisticated actors from figuring out vulnerabilities, but it does make it harder for users and security professionals to do their jobs. Continue reading “This Week In Security: Vulnerable Boxes, Government Responses, And New Tools”

Astrophotography On The Game Boy Camera

The Game Boy Camera was the first digital camera that many of us ever interacted with. At the time it was fairly groundbreaking to take pictures without film, even though the resolution was extremely low by modern standards, and it could only shoot two-bit color. It’s been long enough since its release that it’s starting to become a popular classic with all kinds of hacks and modifications, like this one which adds modern SLR camera lenses which lets it take pictures of the Moon.

The limitations of the camera make for a fairly challenging build. Settings like exposure are automatic on the Game Boy Camera and can’t be changed, and the system only allows the user to change contrast and brightness. But the small sensor size means that astrophotography can be done with a lens that is also much smaller than a photographer would need with a modern DSLR. Once a mount was 3D printed to allow the lenses to be changed and a tripod mount was built, it was time to take some pictures of the moon.

Thanks to the interchangeability of the lenses with this build, the camera can also capture macro images as well. The build went into great detail on how to set all of this up, even going as far as giving tips for how to better 3D print interlocking threads, so it’s well worth a view. And, for other Game Boy Camera builds, take a look at this one which allows the platform to send its pictures over WiFi.

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The shredder after being rebuilt, on the bench top, with the washing machine pulley driving it spinning. It has not yet been fed, but that's about to happen.

Shredder Rebuilt From The Ashes, Aims To Produce More Ashes

What do you do when you buy a broken shredder and, upon disassembly, find its gears in pieces? You might reach towards your 3D printer – this one’s not that kind of shredder, however. [New Yorkshire Workshop] gives us a master class on reviving equipment and putting it to good use – this one’s assigned to help turn their cardboard stores into briquettes for their wood burner.

But first, of course, it had to be fixed – and fixed it was, the crucial parts re-designed and re-built around a sturdy wooden frame. It was made into a machine built to last; an effort not unlikely to have been fueled with frustration after seeing just how easily the stock gears disintegrated. The stock gear-based transmission was replaced with a sprocket and chain mechanism, the motor was wired through a speed controller, and a washing machine pulley was used to transfer power from the motor to the freshly cleaned and re-oiled shredder mechanism itself. This shredder lost its shell along the way, just like a crab does as it expands – and this machine grew in size enough to become a sizeable benchtop appliance.

After cutting loads of cardboard into shredder-fitting pieces, they show us the end result – unparalleled cardboard shredding power, producing bags upon bags of thinly sliced cardboard ready to be turned into fuel, making the workshop a bit warmer to work in. The video flows well and is a sight to see – it’s a pleasure to observe someone who knows their way around the shop like folks over at [New Yorkshire Workshop] do, and you get a lot of insights into the process and all the little tricks that they have up their sleeves.

The endgoal is not reached – yet. The shredder’s output is not quite suitable for their briquette press, a whole project by itself, and we are sure to see the continuation of this story in their next videos – a hydraulic briquette press was suggested as one of the possible ways to move from here, and their last video works on exactly that. Nevertheless, this one’s a beast of a shredder. After seeing this one, if you suddenly have a hunger for powerful shredders, check this 3D printed one out.

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