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selectparks: Hardware Hacks

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archive: 24C3: Console Hacking and Corrupted Blood
Hardware Hacks

Welcome back!

I spent the latter part of the last year in Berlin at the 24th edition of the excellent Chaos Communication Conference. There were a gazillion talks crowded out by several thousand hackers (or would-be hackers). Here are two talks that stood out in relation to our interests here at SP.

The first talk was actually a 'lightning talk' called "The State of the Wii" and needs little description other than this is the first time the world has seen homebrew code running on the Nintendo Wii itself, with full input from the WiiMote. In other words, this is the beginning of fully fledged Wii games made for the Wii, running on the Wii with full access to the console's hardware.

See the above video of Ben Byer ('Bushing?') and co giving an early demonstration of this landmark feat. Here's an interview with the exploiter himself.

See also this one hour lecture on console hacking by legendary hacker Felix Domke and Michael Steil. Around 1000 people turned up for this talk following the great success of last year's lecture.

Earlier on in the conference Florian Burckhardt - co-author of the somewhat unsettling educational comic Disease Detectives - gave a lecture on the arcane topic of Modeling Infectious Diseases in Virtual Realities.

His talk takes the premise that populated MMO's like WoW make useful environments for investigating the outbreak of plagues. His thesis is this:

Disease modelling is essentially a virtualisation of reality that tries to gain insights into hitherto unknown inderdependencies and to simulate intervention scenarios. In 2005, courtesy of its creators at Blizzard Entertainment, the ancient Blood God "Hakkar the Soulflayer" unleashed a devastating plague, "corrupted blood", upon a totally unprepared population of avatars. Unintentionally, the digital "black death" spread to cities and depopulated whole areas. The epidemic could only be controlled by shutting down and restarting the game world, a measure unfortunately not available in the "real" world. However, other measures such as quarantine or improved treatment are available in the real world and can be simulated by disease modelling.

While that all might sound a bit serious the talk has some hilarious moments and great in-game footage of the famous Corrupted Blood plague being unwillingly (and willingly) spread by players.

I've archived the 24C3 footage of the event here for posterity. It'll play in VLC.


Posted by julian on Monday, January 07 @ 16:20:38 CET ( )
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archive: WiiMote Wizardry: Johnny Chung Lee (multi)strikes again.
Hardware Hacks

Here Johnny Chung Lee genially describes his most recent magick: an interactive multi-touch-surface built from a projector, light-pen and of course, WiiMote. The kind chap also provides us with a software download..

Keep up the good work Johnny: we can only hope you won't be 'disappeared' by Microsoft Research. We've posted Johnny's WiiMote Fu here before.

Via /.. Original article here..

Posted by julian on Wednesday, December 19 @ 16:39:10 CET ( )
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archive: Using the WiiMote for Finger Tracking
Hardware Hacks

Using a little reflective tape, an array of LEDs and a WiiMote the author of this neat hack has managed to acheive relatively robust finger-end tracking. With a glove made of this reflective tape/surface and some clever coding I'm sure things could become even more interesting..

Great work. Thanks to Chris for pointing us to it.

Posted by julian on Monday, November 12 @ 16:37:00 CET ( )
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archive: Top Ten Gaming System Hacks
Hardware Hacks
Ben Heck's top ten gaming system hacks. Thx Leon.

Posted by rebecca on Wednesday, April 11 @ 00:00:00 CEST ( )
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archive: Console hacking at the 23C3 in Berlin.
Hardware Hacks

I attended the 23C3 here in Berlin over the last few days and had a super time. While themed around "Who can you trust?", the 23C3 was more a hackers mecca than an ethically pointed security conference; a festival celebrating media and technology reclamation where the right to repurpose and dissect technology is considered inseparable from the right to learn from it. The 23C3 conference leaves no proverbial stone unturned, positing phones, routers, RFID tags.. even languages, bodies and minds as welcome fodder.

4500 people converged upon the Berliner Conference Center, which doesn't shut over the course of 4 days at all. Walking around the brimming hacker lounges you barely come across a single laptop without a UNIX terminal in focus. Talks and workshops run into the night and parties follow on for the duration of the festival.

On day two I attended the one hour Console hacking lecture by legendary console hacker Felix Domke. He gave an entertaining presentation to about a 1000 hackers on the current state of getting homebrew code - your own games - running on the XBox 360, the Wii and the PS3. Read on for the low down.

Posted by julian on Sunday, December 31 @ 21:35:04 CET ( )
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archive: Doom 3 Case Mod
Hardware Hacks

Doom 3 Case Mod

Posted by christo on Wednesday, March 22 @ 01:47:06 CET ( )
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tech: PS2 modchips now legal in Australia
Hardware Hacks
A couple of years ago Sony tried to pull a "Games are just like digital music, because they're digital" citing the DMCA in an Australian Lower Court case against PS2 modchips salesman, 'Stevens' . These modchips allowed folk to use the hardware they'd bought to play games legally aquired in another region (like the US or Japan).

Eventually the matter was escalated to the High Court that promptly ruled in his favour on the grounds that technology native to PS2's used to stop people playing games , are not "technological prevention measures" in the same way that copy-protection can be considered so. In short, because copyright is not at stake here, the case against modifying this hardware had no merit on grounds of copyright breach. In the end, Stevens is spared from a lynching and the sale of mod-chips is apparently no longer considered an evil.

Sony is a contradictory and multiheaded creature,at one point they are trying to stopping you run games bought in other countries on DMCA like grounds, at another turn they are helping you circumvent their own digital music protection..

Posted by julian on Thursday, October 06 @ 17:50:09 CEST ( )
permalink... tech

tech: MidiBox SID
Hardware Hacks

The commodore 64 holds a special place in most gamers hearts. The combination of cool looking, and cooler sounding games, was a winner.
The heart of that distinctive synth sound was the SID chip, and now with a bit(?) of work you can transform your aging C64 into a midi trigged monster.

MidiBox SID


Posted by admin on Sunday, September 11 @ 09:00:00 CEST ( )
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archive: Three Virtual Artists Books for Gameboy Advance
Hardware Hacks

Posted by rebecca on Sunday, November 14 @ 09:20:11 CET ( )
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