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CCC Mods Rent-a-Bike To Allow Free Rides

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the mischief-not-malice dept.

Hardware Hacking 384

Autoversicherung writes "Germany has an activated by phone bike rental system across all major cities. At 6 cent a minute quite pricey, germanys famous Chaos Computer Club thought a free ride every now and then couldnt hurt. Optimizing the original system in the process, modifying the blink code to be easier found and changing the logo. About 10% of Berlins bikes are patched already. A detailed description of how they did it, and how the system works."

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384 comments

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effff peeee!!!11!one!!1 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145081)

free bike rides for one and all.

Also, suck it, bitches.

War Biking? (4, Funny)

B4RSK (626870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145085)

Heh. War biking. Cool!

In Soviet Russia (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145090)

The bike rides YOU!

Re:In Soviet Russia (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145098)

In South Korea, only old people ride bikes

Re:In Soviet Russia (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145102)

It's good to see that the career of Yakov Smirnov was not in vain.

next they should hack it so I don't have to peddle (5, Funny)

hashish (62254) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145097)

Darn things require so much energy to move.

Re:next they should hack it so I don't have to ped (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145166)

That's the whole idea, fatty.

I'm impressed. (5, Insightful)

kngthdn (820601) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145099)

Their website [callabike.de] explains...To return your bike, take it to the nearest major crossing within the core area and lock it to a fixed object, e.g., a traffic sign or a bicycle stand but not, please, on a traffic light.

This would not work in America.

Re:I'm impressed. (1)

procrastitron (841667) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145194)

It depends on the city. In a large, sprawling area it would be too sparse (never a bike nearby when you want one). However, in a more densely populated area (like maybe a college town) I could see it working.

Re:I'm impressed. (1)

BrianGa (536442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145255)

Most college students can't afford 6 cents, let alone 6 cents a minute!

Re:I'm impressed. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145279)

Dude. Locking your bike up in America using anything less that an excellent weld insures you're walking home, perhaps with parts of your bike, if you're lucky.

I have seen alot of bikes missing parts in the US (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145344)

Alot of these modern bikes have tires that come not with bolts that you need a wrench to remove, but with something you can remove by hand without need of a wrench(I do not know the exact word for this piece...). It is more convenient when you want to remove and put on a tire, but it also more convenient for thieves. Also there are bike seats that are clamped in a similar way and require no wrench. I have seen several bikes securely chained but missing a seat or tires.

Re:I have seen alot of bikes missing parts in the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145365)

The point of those is that the owner takes the seat and/or front wheel with them when they leave the bike, so that the bike is unusable and less likely to be stolen.

Re:I have seen alot of bikes missing parts in the (2, Informative)

ip_fired (730445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145418)

You can purchase the quick release mechanism with a lock on it if you really want to. I've never had a problem with it (but then, my bike is so beat up, nobody would want to steal it...)

Re:I have seen alot of bikes missing parts in the (1)

Nogami_Saeko (466595) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145426)

A lot of people will remove the tire or seat to make it less appealing to thieves. A thief walking away with a bike missing a tire, or rolling one along without a seat is going to be more obvious than one who just cuts the chain.

N.

Would this fly in any other countries? (1, Funny)

DeeRuss (744385) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145103)

I find it hard to believe that people don't just pick up the bike and throw it in the back of a truck and salvage it for parts. Does anyone think this would fly in North America?

Re:Would this fly in any other countries? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145108)

Not a chance, we aint got flying cars yet so what makes you think bikes are any more likely?

Re:Would this fly in any other countries? (3, Informative)

belg4mit (152620) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145179)

Elsewhere where this kind of thing is done these bikes are custom and the parts are not compatible with normal bikes. I think Copenhagen did this.

"like this effects us" -American Psycho (-1, Troll)

MxReb0 (443442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145106)

Is there anyone else out there who doesn't care about this story?

Re:"like this effects us" -American Psycho (1)

KingPunk (800195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145114)

me me me!

Re:"like this effects us" -American Psycho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145123)

Is there anyone else out there who doesn't care about America?

Re:"like this effects us" -American Psycho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145196)

Is there anyone else out there who doesn't care about America?

You just keep ignoring us till we "liberate" your sorry socialist ass.

Re:"like this effects us" -American Psycho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145210)

Bring 'em on... [icasualties.org]

Re:"like this effects us" -American Psycho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145239)

What the hell is that supposed to mean? A couple thousand American poor people get killed and you think that means something? The people with power only care about casualties to the extent that it may piss off the sheep if it goes on too long.

Re:"like this effects us" -American Psycho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145124)

It's slightly more interesting than a story about the 0.5.2 release of weasel golf, but only because it will be a cause for US vs EU bickering and trolling.

Expect to see lots of smug euro-fuckers and smug ameri-fascist posts rolling up and down in score.

Re:"like this effects us" -American Psycho (2, Insightful)

MxReb0 (443442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145189)

I also think the mods don't know exactly what "redundant" really means.
(I think this was the 3rd post)

Re:"like this effects us" -American Psycho (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145212)

The mods are so hopped up on crazy glue and sugar that when they stop masturbating to horse porn long enough to moderate they tend to be a bit random. Basically a -1 means "I don't like it" and the label means fuck all.

bah! (-1, Offtopic)

the_unknown_soldier (675161) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145117)

In korea, only old people use bikes!

Repercussions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145122)

What do you suppose the CallABike Co will do now?

All very fun and all... (5, Insightful)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145126)

But isn't mucking around with other people's property, without their permission, called "vandalism" ?

"We don't know what we are doing, but we are doing it very carefully..." -Wherry

Re:All very fun and all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145151)

Naw, vandalism is when a barbarian tribe sacks the Roman capitol.

This here is just high spirits and being too bloody clever by half.

Re:All very fun and all... (2, Funny)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145187)

But isn't mucking around with other people's property, without their permission, called "vandalism" ?

Not in Germany, it's called "Vandalismus".

Re:All very fun and all... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145195)

It is a tort in commonwealth countries - technically a trespass to chattels. But you have to understand the law is normative, in the sense that it reflects social norms. See
http://www.smh.com.au/news/Icon/Squeeze-the-e ase/2 004/12/15/1102787132795.html

which notes that ripping DRM/usurping WiFi is more a psychological barrier in civil disobediance, that becomes an etiquette issue. Whilst not humerous from the companies point of view, I note that the perpetrators of this hack were in fact very careful of their understanding of property rights, they didn't want parked bikes stolen or disincentives not to care for the bike. the 10% modifications can thus be thought of as a social levy, those will the skill and need should be able to crib a bike as needed but the general respect (as noted by their praise of the design) means it probably won't go too far. If I was a judge, I'd probably slap them with a community service of ... oh ... say figuring out some way for homeless vagrants to move around the city to look for jobs :-).

-- LegalEaglet

What is it called when (5, Interesting)

phr1 (211689) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145229)

someone tries to convert the streets of a city into their private retail space without paying anything for it?

If I run a bike shop and pay rent and/or taxes on the property, so anyone can come look at the bikes but if they want to use one, they have to pay, that's a normal retail situation. I'm entitled to control what happens with my bikes within my private space.

What happens, though, if I just start locking the bikes up to lampposts and advertising that anyone can call a phone number to pay to unlock them? Am I not trying to convert the public lampposts into private retail space without paying any rent or tax? Who is taking what from whom? Perhaps some philosopher could conclude that I've really just abandoned the bikes, and rather than hacking 10% of them, CCC might have done better to hack 100%.

BTW, the public bicycle concept AFAIK started in Holland, with the Witte Fietsen ("white bicycles" in Dutch) project. Hippies scrounged up old bikes and parts during a transit strike, got them working and painted them white, and then just left them all over the place for people to use for free. Sort of a bicycle version of the GNU project. If you needed to get somewhere, you'd just find a white bike, ride it wherever you were going, and leave it for someone else to find and use.

This was several decades ago. Witte Fietsen actually worked as envisioned by the hippies, and was successful enough that local government decided to pick up the expenses. It is still active today in some parts of Holland, though in the big cities, sadly, the bikes get stolen too fast.

The dial-a-bike thing seems like a pale imitation. Witte Fietsen didn't need to be hacked.

Re:What is it called when (0, Redundant)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145257)

Isn't the german rairroad that is doing this a goverment org?

Re:What is it called when (1)

phr1 (211689) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145321)

Ahh, I missed that part. Well in that case, hacking the bikes is a little bit closer to tax evasion than vandalism. Tax evasion isn't so nice either, but it's a common pasttime of people everywhere :).

Re:What is it called when (1)

fuck_this_shit (727749) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145334)

It is not.

Re:What is it called when (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145398)

The name nowadays is "DB AG". "German Railroad Company with a bunch of Shares outstanding".

Hint: name a government entity with shares outstanding.

Re:What is it called when (0)

morganjharvey (638479) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145326)

So would it be okay for me to walk down the street and hotwire one of those car share cars -- or a car sitting on the lot at the rental place -- that are parked on the road because I didn't think I should have to pay? This basically amounts to theft.

Re:What is it called when (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145341)

no you are just stupid and cant comprehend a proper analogy. so give up now.
you failed

What bullshit (-1, Troll)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145399)

So if I park my own bike somewhere, I'm trying to convert this piece of city into my own private parking space?

You're stretching an argument for some obscure reason, probably because you're some old hippy that doesn't understand economics. I can't believe this got modded up.

Public space is controlled by the government (like it or not) and they gave permission to the project. End of story.

CCC stole a rental bike and hacked it illegally, then proceeded to modify 170 bikes illegally. If this is morally defensible is your own call.

The 'witte fietsen' plan was dumb, like most of the stuff hippies thought up. Some people will not have respect for something they receive for free. If they can break it without consequences, they will. This is a given. Live with it. Deutsche Bahn obviously is trying to convert a partly good idea into something working by charging you for it ( so the 'some people' who actually trash the bike are compensated and they get a profit in the process -- you know capitalism, the guiding principle of the western 'free' world ).

witte fietsen (2, Informative)

phr1 (211689) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145419)

has been going on since the 1960's and works fine in the places where it operates. It is cheaper to run per user than conventional public transit systems like buses and undergrounds, all of which have subsidized fares that cost much more than the bikes do. Do you think the New York Subway is also run by hippies?

Re:What is it called when (1)

Kindaian (577374) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145412)

Actually the system works in other places like in Portugal:

http://www.cm-aveiro.pt/buga/bb1.htm

Cheers,

Re:All very fun and all... (1, Insightful)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145289)

Only if it's destructive and pointless.
Nondestructive and pointless is "mucking around"
Nondestructive and with purpose is "hacking".
Destructive and with purpose is "defending homeland security"

Re:All very fun and all... (2, Insightful)

EvilMidnightBomber (778018) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145298)

But isn't mucking around with other people's property, without their permission, called "vandalism"? Isn't uttering the phrase "the code is unbreakable and we are really proud of it" called product suicide? >8)

Re:All very fun and all... (1)

Bender_ (179208) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145349)

The same thing came to my mind, they:

-stole a bike and stored it in their home for several month (according to article)
-they dismantled the elctronics, destroying part of the assembly by removing protective silicone coating.

I can see that tampering with such a bike is interesting, but wouldn't proper hacker ethics dictate that you return it after a few hours/days? Months is definitly on the "theft" side. These guys have lost my respect due to that. Also, hacking the mechanism is one thing - disabling it in a bunch of bikes another. First could get away as educational hacking, the second is vandalism.

In addition to that I have to say that these guys are quite lame. Even if they did not know about AVR microcontrollers, it would have taken a few hours search on the web to find out how to read them out with a homemade programmer. Instead it took them months to figure that out and finally requiring a store bought programmer. Lucky for them they found an ISP connecter, I bet otherwhise they would not have been have to read the contents. ...and requiring oversized flowcharts to understand some small (less than 8kb!) assembler program (photo).. pff... I would not hire them.

Price (4, Insightful)

HFShadow (530449) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145135)

6c a minute sounds pricey, until you realize it's $3.60 an hour, which doesn't sound so bad.

Re:Price (2, Insightful)

kngthdn (820601) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145165)

Until you realize it's a different currency, and it starts looking bad again. 3.60 euros is 4.81 dollars.

That's easily $50 or $60 a day! By then, you could have bought the bike.

Re:Price (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145192)

Do you ride a bike 24/7? Or maybe 30 minutes to the store and back to buy something

Re:Price (1)

kngthdn (820601) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145209)

Actually, I don't ride a bike at all. It rains here.

Hard.

Re:Price (2, Informative)

JPriest (547211) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145228)

RTA, you can keep the bike for 24 hours for $15 (EUR), or $60.00 for a week.

Re:Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145310)

If you bike 8 hours each day, it comes to less than $40. That's a lot of cycling. If you cycle that much, you're not going to do it on a $60 bike at all! Obviously, this service is only for infrequent use by any one given person. Just like, say, taxis.

Re:Price (1)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145167)

Then you realize that price is in Euros, so it's really USD$4.81 per hour.

Re:Price (2, Insightful)

rasjani (97395) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145181)

You do know that in germany the currency is not a dollar but euro.

For comparison, in finland there's also rent-a-bikes scattered all over the helsinki area. The "rent" takes 2 euro coin which you get back after you leave the big to appropriate place.

For even more comparision, the bus/metro/tram fares are 2 euros for 1 hour of traffic inside short distances, 3.4e for 1½ hours in long distances in capital area of finland (3 cities: Helsinki/Espoo/Vantaa)

Re:Price (1)

mtrisk (770081) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145230)

Really? In Los Angeles, a bus ride is US$1.25 and you can keep riding on the same bus for as long as you want, all day if you like. And for $3.00, you can get a Day Pass on any bus, allowing you unlimited use of the entire Bus/Light Rail system in L.A. Country. So it is rather cheap, depending on where you are going and how long you'll be traveling.

Re:Price (1)

andreyw (798182) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145318)

*sigh* ::envy:: Remind me again why I am stuck in Chicago, IL?

I hate IRTA/CTA/Metra.

Re:Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145385)

$3/day, 20 working days a month; total: $60/month.

That's a very good deal. I pay EUR91/mo for my 5-zone RFID Navigo [ratp.info] .
(oh, and oddly, these 91/mo also buy me one week a year of free transit in Rome. Go figure).

Price is in EuroCents (1)

ballermann (124688) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145214)

You should remember it's 6 EuroCents so it's 3.60 EUR which is about 2.13835 EUR.

Re: Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145218)

6c a minute sounds pricey

Well, since they charge for time, not for distance, it just means you'll have to drive real fast, eh?

Re:Price (1)

McFadden (809368) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145242)

Excuse my pedantry, but I believe it's 6 Euro cents per minute, amounting to 3 Euros and 60 cents for an hour (approximately $4.81 according to today's current exchange rate).

Re:Price (1)

McFadden (809368) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145245)

Holy crap Batman! I really have to refresh my browser a bit more often instead of typing replies after 20 minutes.

Re:Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145429)

6c a minute sounds pricey, until you realize it's $3.60 an hour, which doesn't sound so bad.
So said the AOL salesman in 1994... :)

Partial translation from German (0, Offtopic)

RickyRay (73033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145138)

Hacking biometric systems

Overcoming capacitive sensors

After a report of penetrability of different biometric systems came in the middle of 2002 (http://www.heise.de/ct/02/11/114/) from various sources, the complaint was that it would have worked only in lab tests. Above all the companies of the tested systems planned that such successes would not be feasible in real life.

These statements became the focus of further experimentation to be able to accomplish such "attacks" in public locations, unnoticed. Successes are represented here, through the example of a successful "attack" on a paid system of the Offiscom Shops in Open Castle.

The deployment of the fingerprint system was started ("digiPROOF") at the beginning of of 2003. The company "it-werke" equipped additionally for the Officecom Shop (http://www.officecom-shop.de/index1.php) a capacitive sensor. Everyone who has an account records their fingerprint characteristics. In addition one fills out a form connected to their bank account, later proving their identity on the basis of fingerprint identification.

If one wants to purchase any item, the buyer indicates indicates his/her name and places a finger on the sensor. The purchase amount is then deducted automatically from the account.

Scenarios of "identity theft"

With use of biometric systems for the authentication of a paymention procedure two scenarios of the "identity theft" are conceivable. In the first case an unauthorized person steals the data of a regular user to buy at their expense. In the other possibility they steal data from entitled users and passes it on to other persons.

Scenario 1: For execution one needs both the name of a regular user and a copy of the fingerprint used for verification. One obtains the name and the fingerprint by spying on payments.

(.....not done yet....)

Wie bitte? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145178)

Um, thanks, I guess -- but I can't help but notice that the original article points to a page that is a) already in English, and b) on a completely different topic than the one you are translating. What gives...?

Re:Partial translation from German (1)

RickyRay (73033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145234)

(the translation is of the original PDF which is in German; different info)

What Happens When... (3, Interesting)

NotTheEgg (839387) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145140)

What happens when you lock your bike to something that doesn't belong to you and someone (i.e. store owner) gets pissed?

Re:What Happens When... (1)

JavaRob (28971) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145197)

Well, he can "rent" it, move it, and re-lock it for 6 cents. Just moving it wouldn't take more than a minute, right? 6 cents of cost doesn't really make this any different from asking what if you dragged trash from his dumpster in front of the store every night.

If you did it a lot, after a while you'd either get picked up by the police, or he'd get a surveillance camera to bust you.

I think it's actually a pretty neat idea... but the cost is getting up there; 6 cents a minute is a tad expensive; renting a bike for the day could be around 30 bucks (euros?). But the minute-level charge is nice, in that you can also get a bike to just get across town for 60 cents... and you don't have to return the bike to the rental shop.

Re:What Happens When... (2, Funny)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145268)

you can also get a bike to just get across town for 60 cents...

Uh, I've been to Berlin. Getting across that "town" at 6c/minute on a bike would cost you good 20-30 euro if you can ride really fast.

Re:What Happens When... (1)

JavaRob (28971) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145371)

Uh, I've been to Berlin. Getting across that "town" at 6c/minute on a bike would cost you good 20-30 euro if you can ride really fast.

Yeah, yeah... sheesh. Try "...to get somewhere that's a 10-minute bike ride, but more than an hour's walk, for 60 cents".

Happy now?

Re:What Happens When... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145198)

the store owner calls (telephone number on the bike), service personal removes the bike, last person[1] that rented the bike pays the fee.

[1] in case that the bike was hacked and left there by another person ... shit happens

Use of Grammar in Article? (1)

The Islamic Fundamen (728413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145144)

Is it just me, or did the writer of that article, and the writer/translator of "all your base belong to us!" go to the same english/grammar school?

What's the upside? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145154)

If the system stops making money the bikes will be removed and the service will stop. Then who benefits? The price maybe high for the service but the option is to simply not use it. Just because the apples are over priced does that give you the right to steal them. Free market means you also have the right not to buy not to steal.

Re:What's the upside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145183)

I just hope the company that runs the bike service does not have the kind of money needed to get ahold of a politician. The correct response would be to change the system and press charges against people who hack the bikes, the business mind response seems to lobby to make possessing and transmitting information on how to hack the bikes a criminal offense.

Re:What's the upside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145327)

Just because the apples are over priced does that give you the right to steal them. Free market means you also have the right not to buy not to steal.

Interesting thing is that in business, free or not, you need to consider the consequences of theft, and the likeliness of it. If you make a car that doesn't require a key or any sort of authorization, cars would be stolen left and right. You can moan and bitch all you want that the burglar wasn't allowed to do this (and you'd be correct), but it doesn't mean your moaning and bitching is gonna get you anywhere.

I don't condone the practice of cracking a bike computer to get free (illegal) access to it, but on the other hand it's a rather inevitable concept when you don't check-in/check-out with a human, or a specified location like rental automobiles. My guess, however, is that there's probably more trouble with people just chopping the lock off with bolt cutters than there is with people cheating the system.

As TFA points out, the people that did it made a significant investment just to do their trick. It was a love for hacking, not a monetary insentive, which means that Die Bahn probably isn't losing any sleep over it. (It's a back-door, not an all-out conversion that lets everyone joyride the bikes for free.)

Actually, not the CCC (3, Informative)

poussiere (739579) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145158)

The CCC was sent an anonymous report on how the bikes were hacked. From the webpage: "An article in our magazine Datenschleuder that has been passed along from an anonymous source details how the the system can be circumvented to gain free access to the bikes without calling anybody: [Externer Link]"Hack a Bike" is a fine example of a true hack."

What a waste (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145159)

Why hack something that is for the common good, such as public, non-polluting transportation?

Re:What a waste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145184)

Why hack something that is for the common good, such as public, non-polluting transportation?

Because it's there?

Re:What a waste (1)

BrianGa (536442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145264)

Are you new to the world?

Re:What a waste (2, Informative)

izomiac (815208) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145276)

Probably because someone said that it couldn't be done. Also, it's not like the hacked bikes aren't providing "public, non-polluting transportation", they still work just fine. The company that owns them isn't loosing much money (10% of the bikes are affected, and they only give free rides to those who know how to use the hack), and that lose comes from someone making the mistake of not setting the intellectual property lock. It's certainly not the first time a company lost money because they made a mistake.

Re:What a waste (5, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145309)

It's a "mod" if you do it to YOUR OWN PROPERTY, not if you steal and break into other people's.

First they stole a bike (one that wasn't locked properly), dismantled it to reverse engineer the mechanism, (in the process depriving the owners of several months' rent the bike might have earned) then went around and opened up over 100 other bikes to reprogram them with their backdoor, and justified this by saying that they thought the work they'd done was worth the cost of several bikes.

Would this get the same "cool hack", "fun" kind of rating if they'd done it to a similar scheme with cars? Somehow stealing bikes isn't really stealing; I've noticed this in movies where the hero appropriates a parked bike when in a hurry, dumping it on the street when he arrives without a second thought. Cyclists' blood boils when this kind of thing is done to their property; again if you tried it with cars you could easily be killed, and the owner would get a slap on the wrist.

Re:What a waste (1, Informative)

KrunZ (247479) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145345)

Why is it costing money to borrow a bike? In other countries this bikeservice can be driven by for free by advertising on the bikes.

Copenhagen: http://www.bycyklen.dk/engelsk/annoncor-info/antal .html

News for thief, stuff that angers ? (4, Insightful)

aepervius (535155) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145206)

Hey, sorry but it sounds to me that they are using a hole in a digital system to allow free usage of the PHYSICAL property of somebody else. I will leave to IP philosophe whether to copy IP is stealing or not, but to use somebody else property because the lock is not strong enough is obvious STEALING and VANDALISM. How about going into somebody else flat, eating their food, sleeping in their bed, because their digital alarm system with door code can be easily hacked with the maintenance password ? What on slashdot next ? How to steal a car by bypassing ignition key system ???

We have a similar system here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145211)

We have a similar system here in Norway.. just that you have to park your bike at a special bike stand to get your deposit back.

I must be backwards (3, Interesting)

deft (253558) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145235)

I found learning about this very cool bike system that works for another country more interesting than some losers hacking it.... all to circumvent a 6 cent fee.

I wish this would work in Los Angeles. It could really be useful. It wouldn't work though... too many "hackers" with wire cutters. (alot like the "hackers" above, but with less technical school clases).

Re:I must be backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145258)

it was _NOT_ done to circumvent a 6 cent fee. And comparing this hack with using wirecutters (and removing the bike from the pool) ... well you should RTFA.

Re:I must be backwards (1)

deft (253558) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145397)

yeah, I loosely compared them... still think they are sad, still thinkt he bikes system is cooler.

Wow, you hacked a 6 cent/hr. bike... thats like NORAD. LEETO!

And I did read the article... sorry bud, they just aren't that cool.

No more bikes out there (4, Interesting)

tmk (712144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145244)

According to spiegel.de there are no bikes in Berlin today. The Deutsche Bahn has collected them all for a winter break and will check if anybody has manipulated them.

Btw: The CCC will meet from December 26th to 29th for their annual congress. Motto: "The ususal suspects".

P.S.: I submitted this story on Saturday.

Re:No more bikes out there (0, Offtopic)

quigonn (80360) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145325)

P.S.: I submitted this story on Saturday.

Angeber. ;-) Und, ist deine Einreichung akzeptiert oder abgelehnt worden?

Re:No more bikes out there (0, Offtopic)

tmk (712144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145424)

Wonach sieht es aus?

from the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145271)

"The whole board is dowsed in black silicone which had to be scraped off before we could continue exploring."

No doubt the next version will be potted in resin.

That said, that's a very nicely thought-out commuter bike. I'm impressed.

(And to short-circuit just a handful of the inevitable "dood! you don't know what you're talkin'bout!" replies, it's okay kiddies: I've been a big city courier. Earned my scars and right to opinion.)

The CCC didn't do that!!! (5, Informative)

quigonn (80360) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145272)

The CCC only got a detailed report about the system and the hack from an anonymous source, and they just published it online and in their magazine.

Computer Club? (1)

papaskunk (718169) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145278)

I thought Chaos was that company that makes all my programs work...

German engineering (4, Insightful)

Meetch (756616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145297)

I found it refreshing that although it was possible, quite a bit of work had to go into hacking the bikes in the first place. The only way to circumvent the system was to physically get inside it and reprogram the firmware. This is solid engineering IMHO.

Now, if they're really recalled over winter for a once-over, I wonder how much harder they will be to get into when the snow melts and they reappear? Will the Call-A-Bikes become more impenetrable, as Darwinian geek theory dictates they'll need for survival?

On the flip side, I must also applaud the hackers for not simply vandalising the bikes, but modifying them to return to service once the "free ride" was over. (Perhaps misguided) - theft all the same, but at least free of physical destruction.

Free Bikes in Copenhagen (2, Informative)

KrunZ (247479) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145335)

If you do have the time to hack a bike before you want to use it, then come to Copenhagen, Denmark. You can use the bikes for free.

http://www.bycyklen.dk/engelsk/frameset.html
ht tp://www.woco.dk/composite-1100.htm
http://member s.aol.com/humorme81/citybike.htm

So, whats the code? (1)

jedkiwi (825683) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145336)

After pouring over the page, I think they have left out the most important thing: what the code is to use it. I went through the code at bottom, and because I suck at programming, didnt get a word of it...

bad dog, no biscuit (5, Insightful)

fuck_this_shit (727749) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145350)

The problem I have with that is that with how often bikes are stolen, vandalised and the initial cost of purchasing them the 6cent per minute might seem costly but appears to be closer to just covering the costs of the service. This is no Robin Hood Hackjob to have those bikes available for free, it's just a way of inching the concept closer to being abandoned by the company. And with by now 10% hacked and this ongoing without publicity for a while they can't honestly claim that it's just for pointing out a security flaw in the system.

Re:bad dog, no biscuit (4, Insightful)

Cederic (9623) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145367)


Thing is, if you leave aside the moral implications of their hack, it's still a very fine piece of hacking.

Add in that almost nobody will know the entry code for a free ride, that 9 out of 10 bikes are untouched, the main cost to the 'victim' is the cost of reflashing the hacked bikes. And that wont take too long.

I'm not saying I support this precise piece of hacking, but I do love that people are still getting up to this sort of thing. It's a healthy thing for society.

~Cederic

easier way (5, Funny)

austad (22163) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145386)

Doesn't the lock bar just go through the spokes?

They didn't even think of just cutting all of the spokes out of way. Dummies. :)

NOTICE FROM THE ADMINISTRATOR (0)

clawDATA (758072) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145407)

Anyone who thinks that hacking a bike isn't cool for "ethical reasons" isn't a true nerd.

Please gather your things and hand-in your Slashdot # on the way out.

Thank you,

The Management
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