marcansoft writes "Since 2007, Apple has been locking their users into iTunes, which isn't available under Linux, by adding secret hashes to their iPod/iPhone databases. After this hash was reverse engineered, Apple developed a new one and tried and failed to use legal threats to stifle the reverse engineering effort. Last year, the hash was finally cracked and as of today iPhone and iPod Touch users can sync music using open source tools exclusively. This is about to change, though, as Apple have once again changed their hash algorithm for the iPad and will likely use this new version for their upcoming 4.0 iPhone OS release.
If you want to keep your ability to sync music using open source, you should not update. As part of their lock-in strategy, Apple are preventing newer devices from being downgraded by requiring any firmware updates to "phone home" for approval. The iPad already includes a version of the 3.2 OS with the new hash, and does not work out of the box." top
Wii Update 4.2 tries (and fails) to block homebrew
marcansoft writes "On September 28, Nintendo released a Wii update, titled 4.2. This update was targeted squarely at homebrew, performing sweeping changes throughout the system. It hardly achieved that goal, though, because just two days later a new version of the HackMii installer was released that brings full homebrew capabilities back to all Wii consoles, including unmodified consoles running 4.2.
However, as part of their attempt to annoy homebrew users, Nintendo updated the lowest level updateable component of the Wii software stack: boot2 (part of the system bootloader chain). Homebrew users have been using BootMii to patch boot2 in order to gain low level system access and recovery functions (running Linux natively, fixing bricks, etc). The update hasn't hindered this, as users can simply reinstall BootMii after updating (it is compatible with the update). But there's a much bigger problem: Nintendo's boot2 update code is buggy. Boot2 had never been updated in retail consoles until now. During BootMii's development, its authors noticed that Nintendo's code had critical bugs and could sometimes permanently brick a console by writing incorrect or unchecked data to flash memory, so they decided to write their own, much safer flashing code. Now, Nintendo has pushed a boot2 update to all Wii users, and the results are what was expected: users are reporting bricks after installing 4.2 on unmodified consoles. Nintendo is currently attempting to censorposts and remove references to homebrew.
It is worth noting that the new boot2 does not attempt to block anything or offer any additional protection or functionality. Its sole purpose is to simply replace current versions which may or may not have been modified with BootMii. Another interesting tidbit is that Nintendo is not believed to have any method to repair this kind of brick at a factory, short of replacing the entire motherboard." Link to Original Source top
marcansoft writes "Several sites have popped up over the past months that are selling free Wii homebrew software. These sites are making upwards of $8000/month on sales to unsuspecting users, via Google keyword advertisements and affiliate programs. The homebrew tools are bundled with utilities that enable the use of copied games. Quoting the owner of a recently sold site: "The site runs on complete autopilot, the affiliates are doing all the work [...] Overall, it requires less than 30 minutes work per day". The site was sold for $30k. We have been taking some minor actions like preventing hotlinking where we can, adding scam warning screens, and contacting the ISPs of these sites, but nothing has ever had much lasting effect. What can be done, if anything, against these people? I would love to hear the opinion of slashdotters about this, especially any who Actually Are Lawyers." Link to Original Source top
marcansoft writes "At least twosites have popped up claiming to sell software to 'unlock' the Nintendo Wii console. Not surprisingly, their actual product consists of a PDF guide pieced together from freely available documentation, and a large archive of homebrew and not-so-homebrew software (some free software, some freeware, and some software that is actually under Nintendo's copyright). There is practically zero attribution, and many licenses are being violated along the way. I'm one of the authors of the included software which the sellers are now using to profit. We're trying to send some DMCA takedown notices, but the wheels of bureaucracy are slow and meanwhile the sales keep coming in (yes, apparently the products are actually successful). Can anything be done to fight these kinds of scams?" Link to Original Source top
The unofficial Homebrew Channel for the Wii is out
marcan writes "The Homebrew Channel is a tool that can be installed on any Wii (no hardware mods required) that lets you run unsigned homebrew software from an SD card, or upload executables via WiFi or a USBGecko. We've tried to make it friendly for users with a simple GUI, and powerful for developers with direct upload features and reloading which we hope will make testing less painful. The channel can be installed using a DVD if you have a modchip, or using an exploit in Zelda: Twilight Princess which only requires an SD card (or any future hack or booting method). Once installed, it simply shows up as a Channel on the Wii Menu, just like any official channel. Hopefully, this and other recent developments (such as the upcoming devkitPPC r15 toolchain, much improved and with many bugs fixed) will help make the Wii an appealing platform for DIY software. And yes, it also runs Linux." Link to Original Source top
marcan writes "Comcast users are reporting "connection reset" errors while loading Google. The problem seems to have been coming and going over the past few days, and often disappears only to return a few minutes later. Apparently the problem only affects some of Google's IPs and services. Analysis of the PCAP packet dumps reveals several injected fake RSTs, which are very similar to the ones seen coming from the Great Firewall of China [PDF]. Did Google somehow get caught up in one of Comcast's blacklists, or are the heuristics flagging Google as a file-sharer due to the heavy traffic?"