Pirate radio in your pocket

I found this great device today while reading T3 magazine.
It basicly feeds music from any source which has a 3.5 headphone socket out into the local area as FM radio waves. So what this basicly means you can listen to the music on a ipaq via any radio tuned to the right frequency.

I've also been thinking of ways of abusing this device like taking over someones radio by tuning the device to match there current frequency. This would be great when you get some Kevin in there supa'ed car with loud music playing from a radio station. Because you could replace there music with something of your own choosing. The same would work when your noisy neighbour is playing there radio too loud. Change it to something of your choosing. Excellent, I love the smell of hacked hardware.

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TvBrick home server

Was flicking through Digital home magazine the other day and came across TVbrick.

Its basicly a TV recorder capble of broadcasting over the internet. The TV brick is able to stream programmes stored on its hard drive to other pc's or another tv brick reciever which plugs into a TV. The idea is that streams will be password protected . But theres nothing stopping people from giving out the password to anyone out there, including publishing it on the internet.
It requires a broadband connection of at least 256kps to stream, making it perfect for uk adsl subscribers.

At this moment it seems TVbrick is sold as to international families, who want to send streams from japan to europe. But it wont take long to reverse engineer this device. Saying that too, the whole system is built on open source software so its not even needed to reverse. Openbrick.org details everything needed to build a tvbrick compatable device. Depending on pricing and availablity this could be a decent option for those of limited technical ability. The BeOS of streaming?

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Hackers use Xbox for more than games

There seems to be alot more media coverage of the xbox now than ever due to Microsoft's plans to bring the xbox to the living room as more than a console.
A direct link to the story

Of some interest…
Hackers have modified an estimated 150,000 of the 9 million Xboxes Microsoft has sold worldwide to turn them into PCs that would normally cost $800 or more. What it takes:

A new Xbox, with 733-megahertz processor, custom graphics
chip, 8-gigabyte hard drive: $180

A keyboard and mouse, with adapters: $35 – If you get the usb adapter

A modified start-up chip: $21

120-gigabyte hard drive: $120 – do you really need this size hard drive?

Linux or other free software: $0

Total: $336

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Hacking the xbox

Hacking the xbox – A book so controversial that publishers are afraid to print it
'Banned' Xbox hacking book selling fast

Oh yes, i was thinking about getting a copy just because theres little like this out there at the moment, to my knowledge. There usually based around software hacking, cracking, blah, blah.
No we so need more books about “hardware hacking.” stuff like mobile phones, pda's, digital tv boxes as well as xbox's would go down a treat.

But I'm honestly in two minds about the whole issue. Just because its in print people are going nuts. But you only have to look at xbox scene and xbox hacker to get all the information you need to start.
So whats the big deal really? Because its about reverse engineering, or is because its reverse engineering in print? Hummm? I think it speaks for it self.

Zdnet – Hackers 'improve' Xbox Microsoft's next-generation game console's PC-derived design is encouraging unprecedented tinkering
Business week – Story about the book

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Microsoft Rolls Out Xbox Upgrade

Wired news – Microsoft Rolls Out Xbox Upgrade

Funny as hell, I've been telling people this for a long time in my lectures. You currently have to mod or chip your xbox to do this, this and this. But how long will it be till Microsoft allow you to this, this and this as default?

You can just imagine it now, once they put windows media player 9 on there with its sick drm features. Then allow the users to download music for a small cost just like apple have then you have something not even apple could have thought about. a machine which plays dvds, music, movies all in a nice under the tv box.

Will be very interested in what the xbox hacker scene makes of all this?

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New found dango

I finally put a game on the xbox, crazy taxi 3 high rollers. i had it on cdr (yes one of the few games that will fit on cd i suspect. After copying it to cdrw because my pc drive wont read the disk with xbox data on. And using a xbox game ripper – the name escapes me now. I was away. Shows up in the evo x menu with correct name. No configuring it just works. Game is mighty adictive too…

Been using xbox mediaplayer a hell of a lot now, basically for all films and music. the stereo to ac3 feature is great and actually better than my cinema amp's theatre or hall modes.

Also on the same note, i was first worried about the playlist thing on the xbox because it wouldn't read the file names correctly. When i say correctly i mean if i enable read id3 on load it will arrange them a-z but by there id3 title. great you say, but when you got a album of music with the filenames in logical order like track1.mp3track2.mp3track3.mp3 its bloody ignoying to be presented with a mess. I could everytime disable id3 on load then find the tracks then enable id3 on load then switch back to the filelisting to find all the tracks have the correct names and stay in the correct order. yep damm ignoying even if it only takes 1 minute. I can also i found out use the playlist editor in the xbox mediaplayer but man if you got as many albums as i have and access them over smb rather than off the internal xbox hd, its a real bitch to do it and remember the order. why do i need to this if the the other way works quicker? because the mediaplayer doesn't support spaces! i so hope they fix this because track1 like this like that.mp3 comes up as that.mp3. frustrating to the max!

There is salvation, i found out it supports m3u playlists. not tried pls files yet. So for all the albums on cd already its too late. but for new ones i download thats the way forward

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Sony’s PS2’s successor

Sony on introduced the PSX, a follow-up to the PlayStation 2, and touted it as a device that creates a new entertainment category. Isnt this what Microsoft want to do too? Broadcasting students its now here, time to crap your pants.

Sony Merges PlayStation, Home Theater Into “PSX”

ZDnet Sony brandishes PS2's successor, print version
AV watch

This comment sums up psx so well.
Wow, 120GB hard drive, ethernet, the ability to have movies and pictures and games all in one device ! Oh wait, my Xbox already does that……

I really don't know how well this is going to go, but I can tell you that a hard drive that size, and a DVD +/- drive, and a tuner is going to make this device quite expensive…. I guess thay forgot how many people balked at the PS2's 299.00 price, this device will clearly surpass that price, of course it does more so they may be able to get away with it….

And so much for all of you people who said the Xbox was far too big compared to the PS2, goes to show what I've said all along, you can't make a reasonably priced device with that many features very small….

And you have to read the fall out on the message board about that post. Sony announce the PSX

Some highlights from the forum…

The xbox is non-standard pc, it would be quite easy for them to add on to it without too much effort.

For example they already created Windows XP MCE, it wouldn't be that difficult for them to port that to the Xbox and release it as a disk you could buy at any retailer and add on tons of features to your Xbox…. Sony on the other hand really needed to create an entirely new device…

Also since the Xbox uses non-standard USB it wouldn't be that difficult for them to add a ton of features to it via the USB port. /images/emoticons/laugh.gifVR/Connect your Digi-Cam/Karaoke/etc)

The DVD and the hard drive are also quite easy to replace, they would have to make some changes, and you'd likely need to take it into some type of authorized service center to make the changes but it wouldn't be difficullt at all to add different sized drives, or a DVD -/+ drive.

Expect it to cost at least £500/$500. At least, I mean we pay £300 for a HDD recorder here, plus £400 for a DVDRW here, and £170 for a PS2, £870 total so don't expect it to be less then £500/$500, this is high end and will be marketed as so.

DVD writer ?? To copy ps2 games ??

DVD writer, to archive recorded TV. No doubt some hackers will find a way to mod it to do it though.

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TechTV video clip – The Xbox Media Player

The Screen Savers review of XboxMediaPlayer, originally aired April 3, 2003. You can download the full 9 minute Xbox Media Player video clip with TechTV's Kevin Rose here.
High Quality 720×480 at 30fps progressive DivX + MP3 format, 72MB /images/emoticons/laugh.gifivX 5.03+ required)
Low Quality 352×240 at 30fps progressive DivX + MP3 format, 34MB /images/emoticons/laugh.gifivX 5.03+ required)
Alternatively you can stream a even lower quality version direct from TechTV

I love these comments from the review,
They've really gone the extra mile here.
These guys are professionals.
I would go futher than that, its one of the best media centre applications, it really does what you want it to do.
wicked stuff eh? wait to you check out XboxMediaPlayer 2.4 features. Be amazed, be truly amazed.

The live shoutcast recording on the xbox mediaplayer 2.4 is truly amazing, cant wait for live video recording. hint hint…

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Xbox mediaplayer reviewed in uk homeautomation

Theres a review of the xbox mediaplayer on the website homeautomation uk. I havent yet read it because i'm on a bus and i'm only aware of the review due to avant-go non my pocketpc.
The homeautomation uk website
The direct review link

The review is a good one but only at the basic level, comparing it to windows xp media centre is a difficult one because of the lack of video input on the xbox.
Give it time though because there are projects on the go in this area.
Project Dreamix is the one i'm keeping my eyes on.

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