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Android Handhelds Hardware Hacking Build

B&N Nook Successfully Opened 275

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the can't-wait-to-see-what's-next dept.
garg0yle writes "A team has managed to open the Barnes and Noble Nook e-reader, gaining full access to the operating system. From the article: 'The Nook is now a computer running a full Android operating system, with a built-in, free cellular connection to the internet. It also has a battery that lasts days, not hours.' They are documenting their progress on the Nook Devs wiki."
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B&N Nook Successfully Opened

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  • Re:Free internet? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kristoph (242780) on Monday December 14, 2009 @01:13PM (#30432808)

    The internet is paid for by the book purchases, with the carrier receiving a percentage of that. Any margin on the device goes to BN/Amazon.

  • Re:And so it begins (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14, 2009 @01:32PM (#30433046)

    Some information about mobile networks: Mobile devices have several ID-codes. Some of them are "easily" changed by a software manipulation, for example the IMEI. However, those aren't the ones which matter. The contract is tied to a SIM (subscriber identity module), which is a system on a chip with built-in cryptographic functions and credentials. Think of it as a private key which can be used to authenticate the SIM but can only be read by destroying the SIM. The SIM is as close to unhackable as it gets. All AT&T needs to do is put all devices with Nook-SIMs on a VPN that only connects to B&N servers. This is the same principle that is used by pay as you go data cards which only allow access to a payment interface when the balance is zero. Free internet access through hacked Nooks will not last, guaranteed.

  • Re:MicroSD card? (Score:3, Informative)

    by TooMuchToDo (882796) on Monday December 14, 2009 @01:33PM (#30433064)
    The Nook was unusually fast to market *because* they took advantage of Android instead of having to write their own OS/platform. It was probably cheaper/faster/more convenient for the ODM (hardware builder) to just stick the OS on the SD card instead of ROM/PROM. Remember, the Nook also supports auto-updates, and SD media is rewritable and fairly inexpensive.
  • Re:Coral Cache link. (Score:5, Informative)

    by psergiu (67614) on Monday December 14, 2009 @02:02PM (#30433400)

    Too late. The wiki is dead.

    Here's the text from the "Rooting" page:

    ======

    Looking to root your nook? You have come to the right place!
    nookDevs.com is not liable if you screw up during the root process. kthxbai
    This will probably void your warranty, nookDevs.com is not liable for that either.
    [edit] Requirements

    microSD(HC) card adapter
    Small screwdriver
    45 minutes
    Fingernails or a sharp knife
    A linux/unix based computer
    Android SDK
    [edit] Instructions

    Turn off nook
    Take off the back cover of the nook
    Remove the battery
    Remove the user microSD card if there is one
    Unscrew all screws. Dont lose them. There is a hole in the bottom left with white in it. That is also a screw. Unscrew that.

    There are a bunch of tabs around the sides of the nook that release the white bezel. Once released you will need to unseal the glue
    Congrats you are 25 percent there!
    There are two black tabs on the sides of the nook where the page turn buttons are. Push those back to unlock them

    You should be at the board now. Find the OS microSD card

    Remove it

    Place the microSD card in a adapter, then into a computer
    Mount it as ext3 read-write (sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /media/disk replacing values as needed)
    Open the file init.rc as sudo (sudo nano init.rc)
    Find the line that starts talking about adbd
    Replace the first occurance of the word disabled with enabled
    50 percent done!
    Eject SD card
    Put SD card back into nook
    close nook up
    restart
    Now, on a computer again, download the Android dev toolkit (google it)
    Open a terminal
    cd to the android folder
    cd tools ./adb connect IP_OF_NOOK:5555 ./adb shell
    If you want to disable updates from B&N run: mv /system/etc/security/otacerts.zip /system/etc/security/otacerts.zip.bak
    CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE ROOTED YOUR nook. Have fun, be safe, dont forget to bring a towel
    [edit] Notes

    More pictures for tutorial to come later
    Make sure to put the SIM card back in correctly if you remove it. Blue and white site up with the notch in the battery compartment opening end, on the right hand side. Refer to included pic. (discovered nook 3G not working when I got to work. Paperclips make terrible screwdrivers)
    Android Debug Bridge (adb) is a versatile tool lets you manage the state of an emulator instance or Android-powered device.

    Full documentation and list of commands available in adb can be found here:
    http://developer.android.com/guide/developing/tools/adb.html#commandsummary [android.com]

  • by JonStewartMill (1463117) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <swodniwodi>> on Monday December 14, 2009 @03:30PM (#30434408)
    New York law [timesunion.com].
  • by natehoy (1608657) on Monday December 14, 2009 @03:30PM (#30434414) Journal

    Umm, no. Certainly morally it is, but not legally.

    If you leave your car running, the blame for the theft can be placed on you, and in some states you can actually be held partly liable if the thief does something wrong with the vehicle. Especially if the person who stole your car is underage.

    Some decades ago, at my father's business, my mother stopped by to drop something off. Since she was parked next to the rear entrance to the store (which was in a mall), she hopped out of her car with the keys in it and the car running. It was winter, and the car had a habit of not starting well if it was already warmed up. Apparently a couple of kids were hanging out in the area, because the car was stolen in the 30 seconds it took her to drop off the paperwork and come back outside.

    The police eventually caught the kids who did it once they wrecked the car. The kids were 17 and 16, and one of them was a repeat offender (petty theft, etc) whose name appeared in the police blotter regularly. But since the keys were in the car, the car was considered an "attractive nuisance" and the kids could not be held liable to stealing it. Quite the contrary, the presence of the keys was legally considered to be a compulsion for someone to steal it, and my mother was therefore liable for the theft AND everything they did in the car, including any injuries to themselves or others.

    Fortunately for us, when the kids totalled her car neither of them was seriously hurt, and the property damage they did was minimal. We had to buy a new car, and pay for the property damage the wreck caused, and pay the medical bills for the kids to get checked out at the hospital. It set us back about $15,000 or so, since insurance wouldn't pay a penny of it of course, but it was an interesting and eye-opening lesson in liability.

    Fortunately, the police officer decided not to press charges for reckless endangerment of a child, or my mother could have ended up in real trouble for having her car stolen.

  • by PuckSR (1073464) on Monday December 14, 2009 @04:18PM (#30434970)

    You do realize that they "days" of battery life are due to the fact that it is designed to read books?
    The battery life on ereaders really should be rated in "page turns". This gets about 2000 page turns on a single charge.
    Using that color screen all the time or actively using the internet will suck down that battery so fast your head will spin!!!

    The battery on this device is going to suck if you are using it to IM your friends or regularly browse the web. The battery on these devices is actually significantly SMALLER than a netbook battery. These devices have a cheap and small cell phone battery.

    The real advantage is the internet....but it isn't that big of a deal. The kindle already has a web-browser.
    Plus, as many have explained...they will just block non-B&N usage if it is abused.

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long

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