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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Jailbroken 51

Posted by timothy
from the rebel-in-the-library dept.
hypnosec writes "Amazon's latest Kindle Paperwhite is now officially jailbroken, giving users the ability to do things like turn their eReaders into weather station displays, or connect serially to a Raspberry Pi. To jailbreak the Paperwhite, the user needs to copy a file over to the root directory of the e-Reader and restart the device. The Kindle Paperwhite jailbreak is based on a previously known hack used on the Kindle Touch."
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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Jailbroken

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  • Long may they live. It is good to be able to hack devices and make them do things they were not intended to do. That is the hacker spirit living on in 2012.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Or just use it like it *should* be, and not locked down to one particular vendor's file format.

      Without epub support the thing is worthless to me.

      • by bonehead (6382)

        I wouldn't say worthless. More convenient, definitely.

        Calibre makes it crazy easy to convert between ebook formats, so turning that epub into a pdf or mobi is pretty simple.

        But, yes, if the option is available to read the epub directly, that is definitely preferable.

        • by nurb432 (527695)

          You can covert easily, but what comes out the other end isn't always that great.

          • by bonehead (6382)

            It's not *always* great, but I've had mostly good luck.

            The only real problem I run into is pictures landing in the wrong spots so they don't match their caption. For a novel, not a big deal. For a reference book, probably a showstopper. But even that can be rectified with a little work.

            Anyway, my point was only that "worthless" was too strong a term. I fully agree that a device that can just use X format directly is a better tool than one that requires conversion.

      • by dabadab (126782)

        "Without epub support the thing is worthless to me."

        Drama queen too much?

        I have a K4 and I have absolutely no idea if it supports epub. I mean, it certainly does in the sense that I can send epubs to it and read that stuff on the Kindle without any problem. But the question that it supports it natively or by converting it during transfer is absolutely irrelevant for me and I guess mostly for everybody.

  • The e-paper Kindle is a great way to carry a library around with you, but I don't see the utility of using it for anything other than reading books. The Kindle Paperwhite [amazon.com] is more expensive than a generic Android tablet, plus the Paperwhite takes a few weeks to ship because of high demand. If you want to hack it to e.g. show weather data, why wait weeks and pay so much when you could have one of those generic tablets instantly?
    • by nurb432 (527695)

      That is the whole point of e-ink, to provide a good readable display. LCD sucks for anything other than a quick glance of a tech book where you *need* color or a larger format. ( where is my color e-ink amazon and B&N.. ?? )

    • I think the main reason to hack the kindles is to remove annoyances ... I buy a new kindle every year (yeah, I'm a sucker and I love the products) but I don't get my next one until I'm sure I can jailbreak it. Then I can add my own fonts, remove their ugly "screensavers" (exactly what am I saving btw? the display takes 0 power, just leave the fucking text there, thanks) and allow more formats (eg, epub). I buy a lot of books too, amazon isn't losing anything. Why don't they let me do these simple things
    • by bhaak1 (219906) *

      The hacker spirit is not for "utility" but for "hacking". :-)

      Having said that IMO there is utility in a jailbreak of Kindle devices even if you "only" want to use it for reading. Without a jailbreak you can't directly read specifc formats (e.g. epubs or some comic and manga formats).

  • When I first saw ads for Paperwhite, I was sort of meh, I've been using my Transformer Prime/Razr to read books, my Kindle went to my wife. Why another gadget? This notice made me look again...and I'm betting I'll never find a reason to want to actually root it. Just the fact that root-ability is out there attracts a segment of the demographic. I'm thinking I want one of these now...

  • Officially jail broken? So Amazon have jail broken it?
  • by bigdavex (155746) on Saturday October 06, 2012 @11:23AM (#41568131)

    Isn't there a marketing danger to naming your product almost "paper weight"?

    • Does that imply that my non-touch Kindle should be called "PaperGrey"?

    • by dbIII (701233)
      The screens are glass, so if you don't treat them like glass they will become a "paper weight". Keep that in mind and they'll last as long as any good camera, but treat them like a book and you've got a paperweight.
  • by jmerlin (1010641) on Saturday October 06, 2012 @01:44PM (#41569635)

    I understand why it is, but when we purchase a computer, it shouldn't be news to the world that "you can run programs on it." This industry has started a fad of creating walled gardens and severely incapacitating the things they're selling. It would be like buying a lawn mower that could only cut Monsanto grass. It would be like buying a Microwave Oven that would only work on a certain few name-brand items. It would be like buying a monitor that would only stream video from approved devices. It would be like buying a car that would only run on Exxon fuel and would only drive properly on certain roads.

    All of the above examples are absolutely absurd. So is this artificial limitation of computing devices. It needs to end, now.

    • by dbIII (701233)
      The business model with most ereaders is buying the same cheap Chinese devices as competitors and putting custom software on there. That sucks for us because sales versus competitiors depend on keeping that custom software closed and not letting consumers have access to the unmodified devices. Throw a walled garden for books with special price markups for different regions and you've got the mainstream of eink.
      Devices that are not so closed can't compete so much on price since they have to make more money
    • It would be like buying a monitor that would only stream video from approved devices.

      I see what you did there!

  • would anyone want to jailbreak a paperweight?
  • At the risk of getting flamed to a cinder I am offering this up:

    I am getting the Kindle Paperwhite and I am not going to jailbreak it.

    I like paying for my books. I have purchased some friggin excellent books directly from my kindle touch that I would have never otherwise. "Pines" and "Run" by Blake Crouch are 2 good examples many slashdotters will appreciate. ('Wool" is another). It is an easy way to support an author.

    I use my kindle to read PDFs all the time. you CAN read epubs if you convert them (http://

    • I am getting the Kindle Paperwhite and I am not going to jailbreak it. ... I like paying for my books.

      I see this argument in iOS jailbreaking discussions too, but I don't understand it. Do you really believe jailbreaking is about stealing books? If you do, you're wrong.

      I have an iPhone and a Kindle, both of which are jailbroken. I still pay for my books and my apps. The default jailbreaks on both devices wouldn't let me steal stuff even if I wanted to! But I have been able to add functionality - and that's why I do it.

      Thanks to jailbreaking, my Kindle 3 now lets me connect to it over wi-fi - I can put files

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