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Hardware Hacking

CCC Mods Rent-a-Bike To Allow Free Rides 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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CCC Mods Rent-a-Bike To Allow Free Rides

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  • by poussiere ( 739579 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @03:57AM (#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."
  • by belg4mit ( 152620 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @04:02AM (#11145179) Homepage
    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.
  • Re:Price (Score:2, Informative)

    by JPriest ( 547211 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @04:14AM (#11145228) Homepage
    RTA, you can keep the bike for 24 hours for $15 (EUR), or $60.00 for a week.
  • by quigonn ( 80360 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @04:28AM (#11145272) Homepage
    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.
  • Re:What a waste (Score:2, Informative)

    by izomiac ( 815208 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @04:29AM (#11145276) Homepage
    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.
  • by KrunZ ( 247479 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @04:46AM (#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.
    ht tp://
  • Re:What a waste (Score:2, Informative)

    by KrunZ ( 247479 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @04:50AM (#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: .html
  • by ip_fired ( 730445 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @05:14AM (#11145418) Homepage
    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...)
  • witte fietsen (Score:3, Informative)

    by phr1 ( 211689 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @05:15AM (#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:I'm impressed. (Score:5, Informative)

    by eric76 ( 679787 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @05:18AM (#11145430)

    A few years ago, Texas A&M University fixed up some abandoned bicycles, converted them to one speed, painted them bright yellow, and left them around campus for use by whoever wanted to ride them.

    See Borrow A Bike []

    I think this was also done at a number of other places.

  • Re:What bullshit (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @05:46AM (#11145500)
    For the record: The CCC published a report which it had been sent anonymously. The actual modifications may or may not have been made by CCC members. We simply don't know. I doubt the CCC would officially endorse these actions.
  • by caluml ( 551744 ) <> on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @08:00AM (#11145835) Homepage
    I was in Copenhagen this summer (pictures start at Fri 28th May) [], and I was so impressed with this system. You could put in a 2 euro piece, take a bike, cycle anywhere, in the cool, fresh, clean air, and wave at all the lovely tall blonde Danish girls while looking cool on your stylishly designed bike.
    Then, when you've finished, you just pop it back to a bike rack, and take your money back. However, the cost of drinks there equalled it out. All in all, damn good, I say. Oh, and visit Christiania (sp?) if you can.
  • by MarcQuadra ( 129430 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @08:20AM (#11145897)
    Agreed, though I'm more worried about defacement of my bike than theft.

    Having been an urban biker for about ten years, I can tell you that having a bike defaced/kicked/smashed/broken/scratched every day is overall much more disheartening than just having one stolen every few years.

    It's one thing to know that someone REALLY wanted something you have; It's another to realize how many ignorant morons with stock in the oil companies will kick someone's bike.
  • Re:What a waste (Score:4, Informative)

    by AKnightCowboy ( 608632 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @08:32AM (#11145941)
    Why hack something that is for the common good, such as public, non-polluting transportation?

    Because the members of the Chaos Computer Club are a bunch of hackers? They couldn't care less about the common good, they're just interested in exploiting whatever they can for their own self-interest. Read "Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier" or "The Cuckoo's Egg" to get an example of these wonderful CCC heroes in reality. They are thieves.

  • Re:pedal (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @08:56AM (#11146023)
    I'll see your technically and raise you:

    Technically, he meant to write "pedal" but mis-spelt it as "peddle". The fact that this happens to spell another word does not change the technical fact that he mis-spelt "pedal".

    Now, is mis-spelt technically spelt with a "-" ? I got 50,000 google hits for without and only 15,000 for with.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @09:01AM (#11146044)
    No, we aren't that barbaric. We don't kill the women. If we did, half of you snotty euros wouldn't be here.

    When we rolled through europe during ww2 did you think your grandmothers weren't fucking all those hot young GI's that came through their towns?

    Stop all the anti-american BS because you're really our cousins.
  • by linoleo ( 718385 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @09:05AM (#11146072) Journal
    Dude, why not use the free open source tool chain for AVR? To quote []:

    AVR Libc is an open source project whose goal is to provide a high quality C library for use with GCC on Atmel AVR microcontrollers.

    Together, avr-binutils, avr-gcc, and avr-libc form the heart of the Opensource toolchain for the Atmel AVR microcontrollers.

    They are further accompanied by projects for in-system programming software (uisp, avrdude [formerly avrprog]), simulation (simulavr) and debugging (avr-gdb, AVaRICE).

    I use most of the above to program ATmegas under Linux with no problems. But this stuff even runs on Windows, or so I hear.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @09:07AM (#11146081)
    TO hotwire a car

    1 open the hood

    2 locate the coil wire it is red to find it follow the plug wires,which lead to the coil wire.the plug wires are located at the rear of the engineon most v-8s . on six-cylinder engines the wires are on the left side near the center of the engine and on 4-cylinder engines they are locted on the right side near the center of the engine

    3 run the wire from the positive (+) side of the battery to the positive side of the coil. or the red wire that goes to the coil
    this gives power to the dash and the car will not start run unless it is performed first

    4 locate the starter solenoid
    on most mg cars it is on the starter.on fords it is locted on the left-side (passenger side)

    unlocking the steering wheel

    5 if the car has a standard transmission make sure it is in neutral and the parking brake is on
    if it is automatic transmission make sure it is in park

    6 unlock the steering wheel using a flat blade screwdriver
    take the screwdriver and placve it at the top center of the steering column.push the screwdriver between the steering wheel and the column.push the locking pin away from the very firm when pushing the pin the pin will not break
  • by anothy ( 83176 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @12:38PM (#11148318) Homepage
    So stealing for individuals is wrong, but stealing from a big, bad company is okay? This is a great example of moral relativism.
    no, it's not. what you've just described has nothing to do with moral relativism. moral relativism [] is the belief that what is "good" for me is not necessarily the same as what is "good" for you. as long as i believe that it's okay for either of us to steal from big companies and it's not okay for either of us to steal from individuals, there is no moral relativism here. moral relativism is a statement on actors, not the things upon which they act.

    what this is an example of is Kant's Categorical Imperative [], or a certain portion thereof. this idea is, among other things, a rejection of the idea that whatever produces the greatest happiness is the moral action - an idea still popular today. Kant's idea asserts that, in essence, there are "rules", and there are no exceptions to these rules.

    the primary problem with Kant's idea here (or at least with how it's most commonly understood today) is that it seems to discard the importance - or even significance - of circumstances. Kant says it is wrong for someone to steal a loaf of bread to feed her starving family from a baker who won't notice the loss because if everyone stole the world would be chaos; he makes no accommodation for the idea that it's okay for everyone to steal when in those circumstances. moral relativism, by contrast, would simply say it's okay for her to steal as long as she believes it to be. neither (inherently) cares whether the baker is an individual or a multinational corporation.

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban