Happy Thanksgiving - turkey

If your celebrating with family or friends or both may your turkey be tasty 🙂 . Happy Thanksgiving!

SparkFun bluesmirf PIN Scam

That is an officer of the law holding a modified pin pad discovered in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. You can barely see it in this image but among other mods the pin pad has a BlueSmirf module attached to it. This allows someone sitting within ~100 feet away to capture all of the information transmitted by the pin pad including credit card information and the PIN number. Now SparkFun commented on this issue , and I agree with Nate that all things can be used for good or evil including their products. I don’t believe SparkFun should be blamed in any way for this, it’s the companies that make the pin-pads that should take care more of the security of their devices.

Bad guys will always try to trick the systems but it’s the companies who make credit card processing devices that should be one step ahead of them. I’ve read the comments on SparkFun’s blog and someone who works in a company that makes this devices said that they have all kind of security features that will make the pin pad unusable once someone tried to open it without authorisation. Someone else said they even have an internal battery for monitoring even if the pin-pad is unplugged or has it’s main battery removed so I’m not sure how someone managed to mount the BlueSmirf inside the pin-pad.

November 17th, 2009

Chumby One released for 99$

Chumby One

Chumby One was just announced on bunnie’s blog. You can get it now for 99$ pre-order price but once they start shipping the price will go up to 119$. You can read here about the story behing Chumby One and how bunnie tried to keep the price low by using every feature of this new processor from Freescale the i.MX233.  It turns out the i.MX233 has 3 internal switching regulators and it uses only one inductor to do the job. Next to the switching regulators the i.MX233 has even more analog features integrated like : audio codec,  speaker amplifier, USB PHY, video DAC, battery charger and more. This played out an important role in the final price of the Chumby One. You can read more about it on bunnie’s blog.

November 4th, 2009

DIY iPhone like device

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

320×240 LCD with resistive touch screen, USB, SD card, 3d engine, USB, movie playback, UI interface, sprite engine , would you believe all of this is handled by an AVR 8 bit device with 4K RAM running at just 12 MHz ? You’d better believe it because it’s real. Well the ATmega644 runs at only 12 MHz because it’s powered at 3.3 V so as you can imagine it’s stretched to it’s limit. The LCD with the integrated controller helps allot taking the job from the microcontroller.

The Pacman demo just fits in 8K flash and 512 bytes of RAM. It uses the sprite engine and runs at > 60fps. The images and animations don’t even touch the RAM they go straight from the SD card to the display. It turns out reading a 512 byte block from the SD takes ~1ms.

Source code, demo files, Eagle PCB and schematics are provided at the projects SF page.

DIY iPhone like device: [via Hackaday] – [Link]

As I told you in my previous post I visited a small museum of technology in Paris. So here are the pictures I took: as you can see allot of the museum is about Apple and their progress troughout the years.



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