GameShell Kit Review – Part 2: An Hackable Retro Gaming Console

Gameshell Review

ClockworkPi GameShell is an hackable retro gaming console combining Arm Linux and Arduino boards that happens to come in kit form, and that’s lot of fun to assemble as we’ve seen in the first part of the review of ClockworkPi GameShell. Since then I’ve had time to have more fun, play some games, and experiment with the device, so I’ll report my experience and point out the good parts, as well as some of the shortcomings I came across. We can press the power button to start it up, and after a few seconds we get to the main menu with several icons including… the self-describing Settings, Retro Games with MAME, MGBA, NESTOPIA, and PCxs emulators that require your own ROMs/BIOS, as well as Indie Games with ready to play games like OpenTyrian spaceship shooting game, or NyanCat. Moving on to the right of the menu we’ve got the famous RetroArch emulator that allows you to easily download cores, Cave …

FOSDEM 2019 Open Source Developers Meeting Schedule

FOSDEM 2019

FOSDEM – which stands for Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting – is a free-to-participate event where developers meet on the first week-end of February to discuss open source software & hardware projects. FOSDEM 2019 will take place on February 2 & 3, and the schedule has already been published with 671 speakers scheduled to speak in 711 events themselves sorted in 62 tracks. Like every year, I’ll create a virtual schedule based on some of the sessions most relevant to this blog in tracks such as  open hardware, open media, RISC-V, and hardware enablement tracks. February 2 10:30 – 10:55 – VkRunner: a Vulkan shader test tool by Neil Roberts A presentation of VkRunner which is a tool to help test the compiler in your Vulkan driver using simple high-level scripts. Perhaps the largest part of developing a modern graphics driver revolves around getting the compiler to generate the correct code. In order to achieve this, extensive …

Amazon Echo Look Camera Goes for $50 with Intel Atom x5, RealSense Camera SR300

Echo Look

Amazon Echo Look is a smart camera with Alexa Assistant that was launched about 2 years ago for $200, and designed to help you decide if your outfit is a good match, beside taking photo and video selfies with voice commands. Sales may not have matched Amazon expectations (unsurprisingly), and the product is now offered for just $49.99. What may be interesting for CNX Software readers is that Echo Look appears to be a consumer version of AWS DeepLens deep learning video camera for developers ($249), plus some cost savings as well, so there may be some hacking potential here. A teardown video – embedded below – reveals some interesting specifications: SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8350 quad core Cherry Trail processor @ up to 1.44 GHz System Memory – 1 GB LPDDR3 Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, 16 Mbit SPI flash Camera – Intel RealSense SR300 depth sensing camera + Amazon’s own camera module Audio – Microphone array Connectivity – …

Sony PlayStation Classic Teardown Reveals MediaTek MT8167A Processor

Sony PlayStation Classic Main Board

Miniature versions of popular game consoles from earlier decades have been all the rage recently, but they all have one thing in common: the inability to add games by default. But eventually, people find ways. For example, when it was found Nintendo NES Classic Mini was found to be powered by an Allwinner R16 processor, enthusiasts found ways to run RetroArch on the device with some efforts. One of the latest announcement was Sony PlayStation Classic, and as reviewers got hold of early sample of the miniature gaming console, it  got torn down by HDBlog Italia. That means we now have a good idea of the technical specifications of the console: SoC – MediaTek MT8167A quad core Arm Cortex-A35 processor @ 1.5 GHz with PowerVR GE8300 GPU System Memory – 1GB DDR3-1866 (Samsung K4B4G1646E-BYMA) Storage – 16GB eMMC 5.1 flash (Samsung KLMAG1JETD-B041) Video Output – HDMI port up to 720p resolution Audio – MediaTek MT6392A audio codec USB – 2x …

USB Charging Actually Poses Security Risks – Hacking a Laptop via a USB-C Adapter

Hacked USB type-C Charger

Smartphones have been charged over USB for many years, but with the advance of USB type-C now even laptops may be charged over USB, instead of the typical DC power barrel jack. Why am I writing about that? That’s because charging over a DC jack is normally safe, but after reading an article on BBC website, I’ve just realized when you charge over USB you also give access to the data connection, and security researcher (MG) has found a way to hack the USB-C charger of an Apple laptop and show a login prompt to steal credentials (username / password). The full details of the hack are no public, but it does require altering the hardware of the charger. So as long as you use the charger sold with your laptop, you should be safe. However, there’s always a risk if you charge from public places, or buy  a charger from a third party. It’s a limited risk, but still …

YouTube Streams 1 & 2 Update, Plus Quick Fix for Uneven X Gantry

3D-Printer-X-Gantry-Fix

Hey Karl here with an update on the YouTube Live streams from last week. Live Streams Update The 1st stream went about as well as I expected….Not very well. I was really nervous and I broke the live link that was posted on here at the last minute. My whole reasoning for the Livestream was to show the processes in real time and not do too much footwork ahead of time. On the first one I was planning on migrating from Marlin 1.1.6 to Marlin 1.1.8 but I had already done lol… So I ended up migrating to the bugfix branch which presented additional challenges. Overall it was successful and I hope I conveyed the process. I was able to get it to print but I ended up going back to 1.1.8 due to some error in the bugfix branch that caused weird jittery movement. I will in the future prepare more. 😀 Second was better but not without glitches. …

FUZE Bluetooth Credit Card is Vulnerable to Hacking over Bluetooth

FUZE-Bluetooth-Credit-Card

FUZE Card is a Bluetooth enabled card with ePaper display that can store up to 30 real credit card. You’d program credit cards into it via Bluetooth Smart (BLE) using a smart phone app, and use it like a normal credit card while paying, after selecting the card you want to use. It’s more convenient than carrying many cards, and more secure since part of the number are hidden (shown as stars ****), so whoever get your card can’t easily make a copy of the information. A problem however is that according to ICE9 Consulting, there’s a security vulnerability that allows credit card numbers to be stolen via Bluetooth: CVE-2018-9119. The full details can be found on ICE9 blog post. They started to make a X-Ray to find out about the main components see (photo below), and the reverse-engineered the Bluetooth protocol using an Android smartphone, and software tools such as Burp Suite (optional),Wireshark + crusty Perl scripts, and gatttool / BlueZ. …

3D Rendering and Video Composite Output on ESP32 Boards

A few years ago, we already saw it was possible to transmit color signals over NTSC using an ESP8266 board with the signal received on a TV with an analog tuner. CNLohr had to connect an antenna to the I2S pin of his ESP8266 module, and disable WiFi. But surely we should be able to do the same with ESP32, and potentially even better thanks to the two cores. That’s exactly what Bitluni successfully managed by connecting his LoLin32 board to the composite input of his TV with one handling the TV signal output (in grayscale) and the other core rendering 3D objects in real-time. But any ESP32 board could be use instead. The hardware connection is very easy. We just need two wires, one connected to the GND pin and outer part of the RCA connector, and the other connected to GPIO 25 (DAC1) and the inner part of the RCA connector. The software is more complicated, and basically …