James Mead by James Mead

Week 368 - Interesting links

Coastermelt

I was completely fascinated by this on-going series of videos by Micah Scott in which she explains how she’s reverse-engineering a common Blu-Ray disc recorder. The end goal is to create discs encoded with holographic images, but there have already been lots of interesting diversions along the way.

I particularly liked the way she viewed the firmware code using the PGM image format in order to work out what different chunks of code might do and even what processor’s instruction set they might belong to. This seems closely related to Murray’s Stegosaurus project.

It was also fascinating to hear about some of the DRM measures present in the firmware and how she defeated them. Also her cat, Tuco, is incredibly cute! I can’t wait for the next episode! JM

PubPub - Open Publishing

This is a (soon to be open-sourced) platform for totally transparent [academic] publishing developed by MIT. I really like it that they’re encouraging publishing early and often, that review is done in the open, and that they think journals should be curators, not gatekeepers (“everyone can be a journal”).

It all seems so much more sensible than the current system. I’ll be interested to see how much traction it gets in academia. JM

taglib-ruby

I’ve recently been doing a bit of work on our collaboration with Hookline and I’ve needed to be able to read & write ID3 tags to/from MP3 files. This library has worked well for me and I’ve found the documentation is pretty decent. JM

The eagerly awaited Raspberry Pi display

This 7” touchscreen looks great and is priced from a very reasonable £52. I’d like to see whether I can use one for my AIS on SDR project e.g. running the OpenCPN chart plotter software. JM

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