Using Legos to Get Around DRM-Protected Books on a Kindle

#Robots

Mon, Sep 9th, 2013 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

This fascinating DIY Kindle Scanner created by associate professor at the Vienna University of Technology Peter Purgathofer quite literally defeats DRM protection on Kindle books without technically breaking the law.

Using Lego’s Mindstorms — a basic robotics kit popular with hobbyists — plus a Kindle and a Mac, he has assembled a way to photograph what’s on the screen, and then submit it to a cloud-based text-recognition service.

It’s sort of a combination of high tech meets low. The scanning is done by way of the Mac’s iSight camera. The Mindstorms set does two things: Hits the page-advance button on the Kindle (it appears to be an older model, like the one in the picture above), then mashes the space bar on the Mac, causing it to take a picture.

And while the video doesn’t show exactly what’s running on the Mac, it could easily be Photo Booth combined with a script that auto-submits the pictures to pretty much any free optical-character-recognition service, like, maybe, FreeOCR.

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