N64 modder re-imagines classic Super Mario

Classic games, computers and gaming consoles are a source of joy for those who came of age when the titles and hardware were cutting edge commodities. Few things can transport you back to your youth faster than playing with what made you happy back in the day. For some people, playing with the games of yore includes tinkering to make something new and wonderful.

From Kotaku:

Modder Kaze Emanuar has taken the 2D level design of that older game and crammed it into the engine of Super Mario 64. Judging from the video that announced the mod, this allows the player to do all the leaping, hopping, and air flipping that a modern Mario can do while still enjoying the “classic” feel of the levels.

Read the rest

Watch how to cut the world's hardest foods with a modded kitchen knife

Kiwami Japan tried modding a cheap kitchen knife with serrations so it can cut through rock-hard foods like China Marble hard candies, macadamia nuts, and katsuobushi. Read the rest

Watch how to weaponize a small bike pump

A small hand pump is very convenient for bicyclists, but can a bike pump be weaponized? YouTuber JoergSprave from The Slingshot Channel gives it a shot. Read the rest

Guy turns a double decker bus into a two-story RV

And it took YouTuber Onrrust "only" 20 steps! Here's the before pic: Read the rest

Watch Colin Furze mod a bumper car with a huge engine

Bumper cars are fun, but what if you could ride one in the wild, with a massive engine under the hood? That's what Colin Fuze is finding out as he mods a vintage bumper car. Read the rest

Modding a vintage Japanese pachinko arcade game

Pachinko machines are traditionally purely mechanical, so Ben Heck thought he'd mod one to include electronic lights and sounds. The 8-bit gaming sound program is a great option, but Ben's fart sound program may be the keeper. Read the rest

Emulator lets you turn NES games 3D

Super Mario Bros and other classic games can be run through 3DNes, a nifty 3D emulator. Read the rest

WATCH: Gentleman mods daughter's pink mini-Mini

After his daughter complained her toy car was not fast enough, YouTuber ThatHPI GUY decided to mod it so it could pop wheelies. Read the rest

Gym machine modified to play Portal theme song (video)

[Video Link] A student modified this gym machine's CPU to play the theme song from Portal. Modding unlikely machines to play Portal is kind of a thing!

(thanks, jennybean42!) Read the rest

Bunnie explains the technical intricacies and legalities of Xbox hacking

Andrew "bunnie" Huang, who literally wrote the book on hacking Xboxes, was to be a witness in last week's first-of-its-kind trial for Xbox modding. However, the government prosecutor bungled his case so badly that he was forced to withdraw the charge and walk away, leaving the defendant unscathed.

However, Bunnie had already prepared an exhaustive briefing explaining the use-control system in the Xbox 360 that Crippen, the defendant, was on trial for modifying. It was intended to explain to a lay jury the fundamentals of crytographic signatures and scrambling, and to point on the subtle and important ways in which Xbox modding is different from other reverse-engineering that courts have already ruled against, such as breaking the DRM on a DVD.

I've been following this kind of thing closely for years, but I'm not a technical expert -- not in the sense that Bunnie, a legendarily accomplished reverse engineer is, anyway. Bunnie's explanations always leave me with a more thorough understanding of the subject than I had when I started, and this is no exception. Highly recommended reading.

The common use of "encryption" or "scambling" is tantamount to an "access control" insofar as a work is scrambled, using the authority imbued via a key, so that any attempt to read the work after the scrambling reveals gibberish. Only through the authority granted by that key, either legitimately or illegitimately obtained, can one again access the original work.

However, in the case of the Xbox360, two technically different systems are required to secure the authenticity of the content, without hampering access to the content: digital signatures, and watermarks (to be complete, the game developer may still apply traditional encryption but this is not a requirement by Microsoft: remember, Microsoft is in the business of typically selling you someone else's copyrighted material printed on authentic pieces of plastic; in other words, they incur no loss if you can read the material on the disk; instead, they incur a loss if you can fake the disk or modify the disk contents to cheat or further exploit the system).

Read the rest