Fwd: CueCat and the Red Light of Progress.

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From: Karee Swift (karee@tstonramp.com)
Date: Mon Oct 02 2000 - 16:06:39 PDT

was. THe software is insulting to the intelligence of even a 6 year
old and generally, I kept coming up with errors saying 'We don't have
that onour site'. I stopped using the software and need to find the
linux alternative. I'm sure it has its use, but I'm kind of annoyed
by the whole fact that they can 'revoke' at will if they catch you
doing anything bad. They never really specified what 'bad' was in
their EULA (updated online). PFT. Not all free products rock.


--- In fork@egroups.com, Tom Whore <tomwhore@i...> wrote:

Ive been hearing about the Digital Convergence cuecate tempest over on
Slashrot and Ars Technica.

There is a good summary of whats happending here [1], basicaly CueCat
giving away a little hardware bar code scanner that runs off your
port which in turn passes thru to your keyboard. When you run the
yes its shaped like a cat, glowing red scanner nose over a bar code
code is sent into your keyboard buffer.[3]

From here you are supposed to have the Offical Software decode the bar
code and send you to a web site or give you the upc/isbn infromation.
do this by passing the decoded barcode info thru a browser up to the
servers and sending you the results, in the meanwhile capturing a
number your Cuecat sends with each scan and what your looking for.

This pissed a lot of folks off so they found a hardware fix for the
genrated serial number and a software way to send the decoded string
to a
browser or thru other software to do the upc/isbn lookup.[4]

DC has been handing out cese and desist letter to any and all web
with any pages showing hwo to use this device for any other purposes
what they want it used for.[5] why?

"Digital:Convergence -- in case you've missed the howls of protest
and the
hilarious hacking incident -- is the Dallas company that brings us the
CueCat, a little barcode scanner that links magazine ads to Web

They are making thier money by you using their give away devices and
sfotware thru thier servers, thus giving them marketing edge of your
habits and personal info.

Privacy freaks...freaked. Hackers..hacked..Lawyers...lawyered.

Im having fun scanning things using the "third party" software.

Im also seeing lots of the cue cat infromation sites vanishing {2]

When i walked into radio shack and asked for the "bar code scanner
they asked how many I wanted. "2" i said. They handed me two packages.
they never asked my name or for any id. When i got back to the office
handed one package to an unsuspecting office mate and said "open this
dump the contents on my desk..please" they did. Therefore I did not
the package and I have nto used or opened the software included. No
has been seen by my eyes in connection with this model cue cat.

Im goign to get a few for the kid. They look cute:)- They also glow
pretty, it can be used as a Computer Night light, handy for 6 year

Let me know if any of you folk are playing with this thing.

[1] http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/comment/0,5859,2634191,00.html

http://diddl.firehead.org/censor/ http://blort.org/cuecat/
http://www.accipiter.org/cat.html --CueCat Hacks
http://www.jounce.net/~maarken -- Uscan Translation Site
http://matrixpm.com/~haveblue/cuecat -- Dissecting the CueCat
http://anon.razorwire.com/catscan --Catscan homepage
http://s1066194.umsl.edu/cuecrap/ -- CueCrap- Crap About CueCat
http://www.jaggedsoft.com/cuedog/ --The CueDog, a CueCat Decoder
for Win32

[3] Basically it hooks inline with your keyboard the same as any other
'keyboard wedge' type of scanner. The difference is that it doesn't
out a plain barcode. Instead it sends the following: It sends four
sections seperated by periods, including a trailing period. ALT-F10 is
sent as a wakeup signal The serial number of the wand is sent. The
type of
barcode (UPCA, ISBN, etc). The actual barcode information. The last
fields are encoded using a simple scheme to both send a full 8-bit
value as printable letters/numbers and to obfuscate the output to
make it
less useful for other purposes. Take each block of four characters and
convert them into six bit values by indexing into "[a-z][A-Z][0-9]+-"
String the four six bit fields together to get a 24bit value
three bytes. Exclusive OR each with 67 and you have three decoded
Strings that aren't a multiple of three characters are zero filled and
they should be stripped out if it isn't being processed by C code
takes a NULL as the end of string. Update 00/09/28 According to the
from Lineo, some cats don't encode the same. For these odd beasties
index into "[a-z][A-Z][0-9],/".


--- End forwarded message ---

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