DRM On A Dishwasher Spotted And Rinsed Clean

Source: Slashdot DRM On A Dishwasher Spotted And Rinsed Clean

Bob Seemed Like A Good Friend, But He Keeps Sponging Off You

A small dishwasher that sits on the counter which can handle a few plates with cutlery and doesn’t need to be permanently integrated into your plumbing seems to be a good idea for someone living on their own in a rented apartment.  The initial cost of $486 might be a bit on the high end compared to some full sized models, but the portability and ease of installation help justify the price of the dishwasher called Bob.  However Bob has a dirty secret, and it will end up costing you more than just the sticker price.

See, Bob comes with DRM; specifically the soap cartridges daan.tech sells which are the only ones that will work in Bob the dishwasher.  They cost $60 and will work for 90 washes, no more and no less but exactly 90.  Those of us who recall the HP printer cartridge debacle will recognize exactly what is going on.  There is a chip on these cartridges which counts how many washes have been done and once you hit 90 the cartridge will no longer work, regardless of how much soap is actually left and a new $60 cartridge is inserted.

It didn’t take long for dekuNukem to determine how the DRM was implemented on the cartridge’s EEPROM and how to reset it.  You can now get your hands on either the source code to build your own Cassette Rewinder or buy one for $30.  That will let you get many more washes out of a cartridge as well as making it feasible to refill the cartridges with soap designed to work in small dishwashers. 

Of course, depending on where you live on the planet, doing so could well lead to a lawsuit against you.

Bob is basically a small dishwasher that sits on your counter. It holds half a dozen dishes and some silverware, and you add water to the system by hand. It looks like a great alternative to a larger installed dishwasher or something nice for an apartment dweller. But it has a secret bit of DRM built in that keeps you wedded to the company's products.

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About The Author

Jeremy Hellstrom

Call it K7M.com, AMDMB.com, or PC Perspective, Jeremy has been hanging out and then working with the gang here for years. Apart from the front page you might find him on the BOINC Forums or possibly the Fraggin' Frogs if he has the time.

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