COKE VENDING MACHINE HACKING

Normally I wouldn’t encourage such blatant vandalism, but this detailed tutorial on hacking into a new-generation Coca-Cola vending machine via the existing number keypad is intriguing. Makes me want to try it out on the next machine I run across; bonus points if the thing is otherwise out of order.

There are a lot of steps to take to get to the ultimate goal — nabbing a free can of soda! — but here’s the basic first step.

Isn’t it kind of silly to have to access computerized equipment in this manner, in this day and age? It seems so 1980s-like, when arcade games were set up like this, requiring elaborate maneuvers with the joystick and Fire buttons to get a status reading. And obviously, it’s susceptible to outside interference.

I can’t imagine it would be hard to build in an easily-accessible USB port somewhere on the machine, where an employee would be able to plug in a keyboard, or even a laptop computer, and do their business that way. As more of these vending machines take on wireless capabilities, that’s another option — but that seems too exploitable too. A USB port does the job, and wouldn’t be as readily used by pranksters.

BLOWING AWAY THE BUSH PRESIDENCY

The WMD ruse and resultant Iraq situation. The Harriet Meirs debacle. Plamegate. None of these hot-button issues seems to have enough oomph to really ignite the fringe movement to impeach George W. Bush.

The problem is the lack of prurient appeal. This is America, after all; you can’t motivate the electorate unless there’s something tabloid-worthy going on (thus challenging the general public’s mock morality, as it applies to pop culture and politics).

So, adhering to the standards set by the last impeachment procedure, the key to getting Dubya on trial — aside from stacking Congress with Demmycrats — is to employ an… oral catalyst:

Something tells me the intern corps in today’s White House provides rather slim pickings for such an endeavor.