You can use conditional breakpoints and debugging commands in windbg and cdb that together can amount to effectively patching a binary at runtime. This can be useful if you have symbols but you can't easily rebuild the binary. Or if the patch is small and the binary requires a great deal of time to rebuild.
If you want to skip a chunk of code you can set a breakpoint at the start address of the code to skip and set the breakpoint's command to change the instruction pointer register to point to the address at the end of the code to skip and go. Voila you're skipping over that code now. For example:
bp 0x6dd6879b "r @eip=0x6dd687c3 ; g"
You may want to modify parameters or variables and this is simple of course. In the following example a conditional breakpoint ANDs out a bit from dwFlags. Now when we run its as if no one is passing in that flag.
bp wiwi!RelativeCrack "?? dwFlags &= 0xFDFFFFFF;g"
Slightly more difficult is to modify string values. If the new string length is the same size or smaller than the previous, you may be able to modify the string value in place. But if the string is longer or the string memory isn't writable, you'll need a new chunk of memory into which to write your new string. You can use .dvalloc to allocate some memory and ezu to write a string into the newly allocated memory. In the following example I then overwrite the register containing the parameter I want to modify:
ezu 000002a9`d4eb0000 "mfcore.dll"
r rcx = 000002a9`d4eb0000
You can also use .call to actually make new calls to methods or functions. Read more about that on the Old New Thing: Stupid debugger tricks: Calling functions and methods. Again, all of this can be used in a breakpoint command to effectively patch a binary.
Waxy roundup of DMCA takedown process stupidity.
“So the Scripps TV broadcasts are indexed by YouTube, and the Content ID robots do the rest. And because Content ID disputes are judged by the copyright holder, complaints are routinely ignored or denied.”
Create fake profiles on Facebook using your name but with a different photo, different date of birth, and different hometown. Create enough doppelgangers to add noise to the search results for your name. And have them share embarrassing stories on their blogs. The goal is to ensure that the din of your alternates drowns out anything embarrassing showing up for you.
Although it will look suspicious if you're the only name on Google with such chaff. So clearly you must also do this for your friends and family. Really you'll be doing them a favor.
Raymond Chen has some thought experiments useful for discovering various kinds of stupidity in software design:
Tim Berners-Lee's principles of Web design includes my favorite: Test of Independent Invention. This has a thought experiment containing the construction of the MMM (Multi-Media Mesh) with MRIs (Media Resource Identifiers) and MMTP (Muli-Media Transport Protocol).
The Internet design principles (RFC 1958) includes the Robustness Principle: be strict when sending and tolerant when receiving. A good one, but applied too liberally can lead to interop issues. For instance, consider web browsers. Imagine one browser becomes so popular that web devs create web pages and just test out their pages in this popular browser. They don't ensure their pages conform to standards and accidentally end up depending on the manner in which this popular browser tolerantly accepts non-standard input. This non-standard behavior ends up as de facto standard and future updates to the standard essentially has had decisions made for it.
I signed up for the pre-release beta and purchased a Chumby last year. Chumby looks like a cousin to a GPS unit. Its similar in size with a touch screen, but has WiFi, accelerometers, and is pillow like on the sides that aren't a screen. In practice its like an Internet alarm clock that shows you photos and videos off the Web. Its hackable in that Chumby Industries tells you about the various ways to run your own stuff on the Chumby, modifying the boot sequence (it runs Linux), turning on sshd, etc, etc. The Chumby forum too has lots of info from folks who have found interesting hacks for the device.
When you turn on the Chumby it downloads and runs the latest version of the Chumby software which lets you set alarms, play music, and display Flash widgets. The Chumby website lets anyone upload their own Flash widgets to share with the community. I tried my hand at creating one using Adobe's free Flash creation SDK but I don't know Flash and didn't have the patience to learn.
Currently my Chumby is set to wake me up at 8am on weekdays with music from ShoutCast and then displays traffic and weather. At 10am everyday it switches to showing me a slide-show of LolCats. At 11pm it switches to night mode where it displays the time in dark grey text on a black background at a reduced light level so as not to disturb me while I sleep.
I like the Chumby but I have two complaints. The first is that it forces me to learn flash in order to create anything cool rather than having a built-in Web browser or depending on a more Web friendly technology. The second complaint is about its name. At first I thought the name was stupid in a kind of silly way, but now that I'm used to the name it sounds vaguely dirty.