Saturday, 16 February 2013

How I got my Copy of Cory Doctorow's Homeland

I recently read Cory Doctorow's new book Homeland on my kindle and I would highly recommend it along with it's prequel, Little Brother.

Obtaining my (paid for) copy from in mid February when it was not available in the UK was not exactly intuitive shall we say...
From what I could tell, it appeared that there were country-specific restrictions in place at the time (around mid Feb) and buying the kindle version (for digital delivery) from the UK did not appear to be possible which made no logical sense to me. So, presuming that this was merely an error, I set about racing my friend Luke to try and find a hack/workaround to download the book even though it was 'not on sale' here yet. Or to put it another way: hell hath no fury like a geek in pursuit of their next Doctorow fix.

1. Change .torrc to use USA only tor exit relays. (Please note that this is a temporary hack and definitely not a good configuration for long-term usage on tor) :p
2. Register an American postal address (despite digital delivery) on I now live in the Whitehouse apparently:
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
United States
Phone: +12024561111
3. Change my Kindle's 'location' to USA.
4. Buy book as per normal.
5. Request file download and then load it on to the device through 'Calibre' so that amazon could not fiddle with my kindle/locale/etc remotely (i.e. no wifi on kindle).
6. Oh and just to be sure the book would not disappear like the somewhat ironic case of 1984 being remotely removed from 1000's of kindles.
7. I then rooted my kindle and intentionally borked the phone home features so that it cannot be remote controlled anymore. I like to err on the side of security by design not by policy. There is more info about kindle mods/hacks here.

Luckily it is now easier to get Homeland on your kindle: