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Hacking a Keurig to use cheap coffee pods only requires scissors and tape

Hacking a Keurig to use cheap coffee pods only requires scissors and tape

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Keurig’s copyrighted coffee has been hacked again — this time with just a pair of scissors and a bit of tape. The coffee machine maker (purchased by Green Mountain in 2006) attracted the ire of both consumers and rivals earlier this year after it unveiled a coffee pod machine with digital rights management (DRM) that blocks cheaper, third-party pods.

Keurig sells its machines at cost to make money on the refills

This approach makes a certain amount of sense from a corporate perspective but is aggravating for consumers. Like the printer manufacturers that sell their machines at near cost in order to make a killing off the refills, Keurig is relying on customers not having the time or know-how to circumvent their system. Unfortunately for them, coffee-drinkers are nothing if not determined.

The first chink in the DRM armor was revealed back in August when a rival company introduced Keurig-compatible coffee pods, but this latest hack is far simpler and much more comprehensive. The video above demonstrates the method to the tune of Darth Vader’s theme from Star Wars, with our anonymous rebel simply cutting out the identifying tag from an official pod and taping it up inside the machine to fool the scanners. "It’s an older coffee pod," thinks the machine, "but it checks out."