Showing posts from April, 2013

Ask Hackaday: Hacking lingo fails

Ah, CSI. What other television show could present digital forensics with such two-bit dialogue?
It’s time once again to put on your hacker hats – a red fedora, we guess – and tell us the worst hacker dialogue you’ve seen in movies or TV. We’ve seen a ton of shows and movies where writers and directors spend zero time doing any sort of research in whatever technology they’d like to show off in the story they’re trying to convey. Usually this results in lines like, “I’ll create a GUI interface using Visual Basic. See if I can track an IP address.” It’s technobabble at its best, and horribly misinformed at its worst.
We’re wondering what you, the readers of Hackaday, think are the worst examples of hacker lingo fails. Anything from, ‘Enhance!’ to the frightening real-life quote, “the Internet is not a big truck. It’s a series of tubes.”
We’ll compile your suggestions in a later post, but I’m betting something from Star Trek: Voyager will make the #1 technobabble/hacking lingo fails. There’s…

Windmill made from washing machine, 555 chip

Green hacks implement one of two philosophies. The first is über-technical, with very expensive, high-quality components. The other side of this coin creates green power out of junk. [Timot] obviously took the latter choice, building a windmill out of an old washing machine motor and a few bits of PVC.
The generator for the windmill is based on a Fisher and Paykel direct drive usually found in clothes washing machines, rewired to provide 12 Volts at low RPM. At high speeds, the generator can produce 80 Volts, so a charge controller – even one based on a 555 chip – was an excellent addition.
For the other miscellaneous mechanical parts of the build, [Timot] cut the blades of the windmill out of 200 mm PVC pipe and sanded them down a bit for a better aerodynamic profile. With a custom fiberglass spinner, [Timot] whipped up a very attractive power station that is able to provide about 20 watts in normal conditions and 600 watts when it’s very windy. Not enough to power a house by any means…

Hackerspace security system brings RFID, video feedback, and automatic doors

[Will] has been hard at work on a replacement system for his Hackerspace’s RFID door lock. The original is now several years old and he’s decided to upgrade to a much more powerful processor, adding some bells and whistles along the way.
The control box seen above is the exterior component of the system. It’s a telephone service box like you’d find on the back of most houses in the US. They had a few of these lying around and they are a perfect choice because… well… they’re meant to be locking enclosures that brave the elements. [Will] made the jump from an Arduino which has run the locks for the last three years to a Raspberry Pi board. This gives him a lot of extra power to work with and he took advantage of that by adding a vehicle backup LCD screen for visual feedback. You can see it giving the ‘Access Granted’ message he used during testing but the demo video after the break shows that they plan to do some image scripting to display a head shot of the RFID tag owner whenever a tag…

Hacked together Mac isn’t a hackintosh

Check out this 20″ iMac. Notice anything peculiar? Look closely at the branding above the Apple logo. The only thing that tips you off that this iMac is a hacked together unit is that Acer logo on the replacement screen.
As we’ve so often been caught doing, [Flippy] was browsing eBay for deals. It’s a dangerous activity because you end up falling into purchases like an Aluminum iMac for $35. That led to the purchase of a very slim LED LCD monitor to use as the display. It fits perfectly behind the iMac’s glass bezel, which has a tiny chip in the upper right corner that doesn’t bother [Flippy]. It’s thin enough that this actually left room for him to add in the guts of a MacBook Pro which he had sitting in his unused parts pile. With all of the main components accounted for the rest is really just logistics like routing all of the cable connectors and adding openings for USB ports. What he ended up with is a high-end computer for a low-end price.

Filed under: macs hacks
from Hack a Day

Hand placing flash die to make USB drives

It’s a stretch to call this one a hack, but USB thumb drives are around us constantly and we always assumed that the boards inside were machine populated (like with a pick and place machine). [Bunnie] tells us otherwise. He recently had the chance to tour a factory where USB flash drives are made.
The image above shows a worker populating a set of boards with the flash memory dies. The waffle-grid to the right holds the dies. Each is a tiny glint of a component. The worker is not in a clean room, and is using a bamboo tool to pick up the pieces. [Bunnie] explains that he’s seen the tools before but doesn’t fully comprehend how they work. He figures that the hand-cut manipulator has just the right amount of grab to pick up the die, but will also release it when it touches down on the dot of glue applied to the landing zone on the board.
If you’re into this sort of thing you should check out the PCB factory tour we saw a couple of years back. The article link is dead but the embedded tour…

Leap Motion Delays Shipment of Motion-Sensing Controllers by Two Months

Leap Motion Controller for PCs and Macs Pushed Back to Late July
from X-bit labs

Apple to Disclose Future of iOS and OS X Platforms in June at WWDC

Apple to Break 230-Days Silence at Opening Keynote at WWDC in June
from X-bit labs

Kingston Releases Wireless Reader, Battery Charger for Apple, Android Mobile Devices

Kingston Launches MobileLite Wireless Gadget
from X-bit labs

The Christian Monist on Celestial Dissatisfaction

Note from CM: One of the blogs I turn to regularly is The Christian Monist.  J. Michael Jones always writes interesting and insightful posts, and I want to pass one of them on to you today. Some day I will do some writing about Woody Allen, who has been one of my favorite writers and filmmakers for many years, but today I will pass along what JMJ says about him.
* * *
A Celestial Dis-satisfaction in a Satisfied Pretense . . . Where Mick meets Woody
by John Michael Jones
So here’s the problem. Everything is going great! Life is swell! Honestly. I have all I need. My kids have turned out well. My mother is living longer than the average person. I live in the place I’ve always wanted to live in. My health, while not perfect, is pretty good. I lack nothing. So what am I bitching about?
I’ve tried and I’ve tried but I can’t get no satisfaction. But Woody said it best. He delivered the words that I could not find. While I question his personal choices in life, I admire his candor.
In an interview…

The Disapproval Matrix: a framework with which to understand The Haters

Ann Friedman writes, "In my ongoing quest for the perfect framework for understanding haters, I created The Disapproval Matrix." With Ann's helpful diagram, one can more easily "separate haterade from productive feedback." []

from Boing Boing

Google Now Comes to the iPhone and iPad

iOS: Google has updated its Google Search app to include a bunch of Google Now features, providing live weather and traffic updates, sports team scores, and plenty more.Read more...

from Lifehacker

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Nadia Bolz-Weber: A table in the presence of my enemies

Note from CM: I love it when I hear or read a sermon that stops me in my tracks and wakes me up to the radical love and grace of God in Jesus Christ. Like a bucket of cold water in the face, Nadia Bolz-Weber’s sermon from Good Shepherd Sunday (after a very disturbing week of violence and fear in the U.S.) did that for me. I encourage you to read the entire sermon, but here is its climactic ending, which leads us to the Lord’s Table, desperate for mercy and divine protection.
* * *
…in the 23rd Psalm God does a counterintuitive thing when it comes to our very real fear of enemies. God doesn’t say “Let’s go smite them” and God doesn’t say “Let’s analyze the data ” God says “let’s eat!”
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
I don’t know what to tell you this week. And I…

ODB-II hacking using an Android tablet

What a strange message to read on the digital dashboard display of your car. This is proof that [Kristoffer Smith] was able to control the ODB-II bus on his Eagle Grand Cherokee.
He’s not just doing this for the heck of it. It stems from his goal of adding an Android tablet on the dashboard which has been a popular hack as of late. This left [Kristoffer] with steering wheel controls that did nothing. They originally operated the radio, so he set out to make them control the tablet.
He had seen an Arduino used to control the CAN bus, but decided to go a different route. He grabbed a USB CAN bus interface for around $25. The first order of business was to use it with his computer to sniff the data available. From there he was able to decode the traffic and figure out the commands he needed to monitor. The last piece of the puzzle was to write his own Android code to watch for and react to the steering wheel buttons. You can check out the code at his repository and see the demo after the b…

Extend Your Microsoft Office Trial for Five More Months

Windows: Microsoft offers free 30-day trials of Office 365 and Office 2013. After your free month is over, you won't be able to use some major features of these office suites. One little-known secret, however, is you can actually extend your trial five times, for total of 180 days of use.Read more...

from Lifehacker