Hack a Day goes autonomous


After declaring our independence last fall, complete site autonomy seemed like the next logical step. Using some clever coding we have developed a system that will let Hack a Day run without any intervention. The first layer in this system is topic selection. All tip line submissions are sent through a series of filters. These look for keywords like “firmware”, “POV”, “microcontroller”, “video”, “linux”, “WRT”, “GPS”, “PCB”, “TLA”. Each submission is given a l33tness ranking based on these words and the best tip is immediately thrown away. The second highest link is then passed through our advanced anti-duping engine that confirms the link hasn’t been posted in the last week. The post text is generated using Markov chains in what top scientists suspect is a miracle. The story is then automatically cut and pasted into Digg without credit. To foster discussion the reader comments are automatically seeded with “first post” and “this is not a hack” on every post. This system is implemented using a large quantity of duct tape (code and literal) on our brand new Linksys WRT54G beowulf cluster. We hope this system serves you well. We’ve been working on an “auto-hacking robot” to generate how-tos as well, but on its test run it instinctively disassembled itself.

Related news: Team Hack a Day merges with Team Engadget
[photo credit]


  1. DanielG says:

    Thank god it’s not april first, ohw wait.

  2. I’m not a big fan of April fools day, but I thought you folks might enjoy this. It also gave me an excuse to link to the forum.

  3. inkdrinker says:

    OMGz 3rd post this is no hack 1 star.

  4. mr dan says:

    OMG I must submit this to Digg !

  5. mr dan says:

    I noticed :(

    I only just got this on the RSS even though it’s dated over an hour ago….hmmm…

  6. monster says:

    i love how it says it throws out the best hack. that is genius.

  7. hackattack says:

    nice one, caught me off guard since it’s well into 2/4 in my corner of the world :-)

  8. Tired2 says:

    very nice, i love the part about “this is not a hack” and “first post”… some people…

  9. JIMMYD says:

    Great post! Excellent April 1st goodness, brought to you by Hackaday.

  10. OrbnLgnd says:

    why not call the team HackNgaget?

  11. tiuk says:

    great gag ;)

  12. Surya says:

    Are we hack-a-dayers supposed to fall for this? this is insulting, really.

  13. Saf says:

    lol this april fool suxed kinda, you coulda come out with summit bout a crazy Japanese genoius making a life size godzilla, and then it went on a rampage downtown Tokyo, that is till the police tripped it over an it broke etc. Then linked it to a picture of sumone getting owned :D, those who wouldn’t get the joke would be living in fear of godzilla, the rest would had a nice laugh.

    Like the borg cube you used in the pic though :).

  14. jfh says:

    “nice one, caught me off guard since it’s well into 2/4 in my corner of the world :-)”

    February 4th? :P

    I personally like April 1st jokes. I especially like ones that are clearly fake and make fun of whoever made the joke (so this one gets two thumbs up I guess). :)

  15. furtim says:

    Dude, this is not a hack!

    Also: first post! Yeah! Suck it!

    P.s.: Still not a hack.

  16. timj says:

    hmm, I too only just got this over the rss feed. great joke though, it had me up until the second line…

  17. wingman358 says:

    “15. Posted Apr 1, 2006, 11:36 PM ET by jfh


    February 4th? :P”

    The date is written day/month, you idiot.

  18. Hawkeye says:

    USA is about the only place that writes their dates (illogically) month day, most everyone else writes it day month year or some other more logical (ascending or descending) way.

  19. xYBER411 says:

    Umm, just so you know, in different areas of the world they put month/day/year in different orders… not everyone is from the USA (though i wish they were)

  20. Stephen says:

    @hawkeye Well this may be true but here in the US we have….we have…we have…a National Do not call Registry, and some other stuff…fat people?

    o ya and this is not a hack

  21. IMWeasel says:

    Great. Now hackaday is going to be just like Slashdot. :)

  22. jfh says:

    “The date is written day/month, you idiot.”

    Well, no shit! It was a *joke* (about me being used to Ameridate and not Eurodate, naturally), hence the “:P”.

  23. Our digg-autoplagiarism system seems to be working well: http://digg.com/mods/Multicolored_ethernet_controlled_LED_lamp

  24. psp.boy says:

    Best way to write the date is YYYY.MM.DD – looks / makes most sense if you arrange files by name in a folder.

  25. ben says:

    It’s not helping with geting better hacks. all the hacks suck.

  26. Your blog is awesome! I found it on Yahoo searching for repairing my xbox and couldn’t resist reading it. You have some good tips here. Thanks for posting!

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