RGB LED cylinder

[Dave Clausen] from NYC Resistor sent in his open source RGB LED cylinder. We have seen many cubes in the past (even one that display low-res 3D video) so a cylinder is certainly a new concept and the RGB LEDs are a nice upgrade. The LEDs are wired in a 5-way multiplexed grid using four TLC5940NTs (16 channel LED drivers with internal PWM hardware) so each light is individually addressable. The best thing about this project, of course, is that he has source and EAGLE schematics availbale for download and both are licensed under Creative Commons.

[via NYC Resistor]

Boxee available for Ubuntu


The Boxee blog has recently announced that they have finally released a Linux version. So far, only Ubuntu 7.10 through 8.04 support is available. We covered Boxee when they released their alpha version a few months ago. One of the unique things we found about it was the added social layer that allows the user to share their viewing and listening information on various social networking sites.

This XBMC based media streamer has won a lot of praise lately and we are excited to finally see it step into the Linux platform. Up until now, Boxee was strictly run on OSX 10.5 and thus bound to Apple’s hardware configurations. Once they get a stable version running, it will be extremely easy for anyone to build a media streamer from an old PC with various hardware configurations.

Adeona: An open source laptop tracking system


Adeona is an open source internet-based laptop tracking system that is free to use. It’s available for Linux, OSX, and Windows XP/Vista. After installation, Adeona will submit at random intervals, anonymously encrypted updates on the computer’s location to servers on the Internet, specifically to OpenDHT, a free storage service. The information is kept on the servers for one week. If your laptop becomes lost or stolen, you can use the retrieval tool to access information about where your laptop was last used: the external IP address, internal IP address, and nearby routers. If your laptop is a Mac, you can also download isightcapture to grab a picture of the thief. Adeona is designed to protect against common criminals who may not have much technological knowledge, and does not have any protections against events such as disk wipes. The open source nature of Adeona’s system means that there’s ample opportunity to improve upon the release or add extensions. Here’s one user who really likes what he sees.

[via Schneier]

Five plugins and tips to secure your WordPress blog


How do you protect your own blog from getting hacked? There’s never a foolproof answer, but with some added tools and caution, you can make your website a little safer from getting into harm’s way. Cats Who Code has five plug-ins and tips you can use to protect your WordPress install. Some of the tips are common sense advice that can apply to anything related to technology – such as making backups often and using strong passwords. Others include suggested plugins that can help you verify whether your WordPress install has any security holes, or small tricks to hide the version of WordPress you’re using. Do you have any useful plugins or tricks to share to keep your blog safe from hackers?

[via Digg]

Honeybike: bicycle thief honeypot


[liseman] decided to build a honeypot for bicycle thieves. He mounted a pay as you go cell phone and a gutted stun gun inside a water bottle. When the phone is dialed, the stun gun is activated thanks to a tap on the vibration motor inside the phone. He also installed some tracking software on the phone so the bike can be traced when stolen.
Location of the stun gun probes depends on certain assumptions: will the thief ride off on the bike, or simply toss it in the back of a truck. (Check your local laws if you’re contemplating doing this yourself.)

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