WarBallooning at Defcon

[rocketman] has posted about a new event at Defcon dubbed WarBallooning. They are using a Kismet drone (a modified WRT54G), a webcam, and a few high gain antennas. The balloon will be launched at about 15 stories and will be remotely fed targets chosen directly by the Defcon participants. The the directional antenna will be mounted to the camera so pan and tilt can be controlled. The Kismet CSV files will be available for everyone after the event.

If you are interested in WarDriving or building you own high-gain antennas, we suggest you check out this WiFi biquad dish antenna mounted on a car. If cars are too boring, or you do not have one, you could always go WarSailing or WarFlying. Yes, the permutations are endless.

[photo: JoergHL]

Esquire’s hackable e-paper display


In celebration of there 75th year, Esquire magazine’s October issue will feature an e-paper cover. The display will be about 3mm thick flexible paper with four shades of gray and some animated text and images. The backside will also have a display featuring a Ford ad for the new Flex. The Ford ad is essentially subsidizing this whole production. The cover isn’t finalized yet, but Boing Boing Gadgets was able to get a few more details about it from deputy editor [Peter Griffin]. The battery isn’t anything exotic and they fully expect people to break the device open and do what they want with it. It will unfortunately still require you building your own controller, but at least you get two revolutionary displays to play with for the cost of a magazine. If you’re wondering what Esquire is, they apparently showed George Clooney 2 Girls 1 Cup. So they’ve got that to celebrate too.

Robot red snapper


Engineers at the University of Kitakyushu have built this red snapper robot. Intended for wildlife surveys, this robot sports an array of sensors as well as a hand painted silicon body. It is decidedly more realistic looking than the Robofish and the Essex University robot fish. They say that the life like construction will aid in getting information about natural behavior of sea animals since it won’t stand out. It features a “unique” propulsion system that allows it to swim like a real fish. More information on that system would be nice. You can see more pictures of it here, but the descriptions are all in Japanese.

[Read more...]

Bubbloo interactive floor display


Bubbloo is an interactive display at the Denver Art Museum. They appear to be embracing a more interactive approach to displaying some of their art and information. One of their displays, shown above, features a pair of projection systems working together to make a game. As you pop the bubbles, the artwork is displayed. You can see it definitely helps keep the kids amused.

While the technology used isn’t exactly new, its a good example of how effective interactive displays can be. Even if they are just there to distract the kids so the parents can look at art.

The floor projection systems don’t seem as though they would be that difficult to make. We’ve seen interactive projection displays using Wiimotes made in peoples homes, but what about one of these? How would you handle the input without an accessory like a light pen or reflective tape? The Wisdom Well uses Frustrated Total Internal Reflection and rear projection. Reactrix, a manufacturer of these systems uses infrared sensors as well as some kind of floor sensor. [Lawrence Lau] has made one, but didn’t post any information. If you make one and let us know.

Teenager invents vehicular antitheft system


We are very inspired by the story of [Morris Mbetsa], an 18-year-old Kenyan who’s invented the “Block & Track”, an antitheft and tracking system for vehicles that’s phone-based. [Mbetsa] has no formal training, but he’s been a lifelong inventor and tinkerer. [Mbetsa] combined voice, DTMF, and SMS text messaging technologies with cellphone based services to allow the owner to control the vehicle’s electrical system remotely. The owner, using his cellphone, can take control of the ignition, and disable it at any time. Other features include the ability to lock the car remotely, and the capability of dialing into the car and listening in on any conversations taking place within the vehicle. [Mbetsa] is currently looking for funding to take his invention to the next level; we’re eager to see what he’ll come up with next.

[via Digg]

Nintendo Entertainment System hacks


MetaFilter has a nice roundup of various NES hacks. You might have seen these before, but it’s great to see them all in one place. Our personal favorite is the NES in an NES cartridge, and who could forget the NES controller coffee table? Don’t forget to check the comments for more interesting NES hacks. We think there’s just something about the original Nintendo Entertainment System that inspires people to go all out with creativity and playfulness. We’re willing to bet that you probably have an old system at home gathering dust, just waiting to be modded and hacked. We’d love to hear what you have done, or will do to it.

Shell case your flash drive


[Aki] sent in his collection of projects. We like his bullet shell cased USB flash drive and his take on our friend, the simple parallel port based logic analyzer. The flash drive uses a B style USB connector, mounted inside a big freakin’ bullet shell. The logic analyzer is the classic version, but uses a rather nice unix compatible piece of software that supports up to 1mhz sampling rates.

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