Wifi Robot : a hacked WRT54GL rover

hacked wrt54gl on radio controlled truck
[Jon Bennett] sent us this link to his Wifi Robot. After playing with a Linksys WRT54GL router, he was inspired to build something that would utilize this embedded Linux system. Using a thrift store R/C truck, he built a wireless robot rover. This thing can be controlled over the internet, or by laptop with a range of about 500 meters.

The router has been modified to have 2 Serial ports and a 1GB SD Card. It connects to a micro controller, which could be an Arduino or AVR Butterfly. He has supplied information for both. The truck has been mostly gutted, leaving only the chassis and electronics. He had to beef up some of the truck electronics when they fried under the load. The entire unit is powered by a pair of 7.2 Volt 3800 mAh battery packs. The most important thing on the list though, is the horn. You can honk the horn while you are driving this thing around.

The site supplies tons of information including pictures of his build, videos of it in action, speed tests, schematics, software downloads, and resource links. Great job [Jon].

Security flaw allows full access to locked iPhones

[greenmymac] on the MacRumors forums recently exposed a security flaw that allows anyone full access to a locked iPhone running firmware version 2.0.2. The flaw works by entering the emergency call menu of a locked iPhone, and double tapping the home button. This opens the iPhone’s Favorites menu, allowing anyone in your Favorites to be called. From here, an attacker has access to your SMS messages and potentially your email or Safari browser. While we are sure that Apple has a patch for this flaw on the way in the next firmware update, there is a temporary way to secure your locked iPhone. Simply enter the Settings menu on your iPhone and enter General > Home Button and select “Home” or “iPod”. Now when you double tap your home button, it will navigate to either your home screen or the iPod screen. While this fix might be annoying for some, as of right now it seems like the only way to secure your locked iPhone.

[photo: Refracted Moments™]

[via Gizmodo]

Ubiquity, a browser command line

During the last day the web has been abuzz about Mozilla Labs’ Ubiquity. It’s an addon for Firefox that can help you streamline how you get things done on the web. In the example above, they show constructing an email with a map and reviews using mostly keyboard driven input. The addon is quick to install and we think you’ll find it saving you a lot of time on tasks you’d normally hit the search box for. In the popup, you can do quick Wikipedia lookups, define words, translate, perform calculations, and many other operations. You can email a page to someone by just typing three words. The best part is: anyone can write a command that will expand Ubiquity’s function. Greasemonkey helped fix broken websites and we think Ubiquity will help make interactions between sites much easier. We can’t wait to see what clever uses people come up with.

Quick AVR


[Kyle Stewart] sent us this quick AVR project. He designed it to sit vertically on his breadboard to take up less space. It doesn’t use any surface mount components, to make the assembly easier. You can download the schematic, parts list, and eagle files for the project on his blog.

High school students hacking electronic tests


[Alex Papadimoulis] wrote about ingenuity and hacking in high school. Immediately after the teacher’s installed a new electronic note taking and test giving software, the students began hacking. They managed to find several ways to ace their tests, none of which involved studying hard the night before. Ultimately, the teachers went back to the old system to prevent such shenanigans.

[photo: COCOEN]

Create your own playlist hosting service with Opentape


While Muxtape takes a breather to resolve an issue with the RIAA, Lifehacker has a step by step guide on installing and running Opentape, an open source PHP web application that’s similar to Muxtape. Take matters into your own hands and create your own version of playlist hosting heaven. Since Opentape is open source, you can adapt it and make it an even better application. Maybe your creation will be even more popular than Muxtape… and will lead to the same problems with the RIAA.

Testing IR camera blocking

[randy] from F.A.T. tested the theory that infrared LEDs can actually hide you from the prying eyes of surveillance cameras. We’ve previously covered camouflage, IR, and other suggestions for eluding the cameras, but haven’t taken to sewing stuff onto our clothes yet. [randy] lined his hoodie with high-intensity infrared LEDs, hoping to create a halo effect that would hide his head, and tested his results. Unfortunately, his efforts were unsuccessful. He tested many many different combinations and we’re confident in his conclusion that it would be very hard to make this work.