Peek email reader teardown

[morcheeba], who you should remember from CVS camera hacking, picked up a Peek and took some pictures while tearing it down. The Peek is a $100 QWERTY device with a simple OS designed only to check email. The device is being sold by T-Mobile with a $19.95/mo data plan. There’s nothing too spectacular to see other than 16MB of flash memory and a TI OMAP processor.

[via Make]

Wii backup ISO loader

The video above shows a new Wii backup loader that’s in development. It works via the easy to use Homebrew Channel we covered previously. From the news post it seems you have to rip the original game disc and then patch it before burning the copy. No release date has been set. As Nintendo Wii Fanboy put it, there’s much more interesting things to do with homebrew than wait for this to be released.

Flickr photo bike

Lifehacker’s [Gina Trapani] has one of Flickr’s photo bikes and wrote up how it works. As you ride, the bike automatically takes photographs, geotags them, and uploads them to Flickr. The handlebar unit contains a Nokia N95 cellphone. The rear is a solar powered charging unit. It has a custom python script that starts the photo taking sequence when it detects the bike is in motion using the phone’s accelerometer.

Most of the engineering seems to be for usability’s sake. We’re guessing they probably wanted to disguise that they’re bolting a $600 cellphone to a bike as well. Out of the box the Nokia N95 already does almost everything required. It has a 5 megapixel camera with an interval timer that can vary from 10 seconds to 30 minutes. It supports Flickr uploading, but with software like ShoZu you can streamline the geotagging and make all uploads automatic. Just build a solid mount for your N95 and you’ve pretty much got it, and when you park your bike you can take the phone with you.

Apple finally fixes DNS bug

With today’s release of Security Update 2008-006 Apple has finally addressed this summer’s DNS bug. In their previous update they fixed BIND, but that only affects people running servers. Now, they’ve updated mDNSResponder. Clients are no longer susceptible to DNS cache poisoning attacks thanks to the inclusion of source port randomization.

The Security Update addresses some other interesting bugs. Time Machine was saving sensitive logs without using the proper permissions, so any user could view them.

[photo: edans]

Top 10 greatest hacks of all time, according to PC Magazine

PC Magazine has published their top 10 greatest hacks of all time.  Seriously, just ten *eyeroll. It is fairly cute though and there are a few interesting tidbits.  Most notably, [Ben Heckendorn] made the list with one of his portable units. We’re a bit surprised that they didn’t choose the fantastic work he did on the one handed controller, since it could actually help people play who previously couldn’t.

Parts: Tactile switches for your next project

Electronics parts can be a pain to choose. It’s often hard to tell from manufacturers’ datasheets if a part will fit your design. We auditioned six different tactile switches to find a cheap button to use in upcoming projects. A tactile switch, also called a momentary button or push-to-make switch, is commonly used for input and microcontroller resets. This type of button creates a temporary electrical connection when pressed.

Footprints for most of these buttons are available in the Cadsoft Eagle library switch-tac, or in the Sparkfun parts library under TAC_SWITCH. Buttons in the image above are discussed from left to right. [Read more...]

LED random blinking mood lighting

What is it about pseudo random flashing LEDs that make us go gaga?  We don’t know, but there’s definitely something there. [seligtobiason] has this obsession too.  After seeing several more complicated projects, he created this elegant, simple, and cheap piece of art. The entire thing is pretty much just some flashing LEDs, some resistors, and a power supply.  It really isn’t anything groundbreaking, but the effort and cost involved are tiny compared to some other similar projects.  sure, it doesn’t synchronize over time based on input like the firefly project.   But for a quick cheap project, the results are quite nice.

We would put one in our home, right next to the node blinky.

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