Cheap wireless for microcontrollers

hr_RF_circuit

Everybody loves microcontrollers, including the Arduino, allowing you to create whatever you imagine. That is unless you want to hack together something wireless. Originally you had to rely on the expensive XBee protocol or other wireless options, but no longer. Hobby Robotics found an extremely cheap transmitter and receiver and wrote a quick guide for wiring them up to an Arduino. Now your wireless projects can come to life, as long as you are within 500 feet and don’t mind 2400bps; minor trade offs compared to the gains of wireless freedom. Final note: You aren’t limited to Arduino, we would love to see someone modify this to work with a PIC or other microcontroller.

Lego iPod hacking robot

800px-Nanotron-3000-farthen-1

The Linux4nano project has been working to port the Linux kernel onto the iPod Nano along with other iPods in general. Although the iPodLinux project has had luck with some older iPods, newer models protect firmware updates with encryption. One of the ways they plan on running code on the device is through a vulnerability in the notes program; it causes the processor to jump to a specific instruction and execute arbitrary code. To take advantage of this, they first need to figure out where their injected code ends up in the memory. Currently, they are testing every memory location by painstakingly loading in a bogus note and recording its effect. Each note takes about a minute to test and they have tens of thousands of addresses to check over several devices.

[Read more...]

Your music in Rock Band 2

reaperrockband_t

[Peter Kirn] over at Create Digital Music takes an in depth look at the process of adding your own music to Rock Band 2. This involves using REAPER audio production software, uploading your work via the XNA Creators’ Club, and then playing the fresh track on an Xbox 360. Both REAPER and the XNA Club cost money, and the total price comes out somewhere between $100-$160. The process is now in closed beta but a wider beta is expected in September followed by a full release in October.

Bokode, a new barcode

teaser

The MIT Camera Culture Group utilized Bokeh, an effect where the lens is purposely placed out of focus, in order to vastly improve current 2D barcode technology. Dubbed Bokode, the team claims that an off the shelf camera can read data 2.5 microns from a distance of over 4 meters, compared to today’s average barcode reader’s maximum distance of only a foot or so. What looks most interesting is the ability to produce a smoother and more accurate distance and angle calculations (relative to the camera): allowing for a better augmented reality. It also seems to be more secure than traditional 2D barcodes, that is of course until the hacker community gets a hold of it.

[Thanks Talin]

C64 Visual Debugger

c64ICU

Root Labs wrote about ICU64, a Commodore 64 emulator with a couple unusual features. The most special of these is the ability to show the entire working RAM of the system. Each RAM address lights up when accessed. The user can also zoom in or change the values at each address if they want. This sounds complicated, but the demo videos demonstrate the power of these abilities. This would also serve as a great primer on lower-level code’s memory management. Unfortunately [mathfigure], the author of ICU64, hasn’t released this out to the public yet, but should be released soon.

ICU64 has been released!

[thanks to mathfigure for following up with this]

Videos after the jump.

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Ubuntu developer week

ubuntu_dev_week4

Next week, August 31 through September 4, is Ubuntu Developer Week. If you’ve always wanted to help out with an open source project but didn’t know how to get into it, this is your chance. The week consists of 25 one-hour sessions held interactively through IRC and led by some of the best of the Ubuntu development team. Participate in as many or as few sessions as you want. Check out the Ubuntu Developer Week page or their fancy brochure (PDF) for more information.

Want to see what it’s all about before committing to a live session? You can view the IRC logs from the January sessions. In addition to ‘Getting Started’, you may find the ‘Packaging 101′ and ‘Launchpad Bug Tracking’ session notes interesting.

Center brake light LED retrofit

brake_light_retrofit

[Matt] wanted to increase the intensity of the center brake light on his car. The factory installed light uses a 20w incandescent bulb and although aftermarket LED replacements are available, he decided to take the retrofit on himself. Using the Fresnel lens from the light assembly as protoboard, he mounted a row of 10mm LEDs along with their current limiting resistors. He then broke the glass from the original bulb, removed the filament, and soldered directly to the two electrodes. This way the bulb socket can still be used to connect to the car’s electrical system.

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