TI-nspire hacked

The regulars at the United T1 forums keep them coming, this time hacking the Texas Instruments Nspire graphing calculator. We enjoy seeing the exploits that unlock the backend of these types of devices. The difference this time is that the hacking continues even though Texas Instruments has shown that it intends to protect the security of their devices using the DMCA. The Nspire thread linked above discusses the DMCA concerns just a bit but it seems obvious to us that running your own code falls under the umbrella of the act. The exploit package hasn’t yet been posted, but if you want it make sure you check back regularly before the take-down order comes in from TI.

[Thanks Iceman]

Trailer side indicator lights

[Imsolidstate] is working to add side turn signals to a trailer. These orange clearance lights are illuminated when the vehicle’s headlights are on to increase a long trailer’s visibility. They also blink along with the turn signals on the back of the trailer. A standard 6-pin lighting harness doesn’t support this functionality so the trick is to add them without altering the towing vehicle in any way. He’s using an ATtiny24 microprocessor to interpret the logic from the vehicle and then translate the turn signal and tail light data into a signal for the additional side indicators.

Meat smoker from 55gal drums

[Joel] wanted to use his newly acquired welding skills to make something useful. With tasty flesh in mind he put together this meat smoker. What resulted is incredible, but the fact that he then gave it away as a gift is just amazing.

A curved joint between two pipes is known as a ‘fish mouth’. They can be a hassle, as with the pirate wheel project, but [Joel] used his noggin to make things easier. He first modeled two 55 gallon drums in CAD. The intersecting curve was then generated by the software, printed out on paper, and stenciled on the drum to be cut out with a jigsaw.

[Joel's] writeup is greatly detailed and shares many pictures. He makes every part of this smoker, including the wood handles and the stainless steel grates. The guy really knows how to build stuff, but we should have known that after seeing the Crushtoberfest.

Nexus One rooted

You know it’s getting a bit ridiculous when hardware that hasn’t hit the streets is being rooted. That’s exactly what has happened, root access can now be achieved on the Nexus One. [Paul] found an exploit and packaged it nicely so that anyone can do it. We do wish he had shared the details of the exploit but we’re not complaining.

If you’re not in the know, the Nexus One is the fabled Google Phone now come to life. It’s slated for release in 2010 and some think that will be officially unveiled at a January 5th press conference. That’s right, unveiled. The device has been cracked yet it doesn’t officially exist. What it does do is join a growing number of rooted android phones.

[via Gizmodo]

Twitter based Christmas ornaments update

When we introduced you to the Twitter Christmas tree ornaments, sadly we had very little information about the project. Luckily [Rob] made contact and clued us in on the inner workings. It even turns out we were wrong about the usage of Arduinos! We invite you to check out all the juicy inner workings after the break.
[Read more...]

Pinball build throws down the gauntlet

[Jeri Ellsworth] is building her own pinball machine. Her build log is delivered in the form of daily videos that walk through the progress. In addition to seeing the intricate ramps, traps, and controllers she outlines her build techniques. These include reproducing parts based on old pinball machines and bending acrylic with a custom tool or a toaster oven.

The driver she’s planning to use is an Altera FPGA with a bunch of FETs to control the heavy-load components. There’s not a ton of info on the actual electronics but we had a heck of a fun time looking at the creative field components. Our favorite by far is the television from Day 7. The screen is translucent with a rear projected image. When the ramp in front of it is raised the pinball can be jumped right through the screen!

We couldn’t find a project page for this but we’ve embedded [Jeri's] videos after the break. [Read more...]

CoffeeScript: like aspirin for JavaScript

CoffeeScript is a language that compiles down into JavaScript. “But why? JavaScript is so simple?” Bullcorn.

If you don’t use JavaScript everyday the language is wonky and frustrating. When you need quick snippet of Javascript to build into a page you may know how to do it with three or four different languages but struggle with the touchy syntax that has long given developers headaches.

Give CoffeeScript a try, you’ll like it. If you do, give them a hand with development too.

[via @hornbeck]

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