Recent news followup


Last week we talked about a single rumored arrest over the OiNK torrent tracker. Since then, there’s been a confirmed report of 6 arrests. The arrests appear to be the result of users uploading pre-release music to the now defunct site. For some time, police have had access to the OiNK user records minus the passwords which are thought to be stored as a salted MD5 hash. It seems British authorities can force these individuals to reveal passwords under something called the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

The Phoenix Mars Lander (pictured above) has found what might be a large piece of ice directly underneath it. This week the lander will scoop up a sample, melt its contents and test the various gases it releases. Twitter users can watch the mission’s progress in semi real time by following the MarsPhonix account. Lastly it looks like the official website for this mission was defaced through a SQL injection attack.

We already reported the world’s largest GPS drawing as a hoax. It has however inspired a few to look closer at the concept of position based art and others have already created authentic works. Our friends over at BoingBoing even made a little flash application to create your own “Unimpressive GPS Art“. Upon hearing of the hoax we were quick to draw up a brand new proposal for DHL using Google maps.

Parasitic power devices


Aside from having a very cool name, parasitic power is an innovate way to recapture already spent power. This power can come in the form of wasted heating or cooling of a building for example. Last week the Southern Methodist University activated the first commercial Green Machine from ElectraTherm. The unit recycles residual heat from the building into electricity. So far, the 50kW Green Machine has exceeded expectations. The company also says owners can recoup the units cost after about three years.

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This week in (our) history


Time to look way back into the Hackaday archives, well back to 2005 at least. This is a new feature to follow up and revisit some of our favorite projects of the past. Our first installment includes the week of May 24-31 2005.

Pictured above we see one of the amazing cable braiding machines from UK based Cobra Machinery. This link was found on a post about creating your own high end speaker wires from cat5 cable. At the time we hoped to find a DIY braiding machine. No such luck today but we did come across and interesting site in the process. diyAudoProjects has a ton of great how to guides for all things audio. They even have a few walkthroughs for creating your own speaker wires.

We looked at the robotic dexterous hand from The Shadow Robot Company. Browsing through their high rez image gallery its pretty clear to see the product has been progressing nicely: 24 degrees of freedom complete with force feedback and a GPL based software package.

Three years ago we covered the Nokia 770 internet appliance and it’s upcoming SDK. The device has now been replaced by the Nokia N810 (pictured on the right). However, open source support from Nokia has continued to develop. We found a blog from software developer Ari Jaaksi where he talks about Nokia’s involvement in the community. Recently he discussed the latest news from MAEMO, the platform used for open source development of Nokia internet tablets and other Linux-based devices.

Alternative 3D controllers


There are several very nice 3D mice out there for navigating services like Google Earth or Second Life. 3Dconnexion for example makes a whole line of devices for 3D navigation. Their compact units offer 6-8 degrees of freedom with several customizable options. The company has an SDK available and many of their devices are natively compatible with Linux (or available for access through an XInput driver). So while that is all well and great, lets look at some alternative ways people are navigating 3D spaces.

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Upcoming convention roundup


Lots of con news is coming in these days so lets do a quick roundup of upcoming events:

REcon
June 13-15, 2008
Montreal, Canada

REcon has started posting information about their training sessions such as the Advanced Reverse Engineering session with Nicolas Brulez.

The Last HOPE
July 18-20, 2008
New York City

The Last HOPE just announced its speaker list. It includes the infamous Kevin Mitnick, Mythbusters co-host Adam Savage, and author Steven Levy to name a few.

DEFCON 16
August 8-10, 2008
Las Vegas

The DEFCON team also released the first batch of speakers for this year’s convention. Qualification starts tonight at 10PM EST for the capture the flag (CTF) contest so be sure to get registered. Check the txt for more information. We recently talked about the beverage cooling contraption contest, but you can find many other contests on the forums.

The integrated desk


Since it happens to be the day after a nice holiday break, many of us are finding ourselves back in front of our desk once again. Perhaps some of you never left it the entire weekend. In any case, it seems fitting to take a look at a few interesting integrated desks we’ve come across lately. Follow through after the break to see our favorites.

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