Every day your eyeballs are assaulted by advertisements on your box of cereal, billboards, t-shirts, magazines, milk cartons, plastered on the side of buses, buildings, bananas, and written in the sky. [Reed], [Jonathan], [Tom], and [Alex] came up with a solution to this: a Brand Killer that censors all the advertisements and brands you see every minute of every day. It’s a real-world adblock that you can build right now.
The team’s system uses a custom head mounted display made from cardboard, goggles, a webcam, and a seven-inch display. The software for the system uses Python and OpenCV to monitor the images from the webcam, compares them against a list of brands and logos, and filters them out with an unobtrusive blur.
Right now the system just has a few brands and logos that include Dr. Pepper, Hershey’s, McDonalds, Facebook, Starbucks, and clear evidence this was built at UPenn, Wawa and Tastykake. In the video below, the detection and tracking of these various brands is very good. The system is also stereoscopic, meaning this is wearable all day, every day, without a loss of depth perception.
Continue reading “Real World AdBlock”
If you’ve been watching very closely you may have noticed that our ads have changed. If you didn’t know we run ads, I’m asking you to consider whitelisting Hackaday.com in your advertisement blocking browser plugin.
The plan to transition to advertisements which are more targeted for our interests was mentioned back in July, when Hackaday was purchased by SupplyFrame, I say ‘our’ interests because the companies who have signed up so far are ones with which I have personally done business when hacking my own projects. These include the manufacturers: Atmel, Microchip, NXP, and Texas Instruments as well as distributors: Arrow Electronics, Element 14, Mouser, and RS Components. The ads are in the exact same places as they have always been, at the same size, with the core belief that on-page advertising should be entirely unobtrusive. If you find the ads to be otherwise, please do let us know about it (screenshots are helpful!).
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There’s nothing quite as annoying as seeing bandwidth wasted on unimpressive flash animations, irrelevant ads, and animated GIFs. The bad news is these ads are the sole source of income for a lot of your favorite websites – Hackaday included. The good news is you can turn these ads off with a Raspberry Pi, a WiFi adapter, and a little bit of fun in the terminal.
This build creates a wireless access point with a WiFi adapter plugged in to a Raspberry Pi. With an Ethernet cable plugged in, this effectively turns the Raspi into a wireless router.
To configure the software to block ads, it’s a simple matter of installing dnsmasq from the command line and making sure all the ads on your favorite webpages time out. This means a fairly big hit on the performance of your new DIY router, but with the installation of Pixelserv you can host a 1-pixel transparent GIF image that replaces all the ads and renders them invisible.
It’s a great project if you don’t like watching ads on your PS3, XBox, tablet, or other non-PC Internetting device. If people stealing your wireless connection is a problem, it shouldn’t be hard to make every image upside down or blurry for those rogue WiFi pirates.