How NOT to make ground-hugging fog

Poor [Todd Harrison] spent all of Saturday and Sunday trying to make some ground-hugging fog for his Halloween decor. His fog machine hack turned out to be an utter failure. But he admits it and reports that he still had a lot of fun. Don’t feel bad [Todd], this happens to everyone from time to time. And anyone that has doubts about [Todd's] skills need not look very far to find out that he does know what he’s doing.

The project started off with a theater-style fog machine. The problem is that this fills a room with a thin foggy-haze that doesn’t take shape outdoors. He wanted that ankle-deep graveyard effect and had seen several examples online that use a fog-machine with a bucked of dry ice. He though he’d just use his own bucket full of regular ice and salt water. Inside the bucket seen above there is a 15′ coil of copper tubing through which the fog machine’s output is passed. On the other side of the bucket there’s a plastic tube that goes to a sheet of plastic meant to distribute the cooled fog.

The problem here is that the fog machine puts out a hot mist. When it hits the ice bath the mist condenses into liquid form and that’s the end of the fog. As he attests in the video after the break, the dry-ice fog hack isn’t pumping out fog. It’s just using the heated steam to pump out carbon-dioxide vapor boiling off of the dry ice.

[Read more...]

Robotic Schadenfreude – quadrotor blooper reel

quadrotor_fail

While quadrotors might just become the killing machines of choice some time in the future, we’re pretty sure it will be awhile before they run amok and wipe humans off the face of the planet, if the following video is any indication.

The team over at UPenn’s GRASP Lab film everything they do when it comes to quadrotors for posterity’s sake. When your awesome job consists of directing quadrotors through all sorts of acrobatic hijinks however, mistakes are going to happen. Thankfully, the team doesn’t keep these a secret, and while we’re typically wowed by what these flying machines can do, it’s also pretty fun to see them fail in such spectacular fashion.

If you have a spare minute, kick back, fire up the video, and enjoy the mechanical mayhem that ensues. We certainly sleep better at night knowing that while these things are awesome, a well-placed hula hoop is all it takes to ensure continued human supremacy.

[Read more...]

And we’re back

Several of you were rather angry with us yesterday for our competition. Those not in the loop, our email competition@hackaday.com was not correctly configured and no body could send in their entries!

But have no fear, we have fixed the problem and now you can send in your guesses. To remedy the situation we have decided to extend the competition until 10AM PST Monday the 1st of February, 2010. We will announce the winner (so long as nothing else fails) Monday afternoon. So what are you doing here still reading? Time is wasting – go win some tickets!

Cheap and flimsy PC case provides no protection

computer-case-provides-no-protection

[Rafael] tipped us off about a “case mod” he completed for his PC. The email he sent provides no details and the link just shows five pictures of his computer in a “dead file” container (we’re guessing he doesn’t want to be an Internet sensation). What we get out of this is that he took a corrugated plastic box meant to house old files on shelves, and thew a set of computer parts inside of it.

This would be a great hack if [MacGyver] needed a computer to defuse a ticking bomb while trapped inside of a room built completely out of metal. The plastic provides protection from shorting out the motherboard but, other than low cost, that’s the only upside of this hack.

The downside here is obvious, there’s no protection from physical damage. In fact, a good bump might flex the box enough to slam the motherboard into the PSU housing. And what’s with the external WiFi fob? We could understand the point of this a bit better if it could blend in with a rack of archived files in the back room.

We give this one an ‘A’ for creativity, a ‘B-‘ for execution, and an ‘F’ for longevity. This should have been built in an acrylic case sized to fit perfectly in the yellow plastic box. But what does your unorthodox PC case look like? Let us know by sending in a tip.

Pwnie Award Nominees 2009

The Pwnie Awards are an annual event at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. They award the Golden Pwnie in a variety of categories: mass 0wnage, most innovative research, most overhyped bug, most epic FAIL, and our favorite: Best Song. Embedded above is [Paco Hope]‘s 50 Ways to Inject Your SQL. While a strong entry, it doesn’t touch last year’s winner Kaspersky & Me: “Packin’ The K!”.

Hack a Day Fail Contest Winner

We had a lot of entries for our Fail contest; there can only be one winner though. We liked [Gordon LaPlante]‘s entry pictured above most of all. It’s big, it’s broken, and it’s black and white; that certainly sounds like us. [Gordon] wins $100 worth of No Starch Press merchandise.

There were plenty of other honorable entries. You can view them in the Hack a Day Flickr photo pool. We saw a couple themes emerge during the contest and have highlighted some of them after the break. [Read more...]

Hack a Day Fail Whale Contest

We’re back! There may be a bit of oddness for the next few days. Our Fail Whale contest is still running and we’ve received over 100 entries so far. Here’s how you can participate:

While we’re adding more hamsters to our server power plant we thought we’d hold a little art contest. Whenever Twitter goes down, they post the iconic Fail Whale. The Fail Whale has become so popular that it has spawned a dedicated blog and many many art projects: embroidery, tattoos, and laser cut models.

We want to see what you think Hack a Day failure looks like. Create an illustration, photo, sculpture, anything that you think embodies Hack a Day failing. Send your entries to hackaday.fail@gmail.com and add them to the Hack a Day photo pool. The prize is $100 for you to spend in the No Starch Press store. Entries are due 00:00PDT Saturday September 6th 2008.

[image: Bjonnh]

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