Control your tree from anywhere

We honestly never thought we would see an internet controlled Christmas tree before, sure maybe a remote controlled claw or online soccer robots, but a tree? Regardless, team [Schwippy] did just that. 5 separate sets of lights are connected to 5 individual x10 modules. The x10s are listening over the household’s AC lines for commands from a server in the other room, with its own x10. At about 12$ a module, the project can get expensive quick, totalling over 200$ for [Schwippy’s] setup. Just to control a tree, but anything to spread the holiday cheer, right?
[Thanks Yon]

Server not as think as you drunk it is

server-in-whiskey-bottle

[Janos] pulled off a unique case mod by fitting a computer system inside of a whiskey bottle. Inside you’ll find a 733MHz processor, 256MB of ram, a 40GB hard drive, and a 60 watt power supply. The specs seem a little light but since this mod is from 2006 we certainly understand. Using the right server software this will still keep up with today’s demands.

It sounds like the hardest part was putting holes in the bottle. After a few failed attempts, [Janos] found a professional glass grinder to cut the openings for him.

The whole thing was running a little hot and instead of filling the bottle with oil (oh, how we wish he had) he added a second fan in the bottle’s neck and drilled some air intake holes. This brought the temperature under control while preserving the boozy look of this creative enclosure.

[via Lifehacker]

Eee PC NAS

eeePC NAS

Hack a Day reader [The_Glu] shared with us a project of his. He used an Eee PC 701 he had lying around with a broken LCD, along with three 1TB SATA drives to create a custom NAS server for his house. The server features a number of other interesting components, including USB2SATA converters to connect the hard drives, as well as a 2 line LCD to display RAID information and server status. The entire  project is wrapped up in a custom made Plexiglas enclosure with case fans to keep the whole thing cool. While this may not be the first Eee PC NAS, or the fastest, this is a wonderful way to repurpose a broken netbook. We also love the idea of netbooks being used more and more in projects like these as the first generation reaches its end of usefulness age. More pictures after the break.

Thanks [The_Glu]

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Hackit: SheevaPlug

plugserv

A few months ago, we introduced the SheevaPlug, a 1.2GHz ARM processor with 512Mb of RAM, 2 usb ports, an ethernet port, and an SD card slot. In that article, we asked: “What would you do with one?”. We received tons of responses, 118 comments and counting. Scientific American had a similar idea and asked some “hackers”(MIT students) what they would do with it (thanks, grisspy). We thought maybe we would weigh in with our opinions. Join us after the break and in the comments.

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Googles servers revealed

googleservermedium

We’ve often wondered what kind of hardware the giant of the internet, Google, used to handle it’s data. They’ve recently revealed what their main workhorses are. It’s a custom motherboard made by Gigabyte with two processors, and eight RAM slots. The main point of interest on these is the fact that each server and piece of network equipment has it’s own battery backup. This may add a little money in the initial cost of the unit, but apparently it is a much more efficient way of handling power. Be sure to click over to the site and check out the shipping container setup that they use. Each container has 1,160 servers. They aren’t the only ones using this method. Microsoft has adopted it for their newer facilities and Sun has done some extensive testing on how these portable facilities handle earthquakes. You can see the quake test after the break.

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Standalone Eye-Fi upload

eye-fi

Former Hack a Day contributor [Will] has been using a Eye-Fi SD card to automate his photo transfers. Unfortunately this requires using Eye-Fi’s software and talking to their servers. He used [Jeff Tchang]’s replacement server written in Python to recieve the images from the card. [Will] manages his own online photo gallery using Gallery 2. To get the images uploaded, he added a call to GUP. Now all of his photos are transfered just as easily as with the standard Eye-Fi but without all of the middleman.

[photo: Eye-Fi teardown]

Company shutdown causes 2/3rds drop in all spam

The Washington Post is reporting that the shutdown of one hosting company has caused the total volume of spam to drop by 2/3rds. The company in question is McColo Corp. Both Hurricane Electric and Global Crossing pulled the plug today after a damning report revealed a number of illegal activities happening on McColo’s servers. McColo already had a reputation with the security community. When contacted about abuse, the company would often shift servers to new IP ranges instead of shutting them down. Although not the main source of spam, the company was host to many botnet control servers and phishing sites.

[photo: mattdork]

[via Waxy]