Kitchen Hacks: Microwave plays YouTube videos matched to your cooking time

Behold the uWave, a microwave oven that plays YouTube videos while it cooks. [Kevin] and three classmates at the University of Pennsylvania developed the project for the 2011 PennApps hackathon. It uses a tablet computer to replace the boring old spinning food display microwaves are known for. Now, an Arduino reads the cook time and sends that information to a server via its Ethernet shield. The server then searches YouTube for a video that approximately matches the cooking time, then pushed that video to the tablet to start playing. The video demonstration embedded after the break shows this, as well as the tweet that the machine sends at the beginning of the process.

It’s an interesting concept, and we think the code used to push a video to the tablet has a lot of other applications (we’re keeping this one bookmarked). On the other hand, we wonder how long it will take for public microwaves to become ad-supported? We’re thinking it’s hard for companies selling antacids, acid reflux medicine, Cup ‘o Soup, and Hot Pockets to resist this opportunity.

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Hackerspace camera rig auto-alerts the Internets when projects are finished

alerttheinternets_cam

It seems like every hackerspace has their own means of communicating status messages to their members. The hackers at [MetaLab] in Vienna have put together a rather novel way (Google translation) of letting the world know they have completed a project. While some hackerspaces simply notify their members that they are open for business, this hack takes things a step further.

When a project is deemed complete, the camera is removed from the dock, and any number of videos can be recorded. When the camera is returned to the dock, a canned introduction video is added to the recordings, then everything is automatically uploaded to YouTube. No extra time is required, no video editing needs to be done – their work hits the Internet immediately once they have finished filming it.

It’s a great idea, and something that every hackerspace should have. It would be even better to see these things installed in public areas to allow for immediate reporting of events as they occur.

If you are so inclined, be sure to check out [MetaLab's] YouTube channel.

[via Make]

Modern freaking: pull phone numbers from YouTube audio

[Charlie X-Ray] is having some modern fun with the phone system by pulling dialed numbers from the audio track of YouTube videos (translated). The first step was to find a video where a telephone is being dialed and the sounds of the keypresses are audible. You can’t tell those tones apart, but a computer can. That’s because each number pressed generates a combination of two out of seven closely related frequencies. [Charlie] isolated the audio using Audacity, then wrote a python script to generate a spectrogram like the one above. By matching up the two dark nodes you can establish which two frequencies were played and decode the phone number being dialed. So how does this work again… find audio of a phone being dialed, decode the number.. profit?

SecurityTube – a YouTube for hacks

securitytube

SecurityTube is a site which has recently caught our attention. The site has quite a variety of videos from various sources related to security and hacking. Videos range from DEFCON talks, to documentaries, step by step how tos, and even proof of concept vulnerability videos. It’s certainly a great resource for anyone looking for something a bit more involved then a plain text writeup, and offers a way for you to catch those hacker conference talks you missed. Many of the videos come with a bit of a background information as well, so it’s far more informative then your regular YouTube videos. This site is certainly going to become a very valuable resource for many people, and is certainly a great way to kill an afternoon while still learning something.

1-Click Android rooting

rooting

In the last few days, rooting the T-Mobile G1 and myTouch 3G has become much easier. [Zinx] released FlashRec which lets you flash a new recovery image onto your Android phone. It takes advantage of Linux kernel vulnerability CVE-2009-2692. The app lets you backup your current image and then flashes Cyanogen’s Recovery Image 1.4. Once that’s done, you can use any custom Android build you want. Android and Me has documented the entire process on their site and points out the ridiculously large number of custom ROMs that are out there. Embedded below is a video from [unknownkwita] showing the rooting process.

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Various Cantenna builds

cantennas(color)

Here is a classic project used to increase wireless signal strength. Cantennas focus using a waveguide very much like a magnifying glass focuses light. [Robert] made a Natural Light beer cantenna, pictured in the upper left. His approach used three beer cans, a paper towel holder, and a shower curtain rod. On the tipline, he noted a signal boost from 11Mbps to 54Mbps. This is certainly something we can hack together if our room lacks adequate signal. Read about parabolic and seeking versions after the break.

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Battery desulfator

mini-d

Hack a Day favorite [Mikey Sklar] is back with a new project. Mini-D is a battery desulfator. If a 12V lead-acid battery sits with a voltage below 12.3V, sulfur crystals will begin to form on the lead plates. This crystal growth increases the internal resistance and eventually makes the battery unusable. A battery desulfator sends high frequency pulses through the battery to create a resonance that will break up the crystals. On a 60lb automotive battery, it will take approximately three weeks to completely desulfate. You can find schematics plus a dozen lines of code for the ATmega169 on his site. Embedded below is a video where he explains the device and other techniques like load testing.

[Read more...]

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