The Earth orbits the Sun every 365.256 days. Because this number isn’t a whole number, an extra day is tacked onto February every four years, unless the year is evenly divisible by 100, except in cases where the year is divisible by 400, or something like that. To commemorate this calendar hack, here’s some stuff that has rolled in over the last week or so.
[Brian] sent in this marble-based sequencer that sounds like someone is running MIDI into an Atari 2600. There are photoresistors in there somewhere, and it really reminds us of those thingamagoop robots.
[Mike] uses YouTube as his music library. While this is a perfectly acceptable way to listen to music, the user interface is terrible. To solve this problem, [Mike] is downloading videos from the command line, automagically converting them to MP3, and playing them over speakers. It works well with SSH, so we’ll call this a win.
Key card lock
[valenitn] just joined the MIT Media Lab, but something was terribly wrong with his keys – an ID card was required to get into the building, but a key was necessary to get into his office. He doesn’t need the key anymore, at least since he modded his office door. Check out the video.
Pop Tart Cat is everywhere
[skywodd] saw our writeup on the Maximite Basic computer and figured he could send in a project he’s been working on. He programmed his Maximite to sing the nyan cat song and then created a BASIC music player. Nice job, [skywodd].
Not sure if brilliant or insane
[Vikash] ran across a forum post where a user named [I Shooter] describes his setup to dual-boot Windows and Linux: [I Shooter] connected data cables to a pair of SATA hard drives, one loaded up with Windows, the other with Linux. The power cables are switched using relays so only one drive is powered at a time. [I Shooter] gets a ton of points for creativity, but there’s a reason this brute force hardware dual-boot setup isn’t more common. We wish there were pictures of this one.
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.
Continue reading “Kitchen Hacks: Microwave plays YouTube videos matched to your cooking time”
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.
[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 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.
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.
Continue reading “1-Click Android rooting”
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.
Continue reading “Various Cantenna builds”