Hack-A-Day Extra


I’ve been having some serious static build up in my office so dad suggested dragging a chain? nah, I’ll just turn up the humidifier. It has been really bad though; one lightning bolt from a mislaid finger forced me to reset my iPod. It got so bad that I actually bought a static strap before assembling my latest machine. Something I should have bought 10 years ago.

My PVR-500 dual TV tuner card came in the mail yesterday. The driver and MythTV install went pretty well and didn’t require too much forum crawling. They won’t tune anything above channel 59 for some reason. Hopefully I get that figured out soon.

Team Hack-A-Day continues to dominate; we completed 6 million pints this week. Saying [yehoshua] got off to a great start would be an understatement. At last count he had 104 active processors in a completely legitimate borg. [scottpdotnet] entered his thin client cluster into the fray as well.

Did you watch the Project Runway season 2
? I can’t find a torrent for it. I want to see it because
Diana Eng is one of the designers and
loves incorporating tech into here work. Her inflatable dress was featured on the cover of I.D. and can be seen at
WMMNA. She’s also developing a
SWITCH a fashion/tech vodcast.

How-to install the Google Safe
Browsing plugin
if you don’t live in the US.

The Jackass! project released
Rockhopper! last week. It is a processor specific
Gentoo stage compiled using GCC 4.0. My Jackass install has been rock solid so far (I have been trying to use as many
stable packages as possible).

CDM has had some cool posts this week:
Using LabVIEW as a
and Robot
drummer responds to human playing

We covered Hack-A-Day reader [Jordan]’s
web based iTunes control on Engadget yesterday. He’d be
happy if someone made it better.

People always ask me why we are still in beta. It is simply a ploy to get listed in the
Museum of Modern Betas. [via

Mac Minis have appeared in cars since the first day they were sold. Now there is a company selling a
car Mini dock.

When the iPod Mini was first released people were pulling the 4GB CF cards and selling them for a markup on eBay.
That lasted for about two hours then everyone heard what was going on and the bottom fell out of the market. Well now
people are upgrading the internals to 8GB. [borre]

WeaKnees is offering $25,000 (and hopefully legal protection) to first person to
hack a

Hackers are exploiting a flaw in GTA:LCS save games to
run code under PSP firmware 2.5. I guess
the only way to build a “hack-proof” console is to never release it.

Most people saw The Million Dollar Homepage when it was first
getting started, but you should really look at it now… for searing eye pain. A lot of the ads are for sites offering
cheaper per pixel pricing. [via BlogCadre]

Graffiti Hackers I really wish these
alternative printers were documented better on the web.

Bleach Eating Freaks Office Bircolage 3 weapons from
office supplies.

If you were a true fan, you’d read Hack-A-Day on
too. [thanks Rich Willis]

[socketeer]’s Si-Link FM Transmitter Mod [warning:
Geocities] Shouldn’t Yahoo have bandwidth to spare?

iTMS album art search currently broken, it was
sweet [tristan]

Using IR modules from VCRs [h-tech]

[j4undone] has been using the cellphones at mall kiosks to send free picture and text messages, since they have

Mac on a USB stick using Mini vMac [h-tech]

Here is a thread about a
case designed from forum
. It looks now like it might have been
attempted fraud.

Web controlled paintball tank This is
one user’s experience. [CYRIX]

[ray and cape] tested a couple
different methods for making shotglasses
out of ice
. Have a look at their other projects too.

[Borre] sent some pictures of his iPod dock built out of the packaging:

Related forum thread

[zilli0n]’s got a nicely
modded Xbox 360 case and

air duster gun [warning: tripod and thumbnails are full size

From the people who brought you the Telecrapper 2000:
Record Every Waking Moment. I’m sure in the future we will be
recording every second of our daily lives, but it is going to depend entirely on our ability to manage that data once
storage becomes trivial.

[Jim]’s guide to using
Skype as a remote listening device

[nick carneiro] shows you how-to build a server using

Spanish guide for building the FisiRadio, an AM radio
receiver. [morfo]

How-to modify Netstumbler to
work with Wireless ZeroConfig
[Israel Torres and Steve]

[brett]’s cheap kitchen PC

[matthijs heeren] and Pieter Jolen have been working on a
similar to Jason Striegel’s sex bots. Theirs
features a fitness function to better simulate genetic algorithms.

[sega01] covered his laptop in duct tape.
Here is the first
. The rest are on his server, but it is kinda

USB christmas lights

Free software list [warning: Geocities]

[mycroes] had a bios flash fail, but was able to boot a different board swap the bios and then flash it using

[jason] made some skins for the CVS camera.

[tom] has a guide to
dissecting the SmarTrip RFID fare
card over at DCist.

Finally, a note from [john rutherford]:

If you have Cablevision/OptimumOnline and have a new cable box (Scientific Atlanta, Explorer 4200) you can access
28 hidden information pages. Press the Diamond button in the middle of the arrow and then press the info button. Use
the right/left arrow keys to scroll through the pages. You can press the diamond key again so that you can watch TV and
look at the settings. Press EXIT to close it out.

*Also, you can Reset the box by press the Vol+/Vol- keys at the same time and pressing the INFO button

Keep sending us tips. If it’s really good and you don’t see it here, it
means I’m probably writing a feature on it.

24 thoughts on “Hack-A-Day Extra

  1. My PVR 500 and Mythtv work awesome. Although, i did have to do a bunch of forum crawling at the time, cause the PVR 500 wasn’t supported very well. Don’t you love having PiP from it? its great

  2. I used to work retail in a store with carpet that was horrible for building up static. The solution is simple.

    Get a spray bottle of fabric softener, spray the carpet liberally. We used to do this about once a month and the shocks just went away.

  3. If you’re looking for a good chuckle view the page source for the “Million Dollar webpage.” everything contained within is purely ridiculous.

    Yehoshua’s b0rg is massive. Done. His stated gola is 100k PPD! I’m hoping he can add even more and move in ultra-elite territry with this type of guy: http://fah-web.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/main.py?qtype=userpage&username=1920x1080i%2DHow%3F%3F%3F
    1920x1080i-How??? is the current No. 1 folder in the world.

  4. I’m sitting here in my socks now for that exact reason. The advantage of wielding raw electrical power like this is I don’t actually have to physically touch the computer to eject a cd. Just pointing at the drive is enough to send the caddy obediently out. I fear this could end badly.

  5. You need to specify your tuner type when you load the driver for the card. Most of the newer tuners are type 50.

    Try unloading the tuner module then reloading it like this:
    rmmod tuner
    modprobe tuner type=50

  6. At my college we have a room that has outlets on the floor, one day they decided to cover up the outlets with carpet, so when you sit or do anything you shock the hell out of your self. It hurts soooo bad, but lucky you can not hurt your computer with the small amount of shock that comes out of you. There is not enough electricity to fry the bored, anytime I install new hardware I never worry about it, or even when I work on a server. I have even tried to shock my old motherboard on purpose using modified fan and touching it on the motherboard, and works just fine.

  7. wow, lots of great links! I almost didn’t click on “continue reading” because I wasn’t interested in the first few lines of the post, but there was so much good stuff included that I would have missed.

    How did that guy that used the upside down laptop flip his screen? Is there some kind of software that does that in Windows? The pics didn’t have a lot of detail.

  8. Antistatic tip: get rid of those synthetic clothes and shoes. Wear clothes made of cotton or wool, and shoes made of leather. Avoid the poly-something junk. (5% to 10% mixed into cotton or wool is still ok, but not really good.) As a nice side effect, you sweat less and avoid several skin diseases.

    And to discharge painlessly, ground yourself via a neon bulb. Hold one contact between your fingers, and touch a blank, grounded piece of metal (central heating, water tap) with the other contact. You may also permanently ground one contact of a neon bulb, and connect the other contact to a piece of blank wire or tin foil on your desk. Touch it after sitting down, but before touching the computer. The neon bulb discharges your body slower and with much less current than a direct ground contact, so you will usually not feel anything. The neon bulb will flash, when it becomes dark, you are discharged. A simple resistor (100k Ohm to 10M Ohm, 1/4 W) also does the trick, but without the optical indicator. Remember that you will recharge again when you walk around.

    Hope that helps,

  9. I’m no real linux expert, but thinking of dumping MCE in favor of Myth. I have the PVR-500, but also an HD card, the Dvico 5 gold. I see posts saying that both of these are compatible, but the only install guide I can find is the one from Jarod Wilson, and it seems to be very out of date. Can anyone recommend an OS (fedora 3,4, gentoo, knoppix) and possibly post directions to install instructions? My MCE box is practically brand new, but has ZERO support for QAM tuning on my HD card, and the latest Video4Linux drivers seem to support it, but I can’t find any helpful hints.


  10. Alexander

    only problem with neon bulb is it stops conducting once the potential is discharged down to about 45-60V, and won’t drain the entire charge from your body.

    however, that should drop the voltage down to a “survivable” level for your average cmos devices, should you accidentally touch one.

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