We’re Not Joking Around; Something BIG Is Coming

Hackaday Something BIG LogoCountdown timer, a special presentation on the first of this month, and now there’s been some weekly mystery posts. What are we playing at? We’re not playing. This is real.

That timer is now below the 10-day mark and with every passing minute we become more giddy about the unrelenting awesome that is to come. Want to know what we’re talking about without waiting until the end? Are you a clever person? Then you might just be able to figure it all out. Try to unlock the clues from past weeks, and hit the Freenode ##hackaday channel on IRC if you need some hints (we’re certainly not going to post spoilers here).

We wouldn’t mind some help with a whisper campaign as well. Spout your conspiracy theories, and your delight at solving our puzzles to whoever will listen. Get it right and you can do the “I told you so” thing for the rest of the…. oops, that would be telling.

95 thoughts on “We’re Not Joking Around; Something BIG Is Coming

  1. me i dont care as long as it isnt going to be the change of the hackaday site it’s self unless it is the addition of another sub domain like scifi.hackaday.com. or hacks related to scifi like hacking a laser pointer to make it into a light sword like on star wars or building a 60’s sound effects synthesizer.

  2. Was kind of wondering what the hell is going on….Welp here goes my theory. An arduino-controlled parabolic dish antenna detected alien transmissions decoded with a RasPi blinking LED’s. They come in peace and are going to share their science with humans. All the writers at hackaday will in unison remove their skin masks revealing their alien faces. :p

    1. My first guess is to go with the satellite theory… the ISS – however in the context of what you two said and people always complaining second guess is ability to edit comments!!

    2. Ooohh, I wouldn’t try it….

      Ah now I’ve gone and started commenting about it. Basically keep everything the way it is, no smartarsed “features”, and just fix a couple of the bugs, like comment editing, if it really bothers people that much.

  3. I figure it does involve a launch and a satellite. My first thought is a sputnik type device that sends a ping where anyone could take an SDR-RTL dongle and a whip and pick up the signal. That being said I am either way off, or haven’t aimed high enough.

    Whatever the big thing is, congrats and good luck – I look forward to reading about it :D

  4. Well here’s my conspiracy theory: Judging from Brian’s apparent love of the Portal 2 Space Sphere concept, the recent finals for Zero Robotics Competition in January (actual SPHERES aboard ISS right now – (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites)), and the upcoming Russian cargo launch window at Baikonur Cosmodrome in late April, I’m going to take a leap of faith and say it has something to do with a SPHERE that MIT & ESA has approved for use on ISS. Some how I feel it has something to do with HaD or Brain (indirectly or directly).


      1. Sorry guys, got this one covered. I used it to build a giant wake up light alarm clock. The energy is basically free so I run it all day as it makes a nice go to bed reminder too.

  5. Okay if you click on the countdown you get taken to a page with the URL http://hackaday.com/space/ There is a bunch of text which includes the text “Confirming input sources and a bunch of what turns out to be coordinates here is where each one takes you:

    18.344167 -66.752778 http://goo.gl/maps/XlgvB Arecibo Observatory
    34.078749 -107.618283 http://goo.gl/maps/bZkjz VLA in NM
    43.826167 41.586683 http://goo.gl/maps/RvSQD Launch Facility in Russia
    50.524722 6.882778 http://goo.gl/maps/0TCMj Pbservatory in Germany
    52.908889 6.868889 http://goo.gl/maps/h7LFB Someplace in the Netherlands. Not sure about this one. I tried it twice and it keeps pointing to a field in the Netherlands.

    There is more text in HEX that converts from

    49 27 6d 20 66 6c 6f 61 74 69 6e 67 20 69 6e 61 20 6d 6f 73 74 20 70 65 63 75 6c 69 61 72 20 77 61 79


    I’m floating in a most peculiar way

    There is a bunch of Binary text but I don’t feel like converting it.

    So there we have it a Space launch from the facility in Russia that will be tracked at the observatories listed above. Maybe they are going to be studying the farmland in the Netherlands.

    1. If you remove the spaces, and look at it…. It’s a QR Code…

  6. So this is as far as I got with the binary — that is, not very. I’m not as good as most of you probably are ;) Looks like three bytes then a parity bit. Even parity, if I’m reading Wikipedia right. Stripping the parity bit and then dumping into ASCII gives junk. So does straight conversion to UTF-8 or Unicode… either it’s encrypted, or I’m wrong about the parity bit, or it’s a weird text standard that I’m not familiar with that’s neither ASCII, nor UTF-8, nor Unicode… the only thing I know for sure at this point is that someone at Hackaday has waaaaaaaay too much time on his or her hands…

    So here’s the block of binary, as I see it. Again, three bytes and an even-parity bit. You folks have fun with this…

    00000001 10110101 11000000 0
    01111101 11011001 01011111 0
    01000101 10000100 11010001 0
    01000101 01011000 01010001 0
    01000101 01100011 01010001 0
    01111101 10011001 11011111 0
    00000001 01010101 01000000 0
    11111111 10110100 01111111 1
    00111000 10001001 11110011 1
    01000010 01000000 01100000 1
    00100000 10111110 01001010 0
    11110010 01000111 10111011 0
    11011100 00001111 11001111 0
    00011010 00000110 01101110 1
    01100101 10111110 01111010 0
    01010010 00001111 00111101 0
    01101000 01100000 00000101 1
    11111111 01100111 01110101 1
    00000001 01000101 01010011 0
    01111101 00100100 01110111 1
    01000101 10011000 00000000 1
    01000101 10101001 00011010 0
    01000101 11011011 11101101 0
    01111101 01011101 01000111 0
    00000001 00100111 01011011 0

    1. I’ve discovered why old people get grumpy.

      They’ve seen it all before. Damn kids are excited about their tease marketing campaign, and it’s been done how many time before?

      That crap was old before most people on this site were born.

      Bah humbg.

        1. Yep. Even a hint of the stench of marketing, or whatever other crude ways of manipulating idiots, makes my teeth grind. This place is an oasis away from a world filled with that.

          1. Oh, and there’s the backfire to worry about too. If this is anything less than an actual shuttle launch, with seats for readers, and we’re building the thing ourselves, then expect disappointment!

      1. FWIW I realise I was born a curmudgeon. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s great! Getting older just looks better and better to me!

        Yet I still got ID’ed buying tobacco the other year. I was 34!

  7. I’m with you if you’re planning to launch something in space, no matter if it’s a satellite, an arduino, a raspi with Babbage or just a bunch of leds melted together.
    If you’re planning to launch something and you need some tracking from Earth just give us the bill of materials and I’ll surely follow you for the next space oddity odyssey.
    Go Miss Piggy !

  8. Perhaps it’s an announcement for a new ‘Open source/free data’ sharing service from the science sites identified in the LAT, LONG codes? I can see the benefit to big telescope in asking for a two way exchange of findings with the public. They accumulate vast quantities of data.Just look at SETI and the ‘Protein folding’ game that was out a few years ago.
    Just my two cents, there.

  9. CubeSat was so yesterday. I believe it is “Zero Robotics Competition” which is a satellite but it stays INSIDE the ISS and does not repeat RF transmissions from Earth. Does anyone remember the video game Portal 2 in where there was a chatty-Ann-style floating eyeball space orb to assist astronauts? Also I think one was depicted in a Star Wars movie too. The new space orb on ISS can be controlled from Earth by Internet users.

  10. Oh just bloody tell us. “Teaser campaign”, honestly, do you think we’re idiots? I’m as gripped as I would be at the launch of a new cola flavour.

    Just tell us, or don’t. It’s all a bit commercial, a bit advertisey. The airy domain of wankers. I think most of us here are more down to earth solid well-grounded types. Tell me, or don’t. I’ll find out anyway, but this childish attempt to stimulate my emotions has only the effect of setting off my contrariness-gland, making me deliberately disinterested and vaguely pissed off at someone attempting to manipulate me. I deliberately don’t buy stuff if it’s aimed at “people like me”.

    Note this applies to most advertising and media nonsense, not just HaD.

    1. God forbid anyone just having a little bit of fun with all this eh Greenaum? FFS, at least it has given you the pleasure of moaning your bollocks off, so not all bad I guess.. Gave you something to do. Just wait a few days, come back and tell us that you knew all along exactly what was going to happen, that it was a waste of time, and of your intellect.

      “Tell me, or don’t. I’ll find out anyway.”; Yes you will, obviously, in a few days when it’s finally announced. Why get involved? Why get invovled just to tell us that you don’t want to get involved? Self serving, self oppionated, self agrandising cock rot.

      Talking of airy domains of wankers, You’ve clearly got one all to youself, and it doesn’t get many visitors.

      1. There’s a limit for how far advertising can go before it stops being “fun”, and it’s not very far. And gods know, putting hype on the Internet’s hardly fun or even noticable any more. The bigger the hype, usually the more disappointing result.

        HaD’s never been big on hype before. Maybe the odd little fun teaser but not this much or for this long. I like it like that. I like this site like it normally is, in fact I like it a lot.

        But yeah I did enjoy a nice moan, so I’ve got that to be grateful for. Enjoying a moan was in the blood of my ancestors and I think I’m quite good at it by now. Again, moaning’s hardly unusual round here either and I like that too. It’s only the web, dude, nobody’s gonna live or die by it.

        Yes obviously by “find out” I mean the obvious way. If it’s not ready to announce yet I’d just as soon not know. I’m unusual like that. I hate tension. My ideal cinematic film would be some people setting off to do a thing, starting, proceeding, then finishing, and at no point is there any jeopardy. Maybe it’s my adrenergics wired up wrong, who knows? Uncertainty annoys me, not thrills me.

        Not sure what you mean by my own airy domain. I had a web site once. Got more visitors than I expected, which was 0, I was surprised! If you mean my own home, well it’s nice to have time to oneself, sometimes it’s hard to balance that. But proper good friends are no trouble to have round. People you don’t have to “service” or “entertain”, just a few good folk you can have round and sit doing nothing with is lovely. A day by myself is heaven. I’m rarely bored.

        Have we seen each other around before?

  11. There are two countdowns that appear to be 5 hours or so apart at first glance. Does it have anything to do with the solar eclipse? or uh.. wait that’s not tonight is it? Well if it was tonight the timers would both be late… jeez it just had to involve time didn’t it? well whatever it is the first timer is nearly up, I think.

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