Hackaday Links: April 15th, 2018

San Fransisco is awash in electric scooters. Three companies — Lime, Bird, and Spin — have been dumping ‘smart’ electric scooters on the sidewalks of San Fransisco over the last few weeks. The business plan for all these companies is to allow anyone to ride them via an app. $1 unlocks the scooter, and rides are fifteen cents a minute. No one, it appears, is looking at the upside of abandoned, dead electric scooters: they’re a remarkable source of lithium batteries and brushless motors. Hello, my name is Mr. Cyberpunk. My friends and I drive around the city collecting abandoned electric scooters to harvest their batteries and motors. A quick hit from a drill in the middle of the top panel of a Bird scooter disables the cellular modem, but then you don’t get to harvest the Particle dev board. You’re welcome, Mr. Doctorow, for the scene in your next novel.

There are a huge number of tips and tricks that are obvious if you already know them, and genius if you don’t. Working with wood? Need to hide a gap? Use sawdust and wood glue to make DIY wood filler. The trick here is using sawdust from whatever you’re trying to hide a gap in, but it’s not a bad idea to keep a few small containers of different sawdusts if you’re working with exotic tropical hardwoods. Titebond III, mango.

Ever since the Bayeux tapestry meme generator of 2003, embroidery has been recognized as a legitimate art form. [Irene Posch] is using traditional embroidery skills to create a computer. Conductive thread exists, but you can’t make a computer out of just wire; you need some sort of switching element. This is a relay computer, with the relays built out of beads, coils of conductive thread, and a tiny flippy bit. This is the best picture you’re going to get of the relay. This is still a work in progress and the density of components means this will probably never meet any reasonable definition of ‘computer’, but it is digital logic, done completely with tools in the embroidery toolset.

You know what’s awesome? Hashtag Badgelife. What is Badgelife? It’s the hardware demoscene of independent electronic conference badges, mostly going down at DEF CON every year. This year, Badgelife is bigger than ever. Want proof? AND!XOR, the folks behind the infamous Bender badge and last year’s Hunter S. Rodriguez badge have unleashed this year’s design. It was a Kickstarter, until it sold out. The DC Furs have launched their pre-order whatever for a badge filled with LEDs and fleas. Most surprisingly, there will now be an official mini-village of Badgelife at this year’s Defcon! This is a hardware demoscene, people, and if you want to be as cool as the guys rocking Amiga homebrew in 1993, you gotta get on board with the badgelife.

16 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: April 15th, 2018

  1. “No one, it appears, is looking at the upside of abandoned, dead electric scooters: they’re a remarkable source of lithium batteries and brushless motors. ”

    Maybe that’s why trains as a main form of transportation hasn’t taken off? Too many people seeing the upside of stripping them for parts if they loiter too long?

    1. Talking of sidewalks, If you need to build something sidewalks are a good source of free flat stones!

      Or you know, you could be a civilized person living in a civilized society; and not steal just because you can.

  2. Hello, I want someone to show me how to disable the gps on scooters and the delux ford bikes as well as charge them and get them going…I dose at 7th and market and will pay $100 cash or narcotics of your choice or a honda prelude or a cargo van or I will get you any car you want at the next autoreturn auction for $250….ANY ONE! I promise!

  3. Well let’s just say that an individual accidently AND hypothetically of course managed to disable the GPS by taking apart the “tamper proof” plastic casing wile in a backseat of a car as it’s driving around so it appears to turn off somewhere random in the street on their computer screen and then you take it home? (all hypothetically of course…?) After you’ve removed the sim card and disconnected the GPS, how would you go about bypassing that portion of the electronics or still use the electronics just make it where it doesn’t contact the company of its whereabouts any longer in order to use the scooter as your own for free? Hypothetically of course….Like “I have a hunch” that once it’s no longer online then it doesn’t just magically work when you hit the throttle because nothing is telling the motors speed controller to go ahead and power the motor because it’s paid for and unlocked. So it’s just a cool scooter with everything it needs to be a scooter however it won’t fucking do anything cool at all. Hypothetically of course guys…

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