Hackaday Links: The Eleventh Day Of The Eleventh Month, 2018

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For the better part of the last five years, the Great War Channel on YouTube has been covering the events of the Great War, week by week, exactly 100 years later. It’s hundreds of episodes designed for history buffs, and quite literally one of the most educational channels on YouTube. It’s the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eighteenth year, which means the folks behind the Great War Channel are probably taking a well-deserved vacation. If you haven’t heard of this channel, it might be a good time to check it out.

Ikea is now selling NFC locks. [Mike] wrote in to tell us he found the new ROTHULT drawer deadbolts for $18 at Ikea. No, these aren’t meant for your front door, they’re meant for file cabinets. That’s a different threat model, and no lock is ever completely secure. However, there are some interesting electronics. You get a lock powered by three AAA batteries and two NFC cards for $18. Can’t wait for the teardown.

The biggest news from the United States this week is big. People gathered in the streets. Millions made sure their voices were heard. Journalists were cut down for asking questions. This is a week that will go down in history. The McRib is back for a limited time. It’s just a reconstituted pork patty, pickles, onions, and sauce on a hoagie roll, but there’s more to the McRib than you would think. McDonalds only releases the McRib when the price of pork is low, and in late October, pork belly futures hit their lowest price since the last time the McRib came to town. This has led some to claim the McRib is just a second lever for McDonalds in an arbitrage play on the price of pork. McDonalds is always buying pork futures, the theory goes, and when it looks like they’re going to lose money, McDonalds simply turns on the McRib production line, pushing pork consumption up, and netting McDonalds a tidy profit. With the volume you’re looking at, McDonalds will never lose money by betting on pork.

You can turn anything into a quadcopter. A dead cat? Yes, it’s been done. How about a quartet of box fans? That’s what the folks at Flite Test did, and while the completed article was wobbly and didn’t survive its first crash, it was a quadcopter made out of box fans.

23 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: The Eleventh Day Of The Eleventh Month, 2018

  1. “Journalists were cut down for asking questions. ” – sure, for very wide range of “journalists” and for very wide range of “asking questions”.

    It almost looked like a Black Friday sale of karaoke machines.

  2. Currently installing digital menu boards in about 6 McD’s, and I swear if they start cooking that vile disgusting shit while I’m there I’ll abandon the job. Experienced it once and could not stomach anything from that place for 6 months afterward.

  3. NFC locks looks interesting but here’s a possible design flaw. What happens if the battery runs out? Would the drawer be permanently locked, requiring brute force to break open the desk or cabinets? Or are the locking tab designed to pop to unlock position if the battery gets low, leaving the files open to any spies?

    1. Exactly my thoughts — what happens when the batteries go dead? And if there is some bypass, how is it secure? Maybe you use a plain old key when the batteries go dead.

    2. I wonder if two contacts (pos and neg) could be brought to the front of the lock from the battery compartment. Then if the battery is dead/low you could power externally. Would only work if there was non-volatile memory storing the NFC code.

  4. So much of the box fan weight budget was spent on making the boxes rigid and then spindly struts held the motors.

    Would it have been better to brace the motor mounts directly instead?

    Also they removed the bottom covers for more thrust. I would have thought that props designed for pressure (thrust) would benefit more from removing the top covers.

    1. There’s a better low tech version that I used. It’s a simple latch that is released by placing a magnet against the outside of the locked door where the latch is installed. Even though it was a simple piece of plastic, a spring, and a magnet the amount of force required to pull the door open is well in excess of what a small child can provide.


  5. The locks will work with pretty much any NFC card OR smartphone NFC emulation. So I bet it’s simple serial number checking, I wonder how it deals with brute force/sequential attacks.

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