Friday: Getting Social With Discord And Bring-a-Hack

With just a few days to go before the kickoff of the 2021 Hackaday Remoticon, we’re still working furiously behind the scenes to pack as much content as possible into the two day virtual event. In fact, there’s so much going on that we thought you’d appreciate getting a bit of a head start as far as planning your own personal course through the weekend goes. The event might be free, but that’s no reason not to squeeze as much out of it as you can.

Chat It Up on Discord

To begin with, you’re really going to want to join the official Hackaday Remoticon Discord server. We know some subset of the Hackaday readership would rather we used Matrix, or IRC, or maybe carefully modulated smoke signals; but at the end of the day, Discord has bubbled to the top as the defacto choice for this kind of thing. Give it a shot, you might actually like it.

The Discord server isn’t just a place for like-minded hackers to hang out and discuss the musical stylings of DJ Jackalope during the Saturday afterparty. It’s also how attendees can ask questions at the end of each presenter’s talk, as we’ll be turning off YouTube chat to keep things centralized. Even if you don’t plan on communicating with others (though you really should), the Discord server has an interactive schedule of events which will let you sign up to be notified when the talks you’ve selected are about to start, and we’ll be dropping important announcements and links in there as the event goes on.

Friday Bring-a-Hack on Gather Town

Like this, but with soldering irons.

Friday night ends with a Bring-a-Hack where attendees can show off whatever they’ve been working on using Gather. It’s a video chat platform inside a virtual 2D world that looks a bit like Legend of Zelda.

Using this virtual environment, you can easily drop into an ongoing video stream simply by walking up to the presenter. Once you’ve seen enough, just walk over to the next little cluster of users. The point is to recreate the experience of stopping by a crowded after party where everyone brought some hardware project along with them to get spark conversations. Space will be limited, with ticket holders and people in Discord getting the first dibs, so keep an eye on your inbox for information about how to join.

Of course this is not the only Friday evening activity. A few weeks ago we announced that Lewin Day will be hosting Hacker Trivia, giving our beloved commenters the chance to show off your unimpeachable knowledge of technology and Hackaday history. The Friday talk stream will dump immediately into trivia, but here’s the dedicated link if you want to set a reminder for yourself.

Try It, You’ll Like It!

It’s difficult, perhaps even impossible, to truly recreate the experience of going to an in-person hacker con. But with interactive events and the latest and greatest communication software, we’re hoping the 2021 Remoticon can get pretty close. All the pieces are in place, the only thing we need now is to have a whole bunch of excited hackers to join in and have a good time. Think you can help us out?

Internet Of Tea: Coaster Watches For Optimum Drinking Temperature

Ah, the age-old question: at what temperature does one’s tea need to be for maximum enjoyment? It’s subjective, of course, but subjective in a way that makes everyone else’s opinion demonstrably wrong. What’s worse, the window of opportunity for optimum tea temperature is extremely narrow. What’s a tea drinker to do?

Throw a little technology at the problem, of course, in the form of this Internet of Tea smart coaster. Through careful experimentation, [Benjojo] determined the temperature of his favorite mug when the tea within was just right for drinking and designed a coaster to alert him to that fact. The coaster is 3D-printed and contains an MLX90616 IR temperature sensor looking up at the bottom of the mug. An ESP8266 lives inside the coaster too and watches for the Optimum Tea Window to open, sending an alert via Discord when the time is right. Yes, he admits that a simple blinking LED on the coaster would keep his tea habit metadata from being slurped up by the international tea intelligence community, but he claims he has nothing to hide. Good luck with that.

What’s next for [Dane]’s tea preparation? Perhaps he can close the loop and automate the whole pre-consumption process.

Create A Discord Webhook With Python For Your Bot

Discord is an IRC-like chat platform that all the young cool kids are hanging out on. Originally intended as a way to communicate during online games, Discord has grown to the point that there are servers out there for nearly any topic imaginable. One of the reasons for this phenomenal growth is how easy it is to create and moderate your own Discord server: just hit the “+” icon on the website or in the mobile application, and away you go.

As a long-time IRC guy, I was initially unimpressed with Discord. It seemed like the same kind of stuff we’ve had for decades, but with an admittedly slick UI. After having used it for a few months now and joining servers dedicated to everything from gaming to rocket science, I can’t say that my initial impression of Discord is inaccurate: it’s definitely just a modern IRC. But I’ve also come to the realization that I’m OK with that.

But this isn’t a review of Discord or an invitation to join the server I’ve setup for my Battlefield platoon. In this article we’re going to look at how easy it is to create a simple “bot” that you can plug into a Discord server and do useful work with. Since anyone can create a persistent Discord server for free, it’s an interesting platform to use for IoT monitoring and logging by simply sending messages into the server.

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