Though oddly beautiful in its own way, it’s a sight no astronaut wants to see: their spacecraft, the only way they have to return to Earth, ejecting countless iridescent droplets of something into space.
When the crew of Apollo 13 saw their craft literally bleeding out on their trip to the Moon it was clear the mission, and ultimately their lives, were in real jeopardy. Luckily the current situation is not nearly as dire, as the leaking Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft docked to the International Space Station doesn’t pose any immediate danger to those aboard the orbiting laboratory. But it’s still an unprecedented situation, and getting its crew home will require engineers on the ground to make some very difficult decisions.
This situation is still developing, and neither NASA nor their Russian counterpart Roscosmos have released much in the way of specifics. But we can make some educated guesses from the video and images we’ve seen of the stricken Soyuz capsule, and from what’s been shown to the public so far, things aren’t looking good.
Continue reading “Damaged Soyuz May Leave Crew Without A Ride Home”
Water leaks can be pernicious things. Even just a few drips per minute happening undetected inside a wall can cause major damage if left unrepaired for long enough. AquaPing is a new device that hopes to detect difficult-to-find water leaks with the aid of acoustic methods.
The AquaPing is a so-called “stand-off” sensor that is intended to detect leaks at a distance, even if they are inside a wall. No contact is needed with the plumbing itself. Instead, the device detects the broadband high-frequency noise created when water leaks from a pipe under pressure.
It’s a method that’s best suited to leaks from cracks or loose fittings. These generate a characteristic hiss that can be picked up with signal analysis even if the noise itself is obscured to human perception by other noises in the area. However, leaks like a hole in a gutter or a dripping rusted-out water tank are best found by other methods, as they don’t create this same signature noise.
The device will soon be launched on CrowdSupply as a purchasable product, however the project is fully open source for those eager to dive in themselves. We’ve featured some other really creative leak detectors before, too! Video after the break.
Continue reading “A Water Leak Detector That Listens Carefully”
When we think of a vacuum leak we generally think of a car that just doesn’t want to run quite right. Most normally aspirated internal combustion engines rely on the vacuum created by the pistons to draw in the air fuel mixture that’s produced by the carburetor or fuel injection system. Identifying the leak usually involves spraying something combustible around common trouble areas while the engine is running. Changes to the engine speed indicate when the combustible gas enters the intake manifold and the leak can be found.
What if your vacuum leak is in a highly specialized piece of scientific equipment where the pressures are about 12
times orders of magnitude lower than atmospheric pressure, and the leak is so small it’s only letting a few atoms into the vacuum chamber at a time? [AlphaPhoenix] takes dives deep into this very subject in his video “Air-tight vs. Vacuum-tight.” which you can watch below the break.
Not only does [AlphaPhoenix] discuss how a perfect pressure vessel is sealed, he also explains the specialized troubleshooting methods used which turn out not to be all that different from troubleshooting an automotive vacuum leak- only in this case, several magnitudes more complex and elemental in nature.
We also enjoyed the comments section, where [AlphaPhoenix] addresses some of the most common questions surrounding the video: Torque patterns, the scarcity of the gasses used, and leaving well enough alone.
Does talking about vacuums get you pumped? Perhaps you’d enjoy such vacuum hacks as putting the toothpaste back in the tube in your homemade vacuum chamber.
Thank you [Morgan] for sending this one in. Be sure to send in your own hacks, projects, and fantastic finds through the Tip Line!
Continue reading “Solving Ultra High Vacuum Leaks Has An Elementary Solution”
News comes overnight that the Windows XP source code has been leaked. The Verge says they have “verified the material as legitimate” and that the leak also includes Windows Server 2003 and some DOS and CE code as well. The thing is, it has now been more than six years since Microsoft dropped support for XP, does it really matter if the source code is made public?
The Poison Pill
As Erin Pinheiro pointed out in her excellent article on the Nintendo IP leak earlier this year (perhaps the best Joe Kim artwork of the year on that one, by the way), legitimate developers can’t really make use of leaked code since it opens them up to potential litigation. Microsoft has a formidable legal machine that would surely go after misuse of the code from a leak like this. Erin mentions in her article that just looking at the code is the danger zone for competitors.
Even if other software companies did look at the source code and implement their own improvements without crossing the legal line, how much is there still to gain? Surely companies with this kind of motivation would have reverse engineered the secret sauce of the long dead OS by now, right?
Spy vs. Spy
The next thing that comes to mind are the security implications. At the time of writing, statcount pegs Windows XP at a 0.82% market share which is still going to be a very large number of machines. Perhaps a better question to consider is what types of machines are still running it? I didn’t find any hard data to answer this question, however there are dedicated machines like MRIs that don’t have easy upgrade paths and still use the OS and there is an embedded version of XP that runs on point-of-sale, automated teller machines, set-top boxes, and other long-life hardware that are notorious for not being upgraded by their owners.
Continue reading “Ask Hackaday: Is Windows XP Source Code Leak A Bad Thing?”
If you haven’t heard from other websites yet, earlier this year a leak of various Nintendo intellectual properties surfaced on the Internet. This included prototype software dating back to the Game Boy, as well as Verilog files for systems up to the Nintendo 64, GameCube and Wii. This leak seems to have originated from a breach in the BroadOn servers, a small hardware company Nintendo had contracted to make, among other things, the China-only iQue Player.
So, that’s the gist of it out of the way, but what does it all mean? What is the iQue Player? Surely now that a company’s goodies are out in the open, enthusiasts can make use of it and improve their projects, right? Well, no. A lot of things prevent that, and there’s more than enough precedent for it that, to the emulation scene, this was just another Tuesday.
Continue reading “No, The Nintendo Leak Won’t Help Emulator Developers, And Here’s Why”
A couple of weeks back a report came out where [Tavis Ormandy], a widely known security researcher for Google Project-Zero, showed how it was possible to abuse Lastpass RPC commands and steal user passwords. Irony is… Lastpass is a software designed to keep all your passwords safe and it’s designed in a way that even they can’t access your passwords, the passwords are stored locally using strong cryptography, only you can access them via a master-key. Storing all your passwords in only place has its downfalls. By the way, there is no proof or suggestion that this bug was abused by anyone, so if you use Lastpass don’t worry just yet.
But it got me thinking, how worried and how paranoid should a regular Internet user should be about his password? How many of us have their account details exposed somewhere online? If you’ve been around long enough, odds are you have at least a couple of accounts on some major Internet-based companies. Don’t go rushing into the Dark Web and try to find if your account details are being sold. The easiest way to get your paranoia started is to visit Have I Been Pwned. For those who never heard about it, it’s a website created by [Troy Hunt], a well-known security professional. It keeps track of all known public security breaches he can get his hands on and provides an answer to a simple question: “Was my account in any major data leak?” Let’s take a look.
Continue reading “Is My Password Safe? Practices For People Who Know Better”
The latest from WikiLeaks is the largest collection of documents ever released from the CIA. The release, called ‘Vault 7: CIA Hacking Tools Revealed’, is the CIA’s hacking arsenal.
While Vault 7 is only the first part in a series of leaks of documents from the CIA, this leak is itself massive. The documents, available on the WikiLeaks site and available as a torrent, detail the extent of the CIA’s hacking program.
Of note, the CIA has developed numerous 0-day exploits for iOS and Android devices. The ‘Weeping Angel’ exploit for Samsung smart TVs, “places the target TV in a ‘Fake-Off’ mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on.” This Fake-Off mode enables a microphone in the TV, records communications in the room, and sends these recordings to a CIA server. Additionally, the CIA has also developed tools to take over vehicle control systems. The purpose of such tools is speculative but could be used to send a moving car off the road.
It is not an exaggeration to say this is the most significant leak from a government agency since Snowden, and possibly since the Pentagon Papers. This is the documentation for the CIA’s cyberwarfare program, and there are more leaks to come. It will be a while until interested parties — Hackaday included — can make sense of this leak, but until then WikiLeaks has published a directory of this release.
Header image source (CC BY 2.0)