With all due respect to the Utah Opera’s production of La bohème, we just couldn’t resist poking a little fun at master electrician [David Smith]’s quick lighting hack for the opera. And who knew an opera from 1896 would need a garbage can fire? Live and learn.
In what appears to be a case of “The show must go on,” [David] was called on to improve an existing fire effect for one scene in the opera, which was reportedly a bit “artificial and distracting.” This is a pretty common problem in live productions of all types; it’s easy to throw light at a problem, but it’s often hard to make it both convincing and unobtrusive. Luckily, he had both the time to come up with something, and a kit full of goodies to make it happen. A balled-up strip of Neopixels provided the light, with an Arduino running some simple code to randomize the intensity and color of the RGBs. [David] stuck with the warm white, red, and green colors, to keep the color temperature about right for a fire, and drove the LEDs with a couple of MOSFETs that he keeps in his kit to fix busted dimmer packs.
The overall effect worked well, but the holes knocked in the side of the greatly abused garbage can let too much light out, making the effect distracting on stage. The remedy was simple: a cylinder of printer paper surrounding the LED tape. The paper not only acted as a diffuser but held the tape in place inside the can. The electrical crew ran two circuits to the can — one to keep the Arduino running throughout the show, and one to power the LED tape. The former made sure the audience didn’t see the microcontroller boot sequence, and the latter gave the electrician a way to control the effect from the dimmer console. The brief video below shows it in action during a rehearsal.
Hats off to [David] and the whole crew for the stagecraft heroics and for getting this thrown together so quickly.
Continue reading “Stage Lighting Hack Keeps La Bohème From Becoming A Dumpster Fire”
The Nintendo DSi was surpassed by newer and better handhelds many years ago, but that doesn’t stop people like [Nathan Farlow] from attempting to break into the old abandoned house through a rather unexpected place: the (browser) window.
When the Nintendo DSi was released in 2008, one of its notable features was a built-in version of the Opera 9.50 web browser. [Nathan] reasoned an exploit in this browser would be an ideal entry point, as there’s no OS or kernel to get past — once you get execution, you control the system. To put this plan into action, he put together two great ideas. First he used the WebKit layout tests to get the browser into weird edge cases, and then tracked down an Windows build of Opera 9.50 that he could run on his system under WINE. This allowed him to identify the use-after-free bugs that he was looking for.
Now that he had an address to jump to, he just had to get his code into the right spot. For this he employed what’s known as a NOP sled; basically a long list of commands that do nothing, which if jumped into, will slide into his exploit code. In modern browsers a good way to allocate a chunk of memory and fill it would be a Float32Array, but since this is a 2008 browser, a smattering of RGBA canvases will do.
The actual payload is designed to execute a
boot.nds file from the SD card, such as a homebrew launcher. If you want to give it a shot on your own DSi, all you need to do is point the system’s browser to stylehax.net.
If you’re looking for a more exotic way to crack into a DSi, perhaps this EM glitching attack might tickle your fancy?
Continue reading “Breaking Into The Nintendo DSi Through The (Browser) Window”
Inspired by this year’s april fools day joke from Opera, [Jason] has made facial gesture recognition actually work. While this may seem like a silly project, it could seriously help some people out. This could be a great accessibility tool for people with motor control limitations.He states that it has some problems right now, most notably a performance issue with extended use, so he’s hoping to get some input from some bright minds.