Illegal, yet impressive
Want a soda? Just grab a robot, shove it in a vending machine, and grab yourself one. This video is incredibly French, but it looks like we’ve got a custom-built robot made out of old printers and other miscellaneous motors and gears here. It’s actually pretty impressive when you consider 16 ounce cans weigh a pound.
Okay, we got a lot of emails on our tip line for this one. It’s a group buy for a programmable oscillator over on Tindie. Why is this cool? Well, this chip (an SI570) is used in a lot of software defined radio designs. Also, it’s incredibly hard to come by if you’re not ordering thousands of these at a time. Here’s a datasheet, now show us some builds with this oscillator.
Chiptune/keygen music anywhere
[Huan] has a co-loco’d Raspi and wanted a media server that is available anywhere, on any device. What he came up with is a service that streams chiptune music from your favorite keygens. You can access it with Chrome (no, we’re not linking directly to a Raspberry Pi), and it’s extremely efficient – his RAM usage didn’t increase a bit.
Take it on an airplane. Or mail it.
[Alex]’s hackerspace just had a series of lightning talks, where people with 45-minute long presentations try to condense their talk into 10 minutes. Of course the hackerspace needed some way to keep everything on schedule. A simple countdown timer was too boring, so they went with a fake, Hollywood-style bomb. No, it doesn’t explode, but it still looks really, really fake. That’s a good thing.
Printers have speakers now?
[ddrboxman] thought his reprap needed a nice ‘print finished’ notification. After adding a piezo to his electronics board, he whipped up a firmware hack that plays those old Nokia ringtones. The ringtones play over Gcode, so it’s possible to have audible warnings and notifications. Now if it could only play Snake.
We’ve all heard the countless arguments about piracy in digital media. However, it appears that 3d printing or other rapid prototyping systems are bringing legal issues to a more physical world. The story goes like this: [Thomas] bought a 3d printer. He’s a big fan of warhammer figurines. He spends tons of time creating some custom warhammer figures, and uploads them to thingaverse. Games Workshop, the owners of Warhammer, unleashed the lawyers and had the items removed.
There are so many angles to this story, the mind boggles. If I were an artist, and someone else was uploading copies of my work, essentially stopping my revenue, it would suck. Then again, if I were lucky enough to have a fanatical fan base that spread the love for my product with excitement and zeal, I might want to encourage them. Neither of those thoughts however, cover the legal issue at the base here. We don’t have an answer for you. Sorry. You’ll probably be seeing this issue pop up more and more often in the future.
We encourage you to make our logo. Though we haven’t bothered to ask our lawyers.
Apparently some of the traffic lights in Johannesburg, South Africa have SIM cards in them to help maintain the network without a physical connection. Now that’s some and not all, but apparently thieves have learned that the SIMs can be used in cell phones to make anonymous and unlimited calls. Officials are convinced that the thieves have inside information because they only crack open the lights that DO contain a card.
We’re white hats here at Hackaday and certainly don’t want to give out information that aids criminals. But since this is already a huge problem we have an idea of how thieves might be identifying which lights to rob. Sure, they probably do have inside information, but wouldn’t it be fairly simple to track down which lights use cellular communication by using a home made spectrum analyzer? We guess it would depend on how often the lights send out communications bursts. Does anyone have insight on this? Leave you thoughts in the comments.
Over the course of 10 years, [Victor Papagno] stole 19,709 pieces of equipment from the Naval Research Laboratory. He began taking stuff home in 1997 and had so much that he had to store some in a neighbors house. The report says that no secret technological information was taken. Some items listed were CDs, hard drives, floppy disks, adding up to an estimated value of 1.6 million dollars. He could face up to two years in prison for this. We shudder to think of the total cost of all the post its, CDs, and floppy disks we’ve taken home over the years.
We are very inspired by the story of [Morris Mbetsa], an 18-year-old Kenyan who’s invented the “Block & Track”, an antitheft and tracking system for vehicles that’s phone-based. [Mbetsa] has no formal training, but he’s been a lifelong inventor and tinkerer. [Mbetsa] combined voice, DTMF, and SMS text messaging technologies with cellphone based services to allow the owner to control the vehicle’s electrical system remotely. The owner, using his cellphone, can take control of the ignition, and disable it at any time. Other features include the ability to lock the car remotely, and the capability of dialing into the car and listening in on any conversations taking place within the vehicle. [Mbetsa] is currently looking for funding to take his invention to the next level; we’re eager to see what he’ll come up with next.
Adeona is an open source internet-based laptop tracking system that is free to use. It’s available for Linux, OSX, and Windows XP/Vista. After installation, Adeona will submit at random intervals, anonymously encrypted updates on the computer’s location to servers on the Internet, specifically to OpenDHT, a free storage service. The information is kept on the servers for one week. If your laptop becomes lost or stolen, you can use the retrieval tool to access information about where your laptop was last used: the external IP address, internal IP address, and nearby routers. If your laptop is a Mac, you can also download isightcapture to grab a picture of the thief. Adeona is designed to protect against common criminals who may not have much technological knowledge, and does not have any protections against events such as disk wipes. The open source nature of Adeona’s system means that there’s ample opportunity to improve upon the release or add extensions. Here’s one user who really likes what he sees.