The All -Terrain Roomba isn’t brand new but recent updates have made it a formidable opponent to stairs, lumps of dirt, and other obstacles that stand between you and a completely clean Martian surface. The DIY kit uses a modded Roomba and unique chassis to offer stability and impressive speed to this little robot. → Read More
Back in the old days, in Europe, TV selection was pretty limited. When they started offering satellite, you had a few free channels and a few paid channels but enterprising hackers figured out how to decode all of the channels using a breakout cart and the C64′s super processor. The resulting solution cost about $120 way back when and saved a bunch of Euro-hackers quite a bit of money. → Read More
Just last week we posted a video of the new Nook (which we just reviewed) running Angry Birds. Not exactly the best match for an e-paper display, but it does show that the underlying Android install is sound and functional. Further proof comes this weekend, with forum-dwelling hackers installing the ADW Launcher home screen and even the Kindle app on it. → Read More
Blammo. Sony has just confirmed that 37,500 Sony Pictures visitors have had their passwords, emails, and other potentially identifying details stolen from the Sony Pictures website. There is little financial effect in this hack as it simply exposed logins and passwords although users should probably change their important passwords if they suspect they have been affected.
We are… → Read More
The new Nook (colloquially called the Nook Touch) runs Android underneath that crunchy black and white book interface, so Nook hacker JFreke decided to root it and see if something like Angry Birds will run. Lo and behold, it does. Very, very poorly. But it’s still awesome, in a really shabby way. → Read More
The battle between Texas Instruments and calculator hobbyists rages on, as TI seeks to keep its OS locked away from third-party developers. After the calculator hacking community discovered the independent tool Ndless (which allows for third-party development on TI’s platform), TI has spent the last year updating its OS to prevent downgrading to version 1.1, which is necessary to run Ndless. → Read More
I’ve always been slightly bothered by the updated graphics in Super Mario All-Stars, but at the same time I can’t deny that it’s a fantastic cartridge to have around. Hacker Callan Brown apparently felt the same way, and decided to do a little investigation into perhaps remedying the situation. The result? A sweet megacartridge with an old-school way of selecting which game you want. → Read More
Some French hackers have put together a program that uses the Kinect to detect certain hand gestures (which is, after all, what it was designed to do) and translate them into words. Right now it only recognizes “hello” and “sorry,” but the team is only just now teaching it words — the “build” period is over, and now it’s time to learn.
Check out the video inside. → Read More
Some charming youngsters from Cornell have created a fairly simple and effective face matching system using a webcam, a little LCD read-out, and a tiny Atmel ATmega644 8-bit microcontroller running a set of Eigenface tests on the face in question. The system is 88% accurate with no false positives. It is almost completely self-contained and is small and simple enough to add to a front door lock or… → Read More
As Joel at Kotaku points out, Sony learned about the network break-ins on about April 20 and did nothing to alert customers until the 26th, a move that points to a great deal of hubris and foolhardy bravado on Sony’s part. Joel followed the trail from beginning to end, noting that Sony learned that something was amiss when servers began rebooting without intervention on the 19th. After examining… → Read More
This one-of-a-kind Xbox “Slim Laptop” is ready to ship if you have $1,600 and a need to play 360 games on the road. Built by a blogger named [Ed], it’s basically a fully-functional Xbox 360 inside a laptop case with 17″ 720p HD screen, multiple outputs, four USB ports, and a built-in power brick. Essentially, except for the controller, this is a self-contained Xbox in a clever… → Read More
There is a fairly egregious worm going around now that masquerades as a YouTube link for a “banned” Lady Gaga video. When you click on the bit.ly link it sends you to a fake YouTube page and then asks for permission to access your Twitter account. This results in another infected tweet being sent out on your Twoot stream, thereby continuing the long, sad cycle. → Read More
Check out this Kinect-controlled Parrot AR Drone. The man operating the AR Drone shows that you’re never too old to be a pretend airplane. → Read More
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories put together an impressive automatic drink-making machine last year which they called the Drink-Making Unit. This year they’ve reinvented it with a whole new style and twice as many ingredient options. And in keeping with the descriptive style of naming, it is known as the Drink-Making Unit 2.0. → Read More
I love that there are tons of tinkerers out there just putting together robots for no other reason than “hey, this might work.” Home hacker Lars Kristian Roland made this one, a simple rover bot with a gripping claw (it runs on modular hardware and an Arduino, naturally) — but the twist in this case is that it’s controlled by a Chronos watch that has a built-in accelerometer and antenna. → Read More
Matt over at Gizmodo points out a nice bit of DIY work done by Andrew Scrivani, a left-handed photographer for the NY Times. His right arm is out of commission for a while, and left-handed SLR bodies are expensive as hell, so he went to his gear closet and put together this little hack. Basically it’s just a rigid bracket for him to hold while he fires the remote with his incapacitated hand… → Read More
A reader, Mike, sent in a tale of woe so odd and draconian that I’m not even sure what to think of it. On one hand, Apple is protecting its interests when it comes to fake gift cards and other potentially costly hacks and, on the other hand, their reaction is far out of proportion to the actual situation.
Mike’s account was hacked in January of this year and $80 worth of iTunes cash drained from… → Read More
In Moscow, naked woman find you. At least that’s what many Russians found out last year, when a 40-year-old Russian hacker named Igor Blinnikov somehow found his way onto a 600 square foot video billboard where he played NSFW video for passing motorists. Igor called it a “bad joke” when he confessed, but that didn’t stop him from getting sentenced to one and a half years in jail. → Read More
Have you done anything worthwhile today? This guy made a microwave gun from a microwave oven, a few computer fans, sheet metal, and wood. His magnetron puts out 1 kW of microwave energy directed into a 35 degree cone — enough juice to fry your eyeballs in seconds. If that’s not enough, it can also jam any radio or cellphone within 20 feet. → Read More
Smart Cover for iPad 1 from Studio Neat on Vimeo. While I would equate this to putting pearls on a swine, it is, in fact, possible to attach your fancy new iPad Magic Cover to your old and busted original iPad . Sadly, in order to do this you need to paste rare earth magnets to the side of the iPad, a process that will make your old iPad pretty ratty. → Read More
Now, this isn’t exactly groundbreaking stuff, but it does really demonstrate the fact that all tablets (especially the more recent and hackable ones) are just small computers. Anything’s possible — convenient, perhaps not, but if you’re looking to take full advantage of the hardware you’ve just bought, there are definitely ways to go about doing that. → Read More
Query: If I donated $10 to Geohot’s legal defense fund, does that make me liable for his actions, and do I have no right to keeping that donation private? It was, after all (if I made it), a perfectly legal transaction between two private citizens. Well, according to Sony and Federal Magistrate Spero (who just a short time ago approved Sony’s request for all IPs visiting the hacker’s site), I’m… → Read More
Many of the hacks we’ve seen for the Kinect, interesting as they are, are aimed at entertainment or just plain coolness. There are plenty of exceptions, though, like the medical monitor we heard about yesterday, or the several telepresence robots we’ve seen that have a multitude of uses.
This hack definitely belongs in the latter category; helping blind people see? I don’t think Microsoft… → Read More
Ja! A gentleman known to the Internet as Nitrogen has put together a type of Kinect do-it-yourself project that’s certainly worth a moment of your time. The “hack” uses the libfreenect library to turn the Kinect into a home automation sensor. So, you walk into your room, the Kinect camera sees you enter, then libfreenect turns on your lights. Leave the room, out go the lights. → Read More
Not too quick on the draw when it comes to fabricating excuses as to why you missed that meeting? Install this little guy next to your phone and you’ll be fooling The Man with solid gold automatically generated content in no time. Wait a second, “My bike ran out of coolant”? That won’t do.
Ah, here’s a good one. “The CEO tried to drown me.” Much more likely in a fast-paced startup environment. → Read More
It was only just released, but the Motorola Xoom has already been made moddable by Seattle hacker @koush, who installed his ClockworkMod Recovery ROM manager on the device with no problems. Kind of a 180 after all that hullaballoo about the Droid series having highly protected bootloaders. → Read More
Little Magic Stories from Chris O'Shea on Vimeo. Chris O’Shea makes great stuff using a hacked Kinect. This latest experiment is a performance system called Little Magic Stories. It uses a Kinect sensor and a glass screen to create a “Pepper’s Ghost” illusion. Kids can create and animate their own little characters and then interact with them, catching eggs, smacking… → Read More