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AI and Art Appreciation

Hackaday - เสาร์, 06/22/2019 - 18:00

In 2019, using AI to evaluate artwork is finally more productive than foolish. We all hope that someday soon our Roomba will judge our living habits and give unsolicited advice on how we could spruce things up with a few pictures and some natural light. There is already an extensive amount of Deep Learning dedicated to photo recognition but a team in Croatia is adapting them for use on fine art. It makes sense that everything is geared toward cameras since most of us have a vast photographic portfolio but fine art takes longer to render. Even so, the collection on Wikiart.org is vast and already a hotbed for computer classification work, so they set to work there.

As they modify existing convolutional neural networks, they check themselves by comparing results with human ratings to keep what works and discard what flops. Fortunately, fine art has a lot of existing studies and commentary, whereas the majority of photographs in the public domain have nothing more than a file name and maybe some EXIF data. The difference here is that photograph-parsing AI can say, “That is a STOP sign,” while the fine art AI can say, “That is a memorable painting of a sign.” Everyone admits that there are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to art and how humans appreciate it, but maybe we are wrong and the repeatable results of computers are correct.

For a quick reference, this study found that aesthetics are highest in photos with content and lighting. Punchy colors and harmony evoke sentimental feelings. The most memorable paintings emphasize the subject. Hopefully, this will help you select your next blog image banner, but we went with a functional image because that is who we are.

Here is some of that photograph recognition software picking on Mark Zuckerberg and a hacker making himself invisible to it.

Via IEEE Spectrum.

Monitor The Pollution On Your Commute

Hackaday - เสาร์, 06/22/2019 - 15:00

Commuting through the urban sprawl of a 21st century city brings exposure to significant quantities of pollution. For a Medway Makers member that meant the Isle of Dogs, London, and a drive through the Blackwall Tunnel under the Thames. When you can taste the pollution in the air it’s evident that this isn’t the best environment to be in, but just how bad is it? Time to put together an environmental monitoring and recording rig.

Into the build went an ESP32 module, an SPS30 particulate sensor, an MH-Z19 CO₂ sensor, an HTU21D temperature and humidity sensor, and a uBlox NEO 6M GPS module. The eventual plan is to add an SD card for data logging, but in the absence of that it connects to a Raspberry Pi running Grafana over InfluxDB for data analysis. The result provides a surprising insight into the environmental quality of not just a commute but of indoor life. We’re sorry to say that they don’t seem to have posted any of the code involved onto the Medway Makers writeup, though we hope that’s an oversight they’ll rectify by the time this has gone live.

This isn’t the first environmental monitor to grace these pages, indeed we’ve had quite a few as Hackaday Prize entries.

This Tiny TFT Pendant Is Digital Jewelry

Hackaday - เสาร์, 06/22/2019 - 12:00

Hackers have a multitude of skills, many are well-versed in the ways of all things that blink and flash. These abilities have often be applied to the field of jewelry and human adornment, and many LEDs have been employed in this work. [Deshipu] has been attempting something a touch different however, by constructing a tiny TFT pendant.

The basic idea is not dissimilar from those USB photo keychains of recent history. A SAMD21 Cortex M0+ serves as the brains of the operation, with the tiny microcontroller being soldered to a custom PCB that makes up the body of the pendant. A ST7735S TFT LCD screen is then attached to act as the display. Charging and delivery of images is done over USB, which can be handled natively by the SAMD21.

Currently, the pendant is capable of displaying 16-color BMPs, with the intention to create a converter for animated GIFs in the pipeline. Potential upgrades also involve creating a larger battery pack to sit behind the wearer’s neck, as currently the device has just 8 mAh to work with.

It’s a nicely designed piece, with the pendant appearing barely bigger than the screen itself. It’s not the first time we’ve seen a hacker take on a pendant, and we’re sure it won’t be the last. If you’ve got the goods, be sure to hit up the tip line. 

Everything You Probably Didn’t Know About FOV In HMDs

Hackaday - เสาร์, 06/22/2019 - 09:00

VR headsets have been seeing new life for a few years now, and when it comes to head-mounted displays, the field of view (FOV) is one of the specs everyone’s keen to discover. Valve Software have published a highly technical yet accessibly-presented document that explains why Field of View (FOV) is a complex thing when it pertains to head-mounted displays. FOV is relatively simple when it comes to things such as cameras, but it gets much more complicated and hard to define or measure easily when it comes to using lenses to put images right up next to eyeballs.

Simulation of how FOV can be affected by eye relief [Source: Valve Software]The document goes into some useful detail about head-mounted displays in general, the design trade-offs, and naturally talks about the brand-new Valve Index VR headset in particular. The Index uses proprietary lenses combined with a slight outward cant to each eye’s display, and they explain precisely what benefits are gained from each design point. Eye relief (distance from eye to lens), lens shape and mounting (limiting how close the eye can physically get), and adjustability (because faces and eyes come in different configurations) all have a role to play. It’s a situation where every millimeter matters.

If there’s one main point Valve is trying to make with this document, it’s summed up as “it’s really hard to use a single number to effectively describe the field of view of an HMD.” They plan to publish additional information on the topics of modding as well as optics, so keep an eye out on their Valve Index Deep Dive publication list.

Valve’s VR efforts remain interesting from a hacking perspective, and as an organization they seem mindful of keen interest in being able to modify and extend their products. The Vive Tracker was self-contained and had an accessible hardware pinout for the express purpose of making hacking easier.  We also took a look at Valve’s AR and VR prototypes, which give some insight into how and why they chose the directions they did.

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

dangerous prototype - เสาร์, 06/22/2019 - 06:46

Every Friday we give away some extra PCBs via Facebook. This post was announced on Facebook, and on Monday we’ll send coupon codes to two random commenters. The coupon code usually go to Facebook ‘Other’ Messages Folder . More PCBs via Twitter on Tuesday and the blog every Sunday. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • We’ll contact you via Facebook with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month, please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

New NXP MCUXpresso Eclipse IDE v11.0

dangerous prototype - เสาร์, 06/22/2019 - 06:33

New NXP MCUXpresso Eclipse IDE v11:

The V11 of the MCUXpresso IDE is again a big step forward: new Eclipse version and 64bit, updated ARM toolchain, extended debugging support for P&E and Segger in addition to the LinkServer connection. The Global Variables view now supports live variables and graphing for P&E and SEGGER in addition to the LinkServer connection. The new views with the Build Analysis, Image Info, Stack usage and Call Analysis are very useful. And for bare metal applications it includes a heap and stack usage view too.

More details on MCU on Eclipse.

Salvaging Audio Amplifiers From Vintage Volvos

Hackaday - เสาร์, 06/22/2019 - 06:00

The common automotive scrap yard is a land of plenty for the enterprising hacker., where many items that would be prohibitively expensive elsewhere can often be had for a song. This isn’t just limited to strictly automotive parts either, as the modern vehicle is full of all kinds of hardware. [Nikita] managed to salvage a pair of audio amplifiers from an old Volvo, and put them to good use. It’s a great idea if you’re looking for cheap audio hardware!

The amplifiers are from a Volvo 760 made in 1984. There’s one rated at 40 watts per channel, and a smaller device rated at 25 watts per channel – likely to drive the front and rear speakers from separate amps. The amplifiers take 12 volts nominally, as one would expect. After some initial testing with a car battery and unsticking old relays, things began to crackle into life.

With the hardware now functioning, it was simply a case of bolting the amplifiers into a frame, hooking them up to a converted ATX power supply, and wiring up some connectors for speakers and audio input. With a few bits and pieces invested, [Nikita] now has a good quality amplifier to run audio in the workshop.

There’s plenty of useful hardware you can score down at the wreckers, and we see these parts used in hacks all the time – from peculiar milling machines to automated watering systems.

Running Ubuntu on the One Mix Yoga 3 mini laptop (video)

Liliputing - เสาร์, 06/22/2019 - 04:35

The One Mix Yoga 3 is a small laptop that features an 8.4 inch touchscreen display and a convertible tablet-style design. It ships with Windows 10, but one of the first things I tried doing with the tablet was to boot a GNU/Linux distribution. I posted some notes about what happened when I took Ubuntu […]

The post Running Ubuntu on the One Mix Yoga 3 mini laptop (video) appeared first on Liliputing.

New Part Day: This $10 Rocking Single Board Computer Does Everything You Want

Hackaday - เสาร์, 06/22/2019 - 03:00

Single board computers are great, but what we really need are cheap single board computers. Running Linux on anything isn’t as good as running Linux on everything, and all that. To that end, here is the Rock Pi S, a $10 single board computer with Ethernet, WiFi, and it costs $10.

This one comes from the boffins at Radxa, already behind the footnote-worthy Rock Pi 4, a single board computer that appears to be heavily derived from the Raspberry Pi but with a 4 in the name so it’s obviously better. It also has 4 GeeBees of RAM, so it’s got that going for it too. Their latest product is the Rock Pi S, a board that seems as though it’s taking inspiration from the C.H.I.P.. The biggest selling point is of course the price: $10 for the version with 256MB of RAM and without WiFi or Bluetooth. Various other incarnations exist with permutations of 256MB or 512MB of RAM, and with or without WiFi and Bluetooth. The highest spec variant costs $16, but is sold out at the moment.

This tiny little single board computer fills a need in the marketplace; the Raspberry Pi Zero is cheap and small when it’s available, but sometimes you need Ethernet for various reasons and a real USB A port is great to have. We’re looking forward to the builds this tiny board enables and all the fantastic creations that will come from a community so very interested in single board computers.

GPD P2 Max 8.9 inch laptop crowdfunding begins June 26th

Liliputing - เสาร์, 06/22/2019 - 02:55

GPD has announced that it’ll begin taking pre-orders for the upcoming GPD P2 Max through an Indiegogo campaign set to launch at 10:00AM Bejing time on June 26th. If you’re in the US, that’s 10:00PM Eastern on June 25th. The P2 Max is a 1.5 pound laptop with an 8.9 inch, 2560 x 1600 pixel touchscreen display, […]

The post GPD P2 Max 8.9 inch laptop crowdfunding begins June 26th appeared first on Liliputing.

Bunnie Huang Talks Manufacturing And Component Choices During Hackaday Prize Mentoring Session

Hackaday - เสาร์, 06/22/2019 - 01:31

Andrew “Bunnie” Huang’s mentor session for the Hackaday Prize shows off the kind of experience and knowledge hard to come by unless you have been through the hardware development gauntlet countless times. These master-classes match up experts in product development with Prize entrants working to turn their projects into products. We’ve been recording them so that all may benefit from the advice and guidance shared in each session.

The appealing little FunKey pocket gaming platform.

Bunnie is someone who is already familiar to most Hackaday readers. His notoriety in our community began nearly two decades ago with his work reverse engineering the original Microsoft X-box, and he quickly went on to design (and hack) the Chumby Internet appliance, he created the Novena open-source laptop, and through his writing and teaching, he provides insight into sourcing electronic manufacture in Shenzhen. He’s the mentor you want to have in your corner for a Hackaday Prize entry, and that’s just what a lucky group had in the video we’ve placed below the break.

While this session with Bunnie is in the bag it’s worth reminding you all that we are still running mentor sessions for Hackaday Prize entrants, so sign up your entry for a chance to get some great feedback about your project.

The first team to meet with Bunnie are FunKey, whose keychain Nintendo-like handheld gaming platform was inspired by a Sprite_tm project featuring a converted novelty toy. The FunKey team have produced a really well-thought-out design that is ready to be a product, but like so many of us who have reached that point they face the impossible hurdle of turning it into a product. Their session focuses on advice for finding a manufacturing partner and scaling up to production.

A prototype HotorNot Coffee Stirrer, showing their problem of having to maintain food-safe components.

HotorNot Coffee Stirrer is trying to overcome a problem unique to their food-related project. A hot drink sensor that has to go in the drink itself needs to be food safe, as well as easy enough to clean between uses. A variety of components are discussed including a thermopile on a chip that has the advantage of not requiring contact with the liquid, but sometimes the simplest ideas can be the most effective as Bunnie reminds us that a cheap medical thermometer teardown can tell us a lot about appropriate parts for this application.

The idea behing PhalangePad is an attractive one, but making those sensors reliable is no trivial eercise.

It’s another component choice problem that vexes PhalangePad, an input device that relies on the user tapping the inside of their fingers with their thumb. It’s a great idea, but how should these “keypresses” be detected? Would you use a capacitive or magnetic sensor, a force sensitive resistors, or maybe even machine vision? Here Bunnie’s encyclopaedic knowledge of component supply comes to the fore, and the result is a fascinating insight into the available technologies.

We all amass a huge repository of knowledge as we pass through life, some of the most valuable of which is difficult to pass on in a structured form and instead comes out as incidental insights. An engineer with exceptional experience such as Bunnie can write the book on manufacturing electronics in China but still those mere pages can only scratch the surface of what he knows about the subject. There lies the value of these mentor sessions, because among them the gems of knowledge slip out almost accidentally, and if you’re not watching, you’ll miss them.

This is the second in our series of Hackaday Prize mentoring sessions this year, but we have more already in the can and further sessions to record. We’re constantly looking for more participants though, so make sure if you haven’t already that you put your entry in for Hackaday Prize and check out the list of mentors who are here to share their knowledge and experience.

The HackadayPrize2019 is Sponsored by:





Retrotechtacular: This Boat Isn’t Sinking… It’s Doing Research

Hackaday - เสาร์, 06/22/2019 - 00:01

It looks like a ship when it is in port or in transit, and when it use you’d think it’s about to sink. The RP FLIP (for “FLoating Instrument Platform)  is an unpowered research buoy with a very special design designed to provide the most stable and vibration-free platform possible for scientists studying the properties of the sea.

RP FLIP interrior bathroom design has two sinks mounted at 90 degree angles.

Scientific research often places demanding requirements upon existing infrastructure, requiring its own large projects tailored to their individual task. From these unusual needs sometimes come the most curious buildings and machinery. RP FLIP is designed to provide the most stable and vibration-free platform possible for scientists studying the properties of the sea. By flooding tanks in its bow it transfers from horizontal and floating on the surface to vertical and half-submerged when it is deployed. With its stern protruding from the water and pointing skywards it has the appearance of a sinking ship. What’s really neat is that its interior is cleverly designed such that its crew can operate it in either horizontal or vertical positions.

The original impetus for FLIP’s building was the US Navy’s requirement to understand the properties of sound waves in the ocean with relation to their submarines and presumably also those of their Soviet adversaries. Research submarines of the 1950s were not stable enough for reliable measurements, and the FLIP, launched in 1962, was built to address this by providing a far more stable method of placing a hydrophone at depth. Since then it has participated in a significant number of other oceanographic studies as diverse as studying the propagation of waves across the Pacific, and the depth to which whales dive.

The videos below should give a good introduction to the craft. The first one is a glossy promotional video from its operator, the Scripps Institution Of Oceanography, on its 50th anniversary, while the lower of the two is a walkaround by a scientist stationed aboard. In this we see some of the features for operating in either orientation, such as a toilet facilities mounted at 90 degrees to each other.

It appears that FLIP is in good order and with continuing demand for its services that should see it still operating well into the future. Those of us who live near Atlantic waters may never see it in person but it remains one of the most unusual and technically intriguing vessels afloat.

FLIP is not the only 1960s oceanographic research buoy we’ve covered, should you have an interest in such things.

Header image: Office of Naval Research from Arlington, United States [CC BY 2.0]

Daily Deals (6-21-2019)

Liliputing - ศุกร์, 06/21/2019 - 23:15

Intel’s 10th-gen Core “Ice Lake” chips are coming this year, and the company is promising a big boost in graphics performance, among other things. Don’t need the GPU boost and/or don’t want to wait for computers like the new Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 to go on sale? Prices are already falling on a number of […]

The post Daily Deals (6-21-2019) appeared first on Liliputing.

Hackaday Podcast Ep24: Mashing Smartphone Buttons, Sound Blastering, Trash Printing, and a Ludicrous Loom

Hackaday - ศุกร์, 06/21/2019 - 23:01

Hackaday Editors Elliot Williams and Mike Szczys wade through the fun hacks of the week. Looks like Google got caught ripping off song lyrics (how they got caught is the hack) and electric cars are getting artificially noisier. We look at 3D Printing directly from used plastic, and building a loom with many hundreds of 3D printed parts. The Sound Blaster 1.0 lives again thanks to some (well-explained) reverse engineered circuitry. Your smartphone is about to get a lot more buttons that work without any extra electronics, and we’ll finish things up with brass etching and downloadable nuclear reactor plans.

Take a look at the links below if you want to follow along, and as always tell us what you think about this episode in the comments!



Direct download (59 MB)

Places to follow Hackaday podcasts:

Episode 024 Show Notes: New This Week: Interesting Hacks of the Week: Quick Hacks: Can’t-Miss Articles:

The PewPew Console Is Coming To EuroPython 2019

Hackaday - ศุกร์, 06/21/2019 - 22:00

EuroPython is a community-run developer conference, which began back in Belgium in 2002. In 2019, it’s happening in Basel, Switzerland from July 8 to 14, and there’s a special surprise in store for attendees this year. Conference attendees with be provided with a PewPew console for their hacking pleasure!

An earlier version of the PewPew handheld. There have been many and varied revisions of the hardware.

We’ve featured the project before on these hallowed pages; the earlier PewPew Featherwing console was a finalist in the 2017 Hackaday Prize Best Product Competition. At EuroPython, attendees will get to tinker with a special conference edition, which is the latest version of a long line of development versions. It runs the same microcontroller – ATSAMD21E18A – as the Adafruit Trinket M0, and is programmable with CircuitPython. The conference edition comes with a large 60 mm x 60 mm LED matrix, as well as an orange PCB with blue buttons to match the color scheme of the event.

We wager that conference attendees will enjoy hacking on the handheld console, and it makes a great platform for anyone who is new to embedded development with the Python language. Similar to badges, it makes a great pack-in for patrons, and the conference should be all the more enjoyable for it!

Huawei’s MediaPad M6 Android tablets sport Kirin 980 chips, 8.4 inch or 10.8 inch displays

Liliputing - ศุกร์, 06/21/2019 - 21:35

Huawei may be facing an existential threat due to US trade restrictions, but that isn’t stopping the Chinese electronics company from launching new devices. The company has just pulled the veil off a few new devices including the Nova 5 series of smartphones and the new Huawei MediaPad M6 Android tablet family. I find the […]

The post Huawei’s MediaPad M6 Android tablets sport Kirin 980 chips, 8.4 inch or 10.8 inch displays appeared first on Liliputing.

This Week in Security: SACK of Death, Rambleed, HIBP for Sale, and Oracle Weblogic — Again!

Hackaday - ศุกร์, 06/21/2019 - 21:00

Netflix isn’t the first name to come to mind when considering security research firms, but they make heavy use of FreeBSD in their content delivery system and do security research as a result. Their first security bulletin of the year, not surprisingly, covers a FreeBSD vulnerability that happens to also affect Linux kernels from the last 10 years. This vulnerability uses SACKs and odd MSS values to crash a server kernel.

To understand Selective ACKs, we need to step back and look at how TCP connections work. TCP connections provide guaranteed delivery, implemented in the from of ACKnowledgement (ACK) packets. We think of a TCP connection as having a dedicated ACK packet for every data packet. In reality, the Operating System makes great effort to avoid sending “naked” ACK packets, and combines multiple ACKs in a single packet. An ACK is simply a flag in a packet header combined with a running total of bytes received, and can be included in a normal data packet. As much as is possible, the ACK for data received is sent along with data packets flowing in the opposite direction.

One problem with this approach is that when a transmission failure occurs, it’s not clear which packet was dropped, and multiple packets must be re-transmitted. Another strategy for handling ACKs is to use Selective ACKs, or SACKs. A SACK will include the ACK flag, the total number of bytes, as well as the TCP sequence numbers. When data is dropped, the SACK packet specifies precisely which packets were lost.

The other term important to understand is the Maximum Segment Size (MSS). This value is usually specified during the initial TCP handshake, and specifies how much data can be transmitted in a single TCP segment. A MSS set to a lower number often results in data being split into multiple segments.

Netflix outlined several problems related to SACK , but the most serious vulnerability is triggered when an attacker makes a TCP connection to a Linux or FreeBSD server, and sets the MSS to the lowest possible value. After data is transferred, the attacker sends a sequence of SACK packets, requesting the re-transfer of specific multiple packets. This specially crafted series of packets causes the multiple fragmented messages to overflow the server’s outgoing buffer. It appears this attack cannot lead to code execution, but it does cause an immediate kernel panic, which essentially knocks the target machine offline.

Patches fixing the problem have been released, but aren’t yet available for easy install on live systems. The patches haven’t yet been part of an official kernel release, but most distributions have already backported the patches and made them available as updates. For more information, see a very helpful comment from an anonymous commenter below.

As a workaround, Netflix suggests either disabling SACK altogether, or filtering packets with very low MSS values. More information about these mitigations is available in their bulletin.

Rambleed

Building on the concepts of Rowhammer, Rambleed attacks the memory of other processes, but by reading that memory instead of just writing to it. Just as with Rowhammer, the central idea is that modern RAM is so dense that individual bits have a detectable effect on nearby bits. Rowhammer allowed an attacker to flip nearby bits even though they may have belonged to a different process, or even the kernel itself.

Rambleed depends on the physical layout of memory — it’s essentially a two dimensional grid. The bits above and below have an effect on the bit flips of a given bit. If an attacker can control a row of memory, a Rowhammer attack can be mounted on one of the bits of that row. By measuring how effective that attack was, the status of the bits above and below can be statistically determined.

Historically, physical RAM attacks of this nature is defeated by ECC memory. The Rambleed researchers suggest two approaches to overcome ECC. The first is to flip multiple bits so that the ECC algorithm still evaluates the pattern as correct. The second technique is a timing attack, where an error-corrected read takes measurably longer than an uncorrected read. Since the presence or absence of a flipped bit is enough to determine the target bit’s value, the ECC mechanism is defeated. As their coup de grâce, the authors demonstrated Rambleed by recovering an RSA-2048 key from an OpenSSH 7.9 server.

Have I Been Pwned… For Sale?

First off, if you haven’t already, go check out Have I Been Pwned. Give the website an email address, and it will return the list of websites that have been compromised where an account was using that email address. It’s extremely useful to keep track of where your accounts have been scraped and exposed. While some hits are benign, like your email address scraped from public Github data, you might just discover an old forum or service that leaked an important password or other data.

As useful as this service is, it’s surprising to see a virtual for sale sign show up. [Troy Hunt] has been running the site single-handedly for over 5 years. He now measures traffic by the millions, and records by the billions, and recently had the epiphany that personal burnout was looming on the horizon, unless changes were made. He’s looking for a parent organization or company to acquire HIBP, stay true to his core principles, and let him make some changes to keep the ship afloat.

Zero Days!

Oracle Weblogic is actively being targeted with a Java deserialization attack. If that sounds familiar, it’s because we talked about it right here not long ago.

An April commentary on the vulnerability seems particularly apt, given the current resurgence of the problem. [Rob VandenBrink] observed that Oracle’s resolution for the problem is simply to blacklist the specific attack vector, rather than take action to fix the underlying deserialization problem.

Firefox has released two point releases in the last week, patching two vulnerabilities that are reported to be actively used in an attack against Coinbase employees. Not all the details have been released yet, so look forward to more details next week. For now, just make sure your version of Firefox is at least 67.0.4.

Booting the Game Boy Advance into Bluetooth

Hackaday - ศุกร์, 06/21/2019 - 18:00

While it might not be quite as revered as its predecessor, the Game Boy Advance is arguably the peak of “classic” handheld gaming, before things got all 3D and dual screen on us. One of its best features is the so-called multiboot mode, which allows the GBA to download a program from its link port. Officially this feature was introduced so you could play multiplayer with your friends even if they didn’t have the game cartridge, but naturally it didn’t take long for hackers to realize you can use it to run arbitrary code on an unmodified system.

[Shyri Villar] has put this capability to excellent use with a plug-in board that allows a stock GBA to be used as a general purpose Bluetooth HID controller. Now you can emulate GBA games on your computer while using the real thing as your input device. Or if that’s a bit too redundant for you, then any 2D game you think could benefit from the classic Game Boy control layout.

An ATmega328P on the board initiates the multiboot sequence when the system powers up, and feeds it the GBA program that’s stored on a W25Q32 chip. Once the code is running on the GBA, it communicates with a common HC-05 Bluetooth module through the same link port. To perform this handoff, [Shyri] uses a HCF4066 switch IC to literally change the pin assignments in the connector from the SPI used to upload the ROM to the UART lines of the Bluetooth module.

With everything powered from the 3.3 V provided by the GBA’s link port, and some software niceties like the ability to store Bluetooth pairing information for subsequent device connections, this is actually a very practical gadget. The fact that you can do this on a completely stock GBA is very compelling, especially considering some of the previous Bluetooth Game Boy modifications we’ve seen. Granted the market might be somewhat limited, but with a custom PCB and a 3D printed enclosure, we could see this potentially being a popular accessory for the classic handheld. It’s not like it can be any more niche than using the GBA as a remote display for your multimeter.

Grate Design on This Cutting Edge Raspberry Pi Case

Hackaday - ศุกร์, 06/21/2019 - 15:00

Love ’em or hate ’em, you’ve got to hand it to Apple: they really know how to push people’s buttons with design. Their industrial designers can make a product so irresistible – and their marketing team can cannonball the hype train sufficiently – that people will stand in line for days to buy a new product, and shell out unfathomable amounts of money for the privilege.

But what if you’re a poor college student without the budget for such treasures of industrial design? Simple – you take matters into your own hands and stuff a Raspberry Pi into a cheese grater. That’s what a group of engineering students from the University of Aveiro in Portugal called [NeRD-AETTUA] did, in obvious homage to the world’s most expensive cheese grater. The video below for the aptly named RasPro is somewhat less slick that Apple’s promos for the Mac Pro, but it still gets the basics across. Like the painstakingly machined brushed aluminum housing on the Mac, the IKEA cheese grater on the RasPro is just a skin. It covers a 3D-printed chassis that houses a beefy power supply and fan to go along with the Raspberry Pi 3. There’s also a speaker for blasting the tunes, which seems to be the primary use for the RasPro.

All things considered, the cheese grater design isn’t really that bad a form factor for a Pi case. If that doesn’t appeal, though, take your pick: laser-cut plywood, an Altoids tin, or even inside your PC.

Pi Zero Streams Video From “Fake” Security Camera

Hackaday - ศุกร์, 06/21/2019 - 12:00

Fake security cameras are advertised as a cheap way to deter anyone who might be up to no good. This isn’t a crime and punishment blog, so we’re not really in a position to say how accurate that claim actually is, but we see enough of these things for sale that somebody out there must believe they’re worth having. Though if it were us, we’d take this tip from [Daniel Andrade] and convert our “fake” camera into a real one with the Raspberry Pi and WebRTC.

There are an untold number of makes and models of these fake cameras out there, but it seems that many of them share a fairly common design in that the enclosure they use is actually pretty useful for putting your own hardware in. They’re hollow, relatively well protected from the elements, and as most of them use a blinking LED or some other feature to make them look more authentic, they already have a functional battery compartment.

As it turns out, the one that [Daniel] picked up for $9 USD is pretty much perfect for the Raspberry Pi Zero and its camera module. He even wired the blinking LED up to the Pi’s GPIO pins so it will still look the part, though replacing it with an RGB LED and appropriate scripts to drive it would be a nice way to get some visual feedback on what the system is doing.

The software side of things is done with Balena, a suite of tools for setting up and managing Linux Internet of Things devices. They provide everything from the SD card image that runs on the Pi itself to the cloud infrastructure that pulls all the data together. [Daniel] dove a little deeper into the software stack when he created his Bitcoin traffic light last year.

For any readers who may feel a sense of déjà vu looking at this project, you aren’t going crazy. We recently saw a similar project that used an ESP8266 and a PIR sensor to add motion sensing capabilities to one of these fake cameras. Now all we need is somebody to put an Arduino in one of them, and we’ll have the Holy Trinity represented.

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