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Fresh hacks every day

Last Build Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2017 04:30:15 +0000


Need a Night-Light?hurricaine-diy-led-candlelefaris

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 02:00:30 +0000

[Scott] created an LED candle in preparation for the big mac daddy storm (storms?) coming through.  Like millions of other people in Florida, he was stuck at home with his roommates when an oncoming hurricane headed their way.  Worrying about blundering about in the dark when the power inevitably went out, they set off to gather up all of the candles they had lying around.  Realizing the monstrous pile of candles and matches looked more and more like a death wish, the decision was made to create a makeshift light out of what components they had on hand.  Now, not …read more


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Wind Chimes and Dry Ice Make an Unusual Musical Instrumentdry icedpsm64

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 23:00:00 +0000

When it comes to making music, there are really only a few ways to create the tones needed — pluck something, blow into something, or hit something. But where does that leave this dry-ice powered organ that recreates tunes with wind chimes and blocks of solid CO2?

It turns out this is firmly in the “hit something” camp, as [Leah Edwards] explains of her project. When the metal wind chime tubes come in contact with dry ice, the temperature difference sublimates the solid CO2. The puff of gas lifts the tube slightly, letting it fall back against the brick of …read more


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OptionsBleed – Apache bleeds in uncommon configuration800kripthor

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 20:00:59 +0000

[Hanno Böck] recently uncovered a vulnerability in Apache webserver, affecting Apache HTTP Server 2.2.x through 2.2.34 and 2.4.x through 2.4.27. This bug only affects Apache servers with a certain configuration in .htaccess file. Dubbed Optionsbleed, this vulnerability is a use after free error in Apache HTTP that causes a corrupted Allow header to be replied by the webserver in response to HTTP OPTIONS requests. This can leak pieces of arbitrary memory from the server process that may contain sensitive information. The memory pieces change after multiple requests, so for a vulnerable host an arbitrary number of memory chunks can be …read more


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Hackaday Prize Entry: The $50 Raspberry Pi Smartphone55421493462097967brianbenchoff

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 18:30:33 +0000

The Hackaday Prize is a challenge to create hardware, and the ZeroPhone is quite possibly the most popular project entered in the Hackaday Prize. What is it? It’s a mobile phone built around the Raspberry Pi Zero that can be assembled for about $50 in parts. Already, it’s a finalist in the Hackaday Prize best product competition, a finalist for the grand prize of $50,000, and one of the most popular projects on of all time.

We took a look at the ZeroPhone early this year, and while there have been significant advances in this project, the philosophy is …read more


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There Is No Such Thing As An Invalid UnitInvalid02jennylistThe ill-fated Mars Climate Orbiter craft. NASA [Public domain].

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:01:28 +0000

The Mars Climate Orbiter was a spacecraft launched in the closing years of the 1990s, whose job was to have been to study the Martian atmosphere and serve as a communications relay point for a series of other surface missions. It is famous not for its mission achieving these goals, but for the manner of its premature destruction as its orbital insertion brought it too close to the planet’s atmosphere and destroyed it.

The cause of the spacecraft entering the atmosphere rather than orbiting the planet was found in a subsequent investigation to be a very simple one. Simplifying matters …read more


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Hybrid Technique Breaks Backscatter Distance Barrierbackscatterdpsm64

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 15:30:41 +0000

Low cost, long range, or low power — when it comes to wireless connectivity, historically you’ve only been able to pick two. But a group at the University of Washington appears to have made a breakthrough in backscatter communications that allows reliable data transfer over 2.8 kilometers using only microwatts, and for pennies apiece.

For those unfamiliar with backscatter, it’s a very cool technology that modulates data onto RF energy incident from some local source, like an FM broadcast station or nearby WiFi router. Since the backscatter device doesn’t need to power local oscillators or other hungry components, it has …read more


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In-Band Signaling: Quindar TonesQuindardpsm64

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:01:00 +0000

So far in this brief series on in-band signaling, we looked at two of the common methods of providing control signals along with the main content of a transmission: DTMF for Touch-Tone dialing, and coded-squelch systems for two-way radio. For this installment, we’ll look at something that far fewer people have ever used, but almost everyone has heard: Quindar tones.

What’s a Quindar?

You may never have heard what Quindar tones are, but you’ve certainly heard them if you’ve ever seen any manned spaceflight videos. Quindar tones are those short beeps you hear when NASA is communicating with astronauts, as …read more


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