Hackaday Links: January 20, 2019

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Let’s say you’re an infosec company, and you want some free press. How would you do that? The answer is Fortnite. Yes, this is how you hack Fortnite. This is how to hack Fortnite. The phrase ‘how to hack Fortnite’ is a very popular search term, and simply by including that phrase into the opening paragraph of this post guarantees more views. This is how you SEO.

Lasers kill cameras. Someone at CES visited the AEye booth, snapped a picture of an autonomous car at AEye’s booth, and the LIDAR killed the sensor. Every subsequent picture had a purple spot …read more

Lathe’s Tool Holder Holds a Rotary Tool

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What is better than a tool? Two. What is better than two? Two tools tooling together. [tintek33] wanted a rotary tool to become an attachment on his mini lathe, the video is also below the break. Fortunately, Dremels and Proxxons are built to receive accessories, or in this case, become one. Even if the exact measurements do not apply to your specific hardware, we get to see the meat of the procedure from concept to use.

We start with where the rotary tool should be and get an idea of what type of bracket will be necessary. The design phase …read more

What Never Was is a somber Myst-like adventure that leaves you wanting more

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It can be difficult to find time to finish a video game, especially if you only have a few hours a week to play. In our biweekly column Short Play, we suggest video games that can be started and finished in a weekend.

Shortly after the death of her grandfather, Sarah Wright is tasked with cleaning out the attic of his home in rural England. The small room is furnished with a desk, a large grandfather clock, and a curious globe. It’s also full of books and mysteries that Sarah uncovers as she searches through her grandfather’s belongings.

This is the setup for What Never Was, a first-person adventure that feels like a cross between Gone Home and Myst. It’s smaller in scale compared to Gone Home — in What Never Was you only have access to…

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CNC Mill Repairs iPhone 7

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Modern smartphones are highly integrated devices, bringing immense computing power into the palm of one’s hand. This portable computing power and connectivity has both changed society in innumerable ways, and also tends to lead to said powerful computers ending up dropped on the ground or into toilets. Repairs are often limited to screen replacement or exchanging broken modules, but it’s possible to go much further.

The phone is an iPhone 7, which a service center reported had issues with the CPU, and the only fix was a full mainboard replacement. [The Kardi Lab] weren’t fussed, however, and got to work. …read more

A new trailer for American Gods’ second season teases a coming war between gods

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Starz has released a new trailer for its upcoming second season of American Gods, showing off a building confrontation between the old gods and new.

The series is based on the 2001 fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman, which follows a former convict, Shadow Moon (played by Ricky Whittle in the show), after he’s hired by a mysterious individual named Mr. Wednesday (played by Ian McShane). He acts as a body guard and driver for the man as he travels across the country on a secretive mission. (Spoilers ahead) The first season of the highly stylized show saw the pair meeting a number of strange individuals on their journey, and it isn’t until the finale that Shadow Moon realizes that the man he’s been accompanying isn’t a human at all, but a…

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This case turns your iPhone into a point-and-shoot camera

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These days, there isn’t much our iPhone camera can’t do – except feel like an actual phone. Despite years of steadily increasing resolution and image sensing technology, we’re still taking shots awkwardly with two hands, fumbling for the shutter button. Leave it to an avid photographer to design Shuttercase, a versatile iPhone case that solves that problem and more.

Most significantly for photographers of any experience, the Shuttercase moves the shutter button to the side – just like the classic 135 point-and-shoots. It further replicates that feel with the case itself, which supplies enough heft that you can grip it and shoot with one hand. It also packs an embedded stand, and – because long photo sessions can drain your phone like nothing else – a 3,000 mAh battery that will charge as you go. Now you’re set to unlock the full potential of your camera, whether that’s panoramic vacation shots or perfectly composed family photos.

Originally $79.99, the Shuttercase for iPhone is now 37% off at $49.99. Read the rest

Sci-Fi Sundays: Analog, December 1962

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2019 started off with a rather interesting tweet from Elon Musk. He was showing off the “Starship test flight rocket” from SpaceX. This thing evokes a strong bit of imagery that has been so deeply integrated into our culture through science fiction for so many years that it just feels… right.

Just look at that thing! Well, as you can imagine, seeing that beautiful piece of work inspired me to yank out some retro science fiction and look at the old illustrations. There are so many examples that you could just swap the test rocket into and they’d seem nearly untouched. The issue I’ve chosen for today’s Sci-Fi Sunday is one of these.

Publication: Analog Science Fact – Science Fiction

Issue: December 1962, Vol: LXXX, No. 4

Cover Art: Schoenherr for Blind Man’s Lantern

When I scan one of these, I’m always curious what the public was thinking and seeing about space. NASA has a convenient website where you can go and see details on major events. In December of 1962, the public was hearing about how Mariner 2 had flown by Venus, which was a pretty huge deal considering this was the very first time we had “conducted a planetary encounter”. Just picture that for a second. When someone was relaxing and reading this issue, we had not yet put a human on the moon. Read the rest

Cloning Knobs For Vintage Testing Equipment

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Knobs! Shiny candy-colored knobs! The last stand of skeuomorphism is smart light switches! Everyone loves knobs, but when you’re dealing with vintage equipment with a missing knob, the odds of replacing it are slim to none. That’s what happened to [Wesley Treat] when he picked up a vintage Philco tube tester. The tester looked great, but a single knob for a rotary switch was missing. What to do? Clone some knobs! You only need some resin and a little bit of silicone.

The process of copying little bits of plastic or bakelite is fairly standard and well-tread territory. Go to …read more

Epsom Salts Restores Lead Acid Battery

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Despite a lot of advances in battery technology, lead acid batteries are still used in many applications due to cost and their ability to provide a lot of surge current. But they don’t last forever. However, [AvE] shows that in some cases a failed battery can be restored with — of all things — epsom salts. If it makes you feel funny to use the stuff grandpa soaks in when he has a backache, you can call it magnesium sulfate.

You can find a complete explanation in the video below (which includes [AvE’s] very colorful language), but fundamentally, the magnesium …read more

Strobe For Wood Turning Makes Inspection Easy

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The lathe is a simple enough tool to understand, but requires much practice to truly master. During the turning process, it’s often necessary to inspect the workpiece. This generally necessitates stopping the lathe, waiting for everything to spin down, and then starting again. This can be a major time sink when added up across the full scope of a project. However, the magic of strobes can help.

The basics of [Darcy]’s project will be familiar to any hacker who has worked with rotating machinery before. The rotational speed of the lathe is measured, in this case using a reed switch …read more

Always Have A Square to Spare

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Some aspects of humanity affect all of us at some point in our lives. Whether it’s getting caught in the rain without an umbrella, getting a flat tire on the way to work, or upgrading a Linux package which somehow breaks the entire installation, some experiences are truly universal. Among these is pulling a few squares of toilet paper off the roll, only to have the entire roll unravel with an overly aggressive pull. It’s possible to employ a little technology so that none of us have to go through this hassle again, though.

[William Holden] and [Eric Strebel] have …read more

MIDI Association Announces MIDI 2.0 Prototyping

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MIDI was introduced at the 1983 NAMM show as a means to connect various electronic instruments together. Since then, our favorite five-pin DIN has been stuffed into Radio Shack keyboards, MPCs, synths, eurorack modules, and DAWs. The standard basically hasn’t changed. Sure, we have MIDI SysEx messages to configure individual components of a MIDI setup, but at its core, MIDI hasn’t changed since it was designed as a current-loop serial protocol for 8-bit microcontrollers running at 1 MHz.

Now, ahead of the 2019 NAMM show, the MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA) in conjunction with AMEI, Japan’s MIDI Association, are announcing MIDI …read more

Somewhere Down in Africa Toto is Playing on Loop

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Amidst the vast expanse of sand dunes in the Namib desert, there now exists a sound installation dedicated to pouring out the 1982 soft rock classic “Africa” by Toto. Six speakers connected to an MP3 player all powered by a few solar powered USB battery packs, and it is literally located somewhere down in Africa (see lyrics). The whole project, known as TOTO FOREVER, was the creation of film director [Max Siedentopf] who himself grew up in Namibia.

“I set up a sound installation which pays tribute to probably the most popular song of the last four decades…and the installation

…read more

Leaked image shows off three variants for the Samsung Galaxy S10 lineup

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Samsung will hold its next Unpacked event next month, where it’s expected to show off a “fully functional” version of its foldable phone, along with the next iteration of its Galaxy lineup, Galaxy S10. A new leaked image from Evan Blass shows off three versions of the phone, the S10E, the S10, and the S10+.

There have been rumors floating around since last fall that the S10 would come in three variants: the S10 and S10+ with a curved OLED screen, hole-punch selfie camera, and in-display fingerprint scanners, with a third (presumably the S10E), serving as a cheaper edition without all the bells and whistles. The company is also rumored to have been in discussions with Verizon to bring a 5G version of the phone to the US. A leak from…

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Apple is once again selling its iPhone SE — for now

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Last September, Apple officially stopped selling its iPhone X, iPhone SE, and iPhone 6s models, following the release of the iPhone XS and XR. This weekend, MacRumors noticed that Apple has quietly begun to sell the iPhone SE once again in its clearance section.

The 2016-era phone is available in 32GB and 128GB sizes, with $100 and $150 knocked off the price, respectively. The phones are available in space gray, rose gold, gold, and silver colors.

It doesn’t appear that Apple has made the iPhone X or iPhone 6s for sale once again, but if you’ve been missing a decent phone with a headphone jack, this might be the time to pick one up.

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Fortnite’s floating sphere exploded, leaving the island covered in snow and zombies

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Fortnite’s latest mystery is finally starting to unravel. Not long ago a floating sphere made of ice appeared in the game, leaving many players to wonder just what was going on. Now we have an answer, sort of: it exploded and a mysterious figure inside called the Ice King created a massive storm, which covered the entire island in snow.

It was a dramatic moment that included a towering, ghostly apparition appearing around Polar Peak, which kicked off the storm. In addition to the shift in weather, there are now ice monsters in the game — called ice fiends — which spawn from glowing blue stones scattered across the map. The new creatures also come with a new set of challenges where players can earn wintery gear and other bonuses.


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Automate Your Home From the Clearance Rack

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The month or so after the holidays have always been a great time to pick up some interesting gadgets on steep clearance, but with decorations and lights becoming increasingly complex over the last few years, the “Christmas Clearance” rack is an absolute must see for enterprising hackers. You might just luck out like [ModernHam] and find a couple packs of these dirt cheap wireless light controllers, which can fairly easily be hacked into the start of a home automation system with little more than the Raspberry Pi and a short length of wire.

In the video after the break, [ModernHam] …read more

11 new trailers you should watch this week

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I finally got around to watching Roma the other week. It’s a fascinating film, telling its story in a way that few others do — not quite through the intimate portrait of one character, but through a world of contrasts and colliding events.

Honestly, I couldn’t quite get a grasp on how to understand Alfonso Cuarón’s approach until I saw a tweet from Guillermo del Toro the other day. “In every sense, Roma is a fresco, a mural, not a portrait,” he wrote.

And it’s true. The background of each shot matters as much, if not more, than the foreground, and frequently they’re playing off one another in one big, looping narrative. I do wish the film had gotten closer to its main character, but del Toro’s analogy helps me appreciate its grander…

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