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Tag Archives: Hacks

Siri Hacked To Remotely Start A Car

By David Ponce

One enterprising hacker has devised a way to use Siri to start and turn off his car remotely. Here’s how he did it:

I created a new ruby plugin that is used by plamoni’s “Siri Proxy”, a proxy server for Apple’s Siri assistant. This proxy server allows for the creation of custom plugins that can intercept recognized speech and perform virtually any function imaginable (programmable, scriptable).

The “Siri Proxy” plugin I wrote handles interaction with a php script that runs on my web server. The php script, which I developed months ago for personal use, allows me to send commands to my car which has a Viper SmartStart module installed.

Current commands accepted are: “Vehicle Arm”, “Vehicle Disarm”, “Vehicle Start”, “Vehicle Stop”, “Vehicle Pop Trunk”, and “Vehicle Panic”.

–UPDATE: Now it also responds to more conversational commands such as “Start my car”, “Lock my car”, “Pop my trunk”, etc…

The thing is, you clearly still need to have your car starter remote around, so why not just press the button? Clearly this is just a proof of concept and isn’t meant to be a standalone application (even if it had been an unsupported one). But it does make you wonder how things can and most likely will evolve with Siri and voice commands.

[ ] VIA [9to5mac ]

Possible Hoax? Hackers Claim Development Of Thought Controlled Siri

By David Ponce

So the idea here is pretty simple. A group of UK kids claim to have developed a way to give Siri commands by simply… thinking them. Called Project Black Mirror, the way this works is the user hooks himself up with a few EEG pads and proceed to train the custom software. The claim is that by focusing on a particular word, the brain emits a “signature pattern”, which can then be programmed to become associated with that command. Once properly “trained”, these commands are then fed to a SpeakJet speech synthesizer chip and sent to the iPhone via its microphone jack. The video at the end of the article purportedly demonstrates the system in action.

We call BS for a bunch of reasons we’re about to get into. But most of all, this all just reeks of hoax. Hit the jump to hear us out.

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Not Tetris = Classic Tetris + Real Physics

Not Tetris (Images courtesy 'Maurice')
By Andrew Liszewski

I don’t think anyone can ever get tired of playing Tetris. The game definies ‘replay value.’ But if you feel you’ve already mastered those falling blocks and are looking for more of a challenge, then give this version of the game a shot. Not Tetris looks and plays just like the original game, except that real-world physics and gravity come into play. And it doesn’t clear lines either, the goal of this version is to basically stack as many pieces as you can without them reaching the top of the screen. Doesn’t seem like a challenge? Perhaps this video will convince you it’s not so easy.

You can download Not Tetris from the Facepunch forums where it was posted and created by user Maurice, and as far as I can tell it’s PC only at this point. Also, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I still think Tetris has one of the greatest, most catchy soundtracks of any game, ever.

[ Facepunch – Not Tetris ] VIA [ ALBOTAS ]

Clever ‘Hack’ Provides A Physical Knob Interface For The iPhone

iPhone Physical Touchscreen Knobs (Image courtesy dsLabs)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’ve got nothing against touchscreens, they’re great for most applications, but they’re not always the ideal alternative to a physical button, slider, knob or even scroll wheel. So I like this clever compromise that dsLabs have come up with. Using the same principles people have used to create capacitive touchscreen-friendly styluses, they’ve created a touchscreen-friendly knob that allows you to rotate objects on the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad by rotating the knob while it’s sitting on the screen.

And making your own doesn’t seem to be that difficult. It just requires a bit of trial and error and some extra care to ensure the knob you’ve re-appropriated doesn’t scratch up the display.

Similar to the soft stylus, the trick is finding a way to create a conductive path from your hand to the screen. We started by using copper tape, conductive fabrics (see the soft stylus) and wires to simulate two touch points on opposite sides of the knob. It takes some careful tuning to get the touch points spaced correctly and sized such that the screen reads them as a touch, but it does work with a little patience.

[ dsLabs – Physical Touchscreen Knobs ] VIA [ PSFK ]

WODE Jukebox Stand For The Wii Lets You Run ‘Homebrew’ Software Without Breaking Out The Soldering Iron

WODE JukeBox Standard for Nintendo Wii (Image courtesy ShopTemp)
By Andrew Liszewski

The Wii ‘homebrew’ scene has evolved over the years to the point where you don’t need a steady hand and a soldering iron to ‘enhance’ the console’s capabilities anymore. But while the WODE (Wii Optical Drive Emulator) Jukebox doesn’t require you to know how to solder, there is some assembly required, including opening up your Wii and swapping around some ribbon cables. The WODE Jukebox connects between the Wii and its internal DVD hardware, and ends up functioning like a virtual drive, allowing you to mount ISO files which the Wii will think are actual game discs. So while there are some hardware modifications needed, you aren’t doing anything to your Wii that can’t be reversed.

The WODE Jukebox features a USB port allowing you to connect flash drives or an external hard drive loaded with homebrew software, as well as an SD card slot providing the same functionality. But it can also operate in a ‘Flat WODE’ mode allowing you to load software burned to DVDs like with other modification chips. A monochrome LCD display and a tiny joystick on the front of the Jukebox allows you to choose what titles you’d like to load, though if the prospect of having to get up to change applications isn’t that appealing to you, a special version of the WODE firmware lets you use an on-screen menu with the Gamecube controller instead.

If you’re seriously interested in the device, and aren’t scared off at the prospect of cracking open your Wii, or the $95.46 price tag, GBAtemp has an extremely thorough review on the device, including installation procedures and compatibility tests.

[ WODE JukeBox Standard for Nintendo Wii ]

Neodymium Magnets Improve An Already Clever Hack

Binder Clip Magnet Cable Holders (Image courtesy gkrieshok)
By Andrew Liszewski

A few weeks ago Lifehacker posted a clever tip about using binder clips attached to the side of your desk to prevent unused cables from sliding off onto the floor. However, it required those cables to be threaded through the ‘handles’ of the binder clips, which was slightly inconvenient whenever you needed to use one of the tethered cables elsewhere.

But one of their readers has improved on the design, in my opinion at least, by attaching a set of neodymium magnets to the clips, creating a sort of MagSafe hack for everything from power to USB to even video cables. Just remember that magnets and electronics aren’t good bedfellows, but an extra ounce of prevention should ensure this hack does more good than harm.

[ Lifehacker – Combining Binder Clips and Magnets for Easy Cable Access ]

Game Boy Advance Crammed Inside A Game Boy – For Some Reason

Game Boy Advance Game Boy (Image courtesy CRTdrone)
By Andrew Liszewski

Created by Flickr user ‘CRTdrone‘ this, um, original mod allows the original Game Boy to play all Game Boy, Game Boy Color and of course Game Boy Advance games. I guess it’s not really my place to ask “why?” since mods like this have become rather popular as of late, and it does result in the Game Boy gaining a rechargeable battery, but I’d like to know where the GBA’s rather integral shoulder buttons have ended up?

[ Flickr – CRTdrone ] VIA [ Tiny Cartridge ]

Mindflex Hacked To Provide Negative Shock Therapy

By Chris Scott Barr

Remember that really cool MindFlex game from Mattel that we showed you last year? It’s been out for a little while now, and has given some modders a few creative ideas. Since it can provide a reaction to brain activity, the possibilities are endless. One group decided to use a modded version of the device as something to promote relaxation of the mind.

Okay, so they probably had no real intentions of using this thing for any real beneficial reason. They just wanted to shock the crap out of people. Essentially they hooked up an electroshock unit up to the device. When someone used more than low frequency brainwaves, they’d receive a painful shock. As you can see in the video, it’s hard to not concentrate when people are standing there heckling you.

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Wi-Fi Warthogs Looks Like Fun To Me

By Andrew Liszewski

At Microsoft’s PDC09 conference, Tim Higgins was showing off his Wi-Fi Warthogs game which you can think of as a slightly smaller, live-action version of Halo. Using an XBox 360 controller you take control of one of 6 remote control jeeps, but instead of using some tiny RC model, the game uses modified Power Wheels making it 100x more awesome.

On the back of each jeep is a controllable laser tag gun and the whole point of the game is to shoot your opponents, knocking them out of commission. Of course the use of larger scale Power Wheels makes the act of simply ramming your opponents extra enticing, but since each jeep carries a laptop on board you should probably exercise some restraint. Maybe someone could make a virtual version of Wi-Fi Warthogs where you were free to drive jeeps around, shooting at each other without ever causing any real damage…

[ Coding4Fun – Wi-Fi Warthogs ] VIA [ Make ]