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Music

Wooden toy piano given polyphonic synth overhaul

If, like me, you grew up watching Charlie Brown cartoons on TV, then you may have also got your very first taste of classical music from the virtuoso hands of a certain blond-haired, Beethoven-obsessed kid hunched awkwardly over a toy piano. Though said toy piano has often been played far beyond its limited range, imagine the kind of sonic wonders Schroeder could perform if he sat down in front of Liam Lacey's Vintage Toy Synthesizer.Read More

Automotive

DEF CON focuses on vehicle security and beyond in wake of Jeep hack

Last month, security researchers Chris Valasek and Charlie Miller made headlines when they remotely hacked a Jeep Cherokee, killing the transmission as a Wired reporter drove at high-speed down the freeway. But with cars representing only a subset of the Internet of Things, it's likely that many companies that had previously never considered whether their products were virtually as well as physically safe will similarly be responding to disclosures of exploits and courting future employees at hacker conventions in the future. Security researchers at DEF CON described the many attack surfaces of today's connected vehicle and pointed to potential improvements to protect consumers.Read More

Automotive

Hackers remotely take over Jeep Cherokee

The minute you connect a car to the internet, you’re exposing it to the risk of hacking – and even if it’s only the entertainment system that’s supposed to be online, a skilled hacker can now remotely take control of just about any electronically controlled part of your car, including the steering, throttle and brakes. And this isn't some distant thing to worry about in the future. One Wired reporter just had the terrifying experience of having his Jeep Cherokee taken over by hackers while he was on the freeway. Like a scene in a horror movie, he found himself a helpless passenger in his car as he lost control of its functions one by one.Read More

Electronics

Linux software engineer builds his own PiPhone

Since its launch and slightly delayed shipping in 2012, we've seen Raspberry Pi computers used for everything from a bartender to robots to a bizarre musical instrument. Now dedicated tinkerer Dave Hunt has used a Model B to create a touchscreen smartphone called the PiPhone, though he readily admits that it would be easier and cheaper to pick up an (arguably much better looking) budget cellphone from a shop in the mall, "but hey, where’s the fun in that."Read More

Music

Wooden cube converts touch into music

The aim of the Hackable Instruments project is to create instruments that can be easily tweaked by the player to find interesting new directions for producing flavorsome tones, without any specialist knowledge of electronics or engineering, while also aiding in the development of distinctive playing styles. Project members Andrew McPherson and Victor Zappi have designed and built a deliberately simple instrument that produces sounds when a player's fingers touch, slide or tap a capacitive sensing strip on one of the wooden cube's faces.Read More

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