Highlights from Interbike 2014

Hack

The rather impressive Lego Techno step sequencer, complete with XY pad, faders and rotary ...

Lego. Is there anyone who doesn't love letting the creative juices flow to build everything from 3D printers to cars you can ride in to musical instruments? During the recent MidiHack weekend in Stockholm, Sweden, an unofficial collaboration between a university professor and three developers from Native Instruments yielded a rather impressive step sequencer, complete with XY pad, faders and rotary controls.  Read More

The PiPhone from software engineer and photographer Dave Hunt

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

Percussionist Enrico Bertelli puts the digital music cube through its paces

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

SkyJack was made from a Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 like the one pictured here

Amazon's Prime Air announcement last week brought concerns about the use of commercial drones to the fore, but one programmer may have just muddied the waters even more. Notable hacker Samy Kamkar recently modified a Parrot AR.Drone 2 with his custom software, called SkyJack, allowing it to seek out the wireless signals of other UAVs and take control of them, even while in flight.  Read More

Rice University researchers use the heartbeat as a random signal generator to make medical...

Remotely hacking a pacemaker or insulin pump should be impossible, but sadly it isn't. It puts the millions of people who use wireless medical implants at potential risk. Researchers at Rice University believe they have a solution: a touch-based device that will use a person's own heartbeat as a password to permit or deny access to their implant.  Read More

Hackers demonstrate a workaround to Apple's touted Touch ID system (photo from Starbug's v...

Hackers claim to have already found a workaround to the iPhone 5s' Touch ID system, allowing them to unlock the phone with a dummy fingerprint obtained from a real fingerprint.  Read More

DefCon and Black Hat highlight the fact that companies often seem more concerned about the...

The cyber security convention DefCon and its corporate counterpart, Black Hat, that are held annually in Las Vegas present a unique tableau where the traditional (and traditionally overstated) conflict between underground hacking culture and corporate and government security professionals is suspended with the goal of openness and education. If you enjoy and own technology and gadgets of any kind, the conferences highlight a looming security crossroads that affects every layperson. Gizmag takes a look at some of the more important hacks from this year.  Read More

CreepyDOL is a new personal tracking system that allows a user to track, locate, and break...

Brendan O'Connor is an unabashed hacker who has worked for DARPA and taught at the US military's cybersecurity school. CreepyDOL (Creepy Distributed Object Locator), his new personal tracking system, allows a user to track, locate, and break into an individual's smartphone. "For a few hundred dollars," he says, "I can track your every movement, activity, and interaction, until I find whatever it takes to blackmail you."  Read More

Cydia Substrate is a new Android tweak from the premier developer for jailbroken iPhones

When you jailbreak an iPhone or iPad, your first stop is the legendary jailbreak app store, Cydia. It picks up where the walled garden of Apple’s App Store leaves off. But on Android – where Google Play lets you download apps for both unhacked and hacked devices – Cydia makes a lot less sense. But that didn’t stop its developer from releasing, well, a different kind of Cydia for Android.  Read More

The International Space Apps Challenge asked teams to solve problems for both Earth and sp...

Given a set of problems related to space exploration and a 48-hour deadline, 9,000 people in 80 locations around the world created over 600 solutions. The International Space Apps Challenge, sponsored by NASA and other international space agencies, offered up massive amounts of data and other resources to teams of hackers who responded with creative solutions. The public now has the chance to view these solutions online and vote for their favorites on each project's official page. Gizmag set out to find the best projects related to data visualization and education, space exploration and satellite inventiveness, green technology, and remotely-operated vehicles.  Read More

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