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The ZX Microdrive: Budget Data Storage, 1980s Style

An enduring memory for most who used the 8-bit home computers of the early 1980s is the use of cassette tapes for program storage. Only the extremely well-heeled could afford a disk drive, so if you didn’t fancy the idea of waiting an eternity for your code to load then you were out of luck. If you had a Sinclair Spectrum though, by 1983 you had another...

Hackaday Podcast 085: Cable Robots Two-Ways, Cubic Raspberry Pi, Plastic Wrap Kayak, and Digging Inductors

Hackaday editors Mike Szczys and Elliot Williams take a look at all the hacks from the week that was. We think we’ve found the perfect tentacle robot, and its matching controller is also a tentacle. An unrelated project uses the same Bowden cable trick as the tentacle controller to measure deflection. If you’re more of a material-science geek, refining...

Magnum Opus Keyboardus, or Build Ad Infinitum?

It happens to pretty much everyone who gets into keyboards. No commercial keyboard can meet all your needs, so you start building them. Use them a while, find problems, build a new keyboard to address them. Pretty soon you think you have enough user experience to design the perfect keeb — the be-all, end-all magnum opus clacker you can take to the grave....

This Week in Security: AD has Fallen, Two Factor Flaws, And Hacking Politicians

The big news this week is the huge flaw in Microsoft’s Active Directory, CVE-2020-1472 (whitepaper). Netlogon is a part of the Windows domain scheme, and is used to authenticate users without actually sending passwords over the network. Modern versions of Windows use AES-CFB8 as the cryptographic engine that powers Netlogon authentication. This peculiar...

Listening To An iPhone With AM Radio

Electronic devices can be surprisingly leaky, often spraying out information for anyone close by to receive. [Docter Cube] has found another such leak, this time with the speakers in iPhones. While repairing an old AM radio and listening to a podcast on his iPhone, he discovered that the radio was receiving audio the from his iPhone when tuned to 950-970kHz....

Radon Monitor Recreates Steam Gauge with E-Ink

While the full steampunk aesthetic might be a bit much for most people, those antique gauges do have a certain charm about them. Unfortunately, implementing them on a modern project can be somewhat tricky. Even if you’ve got a stock of old gauges laying around, you’ve still got to modify the scale markings and figure out how to drive them with digital...

Closely Examining How A PG&E Transmission Line Claimed 85 Lives In The 2018 Camp Fire

In 2018, the Camp Fire devastated a huge swathe of California, claiming 85 lives and costing 16.65 billion dollars. Measured in terms of insured losses, it was the most expensive natural disaster of the year, and the 13th deadliest wildfire in recorded history. The cause of the fire was determined to be a single failed component on an electrical transmission...

Figuro Draws 3D in Browser

We would have never guessed there would be so many browser-based CAD packages. While TinkerCAD is great for simple things, there are also packages such as OnShape that rival commercial CAD programs. A site calle Figuro claims to occupy the space between TinkerCAD and Blender. We aren’t so sure, but it is an interesting entry into the field. Apparently,...

Vacuum Dragster Uses Syringes For Propulsion

Atmospheric pressure is all around us, and capable of providing a great deal of force when used properly. As Otto Von Guericke demonstrated with his Magdeburg hemispheres over 350 years ago, simply removing air from a chamber to create a vacuum can have astounding results. More recently, [Tom Stanton] has used vacuum to power a small 3D-printed dragster....

Mirror Turns Webcam into Document Camera

This is one of those so-simple-I-wish-I-invented-it hacks. Professor [Michael Peshkin] is teaching his engineering students remotely. While he has a nice second camera that he can use to transmit whatever he doodles on paper, most of his students just have the single webcam built into their laptops. The solution is to put a mirror in front of the laptop...

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