Archive for the ‘Security’ Category

iPort turns iPad and iPod touch into in-wall touchscreens

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

iportwallmountedipad.jpg
Photos courtesy of The Unofficial Apple Weblog

With iPad, home automation would be much easier system to be installed and implemented – and the price would be more affordable.

iPort has introduced two new products in its Control Mount Series for the Apple iPad and iPod touch.  The CM2000 Control Mount for iPad and the iPort CM100 Control Mount for iPod touch both integrate the handheld Apple touchscreen products in an in-wall frame, transforming them into in-wall touchscreens for display of weather, news, stocks and many other preferred Apps.

The CM100 also transforms the iPod touch into an in-wall Internet radio source, and connects to any stereo or audio/video receiver.  Users can download their choice of any Internet radio apps available in the Apple App Store and play the audio back through any connected stereo system.
The CM2000 (US$499) and CM100 ($250) may be installed in either a vertical or horizontal orientation, depending on the functionality and design of the room.  When installed into the iPort, the iPad and iPod touch remain constantly charged.

Courtesy: The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Macsimum News

Talking Tire Monitor detects traction & Tire Pressure

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

tire-pressure-monitoring

Some cars have tire pressure monitoring systems for a while now, but this new system from Schrader Electronics takes that useful concept into the future.

It’s not quite explained whether this wireless Talking Tire Monitoring System actually talks to you, but one way or another it notifies you when your tire pressure is low. But it’s a whole lot smarter than that, showing you how much tread is left on those tires, and even sensing slippery road conditions in real time, notifying you how much traction your tires are getting.

In other aspect, it also could help motorists significantly reduce their carbon tyreprint as vehicles with properly inflated tyres boast an improved fuel efficiency. In addition, underinflated tyres wear out quicker and need replacing more frequently.

Courtesy Guardian via  Dvice

Do It Yourself a RFID immobiliser

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

rfid-car-immobiliser

This guy, [andrew_h] has put together this slick anti theft device for his car. This RFID immobiliser is used to keep the car engine from starts unless you swipe an RFID tag. Depending on how well you hide it, and how well the person stealing the car knows you, they would have no reason to suspect that they have to swipe the tag. Even if someone steals the car while it is already running, they won’t be able to re start the engine if they shut it off. Guys, you should try this one if you have any car to experiment with, or you have to steal a car to do this.. kidding! All steps, schematics and PCBs are available.

Available at Instructables.com via Hack A Day

How to build your own RFID reader

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

DIY RFID

Do you have any idea on how easy it is to build your own RFID reader? Well, we stumbled upon some sites that’ll give you some clearer picture on how to make this thing happens. As pointed out by hackaday,

[Klulukasz] left a comment pointing to this DIY RFID reader that was a final project in 2006 for a class at Cornell University. It is well documented and includes not only a schematic and code, but an explanation of the design considerations used during the build. The project uses an ATmega32 and the parts list priced out at about $50 at the time. There were plenty of responses to theRFID spoofer post pointing out that there are readers available for $40, but we want the fun of building our own.

A bit more vague with the details but no less interesting is this other simple RFID reader design.

Courtesy: hackaday

Time delay door alarm

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

door_alarm_finished.jpg

Have you ever accidentally left your front door ajar and had a pet escape? BlackCow at Homebrew Tech came up with a simple solution to this problem. The circuit is fairly rudimentary but a great example of using the basics to get the job done. Now, instead of having an alarm that sounds as soon as the door is open, he has a 30 second delay. This helps avoid the “boy who cried wolf” effect also known as the “vista security warning” effect of being bothered too many times for a non issue.  We also have to say that we like his taste in blog layouts.

Courtesy of Homebrew Tech via Hacked Gadgets

School District Halts Webcam Surveillance

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

A suburban Philadelphia school district is deactivating a webcam, theft-tracking program secretly lodged on 2,300 student laptops following allegations the device was used by administrators to spy on a boy at home.

“I think given the concerns of parents and community members, I think we have a responsibility to at least take a pause and review the policy,” Lower Merion School District spokesman Doug Young said in a telephone interview Thursday evening.

The move came a day after the 6,900-pupil district, which provides students from its two high schools free Macbooks, was sued in federal court on allegations it was undertaking a dragnet surveillance program targeting its students — an allegation the district denied. Young said the computer-tracking program was activated a “handful” of times solely to track a missing laptop.

The suit was based on a student’s claim, acknowledged by the district, that the webcam was used by school officials to chronicle “improper behavior” based on a photo the computer secretly took of the boy at home. (.pdf) in November.

The assistant principal at Harriton High informed the student “that the school district was of the belief that minor plaintiff was engaged in improper behavior in his home, and cited as evidence a photograph from the webcam embedded in minor plaintiff’s personal laptop issued by the school district,” according to the lawsuit.

Young declined to directly say whether the program was activated in this instance to locate a missing laptop. He said the district only activates it when there is a reported missing laptop, and urged Threat Level to draw its own “inferences.”

“The only situation where the feature would have been activated is in the case of a stolen, missing or lost laptop,” Young said. “There’s never been any scenario used for any purpose other than that.”

Lawyers for the student did not return phone calls and e-mails for comment. The Associated Press reported late Friday the FBI was probing the allegations. (more…)

Thwart robbers with an old smoke alarm.

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

[Anders] tipped us off about his hack that re-purposes a smoke alarm as a burglar alarm. Unfortunately, he came home in the middle of a burglary but wanted to be ready the next time someone tries to break in. By cleverly patching into the test button on an old smoke detector he created a circuit-trip alarm. One side of each piece of wire is secured to the frame and jam of a window. A paper clip completes the circuit by pinching the two bare conductors. If the window is opened the connection is lost and the alarm sounds.

We see a few problems with this system. First off, never hack your ONLY smoke detector, you are putting lives at risk by doing so. But [Anders] says he’ll have a replacement detector and since these things need to be replace every ten years or so, chances are you can find an old one kicking around. We’d recommend disguising the case so that people aren’t confused about it being a smoke detector. Secondly, he’s mounted the alarm right in the window frame so most likely an invader will just smash the thing to bits.

Anyway, it’s still an interesting reuse of these ubiquitous, and life-saving, devices.

courtesy consider the clam via hackaday

Python IR tracking for the handicapped

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

[Techb] had a friend who was paralyzed after an accident and could no long use a computer. He rigged up an amazingly simple mouse interface using python to implement infrared tracking. The controller was built from an old hat by adding an IR LED and wireless mouse modified so that the button could be clicked by the user’s mouth. A webcam with exposed film used as a filter can track the IR LED and take input from the wireless mouse buttons.

This setup, which draws inspiration from Wii Remote white boards,  is much simpler than the Eyewriter (and doesn’t shine an IR LED into your eye). Although [Techb] wants to add facial recognition to the system, there’s something to be said for such a simple implementation.

courtesy hackaday

Cellphone controlled door locks

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

[Tom Lee] and his colleagues of Sunlight Labs just moved to a new office. The doors are setup like a security checkpoint with electronic strikes and buttons on the inside to allow entry. The button simply completes a low-voltage circuit, activating the strike which made it quite easy to patch into. They build an interface board with a small relay to complete that circuit. As we’ve seen before, Linksys routers have plenty of extra room in the case so there was no problem housing the new circuit in this tiny network device. Now [Nicko] and his friends can use a custom app to input an access code or to verify a device ID from a cell phone and gain entry. The door still has keyed locks in case of a power outage. In fact, the only change made to the system was the addition of two wires to the “door release” button as seen above. See the one-touch device ID authentication in the video after the break.

This hack is similar to the GSM door entry from last year. In this case, the phones are communicating with the door via web interface and not the GSM network.

via Hackaday, Sunlight Labs

RFID tracking system

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

This is a working tracking system using RFID tags built by Nicholas Skinner. The system’s tags operate in the 2.4 GHz band and are used to track either people or assets. The readers are on a mesh network and can triangulate the location of any tag for display on a map. His system is even set up to show the travel history of each tag. [Nicholas] shared every detail in his writeup including some background about available hardware options and how he made his final decisions on what devices to use for the job. His conglomeration of software that ties the whole project together is also available for download.

http://hackadaycom.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/rfid-tracking-system.jpg?w=470&h=344

courtesy: ns-tech