Node volume 01 ebook

NODE VOL 01 is a new, independently created zine for the NODE community. It contains many of the subjects we talk about here; decentralization and P2P technologies, open source, do it yourself tutorials and hardware design, cutting edge technology and more.

This first volume is 150 pages long, and, it’s packed with features on P2P projects, such as Dat, Beaker Browser, Ricochet IM, Aether, and more. There are many tutorials showing projects like the new NODE Mini Server, how to 3D print long range wifi antennas, how to chat via packet radio, and how to do things like Libreboot the Thinkpad X200. There’s also a handy open source directory at the back, along with lots more.

I do like watching N-O-D-E, and its great to see all the episodes in one place to read through at our leisure, in the form of a freely downloadable ebook. If you don’t use DAT, theres a copy here. You can also get it in paper from the shop.

The quality of OkCupid has gone down for me?

Opimal Cupid

I love OkCupid, its been consistently good for me and for me been streets ahead of the other dating sites. But things are starting to change (as you’d expect). Besides Okcupid being bought by Match.com a while ago its been ticking on, however the industry and environment changed.

Little things changed like the end of journals have happen but the big fear was to switch to a paid subscription model, which hasn’t happened (yet).

So its largely stayed the same…?

However, not so fast… OkCupid lives on its matching algorithm and although you can debate how effective this is compared to other ways to match people… OkCupid stands out for its algorithm, as even Chris (found via Tim who also recommended I read reddit too), the man who hacked OkCupid points out.

OkCupid was founded by Harvard math majors in 2004, and it first caught daters’ attention because of its computational approach to matchmaking. Members answer droves of multiple-choice survey questions on everything from politics, religion, and family to love, sex, and smartphones.

On average, respondents select 350 questions from a pool of thousands—“Which of the following is most likely to draw you to a movie?” or “How important is religion/God in your life?” For each, the user records an answer, specifies which responses they’d find acceptable in a mate, and rates how important the question is to them on a five-point scale from “irrelevant” to “mandatory.” OkCupid’s matching engine uses that data to calculate a couple’s compatibility. The closer to 100 percent—mathematical soul mate—the better.

Hacking online dating is nothing new, we’ve all heard about Amy, the woman who hacked online dating?

Chris’s story is something special and quite elegent…

Chris McKinlay used Python scripts to riffle through hundreds of OkCupid survey questions. He then sorted female daters into seven clusters, like “Diverse” and “Mindful,” each with distinct characteristics.

First he’d need data. While his dissertation work continued to run on the side, he set up 12 fake OkCupid accounts and wrote a Python script to manage them. The script would search his target demographic (heterosexual and bisexual women between the ages of 25 and 45), visit their pages, and scrape their profiles for every scrap of available information: ethnicity, height, smoker or nonsmoker, astrological sign—“all that crap,” he says.

To find the survey answers, he had to do a bit of extra sleuthing. OkCupid lets users see the responses of others, but only to questions they’ve answered themselves. McKinlay set up his bots to simply answer each question randomly—he wasn’t using the dummy profiles to attract any of the women, so the answers didn’t mat­ter—then scooped the women’s answers into a database.

And thats the nub or pressure point.

For any of this to work you need people filling out the surveys… I for example have answered over 700 questions. The problem is I’ve seen a dramatic drop in the number of answered questions and more people with zero questions answered.

OkCupid works best on those answers rather than scraping the profile for data. Chris’s hack wouldn’t work without the data. I’d be very interested to see what kind of results you would get now compared to then…

Anyhow Chris’s story is fascinating, specially when you consider the method and drive. Don’t think I’ll be buying the book yet but if your a maths wiz go for it.

I don’t really know what to do about the data problem for myself. I’m tempted to try Plenty of Fish again, see how much its changed (or not). Frankly I have had little to no interest from Tinder, so maybe time to remove it from my androids. Hacking Okcupid isn’t a bad idea but maybe in a way to remove the time wasters.Heck I even had my first speed dating recently where I wasn’t matched with anyone. Luckily one woman was interested in seeing me, so it wasn’t all bad. I’ll save what happened with another one for my book.

I do keep reminding myself it might just be the season or time of year too. These things seem to cycle.

First dates hacked

The Town is All Their's Tonight

The man who usually trolls me Josh sent me a link to the lifehacker article about first dates.

First dates are tough. You’re trying to make a good impression on someone, but you’re also trying to read the person you’re with and see if they’re worth your time. Dating may not be an exact science, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use a little science to our advantage during that first interaction.

Once again, anyone who says its no big deal obviously has no idea what there on about, or hasn’t been dating in the last decade. Lifehacker has your back…

Here’s what you need to know.

A perfect first date is different for everyone, but you can guess that anyone will want solid conversation skills and a good first impression. Beyond that, though, things start to get complicated. Statistics help, but to really craft that perfect first date you need to know exactly how to handle yourself. This is where that science comes in. A lot of the relationship research out there is pretty useless (with riveting studies about how an unpopular name affects your dating success or women find men more attractive when another woman smiles at them), but we went out to find some of the more useful studies to help us craft that perfect first date. Here are the more useful tips we found.

Without ruining the article it boils down to…

  1. Keep the Conversation Interesting (and Risky)
    Absolutely…! This is the part of the date I kinda of enjoy somewhat. Maybe another reason why I quite like speed dating? You start with the basic stuff and before long your in risky territory pouring over past experiences. Its slightly cathartic in nature.
  2. Use the “Right” Amount of Eye Contact
    The right amount? Well I tend to look at people mouths because I’m 25% lip reading and 75% listening. But I do tend to look around the face. I agree the right amount of eye contact is important, no one wants to be eyeballed for long periods of time, specially on a date.
  3. Watch for Mimicry (But Don’t Go Overboard)
    Ok this is something talked to death about in certain books. Its also called mirroring and its go to hear the downsides to mirroring as well as the good. I know certain people who mirror too much and it comes across as weird. No generally I don’t mirror much but I’m conscious of mirroring.
  4. Mind Your Body Language
    Another key one. I don’t generally make a lot of fast or close moves because I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable around me. I’m also not the kind of guy who gets super close at the very start. I know some people will sit side by side instead of ahead from the other. It seems cute but I think its too much.
  5. Be direct with plans
    Although I like the idea of this one, I’m not so certain its a good idea. That extra pressure at the end of a date seems like a bad idea, I mean who wants to go home thinking about how they were pressured into a 2nd date?

Generally the advice is good and the links are excellent…. Good work Lifehacker

Hacking your input and outputs

Hacked... Learn, Build, Share

I had the pleasure of supporting and attending Hacked.io which was a hackday in the most traditional sense of the word. Run by the Geeks of London for 02 Labs, it couldn’t have been more fitting to hold it at the 02 arena (the old millennium dome). Now I knew the plans ahead of most people but I didn’t really think that I might have been a good part of the inspiration for the event.

Melinda broke it down for Ankur Oberoi at 5am.

“Ian use to run Geekdinners which we use to go to. Then went on to run BarCampLondon 1, 2 and 3. After which he ran the first hackday and over the air. Most of the Geeks of London went to the events and once Ian moved on, he passed on geekdinners to me and Cristiano. So we did that and formed the geeks of London. Then we took over Barcamplondon. Now I guess we are taking over hackday. Taking it back to the original idea of sharing ideas and knowledge” (power phrased of course)

On the walk back to the hotel at 5:30am I thought about this… Not only am I delighted to be a inspiration but I’m also over the moon that they have given these events a level of professionalism and sustainability which I could not. No matter what I say about hacked.io, I was blown away by the little things and the ultimate aim of open sharing.

I’m kind of gutted I didn’t hack something myself, but talking to people I learned a bunch of things and some of those things I’m following up with.

Hacked.io promised a lot and deliver much back many things…

Very long queue outside Hacked.io

Of course this is the same team which mainly wrote the controversial hackday manifesto. So it would make sense to compare Hacked.io against there own thoughts…

Announcing the event
Once you know when and how your event will take place, you’ll want to tell the world about it. At a bare minimum, you should decide on a canonical place where all public information about the event lives – this might be a dedicated web site, an event on an existing event online service or some other place which is publicly accessible.

Once you’ve decided where that location is, use tools like Twitter and Facebook to make people aware of the event, and also consider which Google Groups and mailing lists developers relevant to your event may be hanging out. Don’t spam them, though – nobody enjoys that.

On Announcing everything seemed perfect. Everything you needed to know was at hacked.io and the almanac seemed to have all FAQs ready to go. I also felt they hit the right level of communication. Not too much and not too little. Maybe from a supporter side a tiny bit more might not have gone a miss. But generally it was all good.

Registration was cool but my allergy information did get post in the mix. And I did feel sorry for those who were waiting in the massive line for a long while.

The venue should be relatively easy for people from outside of town to locate, with good public transport links. If it’s difficult to reach, try to provide alternative means of transportation, such as coaches to/from local transport hubs throughout the event. Provide a full address, and if necessary, additional instructions to all attendees well in advance of the event.

Include instructions/contacts/getting in arrangements, too (i.e., what to do at reception/security desks).

Print big signs that will guide your attendees to the venue (and in some case inside the venue).

Hacked.io starts

The venue was top class and a dream to be able to use. The transport links to the 02 are great and I do remember the first time Cristiano and Kevin told me they were looking to use the 02. I was gob smacked. How on earth did they pull that one off?  I had looked at the 02 when we were working on Hackday but it was far too expensive. Transport wise its got plenty going for it and heck its easy on the tube. Many signs and even billboards pointed people in the right direction. There were even helpers guiding people to the right place. Of course getting back was easy even at 5:30am due to the 24hour buses which run to central London when the tube stops.

Of course the venue was accessible with lifts and what not, maybe the stage needed a lift too? And I found the security staff quite firm but nice. I think they were a little bemused by the whole event.

Date clashes. One of the most frustrating things for attendees to see is two similar events on the same day in the same area. To avoid this, check places like Lanyrd, Eventbrite, Meetup, and ask on Twitter “is anything going on in X on X?”. Remember that people may be travelling long distances for hack days, so even if an event is a few hundred miles away, you are still diluting your potential audience.

Always a hard one to solve but they got it out there early enough and the only clash I saw was with Mozilla’s Party Hack which I believe was cancelled when the clash came to light.

If attendees are staying overnight, then a separate (dark, quiet) area should be available away from the hacking should people decide to sleep. If possible, this should be several areas potentially including dedicated areas, for example male/female/mixed, minors (+chaperones?), snorer/non-snorer, night-owls/early birds.

I didn’t check out the sleeping arrangements because I stayed up till 5:30am then walked to my hotel in Greenwich. I noticed there were areas upstairs for sleeping and I assume they were separated or whatever. While downstairs was a place for hacking all night. Of course some people fell a sleep at their computers.

2013-07-21%2003.24.50

The Network. Hack days have special requirements: don’t just trust anyone who tells you that “it’ll be fine”. Think about the networking issues, and verify that they work for the kind of capacity you are going to have. People from the venue or their commercial partner will tell you all sorts of things you want to hear but keep in the back of your mind that they may not have any clue what they are talking about. Given the importance of network access, if you are operating a commercial event consider requiring network performance as part of your contract with venues and suppliers.

One of the bug bears of almost any hackday event. Unfortunately hacked.io was effected pretty badly by 2.4ghz wireless problems. There was a figure banded around estimating 4 devices for every single person in the room. That means supplying wireless for 2000 devices! When we did hackday we estimated roughly 2 devices per person. There seems to be plenty of bandwidth in the backend pipe, because once plugged into a switches (the solution to most of the problems) it was fast and reliable. I had to download the JDK and I blinked and it was downloaded.

So what was the problem? Seems some device was spitting out packets into the 2.4ghz space and disrupting the network at the same time. I have some experience of this when the Nimba virus was prevalent and daily Ravensbourne IT staff would have to go find the suspect before they switched to 802.11x authentication. Nimba would just consume the network and all its resources, before you knew it. All spare 802.11 space was crammed with packets

They had the best guys involved in the networking and wireless. Nexus Global networking battled away till most of the machines were on wired network but it was a black eye on a perfectly run event.

Power wasn’t a problem thankfully, lots of spare power sockets all over the place.

Food & Drink…Not everyone in the technical community is hypercarnivorous. Be sure to check with your attendees for dietary requirements: food allergies, vegetarians, vegans and people with dietary restrictions. Make provisions to ensure they are provided for equally. If you’re on a budget, prioritise allergies and vegan alternatives; the vegan alternative will satisfy most non-allergy based requirements. Common food allergies include milk, eggs, nuts, fish, shellfish, soya, and wheat (gluten).

Food was good (mainly salad pots) and there was pizza as a midnight surprise. The dinner was good because there was tickets for 4 different restaurants in the dome. But most people said the portions were quite small and seeked out more food elsewhere. For example my work friends were lucky to get the thai silk tickets which I gather were in high demand. GBK seemed to be 2nd. Last place was dinner at the 02 lounge Which I got stuck with. The last thing I really wanted to eat was mash potatoes and sausages. Weirdly I couldn’t mix the food according to the lady serving!

For the midnight surprise Pizza hut delivered Pizzas but the word didn’t quite get out so quickly so most of the meat ones were gone and we were left with cold pizza. That will teach me to sit and chat upstairs.

There was some confusion over alcohol too but it worked it self out. There was plenty of Fruit and Chocolate, Crisps, Soda and Water around all day and night too.

2013-07-21%2002.16.34

APIs and Datasets was a interesting angle because unlike other hackathons, there was no set API or datasets to play with. You could use what ever you liked but there were challenges for those who couldn’t think of something themselves or needed to be challenged.

Hacked.io demos

Anyone who hacks should be a allowed to Demo at the end of the event, regardless of the quality or completeness.

Each demo should be given a fixed time limit, standard times are 60, 90, 180, and 300 seconds. Tell presenters ahead of time, let them know how much time remains (either half time cards or an on-screen count down), and don’t let them run over.

Try and communicate clear expectations for the demos to all attendees from the beginning of the event. Some attendees will become frustrated when they see others demo-ing paper prototypes or Photoshop mockups when they believed a working implementation was required. If hacks do not meet these base requirements, they should not be able to win a prize.

The demos were by the book. I was very impressed by the use of Hackerleague. Never used it before but I like it a lot. Now if Lanyrd and Hackerleague could connect together… 90 secs was about right for each hack. The only down side was being split up from the hackers presenting but honestly it was for a short time only.

I was really impressed with the range of hacks, I wrote some down which I’d like to follow up on from a BBC point of view and of course hackerleague makes it nice and easy to follow up.

Hacked.io demos

The amount of Philips Hue hacks was impressive and makes sense because I think a lot of people thought it was a totally closed system which was tied to Apple. The amount clearly points the fact Hacked.io was comfortable. People were willing to take more risks and actually learn something new. That makes hacked.io a success right? A return to the learn, build and share ethics of hackers.

I’d also like to say it was amazing all the extra effort the team put in. There was a theme of dogs over cats, be more curious, plus fun and fake facts in the toilets, magically boxes on the tables, the tag line everywhere and finally the first 100 through the door got a prize! Talk about attention to detail! Now thats how you run a hackday!

Massive thanks to the Geeks of London, 02 and everyone who attended and made it a great event. Like everyone asked me after hackday, so whens the next one?

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Where next for the quantified self?

QSAms_NIK8113

The guardian has a article titled What next for the quantified self

The quantified self movement – the idea that tracking metrics about yourself can lead to self-improvement – appears to be gathering steam. With products such as the FitBit One, Jawbone Up and Nike+ FuelBand boasting impressive sales numbers (the FuelBand reportedly sold out within four hours of its launch), it seems that self-tracking is finding traction and on the way to becoming an ubiquitous feature of daily life.

But how exactly can it break into the mainstream, and where does the future of the movement lie? Here are the five key areas where I see the quantified self going next.

The focus is on breaking into the mainstream which I’m not so bothered about but interesting the areas they identify.

  • App collaboration
    Agreed… The fact you have all these companies feeding date into their own ecosystems. Theres many projects to free the data from the ecosystems but thats just the start of the problem… don’t let me get my dataportability hat.
  • Real-time health tracking
    Yes the push towards real time is real and you can understand why…Faster, quicker, etc
  • Evolution of game mechanics
    I welcome an evolution because to date the game mechanics which have been used are pretty dreadful. I mean I’m a big guy, so whats the point of showing the amount of calories my super healthly friend is consuming. It almost like a kick in the teeth… “hey you fat boy think about your friend Joe when you have that last spoon of rice!” Yeah up yours… Actually talking to my NHS dietation way back when, she suggested the gamification of such things was very bad and should be discouraged. And before you think well she didn’t get it. I’ll tell you she was young (25ish) and had an android phone. An evolution in thinking wouldn’t go a miss, not that I’m saying run zombies run is a bad idea.
  • Fix the food problem
    Yes this is a big problem, and everything I’ve seen before to solve this problem is painful. Even my idea of taking pictures of everything I had to eat wasn’t ideal. Its just not acceptable to pull out your phone, hover above your dinner and take a picture in a restaurant. Yes I know people do it, heck I did it a lot but I can understand the weird looks I was sometimes getting. And heck don’t get me started on the eatery.
  • Google Glass (or wearables)
    The article goes off on one about Google Glass and privacy concerns… When actually the link to the quantified self is tedious at best. Regardless, as an extension of the phone it could be useful for solving the food problem maybe…?

Where I think the Quantified Self should go is (where its going already) mindhacking, workhacking, dreamhacking and narrativehacking.. There’s more areas it could and has gone but I won’t go there/describe them right now…

Use your imagination. Self improvement through data and numbers, enough said (smile).

Can’t wait to see and hear tales from the edge at the quantified self europe conference 2013

Media ahead of the curve: Welcometothescene

Welcome to the scene series 2 ep 19

Does anyone remember welcometothescene by Jun Group?

I wrote about it a while back here and here.

For me this was way too early for a lot of reasons but in a world where hackers are dominating the headlines and endless war against piracy this series could actually work very well now. The style is also being duplicated by the likes of some recorded google hangouts I’ve seen recently.

The drama slowly unfolds and although I’ve not seen series 2, I expect the risky move to do very slow drama has been reconsidered. It wasn’t gripping but intriguing enough…

The method of distribution at the time was very radical, creative commons licensed and freely shared on bit torrent (and even e-donkey, geez do you remember that?). Even created in sharing friendly formats like Divx, Xvid, etc… Although quite a obvious move now… back in the day this was pretty amazing and people lapped it up as soon as they could get there hands on it.

Yes Welcome to the scene deserves a place in my ahead of the curve series.

Hacking my john lewis umbrella

I bought another John Lewis Umbrella recently while in Bristol.

My good friend Ross (recently joined twitter), said I was nuts buying such a expensive umbrella, but I explained its the only way to deal with Manchester’s changeable weather. The Umbrella is strong and seems to deal with the gusts much better than most other umbrellas. Plus its small and compact so fits in my laptop bag, or my inside jacket pocket. Yes it was in the lady section of John Lewis but only because theres this stereotype than men carry golfing size umbrellas.

He made the point that I could buy about 17 cheap pound shop umbrellas for the price of my John Lewis one but I love the up and down button and you can’t beat it when going in and out of doors. I did try the M&S umbrella but it felt cheap and unstable in comparison, plus it didn’t have the up and down mechanism (manual sucks).

Anyway, after using it straight away after buying it to keep the rain off in Bristol. I noticed it wasn’t so snappy as the ones I’ve had in the past. Which got me thinking maybe theres a way to hack the umbrella so its snappy and much more responsive?

Yes folks, its time to hack my umbrella… and I’m not the only one but I’m doing it for different less flashy reasons

Of course if I do start hacking it, there will be photos and a detailed analysis of the hacking.

Watch this space…

The White Space Conflict mix

  1. Dark side of the sun – Rory Gallagher
  2. Breathe (Blake Jarrell remix) – Anna Nalick
  3. Wonder of life (F&W remix) – Tukan Light
  4. The strings that bind us – Arnej
  5. Please save me (Push remix) – Sunscreem vs Push
  6. Everythings been Written – 8 Wonders
  7. Gouryella – Gouryella
  8. Unexpectation (Dengavs Manus mix) – Vengeance
  9. The Truth (David West Remix) – Handstrong feat Tiff Lacey
  10. Language (Santiago Nino Dub tech mix) – Hammer and Bennett
  11. Nothing else matters – Max Graham feat Ana Criado
  12. 1999 (Gouryella mix) – Binary Finary
  13. Constellation (John O’Callaghan remix) – Thomas Bronzwaer
  14. Invisible Touch (Ferry Corsten’s Touch) – Bohina

Another new mix by myself, once again recorded via the analogue input in my laptop because the pacemaker’s own recording system is still screwy for myself. In actual fact I did record the mix twice at the same time, once on the pacemaker and again on my laptop. One sounded far better that the other as you would imagine. In actual fact I’m very tempted to upload the busted pacemaker mix, so people can hear the screwy recording but I’ll have to make it clear on another site (maybe archive.org) what its up there to do.

The mix is recorded while relaxing one day recently in my house. So there’s few mistakes, unlike when I’m attempting to mix while walking the streets of Manchester or heading down the wrong way in Irlam….

I’m tempted to upload this to soundcloud too, even though I somewhat dissed soundcloud for its lack of mix support. But the ability to download and licence the track is killer and mixcloud seem not bothered about ever supporting downloads of the mix. Meaning a whole group of people never listen to the mix because frankly who wants to listen to a mix on there browser? Even with the nice fuctionality they have around tracklistings and all that… Its still flash and worst still its mobile flash and once again Flash kind of sucks even on Android…

I a while ago suggested to Mixcloud the concept of mobile playlists tailored for Mixes, but they didn’t really see the point. But recently I suggested the same thing to Dirty Si and he was a lot more receptive to the concept. Right now when I do a mix, I tend to create a piece of metadata to go with the mix. The NFO file (yep straight out of the darknet) contains the playlist order and any other metadata I feel is required. I would use PLS, M3U or even XSPLIF but I’ve just done something to scratch my own itch. I might switch to using XSPLIF with a namespace for my own metadata and add the SMIL namespace. There’s a whole bunch of hacking which needs to be done in this area…

Hacking the Pacemaker (progress)

Pacemaker Manager

At last a break through, someone (musicinstinct2) has cracked the way the pacemaker adds and removes music to the SQLlite database.

My initial experiments involved using the sqlite database browser to open up music.db and enter track information. Then manually copy the tracks over to the device, making up random hash values (as I couldn’t work out how Tonium were creating these hashes). It works! The device doesn’t rely on any particular naming convention, whatever is in the filename field in the database (music.db) is used by the device to load the track.

Fantastic…! Now this is cracked and Musicinstinct2 is working on a open source client to manage tracks. The next stage is to crack and understand the XML file which is attached to every single track uploaded on the device. The bulk of the data in stuck in a XML element called realBeatLocations.

I expect it won’t take long before we have the whole thing pretty much cracked. What would make things move along quicker is if Tonium would publish the source as it was created under the GPL.

Is Design really seedy?

Blackbelt Jones wrote this great post about Seedcamp and the lack of design involvement.

From the Seedcamp about pages:

“There will be a diverse mentor network of serial entrepreneurs, corporates, venture capitalists, recruiters, marketing specialists, lawyers and accountants that will help the selected teams put together the foundations of a viable business.”

How about designers?

Technology plays alone are starting to lose their distinctiveness in many of the more-crowded areas of the marketplace.

Great service and interaction design are on the rise as strategic differentiators for products as diverse as the iPhone and Facebook.

He's right, The only thing desiresable about the iphone is the interface, the technology is under powered or frankly from 2005. Thankfully its not all bad.

The line between hackers and interaction designers is blurring as they start small businesses that are starting to make waves in the big business press.

As I mentioned, my experience of HackDay Europe was that

“It really does seem that the hacker crowd in London/Europe at least is crossing over more and more with the interaction design crowd, and a new school of developers is coming through who are starting to become excellent interaction designers – who really know their medium and have empathy with users.”

This reminds me of my made up position name while at Ravensbourne, Designer/Developer. At the time I design was far too form based while development was far too programming based. Web designer meant you created HTML pages, Information designer meant you didn't actually touch any data or apis and Interaction designer meant you were too focused on art, hanging out in Hoxton and convince your clients they were always wrong. Things have changed for the better. The grey area between design and development
has been intersected by a 3rd force the hacker. So now you get pursuits like hardware hacking, alternative reality games, product user interface hacking. The fact is that its not about the titles, its about what vision you have in your head and how much effort your willing to put in to it.

Business-wise I think we have yet to see what affect the greying of design, development and hacking will have on startup culture.

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Finally got the Wiimote working with my laptop

Wiimote and Dell laptop

After weeks of messing around with many different configurations, tonight (1am) I got it working, thanks to this great forum.

I'm using a Wavelinker bluetooth USB dongle with the IVT Corporation BlueSoleil drivers on my Dell XPS M1210. I have to turn off my internal Bluetooth because it seem to not work with BlueSoleil drivers. The thing which seemed to make all the difference was this ordering.

  1. Open GlovePie
  2. Open BlueSoleil
  3. Press 1+2. Wait for “* Connected” to pop up in the lower righthand corner of your screen.
  4. Run your script.

I found that GlovePie with no Bluetooth Fix or Auto Bluetooth Connect worked for me. GlovePie when opened would launch BlueSoleil for me and within a few seconds I was up and running. I used the script Wiimote identifier to work out if the Wiimote was connected or not. Once it was connected I can then run a more exotic script like the Mouse Control Script.

I've uploading a video I shot, so others can learn how to do the same.

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Hackday officially live – sign up now

hackday in Sunnyville

As previously mentioned on the backstage blog. Hackday.org is now official and you can sign up and grab yourself a ticket now.

The dates are the weekend of the 16th – 17th June at Alexander Palace (yes now it makes sense why I had pictures of the venue on my flickr stream)

Its a partnership between Yahoo! Developer Network and BBC Backstage, which we've been developing for quite sometime. Matthew Cashmore, Tom Coates, Matt McAlister and many others have been involved in this from the start.

As the hackday.org site says, stimulation will be provided in Food, Drinks, Feeds and APIs. Like BarCamp, you are welcome to play werewolf sorry hack or (sleep) through-out the night. Tomski's already offered his shower for Sunday morning. Its going to be a very cool event. No I won't
be doing a live DJ session from stage 1 afterwards but nor will Beck this time around.

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Linux and homebrew on Xbox 360 and PS3?

So while I was looking around the 23C3 conference notes I found some links to videos about a possible Xbox 360 hacking. The video which can only be viewed on Youtube now seems odd and underwelming. But if its true means you can now using some exploit in the game King Kong run unsigned code on a Xbox
360. Engadget also had a piece about the whole thing.

One of the best things about the original Microsoft Xbox console wasn't the fact that it ran games. Oh no, for many, the best part was the ease at which that low-cost / high-powered device could be hacked to run all kinds of Homebrew applications including a damn fine media center. Now, in a tantalizing bit of showmanship put on by a cloaked hacker at the 23C3 Hacker Congress in Germany, a modified Xbox 360 (note attached circuit board) is shown loading Ubisoft's King Kong game just before displaying a trio of
dancing 360, Tux, and (old) MacOS logos with the words “coming soon.” Could this be a true exploit of King Kong's unchecked and unsigned vector shaders? We don't know, but the ability to execute any kind of code is certainly progress.

This is all fitting because Sony have just released a Yellow Dog linux build for PS3. Engadget once again has the right idea.

We're still holding out until Ubuntu gives us the love we crave. Well, that or until the OSS community get started on making an XBMC-like PS3 interface, since Sony believes all of your home's media should live on the PS3, and not on a media server.

Hey and no better time, XBMC is long from dead. Its been partly ported over to x86 for skinners and developers and this new skin from PDM called clearly shows the pure maturity of the XBMC platform.

And in related news I read Microsoft are releasing another version of the Xbox 360 code named Zephyr (1st one was called Xenon), this time with cooler processor, 120gig HD, HDMI and 1080p support out of the box. Sounds interesting but not as important as the previous news.

If the hack is true, it looks like I'll have to decide between the PS3 and Xbox 360 sometime this year. Maybe it will be a race to see who gets XBMC on it first.

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When’s the xbox 360 going to be hacked?

Xbmc 1.1

Not the DVD firmware hack or even the HD/Memory card reading, I'm talling about the (proper) run unsigned code type of hack. I said it would be done within a year. Well theres about 2 months left now. The amount of HD content on my network is growing and I got nothing except my workstation to play it all back on. Plus the Xbox Media Centre has pushed the Pentium 3 733mhz chip to its absolute limit now and the Xbox 360 simply isn't up to scratch for media playback sorry.

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Messy haxoring with metasploit caught on iptv

Its not quite as cool as it may sound from the title. I just watched epioside 13 of my lame-ass iptv soap, The scene. yes everyones got there weakness but if you put this against other soaps like Hollyoaks then it comes out quite well. Anyhow, I got a real kick out of main character trying to get root on windows box hosting a FTP server. They used the well established metasploit to find a flaw and exploit it. To be fair its one step up from the hack in the matrix reloaded and they did do a little homework to use the nice opensource framework metasploit. Its certainly a fine line between security tester and exploiter but the best tools always are.

Talking of which if you didnt catch the Security now podcast number 9 about rootkits, please do as it will give you a good old wake up call. I've been personally aware of rootkits for quite a long time but I didnt know spyware, adware applications were starting to use them just so they cant be removed from a computer. Its crazy, but its true. Honestly I wouldnt wish a rootkit on my worst enemy, I just cant imagine anything worst. Anyhow, Steve and Leo do a great job explaining how rootkits work. It is however really good to know Microsoft and Sysinternals are working on the problem. I did try out SysInternal's Rootkit Revealer on all my machines and I'm clean as expected but its good to be sure. I suggest everyone should give it a try, at least till Microsoft add rootkit scanning to there malicious software removal tool. No one likes to be rooted…

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