Hyperbolic paraboloids to go, why not!

Draft model

“Chips” draft model

I have been envisioning making a lamp shade with stack of Pringles-like features with various degrees of curvature. After trying out with a few CAD tools, I realised I could not draw what I had imagined – so I went out and asked a computer more formally with written instructions to carry out the magic.

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The return of ex-president: Krypto-Kekkonen

Visual cryptogrphy hiding piece of history

Visual cryptography that hides a piece of history

Due to recent events in world politics, I decided to take a look back and make an implementation of 3D-printed visual cryptography. There were some challenges as original model was designed for printing onto overhead transparencies, which are pretty much obsolete tech today.

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Temperature-humidity-light meter – for kids, you know.

Thermo-hygro-light-o-thingie

Thermo-hygro-light’o-thingie

In the series of don’t-we-already-have-more-than-enough-of-these-gizmos: Today I made a simple power conscious cloud-connected weather sensor. While the design itself is trivial, it seems that ready-made devices available seriously lack in connection options and customisability – while doing something like this is a simple matter of programming™.

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$25 WiFi Webcam from China – I am livin’ on the edge!

Rock on – what could possibly go wrong with cheapest-possible piece of equipment that is designed to capture both sound and video, is made in China and costs about 25 USD, and comes with real internet connectivity – you know: cloud backends and all.

So, I went off to dig some more blood from my nose. I bought one – no, I bought three Xiaomi Xiaoyi Ants web cameras, and went to see what’s inside and how (in)secure they are. Continue reading

My Air Purifier is in the Internet – should I be worried?

Typical IoT system level components

Typical IoT system level components

It is 2016 and everything is connected to internet in a way or another, what’s the big fuzz about privacy and security of these little devices? After all we have made consumer gadgets since ages, and one in a while malfunction or vulnerability gets discovered and shotly it gets fixed, right?

By looking closely at some of my connected devices, I found interesting stuff that has gone largely unnoticed. And more interesting is to come, for reasons I am about to explain.

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Smart’ifying a wall clock with – time to wake up! [part 2]

Panic, get up, or stay in bed and continue sleep?

Panic? Get up? Or stay in bed and continue sleep?

Ok, so sandwiching a clock on clock wasn’t the greatest idea there – what would be the next marginally smarter idea? Adding wake up alarm! In the vast sea of alarm implementations there isn’t much to be celebrated in terms of unique and clever design. So going for the context around it: How about hose dark moments in the middle of night when one suddenly wakes up wondering if the alarm goes off at the next moment.

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Turning a wall clock to smart one, what does it take? – Part 1

 

Wall clock with electronics in back. Below motion sensor without casing.

Ikea wall clock with electronics installed to backside. Below motion sensor without casing.

It is 2016 and we are about to have flying cars soon, it would about the time to start turning old non-smart objects to smart ones. How would one make a wall clock smarter, say by an epsilon?

For long I have played with the idea on turning the most mundane objects into something completely different – so when I saw  ¢ 50 Ikea RUSCH wall clock, made from semi-transparent plastic I knew it would be an opportunity to add some oddball functionality there. Ikea tuning it is, lets start putting the steroids in.

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Fireworks in xmas tree, why not!

Here in KL fireworks are almost dai^H^H^H nightly fun at this time of year (new year, Chinese new year, birthday party, wedding – you name it, there is probably good reason to fire off a shell or two).

In the spirit of New Year and those tons of fireworks exploding out, and in the spirit of  over-the-air updates and in the spirit of reusing existing designs – I coded rudimentary fireworks emulation onto my xmas tree LED strip. Continue reading