College Humor attempts the Kinect Self-Awareness Hack

Posted in Hilarity,Video by Scott Meisner on March 14th, 2011

We’ve seen our fair share of awesome Kinect hacks, but none of them compare to what you’re about to witness here. What happens when the Xbox 360 motion sensor is programmed to become self-aware? Total destruction, that’s what. Go ahead and categorize this is an epic fail. It is a machine, so what did you expect to happen?

[Via CollegeHumor]

Kinect, hacked.

Posted in Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on December 29th, 2010

Since its North American release date on November 4, Microsoft’s Kinect controller-free motion accessory has proved to be a boon for the open source community.  Over the last month or so I’ve collated the most intriguing Kinect hacks and today is the day I’ve decided to let them live free inside this post. Tinkerers are constantly throwing up their latest creations online, so expect Kinect, hacked to become an ongoing series.

First up we have Yankeyan‘s Super Mario Bros. Kinect hack.  Using OpenKinect drivers and NES emulation he’s figured out how to make the plumber’s on-screen movements mimic his physical jumps and arm flails.  It doesn’t match up perfectly, but that doesn’t make the hack any less impressive.

Now go on, hop after the break to browse oodles of Kinect hack videos; I promise they are all super inventive! (Click here for more…)

EPIC WIN & FAIL for Kinect owners

Posted in Hilarity,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on November 15th, 2010

Kinect for Xbox 360 released earlier this month.  And when new super cool tech such as the motion sensing Kinect hits the mass market, you expect some astute attempts at hacking and laughable attempts at practicing to hit the interwebs at some point.  This very post presents you with these videos.  Let’s start with the hackers.  Visualization researcher Oliver Kreylos has discovered a way to turn the Kinect into a 3D video capture tool.  He describes the hack: “By combining the color and the depth image captured by the Microsoft Kinect, one can project the color image back out into space and create a “holographic” representation of the persons or objects that were captured.”  Kreylos’ demonstrating is embedded above (left); is your mind blown yet?  A man who goes by AlexP managed to hack the Kinect’s built in accelerometer in an interesting way; check out his batch of demos after the break.

And on to the wacky EPIC FAIL videos you’ve been oh-so patiently waiting for.  Or maybe you haven’t and you already watched my personal favorite Kinect fail in the video embedded above (right).  Salivating for more embarrassing moments like this?  You know where to find ‘em.  Ahem, they’re sitting after the break.

Update (11/17): Hacker Chris Rojas has managed to make the Kinect communicate with an iPad.  Click here to see the action.

[Via Engadget, here, here & herehere] (Click here for more…)

Mattel Mindflex: “the most painful toy hack ever”

Posted in Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on March 11th, 2010

The Mattel Mindflex is a device that can sense your level of calmness.  Once you start thinking too hard and elevate your sense of awareness it sends an electric shock through your body.

[Via Harcos Laboratories; Engadget]

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Twitter, Facebook under attack

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on August 6th, 2009

The Twitter service went down today for several hours due to a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack.  What exactly is a DDOS attack, you ask?  Let CNET’s Elinor Mills explain:

In the distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack on the sites, computers that have been compromised by viruses or other malware are instructed by the attacker’s computer to visit the specific Web sites all at the same time and repeatedly. The barrage of connection requests overwhelms the target sites, making it so that legitimate Web traffic can’t get through.  Such coordinated attacks require the efforts of tens of thousands or more of hijacked computers, which together form a botnet. Spammers send e-mails with malicious attachments or URLs to millions of people to create botnets.

Basically, computer hackers are putting heavy pressure the servers that run websites and making them fall to their knees.  The end result is users not being able to access the service’s main portal to log in.  Why did this happen today to Twitter and other related social media sites, though?  According to the latest reports, a Georgian blogger who goes by the name “Cyxymu” was targeted by a group of hackers.  Cyxymu had accounts on the sites Twitter, Facebook, Live Journal, and Google’s Blogger and YouTube.  These sites were affected by a DDOS attack because the group of hackers did not want Cyxymu to voice his opinions on these social websites.  Immature, huh?  Max Kelly, chief security officer at Facebook: “You have to ask who would benefit the most from doing this and think about what those people are doing and the disregard for the rest of the users and the Internet.”

Kelly had this to say about the culprit(s): “We’re actively investigating the source of the attacks and we hope to be able to find out the individuals involved in the back end and to take action against them if we can.”  A Google spokesman: “We are aware that a handful of non-Google sites were impacted by a DOS attack this morning, and are in contact with some affected companies to help investigate this attack. Google systems prevented substantive impact to our services.”  Twitter and Live Journal have yet to comment on the matter.

[Via CNET]