Making Catchup: Pi Gameboys, Free routing, Easy IoT service and a robot dinosaur!

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Two Gameboy-a-likes: There seems to have been a little resurgence in the idea of emulating the classic Gameboy.At the start of the month, Adafruit introduced the PiGrrl which used a 3D printed case, a hacked up SNES style controller, a Pi and an Adafruit TFT display as the screen. It’s a fine project and on my “may do” list but it was the second Pi project which really impressed me. The Super Pi Boy eschews hip niceties of 3D printing and crams the electronics in an original Gameboy case for that authentic feel. The screen is an interesting hack too, taking a vehicle reversing screen (they are cheap) and converting it from 12V to 5V to wire into the Pi’s composite. It’s a tale of roughly hewn modifications but a good read.

Routing for freedom: The EFF are campaigning for safer networking and as part of that they’ve announce the alpha developer release of Open Wireless Firmware which should eventually offer something better than the bag of holes your typical router firmware is. Currently it only runs on the Netgear WNDR3800 so you’ll want one of them if you want to hack on it, unless you want to port it to something else.

Sparkfun with data: Sparkfun, makers of many fine hackable gadgets has announced a data service at data.sparkfun.com which can hold 50MB of data (rate limited to coming in at 100 update per 15 minutes). Posting data to it is as simple as composing a URL with a string appended. It looks great for experimenting with IoT concepts without diving in to full message queues and protocols. Behind the service is Phant.io, an open source platform you can set up yourself if you want.

Roboceratops rocks: Hackaday points to a project, in early development but looking fine, Roboceratops that is creating a robotic dinosaur. I can’t wait to see how the beast looks when it’s fully autonomous and fleshed out.

Node’s new lead, Windows security disappoints, TCL is 25 and Brightbox is dim – Snippets

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  • New project leader for Node.js: Isaac Schlueter has announced he’s standing down from project leading Node.js and handing the reins to TJ Fontaine who’s been working as “the primary point of contact keeping us all driving the project forward together”. Schlueter is off to create npm Inc, a company focussed on npm products and services; it will be interesting to see how that pans out.

  • Windows Native Isolation inadequate: Joanna Rutokowska, CEO of Invisible Things Labs, had previously said that they would be looking into using Windows Native Isolation (WNI) as a way of bringing their research with Qubes OS and its security isolated application architecture to Windows. Now in a posting Rutokowska says despite the time invested in creating Qubes WNI, the results have been disappointing and adds “today we publish a technical paper about our findings on Windows security model and mechanisms and why we concluded they are inadequate in practice”.

  • Tcl is 25: Tcl (Tool Command Language (often pronounced Tickle)) never really made the major leagues in programming languages but it did lead the way in embeddable scripting languages. A 25th birthday posting at TkDocs picks up on the oddness of syntax and some of the sweet of the ideas in Tcl, like Tk – a GUI language which worked everywhere? Madness!

  • EE’s Brightbox isn’t bright: The EE Brightbox has quite a few holes in its security. In an article by Scott Helme, Scott takes his Brightbox apart in a step by step look at finding vulnerabilities in routers. Guides like this are useful for developers to see so they get a better idea of what people are prepared to do to their code to get access. And get to the end for a 11 second guide on disposal of insecure devices.