Dave Bullock / eecue

photographer, director of engineering: crowdrise, photojournalist, hacker, nerd, geek, human

New Furby underfoot New furby triangle security screw New Furby and kitty
Blog

New Furby Hacking and the Sensory RSC-4128

So I am a sucker for robots and the new Furby looks pretty damn cool, so I ordered one, hey it only cost me $30. The new Furny has an off switch, and we all know you should never trust a robot without an off switch. It also responds to voice commands and has a whole bunch more motors and movement than the old Furby.

The furby also has 6 times more memory (512k) than its predecessor. It is powered by a Sensory RSC-4128 chip which is a "single-chip solution providing all hearing, talking and CPU functions". The Furby uses Sensory’s Quick Text to Speaker Independent™ (Quick T2SI) recognition technology, which sounds like it will make hacking a very interesting possibility as it uses text instead of audio files for its speach, there is also a plethora of developer info on the Sensory Inc website, and you can download an IDE.

I am also going to try and get a dev kit. Did I mention it has an off switch? As soon as I get it I will be removing its fur and taking pictures of the process. I will also see what kind if IR fun I can have with it.

After reading through the white paper for the RSC-4128 I can see this is going to be a totally hackable robot.

Blog

Security Building Lofts

I read this piece over on Curbed LA about how Urban Pacific Builders is lagging on the completion of the Security Building Lofts, and I wanted to comment on the post, but alas there is no place to leave comments on Curbed LA and no link to email the author / editor. So here is what I was going to post on their site: I will say one thing for the Security Building Lofts, after they removed the wooden piss soaked sidewalk protection, turned on the street lights and posted security guards around the building the obvious crime on the corner has really decreased, and it doesn't reek of urine anymore.

UPDATE: I sent an email to their general account: la@curbed.com.

Blog

The Producers

Penelope and I watched The Producers tonight, which today was nominated for 4 golden globe awards and was hilarious. Here is the review I wrote.

Blog

Microsoft Specializing In Being A Day Late and a Dollar Short

Microsoft, who I personally don't care for too much, has once again proven itself to be the last in line at the pop stand. First of all they are partnering with MTV to create an online music store / subscription service called Urge, which will offer 2 million songs, but which won't work on iPods or Macintosh computers. The only snag for M$ is that iPods make up 75% of the portable music player market share, so they have engineered their own obsolescence before even releasing the service to the public.

Next they are partnering with MCI to provide VOIP support in their instant messenger program allowing you to make calls from your PC to landlines and cell phones. Gee nobody has thought of this before, oh wait there is Vonage (which I use and it rocks) and Skype, who have both been doing this for years, and of course Yahoo is about to beat them to market with the integration of their messenger and voice calling.

And finally M$ issued a patch for IE that fixes a "critical" security flaw, one so critical that it took them several weeks to issue a patch, during which time exploit code was released to the public. I'm glad I run OS X.

Actually there is one more thing, it looks like the new Russian government funded TV station Russia Today, is back on the air today after being down due to hacking:

Margarita Simonyan, the channel's editor in chief, said, "There was an attempted invasion of the computer system from outside, which gave rise to viruses, which in turn led to a breakdown in transmission. We apologise to the audience but the channel had to cease broadcasting until the technical malfunctions are mended."

Sounds like bad Microsoft jujus to me, but man are people really running TV station on Windows? Does this seem like a bad idea to anybody but me?