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Hardware Hacks from the Far Side
James Larsson

Date: Wednesday, March 16
Time: 4:20pm - 5:05pm
Location: California Ballroom B

James Larsson describes some of the dangerous, stupid, and occasionally immoral hardware hacks he has done. Although primarily meant to amuse, this talk touches on many aspects of hardware hacking and, in particular, hacking with obsolete IT equipment. In each case, the science and technology underlying the hacks is described in detail. The talk includes slides and video clips of the hacked machinery in action.

Almost all the hacks are of the "don't try this at home" variety and in many cases, no sane person would want to try them anyway (but they are great fun to watch). A good example concerns those hacks that involve transforming an old CRT monitor into some new type of gadget. Amongst many other things, an old monitor can be turned into: a radio jamming device, an insect repeller, a fly killer, a cardiac defibrillator, several types of electronic artwork, a squash-ball warmer, and a somewhat vicious mouse trap.

In another hack, Larsson describes how a dining table can be surreptitiously rigged with biometric sensors. This allows people who are dating to glean rather more information about their partners than is normally communicated during a civilised meal!

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