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Hacking Esquire's E-ink Cover

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the be-one-of-the-hundred-thousand dept.

Displays 205

ptorrone writes "I picked up the Esquire E-inked cover today and took a bunch of high res photos, for the makers out there. It has a programming header, 5-pin ISP, a Microchip PIC 12f629 which is flash programmable, 8 pin, 6 lithium coin cell CR2016s, 3 volts each. Two E-ink screens with flex connections — looks like it was made to be reprogrammed and different screens. The top screen has 11 segments, the bottom has 3. It was designed 2008-06-04. The PCB was made by Forewin, half thickness, 2 layer board (FR4). I think someone out there will likely reflash the PIC and make the segments go on / off at different times and perhaps put other displays on it, there's a little bit of hacking to be had but not that much really."

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Boring, boring, boring (0, Flamebait)

DogDude (805747) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927235)

So, they go through all of this work and expense and come up a cover that is LAME? Wow. Somebody needs to get fired over that cover. Boring.

Re:Boring, boring, boring (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927315)

They did it on purpose. They'd have put the usual hot chick on the cover if they wanted to encourage nerds to do their usual jerk off all over the raster.

p.s. Esquire mag FTW. Dubious Achievement awards FTW. Maxim and Stuff-reading douchebags -- FAIL.

Re:Boring, boring, boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24928503)

Those of you who think there is a difference between Maxim, Stuff, and Esquire: Priceless.

Re:Boring, boring, boring (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24928535)

1995 called - they want their <BLINK> tag back.

it's raining niggers here! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24927239)

woah nelly!

What, did you... (1)

PJCRP (1314653) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927279)

Really expect to get your cake and hack it into something awesome too?

What would happen (0)

andreyvul (1176115) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927293)

if someone went and re-flashed all the controllers in the Esquire mags to display porn (first thing that comes to mind is Goatse) instead of the original content?

Re:What would happen (5, Funny)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927429)

if someone went and re-flashed all the controllers in the Esquire mags to display porn (first thing that comes to mind is Goatse) instead of the original content?

Um, then it would display goatse.

Re:What would happen (5, Insightful)

MattGWU (86623) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927455)

I don't get it. What do YOU think will happen?

All I can see is a company gets a black eye, blames the whole thing on 'those evil hackers', and sends a potentially cool technology away forever.

And if the first thing you think of when you think of porn is 'Goatse', man, I'm sorry.

Re:What would happen (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24928209)

All I can see is a company gets a black eye,

That's not an eye...

Re:What would happen (1, Insightful)

jeepee (607566) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927523)

Is goatse porn? man it never occured to me...

you just ruined my day

Re:What would happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24928023)

Some people become sexually excited when they somebody else's anus. If you think goatse is bad I got 1 word for you: scheisse. Some people think porn is(among other interspecies fantasies) a graphic depiction of a dick-tentacled monster raping a schoolgirl. Some people want to fuck their mom. Hell, many men have since the beginning of time have wanted to fuck their mothers. Some guy named Freud once said the the only abnormal sexual condition is assexuality.

Re:What would happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24928103)

that was fucking interesting

Re:What would happen (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24928563)

and vice versa!

Re:What would happen (0, Offtopic)

andreyvul (1176115) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927527)

I meant *beyond* the obvious.
And I said Goatse because few people are desensitized to it.
s/Goatse/Shock image/g
Also, I was being rhetorical. THERE'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE A F**KING ANSWER.

Re:What would happen (3, Funny)

MattGWU (86623) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927589)

Yikes. You need to relax. Go kick back with some Goatse and a beer and mellow out!

Re:What would happen (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927561)

As awful as goatse is, lemonparty would have people vomiting in the streets and Rustina would have a very small subset of geek in tears laughing.

LK

Re:What would happen (5, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927565)

It's impossible. These E-ink displays aren't pixel displays (which could show any image), they are segment based (like a cheap calculator, watch, or old LCD game). They can only display what they have been designed to show. Your only choices are for each segment to be dark or light.

Re:What would happen (4, Informative)

pigphish (1070214) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928257)

I think you are misunderstanding the technology. Review: http://www.eink.com/technology/howitworks.html [eink.com] They are very much pixels, dots, or "e-ink microcapsules" which means you should be able to draw any image you want. In the howitworks they seem to have 3 shades: white, black, and grey. When you say you can only show what it was designed to that sounds like if it has an "1" you only get 2 bars like on a calculator. That is really misunderstanding what is actually going on here.

Re:What would happen (3, Insightful)

davolfman (1245316) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928395)

Doesn't mean this one has the contacts laid out for addressable pixels.

Re:What would happen (1)

pigphish (1070214) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928467)

Very true but the following suggests it just might:
1. Esquire is inviting people to play with it infers it might be. It may not be the cheapest of the cheap and in fact they offset the cost with the other e-ink screen (the ford advertisement for the flex).
2. As the article states they opted for better "flex connections (these are pricey connections). It looks like it was made to be reprogrammed and different screens."
It's all very possible. I'm hopefull.

Re:What would happen (4, Interesting)

cgenman (325138) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928415)

A pixel is just a very small, very square segment. I believe what the grandparent poster is trying to say is that this particular e-ink display is heavily segment based, and proposition supported by how it is being used in the cover and how cheap it is to make.

The cheap calculator displays are mostly LCD, which power both high end pixel-driven displays and the videogames that come free with your Happy Meal. This particular implementation of the technology appears to fall to the latter.

Hence, it would be nearly impossible to display anything other than what is currently on the cover without rebuilding the e-ink sheet. In this particular case, we're all winners.

Re:What would happen (1)

pigphish (1070214) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928517)

I understand what you're saying. I don't think it's analogous to LCD. Just the way I am reading it perhaps. My understanding is the screen doesn't need to be fundamentally changed to produced an active matrix display at the level of a pixel.

http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/007371.html [pcworld.com]

link above is reading the esquire article the same as me. Could take the display and turn it into something else like "a dirt cheap e-book reader."

Re:What would happen (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24928607)

> In the howitworks they seem to have 3 shades: white, black, and grey.

Unlike e-books, which apparently also have 3 shades: light grey, dark grey, and grey.

Re:What would happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24928653)

So basically the whole "E-ink", "revolutionary" you "you can hack it" hype, was just crap that esquire was spewing to sell a few more copies to soon to be disappointed geeks?

Fun fun, game and watch technology isn't exactly new, also, wasn't one of the big feats that it isn't rigid and is more like a thick paper? That looks like a solid chunk of board and screen.

Its all nothing more than an expensive wasteful disposable blink tag. I don't see how it can accomplish anything else.

Re:What would happen (3, Insightful)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927607)

I could be wrong, but from looking at the video, it appears that the image is static, but the background changes colour. So there is basically 10 or so "pixels" that flash in the background. Changing the image would be impossible, but you could make it flash faster.

Re:What would happen (5, Informative)

TheUser0x58 (733947) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927625)

Not possible. While e-ink is sometimes used for general purpose displays (Amazon Kindle), for specialized applications its much cheaper if the e-ink can only represent compositions of static images in fixed positions, toggled on or off. Kind of like the difference between a modern LCD monitor and the LCD on a Nintendo Game & Watch-type game.

Re:What would happen (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927723)

The next cover would have some sort of program encryption.

Re:What would happen (4, Funny)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928061)

Then a bunch of artsy fashionistas would parade around saying that gaping anus is the new black.

Re:What would happen (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928367)

I choked a little reading that. That's too fucking funny.

Re:What would happen (1)

NiteShaed (315799) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928469)

The same thing that would happen if someone went through and pasted nudie pix onto the covers of plain paper copies of Esquire. Eventually someone working at the store would notice, and they'd have the option to either pay for the vandalized copies or talk to the friendly local police officer.
It's not like these things are on a wireless network, it'd still require someone setting up shop to change the covers, which may or may not be obvious at first, eventually somebody would probably notice as they went from copy to copy hooking it up to a laptop or cutting the covers open to make changes....

Great for the environment (3, Insightful)

rminsk (831757) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927297)

Most of these magazines are going to end up in landfills with all the toxic materials that are in the display, batteries, chips, and PCBs. Thank you Esquire.

Re:Great for the environment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24927389)

Aw, let the dying medium have its last gasp.

Re:Great for the environment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24927419)

Esquire made it so it is completely recyclable. so.. Thank you Esquire

Recycling instructions (5, Informative)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927451)

Re:Recycling instructions (3, Insightful)

Ctrl-Z (28806) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927557)

Fascinating.

All of it can be recycled through your local municipal waste program in the same manner as you dispose of household batteries.

Last time I checked, household batteries go to the landfill. At least that's what happens where I live. GP has it right.

Re:Recycling instructions (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24927675)

Well you are a piece of shit, like most Americans. Recycling is literally the least fucking thing you can do.

Re:Recycling instructions (4, Informative)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927745)

Maybe Canada allows it, but California has had compulsory battery recycling laws since 2006.

Re:Recycling instructions (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927835)

"Maybe Canada allows it, but California has had compulsory battery recycling laws since 2006."

Interesting...what do they do, dig through your trash before they throw it on the truck??

I don't know of any laws here on what you cannot throw in the trash...I throw everything in there. I've never actually recycled...I have no idea where to take the stuff, and I only have a small 2 seater car, and I'm not gonna be running around town with bags of garbage to drop off somewhere, when I can just toss it all in the can, and the men on the big green trucks comes and takes it all away.

Re:Recycling instructions (4, Insightful)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927997)

No they don't have enforcement crews digging through your trash, but many business have drop boxes for their employees/customers, especially places like Best Buy. Retailers that sell rechargeable batteries are required to accept them for recycling. It's so easy to recycle them, and there are free programs [biggreenbox.com] , so why not?

A fear of getting caught isn't the reason people comply, it's to keep hazardous material out of the landfill. The same reason we recycle our electronics through free programs instead of burying them in the backyard (well technically the fee is paid at point-of-sale).

Re:Recycling instructions (4, Informative)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928003)

Radio Shacks will take used batteries for free and send them to be recycled for you. Some other places too (Office Depot maybe?)

Somewhere there's a website with a list of companies that participate in the program.

Re:Recycling instructions (2, Interesting)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928335)

It would be nice if the post office or local libraries did this. I don't want to go to best buy or radio shack to drop off batteries but I will walk to the library/post office to do so.

Re:Recycling instructions (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927885)

It's a bit of a trick to enforce. I just checked, and it looks like the rules in Michigan (my state) are only for lead acid batteries (with restrictions on selling batteries containing mercury).

My brother can recycle batteries at work so I just stack them up and give them to him once in a while, but I think for most people, the trash is an awfully convenient way to get rid of them.

OMG HYDROGEN FREE ENERGY!!ONE! (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928207)

Don't forget to tear the coin cells open with pliers and drop the foil into water to make hydrogen bubbles. Or pass them along to your friendly neighborhood meth cook.

you can't "just" recycle them (2, Informative)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928413)

All of it can be recycled through your local municipal waste program in the same manner as you dispose of household batteries.

I don't know about anyone else, but my town had an entire shed at the local transfer station for putting batteries.

Ie, you can't "just" throw them out, even into the recycle bin at the end of your driveway...at least, not in most municpalities. You're not supposed to dispose of batteries as part of regular trash, regardless of whether they're lead-acid car batteries, lithium, alkaline, etc.

I don't doubt them on the display, though. It really is just polarized particles that are white on one pole and black on the other, in a suspension, with electrodes...

Re:Great for the environment (0, Redundant)

WillRobinson (159226) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927481)

Read this:
http://www.esquire.com/features/recycle-e-ink-cover [esquire.com] You will see instructions on proper disposal.

Re:Great for the environment (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927597)

http://www.esquire.com/features/recycle-e-ink-cover You will see instructions on proper disposal.

Ok, but I would be surprised if over 5% of the covers disposed of 'properly'.

Re:Great for the environment (4, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927483)

We need a new mod catagory for posts like the above: "blatantly obvious that they did not read the finagaling article".

Re:Great for the environment (3, Funny)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927717)

Oh! Oh! I know this one! "+5 Insightful because the mods didn't read it either"!

Re:Great for the environment (1)

rminsk (831757) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927921)

It does not matter that there are instructions for recycling the cover. I bet more than 90% will not be disposed of properly and end up in landfills.

Re:Great for the environment (4, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928719)

It really does not merit the toxic OMFG think of the F'ing children knee jerk response. If you want to scare people you should at least have read the thing first to get something resembling a clue.

Which component in paticular do you think is toxic?

Re:Great for the environment (4, Insightful)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927943)

I think -1 RTFA would suffice.

Re:Great for the environment (1, Flamebait)

narcberry (1328009) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927605)

Most of these magazines are going to end up in landfills with all the toxic materials that are in the display, batteries, chips, and PCBs. Thank you Esquire.

OMG blah blah blah...

Toxic today, useful compound tomorrow. Now I'm not suggesting the world go overboard, but life evolves around the materials on earth.

I know it seems that wearing dirty underwear and eating out of communal dishes will save the earth, but that's just the hippie in you being a short sighted idiot.

Re:Great for the environment (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927991)

The problem is that in the interim, Bill, who runs the landfill, took Hal, who was supposed to inspect the landfill, to Tig ol' Bitties and Hal signed off on the liner, and now, all that shit has a chance to leach into someone's drinking water.

(Don't worry, I don't let the yellow mellow or any crazy nonsense like that, but there is a difference between beneficial consumption and silly, wanton consumption)

Re:Great for the environment (2, Informative)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927881)

Wow. And here I was hoping I'd still be able to pick up a couple at the newstand tomorrow before they sell out and I have to pay $20+ each on eBay.

Someone would have to be an idiot to throw these out when they can sell them for well over cover price. There's a large group of people who have been drooling over these for 2 months.

Re:Great for the environment (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24927973)

Another "wow that's great for the environment" note from Esquire:

"The ink draws more power at higher temperatures, so we needed to control the temperature the units were going to see from China to the newsstand." Which meant we needed refrigerated trucks.

So not only are they shipped all the way from China to the newsstand, but they're refrigerated along the way. I think that's a great way to burn as much fuel as possible.

Re:Great for the environment (4, Insightful)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928039)

For fuck's sake. Why not worry about all those greeting cards with sound chips in them, or all the alkaline batteries, or printer ink cartridges thrown away? Esquire doing a one-time limited run of these is nothing compared to all of the other sources of toxic landfill materials. Quit being a pessimistic asshole and pissing on the downsides of the current popular topic and worry about some real problems.

Re:Great for the environment (1)

donstenk (74880) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928139)

Doesn't everything, eventually?

Re:Great for the environment (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928237)

While I agree that most of these are probably going to end up getting tossed, why do we reserve our flack for this one application? Every last electronic device is in the same position. Do you mention this about every electronic device?

hmmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24927327)

wonder just how much you can make it do...

Re:hmmm.... (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927615)

>wonder just how much you can make it do...

With so many posts saying "it's impossible to make it do anything interesting", I'm just waiting...

The internet is getting to me (5, Funny)

Aussenseiter (1241842) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927333)

I really need to stop mentally pronouncing it "E-squire".

More images? (1)

commlinx (1068272) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927351)

looks like it was made to be reprogrammed and different screens

I just tried to upload my pr0n but unfortunately it wouldn't fit in the 1K x 14 of FLASH.

Oh wow, a magazine with a digital cover (5, Funny)

CitznFish (222446) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927393)

who cares! until the magazine can read to me while I'm on the toilet, and answer my questions, or rebuttal my comments, I don't care how much technology goes into the cover.

Then again if Playboy gets a digital cover that talks dirty to me then I have the option of recanting my previous statement.

what a waste (4, Insightful)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927461)

Why are e-ink based e-books so expensive, while Esquire can afford to use it as a cover for their magazine? Something's missing here.

Re:what a waste (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24927525)

My guess would be that this "screen" is not able to display arbitrary images, rather it can only display those images pre-burned onto the "e-ink". The PIC controller merely flips switches on and off at set time intervals or by button presses. Although interesting and indeed hackable, the hardware necessary to do this stuff is already quite cheap (something like $25 for a USB pickit 1 from Microchip.com).

Re:what a waste (5, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927613)

Right. The display is just like old Game & Watch games (or any other cheap LCD display). They have a bunch of segments (in this case mostly blocks of words) that can be turned on or off. I'd expect that just like LCDs the more segments you have the more expensive it is to manufacture the thing (not including the cost of controller).

If you watch the little video that the Make blog post links to, you can see how limited it is.

That said, it seems to refresh quite fast, which the e-books have problems with. I don't know if this is a consequence of the controller (I doubt it, Amazon/Sony would do better), the size of the pixels (smaller pixels switch slower for some reason, perhaps the small traces prevent higher current that can switch things faster), manufacturing (faster switching is too expensive to make an 800x600 screen), or just perception (since the elements are so large it's not noticeable like when you change small blocks of text).

Re:what a waste (2, Informative)

neonsignal (890658) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928159)

The problem with refreshing a pixel based e-ink display is that it has to be erased first (otherwise you get ghost images of the previous page). The erase setting has to be held long enough to achieve a stable and consistent state across the pixels. Some display modes of the ebook readers (eg, the mp3 player updating the play timer on the screen) don't do an erase first, and the update is quite fast (but you do get ghosting).

For a simple segment display, it doesn't matter if there is ghosting, especially if you are just blinking the display.

Re:what a waste (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928065)

A snide remark about a dozen or so words not making for much of a reading experience would also have been appropriate.

Re:what a waste (0, Flamebait)

blair1q (305137) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927703)

Because you are an idiot and will pay $400 for a Kindle when it costs about $10 to build.

Re:what a waste (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928201)

Actually, I looked at the price of the Kindle, winced, and bought an Eee PC instead. It may be a little harder to read than the Kindle, but it's a hell of a lot more capable, and I've gotten pretty fond of it. ;-)

simple segments vs. dot matrix (4, Informative)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927747)

Why are e-ink based e-books so expensive, while Esquire can afford to use it as a cover for their magazine? Something's missing here.

11 very large segments versus 480,000 very small segments. PIC programed to go "turn on segment 1, then 2, then 3. Pause. Switch all them off. Repeat"...versus "fully fledged operating system and electronic document presentation system."

Oh yes, and Equire printed roughly 233,300 of them (one in three of their circulation of 700,000) in one go. That's roughly equal to the 240,000 Kindle units Amazon has supposedly sold in about 10 months.

Still, the biggie is the simplicity...

Re:what a waste (2, Informative)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928369)

It's called loss-leading promotions. Bars will sometimes book big touring bands hoping to only break even, mostly for the bragging rights of saying that band played their room.

But... (2, Funny)

christurkel (520220) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927487)

Does it run...? Imagine...oh never mind.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24927623)

Does it run...? Imagine...oh never mind.

It runs Vista. Hopefully you'll be able to read the cover when they release Service Pack 2.

Ink ink ink (1)

ilovesymbian (1341639) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927533)

Again, why does e-ink work that way? As it is, I can't afford regular ink, its so expensive.

Can't e-ink at least be affordable?

It reminds me of the e-books (spdf files) from Harvard Business school. So expensive, and dies after 6 months.

Re:Ink ink ink (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927713)

e-Ink will be much cheaper than regular ink, especially after you've erased and rewritten "I will not make a fool of myself on the Internet" 5e9 times on your e-ink tablet.

Re:Ink ink ink (4, Funny)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928131)

Until they are programmable enough.

When I was in middle school, our typing teacher gave repetitive exercises like that, to do at home or in lab. I happened to have a daisy wheel printer at home for my TRS-80 (m4, 32k and 2 drives!), which was basically a - you guessed it! - typewriter.

A for-next loop and homework was done... even trimmed the edges so the perforation marks wouldn't be there to tip her off....

Where can I get one? (1)

Wescotte (732385) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927629)

I was very excited when I first heard about it but after doing some research it appeared to be a very limited run. I haven't seen any locally.. Anyone know where I could order one online?

Re:Where can I get one? (1)

bearl (589272) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927727)

As (almost) always, you can get one right here...

eBay! [ebay.com]

I am not an employee of... and am not selling... etc.

How to watch video? (0, Offtopic)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927699)

So how do I watch this video in Linux? After enabling all 186 layers of javascript hell I only get a gray box with the text "Choose from the players listed below.", and nothing listed below.

Esquire welcomes hacking (4, Interesting)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927729)

Esquire welcomes hackers [esquire.com]

Greetings hackers: Esquire's special E-Ink cover includes two flexible displays that should last for a few months. But the flashing could last longer if you want to try to replace the embedded batteries or find other sources of power. If you come up with inventive ways to extend the power or to hack the circuit board, displays, or the E Ink technology itself, let us know by sending an email to editor@esquire.com and we'll post your results here on Esquire.com. We should tell you, it's not easy and requires some expertise... but you're pretty clever, right? Show us something we don't know.

<blink>? (5, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927735)

Great. The <blink> tag made it to real life!

Why?? Whyyyyyyyy........??? ;)

Re:? (2, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927847)

Same reason the original blink made it to HTML - because the can. Reminds you a lot of the Jurassic Park line..."they> were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."

Peter Griffin - Family Guy ? (4, Funny)

up2ng (110551) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927989)

"Putting this cover together really started seven years ago, when deputy editor Peter Griffin..."

"Hey Lois, Look I'm flashing an Esquire, he he he hehe"
Stewie: "Oh, good going fat man way to show it to the 21st century"

Why did Slashdot even run this? (2, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#24927993)

Is this entire thing about how there really isn't any point at all in hacking this thing?

Gee, thanks for telling us!

Even the summary has lost interest by the time it reaches the last sentence.

Re:Why did Slashdot even run this? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928585)

Well, saying that it is hard to hack is a good article nonetheless as most of us if we saw an e-ink display would buy it to try to hack it, if it wasn't able to be hacked most of us would have wasted the price of the magazine.

wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24928005)

To learn more about the E-Ink cover, as well as how to recycle and potentially even hack the issue, we invite you to visit the links below. -FTFA well i'll be damned. corporate media uses the term hack in the correct manner. And its esquire...

lame (1)

Briden (1003105) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928043)

ugh, lame. and as if you needed anymore reason not to support this: how it was made [esquire.com]

video slashdotted? defective? See youtube (2, Informative)

electrogeist (1345919) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928111)

E-reader. (2, Informative)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928147)

*sigh*

All these comments and you all missed this beauty [nytimes.com] from the last story.

Re:E-reader. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24928761)

The NYT registration screen? Yup, looks nice.

Just got one (3, Informative)

dmitrygr (736758) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928169)

Just bought one. There is a PIC - 12F629 for logic, and 2 8-bit shift registers. There are 6 3-V batteries, whose combined voltage of 18V is used to change eInk state. The e-ink displays show greyscale quite well, if you do not take the full specced time to get them to change state.

Adn so it begins... (4, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928255)

Yes this first feeble attempt is fairly lame, a few segments that will burn out in a couple of months and took a fair investment in hardware to pull off. But it won't end here.

Soon they will put solar collectors on the things to keep it going indefinately, add more segments, etc. Hell, it won't be a generation before they are printing complex enough circuits on the damned things that they will be doing full motion video. On cereal boxes. Or having generic advertising, think shopping carts, seatbacks, etc updating their ad copy over slow radio links. And they already know how to make flat paper speakers so they damned things will be talking whenever somebody is in range.

Not so impressive (3, Informative)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928355)

When I read this, I immediately ran down to Borders to take a look, since the video link on Esquire's site seemed to be broken. It is not very impressive at all. It's very small, maybe 2" by 4" at the most, and it just flashes. It's kind of a neon light sign effect - you can still read the text even when the segment isn't on.

Re:Not so impressive (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928427)

Yes, I'm surprised at the batteries required. I tested some e-ink at a focus group at Monsanto in 1994, and it could be activated by the power in your own fingertips. Why the hell they were "racing the clock" and mucking about with lithium I have no idea.

Re:Not so impressive (1)

Lost Engineer (459920) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928537)

Video worked for me but I had to temporarily enable Javascript and Flash for esquire.com and hearstmedia.com.

It could have been slashdotted when you tried, though.

Re:Not so impressive (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928619)

Because you expected them to pack it with an Intel Atom CPU, a 1 GB SSD, 128 MB of RAM and a nice color LCD? Seriously, what did you expect? Its hard enough to get E-ink as it is, yet alone without substantially increasing the price.

Isn't "21st Century" kinda 20th century lingo? (1)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 6 years ago | (#24928803)

To paraphrase Vince Lombardi: next time you make it to the future, act like you've been there before.

Wouldn't it have been cooler had they done something badass? Or even interesting? Christ, I want to find a quick way to hack these and run around fucking them up on news racks!

It's sooooo frickin juvenile to have an obnoxious blinking thing saying "Welcome to the 21st Century".

Really?

I'm sorry you missed out on the last eight years. You're gonna be absolutely fucking horrified to see what has happened since.

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