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#twatch Open Hardware Networked LCD Screen

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the fun-little-hacks dept.

Hardware Hacking 52

An anonymous reader writes "Dangerous Prototype's #twatch is a DIY network appliance that displays real-time topic trends from Twitter. It can also show system statistics, RSS feeds, mail notifications, and more using a TCP server on port 1337 that accepts commands from LCD control programs like LCD Smartie (Windows) and LCDproc (Linux). Everything you need to build your own is on the project's page. We've covered this hardware hacker's work previously."

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52 comments

fuck you! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29492433)

suck my cock, /.!!!

#twlame (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29492437)

Best way to monitor twitter is to pipe to /dev/null.

Re:#twlame (0, Redundant)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#29499201)

Piping it to /dev/sda would be even better...

Port 1337 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29492489)

Port 1337? Seriously? Stop being cute, and use a standard port number.

Re:Port 1337 (1)

joaommp (685612) | more than 4 years ago | (#29492605)

glad it's not 31337 that's open...

Re:Port 1337 (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 4 years ago | (#29493141)

How is 1337 not a standard port number? I doubt they'd be able to get anything under 1024. My /etc/services file doesn't list anything for 1337, so it probably isn't used by any common software. I agree that they probably picked port 1337 just to be "cute", but it's no less valid of a port number than 12345.

Re:Port 1337 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29493489)

12345? That's amazing. I've got the same combination on my luggage.

Re:Port 1337 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29493635)

Lol ... good one !!

Re:Port 1337 (1)

kayditty (641006) | more than 4 years ago | (#29498611)

isn't that the default port for netbus???????

Re:Port 1337 (2, Informative)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 4 years ago | (#29493801)

Gotta admit it is a bit of a marketing ploy. Too bad about picking a port that's likely to be blocked at the firewall or conflicting with p2p software.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_TCP_and_UDP_port_numbers [wikipedia.org]
  1337/TCP PowerFolder P2P Encrypted File Synchronization Program Unofficial
  1337/TCP WASTE Encrypted File Sharing Program Unofficial

From http://isc.sans.org/services.html [sans.org]
  Shadyshell 1337/tcp #[trojan] Shadyshell

Note to self (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#29492563)

Make sure UDP/TCP port 1337 is firewalled on our network.

Re:Note to self (2, Informative)

mambodog (1399313) | more than 4 years ago | (#29493099)

Fun fact: port 1337 is also the default port used by encrypted filesharing app WASTE [sourceforge.net]

Port 1337 (3, Insightful)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#29492571)

using a TCP server on port 1337

Did all of slashdot just get trolled? April isn't until next year...

Re:Port 1337 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29497005)

Although they're going against my RFC, stating port 1337 is for hackerZ only, port 1337 is perfectly legal

Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29506385)

Well, it isn't exactly classy for a legitimate net app to want port 1337 allocated to them, but it is already unofficially assigned. Although the allocation is not yet official, there is already a conflict of applications using the port:

1337/TCP PowerFolder P2P Encrypted File Synchronization Program (Unofficial)
1337/TCP WASTE Encrypted File Sharing Program (Unofficial)

Just pick something not used, sheesh.

Hmm. (1)

superslacker87 (998043) | more than 4 years ago | (#29492587)

This is one of those things where I would say, "that's pretty cool you made it, but why?"

I think using the web site and seeing the trends over in the right column is good enough for probably 99.8% of Twitter users. Even the geeks like us.

Re:Hmm. (3, Interesting)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29492981)

As much as I hate to say it.... because twitter has a very open API and there are a ton of programs for any OS that interface with it.

I'm setting up some home automation. Nothing fancy, just garage door open/closed. Temperature in a few rooms. HVAC status.

I could write a ton of stuff from scratch for reporting & control... or just make a private twitter account "my_house" and subscribe to it. I can get a text message every X minutes with the temp. A text message when the garage door cycles. I can easily text back commands.
@my_house 'heat on 75F'.

They've already taken care of the interface between phones, e-mail, blackberries, iphones, etc.

With this tool I can have a cheap display at my desk at work or even in my own house for the temperature, HVAC status, etc.

Re:Hmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495257)

that could have some interesting results if someone cracked into it...

@some_house "AC ON 45F"

or maybe in the middle of the night
@some_house "waterheater set OFF"
_

Re:Hmm. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29496331)

Seriously.

It's not that hard to send and receive commands via e-mail or off your own web server.

OK, Twitter gives you the ability to send text messages directly to it but it also gives you a giant security hole.

Re:Hmm. (1)

emjay88 (1178161) | more than 4 years ago | (#29498733)

Easy, use direct messages, you can only direct message people who are following you, so just make @my_house follow you and the others who you want to have access.

Re:Hmm. (1)

VoltageX (845249) | more than 4 years ago | (#29497643)

I'm particularly interested in this. Unfortunately none of my stuff has xAP/X10. How are you monitoring/controlling stuff?

Re:Hmm. (2, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29497835)

1-Wire for the temp sensors.

A co-worker got the 8-relay I/O board over one wire. I went with a super4 relay board: http://www.emx.net.au/super4usbrelay.htm [emx.net.au]

Their software is a bit shaky so I rewrote it using the open source driver for the usbserial.

If you're starting out from scratch, Maxim will let you get a few 'samples' of each temp sensor.

http://thediysite.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=4 [thediysite.com]

I could use 9 of them, if... (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 4 years ago | (#29493189)

If only they were POE.

In my office building we have 9+ conference rooms. Booking a room is often a challenge given how many people are trying to get into them. And sometime, you just need a room for a few minutes for a conference call. Every morning the receptionists have to print out schedules and walk to each room to post their schedules. If those schedules change at all, it's highly unlikely that the sheets will get updated.

If, for less than $500 in materials and a day of labor we could have digital displays and an easy way to update each of outputs from the receptionist desk, it could save quite a lot of hassle.

Even with out the POE, I might still pitch the idea to my boss.

-Rick

Re:I could use 9 of them, if... (1)

JediTrainer (314273) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495683)

Good God do you guys not have a shared calendar application? Outlook/Exchange solved this problem ages ago.

Now if only people would respect the schedule we'd be in better shape. We get a lot of squatters around here that need to be kicked out.

Re:I could use 9 of them, if... (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495805)

Don't I wish.

Nope, a few years back, before my time here, the decision was made to unify the US and EU networks on a single system. The US had been using Outlook/Exchange, Ireland and the EU locations had been using Notes. Seeing as how the corporate office was in Ireland and they didn't want to bother with converting to Exchange/Outlook, all of the locations converted to Notes 7.

The Notes scheduling system (well, pretty much the entirety of Notes) can be summed up in two words:

Donkey Balls.

-Rick

Re:I could use 9 of them, if... (1)

JediTrainer (314273) | more than 3 years ago | (#29502873)

Wow. I'm pretty speechless.

Honestly I'm surprised nobody's able to calculate an ROI on making the switch. The daily manual effort to maintain those schedules (and wasted time/resources when things change) seems to be quite a waste.

I certainly have my issues with MS products (which fortunately are not my responsibility to maintain) but I'm perfectly happy with the calendar setup we have. Again in our case people are the main problem - it looks unprofessional when I need to kick someone out of a room I booked in front of a client, because that person just decided that the room looked empty so they'll go ahead and use it... or worse, if that happens and said squatter is on a conference call that I need to now kick them out of.

Re:Hmm. (1)

ironicsky (569792) | more than 4 years ago | (#29493567)

I agree... Pointless at best.
If I'm going to create a Twitter reader I'm going to buy Mimo 740 Touchscreen [thinkgeek.com] , hook it up to my existing computer and use a simple pre-existing app.


I already have a wireless version of this guys product which does more. It's called my iPhone. I get all my twitter updates in real time anywhere I am.

Twatch? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#29492625)

The Twatch [blogspot.com] ?

#twatch is a cool name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29492669)

I wonder where they snatched that name from. Hopefully I can get an answer from the community; it would suck if the moderators muffed them...

Re:#twatch is a cool name (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29493057)

Perfect - I can receive important data when I eat at the Y.

Wow. (4, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29492743)

#twatch

I'll be first in line to pay for the #TWAT CHannel!

Re:Wow. (2, Funny)

arielCo (995647) | more than 4 years ago | (#29493389)

#twatch

I'll be first in line to pay for the #TWAT CHannel!

It's been available since 1997, free of charge [c-span.org] ;)

Re:Wow. (1)

j-turkey (187775) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494903)

#twatch

I'll be first in line to pay for the #TWAT CHannel!

Awwww yeah. (#) Pound twat. Sign me up.

/me ducks :)

Been there, done that, too banal. (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#29492767)

As a steampunk project, I've restored a Teletype Model 15 [animats.com] , which, running uncased so you can see the insides, is an impressive piece of machinery. I have this connected to a program that polls any desired collection of RSS feeds and prints any new items that come in. Running off Reuters or the NPR news feed, it emulates a classic news ticker.

I've tried giving it a list of Twitter RSS feeds. Works fine, looks stupid. For each new twit, the motor winds up to speed, 50 pounds of machinery grinds into life, and with much clattering and banging, the machine hammers out some banal twit on a long roll of yellow paper. Twitter content is just too lame for this. Hooked to the Reuters feed, at least you get the feeling that you're keeping up with what's going on in the world. Not with Twitter.

(Incidentally, Twitter's server-side RSS implementation sucks. RSS feed servers are supposed to accept a query with a number obtained from the previous query, and if the numbers match, it means nothing changed and no new text is transmitted. Twitter implements that so badly that every poll results in transmitting the entire RSS content again, even if nothing changed. Most other RSS feeds, such as Reuters, more or less get this right.)

Re:Been there, done that, too banal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29495685)

Great explanation, pleasure to read. Thanks!

Re:Been there, done that, too banal. (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495853)

For each new twit... I thought the messages themselves were called "tweets". The people that read them are properly referred to as "twits".

Re:Been there, done that, too banal. (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#29497387)

Great pictures, but this part cracked me up:

The gray color indicates that this was a U.S. Navy unit. U. S. Army units are black, with extra nomenclature plates. Commercial units vary in color, with green being the standard.

Just green?

Better described as a "depressing shade of Eisenhower-era government-issue putty green mandated or otherwise commonly used on walls, ceilings, floors, furniture, and equipment".

You'll need a proper desk to display that teletype. Preferrably one that's steel and so heavy you need a forklift to move it. And to go with the desk, you'll need a wooden or steel swivel chair. And a rotary telephone. Black and heavy enough to kill someone. And index cards. Lots of index cards. ;-)

Re:Been there, done that, too banal. (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#29498415)

You'll need a proper desk to display that teletype.

Now that it's working, the plan is to build a case of brass and glass, with lights inside, to show off the mechanism and make it look Victorian-era. The California Steampunk Exhibition is on for spring 2010 (2009 was canceled due to the recession), and I want to have it there.

The software for this is on SourceForge [sourceforge.net] , if anybody else has a Baudot teletype machine. It not only does RSS feeds, but you can send SMS messages from the Teletype. The idea is to support modern communications with very retro technology.

plug for my LCDuino-1 board (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#29492785)

the posted article is PIC based. some people like PICs.

I happen to prefer arduinos (atmel). and here's my first effort (collaborated with a friend) called LCDuino-1:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/linux-works/3939835161/ [flickr.com]

beta-test boards have been sent out and once the beta period is over (and all builders report success in the design/layout) we'll produce them in quantity. we are also planning on having partial and maybe full kits to help DIYers build this quickly and easily.

firmware is open source, of course.

ethernet is planned but as a daughter card or 'shield'. there is a small proto-hole area to the right where custom app-specific components/soldering can be done. the form factor is made to exactly fit behind a standard hitachi 2x16 LCD display.

(I initially needed one of these for my DIY audiophile work; but after hand building about 4 of these things, I finally got serious enough to work on the PC board and get some made. hopefully they will be useful to the arduino and DIY community, too.)

Re:plug for my LCDuino-1 board (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495913)

"the posted article is PIC based. some people like PICs."

I like PICS too - especially of TWATCHes.

Re:plug for my LCDuino-1 board (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29497061)

If you want to plug it, perhaps you should explain what it does and why I should want one instead of the device mentioned here. Is it cheaper? More featureful?

Wasn't the Twatch the subject of a bad MadTV skit? (1)

Dudeman_Jones (1589225) | more than 4 years ago | (#29492847)

Twatch, the waterproof watch/portable porn service.

I want a picture frame to do twitscoop display (1)

weave (48069) | more than 4 years ago | (#29492857)

I'd love to have one of those small LCD picture frames to run a live "buzzing right now" display from Twitscoop [slashdot.org] .

Twitter seriously need a business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29493231)

Like, seriously, as in right now, not in a year, not in a few months, right now.

The site is already barely functional at times, eating up posts, annihilating user's avatars and just plain not loading.

Now you've done it. (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 4 years ago | (#29493349)

You've given the twittersphere dedicated screen time. We'll never hear the end of it now.

/ Get of my lawn you twats.

twatchan (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 4 years ago | (#29493399)

well, at least it's appropriately named.

The usual linux question (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 4 years ago | (#29493699)

Not "does it run Linux", but rather "will it work with Linux?"
It seems that the app used to bridge serial over network (similar to PPPOE in concept?) is windows-based.
    "Weâ(TM)re using Windows, so we grabbed the freeware version of Virtual Serial Port Emulator, a simple port redirector. If you have Linux or OSX suggestions, please leave them in the comments"

Does anyone know a working method to create a network-bound serial port for 'nix? It looks like a fair bit of stuff could be done with the "matrix Orbital-style LCD commands" sent no the listening port, but I'd prefer to interface directly with the LCD if possible.

Gadgets like this... (1)

dvh.tosomja (1235032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494389)

Gadgets like this are always useful. When it eventually break up, you can still throw it at a dog.

Never mind Twitter (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29494411)

If this is cheap and easy enough, it'd make a very handy always-on "now playing" display for Spotify/iTunes/XBMC/whatever. Most of these have hooks you could hack something onto to update a display.

Networked tablets for Linux ? (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 4 years ago | (#29495119)

I've been meaning to ask this for a while, but are there networked screens that work on Linux ? Usable both as a secondary screen on a charger/holder and in bed on battery and touchscreen. Do they go through the available wifi or through some special wireless (like keyboards and mice) ?

Regarding current "trending" topics (1)

bdraschk (664148) | more than 4 years ago | (#29496149)

among which are
- Jay-Z (since i don't know when)
- Keisha (wtf is keisha?)
- MySpace

... for the love of $DEITY i do not know why i should spend money on a LCD displaying that crap.

Coupon Code (1)

imscarr (246204) | more than 4 years ago | (#29530493)

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To get the discount, use this coupon code: 10160 before checking out, enjoy.

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