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Hardware Hacking Twitter Build Hardware

#twatch Open Hardware Networked LCD Screen 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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#twatch Open Hardware Networked LCD Screen

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  • #twlame (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 21, 2009 @12:07PM (#29492437)

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

  • Port 1337 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

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

    • by joaommp ( 685612 )

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

    • 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: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by fluffy99 ( 870997 )

      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

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

  • Port 1337 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Monday September 21, 2009 @12:17PM (#29492571) Homepage Journal

    using a TCP server on port 1337

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

  • 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. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Monday September 21, 2009 @12:48PM (#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.

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

      • 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.
        • by RingDev ( 879105 )

          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.


          • 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 bo
    • 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.
  • The Twatch [blogspot.com]?
  • Wow. (Score:5, Funny)

    by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Monday September 21, 2009 @12:31PM (#29492743)


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

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday September 21, 2009 @12:33PM (#29492767) Homepage

    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.)

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

      • by Animats ( 122034 )

        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

  • 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 cour

    • by R2.0 ( 532027 )

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

      I like PICS too - especially of TWATCHes.

    • 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?

  • Twatch, the waterproof watch/portable porn service.
  • I'd love to have one of those small LCD picture frames to run a live "buzzing right now" display from Twitscoop [slashdot.org].
  • You've given the twittersphere dedicated screen time. We'll never hear the end of it now.

    / Get of my lawn you twats.

  • well, at least it's appropriately named.

  • 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 wit

  • 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.

  • 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) ?
  • 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.

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