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  • Eyes-on with Ninja Blocks 'home automation for hackers' (video)

    Eyes-on with Ninja Blocks 'home automation for hackers' (video)

    Yet another Kickstarter success story is here on the Hardware Alley Floor at TechCrunch Disrupt. Ninja Blocks look a fair bit different than they used to, however — the 3D-printed case has been traded up for something that looks a lot more like a final, saleable product. In fact, it looks a little like a router or an external hard drive, albeit one with color-changing ninja eyes. The company was also talking up the home automation possibilities of its platform a bit more than the straightforward sensor pitch. In a buzz phrase, the company is calling this “home automation for hackers.”

    Using the Ninja Rules app, you can turn lights and appliances on and off, get alerts for things like your wash and monitor your home, without writing code — of course, knowing how helps. The whole platform is extremely open to users, and inside the case, you’ll find a Beagle Bone and Arduino board, both accessible by pulling at the handy “Hack Me” tag that hangs on its side. The base system will run you $199. More information can be found in a video after the break.

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  • Wii U allegedly hacked, Nintendo addresses would-be pirates

    DNP Nintendo addresses rumors of possible Wii U hack

    While some people associate the word “jailbreaking” with prison riots or smartphone hacking, the most mainstream of cracking subcultures also takes on video game consoles. A mod chip developer known as WiiKey is now claiming to have reverse engineered the Wii U‘s disk encryption, making it possible to play “backed up” copies of games via a USB drive. The group says its “WiikeU” optical drive emulator is region free and compatible with all Wii U console models. So far the hacking brood has yet to furnish any proof of its claims, but Nintendo is very much aware of the situation. In a statement to Eurogamer the company said the following:

    Nintendo is aware that a hacking group claims to have compromised Wii U security; however, we have no reports of illegal Wii U games nor unauthorized applications playable on the system while in Wii U mode. Nintendo continuously monitors all threats to its products’ security and will use technology and will take the necessary legal steps to prevent the facilitation of piracy.

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    Via: Eurogamer

    Source: WiiKey (1), (2)

  • Siva Cycle Atom bike-powered battery charger eyes-on (video)

    Siva Cycle bikepowered battery charger eyeson video

    It was just about a week ago that we first told you about Siva Cycle’s Atom, a pedal-powered battery charger that’s currently taking Kickstarter by storm, healthily surpassing its $85,000 goal, with 21 days to spare. Lo and behold, the kinetic peripheral popped up on the Hardware Alley floor at TechCrunch Disrupt, here in NYC. Actually trying the thing out is a bit much to ask in the crowded Manhattan Center, but the company was nice enough to demo the device with a little good old-fashioned hand power.

    The system is pretty minimally invasive, from the looks of it. The removable battery pack sits next to the rear wheel axle, and there’s also a USB port just below the seat for charging devices more directly. Get in early, and you’ll be able to pick the system up for $85. Not convinced? Check out the company’s plea in a video just after the break.

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    Source: Kickstarter

  • PSA: BlackBerry Q10 on sale in Canada, but only in Toronto (update: a bit broader)

    BlackBerry Q10

    Today marks one of the symbolically more important launches in the BlackBerry universe: the Q10, the first keyboard-equipped BB10 phone, is at last available on the company’s Canadian home turf. As promised, customers with Bell, Rogers and Telus (as well as their Virgin Mobile, Fido and Koodo sub-brands) can snap up what’s arguably the true Waterloo flagship for about $199 on a 3-year contract, or between $625 to $700 contract-free. Shoppers are largely buying the same phone no matter the carrier, although Rogers is hoping to lure the undecided with both LTE on an extra frequency as well as access to the white model. Just be prepared for a slightly longer wait if you plan to buy one in person — BlackBerry warns that it’s limiting Q10 supply to the Greater Toronto Area for the first day or two to accommodate demand high demand in Canada’s financial capital.

    Update: Although BlackBerry was emphasizing Toronto, readers in other cities have mentioned getting early access. We’d still call ahead if you’re set on grabbing a Q10 at retail, however.

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    Source: Bell, Rogers, Telus

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