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28 hour day

I recently stumbled upon xkcd's comic on the idea of a 28-Hour Day. Having been interested in polyphasic sleep for a long time (without ever trying) and this being similar, I checked whether or not it would work out with my current situation of temporally fixed obligations throughout the week. Turned out that there would be very little overlap (blue=sleep, green=obligation). And the two cases where a lecture falls at the very end of a day ... just schedule two/three hours of sleep before that, right?

Wrong. Instead of extending my day by 4 hours per sleep/wake cycle I ended up with 3.5, 0.5, 2.5 ... -6. Friday, 1:30 a.m. I was super tired after having been awake for a mere 7 hours, went to bed and slept for 8 hours straight. This is how the whole week turned out. More like a rubber band that I stretched a bit than the intended wrapping around over the course of a week.

Lesson learned: if you sleep a lot anyways (8-9 hours per night in my case), the 28 hour day may not be for you. ^_^


Deutsche Bahn ticket machines - hidden buttons

A few weeks ago I noticed something strange about the ticket machines of Deutsche Bahn. Normally, if you miss to hit a button, a red dot on the touch screen indicates where your "click" was recognized. But when viewing the Verkehrsverbund* section and "missing" on certain spots on the upper left and upper right corner of the screen, you saw an hourglass cursor for a short moment.
Being in curiosity mode I had to test if I could provoke a feedback of some kind. And in fact, rarely the screen was like flashing as I was rapidly clicking on both spots simultaneously.
After playing around a bit more I found out that there are two "four click combinations" that will bring up a screen with some information: left, left, right, right gives you the application and system version; left, left, right, left a hole bunch more version data, the location of the machine and whatnot.
At the point where I had found the first working combination and began trying out others I kind of felt like in a good old point and click adventure. :D Thanks for the entertainment, Deutsche Bahn. ^^

Here's a video of each of the screens:
left, left, right, right
left, left, right, left

*An association of public transport authorities.


Time-lapse photography for less than 2$

A few weeks ago I thought it would be nice to try out time-lapse photography. I searched for ways to trigger my DSLR in given inverals and found, that the plug for wired remotes was some proprietary Nikon thing and timer remotes cost 40€ upwards.

Fortunately, DSLRs can also be triggered using an infrared signal. I already owned an Nikon ML-L3, a normal IR remote compatible to my Nikon D80. So what I did (and what you can also do to have fun with IR devices) was this.

Simply connect an IR LED to an audio cable and use it to record and send IR signals. It's that easy. : )

If you're interested in further information on this topic have a look at the following links:
Jim Watters - Nikon D70s MC-DC1 remote
www.doc-diy.net :: camera remote release pinout list
DIY Infrared transmitter for iPhone, iPod
Arduino – IR remote/ intervalometer for Nikon D80 DSLR (that means timelapse photography yarrr!)
bigmike.it - infrared remote control for Nikon


Catching up

Since my last blog post several things happened that I could have mentioned here, but I somehow never got around doing so. Therefore I'm now doing a chatch-up post:


A day after I wrote the "Parkour / Freerunning / Movement"-post I attended the parkour theme workshop by Parkour Stuttgart, which was a great experience. These workshops are organized every first saturday of each month. Anyone can attend and it's for free. Also worth mentioning: I got into some serios double kong action lately. ^^

Mawaru Penguindrum

If you happen to be a fan of Mawaru Penguindrum these two things might be for you. First: I rebuilt the penguin head icon that members of KIGA group have on their shirts as a vector graphic. Here's a making off (I used Inkscape). You can get the SVG file here. Second: if you'd like to browse through awesome Mawaru Penguindrum fanart take a look at what zerochan.net has to offer. It's nothing but amazing. A four-digit count of really great pictues only on Mawaru Penguindrum. :O

A first attempt in social engineering

On November 24th Furtwangen University (that's where I study) had a special day for exchange between companies and students. The companies have stands in the hallways and lecture rooms where they introduce themselves. Students walk around to gather information relevant for a practical semester or thesis and harvest giveaways, mostly pens. One of the companies present was OXID eSales, they make online shops with PHP. The cool thing at their stand was, that they had t-shirts with PHP code (and their logo ofc) on them which they gave away for free. I quite like PHP, I had to get one of them, so did some of my fellow students. We continued our raid for pens ...
Then I realized something. The t-shirts that OXID gave away where exactly the same t-shits that their employees wore at their stand. I continued on that thought: people wearing such a shirt standing at their stand are thought to be OXID employees and they're asked questions about the company by students that walk by. I now possess such a shirt ...
By now you probably figured out what I was about to do. I asked one of my mates what he thought about temporarily becoming and OXID employee. He liked the idea, we put the t-shirts on and headed off to OXID. In the end the area around the stand wasn't quite crowded enough for the plan to succeed, but the OXID employees that spotted us "supporting their team" happened to find it amusing what we did. As you can see they even took a picture of us at their stand.


At university we had a team that took part in The UCSB iCTF, an international capture the flag event. The competition was great. The way it was set up allowed members like me, that aren't that skilled when it comes to IT security, to also contribute to the progress of one's team. I was particularly amused by a challenge that I was able to solve thanks to my occasional visits of /b/. Here's a picture of the challenge. Do you know the answer? If not, take a look at this.

If that post gave you cancer go ahead and write a comment to tell me so!


Jae Rhim Lee's mushroom burial suit

Watch it! Think about it!
Wonderfully reasonable dealing with death. <3

tags: libertine