The instant an Arduino or Raspberry Pi connects to the web (with a public IP) it is out there for anyone – or anything – to detect.
In our connected devices class, my classmates and I all saw this vulnerability firsthand. After leaving our connected thermostats on for a week, we experienced our devices being scanned and sometimes attacked by machines from across the globe.
As the technical feasibility of the API to LED project comes together, it is time to consider the physical specifications, including design, construction, and materials. Here is the current conceptual design:
Friday night! The perfect time for expanding on the API-to-LED work from last week. The improvement now offers a more diverse set of information and utilizes duplex serial communication.
The result is that now we can now use a toggle-switch to see the 1-hour price change of either Bitcoin or Ethereum in the form of LED lights. The position of the attached toggle switch determines which currency is being shown.
The programming also features a p5 sketch that reflects the information being sent through the serial.
For example, in the video below Ethereum has had a modest positive 1 hour price change (0.06%), so it lights up the green LEDs a teeny bit. At the same time, Bitcoin has had a larger, negative price change (-1.16%), so it lights up the red LEDs quite a bit.
You likely have seen the push-to-cross buttons scattered across various crosswalks in NYC.
The functionality and effectiveness of these buttons is often challenged, and with good reason. The primary reason is because most of them are not even connected to the system that governs the traffic lights! As originally reported by the New York Times in 2004:
“…the city deactivated most of the pedestrian buttons long ago with the emergence of computer-controlled traffic signals. More than 2,500 of the 3,250 walk buttons that were in place at the time existed as mechanical placebos.”
While thousands of NYC push-to-cross buttons are inactive, there are ~150 special new push-to-cross buttons. They are called Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APDs), and they look like this:
Unlike the crosswalk buttons of old, the primary purpose of APD’s are to help blind and low-vision pedestrians navigate crosswalks more safely. They also provide a legend to the 3 modes of the crosswalk light (from a visual management perspective, this seems unnecessary if not counter productive).
From the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), APDs are:
“wired to a pedestrian signal and send audible and vibrotactile indications when pedestrians push a button installed at the crosswalk.”
In other words, they vibrate upon touch, and also make the following audible noises:
A command to “Wait” every time the button is pressed when the cross light is red:
They are fun to complete, but what do you get when you collect them all? NOTHING. No compliments. Well I made one for budding numismatists among us, with the sweet sweet neurological reward of a blue light turning on upon completion: