Phil Torrone Keynote at SXSW

by Bruce Stewart

Cnet has a nice article today summarizing Make Magazine senior editor Phil Torrone and hardware hacker Limor Fried's SXSW keynote. As regular ETel readers know, we pay close attention to whatever Phil is up to over on, as he often delves into interesting telecom hacking projects. At their keynote, Phil and Limor demonstrated a quasi-legal homemade cell phone jammer (Limor said said the federal government allows people to show others how to make and use such devices but that it is against the law to actually use them.)

Phil also gave props to the great student projects coming out of NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), which many of us got a chance to see first hand at last month's ETel conference. One thing the Cnet article got wrong though, the botanicalls student project that has wired up house plants to an Asterisk server doesn't just send a voice mail when the plant is thirsty, it actually instigates a call with the plant. I know, I've talked to them. And they have different voices. Hopefully, we'll have more on that cool project for you here on ETel soon. (Hint, hint, Kate and Kati ;-)