Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Technology

eSuds 225

AndyAMPohl writes "An article from Yahoo! News mentions IBM plugging washers and dryers into the internet. This has several advantages: coins aren't needed since credit cards are accepted, the machines can be monitored through the web for maintenance purposes and to see if there are any machines available, and users can even control things like add soap!" The eSuds homepage has informations, FAQs, etc.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

eSuds

Comments Filter:
  • by mikeage ( 119105 ) <slashdot&mikeage,net> on Friday August 30, 2002 @08:42AM (#4169348) Homepage
    ...internet connect appliances were all washed up?
    *groan*
  • Socks? (Score:3, Funny)

    by kefoo ( 254567 ) on Friday August 30, 2002 @08:43AM (#4169353)
    Does this mean IBM can help me find all the socks I lose in the wash?
    • if you are a woman, they aren't going to be taking your socks ;)
    • No. It means that if someone gets your password, or hacks into the company's computers, you could walk away with your clothes shrunken, bleached, shredded, and swapped with the laundry of someone else.

      And if they're using an MS OS and server software, you'll get the added pleasure of "HELLO! Welcome to http://www.worm.com! Hacked By Chinese!" dyed on your underwear.

      -Sara
    • No, it means you are going to be getting socks errors reported.
      -aiabx
    • I hope that IBM have patented Underpants Gnomes (c) profit formula 2002:

      Step 1: Hooks dorm washers and dryers to Internet
      Step 2: Collect underpants (my favorite part!)
      Step 3: Profit!!!
    • No, it just means your socks are going to /dev/null. Sorry, couldn't resist.
    • Does this mean IBM can help me find all the socks I lose in the wash?

      Nope, but now Google can help with that.
  • by rknop ( 240417 ) on Friday August 30, 2002 @08:45AM (#4169361) Homepage

    Once Microsoft DRM systems are in place on the washers and dryers, clothing can be checked for DMCA and other copyright/patent/trademark violations. Have a DeCSS shirt? The dryer door locks and refuses to release your clothes until the police can come by and talk to you. Have a company trademark on clothing which is not officially licensed? Likewise.

    :)

    -Rob

    • In living color, on the internet for all to see...

      Remember sh!tt!ng your pants or not wiping [bellarmine.edu] sufficiently and just tossing the underwear in the hamper? Well, now people can see your poor hygiene. 8-)

    • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Friday August 30, 2002 @09:19AM (#4169595) Homepage Journal
      cell phone batteries.

      Some cell phone makers are unhappy about third-party batteries. So they encrypted the status information that the phone reads from the battery. If the phone detects an off-brand battery, it drains it - quickly. They then claim protection under the DMCA for the encrypted battery status readout, to prevent third-party reverse engineering.

      So though I know your juxtposition of DMCA and laundry is meant to be funny, it may not be too far from the truth. Imagine for a moment "detergent cartridges" so that the washer can meter and monitor detergent. Then encrypt that link and claim DMCA protection. Now assume strategic alliances between washer and detergent makers. When you buy your washer, you've just chosen what detergent you're going to use - until alliances shift, and then you get to change brands.

      The situation might be similar to inkjet cartridges, including home refills, except in that case the horses got out of the barn before they got the door shut. If such a washer/detergent alliance were to get into this mode, no doubt they'd look at both cell phone batteries and inkjet cartridges to plot their course. I really wish they'd look to their customers, instead. But in these days of the DMCA and criminalizing your customers...
      • about the battery....

        It's very depending on the market. They can do that in the market where there are fewer compeition, but it's definitely not the case here. 74% of the population(last year) has at least one cellphone(compare to...24% in US?).

        I remember a big brand made a phone that could only use its battery, but they discontinue making this immediately after a huge drop in sale. We aren't really care whether we could buy some cheaper battery, but we don't want to buy something that would make us look stupid among friends. "Hey is that the phone which you can only use its own battery? Bwhahah...."
  • Now how am I supposed to get a date?
  • by Your_Mom ( 94238 ) <slashdot@innism[ ]net ['ir.' in gap]> on Friday August 30, 2002 @08:45AM (#4169364) Homepage
    Of course, this has already been done byt the Geeks at MIT [mit.edu]
    • Nevermind that... (Score:3, Informative)

      by billbaggins ( 156118 )
      The anti-geeks at Macalester (liberal arts, St. Paul, MN) did it a couple years ago too. Monitoring isn't possible, but we did pay by swiping our student ID cards, and whole system was connected to the ethernet.

      There was one eensy tiny problem when they set it up, though... somebody misconfigured the machines, so that they tried to set themselves up as router/gateways for our network... no Internet for Mac for about a week until they figured out what was going on...

    • The following is a recipe for losing money:

      1. Come up with a good idea. The idea must use the internet, and although it sounds good, it probably answers a question that nobody asked or fills a need that nobody needs. In other words, it optimizes some aspect of life that nobody cares to have optimized.

      2. Put some serious financing behind the idea. (IBM?)

      3. Sit around and wonder why the world hasn't beaten a path to your door.

      Honestly, I wouldn't want to go online prior to doing my laundry to see if any were available. Laundry is a chore. I just want to take my basket of clothes to the laundry room and dump them somewhere and have them magically cleaned. Better yet, I'd rather that my laundry basket cleaned anything left in it more than 5 minutes. I already have a laundry card that I keep next to my detergent, so direct credit card billing adds no value for me. It seems to me, that the whole dotcom economy was about building an internet infrastructure around things that either don't need or aren't ready for an internet infrastructure. IBM's laundry implementation shows a remarkable resemblance to many failed dotcom ideas.

      Lately, IBM has made some major good business moves, and now it sounds like they didn't learn anything during the last 3 years.

      • I'm going to chime in and say that a great deal more money will be made by whoever develops a swarm of nanites which I can keep in my laundry hamper to remove dirt, press, starch and (for the wife) perfume the various articals tossed into it.

        Now that could be a problem when little Joey starting crawling in the laundry basket.....
      • Getting machine availablity is a killer feature. Or at least it would have been when I went to college. It seems like everybody around here already has an option better than pumping rolls of quarters into the machine. However, when I read about the direct billing I thought that would have been nice too.
  • Isn't saving quarters one of those things that you do in college that you can tell stories about later? How you ran to the student center to get change in your wet clothes becuase you didn't plan on running out of quarters before you could start the dryer...

    With credit cards, it all seems too easy and boring.
    • I don't want to use quarters. In fact, I *hate* the fact that I have to keep all this loose change around in order to do my laundry.

      Laundry has become SO expense recently it isn't worth NOT using a CC. I have to sink in $1.00 to wash and $1.50 to dry (really .75 but one cycle never does the job).

      Then the washer/dryer people wouldn't have to go around and empty the damn things. That would make their lives almost too easy.

      Now, if they put in some video games that take CC's I will be there. Golden Tee just better never do it or I would be more broke from that addictive piece of shit than now ;)
  • by writermike ( 57327 ) on Friday August 30, 2002 @08:49AM (#4169391)
    "We're going to revolutionize the way [laundry] is done on the Internet!"

    :-D

    ---

  • ...b*stard who took all my stuff out of the drier before it was done. Can it help me do that? All it would need is a webcam, and maybe some kind of minor chemical weapon I could fire remotely when I caught 'em. Nothing lethal, mind you. Maybe a little mace, or indelible dye.

    Of course, once the clothes are actually dry, my offensive abilities would be deactivated.

  • Do they make anything like this for the home, maybe a simple laundry interface that lets you see where the machine is in the cycle, change options (like soap, load size or softener), or report problems with the washer to a remote terminal? Maybe even starting a wash cycle from a remote location, or pausing in the middle of a cycle if you need to use the hot water for a shower or other purpose?

    I would buy one of these tomorrow, if not outrageously priced.
    • Your laundry machine does not use warm water. It uses cold water and heats it up. I know its redundant, but I don't care :-)

      And I totally agree on the buying part. I love to check stuff via the net. Whether it is coffee machines or anything else.

      Kristian

      • Your laundry machine does not use warm water. It uses cold water and heats it up.

        My washing machine has two water inputs, a hot water and a cold water. True, it doesn't use warm water, it mixes cold and hot and to make warm, but if you want to be a smart aleck you could argue that it doesn't use cold water, it uses hot water and cools it off.

        At face value what you describe sounds like my dish washer, which IIRC only has a cold water input and actually does heat the water electrically. The disadvantage of this is that my gas hot water heater is more efficient than electrically heating the water, but I guess they want it hotter than my plumbing can deliver and theres no water waste running out the cold in the line to get the actual hot water.

        I've never seen a clothes washing machine that heated its own water -- what kind is it? It sounds like an interesting item for locations that don't have a hot water supply.
  • And Now (Score:3, Funny)

    by Xaoswolf ( 524554 ) <Xaoswolf&gmail,com> on Friday August 30, 2002 @08:51AM (#4169405) Homepage Journal
    Geeks will never again be known for their poor heygiene due to spending days on the computer. Now with the click of a button, we can again become clean.
    • Said geek will still have to get the laundry to the machine. And move the wet duds from washer to dryer. And then remove the now clean fresh clothes, stuff em all back into a smelly duffle bag, transport them back home and dump them on the closet floor.
  • Ack... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by McCart42 ( 207315 )
    ...credit cards are accepted, the machines can be monitored through the web...
    Somehow the closeness of these two functionalities worries me. I'm sure it will be secure...but you won't see me using my credit card in the machines until it's in wide use.
  • I bet you could make a water/sud based implementation of ehternet to control it. And maybe a 240v overcharge to electricute fscks who try and steal your clothes...
  • I kind of feel cheated... I thought by now everything electronic would have had Internet connectivity. It seemed ludicrous at the time when every tech rag was touting it, but given the amount of time we spend on computers hooked to the Internet it'd be nice to be able to have a computer schedule everything in the house (coffeepot on at 7:00am M-F, 9:00am Sat/Sun, alarm clock on five minutes before both) or pop up alerts (the load in the washing machine is finished; switch to dryer, pizza timer just rang, call on line 2, there's someone at the door). Being able to schedule things away from home would be kind of nice too (tell the PVR to record something you heard was going to be on at the office.)

    I kind of feel like we've been in a technological slump in general the last few years...

  • A Beowulf cluster of these to finally answer the last great question of the ages:
    Where does that other sock go?
  • Can't wait (Score:3, Funny)

    by theRhinoceros ( 201323 ) on Friday August 30, 2002 @08:52AM (#4169416)
    Add this to your list of College Experiences to Remember:

    "Dude, your floor smells horrible."

    "Yeah, I know. Nobody can do their laundry."

    "Why not?"

    "Some bastard hacked the laundry server. Again."

    "Damn, that's m4d l33t, d00d."
  • This has bigger implications that using the things in your house. This will be a boon for people who use laundromats as well as help laundromat owners keep their machines in good working order.
  • Just imagine when you come into your laundry room to find it full of suds and your clothes shrunk so much it wouldn't fit on your kids. "I'll p4ck3t j00r w45h3r lolol"
  • by liquidsin ( 398151 ) on Friday August 30, 2002 @08:53AM (#4169428) Homepage
    Hello gentlemen.
    What you say?
    All your socks are belong to us!

  • by suss ( 158993 ) on Friday August 30, 2002 @08:53AM (#4169429)
    * Imagine a beowulf cluster of washing machines!
    * Someone slashdotted my dryer!
    * Overclocked washer shrunk my clothes!

    and ofcourse...

    * But does it run Linux?
  • In a spam message near you soon :

    See your t*e*e*n next door underwear getting cleaned in your browser

    original video from the nearest college laundry !
  • In Hackers 2, the h4xx0R kids will find a new way to get back at the goofy FBI agent: they'll hack his washer and bleach his black shirts!

    --
    Score -1 Not funny
  • We have many, many years of this to come.

    "$COMPANY has connected $DEVICE to the Internet meaning that $FUNCTION can be performed remotely. This is going to revolutionise the way $DEVICE is used."

  • Do you have to go through run-level "spin" to reboot?
  • The idea of internet-wired appliances has been done before. Lawn Sprinkler, Anyone? [drivemeinsane.com]
  • A little of this technology already exists at some places. At my University, we can pay for laundry using a smart chip on our ID cards, and we can call a telephone number to hear the status of each washer and dryer in each laundromat and how much time is remaining in the cycle, if any. A web-based interface is the next logical step.

    /gleffler
  • by Tsar ( 536185 ) on Friday August 30, 2002 @08:57AM (#4169456) Homepage Journal
    ...I've seen The Silence of the Lambs a few times, and the "machine availability" option bothers me. I can easily envision some sicko sitting at his PC at 3AM, surfing the all the laundromats around the local university, searching for one with just one dryer running.

    Hopefully, there'll be video surveillance (did I just say that?), with a closed-circuit recorded feed and signs indicating constant monitoring. Also, adjusting the web interface to display simply that at least n machines are available might negate just that sort of abuse.
    • Judging by how people used the laundry facilites at my apartment complex back when I was an undergrad, there isn't any time when just one machine is running. Most people would wait until all machines were empty, then blitz the washers. Come back in 20 minutes and blitz the dryers. Return in another 40 minutes, take clothes home. I very rarely ever saw a single person actually in the laundry room as it was often too hot and humid for comfort--plus it's boring. I had never heard of any woman being stalked or attacked, but some womens' panties did disappear from the dryer now and then (ick).


      Now, the laundromats around Ohio State always had people hanging out in them. Always. But, campus area laundromats typically have a bar on-site, pool tables, or other neat ammenities to get you to do your wash there. They're nice, clean, and there's almost always customers around plus a staff member monitoring (or tending bar).

    • The movie would probably go like this...

      (opening scene) killer surfs net looking for single washer running at 3am.He finds one in a small laundry in the dorm accross from his apartment.
      (scene 2) we see killer donning black gloves approaching the laundry.
      (scene 3) the laundry door opens
      (scene 4) killer looks up to find large football player washing his jock strap after traveling for 6 hours on a small charter bus having lost by 42 points to a bunch of woosy Ivy Leaguers.
      (scene 5) killer is shown on a stretcher rethinking his profession.

      I'd probably spend 7 bucks to see it.
    • as opposed to driving by? please, this will not cause more sickos.
  • I will never buy, purchase, or patronize any new product or service that uses the prefix 'e'. It's a tag from the days of the dotcom, when electronic hype ruled the market. Now it's all BS. eSuds, eWipes, eFood, eService, eClothes...

    eNOUGH!
  • This is a grea idea. Someone is INNOVATING. It's about freakin time.

    The possibilities for foul play are kind of interesting though... if you can hack into the network, you can make a machine FLOOD itself with soap and ruin the clothing inside. Or at least have em start and stop randomly... lol I can see the next washer virus wreaking havoc on laundromats!

    hope they're not powered my IIS.
  • The need to actually get up, walk to the machine, and put clothes in the washer, as well as take them out and put them in the dryer.

    A laundromat near me has gone the route of laundry cards that you can fill up with money...it eliminates the need to use quarters, as you can choose to put $10s or $20s on.

    As far as dispensing soap from the internet, I don't really get this...I'm going to go to the laundromat, put my clothes in, go back to my room, start up my computer, then indicate I want soap? What if I want a different brand of soap?

    Bah, progress.
  • ... I just want some way to turn off that damn buzzer.
    • I just want some way to turn off that damn buzzer.

      That's easy, you just have to 'hack' your washer.

      1. Take the front panel off the appliance.
      2. Find the buzzer. Attach your multimeter (You do have a multimeter, don't you?) clips to it and run the switch through the 'end of cycle' position a few times to determine what kind of voltage your dealing with. (Most likely either 120VAC, 240VAC, or 12VDC)
      3. Get a switch (SPST is easiest) that will handle the voltage you found. I'm partial to the Radio Shack 275-011 [radioshack.com], but that's because I work at Radio Shack and like Big Red Buttons. You may want one closer to the 275-634 [radioshack.com] so you can see if it's turned on or off at a glance.
      4. Disconnect one of the leads to the buzzer. Connect it to one side of your switch. This may require soldering or just moving over a quick disconnect spade, depending on the appliance.
      5. Connect a wire (You do have extra wire laying around, don't you?) from the other lead of the switch to the spot where the disconnected wire was originally attached to the buzzer.
      6. Drill a hole in the front panel. (If you're using the switches I recommended, you need a 1/2" hole for the pushbutton, or a 1/4" hole for the toggle.)
      7. Mount the switch in the hole.
      8. Replace cover.

      I take no responsibility for you voiding your warranty; electrocuting yourself, your family members, or pets; or anything else bad that happens if you follow these instructions.

      Have fun!

      NOTE: This completes lesson 1 in my new series 'hack everything'. Tune in next week for how to add one-touch buttons to your microwve for your most common cooking times. Save yourself 17 seconds/year of valuable time!

  • so now instead of losing a buck when the dryer stops working, it might take $500 from my credit card, either from software going crazy or because someone hacks the machine and steals the numbers. great.
  • by bachelor3 ( 68410 ) on Friday August 30, 2002 @09:01AM (#4169484)
    How long before someone does this with bathroom stalls?

    The people at Icepick [icepick.com] have included toilet stats in their wired house, namely temperature and duration; man, I hope temperature refers to bathroom temperature and not...ugh.

  • Will they add webcams inside these things so we can finally solve the riddle of the missing sock?
  • After the wide spread use of CD trays as cup holders, tipp-ex on the screen, support people will now come across laundry in the floppy drive.
  • Why not just give the students Internet access in the laundromat? I have seen a couple Laundromat/Internet cafés - this seems like a good idea to me. You need to kill (or usefully work) a few hours while waiting.
  • I have a buddy that tried to do this 15 years ago. His system used serial connections and a modem, but it was the same basic idea. His system would allow people to punch in PINs to gain access to their laundry accounts and would send alert messages when machines broke down.

    He had a few customers for a while, but it just wasn't cost effective for the laundry mat owners. The problem was that a laundry mat is simple enough to operate that rather than ease the work load of the owner, the technology made things more complicated. It didn't take long for the owners to see that they really weren't getting enough value from their new system and discontinue the service.

    It will be interesting to see if IBM can add enough value to a washing machine to make it worth the while of a launrdy mat owner to upgrade.
  • Does this mean there will actually be someone to call when I lose my left sock?

    ---

  • This has several advantages: coins aren't needed since credit cards are accepted

    Make it easy for cc's to be accepted and watch the price go up, since hell, it's so easy. Not like americans have a problem with overspending with the use of these things, hmm? Besides, more technology isn't necessarily a good thing, make a more complicated system and there's more links to find a weak one in.

    The only practical use I see for connecting washing machine/drier would be like the following example:

    I'm sitting on my ass in the living room, watching some reality show about people trying to stab each other in the back and the washing machine or drier finishes, it would be handy to have an indicator flash on the screen somewhere.

    The epic failures of past couple years have something to do with the overzealous pursuit of useless technology. Too bad some real babies went out with the bathwater.

  • Already been done (Score:2, Informative)

    by v13 ( 238081 )
    I just graduated from Boston College this May. The majority of the washers and dryers on campus were already networked into the student billing system allowing students to pay for their laundry on their student ID that also functioned as our key to the buildings/library/meal/bookstore/dominos take delivery/card. We could add money to our accounts via credit card anytime we wanted.

  • ... on your washing machine LCD display:

    We 0wnZ uR S0ckS!!

    Sorry, could not resist... Seriously, I hope your launderette VPN is seriously firewalled... =)
  • Here they are in no particular order:
    • "Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these!"
    • Buffer Overflow == Washing Machine overflow
    • Trojaned Dryer leads to credit card fraud
    Ahem.
  • Yeah great (Score:3, Funny)

    by WickerChap ( 591994 ) on Friday August 30, 2002 @09:13AM (#4169556)
    Some script kiddie is gonna put bleach my jeans.
  • umm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Triv ( 181010 ) on Friday August 30, 2002 @09:17AM (#4169579) Journal
    (Note: I didn't RTFA. You've been warned)

    Ok, so I can see the advantages, what with the machines taking credit cards, etc, but it seems kinda silly to me. You still need to be there to load the friggin' thing up after all, so you might as well pay with cash, and personally I'm not so anal with my laundry that there's a specific point in the cycle I need to add soap. laundry+soap=clean, I don't need to add such a pesky variable as soaptime.

    If the whole point is to reduce work then they need to eliminate the trip itself - once you're physically there, anything else you need to do (soap, paying) doesn't change the fact that I've hauled 30 pounds of laundry three blocks, waited around for an hour and hauled it back. Besides, they don't need to be connected to the 'net proper to take creditcards - a plain vanilla phone line to the creditcard company's server will do just fine.

    I'm not saying this isn't a cool hack, the epitome of geek, but I'm not going to be really impressed until a robot picks up my laundry, washes it, debits my creditcard and returns it, preferably folded.

    Triv
    • Re:umm... (Score:3, Insightful)

      "(Note: I didn't RTFA. You've been warned)"

      That's pretty obvious, as your points are mostly addressed by the first two paragraphs of the article. Cash isn't always convenient (as people sometimes don't have enough change for the machine), the site lets you know if machines are available (as people don't want to drag their 30 pounds of laundry down there only to discover all the machines are full), and it lets you know when your laundry's done (as people generally have better things to do than sit in a laundromat and wait).

  • One of my seniors at college had done something similar for his final year undergrad project, a short description of which could be found here [symonds.net].

    He'd connected a PIC to one of the ethernet cards (the system had two Eth0 and Eth1) and had implemented a simple HTTP into the ROM.

    Only Eth0 could access Eth1, so you could access Eth0 through a webserver and send/receive requests, which would be translated into queries for Eth1. Eth1 would selectively process these queries by just looking into the request string, and trigger responses in the micro-controller.

    The micro-controller could in turn use these requests to perform pre-determined operations, like switch operations, or even analog operations.

    This way, he could use a web based interface to control external devices. You could put up the server on the web, and you can access the lava lamp in your room from the net :-)

    It's old, but this is the only implementation that I know which can perform analog operations too (like he make it do /non-pre-determined/ stuff and perform things like tuning of a radio).

    Very interesting stuff.
  • *sound of children starving to death.*

    At the risk of being sent down to the -1 kiddies' table by the moderators, I'd like to express in this forum the faint buzzing sound in my aural periphery when I hear about technological breakthroughs that allow me to rlogin from my iPod in Nepal to a laundry dryer in Brooklyn. The buzzing sound is my political mind trying to be heard. It's saying: "..hey, lunkhead. The reason you sleep better at night having spent the day compiling open source code on a linux box is because it makes me happy, too -- your political mind. You know that free software, stealing Microsoft's market share, etc. are positive actions politically. ...but I can't deny that most of these technological advances are advancing by leaps and bounds while basic human needs are being neglected. I'm not saying you shouldn't throw that 10/100 NIC into your toaster, I'm just saying: hold off on the champagne a bit. Keep things in perspective. Try to remember that there's a world that needs technology to improve its quality of life -- a world outside of your laundromat."

    "...bzzt."

  • Did these people do any marketing research into this.

    Who is going to be your #1 people to use something like this
    Geeks

    Whose too busy to wash clothes
    Geeks

    That means you're left with no market to use the product


  • The coup de grce would be, of course, if the washers could be accessed and controlled via the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP).
  • This [rit.edu] Putting appliances online is nothing new, the origional Drink machine at rit dates back to the 80's, and there was a similar machine at CMU about the same time. The cool thing I see about this is the credit card acceptance, though for their sake I hope they queue up all of the laundry you do in a day, otherwise per transaction fees will kill them.
  • You could do some damage if you hacked into one of those, like flood out a laundromat, ruin lots of peoples clothes, etc. Some things were just not made to be internet connected.

    Some of the features that could be abused (from esuds.net):
    *sell injected detergent and fabric softener as part of a wash
    [snip]
    * service machines on an as-needed basis, reducing service costs and machine down time

    So you can break the machines and flood the laundromat with suds. How reassuring.
  • How long before these machines come equipped with MP3 players? I can just see the RIAA exec's ranting to the press about it now...

    (Uptight exec with nasal voice):

    Copyright infringement in the LAUNDRY ROOM!

    Copyright infringement by the NEW WASHER AND DRYER!!

    (Apologies to Negativland [negativland.com].)

  • if i can control it via SOAP
  • See subject.

    I actually know how to do this myself using the lirc project, but I have better things to do with my time than write that particular piece of code.

    Back on topic...I can see this as being useful on a local network in a college dorm or apartment complex...cool if you could have the washer/drier lock itself until you log in and unlock it to keep ppl from throwing your still wet clothes all over the place. Checking status would be very nice too.

    putting it on the public Internet probably isn't the greatest idea in the world though.

  • odd timing for this story. my washing machine, according to the guy who fixed it on wednesday, crashed on monday. it was a hotpoint washer and he had to yank out the main controller and replace it with a new board which seems to have a newer revision number on it.

    can't connect it to the net though. i suppose washer crashing stories won't be all that unusual at that point.
  • "But I don't *want* a web-accessible clothes dryer! Beeeewwwwweeept!"
  • humor (Score:3, Funny)

    by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Friday August 30, 2002 @10:09AM (#4169936) Homepage
    Beowolf Cluster, better known as a laundomat.

    Traceroute: Missing sock.

    What happened? There's 3 inches of water in the basment!
    Ping flood.

    All clothes come with additional new tag: EULA

    The new tag may NEVER be removed under penalty of law.

    FBI arrests student for hacking washing mashine: Claims he didn't realize it it was on a .MIL network.

    RIAA proposes bill granting them immunity from prosecution for any clothes they damage, so long as they suspect the laundy contained a copyright violation.

    Dude! What's that pile of slag in the basment?
    Somebody posted a link to my washing machine on slashdot.

    Slashdot article on the difficulies of doing landry with over-clocked machine submerged in liquid nitrogen.

    Microsoft announces X-box hydrid.

    What's the gross gunk all over your clothes?
    The filter on the drier couldn't handle all the SPAM and it backed up.

    Java Virtual Machine gets clothes virtually clean.

    Error: These clothes require cookies. Enable cookies and try again.

    www.britenyspearsunderwear.com

    -
  • by p3d0 ( 42270 )
    You shouldn't have an article with "suds" in the title unless it's about beer.
  • Every time I turn around some big corporation wants to poke their nose into my private life using the internet. You know they're going to log everything I put into that machine. The last thing I need is some company abusing my privacy so that they can air my dirty laundry in public! >:I
  • *loads article*

    *search box*

    *search for string*

    *no match found*

    w00t!

    "gives a whole new meaning to the phrase FLOOD PING*

    ba dum bum

    *ducks*
  • IBM did the original ticketing system for BART, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, back in the early 1970s. IBM logos on the vending machines, even. But they abandoned that business to smaller players. Does this mean they're getting back in?

    Stanford has a vending machine network that takes student ID cards, but it's usually down. There are a few commercial systems like that, usually antiquated; X.25 over 2400 baud serial links is typical.

  • "You haven't washed your clothes for 3 weeks you smelly geek!"

  • so then we can all know that those lost socks in the dryer really DID go to /dev/null.
  • Tape drives and printers have always been a lousy, nightmarish part of a sysadmin's job.

    Now that we have to take care of washers and dryers, too, I may be looking for a career change.
  • While this is, indeed, a cool hack, what about

    A) students that don't have PCs
    B) students that don't have credit cards (more likely than A)

    The article mentions that they avoid vandalism because they contain no cash, so at least the models they're installing don't accept quarters. I suppose in a dorm you could use student IDs, but what about laundromats? Yes, it would be FREAKING AWESOME to reserve your machine over the internet with your CC, then walk down there with your car load of clothes, but what about the bums who hang out there? How do they do their laundry?
  • Yeah, but what button do I press to send my laundry over the Internet to go straight to the machine?
  • Myself and a group of friends did this a while ago as a project for an embedded systems class.

    We web enabled the washer for status of the load and time remaining statistics. Completely removed the controls and inserted our own front end device. (Even custom made a replacement front end to fit our display)

    We went for the simplistic approach and used a touch pad interface with a basic display. However, we did not make it a credit-op machine. It was intended to be free for the dorm rats to use.

    This is a fairly easy retro fit and can be done for around 400$? (you have to work with some crappy gear though, no bells and whistles on a stripped down controller).

    Damn, had I known throwing a credit card swiper on there would have made me famous....

If all the world's economists were laid end to end, we wouldn't reach a conclusion. -- William Baumol

Working...