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SA hackers claim world first with tweeting hamster

This is kind of cute. It’s a hamster. That tweets. Sort of.

Nur Bremmen: Staff reporter
Nur is an enigma with a passion for creating words. He recently entered a love affair with technology and chorizo sausages. He travels a lot -- you... More

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Unfortunately, no one’s managed to teach a hamster to type out tweets on a recycled iPhone. What they have done though is something equally geeky. A team of hackers rigged the hamster cage with sensors (including heat, movement, light, vibration and pressure pads) that tweeted every movement of the cage’s inhabitant — a dwarf hamster called Squeaks.

The cage is therefore able to detect what Squeaks is doing and send out a tweet from a pre-selected list — “stuffing his hamster pouches at the food bin” for instance.

The creators of the tweeting hamster cage were the winners of a 48 hour hacking competition which recently took place in Johannesburg, South Africa. The event, organised by digital agency HelloComputer and its parent company Draftfcb, was aimed at encouraging and showcasing a pioneering spirit in creativity and innovation.

Other competition entries included a 3D music equaliser made from slinkies, catgut and a bit of clever coding and a Midi player made from cardboard, arcade computer buttons and wiring.

There was also an attempt to get an AR Drone tweeting as it flew, but 48 hours wasn’t long enough for that particular team to complete its task.