Netflix develops Morse code search option

What happens when Netflix gives its staff two days to hack the platform and create innovative (and often unnecessary) variations on the streaming service?

This. This is what happens.

Netflix Hack Day

Twice a year, the wonderful team at Netflix is given two days to go nuts and create fun, random builds, taking inspiration from Netflix and its content. So far they’ve debuted a downgraded version of the streaming platform played on an original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), turned hit show Narcos into a video game, and utilised VR technology into many more builds that, while they’ll never be made public, have no doubt led to some lightbulb moments for the creative teams involved.

Kevin Spacey? More like ‘Kevin Spacebar’, am I right? Aha…ha…haaaa…I’ll get my coat.

Teleflix

The Teleflix build from this summer’s Hack Day is obviously the best one yet, as it uses a Raspberry Pi. By writing code that decodes the dots and dashes from an original 1920s telegraph (provided by AT&T, and lovingly restored by the team using ketchup!) into keystrokes, they’re able to search for their favourite shows via Morse code.

Netflix Morse Code

Morse code, for the unaware, is a method for transmitting letters and numbers via a standardised series of beeps, clicks, or flashes. Stuck in a sticky situation? Three dots followed by three dashes and a further three dots gives you ‘SOS’. Sorted. So long as there’s someone there to see or hear it, who also understands Morse Code.

So if you’d like to watch, for example, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, you simply send: – …. . / ..- -. -… .-. . .- -.- .- -… .-.. . / -.- .. — — -.– / … -.-. …. — .. -.. – and you’re set. Easy!

To reach Netflix, the team used a Playstation 4. However, if you want to skip a tech step, you could stream Netflix directly to your Raspberry Pi by following this relatively new tutorial. Nobody at Pi Towers has tried it out yet, but if you have we’d be interested to see how you got on in the comments below.

And if you’d like to play around a little more with the Raspberry Pi and Morse code, you can pick up your own Morse code key, or build one using conductive components such as buttons or bananas, and try it out for yourself.

Alex’s Netflix-themed Morse code quiz

Just for fun, here are the titles of some of my favourite shows to watch on Netflix, translated into Morse code. Using the key below, why not take a break and challenge your mind to translate them back into English. Reward yourself +10 imaginary House Points for each correct answer.

Netflix Morse Code

  1. -.. — -.-. – — .-. / .– …. —
  2. …. .- -. -. .. -… .- .-..
  3. – …. . / — .-
  4. … . -. … . —..
  5. .— . … … .. -.-. .- / .— — -. . …
  6. –. .. .-.. — — .-. . / –. .. .-. .-.. …
  7. –. .-.. — .–

22 comments

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Better if they allowed to use Netflix on the Pi!

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What about the link that explains how to do that?

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I guess I’m kinda blind :P

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I’ve written a Morse code trainer in Scratch 2 that should run on Raspberry Pi 2 and 3: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/12617328/
The instructions on that side is in English, but the program is in Swedish, but could probably be used by anyone anyway.

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Back in the dim dark past (somewhere 1985-1990?)I used BASIC (superBASIC on a Sinclair QL) to produce the .’s and -‘s and the sounds of Morse from text, drive an audio tone (from either format) to an output jack with transmitter keying (Yasesu FT-3227R, and I still have it, and it’s still in service!), and to detect Morse from audio in giving the .’s and -‘s and text. That’s Ham Radio for ya! – I was purchasing equipment from Holland via Satellite not long after, well before Internet here in NZ. The software’s now lost in the junk-pile, though I still have 2 QLs and a dual (720k)Floppy-drive setup. There’s little new under the Sun.

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1st one reads Docmor Who.

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−·· −−− −·−· − −−− ·−· ·−− ···· −−−
D O C T O R W h o

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Sacrilege !!!
ASCII to Morse converter

http://www.lexilogos.com/clavier/morse.htm

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···· ·− −· −· ·· −··· ·− ·−··
h a n n i b a l

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3) is “the oa”
− ···· · −−− ·−

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4) is “sense 8”
··· · −· ··· · −−−··

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5) is “jessica jones”
·−−− · ··· ··· ·· −·−· ·− ·−−− −−− −· · ···

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6) is “gilmore girls”
−−· ·· ·−·· −− −−− ·−· · −−· ·· ·−· ·−·· ···

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7) is “glow”
−−· ·−·· −−− ·−−

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For information :
Dot = 1 point
Dash = 3 point
Space between two signs dot-dash = 1 point
Space between two letters = 3 point
Space between two words = 5 points

Handling speed in words per minute (WPM)
length Dot = 2 point
length Dash = 4 point
Length between two letters = 4 point
Length between two words = 6 point
Length of the reference word “PARIS ”
P = 2+4+4+2+2 = 14
A = 2+4+2 = 8
R = 2+4+2+2 = 10
I = 2+2+2 = 6
S = 2+2+2 = 8
space = 4
“PARIS ” = 14+8+10+6+8+4 = 50 point
one Word per minute = 50 / 60 seconds

Formula :
Dot Speed (in second) = 1 / (WPM * (50 / 60))

Simplified formula :
Dot Speed (in second) = 1,2 / WPM
(1.2 is 1/(50/60))

Standardized speeds WPM :
WPM = dot speed in second
10 = 0,12 sec
12 = 0.10 sec
15 = 0.08 sec
20 = 0.06 sec
24 = 0,05 sec
30 = 0,04 sec
40 = 0,03 sec
60 = 0,02 sec
120 = 0,01 sec

CW is not dead !
French amateur radio / F4A**

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Sorry !!!
Length between two words is not 6 point

Length between two words = 4 point (Space)

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Sorry 2 !!!
Length between two letters is not 4 point

Length between two letters = 2 point

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The right explanation

Handling speed in words per minute (WPM)
length Dot = 1 + 1 = 2 point
length Dash = 3 + 1 = 4 point
Length between two letters = 3 – 1 = 2 point
Length between two words = 5 – 1 = 4 point

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Python command line code for count PARIS word :

>>> tone = ‘=’
>>> quiet = ‘.’
>>>
>>> di = tone + quiet
>>> dah = tone * 3 + quiet
>>>
>>> space_letter = quiet * 2
>>> space_word = quiet * 4
>>>
>>> p = di + dah + dah + di + space_letter
>>> a = di + dah + space_letter
>>> r = di + dah + di + space_letter
>>> i = di + di + space_letter
>>> s = di + di + di + space_letter
>>>
>>> Paris = p + a + r + i + s + space_word
>>>
>>> len(Paris)
50
>>> Paris
‘=.===.===.=…=.===…=.===.=…=.=…=.=.=…….’

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Thanks for the article, and the pi is a truly excellent device! The teammates laughed at my soldering skills trying to attach the GPIO header, but I’ll keep working on making better connections! Carenina and Alex are the real soldering sleuths…

We’re working on a DIY guide for people who want to build the Pi + Morse + Keyboard part, we’ll let you know. Keep making awesome little computers!

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Thank you for the article! As Guy mentioned we will follow up with a build guide. In the meantime here is a c library to help with morse-code apps:

https://github.com/memoryhole/libmorse

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