Monday, February 10, 2014 - 10:00Tahir Hemphill’s Light-Painting Robot Visualizes Rap Music’s Geographic Refrences #MusicMonday
These incredibly beautiful light paintings are interesting in another way too. Via Core 77.
If rappers’ boastful lyrics are any indication, hip-hop can take you places. A disciple himself, Tahir Hemphill—the ever-diligent artist behind the previously funded Kickstarter campaign “The Hip-Hop Word Count”—has visualized a dozen rappers’ global treks via flight path-esque photographs tracking their lyrics.
Inspired by Pablo Picasso’s light paintings, Maximum Distance. Minimum Displacement. takes one data point from “Hip-Hop Word Count” (more on that below) and puts it on the map. Hemphill has pulled out geographic mentions from his vault of crazy detailed research and created long-exposure visuals to better illustrate the globetrotting itineraries of these superstars (and perhaps to see if Pitbull is worthy of his terrible self-appointed title, “Mr. Worldwide”). By scaling geographic distances between destinations on a globe and assigning them coordinates, a robotic arm plots a specific point for each song’s city mention using a light pen.
The result is a temporary light painting tracking the hypothetical journey made throughout the rapper’s music. The robotic artist responsible for the paintings fades into the background of the photos, but you can see its work-induced blur if you look closely.
Monday, February 10, 2014 - 09:00The Lost Ancestors of ASCII Art
The Atlantic has a fascinating piece up about the origins of ASCII art.
ASCII art is as much a part of the Internet as emoticons, cats, or lol.
We’re talking about pictures made from text: letters, numbers, and special characters like # * and \ …
Though it is still around today, ASCII art reached the zenith of its popularity before the web. It was the visual language of BBSs, Telnet, and many other pre-WWW networks. In a wholly text-based world, these works proliferated. For the brief moment that modems were the preferred mode of access to other computers, they were useful. And their sketchy aesthetic seemed right for mediums that were provisional and changing rapidly.
So, I’ve always thought of them as native creatures of that time, serving a need for pictures when there wasn’t bandwidth to transmit them.
But that’s not the case.
The history of ASCII art goes deeper, and much of it is told only in Geocities blog postings, abandoned websites, Google Books, and scattered PDFs across the web.
This post traces a fascinating and mostly lost strand of that history: The way thousands and thousands of people made typewriter art, from amateurs to avant gardists.
What they created is, in some cases, strikingly similar to the ASCII art of the BBS days, but how they thought about what they were doing depended on the times in which they worked.
Perhaps the one constant? This kind of text art has been snickered at and marginalized since the 1890s.
But as fewer and fewer typewriters clack away, striking ink to paper, and text continues to cede ground to the hypervisual web, a patina seems to be growing on the art form.
Monday, February 10, 2014 - 08:003D-printed bicycle frame launched in the UK!
Renishaw for Empire Cycles launched the first 3D printed bicycle frame,from dezeen.
According to the brand, 3D printing makes the frame lighter without forfeiting strength by using topological optimisation – the process where material is removed from areas of low stress until the design is optimised for load bearing. Using as little material as possible means the frame is at its lightest.
Even though titanium is more dense than the aluminium alloys that Empire Cycles normally uses, topological optimisation allows the weight of the bicycle to be reduced to 1400 grams, which is 33 percent lighter than the previous 2100 grams.
Monday, February 10, 2014 - 07:00A NeoPixel Ring Glimmer In Your Eyes #neopixels
Dr_Speed created this great portrait of a NeoPixel fanatic!
Adafruit neopixel ring w/Canon G12. Cropped. NO PHOTOSHOP or post processing of any kind.
Featured Adafruit Product!
NeoPixel Ring – 16 x WS2812 5050 RGB LED with Integrated Drivers: Round and round and round they go! 16 ultra bright smart LED NeoPixels are arranged in a circle with 1.75″ (44.5mm) outer diameter. The rings are ‘chainable’ – connect the output pin of one to the input pin of another. Use only one microcontroller pin to control as many as you can chain together! Each LED is addressable as the driver chip is inside the LED. Each one has ~18mA constant current drive so the color will be very consistent even if the voltage varies, and no external choke resistors are required making the design slim. Power the whole thing with 5VDC (4-7V works) and you’re ready to rock. (read more)
Monday, February 10, 2014 - 06:16Louis Vuitton’s “Resistor grid” sweater
Monday, February 10, 2014 - 06:00Bionic hand lets wearer feel what they’re holding
The Verge has the latest on prosthetics that can actually enable the wearer to feel the object they are holding.
The latest bionic hand can do a lot more than just let its wearer hold things: it can actually let them feel. By hooking into nerves in an amputee’s arm, the new prosthetic can let a person tell how hard or soft an object is and even distinguish its basic shape. “The sensory feedback was incredible,” Dennis Sørensen, who wore the hand during its first trial, says in a statement…
“What was amazing in the subject was the possibility to get — very quickly, almost immediately — the ability to use this restored sense of modality in an effective way,” Micera tells The Verge. Though health regulations limited Sørensen’s trial to only a month, by the final week he was able to differentiate between three shapes with 88 percent accuracy and between the hardness of three objects with 78.7 percent accuracy. “It is very intuitive,” Micera says.
Using the bionic hand required Sørensen to have electrodes implanted in his arm, just above where it had been amputated nine years prior. Even though the nerves hadn’t been in use, the prosthetic was able to translate the bionic hand’s input into electrical signals that the nerves could understand.
During the test, Sørensen was asked to differentiate and handle six different objects. For testing hardness, he was given a piece of wood, a stack of plastic glasses, and a pack of cotton. To test how well the prosthetic could relay the feeling of different shapes and sizes, Sørensen was given a bottle, a baseball, and a mandarin orange. Being able to differentiate between objects and hardness also let Sørensen more effectively control how much force the bionic hand exerted while holding different materials.
Sunday, February 9, 2014 - 23:37HARDWARE HANGOUT with James “Laen” Neal from OSH Park! @laen @oshpark #makerbusiness
Come meet and ask questions with James “Laen” Neal from OSH Park! OSH Park is a community printed circuit board (PCB) service. OSH park take designs from lots of people, put them all together on a panel and then order the panel from a fab.
Since they’re all splitting the panel setup cost, this lets them make circuit boards inexpensively.
You’ve seen these purple boards everywhere
This service grew out of the DorkbotPDX PCB Order run by @laen and now comprises of a two-layer panel every other day, a four-layer panel every three weeks and a periodic two-layer medium run service for people needing more than 150 square inches of board.
Their boards are lead free, made in the USA, and amazing quality.
Click here for the Google+ Hangout page (you can start asking your questions now too).
Sunday, February 9, 2014 - 20:53“We built a Bitcoin Keurig coffee maker this weekend”
A Bitcoin accepting Keurig built at HackBeanpot in the last two days. We tore apart a Keurig, put an Arduino Uno in it with a wifi sheild, an IR sensor and some LEDs. We put it back together nicely and added a Bitpay integration. It now makes you a cup of coffee when you pay it in Bitcoin and place your mug in it. Users can also brew with a donated cup of coffee from below.