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  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 06:30
    Interior Design: Ever wondered what a golf ball looks like when you cut it in half? #ArtTuesday


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    Photographer James Friedman posted pictures from this awesome project entitled Interior Design. There’s something oddly satisfying about these, no?

    Curiosity led me to cut my collection of golf balls in half to see what the cores looked like. To my surprise, what I found inside inspired me to consider that I could discover, in the unlikeliest of places, elegant formal qualities and surprising metaphorical possibilities. Interior Design has moved me to be enthusiastic about abstraction, an exciting corollary to my work as a documentary photographer.

    Incidentally, I do not play golf.

    See more photos here.

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  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 06:21
    Discovery Communications Sells HowStuffWorks.com #makerbusiness


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    Discovery Communications Sells HowStuffWorks.com @ WSJ.com.

    For Discovery Communications Inc. the website HowStuffWorks.com proved to be one investment in digital media that didn’t work. Discovery said Monday it would sell the site, which offers explanations on topics such as “How magnets work” and “How do they make hollow chocolate Easter rabbits?” for $45 million, or less than a fifth what Discovery paid to acquire the web publisher in 2007.

    Read more.


    HowStuffWorks.com was/is one of the classic go-to sites for many people for learning… how stuff works. Discovery launched TestTube, a science video network (and a channel on YouTube) in May of 2013. They had acquired Revision3 back in 2012 for a reported $30 million and that’s how/where TestTube was launched out of. In the past Discovery has courted many maker efforts and makers for shows and more, it will be interesting to see where they put their efforts going forward (more video? YouTube only, their own ad network? more TV shows?).

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 06:20
    Practice Your Service Return With This Arduino-Powered Automatic Ping-Pong Ball Machine

    ping-pong-ball-machineFriction wheel mechanism, frame made of VEX Robotics Design System components.

    Read more on MAKE


  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 06:00
    Magical High-Tech Lights Reveal Their Crazy Side Only On Video #ArtTuesday



    Wired posted about this great project from Japanese designers Daito Manabe and Motoi Ishibashi. We had lots of fun making animated gifs of this project :)

    Much of today’s technology is invisible to us. Take the radio waves that power today’s wireless communications. It’s immense infrastructure that we simply have no way of seeing.

    “Rate” is a clever lighting concept that’s invisible–but only some of the time. In person, these hanging lanterns look like typical white lights. On camera, however, they appear to strobe with bands of color.

    Created by Japanese designers Daito Manabe and Motoi Ishibashi, the magic comes courtesy of super high frequencies–the lights change their color patterns anywhere from 1,000 to 1,000,000 hz. The less-than-ideal video above shows them installed at Tokyo Designers Week in Milan. But the concept is cool enough to spend some time thinking about.

    With the proliferation of cameras that come with today’s smartphones, we’re creating more images of our world than ever before. Another way of putting that: more than ever, we’re experiencing the built environment through the mediation of lenses. “Rate” urges us to consider the opportunities that exist to design for this photographed world.

    It’s not an entirely new idea. William Trossel and Matthew Shaw, working under the name ScanLAB, have explored a similar concept with their “Stealth Objects“–a variety of hypothetical interventions that subvert laser scans of urban areas by creating phantom walls, distorted buildings, and other spatial anomalies in the data.

    “Rate” suggests other sorts of possibilities. You could imagine art exhibitions rendered unphotographable by to special lights that deploy obfuscating walls of color in front of artworks. Or wearables that emit dazzling light-based accessories–but only when seen through through smartphone video. Think of it as a different–much more fun–flavor of augmented reality.

    Read more.




    Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 06:00
    Joy Division album cover face paint by Natalie Sharp (Lone Taxidermist)
  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 06:00
    Front Range Open Hardware Symposium #oshw


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    Front Range Open Hardware Symposium.

    Front Range Open Hardware Symposium 

    with Congressman Jared Polis

    April 24th at 6pm

    Location: The Studio Boulder, 3550 Frontier Ave #2 Boulder, CO

    If you would like to showcase your open source hardware at the event we will provide a table. Please email info@oshwa.org with details about your project.

    This event is to educate the general public and Congressman Polis about open source hardware and the open hardware activities happening on Colorado’s Front Range.

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 04:00
    Sci-Fi Contest Roundup: The Valve Universe

    653px-Source_engine_logo_and_wordmark.svg

    While most of the entries to our Sci-Fi contest come from movies and TV shows, a select few are based on the Valve universe, including a few builds based on Portal and Team Fortress 2.

    Deadly neurotoxinGLADOS

    Who wouldn’t want a gigantic articulated sociopathic robot hanging around? Two groups are building a clone of GLaDOs from the Portal series. and already the builds look really great.

    [AmarOk], developed an open-source personal assistant called RORI that intends to be a more helpful version of GLaDOs, without all the testing and killing. He, along with [Peterb0y] and [n0m1s] are turning this personal assistant software into a GLaDOs replica.

    Taking a slightly different tack, [Eric] and [jjyacovelli] built a GLaDOs-like robot with a camera in the ‘face’. This camera connects to a Google Glass and tracks the user’s head movements. There’s also a Nerf gun attached to the end of the robot body, triggered by double winking. Yep, it’s a heads-up display GLaDOs, perfect for punishing your test subjects.

    Heavy load comin’ through!

    Sentry

    Not to be out done by a malevolent, hyper-intelligent artificial intelligence, [Tyler] and [Ryan] are building the cutest gat’ dern weapon in all of west Texas. It’s the level one sentry from Team Fortress 2, and the guys are turning one into a paintball sentry.

    The TF2 sentry is a cute little bugger capable of motion tracking and perimeter defense, filling enemies with lead should they ever come too close.

    While the end result probably won’t be as large or as heavy as the “official” real-life turret, a smaller table-top sized model is probably a little more practical. Even if it doesn’t live up to expectations, upgrading the sentry is simply a matter of whacking it with a wrench a few times.

     

    There’s still time for you to cobble together an awesome Sci-Fi project and have a chance to win some awesome prizes.

    Filed under: contests

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 01:00
    Rebuilding a Custom IC Saves HP Pulse Generator

     

    Rebuilding an HP Custom IC[Matthew] got himself into a real pickle.  It all started when he was troubleshooting a broken Hewlett Packard 8007A pulse generator. While trying to desolder one of the integrated circuits, [Matthew] accidentally cracked it. Unfortunately, the chip was a custom HP Pulse shaper IC – not an easy part to source by any means. That broken chip began a 5 year mission: to explore strange new repair methods. To seek out new life for that HP 8007A. To boldy fix what no one had fixed before.

    [Matthew's] first repair attempt was to build a drop in replacement for the HP chip. He took a look at the block diagram, and realized the chip was just some simple logic gates. He built his version with a small PCB and Fairchild TinyLogic gates. Unfortunately, the TinyLogic series is fast CMOS, while HP’s original chip used Emitter-coupled Logic (ECL). Thanks to the wildly different voltage levels of the two logic families, this design had no chance of working.

    Five years later, [Matthew] was going to school at MIT, and had access to a wire bonding machine. He rebuilt the package using some epoxy, and managed to re-run the various bond wires. While everything looked promising, this attempt was also a failure. After all that work, the chip was blown.

    Block diagram of the HP 1820-0285

    If you haven’t figured it out yet, [Matthew] is a persistent fellow. While setting up for wire bonding, he’d gotten a good look at that HP die. The HP chip was a relatively simple design, so simple that he was able to reverse engineer the entire schematic from the die images. Similar to his TinyLogic design, he built a drop in replacement on a two layer PCB. This time he used discrete transistors and resistors to replicate the ECL logic. By using both sides of the PCB, he was able to fit everything into a 16 pin DIP footprint. The result almost worked. The two layer board had some long traces. With low frequency transistors, the circuit would work – but not up to 105MHz. Switching to high frequency transistors caused the entire circuit to oscillate.

    [Matthew] laid the board out one more time using power and ground planes. The simplified layout, coupled with BFS17 transistors worked. It wasn’t quite as good as the original HP design, but for the purposes of the pulse generator, it worked perfectly. He didn’t even have to recalibrate.

    We love seeing old test equipment brought back to life. If you know any stories like this, drop us a tip!

    Filed under: tool hacks

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 00:00
    Medusa Could Rule the World with Her Hair


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    Medusa of the Inhumans is a striking opponent. She made her first appearance in Fantastic Four and has persisted in Marvel comics over the years as a villain and an ally. Besides superhuman strength, agility, and reflexes, she also has long prehensile hair. Cosplayer jj-dreamworldz brought the character to life, and since the hair is Medusa’s most recognizable feature, she took great care to craft a great wig. She states it’s heavy but not too uncomfortable. Here are her FAQs about the faux hair:

    Where did you get it/did you make it?

    Yes, I did make the wig. I got a 60″ red base wig from eBay and then purchased extensions from I Kick Shins.

    How long did it take to make?

    Sewing wefts, hand sewing wefts into the wig and styling took about 2 weeks.

    How many wigs are there?

    1 wig and about 15 thick wefts.

    How did you get the volume & height?

    The volume of the wig is from the extensions which are slightly crimped which add bulk without the extra weight. As for the top of the wig, there is no foam structure or anything inside the wig, it is all backcombed and hairsprayed underneath. (I watched a bunch of drag queen wig tutorials which used this technique a lot).

    via Women of Comic Book Cosplay, photo by Weatherstone

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 00:00
    Astronomers discover first self-lensing binary star system


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    Via Phys.org

    A pair of astronomers at the University of Washington has discovered the first known instance of a self-lensing binary-star system. In their paper published in the journal Science, Ethan Kruse and Eric Agol describe how they happened across the previously theorized system while looking for undiscovered planets.

    Scientists believe that nearly half of the stars in the night sky are multi-star systems, many of them binaries. Also, some binary star systems are unique in that their orbital path around each other lies in a plane with the planet Earth, which means from our perspective, they pass in front of one another on a periodic basis, causing an eclipse—generally, this results in dimming, which some might see as twinkling. In other instances, theory has suggested, the opposite should occur—instead of dimming, the eclipse should result in brightening—a phenomenon known as self-lensing—as the star in front magnifies light from the star behind it.

    Self-lensing is based on Einstein’s theory of relativity—light may not have mass, but it is still subject to gravity, it bends when passing stars for example. For that reasons, astronomers have been suggesting for years that if there existed a binary star system where one of the stars was similar to our own sun, but the other was a white dwarf—small but with a huge mass, and thus lots of gravity—than self-lensing should occur when the smaller star passed in front of the larger star. And that’s just what Kruse and Agol have found.

    The two were studying the star KOI 3278 because it had previously been found to dim on a periodic basis. Thinking it was doing so because of a planet passing in front of it, the researchers looked closer. Instead of a planet, the researchers discovered another star. As they orbited, the two stars took turns passing between us and their mate, every 88 days. When the sun-sized star was out front, the binary system dimed, as occurs with most binary star systems. But when the smaller star was out front, the two observed, instead of growing dimmer, the result was a very subtle brightening (a 0.1 percent increase) that lasted for five hours, confirming theories and stoking hopes that one day an observation will be made of a similar system made up of neutron stars or black holes.

    Read more.

  • Monday, April 21, 2014 - 23:44
    The MAKE Team Grows: Introducing Caleb Kraft

    caleb kraftThe MAKE team is excited to announce a new addition to the team today: Caleb Kraft comes aboard as Community Editor. Caleb will help oversee our online editorial and community presence and further develop makezine.com. Previously at Hackaday and most recently at EETimes, he has a vibrant history of generating exciting projects, […]

    Read more on MAKE


  • Monday, April 21, 2014 - 23:43
    Cusine basse temperature: Oeuf à 65°C

    Voici le matériel (en cours de développement):

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    Et voilà le premier résultats dans l'assiette:

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    Cet œuf a été cuit 1h à 65.5°C.

    Verdict: Très bon, jaune parfait mais blanc un peu coulant à mon gout. Demain on tente 67°C :-)

    En passant, voilà un très bon post qui traite du sujet.

    Et voici le tutoriel pour la fabrication du thermostat avec un Arduino.

  • Monday, April 21, 2014 - 23:41
    Call for proposals: The 2014 Interactive Show is coming!

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    Get that Club Mate cold and those soldering irons hot because it’s time for another Interactive Show! We’re putting out the call to hackers around the globe to come show your stuff at our annual party.

    This year there’s no theme– it’s a free-for-all! Have something blinking and beautiful? Something that bleeps or bloops? Anything interactive goes!

    This year’s show will be June 7th. If you’re interested in being part of a show, drop us a line at ishow@nycresistor.com! Try to get in touch by May 7th so we can make sure there’s space for your project. Hope to hear from you soon!

    Props to Olivia Barr for our awesome gif flyer this year!

  • Monday, April 21, 2014 - 23:00
    Biodegradable Water Balloon Blob


    Become environmentally friendly with this edible water blob! by Melissa Goldin at Mashables

    No water bottle? No problem.

    Ooho, a biodegradable, water balloon-like blob, could soon be a cheap, environmentally friendly alternative to the ubiquitous plastic bottle.

    See also: 10 Best Water Filtration Bottles

    Up to nearly 50% of 2.4 million tons of discarded plastic comes from plastic water bottles, according to the Clean Air Council If eventually mass produced, Ooho could go a long way toward reducing this waste.

    “The reality is that every day more, when we drink water we throw away a plastic bottle,” Rodrigo García González, one of three London-based industrial design students behind the project, told Mashable. “This act of consumerism reflects the society in which we live. Ooho proposes an alternative.”

    Trapped inside two layers of membrane made of brown algae and calcium chloride, water is released from the glob of liquid when its casing is punctured. The membrane can then either be eaten or thrown away, similar to the skin of an apple.

    Though it’s not as sturdy as a water bottle, García González said a collection of smaller Oohos could be kept in a bigger one with a thicker membrane to prevent unwanted spills (and so that not all of the water has to be consumed in one fell swoop) and its double-membrane design would keep the product hygienic (you could peel back the first one and sip from the second). It may not be the neatest way to hydrate, as seen in this Fast Company video, but according to García González smaller Oohos will be easier to sip without getting wet.

    The container has a creative commons license to encourage innovation and, with the right materials and know-how anyone could, in theory, create one in their own home.

    Ooho was inspired by similar cases of membranes found in nature such as egg yolks. The container is assembled using spherification — a technique that shapes liquid into spheres and roots going back to the 1940s. In an effort to keep the final product as large as possible and to keep the components of the membrane separate, the water is frozen during this process.

    WikiPearl, a new product sold only in four Massachusetts-based Whole Foods, stretches the limits of packaging using similar methods. The spherical finger food can contain anything from ice cream to a cosmopolitan in a bite-sized parcel. Molecular gastronomy, popularized by chefs such as Spaniard Ferràn Adria and Englishman Heston Blumenthal, is a controversial method of cooking that uses similar techniques in its experimentation with the physical and chemical abilities of ingredients.

    Ooho won a 2014 Lexus Design Award and will be showcased at this year’s Milan Design Week.

    Read more

  • Monday, April 21, 2014 - 22:16
    IRIS – Mission Planning #drone #droneday


    One of the great features of Iris is its ability to be controlled directly from a tablet! In the video below, Joe from 3D Robotics walks us through setting up DroidPlanner 2 to carry out pre-planned flights!

    3D Robotics youtube channel is making activity and frequently posting how-to videos. Check out their playlist for more video tutorials:
    3DRobotics IRIS How-To Videos


    Welcome to drone day on the Adafruit blog. Every Monday we deliver the latest news, products and more from the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), quadcopter and drone communities. Drones can be used for video & photography (dronies), civil applications, policing, farming, firefighting, military and non-military security work, such as surveillance of pipelines. Previous posts can be found via the #drone tag and our drone / UAV categories.

  • Monday, April 21, 2014 - 22:11
    How to convert a plain DW-5600 to a negative display
  • Monday, April 21, 2014 - 22:00
    Crazy futuristic robot has six legs but can also transform into a ball #robotics



    Laughing Squid made this interesting post on a six-legged robot that can turn into a ball.

    As you can see, the sphere sections are reinforced using some T-shaped aluminium brackets for supporting and holding the plastic (PC) sphere sections. This made a huge difference when it comes to rigidity. On MKI I struggled with the fact that the plastic sphere section was to flexible and I had to reinforce the edges with ribs. The problem was the ribs kept getting loose (the PC glue wouldn’t hold), so I had to do even more improvements. On MKII the ribs isn’t really needed, simply because of the aluminium brackets that is shaped to match the inner part of each sphere section perfectly. I did spend some hours in the workshop fine-tuning the bending tool to make the bracket fit.

    The main challenge with MKI was that it wasn’t able to roll in a straight line of path, only in a curved direction. I believe the main reason was the constrained motion of the upper sphere sections. Having only one DOF (degree of freedom), or only one servo motor for each of the six upper sections made it very challenging. It might be possible to make a more complex linkage system that gave the upper sections a better motion when rolling. Not sure how though..

    I therefore decided to use two servo motors on each of the six upper sections. Having 2 DOF would make it easier to control, so that the upper and lower sections move in a symmetric motion.

    Read more.

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  • Monday, April 21, 2014 - 22:00
    The Edinburgh mini Maker Faire Roundup

    Illuminating geometryThis post is a roundup of the Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire—returning to Edinburgh for the second time—held at the Summerhall this weekend as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival. That’s a wrap for the Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire, and there was some amazing makers here showing off their creations and the quality of those exhibiting here […]

    Read more on MAKE


  • Monday, April 21, 2014 - 22:00
    Sniping 2.4GHz

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    A long time ago when WiFi and Bluetooth were new and ‘wardriving’ was still a word, a few guys put a big antenna on a rifle and brought it to DefCon. Times have changed, technology has improved, and now [Hunter] has built his own improved version.

    The original sniper Yagi was a simple device with a 2.4 GHz directional antenna taped onto the barrel, but without any real computational power. Now that displays, ARM boards, and the software to put this project all together are cheap and readily available, [Hunter] looked towards ubiquitous computing platforms to make his Sniper Yagi a little more useful.

    This version uses a high gain (25dBi) antenna, a slick fold-out screen, and a Raspberry Pi loaded up with Raspberry Pwn, the pentesting Raspi distro, to run the gun. There’s a button connected to the trigger that will automatically search the WiFi spectrum for the best candidate for cracking and… get cracking.

    [Hunter] says he hasn’t taken this highly modified airsoft rifle outside, nor has he pointed out a window. This leaves us with the question of how he’s actually testing it, but at least it looks really, really cool.

    Filed under: security hacks, wireless hacks

  • Monday, April 21, 2014 - 21:27
    Bitcoin.com is now a #bitcoin education site


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    Bitcoin.com via TechCrunch.


    1280X698 Adafruit Bitcoin Banner

    We added bitcoin as a payment option mid November 2013 and the average amount of total bitcoin orders per day was about $1,572.14 USD, with an average order size of $231.20 USD. Peak orders was around 100/day using bitcoin, in the last 30 days it’s about 5 to 10 orders / day using bitcoin and average amount per order being $170.86 USD. Other online stores in the maker world started taking bitcoin too, if you have some coins to spend, head on over to EMSL (Evil Mad Scientist). The coolest part of this experiment for us was an Adafruit community member built a bitcoin miner and then used the coins they mined to buy Adafruit electronics with the mined coins. More bitcoin news here…. Oh, would we add bitcoin now if we didn’t have it, based on what we know now? Sure, the big spend-coin-rush is over, glad we added it when we did!

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