Mardi, Février 11, 2014 - 09:00The ARK by Romain Tardy & Squeaky Lobster
The ARK by ANTIJV’s Romain Tardy and Squeaky Lobster, a site specific installation for Proyecta Oaxaca at the Ethnobotanical garden of Oaxaca, Mexico:
The Ark is a site specific installation, commissioned by and presented during Proyecta Oaxaca, festival de diseño y artes digitales.
The Ark is built around the cacti that line the Aljibe, at the heart of the Ethnobotanical Garden of Oaxaca.
Adopting a poetic approach, The Ark gives voice to the garden’s plants, participants in the work, the beating heart of the space and an unpredictable choir.
Telling their story, revealing their fantasised and fantastical character, The Ark is the mise-en-abîme of the trail. A three part audio-visual installation, it unfolds like a movie set in space, in which the wandering spectator plays the role of the camera.
More info at antivj.com
Mardi, Février 11, 2014 - 08:00OMG who stole my ads? by Etienne Lavie
Mardi, Février 11, 2014 - 07:00Introducing the SquareWear Mini, with its Chainable Color LED Matrix
[Ray] just tipped us about his latest project: the SquareWear Mini, which basically is an improved version of the SquareWear 2.0 that we featured a month ago. For our readers that may have missed it, the SquareWear is essentially a wearable Arduino platform running at 3.3V and 12MHz. Both versions are based on an ATMega328 microcontroller running the V-USB library to provide USB connectivity, put together with diverse onboard peripherals.
As you can see in the picture above, the Mini includes 2 N-MOSFETs, one temperature sensor, one light sensor, a 16KB EEPROM memory, one buzzer, a one cell LiPo battery connector together with one charging controller, and finally a power switch (USB/battery). It is supposed to be 25% smaller than the SquareWear 2.0 and is optimized to work with a WS2812B-based 5×7 RGB LED matrix that [Ray] also designed. The latter can easily be cascaded in X/Y directions with other LED matrices in order to expand the overall display.
At last, [Ray] created a software to design animations and upload them to the SquareWear . A presentation video of the complete system is embedded after the break and you can download all the design files on GitHub.
Mardi, Février 11, 2014 - 07:00What Will You Leave Behind?
Nino Sarabutra’s WHAT WILL YOU LEAVE BEHIND?
Nino Sarabutra has filled the gallery floor with more than 100,000 miniature porcelain skulls and invites you to walk on them. Entering the gallery, every step you take you will be treading on the skulls, unavoidably. In truth, each step we take brings us one step closer to our own demise, yet we never know which will be our last.
Nino asked a range of people to help create the skulls – friends, family, neighbors, students, workers etc. While making them, they were asked to contemplate their life and think about what they will leave behind.
Mardi, Février 11, 2014 - 07:00Elisa Kreisinger FRAMED! The attack on fair use and digital artists on the Internet #fairuse #mashups
Created by the first Eyebeam/Public Knowledge joint artist-in-residence! Elisa Kreisinger FRAMED! The attack on fair use and digital artists on the Internet:
Kianga Ellis Projects is pleased to present the first solo exhibition for Pop Culture Pirate, Elisa Kreisinger. Framed! The attack on fair use and digital artists on the Internet features Kreisinger’s videos Picasso Baby, I’m Feeling 22; Mad Men: Set Me Free (with Marc Faletti) and Mad Med: Don Loves Roger alongside her new Fair Use(r) series of paintings.
Provoked by her experience battling YouTube’s Content ID system, Framed! is a defiant gesture by Kreisinger to reassert her creative autonomy within a sympathetic art context. As conceptual artworks, the Fair Use(r) paintings point to how private agreements between copyright holders and hosting platforms undermine the safe guards for fair use built into the law and cripple creators’ rights to distribute digital art works online. The material physical presence of the paintings emphasizes the unique challenges facing artists working in the digital realm and presenting work on the Internet as compared to artists working in traditional media, such as oil on canvas, and presenting work in brick and mortar galleries.
Each of the paintings on view at the gallery, 1:18 Iconic TV, 0:01 Canal Plus, and 1:50 Lionsgate, depict the exact frame of the artist’s videos that triggered a potential copyright violation notice on YouTube. Once identified and flagged by YouTube, the work’s fate is in the hands of the claimants who are empowered to block, track or place ads over the artist’s original fair use art works.
Kreisinger recently examined fair use and artists’ rights online as an artist-in-residence at Eyebeam Art & Technology Center in partnership with Public Knowledge, the Washington, D.C.- based consumer rights organization involved in intellectual property law, choice in the digital marketplace, and an open Internet. She is a featured artist at the Eyebeam 2014 Annual Showcase from January 16 – February 1, 2014 on view at Eyebeam’s headquarters at 540 W. 21st Street, NY, NY 10011….
Mardi, Février 11, 2014 - 06:01El Claustro form Penique Productions
Penique productions EL CAUSTRO from Cut Out Fest at Museo de la Ciudad Querétaro, México, November 2011:
Penique productions travelled to México as guest of the Cut Out Fest animation festival in order to carry out an intervention in the city of Querétaro where the festival is held. The project took place at the Museo de la Ciudad, located in the former Convent of San José de Gracia, and consisted of completely covering the building’s cloister.
The light transformed the piece depending on the time of day. In strong sunlight, the installation was deep blue inside and the architecture that enveloped it was tinted a shade of sky blue. At night, the warm artificial light used in the gallery around the inflatable piece and the spot light installed in the central fountain outlined the volumes in darker shade of blue.
See more at peniqueproductions.com
Mardi, Février 11, 2014 - 04:01Cobalt RaQ Retrofit Help Geek Up Your Entertainment Center
Even network engineers who toil away in hot server rooms (which aren’t actually all that hot because they’re well climate controlled) deserve nice things. That’s why Cobalt came out with these gorgeous front bezels for their rack mounted equipment… around twenty years ago. [Geekmansworld] is reviving the look, but he’s not hiding it away in a server rack. He scrapped the guts and used the front bezel and controls as part of his media server.
His first new addition to the case was a pair of hard drives which connect to an eSATA hub also stored in the enclosure. He buttoned it up and gave it a test run. Everything worked smoothly and he hopes that it will continue that way without overheating when the summer rolls around again.
Of course a dead front bezel is no fun so he cut off the portion of the original circuit board which hosts the buttons seen on the right. These buttons now connect to a U-HID board which turns the button presses into mouse or keyboard inputs using a USB connection. The original display was swapped out for a backlit character LCD. The LEDs to the left are a refit which turns the status indicators into a VU-Meter. See the entire thing at work after the break.
Filed under: home entertainment hacks
Mardi, Février 11, 2014 - 02:04Radically Cheap: The Story of Pat Delany, Open Source Machine Tools Advocate
Mardi, Février 11, 2014 - 01:18Drones Gone Mild: Introducing the Drone Social Innovation Award
Mardi, Février 11, 2014 - 01:00Python With Braces
If there’s one thing about Python that’s slightly disconcerting, it’s the complete lack of braces, or as they’re called in American English, suspenders. A feature of every variety of C, Java, PHP, Perl, and a whole bunch of other very powerful languages, braces make things more legible and don’t rely on precise indentation. [Ruby] and [Eran] have come up with a way to use these punctuation marks with Python in a project they call Python with Braces.
As its name implies, Python with Braces doesn’t care about indentation: you’re free to make you code extremely ugly, or write your code properly in K&R style. Each line is terminated in a semicolon, and blocks of code with only one statement don’t require curly braces, just like C and Java.
Right now [Ruby] and [Eran] have a Windows installer with an OS X package on its way. Executing a Python with Braces script only requires executing it with a ‘pythonb’ executable instead of the normal ‘python’ executable.
Filed under: Software Development
Mardi, Février 11, 2014 - 00:25Valentine LED Chaser
The object of your desire will not be able to resist this heart shaped kitsch-o-tron, lovingly hand-crafted on perfboard with a CD4017B decade counter and 555 astable. But you probably can't go wrong with flowers and chocolates as well. Just to be on the safe side.
Mardi, Février 11, 2014 - 00:00House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s Women in Scientific Careers Report
New report from the UK on women in scientific careers.
Many attempts have been made to improve the under-representation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers in the UK. Yet currently only 17 per cent of STEM professors are women. It is astonishing that despite clear imperatives and multiple initiatives to improve diversity in STEM, women still remain under-represented at senior levels across every discipline. One compelling reason to tackle this problem is that the UK economy needs more STEM workers and we cannot meet the demand without increasing the numbers of women in STEM.
There is no single explanation for the lack of gender diversity in STEM; it is the result of perceptions and biases combined with the impracticalities of combining a career with family. Scientists often consider themselves to be objective and unbiased, yet studies have shown that scientists are susceptible to the same biases as the rest of the population.
Therefore we have recommended that diversity and equality training should be provided to all STEM undergraduate and postgraduate students. It should also be mandatory for all members of recruitment and promotion panels and line managers.
Early academic STEM careers are characterised by short term contracts, which are a barrier to job security and continuity of employment rights. This career stage coincides with the time when many women are considering starting families, and because women tend to be primary carers, they are more likely than men to end their STEM career at this stage. We call on the Government to work with the higher education sector to review the academic career structure and increase the number of longer-term positions for post-doctoral researchers. We have found that what benefits women benefits everyone in the STEM workplace.
Emphasis is often placed on inspiring young girls to choose science, which is commendable, but such efforts are wasted if women are subsequently disproportionately disadvantaged in scientific careers compared to men. The Government recognises the importance of gender diversity in STEM, but its efforts appeared to be largely focused on encouraging girls to study STEM, with little focus on enabling them to stay and progress in STEM careers. We were disappointed that BIS spending dedicated to improving diversity in STEM was virtually halved in the 2010 Spending Review and we recommend that the Government should monitor the effects of its policies on cutting and “mainstreaming” diversity funding.
Lundi, Février 10, 2014 - 23:30Dr. Brassy Wants to Keep an Eye on You
One of the defining tropes of the steampunk community is that the term is allowed to mean whatever you want it to mean. Steampunk is that strange place where costuming and subculture overlap and intermingle. Dr. Brassy Steamington, occasionally referred to as Kimberlee McDermott, has been a punk since the term was coined—long before it found footing in the American lexicon.
Lundi, Février 10, 2014 - 23:00Car-Crushing Mechanical Claw #robotics
Christian Ristow, winner of the Backyard Genius Award, uses his experience as an artist and animatronics designer for the movie industry to create a car crushing mechanical claw. via Popular Mechanics
Our top prizewinner spent years dreaming of the perfect way to crush cars by hand. In 2007 Christian Ristow, an artist and former animatronics designer for the movie industry, demonstrated his first working incarnation of the Hand of Man at a robotics festival in Amsterdam. Much of his time since then has been spent re-engineering and refining the design of the 27-foot-long hydraulically actuated appendage, exhibiting more and more capable crushers at a series of public venuesÂ. Ristow’s latest mechanical steel limb has 90-degree wrist rotation and improved mobility in the finger joints. It is powered by a 90-hp Perkins 1104C-44T four-cylinder diesel engine and is controlled through a glove worn by the operator. At demonstrations, that operator is usually a random member of the audience. “I’ve built other large-scale radio-control robots for shows over the years, but I always felt like I was the one having the most fun,” Ristow says. “This democratizes the crushing power.”
Lundi, Février 10, 2014 - 22:3810 Lovely DIY Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas
Lundi, Février 10, 2014 - 22:30Tron Costume Disc Upgrade Using LEDs
When Tron: Legacy was in theaters, Identity Discs were available everywhere. Instructables user cubeberg purchased one for his seven-year-old from the local big box store, but he was disappointed at the lackluster lighting effects. What does a maker do in this situation? Hack up the toy and improve it. He makes it clear that he’s not an engineer and only has so-so soldering skills; he thinks if he accomplished this, then anyone can do it. He gathered materials including LEDs, separated the disc and gutted it, and this is how he marked the disc for the new LEDs:
In order to make the new disc as movie-accurate as possible, we’re placing 16 leds in the inner ring (convenient since the LED chip we’re using breaks leds into segments of 8). The remaining 48 leds will go on the outer ring.
I found that the inner ring is about 40cm and we need 15 breaks – leaving 2 2/3 cm between each LED. I mostly eyeballed this section, but used a measuring tap used for clothing measurements to make things a little easier.
The outer ring is much simpler. We need to separate it into 48 segments. There are already 6 posts evenly spaced around the disc. Using your sharpie, make a large mark at each of these posts (6 marks). Then add a large mark in the middle of each post (12 marks). Then make a smaller mark between each of the large marks (24 marks). Then add a smaller mark between all of the marks (48 marks!).
Read more at Instructables.
Lundi, Février 10, 2014 - 22:30My First Original Arduino Project: What I Learned About Learning
This post is really an op-ed written for those of you who, like myself, are new to making and are just getting into project building with Arduino. You might be a little overwhelmed. You might think you can’t learn this stuff. I assume I am not alone when I say I […]
Lundi, Février 10, 2014 - 22:14GPS Powered LED Speedometer #ArduinoMicroMonday
Lundi, Février 10, 2014 - 22:01Java Grinder Spits Out dsPIC and MSP430 Assembly Code
[Michael Kohn] sent in a link to the set of projects he’s been working on lately. The Java Grinder is a project that converts Java code for use on microcontrollers. This actually started back in 2009, when he mentioned that the project was worthless because there were already a ton of Java virtual machines out there. But if he had really thought that he’d never learn anything. We’re glad [Michael] picked this back up and made something out of it.
The image above shows the proof of concept. It’s a box bouncing around the Nokia 6100 screen. He wrote the animation in Java, and used his grinder to turn the code into dsPIC assembly, which was then compiled and flashed onto the microcontroller. That’s not all, he’s also coded a Mandelbrot set generator or the same hardware. As it stands he can also produce assembly code for use on MSP430 chips.
This kind of exploration is great for the brain. We see it as a natural extension of the learning you acquire from Nand2Tetris which walks through the essential text The Elements of Computing Systems. If you’re not familiar, that’s a trip from building your first logic gate, which you plunk together with others to build an ALU, then start coding all the way up to a virtual machine to run on your simulated hardware.
Video of the bouncing box and Mandelbrot set is below.
Filed under: Microcontrollers
Lundi, Février 10, 2014 - 22:00Manufacturing in Africa: An Awakening Giant #Manufacturing Monday
Via The Economist.
Those who cast doubt on Africa’s rise often point to the continent’s lack of manufacturing. Few countries, they argue, have escaped poverty without putting a lot of workers through factory gates. Rick Rowden, a sceptical development pundit, says, “Apart from a few tax havens, there is no country that has attained a high standard of living on the basis of services alone.”
Yet a quiet boom in manufacturing in Africa is already taking place. Farming and services are still dominant, backed by the export of commodities, but new industries are emerging in a lot of African countries.
Thandika Mkandawire, a Malawi-born expert, and Dani Rodrik, a Princeton economist, argue that growth is bound to fizzle because of a dearth of factories. But they may be too pessimistic. Manufacturing’s share of GDP in sub-Saharan Africa has held steady at 10-14% in recent years. Industrial output in what is now the world’s fastest-growing continent is expanding as quickly as the rest of the economy. The evidence, big and small, is everywhere.
H&M, a multinational Swedish retail-clothing firm, and Primark, an Ireland-based one, source a lot of material from Ethiopia. General Electric, an American conglomerate, is building a $250m plant in Nigeria to make electrical gear. Madecasse, a New York-based chocolatier, is looking for new hires to add to its 650 workers in Madagascar already turning raw cocoa into expensively wrapped milky and nutty bars. Mobius Motors, a Kenyan firm started a few years ago by Joel Jackson, a Briton, is building a cheap, durable car for rough roads.
Domestically owned manufacturing is growing, too. Seemhale Telecoms of South Africa is planning to make cheap mobile phones for the African market. Angola says it is to build its own arms industry, with help from Brazil. African craftsmen are making inroads in fashion. Ali Lamu makes handbags from recycled dhow sails on the Kenyan coast and sells them on Western websites.
Many of these businesses are beneficiaries of growth outside the manufacturing sector. The spread of big retail shops encourages light industry. In Zambia a surprising number of goods in South African-owned supermarkets are made locally; it is often too expensive to transport bulky stuff across borders.
A construction boom is fostering access to high-voltage power. The spread of mobile telephony, including mobile banking, helps small suppliers struggling with overheads. IBM, an American computer giant with an eye on Africa, goes so far as to say that “software is the manufacturing of the future”. Consumers will still want to buy hardware, but growing local demand is creating a market for African app and software developers.