- Examining His Own Body (Science Now) — Stanford prof. has sequenced his DNA and is now getting massively Quantified Self on his metabolism, infections, etc. This caught my eye: George Church, who has pioneered DNA sequencing technology and runs the Personal Genome Project* at Harvard Medical School in Boston that enrolls people willing to share genomic and medical information similar to what’s presented in the Cell report, says some might critique Snyder’s self-exam as merely anecdotal. “But one response is that it is the perfect counterpoint to correlative studies which lump together thousands of cases versus controls with relatively much less attention to individual idiosyncrasies,” Church says. “I think that N=1 causal analyses will be increasingly important.”
- Bus Arrival Monitor (John Graham-Cumming) — hacked a toy doubledecker bus with LED display feeding bus arrival info from the Transport for London API via a modded Linksys WRT router.
- Arduino Tool That Connects Each Board to Its Own Source (Ideo) — If you create something with Arduino and put it out into the world, there is no well-established link to the source. If you personally made the device, the source can get lost over time. If you didn’t create it, you could have a tough time tracking the source down. You have the physical device, why can’t it tell you where it’s code lives? I made a tool for Arduino called “Upload-And-Retrieve-Source” that for the most part solves this problem. (via Chris Spurgeon)
- Mike Daisey is a Liar and So Am I — I linked to the original This American Life story, so now I’m linking to the best commentary on their retraction of the story. This is an excellent piece on the ubiquity and ethics of Daiseyesque means-justifies-the-end for-a-good-cause deceit.
Author Federico Lucifredi on developing sensor-enabled Arduino sketches.
Federico Lucifredi (@federico_II) is the maintainer of man(1) and also the author of the upcoming book, Sensor Interfaces for Arduino. We had a chance to sit down recently and talk about how to connect sensors to microcontrollers (in particular Arduino).
Given how many sensors there are in the wild, there’s a lot to say about sensors. Some of the key points from the full video are:
- When to look for a library to support your sensor and when to just write a few lines of code to read it. [Discussed at the 3:00 mark]
- Thinking about sensors that return non-linear responses and how that might affect your code. [4:40]
- Detecting a human presence on a door mat. [6:00]
- Using a Geiger counter to measure radiation and generate random numbers. [8:14]
- Where to look for docs and code when you start working with an unfamiliar sensor. [11:30]
The Quantified Professor, Bus Monitor, Arduino Confessor, and Ethics of Deceit
Squirrel Targeting with Computer Vision, Audio Recognition, Single Page Apps, and Persisting at Failing
- Militarizing Your Backyard With Python and Computer Vision (video) — using a water cannon, computer video, Arduino, and Python to keep marauding squirrel hordes under control. See the finished result for Yakkity Saxed moist rodent goodness.
- Soundbite — dialogue search for Apple’s Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro. Boris Soundbite quickly and accurately finds any word or phrase spoken in recorded media. Shoot squirrels with computer vision, search audio with computer hearing. We live in the future, people. (via Andy Baio)
- Why Finish Books? (NY Review of Books) — the more bad books you finish, the fewer good ones you”ll have time to start. Applying this to the rest of life is left as an exercise for the reader.
It's iPad evolution rather than revolution, increasing patent penalties for Android, and Raspberry Pi is served.
Apple unveils pretty much what it was expected to unveil, and decides to treat Android as a cash cow rather than an enemy. Meanwhile, the Raspberry Pi is finally out, so let the hacking begin.
Corruption Remains, Automated Instruction, Eolas Victory Incomplete, and CI Arduino Hack
- Why I Hate The STOCK Act (Clay Johnson) — an attempt to reform insider trading within government, but because Congress exempts itself from substantial penalties then it has little effect where it’s needed most. We won’t see change on the issues that matter to us (copyright, due process for Internet takedowns, privacy, etc.) while the lawmakers are distracted by money.
- Instruction Medium is the Message (Dan Meyer) — Print is a medium. Same as digital photos. Same as a teacher’s voice. Same as a YouTube video. Same as a podcast. These are all different media. And as we know, the medium is the message. The medium defines and constrains and sometimes distorts the message. The math that can be conveyed in a YouTube video is not the same math that can be conveyed in a digital photo or a podcast or a print textbook. Anything that can be replaced by a computer should be; it’s doubtful that successful widespread education consists only of things a computer can replace.
- Eolas Patent a Hollow Victory (Simon Phipps) — those who were extorted by the patent troll will go uncompensated, and the loss of one patent leaves their business model still intact. The patent system is extremely broken in the US, it’s a giant cost of doing business, a regulation-created tax that is paid to trolls instead of to the US Government. What idiot supports a tax that doesn’t go to the government? An ethically-corrupted one (see point 1 above).
- Monitor your Continuous Integration Server with Traffic Lights and an Arduino — nifty little hardware hack. It’s an example of making physical objects which control or portray virtual systems, and it’s tied into this Continuous Integration trend whereby software changes go live as soon as possible rather than being held off until 2am on the first Thursday of the month, when the IT team come in to manage the rollout of the new code. CI, in turn, is an example of failing early on something small rather than failing later and larger. (via Sandy Mamoli)
- Write Logs for Machines — argues that services should log in a format suitable for automated analysis, not for humans to read as has been the custom in the past.
- Dspace Badge — what my son and I are building this week, our first Arduino project.
- Prince of Persia C64 Development Blog — fascinating account of a chap reconstructing Jordan Mechner’s classic “Prince of Persia” game from Mechner’s notes. The original source was lost.
DRM Good for Amazon, Arduino Updated, Open Source Foundations, Distributed Search
- Cutting Their Own Throats (Charlie Stross) — DRM on ebooks gives Amazon a great tool for locking ebook customers into the Kindle platform. This essay is gold and so very true. Read, believe.
- v1.0 of Arduino Out — this is the dev environment, with language additions and lots of features in the libraries. Glad to see the 1.0 stamp put on this important piece of the homebrew hardware world.
- Koha and Why We Need Foundations — Simon Phipps looks into the Koha trademark dispute and says that it shows why open source needs foundations (collective IP ownership).
- Majestic-12 — a World Wide Web search engine based on concepts of distributing workload in a similar fashion achieved by successful projects such as SETI@home and distributed.net.
Flex goes FLOSS, some cheap Pi, and brain on a chip.
Adobe just gave away Flex, a new single-board computer might dethrone Arduino as the tool of choice for makers, and researchers bring us a step closer to our robotic overlords.
Recent moves by Apple and Google could ignite the external accessories space.
While you'll likely interact with your smartphone tomorrow in much the same way you interacted with it today, it's quite possible that your smartphone will interact with the world in a very different way. The next mobile war has already begun.
Android meets Arduino as the ADK and NFC allow new physical interfaces.
Brian Jepson and Tyler Moskowite discuss Near Field Communication, the Open Android Development Kit, and the role Android can play in hardware hacking.