"etech" entries

Etech Session Liveblogging: Real Hackers Program DNA (Ginkgo Bioworks)

GB is "Making the process of engineering biology easier." Synth bio is the idea that biology is a technology to engineer novel systems- say drugs, biofuels, other sexy sexy projects. This is to be a flavor of what engineering biology is all about. We will be installing a program into E coli to make it turn red, glow in the…

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Kodu: Visual Programming on the Xbox with P2P Level-sharing

How do you make programming fun? How do you make it fun enough for kids to want to spend hours learning how to make loops and if/then statements? Simple you give them simple visual commands that let them control robots on the Xbox — or at least this is the thesis of Microsoft Research's Kodu. Kodu (formerly Boku) made a splash at Techfest two years ago and gave a demo at Ignite Seattle. Since that time the levels and characters have gotten much sexier and the controls simpler, but more powerful.

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ETech Preview: Why LCD is the Cool New Technology All Over Again

One of the things that the One Laptop Per Child project is best known for is the amazing transflective display technology that it utilized. Combining a traditional backlit color display with a black and white display that could be used outdoors, it both met the needs of low power usage and outdoor readability that is crucial in developing countries. When Mary Lou Jepsen, who developed the display for the XO, left to form Pixel Qi, the expectation was that some of the revolutionary engineering that was used in the XO would begin to make its way onto the broader consumer market. Since she’ll be talking at O’Reilly’s Emerging Technology Conference in March, we decided to check in and see what she’s up to.

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Come to ETech; Experiment with Physical Computing and RFIDs

RFID's are associated with credit cards, passports and inventory systems. However, they can also be used to add a proximity interaction to a service like entering a subway via a passkey (Jan Chipchase has several posts describing these interactions around the world). By linking yourself to an RFID tag you can let a device know who you are. If…

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ETech 2009 Schedule Posted; Early Registration Ends Monday

ETech is a technologist's playground. We specifically design the conference to expose new ideas and learn from the people behind them. This year the focus is on how the way we live is changing — through policy, technology and ideas. The proliferation of sensors, advances in materials and manufacturing, the changes in government and the financial market will all…

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eInk: A Possible Future for Paper

Guest blogger Nick Bilton is with the New York Times R&D Lab during the day and NYC Resistor at night. Working in the R&D Labs at The New York Times, I'm constantly asked, "How long will paper be around?" or more to the point, "When will paper really die?" It's a valid concern, and a question no one can answer…

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Violet's Mirr:or: Internet of Things Via RFID

Today at PICNIC, Violet announced that it is releasing a mass-market RFID reader. The Mir:ror will connect to your computer via USB. It will read RFID tags placed near it and can perform actions based on them. I am not sure that the mass-market is ready for an RFID reader, but I think this will one will make headway…

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PICNIC Network 2008

The week of September 22nd I am going to be flying across the Atlantic for the third PICNIC Network. Ever since i heard about the conference last fall I've wanted to attend. My friends' stories last year focused on the many RFID-enabled art pieces. As discussed in this interview these were developed by Mediamatic, a digital art lab. Last…

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Disaster Technology for Myanmar/Burma aid workers

There is an ongoing crisis in Myanmar (Burma) in the aftermath of cyclone Nargis. The ruling military junta is finally allowing humanitarian organizations into the region after denying access for almost a week. The situation is grim, and you can help by donating to organizations like: Doctors without Borders, Direct Relief, and UNICEF. There has been some incredible discussion on…

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roBlocks: Simple Blocks To Make Robots

roBlocks are small, computerized cubes that can be combined to make robots. They began as research project at Carnegie Mellon. They look like great fun for fooling around or teaching programming concepts. The catalog page shows about twenty different blocks. Each of those blocks has a single purpose. There are four types of blocks: Sensors (light, sound), Actuators (movement), Operators…

Comments: 10