"hardware hacking" entries

Four short links: 18 August 2010

Four short links: 18 August 2010

Place Context, iPod Hardware, Mobile Cognitive Surplus, and Music Hacking APIs

  1. BBC Dimensions — brilliant work, a fun site that lets you overlay familiar plcaes with famous and notable things so you can get a better sense of how large they are. Example: the Colossus of Rhodes straddling O’Reilly HQ, the Library of Alexandria vs the Google campus, and New Orleans Mardi Gras began at the headquarters of Fred Phelps’s Westboro Baptist Church. (via this piece about its background)
  2. Podapter — simple plug that takes mini-USB and goes into an iPod or iPhone. (via Tuesday product awesomeness)
  3. New NexusOne Radio Firmware — a glimpse of the world that’s sprung up sharing the latest goodies between countries, carriers, and developers. For everyone for whose products the street has found a new use, the challenge is to harness this energy, enthusiasm, knowledge, and devotion. In terms of cognitive surplus, this far exceeds the 1 LOLCAT minimum standard unit. (via YuweiWang on Twitter)
  4. Echoes Nest Remix API — access to database of song characteristics and tools to manipulate tunes. See the Technology Review article for examples of what it’s capable of. (via aaronsw on Twitter)
Comment: 1
Four short links: 2 August 2010

Four short links: 2 August 2010

Search Tips, Web Parsing, DNS Blacklists, Complex Machines

  1. Hidden Features of Google (StackExchange) — rather than Google’s list of search features, here are the features that real (sophisticated) users find useful. My new favourite: the ~ operator for approximate searching. (via Hacker News)
  2. Natural Language Parsing for the Web — JSON API to the Stanford Natural Language Parser. I wonder why the API to the library isn’t an open source library, given the Stanford parser is GPLv2. It’d be super-cool to have this as an EC2 instance, Ubuntu package, or Chef recipe so it’s trivial to add to an existing hosted project.
  3. Taking Back the DNS (Paul Vixie) — defining a spec whereby you can subscribe to blacklists for DNS, as Most new domain names are malicious.
  4. Building Complex Machines with Lego — I saw the (Lego) Antikythera Mechanism at Sci Foo. It’s as amazing as it looks.
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Four short links: 20 July 2010

Four short links: 20 July 2010

Hardware Hacking, BI Reporting Tool, Book Recommendations, and Winning the Futurist Lottery

  1. Dangerous Prototypes — “a new open source hardware project every month”. Sample project: Flash Destroyer, which writes and verifies EEPROM chips until they blow out.
  2. Wabit — GPLv3 reporting tool.
  3. Because No Respectable MBA Programme Would Admit Me (Mike Shaver) — excellent book recommendations.
  4. The Most Prescient Footnote Ever (David Pennock) — In footnote 14 of Chapter 5 (p. 228) of Graham’s classic Hackers and Painters, published in 2004, Graham asks “If the the Mac was so great why did it lose?”. His explanation ends with this caveat, in parentheses: “And it hasn’t lost yet. If Apple were to grow the iPod into a cell phone with a web browser, Microsoft would be in big trouble.”
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Four short links: 7 June 2010

Four short links: 7 June 2010

JS UI, Teeny Open Source Notebook, On The End of a Mobile Age, and Modern Education

  1. UKI: Simple UI Kit for Complex Web AppsUki is a fast and simple JavaScript user interface toolkit for desktop-like web applications. It comes with a rich view-component library ranging from Slider to List and SplitPane. Includes the now-ubiquitous Mail.app mockup, which has become to UI library webpages what the bucket of grease and dirt is to household cleaner commercials. (via Hacker News)
  2. NanoNote — USD100 minute sub-notebook computer (320×240 screen, 126g including battery, 2G storage, qwerty keyboard) with Creative Commons (attribution, sharealike) licenses on the schematics.
  3. On Android Compatibility (Dan Morril) — Rewind to about 5 years ago. […] Back then as today, it was practically unheard of for a feature phone to ever get a software update.[…] The reason was that the smartphone platform vendors controlled the software. It was exceedingly difficult for OEMs to differentiate on software because they had little control over the software. It was difficult for them to differentiate on features because they could only ship features supported by the OS they were using. But it was still a fiercely competitive market and they still innovated as hard as they could. So they innovated on the only dimension they had control over: hardware and industrial design. […] Think about that. Easier to rev hardware than software! A fantastically lucid explanation of the messed-up age of carrier-controlled mobile platforms that we’re just leaving (and yes, we probably do have Steve Jobs to thank for that). (via Kevin Marks)
  4. Living and Learning in the Cloud (EdTalks) — talk by the deputy-principal of a New Zealand high-school that’s running all open source, and has extended the “available to be improved” mindset to rooms and curriculum. (via br3nda)
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Four short links: 4 June 2010

Four short links: 4 June 2010

Arduino Home, DIY Lightning with Water and Gravity, Graph Visualization, and Neglected Diseases

  1. HomeSensean open user-centered research project investigating the use of smart and networked technologies in the home, with uber-Arduino-rockstar Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino. (via titine on Twitter)
  2. Kelvin’s Thunderstorm (Instructables) — “create lightning from water and gravity”. Simple and impressive science. (via Paul Fenwick)
  3. Graph Visualization Code in Javascript (Stack Overflow) — good pointers to interesting libraries.
  4. ChEMBL – Neglected Tropical Disease archivea repository for Open Access primary screening and medicinal chemistry data directed at neglected diseases. CC0-licensed datasets identifying several tens of thousands of compounds active against the malarial parasite P. falciparum in an effort to lower the cost of drug creation for this neglected disease. (via Common Knowledge blog)
Comment: 1
Four short links: 28 April 2010

Four short links: 28 April 2010

Fair Use Economy, Deconstituted Appliances, 3D Vision, Redis for Fun and Profit

  1. Fair Use in the US Economy (PDF) — prepared by IT lobby in the US, it’s the counterpart to Big ©’s fictitious billions of dollars of losses due to file sharing. Take each with a grain of salt, but this is interesting because it talks about the industries and businesses that the fair use laws make possible.
  2. Disassembled Household Appliances — neat photos of the pieces in common equipment like waffle irons, sandwich makers, can openers, etc. (via evilmadscientist)
  3. GelSight — gel block on a sheet of glass, lit from below with lights and then scanned with cameras, lets you easily capture 3D qualities of the objects pressed into it. Very cool demo–you can see finger prints, pulse, and even make out designs on a $100 bill.
  4. Redis Tutorial (Simon Willison) — Redis is a very fast collection of useful behaviours wrapped around a distributed key-value store. You get locks, IDs, counters, sets, lists, queues, replication, and more.
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