- Telling Time with Open Realtime Data — Sony Ericsson MBW-150 bluetooth watch, showing the next few SF Muni bus arrival times for a nearby stop. The code to fetch the arrival times is running on my Droid phone, and communicating with the watch using Marcel Dopita’s OpenWatch software for the Android platform. This is a neat hack, and reminds us that every object on our person could be programmed. (via Brian Jepson)
- EZ430 Chronos — wireless, programmable, pressure sensor, accelerometer, temperature sensor, all in a watch. (via Makezine)
- Developing Bioinformatics Methods — the best method developers, in general, are those people who are both developers and users of their own methods. Regardless of what field you’re in, look for the alpha geeks: those who have both a problem and the means to solve it.
- How to Innovate Using Existing Technology (Caterina Fake) — interesting observation, that there’s a sweet spot between “just a feature” and “needs ten years of basic research in academia” to get something that’s defensible, useful, and achievable with the means of a startup. I’m a big fan of augmented human skill: using computers to make humans more effective at doing what humans are good at.
ENTRIES TAGGED "maker"
How low-cost, open-source tools are energizing DIY.
With Maker Faire Bay Area scheduled for this weekend, we take a look at makers who are using low-cost, open-source tools to create sophisticated projects and experiments. The DIY movement in science and technology is demonstrating that it can do inexpensively what large companies and even Big Science have spent millions doing. I call them "make-offs," low-budget knock-offs of scientific and industrial technology built with off-the-shelf components.
Apple may have closed the iPad, but you don't need permission to open it.
A lot of people are upset about how closed the iPhone, and now the iPad, are. Cory Doctorow wrote a lengthy piece about the evils of the iPad and its awful closed system. I agree that Apple has taken far too much away. I agree that it is infantalizing to require us to send in the iPad to get its battery replaced. But, my gosh, when did developers ever need permission to break things? When did Steve Jobs become not just rule maker, but some sort of deity that actually prevented me from ignoring said rule maker, and doing whatever I could with my device?
Hacked Watch, Hackable Watch, Alpha Biogeeks, and a Tech Sweet Spot
National Lab Day is a National Barn-Raising for hands-on learning. Using the internet and social computing technologies, with the support of the White House, and the business and scientific communities, National Lab Day reaches out to the education community, providing a tool set that brings context, community, and passion to education, and that has the potential to transform our educational system into a true learning community.
Electronics Hacking FAQs, Speech-To-Text Democracy, Open Source Column Database, Massive Online Analysis
- ChipHacker — collaborative FAQ site for electronics hacking. Based on the same StackExchange software as RedMonk’s FOSS FAQ for open source software.
- Democracy Live — BBC launch searchable coverage of parliamentary discussion, using speech-to-text. One aspect we’re particularly proud of is that we’ve managed to deliver good results for speech-to-text in Welsh, which, we’re told, is unique. I think of this as the start of a They Work For You for video coverage. I’d love to be able to scale this to local government coverage, which is disappearing as local newspapers turn into delivery mechanisms for real estate advertisements.
- InfiniDB: Open Source Column Database — hooks into MySQL, uses MySQL for SQL parsing, security, etc. The commercial enterprise version has multi-server support (parallel scale-out). (via Brian Aker)
- Massive Online Analysis — MOA is a framework for data stream mining. Includes tools for evaluation and a collection of machine learning algorithms. Related to the WEKA project, also written in Java, while scaling to more demanding problems. . (via joshua on Delicious)
Objectivity Be Gone, Public Screens, Lobbying Patterns, DIY Africa
- The End of Objectivity, Web2.0 Version — Our behaviour as journalists is now measurable. And measurability gives the lie to the pretence that journalists behave like scientists, impartially observing the petri dish of society. (via Pia Waugh)
- Screens in Context — ideas for the video screens spring up in place of billboards. Whilst the advertising industry has one of the longest histories of trying to understand interaction, it’s a very different set of tools that digitalness brings; ones that designers at the coal face of web and mobile encounter every day. Everything can be considered in context, be timely, reactive, and data-driven. I’m going to try to outline some dimensions to think about, with some incredibly quick, simple, off the cuff dumb ideas [...] The technology to achieve some of these may be over and above what is possible now, but the biggest step – installing powered, networked computers in the real world – is already being taken by advertising media companies.
- Interactive Network Map of Lobbying Patterns Around Key Senators in Health Care Reform — fascinating visualization of political activity, via timoreilly on Twitter)
- The Doers Club — How DIY design gave a teenager from Malawi electricity, and can help transform Africa.
Cities, How Things Work, Stylish Google, EC2 Numbers
- The City is a Battlesuit for Surviving the Future (IO9) — a great essay by Matt Jones, based on his talk at Webstock this year. Urban design is how we created alternate realities before we had iPhones, and the new technology lets us choose which science fiction future we want to inhabit. We are now a predominantly urban species, with over 50% of humanity living in a city. The overwhelming majority of these are not old post-industrial world cities such as London or New York, but large chaotic sprawls of the industrialising world such as the “maximum cities” of Mumbai or Guangzhou. Here the infrastructures are layered, ad-hoc, adaptive and personal – people there really are walking architecture, as Archigram said. Hacking post-industrial cities is becoming a necessity also. [...]
- How and Why Machines Work (MIT Open Course Ware) — Subject studies how and why machines work, how they are conceived, how they are developed (drawn), and how they are utilized. Students learn from the hands-on experiences of taking things apart mentally and physically, drawing (sketching, 3D CAD) what they envision and observe, taking occasional field trips, and completing an individual term project (concept, creation, and presentation). Emphasis on understanding the physics and history of machines. (via Hacker News)
- Google Style Guide — how Google codes. Useful if you’re working on their code, starting a job there, or want to mock them for not specifying K&R braces/four space tabs/<insert One True Way here>. (via Hacker News)
- EC2 Usage Guessed From Sequential IDs — The Superseries ID changes so rarely that originally I had assumed it was some kind of checksum. This would have been odd as it limits the total available IDs to 224 = 16.8 million. Up to very recently, the Superseries ID for all resource types – instances, images, volumes, snapshots, etc. – was 69 (in the us-east-1 region (for eu-west-1 the Superseries ID is 74). These days, new instances use the Superseries ID 68. This subtle change, unnoticed by the industry, may hint at an astonishing achievement: 8.4 million instances launched since EC2’s debut! (Instance IDs are even so 8.4M = 16.8M / 2.) (via mattb on delicious)
More Twitter Clients, GLAM Tech, Retro Homebrew Audio Hardware, Emerging Open Source
- Echofon — novel take on Twitter apps: sync your unread list between phone, browser, and (ultimately, they promise) desktop Twitter app. (via auchmill on Twitter)
- GLAM Tech (MP3) — Radio New Zealand new technology slot about the use of technology in the Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (GLAM) sector. For links, see the programme page.
- Man With Miniature Radio — 1950s DIY proto-iPod amusement.
- Open Source in Emerging Markets — the emerging markets — which include India, China, and Brazil — have more FOSS adoption and a higher concentration of effort in open source. Three quarters (74%) of developers in emerging markets use open source software for at least part of their work, compared to 65% of developers worldwide. In this context, “use” means personal use or corporate use, and could include both developer tools and desktop or server applications. (via glynmoody on Twitter)
Involuntarily Opened Geodata, Sense Organ, Doc Vis, 3D Open Source Bodies
- Wikileaks Now Holds UK Postcode Database — the UK does not have open geodata in the way that we know it. A state-owned enterprise, Ordnance Survey, is responsible for maintaining all sorts of baseline data and they charge (through the nose) for that data. This is the release of 1,841,177 post codes, geographic boundaries, and more. Postcodes in the UK are far more useful than US ZIP codes–they identify a handful of houses, rather than a few thousand houses.
- My New Sense Organ — a strap with buzzers and a compass, so you always have physical reminder of orientation. For people like me who can get lost putting on pants in the morning, this would be a godsend. (via Slashdot)
- Saving is Obsolete — EtherPad adds a Wave-like replay feature to help you see the history of a document.
- Open Source 3D People — incredible software to design realistic 3D faces and bodies. (via glynmoody on Twitter)