For years, EFF has been warning that the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act can be used to chill speech, particularly security research, because legitimate researchers will be afraid to publish their results lest they be accused of circumventing a technological protection measure. We’ve also been concerned that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act could be abused to try to make alleged contract violations into crimes.
We’re a small (19 people), rapidly growing company that makes scientific instrumentation, primarily for the biomedical market. We’re developing new products at a breakneck pace and need to add an experienced, versatile engineer to our team. The attributes we need: Experience in electronic design (analog and digital), practical assembly/fabrication skills, firmware design skills for PIC microcontrollers, and C/C#/C++/VB/Labview (one or more) programming ability. A hands-on, can-do approach and the ability to work with a team are essential. If you have experience in a manufacturing environment, Solidworks skills or mechanical design skills, all the better. The job location is Las Vegas, which, contrary to what you might think, is a great place to live and work. If you’re interested, please send us a brief resume.
Each week we hear from people getting jobs or companies finding the perfect match, all from using the free Adafruit Job boards!
One shot every 5 seconds, assembled in Quicktime Pro, postproduction in iMovie. Unfortunately, the single images were much too dark, since I didn’t cover the eyepiece of my camera, which confused the Exposure meter (something learned for next timelapse). So I had to tweak the exposure and saturation in iMovie, thus the washed out and bleak look.
The occasional ‘thumbs up’ scenes really take it to the next level
I needed a foot switch for my DSLR camera so that I could take hands-free pictures. On a long-shot, I went down to the local Radioshack to see if they had one. As expected, they didn’t have any camera foot switches, but I did luck out that they had all the parts necessary to build my own. Here is how to throw together a 5-minute camera foot switch with easily obtainable parts from Radioshack.
IR detectors are little microchips with a photocell that are tuned to listen to infrared light. They are almost always used for remote control detection – every TV and DVD player has one of these in the front to listen for the IR signal from the clicker. Inside the remote control is a matching IR LED, which emits IR pulses to tell the TV to turn on, off or change channels. IR light is not visible to the human eye, which means it takes a little more work to test a setup.
IR detectors are specially filtered for Infrared light, they are not good at detecting visible light. On the other hand, photocells are good at detecting yellow/green visible light, not good at IR light
IR detectors have a demodulator inside that looks for modulated IR at 38 KHz. Just shining an IR LED wont be detected, it has to be PWM blinking at 38KHz. Photocells do not have any sort of demodulator and can detect any frequency (including DC) within the response speed of the photocell (which is about 1KHz)
IR detectors are digital out – either they detect 38KHz IR signal and output low (0V) or they do not detect any and output high (5V). Photocells act like resistors, the resistance changes depending on how much light they are exposed to
A few days ago we announced the release of the new Arduino Uno SMD that was made quite in a rush to compensate the global shortage of through hole parts that is affecting many manufacturers, ATMEL included.
We have received reports from a handful of users that their boards had a strange issue where the processor would not start the last sketch that had been uploaded. This was particularly annoying as it didn’t show up in our test done at the factory and it seems to affect only some of the Uno SMD boards.
After a few tests we determined that this happens when the board is unplugged and plugged back in triggering a bug in the new bootloader.
If your board has a serial number between 317000 and 317999 they might be affected by this bug, please return your board to the distributor and you’ll get a new one for free, that’s the Arduino policy that every official distributor is bound to.
In case you know what an ISP programmer is, you can fix your board in 5 minutes by reprogramming the bootloader.
In the next few days we’ll post more tutorials for the ones who would rather fix the board themselves.
Adafruit customers do not need to worry about this, all of our units are shipping with the latest version of the bootloader. We had about 10 customers who had these boards and they’ve all been contacted and replaced.
She calls herself a full-time recreational mathemusician, an off-the-beaten-path choice with seemingly limited prospects. And for most of the two years since she graduated from Stony Brook University, life as a recreational mathemusician has indeed been a meager niche pursuit. Then, in November, she posted on YouTube a video about doodling in math class, which married a distaste for the way math is taught in school with an exuberant exploration of math as art .
Ah, the world of computers. Thanks to the wonderful world of bits and bytes, we can experiment with any application, file, driver, or even the core operating system. Rip them apart, change things, put them together, and if it doesn’t work, just try again. At worst, you’ll have to wipe your hard drive and start over. If you somehow manage to destroy a computer purely through bad software, that’s considered a design problem and a true feat to pull off. Just think about it: what other profession or hobby lets you experiment as much as you want and make as many mistakes as you want without having to spend a cent if you do something wrong?
Unfortunately, things have changed. Ever since the advent of embedded devices with upgradable firmware, people have been trying to modify and hack them. These devices are usually a lot less resilient than their bigger, older siblings. Many of the new shiny gadgets that we use every day are internally fragile and a slight software mishap can render them non-functional, a “brick”.
This is a guide for developers and hackers who work on system firmware for embedded devices.
The first step towards safe hacking is to develop a deep appreciation towards your users and, especially, their hardware. Most users are clueless and entirely dependent on you to guide them towards a safe result.
Understand the System
Before you start working on software that makes permanent changes to a device, you should have a deep enough understanding of its operation. Reverse engineer the boot process. Understand what parts of the firmware depend on what. Know what components are vital for boot, and what recovery modes are available, if any.
If a critical operation fails, the worst possible thing you can do is panic the application or otherwise halt! Then you’re guaranteed to brick the device. Instead, drop the user into some kind of failsafe mode, shell, or launcher, and direct them to keep the device powered on and seek immediate attention (e.g. on an IRC channel).
Protect Users from Themselves
Users will do completely stupid things. It’s not just that they will click on things without understanding what the outcome will be; if you include a big red button that says “Brick Me!”, someone will click it too. That’s why you should at least make it hard for users to destroy their system.
Ideally, you’ve put enough effort into making sure your application is safe. However, the unexpected can and does happen, and sometimes you will not have the resources to perform a comprehensive enough test. So gather up a few people that you can trust and who are willing to risk it, and perform a closed test. Do not release a public beta! People are way too impatient, and public betas are essentially synonymous with a release; people will ignore any warnings attached.
One of the projects that my oldest son and I have been (s l o o o o w l y) working on is a robot. The first version was great since it helped introduce him to the concept of “iterations” (i.e. start small, tackle one or two “features” first, learn from what you do, make another version, repeat) and me to basic electronics. Really, it wasn’t great–in fact it never even got to the point of moving, but we learned a lot.
For the 2nd iteration, we’re controlling it with an Arduino. Part of that is made easier by using a motorshield sold by Adafruit. Since I want my son to take as much control of this project as he can, I let him do all of the soldering–I did do a bit of desoldering, though, when we decided to make the shield stackable.
The whole experience was really fantastic, and by the end he became very proficient at soldering.
The kit has a lot of pieces to solder, so I’m not sure I would recommend it as a “first” experience with soldering.
Have you ever wished lunchtime were longer, but didn’t know where to find those few extra minutes? Well, wish no longer! Thanks to great in advances in clock technology, I present to you a clock that speeds up 20% every day at 11:00 and slows down 20% every day at 11:48, giving you an extra twelve minutes of lunch to enjoy. Twelve minutes may not seem like a lot but, to put it into perspective, this is a full additional hour of lunchtime gained every week.
Well, this is interesting. Seems Intel created a tablet computer back in the late ’90′s — known as the Intel PAD, or IPAD. From the Intel Newsroom:
It had a touch-screen display, was powered by an ARM processor, featured a built-in MP3 player and it let you surf the Internet on your couch. Sound familiar? Think again. This was the Intel PAD or, as it was known internally at the time, the IPAD. It was officially branded the Intel Web Tablet, but it never made it to market.
Amid the tablet frenzy at the recent International Consumer Electronics Show where some 80 new tablets were announced (how many of these may not make it to market is anyone’s guess), we took a stroll down memory lane with some of the Intel employees who developed Intel’s tablet over a decade ago.
The Intel Web Tablet let users connect to their PC and surf the Web from anywhere in the home using Intel’s Anypoint wireless home networking solution. It was not a stand-alone PC but an extended browsing device with some additional applications.
The Intel device ran on an Intel StrongARM 1110 processor, a derivative of the family of ARM microprocessors originally developed by the Digital Equipment Corporation and acquired by Intel under the terms of a 1998 legal settlement. Intel replaced the StrongARM design with a new family of ARM chips aimed primarily at the cellular market under the XScale brand, but then sold off the business to Marvell in 2006 as part of an effort to focus on the core PC and server businesses.
This article provides an interesting look back at what could have been, but wasn’t. I have to wonder if the attention from management, and the high expectations associated with it, came a bit too soon.