We continue to be shocked by the increasingly ridiculous, often ingenious purposes human beings are putting the Kinect sensor toward. I don’t understand why this is happening, other than the Internet is rad, and it’s put a lot of fascinating, comitted people in contact with one another who have subsequently merged to become Amalgama, she who is The All-God.
You don’t have to wait for any other site to link you to what’s happening, now, you can just go to Kinect Hacks they way they themselves do and (in effect) peer into the future. I don’t just mean the future of content on blogs, I mean the fcking ineffable Goddamn future. You can watch some cyber-shamans writhe until music comes out. And you don’t ever have to stop watching it. You can craft an entire identity around these watchings, and have that be your thing.
This is way, way past Microsoft right now; this is the unplannable event. It isn’t really theirs anymore, not in a real way: the promise is vested. The richness these innovators are tapping into has to do with access to a full bandwidth stream from the device coupled with the power of a modern computer. Could they even capture these uses if they wanted to on the home console? And even if they could, do most people want to inhabit digital sound showers (or whatever is cutting edge at this exact moment)? I don’t mean, should they want to – the answer to that is obviously yes. But do they?
What’s next will be something to see, certainly; not a sideshow version of the prime interface, not the work of some rogue cell, but an experience which assumes gestural control the way rich presence or voice chat is assumed today. I don’t know what that looks like, exactly, and I’m not sure they do either, but I do think that when they look back to 2010 they may find it difficult to stifle their laughter.
For any folks who might be interested, there is a tour being planned on April 9th out to Tesla’s Wardenclyffe laboratory on Long Island.
Here, in the Wardenclyffe Laboratory on Eastern Long Island, Tesla aspired to power the entire planet, wirelessly transmitting electricity to every corner of the globe. The site once featured a 187 foot tall transmission tower, which was destroyed for security concerns during WWI. The building that remains, designed by famous Stanford White (of McKim, Mead & White), has sat dormant since 1987, the grounds overgrown, and the decades of neglect betraying the incredible importance of this location–Tesla’s last remaining research facility–in the history of energy and electricity.
On Obscura Day, join GOOD editor Ben Jervey at the Wardenclyffe site and meet a founder of the Tesla Science Center, an organization dedicated to preserving the famous lab and turning the site into a museum. They’ll take us on a basic tour around the grounds–entering the site if we gain permission from the current owner–and educate us on the history of this fascinating place.
Hackaday.com is looking for an experienced hacker/writer to join our team doing original hacking and modding projects on video. Are you energetic, outgoing, and passionate about hacking/modding? Can you solder AND explain what you’re doing and why? Come join our team and modify/hack/create things daily with a professional film crew to be aired on HackADay, then post a writeup detailing how you did your hack. Let your mind run wild, combine Mythbusters with Ben Heck, can you do it?
To be able to do this job successfully you need to be energetic, passionate and knowledgeable about hacking. The person who is perfect for this job will have experience with computer modding, hobby robotics, basic electronics, microcontroller programming, as well as some larger manufacturing skills like running a CNC mill and welding. Take a look at Hackaday.com to see the kinds of projects we would like to see created. Writing/blogging experience is a plus.
Job duties will include:
-following trends to see what the latest awesome hack would be
-brainstorming your own original hacks and mods
-executing those hacks
-breaking down the hacks to educate the viewers
It was on March 10, 1876 that Alexander Graham Bell made the first successful telephone call. “‘Mr. Watson–come here–I want to see you,” he said to his assistant, who was in the next room. Bell recorded those early telephone experiments in his lab notebooks from the time, as he did with countless other experiments and ideas.
Jim MacArthur built this incredible Turing machine using wood and scrap metal, which he demonstrated at MakerFaire UK in Newcastle. It is entirely mechanical, except for the electric motor used to drive it. He writes:
This is a mechanical universal Turing machine (given an infinite track). It uses ball bearings as its memory and has no electrical components, other than a small motor used to drive it. This is a quick overview video filmed at Maker Faire UK 2011.
The machine is a close physical model of the theoretical Turing machine – a device first described by Alan Turing in 1937 as a thought experiment to understand the limits of mechanical computation. According to the theory, the machine performs calculations using a set of rules to manipulate symbols on an infinite strip of tape.
Instead of using tape, this machine’s memory uses ball bearings placed on a steel grid. A ball can represent one of five different symbols based on its position on the grid. The machine reads and writes data by repositioning the balls into different cells. It does this by moving along the grid, lifting ball bearings with magnets and then depositing them into a new position based on a set of rules.
A true Turing machine requires an infinite track or tape to run on but according to MacArthur, his machine is as close as you can get to a physical replica. It has no practical computing applications and would take months to add a few numbers together but MacArthur says it was fun to build. “Since you can see this computer working, it could be useful for educational purposes,” he says.
In Fall 2010 a collaborative class was offered by Erik Brunvand (School of Computing) and Paul Stout (Department of Art and Art History) at the University of Utah called Embedded Systems and Kinetic Art. In this class teams of computer engineers and artists worked together to build kinetic sculptures. In February 2011 we had a gallery show in the Gittins Gallery on the University of Utah campus. This show was titled “Intersectio” (latin for “the intersection of”). This video is from that gallery installation.
It’s great to see more and more art schools incorporating kinetics and interactive design into their curricula. Nice work and congrats to Erik, Paul and their students!
Most electronic products sold in the US have an FCC ID, meaning that the manufacturer has gone through a series of testing procedures to make sure that the device is compliant with existing norms. One side effect of this requirement is that some of this information is publicly accessible on the FCC’s website. If you’re wondering what’s inside a product but you don’t want to take apart yourself or don’t actually own one but do have the FCC ID, you may be able to find some photos of the interior and some helpful information on the HW itself by looking the device up on the FCC’s FCC ID Search Form. Details on how here.
Last night members of the Hong Kong Hackerspace, aka Hong Kong Hackjam, got together at the Boot.HK offices to undertake a quick project to help victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. With electricity out in many parts of Japan, the call went out from the Tokyo Hackerspace community asking for help in providing lighting, networking and other electronic supplies for victims of the disaster.
Here in Hong Kong we settled on the quick and easy (somewhat) task of building “Minty Boosts“. These are battery powered USB chargers that can be used with any AA battery to charge a mobile phone or other electronic device. The entire hardware is soldered together and throw into a candy or mint box, thus the name “Minty Boost”.
Over a dozen hackers and technology enthusiasts gathered last night to throw together some relief supplies that will be sent to Tokyo in the next day or two. Only a couple of the devices (mine included) ended up FUBAR, as is to be expected as some of us were not that experienced with a soldering iron. But many others were thrown together by are more hack-savvy members and were charging phones by the end of the night with great success.
Awesome to see hackers helping hackers (helping everyone). Hong Kong Hackjam, you guys rock!
If you’ve ever wondered how PCBs are made (and why it’s probably not a fun business to be in), you might find these photos interesting showing the different steps of PCB manufacturing from drilling to curing the solder mask. Read more.
My son Harlan and his friend love to play “agents” and he asked me if we coud build “a panel that has a bunch of switches that turn on some random lights”. We worked on it for about 3 weeks, and this is what we came up with. The panel boasts the following features:
It’s loaded with switches, LEDs, a backlit 555 flasher circuit, message record/playback, and a Larson Scanner.
You can check out his build photos and demo video on Flickr.
Todbot has a wonderful article on how to use the BlinkM Smart LEDs with Arduino programs. You will need a low cost AVR programmer, some additions to the Arduino environment, and simple hardware hookup.
You can pick up the mentioned USBtinyISP programmer in the Adafruit Store.
The research, which was initially published in the Wiley journal Advanced Materials, employed an ink jet printing method that used silver nanoparticles and were sprayed on the inside or the ourside of a small hemispherical dome.
The functionality of antennas for mobile phones has not fared well in the overall miniaturization of the gadgets with characteristics such as gain, efficiency, bandwidth, and range all suffering.
According Jennifer T. Bernhard, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Illinois, the 3D antennas that the research team has developed are an order of magnitude better in performance metrics than the typical monopole designs.
“There has been a long-standing problem of minimizing the ratio of energy stored to energy radiated—the Q—of an ESA,” Bernhard explains in the article. “By printing directly on the hemispherical substrate, we have a highly versatile single-mode antenna with a Q that very closely approaches the fundamental limit dictated by physics (known as the Chu limit).”
The first person to do this with an Eggbot wins my eternal admiration!