Codebending is the exploration of software with “patch points.” Patch points expose the inner workings of computer programs, and allow for atypical connections between things like games, music making software, office suites, etc.
illucia is a USB device with physical jacks that correspond to software patch points, which can be connected and disconnected using patch cables. Thus, illucia is a console for routing information between computer programs, and opens strange relationships across systems that don’t usually interact – it turns systems themselves into play objects.
I’ve written several codebendable games / programs that open their inner workings via patch points. Fascinating and unexpected things happen when connecting otherwise-unrelated programs:
Video games can play other video games. Music synthesizers can control word processors. Feedback loops turn everyday software tropes into generative art. Simple AI is patchable. Anything controls (and can be controlled by) anything; in codebending, every system becomes an instrument with a unique voice, ready to control, and be controlled.
illucia is a physical instrument to explore these kinds of connections – it is a way to treat systems as playgrounds.
The RDTN/Safecast folks have started collecting radiation data from the Fukushima Prefecture. They found some interesting conditions there. Sean writes:
Last week a team from Keio University took one of our geiger counters for a drive. That was a test run for our slightly more elaborate set up, the first test of which happened this weekend. Rather than taping the counter to the window and taking photos (a method which worked fine btw) we’ve developed a bit of a self contained kit we’re calling the bGeigie since it’s something like a little bento box. We dropped off sensor equipment to volunteers in effected areas and took some measurements at schools around Koriyama that we’re a bit concerned about (including one reading of over 50µSv/hr near a kindergarten playground).
This was the highest we reading we took, but we consistently measured 20-30µSv/hr on pavements, etc. and 5-10µSv/hr for soil (typically 5-6 for soil) For air measurement, we have very consitent data as it is measured across the entire ride. In Koriyama it was in the range of 1.2 to 2µSv/hr. We had 3 Medcom devices giving consitently the same value and a Gamma Scout that gave same readings for air. This multiple redundancy was to ensure we didn’t have malfunctioning equipment or a calibration error.
To put those numbers into some perspective, on Sunday April 24th we measured 0.089µSv/hr in the air and 0.227µSv/hr on the ground at in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Furthermore in Japan, radiation worker dose limits pre-Fukushima were 100 mSv/yr and the dose limit for normal person is 1 mSv/yr. 50µSv/hr is equivalent to annual dosage of 438 mSv which is more than 4x higher than the limit for nuclear radiation workers.
Thanks to Akiba for sharing this and best of luck to all the Safecasters out there!
Normally I would not post about concept ideas but this one was to good to pass up. Swiss robotics manufactures ABB, show us a new concept robot called FRIDA. FRIDA, which stands for Friendly Robot for Industrial Dual-arm Assembly, is the closest robotic equivalent to a production line worker I have ever seen. The design is based off of research being conducted by the FP7s project ROSETTA. The project is trying to develop robotic systems that can interact safely side-by-side human coworkers.
On April 26th 1961, the silicon integrated circuit was patented by Robert Noyce (No. 2,981,877).
Robert (Norton) Noyce was a U.S. engineer and coinventor (1959), with Jack Kilby, of the integrated circuit, a system of interconnected transistors on a single silicon microchip. He held sixteen patents for semiconductor devices, methods, and structures. In 1968, he and colleague Gordon E. Moore cofounded N.M. Electronics, which later was renamed Intel Corporation. Noyce served as Intel’s president and chairman (1968-75), then as vice chairman until 1979.
Src: Today in Science History
It is also worth mentioning this MIT graduate went on to co-found Fairchild Semiconductor and the production of the first commercially practical integrated circuit.
After the kids (both girls aged 9 and 11) soldered their first minipov kit. I decided to JAZZ it up a bit and add some extra color LEDs to the board. Bought some green and yellow and a 3 way slider switch, along with some proto board and we can change the minipov color with the flick of a switch.
CadSoft Computer has no intentions of going away from offering the Freeware version of EAGLE. Your initial statement is False. If you look closely at the recent brochure, this is an offering by Newark. The 60 day freemiun license now offers certain capabilities more than our typical freeware version. CadSoft Computer has supported the DIY, Electronic Enthusiast and Student community for over 21 years and we have no plans of slowing down any time soon.
In fact, we have announced that the next version of EAGLE will no longer be supporting Binary file formats for Board, Schematic and Library files. EAGLE V6 will support well documented XML files.
Please note that this item does not come with an Arduino (you’ll need one to use with the shield), or an SD card. It does come with the RTC battery, however. The kit is un-assembled, You’ll need some basic soldering skills to put it together, but even if you don’t have much experience you can get it done in under 1 hour.
SD card interface works with FAT16 or FAT32 formatted cards. 3.3v level shifter circuitry prevents damage to your SD card
Real time clock (RTC) keeps the time going even when the Arduino is unplugged. The battery backup lasts for years
Included libraries and example code for both SD and RTC mean you can get going quickly
Prototyping area for soldering connectors, circuitry or sensors.
Onboard 3.3v regulator is both a reliable reference voltage and also reliably runs SD cards that require a lot of power to run
Amid all the free food and other goodies that come with a job at Google Inc., there’s one benefit a lot of employees don’t even know about: a cluster of high-tech workshops that have become a tinkerer’s paradise.
Workers escape from their computer screens and office chairs to weld, drill and saw on expensive machinery they won’t find at Home Depot.
Besides building contraptions with a clear business purpose, Google employees use the shops for fun: They create elaborate holiday decorations, build cabinets for their homes and sometimes dream big like the engineers working on a pedal-powered airplane with a 100-foot wingspan.
The “Google Workshops” are the handiwork of Larry Page, who co-founded Google with Sergey Brin in a rented garage. Page authorized the workshops’ opening in 2007 to try to reconnect the company with its roots.
Google, which has kept the workshops under wraps until Tuesday, gave The Associated Press an exclusive tour shortly after Page reclaimed his original job as CEO on April 4.
The workshops offer a peek into ways Page may try to make the Internet giant work with the verve and creativity of a garage-bound entrepreneur. Page believes the 13-year-old company needs to return to thinking and acting like a feisty startup as it faces competition from younger Internet stars such as Facebook, Twitter and Groupon.
“There is a feeling here at Google that all good things start in a garage,” said Greg Butterfield, an engineering lab manager who oversees the workshops. “Larry wanted to create the same kind of environment he and Sergey had when they started Google — a sort of a playground or sandbox for pursuing their ideas.”
Peter Semmelhack founded Bug Labs in April 2006 with the intention of making it easier for people to create innovative electronic devices. The company makes a product called a Bug, which is a series of modules — GPS systems, cameras, motion sensors — that can be snapped onto a small computer and programmed to create products that would otherwise take years of development and millions of dollars to build. The following is an edited transcript of an interview with Mr. Semmelhack.
A few summers ago, at a DIY repair-off called Get Yr Fix, I watched as ragtag teams battled each other and the clock to breathe new life into all manner of dead and disused goods gathered from the streets of Brooklyn. The toddler’s three-wheeler was rad and the resurrected baby pen would have fit right into a Tim Burton version of Mad Max.
But there was also a kinda jaw dropping moment: two guys armed with little more than a soldering iron and a mutli-meter turned a couple of busted TVs into one fully fledged boob tube. “Eet’s aliiive!” one of them crowed. They didn’t win — the tricycle did — but they weren’t there to win. The duo, from the group NYC Resistor, took a kind of mad pleasure in making things better, like a cross between Bob Villa and Dr. Frankenstein. On this episode of Motherboard, we pay a visit to their Brooklyn lair.
Founded by a handful of friends who wanted a place to tinker with electronics and meet like-minded hackers for good, NYC Resistor. has blossomed into one of the country’s most influential hackerspaces. On any given Thursday night, their cozy, cluttered loft workshop is crawling with a diverse crowd of hardcore tinkerers and curious newcomers. Throwing some caution and many user warranties to the wind, they’re there to build, refine, break and share everything from toy robots to intricate paper sculpture to open source musical instruments.
Pity the poor beekeeper. While bee researchers play with high-frequency dancing robotic bees, DNA scanners, and forensic pollen analysis, beekeepers must scavenge 19th-century feed scales off eBay.
The problem is money. Even though bees play a crucial role in the pollination of agricultural products worth billions of dollars, a hive typically produces honey that’s worth no more than US $1000 a year at retail. A few lucky beekeepers get hired by farmers to pollinate their crops, but the overall margin is still far too slim for fancy modern equipment. So beekeepers typically are able to track the health and honey-making performance of their charges in only the crudest of ways.
Tom Rearick, an electrical engineer, and some fellow “beehackers” are trying to change all that. He wants his site, BeeHacker.com, to become a hub of on-the-cheap development of appropriate technology for beekeepers, with projects ranging from simple hive scales to laser-based bee tracking. For example, a $20 luggage scale augmented with $5 to $10 of scrap hardware can check the weight of dozens of hives a day. That would give a rough idea of how much honey the bees are producing and of the general health of the hive. With Rearick’s hack, you just lift one side of the hive gently with a pry bar connected to the scale by a cable. Assuming that honey and bees are evenly distributed inside the hive, the scale will stabilize at half the hive’s weight.
Ultimately, a hacked hive would be able to report the entrance and exit of individual bees, and perhaps external sensors could track where they gather their pollen and what troubles they encounter along the way. Meanwhile, internal sensors would report temperature and humidity; provide the data to diagnose mite, fungus, and other infestations; and keep tabs on honey production—all using scavenged parts supervised by a few cheap microcontrollers. And even during the winter, when a hive is dormant, a microphone could monitor the sound levels of worker bees flexing their wing muscles to generate heat to warm the rest of the colony. (This is another area where beehackers will have to gather much more data before offering analyses deeper than “buzzing, good; no buzzing, bad.”)
Sounds like there is potential here for some pretty cool projects. I call the name “beeduino”!