The Edge of Nostalgia app for iPhone enables you to mix sounds from your environment with ambient music composed by Mikronesia to create unique soundscapes tailor made to your individual surroundings:
Edge of Nostaligia (EON) is an interactive iPhone App Album that invites the listener to explore the wonder of the sound world around them through the filtered lens of the present moment. Part Apple iPhone code, part ambient music album and part Pure Data real time effects, EON is a new frontier for electronic musician,composer and programmer Mikronesia.
As executive director of Girls Who Code, Kristen Titus heads up one of the most high-profile efforts to address gender imbalances in the tech world. The project aims to introduce teenage girls to computer science, a field that promises to be among the most significant job-growth industries in coming decades.
Need light? Look no farther than the palm of your hand—literally. Ann Makosinski’s “hollow flashlight,” her winning design from the 2013 Google Science Fair competition, is made from Peltier tiles that produce energy when one side is heated and the other side remains cool. Using only the warmth of her hands for energy, this Canadian teen’s flashlight is able to produce a steady beam of LED light for 20 minutes.
A former Goldman Sachs trader, Fred Ehrsam left Wall Street to co-found Coinbase, an online payment system with the stated mission of making bitcoin, an unregulated and increasingly popular form of digital currency, easy to use. The company, with roots in the Y Combinator startup incubator, now processes bitcoin payments for the likes of OkCupid and Reddit.
Potatoes are not only delicious, easy to grow and easy to store but scientists are now finding that their power potential is bigger than they had previously thought.
A couple years ago, researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem released their finding that a potato boiled for eight minutes can make for a battery that produces ten times the power of a raw one. Using small units comprised of a quarter-slice of potato sandwiched between a copper cathode and a zinc anode that’s connected by a wire, agricultural science professor Haim Rabinowitch and his team wanted to prove that a system that can be used to provide rooms with LED-powered lighting for as long as 40 days. At around one-tenth the cost of a typical AA battery, a potato could supply power for cell phone and other personal electronics in poor, underdeveloped and remote regions without access to a power grid.
To be clear, the potato is not, in and of itself, an energy source. What the potato does is simply help conduct electricity by acting as what’s called a salt-bridge between the the two metals, allowing the electron current to move freely across the wire to create electricity. Numerous fruits rich in electrolytes like bananas and strawberries can also form this chemical reaction. They’re basically nature’s version of battery acid.The potato battery kit, which includes two metal electrodes and alligator clips, is easy to assemble and, some parts, such as the zinc cathode, can be inexpensively replaced. The finished device Rabinowitch came up with is designed so that a new boiled potato slice can be inserted in between the electrodes after the potato runs out of juice. Alligator clips that transport the current carrying wires are attached to the electrodes and the negative and positive input points of the light bulb. Compared to kerosene lamps used in many developing parts of the world, the system can provide equivalent lighting at one-sixth the cost; it’s estimated to be somewhere around $9 per kilowatt hour and a D cell battery, for another point of comparison, can run as much as $84 per kilowatt hour.
ThinkGeek has a cute gift idea for all those kids out there that love to play Minecraft.
Minecraft is addictive, and as such it already eats kids’ homework by distracting them for hours. But now kids can claim the Creeper ate their homework for real as they open up this backpack to reveal their books, assignments, lunch, and more.
Adafruit 16-Channel 12-bit PWM/Servo Shield – I2C interface: You want to make a cool Arduino robot, maybe a hexapod walker, or maybe just a piece of art with a lot of moving parts. Or maybe you want to drive a lot of LEDs with precise PWM output. Then you realize that the Arduino has only a few PWM outputs, and maybe those outputs are conflicting with another shield! What now? You could give up OR you could just get our handy PWM and Servo driver shield. It’s just like our popular PWM/Servo Breakout but now Arduino-ready and works with any Arduino that uses shields: Uno, Leo, Mega, ADK, it’s all good. (read more)
I have here a Neo Geo Pocket Color (AKA NGPC) and an old Gravis Gamepad Pro. The Gravis has excellent button placement and feels great in the hand, but the d-pads on them always sucked because back in the day Nintendo still had a patent on the good kind. Well, as it turns out, there was one directional input which was still better than a cross-shaped d-pad, and that’s the clicky thumbstick on the NGPC. It’s amazing, and is the only thumb-control I’ve ever liked for shmups or fighting games, because you can actually pull off a dragon-punch move without breaking your thumbs. IMO, the thumb stick of the NGPC was the very best part of the whole system.
So I’m transplanting the thumb stick into the Gravis, and converting the whole thing to bluetooth.
Bluefruit EZ-Key – 12 Input Bluetooth HID Keyboard Controller – v1.2 – Create your own wireless Bluetooth keyboard controller in an hour with the Bluefruit EZ-Key: it’s the fastest, easiest and bestest Bluetooth controller. We spent years learning how to develop our own custom Bluetooth firmware, and coupled with our own BT module hardware, we’ve created the most Maker-friendly wireless you can get! (read more)
Four years ago, when I was a magazineeditor, I bought one of the first consumer 3D printer kits. It was one of the early MakerBot Cupcakes and it barely worked, but it blew my mind. It also changed my life. Today I’ve moved from media to manufacturing: I run 3D Robotics, a drone company with a big electronics and assembly factory in Tijuana, Mexico. (Yes, a Tijuana drone factory. Beat that, sci-fi!)
How is it possible for a magazine editor to become a high-tech manufacturer, essentially overnight? And how do you go from a bag-of-parts 3D printer to a full-scale factory? The answers are rooted in a revolution that’s come to manufacturing over the past five years. The changes boil down to three ideas: desktop, digital, and cloud.
Every Monday is Makey Makey™ Monday here at Adafruit! The MaKey MaKey – by Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum, made by JoyLabz! Ever played Mario on Play-Doh or Piano on Bananas? Alligator clip the Internet to Your World. MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Find out more details at makeymakey.com or watch the video at makeymakey.com. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It’s a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything in between! If you have a cool project you’ve made with your Makey Makey be sure to send it in to be featured here!
Today marks the 248th birthday of American inventor Eli Whitney. Best known for inventing the cotton gin, Whitney was a major contributor to the Industrial Revolution. Via about.com
Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin revolutionized the cotton industry in the United States. Prior to his invention, farming cotton required hundreds of man-hours to separate the cottonseed from the raw cotton fibers. Simple seed-removing devices have been around for centuries, however, Eli Whitney’s invention automated the seed separation process. His machine could generate up to fifty pounds of cleaned cotton daily, making cotton production profitable for the southern states.
Eli Whitney failed to profit from his invention because imitations of his machine appeared and his 1794 patent for the cotton gin could not be upheld in court until 1807. Whitney could not stop others from copying and selling his cotton gin design.
The gourd-and-twine device, created 1,200 to 1,400 years ago, remains tantalizingly functional—and too fragile to test out. “This is unique,” NMAI curator Ramiro Matos, an anthropologist and archaeologist who specializes in the study of the central Andes, tells me. “Only one was ever discovered. It comes from the consciousness of an indigenous society with no written language.”
We’ll never know the trial and error that went into its creation. The marvel of acoustic engineering—cunningly constructed of two resin-coated gourd receivers, each three-and-one-half inches long; stretched-hide membranes stitched around the bases of the receivers; and cotton-twine cord extending 75 feet when pulled taut—arose out of the Chimu empire at its height. The dazzlingly innovative culture was centered in the Río Moche Valley in northern Peru, wedged between the Pacific Ocean and the western Andes. “The Chimu were a skillful, inventive people,” Matos tells me as we don sterile gloves and peer into the hollowed interiors of the gourds. The Chimu, Matos explains, were the first true engineering society in the New World, known as much for their artisanry and metalwork as for the hydraulic canal-irrigation system they introduced, transforming desert into agricultural lands.
Until its doors closed on December 31, 2012, the family-run Colby Poster Printing Company made the letter-pressed signs, posters, billboards and showcards that were a ubiquitous feature of the visual landscape of Los Angeles. For three generations, promoters of boxing bouts, rodeos, reggae concerts and literary-minded visual artists were drawn to the swift graphic science of the day-glo poster, its essential purpose to quickly and efficiently convey information to viewers zooming along the autoscape, and to the durability of the product, hanging on telephone poles and chainlink fences from Venice to Las Vegas for months and years after the commission. In this short documentary, C.R. Stecyk III visits the company to make one last print, and to expound on its enduring appeal to anyone who ever wanted to leave a mark of their own in the city of signs.
Many thousands of articles have been written purporting to explain Bitcoin, the online, peer-to-peer currency. Most of those articles give a hand-wavy account of the underlying cryptographic protocol, omitting many details. Even those articles which delve deeper often gloss over crucial points. My aim in this post is to explain the major ideas behind the Bitcoin protocol in a clear, easily comprehensible way. We’ll start from first principles, build up to a broad theoretical understanding of how the protocol works, and then dig down into the nitty-gritty, examining the raw data in a Bitcoin transaction.
“You’re having a dispute with your neighbour,” he hypothesised. “How would you feel if your neighbor went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their back yard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?”
Your next door neighbor is going to fly it over your house because of a dispute? So all private UAVs should be banned?