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Showing posts from 2012

Wire Wrapper Tool

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This is a beautiful and inexpensive tool; a rare mechanical hand tool with precise tolerances. To attach fine wires, such as wiring up LEDs into circuits, wire wrap makes soldering unnecessary. Strip about 3/8 inch on the end of a wire, thread the exposed wire up one of two incredibly tiny slots in the end of the wirewrap tool, put the other tiny slot of the wirewrap tool around the wire it is to be connected to, like the anode or cathode of an LED, then twirl the wirewrap tool in your fingers, leaving a tiny tight spiral of wire wrapped around the connection.
-- Howard Rheingold [The wikipedia page for wire wrap goes into great detail of how and why it works, and the various methods for wire wrapping. And here is a video tutorial for those interested in learning more. --OH]Wire Wrap Tool
$7
Available from and manufactured by Radioshack



from Cool Tools
http://kk.org/cooltools/archives/7815?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CoolTools+%28Cool+Tools%29

US Cable Operators Trim Subscriber Losses in Q3—But OTT and the Economy Still Exact a Toll- Subscriber numbers to decline overall for 2012—the ninth straight year of contraction

US Cable Operators Trim Subscriber Losses in Q3—But OTT and the Economy Still Exact a Toll- Subscriber numbers to decline overall for 2012—the ninth straight year of contraction: By Erik Brannon

The good news for U.S. cable operators in 2012 is that they posted their best third-quarter performance in terms of video subscribers in at least two years.
The bad news is that the operators still lost nearly half a million subscribers during the period as competition from IPTV services like FiOS and U-verse continued to diminish the cable companies’ opportunity to add new households to their customer rolls. Even worse for the U.S. cable operators, their net subscriber losses for the full year of 2012 are expected to exceed those in 2011, according to an IHS Screen Digest Television Intelligence Report from information and analytics provider IHS.
more ...

via Metagrinderhttp://metgrinder.blogspot.com/2012/12/us-cable-operators-trim-subscriber.html

DRAM Losses Widen in the Third Quarter for Besieged Suppliers- Weak PC demand, coupled with soft commodity DRAM pricing, pulls down the market

DRAM Losses Widen in the Third Quarter for Besieged Suppliers- Weak PC demand, coupled with soft commodity DRAM pricing, pulls down the market: By Dee Robinson

The market for dynamic random access memory (DRAM) took another beating in the third quarter, as downward pressure on pricing caused by a weak PC market dragged down industry profitability for all DRAM players, according to an IHS iSuppli DRAM Dynamics market brief from information and analytics provider IHS.
The cash balance in the third quarter for the industry, excluding Samsung—the only one to post positive profit margins during the period—fell to $4.5 billion, down 13.5 percent from $5.2 billion in the second quarter. Operating losses widened to $671.5 million from $348.4 million, after the industry had managed to trim the deficit from -$1.1 billion in the first quarter.
Overall, industry operating profit margins decreased to -10.7 percent on third-quarter revenue of $6.4 billion, down sequentially from -5.1 percent, in an …

Tinkercad

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Tinkercad:


If you want to introduce a kid (or yourself!) to CAD (computer aided design), Tinkercad is by far the easiest and most fun way to begin. Today I mentioned to my 10-year-old that our CNC machine would soon be up and running. He asked what a CNC could do, and I said one example would be to carve a battlefield out of stiff foam for Warhammer figures.
That got his attention . He wanted to know how to tell the CNC what to do. I explained a bit about CAD, and showed him Tinkercad, giving the example of one cube that you could stretch and change.
Then I got busy with something else and left him to figure out Tinkercad himself. I came back an hour later and the below is what he’d designed. A ten-year-old. No training. One hour.


The green stuff we’re going to CNC out of a sheet of stiff foam. The rest we’ll probably 3D print on the Makerbot. It will take a weekend, but this could be our first 100% digital craft project.
This is an example of what I talk about in Makers: manufacturing …

Sharp to Introduce 4K Professional Display with IGZO Panel

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Sharp to Introduce 4K Professional Display with IGZO Panel: Sharp Set to Release 4K IGZO Display for Japanese Market

Sharp Corp. this week announced a new professional display for CAD works that not only features 4K-class resolution (3840*2160), but will also be based on a panel based on Sharp’s promising IGZO technology. The new professional display has large 32” diagonal and is currently among the largest PC displays on the market.
The PN-K321 is Sharp's latest 32” ultra-high-definition (3840*2160) display and features smaller transistors (TFTs) in the LCD panel compared to conventional displays, thereby increasing the amount of transmitted light per pixel. Because 4K displays enable clear, crisp display of large amounts of information ranging from small text to detailed images on one screen, they boost operational efficiency by sparing users the need to scroll frequently.


via Metagrinderhttp://metgrinder.blogspot.com/2012/11/sharp-to-introduce-4k-professional.html

Burglar suspected of using Arduino-Onity hack to rob hotel rooms

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Burglar suspected of using Arduino-Onity hack to rob hotel rooms:

Can anyone argue against this being the least-secure hotel room lock on the market? Regular readers will recognize it as an Onity key card lock. A few months back a glaring flaw in the security was exposed that allows these locks to be opened electronically in less than a second. So we are not surprised to hear that a series of hotel room robberies in Houston are suspected to have been performed using this technique.
The image above is from a demonstration video we saw back in October. That hack used an Arduino-compatible chip inside of a dry erase marker as an end-run around the lock’s electronics. It reinforced the warning sound by [Cody Brocious] when he presented the exploit at this year’s Blackhat conference. The barrel jack on the outsideof the door lock doubles as a 1-wire communications port and that is how an attacker can gain access. Investigators can find no other means of entry for these thefts.


We applaud one…

Staples to get in-store 3D printers

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Staples to get in-store 3D printers:
Some Staples stores in Belgium and the Netherlands will have MCOR color 3D printers that will print out model-files uploaded to a store website for in-person pickup. MCOR printers use plain pulp paper as build material, so the resulting models will be essentially cellulose, dye and glue, and should be easy to recycle.


Staples’ Easy 3D will offer consumers, product designers, architects, healthcare professionals, educators, students and others low-cost, brilliantly coloured, photo-realistic 3D printed products from Staples stores. Customers will simply upload electronic files to the Staples Office Centre and pick up the models in their nearby Staples stores, or have them shipped to their address. Staples will produce the models with the Mcor IRIS, a 3D printer with the highest colour capability in the industry and lowest operating cost of any commercial-class 3D printer.The press release promises that this technology will be made available in other S…

Android VOIP phone and Raspberry Pi mate for an intriguing PBX setup

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[Ward Mundy] has found something great by combining a GXP-2200 phone with Raspberry Pi to create a private branch exchange. So the idea behind a PBX setup is kind of like a company intranet. All of the phones in the system are assigned an extension number and have access to the internal system functions like voice mail, and sharing phone lines to the outside world. We’ve talked about using an RPi as a PBX before, but the high-tech phone he’s using this time around pulls everything together remarkably well.
The GXP-2200 is available for under $200. It runs Android and has a full color touch screen pictured above. It is marketed as a multimedia phone and indeed it brings Skype and Google Voice to the party. But it also offers six SIP lines. The hardware even seems to be planned for this type of use as the phone offers a second Ethernet port to which the RPi board can be connected. In this example [Ward] simply screws the RPi to the phone’s plastic stand and connects the two using a six-i…

Google Books team open sources their book scanner

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Google Books team open sources their book scanner:

It’s no secret that Google has been scanning hundreds of thousands of books in the hope of recreating the Library of Alexandria. Publishers and authors really didn’t like that idea, so the Google books team is doing the next best thing: they’re releasing the plans for a very clever book scanner in the hope others will pick up the torch of creating a digital library of every book ever written.
Unlike some other book scanners we’ve seen that rely on an operator manually flipping pages, this linear book scanner turns the pages automatically with the help of a vacuum cleaner and a cleverly designed sheet metal structure after passing them over two image sensors taken from a desktop scanner.
The bill of materials comes in at around $1500, but according to the official design documents this includes a very expensive scanner, something that could be replaced in true hacker style with a few salvaged flatbed scanners.
After the break you can chec…

Emulating a student clicker with an Arduino

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Emulating a student clicker with an Arduino:

When schools and universities have hundreds of students in a lecture course, they need a way to tell alumni and other potential benefactors that faculty/student relations are just as good as they were in the 1960s, when enrollment was just a fraction of current levels. Technology solves all problems, apparently, so administrators of these universities turn to ‘clickers’ – radio frequency remotes used to take attendance and administer quizzes.These clickers have absolutely no security, so it’s no surprise [Taylor Killian] was able to emulate one of these clickers with an Arduino allowing anyone with a laptop to cheat on a quiz, or have an entire class show up with only one student in the room.
Previously [Travis Goodspeed] (thanks for sending this in, [Travis]) tore apart one of these clickers – a TurningPoint ResponseCard RF – and discovered it uses a Nordic nRF24L01 wireless transceiver, commonly available on eBay for about two dollars.
[Tay…

Controlling a quadcopter with a Leap Motion

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Controlling a quadcopter with a Leap Motion:

A few folks over at National Instruments going under the name LabVIEW Hacker have gotten their hands on a Leap Motion dev kit. The Leap is an interesting little input device designed to track fingertips in 3D space, much like a Kinect but at much higher resolution. Needing something to show off their LabVIEW prowess, these guys controlled their office AR Drone with the Leap, making a quadcopter controller that is completely touchless.
Building on their previous AR Drone hack, the LabVIEW team spent the better part of a day adding wrappers around the Leap SDK and adding in control for their RC quadcopter. Now, simply by moving their fingertips over the Leap sensor, they can control their office quadrotor using a very high-resolution 3D scanner.
Video after the break.



Filed under: drone hacks


via Metagrinderhttp://metgrinder.blogspot.com/2012/11/controlling-quadcopter-with-leap-motion.html

Android VOIP phone and Raspberry Pi mate for an intriguing PBX setup

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Android VOIP phone and Raspberry Pi mate for an intriguing PBX setup:

[Ward Mundy] has found something great by combining a GXP-2200 phone with Raspberry Pi to create a private branch exchange. So the idea behind a PBX setup is kind of like a company intranet. All of the phones in the system are assigned an extension number and have access to the internal system functions like voice mail, and sharing phone lines to the outside world. We’ve talked about using an RPi as a PBX before, but the high-tech phone he’s using this time around pulls everything together remarkably well.
The GXP-2200 is available for under $200. It runs Android and has a full color touch screen pictured above. It is marketed as a multimedia phone and indeed it brings Skype and Google Voice to the party. But it also offers six SIP lines. The hardware even seems to be planned for this type of use as the phone offers a second Ethernet port to which the RPi board can be connected. In this example [Ward] simply screws t…

Philips L-Prize Bulb

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Philips L-Prize Bulb:


This is the best household LED bulb at the moment. It runs on only 10-watts, gives off the light of a 60-watt tungsten, delivers a soft white light, with the even distribution of the old bulbs. It’s dimmable. And it is promised to last 22-years.  I can confirm all these claims except the last (too early to tell). It is exactly the same shape and size of a 60-watt tungsten bulb, which many other LEDs are not. This makes it easy to swap out. Also, this one is brighter than most other LED replacements that I’ve used, including the previously reviewed Lemnis 40-watt LED bulb. It is more energy efficient than other 60-watt LED equivalents. Believe it or not, at $40 it is among the cheaper hi-powered LED bulbs — although the price is still too high for me to swap all my household bulbs (most of which are compact fluorescents).
Beside the price, two minor caveats. The bulb is heavy. It seems to be made of solid ceramic. It may not work in a counter-balanced fixture like …

Belkin Rolls Out World's First Keyboard for Apple iPad Mini.

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Belkin Rolls Out World's First Keyboard for Apple iPad Mini.


The Belkin Portable Keyboard Case for iPad mini helps reduce typing mistakes common on tablets and features laptop-style keyboard with tactile feedback and well-spaced keys for its size. The keyboard folds flat when not in use and also has camera-lens cutout. It connects via Bluetooth wirelesstechnologyand has iPad mini-specific shortcut keys to easily control audio and video. The device features 155 hours active battery life and includes USB-to-mini-USB cable for easy recharging. The integrated folio offers sleek, low-profile protection with a smooth inner lining to protect against everyday wear and tear.

via Metagrinderhttp://metgrinder.blogspot.com/2012/11/belkin-rolls-out-worlds-first-keyboard.html

Samsung to Start Making Bendable Displays for Smartphones in First Half of 2013.

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Samsung to Start Making Bendable Displays for Smartphones in First Half of 2013.


Samsung Display, a producer of display panels that belongs to Samsung, is in the last phase of development of flexible displays for mobile devices, which are expected to be released in the first half of next year, a person familiar with the situation revealed to the Wall Street Journal. Bendable displays are virtually unbreakable and naturally provide a lot of opportunities when it comes to creation of innovation shapes of smartphone.
Even though Samsung has already demonstrated flexible displays and mobile phones at Mobile World Congress trade-show, it does not mean that that the actual devices on their base will be as weird as technology showcases. The main advantage which they will like provide will be added crash-worthiness as well as improved usability. While the screens themselves will be able to bend, other electronics components inside smartphones, such as printed-circuit boards or chips, will not b…

Apple's iPad Mini Costs Less Than $200 to Manufacture - Analysis

Apple Makes Profit Selling iPad Mini
from X-bit labs
http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/mobile/display/20121106123927_Apple_s_iPad_Mini_Costs_Less_Than_200_to_Manufacture_Analysis.html

LG Electronics Begins to Ship Ultra-Wide 21:9 Display

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LG Electronics Begins to Ship Ultra-Wide 21:9 Display:

LG Electronics' EA93 Ultra-Wide 21:9 Display to Cost from $635



LG Electronics this week said that it began to sell the world’s first and only ultra-wide 21:9computerdisplay 
in South Korea and is beginning to ship the monitors to other markets. 

The 29” screen offers ample screen real estate, a 4-screen split feature 
and 100% sRGB color space expression to provide better multitasking and multimedia capabilities. 

Surprisingly, the new screens are not too expensive at all.

via Metagrinderhttp://metgrinder.blogspot.com/2012/11/lg-electronics-begins-to-ship-ultra.html