Showing posts from March, 2013

Intellectual Property and the Future of @Home Manufacturing

Like it or not, the ability to pirate physical objects and functional electronics is nearly upon us. In this article we devote some time and space to thinking about that possible future, and what might be done to avoid it. Additive manufacturing makes the entire design process "think it up, design or scan it, create it on-site." So where does the "research to make sure you're not conflicting with anyone elses existing intellectual property" step come into play? Before or after you hit the print button?Read the full article on MAKE

from MAKE

Bookmarks for 2013-03-20

Open the Future: Futures of Human Cultures
"…by 2113 we'll have gone through a dozen or so technosocial-fashion generations. Smartphones give way to tablets to phablets to wearables to implantables to swallowables to replaceable eyeballs to neo-sinus body-nanofab systems (using mucous as a raw material) to brainwebs to body-rentals… and those are increasingly considered "so 2110." And with all of these (or whatever really emerges), there are shifting behavioral norms. Don't look at your phone at the dinner table. Don't replace your eyeball in public. Don't reboot your neo-sinus in church."
(tags:future )

Chirpify Adds Facebook To In-Stream Music Sales Platform – hypebot
"Frictionless Commerce Inside Social Media" is the subhead. Which is obviously the buzzphrase/sales-pitch, but it's interesting.
(tags:money )

Welcome to Spamradio – Spamradio
"Using a complex arrangement of pipes and funnels we turn the junk mail that we receive into a…

THE PRIVATE EYE: Leaving Comics Publishers Behind

Brian K Vaughan and Marcos Martin have released the first instalment of a new comics serial as pay-what-you-want digital downloads.  It comes in PDF and two standard comics-reader formats, in English, Spanish and Catalan versions.  The page size appears to approximate half of a European comics-album format page.  That gives the landscape orientation you see in the image above, falling in with what seems to be the new standard in a certain wing of digital comic.  I wrote a bit about that last year.
They’ve set up shop at Panel Syndicate, with the strong suggestion that, should this first episode go over well (and five minutes after I tweeted the link this morning, their PayPal back end seized up from transaction velocity, so I’m guessing they’re okay), they’ll be doing more projects through this portal.
There is no reason why any number of comics companies could not have been funding, facilitating and producing this kind of original creator-owned comics work on the net two, three, five y…

Pope Francis…and your thoughts

Habemus Papam Franciscum

We’re open blogging today on the subject of the new Pope. We invite you to share your thoughts, opinions, hopes, prayers, and concerns.
Here are a few links for further reading:
Vatican Website
Catholic News Service
BBC News Coverage
Christianity Today

Rethinking the Gifts of the Spirit: Part V

In this post, I want to briefly address the problem of counterfeit spirituality. Martin Luther rightly said, “When God builds His house, the devil builds a chapel.” When God is operating powerfully in a person or group, counterfeit spiritual manifestations will sometimes surface in the group or through people attacking the person or group whom [...]

**Click the title of this post at the top to read the rest of the article on the blog. Once you're on the blog, you may also post a comment at the end if you wish.**

from Beyond Evangelical | The Blog of Frank Viola

Trauma Shears

Several years ago I needed about half a dozen tools for a series of workshops I was hosting. I needed a hand tool that could safely and easily shape plastic and thin sheet metal, but not break the bank. I found trauma shears at the local hardware store for a couple dollars each and bought every pair they had. Although I had misgivings about the price they worked great. I still have them and they all get constant use and abuse.
Sometimes called EMT or Paramedic scissors, they were originally designed for emergency responders to cut through seat belts, zippers, denim and leather. The rounded tip and bent handle made to safely cut along skin also make them useful for cutting along other surfaces without snags or jabs.
They’re somewhat famous for being shown cutting through a penny, which they’ll do without too much trouble. More practically they’ll cut sheet metal, wire, cable, plastic, cardboard, staples, rubber, foam, branches, and small bolts, to name a few. They’re the scissors I reach…

“I Am” and “I Practice” — An Important Distinction

If we want to practice what some, including Michael Spencer, have called a “generous orthodoxy” – a commitment to the creedal Christian faith that recognizes “one holy catholic and apostolic Church” – then we must learn to speak about our own personal faith identities and commitments precisely.
Here is the way I have learned to respond when asked about “who I am” or “what I am” with regard to my spiritual and religious identity:
I am a Christian, and I practice my faith in the Lutheran tradition.
I find this helpful for a number of reasons.
First, it makes clear who I am at the root: I am a Christian. I am a member of the Christian family. My identity is bound up with the person and name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe in Jesus. I follow Jesus. Jesus’ story is the story into which I have entered. I have taken his name. I interpret and approach life through him.
Just like my surname represents not only my personal identity at this moment in space and time history, but also my family, my…

Oil truck transforms into giant mobile grill

When the truck rolls up, everything seems normal enough. It’s a generic oil tanker. But when the theme from “2001: A Space Odyssey” begins to play and the side of the tank starts to open, you suddenly realize things are not what they seem. This is no mere tanker truck, it’s a massive meat cooking monster dubbed the “X Grill”.
[Ken Foster], owner and creator of this $40K+ beast, worked with welder [Gary Webb] to custom design and fabricate every component of the vehicle, from hinges to hydraulic systems. They claim not a single part came from a box. The cooking area, complete with speakers and spotlights, has storage cabinets, stainless steel prep counters, a four burner stove, and a 42 inch grill. If that’s not enough, there are three more grills you can set up beside the truck and hook into the system. All the appliances are run off a 65 gallon propane tank that’s mounted to the side of the truck.
Although the “X Grill” is available to rent for private parties, [Ken] says they spend mo…

Human powered emergency cell phone charger

Power outage? For the average citizen it’s very easy to take electricity for granted. Go a few hours or more without it though, and you’ll suddenly be reminded just what a luxury it is. During an emergency situation, sometimes you have to come up with alternative methods to get the job done. This human powered cell phone charger is a great example.
Using just a few ordinary around the house items, [The King of Random] turned a cordless electric drill into a human powered electrical generator. If the drill is run in reverse and cranked by hand, the generated energy can be transferred through the battery terminals to a connected device.  So, he cut a USB charger cable in half and wired it up to the terminals to be able to charge his cell phone. Some yarn, a salad fork, a mixing beater, a scrap 2″x4″, some aluminum foil, and scotch tape were the only other materials he used. Using this technique, a totally dead phone battery was charged in around 3 hours.
Remember that this method is only …

Real multifunction “Sonic Screwdriver”

“I don’t understand, you don’t have the technology.” OK, so it’s not actually a futuristic tool with the same capabilities as the one off the hit TV series Dr. Who, but this homemade “sonic screwdriver”is a multifunction device that’s pretty cool nonetheless.
Created around an Arduino Pro Mini, [Gunther] really one-upped the last screwdriver we featured. Built in functions include: brown note tone generator, dog whistle, EMF meter, flashlight, IR universal remote, laser pointer, ohm meter, sound level meter, voltage detector, and a voltage meter.  You can also have an electromagnet or output voltage supply if you want. If that wasn’t enough, it can even play the theme song from Star Wars! Whew. That’s a mouthful of functionality.
Although he has posted the Arduino code, you’ll have to keep an eye on his site for more details if you want to create your own. He’s mentioned that he’s working on blue prints and a full parts list… Awesome. Now where’s that lock pick function?
Check out a vide…

Shock sword works best on foes who fight with multiple blades

This project most certainly has some of Trailer Park Boys rolled into it. We say that because the living room is the only place this will ever been used and this guy’s reaction to getting shocked is exactly how [Ricky] would respond.
The sword on the left has an electronic stun mechanism built into it. it works by energizing two blades which are separated by nylon bolts and spacers. Look closely at the tip and you’ll see the blue glow which indicates high voltage. To shock your victim you have to touch them with both blades at the same time. This is demonstrated in one of the videos after the break. But the real pain comes when [Jonathan] — the guy who built the stun sword — touches it on either side with this pair of blades. His body completes the connection and his NSFW language tells the tale of how it feels.
This thing seems to pack a bit more of a punch than our own stun-gun enabled quadcopter.

Hardware description:

Shock tests:

[Thanks Rush]

Filed under: High Voltage Hacks, weapons ha…

Makerbot shows off 3D scanner

We’ve said our peace over Makerbot and their interpretation of what Open Source means, but the fact remains if you’re sourcing a 3D printer for a high school shop class or a hackerspace, you really can’t do much better than a Makerbot Replicator. Apparently Makerbot is looking to expand their 3D design and fabrication portfolio; they just announced an upcoming 3D scanner at SXSW. It’s called the Makerbot Digitizer, and it takes real, 3D objects and turns them into CAD files.
Since Makerbot and [Bre Pettis] didn’t give out much information about the 3D scanner they’re working on, the best information comes from Techcrunch. The Makerbot Digitizer uses two lasers to scan real objects and turns them into 3D CAD files. The hardware isn’t finalized, and the prototype is made of a few pieces of laser cut plywood. No details are available on how much the Digitizer will cost, when it will be available, or what its resolution is.
Of course 3D scanning of real objects to translate them into CAD fi…

Dispensing change for low-stakes gambling

Every year, [Nathan] hosts an Oscar party with a lot of drinking, adoring the off-color comments of [Joan Rivers] and some low stakes wagering. Everyone throws a dollar into the pot for a particular award, and when the winner is announced, [Nathan] splits the pot between the winners and begins counting out coins. As convenience stores have discovered, there’s an easier way to dole out pocket change, so this year [Nathan] created a change machine that dispenses coins for the winners.
The change machine is just like the ones you would find at a supermarket or convenience store; load up the machine with a few rolls of coins, and a few solenoids fire in response to serial data received from a computer. [Nathan] used an Arduino, Serial shield, button matrix, and LCD display for his change machine interface, allowing him to dispense pocket change to each of the winners after an award is announced.

Filed under: arduino hacks
from Hack a Day…