Category: hardware

New maker project — retro name badge

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If you played pinball in the 80s, you know about 16-segment LED displays. They existed in the narrow technology window after mechanical switches and alarm-clock-style 7-segment displays, but before full dot-matrix displays or full video were feasible with off-the-shelf computer hardware. There’s something geekily charming about these old displays. So naturally, I wanted to have…

Geek Thoughts: hard to find

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Found this article interesting. Not too many hundreds of years ago, cutting-edge scientific research involved watching balls roll down ramps. Making fundamental discoveries seems to be slowing down, or at least getting harder. As a consequence, we should expect more big discoveries from the sciences where the relevant technology follows a Moore’s-Law-like exponential growth trajectory….

Lithium battery breakthrough means your phone will charge in 10 seconds? Not so fast.

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[Update: now featuring Actually Correct Math. Somebody stop me before I late-night-blog again…] Recent news coverage mentions a badly-needed breakthrough at MIT in battery technology. Using a slight variation of existing lithium materials, much faster charge and discharge rates are possible. The money quote is that [Professor Gerbrand Ceder and graduate student Byoungwoo Kang] went…

Hands-on Kindle

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Amazon hosted a networking event tonight. They had me at free beer and a chance to look at a Kindle. Now that I’ve actually played with one, I can comment on some of its features for better or worse. It’s heavier and more solid than it looks. With the little padded cover, it could pass…

Kindle my disappointment

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Where’s Project Gutenberg? One difficulty in launching an ebook platform is the lack of available titles. I keep hearing about 80,000+ titles, but expressed as a percentage of Amazon’s book catalog, it’s minuscule. There should be all kind of public domain titles ready to go on day one. And where’s the Creative Commons books? There’s…

The planetary air conditioner

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If a free energy device (like this one) were really possible, simple economics would dictate that (as soon as patents expired, etc.) one or several would be found in every cell phone, iPod, notebook computer, desktop computer, appliance, automobile, airplane, house, building, and factory. That’s a lot of waste heat that would get dumped onto…

Opera Mini for Treo

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Opera just released a version of their Mini browser for Treo. Here’s what the download and install process looks like. point your existing Blazer browser at http://mini.opera.com the page detects your device (a Treo 650 in this case) and offers a download link clicking the link starts a 100k download the phone offers to store…

Mobile data at risk?

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The little one just turned a month old. Since I have a spare moment, time for some blog catch-up. A C|Net puff piece survey reports More than two-thirds of respondents said that their data was most vulnerable on laptop PCs, while 40% chose “other mobile devices” (i.e. PDAs, mobile phones, wireless devices) Mind you, this…

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