Jul 21, 2014

A hoodie that lets you hear everything, even with the hood up

posted by Larra Morris

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Wearing a hoodie and listening to music with large headphones are two things that do not always go together, but one company believes it's solved that problem. San Francisco-based Betabrand has come up with a new hooded jacket that uses "acoustically transparent fabric" to let sound pass through unabated, meaning you can show off your cans to the world and actually hear them too.
via The Verge

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Image: Betabrand

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Jul 21, 2014

Robotic glove gives you extra fingers for grabbing

posted by Larra Morris

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Four fingers and a thumb on each hand is pretty useful. Humans have gone from caves to sprawling cities in part because of our dexterous digits.

But researchers at MIT think we could do even better if we had an upgrade. They have developed a glove with two extra robotic fingers that respond intelligently to your movements, allowing you to perform two-handed tasks with just one robot-enhanced hand.

"You do not need to command the robot, but simply move your fingers naturally. Then the robotic fingers react and assist your fingers," said the glove's creator Harry Asada, of MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering.
via Ars Technica

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Image: Melanie Gonick / MIT

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Jul 21, 2014

Bee-inspired bots skitter and swarm at NYC's Museum of Mathematics

posted by Larra Morris

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Dr. McLurkin, a professor of computer science, runs the Multi-Robot Systems Lab at Rice University. He and his team research distributed algorithms for multi-robot systems. In other words, using the combined abilities of several rather simple robots to perform complex tasks. Dr. McLurkin has spent the past three years developing Robot Swarm, an exhibit of his hive-mind bots set to debut at Manhattan's Museum of Mathematics in early 2015.
via Gizmodo

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Jul 18, 2014

Nothing you do matters in this game, but you'll still obsess over it

posted by Laura Domela

How do you draw “privacy”?

The first thing Mountain asks me to do is to scribble a series of black-and-white pictures in response to various, seemingly randomly generated, weighty prompts. I’ve read about other players’ experiences with Mountain, a new game for PC, Mac, Linux and iOS, and so I know that so far there’s no discernible link between these answers and the game that they ostensibly generate. I take a stab at “privacy” and continue on.

Created by David OReilly, a 3-D animation artist perhaps best known for designing the videogame played by the main character in the sci-fi romance film Her,Mountain is a game about nothing. Or a game about everything. It is a game in which, once you’re done answering these questions, you’re left staring at a floating mountain on your monitor, on which weird, unexplained events occur, and nothing you do seems to have any impact. (I think.)
via Wired

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Jul 18, 2014

@Congressedits tweets anonymous Wikipedia edits from Capitol Hill

posted by Larra Morris

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Ed Summers, an open source Web developer, recently saw a friend tweet about Parliament WikiEdits,a UK Twitter “bot” that watched for anonymous Wikipedia edits coming from within the British Parliament’s internal networks. Summers was immediately inspired to do the same thing for the US Congress.

“The simplicity of combining Wikipedia and Twitter in this way immediately struck me as a potentially useful transparency tool,” Summers wrote in his personal blog. “So using my experience on a previous side project [Wikistream, a Web application that watches Wikipedia editing activity], I quickly put together a short program that listens to all major language Wikipedias for anonymous edits from Congressional IP address ranges… and tweets them.”

The stream for the bot, @congressedits, went live a day later, and it now provides real-time tweets when anonymous edits of Wikipedia pages are made.
via Ars Technica

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Jul 18, 2014

Every centimeter mark on this ruler is actually a tiny embedded flower

posted by Larra Morris

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It's the attention to detail that often differentiates a good product from a great product, but designer Norihiko Terayama goes above and beyond the call of duty with his f,l,o,w,e,r,s ruler, which uses tiny dried flowers to represent the centimeter markings along its length.
via Gizmodo

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Jul 18, 2014

Elephant Steady camera stabilizer uses iPhone gyro to stay on the level

posted by Larra Morris

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Designed by Japanese tech firm Adplus, the Elephant Steady latches onto the back of an iPhone 4S or higher (or 5th-gen iPod touch) using a built-in holder. It also has a hard-wired 3.5-mm plug, that goes into the phone's headphone jack.

Once the Elephant Steady is powered up and its accompanying app is launched, the iPhone's own processor and gyroscope come into play. As soon as any slight tilts or side-to-side movements of the phone are detected by the gyro, the processor instantaneously responds by triggering the Elephant's motor to move the phone correspondingly in the opposite direction, thus canceling out the initial movement.
via Gizmag

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Jul 18, 2014

3D-printed ice cream guarantees the perfectly balanced cone

posted by Larra Morris

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The MIT students who hacked together a Cuisinart soft-serve machine, a Solidoodle, and a freezer to create this wonderful 3D ice cream printer have no plans to commercialize it; they just built it as a proof-of-concept. And that's too bad, because if perfected this machine has the potential to engineer a perfect ice cream cone that's far less likely to topple.

In its current form, the machine's print head extrudes soft-serve ice cream produced by the Cuisinart that's immediately blasted with liquid nitrogen to solidify it in place. And to ensure whatever's being printed doesn't immediately start to melt, the printing bed is entombed in a sub-zero freezer.
via Gizmodo

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Jul 17, 2014

Chicago is installing a superconducting cable that can stop power outages in a disaster

posted by Larra Morris

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Commonwealth Edison will soon begin work on a new system that would keep the city's business center, the Loop, protected during a catastrophe, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Knocking out a single susbstation — the middlemen between power plants and customers — can disrupt the flow of electricity for a huge area. But there's a way to return power to that area after it's been knocked out. Commonwealth Edison will soon begin laying superconducting cable underground, parallel to the wire that usually ferries electricity to the Loop. The new cable can carry 10 times the power of a standard cable, so if a substation is damaged, the new cable is powerful enough to reroute power from other areas and into the Loop.
via The Verge

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Jul 17, 2014

Read the Apollo 11 flight plan in its 353-page entirety

posted by Larra Morris

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Exactly 45 years ago today, after months of preparation, Apollo 11 embarked on its now-legendary mission to the moon. But what exactly does it take to send three men into the great, vacuous unknown? See for yourself.
via Gizmodo

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