Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Submission + - Open Spark Project: Your Music. Played Through Li (

An anonymous reader writes: The doors are open on the Open Spark Project, a rare opportunity for musicians around the world to see their music turned into lightning. Cleveland-based performance engineering group, the Tesla Orchestra, launched the Open Spark Project last week, to let people around the world in on the fun of playing with giant musical bolts of electricity. Already Girl Talk (pop mashup star) and others have signed up to enter songs into the project. Thanks goes to Paul Buchheit (Google Employee #23 and inventor of GMail) for sponsoring all this excitement!

Entries accepted until May 2nd, and then on May 14th the musicians and fans around the world can watch a live video feed at as we play selections from the entries on our two giant musical tesla coils. Musicians, come see your music turned into lightning!

Scientists and Engineers might wonder how the music is made. A traditional (non musical) tesla coil involves a series of resonating circuits, building up voltage higher and higher until it discharges through a spark. Part of that circuit is an air-gap switch that lets the first resonant circuit build up a high voltage before transmitting the energy to the second resonant circuit.

Now, replace that air-gap with a set of giant transistors, capable of sustaining thousands of amps of peak current, and you can now control when that spark can fly. Our musical tesla coils resonate around 30khz, discharging sparks that are several meters long. Using the transistors (called IGBTs) to turn that spark on and off at say, 440hz, will result in a 440hz tone, or A4 on your standard piano keyboard. The same holds true for other frequencies, and so the tesla coils can reproduce any note on the piano.

Any noise that you can turn on and off can make music this way, and the DIY Maker community is full of musical projects that use printers, hard disk motors, you name it, all in the name of music. We happen to like making music with giant bolts of lightning, and we hope you'll enjoy it too.

The Courts

Submission + - Shepard Fairey Admits Using Other Obama AP Photo (

DrivingBear writes: The AP is reporting that the AP was right! Shepard Fairey has admitted that he lied about using the photo of the president next to actor George Clooney for his famous "HOPE" drawing. Rather, he based his drawing on a solo shot of the president taken by Mannie Garcia as the AP has long claimed. Fairey said he "submitted false images and deleted other images" in an attempt to hide his mistake about which photo he used. His attorneys, led by Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project, have withdrawn from the case because he misled them. Fairey has apologized for his mistake and insists that no matter which photo he used "the fair use issue should be the same."

Comment Re:SHITCOCK! (Score 1) 494

but when it truly hurts someone it's time to stop.

One of the difficulties with verbal abuse on the internet is the lack of feedback. Unless the victim posts some sort of response there is no way for the attacker to see how her words are impacting the victim. This is why we need to consider our words even more carefully on the internet or in email than in person. It's often difficult, if not impossible, to judge how our words are being interpreted on the other end the line and then even further how they are emotionally affecting the recipient.

Comment Re:And Today is Reading Rainbow's Final Broadcast (Score 1) 431

But you don't have to take my word for it!

"The show will cease airing on PBS on Friday, August 28, 2009 after 26 years on the air."

duh duh DUH!

Unless of course you added that line to the wikipedia article. In which case you'd be sourcing yourself and we'd be taking your word for it twice.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Maintain an awareness for contribution -- to your schedule, your project, our company." -- A Group of Employees