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Submission + - A look at the Cooke Wheatstone Telegraph ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: In the 1830's a unique form of telegraph used magnetic needles to point at letters. It required more wires than a conventional telegraph but didn't require much special attention.

Submission + - Structured design trades and the Lunar Lander (

An anonymous reader writes: Hackaday talks about design trades and the balance between "aha!" moments and using operation research-style structured processes to make design decisions.What's really interesting is the comments though, where many are saying that modern engineers have become "process worshippers" that can't find the art in the act of design.

Submission + - Rubber Tanks and Sonic Trucks: The Ghost Army of World War II (

szczys writes: While you may have heard of the Ghost Army that was used to fake troop movements during WWII, it's unlikely that you truly grasp the level of skill and success these elite groups achieved. At its surface, the story is about inflatable armies that could fool German intelligence from afar. That is one visual component, but there were many more involving sound and radio communications. Before the digital age, it was quite a trick making authentic audio recordings of military vehicle sounds on 2-mile long spools of very thin wire played back from vehicles outfitted with 500 Watt speakers. The A/V wasn't complete without radio communications spoofed to look like the Ghost Army was the real deal: this used the best of personal-morse-code-style impersonators. Elite groups trained in these phony arts operated throughout the European theater. Their story was top secret long after the war because the craft was considered a strategic asset well into the cold war era.

Submission + - Nurses use Makerspace to invent custom health care solutions (

wd5gnr writes: University of Texas Medical Branch and an MIT initiative have joined forces to create the first maker space in a hospital. Often nurses see things that would make their jobs easier or a patient's care better and now they can create custom solutions to those problems. They aim to spread this to other hospitals and form a community of medical makers.

Submission + - Universal Space Docking System Gets an Upgrade (

Zothecula writes: Not being able to charge your phone because you have the wrong USB cable is one thing, but imagine showing up at a space station with the wrong docking system. To prevent that from happening in the future, NASA has unveiled its new universal docking ports for the International Space Station (ISS) and other spacecraft. Built by a consortium of international partners, a pair of the International Docking Adapters (IDA) are undergoing tests before delivery to the station. With the designation of IDA-2, they are an upgrade of two previous adaptors that were lost when the CRS-7 mission exploded shortly after liftoff.

Submission + - Do We Need Saving from Robo Sex? (

wd5gnr writes: A recent scholarly paper argues that sex with robots is akin to prostitution and is bad for society. A company's license agreement forbids you from having sex with Pepper, a decidedly non-human robot. There's even an international conference on robot sex and love. Do we really need saving from robot sex? And if we do, is it even possible or is it just inevitable?

Submission + - No Sex Please, We're Robots (

An anonymous reader writes: Apparently there is actually an international conference on robot sex. This post talks about a recent paper likening robosex to prostitution and the Pepper robot that has a user's agreement to not have sex with it. HaD's summary. We used to say if you can't hack it, you don't own it. Now maybe it is if you can't ***k it, you don't own it.

Submission + - Retro Computers Run in your Browser (

An anonymous reader writes: If you ever wanted to program an Altair, an Apple I, or a COSMAC ELF you may think you either have to buy one (expensive now) or load and configure simulation software. However, there's a slew of browser-based emulators for everything from a PDP-11 to Windows 1.0 out there. Some use Java, but many use Javascript and many perform better on a modern PC then they did in their original. If you want to learn some history or just want to finally play with the computers you saw in the magazines 35 years ago, these are great fun and slightly addictive.
Hardware Hacking

How To Build With Delrin and a Laser Cutter 28

szczys writes: Laser cutters are awesome, but you have to bring your mechanical engineering A-game if you want to build resilient stuff using laser-cut parts. Joshua Vasquez has been building up his bag of tricks using Delrin and a laser cutter to build with techniques like press-fitting, threading, snap-fits, etc. that aren't possible or are non-ideal with the laser-cutting steadfasts of plywood and acrylic. Delrin (PDF) won't shatter like acrylic, and it has more give to it, so even the less precise entry-level lasers can cut joints that will have a snug fit.

Submission + - Why the Internet of Things is Doomed (and how to save it) (

An anonymous reader writes: Hackaday rants about the land grab for IoT standards. Vendors all want to use a standard as long as it is their standard. The author seems to think that IoT really isn't anything new anyway. He says it is just a natural evolution of connected embedded systems spiked by the PR wave creating a fad. Just like CB radio had been around with the truckers, exploded in popularity, and then went back to being for truckers again.

Submission + - Learn FPGAs with a $25 board and Open Source Tools (

An anonymous reader writes: Hackaday has a 3 part tutorial with videos of using open source tools with a cheap ($25) FPGA board. The board isn't very powerful, but this could be the "gateway drug" to FPGAs for people who don't want to spend hundreds of dollars and install 100s of megabytes of software and license keys just to get their feet wet. The videos are particularly good--like watching them over their shoulder. As far as I know, this is the only totally open source FPGA toolchain out there.

Comment Re:No 3D printing? (Score 1) 138

The chip has a quite capable A/D. And why spend $18 for an 8 bit system? Granted, I could go get an Atmel CPU (and I have) but this a 32-bit processor running at 48MHz is going to be more capable. Not sure where you got the idea there is no A/D.

Submission + - A 32-bit Development System for $3 (

An anonymous reader writes: If you are too cheap to buy a $20 Arduino or too elitist to not have at least a 32-bit processor, Dr. Dobb's shows you how to take a $2 chip but it on a breadboard with a TTL serial (or USB) cable and be up and running with a 32-bit C/C++ system. Even if you have to buy the breadboard and the cable it is comparable in price to an Arduino and much more capable. The Mbed libraries (optional) make it as easy to use a 'duino, too.

Submission + - Foam-Squirting Quadcopter Becomes a Flying 3D Printer (

Zothecula writes: The swiftlet may not look much different than other little birds, but it has one unique ability – it builds its nest out of its own saliva. Inspired by the swiftlet, scientists at Imperial College London's Aerial Robotics Lab have created a robotic quadcopter that can extrude polyurethane foam while in flight. By targeting where that foam goes, it can build up simple structures, essentially becoming a flying 3D printer. The technology could have some very important applications.

Submission + - Breakthrough Relay-based Coprocessor for PCs (

An anonymous reader writes: Linux software only today, but there will sure to be Windows drivers for this fantastic coprocessor soon. This will usher in a new age of Fortran number crunching!

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