"We worked through every possible disaster situation," Reed said. "We did three actual all-day sessions of destroying everything we had built
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Nov 16, 2012 -
Prototypes are usually the missing links in the evolution of human technology, the dead-ends of ideas that give way to the refinement of the final physical product. Prototypes aren't just for Darth Vader
. While the legal back and forth between Apple and Samsung continues, a treasure trove
of prototype designs
for Apple devices has been released to the public, showing insights into various design approaches and feature enhancements, including larger form-factor
and without kickstands
and landscape ports
and iPhones that parody the Sony logo
, show a different layout for camera elements
, and look remarkably like fourth-generation models
, as far back as 2005. On the other hand, some have made prototypes into the end goal itself, such as the folks at Dangerous Prototypes
, a site which features a new open-source electronic hardware project
each month. Some are just gratuitous fun
, while others are a bit more practical, such as one project that recycles old Nokia displays
and another that provides access to infrared signal
, useful for hacking together remote controls for all sorts of IR-based devices. Other prototypes of tomorrow's technology
are less concerned with shrinking down the guts of the invention itself, to make it disappear, but rather on how
with and integrate
physical representations of these ideas into our daily lives. Above all else, prototypes are always forward-looking and are therefore inherently optimistic expressions of human creativity: Even children
are getting into imagining the world of tomorrow.
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Aug 1, 2012 -
The US has lost
a quarter of its high-tech jobs since 2000, the number declining by 687,000. A veteran headhunter opines on the causes
: The technical jobs in Silicon Valley are hard to fill with Americans...I get email every day from new grads, asking for help finding jobs, but honestly, most are Indian or Chinese, not many Americans.
He cites a NYT article
which claims that the reason iPhone manufacturing doesn't happen in the US is that Apple’s executives believe the vast scale of overseas factories as well as the flexibility, diligence and industrial skills of foreign workers have so outpaced their American counterparts that “Made in the U.S.A.” is no longer a viable option for most Apple products.
posted by shivohum
on Jun 2, 2012 -
Revolutionary hardware backdoor discovered in China-made military-grade FPGA chips.
Claims were made by the intelligence agencies around the world, from MI5, NSA and IARPA, that silicon chips could be infected. We developed breakthrough silicon chip scanning technology to investigate these claims. We chose an American military chip that is highly secure with sophisticated encryption standard, manufactured in China. Our aim was to perform advanced code breaking and to see if there were any unexpected features on the chip. We scanned the silicon chip in an affordable time and found a previously unknown backdoor inserted by the manufacturer. This backdoor has a key, which we were able to extract. If you use this key you can disable the chip or reprogram it at will, even if locked by the user with their own key. This particular chip is prevalent in many systems from weapons, nuclear power plants to public transport. In other words, this backdoor access could be turned into an advanced Stuxnet weapon to attack potentially millions of systems. The scale and range of possible attacks has huge implications for National Security and public infrastructure.
posted by scalefree
on May 27, 2012 -
It looks like the speculation on a near-future market for wearable computers is already heating up
. However, the first competitor to the recently-announced
Google Glass project comes as a surprise to almost everyone: Valve
, the gaming company renowned for Half Life, Portal, and many others, in addition to their digital distribution heavyweight Steam. This will be their first foray into hardware of any kind.
posted by gilrain
on Apr 14, 2012 -
Trash cans, landfills, and incinerators. Erasure, deletion, and obsolescence. These words could describe what has happened to the various building blocks of the video game industry in countries around the world. These building blocks consist of video game source code, the actual computer hardware used to create a particular video game, level layout diagrams, character designs, production documents, marketing material, and more.
These are just some elements of game creation that are gone -- never to be seen again. These elements make up the home console, handheld, PC and arcade games we've played. The only remnant of a particular game may be its name, or its final published version, since the possibility exists that no other physical copy of its creation remains.
As a community of video game developers, publishers, and players, we must begin asking ourselves some difficult but inevitable questions. Some believe there is no point in preserving a video game, arguing that games are short-term entertainment, while others disagree with this statement entirely, believing the industry is in a preservation crisis.
Where Games Go To Sleep: The Game Preservation Crisis [more inside]
posted by timshel
on Feb 9, 2011 -
Lorin Edwin Parker
Tommy Stephenson & Patrick McCarthy
are all featured in Nicolas Collins' extraordinarily good book Handmade Electronic Music
posted by mhjb
on Jan 21, 2011 -
Top 10s of 2010
. Each Saturday, we pore through our favorite tips and tricks to find 10 great hacks surrounding any subject, from food and thumb drives to browsers and Wi-Fi. Here are our most popular Top 10s of 2010.
posted by nickyskye
on Dec 9, 2010 -
Grandpa laces up his skates
: How would a single core, 3.8 GHz Pentium 4 670
from 2005 compete against the latest offerings of AMD and Intel? How about a 2007 quad-core, the 2.4 GHz Core 2 Quad 6600
? The Tech Report
finds out in a Huge 14-way Roundout
, including a price-performance evaluation
). For the release of AMD's new midrange DirectX 11 graphic card, the somewhat disappointing ATI Radeon HD 5830
, they've done Something Similar
, this time pitting older cards, including a Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX
from 2006, against the newcomer and today's top performers. (aggravation warning: hardware review sites love their multi-page layouts)
posted by Monday, stony Monday
on Mar 1, 2010 -
The Colemak keyboard layout.
Colemak is a new alternative to the QWERTY and Dvorak layouts. Designed for efficient and ergonomic touch typing in English, Colemak places the 10 most frequent letters of English (A,R,S,T,D,H,N,E,I,O) on the home row. Z,X,C are preserved in their QWERTY positions for easy copy and paste operations. It gets rid of the Caps Lock and replaces it with Backspace so you no longer need to move your hand off the home position to correct errors. Available for Windows/Mac/Linux/Unix it works with all standard keyboards, including laptops. [via: Projects], [Previously]
posted by Mitheral
on Jan 8, 2007 -
To work around the proprietary whims of digital audio software developers and laptop processor limitations during the mid- and late-1990s, a small band of technically-minded people, including the electronic musician Blitter
, pulled together in the late 1990s to engineer the open-source OPEN DSP
EZ-Kit platform, a 16-bit computer designed entirely with a focus on low cost and extensible control and DSP arithmetic capabilities. While this project and similar commercial offerings
never seemed to gain the critical mass needed to sustain long-term interest, perhaps the new Arduino hardware
project from MIT's Processing hardware group
may gain a foothold with Processing
and Pure Data
audio software hobbyists and artists alike, allowing the creative community to extend, enhance and share inventive uses of new technology. Arduino's use has already begun
in fascinating museum installations
around the world, and has become a part of this year's SONAR
and Ars Electronica
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Aug 12, 2006 -
A site dedicated to the faulty capacitors present in even highly-rated manufacturers' boards. There's a forum
with individual boards dedicated to identifying specific boards with faulty caps.
posted by cellphone
on Mar 17, 2006 -
Bring dead LCD pixels back to life!
Did you know you can often fix dead LCD pixels by forcing them to rapidly cycle through red, green, and blue? Neither did I, but the video linked here worked on one of my older screens after a few hours of looped playback. YMMV, but what have you got to lose?
posted by pmbuko
on Sep 19, 2005 -
The clueless reviews the Mac Mini
His chief gripes are "The Mini boots up into a stripped-down operating system which Apple calls OS X, similar to the stripped-down WindowsCE OS found on many handhelds." and "No serial ports, no way to connect a printer, no PS/2 ports, no floppy drive, no 5.25" bays." Let the hate mail campaign begin!
posted by StormBear
on Feb 2, 2005 -