DIY Arduino Soldering Iron Hits Version 2.0

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A few months ago we brought word that [Electronoobs] was working on his own open source alternative to pocket-sized temperature controlled soldering irons like the TS100. Powered by the ATMega328p microcontroller and utilizing a 3D printed enclosure, his version could be built for as little as $15 USD depending on where you sourced your parts from. But by his own admission, the design was held back by the quality of the $5 replacement soldering iron tips he designed it around. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

But [Electronoobs] is back with the second version of his …read more

Working With Firebase Firestore and the Ignite UI for Angular Grid

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In this article, we’ll learn to use Firebase Firestore and the Ignite UI for Angular Grid. The Firestore is Firebase NoSQL database offering so, before you start, I recommend that you learn more about both Firestore and Ignite UI for Angular.

In this article, we’ll learn to read data from Firestore and bind that data to the Ignite UI for Angular Grid. In the next article on this topic, we’ll move through Create, Delete, and Update operations.

One Man’s Disenchantment With The World Of Software

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There is a widely derided quote attributed to [Bill Gates], that “640k should be enough for anyone”. Meaning of course that the 640 kb memory limit for the original IBM PC of the early 1980s should be plenty for the software of the day, and there was no need at the time for memory expansions or upgrades. Coupled with the man whose company then spent the next few decades dominating the software industry with ever more demanding products that required successive generations of ever more powerful PCs, it was the source of much 1990s-era dark IT humour.

In 2018 we …read more

Maker Faire NY: Programmable Air

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At this year’s World Maker Faire in New York City we’re astonished and proud to run into some of the best projects that are currently in the running for the Hackaday Prize. One of these is Programmable Air, from [Amitabh], and it’s the solution to pneumatics and pressure sensing in Maker and IoT devices.

The idea behind Programmable Air is to create the cheapest, most hacker-friendly system for dealing with inflatable and vacuum-based robotics. Yes, pneumatic robotics might sound weird, but there’s plenty of projects that could make use of a system like this. The Glaucus is one of the …read more

There Are Multiple Ways To Gesture With This Serpentine Sensor

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Serpentine is a gesture sensor that’s the equivalent of a membrane potentiometer, flex and stretch sensor, and more.  It’s self-powering and can be used in wearable hacks such as the necklace shown in the banner image though we’re thinking more along the lines of the lanyard for Hackaday conference badges, adding one more level of hackability. It’s a great way to send signals without anyone else knowing you’re doing it and it’s easy to make.

Serpentine is the core of a research project by a group of researchers including [fereshteh] of Georgia Tech, Atlanta. The sensor is a tube made …read more

Destroyer is a guilt-ridden detective story made by one incredible director

See the original posting on The Verge

Welcome to Cheat Sheet, our brief breakdown-style reviews of festival films, VR previews, and other special event releases. This review comes from the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.

Tackling the leap from directing low-budget indies to tentpole features is no easy feat, and Hollywood has a history of being particularly unforgiving when the filmmakers are women. Case in point: director Karyn Kusama, who burst onto the filmmaking scene in 2000 with her debut feature, Girlfight. Five years later, she took on the feature-film adaptation of Aeon Flux, but the movie ended in disaster. After a studio regime change, Paramount Pictures balked at Kusama’s original vision, taking the movie away from her in order to hack it into the…

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Prusa Introduces A Resin Printer at Maker Faire NY

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For one reason or another, the World Maker Faire in New York has become the preeminent place to launch 3D printers. MakerBot did it with the Thing-O-Matic way back when, and over the years we’ve seen some interesting new advances come out of Queens during one special weekend in September.

Today Prusa Research announced their latest creation. It’s the resin printer you’ve all been waiting for. The Prusa SL1 is aiming to become the Prusa Mk 3 of the resin printer world: it’s a solid printer, it’s relatively cheap (kit price starts at $1299/€1299), and it produces prints that are …read more

You can now watch Tommy Wiseau’s cult classic The Room in its entirety on YouTube

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Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 movie The Room is often proclaimed to be the worst films ever made. If you’ve ever been curious about just how bad the film is, now’s your chance: Wiseau just posted the entire film up on YouTube.

The film follows a love triangle between Johnny (Wiseau), Mark (Greg Sestero), and Lisa (Juliette Danielle), along with a bunch of unrelated and unresolved bizarre subplots. It was panned by critics, but since its release it’s become a cult favorite, and was the focus of James Franco’s biopic The Disaster Artist, which earned an Academy Award last year. The film regularly pops up in theaters for midnight screenings.

The film hasn’t been available to stream or download from places like iTunes or Amazon (there have been…

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OLIVE: a system for emulating old OSes on old processors that saves old data from extinction

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Olive (“Open Library of Images for Virtualized Execution”) is an experimental service from Carnegie Mellon University that stores images of old processors, as well as the old operating systems that ran on top of them, along with software packages for those old OSes; this allows users access old data from obsolete systems inside simulations of the computers that originally ran that data, using the original operating systems and applications.

This is a very powerful model for maintaining access to old data formats; while modern apps are often capable of parsing old data formats, they have well-understood shortcomings. For example, buggy versions of old apps may have been able to understand the corrupt files they created, but newer programs may only parse the old data if it was written to “spec.” Attempts to overcome this with “bug-compatibility” and “quirks modes” are imperfect substitutes for actually running the old code, bugs and all.

it’s also a powerful rebuttal to the lazy idea that digitized data is inherently less stable than, say, print records. We often hear about how obsolete file-formats, media and computers are causing “digital decay” of our old data, but the story is much more complicated than that.

Old storage media is definitely unstable. Magnetic and optical media literally rots, delaminating and decaying. I/O devices like tape drives and disk drives go out of production, break down, get scrapped, and can be next to impossible to find, creating races against the clock to find a device to read out old media before it decays beyond use. Read the rest

10 new trailers you should watch this week

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Something you see a lot in action movies is an opening sequence that jumps straight into some kind of chase or mission, in an attempt to kick things off with a bang. But too often, these sequences can end up kind of dull — if you don’t know the character very well, or have any idea what’s going on, then what do you really care about the outcome of these events?

Earlier this week I watched Mary and the Witch’s Flower, the first film from Studio Ponoc, which kicks off in this very same way. But for some reason, it works unusually well, and I’m still trying to figure out why. On a very basic level, I’m sure it’s just because the film is ridiculously beautiful, but there’s obviously more to it than that.

More important, I think, is that the…

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Amazon’s new device preorders dominate this week’s best deals

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Last week was Apple’s time to shine with the introduction of the iPhone XS and XS Max and Apple Watch 4, but the tail end of this week was all about Amazon. It announced more than 10 products at its hardware event in Seattle, consisting of a few redesigned popular sellers, and several additions to its Alexa-powered arsenal.

Preorders for most of its new tech are open, and the products should start shipping in mid-October. If you think you can hold off, we’re likely to see discounts for most, if not all, of these Amazon products come Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

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Jordan Peele’s hosting his Twilight Zone reboot and I am so there for it

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As a latchkey kid, I was raised, in part, by the 20″ RCA console TV that sat on the floor of our living room. I never cared too much for cartoons. I did, however, have a thing for old TV shows. For years, everyday after school I’d come home to catch shows like Combat!, Have Gun Will Travel and my absolute favorite, The Twilight Zone.

I don’t have cable and our Internet connectivity is often too sketchy to use streaming services. But man, after seeing what Jordan Peele did with Get Out, I’m going to have to find a way to watch his reboot of one of my all time favorite programs. Read the rest

I Hear You Offer WiFi

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We are swimming in radio transmissions from all around, and if you live above the ground floor, they are coming at you from below as well. Humans do not have a sensory organ for recognizing radio signals, but we have lots of hardware which can make sense of it. The chances are good that you are looking at one such device right now. [Frank Swain] has leaped from merely accepting the omnipresent signals from WiFi routers and portable devices to listening in on them. The audio signals are mere soundwaves, so he is not listening to every tweet and email …read more

YesOJO’s Switch speaker dock looks like a slick way to play on the go

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YesOJO’s Switch projector dock was a surprisingly clever way to play your Switch on the go with friends. Now the company is following that up with another slick Switch solution: a portable speaker dock that turns your Switch into a miniature boombox.

The Switch speaker dock is designed to use with a Switch in tabletop mode, but YesOJO says it should offer dramatically better sound than the Switch’s onboard speaker (in addition to a far more sturdy base). The speaker dock also features a cooling system, so your console doesn’t overheat, and an integrated battery that should allow for eight to 12 hours of play time off a single charge. If you don’t need to juice up your Switch, you can just use it as a…

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This DIY drone kit teaches you STEM skills

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Gone are the days when you needed to pore over a 400-page physics textbook to learn about weight ratios, aerodynamics, and all of those other STEM concepts that let us take to the skies. Thanks to Force Flyers’ DIY Building Block Drones, you can foster your STEM knowledge as you build and fly your own functional drone. You can get one on sale today for $42.99.

Compatible with your favorite toy building blocks, these DIY drone packs have you experiment with STEM concepts as you create and customize your own flying or driving machine. The drones boast a responsive 6-axis gyro, giving you enhanced control, and they’re even capable of executing 360° stunt flips. Plus, with auto-stabilization and a durable ABS plastic construction, these kits are a safe pick for novice pilots.

Force Flyers’ DIY Building Block Drone packs come in a variety of styles, like police, army, and firefighter, and they’re all on sale today for $42.99 each. Read the rest

Wonderful iPad Mini 2 Home Made Spiral Notebook Case

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Part of the joy of hacking is the joy of discovery, of seeing how things go right as well as wrong. That’s one cool thing about this iPad Mini 2 case build by [Eric Strebel]: in the video, he details the things that went wrong as well as those that went right. For instance, he used glue on one version that melted the foam core he built the iPad holder from. The end product is wonderful, though. It combines an iPad Mini 2 case and a spiral-bound notebook so you can use both digital and paper mediums, with the iPad …read more

Turn Your Teddy Bear Into A Robot With Yale’s “Robotic Skin”

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Despite what we may have seen in the new Winnie the Pooh movie, our cherished plush toys don’t usually come to life. But if that’s the goal, we have ways of making it happen. Like these “robotic skins” from Yale University.

Each module is a collection of sensors and actuators mounted on a flexible substrate, which is then installed onto a flexible object serving as structure. In a simple implementation, the mechanical bits are sewn onto a piece of fabric and tied with zippers onto a piece of foam. The demonstration video (embedded below the break) runs through several more …read more

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