Watch the Snappy, Insect-like Moves of this DIY Quadruped Robot

See the original posting on Hackaday

Some legged robots end up moving with ponderous deliberation, or wavering in unstable-looking jerks. A few unfortunates manage to do both at once. [MusaW]’s 3D Printed Quadruped Robot, on the other hand, moves in rapid motions that manage to look sharp and insect-like instead of unstable. Based on an earlier design he made for a 3D printable quadruped frame, [MusaW] has now released this step-by-step guide for building your own version. All that’s needed is the STL files and roughly $50 in parts from the usual Chinese resellers to have the makings of a great weekend project.

The robot uses …read more

Eric S. Raymond Identifies A Common Programming Trap: ‘Shtoopid’ Problems

See the original posting on Slashdot

“There is a kind of programming trap I occasionally fall into that is so damn irritating that it needs a name,” writes Eric S. Raymond, in a new blog post:
The task is easy to specify and apparently easy to write tests for. The code can be instrumented so that you can see exactly what is going on during every run. You think you have a complete grasp on the theory. It’s the kind of thing you think you’re normally good at, and ought to be able to polish off in 20 LOC and 45 minutes.
And yet, success eludes you for an insanely long time. Edge cases spring up out of nowhere to mug you. Every fix you try drags you further off into the weeds. You stare at dumps from the instrumentation until you’re dizzy and numb, and no enlightenment occurs. Even as you are bashing your head against a wall of incomprehension, consciousness grows that when you find the solution, it will be damningly simple and you will feel utterly moronic, like you should have gotten there days ago.
Welcome to programmer hell. This is your shtoopid problem…. If you ever find yourself staring at your instrumentation results and thinking “It…can’t…possibly…be…doing…that”, welcome to shtoopidland. Here’s your mallet, have fun pounding your own head. (Cue cartoon sound effects.)
Raymond’s latest experience in shtoopidland came while working on a Python-translating tool, and left him analyzing why there’s some programming conundrums that repel solutions. “You’re not defeated by what you don’t know so much as by what you think you do know,” he concludes. So how do you escape?

“[I]nstrument everything. I mean EVERYTHING, especially the places where you think you are sure what is going on. Your assumptions are your enemy; printf-equivalents are your friend. If you track every state change in the your code down to a sufficient level of detail, you will eventually have that forehead-slapping moment of why didn’t-I-see-this-sooner that is the terminal characteristic of a shtoopid problem.”
Share your own stories in the comments. Are there any programmers on Slashdot who’ve experienced their own shtoopid problems?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

An SLA-Printed Pogo Pin Programming Jig

See the original posting on Hackaday

If you have a microcontroller to program, it can be an easy enough process to hook up a serial lead and perform the task. If however you have hundreds of microcontrollers on PCBs to program, connecting that lead multiple times becomes an impossibility. In manufacturing environments they have pogo pin jigs, an array of spring-loaded pins carrying the programming signals that line up perfectly with the appropriate pads on a PCB places on top of it.

[Conor Patrick] is working on an upgrade to the U2F Zero 2-factor authentication token, and he faces exactly this problem of needing to program …read more

This Nixie Device is Useless, But Pretty

See the original posting on Hackaday

Nixie clocks, they’re a bit of a cliché, aren’t they? But still, they’re pretty to look at.

[Marcin Saj] has completely got our number, and with his Useless Nixie Device has stripped away any pretence of functionality from his Nixie  and concentrated solely on the looking pretty part. It’s a box that steps through the display on any Nixie tube through the use of a set of pluggable socket modules, and it’s encased in an extremely attractive lase-cut acrylic enclosure. Internally it’s an extremely simple device, with a trusty 555 oscillator clocking a 4518 counter that in turn …read more

Customizing ASP.NET Core Part 03: Dependency Injection

See the original posting on DZone Python

In the third part of this series, we’ll take a look into the ASP.NET Core dependency injection and how to customize it to use a different dependency injection container if needed.

The Series Topics

  • Customizing ASP.NET Core Part 01: Logging
  • Customizing ASP.NET Core Part 02: Configuration
  • Customizing ASP.NET Core Part 03: Dependency Injection – This article
  • Customizing ASP.NET Core Part 04: HTTPS
  • Customizing ASP.NET Core Part 05: HostedServices
  • Customizing ASP.NET Core Part 06: MiddleWares
  • Customizing ASP.NET Core Part 07: OutputFormatter
  • Customizing ASP.NET Core Part 08: ModelBinder
  • Customizing ASP.NET Core Part 09: ActionFilter
  • Customizing ASP.NET Core Part 10: TagHelpers

Why Use a Different Dependency Injection Container

In the most projects, you don’t really need to use a different dependency injection Container. The DI implementation in ASP.NET Core supports the basic features and works well and pretty fast. Anyway, some other DI containers support some interesting features you may want to use in your application.

Putting M5Stack on LoRa and the Things Network

See the original posting on Hackaday

LoRa is the new hotness in low-power, long-range communications. Wanting to let the packets fly, [Xose] was faced with a frequecny problem and ended up developing a Europe-friendly LoRa module for the M5Stack system. The hardware is aimed at getting onto The Things Network, a LoRa based network that provides connectivity for IoT devices. While there was an existing M5Stack module for LoRa, it only supported 433 MHz. Since [Xose] is in Europe, an 868 MHz or 915 MHz radio was needed. To solve this, a custom board was built to connect the HopeRF RFM69 series of modules to the …read more

Walk It Off, Healing Robots

See the original posting on Hackaday

For many of us, our first robots, or technical projects, were flimsy ordeals built with cardboard, duct tape, and high hopes. Most of us grow past that scene, and we learn to work supplies which require more than a pair of kitchen scissors. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Iowa State University have made a material which goes beyond durable, it can heal itself when wounded. To a small robot, a standard hole puncher is a dire assailant, but the little guy in the video after the break keeps hopping around despite a couple of new piercings.

The researcher’s goal …read more

Gesture Control without Fancy Sensors, Just Pots and Weights

See the original posting on Hackaday

[Dennis] aims to make robotic control a more intuitive affair by ditching joysticks and buttons, and using wireless gesture controls in their place. What’s curious is that there isn’t an accelerometer or gyro anywhere to be seen in his Palm Power! project.

The gesture sensing consists not of a fancy IMU, but of two potentiometers (one for each axis) with offset weights attached to the shafts. When the hand tilts, the weights turn the shafts of the pots, and the resulting readings are turned into motion commands and sent over Bluetooth. The design certainly has a what-you-see-is-what-you-get aspect to it, …read more

Best Buy accidentally sells customer the new, unannounced Chromecast

See the original posting on The Verge

Google has its annual fall hardware event planned for October 9th, which is when we’ll see the official announcement of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL on top of the usual slate of Google-made hardware upgrades. One of those upgrades, to the company’s Chromecast line, appears to have been leaked in rather embarrassing fashion by Best Buy, which sold the unannounced product to a customer who picked it up off the shelf, via AndroidPolice.

The customer, who posted a photo of the product an account of the story on Reddit under the name GroveStreetHomie, says it didn’t even show up in Best Buy’s system, but that the cashier rang up the product under a listing for an older Chromecast.

Photo by GroveStreetHomie

It’s not…

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Turn a Cheap 3D Printer Into a Cheap Laser Cutter

See the original posting on Hackaday

We know it’s hard to hear it, but the days of you being a hotshot at the local Hackerspace because you’ve got a 3D printer at home are long gone. While they’re still one of the most persnickety pieces of gear on the hacker’s bench, they’re certainly not the rarest anymore. Some of these printers are so cheap now they’re almost impulse buys. Like it or not, few people outside of your grandmother are going to be impressed when you tell them you’ve got a personal 3D printer anymore; and we wouldn’t be surprised if even granny picked up a …read more

9 new trailers you should watch this week

See the original posting on The Verge

I’m not a huge fan of superhero movies, but some get so much buzz and seem to do things so differently — like Black Panther or Guardians of the Galaxy — that I’m compelled to check them out. That got me to watch Logan the other week, which is one of the only X-Men movies I’ve seen.

And it’s kind of wild how unlike a superhero movie it feels. Mostly, it’s the visuals — replace the superpowers with real-world weapons, and little else would look out of place. It helps to make the film far more of a drama about Wolverine than a superhero story about a planet that needs to be saved. The intimate stakes helped with that, too.

One thing I found particularly interesting, though, was how much the film’s plot mirrored Children of Men (minus the…

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Minecraft is getting a dungeon-crawling spinoff next year

See the original posting on The Verge

The Minecraft universe is set to expand once again. Today at Minecon, developer Mojang revealed a new dungeon-crawler set in the blocky universe. Called Minecraft: Dungeons, the new experience is described as “an all-new action-adventure game inspired by classic dungeon crawlers, where you’ll constantly discover new weapons and items that will help you defeat a ruthless swarm of new-and-nasty mobs. You’ll fight or flee through canyons, swamps, and — of course — mines!”

Dungeons is, naturally, set in the Minecraft universe, but it looks like it will offer a more structured experience than the sandbox building game. You can explore solo or play with up to four friends. It seems like a pretty natural extension of the best-selling Minecraft,…

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What Tesla’s union-busting trial means for the rest of Silicon Valley

See the original posting on The Verge

In some sense Tesla’s union question is an existential one: is Tesla a tech company or a car company? Car companies tend to have strong unions, while tech companies do not.

Musk runs Tesla like a tech company. Tesla’s done a top-to-bottom redesign of cars, and of the factory workflow. There are sudden pivots, and plenty of investment, despite a lack of profit — so far, so tech. Then you have the cars themselves: have to charge their batteries, the company can push over-the-air software updates to your car and totally change how it works, and uh they’re hackable. But they’re still cars: they go on roads, you drive them, and in most states you are legally compelled to buy car insurance for them.

Unions do exist in tech, though mostly among…

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The PS4 Pro bundle with Red Dead Redemption 2 is this week’s best deal

See the original posting on The Verge

Most deals come and go rather quickly, like eBay’s day-long 15 percent off special on Thursday, but some stick around for a while. Case in point: the week’s best ongoing deal is Sony’s new PS4 Pro Bundle, which includes the 1TB, 4K-ready console, a DualShock 4 controller, and Red Dead Redemption 2 for $399.

This is the normal price for a PS4 Pro without a game tossed in, so getting Rockstar Games’ latest for free sweetens the pot. Some bemoan that this PS4 Pro doesn’t feature a custom design, like we’ve seen with Spider-Man or Destiny 2, but you’ll probably be too enraptured with the game to care once it arrives.

You can preorder this bundle at Amazon, GameStop, Walmart, and Best Buy

Most of Amazon’s set-top boxes have been served up at…

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Maker Faire NY: Cocoa Press Chocolate Printer

See the original posting on Hackaday

If you haven’t figured it out by now, the hype over desktop filament printers is pretty much over. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t new avenues worth exploring that use the basic FDM printer technology. If anything, the low cost and high availability of 3D printer parts and kits makes it easier to branch off into new territory. For example, experimenting with other materials which lend themselves to being “printed” layer by layer like a thermoplastic. Materials such as cement, clay, or even chocolate.

[Evan Weinstein] brought his Cocoa Press printer to the 2018 World Maker Faire in New York, …read more

Former Telltale devs share the best goofs you never saw

See the original posting on The Verge

Telltale Games as we know it ceases to exist. The studio laid off a devastating majority of its staff — around 250 people — last week in response to financial troubles. Many of its projects are effectively canceled. The future of a few others, like The Walking Dead’s final season, remain up in the air. Those who loved the studio’s work have been reminiscing over the past week, and in addition to fans sharing their favorite moments, many former developers have used the studio’s closure as an opportunity to share internal jokes.

Campo Santo developer Jake Rodkin, who worked on the first season of The Walking Dead, posted several videos to a YouTube channel. Best among them is an, uh, alternative ending to the first season of The Walking…

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Why you should add an ITIL certification to your resume

See the original posting on Boing Boing

As today’s businesses grow, so too do their IT needs. That’s why demand (and pay) is high for experts who can keep these businesses online. Now, demand alone won’t get your foot in the door, as employers expect you to bring some certifications to the table that validate your skills. There are plenty of certifications out there, but choosing ITIL could take you further in your career. The Ultimate ITIL Certification Training Bundle can help you get certified, and it’s on sale for $49.

ITIL is a set of detailed practices for IT service management that focuses on merging IT services with the needs of business. By introducing ITIL practices into a workplace, you can better help a business create cost-effective practices, manage risk, and ultimately build a more stable yet scalable operation. This collection features 14 courses on the IT service lifecycle, operational support, and other ITIL concepts. In addition to getting valuable ITIL knowledge, each course will reward you with PDUs that you can then use to qualify to take the necessary certification exams.

The Ultimate ITIL Certification Training Bundle usually retails for $3,499, but you can get it through the Boing Boing shop for $49. Read the rest

These 3D Printed Supports Can Take Hard Use, Thanks to Resin Filling

See the original posting on Hackaday

Liquid two-part resins that cure into a solid are normally used for casting, and [Cuddleburrito] also found them useful to add strength and rigidity to 3D printed pillar supports. In this case, the supports are a frame for some arcade-style buttons, which must stand up to a lot of forceful mashing. Casting the part entirely out of a tough resin would require a mold, and it turns out that filling a 3D print with resin gets comparable benefits while making it easy to embed fastener hardware, if done right.

Filling the inside of an object with some kind of epoxy …read more

Drill Jig Helps Mount WeMos D1 Mini

See the original posting on Hackaday

As far as ESP8266 boards go, the WeMos D1 Mini is a great choice if you’re looking to get started with hackerdom’s microcontroller du jour. It’s small, well supported, and can be had ridiculously cheap. Often going for as little as $3 USD each, we buy the things in bulk just to have spares on hand. But that’s not to say it’s a perfect board. For one, it lacks the customary mounting holes which would allow you to better integrate it into finished products.

This minor annoyance was enough to spring [Martin Raynsford] into action. He noticed there was some …read more

Faux Aircon Units, Made Entirely From 2D Cuts

See the original posting on Hackaday

2D design and part fabrication doesn’t limit one to a 2D finished product, and that’s well-demonstrated in these Faux Aircon Units [Martin Raynsford] created to help flesh out the cyberpunk-themed Null Sector at the recent 2018 Electromagnetic Field hacker camp in the UK. Null Sector is composed primarily of shipping containers and creative lighting and props, and these fake air conditioner units helped add to the utilitarian ambiance while also having the pleasant side effect of covering up the occasional shipping container logo. Adding to the effect was that the fan blades can spin freely in stray air currents; that …read more

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