Monday, November 12, 2018

Steampunk anglerfish is a mechanical marvel via Arduino Blog

Yet another cool Arduino project that combines a Steampunk design ethic and our hardy little Arduino processor to control movements and lights. Very cool! Click through to the original article see some demonstration and build videos. — Douglas

Underneath the sea are a wide variety of strange and amazing animals. Perhaps none more so than the anglerfish, with its characteristic light-up lure in front of its face. Club Asimov decided to recreate this fish in a steampunk style, using a linkage system to actuate the tail, and another to open and shut its menacing mouth.

Three stepper motors provide power for the fish’s movements, and two Arduino boards are used for control. Additionally, the fish’s lure illuminate to attract human observers, along with a heart that rhythmically lights up.

Read Steampunk anglerfish is a mechanical marvel via Arduino Blog

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Historical Technology Books: Popular Mechanics (1907) Complete Bound Collection with Index - 3 in a series

Technology isnt just computers, networks and phones. Technology has always been part of the human experience. All of our ancestors have looked for ways to help the survive and do less work for more gain. Archive.org has a host of old technology books (from mid-19th to mid-20th Century) available in many formats and on a host of topics. Many of the technologies discussed within these books are being put to use again these days in the back to the land" and homesteading movements. You might even find something that could address one of your own garden or farm issues, but has been lost to time and history. Enjoy! --Douglas


Historical Technology Books: Popular Mechanics (1907) Complete Bound Collection with Index - 3 in a series

This is a dangerous collection for any tech geek! This one collection alone has 1436 pages. It can be quite fun — and enlightening — to see what the state of technology was 111 years ago. AND there are many other yearly collections like this one available on the site. — Douglas 

Historical Technology Books: Popular Mechanics (1907) Complete Bound Collection with Index - 3 in a seriesHistorical Technology Books: Popular Mechanics (1907) Complete Bound Collection with Index - 3 in a series

Historical Technology Books: Popular Mechanics (1907) Complete Bound Collection with Index - 3 in a seriesHistorical Technology Books: Popular Mechanics (1907) Complete Bound Collection with Index - 3 in a series

BICYCLE BOATING GREAT SPORT

These Machines Will be Seen in Large Numbers This Year

The bicycle boat which in one form and another has ap- peared at intervals during the past 10 years, seems likely to become quite popular next season. The ease with which a small gasoline motor can be adapted as the motive power, thus making a water "mo- torcycle," opens up a new type of outdoor sport which has great possibilities.

A recent bicycle boat built by a stage carpenter in New York is shown, and will prove suggestive to any of our readers who wish to build one for themselves. This machine is 8 ft. long, 5 ft. wide, is re- versible, and weighs 60 lb. The propeller is a 10-in. wheel ; 3- bladed. Provision is made for a small sail to be carried by a tube attached to the head of the frame. This boat will be equipped with power and exhibited at the sportsmen's show in New York.

The pontoons are of galvanized iron which can be made at any tin- shop ; those in the illustration are each 4 ft. long.

The Bicycle Boat is as Handy and Safe on Water as the Ordinary Bicycle is on Land. A Small Motor can be Easily Attached, Afford- ing a Speed of 10 Miles an Hour.

Available in PDF, Text, JPG formats, and more

Publication date 1923
Publisher Gordon-Van Tine Co.
Contributor FM collection
Language English
 
* Click these links for more books and magazine in that date or subject area

Learn more about the history of technology with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Favorite Alexa Skills: Big Sky Weather

I geek out on a a wide variety of interests and the weather is just one of many geek interests. No matter what device I am using, I want to know as much about the weather as possible.

Favorite Alexa Skills: Big Sky Weather

While Alexa’s built-in weather service isn’t bad, if I really want to go down the weather rabbit hole I use the Big Sky Skill. It provides much greater detail like wind speed, weather warning notifications and more. 

Try it out and get your weather geek on!


Looking for an Echo/Alexa Device?
Check out these recent upgrades and additions to Amazon’s product line!


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Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Square adds Lightning connector to free credit card reader via AppleInsider

I keep a Square reader in my wallet for whenever I need it, but as I look to upgrade my phone to one without a headphone jack, this update from Square could become critical.  — Douglas

Square has updated their free magstripe card reader with a Lightning connector to finally work on the latest iPhone's without using an adapter. Now both a Lightning and 3.5mm audio jack version are available to merchants.

After Apple abandoned the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, more people were affected than just those looking to listen to music.

Merchants everywhere that relied on Square's diminutive card reader were forced to use Apple's included 3.5mm audio jack to Lightning adapter that shipped with the iPhone 7 and later.

Read Square adds Lightning connector to free credit card reader via AppleInsider

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Monday, November 05, 2018

Counting Bees With A Raspberry Pi via Hackaday

What are you doing or making with Raspberry Pi? Share In The Comments!

Even if keeping bees sounds about as wise to you as keeping velociraptors (we all know how that movie went), we have to acknowledge that they are a worthwhile thing to have around. We don’t personally want them around usof course, but we respect those who are willing to keep a hive on their property for the good of the environment. But as it turns out, there are more challenges to keeping bees than not getting stung: you’ve got to keep track of the things too.

Keeping an accurate record of how many bees are coming and going, and when, is a rather tricky problem. Apparently bees don’t like electromagnetic fields, and will flee if they detect them. So putting electronic measuring devices inside of the hive can be an issue. [Mat Kelcey] decided to try counting his bees with computer vision, and so far the results are very promising.

Read Counting Bees With A Raspberry Pi via Hackaday


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† Available from the LA Public Library


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Thursday, November 01, 2018

Favorite Alexa Commands: Alexa’s new Whisper Mode goes live via TechCrunch

Whisper mode, while a bit creepy sometimes, helps to keep your Echo from disturbing people late at night. Definitely, something I have used as I shut the house up at night. You can turn it on by saying...

Alexa, turn whisper mode on

or

Just whispering to your device the first time and it will prompt you to turn on the feature



At Amazon’s  Alexa event last month in Seattle, the company teased a new feature soon coming to its voice assistant: the ability to whisper. The company demonstrated how whispering a request – like “play a lullaby” – to Alexa would trigger the voice assistant to respond in kind. Today, Amazon says Whisper Mode is officially going live.

The feature is now rolling out to users in the U.S., the company tells us, and works in U.S. English.

Read Alexa’s new Whisper Mode goes live via TechCrunch

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Check out these recent upgrades and additions to Amazon’s product line!


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Spear-toting robot can guard coral reefs against invasive lionfish via Engadget




Lionfish are threats to not only fragile coral reef ecosystems, but the divers who keep them in check. They not only take advantage of unsuspecting fish populations but carry poisonous spines that make them challenging to catch. Student researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute may have a solution: robotic guardians. They've crafted an autonomous robot (below) that can hunt lionfish without requiring a tethered operator that could harm the reefs.

Read Spear-toting robot can guard coral reefs against invasive lionfish via Engadget

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Monday, October 29, 2018

Arduino Nano QP Is an Expanded Dev Board with Buttons and a Display via Hackster Blog

Another great way to get started with Arduino devices! — Douglas

Do You Arduino? Drop a Comment below to Share How!

 

The original purpose of Arduino was to act as a development board for prototyping. The idea was the it included all of the components needed for common microcontroller projects, so that you wouldn’t have to add them yourself every time. The assumption was that you’d prove your concept, and then create a permanent design with just the necessary components. Alain Mauer’s Arduino Nano QP (Quick Project) expands that system with a display and buttons.

Read Arduino Nano QP Is an Expanded Dev Board with Buttons and a Display via Hackster Blog - Medium


Arduino Boards and Components via Amazon

Arduino Boards and Components via eBay


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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Historical Technology Books: Farm buildings by Gordon-Van Tine Co. - 2 in a series

Technology isnt just computers, networks and phones. Technology has always been part of the human experience. All of our ancestors have looked for ways to help the survive and do less work for more gain. Archive.org has a host of old technology books (from mid-19th to mid-20th Century) available in many formats and on a host of topics. Many of the technologies discussed within these books are being put to use again these days in the back to the land" and homesteading movements. You might even find something that could address one of your own garden or farm issues, but has been lost to time and history. Enjoy! --Douglas


Historical Technology Books: Farm buildings by Gordon-Van Tine Co. - 2 in a series

Historical Technology Books: Farm buildings by Gordon-Van Tine Co. - 2 in a seriesHistorical Technology Books: Farm buildings by Gordon-Van Tine Co. - 2 in a series

Historical Technology Books: Farm buildings by Gordon-Van Tine Co. - 2 in a seriesHistorical Technology Books: Farm buildings by Gordon-Van Tine Co. - 2 in a series

How To Buy Your Farm Building

THE buildings shown on tjie following pages are divided into two classes — our very superior "Gold Medal" build ings and our better than -average "Standard" buildings. Specifications for each will be found on pages 16 and 17. They should be read very carefully so that you will know just what you get in a Gordon Van Tine farm building and just what the differences are between "Gold Medal" and "Standard" build ings. As you read these specifications note how complete and thorough they are. Remember that they include such things as built-up doors, built-up window frames, ready framed lum ber, complete hardware, and paint, and that they specify the very best kind of this material. They are not in any way comparable to the average list of material furnished by the average local lumber dealer which does not include the features of ready framing, built up doors, paint, etc.

WHAT TO DO

Over 600 Sizes and Designs of Barns To Choose From

You will find in this book over 600 thor oughly practical, tested and proved designs and sizes of Dairy Barns, Cattle Feeding Barns, Bank Driveway Barns, Horse Barns, Hay Barns and General Purpose Barns, hav ing Gothic, Gambrel, or Gable Roofs. The prices shown on pages 1 to 4 refer to these buildings as they are illustrated, including doors and windows as shown, also loft floor, but do not in clude any bins, stalls, partitions, ventilating systems, or barn equipment.

Available in PDF, Text, JPG formats, and more

Publication date 1923
Publisher Gordon-Van Tine Co.
Contributor FM collection
Language English
 
* Click these links for more books and magazine in that date or subject area

Learn more about the history of technology with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Friday, October 26, 2018

Alexa News: Top skills for Alexa: 6 tips for your Amazon Echo that will simplify your life via USA TODAY

How do you use you Alexa device? Share in the comments!

I am always looking for ways to integrate my Alexa devices into my life and workflow. Here are 6 ways to make Alexa more useful in your own home. — Douglas

Alexa News:: Top skills for Alexa: 6 tips for your Amazon Echo that will simplify your life via USA TODAY

Read Top skills for Alexa: 6 tips for your Amazon Echo that will simplify your life via USA TODAY


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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

'Museum in a Box' Brings Interactive Museum Collections to Classrooms via mentalfloss.com

What would the world be like if you could bring important museums — all over the world — right into your home, school or office? It would be a wonderful world, I think. Too many museum exhibits stay locked to one location or in dusty backstage storage areas where few people can enjoy and learn from them. This is just one way to help give access to anyone who desires it. — Douglas

'Museum in a Box' Brings Interactive Museum Collections to Classrooms via mentalfloss.com

Museums hold a wealth of information, but they're not always accessible to everyone. Visiting a museum takes time, money, and opportunity. Even if you make it to a museum, most collections are so vast that only a tiny fraction of the collection is available to view. But a new initiative aims to make it easier for museums to reach schools and communities outside the exhibition gallery.

Museum in a Box is essentially a mini interactive exhibit that can be sent out to schools and other organizations that serve kids. Each box comes with a Raspberry Pi computer, a speaker, an amplifier, and a near-field communication (NFC) reader—like the kind that lets you pay with your phone at retail checkouts. Museums and cultural institutions can then add their own objects for kids to learn about using that technology, whether it's 3D-printed versions of statues from the museum's collections, postcards, puzzles, or anything else curators think kids might want to see. Students can place these objects on top of the box, triggering the NFC reader to start playing a recording related to the object.

Read 'Museum in a Box' Brings Interactive Museum Collections to Classrooms via mentalfloss.com


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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Technology IQ: A Conversation with Steve Roberts, Dalek Builder Extraordinaire [Video] (12:00)

Want to make your own robotic villain from Doctor Who? This video might just induce you to try, so be very careful. This could be a time consuming hobby! (LAUGH) — Douglas

Technology IQ: A Conversation with Steve Roberts, Dalek Builder Extraordinaire [Video] (12:00)

 

While visiting San Diego WhoCon last weekend so my wife could present a talk, we ran into Steve Roberts from Tucson, Arizona who built this amazing functional Dalek as well as a working K9 and a robot from the Farscape TV Show.

Amazing building with some off-the-shelf technology.

Visit ProjectDalek.com for plans and a build community to help you on your way!


Learn more about Doctor Who with these books and videos!

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Monday, October 22, 2018

Smart hubs, IFTTT & Raspberry Pi: How to get started with home automation via CNET

A great overview of the possible parts that might make up your home automation system. Even in my small house I have 4 different control systems for lights and outlets, as well as Alexa control over all of them. It can get complicated quite quickly. — Douglas

So you want a smart home. Great! But where do you start? With so many platforms, assistants, hubs and protocols out there, it can get really confusing really fast. Here's what you need to know if you're ready to dip your toe into smart home automation. 

Read Smart hubs, IFTTT & Raspberry Pi: How to get started with home automation via CNET


Get Raspberry Pi Boards and Components from Amazon
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* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library


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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Marshall Voice promises powerful and loud Alexa-enabled music via CNET

When you need an Alexa-powered device that lives up to your Rock-n-Roll lifestyle, Marshall is happy to provide! — Douglas

Marshall Voice promises powerful and loud Alexa-enabled music via CNET

Marshall Voice promises powerful and loud Alexa-enabled music via CNET

While the Acton II Voice and the Stanmore II Voice look the part of ordinary amps from Marshall, both pack in many smart features courtesy of Amazon's assistant Alexa. The new Marshall Voice smart speakers are on display at IFA in Berlin this week.

Both promise high-end sound quality, as you might expect from a company like Marshall, and help give Alexa a foothold among premium smart speakers. Thanks to Alexa, you'll be able to use the Marshall Voice speakers to control your smart home, check the weather, ask a question or give any of the other commands that Amazon's feature-rich digital assistant can understand.

Read Marshall Voice promises powerful and loud Alexa-enabled music via CNET


Looking for an Echo/Alexa Device?

Check out these recent upgrades and additions to Amazon’s product line! 


An interesting link found among my daily reading