Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Google employees want to teach you to code for free with their latest app via The Next Web

A bunch of Google employees participating in the company’s Area 120 internal incubator have launched Grasshopper, a free mobile app for Android and iOS that teaches you the basics of programming.

It’s beautifully designed and is suitable for just about anyone who can be trusted to use a phone on their own. By solving simple challenges and answering quiz questions, you’ll soon get the hang of basic JavaScript.

Read Google employees want to teach you to code for free with their latest app via The Next Web


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Monday, August 13, 2018

Driving a DC Motor With an Arduino and the L293D Motor Driver via DZone IoT Zone

In this tutorial, we'll be looking at how to power and drive a DC motor with an L293D and an Arduino (we're using the Arduino MKR 1000 here, but you can use any Arduino that provides enough voltage for your motor and has 2 digital output pins).

The L293D is a 16-pin Motor Driver IC which can control up to two DC motors simultaneously, in any direction.

Read Driving a DC Motor With an Arduino and the L293D Motor Driver via DZone IoT Zone


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Tuesday, August 07, 2018

This company aims to solve coder gender gap by getting girls hooked early via The Next Web

Every year, major tech companies publish their diversity reports, with special attention paid to their gender diversity. The lack of female employees in technical or engineering positions has become a yardstick for measuring efforts towards parity.

For 10 Degrees, a company of WordPress specialists in the UK, it wasn’t enough just to wait for the gender imbalance to correct itself. The company’s employees decided to take a more proactive approach to gender diversity.

For International Women’s Day, 10 Degrees’ business manager, Lynda Vaughan, posted a blog entry with the rather provocative title “Why We Don’t Employ Female Developers.” Addressing the gender disparity in its technical staff, Vaughan say in the post: “…we’ve never had any women apply for our developer vacancies. Not one.”

Read This company aims to solve coder gender gap by getting girls hooked early via The Next Web


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Sunday, August 05, 2018

Eight Relay Add-on Card for Raspberry Pi via EIN News

Eight Relay Add-on Card for Raspberry Pi via EIN News

Eight Relay Add-on Card for Raspberry Pi via EIN News

Stackable to 8 levels, the card adds up to 64 relays to Raspberry Pi. A smart, web-based sprinkler controller for up to 64 zones can be built for $3/zone.

The 8-Relay card is a low cost version of the MEGA-IO Card. Stackable up to eight layers, it allows users to add up to 64 relays in a very compact form factor. Competitively priced at $25, the card is offered to Kickstarter backers at 33% discount, for an introductory price of only $17. 

Read Eight Relay Add-on Card for Raspberry Pi via EIN News


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Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Rolling Study Halls: turning bus time into learning time via The Official Google Blog

So in 2016, in partnership with local education leaders in Caldwell County, NC (near our Lenoir Data Center), and some Googler volunteers, we helped install Wi-Fi on 11 school buses in the district. We also worked with the Education Foundation of Caldwell County to make sure there were educators who could accompany students on these Wi-Fi-equipped buses to provide support and help out with assignments. Because bridging the “digital divide” isn’t just about providing access and devices—it’s also about using that technology effectively.

The effects were immediate—almost too immediate for some bus drivers who were shocked (and a little confused) when their commutes became so quiet. Students were engaged. They were learning. And after a few months, there were more real results: School officials saw students do better in school. It was working.

Read Rolling Study Halls: turning bus time into learning time via The Official Google Blog


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Monday, July 30, 2018

DevBoard Watch: Arduino Uno WiFi Rev 2 via Electronics Weekly

DevBoard Watch: Arduino Uno WiFi Rev 2 via Electronics Weekly

There’s so much to say about the recent announcements from Arduino and our technology editor Steve Bush has already covered the main points, talking to two Arduino kingpins, no less (co-founder Massimo Banzi and CEO Fabio Violante). See Arduino announces FPGA board, ATmega4809 in Uno Wi-Fi mk2, cloud-based IDE and IoT hardware.

Read DevBoard Watch: Arduino Uno WiFi Rev 2 via Electronics Weekly


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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

This New App Is Like Shazam for Your Nature Photos via Earther

There are several similar apps on the market, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. I often use them to get me, at least, into the general area of a genus so that I can do a little more research and find out what I am looking at. Of course, the more specific the sub-species, the less likely these apps will be of much help…yet. The crowdsourcing option helps a lot in letting other, more knowledgeable people help both you and the app get better at identifications. — Douglas

This New App Is Like Shazam for Your Nature Photos via Earther

In July of 2016, thousands of people wandered out into streets and parks under the guidance of a hugely popular wildlife app. The app was Pokemon Go, and the wildlife did not, in any real sense, exist. Yet while Pokemon fans were attempting to collect fantastic—if ultimately digital—animals, some inevitably found real ones as well. The disconnect spawned quite a few jokes, mostly involving possums, and Ecologists and museum curators, sensing a learning opportunity, offered Pokemon Go-themed outreach events; Anna Turkett, a zoo keeper in Birmingham I went to school with, briefly gained internet fame for her pokemon-style animal signage.\

However, if you wanted an app that would mimic Pokemon Go but for existing species, you were largely out of luck. That changed in early March, when social media site iNaturalist released SEEK, an iOS app for people who want to search out local flora and fauna. The new app is part of an ongoing attempt to tempt people into citizen science—and to get them to see the wonder in species they might otherwise ignore.

Read This New App Is Like Shazam for Your Nature Photos via Earther


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Monday, July 23, 2018

How to build a Raspberry Pi-powered robot via IT PRO

How to build a Raspberry Pi-powered robot via IT PRO

The tiny but potent PC that is the Raspberry Pi can be built into all manner of amazing projects, but this is arguably one of the most impressive tricks - creating a working robot.

Of course, building a Pi-powered robot can take many forms. There are ready-made kits that add a robot arm to your Pi for just a few pounds, cheap and cheerful 'mouse' style chassis that simplify the build, and highly technical professional creations that can operate in the harshest environments around. One team created the PiTank (including a functioning ping-pong ball cannon), while another team of scientists investigating volcanoes used a Pi-powered robot to investigate and map active fissures - the only limit is your imagination!

Read How to build a Raspberry Pi-powered robot via IT PRO


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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

These Small PCBs are Made for Model Rocketry via hack a day

Model rocketry hobbyists are familiar with the need to roll their own solutions when putting high-tech features into rockets, and a desire to include a microcontroller in a rocket while still keeping things flexible and modular is what led [concretedog] to design a system using 22 mm diameter stackable PCBs designed to easily fit inside rocket bodies. The system uses a couple of 2 mm threaded rods for robust mounting and provides an ATTiny85 microcontroller, power control, and an optional small prototyping area. Making self-contained modular sleds that fit easily into rocket bodies (or any tube with a roughly one-inch inner diameter) is much easier as a result.

Read These Small PCBs are Made for Model Rocketry via hack a day


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Monday, July 16, 2018

How to Control a Linear Actuator with Arduino via Hi Tech Gazette

Linear actuators are integral devices in our world. Usually they are used for opening, closing doors, drawers Some geeks can build a robot and raise his limbs with linear actuators. Of course, you may not need a home robot, but controlling automatical movements of your furniture really comes in handy sometimes. Especially when it can be controlled with the help of compatible board that makes the controlling process much easier. Today we will give you the comprehensive guide on how to control it with a joystick, rotation knob, three buttons with preset positions. And you will never believe, but you will hardly be in a driver’s seat. The ruler is the code. Let us tell you about each possible way.

Read How to Control a Linear Actuator with Arduino via Hi Tech Gazette


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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A Gloriously Impractical Electromechanical Display via hack a day

For this year’s office holiday party, [Gavan Fantom] wanted to do something really special. Coworkers were messing with LEDs to come up with displays and decorations, but they lack that old-school feel of mechanical displays. He wanted to create something that had retro look of moving elements, but didn’t want to just recreate the traditional flip mechanism we’ve all seen over and over.

What [Gavan] came up with is breathtakingly impractical 8×8 display that sounds as cool as it looks. Each “pixel” in the display is a 3D printed screw mechanism rotated by a hobby servo. As the pixel is rotated in its case, it becomes progressively more visible to the observer. The opacity of the pixel can even be adjusted by varying the degree of rotation, allowing for rudimentary display of grayscale images.

Read A Gloriously Impractical Electromechanical Display via hack a day

 

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Monday, July 09, 2018

How to Take Time-Lapse Pictures of Your Plants Growing via Lifehacker [Raspberry Pi]

How to Take Time-Lapse Pictures of Your Plants Growing via Lifehacker

How to Take Time-Lapse Pictures of Your Plants Growing via Lifehacker

Plant life comes at you fast; before you know it that little sprout is a full grown monster plant, desperate for a bigger pot. If you’re a green thumb type who’s fascinated by your plant’s progress, here is the perfect way to document every tender unfurling.


Artist and programmer Nicole He set up a camera powered by a Raspberry Pi computer to document the slow growth of her fiddle-leaf fig plant. She programmed the computer to post a picture everyday to Twitter under the handle @grow_slow, in case anyone else wanted to follow its development. After two years, He compiled them all into a little video of “growth and movement”:

Read How to Take Time-Lapse Pictures of Your Plants Growing via Lifehacker


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Wednesday, July 04, 2018

$3 Alternative to Makey Makey via Instructables

I always love  a good DIY version of expensive devices.You learn while making it and learn by using it after. — Douglas

The Makey Makey is a great little device that emulates a USB keyboard and lets you make keys out of any somewhat conductive thing (aluminum foil, bananas, play dough, etc.), which can then be used as a controller for games and educational projects. The Makey Makey has two downsides: (1) cost and (2) the need for a ground connection.

This project is a cheap alternative using a $2 STM32F1 board and capacitive sensing. It only has 10 inputs as opposed to the Makey Makey's 12, but it has the advantage that in addition to emulating a keyboard, it can emulate a USB gamepad controller (digital joystick).

Read $3 Alternative to Makey Makey via Instructables

Learn more about Arduino with these books and components

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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


An interesting link found among my daily reading