The "world's first analog Twitter client" lets you tweet with the turn of a rotary phone dial. An Arduino platform inside the retro-looking phone chassis interprets your dial turns as letters in much the same way you used to have to keep punching keys on an alphanumeric dialpad to get the right letters when texting. To get an "a," for example, you have to dial 2 once; to get an "f," you dial 3 three times. Yes, yes, that's a lot of labor for 140 characters, but has tweeting ever looked so charming? … Read more
Advertising agency Redpepper wanted to spice up Siri's skill set. Naturally, the tinkerers turned to a monster truck toy and a can of Dale's Pale Ale. Hence, Beeri was born.
Beeri is an RC truck that has been modified to check the Twitter account @beeribot over Wi-Fi for new tweets with the "pour" command.
The makers achieved this by using an onboard open-source Arduino physical computing platform (as did this tweet-printing toilet paper dispenser). Beeri also has an unopened beer can strapped to the front bumper.
Redpepper created the @beeribot account and assigned a contact to it on the iPhone 4S. The soon-to-be-beer-drinker tells Siri to tweet, "Could you pour me a beer?" to @beeribot.
The truck picks up the word, revs itself up, and smashes into a sharp object to pierce the beer can. The frothy beverage flows down through a hole and into a pint glass below. … Read more
When it comes to performing do-it-yourself fixes or upgrades on your Mac, one of the main resources to use is the online take-apart guides from iFixIt.
The company has detailed how to open and access internal components of many Mac models, and has gained a reputation for quickly tearing down newly released Apple hardware and outlining what's inside.
The manuals and high-quality detailed images offered by iFixIt can be invaluable, but if for some reason your Mac is not working and you need to use one of the manuals to replace a component, then you will need to access … Read more
I feel a little uneasy writing this one up, since it's such a simple idea, but with Halloween coming up I feel it's my public duty to remind people that you can add sound to your costume or decorations for less than $50.
Now that the iPod's heyday is over, you can pick up a halfway decent MP3 player for as little as $20. Slap it together with one of those ultracompact portable speakers, and you have an inexpensive little sonic grenade that can bring the miracle of music to just about anything.
I know I'll … Read more
This is probably the weirdest device we've seen so far--and for good reason. Check out this dispenser that prints your Twitter/RSS feeds on toilet paper. It's made by one Mario Lukas from Germany (we're guessing the designer didn't want to risk bringing his smartphone or tablet along when nature calls).
The printer was made mostly from wood, as well as bits and pieces salvaged from old CD drives. As is the case with many things DIY-ed these days, an Arduino controller works the bathroom contraption.
Watch this video to see how the device was constructed. … Read more
The era of floppy disks is long gone, and I can't imagine how many are sitting in landfills today. Many hardware hackers, though, are determined to give them a new life. Call it a New Hope.
One Polish programmer, who goes by the name Silent, has wired two 3.5-inch floppy drives together along with an ATMega microcontroller.
Using the step motors in the drives, Silent recently got the obsolete duo to play "The Imperial March" from Star Wars, seen in the vid below.
Using the unique groaning sounds of FDDs to make music is nothing new, of course, and Darth Vader's theme has been done many times, even with HDDs. But I like the two-drive approach for a duet performance. … Read more
I've known for years that there are special pens that can be used with capacitive touch screens, like the ones used on the iPad or any modern tablet or smartphone. Still, I've never bought one. It's not that they're too expensive (some are as cheap as $5), it's just that my curiosity doesn't match the level of patience required to order one online and wait a few days for it to show up.
Unlike many companies that discourage the repair and reselling of items, outdoor gear retailer Patagonia has decided to not only tolerate, but even sanction the practice.
Patagonia announced today it's partnering with eBay to open a marketplace for the company's used products as part of its sustainability plan.
The online eBay store is called the Common Threads Initiative. It's open to any eBay sellers wishing to sell genuine Patagonia products. By signing on to a pledge, community sellers will be given a badge on their post and included under the store's umbrella, as well as promoted … Read more
If you're a fan of amusement rides and exercise, here's a homemade thrill you won't want to miss.
As seen in the vid below, the wheel gets plenty of laughs--and squeals. Paul and collaborators plan to show the wheel this summer in conjunction with artists' collective Miss Rockaway Armada.
"The Ferris wheel is just in the beginning stages and will eventually be floating on a junk raft on a river," says collaborator and photographer Tod Seelie, adding that a smaller version of the wheel previously sailed down the Mississippi. … Read more
In this episode of Roadside Assistance, we decide whether aftermarket is the way to go for car audio, come up with an alternative for HDD-based audio storage, and take a look at a potential revenue stream for the Ford Focus Electric.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 024 SHOW NOTES