A builder of my Mousey the Junkbot, as featured in my robot book and in Make Vol. 2, has posted his step-by-step building instructions on the Instructables website. Really nice job on the documentation, with some additional tips and tricks not covered in the two previous builds.
I’ve been having a blast recently engaging in a unique form of multimedia… ah… edutainment that I thought I’d share with the group.
If you haven’t heard of the 33-1/3 Series of books, each of which explores a single influential album of the past forty years, you really should check ’em out. It’s an awesome concept and some of the titles are brilliant. I’ve been buying one of the books, ripping or downloading the album it covers, and then listening to the recording on my iPod at night as I read the text. Most of the books are written so that each chapter covers a track on the album. It’s fun to read about a song’s context, composition, and recording and then listen to it. It can really get you inside the music in a very deep, insightful way.
Colin bought himself a new Intel MacBook. He told his boss he would be able to boot into both the Mac OS and XP. He’d like to make good on that promise, so he’s started a contest to award prize money to the first person who can figure out how to dual-boot Windows XP and OS X on the new Intel Macs. He seeded the purse with $100 and asked others to chip in. As of this writing, the pot has US$7,115 in it. Gentlegeeks: Start your Logic Probes!
Okay, look, I love the Mac as much as the next Applehead, but this is just sad: Step by step pics on Flickr of the Duo Core Intel iMac being removed from its box. This might be even remotely interesting if the experience was in any way different than removing the pre-Intel iMacs from the box, but it isn’t. Do other people just have a lot more free time on their hands than I do?
So it turns out that the new Apple ads promoting their Intel chips looks very similar to a music video by emo band The Postal Service, who are crying foul saying “We did not approve this commercialization and are extremely disappointed …” The music video and the Apple ad were apparently directed by the same person, so it’s pretty easy to figure out who to blame. Some folks think it’s copyright infringement, some think it’s not, others think it should be considered parody, and others still don’t care much one way or t’other. I happen to think that whether or not it’s technically copyright infringement, it’s a crappy thing to do. There is an irony to it though – the US Postal Service actually wasn’t all that pleased with the band using their name, but they resolved it amicably by licensing the band the use of the name in exchange for the band agreeing to ship their Internet orders via USPS. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s how most trademark disputes should be resolved.
If you want to understand the controversy, check out this handy comparison video.
Cedric Shock has written a nice tutorial on how relatively easy it is to recover data (or at least make the attempt) from a non-bootable Windows hard drive using a Knoppix Linux CD. Many non-Linux users may be intimidated by the idea of delving into Linux to solve a Windows problem, but the CD-bootable Knoppix is one of the easiest Linux distros for newbies to deal with and Cedric’s tutorial shows how even the most moderately tech-savvy user can at least attempt recovery of a lost HD using this method.
Here’s a little gem I ran across (thanks to Cory) – a weekly podcast of original science fiction audio shorts called Escape Pod. They publish new stories about once or twice a week, each about half an hour long. All of their recordings are available from their website for direct download as MP3, or via any number of podcast systems.
All the stories I’ve listened to so far are quite good – and perfectly timed for my morning commute. Escape Pod apparently keeps quality up by having good editors and by actually paying the authors of the stories for the non-exclusive audio rights. What’s even more impressive is that Escape Pod then releases the stories under a CC license, which means you can share ’em with your friends as you like. And they support all this on donations alone.
A Spanish acitivist/art group called La Fabrica de Cosas Bonitas has received a grant to create 20 “autonomous non-violent agents” that will protest at the G8 summit in 2007. The robot protestors were inspired by the increasing trend towards using robots for violent, military uses.
The keeper of a blog called “Nicest of the Damned” has discovered that the latest iTunes (6.02) allows the streaming of videos over a local network from one iTunes client to another. Doesn’t seem to be documented, and it still appears buggy, but it’s there. As Make posits, it’s a short hop from here to an AV Airport Express that can stream network video to your TV(s).
Gee, look how long it took a record company to connect the dots on this one. Universal Music Group has started a project (they’ve dubbed “digital archeology”) to assemble 100,000 downloadable songs from artists whose work is currently unavailable on CD. Artists include ’60s psychedelic bands, Marianne Faithfull, Fairport Convention, and (gulp) Englebert Humperdink.
[Via The Register]