Experiments in Artful Reanimation

UK steampunk/macabre artist AlexCF continues to outdo himself. Each of his dusty, time-worn kits and cabinets of wonder get more ambitious and layered with staggering amounts of detail. His latest piece is called the Bio-Etheric Laboratory: Experiments in Reanimation. Amongst the familiar antique bottles, unnaturalist notebooks and field drawings, candles, antique labware, and other curious artifacts sits a severed ape forearm. An animatronic severed ape forearm. Appropriately, it’s powered by a knife switch mounted on the case, so you can have hours of fun playing the modern Prometheus. And just in time for Halloween!

[Via Brass Goggles]


Maple seed-sized UAV

This is incredible:

Lockheed Martin is looking to supply the Pentagon with flying cameras …. A miniature payload module about the size of an Altoid can be carried by this single-wing Nano Air Vehicle (NAV), sized and shaped like a maple tree seed. The minuscule vehicle is packed with navigation and communications equipment, imaging devices, and sensors that sniff the air for chemicals or detect signs of life such as body heat and breathing.

From Sci Fi Tech blog.


How-To: Make Your Own SD/MMC Card Connector

Hackszine points to this nifty project that turns a floppy drive ribbon cable/connector into an SD/MMC card socket. The builder, Rob Wentworth, soldered this onto the PCB of his Linksys WRT54G router. If you’re running third-party firmware on your router, like DD-WRT or OpenWRT, this SD socket gives you access to a lot more apps, data, and swap-RAM space. This how-to only covers the SD socket side of things. Here’s a tutorial on attaching an SD socket to a WRT54G router.


Utterly Awesome Custom Synth Rack

Holy patchbays, Bob! If I didn’t want to take up analog synth building before, I sure as hell do now! Check out this amazing rack of 12 Serge modular analog synth units manufactured by Sound Transform Systems. The rack itself was custom designed by Mike Adjellian, the same guy who brought us the Lil Sucker. This synth unit lives at Twelfth Root Studios in Ottawa. It’s The Jetsons meets Invader Zim!

If you want to learn more about Serge synths, here’s an unofficial site. Check out the gallery there for some other crazy-cool custom builds.


Remember that Apple Wi-Fi Hack Dust-Up Last Year?

From PC World:

More than a year after claiming to have found a way to take over a Macintosh computer using a flaw in the system’s wireless card, David Maynor has published details of his exploit.

The details were included in a paper published in the September issue of Uninformed.org, an online hacking magazine. The lengthy paper describes how to run unauthorized software on a Macintosh by taking advantage of a flaw in Apple‘s AirPort wireless drivers.

Read the rest of the piece…

Tech Recycling/Reuse Center Hassled by the Man

At this year’s Bay Area Maker Faire, one of my fave characters was James Burgett of Alameda County Computer Recycling Center. I not only liked him because he reminded me of half of my tabletop wargaming buddies, he also saved my ass in the Mousey the Junkbot workshops. He provided the junk, some 75 analog mice that we transformed into an army of light-seeking robo-rodents.

The ACCRC is a very innovative organization that finds new users, or new uses, for Silicon Valley’s tons o’ techno-junk. James and his cohort have been great friends to MAKE/Maker Faire and I’m looking forward to working with James at future Faires. That’s if he’s still around. Recently, he ran afoul of the Department of Toxic Substance Control of the California Environmental Protection Agency. No, he’s not acid-burning parts in vats in the back to extract precious metals or letting motherboards bleed into the Berkeley groundwater. It all sounds like bureaucratic bullshit that may have been exacerbated when James vented his spleen about the whole situation on his blog.

Anyway, he needs help if he’s going to keep his Center in operation. It’s amazing to me — given how much of this waste actually DOES end up in your ground water or melted down in tech-reclamation villages in south-eastern China worthy of a cyberpunk novel (or the Toxic Avenger) — that someone wanting to do something useful and creative with the stuff would be threatened by the authorities.

If you live in California, you can write the DTSC or other appropriate officials. Dale Dougherty did a write up on O’Reilly Radar with more details about the failed inspection. There’s also some good discussion in the comments, including a letter from someone at Yahoo! who volunteers at ACCRC, and a list of CA officials to contact. James has also created a PayPal account to help with any legal fees or fines.The link is on his blog.


Overclocked Bellydancing Corset

Steampunk bellydancers? Now that’s the kind of micro-specific taste tribe that only the interweb could put together. But steampunky women, moving the world on hip-hugging corset belts bangled with all manner of clockwork curios and other techne bits? What’s not to love? I especially love how the belt apparently says “Not Yours.” Gotcha.

By the way, the goth-white midriff seen here belongs to steampunk artist Libby Bulloff. Her show “Pipe Dream” can be seen through the month of September at the Buskirk Chumley Textillery Gallery, Bloomington, IN.


Review of “The Energy Detective”

Danny Mavromatis, of Marvromatic, has a review of The Energy Detective, a.k.a. TED 1000. It’s a 21st energy meter that “Displays current voltage, current wattage (KWH), peak for month, peak day, KWH today, KWH month, KWH Month To Date, KWH Projected. It also has the ability to show real-time cost (you program the rates into the TED).” It costs US$175, but Danny says he saved $50 in the first month of usage. And he writes: “This gadget becomes a game, where you try to see how low you can get your KWH. Before TED… I was running at 1.500KWH, now I’m at .980!!” Cool. I want!