SendPics, iPhone Util for Hi-Res Photo Emailing

It’s easy to send pics from your iPhone to your Flickr account. You just hit this link and you’re assigned a unique address to mail pics to. Do so, and they’re posted to your account. Unfortunately, they’re also automatically scaled during the mailing process, which can be a problem if you want full-grown images on the other end. Erica Sadun, of TUAW, has written a handy utility that maintains the full image resolution. You can get it here, or via your iPhone’s third-party

[Via TUAW]


Everlasting Flight, Here We Come…

From New Scientist:

For the first time a solar-powered plane has flown through two consecutive nights, UK defence research company QinetiQ claims. In a secretive weekend mission, their craft Zephyr took off from a US military base in New Mexico and landed 54 hours later.

The solar craft seems to have taken the next hop towards everlasting flight…

Read the rest (and see video)…

[Via /.]


Adventures in Hollywood & iPod Etching

Our pal Jake von Slatt has a fun piece on the Steampunk Workshop where he tells the tale of his trip to LA, to appear on Wired Science, interspersed with his prepping of the project he planned to demo there, etching an iPod.

The next step in the process was to clean the iPod back carefully with alcohol and spray a couple of coats of the ER-71 Photo Resist Liquid on it. This had to be done in subdued light, particularly avoiding any light in the blue and UV part of the spectrum. Around here that means kerosene lamp light. After the resist was applied the iPod went into a oven at 140 degrees for about 20 minutes to cure.

Back to my story, after several phone conversations I agreed to ship all of my projects out for a “show and tell” segment, but the producers wanted more “science content” so I proposed etching an iPod in a demo since electrolytic etching with it’s anodes and cathodes and electrons and ions is the just about the most “science-y” thing I do.


Mercury, Robot Seeker of Light (Detector of Dark)

One of my favorite BEAM builders, Harold Ilano, has posted a new project on his site. It’s an awesome little bugbot he dubbed Mercury (being a light-seeker that wants to be close to the sun). The design is based on a circuit by BEAM whiz Wilf Rigter, using a single 74AC/HC240 chip to create a reversing photovore (the 74*240 is the same chip family that I used — the HCT — in my single-motor walker from my robot book).

I love the way Harold always builds on established BEAM circuits. Here, he’s made his photovore with two tactile sensors (Wilf’s had one), added a dark-detecting behavior (with two dark-activated LED “predator” eyes), and a stop and go behavior (which makes him seem more organic), all with the single 74*240 control chip.

The Mercury is made from scavenged pieces from a Playstation (including the two motors), a Li-Poly 3.6V cell phone battery, and some misc analog components. Looking at the numerous pics and videos on his site, you might get the impression that this was an easy build, but getting that much “behavior” out of so few components involves a bit of electronic origami. Harold says it took weeks of long hours every day to finally get it all working smoothly. Sheesh. Maybe I don’t have the patience to become a real BEAM master. No worries. I’m more than happy to sit at the feet of guys like Wilf and Harold, and marvel at what they do (and write glowingly about it in cyberspace).

More pics after the jump…


Dorkbot DC Next Monday, Sept 10

The next Dorkbot DC is this coming Monday, Sept. 10. This’ll be our first meeting away from our old home, Provisions Library. This one will be at the Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences (6th and E Streets, NW). Above is a PDF flyer you can print out and distribute. See the Dorkbot DC site for more details. I hope to see lots of local Street Techies there!


Batteries that Run on Glucose Fuel

Cyborg evolution may have taken a great burp forward with the recent announcement from Sony that they’ve designed a battery that eats glucose. So far, the batteries don’t offer much for their digestive process (about 50 milliwatts per glucose-guzzling cell), but it’s only a matter time, only a matter of time before we’re all joining The Collective and serving a Borg Queen.


Back to school special

Lifehacker has a nice round-up of very useful software tools for the returning student, from printable graph paper, to socially networked class notes, to Google Book Search and Google Scholar. Forget school kids, *I* plan to make use of a bunch of this stuff. I would add JetEye to this list. I continue to find it a very useful tools for building up databuckets of info, images, notes, etc.

Batwing Ceiling Fan

Do you think if I put these fan blades up in my bedroom it would freak out anybody who ends up ensnared in my lair o’ dark sensuality? Yeah, probably. I am SO ordering a set! Actually they’d look great up in the clearstory ceiling of the ol’ Street Tech Lab offices. They’re only US$40 a set. [Via Boing Boing Gadgets]


Introducing MAKE Vol. 11

MAKE Vol. 11 is out. I just got my contributor’s copy on Friday. There’s the typical embarrassment of DIY riches in it. It’s an alternative transpo issue, with lots of cool bike and car hacks. Mr. Jalopy is on the cover with his Mobile Drive-In Movie Projector. But the thing I’m most excited about in this issue is that *I* kick it off! I wrote the “Welcome” editorial piece. I’m truly honored and flattered n’ junk. The piece is an edited version of my “Makers vs The Blob” piece I wrote here, my wrap-up of the SF Maker Faire. You can read the longer original piece here.

Speaking of Maker Faires, I’ll likely be at the Austin Faire (Oct 20-21). I’d love to see some of my Street Tech compadres there.