Hackit: Modern arcade cabinets?

We’ve been contemplating getting into MAME arcade cabinet building. It was sparked by someone dropping off a Street Fighter II machine at our office. Many people have been seeking to build the perfect arcade cabinet clone, but looking over this old dusty cabinet we realized that retro isn’t really what we want. We want an arcade cabinet with a modern aesthetic.

Retro Thing recently posted [Martijn Koch]‘s Retro Space. The cabinet takes design cues from old cabinets, but uses modern technology like a 24″ LCD. It does feature classic controls though. Wandering through arcades today, most of the machines appear to be DDR style or vehicle sims. No one is building modern gaming machines.

We’re still in the planning stages of this build. We’d definitely use classic controls and combine it with an LCD 24″ or larger. The brain would probably be a Playstation 3. We could run any emulator we want on the Linux side and also play modern PS3 games. How it will look is still up in the air. We’re leaning towards building a standup 4 player brawler machine for playing games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men, and The Simpsons.

Have any of you built a MAME machine before? How would you build an arcade machine with a modern aesthetic?

Micro battery assembled by virus


MIT researchers have used a viral assembly method to create a battery at half the size of a human cell. They’ve successfully developed the anode and electrolyte, leaving only the cathode unfinished. each electrode is only 4 micrometers in diameter.

The construction process involves taking a rubbery base and creating a pattern of tiny posts through lithography. Then they add different layers of polymers that act as an electrolyte. Finally the virus preferentially self-assembles on top of the polymer creating the anode. Pictured above is a test plate. The battery itself is too small to be seen.

[via BoingBoing]

Parents beware of “digital drugs”


In what some might call a sensationalist article, USA Today reporter [Kim Komando] warns parents of a new danger to their kids: digital drugs. Throughout the article, [Kim] tries to explain how binaural beats (idosers) can effect the brain in many different ways, claiming that some even emulate the effects of illegal drugs. Furthermore, she claims that the “digital drugs” can act as a gateway to trying real drugs. While it seems unapparent to [Kim] that I-Doser has been around for years, it’s not surprising that this article is only being published now. While I understand her argument, parts of it just seem illogical. If anything, wouldn’t binaural sounds provide kids an alternative to illegal drugs? If these sounds really provide the same effects as drugs, wouldn’t they act as a safer option to kids? While this story seems to be one of many sensational stories warning parents to protect their kids, it seems as though parents should really be warned about these sensational stories that are concocted solely to sell newspapers.

[via Woot]

[photo: BrittneyBush]

Hack Guitar Hero DS into a guitar controller


[Eric Ruckman] sent us this awesome Guitar Hero hack. He wanted to get a more “true to the series” game play out of his DS when playing Guitar Hero: On Tour. If you’ve seen the adapter that comes with it, you’ll understand his desires. He found a wireless PS2 Guitar Hero controller on EBay to hack.

He’s cut a hole in the controller and removed all the guts. In the picture above the DS fits in the hole to allow strumming in the correct position. The controller buttons are connected to the DS by wiring into the adapter. He’s added an FM transmitter to the controller so he can play the sound through his home sound system.

[Read more...]

SIGGRAPH 2008: The quest for more pixels


Long before we started reporting on [Dan Kaminsky]‘s DNS chicanery, he contributed a guest post about one of our favorite sources of new technology: SIGGRAPH. The stars have aligned again and we’re happy to bring you his analysis of this year’s convention. [photo: Phong Nguyen]

So, last week, I had the pleasure of being stabbed, scanned, physically simulated, and synthetically defocused. Clearly, I must have been at SIGGRAPH 2008, the world’s biggest computer graphics conference. While it usually conflicts with Black Hat, this year I actually got to stop by, though a bit of a cold kept me from enjoying as much of it as I’d have liked. Still, I did get to walk the exhibition floor, and the papers (and videos) are all online, so I do get to write this (blissfully DNS and security unrelated) report.

[Read more...]

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