Faster browsing with RAM disks

esperancedv

A coworker approached us today wondering if they could get a performance boost using Samsung’s newly announced 256GB SSD. Most of their work is done in browser, so we said “no”. They’d only see benefit if they were reading/writing large files. Their system has plenty of RAM, and we decided to take a different approach. By creating a filesystem in RAM, you can read and write files much faster than on a typical hard drive. We decided to put the browser’s file cache into RAM. [Read more...]

duiPhone hack

Tellart turned an iPhone into a duiPhone with its latest Sketchtools kit. Combine a 3G iPhone, an ordinary store-bought breathalyzer, and the NADA Mobile, which consists of a communication board, sensors, and actuators, and get a useful iPhone application. Blow into the mouthpiece, and the iPhone will inform you if you can safely drive, or if you should call a cab.

We’d like to find out more about the NADA Mobile, since it looks like it could be the start of a lot of fun projects. It’s the latest of Tellart’s Sketchtools line, which can only be accessed if you work with Tellart as a consultant, or if you work with them to organize a workshop for your organization.

[via Digg]

Boom Bench

German designer [Michael Schoner] of NL Architects turned an ordinary street bench into a public sound system that can be accessed by passersby with iPods and cellphones with Bluetooth. Boom Bench features 60 watt co-axial speakers, two subwoofers, and a bass shaker in the seat that’ll allow you to feel the vibrations of your music choices. It was on display in Amsterdam last month for the Urban Play event. It remains to be seen whether this new urban development will make your daily wait for the bus more entertaining or aggravating.

[via Notcot]

ti-84 LED mod

Add lights to your graphing calculator. Do it now. [Sil3ntP8nd8] added some, and seems to have done a decent job. They are spread around the back, supplying a nice even light on, well, on whatever is under your calculator. It may be difficult to see too much detail though on account of the water marks. You have to protect your intellectual property though. This almost compares to the DS LED monstrosity we covered recently.

Sonar navigation jacket

sonar_jacket

[Lynne] had this crazy idea to build a piece of clothing that would give you feedback about your surroundings using sonar. She started with a carefully selected thrift store jacket. She wanted something that looked good and also provided plenty of places to hide electronics. She used the LilyPad system, with a vibration pad and a sonar range finder. When the system detects an object within a certain distance directly in front of the wearer, it warns them with some vibration. Not only is it practical, it looks pretty cool too. Did we mention she designs clothing?

She notes, in the comments section, that while it can detect an obstacle, it cannot detect a void. How could she detect a drop in the floor or a step down?

“Interplanetary internet” passes first test

NASA just completed the first deep-space test of what could one day become the interplanetary internet. Images of Mars and its moon Phobos were sent back and forth between computers on Earth and NASA’s Epoxi spacecraft. Instead of TCP/IP a new protocol, named “Disruption/Delay Tolerant Networking” (DTN) was used. Information is only sent once with DTN, and stored at each node until another node is available to receive the information.  To prevent hackers from interfering with the network, information that is transmitted over DTN is encrypted. The team at NASA is hoping to get the protocol accepted by the international community and setup a permanent node at the International Space Station next year.

[via Warren Ellis]

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