Bokode, a new barcode

teaser

The MIT Camera Culture Group utilized Bokeh, an effect where the lens is purposely placed out of focus, in order to vastly improve current 2D barcode technology. Dubbed Bokode, the team claims that an off the shelf camera can read data 2.5 microns from a distance of over 4 meters, compared to today’s average barcode reader’s maximum distance of only a foot or so. What looks most interesting is the ability to produce a smoother and more accurate distance and angle calculations (relative to the camera): allowing for a better augmented reality. It also seems to be more secure than traditional 2D barcodes, that is of course until the hacker community gets a hold of it.

[Thanks Talin]

C64 Visual Debugger

c64ICU

Root Labs wrote about ICU64, a Commodore 64 emulator with a couple unusual features. The most special of these is the ability to show the entire working RAM of the system. Each RAM address lights up when accessed. The user can also zoom in or change the values at each address if they want. This sounds complicated, but the demo videos demonstrate the power of these abilities. This would also serve as a great primer on lower-level code’s memory management. Unfortunately [mathfigure], the author of ICU64, hasn’t released this out to the public yet, but should be released soon.

ICU64 has been released!

[thanks to mathfigure for following up with this]

Videos after the jump.

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Ubuntu developer week

ubuntu_dev_week4

Next week, August 31 through September 4, is Ubuntu Developer Week. If you’ve always wanted to help out with an open source project but didn’t know how to get into it, this is your chance. The week consists of 25 one-hour sessions held interactively through IRC and led by some of the best of the Ubuntu development team. Participate in as many or as few sessions as you want. Check out the Ubuntu Developer Week page or their fancy brochure (PDF) for more information.

Want to see what it’s all about before committing to a live session? You can view the IRC logs from the January sessions. In addition to ‘Getting Started’, you may find the ‘Packaging 101′ and ‘Launchpad Bug Tracking’ session notes interesting.

Center brake light LED retrofit

brake_light_retrofit

[Matt] wanted to increase the intensity of the center brake light on his car. The factory installed light uses a 20w incandescent bulb and although aftermarket LED replacements are available, he decided to take the retrofit on himself. Using the Fresnel lens from the light assembly as protoboard, he mounted a row of 10mm LEDs along with their current limiting resistors. He then broke the glass from the original bulb, removed the filament, and soldered directly to the two electrodes. This way the bulb socket can still be used to connect to the car’s electrical system.