We’ll take the fries.

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We’ve all been there; hardest decision we’ve ever had to make. College and debt or freedom but no career? Start a family or live out alone? The number 2 with a small shake or side of fries?!

[Leon] sent in his random number generator, oddly enough not to just generate a number, but help us through with those life altering decisions. Using a noise diode like setup he’s able to generate random bits, which an ATtiny24 then converts and displays on a 7 segment LED. His generator also has the ability to set upper and lower limits. Seems like an awful lot of work to avoid the freedom of choice paradox, but we enjoyed the project none the less. Check out a video after the break. [Read more...]

Easy dial telephone

easy-dial-phone

[Taufeeq's] Grandmother needed to be able to call her family members but due to ailing eyesight and memory this was a difficult task. He decided to help her with this by building a telephone that will auto-dial a number at the push of a button. [Taufeeq] built a case to hang on the wall which houses a hook for the receiver and two auto-dial buttons. The buttons are lighted and loosely based on the LED push buttons we covered in January. Housed in a separate box are a microcontroller and a dual tone multiple frequency IC used to dial the numbers. These are patched into a PCB from a standard telephone.

The result looks great and makes using the phone much easier with the simplified controls. We’ve included the demonstration video after the break.

[Read more...]

Android ported to Meizu M8

meizu-m8-runs-android

[Evow04] has been working hard to run Android on a Meizu M8 smartphone and we’re beginning to enjoy the fruits of his labor. The Meizu M8 is a Chinese cell phone very similar in appearance and hardware to the iPhone. The factory firmware runs Windows CE 6 but there is no official support for Android. It looks like [Evow04's] upgrade method is fairly easy; copy an IMG and BIN file to the root of the phone, backup the Windows CE portion, and then use the upgrade mode to flash the two files.

We’re pretty impressed with Android, especially the potential that it represents. Having another device that runs the OS is a good thing but at $350-$400 this isn’t any cheaper than just buying an Android phone.

Happy birthday Internet, here’s $40,000

balloon

Darpa has another contest coming up. You may remember some past Darpa competitions, like the 2007 Urban Challenge. Where hackers, engineers, and scientists alike came together to build autonomous vehicles. The game this year is to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Internet.

The rules are simple enough, find a bunch of red balloons and mark their latitude and longitude. The hard part? There is only 10 balloons – spread across America. It will take an extreme amount of social network engineering, but it all pays off with first place receiving $40,000.