iPhone: 2.0 firmware jailbroken, 3G taken apart


Oh, iPhone Dev Team, you are a hoot. It isn’t that you managed to jailbreak the iPhone 2.0 firmware on the day of its release, although we can’t help but smirk at that. It isn’t even that you revealed your handiwork in a playful way. We simply love that you expertly work us into a frenzy for the new jailbreak installer with few casual images and some aloof words. Now give us the installer before we get too antsy, please.

Not to be outshined, though, iFixit has posted a full iPhone 3G teardown, stripping away the sleek casing to feast on the goodness inside. They found some interesting changes from the last model: the glass screen, for example, is no longer glued to the LCD, which will no doubt make repairs less expensive. The battery is also unsoldered, meaning you won’t have to send the phone in for repair if the only battery needs maintenance.

Magnetic Movie


Magnetic field lines may be invisible to the naked eye, but they behave in ways that would amaze us if only we could see them. [Ruth Jarman] and [Joe Gerhardt] from Semiconductor wanted to make them visible for everyone, so they produced Magnetic Movie, a film that combines animations, theoretical models, and actual VLF recordings of the entire Earth’s magetic forces to create a film that shows magnetic fields moving and jumping through the air in living color.

The film is part art project and part scientific experiment, but we can enjoy it on both levels, as watching the path and motion of magnetic field lines is both beautiful and informative. Get a glimpse for yourself after the break.

[Read more...]

New Sparkfun designs


Sparkfun has recently released a bevy of new boards and other devices, with some very intriguing new builds among them.

The first board that caught our attention is the Wee. It is a compact Arduino compatible controller that features a small size, low voltage, and many other minimalist attributes. It is built around an ATMega 168V and uses all SMD parts.

For even tinier fun, check out the LilyPad LED. It is a LED designed to be incorporated into clothing, featuring large holes for threading, a thin and extremely small PCB and a very bright 250mcd light. It is also washable, meaning that one or many can permanently be incorporated into clothing without fear of losing them. You can see these in the turn signal jacket we covered earlier.

The last one we’ll discuss is the LiPoly Charger, a USB lithium ion battery charger. Based on the Max 1555 IC, the LiPoly can use USB bus power or a 2.1mm center positive wallwart power(it uses the more high-powered wall-wart if both are connected). It can’t charge NiMH batteries, but it is still compact, efficient, and very useful.

New Drobo has Firewire support, old model drops in price


Data Robotics has released an updated Drobo with two Firewire ports and an updated processor, allowing for faster data transfer and daisy chaining multiple Drobos. The new models of this storage and backup device also features a quieter and larger case fan. The case itself has been modified slightly but to great effect, looking sleeker than ever. Sadly, they still start at $500 without any hard drives.

One nice side effect to the announcement of the new Drobos is the price drop for the old ones. Starting at $350, these still make great storage solutions, and hanging on to $150 isn’t bad either. Still, if the idea of buy anything for this purpose curls your toes, build your own network attached storage.

Xbox 360 and LCD HDTV rolled into one


What happens when you take a little [Ben Heck] ingenuity, a little Lian Li utility, an Xbox 360 and an LCD HDTV and mix it all together? You get the Microvision 360, a combination LCD HDTV and Xbox 360.

The mod is not particularly complex. The Microvision 360’s creator [PvP_LostKnight] only removed the working parts from the Xbox 360’s case and mounted them to the back of the TV. A few of the inputs of the TV had to be moved and rewired, and a repurposed and painted tupperware container was added to cover the Xbox 360 parts. Unfortunately, [PvP_LostKnight] did not post a writeup, and even added “The wiring for this is horrible, I would not recommend anyone trying this.”

Setting aside his recommendation for a moment, a few of the advantages to his design are improved airflow to the Xbox 360 and better space usage. What we’d like to see added more than anything is power integration, with a single button to turn on both and a single power source powering the TV and the Xbox. See the proof of concept video after the break, or more photos and comments at the read link.

[Read more...]

Pet photography and tracking


We’ve seen numerous products geared toward tracking the location and activities of your pets, two in the last month, but we feel sure you can make more functional devices than those you can purchase. Let’s look at a few and consider our options.

[Read more...]

Nokia Haptikos patent application reveals its technology


We’ve been waiting for more information on the Nokia Haptikos, the haptic feedback touchscreen announced last October and largely forgotten until now. We knew that it would be a device that could raise sections
of its touchscreen to simulate the feel of buttons or keys, we just weren’t sure how Nokia would pull that off.
Now we have a better idea, as Nokia’s recent patent filing for the Haptikos gives away some juicy details.

The secret behind the device’s feedback is a “plurality of closely spaced voltage controllable protuberances,” or in other words, several small fluid filled compartments just under the screen’s surface. Under them are several piezoelectric members that can be controlled independently; when they extend upward, they apply pressure to the fluid compartments, raising the surface of the screen in that area.

Nokia has yet to work out all the kinks, but you can see the parts that do work by downloading the Haptikos patent application (PDF file).

[via Engadget]

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