Hackaday Prize Party this Saturday at the SuperConference

Last year marked the first-ever Hackaday Prize, where we challenged you to build a connected device so compelling that we’d send you to space. We awarded the Prize at a party following a day-long, multi-track hackathon in Munich, Germany. A great time was had by all.

This year, the Hackaday Prize itself is even bigger, the challenge even more ambitious, and the festivities are going to be even grander. So come join us in San Francisco this coming Saturday as we award the 2015 Hackaday Prize and throw a (free) prize party to celebrate!

The awards will be part of the first-ever Hackaday SuperConference. We’re bringing together the best minds in hardware hacking and there’s a place for you. The conference will be packed with hardware workshops, talks, food, and fun. (Don’t delay — you have three more days to buy a SuperConference ticket before prices double.) The super-charged scheduled of events have just been published.

judges-at-hackaday-prize-partyDirectly after the SuperConference, we’re opening the doors to everyone at 5:30pm — whether you’re attending the conference or not — for the presentation ceremony followed by the Hackaday Prize Party.  Many of our judges will be on hand to present the prizes and to socialize afterward: Elecia White, Lenore Edman, Windell Oskay, Ben Krasnow and Peter Dokter. Get your free Awards Ceremony ticket now!

As you know, the grand prize is a Trip to Space for the project most likely to help solve some of our hardest  challenges. Come cheer for your favorite!

Because we had so many polished projects last year, we’ve also expanded the Hackaday Prize in 2015 to include a Best Product award. Seven of the ten finalists will be on hand to find out who will go away with $100,000 in cash and a residency at the Supplyframe Design Lab in Pasadena. It’s going to be an exciting night.

Dinner is included with this free event, there will be a cash bar, and the music and festivities will carry on until 10:30pm. Please RSVP to help us plan the dinner arrangements. See you on Saturday!


The 2015 Hackaday Prize is sponsored by:

Gmail One Step Closer to Human Enslavement

Apply some lessons learned in Sci-Fi literature and you’ll come to the same realization I have: Google is going to unknowingly enslave humanity to an artificial intelligence.

I read a lot of science fiction. Generally, the future of technology can be found in great novels if you read between the lines. One of my favorites in this regard is, of course, [Neal Stephenson] who writes cripplingly long books that are totally worth the read due to his brand of fact-backed forward thinking. Look back on my posts here at Hackaday and you’ll see that I frequently apply concepts from his book The Diamond Age to what we see in emerging technology.

Last year my friend [Nils] suggested I give [William Hertling] a try, specifically his Singularity Series which starts with the novel Avogadro Corp. The fictional company is the world leader in free email and data storage. Sound like someone we know? One of the research projects within the company is an email plugin called ELOPe that will parse all past communications and choose topics and phrases that have the highest probability of eliciting a positive response from the recipient. When funding for the project is threatened, the system is turned on. I’d like to avoid spoilers, but let’s just say this puts the system on a path toward enslaving society.

Google is now boasting “Machine Intelligence for You”. It’s a research project based around Gmail which is called Inbox. Inbox has been around for a while but the newly announced feature is an algorithm that reads the email for you and suggests a set of responses. Compared to Avogadro Corp this is only missing two things: the ability to respond automatically, and the directive to protect itself at all costs.

One of the things I liked best about [William Hertling’s] take on an Artificial Intelligence was the low-key nature of the entity. It wasn’t a super-high-level thinker that interacts just like a human would. It was a poor choice by one programmer that led to horrible and far-reaching unintended consequences. No, I don’t really think Google’s Inbox will enslave us. But I appreciate the irony of life imitating art.

[via PopSci]

Check Out Who’s Speaking at the Hackaday SuperConference

The Hackaday SuperConference is just eleven short days from now! We’ve put together a conference that is all about hardware creation with a side of science and art. Join hundreds of amazing people along with Hackaday crew for a weekend of talks, workshops, and socializing.

Below you will find the full slate of talks, and last week we revealed the lineup of hands-on workshops. We’ve expanded a few of the more popular workshops. If you previously tried to get a ticket and found they were sold out, please check again. We know many of you are working on impressive projects in your workshops, so bring them and sign up for a lightning talk at registration.

This is a gathering of people who make the hardware world go round, and that includes you. Apply now to attend the 2015 Hackaday SuperConference.


2015 Hackaday SuperConference Talks:

Shanni R. Prutchi

Construction of an Entangled Photon Source for Experimenting with Quantum Technologies

Minas Liarokapis

OpenBionics: Revolutionizing Prosthetics with Open-Source Dissemination

Fran Blanche

Fun and Relevance of Antiquated Technology

Danielle Applestone

Founding a hardware startup: what I wish I’d known!

Luke Iseman

Starting a Hardware Startup

Grant Imahara

Recapping Mythbusters and his Engineering Career follow by a Fireside Chat

Noah Feehan

Making in Public

Jeroen Domburg

Implementing the Tamagotchi Singularity

Sarah Petkus

NoodleFeet: Building a Robot as Art

Alvaro Prieto

Lessons in Making Laser Shooting Robots

Zach Fredin

You Can Take Your Hardware Idea Through Pilot-Scale Production With Minimal Prior Experience And Not Very Much Money, So You Should Do It NOW!!

Kate Reed

The Creative Process In Action

Oscar Vermeulen

PiDP-8: Experiences developing an electronics kit

Reinier van der Lee

The Vinduino Project

Radu Motisan

Global environmental surveillance network

David Prutchi

Construction of Imaging Polarimetric Cameras for Humanitarian Demining

Rory Aronson

Why great documentation is vital to open-source projects

Jonathan Beri

I like to move it, move it: a pragmatic guide to making your world move with motors!

Neil Movva

Adding (wearable) Haptic Feedback to Your Project

Dustin Freeman

The Practical Experience of Designing a Theatre Experience around iBeacons

Kay Igwe

Brain Gaming

Hackaday Links: November 1, 2015

It seems almost compulsory that we start off with a dose of Star Wars. Here’s an epic AT-ST build that motorizes the iconic walker.

That two-legger isn’t going to be lonely. It bigger-slower brother, the AT-AT got a bit of motorized love as well.

What? You were expecting a BB8 build? We have one of those too. [DrYerzinia] has begun a design that hides a quadcopter inside of the BB8. The four 17″ DJI propellers fold up when not in use, extending through hatches in the outer shell when it’s time to take flight. This retains the rolling design you’ve already come to love in the BB8 and we’re going to keep our eyes on it!

Do you have a Teensy and some extra WS2812 strips hanging out on your bench? [etix] put his to use with an ambilight clone. This works really well: simple hardware which connects via USB to communicate with VLC. We applaud [etix’s] choice of Kung Fury as a demo video… a truly bizarre and entertaining short movie. +1000 for its use of VHS tape artifacts.

We just missed Halloween, but this set of wings is far too great of a build to be reserved for that one day. Alas, there is only the demo video but seeing the huge feathered structures fold and unfold is really impressive!

[Truebass] added an artistic accent to one of the walls in his home. He had several cellphone chargers from old phones in his junk bin. These were used to regulate power for some white LEDs. The finished sconces are made from chip-board covered in cherry veneer, all leftover from previous projects.

Want to drink your beer out of beer-byproducts? How about your coffee out of coffee-byproducts. It sounds strange, but 3DOM is marketing it that way, encouraging you to print your beer stein with this beer-byproduct-based 3D printer filament. They also offer coffee filament and have plans for future oddball building materials. Printer inception?

We ran a post about the secret computer of the New York subway system. There wasn’t a ton of information there, but that could change. The New York Historical Society is running a Kickstarter to expand their Computing History made in NY.

Delightfully Horrible Idea: Twitch Installs Linux

Linux is a delightful OS. There are an amazing range of built-in tools, and innumerable others that can be installed from publicly available repositories using just a single line of commands. You can also hose your entire system with just a handful of characters; something that was en vogue as a method of trolling many years ago. Who knows if either of those will get used when Twitch Installs Arch Linux.

Beginning on Saturday morning, a single keyboard will be controlled by thousands of people whose collective goal is to install a Linux distro in a virtual box. There will undoubtedly be thousands of others trying to thwart the process. We were enthralled with Twitch Plays Pokemon last year. Live viewers’ keystrokes were translated to the Game Boy controls and the majority consensus decided the next move. This was insane with just a few controls, but now we’re talking about an entire keyboard.

Every 10 seconds, the most popular keystroke will be chosen. To put this in perspective, the previous sentence would have taken exactly 10 minutes to type, and only if the majority constantly agreed on what the next letter should be. We can’t tell if it’s going to be interesting or boring to participate. But either way, we can’t wait to see what unforeseen happenings shake out of the process.

The Key to Modular Smartphones

Cellphone startup Fairphone is now taking pre-orders for their modular smartphone, which is expected to start shipping in December of this year. Although I’m much more familiar with Google’s project Ara, this is the first modular concept to make it to market. It does lead me to a few questions though: is this actually a modular smartphone, and how widely will modular concepts be adopted?

Continue reading “The Key to Modular Smartphones”

Hackaday.io Just Passed 100,000 Members

Today, Hackaday.io passed 100,000 registered users. It seems like yesterday that I wrote a post about passing 10k but that was last year already! Much has happened in that year, and there is much more to come. Thank you to everyone that makes Hackaday.io great by interacting with each other, posting about what is going on in basements, garages, hackerspaces, and workplaces, and finding new and interesting ways of making the site your very own. Your involvement has made Hackaday.io the greatest open source hardware resource in the world.

We don’t call it project hosting. The seed idea did start as project hosting for the hardware hacker, but Hackaday.io has long since outgrown that pair of shoes. It’s become a self-sustaining reaction that grows ever bigger and more awesome as everyone gets involved and decides how and what they want to do.

hackchatOne of the major additions to Hackaday.io this year was group messaging. This spawned an explosion of new communities within Hackaday.io starting with the Hacker Channel. Anyone may request to be a team member and will then gain access to the group messaging; there are now well over 500 members. We’ve scheduled many somewhat-formal events on the channel over the last few months that invited people to show off what they’re building and ask for feedback. That evolved into topic-based sessions on things like FPGA design and what you need to know about manufacturing. Many of these were co-hosted by Hackaday Staff and community members.

This bizarre text is part of the itanimulli profile
This bizarre text is part of the itanimulli profile

A curious event on the site was the appearance of the user itanimulli who join and registered the vanity URL: /conspiracy. This is an enigma. The user is a puzzler and has posted a number of images and other challenges that appear to include hidden data. How do you solve something like this? Get all of your friends involved, of course! Thomas Wilson started a project to solve the itanimulli puzzle and posted about it on the stack to invite teammates to the challenge.

Hackaday.io has spilled over into the real world too. Do you ever look at the valuable odds and ends in your workshop that you know someone will use, but you never will? The Travelling Hacker Box is the answer to that conundrum. It’s the “take a penny, leave a penny” of the hacker world. Get on the project and get in line to receive the box. When it hits your workshop, take out something cool but then we want to see you build something with it! Replace what you took with something of your own and send it to the next person. International shipping has not been solved yet for this particular box, but nothing is stopping you from starting an EU version.

The support we’ve seen from the hardware community for Hackaday.io is one of the reasons we’ve set out to do something new. In just a few weeks the first ever Hackaday SuperConference will be held. Two days of talks and workshops let us meet in person the users we’ve grown close to through the site. I hope to see you there. But if not just ping me on Hackaday.io!

Or course 100k isn’t the only interesting number. We’ve got more juicy statistics in the image below.

Continue reading “Hackaday.io Just Passed 100,000 Members”