Judge Spotlight: Joe Grand

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We’ve been fascinated by [Joe Grand] for years. His early talks at DEFCON, and extensive work designing badges for it, helped to put the conference on our radar. We’ve seen many pieces of hardware come from his company Grand Idea Studio over the years, and of course there was the television show Prototype This! which must have been way too awesome for some TV exec to allow it to continue.

We asked [Joe], who is a judge for The Hackaday Prize, a few a questions. He sent back the video response embedded below. He talks about what he’s doing these days, the hacker community in Boston, shows off some hardware he uses when teaching about security, and much more.

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Hamtramck Disneyland

Mike posing near the central part of the build... lots to see here!

With a few hours of down time I convinced [Caleb Kraft] to go to Hamtramck Disneyland with me. You’ve heard of it, right? I certainly hadn’t. I sounded like gibberish when [Chris Thompson] suggested it to us. Just a 10 minute drive away from Recycle Here! (where the Red Bull Creation is being held).

Without a street address we never would have found it. The spectacle is simply a house on a normal looking street in Hamtramck, Michigan. We were just a few doors down, creeping down the street, before we spied a flash of color between the houses. Swinging around the corner and into the alley this marvel opened up to us. The work of [Dmytro Szylak] started about twenty years ago. He built and built and built for years, a produced some backyard art that impossible to view without beaming with joy. You won’t spend much time there, but seeing for yourself is worth a few minutes side trip. For those that will never have a chance, here are the pictures I snapped.

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Museums Should be More Popular Than Theme Parks

One of the field trips that we set up as part of our Detroit tour was a trip to The Henry Ford Museum. After a rather disappointing first half hour wandering around the static exhibits of nicely polished cars we latched onto the part of the museum that’s starts the serotonin pump for anyone who is engineering-minded. There are amazing displays of early industrialization, including steam engines for factories, early power generators, and examples of early assembly line machinery. We’re going to cover that stuff in depth but editing it all together will take some time.

For now we wanted to give you a quick glimpse at a delightful exhibit of a Model T. You don’t just look at it; every morning the museum staff takes apart the entire vehicle and throughout the day helps museum-goers walk through the process of putting it back together.

Why isn’t this the model to supplant amusement parks? This hands-on work with real equipment — not just a model made to stand up to the masses — is pure gold for occupying curious people of all ages. The interaction with museum staff adds a tangible human element to the institution, and you just might learn something more than history in the process!

[Full Disclosure: The Henry Ford provided Hackaday with free admission -- Thank You!]

2014 Red Bull Creation is Under Way

We rolled into Detroit this morning and immediately wanted to know what the teams for the Red Bull Creation were up to. But first thing’s first, what’s the surprise theme? [Brian Benchoff] caught up with [Tyler Hansen] and [Jason Naumoff] who filled us in. The theme is “Reinvent the Wheel”.

The seven finalist teams are competing in a live, non-stop build which started yesterday and continues until tomorrow evening.

Vote or Be Sorry — Round 2 of Astronaut or Not

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Have you voted in the second round of Astronaut or Not? You’d better get in there by Friday at 9pm EDT or miss your chance to win a Bukito Portable 3D Printer in the voter’s lottery.

You must vote at least once per round to be eligible. At the appointed time we’ll draw a random number and look up to see if that profile on Hackaday.io has voted. If so, winner winner (like the Rigol scope that was awarded last Friday). If not, no Bukito for you! This new round just started at the beginning of the week. Your vote quota has been restored, and we tweaked the interface to only show you each project once.

In addition to your own gain, you’re helping us choose which projects deserve a bit of swag. We’re one again sending shirts to the projects who rise to the top of the head-to-head gudgematch.

UPDATE: To clarify, you must vote in the current round to be eligible for the current voter lottery. Your participation in previous rounds has no bearing on the current round eligibility.

 

THP Hacker Bio: nsted

 

thp-contestant-bio-nsted

Have you ever wanted to build a robot arm, or even a full robot, but were put off by the daunting task of making all of those articulations work? Moti could make that a lot easier. The project seeks to produce smart servo motors which can connect and communicate in many different ways. It’s a great idea, so we wanted to know more about the hacker behind the project. After the jump you’ll find [nsted's] answers to our slate of question for this week’s Hacker Bio.

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All Precincts Reporting — Next Round of Voting is Now

 

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Check out the vote tally which [Alek] put together (click for a much larger version). We couldn’t be more delighted at how the first round of voting for Astronaut or Not went. With very nearly 50k votes it’s time to start another round.

This is an entirely new round. Your 30 votes have been restored and you must vote at least once in this new round to be eligible for the voter lottery. The theme has also changed; vote for projects whose ideas are most likely to be used in other projects. That is to say: is there a core piece of cleverness that, properly explained and modularized, would be extremely extensible? Then vote for that one!

Links to the 15 winners are listed after the break; everyone on this list is getting a T-shirt and some stickers. The same will be true for the next round but we’re changing up the Voter Lottery prize — it’ll be similarly valuable and desirable but we’ll save details for this for Thursday. Make sure you vote or risk losing Friday’s lottery!

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