The world’s largest model railway exhibit — on display in Germany of course — is quite the attraction. The huge Miniatur Wunderland features towns and trains from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and even a little America. And it’s all on Google Maps.
[Frank] accepted the challenge to build a tiny Google Streetview train, capable of traversing the entire Wunderland. It features a fish-eye camera on both the front and rear car, and is powered by an Arduino — the Wattuino Nanite 85. He upgraded the train to use tiny stepper motors to allow for precise movement along the tracks to get all the shots in perfect Streetview fashion.
Continue reading “The Smallest Google Street View in Miniatur Wunderland”
It’s always nice to get down to the root directory of a device, especially if the device in question is one that you own. It’s no huge surprise that a Google product allows access to the root directory but the OnHub requires locating the hidden “developer mode” switch which [Maximus64] has done. The Google engineers have been sneaky with this button, locating it at the bottom of a threaded screw hole. Has anyone seen this implemented on other hardware before?
There isn’t a blog post regarding this, however [Maximus64] shared a video on YouTube walking us through the steps to root and un-root Google’s OnHub, which is embedded after the break. He also states “wiki coming soon” in the description of the video, so we’ll keep eye on it for an update.
We covered the product announcement back in August and have heard a few reviews/opinions about the device but not enough to make an opinionated assumption. Rooting the device doesn’t seem to increase the OnHub’s number of LAN ports but we think it’s still worth the effort.
Continue reading “Google OnHub Can Has Root”
Say you’re meeting someone new, and instead of communicating like a normal person that wasn’t born in a barn, they play with their phone the entire time. How about a cashier or sales person who is so insufferably distracted with the Facebooks you’d guess they had a side job in the QA department of some developer? All these things will soon be a distant, horrible memory, because now you can play Flappy Bird on Google Glass.
[Rich] has had his Glass for a while now, and has been meaning to write an app for it. It took a little bit of inspiration, but when the idea of using the eye sensor to control everyone’s favorite 8-bit bird, everything fell into place. It ended up being an interesting use for the Glass, and something we actually wouldn’t mind trying out.
The bird is controlled by a double blink. In the video below, you can see there might be a little bit of latency depending on how [Rich] put the video together. Better grab that .APK while there’s still time. [Rich] says it’s a free download for anyone who’s already overpaid for a Google Glass.
Continue reading “The Future Of Distraction, Right In Front Of Your Face”
Firefighters and firehouses are not as glamorous as your kindergarten self would lead you to believe. Most firefighters in the US are volunteers, and most firefighters don’t live in the firehouse. Instead of hanging out at the fire house all the time, they use a call-in system that displays a list on a web page saying, ‘Joe is coming to the fire house’ or ‘Jack will meet you at the scene’. It’s highly efficient given the budgets they’re working with, but as [Andy] discovered, this same system can be replicated with Google Voice.
The system relies on a Google Voice account that’s set to have all calls go straight to voicemail. The missed call sends off a voicemail notification to the Gmail inbox, effectively turning the Gmail inbox into a call-in system for free.
In testing, [Andy] noticed the Gmail inbox doesn’t quite refresh fast enough for his purposes, so he whipped up a simple webpage with a little bit of PHP to parse the emails and display everything automatically. The idea being that this webpage could just be displayed on a monitor in the station, waiting for the next call.
Another improvement [Andy] points out could be setting up several numbers, each for different status codes. It’s an astonishing simple system, and now something that can be replicated for free.
[Jordi] sent us this great tip on how to generate QR codes inside Google Docs. This can be super handy if you ever need to make a lot of them at one time, plus they update on the fly!
In his example he set up the code to create vCards so he could transfer contacts to his phone quickly and easily. The code pulls in a Google API QR generator and provides you with a QR code as an image! The following is his code, which can be easily modified to suit your needs:
=image("https://chart.googleapis.com/chart?chs=200x200&cht=qr&chl=BEGIN:VCARD%0AN:" & A2 & "%20" & B2 & "%0ATEL;CELL:" & C2 & "%0AEMAIL:" & D2 & "%0AEND:VCARD")
Or if you just want the bare bones:
And if you need a full walkthrough, there is a video after the break. Those wanting to tinker around with more QR code hijinks will enjoy forming images from QR codes and milling QR codes into your copper layers.
Continue reading “Making QR Codes in Google Docs”
We know a lot of people love using their smart phone as a bedside alarm clock. The problem is that a mobile phone is mobile by nature and eventually you’ll forget to put it in the bedroom one night. That’s why we like the solution that [Devon Bray] has chosen. He set up his Raspberry Pi as an alarm clock that is set using Google Calendar.
The setup which he shows off in his video is quite simple. The Raspberry Pi is connected to a set of powered computer speakers. It plays a song whenever an appointment called “wake” comes up on his Google Calendar. This is accomplished by using the Google Data APIs Python Client Library (isn’t that a mouthful?).
This only scratches the surface of what is possible. With this in place you could easily add LEDs to the room for a sunrise alarm. But if you’d prefer a more bare-bones hardware side of things that’s possible too.
Continue reading “Alarm clock uses Raspberry Pi to poll Google Calendar”
[Kevin]’s friend is a remarkably helpful engineer, and when his friend gets requests to help out on a few projects he always has a hard time saying no. Really, [Kevin]’s friends’ time is much too valuable to take up many more projects, but saying no to someone will drag you down. To alieve his friend of the torment of saying no, [Kevin] built an automated Gmail assistant that will automatically replay to an annoying email with the words, “Go F*** Yourself!”.
The automated Gmail assistant is built around a Teensy 2.0 microcontroller equipped with a key that serves as a safety, lest an accidental “F*** you” be sent to friends, family, or employers.
If [Kevin]’s friend feels bad for telling so many people off there’s also a handy feature to make sure the engineer friend doesn’t seem too unhelpful: there’s a one percent chance of the Gmail assistant of replying with, “That’s a Great idea, I’ll get right on it!”.