Baby twitters via kicks

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[Corey Menscher] built the Kickbee while attending ITP this Fall. It monitors his pregnant wife’s belly and updates Twitter, a microblogging service, every time the baby kicks. The device makes everyone aware of the baby’s movement, not just the expectant mother. It can also log the baby’s activity to monitor development. The sensors are piezos held in place with an elastic band. They’re connected to an Arduino Mini which connects to a host computer using a BlueSMIRF bluetooth module. The host Mac does the logging and twittering.

This is one of the many projects on display at the ITP Winter Show.

[Thanks, @readiness via Boing Boing]

BBtv: Playing the Building


Today’s episode of BoingBoing TV visits [David Byrne]’s Playing the Building installation which we covered before. The video provides some insight into the artistic process: they wandered around and whacked things with mallets to see what sounded good. They use counterweighted motors to vibrate cast iron girders and columns. Many of the empty radiators are being struck by solenoids. He says the installation is very approachable because people realize that even if a skilled musician sat down they wouldn’t be any better at playing the device.

Cold boot encryption attack video


We haven’t made a regular habit of watching BoingBoing TV, but lately they’ve been covering topics we’ve been interested in… not the dolphin pr0n. In yesterday’s episode they talked to Jacob Appelbaum and members of the EFF about the cold boot encryption attack. The attack involves dumping the contents of memory to a storage device by power cycling the system. Cooling the memory chip with compressed air helps preserve the integrity of the data. The attacker can then search the data to find encryption keys protecting the contents of the hard drive. A fool proof solution to mitigate this attack hasn’t been developed yet. You can read more about cold boot attacks at the Center for Information Technology Policy. The BoingBoing TV episode, bizarre editing and all, can be downloaded directly here.

Maker Faire 2008: RoboGames and warships

Today’s episode of BoingBoing TV comes straight from Maker Faire. The first segement is about RoboGames arena combat. The second segment covers a favorite exhibit of mine. Western Warship Combat Club brought their 1/144th scale battleships to fight it out in a large pool. The RC boats fire ammunition up to 1/4-inch ball bearings and the even feature bilge pumps to keep them afloat. Scoring is based on where on the hull the strike happens. Here’s a direct link to the mp4.