Popular Mechanics has a detailed how-to on diy ruggedization of common portable electronics such as laptops, cameras, and cellphones. There is video of a laptop surviving an eight foot fall due to the tennis balls, pipe insulation, and weather stripping they’ve added. Its not just shock resistant, they’ve used a two-part compound marketed for making custom molded earplugs to make the laptop water resistant.
Layar brings augmented reality to your cellphone with the release of Layar Reality Browser 2.0. Partnering with Layar, Brightkite improves the experience by accessing their content, along with Wikipedia, Twitter, and other services; then by using the camera on your cellphone, maps friends and other users data on the screen, over top of the live feed. Simply aim your camera at a bar and find that two friends are inside, and read a reminder to yourself that you didn’t like the live music. It’s interesting to see how much is already implemented, and with an additional 500 API keys released, what new things will come from Layar?
Related: AR flash library released, Location aware task tracking
With DEFCON and Black Hat going on, a lot of security issues are being made public. This year, cellphones have been a larger target than before. More and more people are carrying complex smartphones that have more ways to go wrong. Even worse, since phones are tied to a billed account, it is possible for malicious software to charge phones discreetly. However, Flexilis promises to keep your phone safe. It’s a free mobile anti-virus that works on most smartphones and PDAs with more clients in the works. It also provides easy backup and recovery options, as well as the ability to wipe the phone if it’s lost. The phone makers really need to fix the probelms, but in the meantime Flexilis can provide a quick response.
[via WSJ Digits]
The silicon hacker behind the Chumby, [bunnie huang], was browsing through the Mobile Phone Megamarket in Shenzhen, China and stumbled upon an unusual repair book. It turns out the book had the schematics to hundreds of Nokia phones. It’s hard to tell if they are legitimate, but the amount of information makes them seem so. [bunnie] claims that the book is a learning experience because it shows how some sub-circuits are implemented. Also, it can be a good reference for sourcing parts. Since Nokia buys millions of each component, the supply of parts they use are stable. There are also editions for other brands, such as Motorola and Samsung.
With the 4th of July around the corner, we thought it would be a good idea to give a controller wrap up and show you how to make some ignitors. Last year we covered a microcontroller based fireworks launcher. If you like the idea of a controller but don’t want to run all the wire, we have the wireless fireworks controller. Adding a little twist to the wireless scene are cell phone triggered fireworks. Maybe controllers are not your cup of tea, you could try to microwave your fireworks. After the break we show you how to make ignitors from a diode and a match.
Continue reading “Firework ignitors and controllers roundup”
Pre Insiders has reported that the Pre’s Mojo SDK has been leaked to the internet. Palm was planning an early access program, eventually releasing the SDK by the end of the summer, but this leak has accelerated the process. They are posting several download links, including torrents, but they warn developers to use the tools wisely.
Related: Palm Pre teardown
Already, both Rapid repair and ifixit have torn down the new iPhone 3G S, and phonewreck has provided some analysis. The new CPU runs twice as fast at 600 MHz and supports 720p video. They also found that the new 3 megapixel camera took better photos. Surprisingly, despite apple’s claims that the new phone has significantly better battery life, the battery itself has only 6% more capacity. Overall, not much has changed.
[Related iPhone 3G under the hood]