Happy birthday Internet, here’s $40,000

balloon

Darpa has another contest coming up. You may remember some past Darpa competitions, like the 2007 Urban Challenge. Where hackers, engineers, and scientists alike came together to build autonomous vehicles. The game this year is to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Internet.

The rules are simple enough, find a bunch of red balloons and mark their latitude and longitude. The hard part? There is only 10 balloons – spread across America. It will take an extreme amount of social network engineering, but it all pays off with first place receiving $40,000.

Remote controlled claw of doom

Robotic claws are awesome, period. [Jeremy's] Remotely controlled robotic claw, thats just a whole new level of cool – even if the intention is to just pick up blocks. The setup is simple enough, a Parallax Propeller controls the whole system by first polling a web server for changes in variables that the user has invoked. Those changes are then passed to relays that control the claw. To keep from fumbling in the dark, he’s even included a webcam. We hate to see that he’s used such expensive equipment to just control a toy, but maybe one day he’ll move to bigger and better things.

Happy birthday internet: 5 history videos

Leonard-Kleinrock-and-IMP1

National Geographic has pegged September 2, 2009 as the 40th anniversary of the Internet. They do not cite their source and our source doesn’t make the same claim. But, August 30, 1969 is the date the first Interface Message Processor was delivered to the Arpanet. The IMP is what allowed different computer networks to talk to each other and so it follows that September 2 is probably an acceptable date to celebrate.

To commemorate this glorious day we’re sharing some of our favorite History of the Internet videos. Start with the National Geographic video and then take in the geeky, the new, the old, and the simple. [Read more...]

TGIMBOEJ robot edition

robotjunk

Since we last reported about The Great Internet Migratory Box of Electronic Junk, several of these boxes have begun circulating in different areas of the world. Team Hack-a-Day launched three themselves. Robots.net decided that there was a need for a specialized box just for those who hack robots, and have launched their own.

[Read more...]

“Interplanetary internet” passes first test

NASA just completed the first deep-space test of what could one day become the interplanetary internet. Images of Mars and its moon Phobos were sent back and forth between computers on Earth and NASA’s Epoxi spacecraft. Instead of TCP/IP a new protocol, named “Disruption/Delay Tolerant Networking” (DTN) was used. Information is only sent once with DTN, and stored at each node until another node is available to receive the information.  To prevent hackers from interfering with the network, information that is transmitted over DTN is encrypted. The team at NASA is hoping to get the protocol accepted by the international community and setup a permanent node at the International Space Station next year.

[via Warren Ellis]

How-to: Networked graffiti wall

Wondering what we did with our web server on a business card project from last week? It’s powering a giant LED graffiti wall. Animations can be user-submitted using the online designer. You can watch a live feed of user animations as well. The online interface runs on the Google App Engine for maximum scalability and resilience.

In today’s How-to we cover all the ins and outs of building your own networked graffiti wall. [Read more...]