Adafruit celebrates Ada Lovelace day

ada_lovelace_day

If you weren’t aware, today is [Ada Lovelace] day, so [Ladyada] and Adafruit Industries are spending the day celebrating the achievements of women in the fields of technology, art, engineering, and electronics. Specifically, the focus is on fellow female makers/hackers who are helping shape and promote the industry.

Once every hour, Adafruit Industries is profiling one influential woman, paying tribute to her work and contributions to the tech/maker/art/science space. You’ll see a lot of familiar faces throughout the day, including electronics extraordinaire [Jeri Ellsworth], Make’s own [Becky Stern], as well as [Sherry Huss] and [Louise Glasgow], two of Maker Faire’s leading ladies.

The bios are certainly worth taking a look at – aside from some of the more familiar faces, it’s a great chance to learn about a few makers who you may not have heard of before.

As an added bonus, Adafruit is offering 10% off all purchases from the store using a coupon code that can be found on their site, so be sure to check it out!

BBC covers an old-school hacker

Yesterday, the BBC posted an article on [Julian Skidmore]‘s AVR-based homebrew computer.

[Julian]‘s project uses an AVR and a derivative of Forth to recreate the capabilities of the 8-bit computers of yesteryear. With 8kB of RAM, [Julian] got a TV-out up and running, and even included code for a Lunar Lander game.

We’re happy for [Julian] getting some notoriety as an old-school solder monkey, but we’re wondering why the BBC is covering a project not unlike the something that could be seen on hackaday once a week. Could it be the first inkling of respect for the hacker and DIY community in the general public’s eye?

In any event, we love the initiative shown in [Julian]‘s quote at the bottom of the BBC article: “Building the machine is a way to learn the essentials of what a computer is all about.” If you want to understand something, you’ve got to build it yourself. Truer words…

Extra extra: Now legal to jailbreak iPhone

For those living under a rock, the latest ‘greatest’ news to hit hacking front page is the the Copyright Office granting Six Exemptions Regarding the Circumvention of Access-Control Technologies. Of the six the one of the two regarding iPhones is as follows,

“(2) Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset.”

Which (along with section 3) really just means that you can unlock and crack cellphones and companies can no longer fine you $2,500. Not that many ever have but the threat was there. Apple however, can and still will void your warranty if you jailbreak.

The 4 other areas not involving phones are the ability to circumvent DVDs for portions of video, video games in order to better the security of said game, computer programs that require dongles but dongles are no longer available, and literary works that prevent read-aloud or rendering to a specialized format.

One tidbit I keep hearing about in these exemptions is the ability to now break DRM on music, as much as I wish this were true, I can’t seem to find any sources on it, sorry pirates.

Regardless, now that the world is one step closer to an open framework, whats changed? For me, I’ve been jailbroken for years so sadly nothing. If you agree with the ruling, disagree, or just want to tell about your now legal jailbreaking joys, please leave a comment.

Additional Sources: FOXNews and CNNMoney thanks to [Voyagerfan99], [Ryan Knight], and [Steve S.] respectively.

[Image credit: Fr3d.org]

Tech leaders enlisted to help the newspaper industry

Call to help newspapers

It is pretty obvious to everyone that the newspaper industry is in a tiny bit of trouble. They have thus far failed to reach the rapidly changing landscape of news, online news at that. They must do something to keep our interests up, or end up flailing on the ground. Microsoft and Google among others have recently entered the picture with solutions to the problem and some fresh eyes from a digital perspective.

Leading edge tech companies enterend the picture with a plea from the Newspaper Association of America on how they can monetize content online through transactions or enhanced ad targeting. Microsoft submitted a news river system that resembles TweetDeck and Sobees. Google is looking at developing an extension of Google Checkout that would help newspapers charge for content through a micropayment system. IBM as well as Oracle have submitted proposals that look at the use of content management systems.

So far the only shining example of the possibilities newspapers have to push things forward is Microsoft’s Next Generation Newspaper that pulls in all sorts of data such as RSS feeds, photos, videos, updates and news from across multiple news as well as social networks, into an information hub. So what does all of this mean for you? Newspapers might not be dead, they are in the hot seat and looking at the best of the best to help them out of the jam with intuitive solutions that meet today’s news viewing needs.

What would you like to see newspapers do to engage you as an online news viewer?

[via NiemanLabs]

Last day to preorder your Bus Pirate

Bus Pirate banner by Aaron Silber http://theajblog.com/

Update, Saturday July 4th, 2009: All preorders are closed.

Today is the last day to pre-order a Bus Pirate. Get your own Bus Pirate, fully assembled and shipped worldwide, for only $30. We don’t plan to make more soon, this could be your last chance.

A special shout out to our partner, Seeed Studio, who handled the rush of orders like pros. The first pre-order is already being manufactured, and will ship as soon as possible. Seeed still has a few V2a PCBs if you’d like to roll your own Bus Pirate.

You’ve made this pre-order a huge success, and we’d like to make more projects available in the future. Were you just interested in the Bus Pirate? Should we arrange pre-orders of future Hack a Day hardware? Are there any past projects that we should revisit?

[Read more...]

Criminals steal credit card data just by wardriving

Anime doll holding VISA card
A federal grand jury in Boston has charged eleven people with the theft of more than 41 million credit and debit card numbers from retail stores. What makes this case interesting is that, although the defendants stole the data from retail establishments, they did so without ever having to leave their cars; they stole the numbers while wardriving. While the report doesn’t make it clear whether the targeted networks used weak encryption or were simply unsecured, it’s obvious that the security of your data is still not a top priority for many companies.

[photo: Mujitra]

Hack-A-Day is hiring!


It’s true, as much as [Will] and I like being a scrappy two person shop with a ‘never say die’ attitude, and penchant for fist pounding after successful compiles, we need more people (MOAR even). We’re looking for a few more contributors to help out with the daily posting, digging up the extra obscure, and especially the how-tos we’ve started to get back into.

This is a paid, freelancing position that requires professionalism, consistency, and reliability. We want to hear from people that are passionate about software/hardware hacking and growing Hack-A-Day. To apply, send the following to jobs@hackaday.com

  • A short bio about yourself
  • 3 example daily posts written in the style of Hack-A-Day
  • 3 how-to ideas you could personally execute. For examples of work we’ve done in the past, look here, here, here, and here.
  • A couple sentences on how you would improve the site either through features or content
  • Any additional reasons why you would make a good fit for Hack-A-Day

Please do not send any attachments, especially not pictures of your sweet ride. An aversion to capital letters is not required, but definitely encouraged.

[picture courtesy of fbz]

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