Announcing: Hackaday videos and behind the scenes mailing list

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We’re starting a few new things at hackaday. As always, our goal is to share awesome hacks from as diverse a crowd as possible. We’ve played with video a bit before, but now we’re really going to start having some fun with it.

Our first exploration into this area was the hacked portal gun. People enjoyed looking at it, and those seeking more in depth technical knowledge came to the site to get it. Instead of focusing the video on the technology or the build itself, we used it as an interesting way to get the attention of people with relevant interests. This video proved to us that our idea was solid.

We have now stepped up our production in terms of quality and quantity.  We will be releasing videos that may be humorous, like a fake commercial or skit, or may be serious in the style of a documentary. They will all have some kind of hack at their core and that hack will be broken down in an article here.

I would also like to extend the opportunity for you to help. There are two ways you can do so:

  1. Sign up for our email list(it is in the right column). I’ll be sharing behind the scenes info and previews about upcoming video projects and asking for ideas on how to improve them.  The list will be very informal, and only deal with behind the scenes kind of stuff it will not be a mailing of the daily posts.
  2. Submit a project or idea that you think would make a cool video. You can email that directly to caleb@. Of course, we would prefer projects that haven’t been released yet, but that isn’t necessary. We’re looking for things that are visually stunning, or could possibly have highly cinematic potential. Not necessarily the most technically difficult thing.

We hope to start releasing videos next week, so keep your eyes peeled. We filmed all week, and my cheeks hurt from laughing so much.

Hackaday Store: It exists again

We used to have a store. Actually, it was just me, pumping out shirts and stickers from my garage.  However, I found that over time, I wasn’t particularly happy with the quality of the shirts. The vinyl would crack over time, and I wasn’t the fastest person in the world to get an order out the door. I shut down the store because I didn’t want to too poorly in the name of hackaday.  I’ve had TONS of emails asking me to turn it back on.

Today, we’re turning on another store. It isn’t fancy. It isn’t amazing. It should, however, provide higher quality products than we had before, and more different products to choose from. I’ve put shirts, coffee mugs, and stickers in so far. The graphics were all done correctly for each format, so they should turn out very nice.When you buy Hackaday merchandise, you help ensure Hackaday will stick around as long as possible.

Now, lets talk a little bit about where we should go from here.

Continue reading “Hackaday Store: It exists again”

Heathkit closes down, again.

With this rather large flip flop, Heathkit has closed its doors… again. The company that so many of us remember fondly from their myriad of electronics kits originally closed its doors in 1992. Last year, there was an announcement of a revival and a call for kit submissions. Unfortunately, it looks like that just didn’t work out. While this isn’t an official announcement, the facts appear to line up to Heathkit closing their doors.

If you’d like to re-live a few fond memories, here’s a Heathkit unboxing at EMSL.

Adafruit celebrates Ada Lovelace day

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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]