Nokia is currently one of the leading phone providers and intends to jump higher on the scale with the Nokia N900 powered by Maemo. But what wasn’t expected was for Nokia to step into the netbook pool. Called the Booklet 3G, it sports 10.1 inch high(er) resolution display with HDMI output. For connectivity you can take your pick of 3G, WiFi, and Bluetooth. All wrapped up in Windows 7 with a whopping 12 hour battery! However, the problem with all these features is the price tag might eat a hefty hole into your pocket book. That’s not going to stop us from trying to get our hands on one, of course. Anyone have any hacks planned yet?
Google has opened up a new Android Developer Challenge for submissions. About $2,000,000 in prize money is available, with $250,000 going to the best overall app. Submissions are due by August 31, leaving about a week to get apps in for judging. Time is short, but the prizes are big. Hopefully we’ll see some exciting things come from the contestants now that the community has grown since the previous ADC in 2008.
Current fluorescent lamps are great for lighting large areas using very few Watts; however, LEDs are far more efficient at producing light and have less of an impact upon the environment considering there is no mercury within them. [Andrew] sent in his team’s LED florescent bulb. The first revision utilized 87 LEDs, but to increase output the second revision uses 210. The assembly can’t actually be placed in current fluorescent lamp ballasts and must use a 12 volt 1 amp power supply, but perhaps future versions will correct for this. Another problem is the relatively small viewing angle, and while there is a diffuser, we’re wondering if they have any other ideas to spread the light and adjust for the color temperature without reducing output? We wonder how it compares to some of the commercially available LED florescent lamps.
Routers aren’t just for routing network traffic any more. With the help of alternative operating systems such as DD-WRT, Tomato, and OpenWrt, routers are now extremely customizable and can be utilized to suit a number of needs. The main issue with projects built around routers is the need to telnet or SSH into them to get to a console. [Sven Killig] came up with a useful solution that utilizes the USB ports available on an Asus router to display video on a DisplayLink device, allowing a user to sit down and use the device as though it were a physical terminal. This would be a good DIY alternative to commercially available routers that display network graphs, system information, incoming email, and other data.
Every electronics workbench could benefit from having a bench power supply. Converting a PC power supply works, but often, it involves splicing wires and limits the supply to only bench use, and building one from scratch is definitely an undertaking. To counter this, [silic0re] and his father came up with a detachable adapter that simply plugs into the existing connectors. The adapter provides posts for four different voltages and can be built in no time. It’s nice to see a solution that will let you use any power supply laying around without having to worry about the dangers of opening it or cutting it up.
This bit of nostalgia really caught our attention. A german hacker or “inventor” as we were called back then, came up with this interesting concept. He would project an image on to the moving blades of an Autogiro, relying on the POV effect to make it appear complete. While this is not the same system of utilizing POV that we currently use, it relies on the same principles. It looks like he’s hanging the projector or “magic lantern” from below the Autogiro, using the length of the rope to hang it as a focusing system. Were this to have actually gone into production, it probably would have really freaked people out. If only he had had access to something along the lines of the ceiling fan POV system.
[update: Why didn’t we look around for this earlier. It was brought up in the comments, there is in fact a POV system for R/C helis. http://www.nightgraphix.de (translated)]
Swedish hacker [Hans Andersson] is no stranger to puzzle-solving robots. His prior work, A Rubik’s cube-solving robot called Tilted Twister, made waves through the internet last year. [Hans’] latest project only has to work in two dimensions, but is no less clever. This new robot, built around the LEGO Mindstorms NXT system, “reads” a printed sudoku page, solves the puzzle, then fills out the solution right on the same page, confidently and in ink. It’s a well-rounded project that brings together an unexpected image scanner, image processing algorithms, and precise motor control, all using standard NXT elements.
The building instructions have not yet been posted, but if the video above and the directions for his prior ’bot are any indication, then we’re in for a treat; he simply has a knack for explaining things concisely and with visual clarity. The source code and the detailed PDF diagrams for Tilted Twister are as gorgeous as his new robot’s penmanship.