Hackaday Links: June 22, 2014


Solar Freakin’ Roadways! There’s been a lot of talk about how solar freakin’ roadways are an ill-conceived idea, and now [Dave Jones] is weighing in on the subject. Highlights include a quarter of the solar power generated being used to light the LEDs that form the lane markers, something that could easily be accomplished with paint. Oh, the solar freakin’ roadway campaign is over. Just over $2.2 million, if you’re wondering.

The Game Boy Micro is the best way to play GBA games, but finding one for a reasonable price just isn’t going to happen. [John Sparks] is making his own Macro Micros by casemodding a DS Lite.On the subject of Game Boy mods, [koji-Kendo] is improving the common frontlight Game Boy Color mod with optically clear UV curing glue. Without glue on the left, with glue on the right.

Need to label a panel with the function of all your switches and dials? Yeah, you could drop the panel into an engraver, till the engraved letters with enamel, or do some electroetching. You can also buy a pack or rub-on letters, available in any Michaels, Hobby Lobby, or the like.

MSI Afterburner is a utility that allows you to play with settings and monitor performance on MSI graphics cards. [Stephen] made a little device for MSI Afterburner that displays the current FPS and GPU load on an external LCD. Handy, seeing as how FPS and GPU load is the one thing you’ll want to know when you’re gaming fullscreen.

Realtime cloudmaps of the Earth. Using reasonably recent images take from five geostationary satellites, you can stitch together a real-time cloud map of the entire Earth. Here’s the software to do it. Now all you need is a projector and pair of frosted acrylic hemispheres, and you have a real-time globe.

Say you have a Kickstarter in the works, and you’re trying to figure out all the ways to get some buzz from the Internet public.. Here’s how you get it to the front page of hackaday.io using a bit of Perl. “So far, this page has been updated 02578 times.”

16 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: June 22, 2014

  1. I would never be able to line up those rub on letters neatly.
    Is there any other affordable alternatives when it comes to labeling front panels (plastic/metal)?

    Perhaps something like iron on transfers where you print it from a printer? Do they make those applicable to metal surfaces?

    1. Once you put on a tape baseline, it’s not too hard. Pull the tape off afterward. Goof, just take the letter off. As usual start in the middle and work out to center labels or left justify.
      This is old school and quite pro looking.
      Keep layout away from finger scratches at knobs etc.

    2. It’s actually pretty easy to line them up, the pages have guidelines and you can use the other letters to line them up. And if you make a mistake you can just rub it off again.

  2. MSI afterburner works with cards from other manufacturers as well. It works just fine with my Palit GTX-560ti. It does an excellent job of controlling the GPU cooling fans.

  3. Just watched Dave’s video on the solar roadways bullshit, I thought his head was going to explode at the very end!

    That’s $2.2million thrown away then.

    I think the guy who came up with the idea of solar roadways must’ve watched too many episodes of The Jetsons.

    1. What’s shameful is his apparent credentials. Someone with a masters in EE should know better.
      I only have a bachelors from a tech institute and called bullshit 30 seconds after I first saw it. It only took Dave 1 minute because he was actually doing calculations in his head to back it up.

      I suck hard at math (for an EE I know its bad) bit could tell right away this was impossible.

      It might work for a few weeks. Till cars start driving on it.

      What a scam.

      1. The scariest thing about all this is that the inventor is selling the idea that people can safely drive on glass roads.
        Glass roads.

        There is not a big enough facepalm in existance right now as a reaction to the idea of glass roads, I think I’m going to have to setup an Indegogo campaign to make and execute a facepalm so big it measures on the richter scale.

        1. Totally. Well… to be fair, it is highly textureized glass. Like it has some diamond pattern or whatever on it which produces a massive traction (at least when dry). Which just makes it even WORSE for solar power, since it will trap dirt, oil and grime, blocking ALL light to the panels below. BEST case is they do some serious physics shit to design a pattern which offers both traction and a lensing effect for the panels. But that is a lot like taking a dump in hands and then confidently boasting of your ability to eat a clean dinner.

          There is just SOOO much wrong with the execution of this idea I don’t really know where to begin. But the worst of it is how 50 thousand people were dumb enough to give 2.2 million dollars to this sham.

          There is a SERIOUS scientific illiteracy problem in our modern world.

  4. The one thing I haven’t heard anyone say about the solar road ways is theft.
    What is stopping someone from seeing the panels in a rural-ish area and saying, “I’ll take a few!”

    The only way that they could seemingly detect that would be a sudden drop in output, but you know that could easily be a parked car or a down branch. So on top of all the financial and power issues, I see theft being a huge issue.

    1. Dude, there are so many gigantic issues here it’s become pretty useless to mention them all. That apparently doesn’t stop people from throwing 2 mil USD into the fire though.

  5. The reactions of the solar roadway people on the criticism has been suspicious at best. No data, no proper proof of concept regarding the critiques and no measurements or calculations.
    All retorts are evasive and obviously misconstrued like the answer that asphalt is softer than glass when It was made perfectly clear that it’s the rocky component of asphalt that you need to consider, not the bitumen-like substance.

    It smells like intentional vapor-ware… otherwise known as a scam.

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