Hackaday Links: July 6, 2014


Power for your breadboards. It’s a USB connector, a 3.3V voltage regulator, and a few pins that plug into the rails of a breadboard.

“Have you seen those ‘Portable battery chargers for smartphones?’ Well the idea of the device is based on it , but the difference here is the internet part.” That’s a direct quote from this Indiegogo campaign. It’s funny because I don’t remember losing my damn mind recently. Wait. It’s $200. Yep. Yep. Definitely lost my mind there.

Putting the Internet on a USB stick not weird enough? Hair Highways. Yep, human hair. It’s just embedding human hair into resin, cutting everything up into plates, and assembling these plates into decorative objects. As a structural material, it’s probably only as strong as the resin itself, but with enough hair set in layers perpendicular to each other, it would be the same idea as fiberglass. Only made out of hair.

Tesla is building a $30,000 car and Harley is building an electric motorcycle. The marketing line for the bike will probably be something like, “living life on your own terms, 50 miles at a time”.

PixelClock? It’s a 64×64 array of red LEDs built to be a clock, and low-resolution display. It looks blindingly bright in the video, something that’s hard to do with red LEDs.

43 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: July 6, 2014

      1. 1 dollar each on Aliexpress, if you buy.. like.. 10. 1.60 free shipping for one.

        The problem with them though is that the power rails of various boards are not exactly a standard spacing. I have several breadboards they wont fit into.

      1. No, it’s just a flat out scam. “After you fill up the 2 Gigabytes storage for internet the software will notify you to restart the PC and after you run the software next time you will get storage for up to 10 Gigabytes . ” Storing 10GB of “internet” is obviously BS unless they are talking about caching web pages which is pretty much worthless.

      1. I have already covered half of my backyard with a lot of satellites, a few more days and I should have most of the block covered so long as people stop coming and walking off with them.

    1. “The device have SIM card exactly like a normal internet key and it will connect to the satellites. So you will be able to connect online like you do with normal internet key. ”
      “And yes , we will also try to cover the whole planet with satellites for sure , so you will be able to have internet everywhere you go.”

      I’m not confident this project even knows the meaning of some of the most important words they use.

      I was starting to think it just cached a whole bunch of websites for you, but now I’m not confident it even does that…

      Come to think of it, a device that caches your most visited websites and kept them up-to-date whenever it connects to the internet, and pre-loads links on Facebook etc. it determines you will probably watch, wouldn’t be a bad idea.

      1. We have those, they’re called caching proxies. Some do the preloading thing.

        Browsers do preloading too. Chrome does it natively (IIRC), for Firefox you can use addons like FasterFox.

        Used to be popular back in the dial-up days…

    2. Perhaps, if it is real, it works by essentially allowing others to use your internet when its “charging” and in return lets you do the same via their “satellite network” when its “discharging”. I can’t imagine that its feasible, however, since the lag would potentially be terrible and to get any decent speed they would need many customers “charging” their devices at any given time. I’m also certain there would be legal issues with the sorts of content that could be downloaded via your internet connection by someone else. They are curiously lacking in technical details and I would guess this is a joke.

      1. Satellite data (or voice) fees are ridiculously expensive, so there is no way anybody would offer any “pay once for unlimited data” schemes. The only way this would work is by creating a direct connection to one of the devices in the area. Which makes this a over complicated version of “share your home wifi to use the home wifi of others” that already exists. It’s a scam.

    3. Couldnt get past the Russian accent. Not that I have anything against Russian accents. It’s just that so many of the recent scams I have seen on crowd funding sites have been ‘hosted’ by people with thick accents.. It sort of creates the prejudice of SCAM. I had to abandon ship before she started explaining how it would ‘work’.

      1. I gave it another go.. and facepalmed… so bad. The sad part is that already they have a grand.. and since its flex funding, they already got the money.
        If all you have to do to earn a grand is produce a shitty video made up mostly of istock video and poorly recorded audio (was she chewing gum or what? so much clunky sounds), its no wonder we dont have more of these scams.

        Honestly, it seems to be much easier and more ‘legit’ looking to scam on crowdfunding sites than to send spam emails about your long lost deceased Nigerian uncle/king/whatever.

  1. Not sure how that internet stick works in the slightest. I mean it seems to have amicrosim with free data or something?

    Though it has given me a good idea in some alternate form, have an app load the ‘internet’ to the device, which would really be a cached version of a static website. When you load it on your phone its just loading a backed up version of the site. Could work well in combination with sites like Wikipedia.

    1. Why not get an external HDD (1 TB is cheaper than a 10GB internet-key) and use a program to download sites for you? There are lots of programs capable of doing this…

      For Wikipedia, I already run wiki2touch on my first gen iPod Touch and have the whole Wikipedia with me. Its battery lasts about 5h now, but it’s acceptable.

  2. …and it doesn’t perform like them. But it’ll hit 60 mph in under four seconds and it’s got more style than other electrics we’ve ridden.

    Not performing like a Harley can only be a plus.

    I wonder if it’ll still leave a puddle of oil in the garage like all the other Harleys…

  3. As a motorcycle rider, I can tell you that ridign is about fun, not utility or eco-hipster cred. Scooters are for utility and hipster cred and they do a great job of it (not hatin’ or anything). The noise and vibration of the engine is a huge part of this. So is using the clutch and manual transmission. It feels primal, like you are taming the raw power of a feral beast. Try as it may, an electric bike won’t fulfill such needs. They should focus on electric scooters. That would be a hit, and very practical.

      1. Don’t forget other innovations like water cooling, suspension, disc brakes, overhead cams, fuel injections, ABS etc…


        (They certainly innovated the hell out of Buell…)

    1. “I can tell you that ridign is about fun, not utility”

      “It feels primal, like you are taming the raw power of a feral beast. Try as it may, an electric bike won’t fulfill such needs.”

      “(not hatin’ or anything).”

      Not getting any, either!

    2. I have to disagree with the scooter < "real bike" thing. I've ridden a "real bike" (okay, a small honda) but damage to my left leg left shifting a real pain in the ankle. Did it anyways to pass the safety courses before getting a license. The larger scooters, like the Honda PS250 (Big Ruckus, 250cc single kidney puncher) has a nice low center of gravity, giant knobby tires, and enough engine to push a person to a nice speed. Sure, the center of mass doesn't let you do wheel stands; but I've ridden off rode in ice and snow, and one night rode home with a cop following me for a mile or two because they weren't convinced that a bike could stay on the rode in pouring snow.

      There are other bigger "scooter" from Honda, the Reflex (249cc), the old Juno(150-180cc? it's old, I dunno), even the SilverWings (600cc and bigger) are called "scooter body" by Honda. I'd even call the Gold Wings a "scooter" (and have to hide from any Gold Wing riders) because of the shape and seat position.

      If you meant the smaller "50cc" (actually 49 or less to avoid needing a drivers license), then I'll kind of agree with you. Those are usually utility bikes, either commuting or grocery-getter with some bags or backpack (i had a tombstone and two side bags, 2 liters of soda on each side, lots of other stuff). They may not have the sheer speed of a bigger bike, but I've put my little 49cc over on the side in a turn far enough to wish I had knee pads and to see sparks off the kickstand.

  4. Cached copies of favourite sites on a stick?? But almost all the sites I visit are dynamic and are updated regularly through the site owners and/or visitors posts, rendering such a stick mostly useless.

  5. The internet stick is obviously a joke, likely trying to make a point that people will really fund anything on those kickstarter style websites, regardless of whether it’s complete BS.

    The problem is, it doesn’t prove the point so well. Because technically it could be done. Either by caching a large number of sites onto usb storage or by giving free 2/3/4g/sat internet based on how much you “charge” the device (which could be doing bitcoin mining for example as a ‘charge’ mechanism).

    However impractical, limited and unlikely, there are scenarios where you could ‘kind of’ have internet charged on a stick.

      1. Those were exactly my first thoughts. Especially since you have to install their software.

        On another note: what does “The length of the device that can run on one battery charge is about 72 hours” mean? Is it 72 light-hours (48 284 397 288 miles/77 706 205 113 km) long? If so, that thing would be gigantic :D

        1. Noooo… With all the technology that they’ve managed to wrap up in this little stick of love, they’ve obviously been able to harness the inter-dimensional properties of the TARDIS. Mystery solved!

  6. The 64×64 LED array (“pixelclock”) would really appreciate greater pixel depth—even just 2bpp instead of 1: Antialiasing would make the hands of the clock look a not nicer.

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