Hackaday Links: October 5th, 2014

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Good news from CadSoft this week. They didn’t miss all the complaints about their decision to use a Node Lock License for EAGLE 7. This had meant that users of the popular PCB design software would be limit on how many machines they could use the software with a license. They have removed License Management from the package (and all the citizens rejoiced).

We’re tripping over the growing pile of hardware that boast the “next-big-thing” in getting devices onto a network. That’s not a complaint at all. This time around it’s a cell chip, the U-blox SARA-U260, which can connect to 3G on the AT&T network and is just 16x26mm. They call it world’s smallest but we have no idea if that’s true or not. Anyone have a source and/or pricing for these? [Thanks Austin]

This guy loves his Nixie tube. How much? To the extent that he built up a hardware and software interface that behaves much like a pet. It’s voice activated, and the infectious delight of [Glasslinger’s] video demo is in itself worth watching. [Thanks Morris]

Making this Magnetic Stripe Reader work as a USB device is really nothing more than adding a serial-to-USB converter. The journey to find the way to add the converter makes for a fun read though.

We know from watching Breaking Bad that you can kill power to a building by shorting the power lines outside with a huge bouquet of mylar balloons. This installation is a twist on the idea. Connecting one mylar balloon to a Van de Graaff generator and floating it next to another results in an oscillating repel-discharge-repel cycle. [Thanks filnt via NPR]

8 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: October 5th, 2014

    1. Agreed, at least options seem to be slightly headed in the right direction thought, with some carriers you can pick up a non-contract data/voice plan and keep it <$10 a month with what would probably be reasonable IoT data usage these days.

    2. “IoT” can mean anything to anyone, but as far as putting cellular connectivity into things that are not phones/smartphones, this has been called “Cellular M2M” for a long time. It’s pretty niche-y, not only due to the service contract, but also due to the cost of the device and the fact that it isn’t something that can be easily battery-powered. Unattended devices don’t have anyone to recharge them every week.

      Ublox is most known for having the finest GPS modules. They are Swiss, and if you have to ask what the price is, then it’s too much. :)

  1. I don’t know about any game-movie but I and power company people have known for years about the hazards of metalized Mylar balloons. Why anyone is allowed to sell them with helium in them I don’t know. It ought to be a Federal issue, any balloon with helium at all.

    1. Yeah. Only put Hydrogen in them. The first arc will ignite the lifting gas, which will be (rapidly) converted to harmless water vapor. The balloons will be converted into ash and confetti, which will float gently to the ground. =D

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