Hackaday Links: November 29, 2015

The Raspberry Pi Zero was announced this week, so you know what that means: someone is going to destroy a Game Boy Micro. If you’re interested in putting the Zero in a tiny handheld of your own design, here are the dimensions, courtesy of [Bert].

[Ahmed] – the kid with the clock – and his family are suing his school district and city for $15 Million. The family is also seeking written apologies from the city’s mayor and police chief.

There are a lot — a lot — of ‘intro to FPGA’ boards out there, and the huge variety is an example of how the ‘educational FPGA’ is a hard nut to crack. Here’s the latest one from a Kickstarter. It uses an ICE40, so an open source toolchain is available, and at only $50, it’s cheap enough to start digging around with LUTs and gates.

Over on Hackaday.io, [Joseph] is building a YAG laser. This laser will require a parabolic mirror with the YAG rod at the focus. There’s an interesting way to make one of these: cut out some acrylic and beat a copper pipe against a form. A little polish and nickel plating and you have a custom mirror for a laser.

You know those machines with wooden gears, tracks, and dozens of ball bearings? Cool, huh? Tiny magnetic balls exist, and the obvious extension to this line of thought is amazing.

[David Windestål] is awesome. Completely and totally awesome. Usually, he’s behind the controls of an RC plane or tricopter, but this time he’s behind a slo-mo camera, an RC heli, and a watermelon. That’s a 550-sized heli with carbon fiber blades spinning at 2500 RPM, shot at 1000 FPS.

How do you label your cables? Apparently, you can use a label printer with heat shrink tubing. Nothing else, even: just put heat shrink through a label maker.

32 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: November 29, 2015

  1. … How is Nandland’s ice40hx1k dev board worth $17 more than Lattice’s own ice40hx1k dev board? The only difference seems to be the addition of a VGA connector, two 7-segment displays, 4 buttons (instead of 4 capacitive touch spots), and a 25MHz hopefully-higher-precision clock (instead of the very jittery adjustable 33MHz clock)

    1. Hey there RJ, I designed the Nandland Go Board, so I can tell you that the costs of those peripherals do add up. Additionally, I’m making lots of cool projects on http://www.nandland.com and youtube videos designed specifically for THAT board. So if you’re new to the FPGA world and you don’t know where to get started, this board will help you get on your feet. Hopefully that’s worth something to some people. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Awesome. This is a prime example of what happens when people (re)act without thinking. The clock wasn’t a hack (well… maybe a hack-JOB) and did what it was meant to do… make headlines. Now the family is in Qatar realizing their mistake and want to come back and expect tax-money to finance this. Ahmeds reputation wasn’t permanently scarred by the attention, but by his own actions.

    I bet 15 MILLION will go a long way in his fathers next attempt at the Sudanese Presidency.

    1. You forgot to mention that building the clock is fattening and rots your teeth.

      Seriously, the fact that it wasn’t a hack is irrelevant. That it caused headlines is irrelevant. Living in Qatar is irrelevant. Most of your prejudicial description is irrelevant.

      We need to start holding people accountable for stupid decisions. The meme “oh, we can’t punish people because the taxpayer would end up paying the bill” means that no one would be held accountable for anything, anywhere.

      Taxpayers get outraged over stupid avoidable expenses, and make huge outcries. This is a perfectly acceptable way to get people in power (in this case, the school administrators) to think twice about doing stupid things.

      I *want* tax money to pay for these types of mistakes.

      1. So… what you’re saying is we shouldn’t hold [Ahmed] accountable for his actions, but the school officials accountable for doing what is required of them?

        As a society, we’ve gone so far past accountability, that school officials are required to report and/or suspend children of all ages if they go so far as to pretend they’re shooting a gun with their fingers. Meanwhile, very little is done against those kids actively seeking out violence because they’re “protected” under some obscure law.

        Might be a better idea to fix the school system first and get that boat on an even keel before thinking it’s a good idea to award $15 million to a family that, by all appearances, have some very questionable motives, Muslim or otherwise.

        1. The issue at hand is that the authorities should be soundly spanked (in a metaphorical sense) for overreacting and causing the ruckus.

          Whether Ahmed is held accountable is conditionally independent of holding the authorities accountable.

          …but I appreciate the attempt to derail the discussion.

          1. Kid makes hoax bomb. School (which has had regulations regarding hoax bombs and how to deal with them for decades) acts according to the regulations.

            How exactly did they overreact? Did they overreact because the kid is part of a minority? Do people in minority populations get to avoid certain laws?

            The media and parts of general society caused the ‘ruckus’ through editorialising and popular reporting. Not so long ago reporting news involved just that, reporting facts to the best of your ability. Now anyone can have a blog and call themselves a news service and idiots retweet and various other forms of bullshit that opinion (and it IS an opinion, NOT news) and legitimate (once upon a time) news broadcasters have to spew more shit to keep people’s attention.

            So no, the school and district shouldn’t be locked in stocks in the town square. They will have their own review process, which will happen away from the noise and impotent fury of ‘social commentators’ so as to maintain accurate outcomes and not just get caught up on whatever fad-weight-loss blog opinion happens to be in vogue that day.

            Yeah, once I wanted to be a reporter. Then the internet killed off all the credibility the industry had.

          2. Wait… Who *caused* the ruckus? The school that reacted to the issue or the student that created the issue by plugging the clock into the wall and set the alarm to sound while the class was in-session? (Despite the advice of another teacher that warned him earlier in the day) The same student that has disrupted classes in the past by disabling projectors with a TV-B-GONE while the teacher was attempting to use the projector to present material to the rest of the class?

            Have you considered that maybe, just *MAYBE* the administrators were seeking his ‘confession’ as documentation for a lesser punishment (another, this time more strict suspension) and only involved the police when he refused to cooperate and talk to them? Something he had no problem with later that day when talking to reporters?

            It was hype. It was a hoax. It was grandstanding… and you still buy into it.

      2. My response was prejudicial? How do you figure? Everything in my post was fact or opinionated response backed by fact. I dont give a shit that he’s brown or Muslim, I talk the same shit on the lady and the jurors that decided she needed a fat check to make up for spilling hot coffee in her lap.

        You want to talk accountability of actions? Then lets start with the family that has a penchant of pushing buttons to create hype. Or the boy with a documented history of disruptive behaviour. Or the people that report on things without fully considering the reality of the the times or situation.

        The only rotting teeth I see are yours from drinking all the liberal media kool-aid that has also washed your brain.

        1. “I talk the same shit on the lady and the jurors that decided she needed a fat check to make up for spilling hot coffee in her lap.”

          She got huge 3rd degree burns on her inner thighs and genitals you ass.

          1. I’m aware of that but coffee is meant to be hot. Unless the person that handed it to her had teflon hands or a robot arm then my sympathy is limited.

            Maybe I’m a cold-hearted bastard, but it is what it is. You order something hot, you expect it to be hot thus you treat it like its hot. I go out to eat and order fajitas I let the waiter set my sizzling plate down instead of taking it from them like I would with, say… a club sandwich. Drive-thru person didnt reach out and hand it to her in her car, over her lap. She took it in the area between the car window and drive-thru window and she had control of it as she brought it into the car. If I was scalding hot then she should have immediately dropped it on the ground.

          2. She did not take the coffee directly. Her son (grandson?) was driving the car and they pulled into a parking space for her to add cream and sugar. Since the car had no cup holders, she placed coffee between her legs in order to remove the lid. At that point she spilled the coffee.

            The original award was in the ballpark of 2.5 million but the actual award was much lower. 640K was the final award before the parties went to an undisclosed settlement.

            This is the same issue with [Ahmed]. Everyone cites what they want to hear but the facts get ignored. Once you start digging for the truth, a $15 million award (or any award for that matter) is excessive.

          3. Coffee’s meant to be hot but it’s not meant to be 3rd degree burns hot because that’s basically undrinkable as well as dangerous. If I remember correctly, McDonalds had been repeatedly cited for serving their coffee at unsafe temperatures and had continued to do so anyway.

        2. This is a post-modern response to a pre-modern culture. One is pre-occupied with fairness to the point of self sacrifice. The other wants everyone dead who isn’t a tribe member and if you can’t kill them now, at least take their money.

      3. Yeah right.. fifteen freaking million. Most people I know will in their entire life counting every penny they earn not make even a part of that, their entire life, counting every penny.. let that sink in for a second

        And let’s go with your punishment idea, so, we let the school pay 15 million and use that money to finance a good cause, or simply put it IN the tax system. But don’t ever give 15 million for frivolous BS trickery like this.

        Although I can’t imagine a jury would be silly enough to award 15 million. (I keep fighting reality and giving people some credit.)

  3. Ahmed won’t get a penny, He took apart an alarm clock put it in a pencil case styled like a breifcase in order to build a “comic bomb” His sister has been arrested in the past for bomb threats in the same school district. His family are media junkies trying to get what ever they can. I really hope the school counter sues the little shit.

      1. Exactly, He also went to visit the president of Sudan who is an Alledged War criminal, Perhaps he isn’t really a war criminal and we are all just islamophobes LOL. Jokes aside I’m a liberal guy myself but I can’t stand bullshit and it seems a lot on the left refuse too see he did any wrong. it got to the point it was embarrassing praising this little kid who did wrong. What message does that send too his classmates? Bring in a fake bomb, meet president, get microsoft freebies, tour of facebook and 20 scholarships.

        There was also the fact the media portrayed the lie that the teachers thought it was a bomb. They never thought it was a bomb ever, They thought he was trying a hoax. They have zero tolerance and had to phone police as that is the rules of the School.

  4. A paper label with non creeping ink will make a highly readable tag, if slipped under clear heat shrink tubing before cooking. Make label shorter than sleeve. It can be one bold line of text or 2 or 3 lines, graphics like arrows of flow etc.

    1. yes all true.
      What if you don’t have clear heat shrink handy or want color coding as well? I can see this being used for color coding and identifying lines for my Halloween controller next fall. Just happen to have rolls of the proper size shrink in multiple colors .

  5. Also of note, regarding the Pi Zero – I’ve been able to get it’s idle power consumption down to ~30 mA (if I disable HDMI, disable the lone LED, and don’t have anything extra plugged in); this is pretty awesome in terms of using the Pi as an embedded computer or in situations where the Arduino used to be the only option because of power requirements!

  6. USA… In German we (well, at least some people) call it “Land der unbegrenzten Unmöglichkeiten”…
    (something like “country of unlimited impossibilities” but i don’t know if this is meaningful in english)

      1. I think what the ‘country of unlimited impossibilities’ meant is that things that shouldn’t be able to happen at all just keep happening. ‘land of opportunity’ would be a different concept.

        1. Yes, it’s a “play on words” (according to leo):
          unbegrenzte Möglichkeiten – unlimited possibilities, you can become rich, famous etc…
          unbegrenzte Unmöglichkeiten – unlimited strange/weird/stupid things happens that shouldn’t even exist (or something like this)

  7. So now that HaD has gone down the potty, where’s everyone getting their daily hacks? hackernews is pretty cruddy too. I miss the days when technically correct was the best kind of correct…

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.