Hackaday Links: November 27, 2016

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[Prusa]’s business is doing great. This year, he released the Prusa i3 Mk. 2, a four color upgrade to the printer, and sales are through the roof. There’s just one problem: Paypal just locked his funds. Prusa is turning away from Paypal and given Paypal’s history, this will eventually be worked out. Be warned, though: don’t use Paypal for your hardware business. We’ve seen this same story played out too many times before.

Those millennials are always on their phones. How do you get rid of that distraction? Airplane mode? No, that’s stupid. Put those phones in a metal box. It’s the exact same thing as airplane mode – which is free – but this extra special metal box costs $45 and ships in March. Is this metal box different from any other metal box, like a cookie tin, perhaps? Probably not.

Nothing to see here, folks.

The holidays are here, and it’s time for Cards Against Humanity to do something stupid with other people’s money. This year, they’re throwing money into a hole. No, really. People are contributing money to dig a gigantic hole. There’s a livestream of the digging. Five dollars lets the dig continue for another few seconds. Join in on the holiday spirit: throw your money into a hole.

You don’t want to throw your money into a hole? Buy some stuff on Tindie! There’s robots, CNC controllers, servo drivers, MIDI arpeggiators, USB testers, power supplies, blinky glowy things, and retro gaming stuff. Go plug your Raspberry Pi into some of these gizmos.

The Mechaduino is a board that clips onto a ubiquitous NEMA stepper motor to turn it into a servo motor.  It won 5th place in the Hackaday Prize last month, and we can’t wait to see it integrated into a closed-loop 3D printer. [Chris] came up with an Ethernet-enabled servo-stepper conversion, and now it’s a project on Kickstarter. Of course, you can buy a Mechaduino right now, making the future of stepper motor-controlled desktop CNC very interesting.

Individually addressable RGB LEDs exist, and we’re waiting for Clark Griswold to electrify his house in red, green, and blue. Until then, [Michel built a holiday ornament loaded up with 16 WS2812b LEDs. The star features caps and diodes to make everything work as it should and requires only three wires per star.

25 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: November 27, 2016

  1. The box will drain batteries, despite what the guy says, since in the absence of reception the phone brings its emission power to the max to try to reach an hypothetical cell tower far away… Anyway it’s a $50 metal box (that you could get a good replacement for $1), can’t really expect the guy selling it or the people buying it to care about the little details.

    1. Yeah, I’ve tried ‘metal box’.(Fishing trip on the ocean, no reception.)
      Eats the battery trying to connect.
      How bad? Worse than playing YouTube music videos on Firefox.

  2. Paypal literally will arbitrarily close your account and hold all of your funds for 180 days and will tell you to go screw yourself while literally refusing to tell you why or have any means of appealing. It’s truly absurd and completely arbitrary and yet it happens over and over again to businesses, some of which have been around for a decade or more without issue. There need to be better solutions and better alternatives.

    1. PayPal pulled the same crap on the guys over at the Neo900 project. Someone really needs to build a PayPal clone that has all the good things about PayPal (can pay people in most countries from most countries, lightning fast money transfers, very low fees, easy to use, easy to put money in via your credit card etc) but none of the bad things (locking accounts, taking money for no reason, withholding funds, refusing to unlock things until you submit all kinds of ID and documentation etc).

      I suspect it would be very difficult to do it though (some of what PayPal does is done because Visa/MasterCard/etc insist on it and some of what PayPal does is done because governments insist on it for money-laundering/terrorism/organized crime reasons and any new entrant would probably face the same requirements)

    2. Step 1: Don’t keep money in PayPal.

      It’s not a bank, it’s not an escrow. It’s a convenient transaction service. I first ran into PayPal hate a couple years back and asked a guy about it after his rant. He told me he put $5,000 on his account and they froze it the next day pending investigation. He was furious that a bank was allowed to do that. He didn’t believe me when I told him it’s not a bank.

    The HDrive is an easy to use Internet of Things (IoT) enabled servo drive.


    Why do we need an IoT enabled servo drive again?

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