Hackaday Links: October 22, 2017

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A few weeks ago, the popcorn overflowed because of an ambiguous tweet from AdafruitDid Adafruit just buy Radio Shack? While everyone else was foaming at the mouth, we called it unlikely. The smart money is that Adafruit just bought a few fancy stock certificates, incorporation papers, and other official-looking documents at the Radio Shack corporate auction a few months ago. They also didn’t pick up that monster cache of Trash-80s, but I digress.

Here’s some more popcorn: Adafruit just applied for the ‘Radiofruit’ trademark. Is this Adafruit’s play to take over the Radio Shack brand? Probably not; they put a bunch of radio modules on Feather boards, and are just doing what they do. It does demonstrate Adafruit’s masterful manipulation effective use of social media, though.

Remember those 2D tilty maze rolling marble labyrinth game things? Here’s a 3D version on Kickstarter. It’s handheld, so this really needs a gimbal and associated twisty knobs.

In a video making the meme rounds, someone found an easter egg in the gauge cluster of a Russian GAZ van. It plays Tetris.

It’s Sunday, so it’s time to talk Star Trek. Here’s something interesting that hit my email: a press release telling me, “Trekkies Scramble To Get The First Toothbrush In Space As Seen On Star Trek Discovery”. This is the toothbrush, and here is the press kit. Dumb? Not at all. Star Trek has a long history of using off-the-shelf tools and devices for props. For example, the hyperspanners seen in Star Trek: Enterprise were actually this non-contact thermometer available from Harbor Freight. At least the hyperspanners and thermometers came out of the same injection mold.

There’s a new LimeSDR board on CrowdSupply. It extends any LimeSDR to 10 GHz.

Kerf bending is the application of (usually laser-cut) slots to bend plywood around corners. You’ve seen it a million times before, and done correctly the technique can produce some very interesting results. What about metal, though? You need a pretty big laser for that. [Proto G] is using a 2000 W fiber laser to experiment with kerf bending in stainless steel. It works as you would expect, and we eagerly await someone to replicate this, if only to see another 2000 Watt laser in action.

20 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: October 22, 2017

  1. It wasn’t just their ambiguous tweet… They also retweeted people congratulating them on buying Radio Shack. But “Radio Shack Corporation” was renamed “RS Legacy Corp” during the first bankruptcy proceedings (which appear to be still ongoing), and that corporation is pretty much gone. There’s no registered agent listed at the Delaware Secretary of State’s site. When General Wireless (the “new” Radio Shack company) went bankrupt, they auctioned off their trademark and other IP for $15 million, only to have it licensed back to General Wireless while it is in bankruptcy.

    One thing I haven’t seen anyone mention is that General Wireless owes Adafruit $52,700 (https://cases.primeclerk.com/generalwireless/Home-ClaimInfo?ClaimSearchValue=adafruit). It seems unlikely that they will ever be paid. This might just be Adafruit subtly trolling RadioShack over that debt.

  2. Star trek:
    M2007 scanners and honeywell orbit scanners on the bridge for starters.
    the fact I work in the e-pos industry… Who wants a genuine Star trek prop? our warehouse is full of them… and so is almost every UK super-store!!!

    1. This was one of my favourites from Phantom Menace…


      Qui-Gon Jinn tried to raise his ship on one. My wife had one, so I recognised it immediately on screen, which didn’t help with the suspension of disbelief.

      The bizarre thing was that when they released a toy version of the communicator, they made it twice size, and kids are smaller than adults anyway, so it looked really gigantic in use.

    1. Now you mention that, it makes perfect sense they only included Tetris with the Game Boy for QA purposes…. the buttons work fine on mine, just tested it yesterday… display has a line missing though.

        1. Yah, 70s kids by the time they got a license in the late 80s, early 90s, they’d be driving along, Game Boy in left hand, mug of coffee and CB mic in the right hand, steering with knees and heel of hand… trying out all the stuff they saw on A-Team and Dukes of Hazzard….

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