Linux IPhone Sync Draws Near

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[Emuboy] lets us know about some software advances that will make iPhone and iPod Touch syncing possible under Linux. Apple made big changes to how the iPhone syncs compared to legacy iPods. Locking out all communications other than through iTunes was surely part of their motivation. This has left Linux users out in the cold with shoddy sync capabilities which should be coming to an end. If successful, syncing will be be possible with phones that have not been jailbroken.

One of the biggest hurdles in reverse-engineering the new protocol is the non-standard way in which the devices communicate over USB. The usbmuxd developers have been working to implement communications and now have a Release Candidate for the 1.0.0 version. Along with testing of this package, libgpod is now being updated to play nicely with the new database format and hash of the iPhone.

This isn’t quite at the plug-and-play level of convenience yet but if you’re comfortable working with Linux packages you should be able to get this working and help report any bugs you might find. But if you’re tired of open source playing cat and mouse with Apple you can always switch over to a device based on Android.

Read About Trash-hackers… For Free

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[Cory Doctorow] has published a novel about the near future and a couple of hackers who can make anything from the stuff lying around. We like a good sci-fi novel, and have no shortage of recommendations (go read Snow Crash) for those who need them. We’re adding ‘Makers’ to our must read list.

Not only is this book about you, but its release most likely agrees with your life philosophy. You can download this book, right now, for free, legally. This is because it has been release under the creative commons license. Best of all, if you like the book and want to make a donation, you are directed to purchase a book on behalf of a school or other program that has requested a copy but doesn’t have the funds to acquire it themselves.

So, buy the book if you want a physical copy, download it if you prefer that method, but either way we think this is better than stealing the printed word.

Upgraded Atari 1024STf

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[Gerritt] wanted to give his crippled Atari 1024 STf a new purpose in life. He cracked it open and set to work filling it with some modern components. The keyboard from the nearly 25-year-old dinosaur doesn’t have all the keys we’re used to, nor did they all work, so he replaced the original with a 101 key model. The internal hardware was replaced with a microATX board, a picoPSU, Bluetooth and WiFi transceivers, a hard drive, and a slot-fed DVD drive. He even rebuilt the original mouse to use the circuitry from an optical mouse.

The final product is a 1.6GHz Pentium Mobile with one gig of ram. Now he has no need to pick up an EEE Keyboard PC when they hit the market.

Xerox Ink Will Print Circuits

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Xerox has announced a breakthrough in printable circuits. They’ve developed a conductive ink called “silver bullet” that can be printed on many different types of substrate to create circuits. The key part of the new ink is its lower melting point. Plastic film substrate melts at 150 degrees Celsius but the ink is liquid when ten degrees cooler to avoid damaging the film. This begs the question: how do you then solder components to the circuit?

The benefits of printable circuitry are obvious. Aside from cheaper and easier RFID, disposable circuits like greeting cards, and fabric-based electronics, we’re hoping this will facilitate more environmentally friendly PCB fabrication. That really depends on the ink’s production process and the resilience of the resulting circuitry.

[via Gizmodo]

CNC Used To Make 3D Video Using One Camera

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[Gabriel] is making 3D movies using only one camera. This should be impossible because true 3D needs to be stereoscopic, with images from different perspectives for each eye. He’s worked this out by mounting the camera on a CNC gantry and programming it to make two passes along slightly different paths. He’s plotting the camera paths using SketchUp and a plugin that exports paths as CamBam files, automatically adjusting for perspective. The two videos are then merged using Stereo Movie Maker.

We’ve embedded both a 3D video as well as behind-the-scenes filming video after the break but you’ll need the red and blue 3D glasses to view the former. It’s not too much of a stretch to tweak his methods and use this for stopped motion video where one button press takes a frame for each eye. Now, who will be the first to bring us a Star Wars remake filmed in stopped-motion 3D using the original action figures? Continue reading “CNC Used To Make 3D Video Using One Camera”

These Midi Controllers Stink!

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Well, maybe saying it stinks is too harsh. But if you build a midi controller out of an old pair of skate shoes you can be certain that they smell. [Thobson] put odor issues aside and added four force sensitive resistors to his shoes (one in each heel and one under the ball of each foot) for a creation he calls BeatSneaks. As force is applied to the resistors, they become less resistive. This change in resistance is measured by the ADC inputs on an Arduino and used to trigger midi events via USB. There’s video after the break, and [Thobson’s] has provided the schematic and code that he used for his addition to a growing family of unusual musical interfaces.

Does this make tap dancing cool again?

Continue reading “These Midi Controllers Stink!”

Piecax The Poltergeist Reinvents The Knock Block

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[AndyGadget] built a haunted box as part of his Halloween preparations. This follows in the footsteps of the Knock Block we saw earlier this month but makes several hardware changes. He’s replaced the solenoid with a DC motor that rotates an arm to do the knocking. He’s avoided any CNC work by using a softwood box from a craft store as the enclosure. For control circuitry he’s used an 8-pin PICAXE Microcontroller that ‘listens’ for knocking on the box via a piezo buzzer. It will mimic knocks back to you, and if it hears the right combination The Addams Family theme song is played. This useless machine will make a great office conversation piece and with this simplified design it’s much easier to build than the Knock Block. See it perform after the break.

Continue reading “Piecax The Poltergeist Reinvents The Knock Block”