Invasive Species – Mobilfunkmasten als Bäume getarnt


In Südafrika hat Dillon Marsh für sein Projekt „Invasive Species“ Mobilfunkmasten fotografiert, die als Bäume getarnt sind. Im alten Blog hatte ich mal Robert Voit verlinkt, der sich ebenfalls der neuen Baumart gewidmet hat. (via Wired)

In 1996 a palm tree appeared almost overnight in a suburb of Cape Town. This was supposedly the world’s first ever disguised cell phone tower. Since then these trees have spread across the city, South Africa and the rest of the world. Invasive Species explores the relationship between the environment and the disguised towers of Cape Town and its surrounds.

Pizza für 10.000 BTC – Geschichte der ersten Bitcoin-Transaktion

Motherboard hat noch mal die Geschichte der mutmaßlich ersten Bitcoin-Transaktion aufgerollt, bei der materielle Güter erworben wurden: Am 21. Mai 2010 wanderten 10.000 BTC für zwei Pizzen über den Desktop – nach aktuellem Kurs inzwischen rund 750.000 US$. Aber sie haben geschmeckt. Immerhin.

It is widely believed that the first real-world bitcoin transaction took place on May 21st, 2010. Laszlo Hanyecz, a programmer living in Florida, sent 10,000 bitcoin (BTC), the online-only, open source cryptocurrency, to a volunteer in England, who then spent about $25 to order Hanyecz some Papa John’s. Hanyecz then uploaded the image above as proof that the transaction had been successfully completed. It was a major milestone in bitcoin’s short history. And as of right now, it cost Hanyecz three-quarters of a million dollars. You are looking at a $750,000 pizza… Motherboard: This Pizza Cost $750,000

The Night Steve Jobs returned to Apple, Dec 20, 1996


Als Steve Jobs am 20. Dezember 1996 zu Apple zurückkehrte, schnappte sich Tim Holmes eine Apple QuickTake Camera und machte ein paar Fotos. Die Bilder sind so banal wie qualitativ schlecht (die Farben!) – aber gerade das gefällt mir an dem Album:

Working late on a Friday on December 20th at Apple Computer as Mac OS Evangelist, my manager came rushing past my office door saying to come with him to Town Hall, Apple’s theater for announcements, company meetings and the like. It was clearly not a company meeting… I called Mitch, my wife who also worked there at the time, and told her meet me there. We had no idea what was about to happen… I tend to take a camera everywhere, so I had my Apple QuickTake camera, which Steve Jobs killed within the year. The colors are way off due to the poor quality of digital cameras in 1996, Steve’s jacket was black in real life.

(Foto: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 by Tim Holmes via @JerikoOne)

C64 legolized

64 Kilobricks von Chris McVeigh, derzeit für stolze 36 Euro als Bausatz in seinem Shop vorbestellbar. Wer weiß, hätte ich nicht sowieso schon bergeweise Lego rumliegen und das Foto meinen Ehrgeiz geweckt…

A Lego retro computer building kit custom designed by Chris McVeigh. 82 pieces, shipped in a sturdy cardboard box. Model measures approximately 5″ wide x 1″ tall x 2.5″ deep (13 cm x 2.5 cm x 7 cm).

(via TBB)

Die durchschnittliche Lebenserwartung von Google-Diensten


Seit dem angekündigten Ende vom Reader sind viele am Grübeln, ob Google evil, arrogant oder dumm geworden ist. Ich persönlich tendiere zu einem Mix aus allen drei Punkten. Dazu noch ein Schuss Verzweiflung, angesichts der Performance von Google+ im Vergleich zu Facebook. Charles Arthur vom Guardian geht die Sache pragmatischer an und taxiert mal an Hand von 39 Google-Produkten und -Services die durchschnittliche Lebenserwartung von einem G-Dings, die demnach bei 1459 Tagen liegt. Sagt also am 18. März 2017 nicht, es hätte euch niemand gewarnt, wenn der gerade gelaunchte Notizendienst Google Keep wieder dicht macht.

So if you want to know when Google Keep, opened for business on 21 March 2013, will probably shut – again, assuming Google decides it’s just not working – then, the mean suggests the answer is: 18 March 2017. That’s about long enough for you to cram lots of information that you might rely on into it; and also long enough for Google to discover that, well, people aren’t using it to the extent that it hoped. Much the same as happened with Knol (lifespan: 1,377 days, from 23 July 2008 to 30 April 2012), or Wave (1,095 days, from May 2009 – 30 April 2012) or of course Reader (2,824 days, from 7 October 2005 to 1 July 2013).

(via Beyond the Beyond

Schlangen-Roboter umschlingt Dinge bei Kontakt


YouTube: Snake Robot Perching (via Automaton)

Sich bei der Robocalypse auf einem Baum zu verstecken, ist schon länger keine Option mehr. Insofern verschlechtert sich die Gesamtsituation durch das neuste Update für den modularen Schlangen-Bot vom Biorobotics Laboratory nur marginal. In freier Wildbahn will ich ihm trotzdem lieber nicht begegnen.

Using the accelerometers inside each module of the snake robot we are able to detect when the robot hits a pole or branch after being thrown and have the robot automatically perch on contact. This work is supported by the Army Research Lab’s Robotics Collaborative Technology Alliance (RCTA).

Salamandra robotica II – Robo-Lurchi aus der Schweiz


YouTube: Salamandra Robotica II Robot Walking and Swimming (via technabob)

Ein Robo-Lurchi aus der Schweiz, dessen Bewegungsapparat über ein neuronales Netz in seinem „Rückenmark“ gesteuert wird. Entwickelt wurde der Salamandra robotica II im Biorobotics Laboratory der Eidgenössischen Technischen Hochschule Lausanne. Mir persönlich lieber, als das durchgeknallte Maultier neulich…

Compared to its predecessor Salamandra robotica, the new robot swims more than twice as fast, is equiped with foldable limbs, and embarks more powerful microcontrollers that allow distributed computation of our models of spinal cord neural networks as well as the simulation of muscle properties. It is one of the few robots, if not the only one, that can swim, crawl, and walk. Its modular design allow us to rapidly change its morphology (e.g. make it longer, add or remove legs, etc.). Also its modularity means that each module has its own microcontroller, battery, and motors, and therefore we can split the robot in different parts and it would still work. This can have interesting implications in terms of robustness against damage. For instance, the robot could loose parts of its body and still be able to walk … The primary purpose of this robot is to serve as a scientific tool to test hypotheses about the neural circuits underlying locomotion in the spinal cord of vertebrate animals. For this, we work with neurobiologists … and make models of the central pattern generators that are known to control locomotion in vertebrate animals. These sophisticated circuits can produce complex locomotor patterns while receiving only simple command signals from upper parts of the brain.

Skrillex‘ Bangarang im Old School Computer Remix

YouTube: Skrillex – Bangarang – Old School Computer Remix

Kommt für meinen Geschmack nicht ganz an die Retro-Tech-Versionen von House of the Rising Sun, The B-52’s oder Bohemian Rhapsody ran. Liegt aber vielleicht einfach daran, dass mich der Dubstep von Skrillex kalt lässt, wenn er nicht gerade von alter Hardware gecovert wird: DECTalk (Vocals), HP Scanjet 3C  (Lead), Yamaha CX-5 Computer (Guitar), Floppy & CDROM (Kead Bass Solo), Modified Toy Laser Guns, Robot Bass, Snare und Cymbal.

For all the haters out there the audio in this video is 100% in sync with the original song. If you don’t believe me then test it out for yourself. Vocals were performed with the DECTalk Express. The same speech synthesizer used by Stephen Hawking back in the eighties. The main vocals are the Betty and Rita presets overlapped. Kit and Dan vocal presets were also used. Back in 2009 I used an 8 inch floppy drive in my Bohemian Rhapsody video but this time I wanted to update it with Sammy1am’s Arduino version. I find 3.5 inch floppy drives only sound good when playing short duraton notes with a fast tempo.

Schuhe schnüren mit einer bionischen Roboter-Hand

YouTube:Terminator-like carbon fibre mechanical hand (via PopSci)

Ich hab nur eine ungefähre Ahnung, was bei Prothesen aktueller Stand der Technik ist, bin mir aber trotzdem ziemlich sicher, dass die bionische Roboter-Hand im Video ziemlich weit vorn liegt.

A father who was given a high-tech bionic hand after losing his arm in an accident six years ago yesterday claimed he can now tie his shoe laces again. Nigel Ackland, 53, was fitted with the Terminator-like carbon fibre mechanical hand which he can control with movements in his upper arm in November last year. The bebionic3 myoelectric (double corr) hand, which is also made from aluminium and alloy knuckles, moves like a real human limb by responding to Nigel’s muscle twitches. Incredibly, the robotic arm is so sensitive it means Nigel can touch type on a computer keyboard, peel vegetables, and even dress himself for the first time in six years.