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Archive for April, 2011

Off Topic: British Open 2011 Accommodations

British Open 2011 Accommodations

Off topic post about housing accommodations for the 2011 British Open. Are you an avid golfer – or a fan of watching golf on T.V.?  Have you ever been to London and wondering the streets jumping from pub to pub?  Well if either sound interesting and you have a bit of extra cash, then consider going to the British Open 2011 event.  A friend of a friend has a great flat not too far from the Open and it would be an opportune time to experience all this at a fantastic rate.  Read on for the British Open 2011 Accommodations. Danecourt House Location: Deal [map] Bedrooms: 2 (sleeps 4) Garden: Private Courtyard Minimum Let Time: One Week Daily Rent: £150 Distance from Open course: 5 Miles Initial non-refundable booking deposit of £500. Balance 2 months in advance complete payment on arrival. 7 days minimum rental period. Danecourt House is an exceptionally pleasant traditional cottage in central Deal. 500 meters from the sea front, close to Deal Castle and 3 minutes from the nearest pubs and restaurants. Recently decorated with traditional style kitchen and bathroom. Large open plan downstairs living area. 2 double bedrooms and courtyard garden with BBQ. This is a great property in a perfect location to enjoy the wonders of Deal and the Open. On street parking to the front of the property. This property is available throughout the period of the Open and for periods before and after the event. Contact Info: Name:Mr N Ranshaw Email: nicr@cd-writer.com Phone: 0208 293 0777 (office hours) More info and source: Blog CD-Writer. Continue Reading

Windows 8 Is Looking Like USB Portable

A leaked version of Windows 8 has surfaced and there look to be some promising features for the USB lovers out there.  First and formost, check out this screen shot of Windows 8 asking if you’d like to run from a USB flash drive. USB Windows 8 Is it possible Microsoft figured out the best possible solution for longevity is letting users run their OS from a flash drive, then plug it into any PC they see fit to run their computer?  Some storage problesm with that, but never-the-less, a good starting point. Here are some other things we think might be bundled with Windows 8:
  • Run from an ARM processor
  • Multi touch gesture interface
  • USB portability
  • Ribbon user interface
  • Easy access to cloud storage
But who knows exactly what will be included until Microsoft makes the official beta version available. Continue Reading

USB Hack: Control USB Missile Launcher with Microsoft Kinect

Granted I didn’t think of this concept, but looking back, it’s odd this USB hack took as long as it did.  Hacker, Jonas Wagner, was able to rig his Microsoft Kinect to a USB missile launcher.  From what we’ve read, Jonas wanted to control a missile launcher with his Kinect, only problem is that he didn’t have access to missiles.  Next best thing was a USB missile launcher. To give him some feedback about position, the first thing Jonas did was mount a video cam above the USB missile launcher.  Next step was polish up his Python skills and incorporate the libfreenect library for control. Using his hands to position the USB missile launcher, Jonas can rotate the base unit, angle the barrel up or down and fire the launcher – all thorugh his Kinect. Video after the jump of Jonas shooting his brother[?] Continue Reading

USB Lock USB Gun USB Lighter

We are really trying to avoid blog posts about USB flash drives as they are everywhere, ambiguous, dime-a-dozen, you name it; however, today we received three emails about new styles and just couldn’t help ourselves. All along the same genre if you will, of shady, up to no good, stereo types.  First we have the USB lock.  Lets get your mindset into that of a burglar.  Next, a USB gun.  Sure if you can’t crack the lock, just point your gun at someone.  Last, the USB lighter.  Burn the place down after you’ve stolen everything. USB Lock: USB Gun: USB Lighter: Sure all of the above is a stretch, but interesting all these tips came in on the same day from different companies.  Think there is some conflict in our future?  Links & price to products after the jump: Continue Reading

USB Egg-Bot CNC Art Robot

The Eggbot is an open-source art robot that can draw on spherical or egg-shaped objects from the size of a ping pong ball to that of a small grapefruit. The Eggbot is super adjustable, and is designed to draw on all kinds of things that are normally “impossible” to print on. Not just eggs but ping pong balls, light bulbs, mini pumpkins, and even things like wine glasses. The egg-bot is ideal for Easter and a fun way for kids to make elaborate designs on their eggs.  The egg-bot is recommended for ages 10 and up with parent supervision at 13 and under.  In the photos, you can see just a few of the things you can do with eggs. The Eggbot chassis is made of tough fiberglass, with integrated heat sinks for the included motors. The pen and egg motors are high-torque precision stepping motors, and the pen lift mechanism is a quiet and reliable servo motor. The Eggbot kit is easy to assemble in a couple of hours, and only requires a couple of basic tools like miniature Phillips-head and flathead screwdrivers. You’ll also need a computer with an available USB port (Mac, Windows or Linux). The EBB allows your computer to directly control the stepper and servo motors. The onboard 16X microstepping driver chips along with the 200 step/revolution stepper motors give a combined resolution of Continue Reading

USB Fever: iPad Cable Extender

As we just mentioned, Apple doesn’t license their female connector technology, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get it.  Take for example, the USB Fever iPad iPhone cable extender.  This cable makes it easy to extend the iPad or iPhone from it’s original point. Some possible applications would include:  A developer testing the device and doesn’t want to wear down the contacts of the Apple device.  Connect where other accessories get in the way.  Your other cable is worn down and you don’t want to drop the $50 on the Apple branded version. The Apple cable extender is $12 and ready for the taking. Continue Reading

Apple 30 Pin Connector Supports USB 3.0

Did you know Apple will license it’s male 30 pin connector technology to just about anyone, but they will never license the female 30 pin portion of their connector?  For most, not a big deal, for some, they’d love to have that ability. Things could get interesting down the road as Apple was just awarded another patent for their 30 pin connector.  This time the pin-out includes support for data and power communication to 3.0 devices and also Thunderbolt devices.  What does this mean? It means Apple will be able to keep their slim line design and proprietary connector interface via their 30 pin connector.  The new design will still communicate with 3.0 devices, but without the traditional USB port interface.  A bit brilliant if you ask me. With the increased sales volume of Apple products, this new connector type could become an industry standard – oh wait – it can’t – because Apple wont license their female part of the connector.  This means tablets like the Motorola Zoom and others could not pivot off the 30 pin design.  But rather stay with traditional power pins and USB interface.  This gives Apple the edge up on keeping their products slimmer and thus more light weight. What do you think? Continue Reading

USB Hack: USB Traffic Stop Light

Tim from Imagitronics posted a neat little USB hack about taking gadget traffic light and connecting to it via USB. He retrofitted the generic blinking traffic light with a USB module and wrote a simple Mac application to change the status of the red/yellow/green lights. This project was born out of the frustration after being constantly interrupted by people who could not tell that he was already busy. I think it a great idea. What I’d like to see is the traffic light also be used for email notifications.  Say green means you have less then 10 emails, yellow means Continue Reading

Apogee DUET2 USB Interface Device

Apogee’s Duet 2, a USB audio interface device now features a full-color OLED display to offer visual feedback for its multiple functions, including level metering, audio input / output and more. The Duet2 offers full 24-bit/192kHz recording, a configurable touch pad, Soft Limit technology, a breakout cable and Maestro 2 software, along with completely re-designed mic preamps, four balanced outputs, and an independent speaker. The Duet2 is best used for sound recording in a mic or directly plugged into the device. It uses a fully-redesigned breakout cable to convert its one I/O port into two mic (XLR) or two line/instrument (1/4-inch) preamps, and a click-free multi-function controller knob to assign gain up to 75dB. The visual display allows users to pick the perfect volume without distortion (along with monitoring phantom power and phase invert), and the Soft Limit technology previously found only in Apogee’s top-end gear now prevents digital clipping by instantly rounding off transient peaks before they hit the also-redesigned analog-to-digital converters. The unit also features up to four outputs, including: two balanced line outputs, up to 20dBu, along with separate speaker and headphone outs, allowing a user to monitor one source while sending another out — useful for Djs at live events, recording studios or spoken word. The configurable touch pads allow uses to quickly access output functions or switch headphone sources. Apogee Duet 2 costs $595 and will be available in April. It is designed exclusively for the Mac and works well with most popular music software, particularly Garageband and Logic. It also works with other music-creation suites like Live, Pro Tools and Cubase. Continue Reading

USB Recharging

There is news running popping up about a new concept design for rechargeable batteries via USB.  Well, the concept looks cool from a design standpoint, but nothing new in the market place. First, lets review the design.  Taking a double A battery case, the concept is to attach a USB cable so the internal battery can be recharged.  Nice concept if it came out 5 years ago, but why add the additional USB cable.  Why not make the tip a USB connector?  Oh wait, it’s been done. So this brings us to what is already in the market place, the USBCell. This is a rechargeable battery which sits inside the double A battery design case. You can recharge the battery Continue Reading

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