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Open Source

Home Entertainment

Helium Bluetooth speakers powered by supercapacitors

Sharing music with friends through laptop or smartphone speakers can be less than satisfying, which perhaps goes some way to explaining the overwhelming choice of portable Bluetooth speakers that come into view as you enter a consumer electronics store. Such offerings all suffer the same problem, though. Just as you're getting your groove on, the built-in battery dies and you have to wait hours while it juices up from a wall socket. What mobile music lovers like me need are wireless speakers that can charge in minutes, and then last for hours. An impossible dream? Sam Beck from Portland's Blueshift doesn't think so. He's developed mono and stereo portable Bluetooth speakers powered by supercapacitors. Helium users can look forward to a super quick charge time, hours of full volume playback and years of recharge cycles before needing to consider a supercap refresh.Read More

Good Thinking

Five products only a nerd could love

One of the perks of writing about technology and innovation is the opportunity to get your hands on all sorts of new products, usually made by folks with a vision of how their new gadget will change the world. The downside of this privilege, however, is the knowledge that many perfectly fantastic products will never become household names, no matter how deserving they might be. With that in mind, I wanted to pay tribute to five products that, unfortunately, I fear only total nerds like myself will ever truly fall in love with.Read More

Games

Drone takes gaming controllers open-source for cross platform compatibility

Traditional gaming hardware usually includes two main components: the console itself, and a controller. Mobile devices generally rely on touchscreens for game input, but many find this can take away from the traditional gaming experience. That's where third-party devices come into play. A new one, called the Drone, brings an open source controller to a wide range of devices, saving users from having to buy a separate controller for each. Read More

Home Entertainment

PACO concrete speaker controlled with gestures

Visitors to the homes of audio buffs might well be surprised to find weighty blocks of concrete breaking up the living room's otherwise colorful designer decor. These high-end music lovers have turned their backs on the unwelcome distortion and color that can be caused by oscillations of MDF, wood or plastic speaker cabinets, and plumped for drivers housed in concrete. If you can't afford, or don't have room for, large commercially-available floor-standing units like the exquisite N1 loudspeakers from Germany's Concrete Audio, Italy's Digital Habit(s) design house has created a gesture-controlled, Bluetooth-enabled tabletop speaker called PACO, which can be built at home using open source plans, or bought fully assembled. Read More

Free blogging platform Ghost opens to the public

Ghost, a free blogging platform billed as the first to put writers before developers, has been made available to the public. The software was developed and is managed by the non-profit Ghost Foundation, conceived to make the software unobtainable for corporate takeover.Read More

Electronics Review

Review: LulzBot TAZ 3D printer

Boasting the largest print envelope available for less than US$5,000, the LulzBot TAZ is a RepRap-style 3D printer that presents an open, no-frills design. The TAZ 1.0 is LulzBot’s fourth generation printer, and it uses the company’s sixth generation hot-end (the nozzle and extrusion mechanism for 3D printing). This printer uses an open-source format for both its software and hardware, also known as Libre Hardware. Read More

Space

Ardulab provides open source platform for space experiments

With Raspberry Pis and 3D printing all the rage, ambitious DIY projects have never been more achievable. However, when it comes to space experiments, it’s still a professionals-only game. Start up company Infinity Aerospace out of the NASA Ames Research Center at Mountain View, California, wants to change that with Ardulab: an open source experiment package based on the Arduino processor that provides students and others with the ability to send experiments into space for under US$5,000.Read More

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