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Programming

Green Bean connects to GE appliances

What if your dryer could send a notification that would buzz your phone or smartwatch to let you know your laundry is done? Well, it may be easier to tap into the brains of your appliances than you might think, with the US$20 open-source Green Bean module announced today by GE at MakerCon in New York.  Read More

The Verve 2, along with some of its sensors and other peripherals

For tinkerers and people who love programming complicated projects, devices like the Raspberry Pi and Arduino are amazing, but for those without technical knowledge, they can be a terrifying proposition. A new device called Verve 2 aims to bring the functionality of these devices to the masses without the need for programming skills.  Read More

Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon are developing a programming language that seamless...

The web would be a much more secure place if not for the vulnerability built right into a common coding practice: pasted-together strings of database commands (usually for either SQL queries or JavaScript-enabled user interactions), which could be exploited for malicious purposes. But computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon are developing a programming language specifically intended to protect computers and websites from such threats.  Read More

Easy-to-program Edison is a palm-sized bot, compatible with Lego bricks and packing a suit...

With robots set to play a more prominent role in society in the coming years, it makes sense to find fun ways to educate youngsters on the technology. To that end, Thomas Alva has developed Edison, a palm-sized, bright orange, programmable robot compatible with Lego bricks that is intended as an affordable introduction to programming and robotics.  Read More

The Raspberry Pi Model B+ offers some key improvements for the same price as the original ...

The Raspberry Pi was designed to put an affordable computer into the hands of young programers. Since then, it has gone on to be used in all kinds of interesting projects, and has even found its place in the home of casual users as a media center. Now, the team is launching a new model called the Raspberry Pi Model B+, which brings some key improvements to the hardware while keeping the same US$35 price tag.  Read More

LEVAN learns by associating words with images

Word-picture association is one of the basic mechanisms of human memory. As children, it helps us to learn language by verbalizing what we see, as adults it is an invaluable aid to visualizing broader concepts or perhaps helping those with an LBLD (Language-Based Learning Disability). Now researchers from the University of Washington and the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence have created the first fully automated computer program named LEVAN that teaches itself everything there is to know about a visual concept by associating words with images.  Read More

The Kibo robot kit from KinderLab Robotics

KinderLab Robotics has launched a new robot building and programming platform called Kibo that's designed for youngsters from 4 years and up. After customizing and personalizing a two-wheeled base unit, the kids can tell the robot what they want it to do by grabbing some colorful wooden blocks, putting them in order according to a specific function and scanning their bar codes into the base in sequence. Pressing a button will then start the program running and the robot creation springs to life.  Read More

The LittleBits Arduino Bundle

Last year, my daughter and I had the opportunity to try out Littlebits – magnetic circuits that make it easy for kids to create a variety of simple projects – for a few weeks. She's been talking about it ever since. Now the company is offering a new Arduino module that allows kids to not just make cool circuits, but to program them too.  Read More

SkyJack was made from a Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 like the one pictured here

Amazon's Prime Air announcement last week brought concerns about the use of commercial drones to the fore, but one programmer may have just muddied the waters even more. Notable hacker Samy Kamkar recently modified a Parrot AR.Drone 2 with his custom software, called SkyJack, allowing it to seek out the wireless signals of other UAVs and take control of them, even while in flight.  Read More

The Kano computer kit makes learning programming concepts painless (Photo: Kano)

Billed as "the computer anyone can make," the US$99 Kano kit supplies a Raspberry Pi computer board with the various accouterments (save for a display) required to make it into a complete computer. The Kano programming language uses graphic code blocks to implement a simple but powerful language reminiscent of BASIC.  Read More

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