Posts Tagged ‘circuit’
Adafruit, the DIY electronics website and marketplace, is espousing the popular strategy of “get em’ young” with a new live action short video series broadcast on YouTube. The series, called Circuit Playground, takes an alphabetical approach to teaching kids about the basics of circuits, components and concepts that will come in handy if the tots watching have aspirations of becoming electrical engineers, or just of building their own hobby projects at home.
The inaugural episode covers amperes, the unit of measurement for electric current flowing through a circuit. The co-hosts are Adabot, an adorable robot puppet helping keep the kids entertained, and Adafruit founder Limor Fried, providing easy-to-follow, but not patronizing explanations of the concepts involved. The intro features a number of animated characters representing circuit components, and there’s even a special guest appearance from André-Marie Ampère, after whom the ampere is named, so there’s an element of science history in the mix, too.
At less than 5 minutes, you also won’t have to keep your kids focused too long to take in the message. And if you’re a big kid who might not be all that well versed in the basics of circuits and electronics, you’ll probably learn something, too.
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There’s something I’ve been hoping to encounter over the years of writing about tech and gadgets that never seems to materialize: A hardware switch to disconnect my device from all outside communication. Call me paranoid, but airplane mode just isn’t good enough for me. Such a switch for wireless (or for the camera, or the microphone) seems to me an elementary protection against a number of potential dangers, and I doubt I’m the only one who would appreciate it.
It’s not that I think The Man is secretly tracking my phone at all times, even when I’m in airplane mode. If anything, He and the companies we all pay for data connections are doing so relatively openly! That’s expected now, and circumvented in other ways. It’s just a matter of trust in a number of parties’ honesty and competency.
You trust Apple or Google or whoever makes your phone or laptop to successfully shut off the wireless in your device when you ask it to. And that trust probably isn’t misplaced — failing to do so would have incurred the wrath of the FAA and any number of privacy and security organizations. In the same way, you also trust that when the LED isn’t lit, your camera isn’t active, and likewise the microphone.
But it isn’t much in the way of fantasy to imagine an emergency signal that wakes up a component, just as there are signals and techniques being patented to turn them off. If Apple is considering (and probably engineering) a means to shut down your camera so it can’t take pictures of copyrighted works, aren’t immediate extrapolations from that a legitimate concern?
So why not have a way to totally shut down components of a device? There’s no trust necessary if you yourself can see that the method of providing power to the wireless chip or camera module has been interrupted.
Not everyone cares, of course. But be honest: How many of you with discrete webcams have them pointed anywhere but at you right now? How many of you are always aware of the presence of the unblinking, cyclopean electronic eye above your laptop’s screen? Have you never considered how easy it might be to hijack the microphone or camera for a hacker or, for that matter, someone lawfully observing you using means graciously provided by the creator of the OS? Carrier IQ, anybody? FBI begging software companies for government backdoor privileges?
It’s not paranoia to have a chain lock as well as a deadbolt — redundancy is just a part of good security practices.
When you’re protecting your bank account, or your email, you don’t hesitate to ask for two-factor authentication. One would think that when setting up your daughter’s webcam or phone, you’d be able to take similarly thorough steps. Perhaps even with the pervasion of smartphones and other connected devices in our homes and on our persons, not enough people are aware of the fact that the only lock on their digital devices is one frequently exposed, indeed advertised, to the online world. To have a switch under your thumb that renders your device inaccessible to the physical phenomenon used to operate it is the ultimate protection. That people aren’t clamoring for it is honestly surprising to me.
Unfortunately, I doubt it will happen for a number of reasons. It’s troublesome for the user to have to worry about it, for one thing, and most would ignore it. It also undermines trust in the OS and its security — would you buy a lock from a guy who said “maybe you should get this one too, just in case”? And technically speaking, shutting off and restarting a component constantly (especially in system-on-a-chip architecture) is not trivial. It’s doubtful manufacturers will decide to isolate certain portions just so you can power them on and off at will (again, not a simple process).
Still, I can dream. I’ve always felt the need to exert control over my devices, and I am frustrated at every point along the frontier where my privileges as a user end. I have faith, at least, in people of like mind but more capable, to either provide such security measures as will satisfy those even more suspicious than myself, or to convince me of their superfluity.
[Image: Paul Cross / Flickr]
Adafruit currently welcomes newbies to diy gadget society, however it still assumes a particular quantity of convenience with coding and soldering. The shop now wishes to accommodate one of the most basic of beginners by starting a youngsters’s internet collection that educates electronics. Circuit Play ground will offer tasks, songs and stories that place a friendly face on engineering, in some methods really directly: numerous of the programs will involve big-eyed characters (and, normally, corresponding toys) like Cappy the Capacitor. Although the series does not start until March, it could possibly be important to a generation of children expanding up immersed in modern technology– and eventually produce a bigger client base for Adafruit in the process.
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Art Thompson, Red Bull Stratos’ technical project director, talks circuit breakers, wind shear and biomedical data
While Felix Baumgartner landed safely on the ground simply a matter of hours ago, the internet is still resonating with the sound of tweets, status updates and YouTube clicks, all thanks to what was among the most incredible human ventures in current history. The objective was simple, to send a guy up in a balloon higher than previously before, and have him securely leap to the ground. This kind of “easy” is typically anything but– if you simply look past the well-manicured exterior. Which, as luck would certainly have it is precisely what we did.
With the cheers of success still buzzing in his ears, we got some quality time with Art Thompson, the technical project director, and Baumgartner’s earliest collaborator on the Stratos objective. We needed to know a little bit more about what went on behind the scenes, and Thompson was more than delighted to oblige. They’re understandably proud of just what they just attained.
Continue reading Art Thompson, Red Bull Stratos’ technical project director, talks circuit breakers, wind shear and biomedical dataFiled under: Misc, AltArt Thompson, Red Bull Stratos’ technical project director, talks circuit breakers, wind shear and biomedical data initially appeared on Engadget on Tue, 16 Oct 2012 17:53:00 EDT
The popular design of the London Underground map was very first become pregnant in the 1930s by engineering draftsman Harry Beck, who based his concept around the quality and simplicity of electrical schematics– now, Japanese designer Yuri Suzuki has taken the principle full circle, creating a working radio making use of television map as a circuit board. Presently on display at London’s Design Gallery, the printed circuit board (PCB) covers the full length and breadth of the city’s present-day transport network, utilizing strategically put resistors, capacitors and other electrical parts to use the interconnections in the system.
” I think the PCB is a remarkable innovation,” says Suzuki in an explanatory video clip. “Due to the process and effectiveness of …
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If you experience tin foil like there’s no tomorrow (or due to the fact that you think there’s no tomorrow), you could prefer to head down the shop. A current 2 – 1 ruling by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has actually figured out that law enforcement agencies can easily obtain cellphone place data, without the need for a warrant. The choice follows a defendant in a drug-related instance claimed defense from his phone’s GPS place data being used under the 4th Amendment. Judge John Rogers stated that the defendant didn’t have an affordable expectation of privacy for data produced by a voluntarily acquired phone, going on to state that if tools made use of in such criminal offenses produce a trackable signal, police must be permitted to utilize it. Rogers likened it to the use of dogs tracking a fragrance, and criminals complaining they didn’t understand they were providing one off, or that the dog had actually chosen it up. The use of modern technology in crime prevention, be it police tools, or that belonging to the higher population, has actually long been a source of complex conversation, and this latest development is unexpected to be the end of it. However for now, a minimum of one man is rueing his choice to obtain a better phone. Hit the source for the full case history.
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Sweating The Small Stuff: Sotheby’s Selling Original Steve Jobs Note About Atari Circuit Improvements
The auction house Sotheby’s is selling an official memo from Steve Jobs to Atari about improving the World Cup Football game. The pages – stamped and signed by Jobs himself – describe circuit diagrams and paddle layouts. Delightfully, the stamp says “All-One Farm Design” and features a Buddhist mantra, “gate gate paragate parasangate bodhi svahdl.” As you do.
If you’re thinking of picking this up you’d best have about $ 10,000 to $ 15,000 handy – although bidding could get fierce. Quoth MacWorld:
If you’re really feeling spendy, you can plop down $ 180,000 on an original Apple I circuit board, presumably in mint condition. Get cracking and don’t forget: Sabbe satta sukhi hontu.
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Question by bigjay71: Hobby Robotics kit. Soldered circuit and assembled but doesn’t work. Troubleshooting ideas/tips?
For my high school physics class we have been assigned a project where we must solder and assemble a circuit, so we picked an Escape Robot Kit. We soldered and assemble and it won’t work at all. There must be a problem with how we soldered or something. Any ideas of how to potentially quickly solve the situation?
Answer by Numbat
It will take as long as it takes.
Find a DVM and measure every voltage on the circuit with respect to ground (or -ve supply). Pencil them in on the circuit. Then sit down and consider how the circuit works and see if the voltages stack up. If you have a wrong voltage, look around that stage for an error. Work your way back towards the input until the voltages are correct.
Assume that the design and circuit are correct. Don’t attempt to modify the design. Just look for errors on your part. Don’t discount faulty components. Quite often new, out of the box components can be faulty.
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!
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If you don’t know a resistor from a Mister Mister, this is the app for you. Built by Adafruit, creators of DIY Arduino gear, Circuit Playground is a $ 2.99 app designed to help you identify and understand various electronic components. For example, the app includes a resistor identification system based on the colored bands painted on the casing as well as a field guide to many electrical components.
The rest of the tools – including converters, calculators, and datasheet storage systems – just makes things a little bit easier when you’re building an electronics project. I’m terrible at this stuff so it would be a boon for me and my slow-witted monkey mind.
The app is available now for the iPhone and iPad.