If you thought the hype and excitement over Will Wright’s Spore couldn’t get any greater… Rumors have been floating through The Tubes for a while now that Brian Eno is doing music, generative music, for the game. A piece on Eurogamer confirms this. The piece got its info from Regina’s (of We Make Money Not Art) wonderful notes of a lecture Eno recently gave called “Before and After Darwin.” Good stuff all around.
The netcast Talking Robots has an interview with roboticist/ cyberneticist Owen Holland, from University of Essex. He is known for his work in behavior-based robotics, from building robot predators to anthropomimetic (realistic as possible duplication of human physiology) robots. He also talks about his recent restoration and replication of W. Grey Walter’s amazing autonomous robots from the 1940s.
O’Reilly’s CRAFT magazine, Vol. 2, is now on newsstands. I haven’t gotten my copy yet, but I was really impressed by the way the proofs looked on my pieces. Can’t wait to see the finished product. I have three articles in this issue: A piece on crafting clubs, The Church of Craft and Craft Mafia, one on scrapbooking your Moleskine (wait, that sounds dirty), and one on making “rubber” stamps out of art gum erasers.
Some of the other articles look juicy. I can’t wait to see the piece on making this awesome looking storage cabinet out of old PCBs.
Evil Mad Scientist Labs has come up with a cool way of playing clever word games on T-shirts and zipper sweatshirts using iron-on letters.
The next meeting of Dorkbot DC is this Wednesday, January 24th, at Provisions Library (7pm – 9pm). I will be giving a presentation on BEAM Robotics. Randall Packer, Secretary of the US Dept of Art & Technology (US DAT) will also be speaking. What? You’ve never heard of US DAT? That’s ’cause it’s a “virtual” gov’t dept, created by Packard, a gov’t agency as an art project. He’s also the author of Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality. See the Dorkbot DC website for more details.
Robert Oschler of RobotsRule tells Street Tech:
“There’s a new Pleo video on YouTube from a special meeting held by maker Ugobe at CES 2007, courtesy of Lance Ulanoff from PC Magazine. The video shows a smoother-moving, more realistic-looking prototype of Ugobe’s artificial pet dinosaur, sporting a new skin. There is also a new slide show of Pleo screenshots. You can find a round-up of Pleo videos, pictures, and reviews on RobotsRule.”
I don’t know how comfortable this particular ring would be, but I really like the idea of making rings, and other jewelry, out of electronic components.
Related to the inflated expectations over the iPhone, check out this thought-provoking Mike Elgan piece in Computerworld, which starts off:
Steve Jobs’ blockbuster keynote address at last week’s Macworld was brilliantly and powerfully delivered — one of his best ever. It was also a colossal mistake.
He goes on to make a pretty strong case for why making this announcement six months before shipping the product may have been hubris on Jobs’ part that Apple could pay dearly for in the marketplace. Barbie sez: “Corporate strategic planning is hard.”
User interface designer Bruce Tognazzini does an in-depth rundown of the features of the iPhone and his informed take on each. Interesting stuff.
One thing he points out, which I’ve been thinking about myself, is how users expectations may be frustrated because it can do so much, they’ll be frustrated that it can’t do more. Where’s my office suite? This multi-touch thing isn’t good enough for long blog entries! Why can’t I connect my phone to the conference room projector system? But as Merlin Mann would say: “This is a First World problem.”
Instructables has a nice little tutorial on what you need to know to re-purpose AC/DC power adapters (a.k.a. “wall warts”) to use on other devices or on a DIY project.
One thing not mentioned here that I always recommend, especially for those who aren’t electronics savvy, is to label your wall warts as soon as you get your devices. Many warts are not labeled with the brand or name of the device they came with (and you can easily get your warts mixed up). Of course, if you read and understand this short guide, you’ll be able to match wart to device by the information printed on them (at least most devices have their power requirements marked on then).