Damn Small Linux

We don’t cover a lot of software here at Street Tech, but we like to respond to people’s enthusiasm and we got a very enthused email from our pal Alberto about Damn Small Linux, a Linux distro which is, well, damn small. How small? Small enough to fit (and boot from) a thumb drive, small enough to fit on a business card (one of those CD business cards, of course). And it’s smart enough to be bootable from WITHIN Windows. Hell, it can even run from a Compact Flash drive or fully within RAM! It also grows modularly, so it’s highly customizable/expandable. I’m planning on putting it on my wristwatch, just for fun.

Robot Does Interpretive Dance of Delay’s Resignation

Oh those loveably weird Japanese robot engineers. Just when you thought they might have had their fill of bots that dance, play musical instruments, and flash lights and bleep and bloop along to your iPod, a company called Speecys has announced a robot that can act out Internet content to delight the whole family.

Called the ITR (“Internet Renaissance”), the foot tall robot uses something called RTML (“Robot Transaction Markup Language”) to present Internet contact in a form that the robot can interpret in sound, motion, facial expressions and speech. The company is hoping that RTML will become a standard for Web-to-Bot translation and that robots like the ITR will become a common way for families to get their news, information, weather reports, and entertainment news.

Let’s try a little thought experiment to see how this would work. Here are some of today’s top stories. Imagine a 12″ bot on your dining room table dancing, lighting up, and making grunts and groans while delivering these items in one of those slightly unnerving synthetic voices:

*Delay Resigns from House
*Protestors and Police Clash in Paris
*Saddam Accused of Genocide
*Tom Cruise Gets Candid About His Dyslexia

Actually, now that I think about it, I can’t get one of these robo-clowns acting out my daily news fast enough. Jon Stewart may soon be out of a job.

[Via Pink Tentacle]

Nintendo Controller iPod Casemod

Here are some Flickr photos of a casemod for an iPod Shuffle made from an old Nintendo controller. The right/left buttons now control volume up/down and right/left has become Forward and Back. The Select switch controls Continuous Play, Shuffle, and Off. The Start button is the Hold switch, button A is Play/Pause, and button B is empty.

[Via Make]

Akihabara Gadgets Via Video

One of the great things about so much video content coming to the Web is that it gives you an opportunity to virtually visit trade shows, cons, and “scenes” in far away places. One of our favorite sites for keeping up with the gadget scene in Japan is Akihabara News, and with the recent addition of their HD video feeds, we can now see as well as read about what’s going on in Akihabara (the heart of the Japanese electronics, anime, and otaku scenes).

Recent vids have included part 1 of their guide to gadget shopping in the area and a trip to the Tokyo Anime Fair. HD-camera aside, the productions are very lo-tek, and site owner Daimaou’s thick French accent is hard to understand sometimes, but it all just adds to the surreal quality of peeking into this strange world half a planet-spin away.