We have not provided a photo hack in a long time so it was due. So lets combine that with one of our favorites — RC quadcopters.
As you can see by the video above, this is shall we say upscale. Eight motors, larger batteries and a payload, a Red Epic, that ain’t exactly cheap if it gets busted up. The combo seems to work quite well as the video shows.
One of the issues with hardware design has been, either its a lone tinkerer at his bench or you are a member of a Hacker design group somewhere in your local area. Well that is now changing there is a new collaboration platform online –
A few years later the founders got back together and without knowing quite what they were going to do, they set out to solve a very real problem. It took them a little while to realize what was sitting there underneath their noses, but they found it in the end. A few pivots and a bit of time went by and they arrived at Upverter’s mission: to foster innovation in physical design and make it universally accessible and as frictionless as possible.
It’s what the founders had always wanted: a solution to the pain that scared them away from hardware; an answer to the isolation and to the reason hardware seems like black magic; a challenge to the reason there are 500,000 mobile apps and only a handful of hardware devices.
At Upverter, we’re trying to fix hardware and we’re starting with making it really easy to extend the limits of mobile devices. We’re trying to make it easy to collaborate, easy to build, and easy to share. We’re helping to build the tools and the lego blocks to snap together hardware. And there is going to be an incredible revolution in hardware and mobile as a result.
As a consequence, UpVerter will do for hardware what the Git service has done for software. Make it portable, shareable and collaborative. For example. Say you are dang good at doing Arduino controls but you need to develop a shield for the board that handles 4 120v relays. You put your design out on the Upverter site. Then you look around for someone with the requisite EE background in power circuits. They can offer up the proper schematics then drop off. You go on to CAD that up as a proto board. The EE pops on just for a review and sign off.
This site could be a revolution in Open Source hardware efforts. Now many people can offer their unique skills to many projects. Only being tasked when they are needed on their own schedules. I expect we will see more coming out of this side of the FOSS camp in the years ahead.
Douglas Rushkoff has championed the idea that the current corporate-controlled internet is far from the open commons we pretend it is.
“If we have a dream of how social media could restore peer-to-peer commerce, culture, and government, and if the current Internet is too tightly controlled to allow for it, why not build the kind of network and mechanisms to realize it?” Rushkoff asks.
Sounds daunting. And expensive, right? Wrong.
Funded primarily by the personal savings of group members and a grant from the National Science Foundation, residents of Jalalabad have built the FabFi network: an open-source system that uses common building materials and off-the-shelf electronics to transmit wireless ethernet signals across distances of up to several miles.
They are building a node in war torn Afganistan for $60 + cost of electronics and the electronics are nothing but COTS stuff. Linksys 54WGRT type stuff, nothing exotic. Same thing is happening in several cities in Kenya. Its about high time we here in the US get off our duff and simply accomplish the same thing.
The tools are not lacking either –
While we like to give the impression that building fabfi consists of simply pointing a couple wifi routers at each other and calling it a day, there’s an enormous amount of development that goes into creating that illusion. The current fabfi system does first-order integration with dozens of open-source projects, including:
And with every day we’re adding new tweaks to improve stability and performance that require testing in the UoN Fablab development network.
So the question is, what is our excuse? We don’t even need to stick with b or g class transmission. Most could afford to pay for a class n node for electronics. That provides a several order of magnitude increase in transmission rates. The essential need would be one of proper access for line of sight presence and a backhaul point to get on the Web.
Notable links –
Its not that far fetched when you think about it. The first thing you have to take note of is the usual tack taken by politicians and bureaucrats. Seldom do they directly go against the public in policy matters that effect us. No, they erect the barriers on the producers who become the partners either willingly or not in the scam. For the politicians it prevents an upset in the voter apple cart. Examples –
So when it get down to if there is something you don’t agree with you won’t be able to look to the producers for relief. In many cases the producers prefer the arrangement they have. It keeps the number of entrants down, etc. So if your desire is not to comply then you have to do something about it.
… in trying to take over the Internet. The primary reason being, blindness. The Internet is like a huge communication iceberg. Most users only see the top 10% — HTTP, FTP, Skype, for example. What they don’t see is the underbelly. The RFC’s generated that make those top level services possible. The consortiums that cohabitant areas like 802.3, 802.11, ATM, etc. The Pols lack either the time of the intellect to understand it.
Here is a case in point –
Our goal is to make GNU Free Call ubiquitous in a manner and level of usability similar to Skype, that is, usable on all platforms, and directly by the general public for all manner of secure communication between known and anonymous parties, but without requiring a central service provider to register with, without using insecure source secret binary protocols that may have back-doors, and without having network control points of any kind that can be exploited or abused by external parties. By doing so as a self organizing meshed calling network, we further eliminate potential service control points such as through explicit routing peers even if networks are isolated in civil emergencies.
We do recognize this project has significant long term social and political implications. It also offers potentially essential utility in public service by enabling the continuation of emergency services without requiring existing communication infrastructure. There are many ordinary public service uses, such as the delivery of eHealth services, as well as medical, and legal communication, where it is essential to treat all with equal human dignity by maintaining privacy regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation. Equally important is the continuation of emergency medical services even when existing infrastructure is no longer available or has been deliberately disabled.
Now, before one says “What’s wrong with Skype?”, consider that SIP Witch will be unlike Skype in that they intend to do peer to peer SIP communications without the need for the ancillary routing support. Your only limitation is the need for a SIP registered ID.
They are going to target desktops/laptops and smart phones. That alone should scare the hell out of the Telcos. The other is they will be attempting to manage this with due consideration for running over mesh networks. ie, WiFi and the like. With ‘N’ class WiFi nodes, a lot of voice data streams could be carried over a bonded channel pair. You can find out more here.
But this is an example of how tech is like a living organism. Given the resources, the limits of physics and the ingenuity of hackers/developers, that which is deemed to be controlled escapes the bonds and runs free. This lack of knowledge at the base layers is the Pols undoing.