Jan 222008
 

BristleBot

The folks at Evil Mad Scientist bring us step by step instructions for this tiny bot that uses the vibrating bristles of a toothbrush for locomotion.

The bot’s parts list is made up of a toothbrush, a battery and a pager motor. Can’t be much easier than that, can it?

In the youtube video instructions below, skip ahead to 2:15 if you want to just watch this little bugger in motion. 

[youtube rUSTXUis_ys]

(YouTube video here.)

 Posted by at 1:00 am
Jan 222008
 

Dasur is doing some interesting things in the area of improving text input on your Windows Mobile devices with no keyboard. One solution is called ThumbKey that uses your thumbs on the touchscreen to input much the same way you might with your Blackberry. The other solution is innovative, it’s called SlideIT for your PDAs that come with a stylus.

Dasur - Thumbkey ThumbKey

The ThumbKey keyboard looks like any other small touch-screen keyboard but it appears to be more efficient and easier to use. ThumbKey is optimized for use when typing with one or two thumbs, similar to the way many users operate the BlackBerry.

 Dasur - Slideit SlideIT

This one uses the stylus, it’s intuitive though I haven’t tried it I’m guessing it will take just a little getting used to wrt not tapping on the key and simply sliding the stylus over the keyboard map. As the software sees the stylus changing direction from one key to another it can use predictive text similar to T9 to determine which words you’re trying to form from a dictionary.

You can download both apps in a trial version as well.

This youtube video is a demo for SlideIT:

[youtube OkFSGfe2NEQ]

 Posted by at 12:05 am
Jan 212008
 

I’m going to try something a little different and make an attempt at comics through MSPaint. Lets call this series ‘Lost in the underflow’, it’s a geek phrase, you can look it up on the net or just push the ‘I believe button’ for now that it means something.

This will be just above stick figure art, which isn’t saying a whole lot, but there it is.

 Lost in the underflow

 Posted by at 12:05 am
Jan 212008
 

Mercury

The spacecraft ‘Messenger’ is scheduled to orbit the planet Mercury in 2011 after 4.9 billion miles traveled that includes 15 trips around the sun. But enroute to that orbit it will pass by it’s target 3 times (Jan 2008, Oct 2008, Sept 2009) before matching the planets orbit and speed around the Sun.

With Messenger passing by Mercury the other day at an altitude of 125 miles, NASA is getting some great photos already and I’m excited about the possibilities once she’s inserted into orbit in a few years. Including having access to regions of the planet that were previously not available to the Mariner craft on its 3 passes.

If you’re wondering why in the heck we’re sending a craft to the ‘First Rock from the Sun’, you can read about the 6 questions its science payload are expected to answer.

Interesting tidbit about this craft is that it should have no problem powering it’s batteries via solar power since it’ll be extremely close to the Sun. But in the case of Messenger it will need to periodically turn it’s solar panels away from the Sun to avoid overheating.

Mercury Trivia:
Mercury was named for the swift Roman “messenger” god, since it travels around the Sun faster than any other planet.

 

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 Posted by at 12:01 am
Jan 202008
 

Pizza Pie

Geek.com has the scoop and the details. But you can see from the Pizza Hut Mobile Access page that the fastest way to order Pizza Pies is now via SMS.

First you create an account via their mobile page, add your mobile #, create a ‘pizza playlist’ of your favorite toppings and save it.

When you’re ready, there are just 2 quick steps to text your order:

1. Enter the “O” followed by a space and the name of your Playlist choice (e.g., O FAV)

2. Send to 749488 (749HUT)

View the demo!

If you have a web-enabled mobile phone, you can also order pizzas from their mobilized ordering web site by navigating to www.pizzahut.com.

 Posted by at 10:33 pm