I recently tried to buy bitcoins (BTC) through several different avenues, and found that it can be quite difficult if you look in the wrong places. I ended up managing to buy 20 BTC, but in the meantime the cost per bitcoin went up TWENTY CENTS, which meant I paid an extra $4 because I couldn't act quickly.
So, I asked myself how do you buy bitcoins anyways? Why is it so complicated? So, I made this site:
I hope it helps you out!
I met Laszlo Kovacs, Director of C/Punk/Doc through the amazing forums @ Cyberpunk Review. He invited me to submit media just as they were wrapping production, so we have a 1.5 minute segment on my Wearable and Nomadic Computing work that begins Act 2. Narration is by Hawk from American Gladiators, over the song Teenage Hitman by Encephalon. Thank you Wood, Keypixel, and my other fellow Cyberpunks.
I've been meaning to say hi to everyone I met at the 2nd BIL Conference and thanks for tuning in. It was a great networking weekend for the wearable computing community in LA. We want to put together a non-con AKA un-conference like Mobile Camp. Maybe we'll spin off Steve Mann's term for a wearable computer; WearComp, and call our non-con WearCamp or WearComp Camp. I'll write more later on some excellent BIL talks and interactions about Wearable Computing, Cyborg, and H+ soon. I want to gather some photos, video, and audio together to help share the phun.
Via Hackaday, the 25th Chaos Communication Congress's Wearable Computing and Solar Power presentations roused me from blog hibernation to say Happy Holidays and please don't text and drive. For abstracts, lecture notes, slides, and links, you too can veer off; About Cyborgs and Gargoyles:State of the Art in Wearable Computing, and Solar-powering your Geek Gear: Alternative and mobile power for all your little toys.
New Year's greetings from under a rock. No, I haven't been in the desert lately, but I have been in other realms. I've been getting into some high voltage shenanigans, the splendid forums at Cyberpunk Review, back into microcontrollers with the Seeeduino, interfacing it with Pure Data, and touring exhibition and interactive design. 2009 is looking to be hacktastic, but more on that next year.
This is the work I exhibited at Maker Faire this Spring. I've been hacking my Archos PMA-430 into wearable computer prototypes for 2 years, and hacking my Nokia N95 for about 9 months. The top image shows a video feed from my Nokia to my Archos, while the image below it shows the unhoused wiring that adds functionality such as USB connectivity and power.
Systems integration is designed for field-reconfigurability and use of ubiquitous technologies such as USB ports and ethernet or phone cables. I can charge both devices from AC, my motorcycle, its solar panel, or even a random computer in any number of libraries, cafes, etc. The two devices link up through a retractable 8-conductor ethernet cable, although I can use a multitude of available cords. The green terminal blocks allow field connections without soldering, since I believe the universal connector is bare wire if no adaptors are nearby.
I have hundreds of images of my work, and lots to write about, so there will be much more ahead. Just a Heads-Up.
I haven't been posting much, but I have been researching, developing, rapid prototyping, and hacking. I'm applying my love of desert camping, travel, wearable technology, and embedded computing to my urban flagship; a duosport motorcycle. Here's a first look:
This photo shows items I transformed into a top case and a tank bag.
While commuting, the top case can hold gear from errands. While touring, it can carry as much gas a my tank holds plus water. I can remove it anytime. This allows off-roading without extra fuel sloshing around in an enlarged tank. It is made from an LP case, and stability tests will determine if it's indeed more versatile than a top case and replacement gas tank; easily at a savings of at least $200.
The tank bag is made from a folding map case, magnets, and wiring. It's appropriate that it holds my phone with GPS, a non-networked highway infrastructure computer, compass and pencil pack, map, and a solar battery charger for my bike and auuxilliary device battery. I'm sure it'll still also hold an actual paper map or two. I can't find many tank bags with top map pockets that will fit my sloped gas tank. So, I made a form-fitting one that mostly multplies the functionality of the feature I wanted most anyway; a large map pocket.
We've already covered Leah Buechley's DIY Wearable LED Display and now her e-textile construction kit is expanding to a more modular version of the Arduino microcontroller kit. Sewable LilyPad components are now available from Spark Fun. You access her paper and photos from her projects or by going to her publications page. Check out her DIY links to get started.
[Link via Hack-A-Day]
This is Zachm reporting in the minor (Okay, not so minor) absence on Nym.
Because this update of mine is spur of the moment, I don't really have anything prepared. Although I won't leave you readers completely empty-handed with this entry, it will be lacking Nyms informative spiciness.
For you gamers out there who love and cherish your PSP (Playstation Portable), There is a new-ish update out that you can get through Auto-update from the U.S. PSP Website via download located here.
The update includes:
[Remote Play] has been added as a feature.
[Online Instruction Manuals] has been added as a feature.
[Set Timer] has been added as a feature under [RSS Channel].
[Visual Player] has been added as a feature.
Three-speed fast forward and fast reverse has been added as a feature under [Music].
[Camera] has been added as a feature.
[UMD™ Auto-Start] has been added as a feature under [System Settings].
New for 3.02: A security patch has been added to address security vulnerabilities in the system software.
In the mean time, I have no clue when Nym will update, and if not done soon, I'll try to do so again.
P.S. - I'm so happy there's going to be a camera for the PSP!
This weekend I was talking to someone who was convinced Kinko's and FedEx merged because they have a 20 year vision that 3D printing, aka rapid prototyping, will become a major commodity. I can't say I disagree with him either - shipping is expensive, and if you can order something and pick it up from your local Kinko's, or Kinko's can print out the new designer chair, and FexEx could locally ship it to you. The distribution network gets smaller, and shipping costs go down.
I quickly googled this, and found two sources that mention rapid prototyping and Kinko's. The first is from BusinessWeek:
3D printers may never fulfill the sci-fi fantasy of a desktop box that fabricates anything you desire. But given their widening use by manufacturing companies, it's easy to imagine one at your local garage, spitting out replacement brake disks for your Honda. Or in your dentist's office, making a new bridge while you wait. Or at a local FedEx Kinko's, where the kids are printing out custom iPod holders. However that plays out, manufacturing will never look the same.
This quote is from Standford news wire:
Quite likely these 3-D printers won't appear initially in the home, but will first show up in a neighborhood copy shop or in the back room of the retail supplier itself. Said White: "Maybe this is where a Kinko's would come in. Or maybe it'll just be a good way for Toys 'R' Us to keep their inventory down."
I also see WalMart getting into the action since they're all about meeting customer demand for items. I already know that Disneyland has special printers on site to do on demand printing of posters. It still amazes me that movie rental stores like Blockbuster haven't started printing out DVDs on demand. I constantly go in there and see that the new hot movie is out of stock. Maybe this is the reason services like Netflix are on the rise.
After all, this is an on demand world.
Stapleton's device uses an ordinary digital camera light sensor to capture a scene which it converts into a mosaic of light spots. An array of infrared LCDs then transforms this mosaic into a pattern of heat points which can be projected onto a user's forehead.
As the human forehead is very sensitive to temperature change, Stapleton believes subjects will be able to translate the heat projection into a coarse image in their mind. The technique could also be used to relay Braille messages, he says.
What other senses can we add to our repertoire?
Sonar from Bats and Dolphins?
Birds ability to sense the earth's magnetic field?
Sharks ability to detect the presence of other lifeforms by sensing their electical field?
This Wall Socket PC is pretty interesting. It's all the guts of a computer in one small unit designed to be used as a home PC with standard power. It uses an AMD RISC processor, and can come with up to 64MB of flash memory and 128MB RAM.
Why does this interest me? Well, like the gumstix, this thing is tiny. I could see it being useful for a wearable computer, even though that's not what it was designed for.
[ Link via Jobe Bittman on the Wear-Hard Mailing List ]
I'm sending my brother off to the MAKE faire this weekend in San Mateo, CA to do interviews for igargoyle.
If you would like to speak to him regarding your wearable computer, or some other project that you think would fit nicely on this blog, contact me through the "Suggest" link to the left, and I'll have him find you.
For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, here's a link -> http://makezine.com/faire/
If you think ubiquitous computing has anything to do with web applications, here's another step in the right direction.
[ Link via digg ]
When I was younger, I was occasionally called a nerd, mostly because when I wasn't able to become wildly social with my peers, I turned to computers- one thing I could control and completely own mentally. Like most others who had similar experiences, I'm no longer called a nerd, but instead the more favorable term, "geek". I get this respect because this social group has grown through the dot com boom, and the push of the world wide web. I no longer wish to hide my interests as a geek, but stand tall.
Transhumanists though, while a subset of geeks, are less understood. In fact the idea of modifying oneself seems outright alien to many. The idea of pushing one's human shell to the limits to improve performance, and lifespan is even threatening to some. I myself have had conversations with people where I've expressed my desire to live for centuries instead of just one, and found myself in an argument about playing god. Nevertheless the goals of the transhumanist movement are appealing to many, which Stacy Robinson addresses in her book Transhumanism Reloaded:
...It may be a mistake to dismiss the transhumanists as a harmless group of under-socialized techno-geeks. Their vision of a world in which atomized individuals use technology and free markets to achieve dominance over others differs in degree, and not kind, from much of the real world today. At a time when many people feel powerless to influence social conditions, their message—don’t worry about society; technology will make you smart, strong, and attractive—could seem compelling.
It may seem foreign and strange right now to wear head mounted displays and want to put impant electronics under our skin now, but I think like theg geeks and the world wide web, transhumanism and cyborganics are going to become more and more accepted as this group of individuals excels beyond others. I will stand tall with my desire to augment myself because the idea of improving myself is compelling, and I believe while the transhumanist movement is young, the work being done now will be the foundations for years to come.
Just liked this photo of guys wearing HMDs to (presumably) watch Video iPods. MAKE is currently at Macworld, taking photos of things they like.
[ Link ]
If wearing a wearable computer wasn't geeky and utilitarian enough for you, for sixteen bucks you can get this LED light that straps on to the brim of your cap. Honestly, if I could get a single LED light to mount onto my glasses, I'd wear it dispite what the fashion police might say.
In regard to Vierck's Law, John Stemstin writes:
I've heard some software theory about the longevity and usefulness of software. According to most modern theorists, 50% of production software has the longevity of about 18 months after deployment according to a fairly well known theory- Vierck's Law. Have you heard of this?
No, but my fellow geowanker, Tzara has.
tzara's law: a corollary to vierck's law.
half of my beer will be gone in 5 minutes.
Actually I've debugged production code over five years old, and I'm pretty certain that my latest code will be in production at least three years from now, even if it's updated to some degree. Today was one of the most rewarding presentations that I've done in my years of software development.
[ Link ]
A new UK based store, INITION, is now selling video display products like Head Mounted Displays and Heads Up displays. While they're obviously not the only place on the web to buy this kind of gear, it is nice to see more outlets. It's the kind of thing that will ultimately help competition in terms of price wars and drive for manufacturers to build more reliable and high tech systems. The best thing about their website is that you can do comparison based on specs, so you can sort by price, resolution, etc.
They're also selling haptic feedback devices, VR gloves, motion tracking systems, and even a few wearable computers. I definitely recommend checking them out.
Interesting article on "Technoprogressivism", going beyond technophilia and technophobia. I'm interested in the politics of cyborgs and wearable computers, so to me, this makes a lot of sense.
A technophile is a person to whom we attribute a naïve or uncritical enthusiasm for technology, while a technophobe is a person to whom we attribute a no less uncritical dread of or hostility to technology. But what does it tell us that there is no comparably familiar word to simply describe a person who is focused on the impact of technology in a critical way that is attentive both to its promises and its dangers?
Why is it that any technocentric perspective on cultural, historical, political, and social questions is always imagined to be either uncritically technophilic or technophobic? Is it really so impossible to conceive of a critical technocentrism equally alive to real promises and alert to real dangers?
In the 1951 film "The Man in the White Suit", "a man invents a fabric that won't get dirty or wear out, but he seems to have made more enemies than friends in the process" [imdb]. In the more modern sci-fi novel, "The Diamond Age", one of the characters uses a pair of white gloves that are self cleaning.
Following fiction, "..scientists at Hong Kong Polytechnic University coated cotton with nanoparticles of titanium dioxide. When subjected to ultraviolet light, the titanium dioxide produces an oxidizing agent that can break down dirt and other organic substances." [boingboing]
In addition, the scientists say "...after a few days in the sunshine, or even indoor light, the dirt [from our clothing] will disappear." Quite a leap from odor free socks or stain resistant pants.
Aparently, and really not that surprisingly, virtual reality can be used to help prevent pain. Similar to meditation, virtual landscapes can reduce the ammount of pain that the brain registers from 50 to 97 percent. Researcher Hunter Hoffman and colleagues at the University of Washington in Seattle believe that virtual reality can serve as an anesthetic. In additon, they have shown that virtual reality "dramatically changes how the brain physically registers pain, not just how people subjected to pain perceive incoming signals".
Maybe cyborgs like Steve Mann can use head mounted displays next time they get a root canal. I know from my friend, dragoon that dentists are already starting to use head mounted displays in their practice to alleviate boredom and small talk.
[Link via betterhumans]
This USB card is pretty important to wearable compters since so many of wearables these days are based on PocketPC. The SolarExpress PDA should be out next month. Not sure how much it will cost though.
Two new Pocket PCs have hit the market which look pretty tempting.
The first is the Toshiba e805, which sports a really nice 640x480 display (the first of it's kind). In addition, the e805 has a wireless card built in (like the newer iPaqs), 160MB RAM, and a 400MHz processor. The e805 is available now from Amazon for $559.99.
In the footsteps of the iQue, MiTAC announced the first Pocket PC (as opposed to a Palm PDA) with Built-in GPS. The unit, called the Mio 168, has 64MB of RAM and can do 300MHz. Unlike Tohiba's model, the Mio 168 has a regular sized 240 by 320 display. Pretty neat, but only available in Taiwan now, and China soon. No plans for the US.
Now why can't someone include a good display, GPS, and WiFi? Is this too much to ask?
I forget exactly what this does, but I like the idea of something riding there. Rich Gibson was interested in using his gumstix computer in a similar way, but I think it was underpowered for the kinds of things he wanted to do with it. Nevertheless, this is a good place for a camera or microphone, and with some design it could look really interesting.
Aparently wireless GPS units have hit the market. Sounds good, I just wish 802.11b and BlueTooth would play nicely, because I'm interested in this item.
One of the issues preventing the uptake of wearables and the creation of a gargoyle subculture is power: what good is a device that requires multiple expensive batteries just for a single day's use? Fuel cells promise an eventual solution, but reducing the cost and size will take years.
News of one potentional solution comes from yuichi's Kokoro blog in the shape of Smart Textile, a technology from Infineon Technologies that produces electricity from the temperature gradient between one's body temperature and air temperature.
The japanese article from ZDNet Japan describing Smart Textiles includes the picture to the right, which shows what is not going to be the future of wearable computing.
Efficient input devices for wearables are another issue. Another entry from Japan is this new one-handed keyboard and mouse based on cell phone design. Japanese youth are fairly adept with cellphone text entry, so this might actually meet a demand. Hopefully some sort of autocomplete will be provided. (Snarfed from Slashdot)