June 29, 2005

Google Maps API Released!


Google has released an API for their new Maps service, finally sanctioning the massive amount of hacking that has taken place with their XML based web service. Geo-Hackers have been wondering for the past couple of weeks what has been happening, with various hacks breaking due to changes made by Google. Yesterday (or this morning), Google finally released a very liberal API to build upon their service. You need to register a key based on your url, but as long as you don't use it to sell drugs, limit access to your hack, or go beyond 50K page views in a day, you're basically golden.

Google, good work.

[ Link to Google API announcement. Link to /. article. Found via Anselm and all my other friends at Where2.0. ]

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Girl with Eyetop


"you need to turn igarg into geek porn site kidding" [rsyn]

[ Link ]

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June 28, 2005

Mmm, Anarticamobile

"Designed to fit into a small Twin Otter aircraft that BAS use for working in remote deep field locations, the two-person vehicle has a combination of tracks and wheels that allows it to operate anywhere on the continent over hard ground, snow or ice surfaces.

It also comes with an unmanned pathfinder which travels on a GPS controlled route ahead of the main unit. The pathfinder is secured by a 30m umbilical cord and uses ground-penetrating radar to assess risk."

Oh I have no excuse to actually own one of these, but I want one so. Reminds me of the newest Batmobile.

[ Link via we-make-money-not-art. ]

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HMD for Swimmers

"When you're swimming, remembering how many lengths you've swum can be hard. I know that when I used to swim, I would trick myself into thinking I'd done 25 laps when maybe I'd only done 20," she says.

Williams' system incorporates an electronic device, which houses a compass, at the back of the headstrap on the goggles.

When the swimmer turns, the compass detects that the co-ordinates have changed and registers the time.

The information, including the total time spent swimming, the number of laps completed and the speed traveled are shown in a tiny heads-up display inside the goggle lens, using a system that reflects information off tiny mirrors. [CNN]

[ Link via del.icio.us. ]

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June 27, 2005

Olympus’s See-Thru HMD


Yet another HMD, luckily this one is really targeted at the wearable market instead of the videophone market.

"[It has a] 3.8-inch translucent screen with a diagonal length of 10 cm seems to exist 50 cm ahead of the user."

It also weighs 27g, so not too bad considering.

[ Link via Engadget ]

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June 26, 2005

Mapping Hacks

Just recently a book I contributed to got released. It's called Mapping Hacks and it's another from the O'Reilly hack series like Google Hacks and Mind Hacks.

It was written by my geo-wanker friends, most notably Schuyler Erle, Rich Gibson, and Jo Walsh. If you want to order the book, please do so using this link. I won't get a cut, but Schuyler, Rich, and Jo will.

Mapping Hacks [Amazon.com]

The GIS community is giving some good reviews too:

"Part of the value of this tome (it's more than 500 pages) is the accessible descriptions of technology. Want to understand how wardriving works? Check page 69. Need to understand projections? That's page 120. The discussions are clear, and personable, as though your best friend were explaining it to you. And, that's nice since, in the foreward, respected geospatial "programmer for hire" Frank Warmerdam admits to wanting to share a copy with his mother, hoping she'll try some hacks." [Directions Magazine

If you're into digital cartography, it's a pretty good book. My hack is about doing your own georeferenced photos, and it's hack #10.

[ Link to the dev blog. Link to the O'Reilly page on Mapping Hacks with sample hackery. ]

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June 25, 2005

MAKE interview with RFID implanter


Amal embedded a RFID tag in his hand to easily open his car door, home and to be used as his "password" for a Windows login prompt all by simply waving his hand.

Unless I'm really wrong about the way RFID works, a fun hack would be to swipe this guy's RFID (secretly of course), and then copy the ID onto another RFID so that you can completely pwn his life.

Also makes me wonder how soon someone will get an "embedded" linux computer under their skin.

[ Link to MAKE interview. Found via del.icio.us. Link to previous entry regarding Mexican Attny General getting chipped for "security" purposes. ]

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June 24, 2005

Maybecameras Invade AMC CFP Conf

So get this. The conference organizers actually turned every conference bag into a maybecamera replete with its individual dome... It was really bizarre and effective, causually mixing with hundreds of other dome-carriers at a conference with a title of "Panopticon"... And guess what? It's the first time I have come home from a conference with something both my (university age) children wanted!

The good news (in terms of future conversation) is that the folks from eyetap.org sent me this update:

Slides from the conference keynote, opening plenary panel (Steve Mann, David Brin, Latanya Sweeney, and others) are in wearcam.org/cfp2005/

Pictures are here, including pictures of the dome sewing party where many well known volunteers such as John Gilmore, Jon Pincus, Deborah Pierce, etc., helped to make 500 maybecameras, one for each conference attendee. Some of the maybecameras had wireless transmitters to send live video offsite, but attendees did not know whether or not they were watching.

For more background information on the maybecamera sousveillance project, see some of the papers published in Leonardo on this topic.

[Kim Cameron]

[ Found via Steve Mann's wearcam.org ]

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Running with Metal

'Mr. Clapp lost both his legs above the knee and his right arm just short of his shoulder after falling onto train tracks almost five years ago near his home in Grover Beach, Calif. After years of rehabilitation and trying a series of prosthetics, each more technologically sophisticated than the last, he finally found his legs.


"The notion that your leg is a machine part and it is exposed, that it is an enhancement, is becoming comfortable in the sense that it can be made a part of you."'

It had to happen, and it did. I got into a fight with my girlfriend about replacing body parts, and she seemed really concerned that I might actually remove a leg in order to replace it. I explained that I would only want to improve, not take a step back, from my humanity. That being said, she still didn't like the idea of replacing my bones with stronger materials, or other unseen modifications. Interesting how some people react to tampering with the human body when it's not meant to restore someone, like with this bloke who lost his legs in a train accident.

[ Link via del.icio.us ]

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June 23, 2005

Mobile Phone Video HMD

This HMD is designed by France Telecom for Orange mobile phone users, and is basically designed for watching video. Even though it's designed for watching movies and TV while standing in line at the bank, I'm up for anything that will help HMDs get adopted in the marketplace. Just because it's designed for video doesn't mean it has to do video.

It also has headphones, and weighs 70 grams. Due to come out in October of this year.

[ Link via Engadget ]

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June 22, 2005

Wearable Cams


Here's a couple of lipstick cameras, similar to the JonesCam I've blogged about before. The Japanese girl is wearing the crazy Samsung Miniket Extreme Sport Camcorder, and the photo below is of the VioTac S.C.O.U.T. Cam, which is about $300 USD.


[ VioTac Link / Samsung Link via Steve Barr on the Wear-Hard mailing list. ]

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Start Them Young


[ Link. Found by Steve Barr, and posted to the Wear-Hard mailing list. ]

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June 20, 2005


A new server, a little bit of sysadmin fun and it's back.

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