When we first saw the title of this program, we were hoping that it would help us create the flip books of our youth, those tiny cartoons in book form that were animated by the flipping of the pages. As it turns out, Flip Book Maker Free Version is actually a program for creating virtual photo albums, which in our opinion isn't quite as fun. That said, the program still does a good job at what it's meant for, and it's worth checking out if you miss flipping through physical photo albums in this age of digital … Read more
Too busy to keep up with the tech news? Here are some of the more interesting stories from CNET for Monday, May 23:
SAN MATEO, Calif.--"They're putting Josh in the cage!"
It was early this afternoon, and a group of school kids were excitedly screaming those words over and over. And it was true. A kid called Josh was being put inside a cage that was part of a performance by a group called Arc Attack. Soon, the cage would be bombarded with electricity from two of Arc Attack's signing Tesla coils. No Joshes would be harmed in this experiment. But an awful lot of grinning would be done.
This is Maker Faire. Well, almost. The famous DIY festival begins in earnest tomorrow morning, and over the course of the weekend, in excess of 100,000 people may well get themselves to the San Mateo County Event Center here to see countless examples of do-it-yourself robotics; 3D printing; steampunk kinetic sculptures; and much, much more.
But today was setup day, the day the thousands of so-called "makers" arrive, drop their gear, and start building the projects they'll show the tens of thousands of visitors over the next two days. Being at Maker Faire on setup day is both a treat--it's always great to see the process behind something as cool as Maker Faire, and it's nice not to have to compete with 50,000 people to see something--and a curse: Only about half the projects are finished.
One thing that's definitely cool about being on hand for setup day is that each and every time you return to a specific spot, there's more there than there was the last time you went by. Even if that was just 30 minutes ago. A steady stream of trucks, vans, cars, and other conveyances arrive, and with them, the festival comes to life.
Maker Faire started here in 2006, and is now a worldwide phenomenon. From 20,000 visitors that first year to 80,000-plus last year, attendance figures are now expected to hit six figures. At the same time, the festival has planted its flag in other cities, such as Austin and New York. … Read more
The Maker Faire is a county fair for geeks. At the upcoming (Saturday and Sunday) Bay Area Faire, instead of jam competitions, there will be radio-controlled battleship shoot-outs. Instead of rows of people hawking snake-oil cleaning products, there are workshops teaching you and your kids how to make model rockets. If you're a nerd, Maker Faires are the events you wish you had when you were a kid.
The Maker Faire is put on by the technical publisher O'Reilly Media, and is in large part the brainchild of Dale Dougherty, who's our guest on this Roundtable. Dougherty is also the editor and publisher of Make Magazine, the magazine of projects you really should find the time to do.
This interview took place at the O'Reilly labs, where the team was preparing for Maker Faire and working on projects for Make Magazine. We talk about more than just these two projects, of course. There's an emerging technology do-it-yourself culture, a growing understanding that buyers of technology do not have to be slaves to it. Furthermore, the tough economy is pushing more people to do hands-on projects. People are learning about, inventing, and re-using technology in ways they never have before, and that's the topic of our discussion with Dougherty.
Some of our discussion points… Read more
Some things are fun to look forward to. The promise of ice cream is certainly one of them. The mere mention of a trip to the ice cream store gives everyone within hearing distance a delicious idea to focus on no matter what they may have been doing before. Suddenly thoughts drift to favorite flavors...and indecision: one scoop or two?
The answer, of course, is two. The Cook's Essentials Double Ice Cream Maker gives those making homemade ice cream two delicious options. The double-barreled kitchen gadget makes two separate batches of ice cream with each container holding .75 … Read more
Summer is coming. Thousands of lumbering behemoths will soon take to the roads, loaded with families or retirees. These RVs are misunderstood creatures. They may clog up the highways and decorate Wal-Mart parking lots, but they have needs just like other vehicles. RVs need GPS love, too.
Rand McNally is courting the RV community with a new GPS device designed just for them. The TripMaker RVND 5510 sports a name that's almost as long as an actual Winnebago. It comes stocked up with information that would make a regular car driver's head spin.… Read more
Links from Wednesday's episode of Loaded:
Sony has made its last PSP Go and shall make no more
T-Mobile launches an app that lets you make voice calls through Facebook
Facebook is expanding its social reporting system for users to report harassment
Google opens Map Maker to Americans
AT&T closes shop on its local listing site, Buzz.com
A robot will throw the opening pitch at the Phillies game today
It's hard not to prejudge a program called Glitter Frame GIF Maker. We had visions of a program that would likely only be appealing to a 10-year-old girl, and indeed, our prediction wasn't far off. That doesn't make it a bad choice, though--just a program with a limited audience.
The application's interface is plain and fairly easy to navigate. It comes loaded with 10 animated GIF frames, most of which include some combination of flowers, stars, hearts, and bubbles. To apply a frame to an image, simply load the photo you want to use, crop it … Read more
It is no mistake that bread comes in all shapes and sizes; it is meant to be enjoyed in so many different ways. And of course, there are the varieties: from sweet to sour, bread enjoys a diversity that can rival any other food. However, just because choices exist, it doesn't necessarily mean we take the time to explore these options. And when we do, sometimes the results weren't quite what we expected. One way to keep control over the ingredients from start to finish is to bake the desired loaf yourself.
CATOOSA, Okla.--There's a big Blue Whale in a small lake in Catoosa, Okla., on Route 66. It's an unexpected sight as you come over a rising bend in the road. I had heard there was a whale here, but the scale of the beast is enough to make Captain Ahab think twice about his life's mission. It's 80 feet long and 15 feet high.
Clearly, the Blue Whale didn't just wander inland from the ocean. Someone put it here. It's a maker project on a scale maker projects don't usually achieve. If Make Magazine had existed back in the '70s, the Blue Whale would have been a centerfold model.
In the spirit of DIY, I'm going to help makers prep their own whales. Here is your materials list:2,650 feet of sucker rod 1,179 feet of 2-inch steel pipe 100 feet of 1-inch pipe 2,520 square feet of plaster lath 126 bags of concrete mix 19.5 square yards of Redi-Mix concrete 19,400 pounds of crushed stone 15 tons of sand 2,454 linear feet of wood 20 pounds of nails Assorted tubing and valves
If you can find a hardware store that hasn't changed prices since the '70s, the material costs should work out to less than $3,000. You will also need to find a friend willing to donate 100 hours of welding time. Assuming you want to follow the original build timeline, it will only take you two years of work to assemble your own Blue Whale. … Read more