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Hackaday Prize Entry: Robotic Prosthetic Leg Is Open Source And 3D-Printable

Hackaday - 5 hours 34 minก่อน

We’ve been 3D-printing parts for self-replicating machines before, but we’ve been working on the wrong machines. Software and robotics engineer [David Sanchez Falero] is about to set it right with his Hackaday Prize entry, a 3D-printable, open source, robotic prosthetic leg for humans.

[David] could not find a suitable, 3D-printable and customizable prosthetic leg out there, and given the high price of commercial ones he started his own prosthesis project named Drakkar. The “bones” of his design are made of M8 steel threaded rods, which help to keep the cost low, but are also highly available all over the world. The knee is actively bent by a DC-motor and, according to the source code, a potentiometer reads back the position of the knee to a PID loop.

While working on his first prototype, [David] quickly found that replicating the shape and complex mechanics of a human foot would be too fragile when replicated from 3D-printed parts. Instead, he looked at how goat hooves managed to adapt to uneven terrain with only two larger toes. All results and learnings then went into a second version, which now also adapts to the user’s height. The design, which has been done entirely in FreeCAD, indeed looks promising and might one day compete with the high-priced commercial prosthesis.

The HackadayPrize2016 is Sponsored by:

Filed under: Medical hacks, The Hackaday Prize

Smart AC Monitoring: Without the $500 Price Tag

Hackaday - 8 hours 34 minก่อน

[Tisham Dhar] has been interested in monitoring AC power and previously built a breakout board for the ADE7763. He wanted to find something cheaper and more modern. The ATM90E26 fit the bill. It can communicate via a UART or SPI, and has multiple metering modes. The problem? The evaluation module from Atmel costs about $500 (and for [Dhar] $800 Australian), although the part itself can be had for under a buck in bulk. (Atmel even sent him three samples for free.)

[Dhar] put the low voltage components from the reference design on a PCB and pocketed the difference in cost. So far, he’s tested the setup with a Teensy and low voltage measurements only. He plans to do a full test soon.

The test setup uses SPI mode 3 to talk to the processor. You can find the relevant code on GitHub.

We see a lot of energy monitoring projects go by. Of course, working on household wiring current can be dangerous, so be careful out there.

Filed under: news

Building a Flamethrower Guitar to Really Rock Out With

Hackaday - 11 hours 35 minก่อน

Everyone’s favorite safety-tie-wearing-eccentric-inventor, [Colin Furze], is back at it again, this time making a flamethrower guitar — sponsored by Intel!?

As an ex-plumber, [Furze] is a master fabricator, and he’s brought many amazing mechanical inventions to life. In this video, perhaps for the first time, he’s integrated an Intel Curie Arduino in it, for a bit more fine control.

He’s hacked apart a couple of propane blow-torches, milled and lathed his own fittings and manifolds, and even TIG welded together a pressure vessel for the fuel — kids, do not try this at home!

The two blowtorches act as pilot lights for a third gas supply line to make the big firing explosion — the plan for the Arduino? To blast off the fire at certain parts during the song, add timing, or even just set up some cool patterns.

Did we mention he’s also got his own custom propane fueled guitar amp to go with it??

[Caleb’s] going to want to beef up his flamethrower ukulele if he wants to go toe-to-toe with [Colin]! Stay tuned for next week when he tests it out.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks

MSI’s new gaming PCs: 4.2 pound laptop, VR system-in-a-backpack

Liliputing - 13 hours 4 minก่อน

MSI plans to show off a new line of portable gaming machines at the Computex trade show in Taiwan next week. The lineup includes at least three new gaming laptops, a few desktops, and one rather odd system: a VR-capable gaming PC in a backpack.

We’ll have more details soon, but here’s what we know so far.

MSI Backpack PC

Want desktop-class computing power for your virtual reality system, but don’t want to actually have to lug a desktop tower around with you?

Continue reading MSI’s new gaming PCs: 4.2 pound laptop, VR system-in-a-backpack at Liliputing.

Asus C301 Chromebook with 1080p screen coming soon

Liliputing - 14 hours 19 minก่อน

Asus has added a new 13 inch Chromebook to its line of laptops featuring Google’s Chrome operating system.

The new Asus C301 Chromebook features 4GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a 1920 x 1080 pixel display, and an Intel Celeron N3160 quad-core processor. It’s listed on the Asus Store website as “coming soon” for $279.

Other features include 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, two USb 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, and an SD card reader.

Continue reading Asus C301 Chromebook with 1080p screen coming soon at Liliputing.

Learn Functional Reactive Programming on Your Arduino

Hackaday - 14 hours 35 minก่อน

Everyone loves learning a new programming language, right? Well, even if you don’t like it, you should do it anyway, because thinking about problems from different perspectives is great for the imagination.

Juniper is a functional reactive programming language for the Arduino platform. What that means is that you’ll be writing your code using anonymous functions, map/fold operations, recursion, and signals. It’s like taking the event-driven style that you should be programming in one step further; you write a=b+3 and when b changes, the compiler takes care of changing a automatically for you. (That’s the “reactive” part.)

If you’re used to the first-do-this-then-do-that style of Arduino (and most C/C++) programming, this is going to be mind expanding. But we do notice that a lot of microcontroller code looks for changes in the environment, and then acts (more or less asynchronously) on that data. At that level of abstraction, something like Juniper looks like a good fit.

Changing up the programming paradigm for Arduino is an ambitious project, especially considering that it was started by two undergraduates [Caleb Helbling] and [Louis Ades] as a senior design project. It’s also brand new, so there’s not much of a codebase out there yet. Time, and your participation, will tell if it’s useful. But one thing’s for sure, once you’ve programmed in a reactive language, you’re not going to be able to look at a delay loop the same again.

What’s the wierdest language you’ve ever programmed a microcontroller in?

(The XKCD comic’s alt-text reads “Functional programming combines the flexibility and power of abstract mathematics with the intuitive clarity of abstract mathematics”.)

Filed under: Arduino Hacks

Gigabyte Aero 14: a reasonably small gaming laptop with a huge battery

Liliputing - 14 hours 49 minก่อน

It’s hard to make a truly compact gaming laptop, because serious gamers want speedy, energy-hungry processors and graphics cards, among other things. But over the past few years we’ve seen a few companies do their best to offer gaming notebooks with reasonably thin and light bodies.

Gigabyte’s latest is called the Aero 14, and it’s a notebook with a 14 inch high-resolution display, an Intel Skylake processor, NVIDIA graphics, support for up to 32GB of RAM, and a compact design: the laptop measures about 0.78 inches thick and weighs about 4.2 pounds.

Continue reading Gigabyte Aero 14: a reasonably small gaming laptop with a huge battery at Liliputing.

Zotac’s latest mini-desktops are Skylake powered, some are fanless

Liliputing - 15 hours 38 minก่อน

Zotac is introducing a whole bunch of new small form-factor computers ahead of the next week’s Computex trade show in Taiwan. Most appear to be updated versions of tiny computers we first saw at CES in January, but the updates are pretty welcome.

Here’s a brief run-down of Zotac’s latest mini PCs.

Zotac P Series

While Zotac recently introduced its smallest computers to date, in the form of two new PC sticks, the company’s P Series systems are also pretty small, measuring about the size of a smartphone.

Continue reading Zotac’s latest mini-desktops are Skylake powered, some are fanless at Liliputing.

How to Have a Beer with Every Electronics Person

Hackaday - 16 hours 4 minก่อน

This has got to be the ultimate name-dropping post. I’m tempted just to make a list. Or perhaps it should be like Jeopardy, I’ll list the products or companies and you guess who was there. I am of course talking about the Hackaday Bay Area Maker Faire Meetup last Saturday which started off as a steady stream of Faire-weary exhibitors and suddenly the place was packed to the gills. Luckily we have some photographic evidence of the awesome.

Peter Jansen seen on the right

If you do something three times you can start saying “always”, right? We always host a meetup on the Saturday night of Bay Area Maker Faire at O’Neill’s Irish Pub in San Mateo. It’s our kind of atmosphere: just enough room to set up hacks you tote along with you, they have Guinness, Lagunitas, and a few in-betweens on tap, you can bring in food from the various eateries that border the bar, and the staff is beyond awesome.

Despite my threat to call-out everyone by name, I’ll keep it to a minimum. It was most excellent meeting Peter Jansen who created the Open Source Science Tricorder, fourth place winner of the Hackaday Prize in 2014. I was glad to see Windell Oskay of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories there since both Windell and Peter are Ph.D. Physicists. Of course it ended up they are able to converse with regular people too.

In the back Erick Schlaepfer was showing off his MOnSter6502 — check out the interview I did with him about it the day before. Astute readers will recognize who he’s showing that to: Hackaday Editor Emeritus Caleb Kraft stopped by on his way to the MAKE staff party. Somehow, although we shared a beer, neither of us thought of taking a picture together — perpetuating the mythos that Caleb is the Tyler Durden to my Tyler Durden. Incidentally, if anyone knows Chuck Palahniuk (or if he reads Hackaday which would be killer) we’d love to have him speak at SuperCon. Email me.

Also on the ‘didn’t get pictures of’ list is Anouk Wipprecht who stopped by later in the evening. I love her work and it was really great to meet her. Oops, and I’m not supposed to be dropping names. Paul Stoffregen (talking to Gerrit Coetzee and me in the bottom left corner of the image at the top of this post). Okay, enough of that.

There seemed to be a critical mass of Amp Hour elites on the scene. I grabbed this image from Chris Gammell’s Twitter. He snapped a still of Tony Long, Alan Yates, and Jeff Keyzer who have all been on the show (or hosted it). Karl Bowers, host of The Spark Gap podcast, photobombs on the left.

This barely brushes the tip of the iceberg. But I figure you get tired of hearing me prattle on. If you attended I’d love to see the photos you snapped, please link them in the comments below. And of course, if you do still want to play name-that-geek-celeb the comments are the place for it.

Thanks to Rich Hogben for taking all of these great photos and posting them up on Hackaday.io. I’d also like to thank Supplyframe for picking up everyone’s first round of drinks that night. Maker Faire has ended, but this evening will always have a special place in my heart. We look forward to seeing everyone there next year!

Filed under: cons

Deals of the Day (5-25-2016)

Liliputing - 17 hours 19 minก่อน

Best Buy is running a sale on HP products… and while most of the items on sale aren’t exactly cheap, they are cheaper than they would otherwise be.

For example, $1000 buys you an HP Spectre x360 13″ convertible notebook with a Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and a case that measures 0.6 inches thick and weighs 3.2 pounds. Normally it sells for $1150.

If you’re looking for something a lot cheaper, the Microsoft Store is selling a much less powerful Pavilion x360 11.6″ convertible for $249, which is about $50 off the list price.

Continue reading Deals of the Day (5-25-2016) at Liliputing.

WTF is Degaussing?

Hackaday - 17 hours 35 minก่อน

The modern office has become a sea of LCD monitors. It’s hard to believe that only a few years ago we were sitting behind Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs). People have already forgotten the heat, the dust, and the lovely high frequency squeal from their flyback transformers.

Image by Søren Peo Pedersen via wikipedia

There was one feature of those old monitors which seems to be poorly understood. The lowly degauss button. On some monitors it was a physical button. On others, it was a magnet icon on the On Screen Display (OSD). Pressing it rewarded the user with around 5 seconds of a wavy display accompanied by a loud hum.

But what exactly did this button do? It seems that many never knew the purpose of that silly little button, beyond the light-and-sound show. The truth is that degaussing is rather important. Not only to CRTs, but in many other electronic and industrial applications.


Of Shadow Masks and Aperture Grilles Close up of a shadow mask by Rauenstein via Wikipedia

A CRT has quite a few components. There are three electron guns as well as steering and convergence coils at the rear (yoke) of the tube. The front of the tube has a phosphor-coated glass plate which forms the screen. Just behind that glass is a metal grid called the shadow mask. If you had enough money for a Sony screen, the shadow mask was replaced by the famous Trinitron aperture grille, a fine mesh of wires which performed a similar function. The shadow mask or aperture grille’s  job is to ensure that the right beams of electrons hit the red, green, or blue phosphor coatings on the front of the screen.

This all required a very precise alignment. Any stray magnetic fields imprinted on the mask would cause the electron beams to bend as they flew through the tube. Too strong a magnetic field, and your TV or monitor would start showing rainbows like something out of a 1960’s acid trip movie. Even the Earth’s own magnetic field could become imprinted on the shadow mask. Simply turning a TV from North to East could cause problems. The official term for it was “Color Purity”.

These issues were well known from the early days of color TV sets. To combat this, manufacturers added a degaussing coil to their sets. A coil of wire wrapped around the front of the tube, just behind the bezel of the set. When the set was powered on, the coil would be fed with mains voltage. This is the well-known ‘fwoomp and buzz’ those old TV sets and monitors would make when you first turned them on. The 50 Hz or 60 Hz AC would create a strong moving magnetic field. This field would effectively erase the imprinted magnetic fields on the shadow mask or aperture grille.

Running high current through the thin degaussing coil would quickly lead to a fire. Sets avoided this by using a Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) thermistor in-line with the coil. The current itself (or a small heating coil) would heat up the PTC, causing resistance to increase, and current through the coil to drop. After about 5 seconds, the coil was completely shut down, and the screen was (hopefully) degaussed.

As time went on monitors became embedded systems. The PTC devices were replaced by transistors controlled by the monitor’s main microcontroller. Monitor manufacturers knew that their sets were higher resolution than the average TV set, and thus even more sensitive to magnetic fields. Users are also more likely to move a monitor while using it. This lead the manufacturers to add a degauss button to the front of their sets. A push of the button would energize the coil for a few seconds under software control. Some monitors would also limit the number of times a user could push the button, ensuring the coil didn’t get too hot.

Holding a magnet near the front of a black and white (or a monochrome ‘green screen’) CRT created visible distortion, but no lasting damage. Mid-century hackers who tried the same trick with their first color TV quickly learned that the rainbow effect stayed long after the magnet was moved away. In extreme cases like these, the internal degaussing coil wouldn’t be strong enough to clear the shadow mask.

Commercial degaussing coil

When all else failed, a handheld degaussing coil or wand could be used. Literally waving the magic wand in front of the screen would usually clear things up. It was of course possible to permanently damage the shadow mask. Back in 2007, I was working for a radar company which had been slow to switch to LCD monitors. Being a radar shop, we had a few strong magnetron magnets lying around. One of these magnets was passed around among the engineers. Leaving the magnet under your monitor overnight would guarantee rainbows in the morning, and a shiny new LCD within a few days.

Queen Mary, showing her degaussing coil

CRTs aren’t the only devices which use degaussing coils. The term was originally coined in 1945 by Charles F. Goodeve of the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR). German mines were capable of detecting the magnetic fields in a naval ship’s steel hull. Coils were used to mask this field. The Queen Mary is one of the more famous ships fitted with a degaussing coil to avoid the deadly mines.

Even mechanical wristwatches can benefit from a bit of degaussing. A watch which has been magnetized will typically run fast. Typically this is due to the steel balance spring becoming a weak magnet. The coils of the spring stick together as the balance wheel winds and unwinds each second. A degaussing coil (or in this case, more properly a demagnetizer) can quickly eliminate the problem.

A story on degaussing wouldn’t be complete without mentioning magnetic media. Handheld or tabletop degaussing coils can be used to bulk erase floppy disks, magnetic tape, even hard disks. One has to wonder if the degaussing coils in monitors were responsible for floppy disks becoming corrupted back in the old days.

So there you have it. The magic degaussing button demystified!

Filed under: Curated, Hackaday Columns, Interest, slider

Report: Microsoft to launch Xbox TV media streamers

Liliputing - พุธ, 05/25/2016 - 23:14

Apple has a media streaming box called the Apple TV. Amazon has the Fire TV. Google has the Chromecast (and the Android TV platform for third-party hardware). And Microsoft? The company has the Xbox platform… which is basically an expensive video game console that costs about 10 times as much as a Chromecast.

But soon the company might have another option. Blogger and Microsoft watcher Brad Sams says the company will probably introduce at least two new “Xbox TV” media streaming devices soon.

Continue reading Report: Microsoft to launch Xbox TV media streamers at Liliputing.

The Booths Of Hamvention

Hackaday - พุธ, 05/25/2016 - 22:31

Hamvention was last weekend in Dayton, Ohio. Last weekend was also the Bay Area Maker Faire, and if you want tens of thousands of people who actually make stuff there’s really only one place to be. Bonus: you can also check out the US Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB. The ‘Space’ hangar was closed, so that’ll be another trip next year.

The biggest draw for Hamvention is the swap meet. Every year, thousands of cars pull up, set up a few tables and tents, and hock their wares. Everything from radios from the 1920s to computers from the 1980s can be found at the swap meet. This post is not about the swap meet; I still have several hundred pictures to go through, organize, label, and upload. Instead, this post is about the booths of Hamvention. Everything imaginable could be found at Hamvention, from the usual ARRL folks, to the preppers selling expired MREs, and even a few heros of Open Hardware.

SatNOGS The elevation axis of a SatNOGS ground station

In 2014, Hackaday did something spectacular. We launched The Hackaday Prize, and gave everyone the opportunity to build Open Hardware with the chance to get paid for the same. The first grand prize winner of the Hackaday Prize was SatNOGS, a global network of satellite ground stations.

SatNOGS was founded after the realization that there are hundreds of cubesats and other amateur satellites being dumped into Low Earth Orbit. Most of these cubesats are from universities, with a few from high schools around the world. Getting data from these satellites requires a ground station, and if each cubesat only has one ground station, that satellite is only usable for a few minutes each day when it passes over home base.

SatNOGS is the solution to this problem. It’s a relatively simple device – just a few antennas mounted to a motorized platform, and connected to the Internet with a Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone. By connecting antennas around the globe to the Internet, the SatNOGS team can schedule observations for each individual ground station. This means more data and better science for every amateur cubesat.

While most of the SatNOGS team is busy with the Libre Space Foundation, the not-for-profit founded with Hackaday Prize money, there was enough cash to send a few SatNOGS enthusiasts out to Hamvention. [Corey], aka KB9JHU, from Bloomington, Indiana and SatNOGS station number two brought the team out. He’s been running his station for a while, and there are a few takeaways from his experiences in operating a 3D printed, robotic antenna for a few years. Printing parts in PLA works, surprisingly. There really isn’t much degradation of the 3D printed gears. Weatherproofing is relatively easy, but bug-proofing is not. There was talk of bees before I phased out of the conversation after realizing I don’t know if I’m allergic to bees. There are more SatNOGS stations coming online, and there should be reasonable coverage over most population centers by the time the Libre Space Foundation puts their satellite into orbit.

SDR Wizardry From Colorado

Electronic wizard and SDR hipster [Michael Ossman] was at Hamvention, showing off the latest of his SDR goodies.

The PortaPack for the HackRF One

[Ossmann] is famous around these part for the HackRF One, a software defined radio that’s good from 1MHz to 6GHz. Everything you could ever want is in this band, and the HackRF One transmits, too. He and his buddies were showing off the PortaPack, a ‘shield’, for lack of a better term, for the HackRF One that allows for portable control of the SDR. It’s a display, an old iPod scroll wheel thingy, and a shell to protect everything.

Sometimes you don’t need a good SDR that goes all the way into GHz territory, and for that [Ossmann] has the YARD Stick One. It’s sub-1GHz, based on the IM-Me radio circuit. For the booth demo, the Great Scott Gadgets crew connected a bicycle pump to an MDF box with an acrylic lid. Pop in a tire pressure monitor, and you have an excellent demo for receiving sub-GHz wireless transmissions.

Filed under: cons, radio hacks

Oppo’s tablet prototype can fold in half

Liliputing - พุธ, 05/25/2016 - 22:09

Tablets are a thing largely because some folks want to run smartphone apps on bigger screens, but don’t want to carry around 7 inch or larger phones. One day flexible screens and modular devices may offer a solution: imaging a 4 inch phone that becomes a 7 inch tablet when unfolded or attached to a secondary display.

While Chinese smartphone Oppo isn’t quite ready to launch that kind of phone, the company has revealed a concept device with a 7 inch display that folds in half.

Continue reading Oppo’s tablet prototype can fold in half at Liliputing.

Linux alarm clock

dangerous prototype - พุธ, 05/25/2016 - 22:04

Benoit Frigon wrote an article detailing his alarm clock running Linux project, that is available on github:

This is the display i made for my alarm clock project. The first version was a 24×7 LED matrix but later changed the design for a four digits seven segment display. I decided to keep the drawings for the LED matrix and named it model A and Model B for the segment display.
The display is encapsulated in clear casting epoxy and is 5 inches wide by 2 ¼ inches high by 1 inch thick.

More details at Benoit Frigon’s project page.

OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X get a $50 price cut (ahead of OnePlus 3 launch)

Liliputing - พุธ, 05/25/2016 - 21:13

Smartphone maker OnePlus is preparing to launch a new flagship smartphone, but the company still has a few older phones it’d like you to buy. So OnePlus is slashing prices by $50.

Now you can pick up a OnePlus X for $199 or a Oneplus 2 for $299.

The upcoming OnePlus 3 is expected to be unveiled during a press event on June 14th… which will be held in virtual reality.

Continue reading OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X get a $50 price cut (ahead of OnePlus 3 launch) at Liliputing.

The SEC Has a Thing for Crowdfunding

Hackaday - พุธ, 05/25/2016 - 21:01

Kickstarter is not a store. Indiegogo is not a store. No matter what crowdfunding platform you’re on, you’re not in a store. This is an undeniable truth, and no matter how angry you are about not being able to bring a cooler with a blender to the beach this summer, you did not buy this cool cooler, you were merely giving someone money to develop this cooler.

This reality may seem strange for the most vocal Internet commenters out there, leading them to the conclusion their pledge for a crowdfunding campaign was an investment. Surely there must be some guarantee in a single pledge, and if it’s not exchanging money for some consumer goods, it is exchanging money for a stake in a company. If that were true, backers of the Oculus Rift would have received several thousand dollars each, instead of a $600 VR headset.

Crowdfunding is not a store, and according to Kickstarter and Indiegogo, it is not an investment, either. Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s rules for “crowdfunded investing”, “Regulation Crowdfunding”, or “Title III Crowdfunding” kicked into gear. Is this the beginning of slack-jawed gawkers throwing their life savings into a pit of despair filled with idiotic consumer products that violate the laws of physics?

All Hail Government Regulation

The turn of the last century was the wild west for investment in the United States. Unencumbered by any sort of regulation on securities, any fly-by-night operation could receive investments in an oil well out west, a gold mine, or a buggy whip manufacturing outfit. In the early teens, up until the Great Depression, states enacted their own laws concerning the sales of securities to protect investors from fraud. After the Great Depression, and thanks to a new-found use of the Commerce Clause, these state laws were cobbled together to create the Securities Act of 1933.

If the Securities Act of 1933 could be summed up in one word, it would be, ‘disclosure’. The 1933 act requires companies to provide yearly and quarterly reports, financial statements, and other statements to the SEC. These reports are ostensibly for the benefit of investors, but not everyone can be an investor. For many types of securities, only accredited investors, defined in the United States as a person with an income above $200,000 per year, or a net worth above $1 Million, excluding the value of a primary residence.

A person who makes $200,000 a year is in the top 1% of earners in the United States, and the Securities Act, and subsequent Dodd-Frank Act, effectively bans 99% of the population from certain investments. Although giving people with more money more privileges may seem completely arbitrary and un-American, no one has ever suggested stupid people could survive in a libertarian’s paradise. By not allowing people to bet their house on an investment, everyone can keep their house.

Easing Restrictions For Everyone

For nearly 100 years, Joe Schmo has been cut out of the first rounds of investment for nearly every company. In 2012, President Obama signed the JOBS Act, backronymed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, which gave startups the ability to raise money from everyone, not just the 1%.

The relevant section of the JOBS Act, Title III, is entirely dedicated to crowdfunding. There are many restrictions, both for companies seeking investment, and for investors themselves.

The companies targeted by Title III are very small, and crowdfunding of investment funds is banned entirely. For the investors themselves, the yearly limits on how much money they are able to invest is likewise very small. Anyone earning $100,000 or more per year may invest $10,000 or 10% of their income, whichever is less. Anyone earning less than $100,000 per year may invest 5%, or $2,000, whichever is greater.

As with any new investment tool, a number of companies have popped up to support this new age of crowdfunded investing. This is not a market Kickstarter is expected to target, and the smart money tells us they will not. Instead, new companies will pop up in the this freshly created equity crowdfunding industry. Already, these new investment crowdfunding sites have several successful campaigns. One of these crowdfunded companies can be best described as, “Uber, but only between LA and Vegas, and only in Teslas.”

I Know Who’s Getting Rich Off This…

By any measure, Title III of the JOBS Act is of little consequence. It’s for the person who wants to start yet another vape shop in a strip mall, but doesn’t have the capital to go it alone. It’s not the best way to raise money, anyway. According to SeedInvest, Title III crowdfunding doesn’t even make sense. It costs too much to raise money through Title III crowdfunding.

Companies don’t get rich off of equity crowdfunding, and the investors probably won’t either. Investors simply cannot diversify, given the paltry yearly limits on how much they may invest. Fifty percent of businesses fail in the first year, and more than 90% within five years. You gotta diversify yo bonds, and limiting the amount that may be invested means this will not happen.

There is one entity that will make money off of equity crowdfunding: the licensed dealers and brokers. From the SEC rules, companies must sell equity through a licensed dealer. It’s unlikely non-accredited investors will get rich through equity crowdfunding. The limitations of Title III crowdfunding means the companies selling equity probably won’t be the next Facebook or Tesla.

Equity crowdfunding is here, and it’s not a Kickstarter. It’s not a store, and you probably shouldn’t invest in a company whose grand idea is a cooler with a blender, anyway. One thing is for certain, though: the best way to get rich is to invest in an equity crowdfunding platform.

Filed under: Crowd Funding, Current Events, Featured, Original Art, slider

Microsoft “streamlines” smartphone hardware business to focus on enterprise market

Liliputing - พุธ, 05/25/2016 - 19:51

Microsoft has been making smartphone operating systems for just about as long as anyone, and the company started selling its own hardware under the Lumia brand after acquiring Nokia in 2014.

But Android and iOS continue to dominate the smartphone market and Gartner estimates that Windows had a market share of just about 1 percent last year.

So it’s not surprising that Microsoft is making changes. The company has announced it’s eliminating about 1,850 jobs in its smartphone hardware business, taking a $950 million restructuring charge, and shifting focus.

Continue reading Microsoft “streamlines” smartphone hardware business to focus on enterprise market at Liliputing.

A new transceiver at N6QW, part 2

dangerous prototype - พุธ, 05/25/2016 - 19:05

Pete Juliano, N6QW, has been working on a transceiver project. He writes:

Today we complete most of the mechanical work and the only item remaining is the RC Filter to turn the Square Waves into Sine Waves for the tune signal. We have had it on the air in the current box as you always worry that even though it worked on the bench there is always a danger it won’t work in the box.
This rig has a lot of soul as some of the boards were used in the 30M CW transceiver and then moved over to the LBS on the bread board and now this radio. The main tuning knob was purchased in St Louis some 20 years ago and now is now controlling the encoder.
Just in case you are wondering this is not a BITX design but does use bilateral amplifiers originally designed by Plessey. The driver stage is from EMRFD and the intermediate bi-directional amp is my own design as is the 40M Band Pass Filter and the microphone amp. The Low Pass Filter is from W3NQN.

Project info at N6QW blog.

Meegopad A02 PC stick runs Remix OS

Liliputing - พุธ, 05/25/2016 - 18:00

Chinese device maker Meegopad offers a range of small form-factor computers running Windows 10 software. Now the company is introducing its first PC-on-a-stick running Remix OS.

MeegoPad is taking pre-orders for the MeegoPad A02 through a crowdfunding campaign in China at JD.com, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this system sold in other markets in the future.

The MeegoPad A02 features an Allwinner A83t ARM Cortex-A7 octa-core processor, up to 2GB of RAM, and up to 32GB of storage.

Continue reading Meegopad A02 PC stick runs Remix OS at Liliputing.

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