No Longer Vaporware: The Internet of Things Is Finally Talking | Wired Opinion | Wired.com
Hackers began using increasingly inexpensive sensors and open source hardware—like the Arduino controller—to add intelligence to ordinary objects. There are now kits that let your plants tweet when they need to be watered and teensy printers that scour the web and print out stuff you might be interested in. And there are oodles of “quantified-self” projects: “I know a guy who put a tilt sensor in his beer mug. It lets him know precisely how much he drank during Oktoberfest,” Arduino hacker Charalampos Doukas says with a laugh. “Sensor prices are going down; sizes are going down. The only limit is your imagination.”

No Longer Vaporware: The Internet of Things Is Finally Talking | Wired Opinion | Wired.com

Hackers began using increasingly inexpensive sensors and open source hardware—like the Arduino controller—to add intelligence to ordinary objects. There are now kits that let your plants tweet when they need to be watered and teensy printers that scour the web and print out stuff you might be interested in. And there are oodles of “quantified-self” projects: “I know a guy who put a tilt sensor in his beer mug. It lets him know precisely how much he drank during Oktoberfest,” Arduino hacker Charalampos Doukas says with a laugh. “Sensor prices are going down; sizes are going down. The only limit is your imagination.”

Arduino-powered plant can water itself, thank you very much | Digital Trends
Make a trip to the nearest Radioshack and build yourself an automated self-watering plant so you no longer have to remember to do the task.

My personal rule for my apartment is: Don’t bring any living thing in except humans unless you want it to die. I just don’t have time to keep up with the care taking of plants and animals! So if you’re like me but still want a piece of nature in your home, perhaps you can build yourself this Arduino-powered self-watering plant, set it, and forget it.
Available via Instructables by Randy Sarafan, the self-watering plant tutorial requires you to have some basic mechanical skills to build an electronic pump which will feed your plant in your honor. There are several steps of wire attachment and fastening bits and pieces inside one power box, but each move is intuitive and pretty simple.
Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/arduino-powered-plant-can-water-itself/#ixzz227Iwum7a

Arduino-powered plant can water itself, thank you very much | Digital Trends

Make a trip to the nearest Radioshack and build yourself an automated self-watering plant so you no longer have to remember to do the task.

My personal rule for my apartment is: Don’t bring any living thing in except humans unless you want it to die. I just don’t have time to keep up with the care taking of plants and animals! So if you’re like me but still want a piece of nature in your home, perhaps you can build yourself this Arduino-powered self-watering plant, set it, and forget it.

Available via Instructables by Randy Sarafan, the self-watering plant tutorial requires you to have some basic mechanical skills to build an electronic pump which will feed your plant in your honor. There are several steps of wire attachment and fastening bits and pieces inside one power box, but each move is intuitive and pretty simple.



Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/arduino-powered-plant-can-water-itself/#ixzz227Iwum7a

Scientists Hack Kinect to Study Glaciers and Asteroids | Wired Science | Wired.com
Last summer, Ken Mankoff shimmied through zero degree water and mud  into a small cavern underneath Rieperbreen Glacier in Svalbard, Norway,  holding a Microsoft Kinect wrapped inside a waterproof bag.
Using the little toy, originally meant as a motion-sensing device for  the Xbox 360 video game console, Mankoff scanned the cave floor in 3D.  During the summer, water from lakes on the glacier’s surface had gushed  through the channel he was sitting in. The Kinect was going to provide a  better understanding of its size and roughness, which could help  researchers predict how the ice above would flow toward the sea.
“I’ve always enjoyed repurposing cheap devices, doing things that you’re not supposed to do with them,” said Mankoff,  a NASA funded Ph.D. student at the University of California, Santa Cruz  studying ice and ocean interactions. “You know, the hacker ideals.”
He is currently a bit of an evangelist for the Kinect, trying to get  scientist interested in using the device, which can record very accurate  3D data in visible and infrared wavelengths.

Scientists Hack Kinect to Study Glaciers and Asteroids | Wired Science | Wired.com

Last summer, Ken Mankoff shimmied through zero degree water and mud into a small cavern underneath Rieperbreen Glacier in Svalbard, Norway, holding a Microsoft Kinect wrapped inside a waterproof bag.

Using the little toy, originally meant as a motion-sensing device for the Xbox 360 video game console, Mankoff scanned the cave floor in 3D. During the summer, water from lakes on the glacier’s surface had gushed through the channel he was sitting in. The Kinect was going to provide a better understanding of its size and roughness, which could help researchers predict how the ice above would flow toward the sea.

“I’ve always enjoyed repurposing cheap devices, doing things that you’re not supposed to do with them,” said Mankoff, a NASA funded Ph.D. student at the University of California, Santa Cruz studying ice and ocean interactions. “You know, the hacker ideals.”

He is currently a bit of an evangelist for the Kinect, trying to get scientist interested in using the device, which can record very accurate 3D data in visible and infrared wavelengths.

Solving New York’s sewage problem - Salon.com
Sewage overflow is the No. 1 source of pollution for New York’s waterways, says Percifield, a graduate student at the School of Art, Media, and Technology at the Parsons New School of Design.  But information on how often or when the overflows occur is in short  supply. Percifield believes that if New York City’s water users had  access to timely information, they could adjust their behavior to cut  down on the amount of actual sewage they send into the system at the  very moment overflows are happening. Or at the very least decide to  postpone that swim in the East River.
“The idea is to provide localized information so people can make  decisions about recreational activity and hopefully encourage someone to  postpone a load of laundry or washing a big-deal pile of dishes, or  something like that, until the overflow has stopped,” says Percifield.
Percifield’s dream is to accomplish this by placing simple sensors at  each of New York City’s 490 “combined sewer overflow” points. The  sensors will be primed to send out text-message notifications every time  the city’s drainage maxes out. Taking his cues from the open-source,  do-it-yourself community, Percifield decided not to wait around for the  city’s Department of Environmental Protection to get on the job. He  designed and built his own sensor. Then he climbed down into the sewer  system to see if his hacked-together creation would work.

Solving New York’s sewage problem - Salon.com

Sewage overflow is the No. 1 source of pollution for New York’s waterways, says Percifield, a graduate student at the School of Art, Media, and Technology at the Parsons New School of Design. But information on how often or when the overflows occur is in short supply. Percifield believes that if New York City’s water users had access to timely information, they could adjust their behavior to cut down on the amount of actual sewage they send into the system at the very moment overflows are happening. Or at the very least decide to postpone that swim in the East River.

“The idea is to provide localized information so people can make decisions about recreational activity and hopefully encourage someone to postpone a load of laundry or washing a big-deal pile of dishes, or something like that, until the overflow has stopped,” says Percifield.

Percifield’s dream is to accomplish this by placing simple sensors at each of New York City’s 490 “combined sewer overflow” points. The sensors will be primed to send out text-message notifications every time the city’s drainage maxes out. Taking his cues from the open-source, do-it-yourself community, Percifield decided not to wait around for the city’s Department of Environmental Protection to get on the job. He designed and built his own sensor. Then he climbed down into the sewer system to see if his hacked-together creation would work.

Open Source Ecology - Global Village Construction Set
Open Source Ecology is a network of farmers, engineers, and supporters that for the last two years has been creating the Global Village Construction Set,  an open source, low-cost, high performance technological platform that  allows for the easy, DIY fabrication of the 50 different Industrial  Machines that it takes to build a sustainable civilization with modern  comforts. The GVCS lowers the barriers to entry into farming, building, and manufacturing and can be seen as a life-size lego-like set of modular tools that can create entire economies, whether in rural Missouri, where the project was founded, in urban redevelopment, or in the developing world.

Open Source Ecology - Global Village Construction Set

Open Source Ecology is a network of farmers, engineers, and supporters that for the last two years has been creating the Global Village Construction Set, an open source, low-cost, high performance technological platform that allows for the easy, DIY fabrication of the 50 different Industrial Machines that it takes to build a sustainable civilization with modern comforts. The GVCS lowers the barriers to entry into farming, building, and manufacturing and can be seen as a life-size lego-like set of modular tools that can create entire economies, whether in rural Missouri, where the project was founded, in urban redevelopment, or in the developing world.

The Chinese Farmer-Roboticist and Other DIY Technologist Tales | The Atlantic
In backalleys, garages, and shops across the world, a class of tinkerers are building new things. With little money and varying levels of formal education, the makers of our globe’s cities are innovating with what they have to hand. Separated by language and distance, most don’t think of themselves as part of a movement. At new magazine called Makeshift wants to change all that. In the US, MAKE magazine became a rallying point for do-it-yourself tech nerds and hackers. Makeshift wants to bring that sense of community to the international scene. “In different cultures [grassroots production] goes by different names: DIY in the US, jugaad in India, jua kali in East Africa, and gambiarra in Brazil,” the editors wrote on their new website. “Makeshift seeks to unify these cultures into a global identity.” The magazine’s staff includes wunderkind editor-in-chief Steve Daniels, an early-20s IBM researcher, photographer Myles Estey, and editor Niti Bhan, who founded the Emerging Futures Lab. They’re based in New York, Mexico City, and Singapore, respectively, a nod to the international nature of their virtual collaboration. They claim contributors from 20 countries. 

The Chinese Farmer-Roboticist and Other DIY Technologist Tales | The Atlantic

In backalleys, garages, and shops across the world, a class of tinkerers are building new things. With little money and varying levels of formal education, the makers of our globe’s cities are innovating with what they have to hand. Separated by language and distance, most don’t think of themselves as part of a movement. At new magazine called Makeshift wants to change all that. In the US, MAKE magazine became a rallying point for do-it-yourself tech nerds and hackers. Makeshift wants to bring that sense of community to the international scene. “In different cultures [grassroots production] goes by different names: DIY in the US, jugaad in India, jua kali in East Africa, and gambiarra in Brazil,” the editors wrote on their new website. “Makeshift seeks to unify these cultures into a global identity.” The magazine’s staff includes wunderkind editor-in-chief Steve Daniels, an early-20s IBM researcher, photographer Myles Estey, and editor Niti Bhan, who founded the Emerging Futures Lab. They’re based in New York, Mexico City, and Singapore, respectively, a nod to the international nature of their virtual collaboration. They claim contributors from 20 countries. 

Rise of the replicators - New Scientist
MakerBot is one of a range of desktop manufacturing plants being developed by researchers and hobbyists around the world. Their goal is to create a machine that is able to fix itself and, ultimately, to replicate … MakerBot and most of its kin are essentially a cut-price reinvention of the 3D printer. While professional machines still cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars, a coalition of academics and tinkerers has created versions that do much the same thing for much less. Anyone with a few hundred dollars and some spare time can build their own 3D printer from a set of plans distributed free on the internet. 

Rise of the replicators - New Scientist

MakerBot is one of a range of desktop manufacturing plants being developed by researchers and hobbyists around the world. Their goal is to create a machine that is able to fix itself and, ultimately, to replicate … MakerBot and most of its kin are essentially a cut-price reinvention of the 3D printer. While professional machines still cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars, a coalition of academics and tinkerers has created versions that do much the same thing for much less. Anyone with a few hundred dollars and some spare time can build their own 3D printer from a set of plans distributed free on the internet.