Rachel James of CBS Interactive's Smart Planet interviewed me about making stuff around the house.
You are currently working on a new book. What’s it about?
I haven’t seen a lot of cool project books for girls. My girls aren’t that interested in the kind of crafting books that are out there right now. So this one is going to have fun projects for dads and daughters together, which is rare. A lot of the time the projects are fun for dads, while the girls don’t find them that interesting, or vice versa.
So one of the projects we’re working on now is a kitty cam. It’s a way to put a miniature video camera on a cat’s collar. Then when your cat runs around, either outside or in the house, you get the kitty’s eye view. We have one cat who likes to jump up in trees and on the roof. So we get all these great scenes from our cat.
That’s great. Where does the camera come from?
You can buy these tiny cameras that look like a key fob. They’re smaller than a Tic Tac box and cost about eight dollars. We’re still working on the rig.
Tell me about your process of inventing. It sounds like you do a lot of this work in collaboration with your family. Do you come up with the ideas on your own?
My daughters and I come up with the ideas, and my wife gives us great feedback on everything. For example my younger daughter Jane and I are writing a program for a retro arcade-style video game. We’re using a program called Scratch, developed at MIT’s Media Lab. Jane and I have written the program together and she’s created the art for it. A little character collects different kinds of droplets that fall out of the sky – some are bad for you, some give you bonus skills, etc… We collaborate with all of our different projects.
Q&A: Mark Frauenfelder, editor-in-chief at MAKE magazine, founder of Boing Boing
I’d not heard of Elektor magazine until today, when I came across this photo of the cover from a 1974 edition. I assumed it was fake. Everything about it seemed like it was created this year – the typeface, the names of the projects, the tagline (“up-to-date electronics for lab and leisure”). Someone has uploaded […]
Most of us need a computer interface implanted in our brains like we need a hole in our head. That said, there are benefits to bridging the gap between mind and machine. Joel Murphy is the founder of OpenBCI, an inexpensive, and non-invasive, brain-computer interface (BCI) platform. People have used OpenBCI to control robots, compose […]
Last week Carla posted Scotty’s amazing video about building an iPhone from scratch. Scotty just sent me a couple of photos that show just how difficult it was to build the phone: The attached photos are from one of the booths that sells screws and brackets and other accessories for repairing and refurbishing iPhones. The […]
Bamboo has lots of uses beyond just being panda food. Things like bikes, roads, scaffolding, and musical instruments are made from the fast-growing grass. But unless you are participating in a tropical-themed LARP, you probably wouldn’t want a shirt made from bamboo stalks. So why do bamboo bed sheets make any sense? Because yarn extracted from […]
If you want to work in tech, but don’t have any desire to code web apps to help businesses sell things to other business, you might want to consider a career in cybersecurity. Judging from the apparent complete infiltration of Russian hackers in American cyberspace, it seems fair to speculate that there’s a major shortage of […]
All moms are different. But all moms like getting flowers on Mother’s Day, and that’s a fact (not, however a fact we can document in any fashion.) Instead of getting chewed out for forgetting to call her on the second Sunday of May, you can take care of it ahead of time with Teleflora’s flower […]