Tom Padula's solar-powered electric fireflies are just one example of the kind of awesome homebrew tchotchke coming to the San Francisco Maker Faire this weekend. These things sound great: tinsy, solar-charged intermittent garden-blinkers that give you the fireflies you always wanted.
"The slightest breeze moves them around, and the motion combined with the light is mesmerizing," says Padula, who will be selling his digital lightning bugs for $10 apiece at the fifth annual Maker Faire Bay Area, which will be held this coming Saturday and Sunday, May 22 and 23, in San Mateo, California. The annual event, put on by O'Reilly Media, is a celebration of DIY culture, arts and crafts, and will likely draw more than 70,000 attendees, organizers say.
Padula's fireflies weigh 0.2 ounces (7 grams) and are attached to an 18-inch monofilament line. Six solar panels charge NiMH batteries, and a microcontroller drives the LED. The units are dipped in epoxy for weather resistance.
"All the real work happens in the code, from determining ambient light level, to controlling the LED intensity and keeping track of how long the pattern has been active so as to turn off after two hours, like real fireflies do," says Padula.
Maker Faire Preview: Electronic Fireflies to Light Up Your Backyard
Apple invited consumer technology reporters to an event scheduled for next Tuesday, October 30, at New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music, Howard Gilman Opera House. The late-October event will presumably feature something different from the September iPhone-centered event.
Helm is a startup making a $500 home gadget that replaces Gmail and Google Calendar, letting you control your own email and coordination; its founders have deep information security backgrounds, and plan to make money by charging an annual $100 management fee.
Casey Johnston reports that the supposedly improved keyboards in new MacBook Pros still suffer the same old problems. Several users in the MacRumors keyboard thread suggested that the butterfly keyboards Apple has been pushing for two years now are a stepping stone to full touch-screen models; no keys, no mechanisms, no nooks and crannies, just […]
Speed reading isn’t just an innate skill possessed by a lucky few. Anyone can learn to speed read, and the benefits are endless. The brain can process more information than most people have time to soak up, but you can make that time now with the 2018 Award-Winning Speed Reading Bundle. The first half of […]
Sure, you could use the same old PowerPoint templates for your next business presentation. It’s not like you have bosses or investors to impress. Oh wait, you do? Time to augment that slideshow with Slideshop – the presentation tool that can individualize your pitch while saving you time. Compatible with PowerPoint, Keynote and Google Slides, […]
Multinational companies have used the no-nonsense methodologies of Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma to oil a smooth-running operation for years. What is it? Six Sigma (and its offshoot, Lean Six Sigma) apply the principles of science to business, teaching managers to methodically target waste, maximize output and streamline the flow from producer to consumer. […]