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Imagine a tiny little device that you velcro to the back of your TV that delivers all of the media found on your home network. We’ve been dreaming about that since we saw early working examples of XBMC running on a Beagleboard. We’ve heard little about it since then but now there’s cause for hope. XBMC optimization for the Beagleboard has been approved as a Google Summer of Code project. The fruits of these projects tend to take a year or so to ripen, but we don’t mind the wait.
[Topfs2] is the student coder on the project and will be posting weekly updates as well as idling in IRC so if you’re interested in lending a hand with testing or words of support you should drop him a line.
[Beagleboard photo: Koenkooi]
If you’ve been puzzled over a discreet, durable way to sew wiring into your clothing, then puzzle no more: [Plusea] has put together a writeup detailing how to make a USB cable partly out of stretchy cotton fabric. Although the design as detailed doesn’t give much practical use for the invention, we can think of several very effective ways of exploiting this toy. Imagine, for example, placing a USB battery pack into one pocket of a jacket, a portable digital audio recorder in the other, and a lavalier microphone in the lining, thus enabling dozens of hours of covert audio surveillance.
Thanks to Create Digital Music for pointing me to the awesome work of Gijs Geikes. This is his latest sequencer creation. It is designed to get its clock signal from Little Sound Dj running on a Gameboy. The sequencer controls plugin modules that are attached to a parallel port. Here’s a great sample of the output. He’s got schematics on his site, which are easy to comprehend when compared to his bizarro board etching. One of the plugins is an earlier project: The Tape Sequencer. Have a listen to that too.
er, [Hybrid] sent along this video of a lego mindstorm self parking car. I don’t think I’d want it parking next to my ride considering how much damage it did to the blocks. Man, I need to upgrade my legos. Sadly, this video just re-iterates one of
the my problems with Youtube videos. Video posters tend to fail to provide links with more information about their projects/hacks. Via [techblog]
Update: [ralphn] found the car. It uses an ultrasonic sensor to find a space big enough to park in – when it does, it automatically parks.
Don’t forget, Prizes and glory await the winner of the Design Challenge. Just 12 days left to get em in.
Just a quick bonus hack: The giant altoids tin battery pack w/voltmeter. [Via Make]
[Trax] needed an LC meter and decided to use a tried-and-true design to build his own. The only problem was that he didn’t want to be tied to a bench supply or power outlet, which meant a bit of auxiliary design was in order. What he came up with is the battery-powered LC meter you see above.
The core of the original [Phil Rice] design remains the same, with slight modifications to drive a different model of character LCD. The code is mostly unchanged, but some calibration routines became necessary after [Marko] noticed bugs in the behavior after power cycling. Now the device will perform what amounts to a hardware reset about 700ms after powering on or changing between inductance and capacitance measuring functions. The project box is quite small, and to get everything to fit [Marko] sourced the Lithium Ion battery from a Bluetooth headset. He needs 5V for the LCD screen so he used a TPS61222 boost converter. To top off the battery he’s included a MAX1811 single-cell Li-ion charger, which has a couple of status LEDs visible through the case as seen above.