Saturday, February 28, 2015

Which gadget takes priority?

My work phone is a Galaxy Note 3 that came with a 1st gen galaxy gear watch. Because i am a gadget guy i like to get the most out of all my gadgets, the note 3 has nfc technology built in so i started playing with anything i could scan.
My credit card has a nfc chip inside as does my passport. I use an app called tasker to automate various parts of my life. I pulled the nfc page out of an old passport and placed it on my work desk. When I arrived at work each day I can simply lay my phone on the passport page and it would initiate certain tasks like backing up my photos from my phone. Because it works so well i ordered a bunch of nfc stickers from AliExpress. Once the second lot arrived, which were the right format, I was away putting stickers around the house to run different tasks on my phone.
NFC sticker on Marmite jar
This all went well until i discovered wireless charging. The kit I got from aliexpress included a charging pad and a receiver coil that fits inside the back cover of the phone. Wow this is awesome no more plugging the cable in just lay my phone on the pad and it would charge itself. Very convenient.

However now my nfc does not work it seems that the charging receiver coil seems to block the nfc radio signals.
So now i have to decide which is more convenient the wireless charging or the automation of tasks with nfc.

I know this is a first world problem and maybe i should be thinking about helping children in Africa . But if there's anyone out there who knows how to get both working drop me a line until then I think i'll go back to plugging in my charger.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Beware of fake solar cells

I was wondering why this cheap "DUAL POWER" calculator was not working. Sure the battery was probably flat and it was dim in the room, but it would not turn on even in bright light.

So I opened it up and found that the solar panel is fake. A piece of plastic with three lines embedded in it, not connected to anything.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Hourglass clock

I like this old style hourglass clock by Mike Sander which flips and advances the hour every 60 minutes. It is expertly handcrafted and the internal workings are a unique solution.

Friday, February 6, 2015

How "green screen" worked

Tom Scott gives an informative presentation on how film and video did "green screen" editing before computers.

For info on how "green screen" works now, ask the Muzgadget Bro at Outpost.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Lego X - Digital modelling with Lego bricks

Gravity, the designers of a pen and a pad specifically designed for sketching in the augmented environment have also developed Lego X - location aware lego bricks for creating digital 3D models.

Lego X from Lego X on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Happy Groundhog Day

In celebration of Groundhog Day, Instructables has a special instructable today on how to modify the Groundhog Day Alarm Clock featured in the Groundhog Day movie. The Groundhog Day Alarm Clock consists of a Panasonic RC-6025 flip clock modified to play the audio from the movie Groundhog Day when the alarm goes off.

Make sure to watch the video!

Learn more about making the Groundhog Day Alarm Clock at Groundhog Day Alarm Clock on Instructables.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Hearing colors

Imagine having your senses rewired. Neil Harbisson was born color blind and can only see in grayscale. His "eyeborg" allows him to hear colors including infrared and ultraviolet.

See and hear his experiences in this fascinating TED talk: