Category

DIY

These antique phones are precious, private Alexa vessels

By | Alexa, Amazon, Artificial Intelligence, DIY, Gadgets, Hardware, retro, TC, vintage

Amazon’s Alexa may be in ten thousand different devices now, but they all have one other thing in common: they’re new. So for those of us that prefer old things but still want to be able to set timers and do metric-imperial conversions without pulling out our phones, Grain Design is retrofitting these fabulous old telephones to provide Alexa access with no other hints of modernity. There’s even a privacy angle!

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What the newly revised copyright law lets (and doesn’t let) you do with your gadgets

By | copyright, DIY, Gadgets, Government, Hardware, repair

You think you own your phone, but you don’t. Copyright law prohibits you from modifying its software in certain ways, opening you up to a voided warranty, cancelled service, or even a lawsuit — but that’s slowly changing as the government acknowledges the need (and arguably right) to repair our own devices. A favorable decision from the Copyright Office gives you considerably more freedom with your gadgets, but it’s far from an ideal solution.

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NASA’s Open Source Rover lets you build your own planetary exploration platform

By | DIY, Education, Gadgets, Government, jpl, mars rover, NASA, Robotics, Science, Space

Got some spare time this weekend? Why not build yourself a working rover from plans provided by NASA? The spaceniks at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have all the plans, code, and materials for you to peruse and use — just make sure you’ve got $2,500 and a bit of engineering know-how. This thing isn’t made out of Lincoln Logs.

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