(umi'n no kuni)

OpenStax: Science Books

The OpenStax [wiki] initiative provides free, peer-reviewed text books on e.g. atoms first chemistry, vector calculus or thermodynamics [de]. No epub though. Semi-related: O'Reilly fake book covers.

Blender Spaceship Generator

Blender Nation reports on a Blender plugin [intro] that can create spaceships by script. A WebGL demo by ShipWright shows ships created by any random string you enter. In semi-related news, there is also a universe creator.

GPS Signals

Kowoma [de] describes the components of satellite navigation (GPS, Glonass, Galileo, Beidou) signals, here GPS: The coarse acquisition (C/A) code with 1023 bit, unique per satellite and starting anew each millisecond, going 300m at light speed; and the precise (P) military code which is 750MB encrypted, taking a week to transmit. Both are XORed with the navigation data, including telemetry, clock, and orbit. Modern GPS variants add L2C (successor to C/A); L5 for increased robustness; and L1C for redundancy and Galileo interoperability. The Interface Control Document is public.

Earth Seasons

An Imgurian shares an animation of summer and winter on Earth's surface. You can also watch the current wind on Earth or the satellite and space debris in Earth's orbit, or a bit below, aeroplane flights on Earth.

Floating Backpack

An Imgurian, The Gear Caster and Hot New Tech report on the Hover Glide floating backpack: The bag is mounted onto a rail, and the up-and-down movements while walking are stabilized, reducing effective load on the wearer.

Computer Graphics Language: Processing

Heise reports on the Processing programming language [wiki], a strongly simplified Java variant plus environment, suited for beginners in order to build computer graphics with slight interaction, up to small games.

Wisdom Teeth

An Imgurian posts some animations on how wisdom teeth (M3) are removed by dental extraction: Depending on orientation, separation into multiple parts and piece-wise removal. And lots of effort to stop the blood flow.

Tiny Phone: Unihertz Atom

In 2018, the term "small phone" has come to mean 5" where in the 2000s a big phone was 3". Currently, one of the few 2.5" phones is the Jelly by Unihertz, which will get a ruggedized version named Atom presumably end of of 2018.

Debian Phone: Librem 5

The Librem (11, 13, 15) notebook line by Purism is expanded by a PureOS (Debian base) phone, the Librem 5, presumably in early 2019, currently starting devkit production. After OpenMoko (2007) and BQ Aquaris (2014, with Ubuntu Touch), it will be interesting to see how the Librem 5 fares.

Undersea Cables

An Imgurian provides some section photos of submarine communication aka undersea cables, at least half a meter in diameter. Protected by stranded steel and an outer and inner layer of water-resistant polyethylene (plastic).

Input Device: Five Rings on the Tap Keyboard

Slashgear and The Verge report on the Tap Keyboard, five cable-connected rings that allow one-handed text input and mousing by analysing your hand movements via accelerometer. Connects by bluetooth, no Linux though. Costs 200 EUR.

Phantom V2640 Camera: 2000x2000px @ 6000fps

Peta Pixel, DP review and Image Sensors World report on the cutting edge in high-speed cameras: The Phantom V2640 can do 2000x2000 px at 6000 fps and HD at 11000 fps, in color. Excessive lighting is a prerequisite.

Logo, Scratch, Doodle: Visual Programming for Kids

Slashgear reports on a Google Doodle reminiscent of Logo (1967) [wiki] and Scratch (2002) [wiki], visual programming languages designed for kids prior to achieving reading comprehension. Another visual variant is Alice (1994) [wiki] which focuses on 3d animation.

Build Your Own Keyboard

An Imgurian built his own split keyboard. Cherry keycaps and an USB controller like the Teensy can be bought, and you need to do the wiring yourself. Commercial variants include the KeyMouse where both sides are also a mouse (500 EUR) and the ErgoDox which gives your thumb more to do [review] (300 EUR). Would be nice to add a RollerBar replacement, as built by Judy of the Woods.

Book Scanner with 4 pages/second

Imgur showcases the BFS-Auto book scanner by Uni Tokyo, Japan, a research prototype capable of 4 pages/second (video). Uses a slow-moving cylinder to release pages quickly, laser scanner+stereo cameras for realtime page form recognition (and undeforming), and finally optical character recognition (OCR).

Light through Fiber Optics

Holding a laser pointer to the end of a fiber optic cable nicely shows the total internal reflection producing a sine wave, which can travel around curves in the cable, illustrated by Imgur. Howstuffworks and Explainthatstuff have more details.