Get ready for “citizen science” to transform bioscience. In mid-October, 28-year-old Eri Gentry opened BioCurious, a nonprofit public-use biology laboratory in Sunnyvale, Calif., with 2,400 square feet of “hacker space for biotech.” Similar community labs are sprouting up elsewhere, too. Do-it-yourself biologists are setting up shop in garages, basements, and hacker spaces worldwide. Executive Director Gentry and five co-founders raised $35,000 for the BioCurious lab on Kickstarter.com (a site that enables anyone to raise money from the public for creative projects).
Joel Miller, a biomedical engineer at the University of Western Australia in Perth, has won the grand prize in Science’s fourth annual “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest, a competition that recognizes the best dance interpretations of scientific doctoral work
“We like to hack hardware and software, why not hack our bodies?” says Tim Chang, a self-quantifier and Silicon Valley investor who is backing the development of several self-tracking gadgets.
NPR tries something new: A day to let managers step away and developers play
Serendipity Day gives coders and designers the freedom to work on…well, anything they want, if they’re willing to show it off afterward.
Ubiquitous computing, though evolving, is promising and cannot be ignored. This next wave in technology will forever change the way we interact with machines. Not only will we be connected always, from everywhere, but we are approaching a time where smart devices will take actions by predicting user inputs.
Rather than ask people to integrate bulky or intrusive sensors into their lives, GreenGoose’s upcoming system (pre-orders start on Dec. 15; systems ship on Jan. 1) will instead provide small stickers with built-in Internet-connected sensors. Tip a water bottle and the attached GreenGoose sticker logs it through a small base station that plugs into your wireless router. Feed the dog, go for a walk, clean the house — GreenGoose has designs on all of it. No special skills required.
Dilemmabox brings tactile upvoting
by Mike Szczys
Here’s a fun art installation which you might run into downtown. It’s called the Dilemmabox and lets you pull a rope to up or down vote a question. [Christoffer Lorang Dahl] realized that touchscreens are wiping out a lot of really fun user interfaces of yore. He incorporated the two hanging rope inputs as an homage to doorbell ropes.
The built process works much like a laptop-to-digital photo frame conversion. The first step is to liberate the LCD screen from the laptop body. Both are housed in a wooden box, with a window cut out to show the screen. The mechanically clever part is the rope pulls. They’re both just pressing a key on the keyboard in a roundabout sort of way. [Christoffer] attached a smooth hemispherical piece to two keys. The ropes are connected to wooden levers which are held in place by springs. They rub on the hemispheres just enough when passing by to register a keypress.
The photo above was taken during the Dilemmabox’s brief appearance at a shopping plaza in Oslo.