• Meet the Orp smart horn. Designed in Portland, Oregon by a company called FUSE, the Orp is meant to save lives with its two-tone horn and bright, electricity-saving LED lights.

    Lead designer Tory Orzeck, who used to design shoes for Nike, said he decided to reinvent the bike horn when he noticed a startling rise in bike accidents in Portland, where he lives.

    The Orp isn’t the steel horn that you had on your bike when you were a kid, riding to the rock quarry after school to beat the hot sun. It’s a horn with a high powered, admittedly obnoxious sound like a smoke detector – good for getting drivers’ attention when they don’t notice a biker. It also has a lighter, more polite horn that can used to say hello to a passing pedestrian.

    While Mr. Orzeck was putting the horn together, it occurred to him that he could add high-intensity LED lights that wouldn’t drain too much power from the horn, and thus the Orp was born.

    To raise money they went to Kickstarter, where they raised $110,000

    Read More »from Former Nike Designer Reinvents the Bicycle Horn
  • FIRST LOOK: The $25 Raspberry Pi Computer

    This week we got our hands on the only Raspberry Pi Model A in the United States, thanks to Limor “Ladyada” Fried and her team at Adafruit, a do-it-yourself company started by Fried in New York City.

    Raspberry Pi is a simple, affordable computer designed by Eben Upton of the U.K., who dreamed of building a computer that’s accessible to anyone. To keep the cost down, only minimal components were included in this credit-card-sized computer. There isn’t even a case.

    The Model A is the slimmed-down sibling of the $35 Model B computer that came out about a year ago, opening up a world to new computer programmers and fanatics. By removing the Ethernet connection and one of the two USB ports, and by reducing the amount of onboard memory, the company was able sell the Model A for all of $25.

    In a short time, Raspberry Pi has created a devoted following of programmers who have taken the technology and run with it. It’s been used to build home arcades, capture images from near space, become a

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  • Descriptive Camera Trades Pictures for Text

    The Descriptive Camera is a novel idea. It’s the kind of idea someone who’s looking for new ways to approach photography comes up with, when, as a society, we’re oversaturated with digital cameras, Facebook and Instagram.

    Instead of revealing a picture, the camera prints a description of what’s in the image. And the description isn’t written by Watson or a carefully written algorithm, it’s actually crowd sourced. The camera hooks up to a wired internet line, and after you take the picture it’s sent to a webpage. There a “describer” views the image, types whatever he or she sees, and hits “submit.” A printer built into the camera then reveals the description. It can be literal or humorous; it can be a short 140 characters or the truly necessary 1,000 words.

    The camera is homemade and built with off-the-shelf technology by Matt Richardson, a student and, fittingly, an editor at MAKE Magazine. The camera clearly didn’t roll off the Apple manufacturing line next to its sleek chrome and

    Read More »from Descriptive Camera Trades Pictures for Text

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