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38 Posts authored by: spannerspencer
Just saw this on Kickstarter, and I have to say I quite like the idea.     It doesn't look like it's very programmable, and the modular design is pretty basic, but that's no bad thing if it gets the kids interested in the idea of building cool electronics projects.   Kind of reminds me of Big Trak, in the way you can set the individual rotors to follow set commands   Sub-$100 too, which is always a good price point for a new device aimed at kids (not literally aime ...
Okay, you guys are all pretty good with electronics, right? I mean, that's why you hang around at element14 in the first place.   Therefore, you'll all be acutely aware of the following affliction, that I un-lovingly call "Tech Support Syndrome":   Tech Support Syndromenoun /' tek səˈpɔːt sɪn.drəʊm/ when a technologically adept individual is unwittingly established as the personal, on-call, 24-hour, 365-days-a-year free tech support service for friends and family, usually against thei ...
Probably the main reason Computer Security Day (which is today) exists, is because we -- as a species -- tend more toward cure than prevention. Most of us only ever change our passwords once the last one has been discovered and put to ill use.   Naturally you've taken heed already this year, and run through the Computer Security Day checklist to revisit your online life and update your digital door locks. But was it always thus?   We've probably all fallen foul of hackers, viruses, m ...
Although this is likely to overrun November 30th, we feel it's no bad thing to raise a bit of extra awareness around World Computer Security Day (CSD), and we've created a badge for all those who are into the idea of locking down their online lives nice and securely. To get the badge, follow these simple rules: Update your element14 password. Update your avatar with our CSD 2016 icon on the right (maybe overlay on your existing avatar for a few days? That's what I'm doing). Post a blog abou ...
It's November 30th, which means it's A) Just under one month until New Year's Eve, and B) It's World Computer Security Day (CSD)!   You can find out a little more about the origins of the day itself over here, and tell us about your best practices when it comes to securing your digital life.   Beyond Computer Security This is a long-lived awareness campaign already, but it's changing as fast as the computers it's based around.   CSD is a concept that increases in magnitude somew ...
There are multiple reasons to celebrate World Computer Security Day (CSD). We'll get to the primary reasons in a minute, but the other thing that's nice about it is there aren't any greeting cards associated with it. Not yet, anyway.   So, what's today's rather nebulous-sounding pseudo celebration all about? Read on.   World Computer Security Day As woolly as it might initially sound, this is actually a great idea. The purpose behind it is simple; to raise awareness of cyber security, ...
And here we are! Happy Father's Day, everyone!   We've had quite a rollercoaster ride of patriarchal point winning, and now it's time to round things out with one last Father's Day Badge-a-Thon badge.   Firstly, of course, you need to be proudly sporting the previous days' badges before you can land this one: Day One: June 13th - Father's Day Badge-a-Thon: Shed Dweller Day Two: June 14th - Father's Day Badge-a-Thon: Boys' Toys Day Three: June 15th - Father's Day Badge-a-Thon: DIY ...
Adaptability is the cornerstone of fatherhood. Well, it probably should be. Whether it is or not, I'll leave for mothers and partners to decide upon!   But, in an effort to embrace this notion, today's Father's Day badge has taken a twist. I've adjusted it in accord with some excellent suggestions you guys about creating projects with the kids.   "Did anyone else see the title and expect that it'd be "what toys have you made for your boys (or girls)". That's what being a dad's really ...
According to my dad, there's a correct tool for every job. And it's called a hammer.   It's a life lesson that's always stuck with me and has helped me get through a great many difficulties in my days as an engineer, a maker and a DIY desperado. So as we plummet deeper and deeper into our Father's Day Badge-a-Thon rabbit hole, we're now looking at ways that dads can pass along their lifetime of invaluable knowledge and wisdom as their kids blossom into dedicated hammer-wielders themselves. ...
What-o chaps! Splendid day, what?   Well, as you know it'll be Father's Day shortly, which is rather splendid, and we're clapping politely in anticipation of the grand show by handing out a week's worth of exclusive Father's Day badges for all you smashing chaps.   Ah yes, chaps! Just what is a chap? According to Mr. B: "A proper chap knows exactly where it's at. A proper chap is a rogue, in well-heeled brogues, and knows exactly when it's right to wear a hat.   "He wears it o ...
The shed is the universal domain of the dad. This probably isn't news to you.   But that's nothing to do with the shed itself. What draws the old man to the garden construct is the solitude it promises (aside from the colony of spiders, but their company is necessary to facilitate the absence of other humans), and the tools and toys he can tinker with therein.   So to kick off our week's worth of exclusive Father's Day badges, I'd like you to post a comment below, with an accompanyin ...
Admittedly, I don't have any kids, but my dad always said that the first 20 years are the worst. And he should know.   June 19th marks Father's Day, in most parts of the world, so we thought it'd be fun to celebrate the occasion with a week's worth of exclusive Dad's Day badges!   You don't have to be a dad to join in, of course, or even be a bloke. We all have (or have had) fathers, or at the least some manner of father figure, so the week's antics are for anyone and everyone who ...
So, is anyone near the Toon next weekend? Our techno-cousins from CPC are heading up to Newcastle to host a stand at the country's biggest Maker Faire, and they want to meet as many Community members as possible!   It's shaping up to be a pretty splendid affair, as a couple of our PIK3A Retro Gaming Tables are going with them, along with some other great demos: Dance Mat of DoomDance on the mat and trigger all manner of Raspberry Pi powered interactions including funky drum patterns and fl ...
NXP brought its IoT World Tour truck home today, visiting its long-standing offices just outside Manchester in the north of England. Given that it's only just over the Pennines from us here in Leeds, we thought it'd be rude if we didn't drop in to play with all those awesome hyper-connected toys advanced electronics equipment.   The Internet of Trucks element14 actually sponsored the European leg of the NXP IoT Truck's global tour, which has seen it visit major cities all across the contine ...
Google's put its doodle to use today in remembering Clara Rockmore; a highly accomplished musician from the early 20th Century, most famous for her expert use of one of the first ever electronic instruments, the theremin. Today would mark Clara's 105th birthday, and seeing the superb doodle this morning (which let's you play a virtual theremin) I was put in mind of my days while learning electronics, and the section that covered oscillators. It's a fascinating subject in itself, but there's a hu ...