hanicker + gps   4

Flip off your alarm clock!
[Corbin] hates fumbling around in the dark with his alarm blaring, looking for the off switch. He was so annoyed with regular alarm clocks that he decided to build his own simpler timepiece.

The FlipClock resides in a simple black plastic case lacking any buttons whatsoever. When the alarm goes off, all one needs to do is flip the clock over to disable it. The digits automatically right themselves using an accelerometer to detect when the clock has been turned upside down, and an indicator LED lets you know that the alarm has been turned off.

The clock is based around a Propeller chip, which manages all of the clock’s operations. Instead of using a real time clock IC, [Corbin] is using a GPS module to keep accurate time, something we don’t recall seeing in an alarm clock  before. That’s a good thing though, since there are no buttons with which to set the clock. In fact, there are no buttons to set the alarm either – the clock is configured to sound the alarm at the same time each day.

While this clock would certainly be too dangerous for a chronic snooze button abuser like myself, it’s an interesting concept nonetheless!

Check out the video below to see the FlipClock in action.

Filed under: clock hacks
clock_hacks  FlipClock  gps  propeller  from google
september 2011 by hanicker
GPS audio tour brought to you by surface speakers
The team at Eschelle Inconnue wanted to “trace a sound cartography of Islam” in Marseilles, France, so they came up with a clever little GPS walking tour powered by an Arduino, MP3 playback module, and a surface transducer speaker.

The team used a Processing app to define geographic areas where each MP3 file would play. An Arduino on the build queries a GPS module and selects the audio file from an MP3 playback module. This isn’t uncommon, and a lot of large outdoor museums (think battlefields) have similar setups.

Determining which audio to play at what location is fairly easy, but that’s not what makes this build special. Instead of simply hooking up a pair of headphones to the build, the team decided to use a surface speaker that turns just about any solid material into a speaker. From the writeup, this is supposed to, “diffuse sounds by giving the illusion to collect them, to listen to the words of the walls, the whisperings through the materials” but we think it’s just a great way to have several people listen to the same audio file at the same time.

Filed under: arduino hacks, gps hacks, portable audio hacks
arduino_hacks  gps_hacks  portable_audio_hacks  arduino  gps  surface_speaker  walking_tour  from google
september 2011 by hanicker
Mount Gadgets to Your Car's Dashboard with a 3M Command Strip [MacGyver Tip]
If you want a quick and easy way to mount your phone or MP3 player to your car's dashboard, reader Craig Lloyd shows us how with a simple office supply. More »
MacGyver_Tip  byline=Ryan_Mottau  Car_Tips  Cars  Clever_Uses  DIY  GPS  Jalopnikrepublished  Top  from google
august 2011 by hanicker
Top 10 Tools for Finding Cool Stuff Nearby [Lifehacker Top 10]
Sometimes the most interesting stuff in an unfamiliar city is hiding in plain sight. With the right location-aware and map-friendly web tools, you can find the best cheap eats, picture-worthy sights, and much more. Start with this list of in-the-know apps.
Photo by epicharmus.

We've previously taken an example tour around Austin, TX with tools to find the best spots in new cities, some of which are detailed here, as well. For this list's sake, we'll assume you're familiar with the most popular local search tools, like Yelp, UrbanSpoon, and, well, Google and Google Maps. Beyond those tools, we wanted to provide a list of less well-known sites and services that pin down stuff you might not know about that is right around the corner.

10. See what pads are for rent or sale
There are plenty of webapps that let you cherry-pick apartments for rent and homes for sale from the comfort of your monitor at home. If you're right in the perfect neighborhood and want to know what's up, you've got other options. Realtor.com's iPhone app is the newest entrant to the game, but has, as you might expect, quite a database to pull from. HotPads.com has a similar location-aware app for Android phones, one that can also provide turn-by-turn directions to any listing you pluck out. Real estate data and "Zestimate" provider Zillow has an iPhone app too, but can also work from any phone with its very minimalist text interface. For more apartment-specific tools, head over to our readers' five favorite apartment search tools. (Original posts: Realtor.com, Zillow mobile)

9. Find photo-worthy sites with Flickr
I use Flickr mainly to find the food that people feel is worth embarrassing their table enough to take a picture of, but the photo-sharing site's nearby photo finder helps you discover sights and locations you never knew about, right around the corner from where you are. You can simply search Flickr for your location ("Chicago"), find a neat-looking photo and add /nearby to the photo's URL, or you can hit the "Map" link on any photo that has its location tagged. (Original post)

8. Snag a comfortable Wi-Fi spot
If all you want is a connection, we've got you covered. Gina's definitive guide to finding free Wi-Fi recommends such tools as WeFi and JiWire, along with other means of hopping on the net from almost anywhere. If you want somewhere you'll actually enjoy being with your laptop, LaptopFriendlyCafes.com covers 104 spots in New York City (and a scant few shops elsewhere), or type "laptop" or "wi-fi" into local review aggregator Yelp and see what comes up.

7. See what's listed nearby on Craigslist
Having a good handle on the Craigslist listings for the area you're in is like knowing someone who's always up in everybody's business—and knows where all the deals and low-key events are happening. Craigsphone for iPhone and Android phones does a great job of reformatting Craigslist for mobile viewing, calling, and mapping; in NYC and San Francisco's Bay Area, it can even show you what's close to your exact location. If you're elsewhere and want updates on items or apartments up for grabs, check out our classic Craigslist for power users guide, which explains how to make RSS feeds your always alert friend. (Original Craigsphone post)

6. Find things to do on Goby
If you have time before you head out, either on a trip or in your neighborhood, hit up your local alternative weekly's web site or newspaper's entertainment guide. If you're looking for a quicker glance, listing and calendar aggregator Goby does a notably good job of rounding up everything that's listed as a public or paid even in and around a location. Most of the stuff tends toward high-profile events and family-friendly happenings, but that might be perfect for that one rained-out vacation day in an otherwise sunny city. (Original post)

5. Catch an awesome concert
Unless you're married to, or best friends with, a concert promoter, you're going to have a few moments every year where you'll hear about an awesome show by a band you're digging at a neat venue—last week. Not so if you sign up at Bandsintown, or grab its iPhone app, both of which can keep you in the know about shows coming to your town, or whatever you consider a reasonable driving distance. Music streaming and discovery service Last.fm can also email you about shows from its vast database of artists happening nearby, and there is, of course, always signing up for notifications at your truly favorite artists' web sites. Just be sure to create a smart Gmail filter to keep the "NEW EP OUT SOON!" emails from cluttering your inbox. (Original Bandsintown post)

4. Learn what's around the corner with Near Me Now
Google's not the first entrant into the geo-location game, but the new "Near Me Now" link on its mobile home page is notable for being quick, simple, and not requiring a separate app to access (it's all web-based). It's out right now for iPhone and Android phones, but we hope it expands soon, as the pleasure of finding out scads of info about all the restaurants on the street you're facing, with the click of a link, belongs on every phone. (Original post)

3. Find great eats and drinks on semi-snobby boards
Sites and apps that offer restaurant reviews often suffer from overstuffed and not-quite-trustworthy data. A great, authentic Somali restaurant might get only one single-star review from an eater expecting something different, while a sugary-sauced Chinese joint might get a high volume of three-star ratings because, well, it's always open. Visit the forums of foodie sites like Chow/Chowhound, eGullet, and Roadfood.com, do a search for your town, and see what people serious enough to sign up for a site named "Chowhound" and the like are saying. For a tall pint of great beer, try Beer Advocate's forums.

2. See streets in augmented reality
Remember how the Terminator could pull up information on anything he saw, as he saw it? With an iPhone or Android unit, you are (scarily?) close to that reality. Apps like augmented reality browser Layar for iPhones and Androids, and the "Monocle" in the Yelp iPhone app use your phone's camera, GPS chip, and motion/balance sensors to take what you're looking at, pull down the web's knowledge about it, and bring it back to you. Yelp shows businesses that have been reviewed by somebody, anybody, while Layar is the true walking tour app. You choose which "layers" to add to your view, like Wikipedia mentions, Flickr photos, real estate listings, and Google Maps listings. It's like having someone back at your computer meticulously research everything you're seeing and feed it to you, but you don't have to wear a Secret-Service-style earpiece to do so. (Original posts: Yelp, Layar)

1. Pin down the cheap stuff
Need to fill up, but feel like you're about to pay tourist-trap prices? Down to just pocket change and an inch of credit-card space? The new classic GasBuddy is always reliable, but MSN Auto's overnight gas price finder has earned kudos, too. For cheap food and drinks, give Cheap-Ass Food a look, and give MappyHour a peek for drink specials. If you're looking for a way to spend some time without having to eat, drink, or drop much cash, DiscountYeti finds free museum days and other local discounts and maps them out for you. (Original posts: cheap eats, gas prices).

Check the comments in our previousl feature on local spot finding for more tips and tools, and drop your own recommendations for living like a local in the comments.
Lifehacker_Top_10  Android  Cheap  Free  Geotags  GPS  iPhone  Local  Local_Search  Location-Aware  Maps  Mobile  mobile_apps  Mobile_Webapps  Saving_Money  Top  Travel  from google
february 2010 by hanicker

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