One Reader to rule them all

OneReader

Yes, it’s as simple as that: this is a reader app that merges several different news sources (which includes facebook, twitter, feedly, feedbin and app.net) into one convenient place for binge reading.

I’ve been beta-testing this app for the past few weeks and I can say it’s absolutely perfect for this purpose. And once you get used to the gesture-based UI, it turns into a great productivity tool as well, especially for RSS feeds.

So, if you’re tired of using several different apps to catch up on all your reading, give OneReader a try.

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Controlling a toy car in a race track using an Arduino and a sonar

I thought about creating different ways to control a toy car in a race track, instead of the typical handheld joystick-like device. One of those ideas was based on the use of a sonar (that measures distance to an object) as the controller for the car – the closer the hand to the sonar, the highest the acceleration.

arduino_sonar_race_track

However, considering that the sonar works through eco-location and that the track makes an infernal sound, the sonar accuracy is affected by the sound of the track, thus rendering this approach useless.

Any alternative ideas? I will try the best one (as long as it is not cost-prohibitive) :)

Spinning paintings

When I was a kid, I used to do these spinning paintings using a small motor (salvaged from a broken toy car) connected a 9V battery with a piece of paper on top. The effect was mesmerizing and I had fun for hours.

Last week, given the amount of hardware I gutted for parts (for a digital fabrication workshop), I ended up with a bunch of different motors and that brought back those memories. So, I decided to do the same setup again, this time using an arduino (to easily control the speed given to the motor) to see if my son would find it as amusing as I did.

Check the video for a demo:

My son loved it … and so did I :) Here’s the setup:

2013-07-16 11.22.15

And an interesting result:

2013-07-16 11.26.19

R.I.P. Google Reader

And so an era ends.

RIP Google Reader

I’ve been using Feedly as an alternative because the mobile apps are quite good and the website is a “prettier” google reader. And they actually listen to the users and implement requested features. Also, it seems my Mac RSS app of choice, Reeder, will soon have support for it, so I probably won’t miss Google Reader that much.