before leaving the country for an extended period of time, i was looking for a way to stay in touch with my parents that would be uncomplicated and effortless for them: they shouldn’t have to start their laptops/phones, open an app and write to see what’s been going on in my life lately. i would rather just “be around”, the way you can passively stay in touch with some friends on facebook without losing actual contact, but my parents aren’t on facebook.
the best way i could think of to achieve this sense of “being around” would be a digital photo frame that can be updated wirelessly. however, it turns out that wifi-enabed digital photo frames are quite expensive (for what they do), rather hard to get (in europe), and usually subscription-based. they also don’t work very well according to customer reviews, or their online service ends up being discontinued not long after product launch, or both.
thanks to the popularity and ubiquity of tablets, though, there is an easy way to create your own digital photo frame that can be updated wirelessly by simply copying images to a dropbox folder, and it can cost you as little as 50 dollars – or even less if you have an old android phone or tablet lying around! [more...]
the australian outback is dry. very dry. except when it rains.
here are three photospheres (interactive 360 degree panoramas) from a recent trip to western new south wales:
red sand tracks leading through the outback, toorale national park.
it’s often the little things that remind you you’re in a place far from home – like finding koala traps and a koala poking pole in a shed at work.
all in the name of science, of course.
after a recent crash both in software and hardware terms, my nexus 5 running android lollipop 5.0.1 could no longer activate wifi. when touching the toggle, it would just show “wifi turning on”, but it never got around to actually scanning for wifi networks or even displaying its mac address.
after quite some online research i tried toggling aeroplane mode, deleting /data/misc/wifi (root), doing a factory reset, upgrading to the newest android version (lollipop 5.1.1), flashing other ROMs and kernels, etc. but nothing seemed to work.
since there was also a physical drop involved, i opened the N5 to check if there was anything noticeable in the internals, e.g. the wifi antenna connector being loose, but nothing was obvious. there were also several reports of google replacing wifi-faulty nexus 5 handsets under warranty due to a “hardware” or “motherboard” issue, but i wasn’t quite ready to give up yet. [more...]
the problem: for a small web project that is going to run on a server with very restricted functionality (due to safety concerns), we wanted to include a web form where visitors can submit values. these values should then be presented in a graph, showing all submitted values and highlighting the latest addition.
the solution: after some digging, i found a way to do all of that using google forms/spreadsheets, which offers user input, a simple spreadsheet-based database, as well as dynamic image creation.
check out the working example page and the underlying spreadsheet, and continue reading for a step-by-step tutorial on how to create a web form that plugs into an automatically refreshing graph/chart using very basic means, and how to implement it all using just two static web pages, a google form, and a google spreadsheet. [more...]
MP4 videos recorded with the Sony RX100 appear distorted when processing them with the 1SecondEveryday app. this aspect ratio problem can be solved by converting the video and correcting the video dimensions with the Handbrake open source video transcoder.