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Well hi, my name is Michael Dorsey, a computer engineer student currently doing Co-op at LVL1. Right now, I'm working on two projects relating to gaming, one of them having to do with fusing a game console with a projector to make it "all-in-one," similar to how people have been also modifying game consoles to become portable.

The other project I'm working is attempting to modify a game controller with the use of a micro-controller. I'm not fully sure how I'm going to go about doing this as I'm still in the middle of research and trying to plan this all out. However, hopefully by the beginning of next month I'll have made much progress on my work. For now, here are some pictures that reflect the ideas of my projects.

Portable X-box 6172537277_43ce9e6179

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A detailed technical video demonstration of the vacuum leak test we're doing on the vent. We're using this one-way vent valve on the bottom of the balloon to keep the helium in, and the air out.

We have been fairly quiet publicly, but many subsystems are coming to completion rapidly, including the  helium gas overflow vent valve.  Completion of anything flying on a ballon means it's time to do some science!  Tests must be done, data must be noted, hypotheses checked.  Gary Flispart and I put together a detailed technical video explanation of the vacuum leak test system we've made.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgCGrI6yi_I&hd=1#stepSize=1

Stay tuned for more updates at http://whitestarballoon.org , we are on track to launch in the next month or two!

Dan Bowen
@SteamFire
White Star Team Lead

Introducing a useful SOPA- The Stop Online Productivity Avoidance box.

After having an extremely productive day on January 18th, I had a thought: What if every day were January 18th? Well, at the push of a button, now it can!

The button, switch, and display are wired to an Arduino.  The Arduino communicates with a python script running on the router, which controls a Squid3 proxy blacklist.  In SOPA mode, the whole of the internet is my oyster.  In NOPA mode, however, distracting websites like reddit, hacker news, and hackaday are blocked.  This isn't very useful without a great deal of self control, however.  In weaker instances, nuclear mode must be employed.  Turn the key switch and press the button and all distracting sites are blocked for one hour.  The only recourse is to restart the router, but the router requires 15 minutes to restart, blocking the entirety of the web for the duration.  Overriding nuclear mode is not appealing.

All code is posted online at https://github.com/Zuph/SOPA-Box

A video demonstration and more pictures of construction lie below the break.

...continue reading "A SOPA you can get behind"