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Detect Lightning with a Simple Circuit

While doing some research on very low frequency (VLF) receivers and radio propagation, I came across an amazing website curated by Charles Wenzel. It is called Technical Library, or TechLib for short. It has all kinds of interesting electronics projects and experiments, and I highly recommend …

Top 10 Raspberry Pi Projects for Beginners

Maybe you picked up a Raspberry Pi for the holidays, or you’ve been sitting on one of the super versatile, palm-sized computers for a while now. If …

11 basic Excel tricks that will change your life

Microsoft Excel is an amazing piece of software, and even regular users might not be getting as much out of it as they can. Improve your Excel efficiency and proficiency with these basic shortcuts and functions that absolutely everyone needs to know.<p>Of course you can move from cell to cell with …

Tutorials

Harvard Scientist Engineers Bacterium That Inhales CO2, Produces Energy -- A 'Bionic Leaf'

The chemist who gave us the artificial leaf has genetically engineered bacteria to absorb hydrogen and carbon dioxide and convert them into alcohol fuel.<p>When Harvard Professor of Energy Daniel G. Nocera announced he was working with bacteria last year, other scientists cautioned it would be …

University of Chicago

Now you can build your own Amazon Echo at home—and Amazon couldn’t be happier

Amazon’s $180 Echo and the new Google Home (due out later this year) promise voice-activated assistants that order groceries, check calendars and perform sundry tasks of your everyday life. Now, with a little initiative and some online instructions, you can build the devices yourself for a fraction …

How-To: Create a free Apple developer account for sideloading apps

Starting with Xcode 7, Apple made it possible to sideload apps on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV using a free Apple ID. Although a paid developer account is still required to deploy apps to the App Store, users wishing to sideload open source apps on a personal device can do so with relative ease. …

How to Glue Anything to Anything Else

There are a lot of glues out there. And sealants and epoxies and putties that bond. It can get overwhelming, not to mention ineffective. But not if you know what you're doing.<p>Wood » Wood (wet): Gorilla Glue<p>Wood glues aren't durable in water. So if you're building something that will be out in the …

A Maker’s Introduction to Ham Radio

You may have heard about amateur or “ham” radio from a friend or maybe one of the members in your Makerspace is a ham. What is ham radio and what does it offer you?<p>First, you’re a Maker, so you already have a lot in common with the ham radio community. Hams are tinkerers, builders, fixers, and …

3D Print Your Own Marble Machine

Marble machines are fun contraptions that take marbles through crazy loops and turns. You can buy one from a toy store or you can make one yourself.<p>There are a lot of different ways to go about it, but I’m particularly impressed with what Jazzmyn Ellsworth, 14, did. She designed various 3D printed …

Drumroll Please for the Ribbon Winners from Maker Faire Bay Area!

This year’s Maker Faire Bay Area has come to a close, and while we are sad to see it go, it also gave us the opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of those Makers who brought the best, most fun, engaging, memorable, and educational exhibits.<p>One of the biggest perks of working as part of Maker …

Secret Air Force Space Plane Gets Darth Vader-Style Engine

For secret reasons, like turning in secret directions<p>The Air Force’s secret robot space plane is going to try out a new engine. The X-37B has so far spent a total of 1367 days tooling around in Earth’s orbit, doing classified things. Yesterday, the Air Force Research Lab announced that on its …

Military

Spider webs use electricity to attract prey, study finds

Silk strands change shape as electrically-charged insects pass in front of it, according to research from UC Berkeley<p>It's not hard to see how an insect could get trapped in a spider's web; its strands are sticky, ultra-strong, and well-concealed. But according to a new study published in the …