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Maker Faire Storms Newcastle

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the robots-in-the-streets dept.

Hardware Hacking 43

krou writes "The BBC is reporting on the first Maker Faire in the UK, in Newcastle. The event saw an incredible gathering of tech DIY enthusiasts showing off their robotic wares. Maker Faire is firmly established in the US; the 4th annual running in the Bay Area begins on May 30. The BBC video shows the fire-breathing horse, Rusty, and Titan, an eight-foot tall fully-animated robot that likes scaring kids. Elsewhere, the Faire also had Ian Sharp's physical realization of the Lunar Lander computer game, low-cost multi-touch displays, and one of the oldest-ever case mods, made by veteran computer enthusiast John Honnibal, who also showed off his old over-clocked kit computer. Pictures from the Faire are also on Flickr, and videos on YouTube."

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Yahoo Serious Festival? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27233495)

I know all those words, but that sentence makes no sense.

Re:Yahoo Serious Festival? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27233589)

Summaries are required to make sense, and/or be complete sentences? Damn, back in the time machine to kill kdawson.

You know? (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27233591)

It's taken me years, since the boyhood fascination took hold.

But, really, I hate fu*cking robots!

Re:You know? (4, Funny)

Shadyman (939863) | more than 5 years ago | (#27233823)

I'll just *assume* that the profanity was put on the wrong side of the verb by accident.

Otherwise... Ouch?

Re:You know? (1)

Swizec (978239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27233885)

Fuck robots?

cylons == robots

fuck cylons ... yes please

Re:You know? (0, Redundant)

baKanale (830108) | more than 5 years ago | (#27234899)

Otherwise... Ouch?

Hey, maybe that's the reason he hates doing it! All that pointy metal can't be pleasant.

Re:Yahoo Serious Festival? (2, Funny)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 5 years ago | (#27236243)

that sentence makes no sense.

I think this headline illustrates nicely why Capitalising Every Word In The Headline is not a great idea.

I mean, if I write

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

you all know what I mean, right? But if I write

Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo.

then that's just incomprehensible.

Re:Yahoo Serious Festival? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27236281)

In such cases, I usually write "scentences". Fits is much better...

Re:Yahoo Serious Festival? (1)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27243175)

What do you mean you don't know about the Yahoo Serious Festival?

Each year, thousands of pilgrims make their way down to Australia to hold a festival celebrating the film works of Yahoo Serious [] , huge frizzy wigs are a must, and dressing as your favourite character is ecouraged. You wouldn't believe how many people turn up as Einstein.

And anyone who can demonstrate the splitting of a beer atom wins 5 kegs of beer.

asdadfasfvasdgagdgadgg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27233497)

asadadsadsafasdfafadf afafa

Re:asdadfasfvasdgagdgadgg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27233631)

nooo waaaiiiii

It's a worm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27233865)

I think they called it the "cornfucker".

Sweet (1)

G33kDragon (699950) | more than 5 years ago | (#27233581)

Fire-breathing Horse + Newcastle (the 6-pack variety) = Epic

Re:Sweet (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27236297)

Not a horse!


Sounds weak?


And instead of Newcastle, I want a sixpack of RAWBERRY.

Adds a little MENERGY to the Epic.

Damn I love a good storm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27233599)

Smoke a fag after

all good

Don't forget.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27233625)

Don't forget to pay your $699 licensing fee, you cock-smoking teabaggers!

Re:Don't forget.. (3, Funny)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#27233713)


The poster, tho' wishing to remain anonymous, deserves rightly such an acclaim. His posting is a poetic example of the very thing Dutch artist M.C. Escher had in mind, when once he mused:
"He who wonders discovers that this in itself is wonder."

The only thing worth making yourself (2, Funny)

Ontheotherhand (796949) | more than 5 years ago | (#27233749)

Seriously, the only thing worth making at home is beer, or perhaps wine.
depending on how it goes, it can also have explosive properties, chemical warfare applications, or just really offensive flatulence.

Re:The only thing worth making yourself (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 5 years ago | (#27234055)

You forgot mead. I think that might have all three properties. Three weeks in and it's fermenting as fast as ever.

Fantastic (3, Interesting)

SteveAstro (209000) | more than 5 years ago | (#27233771)

T'was a very good day. Loads of interesting ideas, and enthusiastic visitors. Hope they do it all again, in Newcastle or elsewhere in the UK.

Much easier to get to than San Fran.


Re:Fantastic (3, Informative)

OutOfMyTree (810249) | more than 5 years ago | (#27234127)

We had a ball too at the McMADSAT smaller and less-official Maker Faire event in Glasgow on Saturday -- an unfortunate clash. []

We definitely need more of these.

Re:Fantastic (1)

SteveAstro (209000) | more than 5 years ago | (#27234159)

If I had known about McMadsat I would have been sorely tried deciding which to go to - though Newcastle is 100 miles closer.

Definitely agree. We need more !


Skynet starts out as Titan? (3, Funny)

PaganRitual (551879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27233871)

It all seems so innocent when all 'it likes' is to scare little kids.

Then before you know it, it 'would like' to nuke all mankind.


Re:Skynet starts out as Titan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27233943)

You don't have to kill it with fire, all you need to do is open the back and shoot the guy standing inside.

What Titan? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27233921)

All I get is a fucking empty page with a stupid gradient background.

If it's made in Flash, Java or Silverlight, don't call it a fucking website.

Re:What Titan? (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#27236069)

Don't worry, you're not missing anything noteworthy. Titan is a guy in a 90lb robot suit, with the most annoying sound effects and cliché soundbites of all time. The top half is animatronic but the legs are human-powered, because one of the hardest things about building a robot is balancing itself upright. Obviously, the pureblood MBA behind this gimmick lacks both the knowledge and patience to design a true bipedal robot. This is the big-money version of putting a bucket on your head.

If you don't believe me, go read their booking info. The fact that they require facilities with a "10ft by 10ft private dressing room" should be a dead giveaway, or are people really that dense ?

Re:What Titan? (1)

strange_boy (668216) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238699)

I saw this at a party about three years ago. It was standing still by the entrance for ages, so I figured it was a robot or even just a model. Once it started moving around and interacting with people, I figured it was a guy in a huge suit.

Poor chap, he must have stood still and done nothing for about two hours before he got to even move around.

Re:What Titan? (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#27262687)

I'll do it, if it pays more than this god-forsaken I.T. industry :/

Or you Americans could do what you always do, and hire illegals for pennies.

What about New England? (3, Interesting)

bitrex (859228) | more than 5 years ago | (#27234329)

I've never understood why there now seems to be so little interest in DIY in the New England area. It used to be at one time we were the "Silicon Valley of the East" - nowadays, unless one is enrolled at MIT and you tell someone you're into DIY electronics around here and you get looked at strangely and comments are made such as "DIY? Hmm. That sounds like something poor people do. Why don't you get a well paid job?" For all of Boston's talk of being a cosmopolitan, hip, trendy cutting-edge city, it's really not unless your definition of being cutting edge is having lots of overpriced bars and nightclubs. Once the college kids are out of town one realizes that this area has very little going for it anymore in regards to technology industries - even cities such as Salt Lake City and Albuquerque are way ahead. I'd love to see a Make event in the Boston area, but I won't hold my breath.

Part of why I moved West (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27234897)

One of the reasons I give to people who asked why I moved to the west coast after grad school is the "Sports Bar" culture. As in, what you're supposed to do with your spare time, esp. with co-workers.

There seems to be a kind of aversion to creative weirdness on the east coast. I am/was a game designer, a wannabe SF writer, and a builder and flyer of high-powered rockets. I knew lots of the same back east. But talking about hobbies like that to relatives and co-workers drew blank, slack-jawed stares, or disbelieving laughs. (ASIDE: OK, your from Boston, right? Right now, picture a kid from Southie laughing at another kid for, say, reading a book. Some of my cousins and co-workers sounded like that, even though they were from Long Island.)

My co-workers in California and Oregon sing in operas, have bands, build furniture, write, hang glide, scuba dive. For all I know, the folks I worked with back East did that too, but I doubt it. And if they did they sure as hell wouldn't admit it.

Try to work to change that culture... (2, Interesting)

Upaut (670171) | more than 5 years ago | (#27235317)

I brew, LARP, enjoy my model rocketry, tan leather, have taken up shoemaking, knit, dabble with my electronics, blow glass, and am working on a forge to take up blacksmithing, and quite a few others...

Now, I use it as a gauge. For every ten people that mock that, I find one that find one of the things above interesting and want to find out more. If more people were willing to take a few ribs, then we would slowly be more mainstream. Hell, I refer to LARPing as "my silly little game in the woods", and my co-workers have not only stopped looking at me with blank stairs, but because of my self assured nature over it being a good time, and light-hearted joviality over the subject, I've actually been able to rope quite a few into the hobby.

Don't be defensive about your hobbies; flaunt them. There are plenty of people like you, but in the closet on the issue. Help bring them out. If you brew, hand out a few bottles. If you like rockets, always offer with a smile to come out to a launch.

Embrace your hobbies, embrace yourself, and be tired of fitting in the crowd. Its not high-school any more. You are not going to be beaten to a pulp in the hallway. You might be laughed at, but if someone is so bent on laughing on you for being, well, you, are they even worth knowing?

Choosing the battlefield (1)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 5 years ago | (#27236983)

(Logged in this time.)

Hey, you're assuming I DIDN'T try to fry my freak flag back east. I did. I tried. Really.

I embraced my hobbies and my freak flag by getting the hell out of New York. It made a big difference.

Mention I was into computers back east, and people assumed you worked for a bank or an insurance company. In Silicon Valley, they'd wonder what startup I came west to work for.

Mention you launched rockets back east: "Yeah, what kinda bomb ya putting in it? Why do you paint em for if they blow up?"

Mention rockets to a co-worker in the Silicon Forest: "Oh, what kind of instrumentation are you putting in it?"

It's cultural, it's real.

Re:Part of why I moved West (1)

bitrex (859228) | more than 5 years ago | (#27235851)

That aversion is definitely my experience. Take the 100,000 college students out of Boston, and it's just another townieville that would be indistinguishable from hunderds of other ordinary mid-sized American cities like Buffalo, New York or Youngstown, Ohio aside from the relative age of some of its architecture. Boston's businesses and city officials constantly try to market it as something unique, upscale, and on the same level as NYC or San Fran or Seattle, and as a long time resident I can assure anyone interested that it isn't. You'll definitely pay NYC or San Fran level living expenses and taxes for the privilege of freezing your ass off here for 6 months of the year, though. Oh well. Grab me a beaah, when's the PAWTS on?

Re:What about New England? (1)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237771)

Brian Jepson lives in RI. O'Reilly has offices in Cambridge. There's a new hacker space beside the MIT mueseam and also one now in Davis Sq. While the make-style hacker culture has been a little slow to take off in Boston, it's definitely growing and here.

One thing that holds me personally back in Boston is a lack of space. I have a 180sq foot apartment. There is little room for make stuff, but I still try to make due with the space I have as much as possible. Also that its hard for me to get to places to buy hardware stuff is a bitch. Its growing. Keep your eyes out. Contact me.

Links don't provide much info... (1)

euxneks (516538) | more than 5 years ago | (#27234765)

While the links provided in TFS are nice (and I mean that in the most banal of ways), I really wanted to see the cheap multi-touch displays and get more information about them as well as the first ever case mod - does anyone have links?

Re:Links don't provide much info... (1)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 5 years ago | (#27236073)

Personally, I'm just disappointed there aren't any Geordie jokes on /. at all! I shall remedy that:

Geordie and his marra Tucker Johnson had a big win on the pools. So they decided to go on a World Cruise. After a week at sea, the Captain called the Purser into his cabin to ask what influential people were on board, so he could invite them to his table. "Sir", said the Purser, "we have four film stars, three M.P.'s and two strange gentlemen from the North, who seem to be very wealthy". The Captain bade him to go round with invitations. Knocking on Geordie's cabin door, he was greeted by "Howay in Bonny Lad". When he entered; there was Geordie and Tucker, feet on the table, four bottles of Broon Ale, eating fish and chips. The Purser saluted, "Begging your pardon gentlemen", he said, "The Captains compliments. He requests your company at his table tonight. "Ye must be joking", says Geordie, "Ye divvent think Tuckers and me's gan te spend aal this money to eat with the bloody crew".

One more for grins

The pit where Geordie worked was made redundant and Geordie lost his job. Reading the papers the next day, he sees an advert: Miners wanted in Pennsylvania, U.S.A., One Hundred Pounds per week, house and car supplied! So, fastening his furniture on the tail of a kite he emigrates to the U.S.A. First day at the pit, going down the cage, the cage stops.

Geordie says to an American, "How lad, is this where we start work, is this the coal fyce?"

"Say are you the guy from England" asks the Yank.

"I'm from Backworth son" says Geordie.

"Well, Buddy! Ya don't start here, ya wait here, a lil old diesel train comes along, ya git on, ya have a two and a half hours ride".

Geordie has the two and a half hours ride. Says to the Yank, "De we myke a start noo hinney?"

"No Bud", says the Yank, "You stand here, another train comes, you have another two hours ride".

This goes on all day, 8 o'clock in the morning till 5 p.m. at night. Geordie nivor struck a bat. He couldn't stand it no more, "Bonney lad", he says to the Yank, "I've had enough of this, its worse than working, I'm gannin back hyem the morn".

"Tarnation, Geordie", says the Yank, "Ya can't leave us now, we are at war with Vietnam!"

"Yev'e a bloody good reet", says Geordie. "Yer pinchin thor coal!".

Good times, good times.

Re:Links don't provide much info... (1)

krou (1027572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238597)

Check the first YouTube video [] at about 9:00 for the case mod and John Hobbibal's compukits. I've only just discovered his homepage [] , and he has a Compukit UK101 page [] , with a photo [] of his Compukit 101.

FUCK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27234893)

I'm really annoyed that I missed that. I live here, right in the centre. Why couldn't you have told me about this a week ago?? Shit!

titan isnt a bloody robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27236263)

its a bloke in a suit. unless a few chaps with 50p to spend have outdone the entire japanese walking robot community by a factor of 200x.

im going to the next one disguised a computer to appear as a natural language filter to the web. and i'll bloody scare kids as well :D

No Newc's.... just kidding. (1)

EricTheO (973140) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237891)

I hope Newcastle Brown Ale was served, it's my favorite English brew.

Lunar Lander Link (1)

threeturn (622824) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238773)

As the creator (aka Iain Sharp) of physical Lunar Lander you might find this [] a better link.

Very nice event up in Newcatle, but exhausting!

Hexayurt Project was up there doing housing (1)

vkg (158234) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239459) [] []

We had a ton of fun. The physical lunar lander game was really excellent, and Paka's horse was a terrifying lump of lumbering metal - really one of the most impressive animal robots I've ever seen. Great times.

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