This lens will give your photos and DSLR that 19th century look

Kevin Lee Contributor, TechHive

Kevin is a small-time tech hound, amateur photographer, and a general know-at-least-something of all things geeky hailing from New York.
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Here's something for those who ever wanted to give photos that old timey look but like for real—without any of that Instagram digital post-processing shader mess. The minds at Lomography have brought back the nearly two-century old Petzval portrait lens that you can stick onto your digital-age SLR camera to create stylish photos like it’s the 19th century all over again.

Petzval lenses are 19th-century portrait lenses developed by Joseph Petzval in Vienna in 1840. They were extremely popular at the time because they captured images that were extremely sharp while also creating a swirling bokeh.

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R2B2 wants to push your phone's buttons, will guess your PIN in hours

Elizabeth Fish Contributor, TechHive

Elizabeth Fish is a freelance writer who happens to run a hyperlocal news website in Lincoln, UK. She also covers all things geeky for TechHive.
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Quick, hide your smartphone! There's a new robot on the scene that will try and guess your phone's PIN in a matter of hours.

The aptly named Robotic Reconfigurable Button Basher (or "R2B2" for short) is a small, open-source robot that will crack lock screen PINs in 20 hours or less. Essentially, it will work out the four-digit code by just bashing buttons in quick succession until it gets in.

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MIT's 3D-printing breakthrough evokes Pixar design process

Researchers at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) wanted to make the design process for 3D printing less complex. So, for inspiration, they turned to a tool that has been used by a company that has specialized in 3D design for decades Pixar.

This week, researchers from MIT's CSAIL team will introduce two papers detailing new processes inspired by Pixar's use of the RenderMan software and RenderMan Interface Specificat (RISpec) to help alleviate the "enormous computational challenges" in current 3D printing processes.

Essentially, RISpec helps translate the fine details of 3D scenes into realistic 3D animations. For the 3D printing market, similar capabilities may prove invaluable.

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Stop bashing MS Paint! One 97-year-old uses it to make beautiful digital paintings

Nick Mediati , TechHive Follow me on Google+

Nick is a freelance contributor and a former editor for TechHive and PCWorld. He likes puns and the color yellow.
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Microsoft Paint gets a lot of flack due to its basic set of features—in fact, it’s about a basic as graphics apps come (hey, what do you expect for a freebie app that comes on every Windows PC?). That didn’t stop 97-year-old Hal Lasko from making some downright incredible digital paintings with it.

In an eight-and-a-half-minute video, Hal describes how he started with painting in MS Paint, and how he woke from a dream then “went to the computer to see if I could do what I dreamed I could do.” Hal is no stranger to art and design—he is a retired graphic artist, and would actually hand-draw typefaces for use in various print forms.

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That nifty 3D printer may be slowly poisoning you

Evan Dashevsky Staff Writer, TechHive Follow me on Google+

Evan lives in Brooklyn, NY and enjoys writing about what future may hold and taking long romantic walks on the beach.
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Hey, hobbyface! Those are some cool little trinkets you made with your desktop 3D printer! Unfortunately, your fancy little device may be poisoning the very air you breathe! At least that’s the possible findings of one study from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Before you freak out, the keywords to take note of here are “may” and “possible.” The findings show a marked increase in the density of ultrafine particles (UFPs) in the air around desktop 3D printers using both ABS and PLA plastic feedstocks. UFPs are of concern as their teeny-tiny size (in the scope of this study, those particles measuring smaller than 100 nanometers) allows them to easily enter the heart and lungs. Previous studies have documented how both plastic feedstocks can produce hazardous materials when they encounter high temperatures, such as those created by desktop 3D printers.

The researchers measured particle concentrations in the air of an office space belonging to an unnamed company that specializes in 3D printer education, training, and sales to the general public. The study found a large increase in the amount of UFPs around the machines over the course of one day’s operation.

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Lego and Arduino come together to make one powerful RC car

Jacob Siegal Contributor, TechHive

Jacob Siegal spends a vast majority of his time surrounded with and invested in technology and media, so he decided he may as well start writing about it. You can find more of his writing at Game Rant and his topical tweets @JacobSiegal.


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There are plenty of RC cars available on the internet, but not many combine Lego bricks, an XBEE radio, and Arduino-powered remote controls. This Instructables project from Cyrus Tabrizi (aka Crtlego) does, though, and it’s worth checking out even if you aren’t all that interested in (or capable of) building one yourself.

The RC car itself consists of a Lego Technic chassis, an Arduino Leonardo microcontroller, four hobby servos, and an XBEE radio that lets it communicate with the remote.

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Trailer for Neil deGrasse Tyson's 'Cosmos' makes science look dramatic

Nick Mediati , TechHive Follow me on Google+

Nick is a freelance contributor and a former editor for TechHive and PCWorld. He likes puns and the color yellow.
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You think of science shows on TV, you probably don't think of slow-motion montages, but that didn't stop the creators of the official trailer for Neil deGrasse Tyson's upcoming revival of 1980's Cosmos miniseries.

This new take on the classic miniseries will air on Fox sometime in 2014, and will run for 13 episodes, with Tyson serving as the narrator.

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