Rumor Mill: Apple Pitching $30 TV Subscription Service Via iTunes to Networks

The death of television and the advent of online-only programming has been upon us every week going back at least as far as the first Hulu stream, and perhaps much further depending on which rumor-monger blogs you subscribe to.

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What Comes After Arduino?

Arduino is a great microncontroller package for entry-level electronics tinkerers, but once you've got your sea legs, cheaper DIY microcontrollers used to build anything from grow-lights to irrigation systems are what you might reach for next

Arduino Duemilanove:  Adafruit Industries
The Arduino platform is doing something amazing: bringing hardware development to the masses. It's a sweet little system, with a built-in hardware programmer, simplified programming language, and lively user base that offers plenty of sample code and assistance in the online forums. While this fully assembled solution is a good way to get your feet wet, there are a lot of good reasons to just buy an off-the-shelf processor, make your own circuit board and write in a low level language like C. It can be cheaper, quicker and easier to debug. Here, check out some of the projects I've made and how I pay for my hobby, as well as my hardware setup.

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The Littlest Arduino

Build a matchstick-sized Freeduino kit and add a 5V battery for microcontroller power in a tight space

Do you need a microcontroller for a project (maybe, ahem, our Mood Cube project?) but case space is at a premium? Well, fret no more. The Really Bare Bones Board (RBBB) Freeduino PCB is the perfect fit.

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Props For Programming

Take advantage of a sale price on the Propeller-based PropSTICK microcontroller kit

If youve been looking for an opportunity to experiment with Parallaxs Propeller microcontroller, then opportunity is knocking at your door. A current sale price has reduced the Parallax PropSTICK Kit to $50.

In Parallax parlance, a Propeller processor is called a cog. Each Propeller contains eight 32-bit cogs. Revolving around a central hub, these eight cogs can operate simultaneously or independently at speeds up to 20 MIPS per cog. This central hub concept contributes to the processors name: Propeller.

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Mod It: The Incredible Two-Headed AVR Programmer

Make this $1.50 Mod and create a universal AVR programmer

If your DIY tinkering tends to lean toward the programming side, there's a good chance you're familiar with AVR microcontrollers. There's also a good chance that you may have been confused when, right out of nowhere, Atmel (the company who designed the AVR family) changed the AVR in-system programming (ISP) interface from 10 pins to 6 pins. Even worse, Atmels terrific USB ISP programmer, the AVRISP mkII uses only the modern 6-pin interface. No legacy support for your older AVR-related hardware here, folks. So whats a poor budding AVR programmer to do?

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