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Cheap, Non-toxic Printed Circuits November 23, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in 3D Printing, Applications, Awesome, Geek Stuff, Science, Star Trek Technology, Toys.
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Researchers at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore (NTU) have successfully printed complex electronic circuits using a t-shirt printer. They were printed using in layers on flexible stuff like paper or plastic and included resistors, transistors and capacitors. All were printed using non-toxic organic materials like silver nanoparticles, carbon and plastics.

The types of complex circuits the team has successfully printed include a 4-bit DAC, and an RFID. Not all that complex, sure, but a great proof-of-concept.

Associate Professor Joseph Chang is the leader of the NTU Singapore research group behind this. I couldn’t find the relevant paper for homework, but I did find this photo.circuit on a sheet

small circuit

3D Printing Tiny Complex, Multi-material Devices November 23, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in 3D Printing, Applications, Awesome, Geek Stuff, Science, Star Trek Technology, Toys, Uncategorizable.
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3D printers are, at this stage of their march through the Singularity, largely confined to printing with only on material, probably due to cost constraints.  But, what if all the materials needed to produce some specialized bit of kit were available in one printer?  Just how complex a device could be manufactured?  Princeton scientists have just manufactured a 2 x 2 x 2 matrix of quantum-dot LEDs as a demonstration of their 3D printer, which can manage five different print materials, including (1) emissive semiconducting inorganic nanoparticles, (2) an elastomeric matrix, (3) organic polymers as charge transport layers, (4) solid and liquid metal leads, and (5) a UV-adhesive transparent substrate layer.

That’s right; five.  And complex; here’s the matrix and a picture of a single LED on a suggestively curved substrate.  I think we are meant to be reminded of a contact lens.

Homework: It’s published in NanoLetters, right here.

One Barrel a Day November 23, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Geek Stuff, Science, Star Trek Technology, Uncategorizable.
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This gizmo can create a barrel of fuel from the CO2 in the air in about a day, sequestering (sort of) 3 tons of CO2 in the process.  I’m not sure how they measured this, but it looks as if you could calculate it stoichiometrically  if you were so inclined.  The problem with this cheap, little device is that is is neither cheap nor little.  It costs “seven figures”.  It is but a prototype, so I expect that the number will come down and the efficiency (already a 70%–once again, how did they measure that?) to go up.

magicmachineUsing the Fischer-Tropsch process, the magic machine strips hydrogen from water and oxygen from CO2, and then combines hydrogen and carbon monoxide in the classic fashion you slept through in Org Chem.  Yes, I saw you.

Giraffe Flatware November 21, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Toys.
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The Happiest Place on Earth November 21, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Geek Stuff, Mutants, Toys, Uncategorized.
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I noticed that this store was right next to this storefront:


Avenge Me November 21, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Brilliant words.
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In My Day, People Talked at the Barbershop November 21, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Uncategorizable.
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while waiting their turn.

My Favorite Ride at Maker Fair 2014 November 21, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Geek Stuff, Toys.
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The TOOOL guys had a booth at Maker Fair and passed out a bunch of locks to pick, and a few pick sets.  We had a great time.  It’s easier than it looks, when properly taught.

Matroshka Sympony Orchestra November 20, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Music, Mutants, Toys, Video.
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Symphony #9 done by a theremin chorus…with other added flourishes.

Dr. Grordbort’s Infalliable Aether Oscillators November 19, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Hello Kitty, Mutants, Toys, Video.
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Excellent Newtonmas gifts for the Victorian Space Explorer in your family.

Bedroom Decor November 19, 2014

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My wife wanted to get me a new bed.

I don’t know if this is what she had in mind.

Computer Science, Anyone? November 19, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Geek Stuff, Uncategorizable.
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Aguipieware.com has kindly provided what they estimate to be a good near-equivalent to a computer science curriculum at about the bachelor’s level, but they do note that

“The idea was not to provide a substitute for an actual college or university education (that would typically also require a large amount of alcohol at the very least, which, unfortunately, is not freely available online), but rather to aggregate resources that have been made freely available online from disparate institutions and organize them into the sort of logical structure one would likely find in a general bachelor’s level computer science program. “

I do like how carefully she spells out the salient difference.

The Reason 3D Printing Was Invented November 4, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in 3D Printing, Awesome, Geek Stuff, Toys, Uncategorizable.
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A Winter’s Tale, by Mark Helprin November 3, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Books, Brilliant words, Uncategorizable.
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A Winter’s Tale, by Mark Helprin is either about a romance between a burglar and a doomed consumptive girl, a magic horse named Athensor, a madman becoming mayor of New York or a serious, lengthy meditation upon the spiritual meaning of winter.  It might be poetry, since it reads beautifully and it might be an epic, because it is surely as slow and ponderous as anything by Cecil B. Demille and it might be a story about how magic persists in the minds of those so gifted.

One thing it is not, however, is short.  This book is one of many reasons I have been slow to update this space.  Do not be fooled by the appearance of a movie of the same name; you can’t make a movie out of this.  It’s a book, dammit.

In short (hah!) Winter’s Tale is a long-form poem, as sure as Homer’s little doggerel is.  Do not start this unless you have a strong love of wordplay and a powerful ability to suspend disbelief.  If you have that, you are in for a real treat.

The wordplay here is second to none;  it kills any narrative flow like a stake through the heart, but that’s just fine.  The words are the thing, not the plot, the action or any personal conflicts.  Those are just the bread upon which sweet jams and jellies are lathered to make a word sandwich.

I cannot recommend this book too highly; I would give it ten stars but I only have five.

Co-calendaring Made Easy-A History October 9, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brilliant words, Geek Stuff, Uncategorizable.
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From a long and splendid discussion of calendars in The List Which Cannot Be Named:

>> =v= The lunar-yet-solar calendar is a dazzling thing.  There are solar calendars which consider the winter equinox the birth of a new year, though.
>> The Gregorian calendar being one of them, modulo errors over time.

Scene: a sunny day in ancient Sumer.  The temple courtyard. Half the junior priests are busy recording incoming tithes, and half  are sleeping or playing hacky sack.
The head priest asks the Vice-priest of Recording what’s going on:  "why can’t the next incoming tithe just go to any idle junior priest,  so they’ll all be busy?"
The Vice-priest of Recording says, "well, we tried that.  But the  bakers always give us tithes in dozens, and the ranchers tithe by  tens; the junior priests would get confused and record tithes in the  wrong base, and nothing ever added up, neither at the end of a lunar  period nor at the end of a solar period.  So now we divide the work  between them, and each junior priest always handles the same class of  tithe.  Remember the ‘Heterogenous Tithing’ conference I just  expensed?  Well, that’s the system."
Then the Assistant priest of Abstract Nonsense chipped in, "of  course, we could also just record tithes in base 2 … it’s the GCD  of 12 and 10, and some friends of mine are doing interesting work  with pattern weaving on dog-powered looms using holes in clay tablets  to encode the patterns in base 2 … in the future, you could wear a  tunic woven by a dog and no one would know … then we could use  transclusion between our record tablets to create reports simply by  taking limits of diagrams in a given categor <OWWWWWW>".
The last was because the Vice-priest of Recording had quickly stepped 
on the Assistant priest of Abstract Nonsense’s foot.
After a quick whispered consultation between the head priest and the 
Vice-priest of Recording, the head priest declares:
"Enki has revealed to me that we should keep all records in 60′s, for  everyone thereby shall reap the benefits of business thereof"

:: :: ::
(soon afterwards the Assistant priest of Abstract Nonsense tried to  say "ahah!  Enki is just taking colimits, as 60 is the coGCD of 12  and 10 … that reminds me of a result on streams, concerning whether  or not it is possible to step twice in bisimilar ones, which I read  the other day…", but no one was listening, as all the junior  priests were busy transcribing the incoming tithes of buns (in 12s)  and the tithes of cattle (in 10s) onto the new, hastily-issued,  unified TPR-60 ledger tablets.)


Now, them’s brilliant words and I laughed until milk came out my nose, but then Heather chimed in:


What? Were you there that day too?
(When I have read Chinese stories, I have often been amused by the deep bureaucracy of divine administration. The gods need Assistant  ndersecretaries of Internal Provincial Affairs?
As below, so above.
Your amusing retelling of Sumerian accounting inspires me to consider what sort of heavenly architecture will be designed by individuals who have spent their entire adult lives in the cubicles of high tech companies.
The Executive Vice President of Marketing of the Central Northwestern Division of Isjudianity looked out over a 3D interactive display of his division’s territory. A mildly annoying chime repeated itself over a small glowing red dot.
Sid twirled his fingers through the display, zooming and panning it until the city of Cincinnati bloomed before him. He twiddled his fingers to scroll through various graphs and spreadsheets until he found the one that had triggered the alert.
Sid frowned. He had no idea what it meant, but it was clear that engineering had screwed up again. He stabbed an icon near the 3D display.
“Elsa!” he snapped, “what’s going on with the Isopolydodecadoohickey Self-Referential Pseudopsychodiddleysquatification Index in the northeastern corner of the greater suburban sprawl zone of south central Cincinatti?”
Elsa sighed as she froze the intricate display of the model she’d been working on. She stabbed a button that pulled up a clone of Sid’s desktop and took a look.
“Good morning to you, too, Sid. Did you happen to look at the documentation?”
“No, of course I didn’t look at the documentation! I’ve got a big presentation for the Orchis Eurydice account tomorrow, and…”
Elsa opened a diagnostic pane under cover of Sid’s blather.
“It’s your sister’s birthday.”
Sid blustered at her for a minute.
“There’s nothing wrong with the ISP Index. You told your personal calendar not to let you forget your sister’s birthday and then you told it to stop bugging you about people’s birthdays. It decided to notify you by inserting random spurious errors in the modeling system.”
“So the people of Cincinatti are happy with their divine product, then?”
“I’d never say that, Sid. But they’ll keep buying it. Isjudianity has bought up all the competition and we’re their only access route to the celestial realms. They might not like our bundles, but they don’t have a choice.”
Elsa went back to her work. Upper management might not like everything about the modeling program, but they were dependent on it. She could tell them straight out that she was manipulating their emotions by careful selection of color palettes and display elements. Their eyes would glaze over when she talked about the intricacies of the emotional tenors of various color choices and how the layout affected situational evaluation.
They always loved the personal configurations she built for them. The configurations were designed to appeal, to sooth, to flatter. The configurations adapted to their demigod hosts, who regarded them as loyal little pets.

Polyphonic Overtone Singing October 6, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Mutants, Video.
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Anna-Maria Hefele explains two-tone singing techniques…except how she makes two voices.  Marvelous enough; I guess I shouldn’t complain about mystery in the face of beauty.

Just Watch This, and Nevermind the Captions October 1, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Video.
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Wrist Rocket October 1, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in 3D Printing, Awesome, Geek Stuff, Mutants, Photography, Star Trek Technology, Toys.
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That’s right, friends, a quadcopter camera that you wear on your wrist.  THIS IS WHAT I WANT FOR NEWTONMASS, PEOPLE!  The prototype (not the rendering above) looks like it would actually work pretty well:

The promo video from their website hints at uses, which I have been advocating for years, like a follow me camera for safety and bragging:

Nixie is powered by Intel’s Edison kit, which is both small enough and affordable enough to fit inside such a small device. And devices like this will only get smaller.

As far as I can tell, Star Trek did not think of this in the 1960s.  Of course the Next Generation did, but we already had cell phones by then so no points for out-of-the-box thinking for them.

Me Personally, I Want This September 18, 2014

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This is probably much more fun than an RC car.

  • Controllable from up to 200ft with the 2.4ghz remote, indoors and out
  • The Snypa Dart Blaster attachment fires your Snypa Darts up to 45 feet
  • If you shoot back it falls apart when it gets three hits.  Nice.

    Sad But Beautiful September 18, 2014

    Posted by stuffilikenet in Mutants.
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    Dead two-headed dolphin discovered in Turkey

    Conjoined twin dolphins (sadly dead) in Turkey.


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