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Vacation December 17, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Photography.
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Need one.

Spycam File Transfer December 14, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Awesome, Geek Stuff, Toys.
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Here’s a scary little proof of concept: an Android smart phone (HTC One XL) with the ThruGlassXfer app on it is held facing the laptop screen so that the phone’s primary camera can clearly read the displayed QR codes.  The codes change rapidly, since they reflect  an encoded file being transferred by light—no connection required.

Displaying binary data as a QR code required encoding the file using ThruKeyboardXfer (TKXf) which in turn required a USB HID keyboard, attached to this theoretically non-connected computer by emulating a keyboard.

Girl Genius Radio Theater December 13, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brilliant words, Webcomics.
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A collection of breezy radio script readings by the Foglios and  various fans and acquaintances are available here. Go listen to them all.  I promise a very good time.

Going Wireless on Samsung i9250 December 13, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Awesome, Star Trek Technology, Toys.
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The worst thing in the cell phone world is having a smart phone and no way to charge it or get data to and from it.  It’s worse if you develop apps for it and can’t load them.  I had a Windows CE phone and it eventually died at the USB connection…never again.

My now two-year-old Samsung Galaxy S3 i9250 phone can be made wireless with a wireless charging hack and ADB Wireless.  Android Device Bridge is a piece of software that allows several operations to be run from one’s PC keyboard, like loading new software…but usually it requires a USB connection. Enter ADB Wireless…which requires the phone be rooted.  Rooting a phone is a slightly risky procedure, if you are under warranty—I’m not.  I rooted it with Kingo ROOT software, and then ran ADB Wireless.  I can now load my self-developed apps without a USB cable.

Additionally, I use WiFi File Transfer Pro to move files to and from my phone, so that’s one more source of non-wired interface (it uses your PC’s browser to connect to your phone via a web server on the phone; an elegant solution I feel).

The wireless charging hack is a little trickier, but only because you have to take apart the phone, install the Palm Pre Touchstone Charging Kit induction coil, copper tape the charging coil to the cover so it matches the copper tape you install on the the pogo pins on the inside and put that sucker back together (and get the polarity right; 5V+ is the lowest of the three pins, GND is the highest).

Another nice addition which can amaze and confuse is the Tasker app, which can allow you to automate quite a few little things, depending on your focus and obsession (“Tasker is a rabbit hole that brings opportunity to focus and obsess.”), like turning on WiFi when home, turning it off when leaving, turning on Bluetooth when driving and charging..none of which I have done yet.

But I’ll get to it, Real Soon Now. Honest.

Fermi Paradox Solved! December 12, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brilliant words, Geek Stuff, Star Trek Technology.
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“Beams of neutrinos have been proposed as a vehicle for communications under unusual circumstances, such as direct point-to-point global communication, communication with submarines, secure communications and interstellar communication. We report on the performance of a low-rate communications link established using the NuMI beam line and the MINERvA detector at Fermilab. The link achieved a decoded data rate of 0.1 bits/sec with a bit error rate of 1% over a distance of 1.035 km, including 240 m of earth. “ — http://arxiv.org/abs/1203.28471

Seriously, this is why SETI never sees the little green men; we’re using radio.  All the cool kids are using modified neutrino emissions (or maybe gravity waves).

1. This paper has a lovely section devoted to authors’ names: D. D. Stancil, P. Adamson, M. Alania, L. Aliaga, M. Andrews, C. Araujo Del Castillo, L. Bagby, J. L. Bazo Alba, A. Bodek, D. Boehnlein, R. Bradford, W. K. Brooks, H. Budd, A. Butkevich, D. A. M. Caicedo, D. P. Capista, C. M. Castromonte, A. Chamorro, E. Charlton, M. E. Christy, J. Chvojka, P. D. Conrow, I. Danko, M. Day, J. Devan, J. M. Downey, S. A. Dytman, B. Eberly, J. R. Fein, J. Felix, L. Fields, G. A. Fiorentini, A. M. Gago, H. Gallagher, R. Gran, J. Grange, J. Griffin, T. Griffin, E. Hahn, D. A. Harris, A. Higuera, J. A. Hobbs, C. M. Hoffman, B. L. Hughes, K. Hurtado, A. Judd, T. Kafka, K. Kephart, J. Kilmer, M. Kordosky, S. A. Kulagin, V. A. Kuznetsov, M. Lanari, T. Le, H. Lee, L. Loiacono, G. Maggi, E. Maher, S. Manly, W. A. Mann, C. M. Marshall, K. S. McFarland, A. Mislivec, A. M. McGowan, et al. (48 additional authors not shown)

Procrastination by Punctuation December 12, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Books, Brain, Brilliant words, Geek Stuff.
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On the List That Cannot be Named, there is a lively week-long (and still ongoing) discussion of letters that didn’t make it into the alphabet.  This alone is Stuff I Like, but there is a long parody which contains this snippet,  duly appreciated:

>>> Of all the many characters,
>>> Old English to adorn,
>>> There are a few that no one here knew,
>>> Like Yogh and Ash and Thorn.
>>> …
>> =v= That’s downright awesome.  Did you write it?
>> </Lazyweb>
>>    <_Jym_>
> Indeed. The levels of creativity produced by finals procrastination
> astound me.
> – Ray

Wait till you get to PhD thesis avoidance.

Future Cookies December 4, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Geek Stuff, Toys.
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This joy can be found here: 3D Spaceship Cookie Cutters, on Amazon.com

Be On the Lookout For Brains—100 Brains in Jars December 3, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Brain, Mutants.
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The University of Texas at Austin is missing about 100 brains – about half of the specimens the university had in a collection of brains preserved in jars of formaldehyde. in the basement

One of the missing brains is believed to have belonged to clock tower sniper Charles Whitman, who was also reportedly the youngest person in the world ever to become an Eagle Scout.

"It’s entirely possible word got around among undergraduates and people started swiping them for living rooms or Halloween pranks."

The university’s agreement with the hospital required the school to remove any data that might identify the person from whom the brain came. However, Schallert said Whitman’s brain likely was part of the collection.

"It would make sense it would be in this group. We can’t find that brain," he said.

What a brain in a jar may look like.

EXCITING UPDATE: Brains have been found at the University’s sister campus in San Antonio. “They read a media report of the missing brains, and they called to say: ‘We got those brains!’"

Damn. I was looking forward to a SyFy original TV series in which a handsome couple hunts down the brain of the week.  Maybe I will have to pitch it to them myself.

A Blast of Coffee, Please December 2, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brain, Toys.
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From Big Mouth Toys on Amazon.com .

Russian Satellite View of Earth December 2, 2014

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It’s 3840×2160.

Fellow Commuters November 30, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Uncategorizable, Video.
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The Cake is Not a Lie November 30, 2014

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The young lady who made the cake was delighted that I was able to identify the meme.

Gluten-free Bread Machine Adventures 1 November 29, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Brain, Uncategorizable.
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2014-11-29 14.15.51

2:23 PM 11/29/2014

I have a Breadman TR-440 bread machine, and gluten-free bread is costly and usually sucks.  This is my first attempt at going around all that.  My local Harvest House has Pamela’s GF bread mix (not to be confused with flour) at 2.89/lb, which is about 25% off list.  I tried this:

Pamela’s Gluten-free bread mix 3 cups
2 eggs
fill with warm water to 2 cups total
1/8th cup canola oil
hint of salt
Fleishmann’s yeast

eggs first in 2 cup measure, add water to 2 cups (warm), dump in Breadman, add yeast, add bread mix cook.  My Breadman has only a few settings; I picked medium crust and didn’t monkey with the rest of ‘em.  Looks kind of gooey (above, as it is mixing) but it isn’t the same as wheat flour, is it now?
Here it is, finished:

7:14 PM 11/29/2014 delectable.  I strongly recommend eating hot and with real butter; possibly jam as well.  I would offer you some, but we finished it already.


Exciting Update: it makes excellent toast as well.

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

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while waiting their turn.


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