jump to navigation

Giggling Maniac with Gatling Gun July 16, 2019

Posted by stuffilikenet in 3D Printing, Awesome, Geek Stuff, Toys, Uncategorizable, Uncategorized.
add a comment

It’s lovely what you can do with 3D printers. It is, of course, best illustrated by a cackling madman with a Gatling Gun.

3D Models Through Multiple Primitives January 7, 2019

Posted by stuffilikenet in 3D Printing, Applications, Toys.
add a comment

Sometime the 3D scanner can’t model complex interiors. Geeks to the rescue:
The authors of a nifty paper describe how their software creates solid models based on a kind of successive approximation using a library of primitive shapes.  They claim success in over one hundred complex models (see video, above).

Modest Plasma Globe Hack December 12, 2018

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Science, Star Trek Technology, Toys, Video.
add a comment

Desktop Van De Graaf Generator December 11, 2018

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Science, Toys, Video.
add a comment

WANT!

Time is the Enemy. See? November 20, 2018

Posted by stuffilikenet in Toys, Uncategorizable.
add a comment

skullpocketwatch17thcentury.jpeg

The Delight of Propane Chicken June 5, 2018

Posted by stuffilikenet in RV and camping, Toys.
add a comment

 

EXCITING UPDATE:

IMG_20180413_192733823.jpg

Synchro de Mayo May 21, 2018

Posted by stuffilikenet in RV and camping, Toys, Uncategorizable, Uncategorized.
add a comment

is not really what it’s called, it is just when it happens.  A congregation of some of the 2600-odd Volkswagen Vanagon Synchros in the United States, it’s really a long camping party in Hollister State Recreation Area and the best place to see immaculately kept and/or innovatively modified Synchros:

DSC_0324

DSC_0325

DSC_0326

DSC_0327

DSC_0328

DSC_0329

DSC_0331

DSC_0335

DSC_0336

DSC_0337

DSC_0338

DSC_0339

DSC_0341

DSC_0342

DSC_0349

There’s one in every crowd, I guess.

DSC_0351

DSC_0352

DSC_0354

DSC_0355

 

DSC_0357

Why four wheel drive?

 

DSC_0365

Vanagon owner doing what they do most.

DSC_0366

 DSC_0367

The newest Volkswagen four-wheel drive: not for sale in California (or maybe the USA)

DSC_0346

Typical Vanagon in its native habitat.

There were other VW vans there, of course:

DSC_0333

 DSC_0345

DSC_0364

DSC_0360

Glories March 4, 2018

Posted by stuffilikenet in Photography, Publishing Tools, Toys.
add a comment

I grew up in a devoutly Methodist household, and we had paintings  of Our Lord  which often featured the suggestion of God’s presence through rays of light streaming through clouds.  In fact, I don’t usually see these rays which I call Glories all that often; apparently the particles necessary for such diffraction are rare enough that glories don’t come standard with every sunset.

Then, too, when I see them I don’t have a nice camera with me…just my cell phone.  The current default camera app in Android 6.0.1 does not feature exposure control, making it very difficult to catch the rays (usually sunsets present as a bright band of yellow in my camera).  Thankfully, the Google Play store offers other camera apps, such as CameraZOOM. I have been able to finally capture a good enough sample to share (cropped in The GIMP):

Glories2

Glories near Lake Havasu

EXCITING UPDATE:  Glories viewed from ISS

Image: A rare optical phenomenon spotted from orbit

Busses By The Bridge February 8, 2018

Posted by stuffilikenet in RV and camping, Toys.
add a comment

BBTB is a celebration of all things VW, but most especially busses.  My missus does not miss a chance to celebrate her particular misguided passion, despite the huge cost and compete unreliability of a thirty year-old, poorly designed, cheaply built invention of Adolph Hitler.

Just sayin’.

Now, lest you think me bitter or this subject, I point out that there were 600 better implementations of the Vanagon in this show alone, many of them fully functional and not at all plagued with the sorts of things which indicate the van in question was never restored, reconditioned or renovated.  At all.  Check the few photos below for pointed examples:

IMG_20180114_110309411_HDR IMG_20180114_110341495_HDR IMG_20180114_110426450 IMG_20180114_110456712 IMG_20180114_110520097_HDR IMG_20180114_110543052_HDR IMG_20180114_111231224_HDR IMG_20180114_111305221_HDR IMG_20180114_104652184_HDR IMG_20180114_104707809 IMG_20180114_104743582_HDR IMG_20180114_104755293 IMG_20180114_104809695_HDR IMG_20180114_104820818 IMG_20180114_104834120_HDR IMG_20180114_104907695_HDR IMG_20180114_104945757_HDR IMG_20180114_104957519 IMG_20180114_105019782 IMG_20180114_105044366_HDR IMG_20180114_105101464 IMG_20180114_105112823_HDR IMG_20180114_105131295_HDR IMG_20180114_105146598 IMG_20180114_105231436_HDR IMG_20180114_105246299_HDR IMG_20180114_105410094 IMG_20180114_105458220 IMG_20180114_105630854_HDR IMG_20180114_110034064 IMG_20180114_110213655 IMG_20180114_110244932_HDR

Absolutely Juvenile July 26, 2017

Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Awesome, Geek Stuff, Mutants, Toys, Uncategorizable, Video.
add a comment

I enjoyed this immensely, but it is about one in the morning and I have been up since about five cleaning house and preparing for my next Great Adventure.

 

I am probably punchy.

Best Used Car Advertisement Ever April 30, 2017

Posted by stuffilikenet in Brilliant words, Toys, Video.
add a comment

Training Neural Networks to Write Bach in a Day! March 24, 2017

Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Awesome, Brain, Geek Stuff, Toys, Video.
add a comment

Fascinating bit of video here as Our Hero (not me, in this case) takes Bach (and later Mozart) MIDI files, creates an 88-character ASCII-character alphabet from them and trains a Recurrent Neural Network to output similar sequences.

The results (and a lot of the process) is shown in the video above.  Take your time and watch the whole thing; I wonder how long he would have to train the RNN to start outputting Baroque Muzak continually?

Getting There, One Piece at a Time January 24, 2017

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Geek Stuff, Star Trek Technology, Toys.
add a comment

Open the Alexa app on your phone.

Use the More icon (the hamburger) in the upper left corner.

Select Settings.

Select the device whose wake word you wish to change.

Tap the Wake Word setting.

Select Computer from the drop-down.

You are done.

I would like to point out that Star Trek has so influenced culture that the United Federation of Planets is likely to happen any time now…we just need more planets.  We already have Majel Barret’s voice phonemes.  Now we need Google to sync up, a bit better response to voice meaning (the voice vector thing should help), a truthiness evaluator and bingo! Star Trek in your phone/home/office/laboratory/dungeon/whatever.

Amazon Moto G Play Phone January 19, 2017

Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Geek Stuff, Science, Star Trek Technology, Toys.
add a comment

People in the know (i. e., my readers) are aware that I take my phones seriously, and have for three smart phones now. Well, smart-enough phones, I guess.  I mean I had an HTC 8125 ancient creaking phone with one of Microsoft’s many, many failed phone operating systems (are they really up to FOUR commercially-failed systems, and about to go for FIVE?), which did some things I needed in a phone: calculator (never used it, but could have), texting (would have used it but did not…not sure that it could, now that I think on it), took [execrable] photographs (look back in this blog far enough and you will find them, along with scathing reviews of the image quality) but at least ran the flash card app I wrote for it, among others (my writing them would not have been necessary if MS has anything like an app store.  Just sayin’), and played my beloved audio books during my [endless] commute.1

Still, it was not the optimum device.  My next phone (Samsung Galaxy S3 i9250) was a considerable improvement, in that the camera focused closely enough to copy text.  It ran Android apps mostly without complaint (even ones I had written myself), texted my children and played Bluetooth music and audio books without complaint, even after having survived several cracked glass incidents (to be fair, I never did repair the glass.  It looked like a vandalized cathedral when it finally died). It was a vast improvement, and I cried bitter tears indeed2 when it suddenly stopped letting me make telephone calls.

Now I have the aforementioned Amazon Moto G Play phone, and I must say it is an improvement on my previous experiences (except for the annoying notifications.  How the #$%^&* do I turn them off?) in speed, in reception and in sound clarity (although not volume).  The camera is much better (see recent postings about the weather, blue jay invasion, etc.) and the Android version is 6.0, which is 1.7 better than previous.  And it was cheap: $99 for the phone with advertising, $149 without.  I have been unable to figure out how to replace the bootloader to get rid of the advertisements (which would violate my agreement and would be Bad And Wrong), but it works so well I don’t care at all.

EXCITING, HORRIBLE UPDATE: can’t root the phone to use adb wireless.  This is totally bogus.

1Not sure that’s the longest run-on sentence I have ever written, but Baron Bulwer-Lytton must feel somewhat threatened in his cozy grave.

2Mostly because I had spent a fortune on it.  Don’t fear; this story DOES have a happy ending.

As Reported Previously, the Ice Caps Are Gone November 28, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Awesome, Mutants, Science, Toys.
add a comment

https://i2.wp.com/media.gizmodo.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/s--awA5Xrmi--.gif

Each BigDog(tm) has 8/3 reindeer power.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Newtonmas November 21, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Mutants, Toys, Uncategorizable.
add a comment

Can’t get it on Amazon…can it be real?

Gluten-free Bread Machine Adventures 5 November 21, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Mutants, Science, Toys, Uncategorizable.
add a comment

Wherein we find Our Hero has found that Pamela’s Gluten-free Bread Mix can be had from Amazon Prime for $2.42/lb delivered, which is no small thing here in the Frozen North, where the only town bigger than 2,000 is an hour away…

See previous Bread Machine Adventures for correct use, misuse and abuse.

What I Want for Newtonmas This Year November 18, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Geek Stuff, Japan, Science, Toys, Video.
add a comment

A realistic dinosaur costume.

Or a T-Rex.  Either way.

Too Much Science to Read, Let Alone Review November 15, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brain, Brilliant words, Geek Stuff, Science, Star Trek Technology, Toys, Uncategorizable.
add a comment

It’s been a banner week for science geeks, nerds, and squints. The locked-in lady gets to at least shout from her prison quietlyGoogle has radar sensitive enough to not only find objects but identify them by their radar signature and perovskite is once again breaking solar-conversion efficiency records.

Ordinarily I would give you a breakdown of each of these nifty developments, but more are coming and I may want to return to these later when I am not pressed for time.  Follow the links above; there are others as well that you will find more well constructed than my chicken scratchings, I’m sure.

Brain-Computer Interface Now in Use at Home!!! November 15, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Awesome, Brain, Geek Stuff, Science, Star Trek Technology, Toys, Uncategorizable.
1 comment so far

A 58-year-old woman (“HB”) with ALS has had a functioning brain-computer interface (BCI) for a while now, and is able to communicate (slowly) with the outside world. She was facing total lock-in Real Soon Now, so any device which offers communication ability is welcome.

What it is:

A diagram illustrating the setup and use of the ECoG implant.

Electrode strips at the top laid across her brain like band-aids read faint electrical signals.  With training HB was able to “type” fairly quickly (words per minute, but still).  More work remains to be done on the interfacing software (I am imagining more inputs and a neural network to interpret her thoughts more and more efficiently), and HB is ecstatic to have a way t live in the world.  She would like to use the interface to control a wheelchair, for example, but that is a ways off.

 

Homework:  Vansteensel, Mariska J. et. al., Fully Implanted Brain–Computer Interface in a Locked-In Patient with ALS, New England Journal of Medicine November 12, 2016 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1608085

Update: New Scientist has an excellent writeup as well.