Thursday, September 17, 2020

Historical Technology Books - 60 in a series - Run Magazine Issue 01 (1984)










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Publication date 1984-01
Topics commodoreprogramdiskscreencolorpokecomputersoftwareword processormagazine januarymachine languageword processingdisk drivequick browncheck reader
Collection run-magazinecomputermagazinesmagazine_rackadditional_collectionscommodoremagazines
Language English

 

Unbound: How Eight Technologies Made Us Human and Brought Our World to the Brink

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

When Piracy Literally Saves Lives via Techdirt


Early on in the pandemic we wrote about how some makers of medical equipment, such as ventilators, were making it difficult to impossible to let hospitals fix their own ventilators. Many have used software locks -- DRM -- and refuse to give the information necessary to keep those machines online.

And thus, it was only inevitable that piracy would step in to fill the void. Vice has the incredible story of a rapidly growing grey market for both hacked hardware and software to keep ventilators running:

In the case of the PB840, a ventilator popularized about 20 years ago and in use ever since, a functional monitor swapped from a machine with a broken breathing unit to one with a broken monitor but a functioning breathing unit won’t work if the software isn’t synced. And so William uses the homemade dongle and Medtronic software shared with him by the Polish hacker to sync everything and repair the ventilator. Medtronic makes a similar dongle, but doesn’t sell it to the general public or independent repair professionals. It’s only available to people authorized by the company to do repairs.

Read When Piracy Literally Saves Lives via Techdirt


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Monday, September 14, 2020

Tiny Duck Hunt Looks Like Big Fun via Hackaday

Unless you’ve held on to an old tube TV, did the hack that lets you use a light gun with an LCD via Wiimote receiver and a couple of microcontrollers, or live close to one of those adult arcades, you might be really jonesing to play Duck Hunt by now. It’s time to renew that hunting license, because [Danko] has recreated the game for NodeMCU boards, and it’s open season.

Instead of ducks, you get to shoot cute little Twitter-esque birds of varying sizes and point values, and a tiny cab-over truck if you wish. There’s a 60-second free-for-all, and then time is up and your score is displayed. As a special bonus, there’s no smug dog to laugh at you if don’t hit anything. Be sure to check out the demo and build video after the break.

Read Tiny Duck Hunt Looks Like Big Fun via Hackaday



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Thursday, September 10, 2020

Historical Technology Books - 59 in a series - Family Computing Magazine Issue 04 (1983)






 
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Publication date 1983-12
Topics computerdataprintprogramcommodoredisksoftwareatariappleprogramseducational softwarereplaced freefamily computingdata datadisk driveword processorpersonal computerprint printword processingprint tab
Collection family-computingcomputermagazinesmagazine_rackadditional_collections
Language English

Unbound: How Eight Technologies Made Us Human and Brought Our World to the Brink

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Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Do Drones Help Democratize Surveillance? via Slashdot


A University of San Diego (USD) professor has just published The Good Drone: How Social Movements Democratize Surveillance. He tells a local newspaper that drones (as well as other aerial technologies like balloons, satellites, and even kites) actually help effect social change."That was my litmus test," Choi-Fitzpatrick continues. "Can I, or other people like me, use this technology for good? The thing that ties them all together is that they're all affordable and deployable by the public without regulatory oversight."

In order to prove this point, Choi-Fitzpatrick points to how the vast majority of the public uses drones for altruistic causes such as documenting human rights abuses, anti-poaching advocacy, and researching climate change research. With help from his students at USD, he meticulously scraped the internet, logging incident reports and media stories on negative drone usage. He says the data proved that, more often than not, that "the smallest categories were for spying and crime...."

It's his hope that "The Good Drone" will help the public understand the benefit of the technology before rushing to have them banned for public use... "The government already has surveillance drones monitoring protests and I think it's important that news agencies, the public and social movements also have drones to tell their side of the story as well. It's only imagery and video that will tell the full story."

The article points out that while the book will be published Tuesday, it will also be available as a free, downloadable, open access PDF. And the author's original manuscript, uploaded to PubPub's Open Peer Review platform, is already available online.

Read Do Drones Help Democratize Surveillance? via Slashdot


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Monday, September 07, 2020

Raspberry Pi Weasley Family Clock from Harry Potter Runs Like Magic via Tom's Hardware



Sometimes fiction inspires reality—such is the case here with Bryn Dole's Weasley Family clock replica. It uses a Raspberry Pi to replicate the general functionality, going as far as to update in real-time based on your family's actual location data.

If you aren't familiar with the Harry Potter franchise, the clock is found in the home of the Weasley family. Each section of the clock represents a location rather than a point in time. There is a hand for each member of the family which moves magically into position based on where they are at a given moment. If you aren't sure where they are, you can find out in a glance using the clock.

In this project, the location information is gathered and processed using an application called Life 360. This data determines where each individual hand should dial in on the clock. Dole decided to use a grandfather clock found in a thrift store, fitted with a poster of the original clock artwork from the movie.

Read Raspberry Pi Weasley Family Clock from Harry Potter Runs Like Magic via Tom's Hardware




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Thursday, September 03, 2020

Historical Technology Books - 58 in a series - Commodore User Issue 13 (1984)

 
 
 
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Unbound: How Eight Technologies Made Us Human and Brought Our World to the Brink

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Wednesday, September 02, 2020

A beginner’s guide to robot programming with Python via The Next Web

Let’s face it, robots are cool. They’re also going to run the world some day, and hopefully, at that time they will take pity on their poor soft fleshy creators (a.k.a. robotics developers) and help us build a space utopia filled with plenty. I’m joking of course, but only sort of.

In my ambition to have some small influence over the matter, I took a course in autonomous robot control theory last year, which culminated in my building a Python-based robotic simulator that allowed me to practice control theory on a simple, mobile, programmable robot.

Read A beginner’s guide to robot programming with Python via The Next Web



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Monday, August 31, 2020

Arduino Drives Astronomy Dome via Hackaday

The South Florida Science Center recently added a new ten-inch telescope and turned to [Andres Paris] and his brother to replace the hand-cranked dome door system. They turned to an Arduino along with some beefy motor drivers. You can see some videos of the beast in operation, below.

According to a Reddit post, the brothers picked up a 5A 12V motor but decided to overdesign and selected an H-bridge that would handle 20A peak current. An IR remote allows the operator to open and shut the door and reed switches sense the extremes of the door’s motion.

Read Arduino Drives Astronomy Dome | Hackaday via Hackaday


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Thursday, August 27, 2020

Historical Technology Books - 57 in a series - MicroTimes Volume 1 Number 1 (1984)

 
 
 
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Publication date 1984-05
Topics Computers
Publisher BAM Publications
Collection microtimes ; computermagazines ; magazine_rack ; additional_collections
Digitizing sponsor Internet Archive
Contributor Internet Archive
Language English


Unbound: How Eight Technologies Made Us Human and Brought Our World to the Brink

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