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From physical standards to universal constants

The standard system of weights and measures is slowly advancing in its definition of official reference standards. From such things as the size of the King’s foot to the length of the forearm, the reference moved to platinum weights and bars. Now it is moving to universal constants of nature. Lubos has his take as […]

Unknown lessons from Baghdad

Experience can be a valuable teacher and the Army leverages their experience. They have a significant incentive. The Middle East wars are no exception. John Spencer says The Most Effective Weapon On The Modern Battlefield Is Concrete and explains some of the lessons learned. It’s about modern fort building with some new ideas for population control and […]

BNC history

Dan Maloney has a summary of the development of the BNC connector at Hackaday. The connector that would eventually become known as the BNC connector when it was invented in the 1950s has its roots in two separate connectors developed in the 1930s and 1940s for the burgeoning radio and telephone industries. … Salati’s connector […]

Swinging for the fences

These guys figured that the way to learn how to sail a boat was to start by building their own boat from trees on the family farm. The Mind of a Boat Builder – Acorn to Arabella is an interview with two 30 somethings who decided the thing to do with their lives was to build […]

Microsoft, Github, and Zebra Stripes

The reaction to Microsoft acquiring Github says a lot about how tough it is for Microsoft to change the image it built in the 90’s. John Edwards explains Why Microsoft’s GitHub Deal Isn’t a Sign of the Apocalypse – “Fear not, developers. The open source development community will thrive, no matter who’s running the show.” […]

Wildfires started by plinkers?

‘Tis the season: range grass is drying out and fires are a concern. The latest fad is to blame such fires on those out target shooting. To support this, there is a Forest Service study of ignition by rifle bullets. It is interesting and has data and theory worth considering. Careful reading also provides insight […]

Apple, 20 years ago

In 1998: For $1,299, you came home with a 233MHz PowerPC G3 processor, 32MB of RAM, a 4GB hard drive, a 15-inch built-in monitor, and stereo speakers—all in an amazingly stylish case. 8 ways the iMac changed computing By Benj Edwards (first published in 2008) — “Apple’s most iconic desktop computer.” Popularizing the I’net, USB, floppy […]

Python date and time

Trying to display, store, and calculate date and time values can be a significant challenge. This is why there are 6 Python datetime libraries by Lacey Williams Henschel — “There are a host of libraries that make it simpler to test, convert, and read date and time information in Python.” “beyond converting strings to more […]

Sense and Control: so many options

OK. got the Sonoff stuff going OEM. Now for the next step. I’m looking for two major features. (1) FOSS and (2) local without dependencies. Complexity is another factor as I’d rather the component count be in hardware rather than software. It’d also be nice if it was possible to get into customization and modification […]

What makes Python interesting

Python is different but not too different and that makes it interesting and worthwhile for study. An example is Loop better: A deeper look at iteration in Python by Trey Hunner — “Dive into Python’s for loops to take a look at how they work under the hood and why they work the way they do.” […]