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{ Category Archives } factoids

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 […]

latency

Why Modern Computers Struggle to Match the Input Latency of an Apple IIe By Joel Hruska — “The system with the lowest input latency — the amount of time between when you hit a key and that keystroke appears on the computer — is the Apple IIe, at 30ms.” There is a table of measurements that […]

ESP32 and where we are now

Back a year ago, Hackaday found a Basic Interpreter Hidden In Esp32 Silicon (by Elliot Williams).  Documentation now exists at Read the Docs. Now, for comparison, consider the TRS 80 Model I “introduced by Radio Shack on August 3, 1977….The initial price was $599.95, which included a typewriter-style (not membrane) keyboard, monitor, and cassette recorder. … It ran […]

Self defense and Parakeets: Culture and history speaking

Two stories uncovered today provide a lot of insight into who we are and how we got that way. One is about The American Indian foundation of American gun culture by David Kopel. This is on Wapo in the Volokh Conspiracy, a lawyer’s blog so it’s got reader harassment and bias to watch out for. The essay […]

ten years on and a lot of small (and some big) steps

How I would explain a decade of web development to a time traveler from 2007 by Ivan Zarea  Today we have many more of them than we did 10 years ago, and that comes with new challenges. We wear computers on our wrists and faces, keep them in our pockets, and have them in our fridges and […]

Magic. What would it cost then?

Apple did their big show to sell the next iteration of improvements and enhancements. That raises the usual cheers and jeers as well as a few questions and concerns. One is: Do “THEY” Really Say: “TECHNOLOGICAL Progress Is Slowing Down”? —  Consider the 256 GB memory iPhone X: Implemented in vacuum tubes in 1957, the transistors […]

The hidden elephant with the crypto currency fad

Some claim it is the Next Big Thing and going to overturn civilization. It sounds so wonderful with peace, love, and all that: technology is going to solve all human ills and whatnot. Technology dreams seem to invite a blindness. Luboš Motl gets to the key issue with Bitcoin: Decentralized blockchain and subjectivity of the […]

Eclipse fallout

Zach Sutton has pictures of Rental Camera Gear Destroyed by the Solar Eclipse of 2017.  With all of our rentals leading up to this event, we warned everyone to view the event with appropriate eyewear and to attach a solar filter to the end of their lenses to protect the lens elements and camera sensor. But […]

Six Fresh Ways to Think About Retirement Savings

Trent Hamm has a good summary in his Six Fresh Ways to Think About Retirement Savings at the Simple Dollar. From the social security network to retirement fund withdrawal rules of thumb and from basic subsistence levels to choosing a location for cost of living reasons, he provides a good over-view of issues that many don’t […]

Electric transport

Sven Gustafson reports that Tesla’s long-range Model 3 gets 80.5 kWh battery, per EPA. A cell phone has a battery in the 2-4 Wh range so this is about the battery power of 20,000 cell phones. A typical standard car battery is good for about 1 kWh so the Tesla, the “long range” version has […]