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Archive for October, 2014
Posted by Jack Crossfire | Oct 28, 2014 @ 10:42 PM | 6,865 Views
Working for the Modern San Francisco Startup is a new experience. The commute is 90 minutes. Everyone was born after you went to your last baseball game. All the jobs are now in the city, where 15 years ago they were all in the valley. The current cycle back to the city began in 2007 when real estate plummeted. Now the city is ferociously expensive while the valley is the wasteland.

All the assets are stored on web application cloud servers: asana for project management, bitbucket for code repository, gmail for email, gliffy.com & chart.io for documents. Even all the lunches are ordered on obscure cloud services like eat24hours.com. It's surprising how much cloud still isn't Google, if you look hard enough.

There's no more full time IT guy & server room. It's all web services. There are but 2 areas this cloud web generation will absolutely not use touch cloud services for, however: DATING. They all met their partners in BARS & NIGHTCLUBS. NO ONLINE DATING! NEVER!

The other thing is working from home. For all the webification, there is no working from home. The topic of physically being in an office is still as sacred as where the romantic relationship starts.

It's surprisingly easy for them to find the best people for the job. Programming is no longer a black box known only by a few savants, but manestream material, nowadays. It's a significant change from 2001, when it was very hard to find someone who knew what they were doing.

Of course,...Continue Reading
Posted by Jack Crossfire | Oct 21, 2014 @ 10:22 PM | 7,813 Views
Inspired by the continued existence of a AA consuming toy fan from the 1980's, it was time to build something more efficient with RC parts.

Dumb Blond hottie

You wouldn't believe how hard it is to make a fan. The mane problem was noise, which RC parts aren't designed to avoid, but which is a critical design feature for appliances. The other problem was safety. A prop saver did absolutely nothing. The prop still shattered in an obstruction test. This is 1 area where 3D printing a shroud would be useful. For now, a wire provides some minimal protection from accidentally coming in from the side.

...Continue Reading
Posted by Jack Crossfire | Oct 19, 2014 @ 01:49 AM | 6,889 Views

Anothor 9.0V rover run at rock bottom 9min/mile. Hit 8m16s in the fastest mile. A 90 minute commute doesn't leave any time for hacking, so the balky steering lives on.

The very last rover run was after canned soup, frozen chicken, & a long session of diahrea. At 9.2V, with reduced D gain, the steering was still impossible. The fastest mile was 8m4s. The entire flat section was at 8m49s/mile.

More of the .25 mile graph poked above the 8m mark. The uphill part went faster than the downhill part, so trail condition affected speed more than voltage. It was definitely harder, partly because of lack of exercise & because it was 2 days after the last rover run. The brushless rover never did match the G-buggy in consistency or steering, as bad as the g-buggy was.

It was the last of the intense speed runs. The commute has put an end to the illustrious 4 year running career & the salads. Speed never equaled its peak in Feb. It's interesting to look at the training log & ponder what worked.

For the 1st time in 4 years, was much less hungry in the last week. Felt much less appetite from lack of exercise. 15 hours a week of sitting in a train is pure hell on a body. Looks like the fitness of the last 4 years has come to an end, but these are the sacrifices required to make 1/2 what you did 10 years ago, in the new economy.
Posted by Jack Crossfire | Oct 11, 2014 @ 06:24 AM | 6,998 Views
No-one refers to Apple by the CEO name or "Steve & Co" anymore. Now, it's consistently referred to as Apple.

Using the common dial of a watch as the user input of a smart watch was the most obvious solution to the most obvious problem no-one ever thought of.

The watch allows you to feel someone else's tapping or heartbeat in realtime, by vibrating. It's another thing you wonder why it wasn't done 10 years ago.

Conspicuously absent from Apple news is a drone product, 3D printing product, or glasses product.
Posted by Jack Crossfire | Oct 09, 2014 @ 12:21 PM | 6,661 Views

It was the 1st clear sky in 7 years, but decided not to make a movie for fear the whole thing wasn't going to be in the dark.
Posted by Jack Crossfire | Oct 08, 2014 @ 07:18 PM | 7,096 Views

Always amusing to see photos that were impossible just 3 years ago. It's taken for granted now, but only a tick of the clock ago, camera sensors weren't fast enough to get razor sharp, handheld images from an airplane in near total darkness.

We all had the experience of trying to get night shots from airliners. It was completely hopeless for a camera made in 2008.

That took working the proverbial ass off.

Forget about live video of auroras. The only way to see what an aurora looked like in real time before 2012 was to drive 3000 miles. Most of the world could only imagine from timelapses & artist renditions. Now everyone has seen an aurora in real time.
Posted by Jack Crossfire | Oct 05, 2014 @ 11:33 PM | 7,930 Views

Never build 1 when you can build 2 for twice the price. Everyone knows about Stennis space center, the A-1 test stand where the SSME & F-1 were tested. Lesser known is the even bigger B-1/B-2 test stand where the complete S-IC & shuttle core were test fired.

Little did you know an identical set of test stands was built in Huntsville, in an age long before Stennis. The mighty S1C test stand was built from 1960 - 1964 for $30 million & would test the 1st 4 S-IC stages. You can't even buy a house for $30 million, anymore.

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Posted by Jack Crossfire | Oct 04, 2014 @ 02:16 AM | 7,312 Views
Had granola cerial with no pepto bismol, since it might interfere with nutrient absorption. At 9V, it did the actual 13.1 segment in 1h58m2s including red lights. Red lights took 30s. The fastest mile was 8m7s on the uphill. Speed was highly erratic, with some quarter mile segments going extremely fast. Any benefit from PWM regulation was lost to flips & spinouts. Steering was non functional. Ate a caffeine free powergel at 11.5mi, which went everywhere. Couldn't drive while eating. The 1Ah battery had no problem. Got a bowel movement at 13.72mi.
Posted by Jack Crossfire | Sep 30, 2014 @ 09:14 PM | 6,917 Views

The answer is still no. You can't make your own private router with 2 mile range out of a pair of LTE phones. As far as what can be deciphered from the hindi accents, it's not a point to point version of LTE but a way for devices to discover nearby devices. They broadcast a very brief 128 bit ID on the LTE physical layer which is directly received by devices within 500m, to allow device discovery, but the data communication is still over a paid, bandwidth capped, tower based LTE plan.

Of course, the hype is just as insane as the Intel Edison 2 weeks ago & the Google Tango before that. Does anyone remember what Google Tango was?