Archive for the 'technology' Category

Aug 22 2011

Why aren’t Social Security numbers cryptographic public/private keys?

Published by under technology

I’m not a security person and I don’t know what I’m talking about. Stories about children’s Social Security numbers being stolen and used without detection until they come of age and other similar tales are legion, and the problem is almost always Social Security numbers lying around unsecured at some service provider or company. What […]

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Jun 04 2011

Sugar Cube QR Codes

Here’s the rest of the pictures from the rest of our Sugar Cube QR Code experiment at the A2 Mini Maker Faire. I enlisted the help of a number of 3-10 year olds to glue sugar cubes onto an (almost) properly sized template, and managed to end up with a scannable code! Ed Vielmetti and […]

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Jun 16 2010

Kudos Japan

Published by under space,technology

The Japanese space program is doing some cool shit in the way of interplanetary spacecraft, and I have to hand it to them. I’m primarily impressed by their sheer ambition, launching bleeding edge missions that the more conservative NASA would tend to work their way up to. With previous interplanetary experience consisting of a couple […]

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Mar 23 2010

Apollo Lunar Escape System was All Guts

Published by under design,space,technology

Let me take you back to an era before computer control of all aspects of spaceflight was considered necessary. It’s the early 70s, and although additional flights after Apollo 17 were eventually canceled, there were at the time plans afoot for longer duration stays on the lunar surface. However, a longer stay entailed an increased […]

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Oct 01 2009

Books and their transforming media

Published by under books,design,media,technology

I came across an entry on Google Books, and realized they have a map with all locations mentioned in the book tagged on the map. This is a neat feature. Check out the map for Around the World in 80 Days. Certainly an interesting way to access data in a book. I was recently reading […]

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Feb 13 2009


Published by under coding,technology

From Wired: “… at precisely 3:31:30 p.m. Pacific time on February 13, 2009, the 10-digit “epoch time” clock used by most Unix computers will display all ten decimal digits in sequence.” 1234567890 seconds since the epoch start. If you have python installed you can see this by opening the idle shell (in start menu) and […]

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Jan 06 2009

Picasa for Mac

Published by under technology

Hallelujah, Picasa for Mac has been released. I never could get used to iPhoto and it’s foibles, always wishing there was a Picasa release for the Mac. This also allows you to standardize on one photo organizer for all platforms. Fantastic!

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Dec 20 2008


Published by under AnnArbor,science,technology

ArbCamp08 was great, thanks to all the organizers, who had to scramble at the last minute to handle a huge turnout by changing the venue.  With more than 160 attendees, there was a wide variety of interesting breakout sessions and impromptu discussions. I enjoyed the parallel programming session led by Jon Cohen – I hadn’t […]

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Dec 15 2008

Easy backups in OS X

Published by under technology

I’ve settled on the killer combination for easy backups to a NAS on OS X, and it involves installing no software.  It’s a combination of rsync, and scheduling with launchd. The first step is getting your rsync command working.  I like it because it allows you to maintain a mirror of your files on the […]

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Aug 07 2008

Long Now Video

Published by under design,sustainability,technology

I’ve been following the Long Now Foundation and their quest to build a 10,000 year clock for several years now.  This episode of BoingBoingTV showcases some of the physical artifacts the foundation has machined, including an orrery, and a chime system developed in part by Brian Eno. There are a lot of challenges associate with […]

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