Category Archives: Uncategorized

RSS Needs

As most techies I know, I have a set of websites I check up on each morning, and throughout the day. I get to the office in the morning, and first things first, I “make the rounds.” And thanks to my handy dandy RSS reader, I never miss a single thing. I’m hyper-informed about the narrow set of topics that the sites in my usual rotation cover.

One of those sites is The Verge. A splinter group formed from former Engadget editors, it’s quickly becoming one of the best tech and tech culture news sites on the web.

Recently, one of the editors that I follow closely, Paul Miller, came up with an experiment he wanted to run: go internet free for an entire year. And I mean completely internet free. Not just browsing websites, but email, streaming video, music, everything. He even ditched his smart phone and got an old Nokia, and won’t even text on it.

Continue reading

Thirteen Falls 2012

13 Falls 2012Starting out13 Falls 2012On the trail!13 Falls 201213 Falls 2012
13 Falls 201213 Falls 201213 Falls 201213 Falls 201213 Falls 201213 Falls 2012
Critter HoleNo foot prints13 Falls 201213 Falls 201213 Falls 2012Animal Tracks
Animal Tracks13 Falls 201213 Falls 201213 Falls 201213 Falls 201213 Falls 2012

Thirteen Falls 2012, a set on Flickr.

Had a pretty awesome over nighter up to Thirteen Falls in the Pemi wilderness last weekend.

Got to put some new gear to the test, most of it turned out awesome. A few under-performers though, like my new -20° sleeping bag, who’s draft collar was defective. First pull, the bungee-cord came right out of the draft collar :/ Also, just didn’t quite live up to the -20° rating.

It’s about 8 miles in, which we managed in roughly 5 hours.

C3: Wireless Sensors!

I’ve been making good progress since receiving my IOIO. Got it up and running over USB, tested it all out, and then had to wait for my PICKit3 to upgrade it’s firmware. Once it arrived, it took some time for me to grok it (I’ve never used a PIC programmer or anything like it before) but finally got the Firmware upgraded and got the IOIO talking to my phone over Bluetooth.

Look ma, no breadboard!

Programming!
Continue reading

Microsoft’s Patent Club

Microsoft has been going around coercing manufacturers of Android devices into licensing agreements, where each Android device they ship, they must pay Microsoft some amount of money. Or else Microsoft will sick their pack of lawyers on them. Every company Microsoft has tried this tactic on so far as complied in the end, and some reports have Microsoft making more money off Android licensing deals than they do off of Windows Phone 7.

Unfortunately for us, part of the deal these companies are forced to make is a Non-Disclosure Agreement forbidding them from revealing what patents MS was actually threatening them with. Now, thanks to a brazen move by Barns & Nobel (who had previously signed a similar deal with MS), we now know what patents they are using.

Some of the patents appear to be oriented towards the Linux Kernel it’s self, while others are oriented towards specific features in Android (albeit extremely general and basic features).

The following is a list of the 10 Patents and a brief description of each one.

Continue reading

MQ3 :: Testing Practices and Breathalyzers

Testing the accuracy of my device has been quite an interesting ride, and it has lead me to one conclusion: Breathalyzers are far from an ideal way of testing Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).

This must be why in real serious cases, Police Departments use blood or urine tests as they are directly measuring the concentration of alcohol in your blood.

Breathalyzers however, are a one-off test. Quite simply, they are measuring the amount of alcohol gas in your mouth. Thats an important distinction. There is the obvious factor that could throw off the test, that you could have liquid alcohol in your mouth. Some of this will be in gas form, and thus what you will be measuring is the concentration of that liquid. Which has absolutely ZERO to do with your BAC.

It’s obvious, but let me really drive this point home: you can take a mouth full of Vodka, spit it out, even rinse your mouth, and still blow a deadly level on a Breathalyzer, mean while your BAC is still zero.

Continue reading