Geek stuff

The suspension of disbelief has a particular peculiar character within the science fiction genre. While there is certainly sci-fi that rejects all standards of realism rooted in actual science, and which might thus be better seen as a kind of fantasy with technology, most sci-fi seeks to imagine things that could be possible in the […]

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The Japanese robotic spacecraft Hayabusa2 has arrived at the asteroid Ryugu. Among other things, it’s meant to “use small explosives to blast a crater on the surface and collect the resulting debris”.

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NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has some great free software available that lets you see many solar system bodies (from the sun to Jupiter’s absurd abundance of tiny moons) as well as a wide variety of space missions. Some interesting objects: Miranda, Phobos, Deimos, Io, Europa

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My replacement desktop computer arrived six days early. After a lot of thought about “pro” options (the crazy expensive iMac Pro, the dated but in some ways capable Mac Pro, the mysterious new Mac Pro to come) and hackintoshes, I replaced my 2007 era 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac along with an Nvidia […]

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The world is now full of technology that needs regular software updates to fix security vulnerabilities as they are publicly reported. This includes all of your computers (including cell phones, smart devices like TVs and sensors, and network equipment like routers). It definitely applies to website content management systems (CMS) like WordPress. That’s why when […]

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Slashdot reports: “Researchers at the Technische Universitat Wein have created a simulation of a simple worm’s neural network, and have been able to replicate its natural behavior to completely mimic the worm’s natural reflexive behavior.” When it comes to bodies, at least down to the level where quantum uncertainty becomes important, there seems to be […]

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The Distant Early Warning line (“Fides Contentio Sapienta”) is part of Canada’s cold war legacy. The DEWLine website has a lot of information on the history of these RADAR sites, how they operated, and who was involved.

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Richard Dawkins’ Unweaving the Rainbow includes a great discussion of the scientific uses of the Fourier transform. Most amusingly: “The side-to-side waving of the urine trail on the road was presumably produced by the long [elephant] penis acting as a pendulum (it would be a sine wave if the penis were a perfect, Newtonian pendulum, […]

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One fascinating dimension of software-defined radio is the ability to establish mesh networks: distributed data sharing systems where each computer involved is a node which can carry traffic on behalf of others. That means that as long as you have solid radio links you can establish a network that can transmit information independently from the […]

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