Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Some Interesting Destinations


Abu Simbel – Egypt's only portable* temple
The Sinai Trail – hike it in 42 days.  For me, there's not enough sunscreen in the world.
Lac Assal – pretty, but don't touch

All over at the BBC's site.  They all look like really great places to visit, certainly off the beaten tourist-path.  One of these days I could almost be tempted.


*For very, very large values of portable.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Saturday, July 14, 2018

More Trouble in Smart Device Land


Article at Ars Technica:

Smart TVs are invading privacy and should be investigated, senators say

This kind of privacy invasion business always ends in tears.  None of this stuff is harmless; remember this case involving military personnel running with their Fitbits from last winter?


If nothing else, companies should observe privacy busting behavior's effect on the bottom line.  Last year when an iRobot (maker of Roomba) executive commented about plans to sell maps of customers' houses to other companies, their stock took an immediate 36% nose-dive, and is still 24% off its peak.  The fact is that when people want their houses swept by robots, they don't want the glorified brooms doing the job to tell their maker all about the floor plans.

Didn't someone at some level at iRobot say "Something about this just feels... creepy"?  I guess not.  For what it's worth, I love my six year old (non-mapping) Roomba, but when it's time to replace it I'll look at other companies' offerings first, even though iRobot still makes one non-mapping model that does everything I want it to do.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

AM Radio Revitalization: Nowhere Slowly


New post up at Engineering Radio yesterday: Status of AM revitalization  Not completely depressing, but not any sort of encouraging turn-around rally either.

Not much change from five years ago when we last considered the topic.  Give it another five or ten.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Yes, somebody makes this.


Or, more like tried to make a commercial go of it and flamed out sometime around 2015.  Anyway, if you've ever wanted your bike to sound like like King Arthur's horse, check out Trotify.

Found over at There I Fixed It, which strangely enough hasn't also flamed out.  While we're at it and on the bike theme, also found over there:


Just the thing for clearing trails after a long summer.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Webb Space Telescope Delays


Detailed over at Wired.

Graphically explained by xkcd:


Bottom line it that this isn't looking good.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Summer Doldrums


Last weekend was a tranquil affair involving sleeping late, coffee at the Mockingbird, and getting carried off by bugs from the Bethel mountain bike trails.  Caught up on some reading, but didn't quite finish any books worth mentioning.

Maybe more later, maybe just take a break for a bit here.

In the meantime, here's a tale of climbing a mountain and rigging a temporary 160 meter antenna.  I envy the guy and his bearably cool weather over across the pond, though I'll be glad to be on the Gulf coast and not atop a windswept mountain in just a few months.  Got to give 160 meters QRP a shot next winter.