I’ve been enjoying Bill “Engineer Guy” Hammack’s videos. In his videos, he everyday technology from an engineer’s perspective. Here are a couple of my favorites:
MIT’s Tech TV has a great series of videos demonstrating the tools and equipment used in their Artificial Inteligence Lab’s machine shop. The video below is 40 minutes long, but they have hours more where this came from.
If you watched the NASA soldering videos that I posted earlier and you’re now wondering what sort of things a person should be soldering, check out the Make Presents video series. Make contributor Collin Cunningham’s geeky explanation and exploration of various electronic components is both entertaining and educational.
Here is a Youtube playlist with all the Make Presents videos.
I think this map sums up getting from point A to point B in Boston:
Unilever developed a pizza vending machine that bakes fresh made pies in under 3 minutes. While I’m sure it’s not as good as going to a pizzeria, I’d love to the option of having pizza right now.
Mail encryption has always been something I’ve wanted to do, but avoided because I didn’t have a seamless way to encrypt and sign my messages. After reading comments by Donald Kerr, Principal Deputy Director or national intelligence, where he says that american citizens need to understand that privacy means the government and businesses protecting their information, I set about taking matters into my own hands once again.
Luckily, I’ve been using Mail.app on my Macbook as my primary mail application for some time, and I found this article on setting up the GPGMail. The instructions there work almost flawlessly despite being over 5 years old. I’m still contemplating an eloquent way to start the entropy daemon to start on startup, and GPGMail doesn’t work with Leopard yet, but should be up in a few days according to the author.
My current public key is available on MIT’s Public Key Server, just search for 0xC339DB0B.
Vint Cerf, current chair ICANN, will be stepping down from the post at the end of this year. He’s often credited as a founding father of the internet for his roles designing the internet and the protocols that it runs on. Mr. Cerf did an interview with NPR’s Day To Day that aired today. You can listen to parts of it here, but you’ll need to read the accompanying text in order to get the whole story.
Listening to his insight to the future of the internet was certainly enlightening, but I’m used to the Web 2.0 philosophy, so his “it’ll be ready when it’s ready” attitude towards domain names that don’t use the Roman alphabet or a left-to-right syntax was a bit of a turn off.
I recently upgraded my WordPress installation (it was way way way out of date) and I thought it was weird that my old plugins weren’t showing up after the upgrade. It turns out that when I tell Transmit, the most convenient mac ftp application that I’ve found to date, to replace a folder, it deletes the old one and replaces all of it’s contents with the folder I’m uploading. This makes perfect sense in terms of the english language, but it’s not at all how I expect things to work based on years of ftp experience. In Transmit, if I want leave subfolders and files that aren’t on my local copy, I have to choose merge. Lesson: be careful with “apply to all” check boxes when playing with new software.