Not Safe From Wolves

This is the tumblr of programmer, system administrator, tinkerer and person, Aaron Brady. Real blog is elsewhere.

As has been mentioned I work at a museum. As part of the museum’s re-opening in December we are building, from scratch, custom NFC-enabled pen which we will give to every vistor upon entry. The pen will allow you to manipulate objects on interactive tables as well as to sketch and design your own creations. That is, literally, what the pointy end of the pen is for.

The other end is used to touch an object label and record the ID of the object associated with it. That’s it. Objects are stored to the pen as you wander around the museum and are then transferred back to the museum during or at the end of your visit and are available for retrieval via a unique shortcode assigned to every visit. If you buy a ticket online and we know who you are then all the items you’ve collected or created should already be sitting in your account waiting for you by the time you get home or, even, get your phone out on the way to the subway.

(If you don’t already have an account then the visit is considered “anonymous” and that’s perfectly fine, too.)

The aim of the pen to collect objects has a couple of objectives: To simply do what people have always wanted to be able to in museums and been forced to accomplish themselves:

  • To remember what you saw during your visit. People take pictures of wall labels, I think, not because they really want to but because there is no other mechanism for recall.
  • To get out of the way; to be intensely quiet and polite. The pen will likely enjoy a certain amount of time in the spotlight but my hope is that it will be successful enough that, when that attention fades, it might simply be taken for granted.
  • To be a necessary technology in the service of memory, that dissolves in to normalcy, rather than something you need to pay attention to or have an “experience” with.
  • To give people the confidence to believe that they don’t necessarily need to do anything with the things in moment.
  • To have the confidence to believe that we will keep the things they collect during their visit safe for a time when they will once again be relevant to them. For a person to see the history of one visit in association with all their other visits.

— Aaron Straup Cope at dConstruct

Office of the Brave

  • Aaron: there is a colossus of a spider by the lift downstairs
  • Darren: damn, gonna have to burn the office :(
  • Andy: has someone taken care of this or do i need to go and work in my car?
  • Jon: yeah, it's sorted it's been put it in your car…
  • Andy: fuck

It is helpful in learning to appreciate and develop your ability to change to think about how you have changed over time. You are not the same person you were ten years ago. How are you different? What were you like before? Would your present self and past self be friends if they met? What would they like and dislike about each other? How did you become the person you are now? Your ideals, thoughts, and opinions have changed; what has replaced the old ones and why? By reviewing the changes that have occurred, you can savor the growth and progress you have made, and appreciate the benefits the process of change has brought to your life.

When you notice how much you have changed and developed even without consciously trying, you can see how much you could grow if you made a real effort to change.

– Tarthang Tulku, Skillful Means (via thisistheglamorous)

“This may come as a surprise to non-specialists who view the internet as a high-tech affair comparable to the bridge of the USS Enterprise of Star Trek fame,” he said. “In actuality, the internet is more akin to an 18th century Royal Navy frigate, with a lot of running about, climbing, shouting, and tugging on ropes required to maintain the desired course and speed.”

BBC News - Browsing speeds may slow as net hardware bug bites

My Shrimp / Minimal Arduino.

Simon Walters asked if it was “Shrimp price or Arduino price” - so here’s a break down:

170 Point Breadboard - £0.51 delivered.
433Mhz transmitter module - £0.99 delivered.
ATMega328, Crystal and Caps - £3.40 delivered.
7805 Voltage Regulator - £0.99 for ten, delivered.
I already had an Arduino to program the above, in ArduinoISP mode, but here’s a cheap source, somewhat defeating the purpose of the above.

Excluding the battery holder & 9V battery (which I had), I make it £5.80 for the little radio connected unit you see above.

That said, I’ve sourced a lot of parts direct from China, and the externalities that creates are bad. Each item was individually shipped, which is inefficient, I have no idea what treatment the workers who produced my items receive and I did nothing to support the thriving UK maker scene.

In general, I buy from a mix of eBay, Oomlout and Pimoroni and favour Adafruit and Arduino branded parts. Buying these parts funds the development of new parts and the libraries developed to use them.

My Shrimp / Minimal Arduino.

Simon Walters asked if it was “Shrimp price or Arduino price” - so here’s a break down:

I already had an Arduino to program the above, in ArduinoISP mode, but here’s a cheap source, somewhat defeating the purpose of the above.

Excluding the battery holder & 9V battery (which I had), I make it £5.80 for the little radio connected unit you see above.

That said, I’ve sourced a lot of parts direct from China, and the externalities that creates are bad. Each item was individually shipped, which is inefficient, I have no idea what treatment the workers who produced my items receive and I did nothing to support the thriving UK maker scene.

In general, I buy from a mix of eBay, Oomlout and Pimoroni and favour Adafruit and Arduino branded parts. Buying these parts funds the development of new parts and the libraries developed to use them.

As I left the house this morning I thought “the light is great, should I bring my camera?” - nah, I’m just going to the car boot sale on the common, what am I going to see that’s going to be interesting? And it’ll just be another bulky thing to carry.

And then just barely visible in this photo, a topless man riding a dray horse rode past me on the footpath of the Stone Road.

Opportunity missed.

As I left the house this morning I thought “the light is great, should I bring my camera?” - nah, I’m just going to the car boot sale on the common, what am I going to see that’s going to be interesting? And it’ll just be another bulky thing to carry.

And then just barely visible in this photo, a topless man riding a dray horse rode past me on the footpath of the Stone Road.

Opportunity missed.

Using IM in a professional setting.

thisistheglamorous:

If you only learn two things from visiting my outpost in the digital world, please let it be these two things:

  1. If you’re using IM at work and you start it with “Hey” or “Sup” and don’t put anything else, you’re the definition of a monster. You have no business being in office let alone having a job that requires using IM as part of your professional work flow.
    Good: “Hey David! Hope you’re doing well. I need help with this problem…”
    Bad: “Sup.” [five minutes later] “You there?”
    NOPE. I’m not there because I refuse to answer IMs that don’t have a GODDAMN POINT. If you want to chat into nothing, go here. If you want to do work, chat me like a GODDAMN PROFESSIONAL. Ask motherfucking questions. Form motherfucking cohesive thoughts. Use it as a motherfucking tool to get your motherfucking shit done.
  2. Ice cream, in moderation, is the greatest thing in the world.

marco:

“Jeff Bezos says, “Your margin is my opportunity.” That’s probably what Lyft and Uber were saying to each other as they slashed their commissions to 0. How do you beat a company that doesn’t need to make money? The 8 hours you need to sleep each night, are my opportunity. The time you spend with your family and friends, is my opportunity. If you’re not maxed out, if there’s still a shred of humanity left in you, then you’re just leaving your lunch on the table.”

Elaine Ou (via maxistentialist)

Productivity and leisure time »

moot:

It may sound absurd, but you’re essentially burning the candle from the other end—with smoking you’re reducing your overall lifespan, whereas checking frivolous messages on your phone is just inching yourself closer to death with minimal benefit.

Taking a engineer’s approach to a happier life.

It goes beyond that, though. I’m letting go of people, too. I think it’s OK to let people pass you by. Difficult people, demanding people, and people who impose too high a cost against the benefit they provide – or even just people that you can’t reasonably help.

I’m aware that this is anathema to our culture, where everyone has value and the right to be heard, and people should be given a chance. I just don’t think I have time to give everyone a chance, and still do the things I want to do. I don’t have time to hear them in the first place, and I bet that you don’t either. So I’m letting go of the obligation to respond, or even to hear the question. I won’t pretend to be comfortable with saying so, but there it is.

Letting go - Matt Gemmell

I don’t think any book that I’ve read has induced the same number of paranoid dreams.

I used to fall asleep reading this while waiting for D to fall asleep. I’d wake up on the floor, thinking of rooms that go on forever.

I don’t think any book that I’ve read has induced the same number of paranoid dreams.

I used to fall asleep reading this while waiting for D to fall asleep. I’d wake up on the floor, thinking of rooms that go on forever.

“You may have encountered a situation wherein you left the game while it was still running, and then later tried to return to it, but found yourself distracted — not just mentally distracted; a state of mental distraction is really not a problem in this game and, in fact, may be helpful in some situations (like when you’re visiting a strange rest stop or a comfort station somewhere out on the edge of the map — there aren’t any of these in place in Act One, but perhaps there may be in future acts, after all, it’s an idea that appeals to us (we try to be open-minded and not to plan too far in advance) and who can say how we’ll feel three or even nine months from now — and you encounter some text on a sign or something, maybe scrawled in the margins of a discarded roadmap, and you feel curious enough to switch contexts and google some phrase or another) so we’re pleased that the Mac version of the game now supports the “Command-Tab” function. Thanks for your patience!”

http://kentuckyroutezero.com/RELEASE_NOTES.txt