Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Steffen Method" of Airplane Boarding

Hey dude/tts in charge of boarding proceedured for airlines... Watch this!!

Posted via email from ninjahippie's (pre) posterous

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Heathkit back in the kit business??? Oh lets hope so...



Our educational and training materials are developed with a proven philosophy of learning and integrate visual, auditory, and hands-on exercises. We call it "The Heathkit Approach to Learning".

At Heathkit Educational Systems, we've been preparing people for success in technology careers for over 75 years.




By popular demand, Heathkit is bringing back the kit building tradition.  Successfully building your own products provides a sense of pride and accomplishment, not realized by simply buying something off the shelf.

In late August, Heathkit will debut their new line of Do-it-Yourself kits for common around-the-house items.  The first kit will be a Garage Parking Assistant (GPA).  The Garage Parking assistant kit lets you build your own system that uses ultrasonic sound waves to locate your car as it enters the garage.  The system signals to the driver using LED lights mounted on the wall when the car is detected and in the perfect spot for parking.


The GPA-100 kit consists of two primary assemblies - The LED Display in kit form and the pre-assembled ultrasonic range module.  the kit will include everything you need to complete the project except a soldering iron and hand tools.

Next on the market will be a Wireless Swimming Pool Monitor kit followed by many more.  Heathkit wants to continue to bring to its customers interesting, unique Heathkit products.  Heathkit is interested in learning what types of products kit builders would like to build.  Kit builders can submit their suggestions through this website using the Contact Us email.









Oh how those of us that grew up with the Heathkit catalog hope this will be true... More power to ya Heath!

Posted via email from ninjahippie's (pre) posterous

Thursday, August 11, 2011

OMG! Terrorist Ravens! RUNNNN!

Raven rampage cuts power to 1,600 in Wyoming town

Raven rampage cuts power to 1,600 in Wyoming town

By JEREMY FUGLEBERG Star-Tribune energy reporter | Posted: Thursday, August 11, 2011 12:30 pm | No Comments Posted

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

A raven which somehow made its way into an electricity substation cut power to more than 1,600 customers in Worland for several hours Tuesday night.

The bird's damage to the Rocky Mountain Power substation chopped power to the utility's customers in the southern part of Worland and to the south of the town at 8:43 p.m., said utility spokeswoman Margaret Ohler.

"Our folks repaired that damage and all Rocky Mountain Power customers were restored at 10:39 pm," she said.

The outage also affected some other electricity users in the area who were not Rocky Mountain Power customers, but Ohler said she wasn't sure of the number.

It was the second outage for Worland in six weeks. On July 4, a wind storm knocked down three power poles in the area, cutting power to 10 customers for more than a day.

Rocky Mountain Power spokesman Dave Eskelsen said it's not unusual for animals to seek out warm places, which can include transformers and substations.

While the company tries to avoid any animal-related problems for both animal safety and outage concerns, incidents do happen, including in substations, he said.

"Substations are a little more difficult," he said. "If they touch two of the wrong things at the same moment, they complete the circuit."

So what happened to the raven that cut power to Worland?

"When that happens, they do not survive," Eskelsen said.

Reach Jeremy Fugleberg at 307-266-0623 or Read his blog at and follow him on Twitter: @jerenegy.

Copyright 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Posted in State-and-regional, Energy, Updates on Thursday, August 11, 2011 12:30 pm | Tags: Electric Power, Electrical Substation, Power Outage, Margaret Ohler, Pacificorp, Dave Eskelsen, Rocky Mountain Power, Raven, Electricity, Jeremy Fugleberg

Print Email ShareThisShareThis

Sponsored Links

Posted via email from ninjahippie's (pre) posterous

Tee'd Off: Right-Wing Extremists Tricked by Trojan Shirts - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Has cancer been cured?

This may just have amazing impact.

Posted via email from ninjahippie's (pre) posterous

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

System 76 Gazzelle Review

My oldest son is shortly planning on attending college.  For his high school graduation his mother and I decided to get him a new laptop.  He and I are both avid Ubuntu fans so System 76 was a natural choice.

The system arrived in about a week - which is impressive considering that S76 practices "just in time" fulfillment.  That is, the systems are manufactured to meet orders as they come in.  Packaging is a plain box with really nice protection for the system.  It arrived with a simple case, power supply, and the oft mentioned sheet of Ubuntu stickers.

Initial impressions:
  • The system itself is beautiful.  If batman has a laptop it's surely a s76. 
  • The screen is gorgeous.  Rivals the best Dell or Mac monitor easily.
  • The sound is loud for a laptop. (it's THX certified)
  • There is no stinking widows key.  (It has the Ubuntu logo on it)
His system arrived with 11.04 installed even though it was ordered only a few days after Natty was released.  Just like the other S76 reviews - yes everything works out of the box.  Including suspend/resume - the webcam - and the fingerprint reader.  It's beautiful. 

My son has only briefly allowed me to touch it but my impression of the keyboard and trackpad are that they are at least as good if not better than the many Dell laptops I routinely peck away on.  The trackpad is fully multi-touch allowing you to do the goofy two finger scroll etc. Battery life is at least several (3?) hours.  We watched Dr. Strangelove in it's entirety and still showed at least a third of the battery available. 

The only problem to be had so far are the occasional display issues common to the new Unity interface.  We also never did get the HDMI output working to the one TV we tried it with.  Not sure if it's the TV or our inexperience and impatience wanting to watch our movie.  Had we been a little more determined to get it going I most likely would have called System 76 support - which I've been told is awesome.

I will definitely buy from System 76 again. 

Geek tip: Business Cards

It's been a while since I've done one of these...

Today is a simple but crazy useful one.  Geek business cards.  Yes really.

Unless you are a plumber, hair dresser, or maybe a locksmith dealing primarily with retired homeowners, pretty much anyone you need to exchange business cards with will have a smartphone and/or email.  Why deal with the paper?  Here's how to get setup and handle it when someone wants your card...

On your phone, create a contact for yourself in your address book.  Make sure the contact has the appropriate detail.  Maybe make one for personal and one for business use.  Then when someone asks for your info just pull up that contact, and select "share".  On both Android and iOS you will have many choices of how to do that.  Among the choices will be Email, Bluetooth, and the coolest / simplest choice, barcode.  Selecting barcode will produce a QR code on your screen that can be scanned by any smartphone and instantly recognized as vcard data.  Very slick.


If the recipient does not have a smartphone (or is so completely inept running it) then the next best choice is email.  Selecting this will allow you to address a message with your vcard attached.  Then when your new friend (or leg humping sales drone) gets to their computer (or even the mail app on their phone) all they need do is click the attached file to have it added to their address book.

To make things quick on my Droid I've created a desktop shortcut for my contact.  I touch that, then the little index card icon to bring up the contact. Hit menu, share, barcode, and then hold the phone up to be scanned.  Done and done. 

On each of the smartphone platforms - especially Android and iOS - there are many apps that will scan barcodes (and hence QR coded cards) directly into your contacts.  On Android you probably already have Google Goggles.  It will work great for the QR codes and just about as well for the paper versions too. Just shoot a pic of the (paper) card and it's in your contacts.  I've stunned many salesdrones in meetings when I just shoot a picture of their card and hand it back.

Hopefully once again I've made your increasingly geek life simpler.

Posted via email from ninjahippie's (pre) posterous

Monday, August 01, 2011

How Facial Recognition Technology Can Be Used To Get Your Social Security Number - Kashmir Hill - The Not-So Private Parts - Forbes

faces, for ingy

What does your face give away?

Those freaked out by facial recognition technology have fresh fodder: a study from Carnegie Mellon University in which researchers were able to predict people’s social security numbers after taking a photo of them with a cheap webcam.

At the head of the research team was Alessandro Acquisti, a CMU professor who pointed out in 2009 that the social security number system has a huge security flaw — social security numbers are predictable if you know a person’s hometown and date of birth. This study essentially adds a facial recognition component to that study. Acquisti, Ralph Gross and Fred Stutzman ran three experiments. In the first, they data mined Facebook for photos of people with searchable profiles. They then used that database of faces and identities when applying off-the-shelf facial recognition technology (PittPatt) to “anonymous” singles on a popular dating site. Acquisti told me in an interview last month that they were able to reidentify 15% of the digital Cupids.

In the second experiment, they used a $35 webcam to take photos of CMU students. They then asked the 93 participants to take a quick online survey. While they did that, the facial recognition software went to work figuring out who they were. Acquisti told me that 42% of those participants were linked to their Facebook profiles.

Finally, the third experiment was the one to link faces to their unique nine digits…

For those participants who had date of birth and city publicly available on their account, the researchers could predict a social security number (based on the work from their 2009 study). The researchers sent a follow-up survey to their student participants asking them whether the first five digits of the social security number their algorithm predicted was correct. One problem with this part of the study was that “60% of the CMU students were foreign and don’t have social security numbers,” said Acquisti. Though researchers were still able to tell them all about their interests and favorite movies based on what they got from their Facebook profile pages.

Pages: 1 2

Beautiful demonstration of how meta-data can be, and is used against you and your puny encryption and obfuscation techniques.

Posted via email from ninjahippie's (pre) posterous

House Committee Approves Bill Mandating That Internet Companies Spy on Their Users | Electronic Frontier Foundation

House Committee Approves Bill Mandating That Internet Companies Spy on Their Users

Despite serious privacy concerns being voiced by both Democratic and Republican leaders and by thousands of digital rights activists using EFF's Action Center, this afternoon the House Judiciary Committee voted 19 to 10 to recommend passage of H.R. 1981. That bill contains a mandatory data retention provision that would require your Internet service providers to retain 12 months' worth of personal information that could be used to identify what web sites you visit and what content you post online. EFF had previously joined with 29 other civil liberties and consumer privacy groups in signing a letter to the Committee members that condemned the bill as a "direct assault on the privacy of Internet users."

EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston had this to say about today's vote:

The data retention mandate in this bill would treat every Internet user like a criminal and threaten the online privacy and free speech rights of every American, as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have recognized. Requiring Internet companies to redesign and reconfigure their systems to facilitate government surveillance of Americans' expressive activities is simply un-American. Such a scheme would be as objectionable to our Founders as the requiring of licenses for printing presses or the banning of anonymous pamphlets. Today's vote is therefore very disappointing, but we are especially thankful to GOP Representatives Sensenbrenner, Issa and Chaffetz, who chose principle over party-line in opposing this dangerous tech mandate. We hope that bipartisan opposition will grow as the bill makes its way to the House floor and more lawmakers are educated about this anti-privacy, anti-free speech, anti-innovation proposal.

Please help us defeat this legislation before it is made law by contacting your Representative today.

Related Issues: Mandatory Data RetentionPrivacy


Please, Please use the handy form linked at the bottom of the article to contact your representative.

Posted via email from ninjahippie's (pre) posterous

XKCD - The CIA was hacked!