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Preview: scot hacker's foobar blog

scot hacker's foobar blog

Tilting at windmills for a better tomorrow.

Last Build Date: Wed, 07 Feb 2018 06:59:12 +0000


Space Oddity

Wed, 07 Feb 2018 06:58:27 +0000

Easy to laugh this off or to get pizzy about space junk, but cannot underestimate the significance of what happened today – humans launched a Tesla into space blasting Bowie on infinite repeat, using a rocket many times larger than anything we’ve launched for decades, for a fraction the cost of what NASA launches cost, […]

Alexa, Shut Up!

Sun, 28 Jan 2018 09:07:10 +0000

Listening to a mother talking about how her 11-yr-old daughter was rude to Amazon Alexa, yelling “Shut up!” at it. Mother admonished her for being rude. Child: “Gosh mom, it’s just a robot, it’s not like it’s an AI or something.” In other words, child makes clear distinction that AI has “real” emotions and that […]

Spotify vs. Apple Music (Why I Can’t Switch)

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 07:36:43 +0000

Finally got around to writing something I’ve wanted to write for years: Why I can’t move to Spotify. I was open to the experience, but the past two weeks experimenting with Spotify has been pretty disappointing. Game over. iTunes has “gotten” me for 15 years, no reason to jump ship now. I gave it the […]

Banana slug with mushrooms, Año Nuevo

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 21:24:21 +0000

Trying my hand at color splash technique (mask original image in black and white, then manually erase some of the mask to let original color back through).

Año Nuevo – Elephant Seals, Costanoa

Sun, 31 Dec 2017 18:17:50 +0000

Spent a couple of days off the grid at Año Nuevo state park with families. The first evening, Amy and I found ourselves trudging across 1/2 mile of dunes to meet the sun just as it kissed the horizon of the sea. With a light haze blowing through the sand and tall grasses, scenery was […]

A Nanosecond Per Foot

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 08:29:29 +0000

It takes light takes about a nanosecond to travel a foot. So if you’re sitting four feet away from me, I’m seeing you as you were 4 billionths of a second ago. Meanwhile, Earth light takes four years to get to Alpha Centauri. So for anyone on a planet in Alpha Centauri watching Earth TV, […]

Marvin Pontiac: The Asylum Tapes

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 07:11:51 +0000

“I thought people would be up in arms about pretending to be a black person,” Lurie said in a 2008 interview, “but people were more upset that I pretended to be an insane person.” –2013 John Lurie interview at eMusic Something seemed fishy about the amazing 1998 The Legendary Marvin Pontiac ‎– Greatest Hits release, […]

Google SheepView

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 04:16:18 +0000

Cool story: The Faroe Islands are so remote, and have such a small population, that Google hadn’t gotten around to doing StreetView there. So citizens took it upon themselves to strap solar-powered cameras to their sizable sheep population, and uploaded the resulting images to Google themselves. Soon after, Google took notice and sent actual StreetView […]

A Nation-Sized Battery

Sun, 12 Nov 2017 21:31:37 +0000

If you want to power your home entirely on renewables, the general recommendation is to include enough battery storage to keep things running for 3-4 days without any input (no sun, no wind). This fascinating blog post looks at a hypothetical scenario where we wanted to scale this pattern up to supply the entire United […]

Testing Reusable Django Apps with Pytest

Sun, 12 Nov 2017 17:27:29 +0000

Django project dependencies are normally installed with a simple pip install myapp But if you want to be a code contributor to a dependency such as a reusable Django app (or if you are writing one), the usual pattern is to: git clone that app to another directory, outside of your project From within your […]

Vintage Motor Paced Racing

Sat, 04 Nov 2017 19:39:29 +0000

Not exactly sure how this works, but check the 10-yr-old kid in his underwear, on 14″ wheels. Apparently these guys would get up to 60mph! More here.

Raising a nerd

Sun, 29 Oct 2017 06:47:26 +0000

“Dad, there’s a mistake in Stranger Things. It’s supposed to be set in 1984, but that periodic table in the background shows an element that wasn’t discovered until a decade later.” (Turned out to be Oganesson 118). Kid has a memory like a steel trap – makes me so jealous sometimes.

How To Screw Up a Good Backup System

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 17:07:33 +0000

I back up our family computers like crazy, using a combination of Time Machine and cloud backup via Backblaze. But I did something dumb and almost lost our family’s entire history of home videos. Facing estimates of $500 – $1500 for professional data recovery, I stumbled on an awesome hack that saved the day. Background […]

Smith Rock State Park

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:52:55 +0000

Best eclipse shot I’ve seen today (ever?). Smith Rock State Park, by Ted Hesser.

Help Us Support the Bay Area Ridge Trail

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 15:11:20 +0000

This Saturday (Apr 22 2017), our family will be hiking 17 miles to help raise funds to complete the Bay Area Ridge Trail – your contributions most welcome! The vision of the Bay Area Ridge Trail is a 550-mile continuous loop that traces the ridgeline above San Francisco Bay. 370 are currently open for hikers […]