Turned out, last week I took it way too easy on you all! Despite the fact that I had never seen such a strobe before, there were indeed those among the readers here that were and are intimately familiar. The first one to throw out the right answer was Batshitbox, who got it, well, right off the bat! 1000 internets to you, good sir! This week you all get but only one picture, but I still have faith!
And remember, if you happen to have access to any oddball sort of tech related items, or just a blurry camera and an eye for weird photo angles, please don’t hesitate to send your ideas in! Simply email HycoSpeed@gmail.com and throw Q³ in the subject line and I’ll get right on it!
For some reason I find the whole Moon landing conspiracy to be really fascinating. To me it just seems like what is harder to believe, that man managed to travel off the Earth and land on our nearest neighbor, or that hundreds if not thousands of people pulled off a highly technically complex and intricate hoax, and have managed to keep it a secret for nearly 50 years? That, and NASA left stuff there, not just the disposable Moon rovers and descent stages, but actual experimental equipment that can still be used from Earth, given the proper tools of course. One such experiment is the retroreflector arrays left on the moon by the Apollo astronauts that are used for laser ranging.
Continue reading Moon Lasers
The other day I was reading an article on the news about the chance that the Sprint/T-Mobile merger will or will not occur. I have some interest in such for purely selfish reasons, I have had Sprint since the first day I bought a cell phone (at Radio Shack, no less), and anything that might make my service better and cheaper would be fine by me. I came across a line (in a section comparing the Comcast/Time-Warner merger to this one) in this particular CNET article that I found to be quite hilarious: “But the truth is that comparing these two mergers is a lot like comparing apples and oranges. Yes, they’re both fruit, but they’re very different.”
Seriously? It is necessary to explain the apples to oranges metaphor to the sort of reader that would be interested in reading an article about a telecom merger on a tech website?
Well, one thing that it certainly isn’t necessary to explain is the joy ad wonder of finding cool free stuff on the interwebs! This is your change to show off the best, or the worst, that your local online classifieds or Craigslist-type site has to offer! The big winner for last week was Devin, who found a single spark plug, and as he correctly pointed out, our readership is certainly the type to need an odd number of spark producing devices, whatever sort of conclusions you might want to draw from that… Nice job man!
No discussion of lasers could ever be complete without at least one space laser, and courtesy of Soviet Russia, here is one such weapon. While this little ray gun doesn’t seem to have ever gone to space, it does appear (judging by some semi-literately translated scientific papers) to have been a functional low output prototype that might have actually worked as intended in the cold vacuum of space.
Continue reading Pew! Pew!
Lasers are useful for a great many things, certainly up to and including being placed on the heads of irritable sea bass. For no reason whatsoever, this weekend will be the weekend of the laser here at Atomic Toasters, and we are going to start out by taking a look at a laser system that has proven to be quite useful indeed for those friendly fellows from down under. In the 1970s, the Royal Australian Navy noticed a lack of progress made in the surveying Australia’s territorial waters. There was much of the sea area that was was unsurveyed or simply old data from the age of sail, prompting the RAN to seek a method of effectively surveying large areas from the air. The Defence Science and Technology Organisation developed the LADS system, which stands for Laser Airborne Depth Sounder. The system began feasibility trials in is 1977, and although it was not operational until 1993, it is still flying today.
Continue reading Egads! LADS!
Every invention, you could argue, comes with tradeoffs. It does certain things well, and other things, not so much; that or there can be unintentional side effects. The chalkboard gets dusty, they can be hard to clean and hard to see the writing on if they aren’t clean, and of course there is the whole cringe inducing scraping sound. But, the replacements aren’t all that much better; they have shortcomings of their own. White boards can be just as hard to clean, the markers that don’t stink at writing are expensive, they can dry out quickly, and chalk comes in even more colors than the dry erase markers do. Now what about the highlight of today’s tech, the ‘Smart Board?” These things are just terrible, slow pens that lag and draw off target, that make text that looks like a 5 year old art project in Microsoft Paint–but they are smart and high tech!
It seems like the only place where chalkboards still find use is with crafty art projects where you paint chalkboard paint on something that isn’t even a board! Should chalkboards come back? Are the alternatives really better? What ever happened to the chalkboard?
Image from widgetbox.com.
Just a little character building help!
Image by Jacob Borshard.
Considering the complexity of the transformation mechanisms of my childhood Transformers toys, the Transformer in the above cartoon may be done transforming before I get Bumblebee’s legs folded up.
[Image Credit xkcd...who else?]
Most of the readers here I feel are probably fairly up on current events, so you have probably seen where there is a country that rhymes with Prussia that has (finger quotes) invaded (finger quotes) a country that rhymes with Brukraine. This particular event has gotten more than a few folks considering the possibility of a return to the Cold War that we knew and loved, and I don’t use the word love entirely with sarcasm–there does seem to be a certain excitement about for a nostalgic return to the heady days of living free and hating on Commies. I came across this question on Motherboard the other day, and they were coming at the situation from an angle that I hadn’t thought of, but I found quite interesting. Does a new Cold War mean a new Space Race?
You Fry Neutrinos! Bounce Positron Clusters!
Image via the Flickr of paxtonholley.